Economic Rebalancing Has Sucked the Fun Out of the Game

By on September 21, 2010 9:46:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

jscott991

Join Date 06/2003
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The major economic nerfs that were slipped into 1.08 have dealt a blow to the fun of this game, and there wasn't much to be had to begin with as we wait for 1.1.

Besides the absurdity of merchants consuming food (which is just a blatant attempt to limit the number of cities in the game), resources are less common, particularly materials and food.  This reduces the size of an empire.  Plus, it severely limits the number of cities that can reach the higher levels, which are required to start having anything resembling fantasy, rather than just medieval, armies.

Empires were already too small, with too few cities and too few armies even on large maps.  Elemental has tried to impose its vision of "one city, one party" on us with an even heavier hand.  I just don't understand how a game that supposedly takes its cue from MoM, GalCiv, and the Civilization games can be so determined to reduce player states to a handful of cities and one big stack that runs around using teleport. 

I would try to mod some of these changes out, but the modding system is so cumbersome (and buildings can't be modded anyway, since mod effects stack with core/base game effects rather than replace them) that isn't really worth the time.

So I'll make one final plea to the devs to stop trying to limit the size of empires and states.  Restore a more reasonable economic balance to the game by making resources more plentiful.  And roll back some of the silly changes designed to simply made food and cities scarcer without remotely being logical.

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Consort
September 21, 2010 10:00:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In my current 1.08 version game I have over 50 cities by turn 220ish, a good number are sized 2 to 3, I havent checked it any are bigger than that, I think my capital might be a 4, I built th mint of Ruvenna & have +68 gold per turn. I agree that food and metal (not material) are hard to find but not impossible. 50 cities with 50 caravans I own 75% of hte map and most shards & crystals. What's more of a factor than what you mention is the nerfing of monsters & lack of early AI makes a the city-spam blitz even more of a killer game breaking tactic.

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September 21, 2010 10:11:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FORGET BALANCE! It's Highly Overated!

 

I said it elsewhere on this board. Why does the game have to be one size fits all? I have played other games that allow the single player to set the playing variables in the starting options...Please let Elemental players do the same.

Allow the players to choose the factors they want in their games with pre-game slide bars:

Lots of resources or few, cheap mana spells or expensive, lots of minor kingdoms or not, massive numbers of NPC badguys or few...

Use slidebars to allow each player to get the maximum style of game they like. This will help make the game more fun all around.

The game simply needs to be each individual player's IDEA of FUN! Don't bother trying to set one idea of BALANCE that everyone can agree with...Peace will come to the Middle-East before that "balance" is ever reached.

It might make for some arguements in multiplayer set-up, but that's a worry for another day....

GO STARDOCK!

Thank you,

Consort out.

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September 21, 2010 10:21:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

SD is not out to nerf any particular feature or force everyone to play any particular way.

The goal is to balance the vanilla game so that multiple ways of playing are possible. That's why the games comes with a whopping 4 different winning conditions to begin with. It's not intended to be played in one and only that one way.

With the Organised trait and a 5 mana Teleport, there were no alternatives. No counter whatsoever to this "dominant strategy", as the technical term goes.

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September 21, 2010 10:24:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, considering the incredibly low movement speed of units, I find it somewhat hilarious that the costs of teleport were tripled.

These reflexive overreactions to minor complaints (nerf food, nerf teleport, nerf cities) make me think I'm playing a MMORPG and not a single-player focused turn based strategy game.

I've never seen a game discard its system so fast.  1.1 will remake the game even more.  What on earth did I purchase on day 1?  Champions Online and Star Trek Online changed less in the first month than this game.

I might be done.  This game isn't worth all the mods that would be required to roll back 1.08.  And who knows what 1.1 will do now?  I have no faith that it will make the game better after this patch basically nuke the game's economy.

To Robert:

These are nerfs.  Huge nerfs.  There is no other way to put it.  They drastically altered the game's economy and how sovereigns work.  They are going to do it again in 1.1.  It's ridiculous.  Again, this is a turn based strategy game.  I shouldn't be afraid of every new patch forcing me to learn an entire new game.  If I want that, I'll join an online game.

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September 21, 2010 10:32:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

These reflexive overreactions to minor complaints (nerf food, nerf teleport, nerf cities) make me think I'm playing a MMORPG and not a single-player focused turn based strategy game.

