been playing 5.5 for a bit now, got to love this new patch which introduced a lot of new things! On the bottom of my post i've putted a TL;DR to get the main idea of each topic.
Here is my general feedback and mostly ideas on numerous topics:
There are numerous amounts of fuel (power source) available in-game, each having it's own # of power supply.
Now the thing is; which fuel can i use for which machine? Currently i had a struggle getting the pumpjack to work because i simply did not know which kind of generator i needed to make / use. I even tried the waterwheel which didn't work, but then again... why not? There also seems to be a mechanical energy source and regular energy source which could cause confusion and even then you're still not sure which fuel you can actually use (cart, pumpjack?).
It would be great to see which machines accept which kind of fuel. A furnance can only be powered with, for example, charcoal. A powered car can only be fueled with gasoline,... and we also need to know which kind of fuel a certain building / car can use. Hopping from building to cart with any kind of fuel and failing to figure out which fuel actually works is a bit of a burden. Some more transparancy would help out a lot. On the power source idea; this would be great for an additional source of income. If someone specs into charcoal (since coal is harder to find) and certain buildings only run on charcoal, you can sell charcoal to those who need it to fuel a certain building. Keeps a couple of power sources alive and can create more demand, instead of 'wasted' points.
It's great we can finally use the farming skill and it works out great, but i'm having certain issues with the current approach.
As in an other thread being discussed; crop rotation would be a cool thing (not going further into this now).
First things first; the nutrients are a nice challenge which i've been busy with for quite a while. Firstly because of the reduced SP/day and need of efficiency skills (which is a good thing!!!). Secondly and mostly because i just don't understand the whole idea. I've been googling it to get an idea on this topic (wiki,...) and i've started to understand it but in-game i'm still clueless.
Those are the nutrients that a beet needs and increased with the # of beets grown in the vicinity (or crops in general). Now i was thinking certain crops need more of a certain nutrient (wheat requires 8, 4, 4, 6), in this case beets need loads of potasium since it utilizes this resource more then others but here i was wrong, in fact the growth and yield even went down. This could be my missunderstanding of the whole fertilizer idea but i'm still confused on how this topic works while i do like the process of trying things out, but it's such a hassle. For now the best thing i've found is balance all the nutrients.
Eco would be a GREAT step to learn IRL situations imo (like farming, smelting ores, woodcutting, taking care of the environment,... -> i looked up nutrients for plants and learned something about this topic!) and i was thinking of making a manual, so not just a 'skill' to learn but an actual book / tutorial which guides you into a certain skill, which could link to IRL jobs or situations (learn about nutrients for plants, learn how smelting ores work,...). Ofcourse this is a bigger idea, but in general a manual / book, which you can put in the bookshelf.
This book can be crafted with papers and a printer (high-end industry?); the thing is... you still need to figure out how it works but you do have a manual later on, once you've acquired the skill to make a printer. This could explain more complex skills (like farming and nutrients, pollution,...). Which brings me to the next idea; you can also craft an empty book and write the story yourself and write down data for you and possibly the next generation farmers coming after you on the server... Some kind of legacy. This would be very cool and is possible for numerous occasions. Or both ideas, haha. :)
ATM i love the currency aspect, which adds a new dimension to trading but then again it could be improved even more.
Firstly i'll start with the argument i've made before; i would love to have an even more dynamic skill system where players have a job instead of skills (sort of lock in a certain skill). This system can be modified in numerous ways; make skill scrolls more expensive, reduce SP income / skill SP amount needed (as we notice in current alpha),...
Currently the main idea i get is; max SP / day is about 180. Previous alpha it was way higher and end-game was achieved even faster, this is a good step in the right direction; efficiency skills are finally usefull and you actually NEED to spec into 'em to be usefull in a certain skill or else you're pretty much stuck gathering 24/7.
Imo it's still not enough and also with regard to currency / creating an economy i'm still struggling. On my current server everyone is again specing all over the place, which doesn't create demand when everyone has all skills and produces everything on their own. The incentive is needed by the players, not by the system, which i'd love to see by adding jobs instead of skills.
If someone is a baker / cook, you will need to buy food from him because you can craft simple food types (the first skill you'll unlock; survival, campfire cooking) but to achieve better SP you'll need that person. Now the main issue is still the same; the cook is the most important person on the server if you want to acquire a better SP/day, but with the current SP / day you'll gain about 146 SP / day with pretty much 'starter' food, and 180~ SP / day is already the MAX amount. That being said; if you can acquire about 100ish SP/day with regular cooking you're pretty much set, 180SP is just (way) better and that requires you to buy food from the cook; the cook will need better fuel sources from someone else, resources to make a kitchen, stove, or even a building in general. It's a vicious circle for any job; you'll always need someone.
