Hey professorunibro, this comment is for you.
I'm curious about what it is about SCO that you do not like? You say you're a hardcore SC2 fan, but I find that hard to believe. Your not even a founder, so you obviously have net yet played chapter 1 which was awesome by the way, as I did play it, several times in fact.
For most SC2 fans there were 4 basic game elements that made the game fantastic. Melee combat, planetary exploration, hyperdrive exploration and race communication/storyline.
First is the melee combat. I've played the melee combat for SCO and it is better than SC2. Since the entire battle area is encircled by an asteroid belt, you can no longer just go as fast as you can with a fast ship and keep passing by your opponent as you could in SC2. The combat screen does NOT wrap around, which I love. It was always irritating to have a fast ship keep flying by you and you could not hit it. This made some of the melee battles last WAY to long.
I also love that there are powerups that can be found and collected to slightly increase things like your max crew, acceleration and so forth. Depending on the situation, I try to get as many of these powerups as I can. I also love the worm holes that you can enter which will transport you to the other end of it. The variety of ships and weapons are enormous. Keep in mind that in SC2 there was only one ship per race. It looks like SCO has at least some of the races with multiple ship classes. This is awesome!
Since we have only been able to land on planets and moons within our own solar system, we have only seen a handful of planet type. And those have been fairly boring, but I suspect that once we get outside of our solar system, we will be greeted with many awesome planets that are lush with vegetation and life forms.
At first I wasn't sure about how I liked the planet exploration, but once I was able to play it, I fell in love with it. I like that there is a distinction between the actual planetary conditions and the atmospheric conditions. You may find a planet where the planetary conditions are ideal, but because of the atmospheric conditions, getting your planet lander down there is a task in itself.
Most planets can be explored in just a few minutes, which seems about the right time. Some planets will require several trips down to get all the resources, but that's why you want to upgrade you planet lander, right? More cargo, better weapons, faster speed, shields and so forth.
So I think that Stardock has done an excellent job on this part of the game too. I remember several years ago when the planetary exploration was different. They then got feedback from those of us who were smart enough to become founders. We ALL helped mold the game into what it is today.
Since we have not yet been able to leave the current star system, this one is tougher to judge. But based on the starmap, the universe is at least the same size, if not larger than SC2. And there are star systems that you can discover that are not even on the starmap. The fact that it took so long to fly your fleet from one end of the starmap to the other, made the universe feel so large, and it appears to be the same with SCO. So I'm expecting it to be at least as good as SC2, if not better.
I put these in the same category since they are essentially related to each other. While we have only seen a handful of races, I am very pleased with how the races look. I was very stoked that they kept the humor of SC2, as that was one of the things in the Storyline that made SC2 so good. Each of the races I have seen all seem to have their own personality, which is awesome.
While I have only seen a very small portion of the storyline, I like what I've seen so far. I do know that Stardock hired some of the best scifi writers to develop the storyline, so I am expecting some great things from them.
It also appears that SCO will have more secondary storylines that you can follow as compared to SC2. This is great. It will enable players to immerse themselves into many more sub storylines if they choose to do so. While these will have less of an impact on the main storyline, it still gives players more choices.
Ok, so which of these are you not happy with?
And what about the awesome editors that Stardock is making available to the general public?
Dialogue Editor: Create your own dialogue and story lines.
Ship Editor: Create your own ships.
Structure Editor: Create your own planetary structures.
Planet Editor: Create your own planets.
Multiverse Editor: Create your own universe and share it with others.
If I missed any editors I apologize.
And we get all of that for just $34.99, which is pretty much what I paid for SC2 26 years ago?
So please let us know, what exactly is your issue with SCO? Are you unhappy with the new awesome melee combat? Do you feel the starmap is too small and hyperdrive exploration will not feel a 'Big' as it was in SC2? Do you not like the planetary exploration, which is different but still very good? Do you not like the races and dialogue, which both seem to be awesome too?
There is an old saying. Cutting off your nose to spit your face. I fear that may be what you are doing. I would really hate for you to miss out on this awesome game, since you say you are a hardcore SC2 fan. Tomorrow, while you are sitting at home playing one of the older games in your library, me and the other hardcore SC2 fans will be playing SCO, and loving it!
Here's my suggestion to you. When you have time to devote to playing the game, buy it and try it. If you don't like it, return it immediately. What do you have to lose?
May the Star Control Force be with you.