[Discussion] City Building

A discussion on the aspects of City Building.

By on January 22, 2012 8:41:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ZehDon

Join Date 04/2009
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Warning: Wall of Text incoming.

Yesterday I played a nice long stretch of Fallen Enchantress and I paid particular attention to the City Building aspect.  War of Magic's City Building was decent enough, however I feel that Fallen Enchantress really does deserve a better system all-round.  I've read through a few threads and it seems I'm not the only person who thinks this.
In the interest of improving this aspect of the game, I thought we should come to some kind of consensus on what we like, and what we don't like, about the current system and what we think would be more fun.

I'll compare Elemental to Civilization IV - my favourite TBS Game - to highlight my personal largest issue.
My least favourite moment in Civ IV (I was going to put CIV as the abbreviation, but it just comes out as Civ in captials) is when the game has progressed to the point where my City level decisions are no longer needed.
After this moment, I'm going through the motions - my plans have come together, and my well oiled machine just hums along to victory.  I don't pay attention to my resources, because I don't have to, and I don't really care what is built in each City - I just run through the list one item after another until each City has one of everything, then they just churn out the most cost effective unit.

Initially in Civ IV, each time you need to select something you have to think about it.
"Do I need Animal Husbandry now?", "Should I go straight for Military Units, or should I throw a few more Scounts out?", "Where do I need my roads?", "Are my improvements what they need to be?", etc.  This, to me, is the really fun part - actually building my Civilization.  The middle game is my favourite part - right around the Medieval ages - where I'm trying to walk the line between advancing my military tech to keep me alive, while advancing my civ tech to keep my cities growing.  Cities exchange hands fast and loose, Religion spreads like wildfire, backstabbing occurs; it's brilliant.  My City level decisions for each City are the difference between Victory and Loss.
"What are the odds of this City being attacked? Do they need more defensive units, more defensive structures? Can I risk this City and have it build a Research Increasing building to get me to the next Military Tech?  What are their Morale, and how is it effecting the Cities production?"

This all changes when I'm engaged in the eventual End Game War that errupts, and so my brains turns off - I'm just throwing stacks of Units around until I've won the game.

In Fallen Enchantress, I've arrived at the point of not caring what decisions I'm making at a City Level at around my 4th City - which is about 3-ish hours in.
I've got everything I can currently build in each City, and they're now just firing off the most cost effective units so I can throw them at the A.I. player I'm at war with.  When I capture a City, I'm just running through the list to make sure it has one of everything before it reverts to building the most cost effective unit for my war machine.  When my research enables a new building, each City haults production and builds the new building, and then reverts back to making units.
The only decision I'm making honestly now is "Which City does my horde attack next?".

This, to me, is a fairly large scale issue, and is comprised of several smaller issues.

Although things like Unrest and such are in place, I couldn't honestly tell you what mine are - they've had seemingly zero impact upon my game plan so far.  Declaring War on three factions at once and sending an unending number of troops to their death has seemingly had no impact upon my people.  And I thought I was the bastard here.

I've also not altered Taxes as I've been swimming in Gildar for a while now, and as a result I've never - ever - viewed the Details screen for my Cities.  They're just these 'things' that exist that enable me to make military units and buildings.

I'd go as far to say if you didn't tell me Taxes and Unrest where in the game, I'd never know they were here.

Population growth also seems to be a none issue.  I've never seen the number of people in my Cities drop to a number I'd register as "low", nor has there been any indication that a lowering population has had an impact, and so I continue to spam units.  Nothing builds slower, nothing researches slower, I don't seem to get less Gildar per turn - what the hell do these people do?  If there are effects in play here, they're far too subtle.

Building Placement is something I actually really like - it's far better than Civ IV's Improvement System or how the Cities just automatically expand - however it serves no purpose.  3-ish hours in, I just drop the building in the closest slot to where my mouse cursor is so I can get on with it.  This feels like a big wasted opportunity.  Placement really does need to do... something!

