[.86][Feedback] City Improvement Review

By on March 3, 2012 1:23:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 12/2007


There are alot of buildings, but many of them are not worth using. I would ask that the current buildings be changed to offer some more interesting gameplay. This is mostly a critique of the current buildings and  how I would change them to add more interesting options to the game.


From A to H:


Adventurer's Guild

25% chance to get 1XP. -25% to recruiting cost. -1 Gildar per turn. The reduction to recruiting is not revealed to the player. A big no no. I would give a straight 1XP per turn because .25XP per turn means it will not ever effect the game. Leaving a hero in the city is a huge opportunity cost in and of itself. 1XP per turn would still take hundreds of turns to get to level 4. That seems like a good balance. The maintenance is fine considering the recruitment cost reduction. On a player level, I love that I can now focus on heroes as a strategic choice. I have an improvement and a line in the tech tree. The only other thing I would like is for this building to have a unique version for citylevelup that is more effective. I would also like this to unlock Balanced Sword and Balanced Ax at level 4 cities. This kind of building should reward larger cities.



+1 Diplomatic Capital, +1 Prestige, -3 Gildar. A nice option for diplomatic nations. I would make it cost 2 Gildar per turn in maintenance though, since otherwise the opportunity cost is too prohibitive, given that I have a fair supply of these resources in every game. This is just a minor bonus. On that note, buildings like these should add a +1 to diplomacy with Kingdoms. It would add an interesting way to have make peace during a war. Sure we sacked and enslaved your people, but look how well we are treating the survivors of your capital!


Amethyst Vault

+1 Crystal per turn, -3 Gold per turn. The building is a nonstarter. The trade is not fair, thus no one will ever want this building. It would be better as +2 Crystal, -1 Gold. That way the player is getting something valuable enough to choose. Labor should be medium, rarity medium, level 3 city. It would also be nice to have a reduction to the cost of Crystal for trained units. It only seems fair since metal has this option.


Ancient Temple (Warning: Strategic Resource NOT Balanced Since Last Update!)

+2 Mana. It needs to be 3-5 since otherwise it is so much less valuable than current shards that give 3 mana and one elemental mana point. Also, your tooltip says it provides +2 Crystal. That really bothers me.



+3 Research per material, -1 Gildar per turn, 3 potions added to shop. I love the idea of this building. Give those materialistic cities some research and add items to the shop. But it needs to scale the available items with city level. I often get this in the early game, but it falls flat after the healing potions are too weak to matter and I can cast growth with mages. Also, the cost is too prohibitive for potions. But that is an issue with item value in general. Every items needs to cost 10% of what it currently does to balance with the amount of gold a city can produce. And don't be afraid to add some epic potions. Hf made one that is reusable, but only once per battle. It's a Hanukkah miracle!



+20% research when Queue is empty, -1 Gildar per turn. This is a good option for large cities on the edge of the game that can't produce units for the front lines. But when it is building something, it costs money and offers no bonus. Either give it another function that always works, or have not maintenance. It would be nice to get scrolls from such a building.



+1 Influence, 25% chance for trained units to get 1XP. The influence thing is nice, but once again, it should be 1XP every turn considering how long it takes to level and that I could just as easily send these units out to gain XP much faster. Plus, we are paying alot now to have good units. Keeping them in a city should either be free or offer some techs and buildings that make that a reasonable option.



-50% cost of metal and labor for armor. Great building. I would rather it be available only to towns with a Blacksmith, rather than requiring a level 4 city. There should not be so much incentive for massive cities as means for production in the late game. Small, highly productive cities should be able to build things like this to validate the choice of many small cities. This is a late game tech. No reason balance it with early game situations.


+1 Grain, -1 Materials, +10 Food per grain, unlocks Bread in the shop. I love this building. There needs to be more strategic trades like this for cities so I can specialize them. The thing is that it is only valuable in the later parts of the game where you have enough production from population to sacrifice materials. I would add 2 to city growth so that there can be a huge bonus to choosing this in the early game. You are basically neutering this city's production efforts. A medium labor cost would add some great opportunity cost, essentially making the player resign this city to civilization building at the cost of a good military. That is the choice you need to create. Make the option a medium rarity and at the level 2 citylevelup choices. Level 3 should have better bonuses and this building should be chosen in the early years of a city.



-25% training costs, +1 Initiative for garrisoned units, -1 Gildar per turn. This building is expertly avoided by experienced players. The bonus in no way justifies the maintenance cost. 1 Gildar is a big investment in the early game. We have no tax base to afford such a cost until the midgame, after Act II. I would get rid of the cost and chalk this one up to good warfare research. We are already paying for the food and housing of our units. A Barracks is just better organization. It should also add units to the garrison of city guards in addition to the Initiative bonus. I would also like to see a higher labor cost so that material cities can easily build one in the early game, while grain cities have to grow first. That would better differentiate warfare minded choices.


Bell Tower

+1 to Influence, +1 city defender. It would be much more desirable to have this tower to offer archer units to a city's defense. Having to set archers in every city is a major cost for the player right now. This building should offer some archers to the mix of defense so that a defensive nation can avoid the detrimental costs of large armies. The influence increase is not that logical. I would much rather a +1 Initiative (the bell warns of oncoming attackers and weddings historically), and maybe even +5 to city's sight radius. This should be the go to for a defensive nation and long distance cities.



