- Diplomacy? Broken with op politicial capital, exploits in trading abound and a power rating system which doesn't work at all.
Yes, diplomatic capital needs a overhaul. As it is, it's a tool for making the AI poor if you find a diplomatic resource.
- Economy? Gildar is of no concern since Gildar income and expenses aren't balanced (ie. there is way too much income)
- Research? There are 5 discrete research paths with one of them being so powerful, that if you only concentrate on it, you have won the game (warfare) thanks to the powerful equipment it gives. Also, who thought it is possible to balance 5 different research paths with no dependencies between itself in the first place? It's like if I was able to beeline to tanks in CivVI without ever researching 4/5 of the rest of the techtree and then crushing the AIs spearmen with modern armour.
There are several ways to exploit the game, warfare isn't the only one. Anyway, the problem with warfare doesn't lie in the tech tree, it lies with the total lack of balance equipment-wise. When you can get late-game stuff early game, then your tech-tree is horizontal. That works, if the game is organized around that fact. Elemental isn't, as of yet. As a reviewer mentioned, it's still a Frankenstein-patchwork in some respects.
- Combat system? OP armour makes all but overamored units worthless. I'm still doubtful if the change will fix that.
It obviously won't, but we'll only be able to confirm that, with proof and weight behind our words, on Thursday. While I understand that it's better to proceed step by step, the game has been really unbalanced in this area for 2 months. You cannot fix a major problem with such a minor change (and it is a minor change, as you can see from Kael's own example and other examples you could check by yourself). I don't mind minor steps to proceed carefully, as long as it's understood that there will be many of those, because the balance issue is big. And as long as we don't wait months between each !
- Champions? Add the broken economy with the broken research system and a broken combat system to produce one man armies that can destroy all units in the game combined in a single battle.
The issue with champions isn't that they're good. Well, they should be. It's that they're too common. And maybe a bit too cheap, too.
- Spell casting? Blink makes the AI unable to even hit an unit. Other spells are currently useless with the combat system we have now.
Okay, Frogboy himself mentionned cooldowns. I've made a mod with them, showing that they work. Just like Heavenfall, I am puzzled. Did someone at Stardock get his dog bullied by a cooldown when he was a kid or something ?
TL;DR The game is broken in that regard, as the AI can't fight back.
To be honest, that's also an AI problem -wait until Frogboy improves the AI some more.
But yes, balance has issues, and I'm not exactly understanding the philosophy behind the fixes. Removal of blink instead of using the available tools (cooldown, which should be on many spells to improve spell usage variety and balance), insignificant (almost homeopathic) changes to armor when it's a gamebreaker, issues with the diplomatic system... I'm not saying I have the perfect solutions to these problems, but as much as I advocate not making huge changes in a single day, I do think that the magnitude of these issues is such that to make progress, the changes need to be somewhat bolder.