Buildings seem to give too many bonuses, or too large a bonus per building.  I've barely gone half way through the Civ and a third of the way through the Military trees, and my Cities are now just these never ending fountains of Gildar and Troops.  I feel there is simply no decision making in selecting which Buildings to build, or in which order to do so, after your first 2 cities.

Because I have seemingly unlimited troops and Gildar coming from my cities, I haven't surpassed basic Military tech.  I haven't researched Black Smithing yet, and yet my armies are walking across the map wiping everything out on sheer numbers alone.
Loose 4 units in a battle?  Press End Turn once or twice, and I have 4 more.  As such, I haven't even looked at the resource area of the game yet - I have no idea what my cities are making, nor what they could be making, and I don't feel the need to as it could only serve to make my campaign of terror only more unstoppable.

This will sound ridiculous, but I feel Cities are... I don't know... too over-powered?  They make too much money, too many people and produce too many powerful buildings without consequence.  I didn't deliberately chose the "Warfare" path to Victory - I always go for the Religious victory in Civ IV - it's just the path I feel the game has pushed me into.  If I wasn't churning out Units, my Cities would be idle.  If I have 50 basic units, what am I to do with them if not war?

Anyway, that's my rant.  I look forward to reading other peoples thoughts and possible suggestions.

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January 22, 2012 10:29:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

An interesting perspective on the question of cities. I agree that once you have a good industrial base, the game forces you to either sit idly by or build soldiers for the sake of having some kind of production. But what other things can a city build if not troops?

I know Civilizations would say to build world wonders. I would agree that a wonder system would give a few cities options and maybe start making each nation a little more unique. You could follow that suit by allowing a city to turn production into gildar or research. I would also favor that proposition. I believe there is a building that allows for gildar production. Then there is the notion from MoM, forging items would be something nice to do for those hero centered players. 

Wonders and forging would be a huge boon to making each game feel unique. It would also mean that there is something to do besides massing an army.

In some crazy game I might even want to produce diplomatic capital this way. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

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January 23, 2012 12:14:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But what other things can a city build if not troops?

In civ the other thing is always buildings (or wonders). It isn't until the very late game, the point in time at which the OP says he isn't really having fun anymore, that you start getting every building in every city.

In the mid game of Civ IV you almost always have a tradeoff between building troops or building additional buildings that will help your city. And which building to build is a huge decision in itself. There is almost always a choice between instant military power or furthering your economic base. This question is entirely non-existent in FE.

I agree 100% with the original poster. This is probably one of the most significant issues with FE right now.

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January 23, 2012 12:43:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cities suck right now. Not constructive feedback, I realize, but there you go.

A long, long time ago during the Elemental beta, it was pitched that Cities would be unique constructs, each specialized with different special bonuses unique to that city, with choices in their development that would allow you to tailor them to suit a particular role.

I would very much like to see that, whatever the actual execution is.

So, current issues:

The entire building placement system is useless and needs to be scrapped or totally revamped.

Currently, buildings don't involve any meaningful choices. With a handful of exceptions, you build everything in every city, and there's not even a way to automate what is essentially a mindless process. Basic production boosters -> growth boosters -> remaining production boosters -> food boosters/research boosters -> anything else you need.

Without interesting decisions, building up cities is boring, and building up new cities in the lategame, a chore - there isn't even a build governor system to automate the buildup, which could be handled with a short list of build plans - boring.

The core systems in place for cities are totally solid - the core prestige/maintenence/gold/research/growth/food/unrest systems are clean, simple to understand, and work just fine - but they're also automated systems with no meaningful player impact on their development. The widgets you have available are 'what do I research' 'what is my tax rate' and 'what order do I build buildings in the city'. That's it.

In and of itself that's not bad, but research unlocks very few structures (and is too slow by default, a separate but related issue), the tax rate is typically too harsh of a swing towards gold or research/prod to be used in the early game and by the midgame its nearly irrelevant. The buildings involve little to no decision making.

