I am currently in 4 PBEM games. I must say that PBEM is the slowest and least use of diplomacy I have ever played in my 20 years of playing EiA. In all 4 of the games I am in 95% of the communication is the broadcast of next turn for a specific country. Even with the policy of 24hrs turnaround per player rules of the gaming group, we have been playing for 2 months + and are just starting the 3rd month (March 1805) of game play in one of the games. This is with minimal wars and mostly minor Gobbling. The ironic thing about this is that in the Mid 90's I played this game via Mail in a 7 player with an 8th as moderator and the game moved along much faster than this and we didn't have to worry about bugs creeping up.
I like ECN1 am in favor of TCP/IP. I realize that there will be those who vehemently oppose TCP/IP who will jump in and say it will never happen even though Marshall has stated that it is already about 80% programmed. When it is implemented I will truly enjoy this game bugs and all since it will make the game more dynamic and much closer to the real game.
I am still baffled that Matrix has only one programmer working full time on this and that the amount of bugs/fixes is as immense as it is. The sad thing about this is we should be getting scenarios as patches and not fixes as patches after 5 months. As for game purchases, this is definitely my worst ever dollar to satisfaction as my criteria. I am also totally miffed at ADG for allowing this game to be released to the public in this bad of shape.
Considering your PBEM game has a 24 hour turn around and the mail doesn't, I'm not sure how your Mail game went any faster, unless you guys were paying for overnight delivery, which I doubt.
As far as the one programmer, I agree. At this point Matrix should devote just a few more resources to this game to AT LEAST get the major bug fixes fixed.
To Queeg: I'm not opposed to there being an AI and I think there should be since that is the way it was advertised, although I totally agree with ecn1 that this game is too complex and would challenge 76mm to name a game as complex and dynamic as this.
Although I have always been in favor of TCP/IP play and supported it way back when, I can see the other side. It would be very difficult for most players to get together on 1 specified night a week. Maybe if the group was flexible from week to week on which day it would be. But, if it's not that much work I don't see why this game can't have PBEM and TCP/IP play.
I do think though that the TCP/IP should wait until after all the major bug fixes and some decent AI development, since the game wasn't advertised with TCP/IP play. Personally, I probably wouldn't mind, after the major bug fixes (I don't really care about the AI), paying for a TCP/IP "extension" patch/pack/whatever, since the game wasn't originally advertised that way to begin with.