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With the whole map being open, I see no problem with only scripting a few towns. If anything, you'll have players moving away in groups to try and settle new towns and that just creates amazing RP. Imaging getting so fed up with small town politics that you and your boys, let's say 12 of you or so, just up and leave and start your own settlement with your own rules. My only suggestion to the housing: let players request housing to be added across the map. If there's somebody who has the financial means to start a ranch on the other side of the state, and a home is available, why deny them that? With dynamic housing, it'll be easy enough for admins to help them out.
Again, what warrant? There's bounties, but how are deputies supposed to get word of the bounty all the way across the region? Maybe a town or two, but a small sheriff posse isn't going to send someone all around the region for a small bounty of $25 or $50. Crime is a big thing during this time, you're going to see robberies. You're going to get mugged. Shit's going to hit the wall, and you're basically going to have to deal with it yourself or hope that the sheriffs give a rat's ass. This isn't a particularly great time in American history. The law was losing for a long while during this time.
The problem with voice is the diversity of players - especially in a setting such as the wild west. We have players of different ages, nationalities, and so forth. Many aren't going to be comfortable with the jargon of this time period, either. I think text roleplay has always been superior because you can portray your character with so much more detail, keeping everyone more immersed in the world.
Personally, I think the whole map should be open. This isn't some highly populated city, this is the wild west. Towns/settlements are still popping up, and the west is only beginning. I dont think it would be extremely common to bump into somebody every two hundred yards of pathway. Some people prefer to live In the sticks, and a trip to the populated town could be a weekly thing for them.