This is where we disagree. I see there initial response as part of the mistake and part of what was acknowledged and fixed. Brad has said many times that when the person making the decisions on final product is too close to the product they can't be objective and become too vested. A part of that causes defensiveness. It's all been acknowledged.
I'm not giving them "advanced credit" by any means. The credit I'm giving them is based on what they have said and done since launch. That's it. Of course I will withhold final judgement until EFE is out and in my hands.
But, and you never actually answered this in your response, what else could they have done between the time when they acknowledged the problems, explained them, and then told the community how they were going to fix them that would satisfy you? What haven't they done that was possible in the existing time frame?
I wasn't attempting to read your mind. I was just extrapolating from the fact that you seem to want more than what they've given SINCE ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR MISTAKES. Everyone wishes that the launch had been better, the game had been better and that the initial end-of-beta and early-post-launch skepticism on the forums had been better received by Stardock. That's not my argument. My argument is that since they realized how bad things were they've done just about everything right and that they deserve some credit for that.
And that earns back some of my trust. If you can't see how that's possible and how that's not "blind loyalty", but is in fact earned loyalty, then we'll just have to disagree and move on.
I am not convinced that anyone would have acknowledged those mistakes had the Tom Chicks and PC Gamers of this world not only printer their material but defended it and defended repeatedly. It wasn't enough that fans were saying the game isn't ready. It wasn't enough that several forums were lit up with I can't believe this game was released messages. It took Tom saying " Elemental is "as playable as any released game". It's currently in pretty bad shape. Equating it with "any released game" is a disservice to released games." and PC Gamer actually telling their readers not to buy to even get the ball rolling.
To this day, I still see Brad claim that Elemental was finished and ready, that a product like that doesn't violate his GBOR.
So to answer your question, what they could have done, after the defensive screw you, f off response they gave everyone to start with, is apologize for telling their paying customers and other fans to take their money, shove it and never come back and actually admit that the game was not finished at release and violates their GBOR. We got apologies for the state of the game and explanations for the state of the game. I think there were refunds issued even to people who were in the beta which is actually a step above what they were saying they would do. But the leave and never come back to Stardock response, that's not even new. I've seen Brad say that before, and we'll probably see it again. The game is finished response, I've seen that claim, again, with in the last few weeks.
So if the stance is Elemental was finished, and the knee-jerk reaction to hmm, this game is really messed up is to tell that person to shut-up and take a hike, never come back, yes, I will maintain my skepticism about whether these stand-alone "expansions" are going to be up to par.
I've been a fan of GalCiv2 for a bit, but I've only been around for the launch of Demigod and EWOM. I realize Demigod was not really theirs but they took it on sort of like it was theirs. That was not a pretty launch either, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt because of refunds being issued, most angry threads were not locked, and the bannings seemed focused on those who were personally abusive towards employees/Brad.
Thread locking these days is a little more prevalent, refunds still seem good from a customers perspective at least, so we'll see.