+1 Materials, -10 Metal, -1 Gildar per turn. One of the best buildings to fundamentally change the production level of the entire nation. This is the Factory improvement of Civilization games. It is a sort of industrial revolution in the midgame that every nation either jumps on or is left in the dust. The only thing I would balance is the cost. 10 Metal means nothing in cost, and Gildar is a more than fair trade for this much production gain. I can't tell if this building is supposed ton offer a huge game changer at no cost or if it is a poorly implemented trade off. For making it a game changer, I would like warfare techs to not need this tech as a prereq. Why in gods' names are we forcing the warfare nations to be civics experts? Just let them develop their own warfare driven version of this building or let it unlock from both trees. If it is a error of trade offs, I would make it -1 metal per turn. Metal is abundant enough now that this would be a fair exchange. A static cost of 120 Metal is also a good choice. But don't make it so easy to build in every city right away. That unbalances the game too much and prevents an excellent opportunity for strategic choice for miner nations and other nations alike.



-3 Gildar, Unlocks Pubs in every city. Love this concept. I would like more of the Civilization Tree to offer a single, high labor building, that unlocks new options in every city. Spot on direction by the devs. But the first building offers me no bonus. It should give that city 3 to growth. The game is right to be stingy with growth, but there should be some one per faction buildings that do offer it to one or megacities. Best new building of beta 2. Oh, and broke record here... add beer to city shop!



 +3 to Initiative, +20% Defense. Castles should do more for a city. I would like to get some archers and defenders from this. The trade off should be a very high labor cost to build it, so I have to choose between an army and a good defense. Also, it should be available at level 3 so that I can better defend my materials focused cities. I will suggest that every wall option be available one level lower for this reason.



+2 Intelligence, +20% Research. This tech is great for civic minded civs. It offers a good bit of leveling power to their units and some good defense against magic. It also increases research as expected. The only problem is that it is under an extremely expensive tech, Research. So it is only available in the endgame and not very useful as only level 4 cities can build this. I am fine with the level requirement, but either balance the tech to have less of a cost, or put the College in the previous tech and put University here. Also, point of fact, Universities predate Colleges by quite a bit. Maybe switch the names.


Command Post

-2 Gildar per turn, +1 level for all trained units. I love the idea, but it should also increase the level of all city guards. The maintenance is fair at that point, otherwise reduce it to 1 maintenance for the sake of usability. Also, a high labor cost is a must as it is a midgame building. It should take a little bit to get this bonus at the cost of troops that could have been trained.



+5 Food per Grain, +10% Gildar. It is nice that rivers add a bonus here. But the building offers nothing pertinent to my city. The gildar gains are minimal and the food is negligible. I would rather docks be a more significant bonus to food, with perhaps no bonus to money. +15 Food per grain or even a straight bonus of 100 Food would be more significant to a city. Again, a smoked fish health item should be possible. Maybe a Canoe to increase movement along rivers.



 +1 Diplomatic Capital per turn. I would like this building to add a +1 to relations for all factions in the diplomacy screen. It should be a way to reduce the diplomatic problems with my nation. DiploCap will do this too slowly considering how let in the game we get access to this tech.


Ereog's Tower

+1 Air Mana, 0 Enchantment Maintenance Multiplier. The description of this building does not tell us what it does. A major problem. It increases our Airshard number and allows this city to have all enchantments for free according to the xml. It is still unclear if this is for all cities or just this one. I would guess just this one. If that is the case, this is a great building. The tower design is lackluster though. I can make much cooler tile designs and I don't have the Elemental Editor to line up objects perfectly or deal with height logically. I would also like +2 Air power as Air only increases a few bonuses. One is too few. Oh, and how about a few items that specialize in air magic?


Farmer's Market

+1 Gildar per Grain, -1 Food per Grain. Nice addition to the game. This building provides civic minded nations a much needed bonus to gildar. The only thing I would balance is -5 Food per Grain because -1 is really just an aesthetic value. Oh, and this should unlock a few mixed category or random items to the shop. Farmer's Markets often trade food for things other than gildar.



+3 Initiative for defenders, +20% defense. Once again, add defenders, level 3 prereq instead of level 4. I also think that each faction should only be able to build certain levels of walls. Pariden for instance should only reach Hedge Walls, giving them a refined hedge look and making them uniquely noticeable on the map. Then they can add a magical Ice Wall later in the game. That is some very easy faction difference to add. It is not what you add sometimes, but what you take away.



+4 Initiative for defenders, +25% defense. Once again, add defenders, level 4 prereq instead of level 5. Fortress should be the mark of an impenetrable city. Seeing those stone walls should strike fear into the heart of any assailants. Archers, Catapults, and well armored defenders should be added. A mere defensive bonus is not enough. Oh, and it should be a very long building process. Seeing this in a city's queue might be justification enough for war. And a "Those sure are some high walls..." bonus of +1 should be added to diplomacy. And if another faction has one, "That's not a wall. This is a wall..." penalty should be added until you build at least one.



-10% Unrest. A simple choice that really puts the pressure on other citylevelup options. I would rather it have +20% Unrest, +40% production. Stringing people up for civil infractions does not reduce unrest, it masks it. Just like a Prison.



