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 14, 2011 5:50:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As for the one city improvement: that doesn't mean you can't have multiple different buildings doing the same thing, with the later buildings having prerequisites like a certain tech or certain size.  Think library/university in civ, or market/bank.

 

It's generic, it's kinda dull, but it works.

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September 14, 2011 8:51:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Personally, I see the whole issue about buildings as trying to avoid having all cities the same. Having each city unique is at the other extreme, but I'd be content with something in the middle. I mean, I'd be happy with the option to have different types of cities: focused on research, on commerce, on producing certain units, on producing settlers to expand my civilization, on producing mana, on supplying food for sustaining my troops, and so on.

One idea for such a thing would be to allow building upgrade, BUT having a limit depending on city level. Let me explain. Say, at level 1 no upgraded building is allowed. Every odd level (3, 5, 7..) you are allowed - but still have to build it yourself - one upgrade to one building. So, at level 3 you can upgrade your library to 2nd level. At level 5, you can upgrade your library to level 3 OR upgrade another building at level 2 - say, your temple. And so on. The option is not trivial if you have diminishing returns: a research-focused city on the border of your empire might be better off with library 3rd level and Defensive walls 3rd level (2 upgrades each) than with a library of 5th level (4 upgrades on the library). This way, there are multiple ways that a 7th level city can be upgraded, depending on the position on the map, on the tiles it is working, and on your strategic goals. This would not make every single city unique, but it would characterize each city enough to avoid having the same "buildings recipe" for all of your cities: first granary, then temple, then library, then barracks...

With some effort one could design two possible upgrades for each building, like an Upgrade Tree: shall I upgrade my barracks to make spearmen faster, or to get a research bonus to military-related techs? Shall I upgrade my library to get more research or more mana? Should my temple lower unrest more effectively, or heal troops in the city at a faster rate? And so on. I think just a simple Tree with, say, 3 levels for each building, with the third tier having two options with different bonuses, would be more than enough to give plenty of different ways to specialize your cities, without taking too much effort or time to make the decision.

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September 14, 2011 9:20:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I see it this way:

Every city level-up you draw five building cards. Each cards represents a different path to victory. You choose the one that makes the most sense for the way you want to specialize that city. You now have the option to build that structure in that city. 

As you level up higher you will see better buildings. Certain buildings will only be available next to specific terrain. Others will be faction specific. The rest will be random. 

If it has this level of depth, I will be very impressed. 

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September 14, 2011 10:24:35 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
Honestly, separate queues in my opinion is one of those things that look good and feel good but make the game bad. Why just 2 queues? Why not 10? With one queue, that means you are focusing every effort in that city to produce something. That just plain makes sense. If you have two queues, and you're not training something - what are the teachers doing?

How about having 2 ques to either build or train troops. This would allow us to build one building and one unit if we want. It will also allow us to build two buildings or two troops if we want. I think this would go a long way to solve the issues presented here. I would not go more than 2 ques because I don't want the game to go too fast.

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September 14, 2011 11:27:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The basic message that more queues = faster building rate is wrong. The reason is that your total production rate should stay the same regardless of the number of queues, hence splitting it among many queues will not hurry the whole production at all, but only get you all things later instead of some earlier/ some later.

I mean, if we all work on the library and then we all work on the temple we get both done in the same total time as if we were to work on both simultaneously - only in the former case we get the library done earlier. This is true obviously not considering any scale, coordination, saturation, motivation effect and so on, which is typically the case in games.

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September 14, 2011 11:40:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
I see it this way:

Every city level-up you draw five building cards. Each cards represents a different path to victory. You choose the one that makes the most sense for the way you want to specialize that city. You now have the option to build that structure in that city. 

As you level up higher you will see better buildings. Certain buildings will only be available next to specific terrain. Others will be faction specific. The rest will be random. 

If it has this level of depth, I will be very impressed. 

 

It will all depend on how powerful these random buildings will be, and how much randomness there will be in those you get to choose from. I certainly would not like that how my cities specialization path depends too much on randomness. i.e. I have a city in a position that makes it an ideal research-focused city, but as I level it up I never get a research building option. This would be frustrating. Maybe a little less so, if factions could influence the probability of a certain type of building popping up. I think one should have the sense to have at least some control on how the city specializes.

Think of HoMM V: as your hero levels up you have choice of 1 out of 4 abilities, BUT there is an underlying well-defined Tree, you choose the hero based on starting ability, and the ones you get to choose from depend heavily (from 2% to 15%) on the faction you pick. Being able to choose the ability if the options were totally random would not help a sensation of an out-of-control levelling process.

