The game's biggest problem still unresolved: Why the 'number of cities' penalty system doesn't work

By on October 15, 2013 12:10:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Apheirox

Join Date 04/2006
+3

I've formerly written and debated at length about this topic on the Steam Forums, but since it still isn't acknowledged by the StarDock team (or, it would seem, the community at large) how broken the current economic model is I'm going to give it another shot here in hopes of this issue getting the needed attention.

 

First, let's clear a few things:

 

1) I am not inherently opposed to a system the penalizes an empire for growing very large - in fact, I think it is a really good idea to stack odds against a such empire and give the smaller ones a fighting chance, and it [attempts to] create the interesting choice between building 'tall' or 'wide'. It needs to be done right, however. Civilization V is an example of doing it right. FE:LH is an example of doing it catastrophically, game-breakingly wrong.

 

2) Even if the Prestige model from FE was perhaps less-than-optimal in certain ways, it is still superior to LH's model by miles. However, unrest-per-cities isn't hopelessly unsalvagable and won't have to be abandoned completely, but it will require a major rework.

 

*

 

With that out of the way, let's get to the question you are no doubt asking: what is the problem with the current unrest-per-cities model?

 

The current unrest-per-cities model fails in two major ways:

 

1) Unlike Prestige from FE, unrest-per-cities in LH does absolutely nothing to discourage early game city spam. The optimal way to play LH is to spam as many settlers as you can as early as you can and settle any location that is remotely safe from monsters. This is because when the number of cities is very low, so is the unrest penalty. Thus, any new city you found will only increase, never decrease, your gildar, population growth, research rate, mana income and - most particularly - your production. Many of you are probably familiar with the term 'ICS'... FE:LH's early game is 100% ICS, a model practically every other 4X on the market moved away from years ago for good reasons.

 

Again, this model stands in complete contrast to FE's Prestige system which meant settling any new cities would decrease growth rate in older ones, even with just two cities. While the old model was arguably overly restrictive (players should be allowed to expand more aggressively early to produce more interesting gameplay, managing a single city is watching paint dry), it still boggles the mind why the developers would move the game from a model that recognizes the problems with ICS and severely restricts expansion into one that completely encourages it.

 

ICS is bad for a 4X, but the much bigger problem with LH's model is:

 

2) Unrest-per-cities totally disrupts the flow of the game at a certain point. When you have 15 cities in your empire, any further expansion will produce absolutely crippling unrest: 15x3 = 45 percentage points of unrest, distributed amongst your most productive cities where it hurts the most. Adding a new size 1 city with its pitiful output is just not worth it at this point and will only harm your empire. Effectively, this means that beyond a certain point, the game completely prevents you from expanding. The early game is spent massively colonizing the land, but you then reach a point where it says "sorry, no go!" and become paralyzed.  It is a total paradigm shift that just murders the natural game flow, going straight from unrestricted expansion into total denial of expansion in one swoop. When you reach this point, the gameplay completely slows down and you'll be forced to sit on your ass and do nothing for the next 50-100 turns. Why? Because the only way to lift the curse of massive per-city-unrest is to tediously wait for your Fortress class cities to level up! Fortresses, to make matters worse, are the slowest type of city to grow, even if you do everything in your power to support their growth, such as doing the senseless things the current model encourages such as building Fortresses in high grain, low production locations supported with both your Tower of Dominion, Palace and Consulates and create a city that will never be useful for anything other than unrest reduction. Consequently, no matter how smart you play, you'll be forced to sit and wait for your Fortresses to grow to lvl 5 for literally hundreds of turns (it's that paint drying thing again... talk about tedious gameplay!). During the full length of this time you'll be unable to attack your neighbours or do anything else of interest, even if you could easily crush your opponents, because doing it will in fact weaken you. You have to sit and wait.