You know you have a point  there, it does feel that way

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September 21, 2010 10:34:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One observation:  These settlements are not 'cities,' like in MOM or Civ.  They are 'settlements, with tiny populations.  It takes a long timie just to get to viollage.  EWOM is played on a different scale than those other games.  Thats why the unique city tile system is so interesing, and i hope is not removed from the game in favor of a miore traditional approach. 

maybe I am better off playing ver 1.0x..  ?

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September 21, 2010 10:39:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nobody says that these weren't nerfs. Nerfing, rewriting, and buffing features is what makes up balancing.

If you want to set teleport to a mana cost of 1, do a file search for "Teleport" in the Elemental/Data folder.
It's an uncompressed XML file. Any text editor will do.
I'm sure that would have been faster than writing all these posts about how terrible it is.

Personally I like to do some landscapeing so I set raise/lower land to a cost of 1. I didn't ask may I and I don't care if that's balanced or not. It's what I like.
That's the only rule I accept in my game.

It's just that SD has more responsibility than that. To make all their game features valuable, they have to balance them against each other. *shrug*

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September 21, 2010 10:41:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Consort,
FORGET BALANCE! It's Highly Overated!

 

I said it elsewhere on this board. Why does the game have to be one size fits all? I have played other games that allow the single player to set the playing variables in the starting options...Please let Elemental players do the same.

Allow the players to choose the factors they want in their games with pre-game slide bars:

Lots of resources or few, cheap mana spells or expensive, lots of minor kingdoms or not, massive numbers of NPC badguys or few...

Use slidebars to allow each player to get the maximum style of game they like. This will help make the game more fun all around.

The game simply needs to be each individual player's IDEA of FUN! Don't bother trying to set one idea of BALANCE that everyone can agree with...Peace will come to the Middle-East before that "balance" is ever reached.

It might make for some arguements in multiplayer set-up, but that's a worry for another day....

GO STARDOCK!

Thank you,

Consort out.

Very good ideas here, this would bring the maximum enjoyment to the maximum number of players. I'm all for a more diverse pregame "settings" control beyond just the three: difficulty, world size, and # of AI opponents. There should be as many "world" related variables in the settings as there are "sovereign creation" settings (5spell books, 10/12 talents, 12/15 abilities, 50 points for stats, etc) translate this same setup to the "world" settings (3 or 4 levels of resouce scarcity, 3 or 4 levels of spell costs, 4 or 5 levels of wandering monster difficulty, at least 3 or 4 levels of world "types" in addition to size: continental flat, continental hills, island world, "hot" world with swamps and volcanoes, "cold" world with glaciers and ice, etc), having an extremely large world setting for those with big rigs would be kool (with ability to add 15 or so AI kindgoms as opponents).

Good post dude.

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September 21, 2010 11:10:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yeah, these tweaks to building costs are just one step forward and one step back, even if they were inevitable. nothing will ever work properly while they choose to stick with such fundamentally flawed game systems. see "houses don't eat food, people do."

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September 21, 2010 11:50:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to say I originally was against limiting growth of cities, I loved that at turn 100+ I had more than 1,000 materials.  The only limitation to get cities up was how fast you could produce pioneers and plant them. By reducing food and materials, it makes a player thoughtfully consider what to spend materials on and I think that is good, to an extent.  The presence of certain resources should not determine the outcome of a game.

I would compare limiting resources to what the professional bowling and golf worlds do.  In bowling they alter the oil on the lanes so a solid (non-pro) bowler who normally gets 250+, now gets 180.  In golf they make the greens so fast that a solid (no-pro) golfer would 2,3, or 4 put every hole.  This spreads out the pack so the better player stands out.  Otherwise pro bowling tournaments would have 20 people at 300, in golf there would be 30 people at -15 and 40 at -14.

By limiting the resource, the “winning” strategy uses the limited resources most efficiently. Otherwise each game would be 4 or 5 doom stacks from each player battling it out. Each time a stack goes, another one is made in it place…an ever repeating loop. The question becomes, is that what we want.  (I like the idea of epic battle after epic battle, but after 3 hours of the same stuff…it’s boring).

I also like the idea of slider bars in the start up screen to set the density of resources.  Hopefully SD sees that!

