settle>explore>expand>conquer the wildlands next to you>meet/ally/fight the other factions
When you suggest conquer the wildlands, do you mean the mega wildlands or just the multitude of monsters around your area?
If you mean the mega wildlands, the only way to set this up is a pre-designed map with wildlands between each of the other factions (which I would find fun). The only problem that this leads to is that the other nations will be in their later teir of research and so it wouldn't be fledgling squabbles, but full nations starting a world war. I personally like the fledgling squabbles, minor bickering between two growing nations.
If you mean instead the multitude of monsters around your area, then it is a pacing issue to which you refer. I know from previous thread a while back that frogboy likes to do a strangle strategy, basically pump out as many settlements and strangle the resources that you have to dominate the game. Similar to the strategy in this current game that Mangar is using.
For this type of pacing the idea is to play on a large map with fewer sovereigns. If I recall many people like playing large with only 5 sovereigns. You can push this down to 4 sovereigns and this should (not garauntee) because of the randomness involved to give you more time before the meet and die part of the game. I don't think they are going to push the engine to support any larger map sizes without moving the game to be 64-bit. The memory used by this game is insane on the face of it.
@frogboy. I'm loving the story you put in this game. It makes me wish that this could be produced in a book instead of the history graph at the end. I know that would be a huge feature request and unreasonable for a computer to make an epic story based off your gameplay, but it would be cool none the less. These story gameplays in my opinion are great advertisement of the game itself. Great work here by the way.