I completely agree with you. Honestly this thead has a lot of posts now, but of the roughly 50 votes, how much of the WoM customers is that? The only thing this thread proves is that there are in fact players in the community who want this type of functionality. It does not however prove that the implementation of such functionality is desired by the vast majority of users, nor does it prove that the implementation of such functionality would have a noticable effect on sales of future Elemental titles. It would be much better if some of the pro-MP folks would actually define some of these terms. For instance, many say they want a co-op experience similar to SP, but what does that mean? Quests are not co-op, nor is Tactical combat. In a game like AoW where multiple armies can be brought into a single battle, there is a measure of sense about the idea of a co-op experience. However, in WoM, tactical combat is one army v. one army so I am unsure how one would make this more "co-op".
I expect most of them are existing customers who bought the game back when MP was promised but without the "it'll be incredibly stripped down and not worth playing" caveat. Anybody buying for MP at this point is someone who knows nothing about the game and just sees it on the feature list, because in MP circles Stardock has an "avoid" reputation after this and Demigod before it (shame in the case of Demigod, that was a fun game once it worked).
As for your other question... how is that a problem? Later versions of Civ 4 had quests in them (stuff like find the holy mountain and build a city at it), and those were all done per player rather then per team. "Coop" just means that I can play allied with another human against AI players, not that we need to re-engineer the quest system to let two players get shared quest completion credit. That was how AoW did it too. In my coop games of AoW, 90+% of tactical combat was one player vs one AI. Team battles did happen, but not very often.
There's no need to deliberately over-complicate it when previous games already have a proven working model that fits EWoM just fine.
True, but now at least, we can acknowledge that the idea of SP like MP would be more than the simply " just add humans" that has been circling this forum for a while.
It shouldn't be, if they built it correctly in the first place. Boogie just said the other day that they built systems knowing they'd have to support MP. Some of this stuff is clearly already there, and is turned off because Brad wants this different competitive MP game.