I think most of the issues with road-building would be resolved if the local road system were recalculated every time you found/take a new city. It would be a little weird to have the roads redraw, but hey, roads are already magical abstractions.
What are the issues "issues with road-building" that you mention and would be resolved if the road system was recalculated with new cities?
It is intended that the road system grows out of the way your empire grows. That it may start with a single road between your first 2 ciites, then expand as additional cities are added and that it prefers those existing roads that are already in place.
We tested having a road from every city to every city. It was a mess, basically every tile became roads (because the most efficient connection between 2 cities in each case resulted in lots of roads). It looked horrible and it wasn't fun. So the current system prefers existing roads so you get more natural looking roads.
Definately agreed. We don't want to have it looking a mess. I think two main problems exist that would eliminate 90% of the concern.
First, when an auto-road is placed, there are times where the auto-placment of the road prefers a route through wildlands or through a dragon's lair or around a lake or something like that even though it's clearly a longer route compared to what the player would tile out.
Second, when you have a scenario when all cities are connected to the road network, but the orientation of that cities warrents another road to be built.
Why would no road exist between A and D when D is built?
Understandably, the Engineer unit or Capitar or Commander's have been considered or implemented in order to help address these two conerns. However those are bandaid solutions. It doesn't fix the initial problems. It just gives you the option to eventually work around it. More over, it comes a matter where the player HAS to work around it in some cases which forces their game down a path the player did not want it to go. Likewise, the AI does not understand how to utilize these bandaid solutions in the same manner as the player and as such are placed at an immediate disadvantage.
Painfully, I am no programmer, so I cannot offer advise in how to fix these concerns. All I can do is comment as to what the concerns are.
ps. if a solution is ever found and implemented, PLEASE backport to FE.