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September 14, 2011 11:51:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, I like the direction FE is going. I do have some concerns other posters have, but let me focus on getting Random improvement when city level up. I understand it has to resolve the all city look the same issue, but removing gamer's ability to plan city precisely is also an disadvantage.

Can pre-requisite be implemented for improvement? It is not the traditional pre-req but it is civ4 Wonder style pre-req. E.g university needs 5 high schools to be build in your empire, and it cannot be built in the same city that has a casino.

Secondly, improvement of more advanced type should not be a complete superset of the lower type. E.g elementary school provide some research and improve growth, high school provide more research but cause unrest, university has best research but reduce tax collected in that city. No matter what tech level u are there is always a reason to build lower building type.

Thirdly, to avoid making elementary school obsolete late game, it can be upgraded to level 1 , level 2 etc . Each level increases the initial level 0 bonus so that player need not to build university on all cities when player get it. And of course a level 2 university, being a much higher level tech, it still Provide way more research points than level 2 elementary .

(regards to gaining level, refer to my ranking bonus thread in the Idea sub forum)

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September 14, 2011 11:56:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
I can't change paragraph using the god phone. Excus my mess above
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September 14, 2011 12:43:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting marionesi,
I certainly would not like that how my cities specialization path depends too much on randomness. i.e. I have a city in a position that makes it an ideal research-focused city, but as I level it up I never get a research building option.

The randomness should be biased towards the type of city it is - if it's by a river, there should be more chance of getting a 'river-type' building.  Weighting is very important when random elements are used for things that are intrinsically structured, and part of a building process by the player.  Chaotic ramdomness can just get silly and irrational - ordered randomness is what is called for here..

 

 

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September 14, 2011 3:07:43 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Wizard1200,



Quoting Campaigner,
reply 116

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.

True but you can disable any building in the game (AOW:SM) if you wish when you first set up the game. So you can disable the teleporter if you don't like this in the game. Plus you can build maps with these features turned off if you wish.

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September 14, 2011 3:38:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The AI should be using stacks of doom on their own. I WANT to be fighting stacks of doom.

Edit: It seems like several spells are aimed at countering stacks of doom on the strategic level. One spell prevents the enemy from moving. If the AI uses those spells, it should be good.

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September 14, 2011 8:48:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would assume having an ancient library would make it a sure thing to see research based buildings on level up. Just as a river would allow for a watermill. 

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September 15, 2011 10:32:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Alstein,
As for the one city improvement: that doesn't mean you can't have multiple different buildings doing the same thing, with the later buildings having prerequisites like a certain tech or certain size.  Think library/university in civ, or market/bank.

 

It's generic, it's kinda dull, but it works.

Quite dull.

If it's not broke, why fix it? I cannot see a reason why multiple copies of one building type in a city should now be disallowed, but any number of reasons to allow it. I actually ended up hating city-building in Civilization, which is why I do not play it any more. That city already has a Temple? Yes. Forge? Check. Go on through the list, there's nothing left to build but tanks. So with the exception of a few "special" buildings, all cities end up looking alike, and there is no real need to think. If there is a good reason for disallowing multiple instances of a building type, it would be nice to hear it.

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September 15, 2011 11:00:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting onomastikon,

Quoting Alstein, reply 126As for the one city improvement: that doesn't mean you can't have multiple different buildings doing the same thing, with the later buildings having prerequisites like a certain tech or certain size.  Think library/university in civ, or market/bank.

 

It's generic, it's kinda dull, but it works.


Quite dull.

If it's not broke, why fix it? I cannot see a reason why multiple copies of one building type in a city should now be disallowed, but any number of reasons to allow it. I actually ended up hating city-building in Civilization, which is why I do not play it any more. That city already has a Temple? Yes. Forge? Check. Go on through the list, there's nothing left to build but tanks. So with the exception of a few "special" buildings, all cities end up looking alike, and there is no real need to think. If there is a good reason for disallowing multiple instances of a building type, it would be nice to hear it.

 

I think it is very broke and needed to be fixed.  I hate having to build a million fo the same building just to have some viable effect.  

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September 16, 2011 9:38:24 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting onomastikon,



Quoting Alstein,
reply 126
As for the one city improvement: that doesn't mean you can't have multiple different buildings doing the same thing, with the later buildings having prerequisites like a certain tech or certain size.  Think library/university in civ, or market/bank.

 

It's generic, it's kinda dull, but it works.



Quite dull.