 

*

 

The problem, as we can then see, is that the game's only real options for unrest reduction (lvl 4 Fortress: Prison & lvl 5 Fortress: Onyx Throne) are locked away in the buildings that it take the most time to reach, with logical necessity creating a disruption of the flow of gameplay as you wait for them to unlock. Solutions to the problem could therefore be:

 

1) Dismantling the whole broken LH economic model and returning to the superior Prestige model... Which we know won't happen at this point, although the game would be better for it.

 

2) A ceiling on the amount of unrest-per-city penalty you can get. Beyond 10 cities, any more don't addtionally increase unrest. This has the weakness of still making large empires much more powerful than smaller ones, a speed bump instead of a blockade. Then again, this game is about dominating the world of Elemental, yes?

 

3) More unrest-reducing improvements for cities. Halving the cost of the 'Bless City' spell in v1.3 works a bit like one and has reduced the issue somewhat by allowing one to better convert mana into unrest reduction, but it wasn't enough - especially since not every city will have a slot for essence, and it remains an extremely costly spell. A real new building(s) is needed - City Hall? It's fine to let these new buildings be expensive - even put a gildar upkeep on them - they just have to be there.

 

Many other solutions could be thought up, but something needs to happen. Current gameplay is: expand like mad, wait 100+ turns doing nothing, expand - and it is not good.

 

Thanks for reading!

Locked Post 61 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 12:43:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fair enough, but I think you're making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill. There are plenty of ways to reduce the effects of unrest when you have 15 cities:

1) Build more unrest reducing buildings. Off the top of my head, shrine is -10%, Town Hall is -10%. There are others (e.g. Sacrificial Altar). High level Towns have an upgrade option to ignore unrest for number of cities.

2) Use Commanders or otherwise superflous heroes

3) Use spells; Oppression + Bless City etc.

4) Lower the tax rate

5) Rush all your buildings

6) Use the Fortress upgrades, as you say.

7) Use produce gold or produce mana, neither of which is affected by unrest as far as I'm aware.

Alternatively, if your 16th city seems a net negative, don't build it, or Raze any AI city you capture.

The main effect I can see is to reduce the need to micro manage large numbers of marginal cities. If you've got 15 cities then you're well on your way to winning anyway. One or two cities here or there isn't going to make a whole bundle of difference if you're winning the game in the next 10-20 turns. My main use for cities beyond 15 would be producing gold, Sacrificing the population, or producing mana. If you can't do any of those (or don't think the benefit is high enough) then Raze that city.

The size of map and game speed you play on will affect this to some extent, but I still find it hard to believe you can't win the game with "only" 15 cities.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 2:44:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wish you were right about it being a molehill. This is a crippling issue with the game.

 

My current game is on a medium map with four players. This is within the 'recommended' settings. I currently have 22 cities, which don't cover even half the map - so imagine how bad it would get if playing 'Huge'. The game is in the bag, yes, but I should be able to expand my empire when there is still lots of highly valuable land available. I also shouldn't have to automatically raze any valuable AI city I capture from now on.

 

Let me address your points in order:

 

1) That's the problem exactly, there aren't enough unrest-reducing buildings, hence why I said adding could be [part of] the solution. Cleric-line is for Conclaves only, other cities get a 20% reduction maximum (Bell Tower + Town Hall). The only good way to reduce global unrest is Fortresses.

2) There aren't enough heroes to use them for unrest reduction, and heroes also just don't the job (it's a 5% reduction...). The administrator hero skill is poorly designed, because the only way to get enough XP for a good administrator that reduces unrest empire-wide is to send them into lots of combat, which defeats the whole point of them being an administrator. This is a separate issue with the economy, though - the amount of XP gained from stationing a hero in a city, especially a Commander type, should be far higher than it is now.

3) Like I said, too high mana cost to be feasible and not all cities can support essence.

4) Already lowered. Problem is, game-mechanic-wise, that having to run it so low makes gildar production even more useless than normal, and it's already struggling.

