I like the balance of the map. The various fairly small bonuses work well. Lots to go for and settle with more or less ease, but only for limited bonus values, so even settling something is not neccessarily decisive for the game. I would think its especially good as a setup for 1v1 or 1 team v 1 team games.
I agree that the original (or recent) setup for the bonus of the capitals is a bit underpowered. Hard to get and hold (comparatively) so it does need some extra incentive to make it worth going for. - Im however wondering if 2 for 2 and 6 for 3 isnt a bit overpowered. - I kind of like the idea of having to get all 3 to achieve something. 6 might be good for that, but still. - It may push at the balance somewhat, cause it is then quite a big bonus for the map. -
Have you considered an alternate importance such as no bonus but a win clause? - Holding 3 capitals could give you the win. - This sort of makes sense to me as holding all capitals would be a logical thing to do to gain absolute power. - However this may also be overpowered, so Im wondering if a bit of an add on would be an option:
Such as: Hold all 3 capitals and the support of - hmmm 2? - villages to achieve ultimate power over the 3 Kingdoms of China. This would be doable, especially with trench setting yet sufficiently hard that youd need a lot of strength or careful and weaselly planning to swing it.
PM me for an invite to Ikariam, a balanced strategy MMORPG centered on a city-based empire. Help and extra resources from me and an extra tradships and a small science bonus to both of us if you do :-)