You don't place an order.
It's for extra metal.
And they go to the towns delivering "Stuff" no matter what.
By placing an order, I meant queuing up a sufficient # of troops/buildings of sufficient cost. Not explicitly placing an order for a resource.
And.. So caravans will be hopping around cities delivering resources based on build/training queues, right? It won't be random... (like it is now with gold and food, for example). But again, what happens if I change a queue, or cancel it? The resources in transit vanish in a puff of smoke, unless the next item in the queue will also use it? Resulting in lost resources, because they could've been sent somewhere else?
What I think many others believe, and I myself am firmly in this camp, is that we don't want to be monkeying around with storage amounts.
If it takes 10 turns to build a knight it should take 10 turns on average. I don't want to have to figure on whether I have storage of metal or what have you.
Well I don't want to be monkeying around with storage amounts for excessive periods of time, either - but as I said before I think this is automateable to the extent where we won't have to monkey around (maybe not even at all) except on the occasional turn when your strategy calls for doing something the automation can't deal with.
It taking 10 turns to build a knight on average... So basically, we're going to see resources being shipped all around our nations via caravans, and training times will never be predictable? And if I queue up a bunch of knights in one city and want them to take priority over everything else, I'm SoL? And I'll still see the resources that could be going to building my knights faster being shipped off to other miscellaneous places? Sometimes my knights will take 7 turns, sometimes they'll take 13 turns and I'll have no control over that?
That sounds dismal. In fact, that sounds significantly worse than Civ IV's take on economy. It is more complex without providing any of the actual bonuses of finite resources.
Early on we had a lengthy discussion on how the economic system might work (this was months ago) and it became pretty clear that most people preferred a simplified system.
... I was a very active participant of that thread and that is not at all the case. It looked to me like #3 (local storage + automation) was the most popular choice. At the very least options 3 and 1 were tied, but I'm pretty sure #3 took the lead.
Originally, we considered a system where players mined the ore which in return was turned into equipment which in turn was shipped to wherever it needed to go and only when it arrived would it end up on the soldier.
It's a lot more realistic but it's not fun for most people. It's not fun for me anyway.
I didn't like Colonization for instance. I don't want our system to be like that.
I love Colonization
At the same time, I am strongly in favor of a system that rewards the player who controls actual physical resources in the world and that those resources are very finite.
Well that's good, but I'm afraid that you're going to end up making the economy too complicated and too simple all at once.
Too simple because skipping out on resource storage is a lost opportunity when it comes to emphasizing the importance of location, relative distances, specialization, military strategy and even trading.
Too complicated because having finite resources, but no storage (not even global storage, let alone local storage!) completely defeats the purpose of having finite resources to begin with. It is nonsensical and unintuitive... Why should my smithies shut down just because I'm not training troops at the moment? Why should me lumbermills stop producing lumber just because I'm not building anything that requires wood? It makes sense for time-dependent things like labor not to carry over between turns, but wood? Iron? Wheat? You make/gather them, and they're there until you use them or they spoil... If you remove storage completely, then there is nothing you can't do with a Civ IV approach (with some tweaks here and there so it's not completely binary) that you can do with a castrated finite resource economy.
What I'm saying is this: if you're going to dumb down the economy, then don't leave vestiges of complexity there for the sake of it when they aren't going to actually do anything that requires that extra complexity. I'd obviously rather you don't dumb it down in the first place, but if you must, at least do it right