the thing that comes immediately to my mind is settlements and resources. By that i mean currently we have a settlement, or several, (i just have one so far), but we have everything we need in this one place.
It might be more interesting, if say the player had a choice in the type of settlement is first created, and or is created at all.
Say, that i prefer a strategic overview of the world i venture out in, and so, build a settlement with several iLari stones that give me a strategic overview of the world, what is where and what is friendly and what is not.
Or if i prefer, what if my first settlement was a resource gathering settlement, full of wood mills and stone cutter buildings that give me a definite advantage to housing all my settlers, and headstones for the graveyards of those that i lose, or perhaps there might be other uses for stone? Perhaps in building different kinds of new buildings?
Or perhaps my first settlement is a magic oriented settlement, revolving around producing spells of various sorts, but perhaps i need to find skilled 'gem cutters' in the npc's in the field first? Or teach them, which may mean building schools, where i have to have a certain level skilled gem cutter first. Say my gem cutter is only level 3 that i have found, meaning i can only train gem cutters to that level and no more until i get a more skilled cutter npc into my settlement.
We might also have farm settlements, that produce only food, and nothing else. But need the storage sheds built into the settlement to expand production?
This might mean we have to have those 'roads' used by 'caravans' that travel between settlements to distribute out products, be they gem stones, food or wood and stone or whatever?
Also, having npc's venture out into the world, and running across them, as they pursue their ends, makes for interesting interaction, or choices between the player and new npc's you come across, or don't come across.
In addition, the players reputation, might of course mean that the npc's are either interested or not interested in joining with the player?
In this way, there are several 'elements' that we have 'choice' and options with.
Do i as a player, build up all my resource settlements first? Does this mean that i am a 'Turtling' type of player?
Or do i build up armies in quickly built military schools where my npc's and i all go against 100 bosses in a lava chunk?
Do i chose to put all my interests into building 'Spell' settlements where skilled gem-cutters make fabulous spells, and perhaps if i do, i have an advantage in having my npc's 'find' those new gem veins?
Does the terrain itself vary enough, that my settlement is in the hills and therefor less accessible to armies? Meaning they would have to attack 'up the slope' of the mountain as they near my settlement?
Or is my settlement wedged in between two massive mountains in the south, meaning that the only access into my settlement is through a valley that i heavily fortify?
Now this means of course, some changes to some things, or how things 'may' look as they are added?
How do i create a map with a settlement in between two mountains and the only road in is through the single valley that acts as a choke hold? Perhaps, the tiles on the over-world have to get more detailed? Or have a mouse-over or right-click view that gives us a more precise view of the area?
And if there are single access settlements, what if there are many accessed sites as well? Meaning the enemy could attack from several fronts, and if i am allocating my resources where do i place them? I could be over-run, because i didn't see that the back slope of the settlement was the hardest, but also the most direct into my camp.
Anyway, i think that giving the player options and choices to go one way, or build certain types of things, in the same way that players chose which ships to build and what planets to take, and how in AI War, would increase the degree of complexity and strategy and choice and depth that AVWW already has, and certainly one that i would love to see.
I think we can do this several ways, one of which is to play with numbers, meaning that Spell settlements get +1 to finding gems and gem veins, or wood, or stone, or food, or whatever. And the same for the advantages and disadvantages for settlements located in rough or deeply inaccessible terrain? +1 or +2 to the home teams defense, or attacks abilities. Also, there could be + or - stats added to those settlements depending on the number of npc settlers. So say, my settlement of 5 people has less of a chance at defending than say a settlement of 10 or 20.
There might be also 'types' of skills, saying that my farm community of 10 people has less attack skill to overcome, or less defense skill to overcome a horde of advancing monsters, or raiders that have come to loot and pillage my town. But my settlement of 5 spell masters, has more ability against those very same looters.
Using numbers of course, means that we don't have to create 'art assets' that appear in game, they can simply be stats added to areas that are already 'visually defined'.
Or choosing to go 'visually' expressive would make for some 'visual difference and visual interest' from what is currently in the game.
Of course choosing to go more visual is more costly, and takes longer to get in. Text and number stats added are quicker and have no art asset cost to them.
Or a mixture of both,
But choosing what to build, and how many and where, and so forth, makes for some interesting differences, because not all players are going to play or choose the same things, making their game experiences different.
And perhaps that is a neat thing too?
Just my two cents,