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Economy in MoM

Discussion in 'Wildmana Modmod' started by Nor'easter, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    I've played a bit more and I'm still finding it much more difficult to sustain my economy in MoM than I did in earlier versions of WM. I don't know what other people are experiencing, but I've had situations where I've been barely breaking even or have even been running a slight deficit with my Science Slider all the way down to 10%! That never happened to me before.

    I know I haven't fully gotten the hang of the new improvement system yet, but I'll be somewhat immodest and suggest that some re-balancing might help. Essentially, the new system simultaneously decreases income by limiting the number of improvements while increasing your expenses by having the improvements cost gold.

    So here are some thoughts on possible re-balancing measures, either alone or in some combination:

    1) In a post in the "main" MoM thread I suggested reducing Inflation to balance things. It would be a relatively simple across-the-board measure, which wouldn't otherwise affect the improvement system.

    2) Increase the commerce yield of commerce-yielding improvements: Cottages, Plantations, Windmills, Camps. This might be a way to compensate for having fewer such improvements.

    3) Increase the growth rate of Cottages. Again, a way to compensate for having fewer Cottages.

    4) Eliminate the health penalty for Cottages. A health penalty doesn't seem necessary since Cottages, like other improvements, already cost gold. Giving them an additional negative seems excessive.

    5) Reduce the gold cost of improvements. Again, a way to reduce the double-whammy of decreased income plus increased expenses.


    Anyway, just some thoughts on how things might be re-balanced a bit without fundamentally altering the new improvement system. I do like the idea that having several unimproved tiles better suits a fantasy setting, so I was trying to work within that system.

    I'm enjoying the mod very much, meanwhile. These are just some thoughts based on what I've experienced so far. Hope the development team finds them helpful.
     
  2. mcwill123

    mcwill123 Pretender to the Throne

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    I'm starting to think that the costs for improvement is meant to slow the pace of the game down. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Even with what seems to be painfully slow research, I'm not far behind the AI. I've only played the mod a few times, so maybe I'll get better. :) I think reducing inflation may be the best of your suggestions. It seems like it would be the easiest to fine tune.
     
  3. Hanny

    Hanny Prince

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    Not seeing the same problem, put it down to not being up to speed on the new system.

    Im sure in a game or two, you will be ok.
     
  4. tesb

    tesb Emperor

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    unless sephi changed it in the last beta round you will never pay any gold for improvements as long as you build only as much as your cities can support.
     
  5. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    Ditto. If anything, I'm running higher on the science slider than before.

    Did you tend toward Cottage-based economies previously, Nor'easter? The ability to make Cottages is certainly more restricted with the new system. (Which I see as a good thing - still, it's a big change.)
     
  6. Goodwill

    Goodwill Warlord

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    One workaround I have been using (to slower individual city growth) is to build more cities faster than normal because my biggest expenses are usually unit costs. I don't go over the improvement limits by much if at all and when I am able to expand I do. I do like trading posts but I don't spam them. I should mention though that I do own a holy city so that probably makes a big difference in being able to make lots of cities.
     
  7. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    I hope you guys are right that I just need a few more games to fully acclimate to the new system, we'll see.

    Tarquelne, I used to build a fair amount of cottages, but it really depended on the terrain around any given city, as you might expect.

    Goodwill, you might be right that one way to compensate for fewer improvements for each city is to build more cities (allowing more improvements in the aggregate) more quickly than in the past.
     
  8. ArkhanTheBlack

    ArkhanTheBlack Warlord

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    Actually, I found the new system a lot more player friendly than before.
    Since you can now build plantations, pastures, quarries, etc. on normal fields even without research, it's easier to get a new city productive.
    However, the upkeep cost prevents the cities from getting a too powerful economy.
    The city screen also provides good info about the free improvements and the upkeep cost.

    The only thing I didn't like so much was the devaluation of at least some special resources.
    Since farms provide 3(!!!) food nowadays, a grassland field with a farm enhancement provides almost the same bonus like a sheep special resource with a pasture on it.
    And the +1 health bonus of the sheep field is more a joke than a bonus.

    The wise selection of a good city place was much more important in FFH2 than in MoM.
     
  9. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    indeed farms are OP right now.
     
  10. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    Does the 'pedia explain this? I'm not at my computer now so I can'r check. In any event, I have to repeat an earlier comment of mine that the 'pedia does not adequately explain the new improvement system. I hope that will be addressed in a patch. Thanks.
     
  11. Sephi

    Sephi Deity

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    There is help for infrastructure cost in the cityscreen, when you mouseover it. What do you not understand? Just curious so that documentation can be improved.
     
  12. DonQuigleone

    DonQuigleone Warlord

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    I agree, I think it might be cooler if farms reached such levels more gradually, improved farming techniques and all that. That said a lot of that food gets absorbed in high settler costs. And the higher farm values makes plains cities more feasible. +2 food might be better though. That way it's still possible to have plains cities without spending most workers on farms.
     
  13. ArkhanTheBlack

    ArkhanTheBlack Warlord

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    +2 food sounds good. +3 food could be granted in a later stage of the game by a research or a specific civic like agrarism.
     
  14. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    yep, farm yields should definitely improve more gradually.
     
  15. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

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    You could have all Palaces grant +1 Gold. This would give players a small amount of Gold to start off with. Personally I hate inflation and woul love to see the back of it.
     
