First of all i retract my previous statement that the "chips" dont affect performance. as theyve increased in number they have begun to do so. i checked with fraps and i get 13 fps in a map view in Gold, compared to 50 fps in PoM for approximately the same view.
now i have feedback but not specifically for B12, as i didnt play any of the previous Betas, i was playing PoM. This is for Gold in general.
I see all this feedback and suggestions on possible tweaks and enhancements, things to make it easier and quicker. But what i have seen in my 2 weeks as a dedicated hegemony fan is this: time after time ppl have applauded PoM. They have applauded its depth and scale, hows it takes time to learn the intricacies of it: to manage the food distribution, to survive the constant raiding by the Athenian Empire all over your coastline (which is an historicaly accurate depiction not to mention a challenging part of the game), to manage supply lines, to maximise gold income, to fight battles, to expand your territory. its been described as an "Epic" game.
These are all the basic fundamental things that made hegemony great. All i see is suggestions to make things easier and quicker. To remove micro-management, to automate this or that, unlimited supply nodes so u dont have to prioritise food or gold (sorry to be specific on that example but i just read it and its easy to remember), to reduce the number of raids against you, etc etc
All those seemingly suicidal raids against one of your large, walled cities wore it down, interupting its supplies, and eventualy if you didnt do something about it the city would be starved into defeat. You were forced to go out and confront the source of the raids. In practical terms, whether intentional or not, wave after wave of assaults on your cities was a major challenge in PoM and part of what made it an epic challenge. The amphibious raids from Athens forces had to be dealt with meaning u had to maintain sufficent forces around your coastline to protect yourself.
Where is all that in Gold? ive spent about 20 hours now playing the Philip campaign in Gold, theres been 1 (yes One), amphibious raid on my coastline. the Illyrians send 3-4 peltast units every now and again thru wolf pass which just die at the city walls there. no hoplites. the tribal cities (stobi etc) to the north sent one wave only in the entire campaign to capture the 4 cities for that achievement and to capture all those mines. The city just north of Pella once captured was never seriously contested. In PoM, it changed hands about 5 times before i could expand the front line beyond it.
In short Gold is too easy. its boring. cities are now very difficult to take without catapults but the AI doesnt use catapults. The glacially slow regeneration of recruits in cities means that you spend a helluva lot of time just waiting around before u can move on, and i'm guessing thats the reason the AI aggression is virtualy nil. This is no word of a lie but... ive actually been going afk to make coffee, smoke, even stopping by the tv room for a few mins on my way, leaving Gold running while my recruits regenerate, and this is on "Expert" level. You couldnt do that in PoM. In PoM you so much as take your eye off the ball even for a couple of mins u could find half your empire gone, no money to pay your troops, and all your supply lines in tatters so half your remaining cities are starving.
So while tweaks and enhancements are nice, do we really want to make things easier?... lets get back to the basic fundamental concept here... wheres the challenge?
Hey why dont we improve the game of Chess too? we can make all the pieces move the same, all can move in any direction and as far as you want. then it will be much easier to learn and easier to play. that way u can learn all there is to learn in, maybe 5 seconds. and after 10 mins playing u will have seen all there is to see and can go do something more interesting. i cant believe its lasted thousands of years... its too difficult.
To quote the OP:
Tweaking what is to me, a superbly fast and highly addictive micro-management interface to historical melee combat, is a ruinous enterprise
Or, in English,
If its not broke dont fix it.
And as for the ongoing question of what to do with all the excess slaves youve amassed... heres a crazy idea... once you have as many as u need stop capturing them.