I find that the more games focus on multi-player, the more they tend to cut down on things I enjoy. I'll give two examples:
-I love strategy, but my hands are all mangled and slow, yet turn-based games are neigh impossible to come by (for several reasons, i know) one of which is that games move faster, and require less time commitment if they are RTS.
-I love a good story, an expansive one with little nuances that make it all feel alive this is why i'm devoted to the elderscrolls from day 1. it's why i played the ME series (though I haven't bought ME3 yet) and what is the multi-player about? it's just some random battle that gives you.... points? How about CoD or MW (which various friend and siblings of mine play)? again, fast paced, no story, no meaning, just a lot of random words of positive reinforcement. Sure, games like WoW manage a bit of narrative, though to accomplish that they need to devoting their not inconsiderable resources and large amounts of time to make the entire game to mulit-player (which i avoid for other reasons) but even there is it really a multi-player story? you're in a world filled with people that have already saved the world the same way you want to and little about that will change.
These examples are meant to illustrate the loss of the very thing video games provide for me: escapism. If life were like visiting jurassic park, i'd probably never play. but it's not. it's level grinding at a desk, or on roof. it's not mining for gold to smelt and forge into a suit of armore, it's mining for coal that someone else will deal with. there're no dragons, there's no magic. I want these things. more than that i want to believe it. when i play FE i want to walk around and talk to people, if only in my mind. and i can't do that if there's no time. i can't do that if the world is two cities and a field. i can't do that if i have to sit around waiting for someone 10 time zones away to make their move (i was president of a chess club in a law school: i hated it). i can't do that if they're not online when i am. i don't want my enjoyment to be determined by someone out collecting trophy's made of 1's and 0's. - i could continue about how it seems that games that add multi-player then tend twoard a focus on it, relegating single-player to a glorified tutorial and from there they start charging money for items, but i'd like to believe Stardock would never do that. Instead i'd like to address one more issue:
-people. People are smart. they'll find the simple solution; if there's a unit that can be spammed to win they'll do it. they'll turn an entire civilization into mindless drones, missile boat captains or cannon fodder infantry and throw them at you in a ridiculous show of mathematical prowess. they'll focus on "achievements." they rage quite. they sleep. they eat. they'll talk to you. and all of this is fine in mariokart 64 or golden eye, where the game doesn't really matter to you, where it's really just backyard wrestling in the digital age, play fighting on tv. but in a game you care about, a game you use to escape the co-workers that rage quit meetings, or trash talk at the water cooler, it destroys the appeal. yet even if you find someone that can let you keep the escapism, someone that can keep the game fun and you're available at the same time, as the game stretches on other needs surface and choices need to be made; does your new friend spend time with you, or with his wife? does he order more pizza or make himself a healthier meal and get some exercise? if you don't worry about your new friend you're kind of a monster, but if you do the game begins to be overridden by real life. sure, a new friend is great, people interacting with people can be fun, but then are you playing the game because you like the game, or because you care about the other person?
sorry for the rant: The point i wanted to make was, in short: i don't like multi-player. i think it destroys most games (esp. RPGs) and as far as FE is concerned not only would i not pay for it, i would never play it even if it were free.