Before you read this lets be clear. I am discussing single player focused, long game based exploratory strategy. Maybe with coop at best. The kind of stuff I'm talking about is wildly unbalanced for multiplayer and almost intentionally so.
How interesting do you think an RTS/RPG or Majesty type kingdom sim would be if special building sites had unique and significant effects on your units?
Basically the map would contain special buildings spots, but not like you can only build special buildings there. More that different guilds/orders having their motherhouse there would get unique benefits based on their focus. Whether those structures were economic or magical or holy or military.
For instance there is a volcano on the map. If you built a pyromancer's guild their they could research special spells, they would be more powerful within some range of it, they could maybe trigger lava flows or eruptions or they would gain special bonus heat and asphyxiation resistance. Special abilities could be summoning ash screens to obscure vision, or being able to see better than a normal unit whenever there was an ash, smoke, sand, or other type of storm with water or something.
But then suppose a smithy built under the mountain can create special items using lava instead of normal fires. Heat that can affect otherwise non forgable metals or something. Maybe there is a cache of metal in the mountain as well. Perhaps the blacksmith simply has MORE forges because its easier to set up ones with good heat.
Perhaps some infernal priesthood can summon demons or other fiery monstrosities from it. But each volcano can only support one structure. If there was only one you could only have a single boost.
What about if your heroes/units could dual class like an RPG character and would get yet again different bonuses. Perhaps there was an ice cave. Your ice mages could dual class as some sort of earth ritualist. They could then spread a coat of frost from the cave to the world dealing DoT cold damage to all units within range. Maybe they could use it to freeze and unfreeze nearby rivers. Meanwhile dual classing as monster tamers, where normally as primary ice mages they could only summon tier 1-2 but not 3 monsters and gene mod them to be more ice resistant, they could tame super strong ice creatures like frost bears or yetis or tundra wolves or ice drakes.
Yet you would still need to weigh either of those bonuses to warriors who could gain various frost damage and resistance bonuses and attack slow or move speed slow powers, as well as resist the effects of icy biomes. Perhaps they can send warriors on a vision quest into the cave to upgrade them to some sort of viking like class that is more ice aligned than merely some resistance to ice and ice damage bonuses.
On a more environment issue perhaps if you built pyromancers dual classes to nature ritualists on a volcano and cryomancers dual classed as nature ritualists in a nearby, but not closely adjacent for law of nature reasons, ice lake or cave you could manipulate the temperature difference to create dangerous storms between them.
I want to have a game where nature/weather/geography is a significant aspect of game play, where units are not incredibly static with some damage and armor boosts, where environment and unit and other unit can interact in weird and wonderful ways to produce novel gameplay ideas. Even if they end up not working out due to balance or some other reason I want to PLAY with games and their design.