Fallen Enchantress- Production, Population and Terrain

By on September 9, 2011 5:20:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek Paxton

Join Date 03/2003
+173

Forget everything you know about the WoM economic model.  Food is gone (as it exists in WoM), housing is gone, global population is gone, specialists are gone (improvements don’t use population), materials are gone, resource multipliers on city level up are gone, fixed build times are gone, unlimited improvements are gone (you can never make more than 1 of an improvement in a city).

In Fallen Enchantress a city has one production queue.  The amount of production a city generates is based on its population, with some modifiers.  Small cities take a long time to produce big things.  Since there aren’t specialists (ie: consumed population) or materials if you have the tech to produce a unit or improvement you can generally stick it in the queue*.  It’s not hard to fill up a city with 60 turns of things to produce (or to cancel items out when something changes).

Population is local and a city’s population is broken into Farmers, Workers and Rebels (we may change the name for this last one, Dissidents?  Angry Hobos?).  Farmers produce food, a little production and pay taxes.  Workers don’t produce food but they produce more production and pay taxes.  Rebels don’t produce anything and don’t pay taxes.  You cities automatically allocate enough farmers to feed your population and armies (meaning the more armies you have, the more farmers you need, the less workers you have and the slower your production is).  Your goal is to have as many Workers as possible.  Minimizing Farmers (by investing in food producing buildings and capturing food resources) and minimizing Rebels means more of your population is Workers.

The player can set his Tax Rate.  The tax rate determines how much your population pays you each turn, but it also increases Unrest.  Unrest creates Rebels.  Although it never hits the point where more Unrest means less gold (higher taxes always give more money), higher taxes always mean less production.  Life in Fallen Enchantress is expensive, monsters don’t all give gold (in fact few carry gold).

Growth replaces Prestige and is the rate at which population is added to your city.  It is influenced by improvements, local resources, champions in the city, and the amount of cities in your kingdom (the more cities the slower your growth to balance small empires vs large empires).  Since population determines your production and taxes, your high population cities are the backbone of your empire.**

Whenever you build a unit the population comes out of the city that produced it.  In effect armies are population that isn’t contributing to production.  Making a stack of 9 spearmen is a serious investment.  Disbanding units returns the population to the nearest city (if you are in your borders).  When you build Pioneers you can build them at all the same unit sizes as your other units, and the amount of Pioneers in your stack takes that amount of population away from the building city, and starts the new city with that population.

Improvements have fun with these mechanics.  Slums increase the cities Growth and Unrest.  Governmental type buildings reduce Unrest, the Mint of Ruvenna provides +1 Gildar per Worker in the city, etc.

Most importantly, from a city specialization standpoint, when you level-up a city you get a random list of improvements that you can unlock for that city.  They are based on the city level so the improvements you get at city level 2 are a different list than those you get at city level 5.  There are rare improvements that may popup in these lists, especially at higher levels.  For example, when leveling a city to level 3 you may have the option to unlock any of the following improvements for that city:

Apothecary- consumes a little mana, provides research, champions can buy Healing and Growth potions.

Bazaar- +2 Caravans, the city produces +50% more Gildar when nothing is in the build queue.

Bell Tower- Improved Production and free Peasant defenders if the city is attacked.

Brewery- Reduces Unrest and reduces Production.

Infirmary- Small Growth bonus and all injured units in your city are completely healed.

The player can pick one, and it is only unlocked for that city.  The player still has to build that improvement.  We may decide to place it for free, but I like that the player has to build them because it allows me to balance them on build costs, but in general they have low build costs.  This is how we specialize cities, and this is our reward for players that choose to run small empires so they can race to getting up to city level 5 unlockable improvements like the Onyx Throne (-50% Unrest, -10% Unrest in all cities), Pyre of Anniellum (provides mana and increases the power of Fire spells), etc.

Terrain matters.  Terrain has tile yields, and a city gets the tile yields of the tile it is founded in and all surrounding tiles.  In the beginning this is a significant amount, as the city grows this is less and less of the total food and production amounts.  A city on fertile land by a river will get some bonus Food and Gildar each turn as well as having access to improvements that can only be built on a River.  A city in a desert won’t get any of these base yields, but may be worth it to grab important resources.  Tile yields don’t extend as the city extends, they are only those 9 tiles.  Tile yields aren’t intended to be the root of the game.  They are a boost to new cities, turning a city that may take a while to produce anything real, into a reasonable city relatively quickly (your capital gets free starting population so it skips the new city slowness).  City on good tiles are better, but it isn’t game winning, especially later in the game.

