I've played multi-player 4x games. They are a lot of fun. Here is what is not fun.
- Drop-out players
- Angry, foul-mouthed players
- Experienced players who pass themselves off as beginners
- Beginners who get pissed when they don't sweep everyone the first time out of the gate
- Players who spend hours finding exploits in the game system so they can "cheat" themselves to victory, using the excuse that it is the fault of the developers for having poorly programmed security algorithms
- Players who have multiple, on-line personalities so they can form up "alliances" with themselves
- Players who form pre-game alliances that other players don't know about
- Players who have the knowledge and the time to figure out cheats with hex editors, modifying the game files used in PBEM games
- Hackers who successfully invade MMO servers
- Players who try to slip trojans to opposing players so they can investigate the opposition. "They use spies in real life, don't they?"
Then it becomes a never-ending cycle. The players rant about the inadequate security for multi-player. The developers publish security patches. The hackers develop new attacks. The players rant ...
I completely understand the desire to play multi-player. I played it for years. I also completely understand why Stardock is skittish about getting into the multi-player developer cycle.
Here's is hoping you all get what you want, and less than you deserve.