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To balance the Guilds

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Feb 15, 2010.

?

To balance the guilds...

  1. Make them compete

    19 vote(s)
    43.2%
  2. Lower yield & commerce gains

    16 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Increase the maintenance costs

    2 vote(s)
    4.5%
  4. Civics influencing guilds are too strong

    10 vote(s)
    22.7%
  5. Other (will explain below)

    8 vote(s)
    18.2%
  6. I think guilds are quite balanced

    9 vote(s)
    20.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Ok, this poll is a spinn-off of the other poll I posted today.

    This problem was not discussed that much, so I need to know your opinion.
    What needs to be done to make guilds more balanced?

    I like them, so removal is not an option.
    Competition between guilds was not that strong, as different guilds dealt with different trades. The real competition was with craftsmen not belonging to any guild. Also, please not that relgions do not compete, and no one sees that as a problem.
    So, I will not make them all compete. If you really think some of them should, post which ones.

    Ok, now please vote... and preferably write some details which guild/civic should be changed and how.
     
  2. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    Are guilds strong or weak? Hmmm... The trouble is caused by the fact that guilds are a bonus, something added on top of your economy. Competition between the guilds is not the issue. It's that fact that you can end up with lot of bonuses. It's a bit the same issue as with the animal totems really. You get a lot bang for the buck.

    Resources in Orbis are not used for trading with other civs, which frankly is a broken feature of the core game. They are used to power guilds. And that works. But there's a lot of overlap between religions and guilds at the moment. Best way to make gold is to establish guilds in the same city where you founded a religion. Add gold boosting buildings and rush for Mammons wonder. This city will now fund your entire civ, so you can go 100% research.

    On top of this each guild adds neat units, that can further boost your civ. The AI of course doesn't know how to keep up. How to solve this? I can think of a few ideas:

    1. You don't get to choose where a guild is founded. - Breaks the Super Gold City strategy.

    2. Guilds doesn't give bonuses, you build them for the special building - A drastic change but the easiest to balance. Establishing a guild in a city allows you to construct a unique building, and perhaps build the guilds UU. The gold goes to the guild, and not the leader of the civilization.
    E.g. Hansa +traderoutes/coastal +loading space on ships. Maybe access to special Hansa Trading Cog (Limited to 1) that can do trade missions, but makes you loose gold if it dies.

    3. Guilds only give bonuses - Boring, but mirrors the core idea from Civ 4. Keeps the bonus for gathering many duplicates of a resource.

    4. Guilds are not actually "guilds" - but more like core economical/entertainment values of your civ. Just like religions are core moral/cultural values. It's fantasy of course but these guilds are more like shadow governments then mere traders. They compete fiercely, like religions, and guild UU (and spies) can remove other guilds from a city. Sharing guilds with a civ nets minor positive diplomacy, differing guild results in negative. You can have several guilds in your civ but you can only build UUs and buildings of your "core" guild. They in game mechanics "lite" religions.

    5. Guild buildings block standard buildings. E.g. Hansa blocks Tax Office, Prospectors block Tavern, Order of Arches blocks Mage Guild. - They come with a downside.

    6. Events - Some good, some bad. Makes sense that establishing a strong guild inside your borders will come at a price for the ruler. E.g. Hansa demands more harbors to be constructed or they will relocate their HQ somewhere else.
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I'm not really going to respond to the poll, as I haven't played enough of Orbis to have a real feel for the strength of the guilds; I do think they may be too strong, while FF/RifE's are too weak.


    Honestly, I like 2/4/6. Take those together, and you have something interesting indeed. :p
     
  4. lemonjelly

    lemonjelly Modding For Ethne

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    I like them as well, I think they would make a really interesting game mechanic.

    I read your post and I thought, wait a minute, RiFE has guilds? :mischief:
    So, yeah, they need something major to make them interesting :D
     
  5. readercolin

    readercolin Chieftain

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    Since I seem to be the one that is most vocal about this...

