Resource Balancing by Reviewing Marketplace
My idea is that you look at the resource marketplace and use the obvious trends to balance resource costs in the game. This is of course a suggestion to the internal team in case they don't want certain resources to be particularly "hot" (like clay is right now). The indication is that clay is the hardest resource to find for trade, and always has the worst offer ratio overall.
If all resource types had equal importance, or all resource types were made available with equal ease,travian wouldn't have been a strategic game...this not only applies to resource fields,but for all specimens.
You've to use you brain to figure out how to get more & more profit in the game.
If clay is the most demanded resource,then produce more of it, & place beneficial offers in marketplace.
if im simming, i can usually balance the resources 100% effectively by upgrading the resource tiles im lowest in, building buildings which use up the excess and or by building troops that use up the excess. Its not until im building settlers that i will ever need to consider NPC or trading with others. From second village onwards its easy to settle villages that will produce what your empire needs most. Such as a 3-4-5-6 i find to be perfect praetorian villages, but while developing them, ill usually have the timber, clay, and crop tiles level 10 before all the iron fields are level 10.