Hastings, I concede that removing the day 8 restriction from building factories on 500-player maps would be a gift to multis. But I've been playing this game (on and off) for years on the smaller maps and never encountered a multi (or if I have, they were incompetent).
Perhaps I should point out that even if the restriction on building factories was removed, you still wouldn't be able to build an artillery unit for roughly 6 days. Apart from which, the amount of resources you have available in the early game is very limited anyway. If one player manages to get a couple of artillery units earlier than another, it's hardly a world-shattering advantage. Also, as things stand, players who start out with a lot of food also have an early advantage in that they can churn out cav units when somebody else cannot.
If 6 days is still deemed too early to allow the production of artillery, which I still think is dubious, you could tweak things a little by, say, lengthening the time it takes to build workshops - say, one day to build each level of workshop. That would push the earliest date you can build artillery to 8 days, but it would have the additional advantage of giving noobs something to look forward to in the first couple of days - the curiosity of seeing what sort of advantage a workshop confers. As it is, you build workshops in literally the first five minutes and then have to wait 8 long days before you can upgrade them. It's an interest killer.
And talking about how many other interesting things there are to do in the first eight days is just wrong. I invariably have an extended period of thumb-twiddling over several days as I have nothing to do but drop in and tweak a few sliders and what-have-you and go away again. Noobs get killed by experienced players in the early game anyhow, with or without artillery, having the experience of being attacked by artillery early in the game would also be intriguing for a noob and make him interested in coming back to build his own next time.
Again, I think it's just a huge mistake to make noobs wait so long for mechs, and it's a bore for experienced players as well. At least give players the option to create games with no wait period for factories - I bet you'd never see anybody start a game with the 8-day wait period again.
I have the same thoughts with you as gold spammers are very common in 100ps and 500ps; noob players either get inactive because of the situation they are facing start game or get defeated and finished very fast in early-game. Very unfair it is. Although there are sometimes 4x speed or 8xspeed 100ps or 500p maps, they are rare. I partly agree with Joe but if you are giving them arty on day 6, bytro needs to make it fair so the experienced players and gold spammers can have the arty also. And it may worsen the situation by even more noob or skill less players that being crushed on day 6. Remember that gold spammers have the money to spam arty and tanks and whatever on their hands.
I would hate seeing this as it also would mean that the noob players, will get finished easily and they might stop this game as ' Too much players with skills and I get defeated always' Bytro can't give only noob players the arty on day 6, they don't know how to use it, maybe, this leads us to our second problem. The Noob players don't know how to use advanced units! It may seem very easy to you guys reading my post, but we have to know that noobs may don't know how to use arty, tanks, planes, ships, railguns etc. When I was a noob, I didn't know how planes and ships valued and only produced some, hoping that ' It would be devastating' However, I was wrong and was quickly mowed over by a more experienced noob with better skills and armies. I cried about it, but I couldn't change everything. After that, I studied the game manual carefully and I gained more knowledge playing game after game, winning after winning. My example is about that noobs don't know to read the game manual, so much noobs don't build recruting offices and they also, don't know how to produce AC and calvary or even build other buildings such as workshops and factories. If you don't teach them, giving them bonuses means nothing.
And to the last point: Gold spammers. The gold spammers are bad in skills, but they use a lot of money to get happiness in the game. GMs bought can be used everywhere. They are nearly the strongest and, the types that newbies and noobs fear most. GM spammers are bad in anyway, with no skill, they rampage along the lines just because of ' Money power'. If the noobs get arty and then try to attack the GM spammers, they would just steamroll him with thousands of AC, calv or infantry, not kidding. Not a look on their arty, than what's the point giving them the bonus if noobs don't know how to use them or produce them. The skilled players can just charge a large army to their arty and destroy it in melee combat, not to be mentioned on GM spammers; they just build a lev 5 fort and then let the noobs attack. Which kindly is sad, and makes the offer useless.
Hoping to see a response