    The first problem is of course, the ease with which you can run guilds for free. Mercantilism is a 75% reduction, shadow court and guilds are both 50% reductions. On top of this, it is counted as regular city maintenance, so basilica's, courthouses, and law mana all work to reduce this. Lastly, the bigger your empire, the stronger your guilds. The stronger your guilds, the more power you have, allowing you to grow yet stronger. This leads to a general infinite loop type cycle. Lastly, the guilds stack, making some combinations very strong (ex. stonefire/bank of vivaldi).

    Taking the points in turn, I don't think it should be impossible to run guilds for free. To address this, we need to look at A. civics, and B. maintenance reductions. Civics wise, I would tone down mercantilism/guilds/shadow court - 50/25/25 is what I would do (possible to run it for free... but you are forced into 3 different civics to do it), at least to start balancing it. As for maintenance reductions, I think this should be addressed in the next part.

    Big empires cover lots of space. This lots of space generally leads to them being able to control many resources. It also usually leads to them searching for ways to reduce maintenance. Now, in regular BTS, this isn't really a problem, as guilds add to the cost of a city, and can only be reduced by a maximum of 50% - there is a trade off. However, this isn't the case in FFH and its derivatives, as there is order (basilica's) and law mana. This means that when you compare BTS (bigger empire, more bonuses, but more costs) to FFH (bigger empire, more bonuses, more incentive to reduce costs), you start to see the problem. Now, on a small map, guilds aren't a problem. The reason is that you don't end up (generally) with gigantic empires, and there are many fewer resources on the map. The larger the map, the larger the problem. What I would recommend then is one of two things. The first would be the headquarters building increases the maintenance costs of all cities by 10%. One guild, easily counterable. Two... its starting to get more problematic. 3? you might be wise not to found it. The second thing to do would be to have the guild automatically build a building in the city that it is in that increases the maintenance costs. If you want, you can have this building also give some other bonuses (ex. stonefire guildhall, provides +2 hammers and 1 engineering slot), but the primary purpose would be to make it slightly more difficult to run the city for free. If you wanted, you could also combine the two (+5% to maintenance costs for all cities with headquarters, +5/10% for the building). This would make it less of a no-brainer to go for guilds, law mana, and order (especially for a very large empire).

    The last thing that I would do here (I'm not sure if it already takes place or not) would be to increase the cost per city depending upon the number of cities in your empire a guild is in. However, if all this was added, I would recommend adding in a way to remove guilds from a city in case someone went guild happy and ended up screwing themselves over.

    Now, to address the last part, guilds stacking. This can get very powerful, very quickly. On the other hand, I don't really have a problem with that, as long as there is some sort of penalty. I think that increasing the maintenance costs, or locking the player into three different civics to avoid it completely would make up for the power of stacking guilds. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend it, but if you wanted to make more of them compete with each other you could.

    Another point I would like to address is getting guilds if someone else has already founded them. Right now, if I found a guild, unless I'm being particularly generous (or depending upon the opposing civ's position, particularly mean), there is no possible way for anyone else to get that guild. I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing - but I would like to note that this is how it works with religions in BTS, yet in FFH, everyone who researches the tech for it gets an acolyte of that religion. So perhaps it should be possible to have the first person to found a guild get their headquarters, but other people could also found it, possibly getting some sort of national wonder special building, but not the benefits of the headquarters. This would allow the AI to still benefit from the guilds, without them all getting hogged by one particular player.

    The last thing that I would do is make it more likely that an AI will actually found a guild. As it is now, pretty much the only way that they get one is "hey, look, I just got a great person - hey, look, I can found a guild - lets do that." If possible, make the AI prioritize guilds more, and have some way of determining which guild they want based on the resources available to them. However, I don't know how to go about doing this, so I can't make any suggestions.

    -Colin
     
  6. attackdrone

    attackdrone Chieftain

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    The biggest issue for me is the ability of any civilization to go order briefly for Basilicas, stack them with Courthouses, and gain trivial guild maintenance. The biggest culprit are the Bannor, with their -10% maintenance temples, and palace law mana. Found the Order as them, hold off building gambling houses or taverns (or just offset them with more law mana) and even without any relevant civics enjoy -100% guild maintenance. Furthermore, the civilizations who -should- gain the most benefit from guilds (Grigori, Illians, Mechanos - any agnostic civ) cannot build Basilicas and enjoy the gigantic maintenance reduction.
     