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September 21, 2010 12:00:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm starting to think I'm not playing the same game as some of you guys. Food, rare? With even the closest caravan making 2-3 food each? Not for me, I usually have food in excess, usually 30-40+ extra thanks to all the faraway caravans. Materials, rare? With each city pumping out at least 1 and 4 from great mills... nope, not rare at all. The change reduce the size of empires? Mine is bigger than ever to compensate for the change. So um... what?

 

As for the inability to mod buildings... um, try being a little more creative. If the effect "stacks" all you have to do is mod a negative or positive modifier. It's really not that hard.

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September 21, 2010 12:20:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
I'm starting to think I'm not playing the same game as some of you guys. Food, rare?

 

Most people are playing at different levels in this game. When I played my first game I knew nothing about this game nor what to expect, as there is no manual to speak of or tutorial. We shouldn't just assume that every player posting here is at the same "expert" level. Some new players have never heard of city spam. Some new players may not even be building caravans. Some new players may be building on sites with gold and ignoring the fertile sites (or prioritizing gold over fertile land), etc.. There is no manual that explains how this game works, accentuating new player difficulty. 70% of what I leaned from this game I learned from my own playing over a week's time, 25% from forums, and 5% from the hiememnon/manual (this latter element should account for at least 80%, but is severly lacking in this game and gets a grade of D- in my book). 

The comments that I read from most people reflect a wide range of experience. Posts/threads are all not just replies from an "expert" perspective.

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September 21, 2010 12:28:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dont get it. With 1.08 my maps are overflowing with food resources and there is a dev post somewhere stating they increased foodspawn.

So ...

What?

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September 21, 2010 12:30:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't understand why "balance" is even an issue. Stardock has stated that this is primarily a single-player sandbox game. Given that, the fact that there is one strategy that seems "better" than the others shouldn't be a problem, especially because the AI doesn't use that strategy. If you don't find that strategy fun, don't use it. Why insist that Stardock compensate for your inability to avoid power-gaming? So instead, Stardock has gradually made this game slower paced and, in my opinion, less fun. If you need to adjust balance, try buffing instead of nerfing. There are changes I like: the change to magic which makes it the best way to attack high-armor units is a great example of a change that adjusted strategy rather than just raising or lowering numbers. On the other hand, the adjustment to shards in 1.08b (maybe c or d I can't keep track) that made them add only a few points to the damage of spells made it less fun because now this super rare resource that everyone is supposed to be fighting over does nothing but add 5% to damage spells in one school of magic. So please, Stardock, this is my plea:

 

Less balance, more FUN!

 

(although the idea of more game variable sliders actually seems like the best idea)

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September 21, 2010 12:44:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So basically, it's not that there is a lack of resource, it's just that they don't know how to get it. What they need is a tutorial or some method that teaches them how to get food and materials.

 

So here it is:

 

Food:

 - For Kingdoms: Research Adventuring twice for Exploration, The Lost Bounty, this will spawn two food source, best done before expanding so as to focus all food production on your capital. Then Research Diplomacy, Trade, Build Caravans, send them to your food producing city. Make new cities, make new caravans... rinse, repeat, you'll never run out of food.

 - For Empires: You can't research to spawn food, so you have to research buildings that increase food production instead. The caravan trick still works, it just makes less food per caravan. However, you get 2 caravans per city, so you can still get decent food return from it.

 

Materials:

 - Build city, buid workshops. Need more mats? build more cities and more workshops.

 - For Kingdom, research Production and build Great Mills.

 

 

Oh, and if all else fails, whack some AIs and take their stuff.

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September 21, 2010 1:52:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Perigrine is dead right. 

In a game where I'm primarily playing against the AI, why on earth am I getting nerfed so much?  Is the AI complaining to SD about certain strategies?  Is it whining over my use of teleport?  What is pushing all these changes and why?  If players have a problem with certain game-breaking strategies that they use but the AI doesn't, here's a tip: Don't use them!  It's entirely your choice.

Why would you listen to a small sliver of power gamers and tweak a game drastically in one direction when that game is almost solely directed towards single player sandbox play?

None of these changes make even the slightest sense.

And I loved the post above talking about to compensate for mods not working on buildings.  Please try to do this before criticizing those who say it doesn't work.  Right now merchants cost 1 food.  That is listed as -1 in the files.  If you change that to +1 in the modded file, for some reason, the merchant will produce food.  If you change it to 0, the merchant will still cost 1 food.

Modding of core game values is exceedingly difficult and counter-intuitive.  Have these developers ever played Civilization or Paradox games?  That is how you set up game data to allow for easing modding.  XML files with counter intuitive values that stack rather than supersede is exactly how NOT to make a game mod-able.


