Its clear by looking at the forums (mostly Steam) that not all players are alike… some enjoy simple things, others like a bit more of complexity.
A little of background about me: I have played TW games since Rome 1 came out, but also enjoyed other strategy games like Age of Empires, Anno and Company of Heroes (there were more, but these I consider the most relevant) but never really enjoyed StarCraft and Civilization.
Age of Empires was great because there was the part of the military conflict and the management of resources.
Anno was more about civilization management: build efficiently, trade and keep the people happy.
Company of Heroes was obviously because of how tactical the combat was: troop placement and troop choice for successful counters.
The problem here is that I needed 3 games to please all my tastes, and never at the same time. However, I feel that TW games could the perfect platform to deliver in all 3, but as I stated before: not all players are the same so I expect that a lot of people won't want all of this on a TW game.
So, this brings us to my proposal for future games: a modular approach supported by the devs that allows each player to tailor their gaming experience to their tastes and experience.
How would this work?
Should be simple enough. At the start of a campaign, the player only had to choose which modules he wanted to play with:
> Advanced Military: activates a system like what we see in ToB (which is great) with units that aren't recruited at full power, with food upkeep and are recruited from a limited pool => this system makes a great job at preventing the AI from spamming like crazy.
> Advanced Resources I: added resource requirements to techs and buildings
> Advanced Resources II: made it so that resources would be gathered and stocked, building would then have a fixed cost in wood, stone, glass. It would also allow the player to have a better control over trade: which and how many resources he would be willing to trade (balancing the need for money from selling those resources, and the effort to prevent other factions from having access to advanced buildings).
If Advanced Military was on, resources would also be used to recruit units (generating equipment for them).
> Advanced Empire I: added population to the game (like Rome 1 and Medieval 2) removing those "Growth" points that for me remove so much immersion… it was great back in Rome seeing how my actions actually impacted my population (over drafting from one settlement meant that I would lose money from taxes..)
> Advanced Empire II: added more layers to empire management such as social classes that would have a proper impact on the economy and military (like what we find in Anno).
> Advanced Politics: would enable a more complex political experience like what we currently find in ToB or Rome 2 (but hopefully more at the level of CK2).
Having a system like this would mean that instead of relying on fake difficulty settings, we could actually increase the difficulty of our game by increasing its complexity instead of just adding bonus to the AI and penalties to the player.
Understandably, the AI could be a problem, but all these games managed to do it decades ago... you shouldn't really have a problem now.
Hopefully, CA could try out such modules with the more recent games and implement a part of these suggestions for future games (at least giving us the option to disable some features that we don't enjoy).
Well, these are my wishes and hopes. What do you guys think?