This is the right direction.
Far too much development time has been spent attempting to create convoluted systems in Boundless, instead of just simple balance changes.
The next step is allowing any settlement leader to opt in, or out, of whether they want their settlement to be absorbed by someone who puts a high prestige building next to them. This simplifies Guilds far more.
Perhaps bring bomb mining back also, and simply have a set % chance an ore/fossil is destroyed by a bomb, such that you can match the efficiency with that of AOE hammers.
It sucks to delete hundreds of hours of work, but there’s literally no point continuing to develop some of the systems you’ve put in place. You’re just tangling the web of strings further and further with each bandaid fix you add to footfall, guilds, beacons, etc.