I just wanted to pop in and say (since there seems to be quite a few high tensions towards Oxide) , no matter what Brad decides to put in / not put in the release of ashes, let it never be said that Oxide hasn't listened to founders. Yes there are a few things that have been brought up and beat to death by us founders that aren't in the game, but that is FINE.
As a founder I spoke with my wallet and wanted to help shape the game I wanted to play, however no matter which features I personally find most appealing at some point a game dev has to take a stance and say thank you for you feedback but that is NOT THE DIRECTION I WANT TO GO! This is absolutely fine. Although it may turn out that it wasn't the right choice a couple years down the line, developers need to make the game they want to make otherwise their hearts and souls won't really be in it.
Besides their core vision of the game however (zoom is part of that), the devs have been pretty open to suggestion and have definitely implemented features that were brought up on the founders forums. I personally didn't like unit sizing and made a post to which Brad himself drafted up a rough version to show us what it would look like while most of the company was on christmas vacation. This is dedication and someone who loves this game and wants it to succeed. They might not implement everything but they definitely take our feedback to heart and definitely try to accommodate as best they can.
Although I am a huge TA/Supcom vanilla/ FA fanboy, I respect that for Ashes (at least right now until launch) they want to try some things their own way. If it turns out post-launch that the rest of the RTS community at large agrees that certain changes are in order post-release then I am sure they will do something to change it. As it sits though most of us here right now are the hardcore RTS vets who have put ungodly hours into these games we love and have a highly nuanced Chris Taylor created niche of the rts genre that we expected Ashes to fit into. But at some point we have to just let the devs have their way and see how it goes, maybe it will turn out better than we could have hoped?
I know for me personally, I think that the UI needs a huge tuning pass, responsiveness needs to be top notch, bugs need to be squashed, pathing and armies need to be smooth and easy to use and overall the presentation needs to be polished up. The core gameplay is there right now and fun even if it is a little barren compared to a mature game like SOASE.
Right now the development is in a state that needs to make this a release ready product that the average RTS player who sees this on launch day on steam will load up and say damn this is a slick AAA game that is intuitive and responsive yet deep with strategy. That is what hooked us on TA/SupCom and is what will bring new players into the fold. If all goes well and this builds the same following as SOASE/TA/SupCom then we have a bright future ahead with the way that Stardock is known to work as a publisher. I'm sure as has been stated in 1/2/5 years Ashes will be beyond what we ever expected. Unfortunately we just can't expect everything on launch as that is just not how Stardock works.
I played SOASE and Supcom when they first launched and damn did they have some issues but the core was fun which is what kept us coming back until eventually they were the amazing games we know and love today. This is what I expect to happen with AOTS but we need to be patient and for now we really need to relax a little bit on requesting changes that aren't related to QOL/Bugs/UI as that is really all we have time for until release.
Once the game releases we will I think have a much better idea of what the community at large wants and as I said earlier if big changes need to happen for Ashes to be what it aspires to be then I have all the confidence in the world that Oxide will make those changes.
Holy wall of text batman, I'm sorry I tend to ramble