I harp on this about once a week, and I'll continue to do so until they're put back in the game. It's like this: how would you feel if you were looking forward to buying a game with features x, y and z, you waited for months for said game to come out because x, y and z were promised, and you enjoyed x, y and z when the game was released. Then one day, out of the blue, you download a patch and features x, y and z no long exist. Would that piss you off? You purchase something with some great features that you love and all of a sudden you get the bait-and-switch.
I purchased WoM in large part because of the dynasty and ship systems. The game had those features for quite some time, and then one day they were scrapped. They disappeared. That's bullshit. It's one thing to release a game and later do some balancing and stamp out bugs, it's quite another thing entirely to just cut out entire features of the game that your customer expected and paid for, completely without warning.
Here's the thing, I don't give a damn if they have no quantifiable effect on game-play. They are fun. Period. When I order a burger and fries and it comes with a free toy I don't scream at the guy in the window to take the toy out of the happy meal because it comes with something extra. Maybe the guy waiting behind you actually wants that free toy. If YOU don't like dynasties and sea travel, don't use them, it's no skin off your back. But don't tell me that I should have my free toy removed because you don't like it.
And honestly, I don't care if the AI can't make use of them. If these two features were put back into the game just the way they were before they removed from WoM, I'd be 100% fine with that. The reviews are out, the game has been given a unanimous thumbs up by the gaming mainstream media, now it's time to please those of us who got screwed by having these removed in the first place. I mean, for goodness sake, there is a gigantic ship in the game's desktop wallpaper. A little bit of false advertising there, you think?
Put them back in Stardock.