The fact that outposts cost population makes them largely useless

By on July 2, 2013 5:09:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

hakkarin

Join Date 10/2010
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I understand why it costs population to create cities but why does the same apply to outposts?

I don't see any obvious benefits to creating outposts if they cost population just like cities do.

I think there should be 2 kinds of pioners. 1 type that builds cities and costs population, and 1 type that builds outposts and doesn't cost population.

I really hope a patch or something will make this happen. And if it won't, can't somebody mod this or something?

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July 2, 2013 5:47:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, what you ask for is completely possible via the realm of modding.  In fact, I've been working on this very issue...

Because of how Outpost Builds are handled in the code, it's pretty easy actually to make a pioneer-style unit that only builds outposts, for whatever population/build time/etc. that seems appropriate to the modder at the time.

The other thing you can do in the meantime is get the special Sov/Race ability that allows you to build Arcane Monoliths.  These take 50 Mana to build instead of population, but of course upgrades are still handled via the city build cue.

On another note, I did find a way to divorce outpost upgrades from city build cues, but unfortunately this results in instabuilds/instaupgrades, and I haven't figured a way to slow down the upgrades yet.  Hence why my mod hasn't been released yet.

 

The prevailing alternative I've seen on this issue via forum searches is at least halving the required population for outpost (only) builder units.  I seem to remember a FE mod that did exactly that.  But, as with everything else, different people have different takes on this subject.

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July 2, 2013 5:56:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

I understand why it costs population to create cities but why does the same apply to outposts?

I don't see any obvious benefits to creating outposts if they cost population just like cities do.

I think there should be 2 kinds of pioners. 1 type that builds cities and costs population, and 1 type that builds outposts and doesn't cost population.

I really hope a patch or something will make this happen. And if it won't, can't somebody mod this or something?

I can debate whether outposts should cost population, but their utility is not an issue right now, they are plenty useful as is:

 

They do several things:

1) Allow you to gain access to shards, iron, crystal, and other resources. Ultimately these resources are a big driver in the game. You have to have them, and outposts are normally the easiest way to get them.

2) Connecting your cities to the capital using outposts reducing their unrest by 15%! That is 15% more research and production.

3) The armory and fortify upgrades on an outpost magnifies an armies combat power greatly. You can put them in chokepoints and hold positions even with only a small force.

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July 2, 2013 6:06:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

^ #4)  They help keep rival factions away from any areas you want for your own, especially when it involves keeping their pioneers from settling on precious resources, or simply getting too close to you. 

 

Agreed 100% with Stalker's other points.  Although I can also agree that taking *heavily* from a city's population as well as outpost upgrades affecting city build cues wasn't the best way to handle it -- I'd much prefer they simply took from other available resources instead of directly draining the nearby city so much.  That said, outposts are extremely useful regardless.

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July 2, 2013 8:31:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

how long does it take for the consulate upgrade to recoup the pioneer cost? (i know it varies with production)

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July 2, 2013 10:52:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sometimes there just aren't that many settle areas and you need to gain resources with outposts.  Its less than ideal that it costs population, but it can be worth it.  I'll definitely expend a pioneer for a spot where I can grab a clay and a shard.   Also depends on how heavy the iron distribution is, if its real light and there are only a couple on the map - def worth an outpost. 

Plus the points above.

Mods can solve it, but not sure it needs to be solved if the AI could be made to play with the same rules.  Still see a few too many pioneers running about.

 

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July 3, 2013 2:28:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I used to agree with the OP, but in my recent game I found I had plenty opportunities to build pioneers. 

Every time a city isn't capable of reaching the next level and the growth rate drops, you might as well build a pioneer.

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July 3, 2013 2:54:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fallenchar,
Every time a city isn't capable of reaching the next level and the growth rate drops, you might as well build a pioneer.

Correction, you may as well queue a pioneer. There is no need to finish building it, you can unqueue it when you have added more food buildings.

I also strongly agree with the OP that outposts costing 30 population makes me very loath to create outposts until late game (I'm quite happy to wait for the AI to build some and conquer them though). Perhaps that is Stardock's intention, but it seems to mostly eliminate a moderately large feature.

