Great to see the excitement about the expansion pack. We were very excited as well and looking foward to sharing the news with the community.
I see that there are some valid concerns. Let me address them briefly here:
-Multiplayer will not be the only new feature in the expansion pack and we`ll do our best to improve other aspects of the game.
-The main reason we wanted to include multiplayer is so that we can play it ourselves.
You can be sure we'll do our best to make it fun. I hate exploits and unrealistic tactics in games as much as you, so we'll do our best to avoid those. We'll also no doubt have some sort of beta program so we'll get feedback from the players before any features are finalized.
-Players will definitely be able to run their own servers, though we want to have some official servers as well.
-Actually, our publishers have never interfered with our creative vision. The reason I opted for implementing multiplayer battles instead of focusing on cooperative multiplayer is because cooperative mp is even more difficult than what we are doing now (since you have to handle map movement, parties, various menu windows and everything else) while at the same time, it is much more restrictive. With the current system, apart from playing against humans, you'll be able to team up with your buddies against any number of AI opponents and play a cooperative game (albeit without the campaign aspect) so in a sense we'll have the best of two worlds.
-We are trying to be very careful to keep compatibility with the existing module system. (So far the only incompatibility is in module_animations) Therefore, porting will hopefully be very easy.
-Of course everything is not rosy and come out we are still at a very early stage and wondering how we'll overcome various hurdles. Compansating for lag is a particular problem, since the game allows you to become up close and personal with your enemies and observing your opponents moves and countering them is so essential. We are trying to be creative here and we'll adjust the gameplay if necessary, but there is only so much we can do and if you are on a slow connection or if the server you are playing at is too far your game may inevitably become somewhat sluggish compared to the single player game. We'll of course try our best to keep that to a minimum.
Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I am looking forward to find out how this will come out along with everyone else.