first of all I must congratulate with you for your incredible effort: I may say incredible because I was born in the 8-bit era, I know the programming basics and I would have liked very much to do it but... my life went elsewhere. You must also be very skilled to have programmed something like RtR alone: I remember my first test was about the real 3D starfield algorithm in the nineties and in that exact moment I thought -> I must do something else in life
...we're lucky you instead choose to do that so a big gigantic thank you.
I'm here with some ideas coming from a long videogames history: if you like them I'm sure you'll be able to implement everything (but also something), otherwise I'll play RtR anyway.
- I like the global survival idea of the game: the whole world instead of a single map. I like the invincible corruption. I like the goal linked to the profile and to the world map instead of a single map. I'll not propose to change these: I would like to enhance these.
1. Prevent The Settlers syndrome. In that '90 game you've every building from the beginning and so each map is more of the same for ever. In RtR maybe we may think to associate buildings to research. In the first map you've some buildings then you must perform some research to have others.
2. Research could be associated to a dedicated guild which must be discovered, let's say the librarian guild. Once discovered you may have access to certain building, something very similar happens in modern day Stellaris.
2b. Of course research shall be linked to the world map and not to the single map as you already have done for the chests and the goals.
3. Material upgrade: as the Roman first emperor Octavian said -> 'I received a wood city and I left you a marble city', we may think also to a material upgrade through research. This happens also in a modern game like Citadel Forged with Fire (very different genre but I'm speaking of concept).
4. Archeological/Ancient guild: this is another guild which may help the player to enter into the RtR world, maybe helping him to discover some artifact and for sure giving him some advice on how he can battle versus the corruption. There could be also some ruins of the Ancients: people or creatures which in a distant past inhabited these lands.
5. Fighters guild: this is pretty obvious but it may be useful to help the player with some major event. The corruption starts with you from a pixel in the map but let's imagine a massive attack of the corruption versus one guild headquarter in any moment of the game. If you don't have enough forces to defend that base, you must ask for help of fighters guild.
6. Mage guild: come on in a fantasy game this is mandatory Mages guild will help you to access the buildings related to magic and to discover spells, something like modern day Majesty game.
6b. Faith guild: this could be something like a crossroad. You may choose magic OR faith. They are exclusive and they'll force the player to use a different approach in the late game maps.
7. Heroes guild, please see endgame.
Of course a modern game cannot be without a dedicated endgame and here it is: the heroes guild. While all the other guilds may have more than one branch/location the heroes guild will have just a single headquarters. During the game the player will receive some hints about finding it and when it does he player must forage a party of heroes to battle the corruption - while in the maps the player may only limit its expansion. Foraging heroes party - something like Dragon Age game - may require help from all the guilds and so on. When your party is ready you'll leave the astral plane where you manage maps and you'll go into the underground.
There you must fight your way till a final boss or something like that or maybe you must manage/win some endgame maps in a spiral galaxy - like in Path of Exile - to reach the corruption master. Of course these maps will be very difficult: in PoE you'll have 13 levels of almost impossible maps and all of this after many hours in the regular game.
The final battle could be something like Final Fantasy battles or, better to maintain the retro-style, something like Archon the very first funny mutiplayer game on the C64
LAST. ...but not least the personal palace building. The palace may be built in some maps and it'll give access to the global world advancement status, party management status, guild relations and so on. Of course you may build more than one palace like the Roman emperors: each one chose his best location and built something. There you may add also some variation in palace building style, room and so on.
Sorry for this 'little' comment but your game inspired me
I hope you and the forum will like at least something but in any case RtR remains a very playable and balanced and interesting survival game.