I want to be able to begin projects that can be completed while I am offline. If I am forging a chain mail coif, I want to be able to halt the progress without losing it (I set the coif and rings aside) and continue work on it later. If I set it my character to a task, I want him to continue to work even if I am not watching it, even at a decreased speed, and time off for the character to rest, but it will continue until I return or the coif is complete.
I did hear a counterpoint last week that you should react to. The person I was talking to said that a mobile game needs some energy mechanics to tell you when it's ok to stop playing. The explanation was this-- that if you can only do so many things within a game, the player feels good (he used the word "good") that he has to wait-- that he feels as if he did his bit, and the game is moving on without him, and that it will be ready when he gets back, but he doesn't NEED to keep playing it.React to that for me...