  16. Goodwill

    Goodwill Warlord

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    I'm not sure that farms are too good. You can only have a couple improvements in the beginning, and you have to have food to grow, but you still need to work at least one other tile for production or there's no getting anywhere. So the less farms you have to depend on the better in a sense, or else you have to choose between production or growth. In older ffh there were no limits so you more often than not wanted to focus on growth when possible, putting off usefulness now for a bigger city later. Here it has been downsized a bit and cities stay smaller longer. So a few farms are preferable to a bunch of them. Also if I remember campps give two food and gold and leather and maybe even a hammer; farms are just a food specialist, and help balance things out for the other specialized improvements, many of which give less hammers now, like mines and lumbermills and quarries and trading posts, but offer other needed resources like metal and stone and lumber, commerce, and even happiness from wineries. There's a balance in the bigger picture here, since in a sense cities need things like farms to support working these other more modest improvements. If Anthony might be overpowered it's trading posts (centers) but I'm reserving judgment on that for now - it seems more balanced than unbalanced for now.

    Plus I like that farms fit the medeival lore well. Farms were a necessity and it wasn't until later, with improved technology, that cities could afford to specialize with cottages and workshops and so on. Seems true here too. Farms are a staple improvement that support other specialized ones later, and I like that they don't need to be spammed as much. In the late game they provide more room for specialists, but these are now balanced more by resource giving improvements, just different choices to go for, and more ways to play. I need to play more before I have definite opinions about what's overpowered and what isn't.
     
  17. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    A couple of things come to mind:

    1) The 'pedia entry for "Improvements" in the section "Wild Mana Concepts" says that a city can support 2 primary and 1 secondary improvement for free, with larger cities being able to support more. There's a 'pedia section called "Primary Improvements" and another called simply "Improvements." Are we to understand the latter as signifying "Secondary Improvements"? Or did you get rid of the idea of secondary improvements during development?

    2) Apart from the gold cost for excess Improvements, there seems to be an overall limit on how many Improvements a city can have, which doesn't seem to be explained anywhere. What I've noticed is that after having built some Improvements (I don't remember exact numbers), I can no longer build Improvements on unimproved tiles, there's no option to do so. It would be really helpful to know in advance what the limits are to be better able to plan one's cities.

    EDIT: One other thing. Larger cities can support more improvements, yes? I've noticed in my current game that several of my cities aren't growing, despite having surplus food. The city screen says "Stagnant (Growth Control)." And no, I'm not using the Conquest civic. Also, all my cities are healthy. Some have equal amounts of happiness and unhappiness, so is that the limit? I'd like to be able to grow my cities to support more improvements, but again, if there's some limitation on city growth, it would help to have that explained somewhere.
     
  18. Goodwill

    Goodwill Warlord

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    Cities don't seem to want to grow beyond the happiness cap by default. I assume it can be done manually though. Afaik the primary/secondary system was removed and is why they are all listed as primary now. In another thread the improvement hardcap was explained as a way to avoid frustration for new players who might want to spam improvements recklessly beyond the means of their city. From what I have seen, you can exceed the softcap and pay extra maintenance cost for additional improvements. Also keep in mind that certain civics allow reduced maintenance costs for specific improvements. Personally I would be in favor of adding an option to allow improvements to be built exceeding the cap, turned off by default. Continues to help new players avoid stunting their growth but for an experienced player with a robust economy, it would allow them to use the excess gold to afford a few megcity centers that are capitals of research or production or even gold. Many times the cost is well worth it in the bigger picture of the civilization's budget and needs, whether for "capital" cities or to support growth and production on the frontlines when needing to quickly invest in a new city. If the empire can support it, I don't see why its coffees could not be invested in new localized growth.

    Edit: An advanced mechanism for this might to be to give priest units (or something equivalent for certain agnostics) a spell that when cast in a city, er or by an aura present in the city, causes the cap to be removed as long as they are present and overseeing the ambitious constructions. Has a certain lore to it, "religion" is often the driving force for these things, but it could be a magic society, political force, mercantile guild, etc. Might be nice to include a growth effect at the same time, to help represent a large influx of population coming to do the empire's work, and help really get the city upto speed quickly. To help prevent its overuse, maybe give the effect an improvement or maintenance cost addition, be it a multiplied or a fixed amount. No reason the empire shouldn't pay dearly to pay for all those extra people and the transportation costs of resources and of workers. Anyway if it were expensive enough, I think it would be a fair mechanic that is useful situationally in war or peace, and provides better strategic growth and planning. And I like that it could be used for a wide variety of things (but not without significant cost), from development spurts to sustained capital cities, to resource-rich production centers.

    Lorewise I'd suggest some kind of theocracy civic (theology maybe) that reduces this cost by some amount, but only if it were a direct alternative to another popular civic, so it doesn't become the new must have civic that everyone uses all the time.
     
  19. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    @Goodwill:

    I appreciate the explanation, and I'm developing more of a feel for things as I play, but Sephi asked me about documentation, so I was pointing where I thought the 'pedia was inaccurate or incomplete.

    In any game you're inevitably going to learn a lot through trial and error. For example, the 'pedia says that Windmills increase the food yield of adjacent Farms and can be built only on Hills. It therefore makes sense to try to build your Farms on tiles that are adjacent to Hills, so you can later build a yield-increasing Windmill next door.

    On the other hand, although it seems that you can build Quarries on Hills and Plains, but not Grasslands (unless there's already Marble or Stone present), that's not indicated in the 'pedia entry for Quarry. That's the kind of thing that it would help to know in advance to better plan the placement of Improvements, rather than discovering it through trial and error.
     
  20. Smakemupagus

    Smakemupagus Warlord

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    Probably, you have one of the Growth control boxes checked? There are three -- the native Civ4 one on the city governor panel; and two up near the top center: one next to the health/unhealth faces and one next to the happy/unhappy. Sounds like you probably have the happy/unhappy one checked by mistake.
     

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