               

* Metal and crystals are still resource requirements for some things, most notably advanced armies.  So we still have the concept of “you can’t build that until you build up x resources” but its used for special things, not everything.

** When a city is taken in combat half of its population is lost.  Also when units die their population is forever lost, giving us some outputs for the population system, it doesn’t continually build.  And, although warring successful wars has its benefits, it can be costly too.

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September 12, 2011 1:17:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KingHobbit,
Great update but I have question about the above. "forever lost" is a really long time. city growth won't replace these citizens over time. I guess I am not sure how this part works.

As far as I understand it (and in my magnimonius arrogance I'm surely right) it just means that you won't get them back. They're not wounded, or displaced or whatever, just dead and you've got to wait for normal city growth to get additional people.

Ie. a city of thousand gets conquered, half of them die off, it now has 500 people. It now growths at its usual rate of 5 per turn as before. If you build an army of 50 people in that city of 500 it now has 450 people and it still grows normally. If that 50 soldiers are killed, the city still has 450 people and you just lost 50 people and won't get them back. It doesn't mean that the city can't go back to 1000 people, it just takes it as long as the normal population growth of a city will take.

Quoting DsRaider,
I like the new citizen system with farmers, producers, and rebels; there is a lot of possible depth there. However the thing that bugs me about taxes is it sounds like somthing a computer could do automatically without any input from players. It seems to be just a production versus gold slider. I hope you could just set it to maximize production and not have to manally change it a bit every few turns. From the sounds of the economic model your prodution will be more important then gold most the time anyway, since more buildings equals more gold.

That's not really possible to say without knowing how gold income is balanced with regards to gold spending. Stuff could be fast to build but very expensive to maintain, favouring high taxes and short periods of low taxes to easily replace stuff. On the other hand, stuff could be slow to build and cheap to maintain, favouring a as low as possible tax approach (which would mean it could theoretically be automated) but other parts of the game could need serious gold investments. If diplomacy requires a lot of gold (each proposal costs 100 gold to do), you can hire mercenary or special units with gold or whatever, the setting gold versus production is suddenly interesting again. It just depends how the numbers are balanced.

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September 12, 2011 1:35:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Brewery- Reduces Unrest and reduces Production."

Are you sure you don't have that backwards?

I like the sound of everything I read.  It almost sounds like there is a subtle Tea Party message in here somewhere.  One of the things I wanted in WoM was a kind of "Sim Fantasy Kingdom," where warfare could almost be an afterthought if you were building up your civilization well, kind of like what happens in the endgame of Sins of a Solar Empire.  WoM almost had that, but city mechanics were a little too off for me to get excited about it. I hope to see a civics tree that we can focus on as an end in itself rather than a means of army production.  This looks promising.

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September 12, 2011 1:37:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love that we will nto be making one billion libraries for every city.

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September 12, 2011 3:33:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fantastic! Sounds like a lot of good reasoning and I can`t wait to see how it will balance out.

 

Brewery- Reduces Unrest and reduces Production

 

Sounds a bit too policaly correct doessn`t it? 

 

Why does it have to lower production? Instead it should give a small bonus to growth, brewing used to "clean up" water and increase health.

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September 12, 2011 3:48:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vandenburg,
How do you get from this:

Ok, tile yields don't expand later on, that's ok. But cities in Elemental and presumly in FE usually sprawl out pretty wide very fast. Thus, if my city reaches a river a bit farther away, can it then build the river only construction, or can it only do that when the river is right next to the city hub tile. If it's the latter, then it's kinda a strange thing and would be quite artificial and feel wierd, since you have a river, but since you didn't build right next to it in the beginning you can't use it at all. :/

Curious on which way you've decided.

 

Just the yield benefit doesn't expand later on. You can still build improvements on things inside of your influence, just the yield system only applies to the tiles right around your settlement.  Any improvements you build on wild resources that are also in your yield radius will cause those improvements to provide an increased effect. I think right now it's 2x the bonus you would normal have gotten, but those numbers could easily change during balance play testing.

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September 12, 2011 5:03:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kestral2040,
Just the yield benefit doesn't expand later on. You can still build improvements on things inside of your influence, just the yield system only applies to the tiles right around your settlement. Any improvements you build on wild resources that are also in your yield radius will cause those improvements to provide an increased effect. I think right now it's 2x the bonus you would normal have gotten, but those numbers could easily change during balance play testing.

