Pryde: That has been there since 1.0 (or so). It is just that it takes MANY turns for a kid to get old enough for marriage, so it only comes into play in the long games.
Crass: What parts are you annoyed about? The game definitely needs some tweaking, but that is what modding is for, and this thing is VERY moddable.
My impressions of 1.1: Haven't had a chance to sit down for a real game, but I will say it is a lot harder now. Lost my first town, then died when a horde of spiders swarmed my town (with me in it...).
General Rant/Commentary on the debacle of Elemental's launch: Honestly, it isn't as bad as people have said. I've said this before, but worth saying again -
Best Buy and a few other retailers broke the release date. Because Stardock want to pretend they have no DRM, they let people play without authenticating. So those who bought the game from Stardock were at a disadvantage. So they decided to push forward their release.
Unfortunately, they were counting on a 0-day patch as DRM/bugfixing. Pushing forward the deadline screwed them (even though, if they were smart, they would have had the 0-day ready before it went Gold). This is partially because, due to shelf space, they would either have had to launch the game last Fall or this Spring (I think).
So we got a pretty freaking buggy game. But the problem was actually the community and news sites (even RPS, which I love :p). As is common with fanboys/angry gamers (those who were around here for the monk incident know what I am talking about :p), they made it worse.
The fanboys screamed that we should accept the buggy game and be thankful to have the bugs and that Wardell was a god for even bringing us that. The angry gamers screamed and raged and found every conceivable thing to hate about the game. So all the news sites reported on that. And it sounded a LOT worse than it really was.
Honestly, this was just a buggy release. The revamping of the gameplay is nothing that Stardock hasn't done in the past (didn't GalCiv2 originally have no distinct tech trees?).
Now, here is my opinion of the game, as originally released. Why? Because if you are reading this far you clearly don't mind me ranting/soapboxing:
A bit disappointing, but nothing that can't be fixed. I was not a fan of the magic system (too few points), but that could EASILY be fixed by mods (I suspect there was a file that could adjust how many points you regen per turn. If not, there would be a community hack pretty quick). Same with the overall lack of spell variety (that was VERY easily fixed. I know because I started on it :p). But the core game felt right (well, as right as any 4x game can ever feel).
Oh, and it was buggy as hell. But that was being fixed
My thoughts, now that 1.1 is out: The new magic system (global pool) makes me very happy. And I still need to make more spells.