This is a constructive criticism post. I like many people love the concept of Elemental. As a preorder since day 1 I'm extremely invested in Elemental and I believe that Elemental will be eventually one of the great games.
A few days a friend saw Elemental and asked if it was worth buying. I wanted to wholeheartedly recommend it. Unfortunately, I could not. Instead, I told him to wait a month. A shame, because I've been telling people how awesome Elemental is going to be. Others have described some of the more serious issues. This is a post to list some of the more minor details that I think would really give the game a much more "polished" feel. In truth, the game feels unfinished. By addressing details the game will feel "better", in my opinion.
1) More research graphics. I'm talking about the pictures showing your tech level (like how upgrading the "Adventure" tree will eventually depict someone staring down a lizard-thing). Right now, there's only two pictures per tech tree, and nothing really showing a high level of advancement. I love the pictures, they are a great detail. But going halfway just doesn't look good.
2) More audio and visual cues. In particular, I'd like a little "ding" sound when a new event comes up, a little flashing thing would look nice too. Right now, I tend to ignore important information because there's nothing directing my attention to it. For a game that did this really well, look at the Total War series.
3) Some basic simple visual differences between different faction towns would just be nice. "Tarthans" I think are the most distinctive faction but their towns don't seem very "Tarthan", and neither do much of their game mechanics.
4) A good random map generator. Keep the seed maps, but at least allow us a solid map generator. Personally, I don't care if I have to wait 5 minutes to roll up a good looking map... I have to wait about the same length of time for Dom III random map and I still appreciate it.
Anyways, these are just some things off the top of my head. Any other small details people think should be fixed? Post them here.