I think one of the main problems for players right now is that there is too much uniformity - I'm sure that makes the game easier to make and check and push out, but it does make for some dullness.
I'm hoping that balancing pass and changes will lead to a more in depth look at Variety in general.
For example, every unit has a base movement of 2.0. Really? Come on... The trader has a horse pulling the wagon... ok, maybe it's a heavy wagon. Fine. The pioneer? All he's carrying is a bag. The DRAGON? Seriously, the YOUNG Dragon, big, ulta mythical and mystical and powerful creature of magic WITH WINGS can only move 2 tiles per turn, a bit more if there are ROADS?
Heavily armored guards and lightly armored archers move the same distance? Stone giants? Ok, they are made of stone, but they also take MUCH bigger steps and NEVER get tired. Shrills, spiders, wolves... UMBERDROTHS... everything moves 2.0. What the heck?
The result is, the person using a custom sovereign with Adventurer and Organized and as many +move items as possible is the ruling force - especially given how slowly health and Mana (especially) regenerate in the game.
Also... I've dabbled a bit in Empire, but find myself playing kingdom mostly. From what I've seen, their spellbooks are not terribly different at the outset, nor as you learn spells. But what really got to me is this: Spider nests and Darkling camps.
There are several varieties of spiders in the game. And several classes of darklings. For some reason both spider nests and darkling camps can only produce the basic unit. And curiously, it costs THE SAME to do so.
Wut? First of all, why not retweak the Nest/Roost/Drath/Etc to produce their associated units directly from that structure, rather than the settlement. Then, because it's a separate training menu, you can enable the user to create different varities of those units, at varying costs.
Second, I would kind of imagine the fallen empires treating the misbegotten failed experiment that is the darklings as fodder. readily available, numerous fodder. Kinda hard though, when they are so expensive...
Some changes of these sort would permit some differences between empire and kingdom... before we get in to much needed differences amongst the various factions entirely (for a start, how about research/spell learning bonuses?).
Also, I think that a Dark Overlord of the Fallen Empires might be inclined to keep more than one wife - a queen and some concubines.
I realize this is unfair to Female sovereigns - even if they keep multiple consorts, they can't produce more heirs as a result of doing so.
But to balance this, i think there are some interesting rules and 'events' that you can place down (and this is all stuff to consider for well after v1.1).
Queen and concubines cannot reside in the same unit, stack, or settlement.
Concubines must reside in a settlement.
There is a chance that the Queen and the Concubines will attempt to assassinate each other/each other's offspring.
Where there are more concubines, the likelihood of assassinations is greater.
Where settlements are poorly defended, the likelihood of assassinations is greater.
Where the mother or child has the characteristics of Adventurer, warlord, assassin, or thief, the likelihood of assassination is greater.
Where the queen is not in the capital/first city the likelihood of attack is higher.
Where a settlement is close to the line of influence of another faction (especially negative faction) the likelihood of assassination is higher.
Where a child has suffered many attempts on his life, the likelihood of rebellion is greater.
Where your nation is at war with other factions, the likelihood of a child rebelling is higher.
Where the child is in a settlement close to another faction, the likelihood of rebellion is greater.
Where the king spends more time in a settlement with a mother and child, they are less likely to rebel, and less likely to suffer an attack.
And of course, random personality variables - some just want to get along and are content with their station in life.
in the case of a rebellion, the child takes over the settlement he or she is located in, and declares it an independent territory. The player loses all associated bonuses (for example, shards, lost libraries) with that settlement, and it is considered a hostile settlement.
So a player may have more essence inheriting uber-units... but may also have more uber-enemies as well. Children of concubines may not be used for dynastic purposes.