Population constraint

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Population constraint

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Hulahn 5 years, 2 months ago.

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    I looked through 50+ topics on the topic list and did not find this, if I just missed it forgive me.

    The boarder based constraint system seems to work ok early game, but it creates a counter intuitive and counter productive building system once you get to the later game.

    Here is what I am talking about. Later in the game after cities start to connect due to lots of domain upgrades, you get an effect where if you build stone walls, observatories, or palace’s (or cast your domain expanding spells) you nerf your own population growth rate. This goes to zero quickly.

    At the extreme example, say I put an outpost inside the boarders of a metropolis. Some how 1850 of the 2000 population died in the founding of that outpost, but ignoring that you are stuck with 150 population forever even though that outpost owns 19 hexes of land now.

    A more practical example would be to look at how the standard +3 hex range effects two cities next to each other. If you did not buy these upgrades ever (and your empire suffers due to you losing out on these important features) you could get Many more cities with much better gold income in the same land. That +3 turns into 6 extra hexes of territory, and since the hexes are radius, this is an additive (almost exponential size difference) Say in the extreme case here you bought all three of these upgrades very fast on an outpost. Your 5 hex wide city is now 11 hexes wide. You could fit 6 of those 5 hex outposts in that 11 hex outpost.

    At the full size of the cities, not sure exactly how big that is, but these not having these +6 diameter is roughly in the order of you could have twice the number of cities without these upgrades and get to metropolis with all of them.

    The real problem here is that your gold generation is based on your population. And you get to a point where many of your cites have 0 population growth while also having the “underpoplated” negative that I am not sure does anything. This leads to giant tracks of land that should be producing more gold, but do not because your territory became continuous due to city upgrades and your population stopped growing, was used to make settlers, died to rebellion, and or was killed by enemy spells.

    My suggestion is. The population constraint system should be based on the # of hexes the city owns, not on the % of its border that is not limited by connection with another territory.



    And I should mention here that Forts for some reason constrain towns’ growth though they don’t have any population and production themselves.

    My suggestion is. The population constraint system should be based on the # of hexes the city owns, not on the % of its border that is not limited by connection with another territory.

    As for your suggestion, I’m not sure I understand what you are proposing. Could you explain?

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  President.


    To fill in some of the data I was missing yesterday.
    – The ‘City’ itself is 1 hex with 1 hex around that. (7 total)
    – Outpost, village, town, City, Metropolis each add 1 more hex.
    – Observatory, Stone wall, Grand Palace each add 1 more hex.
    – Gold is Outpost=2, Village=10, Town=20, City=30, Metropolis=40 (base before happiness, etc).

    Currently (1.1) you are constrained 100% if your borders are touching anything. So if your outpost has all three upgrades and the warlord city dominion enchantment for 127 hexes, but the boarders are all touching something, then you never grow any population. Even though your “Outpost” is as big as a “Metropolis”, your population would never grow.

    My suggestion details: It is more of a concept not a specific suggestion, but here goes a couple options. (remember, specific numbers here would be tweaked to the design team’s happiness)
    Option 1) Each hex a city owns give them a certain amount of Max population. While each city-size (outpost, village, etc) expects to own a certain amount of property. So, let us say for simplicity that an Outpost had 10 hexs and you get 100 population limit per hex, then you would have a max population of 1000 population. Thus if you had 150 population and 10 hexes, you would be constrained 15%.
    – This plan would lead to always having a non-zero constraint, and population growth would slow continuously as you neared your max population. What I mean is constraint would always be between 1% and 99%, never 0 nor 100.

    Option 2) Each city-size has a specific max population (this is consistent with how it currently works). Constraint would work off of the expected hex total though, 19 for an outpost for example. Thus if your outpost only has 15 hexs you are constrained 21% (15/19 = 79% growth). But, conversely, if your outpost had all those upgrades you would have a giant population anti-constraint, not sure what the word for that would be. Multiplying your population growth because you have as much territory as a Metropolis, but only the population of an outpost (127/19 = 668% growth).
    – This plan would not only allow for a zero constraint, but possibly, very large negative constraints.

