Stardock's ongoing goal with Elemental is to continue to integrate concepts from great games, particularly, MOM.
One of the challenges I've heard discussed is that MOM was able to get away with low resolution sprite graphics. By contrast, today, people expect high resolution 3D models for everything which drives up the cost a great deal.
My understanding is that the team wants to bring in more and more concepts from MOM while maintaining some of the things that make Elemental special such as unit customization, on map city building, quests.
The funny thing is, these days when people mention MOM on the forum they intend to add.. "I'm sure the developers must be sick to hear this by now... but they should add .... like in MOM" or "I know this is EWOM and not MOM but..."
I also got the impression some how SD isn't particularly found that MOM is constantly being mentioned...
The thing is right now, EWOM does have the basic framework of MOM.. Particularly after the promised patch that will bring global mana pool/ spell upkeeps and removing 1DN rolls...
Things that MOM has that EWOM doesn't include
1. Craft magical artifacts. Very fun to equip their heroes with custom artifacts (I suspect this is planned for expansion)
2. ability to turn the tide of each battle with magic alone as your "soverign" can cast spells overland..
I think this is a brilliant concept that made every TC battle in MOM fun.. because no matter how outnumbered.. creative use of Magic overland might save the day but if you did it too many times you couldn't cast other spells.
And if 2 wizards squared off, the battle would almost always be interesting because of the inherent uncertainly of magic duels..
Personally I think #2 is the only major thing EWOM should include. AOW 2 had the same concept and even extended it to being able to cast overland spells only withinyour domain if you were in a wizard's tower, and it added a strategic concept as it was important to fight battles or extend your domain just to get this advantage..
EWOM already has a similar concept of prestige, would be really great if this could be similar to AOW's domain idea..
As for the rest I would argue EWOM has the framework to be similar to MOM , but EWOM is let down in terms of execution. In particulaR MOM went nuts with the following
1. Race diversity - Playing a high elf was quite different from playing barbarians. In EWOM all the races look too similar and have too similar abilities
2. Unit diversity - MOM had units with tons of different special abilities, ewom was dismal here..
3. spell diversity- same as #2 but here we talking about spells..
4. Custom wizard/diversity - In MOM choosing spellsbooks and retort actually makes a huge difference in the way you played. Warlord in MOM gave ALL your units a one level boost.. In EWOM all it gave is 2 units which quickly become useless, while in MOM the ability had a big impact. Ditto comparing spellbooks chosen.
EWOM has all the elements to make the game as fun as MOM, it's just let down by poor design of specifics.. Designer went for the I'm going to try to make everything has balanced as possible, and the easiest way to do this is to make all your choices fail to matter, because all if not most choices are equally viable.