I repeat: Roll back the 1.08 changes (almost all of them) and stop making changes like this in 1.1.

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September 21, 2010 2:11:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cpl_rk,
In my current 1.08 version game I have over 50 cities by turn 220ish, a good number are sized 2 to 3, I havent checked it any are bigger than that, I think my capital might be a 4, I built th mint of Ruvenna & have +68 gold per turn. I agree that food and metal (not material) are hard to find but not impossible. 50 cities with 50 caravans I own 75% of hte map and most shards & crystals. What's more of a factor than what you mention is the nerfing of monsters & lack of early AI makes a the city-spam blitz even more of a killer game breaking tactic.

I fully agree here.. I am not having as much fun with the game as I was before 1.08 ... I still like the game but the pace is to slow for me now.

Right now trying to find a mix of fixes that make most people happy is going to fail because no matter what we will have 2 factions single and multi player.. changes made to balance one style vs the other, normally will come at the expense of the other.. this is not a new concept.  Sliders / toggles that allow these tweaks to be chosen by those playing it is a far better solution albeit harder to implement..

the food cost to gildar generating buildings

the gilder maintenance fee on more buildings

fewer monsters worth way fewer gildar (should have  reduced numbers of monsters and gildar they were worth by 50% to 75%)

still playing but i find myself taking breaks to play other games that net more fun for less effort atm.(god help me I played the Lego universe beta and had more fun then elemental). Before 1.08 i was playing only elemental and having a blast.

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September 21, 2010 2:23:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Consort,
FORGET BALANCE! It's Highly Overated!

Allow the players to choose the factors they want in their games with pre-game slide bars:
Lots of resources or few, cheap mana spells or expensive, lots of minor kingdoms or not, massive numbers of NPC badguys or few...
Use slidebars to allow each player to get the maximum style of game they like. This will help make the game more fun all around.

 

I am not a big fan of over balancing either.  I would be for more sliders to determine resource level and such.  One of the best features about MoM was how unbalanced it was.  It was fun playing as the Gnolls and trying to beat the completely over powered High Men.  Agreed, add a few more sliders.  I like the concept of the game that resources would be hard to find.  I certainly don't resources automatically seeded at the starting point.

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September 21, 2010 2:27:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jscott991,
Perigrine is dead right. 

In a game where I'm primarily playing against the AI, why on earth am I getting nerfed so much?  Is the AI complaining to SD about certain strategies?  Is it whining over my use of teleport?  What is pushing all these changes and why?  If players have a problem with certain game-breaking strategies that they use but the AI doesn't, here's a tip: Don't use them!  It's entirely your choice.

Why would you listen to a small sliver of power gamers and tweak a game drastically in one direction when that game is almost solely directed towards single player sandbox play?

None of these changes make even the slightest sense.

And I loved the post above talking about to compensate for mods not working on buildings.  Please try to do this before criticizing those who say it doesn't work.  Right now merchants cost 1 food.  That is listed as -1 in the files.  If you change that to +1 in the modded file, for some reason, the merchant will produce food.  If you change it to 0, the merchant will still cost 1 food.

Modding of core game values is exceedingly difficult and counter-intuitive.  Have these developers ever played Civilization or Paradox games?  That is how you set up game data to allow for easing modding.  XML files with counter intuitive values that stack rather than supersede is exactly how NOT to make a game mod-able.


I repeat: Roll back the 1.08 changes (almost all of them) and stop making changes like this in 1.1.

 

Because the game also has a multiplayer component, one which I didn't ask for, but it does. Thus, the core game needs some balance. Ideally balance is a good thing, if you don't want said balance, mod your game, use cheats, w/e, but telling them not to balance the game and expect them to listen? Good luck with that.

 

I'm not gonna bother responding to your comment about me talking about modding, because right now I'm testing a mod where merchants don't cost any food, nor does it make 3 gildar. It also looks like a tree, but w/e. If you can't mod the game yourself, ask someone that can. I guess XML isn't for everyone afterall.

 

 

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September 21, 2010 2:38:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OsirisDawn,
I dont get it. With 1.08 my maps are overflowing with food resources and there is a dev post somewhere stating they increased foodspawn.

So ...

What?

