In some respects, WOM was a bit like a GalCiv but for land (the terrain was rather meaningless). FE is like MOM where the terrain matters. And as a result, the two games become difficult to even compare. Hence, a lot of the ideas don't apply to FE because the game mechanics are more MOM-like than WOM-like.
Yep - exactly the way many of us feel about Elemental.
How exactly is it changing? I know there are going to be certain special areas, as show in one of the design journals. What about everywhere else, ie: what I assume will be the majority of the game map? Will it all still be useless space with a few new special areas?
I honestly don't know for certain how best to 'fix' this issue. Maybe I'm just an old Civ guy, but I still think that the simple system there of different terrain types providing simple bonuses is good, with some limitations. It never did a good job of allowing for mega cities to develop, since every city had to use local food (I think Civ II had food caravans or something), so in some ways Elemental has a superior model.
The bottom line is that whatever system is implemented should create interesting gameplay. I should have to think about where I put cities. Right now, it is all about the very rare resources...this is ok with the whole post-apoc theme, but the rest of the terrain should also be taken into account. This will force more difficult, interesting decisions.
I think we need a new journal on this topic!