This creates a huge amount of demand since everyone needs someone else. Now the biggest con; you will need a certain amount of players to get this system rolling (to fill in all the jobs); this could be solved by adding an admin command to allow multiple jobs for (probably) the admin or a certain player to spec in multiple skills to support a beginning civilization. Perhaps the government can control the jobs and allow certain players to spec in certain skills (especially with pollution buildings and cooking -> extinction of plants / animals).
The current climate is great since specing into efficiency is pretty much mandatory, but everyone can do this and once the skill scrolls start to roll out everyone is pretty much a master in every skill, sitting on their own private island. Everyone also asks for all the scrolls (which isn't a bad thing) but undermines a currency system because there is no demand, except for high-end products, until that's being researched / learned.
There's also some side ideas:
Let the government create jobs to spread their currency way better then other currencies. The main problem: you need to craft it yourself or sell goods in a certain shop somewhere in the world. You get it; incentive is player-based again, not system based. You need to gather gold, create bars, go to the mint, create currency (spec into smithing, gold smelting,... Everyone has and needs the skill) or you need to gather / craft good X and go to shop Y and sell it there for currency (main problem again; everyone does everything, no demand :/). There's a lot of barriers created to get a currency going. Let the government get players going by building a building (shopping area, town hall,...) which pays them X amount of currency by participating in the project. (need food, need building mats, need builders,...)
Could be combined with the above idea of the 'jobs instead of skills' idea. Everyone could receive an income by the government (to spread currency) and receive extra coins with their own business.
The next idea is to allow the mint to spread a 'loan' to allow players to click one button and they get coins from the government / currency makers which they will need to pay back. A sort of document could be made which both players can accept, gives them the coins and X amount of time to pay it back. You don't need certain goods, just be trustworthy and the government can start spreading currency straight away. Perhaps the mint can create the document.
Last idea here is to allow to print paper money, which requires the use of papers. Gold ore can eventually run out while trees can be replanted, which allows the currency maker to keep on spreading the currency. Late-game again; requires paper + printer (like the book example - late-game industry item) and lets you create currency with papers / wood.
Those are the main ideas i've been thinking about, let me know what you think and don't hesitate to discuss!
Too many fuel sources; no clue what to use them for. More transparency which building / cart uses which fuel sources.
Limit fuel sources certain buildings can use; not only late-game fuel source, more demand for certain fuel sources (instead of 'wasting' Sp early on in charcoal for example -> blast furnance can 'only' use coal and charcoal, baking oven can only use wood / coal,...), which sort of is the case already, but without transparency.
Nutrients too complex, such a hassle to figure it out (lowered SP/day -> is a good thing!, but need many goods and efficiency in other skills to start research, even then i'm still rather clueless).
Make manual books which are written as a tutorial or player written, which players figured out on their own and wrote down for themselves / others to read -> will keep things in-game instead of having to look for a tutorial outside of the game (removes barrier of opening internet, googling forums,...).
Books; late-game item. Requires paper and printer (end-game industry + electricity?). Can be stored in a bookshelf for later use (player written; your own legacy!). Still need to figure it out in the beginning; late-game will have a book that explains it for you. Allows more complex skills and will learn you about IRL situations (plant nutrients? How is it made?). :)
Currently too many barriers for someone to obtain currency / spread currency. Need efficiency in gold smelting, need to go to mint, need too many player incentives instead of system incentives. Everyone is all over the place with regard to skills; nobody needs certain items (especially not late-game if not created by the players, forced creation, RP) because there is no demand.
Allow jobs instead of skills; government can control jobs: someone is a cook, someone is a road paver / stone worker, blacksmith,... Government / currency maker can pay jobs an income to spread currency. Allow government to spread building projects (needs food for workers for increased calorie consumption, needs building mats for project,...) -> probably the building plot flag?
Allow government / currency maker to create a loan. Both players need to 'sign' a contract (with gold ore and paper for example) which gives players X amount of currency to get them started; allows you to spread currency easier and faster. Contract gives player X amount of time to pay it back / is being filled in by revenue generated by player's shop, job, government project,...
Allow the creation of 'paper' money; less gold bars / ore (or even none) + paper and a printer (same as for the books, late-game industry building). Print your own money, doesn't require as much gold ore (you need to find it, limited resource, paper isn't -> trees can be replanted, gold can't, currency maker will run into trouble sooner or later).
There you go, Cheers!