I overall do not really like the idea of the shop, but i see that lilith games have to make their money somehow, im just not sure if this is the right way to do it.
But anyways, thats not what this should be about.
I think the one thing really destroying the competitive spirit is that you can buy 17h of building speed up every 8h, that makes you effectively 3 times faster than everyone else not buying them, and yes, it is expansive, but there are people that buy it regulary. And it doesnt make fun trying to pull ahead of everyone with your castle lvl through effecively playing the game when there is someone just doing it with just paying a s*** ton of money, which is giving you no chance whatsoever to compete with them. Additonaly its simply impossible to get any city that the clan of those people possesses because there lvl is that much higher that you wont be able to even think about touching their garrison since their unit are just way stronger than urs.If they are 4 lvl ahead of you that is already around 40-70% more stats for their units, there is just no way to beat that.
So i think removing the possibility to buy insane amounts of building speed up, or at best any at all would improve the game by a lot. And we already had a point where it was like this. I dont know why you took a step backwards regarding this. But its still not to late to change it back to improve the game by a large margin again.
Just leaving this here for now.