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July 3, 2013 3:34:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mistwraithe,


Quoting Fallenchar, reply 6Every time a city isn't capable of reaching the next level and the growth rate drops, you might as well build a pioneer.

Correction, you may as well queue a pioneer. There is no need to finish building it, you can unqueue it when you have added more food buildings.

I did not want to mention the big elephant in the room

In theory, pioneers don't cost much. In reality, with everyone using the current exploit, they do cost too much...

In my next game, I plan to take on the ultimate challenge: to refrain from using the exploit

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July 3, 2013 3:55:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with the OP, 30 pop is a good cost for a new city but way too high for an outpost. We've been clamoring about this issue ever since the 30 pop cost was instigated. The queuing of pioneers to boost growth is an another exploit we've been clamoring about since its discovery back in beta.

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July 3, 2013 4:22:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Arcane Monolith doesn't seem to cost population.

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July 3, 2013 4:34:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just use a single level 2 town or fort for cranking out pioneers. It needs high production and just enough food to keep it growing at a steady +3 pace from pop 0 to 30. Others are free to grow.

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July 3, 2013 4:51:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My point exactly. If you do not use the exploit, producing pioneers does not slow down your economy (or not by much). They are pretty cheap.

I guess it's fair to say outposts are usually inferior to cities, and therefore should be easier to build. However, you can also argue that it's up to the player to decide what to do with a pioneer, so it's a bit of a non-issue.

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July 3, 2013 7:26:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Outposts really should cost an exponential gold upkeep per turn instead, with one per city free.  Or cost per number of outposts connected to a city.

 

 

 

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July 3, 2013 9:56:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I use outposts extensively from midgame onward to lay claim to clay, crystal, and shards.  Sure it slows city growth, but the strategic choice is worth it.  

And now that I captured Deorcnyss in crushing Yithril, I'm going to turn the silly place into a pioneer factory.  

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July 3, 2013 9:59:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the population cost of the pioneer was removed completely from the game, would it really be a big problem? It seems like it would simply fix the exploit, and it's not like you can city-spam anyway since locations are limited.

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July 3, 2013 10:43:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You specialize cities to be pioneer spammers for growing your big cities. Pioneer population cost is never an issue in my games, and I use outposts a lot. (Huge maps) Grow it to next level, spam some pioneer, let it grow up in population again etc. I can understand it being more of an issue in quick games though, but me playing on epic it feels fine. Ask for them to scale it down in quicker games maybe? 

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July 3, 2013 11:39:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Outposts are plenty useful.  They can be upgraded fairly quickly for good benefit.  Since when do your stacks not like +50% damage.  I do agree that having Outposts tied to population is kinda sucky.

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July 3, 2013 12:09:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jutetrea,
Mods can solve it, but not sure it needs to be solved if the AI could be made to play with the same rules.  Still see a few too many pioneers running about.

 

Which is bizzare because most AI don't have more than 1-2 cities during a game which is frustrating. There are perfectly good places to settle and they have pioneers walking right on by. It stagnates there growth and competition immensely.

AI should not be held back and should be allowed to build empires of 3-5 cities. That said, the tempo in which they build this empire should not be front ended forcing the player into a pioneer spam war.

But when turn 200 comes around and none of the AI has more than 2 cities....well, that's just VERY deflating up against my 7 citied empire. It's no wonder my faction power is double theres. They're not trying.

 

On the note of outposts, I've been asking for scouts to build outposts instead of pioneers since FE beta. I still have yet to build a SINGLE scout unit. They are absolutely useless in this game....especially now that in LH you start off with 3 units....just send the other two as temporary scouts till you have another hero to do the work and you pick up some quest creatures to help out. Scouts have no use. Building outposts would give them a use.

I have not looked into putting a mod together for this because the AI would have to developed to work with such a change....and I don't think I'm up for such a challenge.

Nevertheless, if it were possible to limit pioneers to ONLY city building and to add outpost construction to Scouts units....and have the AI understand how to utilize both, then I think this game will really take off in terms of early-mid game land aquisition.

 

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July 3, 2013 3:42:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is one of those "if it ain't broke don't fix it" areas.