+10 Food per Grain. I do not like that this has so crudely been switched to a citylevelup choice. It offers me no more than 60 food even in my most grainful city. Pretty much a shit option that prevents me from getting one more choice at citylevelup. You should avoid that kind of lemming choice making. Either make it a great bonus, or have it add straight grain to a city and be rather rare. There is only one instance where a level 2 city would be able to make it over the city level hump, but we have no way of knowing that when we choose this option because food is not displayed on citylevelup.



+20 Food per Grain. This is something every nation will get access to because it is in the prereq line for many midgame techs in the Magic and Warfare Tree. That is fine if that's how you want to organize things, but this building is not a choice, it's a bonus from tech. Since we already get a +10 Food per Grain for this tech, it makes more sense to have this building cost a high amount of labor. That creates an opportunity cost that only civic minded nations will choose. The bonus should then be increased to 30 Food per Grain. And let's take this opportunity to give civic minded nations some interesting unit differences. +3 Constitution for all units trained in this city or a straight +4 Con trait for unit design would be a great way to say, "Hey, what you build is who you are." Call it "Well Fed" or "Breadsmen." 


Great Arena

+3 Prestige, All units trained in this city get +3 Strength and Constitution, -6 Gildar per turn. This is a cool building option, but the gains are not worthy of a level 5 citylevelup choice. Those choices need to affect the whole nation. This one is better suited to level 4. Otherwise, increase the it to +6 Prestige, and +3 Str and Con for all trained units in the nation. And get rid of that damned 6 maintenance cost. Citylevelup bonuses should not cost a crapload of money, especially an entertainment one that should be adding to my coffers.


Great Mill

+25% Food and Production, +1 Prestige. There needs to be alot more wonders of the realm. This particular one needs some beef. I would say +50% and a higher labor cost. It should also offer a bonus to all units trained in this city so you have to make the choice between units and buildings getting this bonus a serious one. Maybe +2 Strength would be appropriate? And I would go for +3 Prestige. This is a major accomplishment. Let's help out those civic minded nations!


Guardian Statue

+1 Magical Defender, -1 Gildar per turn. There should be at least 10 different special defenders available throughout the tech trees. This one is a great start, but it should scale with the city level and techs. Otherwise it is useless. Also, Crystal or Mana would seem to be the right maintenance cost, not gildar please.


Guild Tribunal

+1 Gildar per material, +5 Production per Material, -1 Gildar per turn. First off, get rid of the maintenance, it doesn't make sense for this building. It should be adding to my coffers. It also has no city level requirement, which clashes with every other part of the game. This is an endgame one per faction building. Yet, it doesn't have any sort of epic feel to it. I am left severely wanting. This type of building should be something wars are fought over. It should have a city level 4 requirement, it should affect the whole nation and it should offer some huge differences to units that are trained and buildings that are available. Maybe units are extremely easy to train. Maybe the Guild attracts a certain number of special units from across the realm. Maybe money and production become side notes to your well formed civilization. The point is that we should be able to assume that the magic and warfare minded nations will not have access to this tech. Thus it should be the counterbalance to their endgame bonuses. Basic Idea: Civics produce many, Warfare produces well equipped and highly trained units, Magic produces magically enhanced units. There is certainly room for crossover, but the endgame is about how my choices have made my nation unique. Guilds would seem to be the natural expression of this goal.


Hedge Wall

+2 initiative, +10 Defense. should be level 2 prereq, and offer a defender. Should be the only wall option for nations not concerned with warfare or defense in general (Altair, Pariden).


Hedigah Bathhouse

+1 Water Mana, -30% Unrest. This is a very strange addition. If we are going to do this, let's do it right. Make it a level 4 citylevelup rather than 5. Add some unique bonuses to units trained here, like health regeneration and Constitution bonuses. Make Unrest -10%, too much of that going around. Now add some interesting potions from the springs that are free due to the ease of crating them here. Now we are cooking with water!


Hosten's Library

+30% Research, -3 Gildar per turn. The maintenance is too high. It should be only 1-2 and the building needs more than just a boring research bonus. Considering this is a citylevelup option, it needs some flair, say 20 pieces or so? Have it unlock some powerful scrolls in the shop. Give trained units an Intelligence bonus. That might make it competitive with the other options at level 4. For level 5, the bonuses need to be faction wide.


I will do the rest later. There really are alot of them and they could all use some love.










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March 3, 2012 1:34:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

lol. OK I will ignore this post until your done.

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March 3, 2012 1:39:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okey, I won't say this is a great post. And also no karma for you.

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March 3, 2012 3:10:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okay I finished what I wanted for now. Post away my friends! 

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March 3, 2012 4:41:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great post! ^^

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March 3, 2012 5:12:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent insight here. City building really needs more umph. Civics really needs more umph. I really like what you wrote about the blacksmith. Warfare tree needs less dependence on civics and magic tree needs less dependence on warfare. Crossovers should be mostly bonus tech and should never be central techs needed to progress in the tree. It really reduces our options when there's no effective strategy to pursue that doesn't involve climbing quite far up the civics tree.


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March 4, 2012 12:59:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Back to the review: From I-P


+0.5 Growth, +10 healing per turn for garrisoned units. Not very competitive for the level you get it from. I would make it 2 to growth and +20Hp, else it be never chosen. Even then, it is only a good choice for prolonged conflict. The low labor cost makes it a good choice for new cities. I would keep that where it is.



