It is extremely disappointing to me to see Frogboy encouraging naselus to leave the GC3 community. Naselus is one of the few to do any extensive modding of GC3 - modding was a feature that was touted, but hasn't been utilized much. (for reasons I won't get into) A healthy modding community can do great things for a game. Yes, he offers many critiques of the game and that can be frustrating for developers who spend years building a complex and ambitious game. I often disagree with what he has to say, but just as often he has some very good observations. He's a rarity on the internet - somebody who's able and willing to construct a good argument. (whether or not you agree with that argument is beside the point) It's frustrating to me, as a player, to see the developer telling somebody like that to get out and leave them alone. Yes, he can come across as arrogant or condescending, perhaps insulting (as in his not-4th-gen post) sometimes. But a healthy community has people who are willing to share ideas, create content, and debate the various aspects of the game, whether that is in-game strategy, who's your favorite race, or their preferences for the future of the game. Sometimes players get passionate, that's a good thing. Sometimes that passion is expressed as frustration. I know Stardock wants passionate players, so they have to accept that their passionate fans will express their opinions -positive or negative - passionately.
There are millions of people all over the internet who, when they encounter something they don't like, leave a simple, insulting, comment like "your game sucks, lol" or "your so stupid this feature is bad." Tell those people to leave. There are people who spam forums with their complaints, ban them. But when somebody is willing to put in the time and effort to tell you exactly what they don't like, and why, don't tell them to leave. Nobody has to listen to them, or like them. But these people are catalysts for productive conversations, getting players to really think and care about the game, and should not be dismissed and told to leave the community or play some other game. Like I said, passionate players express passionate opinions, but passionate players aren't going to have 100% positive opinions. Only stupid people have 100% positive opinions, or 100% negative opinions. Tell stupid people to leave. Not good, passionate players.
I don't want Naselus to leave. I have looked at his mods countless times and sent them over to the team. But at the same time, and this is the part that I don't think newer forum members understand: I don't have the option to just quit the forums. It is important (at least I think it is) that I go through the posts and take notes on what people want so I can pass it to the team. But it's extremely off-putting to have people cross from constructive to just plain insulting. I have a pretty high tolerance of it, but after a few months of it, it gets old.
I can see both sides of the argument here. From my personal experience as a gamer, I know how easy it is to get upset when a series or franchise you love -and have invested a lot of time and money in - takes a turn for the worse as far as parts of the fan base see it. There's one game developer I'm particularly disillusioned with, because it seems to care more about the publisher's share holders and getting huge sales than they do about the established fanbase. Money talks and all that, but it's a sad thing about the current state of the world we live in. I know Stardock is a completely different animal, which is why I respect it so much. I wish there were more smaller scale self publishing devs, and less juggernauts like EA and Ubisoft.
On the other side of the equation, I used to be a forum moderator and know from experience that there are certain people (long time posters even) who become a massive pain to deal with. I gave up my position because it just wasn't worth the time and effort for me anymore. It can be damn hard to see the diamond in the rough.
Getting back to GC3 - It's clear there's still a lot of room for improvement, but the progress made since launch is amazing, and the argument that the game will become great over a period of years makes perfect sense. I don't regret laying down the dosh to get the elite founder's edition. GC3 deserves a thumbs up review, even if you have legitimate criticisms. Note them in your written review.