Understanding that the game is meant to house a varied player-base, I give no suggestions below that would interfere with other playstyles. This thread is not about them.
This thread is dedicated to the experience of more competitive players, defaulting to the harder maps and highest difficulty – with a comprehensive list of features that would improve the Quality of Life, for this more competitive segment. Please note, this is not meant to read like a list of complaints, though I have allowed myself to air my mild frustration once or twice.
If you agree or disagree with my list, or have additions to it, I invite you to participate below
[My perspective w. ~300 hours, 800 pops/t4 on an arid map, y50, Vanguard.]
Listed in order of decreasing subjectivity:
The Bad Thing Sound
The “something bad happened” sound is a little grating, especially Late when you get it every 5 seconds, and, as far as I can tell, it’s the same sounds that plays for a deer eating your leeks or as when your workcampsmen are getting eaten by a bear.
Trading 1 - Managing missing resources
Key part of the map difficulty is missing key ingredients for keeping your ever-runners happy and safe, meaning you have to trade for them. Put simply, willow and medicinal roots can be a chore to keep stocked. I wish the traders were more responsive to my needs, whether that entails a more organically responsive system or a means by which I could put out (expensive) orders/contracts on needed goods. Note: I don’t wish the game to be easier, I just don’t think willow should be the de facto most valuable resource in the land.
Trading 2 - Pricing
It appears some things just aren’t priced right - the most egregious example I’ve noticed is Furniture, which is sold at about the same price as its raw materials in planks.
Building priority - Cobble streets
The specific problem I’ve run into is that when cobble streets are enabled, they are one of the most important improvements besides stone walls, and so you should want them built as soon as possible, but this is hard to force on your little minions to do. At the time you reach [tier three], the backlog of work-tasks will always be tremendous, and it seems there’s even a general down-prioritisation of road upgrading, meaning I’ve had, in the worst case scenario, cobble streets in the task queue for more than 10 years before they get done. I dream of a little more control over what gets built first, for example, with a means to bump a task into a ‘critical’ category.
Edit: I might be wrong about cobble street prioritisation but the essence of my suggestion is really the ability to super-priotise certain tasks.
Raider groups - Vector arrows
Central to the higher difficulty are the ever-growing raiding squads. At higher levels of optimisation you need to click the locate eyeglass button fifty to a hundred times (I can be the only one doing this?) to know what exact directions they are coming from. This could be avoided with a raider ingress vector arrow system.
While it’s not that I don’t appreciate the remarkable bravery of my little townfolk–some won’t get out of harms way, some fearlessly seek out danger while practically naked–at higher difficulties, this reckless disregard for the dangers of raider swarms becomes a real issues, especially with logistic carts, hunters and soldiers going to fight despite not having armed themselves in any way.
Scheduling jobs and idling
A key part of optimisation for the higher difficulty is managing jobs. This is good and empowering. On the other hand, I should wish that certain jobs (eg. farmers/foragers during winter), which you ALWAYS want periodically and with regularity toggled off could be automated by the player, with some kind of schedule system, so that I may squeeze every last drop of productivity out of your townies, more conveniently.
Alternatively, longtime idlers could go into the labour job cycle automatically.
The Arborist - Building and re-planting
This very important building is just a complete chore to build and add to that that you periodically have to re-do half of it (without being notified that it’s time) AND it’s one of those job types you have to toggle every year… this makes this thing my least favourite workplace in the game by a country mile.
Composting - Centralised!
It would be neat if the field boost option was centralised over all composts, instead of requiring you to cycle over them all continually. Speaking of cycling!
I find myself wanting to cycle through my workplaces of a specific type a lot, having instead to eyeglass workers, who half the time are not at their allocated post, making this even more cumbersome.
– Composting wouldn’t need to be centralised with this feature (though I still think both would improve the game).
Walls & Water
The mechanics regard effective walling is wonky and many time you can’t be sure if you’ve effectively sealed your barriers, especially around water edges. Less mystique would be lovely here.
Toggling every single tower should be possible without having to zoom over your thirty or so towers, every other year. Personally I’d like towers to be income free when no one is in them. This seems like the easiest means of implementation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my long post. And thank you to the devs for making such a beautiful and fun game so far.
[Edits: fixed prose, sentence structure, typos.]