Some suggestions:

The level ups are one of the few unique systems in place, I think that system should be developed and expanded - instead of a single building each level, transform the the level-ups into a branching system that lets you customize the city to your needs. One path gives you troops with unique abilities, another unlocks advanced research that is otherwise inaccessable via the tech tree, another path unlocks special magic, either spells or items, another tree unlocks monster related bonuses, another tree specializes in hero upgrades, etcetc.

Unique structures rewarded for quests, awarded (or gifted!) via diplomacy, researched, or discovered in the wilderness. Once unlocked, these could be built like the (few) 'wonders' in the research tree. Each would provide a unique benefit to a city, on top of whatever city development branches you've built up. You could potentially gift unique plans to an ally for a significant diplomacy boost and a useful ally in war, or recieve them in exchange for diplomatic missions or trade. The Tree of Life (trade its seeds to allies!), Warmage College (train special caster units), Titan Essence (create unique demonic creatures that cause a diplomacy penalty), Elemental Shrine (unlock special spells for one element), etcetc.

Some unique structures could also give *abilities* to the city, allowing you to cast special spells, summon up temporary armies/units within your territories, create or modify items, and so on. How about a unique structure that gives one city two build queues? The Tower of Storms, The Manaforge, The Golem Factory, etcetc.

There is already a very vestigal form of this in the game, with the rewards for killing the unique wilderness bosses (this entire concept is very cool, incidentally), but it could be vastly expanded, enhancing the richness of every game and the unique nature of your cities.

Some of those levelup rewards and structures could also be racially unique, giving more differentiation between what are currently bland faction differences.

Another addition would be *units* that are 'civilian', rather than military. Currently there are pioneers and caravans (which need to be excised entirely). I personally hated worker management with a passion in Civ and Civ style games, as it was early game busywork and mid-late game drudgery, but that doesn't mean FE couldn't use unique civ units to do cool things with cities.

Great leaders that you station in a city providing bonuses, but that could be captured if the city is raided (not razed, that concept needs to go, cities are too big an investment to poof in one turn). Researchers recovered from enslavement in the wilderness, heroes who agree to join your cause from quest rewards that train your troops in special techniques, and so on.

They could possibly even be designed such that they have abilities with cooldowns that provide bonuses, so you have to move them around your empire and actively use their abilities to provide their bonuses, be they simple/boring % boosts to some output, or more interesting special bonuses (unique unit creation, ability augmentation on created troops, special structure construction, unusual spells, etc).

This would also be a role that 'Admin' heroes could be merged with, as currently they have a few boring passive bonuses for sitting in a city and that's it.

Terrain is another untapped resource. This is used to a light extent by docks/lumbermills, but it could be vastly expanded. The presence of rivers, hills, forests, mountains, and special resources - beyond gold/crystal, but unique resources that provide for special weapons and armor to outfit troops from that city, or unique resources used to power certain types of spells. This would give much more interest to placing cities, and make developing them a real pleasure (it would also give another unique differentiation between a small/large city empire and a large/small city empire - one lets you exploit resources more fully, another gives you access to more types of resources).

These ideas are all off the cuff, but any/all/more of them would be welcome over the current system.

The unique structures and units are also something that could be a target for city raids, it would be interesting to be able to attack and damage an enemy city without simply capturing it wholesale - strike to destroy a key structure (temporarily?), steal plans to build your own, or capture an enemy civic leader. It'd add another aspect to warfare beyond 'capture/raze everything in sight'. It could also give another diplomatic goal, something you could ask for in trade, threaten to destroy, or ask an ally to destroy or capture.

Another thought is that when a city is outfitted with a unique structure, some of its build options could be to power the ability of that structure - so now you have lots of things to do with cities - you can a) Build a structure Build a unique structure c) Build a unit d) Upgrade a unit, hero, item e) Craft an item, f) Power a special ability. A lot better than 'this building gives you +20% gold for an EMPTY build queue' why give rewards for doing nothing and not making a choice? How boring is that?

Last thought:

Whatever systems are chosen, special city bonuses and units need to be transparent to all players.

