A welcome update! I can't wait to see these ideas in action, overall I liked what I read (with the exception of a brief red-colored rant below )
3. Basing the economy, research and production directly on population is painful/impossible when cities can grow from 1 from 600 population. Whatever bonus we give for those resources on a 10 population city become 60 times as high on a 600 population city. Lesson 1: To control game pace, control your ranges.
Glad to see we got away from continuous functions From what I've seen of mathematical modeling, there is seldom one equation that accurately captures all possible states of a real-world system. Like with your old system, scaling is often a problem with that approach.
Step 2: Much like a bad Star Trek episode, it's all about the Queue
Such flagrantly uncalled for, unwarranted, unappreciated, un-Trekkie, anti-geek tribble dribble will not make you any fans here, good sir!
Step 3: Improvement Upgrades
Outposts have a limited distance they can be built (or summoned) from each other, so you can't pepper the field with them. But their ZoC's can intersect (with the right upgrades) and their bonuses are cumulative, allowing you to build strong defenses if you desire.
Thrilled by the prospect of interlocking outposts, capable of mutual support. That scene from LoTR:RotK comes to mind when the watchfires are lit along a mountain range.
Step 4: City Specialization
Step 6: Essence
I like it! Can't wait to try it!