The game is playable, but it makes me dizzy.
I would like to start with something positive. Last night I played 2 games on CU, and for the first time I completed them. The game is starting to feel playable. That's something.
Now for my suggestions. First of all, I feel the need to stress that the trading system feels like it hasn't received the attention it should have. Catan is primarily a trading game. The trading system should integrate into the overall experience seamlessly, because trading is like half the game. Right now it feels like the trading screen is something that's just duct taped to the side because nobody knew how to properly implement it. That may seem harsh, and I'm not trying to be rude, but I really feel the need to stress how big of an impact the trading system has on my overall experience of the game.
Well then, how to improve it? Well, many users have suggested that you take a closer look at PlayCatan, but I'm not lucky enough to have an account there, so I can't check for myself. But I feel that trading should have its own spot in a corner, where it can continuously take place, without interfering with the rest of the game. I want to be able to propose trades in someone else's turn, and I want to make counter-offers. But I also want to be able to ignore all that and just continue with my turn. Therefore: give trading it's own little corner so it can take place in parallel with the rest of the game.
Again, these aren't suggestions for features that should be considered nice additions, they are essential elements of the central aspect of the game.
In line of what I've said above, I really dislike that the board seems to have to move all the time. I don't understand why I have to go to pick up my pieces. I would really like to have all my options on one screen. Why can't I just click a path to turn it into a road? Or click an intersection to get a popup with two icons, for a knight and for a settlement (if applicable).
With regard to having to confirm everything: right now I feel like this takes too much effort. I think this could be reduced by showing a confirm action button near the place where the action is.
Right now, if I want to build a road, I need to:
Go to the bottom left of the screen (going to the edge makes me turn my head). After that I need time to find the road and click it (again, turning my head). Then the game scrolls up, and I need time to find my bearings again. Now I can finally find the spot where I want to place the road. After that, I need to confirm this action in the bottom right (again, turning my head). After that I can turn my head back to the map.
This could all be reduced to:
Clicking the path on the map where I want to place my road, and clicking a checkbox the appears slightly to the bottom right of that path.
No need to scroll around, no need to turn my head, no need to make me dizzy.
I disagree on having the trade interface on screen at all times... What if someone wants to trade with you and you're just not paying attention to that area of the screen?
No, we need a trade window but it needs to be easier to read and interact with. There does need to be a counter offer option but there definitely doesn't need to be anything allowing you to offer trades when it's not even your turn. I find that annoying in live sessions of Catan too. I mean, when it's your turn, you get to initiate a trade... not on other people's turn.
I agree that building roads/settlements should be easier like you described. You could build cities the same way... Just mouse over an existing settlement and then click to build a city.
I honestly think there needs to be an option to not have to confirm every action you make too. That would decrease the amount of clicking in half. Like when it's my turn, I want to be able to just click an empty road space and immediately drop a road down if I have the resources. I don't need to click another confirmation button or anything. I get that you could make a misclick by mistake... but I'm willing to take that risk and play a bit more carefully in order to save time and clicking.
@Chrogo You shouldn't have to miss trades because of what I suggested. There could be an indicator flashing when someone proposes a trade. That should be hard to miss, and if it's not your turn that shouldn't be too intrusive. And if the trading part is on the side of the screen you can just choose to ignore the trades other people suggest and go about your own turn if you don't want to trade. That's the whole point.