 

Now, the pioneer exploit i do believe should be fixed. But i don't have an issue with outposts as they stand, they are plenty useful, well worth the population investment to get them. while higher level cities are nice, they are not worth denying yourself those extra crystal, iron, or shards.

 

In the grand scheme of things, i think there are many other issues that are much more problematic than this one.

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July 3, 2013 4:24:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

30 pop for a city may seem like a good idea purely because that city is immediately functioning - and with an essence can provide at least 1 research (if water) - maybe an alternate solution is to go the MoM route and any newly settled city is pretty much useless for X turns.

Then its 30 pop to do 1 of 2 things:

Immediate outpost that allows buildable resources and can be upgraded - making an existing city stronger without diluting the benefit (but taking up a few turns to build).

 

Future city - start as a useless village, in 20 turns it becomes a city.  Villages are defenseless and can just be stomped - and make it so stomping villages does not hurt relations (or a tiny impact).

 

This way its more of a strategic decision.    Extends games a bit more but also limits city spam as villages are more of an investment in time and protection.

 

The other side of this approach is that it makes more sense to buff outpost capabilities:

Initial 30 pop is used for a smaller militia force, so a single sand golem can't steal an outpost.

Initial 30 pop is used for the production to develop the resources under the outposts influence - not affecting the connecting cities production queue - maybe at a higher rate of production (or fixed amount) with the idea that they are far from home and feel incentivized to work harder.(?)

Then you might WANT to build more outposts, and you're happy about the 30 pop to do so.

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July 3, 2013 5:31:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's probably my #1 beef with outposts.  They are too easily snagged/razed/etc., and hence not always a good option.  Sure, you can garrison a unit there, but where exactly is this garrison?  Essentially the unit placement is 'divorced' from the outpost, and the unit is simply placed on top of it. where in reality the unit should be 'inside' the outpost.  Possibly with a few defensive benefits, thanks to having rudimentary defensive walls and such to work with.

Also, with a city, you can 'incorporate' resources into the city walls, making them more safe.  Outposts do not protect anything, so razing resources happens fairly often.  Sure, you can camp troops on top of resources too, but at some point you spread your defenses too thin, so why bother at all?

Sure, they provide spiffy bonuses.  But cities provide more spiffy bonuses, and can produce units.  So while I use outposts, I find that I can overwhelm the AI more quickly with cities...

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July 3, 2013 6:07:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tjashen,

Sure, they provide spiffy bonuses.  But cities provide more spiffy bonuses, and can produce units.  So while I use outposts, I find that I can overwhelm the AI more quickly with cities...

I don't see this as an "either or" scenario.

I don't think anyone is disputing that cities are better than outposts (though defensively the +25% defense, +50% attack upgrades beat the pants off of the fortress defensive structures).

The thing about cities is that you can only have so many of them. Now you are going to build cities, probably on every site you can get your hands on. But once you run out of spots, or you just going to leave all of those juicy resources out there in the cold? No, the outposts will let you get these resources and the cost is still more than worth it.

 

I think some people are under the assumption that the 30 pop cost is the balance for cities. Its not, the fact that you have a very few precious sites that you can build cities on is the balance factor. The 30 pop cost is more the balance for outposts.

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July 3, 2013 6:09:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Why shouldn't an outpost require people to man it? If I imagine myself traveling in the world of FE:LH and I came across an outpost, I envision seeing people manning the outpost.

The difference between a city and an outpost is a city is built some place that can sustain growth and become self-sufficient. Since an outpost can't, it's forever tied to a city.

From a gaming standpoint, I see the value of outposts and I'm more than happy to spend 30 pop on one. If you don't, then don't build them. Also, if you think using the pioneer exploit is an exploit (and I do), then don't exploit the game (and I don't)!

 

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July 3, 2013 6:11:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Outposts works as "buffers", they give you time to actually respond. (and no, Call of the Titans is not a proper response, it's and end-game option) Freeze/Tremor/Tornado etc. and your army will get there in time if you have roads to outposts. Cities vs Outposts? Unrest would like a word with you, maybe you need more unrest to balance your game?

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July 3, 2013 6:49:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is population really that rare of a resource?  I always have a city that's near maxed out.

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