If it's not broke, why fix it? I cannot see a reason why multiple copies of one building type in a city should now be disallowed, but any number of reasons to allow it. I actually ended up hating city-building in Civilization, which is why I do not play it any more. That city already has a Temple? Yes. Forge? Check. Go on through the list, there's nothing left to build but tanks. So with the exception of a few "special" buildings, all cities end up looking alike, and there is no real need to think. If there is a good reason for disallowing multiple instances of a building type, it would be nice to hear it.

 

There really is not much of a difference from building one type of building and getting the bonus and building multipule types of the same building.  I think what should happen is that there needs to be many types of different buildings and several should have a choice between different building paths

This is just an example to illistrate what I'm talking about

Choice between a Temple, or a Science lab but you cannot have both. Depending on what you choose will determain the type of bonuses and or type of buildings and units the town may produce.   And you can have more advanced versions of buildings as well.

This way you can really specialize your cities. Maybe you have a Holy city that have gone the temple route and that they can produce Paladins while another city went the Science Lab route and has Musketeers (the non-Walt Disney kind)

Keep in mind that this is just an example right off the top of my mind you could but any type of buildings in the example.

The main thing is to not have cities building every single type of building in the game.

 

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September 16, 2011 2:01:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Are there factors other than taxes that cause workers to become dissidents, like annexing a city, magic or events?

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September 17, 2011 10:19:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Climber,
Yes, I like the direction FE is going. I do have some concerns other posters have, but let me focus on getting Random improvement when city level up. I understand it has to resolve the all city look the same issue, but removing gamer's ability to plan city precisely is also an disadvantage.

Can pre-requisite be implemented for improvement? It is not the traditional pre-req but it is civ4 Wonder style pre-req. E.g university needs 5 high schools to be build in your empire, and it cannot be built in the same city that has a casino.

Secondly, improvement of more advanced type should not be a complete superset of the lower type. E.g elementary school provide some research and improve growth, high school provide more research but cause unrest, university has best research but reduce tax collected in that city. No matter what tech level u are there is always a reason to build lower building type.

Thirdly, to avoid making elementary school obsolete late game, it can be upgraded to level 1 , level 2 etc . Each level increases the initial level 0 bonus so that player need not to build university on all cities when player get it. And of course a level 2 university, being a much higher level tech, it still Provide way more research points than level 2 elementary .

(regards to gaining level, refer to my ranking bonus thread in the Idea sub forum)

I wholeheartedly disagree about the need for the game to allow you to precisely plan the development of your cities.  There is nothing in life that you can precisely plan and expect the plan to go off perfectly.  That's just life.  I imagine it would be doubly true for a leader of a nation.  Especially one in a nearly destroyed, wild world like Elemental. 

Planning is a part of a strategy game (or put more generally planning is a part of any strategic thinking).  But so is being flexible and able to adapt your plans to events as they occur. 

To use an old military aphorism, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.  In the case of FE, that enemy is the world, other nations, monsters, and probably at times your own citizens. 

Or to use one of my favorite quotes:  When asked what the greatest challenge to his political success had been, Harold Macmillan replied "Events dear boy, events." 

Long rambling post to say that the game systems should be informative enough that you are able to plan, both tactically and strategically, but it certainly should be unpredictable enough that you are constantly having to adapt.  If not, it fails as a strategy game. 

 

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September 17, 2011 10:22:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Are there factors other than taxes that cause workers to become dissidents, like annexing a city, magic or events?

I would hope that there are spells and/or special units for inciting other nations populations.  The dissident mechanic has way too many uses to simply be another economic indicator. 

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September 17, 2011 6:22:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,
I wholeheartedly disagree about the need for the game to allow you to precisely plan the development of your cities. There is nothing in life that you can precisely plan and expect the plan to go off perfectly. That's just life. I imagine it would be doubly true for a leader of a nation. Especially one in a nearly destroyed, wild world like Elemental.

Planning is a part of a strategy game (or put more generally planning is a part of any strategic thinking). But so is being flexible and able to adapt your plans to events as they occur.

To use an old military aphorism, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. In the case of FE, that enemy is the world, other nations, monsters, and probably at times your own citizens.

Or to use one of my favorite quotes: When asked what the greatest challenge to his political success had been, Harold Macmillan replied "Events dear boy, events."

Long rambling post to say that the game systems should be informative enough that you are able to plan, both tactically and strategically, but it certainly should be unpredictable enough that you are constantly having to adapt. If not, it fails as a strategy game.

Great post, I wholeheartedly agree..

 

 

 

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September 19, 2011 9:44:31 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I think we all wholeheartedly agree that the game should not be entirely "plannable", nor entirely "unplannable". Devils is in the details, as always.

