I’ve seen many people complain about the new fur trader building for north american natives.
For those who don’t know what the issue is - it’s essentially supposed to be an alternative to gold mining, but the way it is implemented (needs to be next to gold mine, somehow drains resources from it while villagers work the building), is inelegant and immersion-breaking.
It was said that it didn’t originally have the gold mine-draining element in the beta - which made it essentially just a weaker version of the plantation, instead. Also not a favorable solution, plus not balanced in that the natives never had to venture outside the base for gold.
I think I have an idea that could merge these two approaches together in what I believe is a nice and elegant way.
There was an RTS game called “Lord of the Rings, Battle for Middle Earth”. In that game, the economic buildings (f.eg. farms) produced resources on their own, but there was a catch - the closer you built a farm to another existing farm, the less resources it would produce. This essentially forced you to expand your territory, in order to keep building new, efficient farms.
It can be seen here (the voiceover talks about things such as mountains/rivers, but that’s not important - what’s important is the “percentage” which visibly decreases the closer they are):
My proposal - make fur trader buildings independent from gold mines, and implement the LotR-style distance mechanic to them.
While placing a new fur trader, either a similar percentage would show - or alternatively, the same “vision circles” that appear would appear around all your existing fur traders, and building one inside another’s “sphere of influence” would reduce both their efficiency by a fixed percentage (different implementation but the same basic idea). The distance at which the fur traders reach 100% efficiency, would be roughly the same as the average distance between two gold mines on a map.
All this makes in-universe sense, as an area already “covered” by one trader will not benefit from another - as the actual availability of local furred animals to hunt does not increase.
The only question here is whether the trader itself should deplete like the Indian mango grove building. My bid is on yes, but that is a simple question of balance that can be answered later on.