One thing only a few of you touched on is the fact that the game in itself has gotten rather complex, and by extension confusing to new users. So, with that in mind, I propose my three cents on the future of Sim City, or rather, Sim Civilization.
First, I think the year you live in should be the most intergal part of the game. This will create hundred of scenarios, and should branch the game out into more directions then anyone has thought of. It could also be a better approach to difficulty levels aswell. For example, say you live in the Sim World Dark Ages. Your power source would be some manner of Water Wheel and your water would be various canals. As you move forward in time, those same Canals become waterways for trade and travel, and even further on, decoration for your city. Everything would wax around the year in which you live, much like the Sims 2, and the style of buildings would be sculpted through the choices you make each century. Afterall, Seoul looks in large part today because of what happened yesterday.
Second, we need to have war. No, not an RTS, but simply an intangible idea that causes a drastic increase in technology and a decrease in revenue. Further, the very presence, upkeep and training of any armed service alters the attitude and style of people. In one court you could have meat eating, flag waving, gas guzzeling war mongers... and then a rampant hoarde of bicycling vegans who refuse to wear underwear. Again, this also alters many aspects of gameplay, as RCI will have to conform to some standard. Are we building bombers and tanks, or are we toiling on some soy farm? I mentioned technology, which might need further comment. The airplane was more or less invented in WW1, and has been left unchanged since WW2. Think about that for a moment.
Third, we should start out smaller, and build out. I think it would be cooler to start with building a few homes and jobs at a time, and then go from there. Why do we need to be mayor first? And why end there? What about a Sim Nation? How about interstate police and transcontinental commerce? Maybe immigration problems and foreign policy? You may choose that Philistine has a ban on smoking, but Prussia wants to charter flight plans. How does snow and sand effect the environment, and what are the long term effects of pollution? What about that volcano you thought made a good center peicie and those faults that realign your cities? Do you build a culture controlling, homophobic and with more laws then Singapore, or are you a crazy vodka crazed everything goes Sweden?
Fourth, we need better resources. Gold, oil, steel, food, hand crafts and lumber would all be a great start. Sure, you have enough water and power, but what about rice and ham? Again, these simple objects alter what your people do, and where they live. Does your resource depleted slum have cabbage diners and leaky one room shacks, or does your glittering nuclear grade plutonium rich utopia live beyond the clouds?
Well, just some gentle museings. I hope you like this.