So my friend owns the game on Steam and I own it on GOG. I can't join his game I see in my Steam friend's list (by clicking on "join game" within the Steam client) because that would require Steam to launch the Galaxy client and share connectivity data between clients. Obviously you can't make those clients talk to each other, so that can't work. I understand. ...However I don't see why I can't launch the game, create a multiplayer match and my friend finds said game WITHIN Ashes.
How does Ashes handle multiplayer anyway? Is it an open lobby where anyone can host a game? Additional automatic matchmaking? I mean the game isn't hosted on Steam servers and another game instance is running on GOG servers, so I don't understand why whatever system you have in place isn't shared globally. Can't Stardock host the matchmaking / lobby system globally and Steam and Galaxy plug into that?
Do you really mean to say that I can't join the game my friend is playing at all? If so, that is totally insane. Why would you split the online community like that? Do you plan to release paid map packs and paid for armies or units, too?! Since those kinds of DLC are a great way of splitting the community further...
I'm sorry if those questions are harsh, it's just that Ashes is supposed to be a new kind of RTS pushing the technology....you're doing all kinds of new exciting stuff like multicore AI, DX12, ...but a multiplayer lobby system is beyond your capabilities?