[DoaNE] Feedback and Questions

Nexus1980

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
50
Hi 3tag, I can answer your questions...

Issue 1. When a trade was not fulfilled, you won't be able to trade for a lot of years. but eventually they will open up again. It won't affect other villages however... To improve relationship you can always trade with another village.
Issue2. every ship needs a sailor. When you build a school (not sure) but definitely a college you can put a colonist into it and let him graduate. A 2nd option is to sail to europe (with another ship of course that includes a sailor) and buy a sailor. That's the option i would chose. Don't forget to check the box on the left to include sailors to sail with your ship to the new world. (i don't know the name of the screen).

i have never seen a colony that needs so many tools just to make 2 guns. When you are making guns and also in the meantime building stuff you'll see that you need a lot of tools. it depends of course what you are building. Sometimes you don't need tools (office, church, school ...) but with other buildings a little more advanced you'll need tools.

Hope this helps!
 

AllTheLand

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
3
Civ4Col is old, but there is nothing better that came to replace it. The base game is lacklustre though. After one game abandoned with a few cities, I got Age of Discovery II which was better but not satisfying. Then I tried Dawn of a New Era.

Dawn of a New Era transforms many parts of the gameplay and often departs a lot from the original, for the better. The immigration system is nicer, the way transports can mix-and-match goods is great, the automated trade which sucks compared to micro early on is a godsend once you start to have a lot of trade, there are more native tribes allowing for some small native tribes with only a handful of cities, the plants system is great, the king is more interesting, the revenue/expenses system is great, the naval waypoints system, and more. And ships are fast, ships are way too slow in the base game. Fast ships are very important.

Though no new version has been released recently, it seems to still be considered under development by its author, which is great.

However, it still has unfortunate flaws. I hope this report will be helpful to help improve the mod further.

The most obvious one is the era requirements:
- City size is an awful requirement because it punishes founding more colonies
- Military defenders, apart maybe for the revolution stage, is terrible because the punishment for not having enough army should be losing wars, not failing to meet arbitrary era requirements
- Liberty bells are required too early. Age 2 should never require any independence desire. At his stage of the game, the colonies are still small and highly dependent on the home country. The tax rate is low. The king has gifted multiple vessels which cost more to buy than all the taxes he got on all the trade. Why should resentment against the king be necessary to build better buildings?
- The money requirement is also annoying, because it means you have to stop reinvesting into more ships, goods... to stockpile. I'm pissed off about this because you need to end the turn with the money (the era change isn't done as soon as you meet condition but once you meet conditions and end the turn), and I lost 1 turn because I started an agronomist improvement that pushed me just barely below the threshold (I forgot about the hefty money cost of the improvement) without further means of increasing my balance that turn.
- The number of game turns might be seen as arbitrary, but it's not as bad because then the game is not a mad rush to fulfil the era requirements as soon as possible. It can be thought of as needed time for technological changes and New World perception changes in the Old World.

These requirements force a very specific play style instead of giving more leeway to the player in balancing trade, military, expansion...

But I played, until a few turns into the 2nd era, a game where I lifted these arbitrary requirements (except money and game turn), and it revealed severe issues. I played one or two tiers below the max difficulty for reference (86 turn minimum for 2nd era). I think most of these are still problematic even with the more dubious era requirements in place, but without them it gets even worse. I'll focus on a couple of these issues here. At the end I also added some more minor issues. I have more issues in mind still but it takes too much time to write it all down. I can also send you some saves from my game for you to look around.

1 - You want as much bodies as you can afford in the new world

Though the appropriate specialists are a lot better than non-specialists, the latter still have a net positive contribution.

You can also retrain people who have useless specialities. Early on I made an army of pro fishermen because these are always useful in coastal cities, I assume in later ages once you get to better buildings you can train pro carpenters and other important specialists.

Now you might think that's all as-intended.

Unfortunately, who you can get is determined by who you publishes recruitment announcements for, and the probability of getting an immigrant of a given type only depends on the general immigration bonuses/penalties.

This means that, as soon as you can afford it economically, the optimal strategy is to ask infinite recruitment of all possible specialists, because that maximizes the number of immigration candidates you'll get each turn. At the very beginning, money and transport capacity are too tight for this, but by turn 50-60 the bottleneck was entirely on how many immigrants the random rolls get me. I recruited every single immigration candidates

It's obvious this is not how it was intended.

The difference in price between different immigrant types is just an annoyance when you pay more for useless specialities you're going to erase-retrain.

Negotiation is completely pointless except very early on, it risks losing you a precious working immigrant to save a tiny amount of money. I used it in the very early game but once money got better and I got a better understanding of the game, I stopped using it entirely. It's never worth it once your economy isn't horrible.

The advices on which sort of immigrants your cities need become pointless.

The number of candidates you actually get with this method is higher than what you intended when balancing the mod, because I don't think there is a way you'd have went through a game like mine and thought this is fine.

A few turns into the 2nd era, around turn 90-95, I have more than 200 colonists in my cities, plus some explorers, pioneers, agronomists working outside. I'm getting 5-8 new immigrants per turn and I have huge food surpluses (enough that if the food of all my cities was pooled it would produce over a free settler per turn).

