...I think only now the game shapes itself into something that actually could be called beta, but still lots of things are missing or not working, so I am not sure if it can be called beta, it is still more like late alpha...
I'm guessing you didn't read all of Frogboy's posts? He's been basically saying that the Beta program for Elemental is their Alpha, and that by normal standards what we have doesn't constitute a Beta. As Frogboy has been saying, the Beta is not supposed to be fun.
Anyway, I see huge potential, but lots of balancing, tweaking, and fluff is required in this game, but it can not be done properly yet, because lots things are not implemented properly. The adventure part will require lots of investment, for quest to be interesting, numerous and of just right difficulty. I see how much work is needed in the game. And without challenging AI, unit balancing is not exactly possible. As far as I see the main GAMEPLAY part, is yet to be tested and adjusted, so, HUGE amount of work is ahead, because adjustment of gameplay sometimes require big changes in the code.
I do like the fact that with beta 3 the game development seems to be accelerated, but the reason I am writing this post is to ask the developers to put even more effort into it, and at the same time, not to release too early. This game can be a jewel of the gaming, but it does require lots and lots of work until it reaches that point. I can easily see how such complex and multifaceted game become ruined by not balancing and polishing it. I hope that Stardock did not bite more than it can chew, because the game is indeed very ambitious, complex and very very promising.
I'm not trying to be rude here, just curious, but are you aware that the Beta build that we have is, at least, several full build versions behind what Stardock actually have? The game, on their servers, would be much, much further along than the Beta that we have. The first stage of the Beta didn't even have the graphics engine turned on, however it was completed long before that. They're turning on and adding individual components for us to test for them, while they continue to work on the content on their end. They've tested it, got it to where they can, and now we're testing it to break it so that they can fix it.
Testing each individual component means that when they add them together, there is less testing overall due to increased focus. We'll be receiving the Tactical battles this week, which will be accompanied by another round of bug and stability fixes. That is where the focus of the next stage of the Beta is, meaning the previous stage's bugs and glitches have been corrected on Stardock's build to a point where Stardock feel confident. The UI is getting over-hauled, which is something you do once all the other pieces is in place, which would mean that they're nearly feature-locked. Once they're feature locked, the A.I. gets coded in, which doesn't take that long to be frank, which means its close to spit and polish time. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Galctic Civilizations II is still considered to be a masterpiece, a 'single player stategy mecca' was the term used to describe it to me. They know what they're doing