I'm still going to recommend a 'Stepping Stone' approach here.
Yes, I did see Frogboy's last post, and how the E:WOM that was released isnt the game that was originally planned. I'm going to focus on what WAS released, and the path forward with E:LH to make a fun and playable E:WOM a reality.
1) Make a Navies DLC pack. Sure, ships weren't the most essential thing in E:WOM, but I've seen numerous 'bring ships back' posts. Since the people want it, and since E:LH could be more interesting with them, if implemented correctly, I think this might be worthwhile. Of course, such a package needs to be thoroughly thought out, especially on the AI front. It isn't really fair if only players understand how to use ships correctly, so a lot of AI stuff needs to be contemplated and worked out. And also, how involved are ships? Are we talking just a couple of classes, or maybe more like a dozen?
Maybe introduce a new empire/kingdom in this DLC that is essentially a seafaring nation, that has unique bonuses for coastal and maybe even sea/river squares. This idea alone has a LOT of potential, and I wouldn't regard it as wasted effort as it would benefit the Elemental franchise as a whole, for now and future iterations.
2) Make a Dynasties DLC pack. Once the Navies pack is ready for prime time, work on this one can commence. If fleshed out, this concept could add a LOT to diplomatic interactions and such in the game. But I would not recommend a simple 'cut and paste' of the old system - it wasn't really fleshed out. What I would recommend is that the Sov choose a partner at the start, from a pool of candidates of various disciplines. Similar to the 'Two heroes emerge, but only one will join your cause' concept, but with a larger pool representing multiple disciplines/classes. That way, if you want a Scholarly type as your mate to complement your own life path choice, you can.
Your initial mate choice would have bearing on your children's upbringing and such, similar to what happened with E:WOM but without the 'uber' children problem of course (for those of you that remember that balance issue). Your mate would probably need remain 'at home' to rear the children, allowing your Sov to roam free/don't want to crimp anyone's style here. No showstoppers here so far.
I'd probably suggest that there be a 'you are trying for a kid' option (handled in a very 'G' fashion of course), as this might take a Sov out of circulation for a season or two. While the 'immaculate conceptions' in E:WOM were interesting, it did leave you wondering exactly how a husband and wife that were separated by large distances still managed to have kids... are we talking infidelity here? Hmmm....
When your children come 'of age', HERE is where things get interesting. Sovs will probably have 'plans' for their children, but the children may have ideas of their own. Certainly, arranged marriages will be useful on the diplomatic front, and such unions should have a major impact on how strong a new alliance may be. HOWEVER, sometimes the kids decide that they want to marry for love... and you are faced with a dilemma... do I allow the kid to marry their sweetheart (which might be some peasant, or belong to a rival faction you aren't happy with), or do I force them into an arranged marriage? Obviously, there will be a loyalty penalty for forcing said marriage...
Maybe one of the kids wants to be the next ruler, and you need to give him a city or whatever to rule over. Perhaps he/she will be content, or perhaps he/she will begin raising an army in secret and forment a rebellion/break away from your kingdom. Or, perhaps he will sneak off and marry someone from your rival empire, to oppose you at every turn.
Maybe one of your children is a 'bookworm', more interested in their books than in love. Or maybe you have a warrior prince/princess that wants to lead armies, not get married...
There really are a LOT of possibilities with Dynasties, which is why I suggest working on them second. Implemented properly, I really think this could take Elemental to the next level. Of course, this is a 4x game, and players like to 'know' what their pieces are going to do, but there is a whole new dynamic here that, done properly, would really make for an interesting 'game within a game'...
3) A minor stepping stone that some people might not mind seeing is Minor Empires. These were very much an afterthought in E:WOM, but I think there is some potential here. If a compelling framework for handling these could be worked out (i.e. make the Minors living and breathing empires that may ally with you temporarily to defeat a monster infestation, or perhaps be willing to collaborate with you on some research that they specialize in, perhaps they have kids that you wouldn't mind marrying one of yours off to, etc. etc. etc.), then this could be a fun DLC. Again, though, no sense having these if they really aren't adding much to the game, hence this DLC is ultimately a judgement call.
