It doesn't change my point. This:
Quoting jshores, reply 27
Never has a franchise alienated a customer base so intensely.
is a dumb, wildly over the top statement.
Any serious gamer can think of a dozen or more franchises that have more seriously alienated their customer base than this one measly little DLC has done.
It's not really. If you have followed this product from the time when it was announced, you would understand.
The game was initially pitched as Master of Magic 2. Before we got our hands on the beta, we were treated to constant threads and announcements about the amazing things we were going to be able to do in this game. Modders would be able to do nearly anything using python and xml, including even writing our own roguelikes.
The beta for War of Magic was dreadful, and as the release date crept ever closer, we were promised that a behind the scenes day 1 patch was in the works that was going to fix all of our beta problems. The patch wouldn't be included with the physical product because of timing. Voicing concerns on the forum was met with insults from just about anyone. We all wanted to believe in this game, even the people who were concerned about the bugs. We were all starving for a good fantasy TBS.
Release came and the patches did little to alleviate the existing bugs or introduced new issues. Not that it would matter since the game was such a mess design wise. The features were disjointed and there was little to no cohesiveness between the various systems. A lot of the features were innovative but had little to no impact on the game (think building placement, heroes and neutral city-states).
I think this time period did the most damage. The most zealot of supports even started to lose faith, but Frogboy's new promises kept them, and me, going.
At this point, it's only fair to say Stardock made some good moves. Giving us an expansion to make up for the horrible initial product and hiring Kael was the positive to take from this entire roller coaster ride.
They were able to polish this "turd" of a game and Fallen Enchantress pulled the franchise out of disaster into mediocrity. Legendary Heroes took it a step further and has made the game even enjoyable.
But unfortunately, some of the issues are still around from day 1. Those issues include making promises and not keeping them. I don't mean, literally "promising", but rather making threads saying "this is what is coming down the pipeline." The patches often break things that go unfixed for months, the exception being the latest patch (kudos).
So what is the point?
The point is, I have watched this community go from a vibrant positive place with hundreds of people posting every day, excited about their new Master of Magic, to seeing people that were staunch defenders of Stardock actually come to the "dark side" and express concerns. I have watched an excited modding community die overnight once the realization that moddability was abandoned for hard coding, leaving a mess of xml that sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
For me personally, I went from an excited supporter, drunk on all the promises that had been made to us, to a jaded customer staring at the features on the back of my collector's box, shaking my head, to finally, a person who doesn't believe any announcement on these forums, until I see it come to fruition.
In the end though, my comment wasn't about me. My comment was about watching the people who were more faithful than me, who defended the product against people like me, slowly get wore down like a stone in the river until they become concerned, annoyed and eventually at least cautious.
That is what I meant by this franchise (not just this DLC) alienating a customer base.
I'd like to think my comments are neither dumb or wildly over the top and I hope you can understand the frustration many of us have had through this ride, even if we rarely voice it.