+0.5 Growth. Also known as the village bicycle. There is no opportunity cost. Administration already gives a bonus to faction prestige. Having a static city growth building like this for Civics encourages city spam too much. It costs only 10% of most buildings. If you want to give a growth building to the other trees to stimulate growth, that is another issue. This one encourages a warfare or magic nation to go for Civics first for the sole reason of being able to grow a limitless number of cities much more quickly. I would much rather this build add 2 Growth and cost a high amount of labor. That way it will be worthwhile for a larger city or high production city that wants to maximize growth. Don't let it be the building everyone builds at no real cost. You might as well make it a tech bonus and save some city space.


Labor Guild

+20% Production, -1 Gildar per turn. This guild is almost identical to the Guild Tribunal. I would be in favor of either making one a wonder of the realm, affecting all cities and the other be a one city modifier that is one per faction. Increasing all production of your faction would have serious benefits. That sounds like a great wonder. The point is that they look and function the same. No reason to have two of the same. It would be more logical and fun to have a guild for every portion of society. Laborers, fighters, mages, thieves, merchants, scientists, and farmers should all have a one per faction guild building that organizes them into a caste. This cast would be more efficient in training and thus increase the benefits of the profession across the nation. It should be something constructed at the endgame to give players an advantage in the areas they have focused on. This feels like a spillover from WoM. Time to elaborate.



+10% Research, -1Gildar per turn. This is the pinnacle of lackluster techs. It adds very little to the game. There are a host of books that can increase stats. It would be great to see them available in the shop when this is constructed. Make them the same idea as those high cost, permanent stat gains we get from mana. 500 Gildar to increase XP for one hero by 250 would level newly recruited heroes. This would be great for the mid to late game when they will otherwise be cast aside. We can't have them leading and they can't be taking up space in another leader's army. 500 gold would be a sizable investment even in the late game, assuming gold is well balanced. There are also books that increase intelligence, defense, attack, strength, or really any stat. Make them costly, but a choice for civic minded nations that want to use their vast profits to make a good part of heroes and train well rounded leaders. The other thing to do would be increase the labor cost and add some new scrolls to the shop.


Lumber Mill

+3 Production per Material, -1 Gildar per turn. One of the few delightful buildings that rely on the environment in a direct way. But 3 production falls flat of what should be happening. It doesn't justify the cost. How about making construction costs 25% less? That would be logical given all the wood it produces. It needs to cost more labor too. Otherwise, get rid of the maintenance and increase the production value to 5. This is one of those buildings that kills the AI in the early game.



-10% construction costs, -1 Gildar per turn. For a citylevelup building, this one doesn't do nearly enough and has a prohibitive maintenance. I can deal with there needing to be maintenance on this kind of thing, but at least make the discount to building matter a little. 25% is a much better number. Combine this with a Lumber Mill to get 50%. That will really differentiate a city lucky enough to get both. They will quickly become your go to city for wonders of the realm. But keep in mind that the administrator ability should only be able to do a maximum of 40%, so there is no case where the labor cost is 0. 50% from buildings and 40% from a level 9 administrator seems about right for the endgame for only one city trying to build buildings. They will run out of options rather quick. Especially since this kind of city wouldn't be getting to high levels.



+2 Gildar per turn. This one thing I suggested for a nation that is forced to have several small cities. It gives them a way to make some gold at the cost of the more interesting citylevelup options (assuming they become interesting). As the game is now, this is often the best choice because everyone is so focused on having no taxes. This building facilitates a weak army and no taxes. Once this spam strategy is squashed, this building will return to its natural function, offering straight gold to players that have no gold mines. A must have feature. I would make it +3 Gildar to be proportional to the rest of the choices that will surely be improved. It should exactly equal one Gold Mine.



+25% Gildar. Not at all competitive for the citylevelup you can get it from. Increase it to 50% more Gildar. Cities are just not making that much money to have 25% matter at all.


Merchantcross Bazaar

+3 Gildar per Material, +1 Faction Prestige. A wonder of the realm that is just not that wonderful. It comes close to succeeding, but then only rewards a city that is focused on Material and thus production. Considering that it comes from Economics, it should reward money from both Grain and Material. +2 per grain and +2 per Material would be a much better fit. It will stack with the Farmer's Market for some really solid benefits to a merchant nation that is going to rely on having alot of money buy out of war and rush buy units instead of training them. That would be the difference in choices between production civics nations and merchant civics nations. Now we have two strategies emerging from the same tree. How eloquent this could all be. And if it is as legendary as the description claims, +3 Faction Prestige is in order as well. Needs a high labor cost as any wonders should.


Mining Guild

+1 Metal per turn, -3 Gildar per season. Another nonstarter based on costs. Given that metal is now becoming something used by cities to get some really powerful bonuses, this should add a minimum of 3 and maybe even 5 metal per turn. You will be spending at least one metal per turn for every Blacksmith you have. This building would be a must for nations that rely on high metal to defend and fund their cites. And there should not be a maintenance cost. The guild is something that collects money if anything.


Mint of Ruvenna

+5 Gildar per turn. Finally a citylevelup bonus that has some motherfucking cojones, as we say in the Northwest. Nothing to add here except that every other bonus needs to equal this one in value. 


