I just have a few things to say, this is going to be kind of long winded.
A lot of the backlash of MOO3 wasn't just that it had a rocky launch but because it was so different from MOO2. And while "Internet people" will remember WOM's launch problems, the vast bulk of units sold were sold long after its problems were resolved and have no idea that there was ever a problem at the launch.
Oh God, don't mention MOO3. Probably the most depressing moment I've ever had in gaming is the anticipation I felt for the MOO3, and how completely those hopes were crushed when I played the game for first time. I wouldn't compare MOO3 to WOM at all though. To me MOO3's biggest problem was how good MOO2 was. People had such high expectation that it had it's work cut out for it...even though it was terrible game in it's own right. To me WOM is comparable in alot of ways for me to GalCiv I. I bought GalCivI hoping it would be a spiritual successor to MOO2, and be successful where MOO3 failed. This ended up not really being the case, and while GalCivI wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, it's ended up being a pretty good game. In a similar way, I Pre-ordered WOM hoping that it would be the spiritual successor to MOM. That didn't really happen for me, and although 1.4 is an alright experience, it's still not exactly what I was looking for. Of course GalCivI didn't have the release issues that WOM had, but my experiences with the game are similar.
From a purely content point of view, FE is definitely sequel level. There's a lot more new in it than GalCiv I to GalCiv II for example. But I am hesitant to call it a sequel because that implies a continuation that isn't there.
If this is ture, then I am incredibly excited about FE. As I just mentioned, I thought GalCivI was a pretty good game, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. You guys at Stardock really delivered with GalCivII and it's expansions in my opinion. GalCivII continues to be one those game that I continuously go back to and has replaced MOO2 in my mind as the king of space 4X games. Because of this I know you guys have the capacity to make FE vastly superior to WOM. Again, as I mentioned, WOM 1.4 is a pretty good game, but not really what I was looking for, but if it's true that FE is more an improvement than GalCivII was (which is saying alot imo) I don't think you should worry about how to describe the game.
Ultimately War of Magic didn't sell a ton of copies and other than Internet griefers, most people haven't heard of it. And regardless of whether it were called Elemental II or not, every review or what have you is going to mention how bumpy WOM's launch was. There is no escaping that
I Agree with this. Most people posting here are talking about whether to call it "Elemental" or not, but we were asked how they should describe FE not what to call it. As you said I think It won't really matter if you call it Elemental II or not. In the long run, yes the reviewers are going to remember the rocky launch of WOM, but i think it will be a more of a help than a hindrance. If FE really is so vastly improved, you won't have to worry about how to describe the game, because those reviewers are going to be going "oh ya, I remember War of Magic, this is way better". FE should be described as a next generation Elemental game, and more broadly a next generation fantasy strategy game. With all the lessons learned from WOM, and Stardock's reputation of loyalty to their customers, people will see the problems surrounding WOM and instead of being worried, they will be confidant yall won't make the same mistakes with FE. At the end of the day, the game will have to speak for itself.