 

I don't know what you define as "overflowing". I always research bounty & build caravans asap, all the extra food goes to spammed cities. I would classify that there is "enough" food if you know how to get it, but "overflowing" goes too far. What I classify as far as scarcity from most to least with 1.08 is as follows (note, this is just actual physical tiles, not how much they can be improved with tech such as caravans & mints):

1 unlocked adventure sites .. common

2 gold and materials (about the same) ... fairly common

3 food .. less common

4 library/old temples .. less common

5 shards (all 4 types lumped together) .. uncommon

6 crystal .. uncommon

7 metal .. uncommon

This is how I would classify based on large map with ridiculous settings which is how I always play. I have run into one "anomoly" a couple of games back in which there were 6 or 7 gold deposites in a 5-square radius, which I thought was unbelievable. I think this was just a mutant anomoly because I've never seen it on any other map. 

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September 21, 2010 2:40:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Your defense of Elemental's stacking of modded values rather than replacement is very hard to understand, but as you are so fond of saying, whatever.  Even experienced modders are going to have trouble working with how these files interact (and don't) with each other. 

But that's not exactly the point of the thread.  These changes should never have been made to begin with. 

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September 21, 2010 2:58:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well this is what happens when a work-in-progress game is released to the public. In normal developement, all of this is under wraps or at least clearly stated as a beta. It's problematic to make huge changes (which really are definitely needed!) when some people think they are already playing the final version.

I'll just not play Elemental until early next year, even though I have bought it. I'll see what state the game is in then, and not complain about any of these temporary patches. Stardock has my support in trying to rebuild the dream I had of Elemental. I like that they have the guts to do drastic changes. I just hope they get it right eventually.

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September 21, 2010 3:31:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,


Food:

 - For Kingdoms: Research Adventuring twice for Exploration, The Lost Bounty, this will spawn two food source, best done before expanding so as to focus all food production on your capital. Then Research Diplomacy, Trade, Build Caravans, send them to your food producing city. Make new cities, make new caravans... rinse, repeat, you'll never run out of food.

 - For Empires: You can't research to spawn food, so you have to research buildings that increase food production instead. The caravan trick still works, it just makes less food per caravan. However, you get 2 caravans per city, so you can still get decent food return from it.

Materials:

 - Build city, buid workshops. Need more mats? build more cities and more workshops.

 - For Kingdom, research Production and build Great Mills.
 

add to this:

gold. you will need a gold mine. but you will be given one anyway because we suddenly realised how broken this was when we made you pay for merchants with food. (!?!?!?!)

this is exactly how you go about the resource economy in the current version of the game. and it's exactly the wrong way to how it should be done. it goes against the lore and it contradicts the battle for resources the game was supposed to be about. you need some resources, but you don't need to actually control any in the world to survive. just survive to the midgame when you can spawn them with techs, spam settlements and build caravans, and you will be able to build a sufficient military. summons and the poor ai will do the rest.

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September 21, 2010 3:59:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This update had the unfortunate effect of making AI city building even more spammy. I've seen 16+ cities by turn 150, from just one AI. 

And that's not the game I want to play. I had no problems with resource scarcity before, it was always a problem in relation to the voracious AI. I found resource scarcity an interesting mechanic, when the AI wasn't running circles around you building stuff.

The game is not fun for me when I'm basically building a huge network of cities that have to be microed, and racing the AI to every revealed resource tile. 50+ cities? That's not fun to me at all, that's a poorly devised economy of scale. Didn't they say their goal was to avoid city spam on like, day 1? Maybe it's purely the AI not being properly tweaked to not spam its brains out, but put it this way....

On a 200~x145 map, with 5 opponents, it took me only 100 turns to find someone, and I traveled 1/3rd of the world to do it. That means the AI has completely colonized it's chunk of the world by turn 100. That's ridiculous. It's even more ridiculous when the AI uses every one of it's 20+ cities to produce pioneers and harassment forces.

So yeah. I didn't need more resources. I needed the AI to be willing to play like a person involved in an 800 to 1000 turn game. Instead if it sees a resource, JUST ONE resource, it builds a city to capture it. *I* require at least two resources to justify building a city.

Honestly, new cities should cost everything: Gold to pay the workers, materials to build the settlement and food to get them started. The reason the AI throws down cities is because it costs them 5 gold and 15 materials to do so. If cities cost 100 gold, 300 materials and 5 food just to build, everyone, AI and players, would slow down. Of course, with some people saying resource distribution is a problem, that might cock block some people. But in 8 games from V1.0 to now, I've never had a food problem. I'm floating 20 food units easily with 5 cities.