5) Yeah, wish I could 'rush' population in my main Fortress. Fact is, as I described, there's just no way you're going to 'rush' 600 population into a Fortress-class town - it will take time no matter what, and meanwhile you get to sit around twiddling your thumbs. Also, it's simply a dumb mechanic that I have to babysit a barracks-type city into promoting growth above all else while the entire rest of the empire must be put on hold until it has grown sufficiently.

6) .

7) At that point I might as well not have the city. The problem is that gameplay becomes a lot like Civ V with lots of land perfectly good land that just remains uncolonized because nobody can afford to have it(!). I could easily defeat my neighbour in my current game but since I still have lots of better land all around me, why should I? Just to win the game, razing any city I capture? I believe the game should be designed so that winning wars strengthens your empire rather than weakens it. Currently, going into this war I would easily win would cripple my empire.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 3:12:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Apheirox states: "2) There aren't enough heroes to use them for unrest reduction, and heroes also just don't the job (it's a 5% reduction...). The administrator hero skill is poorly designed, because the only way to get enough XP for a good administrator that reduces unrest empire-wide is to send them into lots of combat, which defeats the whole point of them being an administrator. This is a separate issue with the economy, though - the amount of XP gained from stationing a hero in a city, especially a Commander type, should be far higher than it is now."


This I agree with.  Governor experience should come from being stationed... but that can be easily modded... not an excuse, just sayin'.

For me, I generally play large random maps against 10 or more opponents on Challenging/Challenging and I tend to set captured cities in the late game to produce wealth, mana or research as I don't want to manage 10+ cities.  

 

It would be nice to have some settler options at start up: unrestricted pioneers can be built, pioneers pop as Fame thresholds are reached like heroes, rescuing villagers during quests earns you pioneers or pure conquest: You start with one city, you can build outposts with Engineers, and all other cities come from the sword.

 

There is probably no happy medium (no pun intended on map size) that will fit different sized maps/playstyles/etc.

 

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 3:36:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

N/A

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 4:37:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"1) That's the problem exactly, there aren't enough unrest-reducing buildings, hence why I said adding could be [part of] the solution. Cleric-line is for Conclaves only, other cities get a 20% reduction maximum (Bell Tower + Town Hall). The only good way to reduce global unrest is Fortresses." - Apheirox

Unless it's been changed for 1.4, you can build a Cleric and its upgrades in any settlement that has at least 1 essence.

"2) There aren't enough heroes to use them for unrest reduction, and heroes also just don't the job (it's a 5% reduction...). The administrator hero skill is poorly designed, because the only way to get enough XP for a good administrator that reduces unrest empire-wide is to send them into lots of combat, which defeats the whole point of them being an administrator. This is a separate issue with the economy, though - the amount of XP gained from stationing a hero in a city, especially a Commander type, should be far higher than it is now." - Apheirox

How many champions do you need, usually? I usually only end up using the first 2-3 champions, including the sovereign, as army leaders, and the rest just sort of sit in towns because I don't need them in the field. I do agree that the lack of experience for governing a settlement is a problem with leaving champions sitting in settlements for unrest reduction, but on the other hand I'm probably never going to use them, anyways.

"1) Dismantling the whole broken LH economic model and returning to the superior Prestige model... Which we know won't happen at this point, although the game would be better for it." - Apheirox

I consider the prestige model to be significantly inferior to what we have now, and I hope that that model stays dead. As a source of bonus growth, it would have been fine, but as the primary source of population growth it was terrible.

Quoting merlinme,
The size of map and game speed you play on will affect this to some extent, but I still find it hard to believe you can't win the game with "only" 15 cities.

The problem is that you can win the game with "only" 15 cities, and on a huge map 15 cities really does seem like a very small number of cities.