Missionary Hall

+1 Diplomatic Capital, +1 Influence, -1 Gildar. Not a bad building. Diplomatic capital can be the difference between war and peace. I would like this build to also have a +1 bonus to relations with Kingdoms. That kind of choice makes the game more interesting. Especially for Karavox. 


Onyx Throne

-30% Unrest in all cities, -3 Gildar per turn. An epic citylevelup bonus. It allows me to greatly increase taxes, becoming an oppressive tyrant. The gains are the kind of game changing things we are asking for with level 5 citylevelup bonuses. The only thing is that the labor cost is very low. It should be rather high.



+10% Research, +1 Mana per season. Not a great choice for citylevelup. It shouldn't have a maintenance, and if it needs one, it should be Crystal, not Gildar. The mana gains need to be updated with the current version of the game. I would say +3-5 Mana is a good number for the opportunity cost at this level. No reason why an oracle wouldn't offer special magical items either. This is also a great place to ad quests to the game. A shame there is no building trigger for events. Hope you guys add it sooner rather than later.



+1 Influence, +1 Growth, +1 City Defender, -10% Unrest, -2 Gildar. Alot of spirit here. I would say it's a good choice, but it should add more city defenders. Some mounted units would not go amiss. Maybe more archers too. I am trying not to rag on the tile designs, but this one is used for alot of buildings. It should be more unique, being a palace and all. I would like it to be much larger and gratifying to look at. Isn't that kind of the point? It would also be better at +2 Growth for good measure of Maintenance it will cost.



-10% Unrest in all cities, -1 Growth, -2 Gildar per season. This building is nearly perfect. It allows oppression to take place in the game with an interesting trade off. I won't even complain about the maintenance as it gives a faction wide bonus that will allow me to increase taxes. But it really needs to curtail growth in the city you build it in. Much like the prison colonies in Sins of a Solar Empire, Prisons should be unique, on the edge of a society, produce alot from those imprisoned, and have a low civilian population. -75% Growth would be appropriate. -1 Does nothing to change the city. You really need to use a percentage because I have gotten negative growth before in a city. That is a dangerous road. Have the Prison give +10 Production per material and +1 Gildar per Grain. It won't be growing anytime soon, so let it have a desirable static effect. And make it available to the level 2 citylevelup bonus. A level 3 city will not want bad growth. I have tested this out and will be modding every game to have it just like this. Adds so much character to the game.



+0.5 Growth, +5 Food per Grain. This is a great one just because it links to the Brewery so well. The bonus is well limited and has a medium labor cost. This building is a reward for building another. It absolutely should be a no brainer to have one of these in every city. And they should offer beer in the shop (+3 Strength, -5 Intelligence for one battle).


Pyre of Anniellum

+1 Fire Mana, +3 Mana, -3 Gildar. This one comes close to being an epic level 5 citylevelup bonus. It shouldn't have a maintenance though and should offer Fire Apprentice as a guaranteed choice for all heroes on next levelup. I would also like more mana from it. It is currently working as a Fireshard that costs me 3 Gildar per turn. Kind of funny when you think about it.


More to come, but it's getting late.


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March 4, 2012 1:04:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You definitely picked the right day to make this post.

I'll respond later with my 2 cents on the topic.


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March 4, 2012 1:34:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
You definitely picked the right day to make this post.

I'll respond later with my 2 cents on the topic.





(will post my thoughts soon/later/tomorrow)

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March 4, 2012 2:22:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great post, I imagine it took quite a lot of work to put it all together too.

I don't agree with everything but it is a great starting point which hopefully Stardock will use to inspire their own improvements to the buildings.

My biggest problem with buildings is a real lack of worthwhile buildings for economically focused players (such as me - I'm good at military rushes but I'm a builder at heart) to build. This is particularly a problem in the early game with level 1/2 cities but the same goes for mid-late game with peripheral cities which currently will take ages to grow to level 3.

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March 4, 2012 2:45:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you look at the additive numbers of growth here, you can get huge bonuses to growth if you play your cards right. But my main goal is to review what we currently are playing with. The ways I would improve it are just a little push to get other people to think about how they might change it. I like what some people said about allowing barracks to reduce maintenance costs for units. That would be an interesting choice. 

In general though, I want to see buildings cost more labor. Then split the game between those that focus on production and those that find ways to subvert it. Magic, Money, and Oppression are all great ways to get things done if building production facilities isn't your thing. Warfare gets around things by having low production costs for its buildings. Magic uses spells to reduce construction times. Merchants can rush buy more often and at a better rate. Choosing the right Heroes and citylevelup bonuses can make production go away for one city. That is how the game can play differently in my mind.

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March 4, 2012 2:52:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

would it be possible for a barracks to affect the maintenance cost for trained units?

-> Is it more feasible for a building to affect the maintenance of units built from that city, or just 'all units of the empire' in general.


-> and what about tying (-X% unit maintenance) to a tech?

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March 4, 2012 3:29:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That might make the idea fall flat. Even a 5% reduction to maintenance would encourage serious city spam. Since barracks doesn't work as a one per faction, no real way to go. This is why my idea increases the number of city defenders and their quality. Bonuses to Con and Strength or even defender level would be a great reason to build this improvement. Keep the -25% training costs and the +1 Init as they both make alot of sense.

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March 4, 2012 3:52:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

See Sean, I was talking in broad terms. Is it possible in the XML? Because there are these 1 per faction buildings you see ...

