This build is our first pass at balance and UI enhancement.
Next week we will have a BETA 5-D which will focus almost exclusively on bug fixing and balancing as well as some new AI counter-strategies
The difference (typically) between a bad game and a good game is that a bad game is buggy, has a poor UI, poor AI, and poor gameplay (of which balance is a big issue)
Very rarely do you have a game with bad gameplay, poor UI, poor AI, and a ton of bugs that is considered a good game.
The game has come a very long way and is nearly complete, but it still lacks enough polish in current itiration that the unbribed review sites will crucify it in current states and lacking massive advertising and top of the line graphics it wiill probably have only mediocre sales if released TODAY.
There are still crashes, corrupt saves, annoying bugs, UI deficiencies, and critical balance issues (razing cities, magic system, and most important dragon in the room which is the fact heroes dominate and the 4X aspect cannot compare or contribute to actual victory in the face of overwhelmingly powerful heroes)
I do not think now is the time to vote if your intention is to only seriously tackle things like "UI" and "AI" And "balance" in future updates. As such a vote would be on what kind of job we THINK you are going to do in the above sections based on prior history, and that is unfair and inaccurate.
I BELIEVE that there isn't A LOT of work left to do and I BELIEVE that you will address the issues that need to be addressed before release. But voting "excellent" now is premature and will only encourage the game's dificiencies to not be addressed. And voting poor now is just unfair. So I am not voting yet.
To be fair though, I think the majority of games being released are trash... and sadly most are buggy as hell (and never get fixed).
Speaking of, there is also the cool factor, skyrim has a ton of flaws that would have ruined most other games as it is a dismal failure on every single aspect of polish except bugginess on the PC (while being unplayable buggy on the PS3) and yet it sold like hotcakes because:
1. People were really hard up for another epic RPG adventure, this is something FE should benefit from this too since its been a while since something like MoM came about but its so different that it might not get it.
2. Cool factor, the dragon combat made up for all those flaws. A lot of games are just bland clones of a dozen other games with nothing to stand apart. FE needs to polish up on the "cool factor" things... things like the elemental lords.
As far as I can recall there has never been any mention of "cool factor" in the game's design ever except for when elemental lords were discussed and I don't know of any polish work that was directed solely at cool factor.
PS. interestingly some sites ran stories about how skyrim sold on consoles 10x more then on PC but I have pointed out in my own analysis that:
A. they only counted retail sales and nobody buys PC games for themselves at retail anymore, they get direct downloads.
B. Based on steam's concurrent players figures and previous ratios of sales to concurrent players given by valve PC Skyrim sold more then PS3 and xbox360 combined.
C. Based on total sales revenue compared to publically available sale counts of PS3 and xbox360 units, basic algebra shows that the unreported PC download sales had to be larger then PS3 and xbox360 sales combined.