Right now, personally speaking, the most glaring issues I have with War of Magic are the diplomacy AI and the tactical battles. They're both being worked on of course but those are the things I have a serious pet peeve with.
You yourself say above that what you find "fun" is probably not what everyone finds fun, so perhaps it's a good idea you let someone take the lead now.
But as others have mentioned, in any of these games, players will always find some cheese way to win. Let's face it, MOM's AI was pretty brain dead. People have this happy memory of MOM but it took a year for the game to be really playable -- the AI didn't actually do anything in 1.0. Seriously. What made MOM special was a combination of the time it was released and how ahead of its time it was in terms of innovation. But it was originally panned seriously (hence, no MOM 2).
I remember several attempts.. besides your attempt to buy the name. I do agree that players will always find some cheesy way to win, your AI will never be a match of any decent human player. Not an excuse for a brain dead AI, but personally I think you focus too much on AI at the expense of fun. If a certain spell is fun, an the AI can use it decently, but a human will be even more creative at using it, you will kill the spell. I'm not sure if I agree with this philosophy.
In some respects, Elemental suffers from the opposite issue. It's a bunch of innovative features not tied together at all. As crummy as the 1.0 AI was in Elemental, it was better than MOM's but MOM was FUN out of the box. You don't need good AI (I shudder saying that) if you provide players an alternative. Hence, Caesar IV is a fun game even though there's no real opponent.
Not sure if I agree MOM's AI is worse than Elemental. But you can't really compare as the complexity of the games are different. MOM's AI never had to worry about keeping their sovereign alive for example.
Honestly, I only care if the AI is giving me a reasonable game, so if the AI cheats a little or even a lot to give me a game, fine.. You are not building skynet or a chess engine after all, so I really really don't expect you to create an AI that can match me without cheating, and I don't think that should be the goal.
What we've learned since the launch is to focus on a specific game and stop with the all things to all people attempt.
Say what? That doesn't even follow. I think the lesson from what you wrote above is FUN trumps everything, good AI but at the cost of FUN features/content is pointless.
If you want good AI then simplify the game down to Chess...Don't get me wrong I love Chess, but many people find it not fun