Normally in RTS games the player has good knowledge of the state of the world. There might be a fog of war that obscures parts of the map, but it might be interesting having a game where the player only can see what their character sees and has to get information from the NPCs and the environment.
Imagine having a message come and find you when your town in under attack or seeing beacons fires being lit by your NPCs units requesting help. Having scout units that need to return to provide information. I think that might be pretty interesting and worth prototyping!
Since is going to be a 3rd person RTS and the player does not have an overhead view of the world, we are going to need some different ways of interacting with the NPCs.
The first concept is walking up to the NPCs, giving them order directly. All can NPCs have icons over their heads showing what they are actively doing.
*Notes about the graphics: All assets are placeholders, the focus at this stage are on gameplay mechanics and making the game interesting/fun!