I have a suggestion that should make the early-game a bit easier for most people.
A feature that would auto-NPC resources based on a set threshold.
For example, let's say you want to turn on auto-NPC in your 15 cropper during the night. You set the threshold, e.g. 500k crop. When your warehouses/granaries hit the threshold, resources are NPCed based on your selection of resources (e.g. 150k wood, 200k clay, 150k iron, 0 crop).
This would make the early-game (pre-artis) take less of your nighttime, or allow you to not lose as much resources to overflow. I think this would be a good benefit for players that are not able to play 24/7, and especially good for people on solo-accounts. It would not punish hardcore players/accounts with 24/7 activity, and to offset the increased "activity-level" given by this feature I suggest a 10-gold cost for each use, as well as a limit of 1 time use every day(24hr).