So why not this. You can build an OUTPOST for nothing. It claims resource tiles, but the Outpost cannot grow, cannot build buildings, and cannot produce troops.It's basically a fortified territory marker that adds resources to your resource pool.

Only after you pay the cost to UPGRADE an outpost to a settlement does it become a normal city. I'd even be ok with the cost of city building SCALING UP the more you build. We need stuff to do with our resources, if we're not just going to kick the AI's teeth in and win.

I think that makes sense. I'd be ok with a lot of non-troop producing outposts so the AI and myself can still capture territory, but not get bogged down in managing 50+ cities, having 50+ cities producing troops and having to destroy 50+ cities to claim victory over your opponent. It'd mean players would actually care WHERE they put their city, and what places they choose to grow into cities and which they choose to leave as outposts. Because honestly, no one NEEDS more than 10 cities with good resources. They probably don't even need that many. I get to 6 or 7 cities before I usually go "what's the point? I don't need more." 

As for monsters: I think they're much better now. They're there, but in reasonable numbers, and you're not looking at 8 + monster units just in your area anymore. Now if we could make our caravans defensible, I would be set as far as they are concerned.

this is exactly how you go about the resource economy in the current version of the game. and it's exactly the wrong way to how it should be done. it goes against the lore and it contradicts the battle for resources the game was supposed to be about. you need some resources, but you don't need to actually control any in the world to survive. just survive to the midgame when you can spawn them with techs, spam settlements and build caravans, and you will be able to build a sufficient military. summons and the poor ai will do the rest.


I'm going to quibble a little bit. You DO need resources. You need AT least 1 Gold Mine, 1 Materials and 1 Metal. Crystal is optional, at least for now against the AI who doesn't build anything better than mid-grade troops. Food...you can get away with about ~5.

If you don't have any of these things, then the mills and the production and all that jazz don't do you any good, because they only modify the base 1 or 2 or 3 you're getting.

So you do need to control some of the world. Just not that much. Unless you're really unlucky, you can find all that within a few dozen tiles of your starting location. That's 3 - 5 cities to get everything you need. Tech and Arcane are just bonus perks, as are wargs, horses, refugees and the like.

The problem simply is that, once you hit the critical threshold of "enough to get started", research, city stacking and bonus stacking take those values to unsane levels. Sure, dudes in full plate with magic everything eat up a lot of resources, but you can BURY the AI in cheaper units to the same effect.

So really the game needs to rebalanced to eat up these ballooning resource counts mid to late game, and it needs to restrain city growth so that players and the AI can't research production x3, build three cities and get 30 additional food units in 10 turns from three separate food nodes.

So yeah. New cities need to cost more each time you build one, and if the price is too demanding on low level players, people need to be able to build outposts to claim resources, that don't grow, until the cost is paid. As for the AI, it needs to not be as damn greedy UNLESS it's bumping borders up against you. When it's all alone on its side of the world, it shouldn't be doing the land grab thing. If I look at the resource chart comparisons, the AI is always x3 to x4 higher pop count than my empire. Because it just figures hey, build 30 cities, wait 500 turns, and they'll all be Level 4! Shouldn't there be some sort of increasing administration costs as you build more cities and create an empire? Guys to move resources around, collect the gold, yadda yadda. There is no negative gain on cities. Even if they cost you food units, that ultimately just stops the growth of your empire if you run out. And all you need to do is nuke one structure and you've got the food you need, to grow the city, to build granaries and what not, to get the bonus, to inflate your food count....

It's just a cycle of excess and needs to be reigned in. I give all my cities individual, flavorful names, By my 7th city, I stop, because I just don't care anymore and they've lost all meaning when the jewel of your empire is now just City #4 in Chain 1 - 8.

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September 21, 2010 7:59:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not reading thread, disagree with OP.  Plenty of resources, plenty of food.   20+ cities by turn 100 all ~3 and its just time before they get bigger since I have 30+ food surplus.   I don't like the thought of merchants taking food (doesn't make a lot of sense to me), but the affects I can deal with.

Slightly annoyed that monster killing is now sooo little, can see nerfing the 400+ you got from the big stacks, but 10...   Throw some items in there as well, better yet - go for lairs to knock off and get real loot.

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