Hi. After playing a few games, I am very happy with what has been improved since the last installment, especially with the real-time election night results but I still have some ideas/suggestions that I feel could make the game better:
1. Election Night - As stated, this has been improved BUT there are still some kinks, for example: Some states that wind up being VERY close get called very early but others do not. There was this race in Vermont that got called 10 minutes after the polls close and the final poll results ended up being 47.6% - 47.6% and the difference was 98 votes. Which brings me to another point - for super close results like that where the difference is less than 0.5% why not have a recount or "full count" option that tabulates the outstanding absentee votes, military votes, etc as well as a recount to add some drama to the result?
Also, for states that will end up being very close, why not have the real-time results trickle in, very slowly after 90% reporting to further add to the drama and keep the player checking on the state, biting his fingernails to see what will happen.
2. Not enough Endorsements - In the games I've played, too many candidates just left the race without endorsing a candidate. This doesn't happen very often in real life and it is FAR too hard to make any kind of political agreements in the game such as non-aggression pacts or withdrawals.
Candidates should also withdraw much sooner than they have been. I've had Kerry keep on playing even after losing New Hampshire and his home state of Massachusetts. A major candidate like Kerry would not keep on being humiliated after losing 2 states in his own territory including his home state!
3. Scenario Maker - This has been said already in other threads but I'd like to see it made easier to edit/add new parties and make scenarios.
4. Turn-out/ Get out the vote operations - This would be a nice addition to the game and it would add a new strategic decision for players as they either try to attract new voters or try to pump up their own supporters for a big turn out.
5. PIP points in general election - These seem to be rather useless. In the primaries you compete against other Dems/Reps for endorsements and what not but in the general election you don't have to do anything and predictably the center-left newspapers will endorse the Democrat and the center-right newspapers will endorse the Republican. As I said, political agreements are almost impossible in the game right now so can't use them there...so as I see it in the general election they are not much use.
Well that's it pretty much. If I had to choose, making endorsements happen more frequently, making it easier for politicians to make deals as politicians do and adding a little more spice and drama on election night would be my priorities and things I think could realistically be accomplished in a future update. If these things are added I think it would be a near-perfect game; it's already a very, very good one as it stands right now. Just a few tweaks here and there and it'll be legendary!