  7. Apeiron

    Apeiron Chieftain

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    I think a guild shouldn't be juste an extension of the empire, but should be more independant. More, a guild can lead its own interests, which can be a penalty for the civilization.

    So, I think the maintenance cost for guilds shouldn't be discreased by the maintenance cost for citiers, like in an "order no maintenance" strategy. More, I think the state shouldn't control the headquarters, so it can eliminate the problem of a city with a religious wonder and headquarters and mammon's market...

    More, developping the guild (with exclusive building) should have a coast, because the state lose a part of control on the economy. So, these buildings should have a maintenance cost, or increase the independant maintenance cost of the guild in the city.

    The golds won by the guild can be used to spread it, or have mercenaries (which can defend the headquarters or ressource plots or attacks countries ?) or to influence the concils votes (greasing palms ^^), or fight against concurrent guilds.

    And maybe the guilds can lend money to the friendly states, during a war for example.

    To finish, we can imagine events aroud the guilds, with positive or negative effects.
     
  8. PapaMonkey

    PapaMonkey Chieftain

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    The extra gold generated from the guilds seems to be the biggest balance issue to me. Extra production is not a problem, and extra food helps to offset the 3 food/pop change. Extra culture is generally not overpowering. Extra science can often be interchanged with extra gold because of the tax settings, but still does not seem to be as overpowering. I've had games when spreading the Bank of V shot my gold (at 100% science) well over 2500 a turn - on Emporer or Imortal (or was it diety, the second to highest...). Thats crazy.

    What if the gold benefits were toned down some. Or maybe were shifted somewhat. Make a unit that performs trade missions as the special unit. Or something like the bounty hunter promotion for free for all your units. Or reduce the unit maintenace costs (subsidized).

    I like the guilds and think they add a lot of flavor, but the Bank of V specifically is a game winner.
     
  9. Tobbe_1

    Tobbe_1 Chieftain

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    I absolutely agree, especially together with stonefire, as that guild grants the gold rescource...even in small empires these two guilds together fund your whole empire!

    And this is without basilicas or fitting civics...maintanance becomes irrelevant!

    Even a Pop 1 city miles away from the capital brings a nice boost to your commerce...(in my last game every bank of V produced aroung +80 gold on an small map with 15% land controlled)

    For a first try to nerf the guilds and keep their flavour i would recommend:

    1. be sure thar any 1 guild wont grant access to resources that another guild uses so synergy effects wont happen (espcially stonefire and bank of V)

    2. remove the gold bonus from most guilds...make them more focused..stonefire grants additonal production, thats enough, they dont need the additional gold

    3. lower their impact by reducing the number of production, gold, culture etc. gained...their additional buildings are almost enough to make them nice...

    4. make all of them competing with another to prevent mega-commerce centers that always garantee 100% research

    my 2 cents
     
  10. Son of Heaven

    Son of Heaven Chieftain

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    The one guild I think might be a little overpowered is the Three Field Order. In my current game (only on Noble difficulty, so maybe this won't generalize) at just short of turn 400 on a standard size map, I control 29% of the world yet, with the TFO, have 59% of the population. I also find that using the farmers' special ability to find resourses my territory is soon packed with them, and this strongly fuels the Order's population boosting (I now have 21 resourses the Order uses), resulting in higher incomes and production and more great people from specialists, among other benefits.

    Overall though, I really enjoy what you've done with Orbis, and can't wait to see your new release! Keep up the excellent work!
     
  11. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    So far, it seems that the main problem is headquaters - especially getting them all in one city.

    So how about:
    1. limiting headquaters to just one per city... or:
    2. remove all "per city" bonuses - you will not get any extra commerce from guild central building. You will just get the guild itself, plus I might add some special for the building, like +20% science for alchemists or +10% commerce for weavers (or maybe unique worldspell requiring the headquaters?)
    That might be coupled with reducing the guild per resource consumed.

    How do you like it?

    Some of your proposals are quite complicated from coding or gameplay perspectives (or even both). I think the above addresses the main problems, while remaining simple.

