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What is the best tile improvement in the game?

I think about this too; here are some ideas I've come up with.

Chopping should be most useful early, in the first 2 or 3 ages. After that the boosts should taper off imo.

Old growth forest should be better than replanted forest later in the game; maybe +2 appeal vs. +1 or +1 and have replanted forest not give appeal.
So do I!

I also have my concern with the "Harvest" mechanic. I do not understand why it scales with Tech or Civic progression to begin with. As said by @Mr_PeaCH: I also think it should be an early mechanic that gives you two interesting choices: instant gain but less valuable lands, or slower start with better middle-to-late game. I guess some light scaling could make sense to make the former choice last longer and increases the time window. Currently, it lasts for the whole game... which is a massive increase of that time window. That's how you end up to build rocket out of lumber!
I do not understand why anything scales with that:
  • Harvesting rewards: The rewards goes from ×1 to ×10 on a linear fashion. The longer you wait, the more beneficial it gets. Which change the choice from "whether or not harvest" to "whether harvest now or later". The Goddess of the Harvest pantheon was removed because of this: it was getting out of hand, over-rewarding an already over-rewarding mechanic.
    • I am not strictly against a scaling, but ending at ×10 is quite ridiculous. A ×4 would be already incredible. They could also scale by the number of turn they are on the map, like a +2% per turn of existence. Second-growth Woods could be eligible to harvest now since harvesting them right after they were planted would yield low rewards. But I do not believe they should be better than old-growth one. When are they going to allow to plant other features like Rainforests or Marsh? I would even love Woods and Rainforests to spread by themselves to adjacent tiles on the map if you let those adjacent tiles unimproved (at a low percentage of occuring, like 0.1%... this would be an amazing Game Mode: Nature Wild Frenzy!, including Fishes, Honey, Horses and Ivory!)
  • District's cost: The cost also goes from ×1 to ×10 on a linear fashion. This leads to the infamous trick to pre-place a district to freeze its Production cost. In the late game, a new city cannot afford 540 Production for one district. Without Reyna / Moksha or some tactical Trade Routes, improving your late cities become a huge struggle. You basically buy a Builder to harvest a feature in order to put its scalable rewards into the scalable cost of the district.
    • Shouldn't it scale with your district number? This would be a good way to curb expansionist or conquering Empire, and to make populous Empire less unviable: each new city would be less and less rewarding (but still rewarding). The scale could increase lightly by your overall district number, and massively by each same district you had. After all, Settlers' and Builders' cost scale with the number you created, not how far you are in the Tech / Civic tree.
  • Project's cost: The cost goes from ×1 to ×15 on a linear fashion here. Which is quite odd: half of the project's bonuses are rewarded while running it, and the other half scale with the Production you put in them. So why? If the scaling cost of the Project has no effect on its reward, why does it scale in the first place?
    • Shouldn't the project be infinite instead, and reward the 15% Production cost as GPP as a "per turn" rather than a "at completion". For example, instead of having 25 GPP at completion for a 5-turns project, you will have a project rewarding 5 GPP per turn. Some district's project that focus more on the reward at completion has to be rethought to accommodate with this new formula, like the Cothon's "Move Capital" project, or the Theater Square's "Court Festival" magnificent project.
 
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I think about this too; here are some ideas I've come up with.

Chopping should be most useful early, in the first 2 or 3 ages. After that the boosts should taper off imo.

Old growth forest should be better than replanted forest later in the game; maybe +2 appeal vs. +1 or +1 and have replanted forest not give appeal.

Its almost always a no brainer to chop unless it is a really production starved city
 
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