I recently discovered this game, and saw it compared to a Clausewitz game which peaked my interest. I've been playing it all day, and I love how after awhile the players will shows directly on the game map through effects.
Foremost I would love a topographical, more intrigue focused second game. I agree in that handling land as "provinces" is more suited for the AI to adapt and for the spirit of the game. Cities would be able to sprawl out, regional population could be tracked, and path-finding would be simplified. Then you can do things like have fishmen corsairs populating a region.
Now onto the game we got. I can suggest building after building, but I find it so strange that cities fill up so quickly. I understand it's for balance reasons, but there may be a better way to handle it. For instance instead of having a static number of slots, every population thresh-hold grants and additional slot. When a population dies off, the building becomes "Abandoned" and stops working until the population booms enough to "Reclaim" it. I also would like it if the "normal people" buildings had long and extensive upgrade chains to keep the local peasants busy.
Species suggestions. I would love it if Vampire Enthralled slowly created Vampire Courtiers, which take up all of the mental intensive work in the local governments and banks; reducing the effects of evidence to the population. I'm also floating the idea of corpses being animated by the Shadow as "Puppets", they do tireless grunt work but are quite blatantly zombie slaves.
Finally, Normal Lord Suggestions. I'm not sure what extent nobles launch projects or have their own timers, but right now the player see's the reflexes and policy of the Lords, but we don't hear much of their non-evil related exploits. Militarist nobles launching on hunts or embarking on heroism, Xenophilic lords establishing trade networks, etc.
I found a handful of bugs in v13. Singular cities you enthralled become unresponsive, and cities seem to never recover from being sacked. A few UI elements are bulky for my taste, I wish there was a way to have all your enthralled vote the same way.
Great work, looking forward to the next build.