Great feedback, thank you.
1. How do I get more Mana? Is building Shards the only way?
The main way to get mana is from Shards (some units, items, spells and improvements also give mana).
2. How do I get new Spells? Where is the Spell research?
The main way to get spells is to level up your champions and sovereign. If you select spell skills for them you will be able to use more spells. You can also get access to new spells by completing quests or learning some techs.
These two facts should have been clear from the tutorial, did you play it?
3. All the numbers without any tool-tip explanation on how to affect them like city growth. Even the Hiergamenon does not explain how growth works.
You are so right. We are goign through all the resources now and updating those tooltips to contains short, simple descriptions of what they are.
4. Gardens provide 10 food per grain? What? Where comes that grain from?
Grain and Materials (and Essence in Beta4) are the yields in the tile when you found a city (you can see them on the city info screen). If you found on a place with 5 Grain thats an awesome place for getting lots of food, if you found on a place with 2 grain that city will never get very large. Things can change the amount of food per grain so both of those cities can get larger, but your 5 grain city is always gonna grow larger than your 2 grain one.
5. Where do the bonuses go that champions give like "+1 Research"?
They aren't applied o cities, they are applied to the player research total (so an improvement that gives +25% research wouldnt effect research form a unit).
6. East should be on the right side of the map like anyone who is not in this game would expect and not on the top right corner.
I don't understand why you think East in in the top right corner, we don't indicate direction. But we are switching from the 45 degree view in Beta 3 to something closer to a 15 to 30 degree angle. It makes the minimap less skewed, makes "north" appear north and keeps you from seeing so much shadow ont he units (so they appear brighter).
7. "Max texture Atlas Size", what???
8. Softness "Advanced Lighting", what??? Did you mean stylized lighting?
The options screen has been redone in Beta4 and brokwn into 2 screens, basic options and advanced options. All options have tooltips so you can see what they do and some have been removed entirely because they dont do anything anymore.
9. When leveling up it is difficult to choose what is the right thing to do for my specific hero class. For example Strength, is it really just giving my hero more carrying capacity? I would have expected he would also make more damage.
Yeap, strength just increases carrying capacity.
10. Character stats.
Which stats do you find confusing? We have tooltips on all of these though Im happy to update them if they are unclear.
1. My hero had lots of spells that did not really help much even so he was a spell caster.
Which spells aren't useful for you?
2. One can't see from the unit icon if a unit still has movement points left or not.
Yeah, we have talked about changing the hp bar on the unit icon to a movement bar (so you can glance at your empire tree and see who has movement left). I think thats probably more handy then looking and seeing how damaged your units are.
3. Spells and Govern buttons under the mini-map. I would have expected these buttons on the left in the city and hero menu.
That area on the bottom left is a context area, it switches data pretty significantly (for example if you are picking things to build in a city) and it would look weird if there was something to the left side of it. I understand the critique of the buttons, hotkeys are always a good option for accessing them.
4. Stylized lighting looks way to much washed out and kind of dark by default.
This is all changed in Beta4.
5. Spawning of Quest locations. Yesterday there was just an open field and at once after one took a quest there is a farm or even a whole town. And after one did the quest, "poof" everything gone. Why not have locations on the map that are just without function until one has a fitting quest?
I understand what you are saying and it is weird that it all goes away. But we also dont like to clutter up map. If there is nothing to do there we want to get rid of it so the player can concentrate on the stuff that is important.