I believe there will be a lot of uncertainty in this game: in the World - starting position, monsters, crystals, lairs and so on - in random events, random quests, random heroes, in randomly drawn traits that can pop up differently in each game. Having different opponents playing different styles will also be another source of randomness, if you want. I feel there is already enough randomness in the game - and it's good it's there. This is why I believe having randomness in buildings available in your cities may be avoided... I find it at best weird, and it probably makes much less sense than all the other randomness that it's already planned for FE

Overdoing on the randomness side would not be a good idea.

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September 19, 2011 1:02:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting marionesi,
I think we all wholeheartedly agree that the game should not be entirely "plannable", nor entirely "unplannable". Devils is in the details, as always.

I believe there will be a lot of uncertainty in this game: in the World - starting position, monsters, crystals, lairs and so on - in random events, random quests, random heroes, in randomly drawn traits that can pop up differently in each game. Having different opponents playing different styles will also be another source of randomness, if you want. I feel there is already enough randomness in the game - and it's good it's there. This is why I believe having randomness in buildings available in your cities may be avoided... I find it at best weird, and it probably makes much less sense than all the other randomness that it's already planned for FE

Overdoing on the randomness side would not be a good idea.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.  All of the "planned randomness" you quote does nothing to effect how you develop your cities.  There are probably dozens, or hundreds, of examples of cities having to develop in spite of, or by accomodating, random changes to the city leaders plans including buildings or industries that spring up unexpectedly. 

No single system in the game should be 100% plannable.  Certainly, it needs to be balanced to avoid having strategic planning be completely pointless, but every game system should be utilized to keep players thinking and adapting as the game goes along.  

 

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September 19, 2011 8:32:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yes much love for going this direction.

and feel free to play MoM for 20 hours aday to make sure you get effected mentally enough to focus the playstyle into this game - on a subliminal level perhaps so it would feel like copy paste if you feel bad about that ( i wouldent)

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September 22, 2011 1:38:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1) I don't think I like the random buildings idea, even with some kind of weighted randomness...sort of.

 

If my city has an Ancient Library, on level up I should have a % chance of a certain building. Perhaps if I have also built a Study that chance goes up by 10%. That might help the planners out there. However, I know I would be really frustrated if I was grooming a city to be a center of research and learning, and when I leveled it up, I got the 5% chance of not getting any options for a research building. Yeah, that would really annoy me.

 

I'm really torn on this because I like the idea of a degree of randomness, but I also like to plan things...I guess I will have to wait for FE to be able to decide.

 

2) I might have missed this, but how is population going to be figured now? Will the numbers still be about the same? This will add a slight increase in complexity since WoM had higher numbers than, say, Civilization, when dealing with population. Now we will have a city of 1000 people, broken down into three categories. How will that work when we build a unit? Lets say I have 999 citizens, with 1/3 Farmers, 1/3 Workers, and 1/3 Rebels. Then I build a 3-man unit. Where does the population come from? I know the city auto-adjusts between farmers and workers, but how will that impact the rebel citizens? Curious to see the math on this.

 

3) Will there be any form of population control? Since we don't have housing, it sounds like cities will just keep growing. I liked that I had a degree of control over which cities would get huge and which would stay as small towns. I don't like the idea of every city eventually growing to Level 5.

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September 22, 2011 1:50:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Buidling improvement should be considered as 'strategic' that players should have full control of what to build. It is ultimately fustrating 
that you cannot build an improvement that you've strategically planned, due to 'randomness'. For example, if researched to best defensive
 wall tech, but somehow several of your border city cannot build it due to randomless, will be maddening.  


Building improvement should is the backbone of what a kingdom is good at, and bad at too. Development should design them in a way that
 there is no 'godly' build for city.  


Your empire's instructure make you better in dealing with some type event/catastrophe (including, the world, other nations, monsters, and
 probably at times your own citizens), but not others. Player should be able to fully plan & be aware of the pros and cons of each city-build.

Hopefully, developer will implement that all building will have their own strength & weakness. The reason is to break out of 'the latest
 building tech is always the best to be built', and 'the more building you have, the better'. Finally, give us a choice to not only building some
 'generic' cities. Give us a way to be extremely good at e.g. buidling Siege machine, but weak in everything else. 
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September 22, 2011 1:54:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
In particular I like these buildings mentioned in OP:

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

Slums: increase the cities Growth and Unrest

I don't mean all buildings should look like this. However, we should be given a choose to scarifice something, and then gain back something (that player will find
situationally useful).
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