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

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September 12, 2011 5:26:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

+1 to single build queue for more meaningful choice (may not be realistic, but it's always been a good, clean mechanic).

+1 more to the ability to pause a single item in the queue for emergency defender / more immediately useful building that was just unlocked.

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September 12, 2011 5:26:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm a bit concerned about the random city improvements / bonuses with each city level. As a few others have mentioned, it would be nice if the player had some input in this. This will also help specialization and allow for more characterful cities. I would like to see random bonuses become available based on the choices the player has made. So if a city has been used to train lots of troops, a selection of buildings relating to that would be available. An element of randomization is great for re-playability and introduces an element of chance, which is good. Total randomization removes strategy and doesn't acknowledge player choice. I think there should be several choices, as currently shown, and there should be build costs. This forces the player to make hard decisions, but those hard decisions will be on things that are recognizing the player's input.

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September 12, 2011 5:35:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea of an additional production queue being tied to a building that someone suggested. Or perhaps cities could start with one and then gain a second at level 3 or something? Maybe even a third at level 5, but that might be too much.

I also love the idea of mercenaries available for hire. Lets face it, unless the book of summoning is majorly beefed up, you won't have a hope in hell if you are attacked by a substantial enemy and have (foolishly!) neglected your army. It might also give you the opportunity to get hold of some archers if you haven't researched bows yet, or cavarly, or some other weapon that's beyond you at the moment. Could be really good fun! Though it would have to be rather expensive I suppose, so that the lucky empire that happened to start near two gold resources didn't wipe everyone else off the map in 5 seconds flat.

I guess if you were limited to just one of each building, there would have to be a lot of different buildings, which would allow you to specialise your cities, or greater restrictions on the number of buildings you can actually have. If there is only the building choice currently in WoM for example, as several people have pointed out, you may as well just build everything. It would take away an interesting aspect of the game.

I wonder if they will include technology trading? I always liked the diplomacy interface in GalCiv2. The one in WoM is pretty useless, unless there is some treasure/quest in another empire's borders and you want to get to it, so you ask them for a non-aggression pact.

Another vote here for ditching/changing caravans. Why would a caravan build a road?

The thing I really love about WoM is the RPG side of it. Without lots of quests, wandering monsters, heros that level up (frequently), quests and treasure, it is, as someone mentioned, just Fantasy Civ. I know all those things will be in FE in abundance, I just hope they are very much the focus. For me, that's far more interesting than having vast armies facing off across a map.

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September 12, 2011 5:47:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Goontrooper,
An element of randomization is great for re-playability and introduces an element of chance, which is good. Total randomization removes strategy and doesn't acknowledge player choice. I think there should be several choices, as currently shown, and there should be build costs. This forces the player to make hard decisions, but those hard decisions will be on things that are recognizing the player's input.

Agreed. And I think devs will agree as well: this is common sense, the hard part is to find the right balance.

I am also 100% for the single queue, for so many reasons that others have mentioned that is needless to write them again. But partially built units/buildings should not get lost when one changes production.

About balancing, I think devs are trying to put in some element of city management without making the game too focused on this aspect. Cities are one piece of the game, and there are games where city management is extremely simple yet they have been great games - i.e. MoM, HoMM, and the likes.

About the shining armor and dragons and mighty armies, they also have a point. But again, dragons in the early game might be a little too much, as dragons in all games. Some randomness and some hard-to-earn unit/spell/item is an essential flavor in every game I believe. And we're back on the right balance issue

One question about cities: the area of influence will be different from the area of yield... this means that a city gets a yield from 9x9 tiles around it, period, and for all other purposes what matters is the area of influence?

 

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September 12, 2011 11:53:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

About balancing, I think devs are trying to put in some element of city management without making the game too focused on this aspect.

 

That something I would like considering that most players put 80% of their time managing cities/colonies in CIV, MOM, MOO and many other 4X games. But I am not sure it that is the current focus of the designer. I hope so.