4)AFTER the above DLC's are worked out/released, THEN it might be time to revisit E:WOM (I certainly look forward to that, but I seem to be in the minority here). An E:WOM DLC pack by definition needs the above two working properly, and I don't think that anyone really wants a 'frame by frame' remake of E:WOM. Rather, taking the 'framework/game concepts' from E:WOM, taking the E:LH system as a base (with it's balance lessons and such), and then recreate the world of E:WOM. There is a lot of potential here, as Arcane knowledge is separate from Tech knowledge, so that concept needs to be fleshed out. As I've said MULTIPLE times now, cities in E:WOM could walk and chew gum at the same time (build AND train simultaneously), so this needs to be done right (i.e. a production bonus if a city decides to concentrate on one, versus doing both at the same time, but say 50% efficiency not a 1 to 1).
Sovs in E:WOM are supposed to be VERY powerful, so this distinction needs to be restored/played up. Also, I loved the wandering heroes concept, and indeed added to the 'RPG' element of E:WOM. In fact, I remember being broke when I first crossed paths with certain heroes, and once I finally had the money to hire them, spending multiple turns tracking them down. For a 4x game, this is kind of annoying, but from a first person perspective, this adds to the storyline, playing up the 'tale' aspect of the game. Really, since the released E:WOM is more of a first person game, albiet with an identity crisis (it was supposed to be focused on your Sov), this needs to be played up. The Dynasty concept certainly lends itself to this. But the whole 'what makes a Sov different from a hero' needs to be nailed down fully.
Cities in E:WOM had more moving parts. Specifically, you needed to build huts for the people flocking to your cause. I actually didn't mind this (some call it micromanaging though), but the entire 'population growth mechanic' has several ways that it could work. E:LH does the 'build it and they will come' approach. I'd like to propose the 'people flock to the Sov, based on how powerful/charismatic he is' approach. Sure, cities may still have structures that entice newcomers, but the people are flocking to your kingdom as a whole, and what it has to offer them, not just your cities. This makes the game more Sov-centric, and your Sov has a 'Charisma/Prestige' stat that ties into this heavily. Also, successes and failures on the diplomatic/war front would increase or decrease the number of people flocking to your banner. So, rather than tracking population growth by city, you track your total population growth as a whole (which increases based on the prestige, etc. of your kingdom/empire), which are then distributed AMONG your cities based on available accomodations.
Finally, armies in E:WOM were larger. While the graphical implementation of this looked kind of silly sometimes (16 guys crammed into a single square?), the concept of this is important. This is WHY cities building and training simultaneously becomes important. Sovs are SUPPOSED to be leading powerful armies, so producing said armies in larger numbers adds to this dynamic. BUT, there needs to be a serious attempt at combat balance here. While the current balance in E:LH may make most people happy, doubling unit sizes will dramatically change that balance. Plus, there are those of us that think the current formulas encourage 'magic uber swords' that do not lend themselves well to game balance. So, if there is ANYTHING that E:WOM could bring to the table, it would be a tighter balance on weapons,armor, and unit size interactions, and of course heroes that can hang with these larger armies. Having tinkered in this area, I have full confidence that this CAN be done, but the playtesting necessary is time consuming, which is again why I say put this off until the other DLC is released.
Instead of tackling E:WOM directly now, take the best parts of E:WOM that are missing from the franchise as a whole, and get those working awesomely. Navies, Dynasties, and maybe Minor Empires. Each of these by themselves would make for great DLC packs, and aren't E:WOM specific ideas. THEN, IF these DLC packs are well received and working well, AT THAT POINT revisit E:WOM, but not until. E:WOM will be better served by this approach.
E:WOM had more moving parts. This isn't a bad thing, some of my favorite games have lots of switches and toggles to work with. But those toggles and switches need to be meaningful and useful. E:LH simplified a lot of things, and I'm sure the Fallen Enchantress franchise will continue for all of it's lovers. But E:WOM should be different, and appeal to a slightly different audience. I.E. those that LOOK for intricate interactions that can cumulatively have a great effect on the success of your Kingdom/Empire. Also, E:WOM was about the Sov and his journey to greatness, so E:WOM should focus on the presentation from that perspective.
IMHO of course!