Appreciate the hardwork - will be tooling around with it after a function this evening.
Some of these changes, however, seem to me to be a simple 'quick change' - let's bend it in the other way and be done with it (without any deep consideration of balance).
+ Organized talent cost changed from 10 to 20
+ Updated TerrainTypes.xml to make Forests and Swamps take 2 moves
and to a lesser extent:
+ Merchants/Money Changers now require 1 food to construct
+ Study/Archivist now require 1 gildar per turn to maintain
As to the first pair - I agree that Organized trait is powerful. It's perhaps the most powerful trait there. But I don't think doubling it's cost is the right scale, particularly in light of how useless some of the traits are. This is further compounded by the update to movement costs. As far as I can tell from the changelog, every unit still moves 2 (or worse, 1) without regard for whether this makes any sense or not.
As a downstream effect, it means players will no longer care about purchasing +movement items from the store. This works well for the AI, because the AI doesn't use any items it finds and, as nearly as can be seen, does not purchase items (or even particularly bother to research them) from the store. but it should be about raising the Ai to the players, and not lowering the players to the AI.
What does this mean, in turn? Less exploration. Less expansion. Slower games. PC sovs will probably be used the explore and recruit less, since they are forced to choose between "moving slowly" or "be undefended - even an imp will reduce your movement to 2.0" (or "create custom sovereign that is in all other aspects extremely weak, just because he is organized"). And problematically, teleport will remain the fastest way to travel... but since mana regenerates at the mind bogglingly slow pace of 1 per turn (provided you are not forced to autoresolve with the sovereign - the autoresolve AI will ALWAYS use mana, without regard to what you are fighting, such as a pioneer, or a trade wagon, or the fact that you have a bow)... well, even ferrying troops witht he sovereign wont be happening much.
And problematically, the second pair will tend to suggest that outpost creation is less likely. It seems from the outset that Elemental was intended to be a game that takes many many many turns to play out. I say this due to the incredibly vast number of spells to be researched (i've yet to even encounter a spell to be learned from Moriah's journal) and technologies - and the rising costs to produce these. I also say this because a pioneer can take 6 turns to train, and a squad+ of troops 30-60 turns.
And all the while, food and maintenance costs restrict your ability to expand. Provided you aren't AI - they get by just fine with deficit spending. in 1.07 But at the least, before, if you found a shard, or a useful resource you needed, youc ould build an outpost there, a small settlement that wasn't ever likely to increase beyond level 2/3, and it'd probably take care of itself on the gildar front, and contribute some minor bit tot he research front. But now it seems that administration costs for players is going to skyrocket - restricting players ability to expand their control. And i've yet to see in the kingdom reports any AI late game with admin costs - even when i'm paying down 13-20 in admin costs in 1.07.
But if you fix deficit spending in 1.08 (according to the log).... then you just end up with fewer and far in between settlements, staring each other in the face because they can't pay the troops... who would take about 40 turns to make it from one place to the next anyway.
+ Child essence is no longer modified by spawn rating, but is instead a value between 50% and 100% of the more powerful parent's essence.
While I agree that my children with 700+ essence is a bit... farcical... I can't say I like this rule either. Children will never surpass their parents? it doesn't matter if both parents have essence? In short, Essence will simply always dilute?
To me that says - "you have even less of a reason to create a dynasty" (and if you really wanted to, you are probably best off waiting as long as you can). Because even if you marry off your kids, it's not like the other faction is now more receptive to trades and perceived value - it just moves the slider around, and that just doesn't really matter.
Oh yes, maybe the grandkid will align with me - hmmmm let's see, 2-degree chance that it will have, at most, the same amount of essence as one of the parents (determined at time of.... birth? maturity? Sovereigns don't have much essence at the beginning, but can easily have lots later on) and will subsequently decide to align with me instead of against me.
OR.... I keep my child who has a one degree chance of the same essence and automatically is aligned with me. And i don't have to wait even longer (for the grandkid to be conceived and then mature).