A oool interview. I love the idea behind Trog berserk. I feel my biggest problem with LH will be lack of opportunities to engage in the new tactical combat.
We include some ships in custom maps and in the scenarios, but no real naval game. Naval combat is good in a game about a nation, with advanced armies. But, in my opinion, it doesn't work as well in a game with such a strong RPG component. It doesn't work as nicely if your champions are on that ship that sinks, or you would like to transport an army that has an Earth Elemental in it.
It worked fine in HoMM, and that was a very hero oriented game like Elemental. I don't think we need navies or dedicated combat ships but expanding the existing transport system with more reliable boats, AI, and water resources would add a lot to the game.
In my opinion the best thing about the naval game in other TBS games is the potential to discover a new continent halfway through the game that may have a new advanced or primitive faction for you to deal with. In LH we have added this by increasing the max world size beyond anything that we attempted with Fallen Enchantress. Making players unlikely to encounter those remote corners into well into the game. And of course we provide a variety of game creation options for adjusting the player count, frequency of monsters or dangerous wildland areas.
I agree that new continents was a major draw but the ability to build boats also prevents you from getting cornered and cut off like you can so easily in FE.