A picture (it's from an old game, probably circa patch 1.1, and annotated, but it's on a huge map):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0x49s4awz14fsuc/LH_Empire.png

You'll notice that in that game I had 13 cities, was about to expand to my 14th and had room for at least 3 more in the area that was very clearly my territory, plus quite a few more to the North and East. My colonized territory in that picture spans maybe 1/6 of the map, and probably more like 1/8 of the map, so there was probably room for ~80 cities on that map. So yes, 15 cities really does seem like "only" 15 cities.

Unlike Prestige from FE, unrest-per-cities in LH does absolutely nothing to discourage early game city spam. The optimal way to play LH is to spam as many settlers as you can as early as you can and settle any location that is remotely safe from monsters. This is because when the number of cities is very low, so is the unrest penalty. Thus, any new city you found will only increase, never decrease, your gildar, population growth, research rate, mana income and - most particularly - your production. Many of you are probably familiar with the term 'ICS'... FE:LH's early game is 100% ICS, a model practically every other 4X on the market moved away from years ago for good reasons.

Of the resources you listed, only the research rate and production are negatively affected by unrest. Gildar production is, in a sense, directly proportional to unrest since the primary way to improve gildar production is to increase the tax rate, which increases unrest, while population growth and mana income are unaffected by unrest. The only trade-off here is between gold (which is, in my opinion, a relatively worthless resource in-game because of how much things cost to purchase - especially champion equipment), and the production/research which can be used to obtain most of the things you'd be purchasing anyways.

Prestige did, after a fashion, discourage expansion. However, the manner in which it did so was largely negated by being successful at clearing out areas to expand into, since it was partially dependent on sovereign level; therefore, using your sovereign to clear areas to expand into generally solved the issue of having to divide prestige across cities for growth. This also discouraged the use of other champions, because more champions meant your sovereign leveled more slowly if you used them with the sovereign, or that your sovereign had fewer potential experience sources which reduced the rate of leveling and effective maximum level for the sovereign, which reduced your potential Prestige and thereby forced you to have a smaller empire if you ever wanted anything other than little villages in your empire. It also failed as a model of 'attracting people to your empire because you're so great' because apparently lack of food in the cities at their food cap meant that the prestige growth for those cities was wasted, and it didn't redistribute growth based on the number of cities which could grow, only on the actual number of cities in the empire. If 30 people want to move into my Empire, and City A is full but Cities B, C, and D are all accepting immigrants, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that the fact that City A is unable to grow penalizes the growth of the Empire, yet under the Prestige system it did, and all the more so because Prestige was the dominant growth mechanism, especially if you didn't have access to Life Magic.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 4:42:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not looking to mod the game. I'm looking to have developers resolve an obvious (well, I guess not), very large flaw with the game. As I stated first thing in this thread: I LIKE the concept of unrest increasing per number of cities - I'm not trying to get rid of it. Without unrest or some other restriction (previously: Prestige), the game is just mindless ICS city spam. The problem is that the way it is currently implemented is poor, and it simply does not work in its current form for the reasons I specified. A model that has the player moving through first unrestricted ICS the early game then a total halt to any expansion for 50-100 turns or more in the mid game - the equally unhealthy and unfun polar opposites on 4X city building - is a dysfunctional model.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 5:05:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@ joeball: I didn't particularly like the Prestige model, either. I will freely admit that I didn't get to experience it much since I joined FE around the time LH was released and did not play a whole lot of games of FE. I recognize that FE had problems (population requirements for city levelups were far too high, for one, which LH has fixed), some of which I'm probably not aware of. I supposed I should have made this clear in the original post. There was a need for change to the economic model, I'm sure, but LH's changes in the current form were not it. However, while I've explained at length now why it doesn't work, you're merely stating that you prefer this new model. I'd be interested to hear why you think it is a good model and, conversely, why the issues with it I've highlighted aren't enough to kill it for you as it has for me.

