Yes, this is one of those pathetic "I'm leaving" posts. This is an incredibly bittersweet decision for me. Few games have ever provided the emotional impact that Demigod has. From out and out cheering to vicious cursing, this game tugs at my emotions incredibly well. But the persistent flaws are just eating away at my actual enjoyment.
First off I commend Stardock for sticking with this game. It had a terrible start and Stardock has had unrivaled customer service and transperancy.
Gas Powered Games on the other hand seem to be an example of how NOT to support a game. More on that later.
From my stats I should be happy, I have over 200 games played and a 47% win rate, pretty good for a married with child part time gamer. But the reality behind those numbers is the horror. Easily 1/3 of my wins are from playing AI due to people dropping or the dreaded Pantheon "AI fill." Custom games are great, if you can get into one. But even with the recent fixes I still can't connect 10-20% of the time, or we can't get enough people to stay, or someone won't play with X win percentage, or a noob shows up and kills you. Pantheon is faster yet even more upsetting, as you invariably get an AI on someone's team or you get 2 of something (QOT) that makes the game unwinnable. And given a game can take 1-2 hours and can't be paused, its a real challenge for me to get much enjoyment for my time.
So I'm lucky to win 1/3 of my games against real people, and that's only because I don't play the DG's I like. Because unfortunately I like Rook and QOT, 2 of the weakest DG's in the game (check the win stats). I know there are experts in both that can pull them off, but the stats don't like, for most of us if you choose these DG"s you have dramatically increased your team's chance of losing. So I have to play the Beast just so I can get an occasional win.
Beyond the terrible AI and unbalanced DG's, I have to contend with the continued (6 mos later) bugs. My UB gets stuck going around corners or loses target for random reasons. Minions for QOT can't keep up with the DG and get lost or stuck all the time. Half the time I'm clicking like crazy to ensure that my move order doesn't reset and kill me . . . ie. I'm fighting the game just to have fun.
Lack of support for the game. GPG has been terrible, I don't care what the excuses are. 6 months in and there are no new maps, no new DG's, no fixes for the existing DG's balance problems, and the AI is still atrocious. Seriously, you say you are spending time trying to make sure the tiny animations (that 90% of the time nobody sees) match up with the ability . . . Focus on some priorities!
If you can't make the AI work, drop it. Compensate for the lack of AI or overbuff the AI, or do something, ANYTHING. I understand not wanting to nerf things excessively, but this is just insane to do NOTHING for 6 months except make a demo version and tweak some items. When you have to spend that long just to make the game stable enough to play . . . ya did sumtin wrong.
Tactical Straightjacketing - This game has some great depth in your DG choices, but you are screwed if you make a wrong choice early on. Its typically clear by level 5 who is going to win the game, so then I have to spend another hour playing out the loss because there is no way to react to an opponents strategy. If I go spit and suddenly realize that minions are tearing me up, and the Oak and Erebus are wiping me out. . . nothing I can do. I can't reset my skills to react or try an new strategy. I either quit the game I spent 20 minutes waiting to start or just suck it up and play out the loss, whee!!!
I wish eveyone the best of luck but its time to start spending my time on games that make me happy rather than frustrated.