Frogboy, just to be clear, I don't think anyone is saying the game will be a disaster, etc, etc. Just because it's not a game for competitive players doesn't mean it'll fail. It will likely do even better, at least in the short term, if it's geared to the casual.
I for one, think the game will be a success - at least financially.
The main gripes 'our camp' complain about are more apparent at the competitive level. For me, my main concerns are
- the game's complexity/depth/variety and degree of strategic options
- skill/hero selection and diversity (too expensive to make more heroes, current skills are very run-of-the-mill)
- stiff and clunky controls. Targetting is also sometimes inaccruate. (This will very likely be fine tuned by release)
While it's true that some things are definately tweakable, such as adjusting speed, damage, fog of war, etc. Many other problems are in the foundations and overall design of the game. The low hero selection is hardly something that's "tweakable". Similarly, doing an overhaul of existing skills isn't "tweakable'. Obviously, doing something like that would require new animations, and possibly a redesign of some heroes. While you could get away with reusing some of the old animations, you'd be pigeon holeing the hero into a very similar role again.
A lot of these problems also stem from the SupCom engine. SupCom was a great game for macro rts. People referred to it as battle of the dots for a reason. However, doing micro in that game (gets the fire hose ready) didn't have the degree of control as in other rts games. This is not necessarily a bad thing - supcom was designed with the large scale in mind. However, when carried over to a game that is about precision and finess, those negative points come with it.
I wouldn't have come in with any preconceived notions of the game had I not read some of those interviews you did - like this one http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=995. Those interviews, and your statements about Demigod being the counterstrike of rts, sure made it sound like the game would be tailored for hardcore, competitive gamers who are also big dota fans. After playing the beta initially, it looked like that was not quite the case. I was also not judging the beta on the initial gameplay alone, but also on the design direction the game was taking.
Now you're saying that Dota players not enjoying this game is a good thing. This is after the PR making it sound like this game was designed for those players. It seems a little bit like bait and switch if you ask me...
Anyways, those are the reason I, and a number of other people, feel very let down by this game. Some just quietly leave and try to forget about the game. Others make a lot of noise and complain, trying to bring the game in line with what they thought it would be - the way the initial PR seemed to indicate.
Either way, I hardly think this game is an "epic fail". I know I just criticised the game quite harshly, but I really do think it's a great game and offers some great gameplay for a certain demographic.