So I've been playing a lot more Legendary Heroes as of late and I've begun to have some pet peeves that nag me. Overall, the game is great and fun, a definite improvement over the past two titles. However, outside my previously mentioned opinion on the lack of naval.. anything... I've found hero experience is one aspect of the game that's dragging the fun down. Here's the problem:
Experience bonus traits and experience 'sharing' between heroes.
These two issues frustrate me more than anything due to the simple reasons that the bonuses are mandatory traits and the experience penalty on heroes makes early game heroes more or less unrest buff bots. These unhappy souls sit in cities doing nothing until you can afford units to protect them out in the wilderness, which can take a while, depending on your faction.
I've seen these mentioned in passing before, but I haven't seen a thread dedicated to them yet. So if I missed one and am being redundant, I apologize in advance. Yet, these two issues continue to plague me as they heavily restrict freedom in the early game. On the one hand, the experience traits are mandatory because if you do not take them, you gimp your heroes because most (if not all) of the AI takes them. So to keep up with the Joneses, you must wade through 3-4 traits that do nothing for your hero except make them level faster. Not fun.
On the other hand, the hero experience penalty for having more than one hero in an 'army' means that the early game sees someone sitting on the bench once you get your first (or even second) hero in addition to your sovereign. Couple this with no way to gain exp from governing until you get the Adventurer's Guild and you have basically a glorified enchantment in the form of unrest reduction sitting at level 1 for.... a while. Again, not fun.
Both these issues make the early game in terms of hero development and party selection very linear. Why bring several champions if they'll only all slow down leveling and be crushed by a high level AI sovereign later down the road? For the same reason, why not take all the exp bonuses you get along with having your heroes off on their own? To do otherwise risks the aforementioned crush scenario. There's no real variation, and in some cases, you actually have to slow down your fame accumulation or you'll have a harem of heroes doing nothing but sucking up pay and exp all for unrest reduction because you have no room for them in your armies without the experience penalty.
My solution to both these problems is simple:
1) Remove all experience bonus traits.
They add nothing to the game, are tedious, boring, and are mandatory to stay competitive with the AI. In short, they delay the fun parts of hero leveling as you don't really start picking traits until level 5-6.
2) Ease the experience penalty on multi-hero armies.
I understand that the probable reason for this change was to stop stacks of army munching heroes from destroying everything. But that was back when actual army units were far less useful than they are now. Furthermore, you can still have an experience penalty, just have it a gradient where the more heroes you have in an army beyond a certain point (two or three, for example) the more severe the experience penalty becomes.
The result of both the above changes frees up the early game and character development to be less linear and not having a mad dash just to keep up with the AI in terms of leveling. You wouldn't be forced to take experience boosting traits and you wouldn't have early game heroes doing nothing but yelling at villagers to stop relieving themselves on your Monument. As an added benefit, your early game force would be less screwed over if they took early losses, as now you could bolster unit loses with your champions without worry of penalty.
In short, I think these changes would make the game more fun and less artificially structured in the early game.
P.S. I should also extend a personal thanks to Stardock for the free copies of both Fallen Enchantress and now Legendary Heroes. I think, despite the flop that War of Magic might of been, I got the better end of the deal as both FE and LH combined were more than worth the 60 bucks I sunk into WoM.