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September 13, 2011 5:45:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Never being able to build more than 1 of an improvement in any city was the one (only?) mechanism I hated in Civilization. Diminishing Returns would do MUCH more to alleviate city clones. I hated the fact that almost all of my cities have 1 blacksmith, 1 market, 1 temple, 1 hospital, etc. etc. Yes I realize you have implemented a mechanism for city specialization at level-up, but that does not seem "enough". Buidling 2 temples should give you the benefit of >1 but <2 temples, as some form of tradeoff. Otherwise, the danger of no-brainers and identical cities (both unfun) seems much too large

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September 13, 2011 6:26:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I must say that the idea to be able to build more than one building per type sounds very interesting. Even a small change that allows a city to have only two of one  particular building of choice would be giving players the option to specialize cities: do I put 2 temples or 2 libriaries? Actually, another way to accomplish this would be to make sure that even the highest city level has not enough room for all buildings, so that the dilemma now would be: do I put the temple or the library? But maybe the best would be to allow buildings to be improved to 2nd, 3rd, 4th level, with increasing building time and decreasing return. This way, there would be no need to limit the total nr of buildings nor the maximum nr of buildings per type that you can build... just, as some point (but different for each situation, or each palyer, or each city) it would make more sense to build a temple and a watermill that you don't have, rather than improving your library from 3rd to 4th level - which would take even more time than the other two buildings together.

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September 13, 2011 7:23:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting larienna,
That something I would like considering that most players put 80% of their time managing cities/colonies in CIV, MOM, MOO and many other 4X games. But I am not sure it that is the current focus of the designer. I hope so.

I spend most of the time designing units in MOO and fightning against the enemies in MOO and MOM. That is the reason why i think a 4x game should be good in all parts.

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September 13, 2011 7:54:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Buidling 2 temples should give you the benefit of >1 but <2 temples

I must say that the idea to be able to build more than one building per type sounds very interesting.

 

That is an idea I had for the MOM mod. First the number of buildings each city could build was limited. So you could not build everyting. Second, you could only build 1 copies of each building but, each building had various levels. For example in mom you have this chains:

 

LIbrary -> Sage Guild -> University -> Wizard guild

For calculation purpose, let say these buildings have an output of 1-2-3-4 (could also use 2-3-5-8 (Fibonacci sequence))

If I have a library (total output 1) I can upgrade it to sage guild (output 2) but I could also build both (total 3). In that case, It takes more space and I get less income than if I built 2 Sage guild(which is illegal), but I can still decide sacrifice space for more income.

Next, I could upgrade my sage guild to university (2->3), but I could build both. Takes 2 space for total output of 5. I could also build a 3rd building, the library, but now it starts to cost a lot of space for the income (1 point instead of 3 per space (it would gain more income by boosting another field)), but if I desperately need research, I could do it.

 

 

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September 13, 2011 9:33:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It sounds really good. The Master of Magic system can work but you must avoid its pitfalls.

 

Things I dislike in Master of Magic:

  • The very tight relationship between buildings, maintenance and military

This was one of the worst things for me. The more military units you had, the less workers you had and the slower your cities grew. In combination with powerful monsterlairs, this made earlygame military useless and delayed your cities development. It promoted a turtlerstyle and that was such a bore.

However, buildings that take a while to build are GOOD as long as units have high movementpoints (MP) and can make a difference like in Age of Wonders.

 

  • The insanely slow pacing

Units moving ONE goddamn square/turn made it take forever to move even half a screen. See Age of Wonders on how to do movement correctly.

 

  • Lying monsterlairs

"Scouts have sighted an Earth Elemental" I read when I went to a lair. I had a full stack of nine units (lowtier and a lowtier hero) so I attacked. I knew I was gonna take some losses but I'd win in the end.

But what awaited me in that lair..?   TWO Earth Elementals and SEVEN WARBEASTS(!)

Seriously, WTF??   My useless scouts (which I sacrificed with my deathmagic afterwards) tell me there's an Earth Elemental in the lair and instead there's TWO of them and SEVEN Warbeasts....

Needless to say, I was crushed.

 

  • Stack of DOOM

This is also known as the Heroes of Might & Magic syndrome but can exist in most strategygames.

In Master of Magic it's manifested in that you take your eight or nine most powerful units and heroes and move them around together. They can defeat anything the A.I throws at you, heal quickly and are enchanted to the teeth!

Age of Wonders solved this with a player being able to field MANY more units (due to how the games economy works) and most units having high movementpoints so while you have your stack(s) of DOOM I got heavily defended cities and some small parties that capture every single mine, windmill, furnace and lightly defended city of yours essentially starving you out (draining him of gold so his units desert).