It is vitally important that if an AI player has a special city with a unique structure, or unique civic units present, that you can see that information easily in the ui, so that you can make informed decisions about who to ally with, who to fight, and what cities to target for raiding, to destroy key structures or capture key civic leaders.

This is a sin that many, many 4x games are guilty of, but shining a clear light on _what_ is producing those dangerous units for one AI, or where they are getting a large chunk of their gold/research/production/etc from, or what cities are developed with dangerous unique buildings makes for more interesting gameplay.

Tangental, but I actually think that starting the game in a black fogged world is a bad idea in these sorts of games, because your decisions are limited to 'explore randomly', it's not until the midgame when you have discovered the lay of the land that you can make more interesting strategic decisions about who and what to fight, where to explore or defend, etc.

So in brief:

Current system is functional but boring.

Add customized city development.

Add unique city development rewards.

Add unique structures.

Add unique civic units.

Add unique terrain effects.

Consider adding the ability to raid and pillage/steal/capture unique structures/bonuses/units.

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January 23, 2012 12:59:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There used to be treasure maps in the loot around one's base. This would be a good thing to bring back so that we can get a lay of the land without needing to cast spells to scout in the beginning. 

"The level ups are one of the few unique systems in place, I think that system should be developed and expanded - instead of a single building each level, transform the the level-ups into a branching system that lets you customize the city to your needs. One path gives you troops with unique abilities, another unlocks advanced research that is otherwise inaccessable via the tech tree, another path unlocks special magic, either spells or items, another tree unlocks monster related bonuses, another tree specializes in hero upgrades, etcetc. 

This would go a long ways towards making more unique cities. Basically using the system for spells to make cities specialize in something. I would even say that getting more powerful buildings than +X would be a nice change. Getting new spells, quests, weapons, units, and hero spawns are all welcomed additions. I think the Path idea or spell levels would be a great groundwork for citylevelups. 

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January 23, 2012 9:25:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I didn't know they had maps as rewards, I'd like to see that again. Anything to speed up the early game scouting really, just so you can get a good sense of what's around you, and where you should be focusing your attention.

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January 23, 2012 9:35:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mtrixis,


So, current issues:

The entire building placement system is useless and needs to be scrapped or totally revamped.

Currently, buildings don't involve any meaningful choices. With a handful of exceptions, you build everything in every city, and there's not even a way to automate what is essentially a mindless process. Basic production boosters -> growth boosters -> remaining production boosters -> food boosters/research boosters -> anything else you need.

Without interesting decisions, building up cities is boring, and building up new cities in the lategame, a chore - there isn't even a build governor system to automate the buildup, which could be handled with a short list of build plans - boring.

The core systems in place for cities are totally solid - the core prestige/maintenence/gold/research/growth/food/unrest systems are clean, simple to understand, and work just fine - but they're also automated systems with no meaningful player impact on their development. The widgets you have available are 'what do I research' 'what is my tax rate' and 'what order do I build buildings in the city'. That's it.

In and of itself that's not bad, but research unlocks very few structures (and is too slow by default, a separate but related issue), the tax rate is typically too harsh of a swing towards gold or research/prod to be used in the early game and by the midgame its nearly irrelevant. The buildings involve little to no decision making.

This is an excellent summary, if I may say so. However, based on these issues, may I suggest an alternative solution? Ignoring the exploit-nature of city sprawl, wouldn't all these issues be fixed by greatly increasing the cost of having buildings?

Let's take the Inn, as an example. +0.5 growth. There's really no reason ever why you would not build that.

The same for a Garden. +10 food for every grain. A huge amount. Again, no reason not to build it.

But now let's say that both those buildings cost 2 maintenance each.

What happens? You're not going to build them, unless your aim is to produce a city with lots of food, aimed at tech and taxes. In addition, the more you build, the more taxes you will need to collect, decreasing production as you go.

 

My opinion is this: There ARE meaningful options in the game, but they do not translate to CHOICES because when the cost is 0, there is no reason not to build it.