But in more serious terms ... if a Barracks DOES have a gold fee in building maintenance, yet ALSO decreases maintenance of the units THAT SINGLE CITY produces ... then you have no reason to spam and every reason to focus, at least your elite units, in that one city. Although that makes one's strategy very inflexible, so ponying up for an extra barracks here or there might prove better later on in the game, when units get more expensive.

I think it is an interesting concept to toy with. I also thought about giving the -X% to techs only ... like -10% on a tier 1/ tier2 tech and -20% on a tier2/ tier 3 tech. But really, this would probably mess with the 'late game', making expensive armies too cheap?


It is hard to say, as I had plenty of gold but then I had 14 cities, most at least size 2 (many size 3), some size 4 ... but maybe with only a couple cities those reductions won't break the game?

In any case, I think its the early game economy that is hurting the most (plus AI building improvements, like workshop, barracks, lumbermill, and mason).

Since its the early game that is hurting the most, we might just have to wait until the Devs do another whole pass on the Economy, and see what new joys/horrors they throw at us.

-----> Not that they necessarily have done so for Beta 2-B, but I hope they will try to fix early game economies by at least Beta 3-B

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March 4, 2012 4:29:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You sir deserve a

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March 4, 2012 7:56:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I too wish buildins costed more labor and much less maintenance (most of them should have their maintenance cost removed for them to be any viable).

I completely support the city level up buildings requiring to be more interesting.


And there should be something to do when you run out of things to build. I don't think I've ever played another game in which you spend that much time building nothing (most other 4x games allow you to convert production into research or gold). Having your manufactories produce nothing, and at the same time, spending huge amount of gold to purchase some suit of armour for your heroes does not make any sense.

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March 4, 2012 7:56:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lots of great ideas here, especially re: limiting city spam. Citylevelup bonuses with "cajones" really convince me to focus on growing a few large cities! The one-per-city growth and other buildings make it attractive to spam, plus you get the value of more build queues for units.

My thought: could each city (beyond the capital) cost some maintenance? In GalCiv2, new colonies always had a negative cash flow for a while, and that made me think twice before overextending myself.

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March 4, 2012 8:18:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the suggestions. However, I don't like the general function of a lot of the buildings. I find the crazy amount of buildings that give +2 this +10% that and -2 something else really dull. It's the same in other civ games; the generic +X% to gold production etc buildings just feel a bit boring. The fun stuff is the building with special bonuses and big ones at that.

The buildings that provide defenders for the city are fun. Also buildings that give a mana shard or have some big bonuses & penalties like Prison are what makes city building interesting. Also, if you look at Civ V, most of the buildings that give generic bonuses like the market's etc increase gold production by 50% or 100% to compensate for being generic. Getting a bonus of 10% to any production just doesn't make you care one bit for the improvement.

This is not GalCiv where you spam the same buildings multiple times in a planet. Make me feel special when I finish an improvement. Give the improvements some soul.

 Anyway, the improvement ideas you've given are really good to make the current system better. Great job.

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March 4, 2012 8:56:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Would it be possible that some buildings reduce the cost of equipment in the shop ? The more I think about it, the more I think each and every building should  add some things to buy in the shop and/or reduce the price of some kind of items (like the cleric would reduce cost of potions).

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March 4, 2012 8:58:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I mis the lookout towers from WoM.

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March 4, 2012 9:25:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm with LNQ. Your suggestions are very good to balance out the current buildings, but it's still hard to get exited about all those +X resources and +Y% production buildings. Not to mention that I think it will be a nightmare to balance, players will always find a way to game the system and boost production of one thing to ridiculous levels. I can already imagine the patch change logs consisting of endless lists of buildings that get a small increase in maintenance cost, a slight reduction in its output, etc. Now, having a few of these buildings around is fine, but only as a way to provide some nice bonuses, not as the entire crux of the citybuilding mechanic.

The type of building I would like to see more of are more 'one shot' buildings as it were, that unlock things that weren't possible before. A good (but very bad, don't actually use this) example is how the barracks were at one point in WoM. You needed to build this if you wanted to train units in that city. Now, this was a terrible idea obviously, but something along those lines would work well I think: for instance, without a barracks, you can not build units that have traits or special abilities. Same thing could be done with certain kinds of equipment, some of the magical items could require a building being present in the city.

Also, I'm not really sure on the mechanics at this point, but how is unit production handled, specifically costs and production time? Because it might be a nice idea to separate the training time for the unit from the production time of its equipment. That way techs that deal mainly with unit traits and special abilities could go into the warfare tech tree, and production could stay mainly in the civics tree (where it belongs IMO). Warfare focused factions could become good at training units, but would still require some civics techs if they also want full plate and stuff like that. Civics focused factions could become good at producing larger numbers of well equipped units, but they would not have access to a lot of traits for their units.

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March 4, 2012 10:22:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As a side note; a lot of the descriptions have a mismatch between the tooltip and the description window (ie Hosten's Library says 100% to research in the description but 30% in the tooltip), there are quite a few of them that have similar mismatches. Most likely a left over from an earlier nerf or tweak.

Are we sure the adventurer's guild only provides a 25% towards 1 xp point? It kinda feels like its 25% towards level up.

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March 4, 2012 10:48:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ya the current building choices aren't very interesting. I usually go a tech heavy build that rarely changes in any city.

