Cities that are only really good for one thing might make FE play like an iphone app. Considerably better on average, but not always, sounds about right to me. Once had a city in the middle of three grain tiles, total of 11 grain, which probably would've meant units with a lot of hp if I had a chance to train any there before it crashed. Maybe not as tough as soldiers from a full-fledged fortress but pretty damn close and a hell of a lot sooner. That's a good thing. Versatility is unpredictable.
Incorrect. Cities need to be very versatile at level 1. They should be specialized in a area of the game, but versatile at level 2. By level 3 they need to pick a focused plan, but still have some room. For example, towns should be able to choose something between growth and gildar specialization. At level 4 they should have a humming bird level of specialization so that this level 4 city is a unique combination of choices and shapes the way the player plays the game. At level 5 the specializations give way to a final empire wide benefit. This benefit needs to specialize the overarching strategy of the player.
Allowing towns and fortresses to do the same thing as conclave muddies the waters of what the devs are trying to achieve. Sure a town needs to be able to have the choice of training specializing as much as a fortress needs to be able get some economic advantages. That does not mean each city deserves massive research levels with no effort in specializing to that goal.
As to spells, I would like to see some of these enchantments changed to fit better into the overall scheme of city design. The essence mechanic is right, but the values for Avarice, Sov's Call and Meditation do not properly integrate into a good specialization strategy. I understand that the idea is to have early game weak enchantments and late game powerhouse enchantments, but it does not come through with the current city options and tech pacing. Even in the midgame, Inspiration is great. On the other hand, Avarice is way too expensive and only gives a trickle of gildar. Some balance is needed.
Do you have any suggested changes?