Congrats, Brad. You guys just got Ashes to 1.0!
Escalation brought in some extremely basic features that should have been in the game from the start, like the Strategic Map and larger map types.
That's about where the rosiness ends, though.
I still can't tell engineers easily apart from other units on the strategic map, and the Idle Engineers function doesn't cover engineers with a queue.
Bombers are once again stupidly deadly and almost impossible to stop from dropping their volleys without overspending metal/rads on fighters and AA.
Certain Orbital abilities (especially that turret from the PHC) are so broken as to be ridiculous. Seriously, you can drop that turret in the enemy base at minute 3 and wreck all of his expanding engineers and take a chunk out of his homebase without any hope of retaliation.
Controlling, selecting, and switching between units is still average at best, though it is much better than the original. It's difficult to select what I want, especially when multiple armies are involved.
Armies are still limited by size in a game where the number of units easily reaches ten thousand in a few minutes. Only one Dreadnought can be assigned to each army, which doesn't make much sense in the late game, where dreadnoughts swarm the battlefield.
The node system is incredibly limiting. Certain maps take this for granted and attempt to guide players down specific lanes while completely ignoring others. Larger maps also tend to go the way of averages and place less metal/rads per tile than other maps in some strange attempt to keep the unit count down. There's no weird/interesting changes in the maps, like a single node or cluster of nodes that has 6 or even 9 resource spots for people to fight over.
At the end of the day, Ashes is still a tech demo. It's not an RTS. And it fulfills that role EXTREMELY well.
I appreciate all the hard work and the time you guys put in to making this, but it's not going anywhere soon. We need a new generation of developers to make the games we want, not the ones they dreamed about in the 90s.