1. Max production, get workshop and Lumbermill.

2. Max prestige/growth, get administration and inn

3. Max research, get libraries etc.

4. Max food, mostly through tech but some buildings.


We need more interesting early game options. Some +X% crystal, metal, or diplomatic capital improvements unlocked on about the third tech level would be interesting and you wouldn't build them in every city.

In another thread Frogboy mentioned making buildings cost world resources, which could work but what would said buildings do that would make me want to actually build them over the ones we have now? I can't see them really changing the above build order much, especially early game. Here is an idea for a interesting improvement.

Memorial/Tourist Trap: Consumes diplomatic capital but boosts faction prestige.

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March 4, 2012 1:30:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Consuming Diplocap is a great idea. Slave colonies should be built by Empires that use Diplocap. If you run out you get -1 to relations with all kingdoms. I haven't finished the core improvements yet, but I have some ideas for buildings to add that would address the fact that most of these core buildings do not change any aspect of the game besides the economy. We have some clever things we can do with the citylevelup bonus. I wold like city level to be able to unlock special items in the shop. I would like buildings like Granary to have troops with higher Con. I would like Merchant to reduce the cost of Rush Buy. Those kinds of changes will give most buildings some sort of impact on the military level of the strategic game. The buildings need to be looked at as one build line and how that group of buildings will affect the units and items available throughout the game. Much like how Brad has the AI thinking in terms of armies as one unit, the buildings in a city should be seen as one building. 

City level should be the major factor in the specialization of a city. I would manage it like this:

Level 1: Basic city. The Grain/Materials and any nearby resources determine the things it can build or should build. It should take about 3 buildings worth of time to get to the next level. Of course all that time may be used to build the basic troops a nation can build. Hill Mine should be added to give production from adjacent hills. It should cost the same as 2 level one buildings.


Level 2: Specialized City. This is where Production, Research, Merchant, and Growth should be chosen as a specialization. There should be a few rare options that give a city some choices that do more than one of these categories. Ex: Silversmith - +5 Gildar per Turn, Unlocks Silver Weapons and Armor as the city levels. Now your heroes have access to a special source of high quality items that are not connected to a tech. This might cause you to focus more on recruitment, even though your overall strategy is to be a merchant. The Gildar boost would be +2 over Merchant, giving you a significant advantage at any stage of the game. It also encourages you to level the city to get a full suit of Masterworked Mithril Armor to negate Piercing Damage from your tactical concerns. So city spam would become a negative thing very quickly. Prison would be the opposite choice as it will stunt the city's growth, but offer some fast gains.


Level 3: Famous City. This is where a city becomes well known for something in the realm. It should have a city-centric bonus that fundamentally affects the trained units and the way that city will be used in the game. A Wizard's Tower, Oracle, Mastersmith, Dungeon, Dragon defender, Colossus, Templar Keep, Eye of Sauron, Merchant Guild, or some such building should be the choice. That choice will makes units produce faster or make them cheaper to buy. It will offer special traits and stat bonuses. It will possibly provide a resource of metal, crystal, horses, gildar, mana, items, research, or even unlock new spells. Prestige should be offered freely.


Level 4. Capital City. The city has grown to huge levels, becoming its own state, still loyal to the King. There should be monumental bonuses at this stage. We want people to think city spam is overpowered, until they play online and see me own them with my, Act II, level 4 powerhouse of pain. Give me shards, give me special units and monsters, give me awesome items from the level 2 and 3 buildings, give me special spells, give me major stat bonuses to trained units, give me traits that cost alot of labor and do the job of two traits, give me power over lesser men. That is the goal of level 4. Make it work on a higher level than any other building. Pyre of Anniellum, for instance, should give me special fire spells. It should give me +2 Fire Mana (Need to decide if it is Fire Mana or Fire Power and clean up the XML BTW). It should make all trained units from this city 50% Immune to Fire, 25% Weakness to Water. They should all get +2 Fire Attack. That would be a standard level 4 Building. A rare one should be twice as powerful. Balance this by having it strike fear into the hearts of the Empires (+2 Empire Relations), And generally Piss off the Kingdoms (-2 Kingdom Relations). You would then need to be able to defend it against the green eyes of your neighbors.


Level 5. Legendary City. Reaching this level is appropriately hard. Now it needs to be appropriately rewarding. The effects of improvements you choose here need to modify the whole empire or kingdom. On a general economic level, Research, Production, and Gildar levels should be altered. Maybe you Built Onyx Throne? You now ignore the Production penalties from unrest. So crank it up to oppressive and use that money to fund a massive army. You will be losing most of your research, but the strategy relies on numbers to expand and overwhelm. Add in some nation level stat bonuses and traits, and now your Empire is a grave threat to anyone not prepared for war. There should probably be an enslavement bonus from city captures as well. Obviously this Building would send the realm into war (-4 Relations with Kingdoms).


That is the game changing flavor I tried to leave out of the OP. Better the devs look at the problems with the current buildings, than read my babbling about epicness. The current stuff needs a flavor/balance pass before they go crazy with adding fun content.