I have the insane problem of not having enough space in my cities to fit immigrants in. The 8 exploitable tiles around the cities are very quickly gone and it takes time to develop buildings that give more working space (and most resource-based buildings are just useless to have in cities away from their resource). I think to a degree it's a design issue, there should be some way to make excess population useful even if inefficiently. In any case, this has led me to expand even more aggressively with new cities in an effort to make use of all the immigrants.

Unfortunately, because most of this flood must be micro-managed to have the right specialists go into the right cities, managing where to direct those without a useful speciality for retraining, deciding which "hub city" with a main ship trade route the immigrant will land in or if I'll fit it into one of my few non-automated ships to go somewhere else directly... It makes the game unfun. It's obviously the right strategy as far as expanding my colonies goes. Score, colonists, fleet size... are in a parabolic increase and the AIs are left behind badly. But there is too much micro decisions to make. Getting a turn done start to take too much time especially as you must double-check nothing important has been forgotten (the red button is not a good indicator of whether there are important remaining things to do, the top-right buttons for the Europe screen being lit with an alert is not always enough info either).

Additional methods of efficient automation would be welcome (imagine setting cities as desiring specialist types and new immigrants going to the appropriate places, imagine schools automatically training specialists so as to fulfil the global needs of your cities and dispatching them automatically to the right place). But the main design of the Europe immigration screen where the optimal play is to ask for infinite amount of all types of immigrants also need to be re-evaluated.

2 - You can't pay more to increase recruitment chances of the specialists you want

I know you introduced the system of the immigration points you get one of each turn that you can use to get an additional candidate, but at a rate of an agronomist every 37 turns it's very weak and not a solution. Giving plenty more such points would also be poor design.

The sum you pay is determined by the immigration attractiveness factor and by the speciality with some random component thrown in. This is very frustrating when you'd be ready to pay a lot of money for a specialist you want (agronomists are the clearest case for me because their job can't be done, even inefficiently, by non-specialists), but you just don't get a recruit.

What I'm thinking of here is an ability to include a price in gold along with the recruitment announcement, for each speciality. An above-market rate would increase the likelihood of getting candidates, a below-market rate would decrease it. If I think I'm not getting enough new immigrants, I'll increase my prices. If I can't afford as much as I'm getting offers for, I'll decrease my prices.

3 - The natives are incredibly passive

This might not be noticeable when following the shoehorned "three big cities with lots of soldiers each" playstyle. It is very noticeable when expanding as much as you can. An active soldier is a soldier who is not bringing any resources to your cities so during peace there is no reason whatsoever to have on-duty soldiers. Though the AI seems to dumbly keep a lot of on-duty soldiers at peace, I think having the soldiers working in cities and mobilizing as needed during war is great.

Part of why I got to 20 cities and over 200 population so fast is that I played with a greedy economic approach. Buying weapons would have been very costly for my early game economy so I didn't. It's only in the last few turns that I've had excess money I don't need to immediately sink into recruiting immigrants or buying ships, so that I started to buy a lot of weapons with the plan of making war to the neighbouring tribes to remove their looming threat.

The issue is their looming threat hasn't yet manifested while it should have. Many of my cities have been without a single weapon in reserve for most of their existence. Though I always paid for new land from natives, my ruthless expansionism with a lot of cities and my big cities near theirs pisses them off. I haven't bothered keeping them happy with trade contracts and I don't have happiness points from regular trade because once my main economy got running it wasn't worth the micro effort to keep buying goods in Europe to trade with the natives. I'm talking about overall relation score of around -10 and -15 for the two nearest native tribes.

The natives have all the reasons in the world to be unhappy and I have very weakly defended cities. Yet I've not been attacked a single time since the game started. Never some kind of raid killing population and destroying improvements, much less all-out war trying to remove some of my cities from the map.

This makes the game much easier but also less fun.

4 - You can't build cities 2 tiles apart (one tile gap)

Just why? In many terrain configurations, it prevents from making use of perfectly serviceable tiles and bonus resources. There is already an inherent downside in having overlap because a tile can't be worked on twice so the productivity of the cities is harmed.

I modded this away so it's not a big deal for me but I don't get this design choice.

5 - The cities take too much place on the map (visually)

The settings used to determine how much space the city is taking visually depending on population make it so that it will very quickly cover most of the adjacent squares. That can make it impossible to easily know what is going on on a square without having to hover for the tooltip. A forest square that displays no forest but only part of a city is disturbing.

6 - The 50% discount on previous ages buildings is too much

I haven't played much in the 2nd era, and I understand the sentiment of wanting to quickstart new cities, but 50% is huge. I think the main issue is that early on, the working space of the carpenter shop limits too much the translation of workforce and wood into production hammers. If there was a way for excess settlers to generate additional hammers, even if inefficiently, this would allow to kickstart new city growth much more easily because building production wouldn't be too bottlenecked by the carpenter's shop.

7 - The food stock immigration bonus penalizes city growth

I noticed this bonus going down after a city had a "food growth". Though its stock of food went down, it was still generating huge surpluses. I think the food flux (generating excess food compared to what's needed to feed the population) would be much more meaningful than the amount of stored food. An immigrant might think "I heard food is plentiful in the Now World, I want to go there", but likely not "they're having babies and population is growing because food is so plentiful, I guess I'm not going to the New World then".
 
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