Aside from that, I hope that my behavior or, sometimes, my snide comments on this new installment don't offend any of you.
None taken Mr. Fluffy Panda. Your posts are always respectful, thoughtful and ....uh...long I think you did a great job explaining your points and I understand where you are coming from.
I think some of my head scratching is just personalities. I too cherish this series, as do many. And I too was disappointed by a release (or releases to some), as I was very disappointed in H6 in both design decisions and it's poor execution. But, I didn't go to H6 threads and comment on how much I hated it, or how Ubisoft is evil, or how in the world anyone could enjoy H6, etc. I just simply...left. Life is too short and there are other games I like that I can go play. But, that is in line with my "lurker" personality. Other personalities probably find posting and conversation almost as fun as the games themselves and so would tend to post on threads, even if they don't own the game or like it. The other thing that dawned on me is that even though there are threads for the different games that one can go participate in for the release that they like, these boards are also a "community", and many of it's members will gravitate to where the conversations are.
I'm also aware that the game satisfies a public in its own way, but I think it does not have anything to offer other than what's has been offered already.
I think that a majority of Heroes fans would say "We want a Heroes game that stays true to the core gameplay, but with enough innovations and mechanics that it is "fresh" and offers plenty of room for discovery". But, the details of that statement vary between users! For me, H6 failed to do this, because it changed too much of what I consider "core" and I didn't find much fun in discovering what was new. And, for me, H7 fulfills that statement, and I enjoyed it.
Overall, I think some of the frustration that those who are enjoying H7 is that the H7 threads seem dominated by negativity (and I am not saying that a lot of the negativity isn't warranted, especially at this stage where people want their voices heard while there is still a chance for change). Kind of like when H5 came out for those who remember it on CH here. There was a "culture" of negativity if you will, from many of whom didn't even own the game. I remember some posters who liked H5 being called Ubisoft employees, for instance. Eventually, many who liked H5 left and went over to HC. They went somewhere where they could post/lurk with people who were playing and enjoying (at least to some extent, not that HC users said H5 was perfect) the game. This, in the long term I believe, led to CH becoming a bit of a ghost town. Mostly a half dozen old timers around a campfire reminiscing about the good old NWC days . So, in some ways, I think those who like H7, feel a bit like refugees, looking for a home . And the H7 threads feel kind of like a Brazil football fan in a Brazil football thread where most of the posts are from Argentina fans