 

I'm aware that only production and research are affected by unrest. Those are, however, also the most important outputs, and so the unrest-per-city penalty remains a killer that cannot go ignored. Gildar, as you notice, is mostly worthless (still haven't found out how exactly the rushbuying formula works, but clearly 1 gildar < 1 production, and gildar production suffers heavy penalties in the first place). The point of that paragraph you quoted, however, was to put on display the fact that LH's model encourages maximum city spam (ICS) in the early game. The Prestige model did not have this flaw, and you were essentially making the choice between building tall or wide right from the beginning of the game under that system.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 6:04:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Apheirox,
@ joeball: I didn't particularly like the Prestige model, either. I will freely admit that I didn't get to experience it much since I joined FE around the time LH was released and did not play a whole lot of games of FE. I recognize that FE had problems (population requirements for city levelups were far too high, for one, which LH has fixed), some of which I'm probably not aware of. I supposed I should have made this clear in the original post. There was a need for change to the economic model, I'm sure, but LH's changes in the current form were not it. However, while I've explained at length now why it doesn't work, you're merely stating that you prefer this new model. I'd be interested to hear why you think it is a good model and, conversely, why the issues with it I've highlighted aren't enough to kill it for you as it has for me.

I didn't say that I think it's a good model. However, I do think it's a better model than the Prestige model, because at least it's still possible to have a large empire without really focusing on developing the sovereign or picking up prestige enhancers. Unless, of course, you're fine with the large empire of miniscule hamlets that the Prestige model generally resulted in. If you wanted a large empire of mid-size to large cities under the Prestige model, you were restricted to one of a couple of playstyles - namely, 'wait for the AI to build up a city, then steal it', 'focus on sovereign development to the exclusion of all other champions', 'take slaves near under-populated towns to boost their growth', or 'build tons of outposts with consulates so that every city has a reasonable level of population growth independent of Prestige'.

Beyond that, I don't really consider city spam to be a bad thing in an empire-builder. I also don't really bother about unrest that much, as long as it's still possible to get things done in a city within a reasonable time frame (which means ~50% or less unrest unless you have the money to rush lots of stuff). Bell Towers and Clerics don't cost that much to rush, so this puts a peak unrest level for me at somewhere around 70% unrest before local reduction. That empire that I posted a picture of? I had three fortresses, only one of which had yet attained its third level, and none of which had attained the fourth level, because the first went on a low-grain location and the others were much later cities. All of the cities are nevertheless producing things at a rate which was acceptable to me even if it wasn't particularly satisfactory, and I doubt that any one would complain that 90 research is too little (sure, it's not as good as it could be if the overall unrest were lower, but it's certainly not bad, either). My expansion was delayed more because I didn't really have any armies for cleaning out monsters than because of the unrest level (oh how shocking, when it's 300 turns into the game and you haven't trained more than six army units all game, you're having trouble clearing monsters from all the areas you want to expand into while still keeping the army strong enough to be confident of being able to deal with the AI if it declares war; and yes, this was only on challenging, not anything higher).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 6:53:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yuck, prestige sounds horrible from what i read in this thread. No wonder why people hated Fallen Enchantress Vanilla. FE:LH is miles better, and I only play on Huge maps, anything smaller makes me feel like i'm just fighting for control of a island with various gangs. And honestly I have no problems with Onyx throne, I just settle Fortresses in riverside with 5 grain and 3 production at minimum if I want it to build onyx throne.

 

And then there's a way to circumvent this mechanic, after building every food structure possible, use spells like sovereign's call and Grain increaser spell if it have like 2 essences, if just one, go with sovereign's call because sovereign's call increases the fortress's population by 2 every turn even when it hit the food limit long time ago. As for Food rich locations with fortresses built, I would recommend erecting 2-5 outposts after the fortress is done building the food stuff then have the outposts build the constabularies. I had like a 10+ Growth fortress that built a onyx throne pretty fast once after it got over the hump building the constabularies, for some odd reason they take ages to build compared to building the walls on outposts. They're like 10 turns to build each.

