Thank Stardock that EWOM has random maps. That was the real spoiler for me with AoW2. The maps were pretty, but I always got the feeling that I was being shoe-horned into development spots. There were a few good tiles for building on, and everything else was unavailable. I figured it was my settlers and my empire. If I wanted to waste them on trying to build a city in a swamp, it was my own business.
The random map feature is what I'm really looking forward to. I'm sure I'll spend countless hours creating maps, but nothing beats the feeling you get when exploring the great unknown. MoM had this part down very well. I'd be late in the endgame thinking I'd seen all there was to see, and a scout would uncover a tile with a neutral settlement on it. It wasn't important to my overall campaign strategy, but it was neat to know that while I was conquering the world, this small village was taking it's turns right along side me, minding it's own business. It's going to be great to see what maps other modders come up with.