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March 4, 2012 4:15:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Satrhan,

Also, I'm not really sure on the mechanics at this point, but how is unit production handled, specifically costs and production time? Because it might be a nice idea to separate the training time for the unit from the production time of its equipment. That way techs that deal mainly with unit traits and special abilities could go into the warfare tech tree, and production could stay mainly in the civics tree (where it belongs IMO). Warfare focused factions could become good at training units, but would still require some civics techs if they also want full plate and stuff like that. Civics focused factions could become good at producing larger numbers of well equipped units, but they would not have access to a lot of traits for their units.

+1  Interesting idea but balancing could be tricky.

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March 7, 2012 3:02:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums



Sacrificial Altar

Growth -1, +1 Con, +1 Strength, -1 Gildar, +1 Assassin Demon Defender. Nice Building but where is the Magical Kingdom answer to this altar?  An all around nice buff for the late game when you are trying to create the best possible units and Growth is not an issue. This one deserves the Gildar cost. Keep it.



+10% Research, +1 Intelligence for trained units, -1 Gildar. Another lackluster Research building. Make it matter. This one is a good candidate for +3 Intelligence for trained units. Make it a high labor cost and -2 Maintenance if you do 3 Intelligence. This is a chance to give civic minded nations better XP and leveling in the end game. That should be one of their advantages. 


Scroll Scribe

+10% Research, -1 Gildar, Unlocks Scrolls: Blizzard, Escape, Summon Air Elemental. Research is a minor bonus for this citylevelup bonus. The scrolls are what matter. There is no reason to have maintenance on a shop addition. Of course there needs to be more scrolls available as the city levels. Because most games unlock almost every spell, I would like some unique ones that are only found here. Otherwise the building is useless in the late game.


Siege Factory

Unlocks Catapult, -1 Gildar per turn. Get rid of the Maintenance, increase the production cost. Choosing this route means a new level in strategy. 3500 Labor is not unreasonable.


Skath Pit

+10 Food per Grain, -1 Gildar. Giving Empire some unique options is great, but if doesn't offer much with that Maintenance cost. It is the same situation as Granary. Maybe this one needs a cost/benefit value. It could be a place to increase food at the cost of some production. But the value should lean to my favor. I would start with +15 Food per Grain with a -10% Production. Only good for cities that have enough materials to handle the cost. The simple solution would be to just increase the labor so that getting the 10 Food per Grain is a time consuming investment.


Slave Pen

Unrest no longer affects Production, -1 Growth, -1 Gildar per turn. A nice strategic choice. It is one of the few buildings that really changes the way a city functions. You are tempted to raise taxes to Oppressive and go on a rampage. That is exactly what should be happening. The only thing is that -1 Growth and a medium labor cost would be enough cost. No reason to lose Gildar every turn.



-50% Maintenance. A great option by virtue of there being maintenance on every building with no justification. I don't really see how a slums would reduce maintenance. It needs a rework. Slums should increase growth. +3 Growth makes good sense. The down side should be diplomatic. Kingdoms hate slums. Maybe a black market form the slums offers some really nice poisoned weapons.



+20% Research when queue is empty, -1 Gildar. The opportunity cost here is that you can't build anything if you want the bonus. It works in the current game because there is no labor cost for buildings. But when you actually have to build things over time, this will be less of an option. If you are going the peaceful route, this is the building for you. If you go to war, this was a bad choice. The risk of not ever using this bonus means the maintenance cost is really a deterrent in the choice process. I would remove it.


Temple of Essence

+3 Mana, -3 Gildar per turn. 3 Mana is not that much in the current beta. 3 Gildar is too much to pay. 1 Gildar and 5 Mana is a better. This is where Magic nations should have the advantage for paying into the Magic Tree and settling next to lots of shards. A high surplus of mana usually goes towards permanent enchantment.


Tenfel University

Unrest no longer affect research, -3 Gildar per turn. This is really a good building only for nations that have high taxes. So Empires are going to want this. But since this is only an option for Civic minded nations that are going for a tech victory. So there are very few situations where this is a useful option. It would be better to just give the player a crapload of research. This way it is a wonder that rewards the first player to get this far in the tech tree. It is no small accomplishment.



+1 Growth. Not much of a bonus for the high labor cost. It needs to be +3 and a slightly higher labor cost. It should facilitate some fast growth for an expansion city.


Theatre of the Wind

+2 Growth, +5 Gildar per turn. It needs to be +3 and a slightly higher labor cost. It should facilitate some fast growth for an expansion city as much as Theatre. 


Tower of Dominion

-10% Unrest, +.5 Growth. This building really feels like a placeholder for future plans. I expect each faction to have a building like this that tells a little bit of the story about the faction. This one is weak though. The growth is negligible. The unrest is significant, but neither of these bonuses are all that useful in the early game when taxes are at 0. I would rather it give +2 Growth. There is a lull in the early game. You need to have faster growth before the game can really get started. Even at +2, there is a pretty slow build to a useful city. I added a capital city bonus of +2 as well so that food was the biggest factor for my capital. I think 150 turns is a good goal for the first level 5 city. The first citylevelup bonuses need to shape how I play the midgame.


Tower of the Magi

+3 Spell Resistance for trained units, -3 Gildar per turn. The cost is ridiculously high. A mana cost of 1 would do the same thing. It feels more like a spell than a building. This level of citylevelup bonus should affect the whole nation. A bonus of 3 Spell Resistance to all units is the only way I would consider choosing this one. Maybe it could give some mana and special spells are unlocked for my wizards. This should be the ultimate choice for wizard nations.








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