this whole thing seems to be taken out of proportion imo. devs made the right choice here, as otherwise the restriction would become way less meaningful and city placement decisions easier. it's solid design, and citysnakes are godawful... in the future they could come up with a system similar to civ5 culture expansion which would be nice, but for now I think it's fine. want a lumbermill? settle next to forest. there's a better tile that's not next to a forest? pick one, you can't always have the cake and eat it too
Why not? That's what SD has been trying to do with FE right from the get go. They had a huge debate on single tile cities versus multi tile cities back in, I think it was, beta 3. They decided on multi tile cities to give the player the rpg experiance of exanding cities. Why expand a city is there is ZERO point to expanding a city? Without snaking, might aswell role back to single tile cities and be done with it.
In any case, they already had the mechanism in place because when the redesigned city features first came in out beta 4, snaking did exist. AND IT WAS FUN. The entire purpose of the Manual Placement Option was for players to be given manual control in how they wanted their city to expand and develop. It was a very RPG feature and was very enjoyable to do.
Then it was taken away. Why? The arguement was that it was too powerful for a player to snake. The AI snaked too. In fact, the AI still builds cities in locations where they expect to be able to snake (at least randomly so) towards a river or forest tile. Now ALL those cities are being chosen under sub-optimal conditions since their full potential can no longer be reached.
I still think the answer lies in the Manual Placement Option. If auto-placement is active, deny snaking as the AI is not attempting to do so. If manual-placement is active, allow snaking, since AI is attempting to do so anyways.
Problem fixed. And 100% of players are very happy with their cake.