Here's an older discussion of this:
Also, I would point out that your list of the benefits of several of the structures is incomplete. Scroll Scribes provide shop access for Blizzard, Return, and Air Elemental scrolls, while the Tower of the Magi grants the city it is built within immunity to certain types of strategic spells.
Recommended Changes for Conclave level up improvements:
- Reduce Scroll Scribe's Research bonus from 20% down to 10%
- Move Oracle to level 4 Conclave upgrade.
- Move Tenfell University to level 3 Conclave upgrade.
- Improve Tenfell University's bonus by adding "+1 Fame per Season"
- Change Amethyst Vault to be "+1 Crystal per Essence per Season"
- Reduce Academy of Revelation's global Research bonus from 10% down to 5%
- The Pyre of Anniellum should have an additional +10% Unrest penalty.
- Reduce Hedigah Bathhouse's Unrest bonus from -30% down to -20%
- Change the Tower of the Magi's bonus to be a global effect for all units trained.
The suggested addition of fame per turn to the Tenfell University is basically useless. Unless I'm building Henchmen/Sions, I hardly care about fame past the first couple of champions, and I'm not going to have a Tenfell University in time for the first couple champions even if it is a level 3 city improvement, nor is the removal of the unrest penalty to research particularly worthwhile on an early level 3 city, as at that point in the game you ought to have low unrest anyways. I would instead suggest that the Tenfell University should get a local research bonus or unlock additional scrolls (e.g. Fireball and Wellspring) to complement the removal of the unrest penalty to research. I also think you're over-valuing the benefits of +1 essence; +1 essence locally is good, but I don't think it's really all that comparable to a global +5-10% research, particularly not when the majority of the scaling enchantments are geared towards unit production.
Thematically speaking, I feel that the Tower of the Magi should perhaps get the Air Shard bonus you've suggested for your new level 5 Fortress structure; Air, Fire, and Water shards are the three main shard types that I want, and a choice between the three of them seems fairly reasonable. After all, for me the main question at Conclave level 5 is "do I want 2 fire or 1 water shard?" If I have a level 5 conclave in my empire, the unrest should already be at a manageable level, and I don't think that the 10 unrest on the Pyre or the 10 less unrest reduction on the Bathhouse would make a difference to my choice at that point. I would also tend to say that the Tower of the Magi could be a third scroll (or other consumable) producing structure, though I'd have to think about what spells I'd want to see made available through scrolls, or what other types of consumables I'd want to see.
Recommended Changes for Fortress level up improvements:
- Move Strike Garrison to level 4 Fortress upgrade
- Remove Mining Guild as a possible level up option
- Improve Gallows by adding "+1 Growth"
- Move Great Arena to level 3 Fortress upgrade
- Reduce Great Arena's Hitpoint bonus from +3 down to +1
- Rename "Great Arena" to "Arena". (Likewise, rename the once per faction "Arena" to "Great Arena" or "Great Coliseum")
- Create a new level 5 Fortress Upgrade: Grand Citadel - Trained units get +10 Dodge and +1 Air Power (global effect)
- Reduce the Onyx Throne's Unrest bonus from -30% down to -20%.
- Improve the Underforge by adding "-50% Production of Weapons" in addition to the Armor.
I disagree with moving Strike Garrision to level 4. The other two structures that grant a troop trait are at level 3, and I'd prefer to keep the number of free traits you can add to your units down. The change to the Gallows is thematically odd to me; a structure where people are hung by the neck until dead is not a structure that I would expect to increase a city's growth rate, especially if it's like some of the historical gallows where the people having been hung are left hanging there to serve as a warning to the populace until the bodies begin coming apart. I also disagree with moving the Great Arena down to level 3, though I agree with swapping its name with the one-per-faction Arena; +1 attack +1-3 HP on a level 3 fortress is a fairly powerful bonus in the early game. I will additionally say that I don't really believe that the +3 HP per figure from the Great Arena is all that much of a bonus; on 6-figure units, that's only +18 health on something that likely has over 100 health to start with.
I tend to agree with the proposed change to the Underforge (though another alternative would be a defense and accuracy bonus due to higher-quality weapons and armor, sort of the inverse of the Great Arena), and I would suggest that either the Underforge or the Onyx Throne could perhaps take the Tower of the Magi's spell resistance bonus to trained troops so as to put that bonus somewhere useful.
I believe that the Gallows has two major issues: firstly, reducing unrest by 10 in all cities is just a much better deal than removing the unrest penalty from one city's production, especially if your unrest levels are not unreasonably high. Secondly, the Gallows is a worse version of the Slave Pens used by Empire factions, which Empire factions can eventually build in every city they have, which both remove the local production penalty due to unrest and improve local production. As a result, I would suggest that the Gallows be changed to some other means of improving local production, such as a local production bonus (e.g. the +1 local production per material suggested for the Governor's Office).
