If I have an army with artillery I want to stay out of range with all my units from the defenses while bombarding them. It would be nice to have an 'attack ground' or 'bombard' command that causes artillery to attack without moving everything in, particularly I've seen Zeus units moving in and attacking turrets and getting themselves blown up.
Yes. This. Smarter unit AI in general. In this context and many others. People have been asking for this forever. Last I saw, the devs were complaining that unit AI is "hard." I'm sure it is. I still want it though. This is one of the areas where I think time investment would be felt in a very significant way. FAR more important, IMHO, than Navy or more Juggies. I'd love to see a single dev (or three) strictly devoted to unit AI.
A point on zeus, though. The reason that it charges in is that it is one of the units that can actually damage buildings, I think. But the damage is very modest. So it tends to get squished. This is perhaps yet another point where AI could potentially be better, I think. A smart unit would float in and zap, and then float backwards, I think. Zeus, as it stands, is definitely something like a mid-range charger.
Another thing is that the engineers are micromanagement heavy. I'm picturing a system where I can tell an engineer with one click to build extractors for a whole region. I mean, we can group up armies, but the engineers aren't smart enough to find all the metals and build extractors on them?
And, I have to choose which extractor I want to build.
This is actually a good idea. I agree, and never saw anyone recommend it.
Would also be pretty awesome if there was only one extractor building, and the engineer just chose the right type. The current split is probably just a holdover from the popular tropes of Starcraft, if I had to guess. In this case, though, the building type is not of interest. The real choice is whether to build the extractor or not. The type is really a non-issue. (Actually, perhaps it's noteworthy that in starcraft, there were perhaps two extraction methods, but really only one actual extraction building, for gas)
So ultimately, IMHO, this is a very good idea, maybe. Now that you've mentioned it, and I've considered it, it doesn't really feel like having the different building types for metal vs. rad extraction necessarily adds anything. It just forces me to think a little bit more. This is something that could potentially be streamlined to make the game more friendly. Very good point.
The way the building option goes away as soon as I let go of shift is unintuitive from every other game I've played, where holding shift and clicking will cause a new building to be built but letting go doesn't cancel the construction. When you build the last one you want, you just don't hit shift and then the construction option goes away. I feel like that works a little better on the click front, as often I'm having to click on a building again to build a second extractor or whatever.
I'm not sure what you mean about the shift key. I can usually select metal extractor, and as long as I hold shift, I can usually drop a whole bunch without clicking on the building. (Pretty sure on this point.)