The PE I’ve suggested always prioritize to finish your last order first.
I actually really don't like this idea. In general I'd much rather that the game prioritize my first order. Otherwise I could easily see situations where an early order is incredibly delayed or even completely stalled for indefinite periods of time, just because newer orders constantly supersede it. There should be a prioritize button next to the production queue which, when pressed, prioritizes the new order. This way orders are completed when you expect them to be, unless you explicitly reprioritize things yourself. This is both more intuitive and more practical.
Saruman doesn't steal, he beats him in a fair fight. So that's actually favors MY argument that wizards don't really steal from each other like thieves and don't buy assets from each other like traders. They settle their disputes like they should - in a fight Thank you for providing arguments for my cause I guess i don't really even need to say something, you'll argue that you're wrong by yourself
Actually, Saruman tricked Gandalf into coming to Isengard, then simply imprisoned him. There was no fight (even if Gandalf could have contested Saruman, he couldn't contest Saruman and a fortress full of orcs and other nasties). There was no fight, just deceit. And regarding Saruman's activities in the Shire, he did steal, connive and shroud his activities in secrecy - largely out of jealousy of Gandalf.
You're putting the cart before the horse. If you want a convoy raiding, you need just that. It doesn't require any needlessly convoluted economic system. Actually, it requires just as many changes in military aspect of the game as in an economic system so that's another reason why you should advocate a "convoy raiding" feature. With you approach, you'll get economic system that potentially may make convoy raiding effective, but most likely it won't (as nothing works as you desire just because of your wishes). With a focus on a convoy raiding feature, you'll get exactly what you want, one way or another.
In order to be able to raid convoys, there need to be convoys to raid. In an economic system that doesn't use convoys, there won't be any convoys, and thus there won't be any convoys to raid. I don't know how you can come to any other conclusion.
And regarding your strange comment about things not working just because we want them to - no shit sherlock. They would work presumably because Stardock would make them work. An economic system with trade routes and resource distribution lays the groundwork for features and content that many of us are excited about, it wouldn't make those features pop out of the ground magically.
Say, in Starcraft you have units that can evade main force (mostly flying units or flying transports, but some invisible ones too) that deal lots of damage but have relatively weak defences. Obviously, map design helps too. And it's very cost-effective to destroy the enemy economy because workers cost a lot, and you can't restore mineral gathering immediately. That's just an RTS without any complex economy yet "convoy raiding" is very effective, it probably wins just as many matches as a direct combat.
For one, Starcraft is a RTS game not a TBS game and comparisons between the two genres aren't likely going to be very productive. Secondly, 'convoy raiding' (really, worker raiding) works in Starcraft because there are workers to destroy. If you have a system where workers and convoys and all that are abstracted away, what are you going to raid? You like to twist people's words to make it sound like they proved themselves wrong (when really you just ignore their point) - but now I get to say that you just argued our point for us.
What you really said is that _flawed_ abstractions tend to create balance _flaws_. Hovever, if you'll think logically, you'll see that you have more control over a very specific abstraction (that was specifically crafted to reach the certain outcome) than over a complex simulation. That's because in an abstraction you're changing the outcome. In simulation, you can change only inner workings of the system with potentially unpredictable and unobvious changes in outcome. Since you have more control over an abstraction, it's always easier to balance an abstraction.
Specifically crafted abstractions can cause as many unintended consequences as a sophisticated 'simulation'. Every aspect of a game is in some way connected to every other, and thus if you cut out or abstract away part of a chain of events or a mechanism that would normally exist, those other aspects can see completely unexpected effects. You are nonetheless correct when you say that simulations can often lead to focuses on unexpected (and sometimes undesired) things, but if done well they also give players more freedom and provide many more places to hide strategic decisions. A pertinent example: universal storage vs. caravan distribution. Universal storage is binary - you have something or you don't, everywhere; there is no opportunity to intercept transport of goods and disrupt economies via harassment and specialization becomes much less relevant. However, it achieves its goal of providing a simple, care-free method of 'distributing' resources. A caravan distribution model, on the other hand, forces players to make strategic decisions about where they want their resources to go (danger, transport time, and use all factoring into this decision); it gives players the ability to fight unconventionally, against any opponent (but probably most helpful against big scary ones). A system like this would definitely require more tweaking than an abstracted one, but it provides a wealth of strategy and depth and atmosphere that is utterly lost in the abstraction.
28 isn't remotely like 110. Don't you see the difference? LOL Well, i can't help you in that case. Besides, it was my point - even in economic simulators you don't control 110 resources. And even in worst case you don't control the logistics of 110 resources. # 1 is insane idea. I'm starting to like #3 where it's automated as much as possible.
You're really good at not reading, and making a fool of yourself by laughing at people for things they never said. He said that in Settlers you control 28 resources with no automation and that it takes almost no effort or time. In Elemental, we would control a maximum of 110 resources (probably far less at any given time), and there would be heavy automation. #1 is only insane if you don't know how to read, considering the only difference between #1 and #3 is the method of automation, not the amount of it (though I agree that #3's method is superior, especially if it draws from some of the suggestions in this thread).
Fine, fine. Everyone else failed so far, and they'll do it. Right.
Like someone else said, "Everyone else failed so far, so it's impossible" is a philosophy which would lead to total stagnation. There would be no advancement of any form in any discipline in the world except through the occasional accident if we lived by that mantra. And besides, as far as I know no one else as tried to implement an economy like the one we're suggesting, yet alone failed.
There is a logical error here. In a resource-driven game, a much bigger empire will hold more resources and it will have a much bigger production. So, even if you disrupt it's ability to field powerful troops somehow, they'll still have more resources than you. And more production too so they can field weak units against your weak units and win (you're small so you don't have many resources and so you can't make strong units anyway). You're still doomed, one way or another. Resource requirements almost always favor bigger empires.
That's only the case if not implemented well. Bigger empires will hold more resources and have higher production, but they also have more problems. They have larger borders to protect, larger distances to transport resources, more neighbors (and thus usually more potential dangers). The larger distance aspect is probably one of the more important ones. If you can disrupt a supply line in a large empire, it should cause much longer production delays than it would in a smaller nation. Caravan raiding wouldn't allow David to single-handedly defeat Goliath, but it does at least provide him with a way to fight, and in the case of a large-scale war between more than just 2 parties it could be used to devastating effect, I think.
Anyway, let's say our empire has 50 resources out of 110. If we want even the most basic overview, we need to know current reserves, production, consumption, import, export and total change per turn. That's 50*6 = 300 numbers on the screen, nice excel spreadsheet. We didn't even start giving any orders yet and we don't know any details about production, consumption, import or export. As a bonus, we also have 20 cities. That makes it 20 spreadsheets.
You're reverting into your old habits again: lack of imagination. Displaying every iota of economic or resource information all at once with no qualification would be a dismal way of going about things. Even if they do resort to a standard spreadsheet UI (which I don't think is necessarily ideal), sorting would go a long way, and any resources that are in high demand compared to availability should be made prominent. Likewise, clicking on 'short swords' should display the relevant information about the entire supply chain. The most important information could be displayed on the map itself at the toggle of a button, including the actual shipping lanes.
Making giant static spreadsheets with all the information for every town is the straightforward, unimaginative and terrible way of going about interface design for such a thing. In other words: complaining about how bad such an interface would be (and thus how the idea is not feasible) is a waste of time, because Stardock would never do such a thing; and thankfully they are much more experienced and innovative when it comes to interface design than you, me, or probably anyone else on these boards.