... now that I've gotten this out of my system I must apologize for being abrupt with my feelings. They still stand but I understand the logic behind Stardock's choice and I agree with the decision, as much as I don't want too given the circumstances. Just kind of a bummer that there are no good viable alternatives outside of additional development costs, resources, and man hours to create an updated ICO (which I thought was the plan in the first place prior to the steam deal?)
-Will LAN play (possibly in 'offline mode') still be possible if I have ten friends over at my house? This is critical to our gaming group as we all have bottle-necked internet connections.
-Will we still be able to auto-download custom maps / mods as was previously mentioned?
-How will this change impact the ways that mods are used / implemented?
-Will there be some sort of full demo version to share with our friends to get them hooked onto the game? (thus helping them decide to purchase it? This was critical in most of my group deciding they liked the game and then purchasing Collector's Editions, plus the expansion).
Lastly, a very STRONG suggestion:
-Please inform, blatantly, to all Pre-Order customers that it will require STEAM to install, run, update, and for all multi-player functionality.
It would be a shame to get a lot of users lashing out at Stardock that they 'did not know' about this. At least give your users the dignity of an informed choice on this matter (instead of waiting until after their money has been taken [Sword of the Stars 2 style] to inform them). I know I would feel at least respected that StarDock had taken the time to inform me of the changes in a timely manner.
While I am undecided about what to do ... I still wish you all at the StarDock (and anyone still working on this from the IrconClad) team the best of luck. This game has a lot of potential and it would be nice to see it fulfill it.