I imagine in the future, we’ll be able to visit other people’s or npc towns, and have caravans from those places visit us too. I think it may be a good idea to look into giving us good incentives for this:
We see hearthlings get traits that give them personality, but this could be applied on a macro level that can indirectly play into having a reason to trade. In addition to other townwide traits like ‘hates trolls’ or ‘likes trees,’ after getting some kind of food type that doesn’t grow in the area from a trader, the town could get a ‘delicacy’ trait that makes hearthlings happy to get that type of food. Seeing as this food can’t be found there, trading for it would be the only realistic option, and people nearby your town could get good money from trading with you.
More items with regional materials
In stonehearth you can find every material you need in any area. When adding items in the future, add materials to go with them that can only be found in certain areas, and can’t be found together, forcing people to trade for the materials to make the those items if they want them. This could play back into the townwide traits, in that hearthlings may like a specific item that you have to trade to get the materials for.
Another example might be a type of arrow added in the future that is effective against golems. If an the area the player settled in has a golem problem, but doesn’t have the materials to make the arrows to make it easier to fight them, this creates another reason to trade.