Several concerns have arisen, however, and I've been mulling over these issues, mentioned by beta testers, that makes the current system lame.
1. Building a city, and suddenly running out of tiles with no way to get more.
2. Plopping down an outpost to harvest a resource 4 tiles from another city.
3. Forcing the player Snaking a trail of small improvements over to
4. Easily growing and reaching new city levels, where all outposts will eventually become huge cities.
5. Even though it costs Essence to make land livable, city spam is still completely viable in Elemental.
1. Is a big problem already and we've not seen a lot of improvements yet to be available for the game. I'd also like to be able to go beyond the current size 4 limitation in the game, though it should be limited.
2. This is a big annoyance. Found a great resource... but I have to plop a city right next to it and there is nothing else good around that I really want a city for.
3. I've had some rather unrealistic development sizes. I also think the populace should sometimes force an issue.. like housing. In many parts of the world, unlicensed development is a major problem. Might some unwanted slums creep up if situations weren't just right?
4. It would be nice to have some control over this, though it shouldn't be too unrealistic. Are people just going to stop having kids? Your first city or capitol city should be mandatory as unlimited population growth, everybody has to have somewhere to go.
My proposed 'Heroes as Governors' system!!!
Basically, we'd add a stat to Champions: Governing. This would be a value (0 - 5), that determines two things...
1. How high of a city that hero can govern, and...
2. How many tiles their cities can grow to.
Sounds in many ways like replacing city spam with hero spam, which I personally like even less. To start with an outpost size 1 shouldn't require any leaders. I like the idea of requiring governors and vassals to help oversee your kingdom though.
How will one stop exploiting it with governor swapping? or governor assassinations? Vassals need to be static and you shouldn't need the governor outside the city much.
Allowing resource tapping improvements, and them only, to be built away from the main city hub. The obvious benefits that you wouldn't have to build another city to tap it, AND you wouldn't have to 'snake' your improvements to get there, but the improvement WOULD NOT be defended by whatever walls and stationed units the city had available, so there's a major risk in doing so.s
I love this one. Hopefully others at Stardock listen to the proposal.
I've also got an idea of my own to propose.
A city can grow into a metropolis or a giant trading megacity. It doesn't happen automatically and a number of disadvantages are added to it to prevent megacity spam.
To even qualify it has to meet these conditions:
- Two or more cities have to overlap "influence" zones. That is they're already growing together.
- They must have an overabundance of food for both of them.
- They must have an overabundance of trade routes (roads or ports more than needed).
- They must both be at size 4.
- They must both have a certain prestige threshold.
You then have to select the two cities and allow unrestricted development into a metropolis. This gives the following advantages and disadvantages.
- They share resources as the same city
- Share bonuses from buildings (only one needs a barracks to treat both as having a barracks)
- Additional tiles for development are opened (tiles must be inbetween the two if there is any space, else along roads or ports). No more than 2 or 4 tiles for both cities combined. The masses might obliterate some nearby farms in favor of housing, it is a risk you take.
- Commerce bonus for taxation purposes. Trade bonus to the city with other civilizations.
- Prestige bonus for the metropolis as its size makes it into a major of the kingdom/empire. This prestige bonus is equal a prestige debuff applied to all other settlements of any size. The main city in the civilization simply eclipses the prestige of any other settlements and impedes their development and ability to attract new citizens.
- The reduced restrictions and increased commerce also increases crime in the city. You become more unlucky with random events. (Piracy, bandits, disease, whatever are all more common in larger cities).
- Espionage penalty. It becomes a lot easier for enemy spies to sneak into the countless masses of citizens. Defending yourself from espionage becomes more difficult. The sovereign and his governors will be at more risk of assassination or other clandestine activities.
The idea is to create just a few "epic cities" in the world. Having more than one of these should be an allowable recipe for auto-disaster. Prestige in non-metropolis cities would become negative, crime unstoppable, espionage by your opponents unstoppable, the second metropolis might just rebel and decide their army is big enough they don't need a sovereign any more. Many civilizations will prefer to go without any of them, but the few that do will make a major name for themselves and be a sought after target for trade treaties and espionage.