 

Martyr's Shrine can be quite awesome for a fortress tbh. After you get over the rage inducing event of the dude sacrificing itself to Garrotte. WHY HE KILL HIMSELF!

The speed that fortresses take to reach level 5 feels just fine to me to be honest on huge maps. I sometimes use that lull in expansion to focus on finishing last few monster enclaves in my lands. And in other times, a war is going on forever and it take that much time for the war to end for onyx throne to be built. And I don't mind razing Empire cities, they look ugly compared to my pretty kingdom style cities. What's that, a level five town? Razed. Yeah lols

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 8:06:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

N/A

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2013 8:47:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't quite understand your predicament with the unrest penalty. Primal-savage shows an example of a game, but obviously it is later game where he several upgraded fortresses. But in the early game, I don't see how your fortresses are the slowest growing... I find that the fortress grow the quickest in my empire and I choose spots like 2 grain 5 material (I like the production). Then when I want the fortress to grow, I choose growth which switches production to growth and it moves up quickly.

Also, early game do not underestimate the primary purpose of towns. With towns you can increase grain output throughout your entire empire. I find that I build more towns than fortresses or conclaves, just so I can level up my cities quickly. Also, I tend to avoid essence spots when I play and I usually play tarth (+10 unrest penalty to begin with). I do not ever find that I am lacking in any ability to expand or grow when playing. I do like it with the DLC (quest one) has a building that will reduce the unrest penalty empire wide by 15, thus, you get 5 free cities with that particular quest building (although you will lose all research generation in the city it is located, which I choose a fortress (doesn't produce lots of research anyway)).

There are always ways of adding buildings that reduce unrest, but I don't find the unrest penalty a problem in this game (not even the biggest problem as you suggest). I do not think the devs will remove this penalty as it has been asked to be removed many times during the beta and there was just not enough support to remove it from the game. I tend to only field roughly 8 cities, 4 in the early game and 4 more before war at mid game (if I'm already not at war).

As primal suggests there is a single line in

ElementalDefs.xml

find the line

<CityCountUnrestPenalty>3</CityCountUnrestPenalty>

and change it to what you would like.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 3:35:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Apheirox: penalty for using an abbreviation without explaining it.

Joeball: penalty for trying to apply logic to a fantasy game.

Primal Savage: penalty for suggesting a mod in a 'balance thread'.

 

So even though Parrotmath completely undermines his argument by admitting to only build 8 cities, he currently has the best arguments, leading 0 to -1/-1/-1.

Please carry on 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 5:03:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fallenchar,
Primal Savage: penalty for suggesting a mod in a 'balance thread'.

Well said.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 5:20:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fallenchar,
So even though Parrotmath completely undermines his argument by admitting to only build 8 cities, he currently has the best arguments, leading 0 to -1/-1/-1.

Hey, don't I get a mark?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 6:16:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting merlinme,


Hey, don't I get a mark?

Merlinme: some valid arguments, some not-so-great ones...

Ok, 2 points, for effort. Don't spend them all at once 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 9:07:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

N/A

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 9:22:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fallenchar,
Joeball: penalty for trying to apply logic to a fantasy game.

  Umpire, I dispute this call - fantasy and logic are by no means mutually exclusive; the logic need only be consistent with the fantasy.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 10:55:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I may undermine my argument by "not building more than 8 cities" but I do not raze any enemy city I take. thus, after I build my 8 cities, I grow my empire by taking AI cities (and not razing them). So, I deal with the city penalty and the grouchy (occupation) unrest for the 3 turns. They become eventually become productive cities.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 11:20:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Primal_Savage,


You're fired!

 Quoting Spharen, reply 13

Quoting Fallenchar, reply 12Primal Savage: penalty for suggesting a mod in a 'balance thread'.

Well said.

 
LOL, tough crowd; did you read reply #10?

Fired from lurking the forum? Crap, what else am I going to do during office hours?   

