This is all pretty entertaining to read. I'm a long-time buyer of Stardock and other strategy games, and am thinking about buying Elemental so just checking the forum. Held off until the patch was in place. Played all the Civs up to IV, but haven't played 5 yet. Just gotten a little bored with the series I think - nothing against Civ5 specifically.
Quite amazing the stuff spewing out of some people. I've been a developer and now a product manager for business software for 20 years, and compromises always get made. Any developer or development team has to balance all (and more) of these factors - adding more features, stability, balance, AI, robustness, extensibility, scope creep, performance, time to market, sales demands, pet peeves/wishlists from senior management or other departments. To my mind, its somewhat of a miracle that software gets delivered to the customer at all without blowing up during the process.
Without knowing the background, it sounds like Elemental was delivered without adequate testing/stability/balance. So that's not good. But big kudos to Brad and the Stardock team to honestly admitting that and delivering what sounds like a solid patch. Not many game dev houses would do that, and I've also been impressed by Stardock's accessibility to their voracious Internet audience.
Also sounds like Civ5 isn't to the liking of some players. And that's to be expected - no game appeals to everyone. But frankly, it sounds like a solid game that is popular and well-liked by many gamers. Hardly a effing disaster. So bringing the lead designer of it to Stardock should only improve the quality and great ideas in Stardock games. Sounds like a win all around.