 

  • Battlemechanics

When you attack an enemy unit, every single one of YOUR units must punch through the enemy units shields AND the enemy unit gets to retaliate as much as he wants with FULL POWER!   It was the same in Age of Wonders which made me stop playing it since it heavily promotes highend units and especially heavily enchanted highend units. However, Age of Wonders II (and Age of Wonders II: Shadow Magic) solved this beatifully with retaliations draining movementpoints. So if I got six Orc Swordsmen and you got two Iron Maidens (Elven tier 3 units) and it's my turn, I attack with one of the Swordsmen who gets in two attacks (attacked units only retaliate as many times as they are attacked) and your Iron Maiden retaliates twice. Every retaliationstrike your unit does drains your MP by 1/6th or so (if memory serves, otherwise Magog_AoW can correct me ). Now lets say she gets drained completely by the third Orc and now my remaining units can strike her without fear of retaliation. Your turn, the Iron Maiden can't move or attack since she's drained!   But don't worry, when it's my turn again she gets back all her MP so she can retaliate again.

In summary, it's a beatiful system that Derek should steal borrow.

 

Things that disturb me in other games:

  • See this Master of Orion II game where he builds every building he can build on every single planet he conquers....he just researches and builds all the damn time and lets the turns pass. Can it be ANY more dull???            If Fallen Enchantress is like that....
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September 13, 2011 10:19:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm confused.  Are you describing FE or MoM here?  This game gets more like MoM with every design change. That's great!

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September 13, 2011 12:18:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Campaigner has great suggestion, I agree with everything except maybe Battlemechanics part.

Age of wonders had a superior battlemechanics to MoM, but I would rather have battlemechanics more similar to HoMM (without stacks of same units). But for sure, more special abilities you can create for units in fight the game is better.

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September 13, 2011 2:43:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Campaigner,

Stack of DOOM

This is also known as the Heroes of Might & Magic syndrome but can exist in most strategygames.

In Master of Magic it's manifested in that you take your eight or nine most powerful units and heroes and move them around together. They can defeat anything the A.I throws at you, heal quickly and are enchanted to the teeth!

Age of Wonders solved this with a player being able to field MANY more units (due to how the games economy works) and units having high movementpoints so while you have your stack(s) of DOOM I got heavily defended cities and some small parties that capture every single mine, windmill, furnace and lightly defended cities of yours essentially starving you out (draining him of gold so his units desert).

 

I think in AoW: SM stacks of doom were as powerful against the AI as in HOMM, because with the teleport towers you could move your stack of doom fast from one part of the map to the other and the AI did not attack from different directions to counter that tactic.

Command points could be the counter to stacks of doom. Every stack could have a command point limit and the charisma stat of a champion or the hero could modify the command points. Less powerful units could require a few command points and very powerful units require many command points.

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September 13, 2011 3:52:44 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Jarod Silverstar,
Population is local and a city’s population is broken into Farmers, Workers and Rebels (we may change the name for this last one, Dissidents?  Angry Hobos?).

Tempted to say Tea Partiers, but maybe you should just go with Slackers.

Then again, HORCon is an idea. Habitually Offended Resource Consumers. Though I am sure somebody can come up with a better acronym.

 

p/s: Food And Material Resource Export Manager - FARMER

Actully it should be Farmers, Tea Partiers (workers), Welfare queens (Leeches)

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September 13, 2011 4:04:14 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Magog_AoW,

quoting post

Bazaar- +2 Caravans, the city produces +50% more Gildar when nothing is in the build queue.



Umm... Please tell me you have automated the damn caravans? I hate these things in WoM.

"a spider destroyed a caravan going from Ogopugtykjfv to Defjkjtxy" makes me just exit the game without saving.

 

Same here!

Actually, I think you only get a message that a caravan was destroyed with no idea what city it originated from.

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September 13, 2011 5:03:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Same with mines/resources being destroyed. If you do happen to have a large empire, "Our North-East gold mine was destroyed by xxx" isn't much help...

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September 13, 2011 7:02:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting larienna,
That is an idea I had for the MOM mod. First the number of buildings each city could build was limited. So you could not build everyting. Second, you could only build 1 copies of each building but, each building had various levels. For example in mom you have this chains:

LIbrary -> Sage Guild -> University -> Wizard guild

I like this idea but that's probably way to much total possible research. At one per city level it comes out to 15 libraries in one town. 5 knowledge for 1 gold per turn would be a ridiculous deal as well. Also instead of upgrading to entirely new buildings I would prefer to see them stack on top of each other. With each upgrade adding a new floor to the building until it becomes a tall tower. Elemental really suffers from lack of tall structures. Some cool soaring towers would make the cities look cooler. Maybe something like...