    A few things related to particular guilds:
    farmer & miner abilities - it was discussed a long time ago, and then nerfed significantly. But I guess the effect might be big if there are few resources...
    Should I remove the spells entirelly?
    Then add other abilities or simply spells that give a minor food/production boost for the nearby city?

    Bank - I have changed how the branch works - it now modifies city yields based on how many guilds are present in the city (+2% :commerce: per every guild)
    My question is - do you like current banker spell (oversee trade). I am thinking of changing it to be guild-inquisitor,. i.e. can remove guild from one of your cities and grant you some gold.

    I have no plans to introduce more competition between guilds, that is not how medieval & renaissance guilds worked. But neirther they were centralized, so significant nerf to the headquaters might be a very good more, from both falvour & balance perspective.
    I might remove guild bonuses synergy though, so no guid product will be used by another - that is simply too strong.

    By the way, there is no Stonefire guild in Orbis - it is called Prospector's Guild. Stonefire is from FF (and thus RifE).
     
  12. Apeiron

    Apeiron Chieftain

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    Well, I know my idea of a guild which works for its own interest may be difficult to code, but you can take mechanisms from Wild Mana with the Houses. I may be interesting for the gameplay to have differents and potentially concurrencial guilds wich can make their own decisions.
     
  13. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    My plans are rather similar to that, but without the guilds breaking away into their own civ... Each guild competes with one other (via event), each guild has several UU's and UB's, etc. No direct benefits for having a certain number of resources.

    Also... Ahwaric, check your PM's. ;)
     
  14. Apeiron

    Apeiron Chieftain

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    I think a guild is independant of the government, and the indepedance may introduce new possibilities for the gameplay and the interactions.
     
  15. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Medieval guilds were sanctioned by state organizations of craftsmen. There were many guilds and most did not had much political power.
    The only exceptions might be bankers (which could influence their debtors) and Hansa. However, real Hansa was not really a guild, but a confederation of merchant cities, and that is a different thing. So, while they had their own agendas, their power was limited.
    You do not expect trade unions to hire mercenaries to enforce decisions of the government, do you? ;)
     
  16. Tobbe_1

    Tobbe_1 Chieftain

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    Guilds are TOO strong right now, but we should keep in mind that you still have to sacrifice a GP to found..so there should be a substantial bonus...so i would go with your first idea...

    An alternative might be to adopt the Religion mechanic...skip the GP and automaticly found the Guild HQ in a random City...and maybe even grant the civ a free prospektor etc. when researching the proper tech?!

    Tweaking the income/guild per resource might be another good idea...

    AFAIK, these spells are a little bonus i like to use, but I always had maps where resources were abundant...so these spells didnt really have a huge impact...nice to have...no change needed.

    I have to admit that i dont like the idea of granting that bonus to the number of guilds...this idea pushes the player even more in the direction of civics that reduce the maintanance of guilds, if you are using them...the bank will only be really beneficial if you have some guilds...

    BUT the general idea of granting a small percentage bonus is really good...this way the city still has to generate commerce on its own...i`d rather give the bonus to gold, not to commerce though...and i would adopt this mechanism to all other guilds, too...grant percentage boni to a certain source, but still dependant on the number of controlled resources...

    I like the idea of an "guild-inquisitor"...when guilds finally have a drawback (cost much higher than profit), you should have the possibility to get rid of these guilds...

    Well, you have have to call it "Competion"...simply add the gameplay mechanism...good thing, you are removing the synergies :goodjob:

    Thx...i was already wondering, if something was changed during the translation...
     
  17. Apeiron

    Apeiron Chieftain

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    Ahwaric, you are right for the mercenaries. ^^

    But, like Tobbe_1 I think the new mechanism of Vivaldi shouldn't work with the number of guilds in the city. I liked the system which costs gold to earn... golds.

    About the power, I think the power of the 3 Fields should make just ressources for farms (and not horses, mana node...). The power may take 3 or more turns to be cast, and the results more fruitless.

    I don't like the idea of a religion mechanism for guilds. I think it can be more simple and realistic to reduce the bonus of the headquarters (half, for example).