You are right, with post #10 you almost redeem yourself. However the 'mod'-offense is too severe to ignore. Sorry bro.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 11:28:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,


Quoting Fallenchar, reply 12Joeball: penalty for trying to apply logic to a fantasy game.

  Umpire, I dispute this call - fantasy and logic are by no means mutually exclusive; the logic need only be consistent with the fantasy.

While your statement may be true, it does not include the word 'game' anywhere. Therefore, your challenge is denied on technical grounds. The call still stands. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 11:30:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

I may undermine my argument by "not building more than 8 cities" but I do not raze any enemy city I take. thus, after I build my 8 cities, I grow my empire by taking AI cities (and not razing them). So, I deal with the city penalty and the grouchy (occupation) unrest for the 3 turns. They become eventually become productive cities.

Interesting. So you end up with 60+ cities in large games?

And I don't think the occupation penalty ever goes away, does it? It only gets lower every turn, right?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 12:26:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@ joeball: The reason cities could't grow large in FE wasn't inherently because of Prestige but because the population requirements for city levels were set unreasonably high.

 

The interesting thing to note about that giant empire you built is that even if you "don't think production times were too bad", fact is an empire half the size would most likely have equal or superior production and research since unrest is eating up most of your income. If you have 15 cities more than an opponent then you have 45% less production and research in ALL your cities - that's huge. The only things you'll have more of is gildar, which is pretty minor (especially when you're on low tax rate as you'd want to be) and extra mana, which will be useful but will mostly be tied up to trying to lower unrest with the Bless City spell. The best way to help your empire in its current situation is to build a building that only exists in the extremely late game/is the most difficult thing to get to: the lvl 5 Fortress Onyx Throne. This is the problem: It doesn't make sense to put the only thing that can make a large empire truly possible so extremely late into the tech tree that'll you will actually have that giant empire long before you unlock it. It would be as if Civilization V didn't give you enough happiness to expand your empire beyond five cities until the information era, which I hope most will agree would be absurd. Once again, I'm fine with huge empires being penalized since it keeps the game more balanced where shifts in power can still happen, but I do not understand why most posters here don't seem to think it is a problem that the game works like this.

 

@ Primal_Savage: If you want to discuss this issue it's not useful to be posting examples from your outlandish examples of makebelieve games. A turn 600 case of no unrest is meaningless. Yes, of course you're going to have no unrest at that point. How do you even play the same session for 600 turns? Your first posted example from turn 180 is still too late game, is from a modded game and has you running a minimal tax rate. In fact, this screenshot precisely shows the problem since even with a very low number of cities for being so late in the game, having apparently built the Temple of Forgetting and getting almost no tax income you still have several cities with unrest.

 

 

@ parottmath: That's not how the game works at all. Production cannot get converted into growth. Fortresses are the slowest growing cities. Towns are the fastest growing and while Conclaves are as slow as Fortresses they typically have enough essence slots to support some growth spells, making them slightly faster.

 

I'm not going to lower the base penalty of 3% per city as I'm perfectly happy with that and it isn't where the problem lies. The problem is that the cure for this penalty, which is a high-level Fortress, is placed too high in the tech tree. If I lowered the penalty it would simply shake up balance by making stuff that reduces unrest generally worth less, and I'm generally happy with how it's balanced now.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 2:34:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh my, oh my!

 

What unrest?!

 

You could have figured out a way to work around the mechanic by now with all the typing you did.  The game is made.  Enjoy it for what it is.  Please dont take others what-would-be-productive-time to answer these posts.

 

Enjoy a game thats been years in the making.  Peace in the middle east.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 3:36:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Apheirox,
@ parottmath: That's not how the game works at all. Production cannot get converted into growth. Fortresses are the slowest growing cities. Towns are the fastest growing and while Conclaves are as slow as Fortresses they typically have enough essence slots to support some growth spells, making them slightly faster.