Recommended Changes for Town level up improvements:
- Move Guild Grocer to level 4 Town upgrade
- Increase the Slums Unrest penalty from +5% up to +10%.
- Move Almshouse to level 3 Town upgrade
- Increase Almshouse Fame bonus from +1 per Season up to +3 per Season
- Decrease the Almshouse upgrade by adding the penalty "-1 Gildar per Season"
- Decrease the Governor Office upgrade to just "+1 Production per Material", ie remove the global effect.
- Change the Guild Tribunal to be "+1 Gildar per Material in all your cities"
The changes to the Almshouse do not seem worthwhile to me. Yes, 3 fame per season is better than 1 fame per season, and having it at level 3 rather than level 4 makes it more accessible, but, as with the suggested change to the Tenfell University, fame just isn't something I care about after I've obtained the first couple of champions, unless I'm playing with Henchmen or Sions. Fame is only useful for obtaining champions, but champions just aren't something I need, or even want, after I get a few of them to lead my armies. Worse, you've added an upkeep cost to the Almshouse, meaning that you have to pay for a low income of an already relatively low-value resource. This change also means that level 3 Towns now have 3 upgrades that are very situational and not very appealing instead of two situational upgrades and one that is always useful. This is only an improvement over the current system in that there would then be no obvious choice (because none of the options are good) rather than having one obvious choice because one of the three improvements is actually worth having.
I feel that the change suggested for the Governor's Office is basically useless; as with Conclaves and the Tower of the Magi, Towns are not cities that I actually want to build anything other than infrastructure in, though local production is more worthwhile than spell resistance on trained units. Beyond that, if you move the Guild Grocer to level 4 and change the Governor's Office to a local effect, you've removed the only feature of the Governor's Office which would allow it to compete with the Guild Grocer. Stacking +5% health on all your units is far better than +1 local production per material in a city I don't really want to be building stuff in anyways. I am also somewhat surprised you have no suggestions for the Embassy, which is an almost useless structure as the main purpose of Towns is the production of food and gold for the empire, neither of which are affected by unrest.
The Guild Tribunal change seems reasonable to me, as it was already more or less a better version of the Governor's Office, though perhaps the Governor's Office should be the structure with the gold bonus (to indicate more efficient taxation) while the Guild Tribunal keeps its production bonus (to indicate a certain standard of craftsmanship).
I would also tend to suggest that the Guild Lending House should perhaps be changed to generate treasury interest like the Treasury Vault does (and why is the Treasury Vault a world wonder rather than a one-per-faction structure, anyways?), increase the city's base income by some small amount, or grant an ability to obtain a lump sum of gold in exchange for an income penalty for X turns, rather than having a one-time 2000 gold bonus. 2000 gold barely covers mid-game champion equipment for a single champion, let alone high-end equipment for several, and it's also easily blown rushing a couple low-level city improvements or small, ill-equipped troops.
A further change that I would suggest is that both the Guild Warehouse and the Archivist should have some kind of ongoing bonus rather than having a bonus which is only in effect while producing Wealth or Research. The main reason why the Archivist is less appealing than the Scroll Scribe is that the Conclave has so much infrastructure to build even if you're only building research improvements that 'Produce Research' is too far off to worry much about; the Scroll Scribe, on the other hand, gives you an ongoing +20% research and access to several useful shop items. Even if the only ongoing bonus the Archivist received was the same set of scrolls available from the Scroll Scribe, it'd be more competitive, though I'd sooner see something like +1 research for the ongoing bonus. The Guild Warehouse has a similar issue, though Towns require much less infrastructure to maximize gold production than Conclaves do to maximize research production (for starters, you can skip the majority of the unrest reduction structures as gold production is unaffected by unrest levels, and then there's also only about 4 gold structures compared to 6 or so research structures), but the main issue for the Guild Warehouse is that most sites have a rather low basic gold income, once you get down to it. A Town with all the gold bonus structures in it might have perhaps 10 gold income per turn before bonuses from Produce Wealth; with Produce Wealth and a Guild Warehouse, this is something like 20 gold income per turn. Then you apply the tax rate, and you're only getting 4 gold per turn (on low taxes because we don't want to cripple our other cities with unrest) out of that 20 potential income from the Town. This in a game where low-cost champion trinkets typically cost over 100 gold, where rush-buying early game units easily tops 100 gold per unit, and where rush-buying structures is similarly expensive. If you find an exceptional site, then it can be worthwhile; otherwise, I don't feel that it's worth bothering with. All you need is enough gold to cover unit maintenance; using loot to equip (or pay for the equipment for) your two or three active champions and sovereign is sufficient and in fact typically better unless you're just really unlucky with loot drops, and you don't need to rush buy much in most circumstances anyways (about the only exception is when you need to do something in a high-unrest location, and even so, as long as the unrest is less than about 50% it's not really worth rushing anything).