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January 23, 2012 9:40:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd rather not see that happen because I find the current buildings entirely boring, and adding maintenence would be adding forced decisions, but not especially exciting ones.

It's sort of like... would you rather be spoiled for choice with too many awesome options to possibly be able to build them all, or would you rather be forced to make fundamentally uninteresting choices.

Which is cooler, choosing to between speccing into an elemental city that produces aligned elementals for your faction and elementally charged weapons and armor or a fortress city that has two lairs of walls with trebuchets on them and can shoot fireballs across the landscape at approaching armies, or choosing between .5 growth and +10 food?

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January 23, 2012 9:41:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, I wouldn't mind if building costs were explored again. Not for every building, but for some. Why not a one-off cost of 20 gildar for setting up a blacksmith?

Quoting Mtrixis,
I'd rather not see that happen because I find the current buildings entirely boring, and adding maintenence would be adding forced decisions, but not especially exciting ones.

It's sort of like... would you rather be spoiled for choice with too many awesome options to possibly be able to build them all, or would you rather be forced to make fundamentally uninteresting choices.

Which is cooler, choosing to between speccing into an elemental city that produces aligned elementals for your faction and elementally charged weapons and armor or a fortress city that has two lairs of walls with trebuchets on them and can shoot fireballs across the landscape at approaching armies, or choosing between .5 growth and +10 food?

I mentioned this in an earlier thread as well. If we want cities to be more interesting, we must provide interesting functions for them.

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January 23, 2012 9:55:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe drastic levels should be tested? 

Granary

-5 Gilder/turn

+20 food per grain

+10% to Designed Units HP (Well Fed Soldiers)

Double Labor Cost

 

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January 23, 2012 10:07:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What if the garden can increase the food production of the the title its in? That combined with a maintenance cost does the following

  • Reduces Early power creep
  • Prevents Runaway cities
  • Forces the player to make decisions. Do i really need that building.

 

Some buildings already require certain tiles (lumber mill. Water Mill). We can extend this further by having more buildings like the garden which use the resources of the zone the city is built around.

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January 23, 2012 10:29:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some excellent posts in this thread. 

There's one overarching problem that people seem to be overlooking.  The game is frankly too easy right now.  The AI while competent, is not good enough, the monsters are not aggressive enough or scary enough, and the units and heroes are too powerful too soon.

I have never had to commit my entire resources to the survival of my kingdom.  At worst, there's a monster hanging around one of my cities and so I spend a few turns (or gold) recruiting a unit or two for defense.  And then, after I've wiped the monster out, I go back to building.  I don't have to break off building so I can frantically churn out sub-par units.

I think the game is designed that you will make tradeoffs between defending your city and building it up to full capacity.  However, as it stands, you never really have to worry about defending your cities, so you're better off building up to full capacity and then churning out units to crush all who oppose you.

We're in the early beta, so I am not worried.  Hopefully they'll figure out the balance.  But even taking this into consideration, there should be more complexity to the city-building aspect.  It's one of the things that makes Elemental unique.

 

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January 23, 2012 10:36:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns (an old fantasy RTS) had a slot-based system, which I always liked. Each city started with one or two slots, then could be grown to have an additional slot, up to five or six slots. There were always more buildings to build than could fit in one city, and each building could be upgraded into only one of several upgraded versions (a resource building could be upgraded to give more of that resource, or to give slightly less but instead increase the defense of units built there, for example). Maybe consider building slots (that increase with city level) and stronger building effects, with unique upgrade paths for the different buildings.

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January 23, 2012 10:46:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kohan is the Best RTS Ever, so I'm kind of biased

The slot system is pretty cool, but I think they should go with extending what they already have in place, rather than tossing it completely - tinkering with the city-traits, and expanding the range of unique buildings with conditions for their acquisition, while reducing the number of no-brainer buildings and uninteresting busywork buildup.

It's a shame the building placement stuff is close to irrelevant right now, since so much work went into it.

