Sort of a continuation of the derailed Anno DRM thread:
This game is pretty damn fun like it's predecessors, only a bit more complicated under the hood and pretty on the front end. Have been really enjoying the campaign so far, but the meat of the game is the "continuous play" side of things, and it's a bit daunting.
The whole bit with licenses and researching buffs is a bit confusing, but it makes for some interesting games. My first exploratory open ended game lasted about 12 hours before my 4 island + underwater base economy just irreversibly tanked. Turns out I should have been researching cost saving items instead of military stuff as I figured it was inevitable the AI would get bored and attack me. Streamlining trade routes and immediately recognizing when you have an excess of something to sell seems critical - something that isn't touched on at all in the campaign.
There are also a myriad of UI things to make life easier, like a dropper to replicate buildings, using various hotkeys and stuff that is not explained. The issue where buildings are square but influence range is a radius (circle) is difficult to master. Most of my cities end up starting as an "H" shape to make room for later buildings in the center, but I've learned to not be afraid to tear shit down and start from scratch once something becomes available to make room for it.
Anyone have some tips for a budding city builder? Plus I want to see your screens :P