Onto the note of character assassination... I don't hate Shafer.
I'd be more than satisfied if he'd come here and make a post fessing up to the fact that the design decisions made in Civ5 turned out to be terrible and that the game sucks.
People will tell you "but wait! you are just a forum troll and the critical reception was magnificent!"
A reviewer is under a very tight time constraint to play a game and get a review written, particularly before launch. The problems with civ5 aren't immediately evident, but play a few games and they come to the surface. Look at the critical acclaim for Empire: Total War at launch; is there anyone who can argue that game wasn't an outright disaster?
Metacritic is full of games that garner critical acclaim but in reality are shitheaps. Gaming journalism is rife with two-bit hacks.
Back to civ5 - have a look at how many people are playing multiplayer. For a game that sold as well as it did, where is the multiplayer community? I'm not just talking the "pro" ladder league guys, but also the casual players. Multiplayer is a deserted wasteland.
Maybe Shafer will do great things at Stardock. I hope he does and wish him luck. But at the same time, let's not play politician when it comes to the blame game; there's no pussyfooting around the fact that civ5 is fundamentally broken by bad game design. Shafer himself claimed that their dev model favored the lead designer and his vision giving him a unique role in directly impacting the game and driving it. Backpedal that all you want, but the fact remains he bears the brunt of responsibility there.
Starting to feel more like politicians than game devs with all the doubletalk and claims that we, the ignorant masses, can't possibly understand the complexities involved!