...the reviews will most likely be quite negative...
Brad says that he "would be very surprised if the reviews of Elemental are negative".
I'm sad to say that Elemental will almost certainly get bad reviews from mainstream sources. My review? Most certainly bad, even by newly released game standards. Not only will it have to recon with some of the hype that it generated by its proclamations (successor to Master of Magic, RPG feel, etc,) but it will suffer for being, what many will declare, an unfinished title. In about 5 days after the enthusiasts have played the game sufficiently and the features of the game become more clear, this will become more and more evident. I'm not saying this out of bitterness or to be meanspirited, but it's just the plain, very evident reality. Aside from the persistent crashes, lack of instruction, and very lopsided imbalances, the game mechanics itself have some very deep flaws. There are too many dangling game features that don't share consilience with one another.
Can it be fixed? Possibly. Will it be fixed? Certainly, if it is possible. I think Frog and team bit off more than they could chew on this one and ended up wedged between their own aspirations and the cold, hard reality of budget and deadlines. I've seen it happen a thousand times before, so I don't blame them. However, I've played almost every Stardock game, so I know that creating a good game is more a philosophical imperative rather than a crass "extraction of profit" from the public. This gives me a lot of confidence that we'll end up with a good and playable game yet. So if it can be fixed, I'm perfectly willing to wait.