I actually really liked the concept of E:WoM, so much so that despite the reviews I decided to pick up a copy some time ago, and playing it with the patches found it very enjoyable. I then convinced a bunch of friends to try it, we eagerly loaded up the multiplayer, and were rather dumbfounded by the bizarre way it worked.
Now Fallen Enchantress is out, and I knew there was no multiplayer at launch, but with the steam sale figured I could at least see if it was being discussed as being patched in. I see a lot of talk about numbers, and percentages of people who bought the game that ultimately played multiplayer in other games. (I guess I am super weird, because in Civ IV and Sins over half my play time is multiplayer with my friends.) Well, here is a little bit of a different take. I am in the mood for a TBS, steam sales are going, and a few options are presented, ultimately being narrowed down to Fallen Enchantress, and Heroes of Might and Magic VI.
Guess which one I bought?
The one with multiplayer, even if I never get around to actually playing it so, at least the option is there.
Now I am not posting this just to say "Ha Ha, pffft" and go running off, rather I am giving a different perspective on the whole multiplayer debate. I don't know what the numbers would be for those like me, but I can say that despite the fact that I actually really liked E:WoM, I cannot justify FE over the competitors because it offers a more limited feature set with the lack of multiplayer. Maybe those who when given the choice pass up a game for another over MP is a tiny minority, but there is my look at it anyway.
I hope if they continue the series they find a way to work multiplayer in eventually, it would be fun to play with my friends.
Also, just because your friends don't enjoy TBS, doesn't mean that is universally true. Of the friends I often play games with, over half enjoy TBS, we've had some fun games of Sins, and a lot of time wasted in various civilization games.