Interesting mantis suggestions by Bluddy: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=7748
And Terraziel: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=7750
Also mentioned so far has been that the game starts to grind once it's time to take on the overlord/lieutenants. Partly because you're having to do a bunch of things in succession there.
CP is also a bit abstract, and we're not doing a whole lot with it. Having there be a sort of "penalty" for doing world map missions also doesn't strike me as great.
Thinking about this, it seems like a more logical flow is to base this around lieutenants. Essentially:
1. Each overlord has three lieutenants, as now.
2. Each lieutenant is staggered in power, however. One of them is the equivalent of tier 2, the next tier 3, the next tier 4, etc.
3. Your job is to get strong enough to beat the tier 2 guy. You can't get access to tier 3 stuff until you do so. But you can spend as long as you like, and unlock as much tier 1-2 stuff prior to that, as you want to.
4. Now your job is to get strong enough to get the tier 3 guy, and you suddenly have access to new challenges as well as new rewards that let you get higher spells, etc.
5. Repeat with tier 4, and then again with tier 5 by the time it's the overlord's turn.
All in all, this creates a different sort of structure where you've got periodic of-your-choosing showdowns with first the lieutenants and then the overlord. More work would need to go into the lieutenant towers in particular to make them more varied, I think, too. With the new infestations stuff, I think we could make much smaller lieutenant towers that were a lot more dense with traps and interesting things to do, anyhow. And they'd be on a wholly different scale (smaller) from what the overlord was.
This wouldn't be getting rid of the tier system, but it would be one way we could spread the lieutenants out and make it so that the continent only gets harder (and more rewarding) when you say so. Versus having to choose to do secret missions over world map missions simply to avoid CP costs.
Baby steps, folks. I don't want to reinvent the game completely right after releasing it, nor do I think it needs it, nor do we have the spells/enemy density for what is suggested in the mantis issues above at this point. However, ditching CP and making the lieutenants more of a periodic thing rather than an "all at the end" thing could be very very good.