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January 23, 2012 1:15:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some good points here. I think larger maintenance coste and more trade offs is the easiest fix. As others have said, if a building has no cost or trade off, it is a no-brainer and should always be built, which is a bad design.

 

I think one of the best ways to make cities more interesting aimportant is to tie the quest and event system to them. I have been arguing for this since he WoM beta. If I build an inn, it should generate quests. If I build a market, it should generate quests and events. These can be positive and negative and could also be based on unrest, gildar generated, etc.

 

Example: you build a market and it has a chance to generate an event that has crime increase. The player can them pay to increase security, ignore the problem (giving the city a unique title of crime den or whatever, hurting some things but generating new types of quests and events, or forming on alliance with thcriminals do you can build a special thieves guild building.

 

Example 2: you build an inn. Now quests may be generated at that inn for your champions to pursue. It would also attract new independent champions to visit the city to find quests.These NPCs would use your shops and other buildings, majesty style, while going about their business. Your own champions could visit other cities to shop and find quests. This sort of thing wood help make the world come alive and feel more like an rpg world. 

 

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January 23, 2012 1:33:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would be careful with per turn maintenance on buildings; especially on growth buildings like gardens and granaries.  The growth you would get from a single garden may not equal enough income on the normal tax rate to justify it except for the bonuses to research and production.  Per turn maintenance could easily spiral out of control and the only way I can think of to off set that is to increase base income from taxes and merchant class buildings which in turn means that you can forgo these building and save up a ton of money to then spend on gearing out champions who are already very strong, maybe too strong.

A one time build cost might be more appropriate and would make for harder decisions in the early game.  "Do I spend 25 gildar on a garden for growth or 30 gildar on some spearmen because those wandering bandits are awfully close?"

In the early game I feel like my sovereign plus a recruited champion or two can defend my city just fine so I can focus on buildings until I run out of buildings to produce and then make a few units.

The comparison to Civ 4(or 5 maybe?) is a fair one.  In those games you have to decide between building a scout(faster movement so you can find more city sites, ruins for bonuses, AI civs for war/trading; i.e. diplomacy), a warrior for defense/early offense, or a worker to improve your cities output(essentially economy.)  Many turns later I am still making tough decisions on what to build.

So far in FE I don't have to make tough decisions on what to build.  I make tough decisions on what to research first(YAY!) what quests/locations to try for(YAY!) and what level up bonuses to take for champs and cities (double YAY!)

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January 23, 2012 1:38:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Goontrooper,
Some good points here. I think larger maintenance coste and more trade offs is the easiest fix. As others have said, if a building has no cost or trade off, it is a no-brainer and should always be built, which is a bad design.

 

I think one of the best ways to make cities more interesting aimportant is to tie the quest and event system to them. I have been arguing for this since he WoM beta. If I build an inn, it should generate quests. If I build a market, it should generate quests and events. These can be positive and negative and could also be based on unrest, gildar generated, etc.

 

Example: you build a market and it has a chance to generate an event that has crime increase. The player can them pay to increase security, ignore the problem (giving the city a unique title of crime den or whatever, hurting some things but generating new types of quests and events, or forming on alliance with thcriminals do you can build a special thieves guild building.

 

Example 2: you build an inn. Now quests may be generated at that inn for your champions to pursue. It would also attract new independent champions to visit the city to find quests.These NPCs would use your shops and other buildings, majesty style, while going about their business. Your own champions could visit other cities to shop and find quests. This sort of thing wood help make the world come alive and feel more like an rpg world. 

 

 

This sounds like an excellent idea!  Maybe give inns a small maintenance cost and every so often you get the opportunity to recruit a random champion that wandered into your city or you get the opportunity to take on a new quest.  Just going off what I know this doesn't sound like it would be too hard to implement would it?

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January 23, 2012 2:12:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Granted, gildar are plentiful, cities run out of buildings to build, it takes tool long to get thru the tech tree.

Most of this could be fixed with minor tweaks to the tech tree and various costs.

