Very good questions - I almost forgot that you haven't played the game!
- I am a huge fan of teamplay in RTS games and never, ever play a standard RTS in free-for-all (FFA) mode. I have to state that preference to show how significant it is that we only like to play Offworld in FFA mode; it's easily the best FFA RTS I've ever played (which is, admittedly, not saying much). The problem with FFA in a typical RTS is that the potential for direct conflict leads to lots of diplomacy/kingmaking problems. In Offworld, direct conflict is possible, but limited, sort of like the robber in Catan. So, I understand if you are looking for a team-based game, but I hope you give Offworld a try as it is perhaps more similar in player dynamics to a good boardgame than a typical RTS.
- The stock formula is being tweaked all the time, but - yes - it is sort of a sum of all your assets, including the stock you own in other players. There is a bit of a steamroll effect, but that isn't always a bad thing. As a design, you want to minimize the amount of time players are still in the game but cannot win (a big problem in RTS games). The ideal situation is that TWO players start steamroll and then have a final conflict at the end to determine the winner. (Player A buys out players B & C. Player D buys out players E & F.)
- There is a different base price for the primary and secondary resources (so that steel starts the game more expensive than iron, for example), but it's a fairly minor effect. Prices can swing violently during the game itself (so that, for example, iron might suddenly cost more than steel, which means it's time to turn off your steel mills and just sell iron and buy steel directly).