House of Knowledge -> Library of Knowledge -> Keep of Knowledge -> Sanctum of Knowledge ->Tower of Knowledge

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September 14, 2011 3:54:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Campaigner, good points. Especially the movement points in the strategic level. That is something that is a big problem with most strategy games. It should not take years for my leader to walk out of a city and do a lap around the immediate area. I hope that FE removes the ridiculous crawling pace of movement, especially for Champions, so that we can get out and explore and adventure. I would be ok with armies of normal units being slower, but they should still be able to march a fair distance in a single turn, which in WoM is an entire season.

 

A couple other things...

 

1) Multiple Buildings and Unique Cities: The multiple buildings thing isn't really a big deal. Cities are abstracted in all strategy games. Does it really add flavor or immersion when you build two temples or two barracks instead of one? And multiple buildings doesn't really help much with making unique cities. When we have that capability in WoM, I just build lots of one type of building, making research cities, production cities, etc.

 

Think about famous cities in the real would and in fantasy literature. The things that make them memorable are their atmosphere and unique buildings, not having 4 copies of the same thing instead of 1. My ideal strategy game would allow us to create unique buildings that developed histories and had gameplay impacts.

-You build an extra giant wall, and for 100 years no enemy is ever able to breach it. The wall becomes famous and your city gets a bonus to defense and prestige, and the wall gets a unique name.

-You build an expansive library and engage in quests to add rare books to it. The library becomes famous and draws in scholars from around the world.

-Your population grows but you don't build many guardposts and crime becomes commonplace. The city gets a reputation as a rough, seedy, dangerous place and causes crime-related quests to be generated.

It would be great if the building designer was included as part of the gameplay so that we could design unique looking buildings with unique names. Then each city would have famous attractions that set them apart from each other and looked different and  had different gameplay impacts and histories.

 

2) Caravan and Building Destruction: I think that caravans and buildings should be considered pillaged when destroyed, and should be automatically rebuilt after 5 or so turns. This prevents needless micromanagement. As an alternative, give us a list of pillaged caravans and buildings and let us easily repair them for a cost with one click, instead of having to mentally keep track or scroll around looking for them.

 

 

 

 

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September 14, 2011 4:38:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Goontrooper,
Think about famous cities in the real would and in fantasy literature. The things that make them memorable are their atmosphere and unique buildings, not having 4 copies of the same thing instead of 1. My ideal strategy game would allow us to create unique buildings that developed histories and had gameplay impacts.

-You build an extra giant wall, and for 100 years no enemy is ever able to breach it. The wall becomes famous and your city gets a bonus to defense and prestige, and the wall gets a unique name.

-You build an expansive library and engage in quests to add rare books to it. The library becomes famous and draws in scholars from around the world.

-Your population grows but you don't build many guardposts and crime becomes commonplace. The city gets a reputation as a rough, seedy, dangerous place and causes crime-related quests to be generated.

It would be great if the building designer was included as part of the gameplay so that we could design unique looking buildings with unique names. Then each city would have famous attractions that set them apart from each other and looked different and had different gameplay impacts and histories.

I agree completely with this.  But also what makes cities and towns unique is the landscape in which they sit.  Wouldn't it be possible to have a unique 'style set' for buildings, depending on the prevailing topography of the land -  a city built on a river would have the river themed set, one built amongst hills would have the hill set, and one built near or amongst trees would have the forest set - or a combination of these, should other elements be present.  To me, the uniqueness of a town or city is as much about how it looks and feels as the things that it produces.  If a city becomes rich in the production of gold, minerals or research, let the buildings reflect this in their style - a bank, mine or library could then draw from an elite set - or a river elite, hill elite or forest elite set.  I would love to see how each city developes, with these variables in mind.  Then, you could have the same buildings in each city, but each city would feel unique and special.

I would also like to see religion play a larger part in the game, with unique cathedrals or temples that increase prestige, and even allow the building of special religious units - some of which would have the ability to convert brigands in the wild - or wild animals, with a Nature Temple.  It was the unique and flavourful religions that kept me playing Fall from Heaven, time after time.  And with religion comes the lore, for which Kael was so renowned.

 

 

 

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