    An other thing : in the screen of the guilds, the total golds (positive or negative) should be shown, and not the benefits/loss for all guilds.
     
  18. squadbroken

    squadbroken Chieftain

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    Well if you want to go along with the realism thing, why not have guilds give a commerce penalty to cities they occupy? One of the reasons they were eventually abolished is because they were believed to cause economic and technological stagnation, due to their fierce opposition to anything that might threaten their respective professions. As well, instead of a maintenance increase, the Free Trade civic should act like State Property does in BTS and outright disable guilds while active.

    That way you could use them to boost one or more aspects of a city, but it'll cost you, and overuse could lead to your economy stagnating.
     
  19. Jake the Peg

    Jake the Peg Chieftain

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    I think the ability to find new resources should be completely removed. The world usually has way more than enough resources as is, with improvements and earth mana having a chance to find more.
     
  20. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

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    I agree that resource spawning spells are not necessary. They are very flavourful but encourages micromanaging, there are already lots of resources in Orbis and I'm not sure if AI can use those spells. What's more it gives two guilds more power as they can increase amount of resources they use without war or trading. Maybe Prospectors and Three Fields unique building can increase chance to spawn (or maybe spread in case of Three Fields) resources passively a little, like Earth mana do, but I have no idea if it's easy enough to code. You can always keep them for now as you have little time and change them in later patch if you like.

    I did some math about income generated from resources with guilds. I used numbers from BTS, assuming that those numbers are balances after all those pathes and playtesing BTS got. I also assumed that amount of resources civ can get is similar to amount in BTS which may or may not be true ;)
    As I suspected, BTS designers decided that food is most valuable in game, followed by production, gold and science and culture. None of BTS corporations gives commerce, but I think it should be valued as gold and science (a little bit higher probably but very little). In BTS all but one corporation uses between 3 and 5 resources and amount of resources used doesn't seem to affect benefits. One civ uses only one resource and it gives 50% more benefits then expected.

    Aluminium: Uses 1 resource, gives 3 science and 1 useful resource.
    Cereal: uses 3 resources, gives 0.75 food each
    Jewlers: uses 3 resources, gives 1 gold 4 culture each
    Construct: uses 5 resources, gives 0.5 prod and 3 culture each
    Mining uses 5 resources, gives 1 production
    Sushi uses 4 resources, gives 0.5 food and 2 culture
    Ethanol uses 3 resources, gives 2 science and 1 useful resource.

    Food is worth about 0.75 per resource.
    Science and Gold are worth about 2 per resource.
    Production is worth about 1 per resource.
    Culture is worth about 3 per resource.

    Bank of Vivaldi: uses 2 resources, gives 2.5 gold. A little bit higher then expected but is uses only two resources so it's ok.
    Circle of Eight: uses 5 resources, gives 2.5 science. Probably should be just 2 science as other benefits (2 free xp, free promo, unique unit) are very good.
    Globe Troupe: uses 3 resources, gives 0.5 gold and 1 culture. It needs major boost IMHO - 1 gold and 3 culture should be ok, 0.5 gold and 5 culture would be even better. BTS Corporation is somewhere in between, giving 1 gold and 4 culture. Alternativly, they might have 3 culture and 3 espionage.
    Circle of Transmuters: uses 5 resources, gives 2 science. Seems ok.
    Hansa: uses 5 resources, gives 0.25 food, 1 gold. Might need a little boost - 0.25 food and 1.25 gold, but nothing major.
    Intricate Weavers: uses 4 resources, gives 0.75 commerce, 0.25 gold, generates 1 resource. Also a little too low, doubling it should be more balanced with 1.5 commerce and 0.5 gold.
    Order of Archos: uses 3 resources, gives 0.75 production, 1 science and 0.25 culture. A little nerf might be needed here - while science bonus might fit guild flavor, we already have to 'science' guilds so you might want to remove it and increase culture a bit (to 0.75, it's 25% of 3 so fits perfectly)
    Prospector's Guild: uses 4 resources, gives 1.25 production and 0.5 gold, generates 1 resource. I would nerf it to 1 production only. Bank of Vivaldi, Globe Troupe and Hansa are already giving gold so leave gold for them.
    Three Field Order: uses 5 resources, gives 0.75 food and 0.5 gold. Same thing - food is even more valuable in Orbis, so I would remove gold from this Guild.
    Guild: uses 2 resources, gives 1.5 gold. This one is strange ;) I'm not sure if it should be a guild even, but if it is, 2.5 gold per resource would be more balanced.

