Just a suggestion for gold which I believe would fit in with the current game setup quite well.

I propose a new research called 'conversion' (or something of that sort)

Once you have done level 1 of this research you could use the alchemy lab to convert gold to on other resource of your choice. At level 1 1mil gold, for example, would return 100k of your chosen resource (10%). Each level of research would then increase this return by 10%. Level 10 of this research could return a 1:1 ratio.

You could also have each research level open up a new queue.

The Word alchemy does mean;

The medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter, esp. that of base metals into gold.

I know I am proposing gold into other resources but the principal is the same.

The queue system and conversation time would fit into the 'building' tab with research and construction.

Even if the conversation times were quite long it would at least mean gold was being put to use rather than sitting doing nothing other than paying knights.

Thanks a lot, hope people get on board.