Thanks for reading and the informative replies! here are my thought on what I read in your replies:
The problem is that I don't think that feature was actually meant that way. I think the progression from governor to king was considered to be a purely temporal, from newbie to veteran player. Governors would be a mostly supportive role for the kings who actually compete to win the game, while they in turn are less threatened and can learn the ropes and participate in the game for a world or two without actually competing much. I think it was inteded that over time, *every* veteran player would become king - activity or wishes not being a factor.
Oh I never realized that the initial idea was to have you progress from Gov to King as you gained experience with the game. The reason why I think it's so damn cleaver is because it really let you tailor your role according to level of effort and commitment you are able to put into a particular server. Playing as King is my choice when I want to maximize my chances to win... because then you have much larger control over your destiny and may end up with a crushing victory like this
On the other hand, on servers or at other times in your real life you may know that you cannot put in the effort needed to make use of the full control you have as a king, and hence I then choose to play as governor. This is why I love this system.
many of the kings in-game are zero-prestige newbies in their first round, because of all the veteran players this game has, way too few choose playing king voluntarity. That would mean, since without kings -> no kingdoms and without kingdoms -> noone collecting victory points to compete over the game (no kings meaning to the game as it is designed that just noone wants to play competitively), the game would effectively become Sim City.
I do not completely agree with this. The Image I posted above with my victory as King I did have "3 bronze" prestige level.. I had never completed a server before that one. What made a victory of such a great marginal possible was dedication and the willingness to learn everything.. and possibly also some individual skills that are useful in the King role. Therefore I strongly disagree with having Prestige as a Barrier to Entry for the King role. And this is why I made my suggestion of having everyone start as major and letting Kings and Kingdoms form naturally among the players whom their neighbours assess to be capable enough. In my suggestion players that will be allowed to start a Kingdom and be King is basically restricted by the players in that area who will have to be this King's governor and/or neighbour. And given how many people that do select the King role today, I do not fear that there will be a shortage of players whom will try get the 10 Majors to pledge loyalty so that they can be King. The only difference here is that you need to convince your neighbours or your suitability of being a King before you can be one, instead of just "selecting" King at a menu.
As you see, my suggestion still allow anyone to be king, but it requires that you first convince your neighbours that you are suitable for the job.
The problem isn't "how can we better weed out the suited candidates from the bad ones from our huge pool of candidates for the king role", the problem is "how do we get enough candidates for king in the pool to allow us to be picky in first place."
To solve the underlying problem, we need to somehow fix the attractivity of these roles, so that we have more candidates for the king role, and then we can get picky.
In my opinion no extra perks and benefits can balance up the sacrifices you need to make as a King. In the contrary, the extra perks you get of being King do really attract people to the King role that are in it for the perks, not for leading a Kingdom. So the question is not how you do attract more players to be king, the question is how you attract more of the right players to be King. This is what my suggestion is aim at. Say for example that you are an experienced player, and you realize that all the Majors whom try to gain your loyalty are shit.. then you might consider taking on the King role after all, since this is your better chance to making something out if this server as compared to serving under one of these "perks or ego driven" wanna be Kings. And suddenly this server is up one more experienced as King. Even if the process of selecting a King in your region takes a day extra or two, compared to areas where there is a premade group, I feel that it absolutely worth it.
However, I do agree that there are several things you can do to make the King role less stressful and demanding.
1. A King must be able to step down should he find it overwhelming. It is a way to huge task for some players to commit to the King role for 6 months straight.
2. The administrative duties must be simplified. Especially the treasury management craziness needs to be simplified... planing treasury villages location, instructing dukes to place down treasury villages in time, having understanding on how moving treasuries work, and all of this is totally unnecessarily burdening the King role.
My second suggestion about the Castle Cities are aimed to solve this.
Many players complain that their kings are so bad and that ruins the game, and that governors are really at such a disadvantage, and that they can't change anything about that as a governor, but that they still want to play competitively and win, and they don't pick the obvious remedy the game offers for their plight: Playing as a king themselves. So play king and you can change it!
Actually I think that this response do happen, and that it is equally likely to fuel the "bad king" situation as it is to solve it. Because the more players that have had the negative experiences of bad kings, the more people will be motivated to play the next server as King themself.. without regards to whether or not they will have the right activity level or skillset for the job. The "bad king" situation thus pushes even more unsuitable kings into the game.. all thinking "Next time I will play as king.. I'm fed up with shity Kings". But there is nothing and no one evaluating these "reactionary" King's suitability. This is where my suggestion comes in.