In most other rpg and sandbox/citybuilding games, you need to build tools before you can do most things (e.g. craft an axe before gathering wood). How do people feel about crafting basic tools such as a pickaxe, axe, shovel, hoe etc. They would be equipped like weapons (or maybe as well as weapons, although I'd prefer that townies either have a weapon or
tool equipped), and if a townie has one then they would carry out the relevant orders (e.g. only townies with pickaxes mine unless there are no pickaxes available, in which case the current system is used).
This way you would be able to manage your tasks better without actually directly controlling the townies, and perhap get bonuses for better grade tools which speed up production.
Also, this would create a progession/evolution of sorts without confining players to a strict "tecnology tree". I don't like the idea of someone using their bear hands to tear down trees, dig iron ore and till fields - show me someone who can do any of these things in real life
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.