It should have been make crystal clear at the beginning that purchases of expansions were temporary.
Of course? Even if no-one ever does that.
The BGG news post mentioning the new online Dominion (no not the second news post with a video, the first one that just had it as news) also mentioned that Solforge - an online CCG - was closing down at the end of January. So there's one you could check; had they really made it clear, in their kickstarter and purchasing screens, that it was all ultimately ephemeral.
I am not on board for paying for something I've already purchased. This could have been done through Steam, Google Play or somebody else by creating a base platform, the option to purchase expansions that stay with you for life and it would have been simple.
I could have prevented all problems by simply not getting Dominion published. No good? I could have prevented all problems by refusing to allow Dominion to have digital versions, in the original contract. Mostly that doesn't matter, so maybe RGG would have said, okay.
If you're going to say, I should have insisted, in the original contract with RGG, that digital Dominion be on Steam, or whatever other thing works for you, well really. I don't know that I can ask for that in a contract for a new game today, let alone when I was some guy trying to get his first game published.
The contract lets RGG sub-license. RGG found some people to do an online version and signed them up. I never had a contract with them (and still don't - no contracts with Funsockets/Goko, MF, Shuffle iT). Goko had good reason to care some about my opinion - maybe I would threaten to dump RGG if RGG renewed their contract - but they did what they wanted. And there were things I tried to get and they did not just happen. I tried and tried to convince Ted that the campaigns shouldn't be awful (levels would give the computer e.g. 3 Provinces and a bunch of Silver to start; you were expected to pay for Zaps to lower that to something beatable). Man there's work I did in 2011 that has yet to be used in any version (it's achievements).
Anyway, what you're saying could have happened, it could not have happened. It would have required anticipating everything that followed when whatever contract was signed. We had not had the experiences already in order to have learned anything from them. You may note that what we have now does not have this problem of "the contract expires and it all vanishes." It's a subscription that doesn't go past that date.
Of course no-one wants to pay for something twice. With video games, there's so much you can play for free, it's something to even pay once. I understand you feeling cheated. And I know that people tend to inflate their opinions of themselves, so that a third party is a better judge of things; so you don't want to be asking me, what do I think about my role. I am the only one talking in this post though, and well I do not feel like I cheated anybody. I sucked it up and negotiated a worse deal for myself because of money people spent that someone else got.
Is this how things are going to be for Dominion year after year? Switching to new provider after new provider and paying more money as we go? If so, just tell me now so I'm braced for impact.
I can't predict the future. If you want to know how long Shuffle iT has the contract for, look at how far in the future they will sell you a subscription. For sure we would prefer that things go well with them. Of course if they do, then everyone (playing online) is paying more money as they go, since it's a subscription.
If things don't go well with Shuffle iT then I am not sure I am up for trying online Dominion again. Maybe I'm just that much of a sucker though; I can't predict the future.