I think a good solution for farms would be to make crops in single player only take at most an hour to grow. With them taking 24+ hours, you basically need a humongous farm to get enough crops to eat while working until you get cooking researched and progressing.
I agree 100% about players and what they want.
If devs only followed players suggestions then it could (theoretically) become a completely different game. What if "eliminate the entire pollution system" gets suggested and becomes the top voted for suggestion? The main aspect of the game would be gone. Players often only look at short term play goals and not long term playability. Water takes the path of least resistance. Most players want instant gratification and ease of completion for satisfaction of winning (the happy 'I succeeded' feeling) so suggestions may be geared towards accomplishing this. They succeed in 'winning', get bored because they don't want to replay because they already won, and possibly leave negative reviews or complain about the game being too short or too easy to complete. This isn't a criticism of players, it is just an observation gained from 20+ years of internet gaming including 10 years of running servers for an internet game that is now closed. It is simply human nature to want to "finish" something efficiently and quickly, how efficiently and quickly depends on ones personality regarding their desire for closure and fear of failure.
But it is a fine line to tread. The dev's have to keep the game entertaining enough to keep the player base happy and keep the game selling while still maintaining control of preserving their personal desires for the game so it doesn't just become another voxel based minecraft clone. When I ran game servers my ideology was "I don't change things after the server opens so if you don't like it go elsewhere". But there was no income to worry about so it didn't matter if my servers succeeded or failed. Any changes players wanted wouldn't happen until the server was closed to start over from the beginning up to 6 months later.