I started to play DoF very recently but throughout a couple of days i have played i have built my city fully, got all the upgrades and created 4 fully upgraded armies. This actually made me to write this post. I'm obviously not an expert since i played only couple days but here is what i noticed so far:
There is a lot of emphasis on economy in this game: a lot of units , building, bonuses upgrades and so on that enhance your economical power- that's all cool
It is possible to trade resources, or let me rephrase, there is a possibility of going from town to town with a army of 60 carts and capacity of 30k and trade resources with them for insane profit of 50k or more in 10minutes. This money obviously can be exchanged for other resources , troops, upgrades etc.
Now, this bring me to the conclusion that those 2 features totally don't work well together. On one hand you have a elaborated way of enhance your economics ( point 1) on the other hand you have the ability to make infinite amount of resources without any problem and no requirements. This is bad because it makes 1) empty addition to the game. If people don't need to use economy buildings, traits, upgrades, workers and so on because they gain more from trade they won't use them (i haven't recruited single warden in my castle and i don't produce almost anything).
I think, because of the above, the trade needs a rework. The first thing i thought, that can make things better, is a following change:
I would keep trade in the game but rather than exchange things for money i would introduce resources exchange with much more strict trading ratios. For every resource you exchange you get less of the other. The ratios could vary lets say from 0.2 to 1.0 for example.
There can also be a trade-in of resources , but to prevent arbitrage, all the resources have to have the same trade-in price, lets say 10g or whatever.
With this system people won't be able to go from town to town and trade their way to fortunes but they will be able to get what their kingdom needs for reasonable price. At the same time all the economy mentioned in 1) would suddenly become important.
That being said, apart from the things mentioned above, i think that the amount of resources generated in the economy, without abusing the trade, is very small. So if the option 2) is taken away i would hope 1) gets a boost.
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