    Of course, it assumes that all other guild aspects (like buildings and special abilites) are balanced but I believe they should be balanced with each other, not interfering with benefits per resource.

    Also, two corporations in BTS are generating useful, late game strategical resources. It is very useful mechanic, as you can try to get guild if you don't have those resources. In Orbis terms, mithril and reagents should be generated by Prospector's Guild and Circle of Eight. This can be done by national wonder (that required 4 of guild unique buildings) providing mithril or reagents. It can also be done with Silk and Weavers guild.

    Speaking of buildings:

    Bank of Vivaldi:
    1. Vivaldi Branch (+2 gold, +10% gold or +2% commerce per Guild present). New version is intresting but I think it should be gold, not commerce. It's not that important because in Civ4 gold, science and commerce bonuses can easily be changed to each other.
    2. Banker spreads Gulid and can Oversee Trade (+5% commerce, free merchant). I'm not really sure, it's intresting because it forces you to choose between spreading guild and giving your cities a bonus but increases micromanaging. Free merchant is very powerful - one merchant slot might be better.
    Circle of Eight:
    1. No unique building, but 2 free XP and nice free promo. Maybe it should be done with building, just to make it more in line with other guilds.
    2. Magister, unique arcane units, very nice. Starts with Metamagic I and II but can only build Metamagic, Enchentment and Mind nodes, so it's not better than adept, just different. Discover Technology is nice, but leaving it to Alchemist might be considered.
    Globe Troupe:
    1. +20% culture is nice. Guild is not very powerful so it's building can use a little boost (like +10%) in espionage or gold.
    2. Thespian with it's Great Work (for 45 culture) is nice, but weaker than Banker or Magister. Maybe they can use Loki's Entertain ability (probably a weaker one, with 1 gold per 3 population)
    Circle of Transmuters:
    1. Alchemy Lab. Very powerful building I don't really like. It makes Alchemy tech useless to anyone but Mechanos unless you manage to get Circle of Transmuters. I think Alchemy Lab should be normal building with Circle only addon Expanded Laboratory that gives +10%. In exchange, Alchemist unit would get a boost.
    2. Alchemist unit is not very powerful or intresting. Maybe ability to sacrifice it (attach it like a great general) to give one of your unit Healing Salve (one time version) or Alchemist II promo to Spy unit. They can also Discover Technology better.
    Hansa:
    1. Custom House is nice, but late building so adding +2 XP to water units and nice promo from guild to it might not be wise. Maybe move Custom House to Compass ?
    2. Trader. Rather weak one, can use a boost. Since it becomes aviaviable at same tech as Cogs/Holks, maybe it could be sacrificed to add Daring promo to naval units ? Also, might start with Sentry I to represent Trader's ability to see oportunity (like more resources ;>) when they arrive.
    Intricate Weavers:
    1. No building ? Maybe a little altered Tailor would fit here as it's removed from Kuriotates ?
    2. Weaver is nice. As with Oversee Trade, I'm not sure if free Bard is not too much.
    Order of Archos:
    1. Cathedral is ok, might give +happiness with State Religion
    2. Architect. Ability to hurry building is very useful. Is it always half of units cost or you can make Architect better at hurring building than Soldier of Kilmorpth.
    Prospector's Guild:
    1. Miner's Camp. Nice, but I'm not sure if +1 gold is neccesary.
    2. I wrote about spell before. If you decide not to keep it, something connected with production would be needed - maybe ability something giving short term boost to production but also some unhealthiness or giving production for every resource in city radious.
    Three Field Order:
    1. Werehouse. Same thing as above, I'm not sure if +1 gold is neccesary.
    2. Farmer. Also, same thing as above - if you're not keeping it, some food based ability would be needed.
     

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