one city vs many cities

By on October 23, 2010 3:09:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

tid242

Join Date 04/2008
+7

So...

 

I have heard several times (since before release) that Ele was going to be a 4x-ish game where having a single well-built city could almost function as well as spamming the map with cities. 

 

I haven't played now for at least a month - but when I was playing, I never found this to be the case.  Having more cities was /always/ better than having less, in so many ways - primarily by expanding one's sphere of influence into resource-heavy areas, places to teleport to, building armies and engaging in foreign (mis)adventures...

 

Correct me if I'm wrong in this interpretation...

 

So, my question is this: is 1.1 slated to correct this apparent mechanical oversight?  I realize that moving to a shared pool for resources and then making building depending upon a pool /within/ that specific city (with, say additions to one's faction being randomly assigned across cities).  But will it do this?

 

Also, gamewise, I have seen little difference between playing as a Kingdom or Empire - pre-release the thought was that Kingdoms would be investments on structures and systems, whereas empires where investments in individuals and personalities - is this lack of differentiation between the two also being addressed in 1.1?

 

Point me toward the threads that answer these questions (if they exist), I just haven't been around much lately - been busy with real-life stuff and all.

 

Cheers,

 

-tid242

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October 23, 2010 4:23:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I haven't played now for at least a month - but when I was playing, I never found this to be the case. Having more cities was /always/ better than having less, in so many ways - primarily by expanding one's sphere of influence into resource-heavy areas, places to teleport to, building armies and engaging in foreign (mis)adventures...

Let me begin by saying that there is nothing inherently wrong with city spam, and the current attempts to fix city spam feel a bit forced. The real question is not why is city spam so bad, it is why is city spam so awesome. There are several reasons in 1.09 why city spam is so awesome.

1) Every city can build one unit no matter the size.

2) Every city can build all level 1 improvements which provide straight resources ( +x, not x%).

3) Every city can expand influence.

4) Every city can build x caravans (where x is the current number allowed by tech).

5) Every city can claim resources.

6) Every city has a shop where the sov/champions can buy items.

7) Every city provides a defensive bonus to troops.

All of these things make city spam pretty awesome. Yet honestly, these are things are not inherently OP nor are masses of cities somehow inherently unfun. The real problem lies in a very simple truth, which is that the time and effort spent to make a city higher level is not rewarded by anything equally powerful as simply building another level 1 city. Lets look at our above list and compare each between a level 1 city and a level 5 city.

1) A level 1 and a level 5 city can both only produce 1 unit at current. The difference is that a level 5 city can build at least 2 improvements which give troop production bonuses. Yet, a level 5 city is not required for these two buildings, and depending on the faction, both can be built by level 3.

2) Both level 1 and level 5 cities can build all the level 1 resource improvements. The difference is that a level 5 city can also build mutliplier improvements. Yet, again, the 1 per city multiplier improvements can almost all be built by the time a city reaches level 4.

3) A level 5 city gives a lot more influence than a level 1 city. However, we find the difference is that most level 5 cities are surrounded by other cities and their large influence ring is mostly overlapping with those of other cities.

4) A level 1 and level 5 city can have the same amount of caravans. There is no difference here, and the applied bonus does not even take into account the relative sizes of the cities. A level 2 city with 2 food resources gets the same bonus as a level 5 city with 2 food resources.

5) A level 1 city and a level 5 city can both claim resources. The main difference is that a level 5 city has access to multiplier improvements and various level bonus. Yet, since there are only 3 types of worthwhile level bonus and the gildar bonus is far more useful for the vast majority of cities, we find that the level bonuses are fairly lackluster. Also, we find ourselves again realizing that the multiplier improvements do not require a level 5 city.

6) A level 1 and a level 5 city provide the influence ring needed for purchasing from the ethereal shop. It doesn't matter that a hero is at some level 1 city which was just captured 1000 tiles from the rest of his faction, he can get all the best magical gear in the realm.

7) A level 1 city with no improvements and no defenses gives +5 hp to all units stationed in it. Here, the difference is fairly huge as a level 5 city gives a fairly impressive defensive bonus. Yet, the difference is simply time. It just takes a long time to even reach level 5 for a city and one would probably never want them to be on the front lines.

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October 23, 2010 9:50:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To answer your question: yes, they will rework the system in 1.1. Two big things: caravan wont produce food bonus (so if you want food, go capture some food ressource) and second: you'll be able to construct as many building of the same type in the city as you want if you have the people to run the building.So, if you build a really big city and have a mix of +x and +% in the same city AND you can build a lot of +x building inside the city it will become more logic and important to build some strong city and have all the +% applied to your building instead of having a bunch of low level town with no +% (remember that your caravan wont produce food so you must make a choice about having a lot of low level city or a few strong city)

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October 24, 2010 10:47:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In 109E, I find that what a plain city brings to the game is not enough to justify the effort of keeping it.

Food is not really an issue in 109, neither is iron or materials.

Primarily you need gold, so a city with a gold mine is the most valuable, then there are cities with lost libraries/temples, crystal crags and shards relevant to your sovereign.

Research is the one aspect that does put some pressure for more cities - since you definitely do not want any research building anywhere near a city that has a gold mine! Therefore if your not getting enough research done, and gold is not strangling you too much, then you may pop in a few extra cities just to boost research.

 

 

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October 30, 2010 12:26:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

the problem is population growth. regardless of whether you make cities themselves capable of production (the current situation with every town having 1 merchant etc) or require population to do things (new regime, with specialist slots) you will STILL GET CITY SPAM so long as population increases proportionally to the number of cities. fact. this is currently the case as each city gains a fixed number of citizens per turn related to prestige. so more settlements = more people.

this is totally completely wrong. brad seems to like people generating at a fixed rate like any other resource, but it will always lead to city spam. we need a mechanism where more settlements = smaller settlements (so there is SOME disadvantage to building more towns). the best way to do this is by reducing population growth as you found more cities. so, your prestige generates a number of people for your entire faction, which is then split amongst your towns.

however a much more elegant way is to use food, as many other games have done successfully. instead of charging food for buildings, use food to determine population growth leaving housing as a hard cap. buildings don't eat food, people do. this is not complexity, it is far more intuitive and makes the game more fun.

ie, divide your total food production by your total faction population. the ratio of food per person determines population growth/turn. this way population grows at a decreasing rate until it reaches a sustainable level or until more food is acquired. prestige and any buildings in the town count as free food.

this way if you found lots of settlements and build housing for them all, they will grow at a slower rate than if you just had one (unless you're also using them to grab more food resources). alternatively, you can found lots of settlements but not build any housing there. this way only your capital can expand and you don't take much hit for founding small towns which are primarily placed just to grab resources.

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October 30, 2010 12:48:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
So...

So, my question is this: is 1.1 slated to correct this apparent mechanical oversight?  I realize that moving to a shared pool for resources and then making building depending upon a pool /within/ that specific city (with, say additions to one's faction being randomly assigned across cities).  But will it do this?

-tid242

Caravans are supposed to nix supply-food in the 1.1 patch, so theoretically that will mean less food which means less cities.

But, the larger question of whether "fewer" cities is better than "less-fewer" cities is anyone's guess. I would just wait for the 1.1 patch and find out for sure.

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