Yes, please keep the AI bonus system simple and correspond as much with what players would intuitively expect when the AI is getting bonus. That is also why the current multiplilying of the bank PUs is kind of wired.
Please don’t forget my concerns about ALL resources types being multiplied by a factor and how it might not fit the map and the purpose of the special other resources. An XML option to turn on / off multiplication would be very welcome.
A % slider would be cool. And If a player was to get +20% bonus through the entire game, why would it be a problem that this also meant to any starting PUs? I would think that if a player was to be boosted during the entire game, then it might as well include the stating money.
Also, I like the idea about a general level setting that could raise a player’s chances, but I do have concerns about a placement bonus thing. If placement amount is a part of the map rules, like in Iron War where players might expect factories to only produce 5 units, or Age of Tribes and Dragon War where different factories also have fixed production stats, I would not like players to get confused by seeing some of these factories produce more than they should. I would prefer advantages / handicaps be “hidden” when playing, in the sense that players could just feel a bit more pressure from the player getting bonuses, not that the player getting bonus could also do stuff that normal players could not do.