I know the VP situation is problematic right now, and would like to share my suggestions.
- Working Well:
One aspect of VP production that is working well is the way that VP are generated gradually over time by Treasures that are sitting in an active treasury controlled by the team.
VP Bonuses for stealing treasures from other alliances which leads to complicated webs of intrigue where people win by deception rather than through actual battles.
Solution: For starters, remove what is broken. Make VP completely non-transferable once earned.
I think if you do this single fix, it will help the gameplay mechanics significantly. It will still favor metas, but it won't favor friendly treasure sharing between alliances.
On another note, I have a few ideas that I would like to toss out there for consideration. I haven't seen these ideas thrown out anywhere else, so I apologize if I missed something and these ideas have already been discussed to death.
1. Victory Points are earned permanently and are non-transferable. However, the rate of VP production should depend on the level of the active treasury in which they are being stored. So a level 20 treasury produces more VP per treasure per day than a level 1 treasury. Knocking out a single high level treasury imposes more significant disruption to VP than knocking several smaller treasuries. I suggest that some kind of mechanic is used so that the smaller the population of a kingdom, the greater the efficiency in VP production from Treasures. So, metas have more treasures, but smaller alliances generate VP more efficiently from their smaller stash of treasures, narrowing the gap slightly.
2. Get rid of the damn robbers. Make treasures to be something that the governors have to spend resources to build in their own treasury (or maybe a special building only governors can build just for building treasures). Make treasure production something similar to troop training such that the higher the level of the production building, the faster the treasures are created. From there, allow the governors to sell their treasures to the king, duke, or robber baron as usual and receive a nifty return on their investment for making treasures. The governor's treasure production building should be targetable by catapults so that the game has a strategic alternative for knocking out the enemy's treasure production capabilities.
The importance of putting treasure production in the hands of the governors is that it opens of the strategic option of cutting off (or crimping) the supply of treasures to the enemy by targeting the high-level treasuries of their governors.
3. Option to Sacrifice Treasures for Kingdom Boosts. This idea is really just for fun, and to try to introduce some team-based rewards into the system. I think it would be cool if the king could choose to spend treasures in exchange for some kind of permanent kingdom-wide boost, similar to the effects of the artifacts in Travian Legends. If the king decided to spend the treasures on the kingdom-wide boost, those treasures would be gone forever. It should be costly enough so that the decision is not made lightly.
It could be any range of cool boosts:
* attack bonus when attacking an enemy on whom the kingdom has declared war
* merchant speed boost
* crop production boost
* movement between alliance members boost
* everyone in the kingdom gets trade routes boost
Lots of room for creativity. The point is, the king has to make a decision between getting a sweet boost, or putting those treasures into earning victory points.