this is something that I've been talking about for a very long time and something that I think could make this game much better.
At the moment trade and using resources for production happens immediately and in a magical way transports from a country of origin to our country or to the production/construction site of what we are building. I had an idea of resources being transported (for trading) and used (for production) in a real time.
For example: if the factory requires 2,500 oil, wood and iron and 10,000 money to be built in 2 days, instead of it all disappearing instantly from our resources they could slowly be taken away during the whole duration of the production/construction. If a factory needs 2 days to be built (48 hours) it would mean that every 70 seconds a 1 resource of oil, wood and iron would be taken away and every 17 seconds 1 money would be taken away (it would work just as the production rate is working where now we are getting a resource every couple of seconds or minutes).
Trade could work the same. Instead of signing contract for instant trade offers we could have trades with other countries where we are sending them certain amount of resources every second/minute for whatever they offer every second/minute.
I think that this change alone, would make the game more interesting and would require a little bit more planning, because there would be situation where we would start building a lot of buildings, units, etc. and didn't have enough resources, so whenever a resource would dry out the production would stop. Maybe a importance system could be introduced, so when that happens we pick which production is the priority task.
A second change to the trading mechanic that would bring this game more to the real life could be having an actual trade routes to conduct trade. Trade lines that can be blocked and robbed by enemy armies or fleet. Having a mechanic where we have to sign a trading agreement with somebody else to create our trade routes through their territories would be awesome. That creates so many diplomatic struggles and complications. Trade through the sea and oceans of course would be open and free to everyone who has access to the sea or signed a trading agreement with a coastal nation (until somebodies feet blocks the nodes where our trade could pass through).
I don't think this changes would be so big and complicated. Production of resources already uses that trickle mechanic and could be easily used in trade and construction as well. The trading one would probably require more work, but it is not that different than moving units so I also think it could be done and would definitely bring a lot of fresh air to the game.
What do you guys think?