Today I saw a review talking about how this was a "Casual 4x game" suggesting that it being "streamlined" was a good thing because people new to the 4x genre can pick it up as a starting point for other 4x games.
It was an all around positive review, but for a hardcore gamer and 4x vet it was a punch to the stomach. Is that the game Stardock meant to make? A casual 4x game? There's a big difference in my mind between casual and accessible, a game can be accessible without being casual. I bought War of Magic because it was compared to Master of Magic and everything I saw prior to it's release, and everything we were hearing from stardock, suggested it was a true 4x game in the vein of MoM that we would still be playing a decade from now.
Nearly a decade ago Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic was released, to this day it has an active modding community, people are still playing it, and whatever gripes you have about the settler AI, it's been addressed years ago. People still play that game, they still love it, and I think they'll still be playing it another 10 years from now.
This game has the potential to match that and surpass it, but I suspect that if anyone is playing a decade from now, without significant changes they won't be playing for the core game, they'll be playing for a mod.
This game has the potential to be a masterpiece.