The OP's original issues might be slightly helped if he reduced taxes.  That speeds up research and would get new tech and the resulting buildings a little faster.  Probably not enough faster to make him love the existing system, but still faster.

 

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January 23, 2012 2:50:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tech research at 'normal' speed is glacially slow, even if you adjust taxes. I'm actually playing a game right now with 'fast' tech and... it doesn't seem particularly fast. Dunno, I'll expand some more and see, could be it doesn't show up until you've developed a bit. I'm assuming it's just a % multiplier on the cost of research techs.

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January 23, 2012 3:04:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agree with the OP.

My own thoughts/needs:
More buildings, more unique buildings dependant on terrain features for example, raised building cost in med/late game, 'team effor buildings' - few cities are producing one superstructure in one of them.

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January 23, 2012 4:02:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would say have maintenance cost grow as you build more buildings in a city.  So the buildings you build first have relatively low maintenance, and after a few of these the maintenance grow.  There needs to be some sort of limiting factor to the choices you can make.  Also building upgrades!!

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January 23, 2012 4:40:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Mystiqblackcat,

The reason one would spend 5 gildar per turn to have +20 food per grain would be to level a city faster. You would also get an overall unit bonus for troops you train there. Eventually the cost would be offset once the population has maxed out from the food. This would be a long term investment for a Civic minded strategy. You would only do this in cities where you already have access to 4-6 grain. Getting city levels is worth alot, even in the crude improvement system we currently have. 

It think it is a better version than what we have now, but allowing it to upgrade with several options as the game progresses would make it a 10 out of 10.

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January 23, 2012 4:54:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I cant possibly understand why people are complaining about the tech speeds. Are you doing something wrong>> I have no problem at all with getting techs very quickly in my opinion, I thought normal was just right for tech speeds.

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January 23, 2012 5:56:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
Maybe drastic levels should be tested? 

Granary

-5 Gilder/turn

+20 food per grain

+10% to Designed Units HP (Well Fed Soldiers)

Double Labor Cost

This is interesting.

Making things more interesting is key here.

Also seanw3 had a good thread about upgrading buildings: http://forums.elementalgame.com/415634

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January 24, 2012 7:25:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jpmcconnell,
The level ups are one of the few unique systems in place, I think that system should be developed and expanded - instead of a single building each level, transform the the level-ups into a branching system that lets you customize the city to your needs. One path gives you troops with unique abilities, another unlocks advanced research that is otherwise inaccessable via the tech tree, another path unlocks special magic, either spells or items, another tree unlocks monster related bonuses, another tree specializes in hero upgrades, etcetc.

 

I like this.  Currently when a hero or sovereign hits level 2 they get to pick a path to follow.  Maybe something similar should be done with cities.  When founding a city, or possibly when it reaches level 2 you should be able to pick a path for city development.  This would shape what tpes of options you get when the city levels up. 

Forinstance you could have something like the following:

Path of the Bastion-A military themed city.  Not as many growth or economy buildings, but has extra defenses and the ability to train troops faster/better.

Path of the Ivory Tower- A research themed city.  Have lots of research buldings and buildings.

Path of the Elements- A city with lots of magical themed buildings.  Maybe break it down more so that the player would have to choose between general magic and a certain type of element for that city.  Possibl even have buildings that produce magical contructs for our armies.

Path of Coin- A city themed on trading and all of the moral ambiguity that comes with it.  This would be a good city for thieves dens and markets with rare and exotic goods.

Bread Basket- A city that focuses on growth and population.  This would be sort of a generalist city for when the other types aren't needed as much or when you just need people for your realm.

Each of these city types could have unique defenders and the unique structures would give each one a different feel.  Ideally you would be able to tell what type of city it is just by glancing at it.

 

Lastly I think we should be able to name cities when we found them  I am glad that cities now have lore inspired names, but the option to rename upon founding the city would be nice.

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January 24, 2012 7:29:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

um... one city upgrade i saw was something like boost research when not building/training anything.. that was in 0.75

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