I refer to the Produce Growth choice in the production (+50% growth), you are correct that there is not a direct conversion of production to growth. But then I don't suffer from growth problems because I try to keep a 3 to 1, town to fortress ratio, and my first city is usually a fortress and is always the highest leveled cities that I have. I agree with the circumstance that there are not enough building provided to reduce unrest. I use the towns as my pioneer spams and a level 3 fortress will provide all the unrest mitigation that I need.

Level 4 with the prisons will provide a 10% unrest bonus to all your cities (at the cost of growth, powerful drawback)

Level 4 can also choose gallows so unrest has no effect on production

Level 4 Town choose embassy then there is no unrest penalty, due to number of cities. You can get this quicker by combining with the slums improvement to get some really fast growth (a perk for towns that I never choose due to its penalty of increasing your unrest... but 5 cities = +15 unrest and quickly remove that with a +10 unrest from slums.... your better than you would be before.)

There are more...

It appears that unrest mitigation happens at level 4 for most cities and the unrest will not have an effect on the particular focus of the city at that time.

A nice starting trait for you would be Noble (-10 unrest for ALL cities)

Bell towers --- -10% unrest (upgrades to town-halls)

I do like the town-halls if you build them --- -20% unrest (upgrades to palace)

There are quite a few other buildings --- A palace -30% unrest

The tower of dominion negates the unrest penalty for number of cities at the start of the game.

The cleric reduces unrest by 5% --- need essence for this one.

Hedigah bathhouse is a fun one with 30% unrest reduction

These buildings are good buildings to start with your production chain. I tend to build bell towers and merchants in all my new cities first or second (to help with unrest), if I have a governor, I station them there until the city is on its feet. I also, mine XP from local creeps by not destroying them, thus my governor can get to higher levels, by killing these and it also levels up freshly made troops.

I think your argument is about a particular play style in the game. Like I say before I tend to always play Tarth with the rebels perk giving me +10 unrest to all my cities and I do not suffer mid game or early game (too much) from this particular perk.

Like I also suggested there is another temple you can get with the quest pack DLC that will reduce unrest by 15% empire wide (available early game if you get the quest... so a luck element not ideal). The cost is that the city where it is built does not get any research bonuses.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2013 9:16:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Apheirox,
but I do not understand why most posters here don't seem to think it is a problem that the game works like this.

Ever considered you could be wrong? Doubt it.

 

Quoting Apheirox,
Your first posted example from turn 180 is still too late game, is from a modded game and has you running a minimal tax rate. In fact, this screenshot precisely shows the problem since even with a very low number of cities for being so late in the game, having apparently built the Temple of Forgetting and getting almost no tax income you still have several cities with unrest.

The modded game comment is asinine and has nothing to do with anything.

The Temple of Forgetting has NOT been built (By season 181). You're making uninformed assumptions

0% to 11% unrest in my main cities is nothing. Remember that those 11 cities running w/ almost no unrest are > than what any of the AI(s) has (Best had 8 cities).

In an insane world, 15 cities by turn 180 is not a very low number of cities. What kind of map setting / difficulty do you play on?

 

Quoting Apheirox,
If you want to discuss this issue it's not useful to be posting examples from your outlandish examples of makebelieve games.

Facts matter so here are some more. Current Game, Part II (Click Images to Enlarge)

  • Season 257 (76 seasons after season 181), Large map
  • 23 cities (+8 cities in 76 seasons) vs 3 other factions (killed 3/6 factions, best left has 11 cities)
  • Tax 30% (Income 157 Gildars / season; Could push the tax slider to 50% and earn 257 Gildars, but would lose 30 research)
  • 2 Prisons, NO Onyx Throne yet
  • Temple of Forgetting has been built.
  • Faction-wide unrest (-58%) vs city count penalties (69%) [Note: 2/23 are occupied cities]
 

 

 

 

Where is the very large flaw? Want some cheese with your whine?

 

_________________________

LH Mods by Primal

XtraDeconstruct

XtraDeconstruct Canons

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000875   Page Render Time: