A day or two ago Steam starts hogging my bandwith; a 200MB patch for Warlock was being downloaded. I take a few moments to read the cchange log: improved diplomacy, AI...Lords!...Artifacts!
I'm about 50 turns into a new game, and the improvements are stupendous. The interface has been juiced a bit as well. There's a Perk arrow and Upgrade arrow on units now (maybe it was always there, but I hadn't noticed those things in 50 hours of gameplay - thanks Steam for telling me how much time I waste ), which makes it easy to upgrade early-game units into their advanced descendants.
The diplomacy revamp is nice. There's a breakdown of factors effecting current dispositions. AI seems more proactive as well, asking for peace when it knows it can't maintain a war, instead of waiting until it starts losing territory.
Lords (think heroes/champions from MoM, Elemental, HoMM) are game changers. A single lord can accomplish in short order what would take standard units a long time to accomplish. There will probably be balance issues later in the game, but early on, they're great!
Artifacts are just things your Lords can use. I like the approach of converting artifacts only to mana instead of gold; maybe Elemental could try this out, to address the artifact unbalancing the economy issue that currently makes artifacts either very effective...or dead weight.
City conquest seems harder (which is good). You can still do it with standard units, but siege equipment is a must for quick conquests.
All in all, this patch validates the purchase I made of Warlock. In fact, to make sure development would continue, I even bought the DLC with the serpent mage and race; never play them ("I hate snakes"), but I know making a game takes money.
Any other thoughts out there?