I kind of don't get this; they've been very short on specifics of gameplay and function, without any real reason to be so obtuse. EWOM's been out for a year now, almost, and while the game mechanics may be changing for EFE, I don't think the game engine is changing substantively from EWOM. While there were some minor criticisms of artistic style, I don't think EWOM really suffered for its engine. Mechanics, however, were a different story, and where a lot of loss of credibility occured during the days leading up to release. There really wasn't a lot of information being delivered at that point, just a "oh, you haven't seen the latest build, it's different, don't worry". We're kind of in the same boat now, where not a lot of communication is occuring, just little hype of "oh, just you wait and see, you'l be impressed". While I understand the need for some companies to play that game, I don't see it in Stardock's best interest to do so. There's a credibility gap, and I would think they would want to be filling that gap with more information about the new release, not less. Being obtuse at this point smacks of ego, not trust, communication, and engagement with us, the community. It's frustrating.
If you're asking me, one of the biggest problems with WoM's development was bad expectations. Nobody had any idea what to expect because stuff keep getting posted here by Frogboy and then changing completely later.
Remember back when WoM had RTS combat?
Remember the talk about highly sophisticated per-town Economic and trade models?
Remember the talk about MP private servers for modding?
Hell, remember python scripting in modding?
The problem is that stuff was talked about publically before it was locked down, so things were shifting a lot. At the end of the day, people like me who'd been here since more or less the beginning had absolutely no idea what to expect out of the game.
If you contrast that style with what Derek's been posting, he seems a lot more conservative. He doesn't talk about as much stuff. But when Derek says "X will be in FE", the result of that conservatism is that I feel a lot more confident that what he says will actually happen. You mentioned a credibility problem, and I agree that there ended up being one. To me, only talking about stuff that's actually going to happen is an attempt to be credible with the community.