Quoting db0, reply 12Ok, I'm confused now. Why do you think you need resources to expand? I keep expanding everywhere, whether there are resources there or not. It allows me to build more workshops, merchants and the like, which are simply free resources, and eventually my cities grow and I can use them to train soldiers.
Something must be done with city spam. It's the best strategy, and the most boring strategy.... that doesent combine well for gameplay. We need huge founding costs for new cities indeed.
If you think city spam is the best strategy, you don't know how to play. Honestly, I just wooped the AI in a large map with all opponents on challenging using just 3 cities. Two of the cities had access to food by the time they reached level 2. One of the cities had access to one ancient library by level 2 and another by level 4. By level 5, it had access to 3 iron mines, a marble pit, 2 libraries, 2 gold resources, a crystal resource, and one food resource. The second city I founded had access to 1 food at level 2 and one gold mine at level 2. By level 4, it had 1 earth shard, 2 gold mines, 2 food resources, a spider nest for hiring spiders, a drath lair for recruiting drath, a marble quary, a crystal resource, and 2 of those settlement things that are supposed to increase your population but did not actually work for some reason. The third city I founded had access to a fire shard, an earth shard, and a crystal when I founded it. By level 3, it had access to another gold mine and a shrill nest for recruiting shrill.
Meanwhile, the AI closest to me had about 15 cities when I started attacking it. I steamrolled them all. None of the cities were very well built up or very heavily defended while my 3 cities were each heavily defended. Their city-spamming strategy simply brought their economy to a crawl. Most of their resources were not built upon because they did not have the money to build them and many were not covered by their area of influence because their cities had not grown large enough. My three streamlined cities were pumping out about 50 gold per turn (after accounting for my army maintenance), 30 research per turn, 8 arcane per turn, 6 iron per turn, 3 crystal per turn, 1 diplomatic resource per turn, and around 15 building resources per turn.
City spamming is no longer an issue. If you think it's a good strategy, you will get steamrolled by more experienced players. I believe the game is perfect right now for discouraging city spamming. You can still do it if you think it helps you play, but it is definitely not the most effective way to play.