    These plans would make expanding your domain help your constraint as a solution, not cause your constraint problem.



    I think this is an interesting issue that hasn’t received much attention/discussion.

    I’m still a bit shaky on the actual mechanics behind the current constraint system. Can you clarify better how it currently works? That will help me make a more informed response.

    As a random aside, it would be cool if clicking on a city (opening production panel) would also overlay/highlight in the world view what hexes cause a +/- to morale and what areas are constrained.

    As to your suggestions, they both sound relatively good – but again I’m uncertain of the existing mechanics.



    I believe I was wrong in an example above, if you place an outpost inside of another city entirely you only get the middle 7 hexes. I think.

    As far as “how do the current constraint system work?”.
    From what I can tell it is based entirely off of the % of your border exposed to nothing. What I mean is, if your city’s domain does not touch anything, then you get 100% population growth. If your city’s domain is touching another domain or map edge, you get a % based on the total amount of border touched. Thus if 50% of your border touches other domain borders you get 50% constraint.

    This has a few problems.
    1) you might not have lost any land at all. As in one city’s domain just happens to end exactly where the next city starts. Thus you are constraining a city by some % that is not actually constrained at all.
    2) you can get to 100% constraint, but you still have plenty of territory that should get to some population level over time. What I am saying here is, for example, that you have a metropolis, that had plenty of population, and you were constrained that is fine. But then, once you build some settlers or get some population killed by an enemy, you can never ever get that population back even though you have the same amount of land you always had when you were growing population like crazy.
    3) City upgrades (and some spells) can increase domain size, which is supposed to be good. but instead it leads to constraint and population growth slowness, possibly to zero. So what happens is you were growing just fine, you buy 3 upgrades and suddenly your domain is twice as big, but your population stopped growing completely.

    This is very counter intuitive.



    A little data on the topic first (for reference)

    Radius – Hexes

    1 – 1
    2 – 7 (outpost)
    3 – 19 (village)
    4 – 37 (town)
    5 – 61 (city)
    6 – 91 (metropolis)
    7 – 127
    8 – 169
    9 – 217 (max with +domain buildings)
    10 – 272
    11 – 331
    12 – 397
    13 – 469

    Here’s my thinking (and maybe this what you already suggested?) …

    Every city will has its current domain radius and future growth radius. Constrains is based on how much of the FUTURE area is impacted by other domains/map edges/etc. So if an outpost trying to grow into a village (3 radius & 19 hexes) has 4 impacted hexes, then 4 / 19 = ~21% constraint on the current population growth.

    The +domain buildings should factor into the calculation by compensating for impacted territory. So with my +1 domain range, if there are at least 19 open hexes as a consequence of my greater domain (calculated at the village radius + 1, or 37 hexes) then I’d be 0% constrained. The 4 impacted hexes can be ignored because there are at least 4 other open hexes somewhere else in my expanded/bonus domain.

    This idea let’s constraint range from 0% to up around 85% if you had, for example, a metropolis completely surrounded by other metropolises at the closest possible distance. A metropolis want’s to grow into 127 hexes, but it could be constrained to just 19 hexes in theory, meaning that 108 of its 127 growth hexes are impacted, for 85% growth constraint.

    This approach seems like it would be straightforward and more realistic. It doesn’t give negative constraint (e.g. population boost) – which makes sense because the population can only grow as fast as people can reproduce when there are no constraints. Having more “no constraint” doesn’t make people reproduce faster 😉

    The downside (perhaps?) is that small cities with +domain buildings are rarely going to be constrained.



    I think cities should only be constricted based on the radius gained by increased populating.
    And friendly outposts should not constrict cities in any way (enemy ones however should of course).



    The concept coded in there (and Devs correct me if I’m wrong) is that if another civilization is butting up against yours, then it is going to constrain your town/civilization, and thus prevent you from expanding (i.e. growing), not *just* because of the proximity in occupation of nearby hexes, but also how that enemy presence or influence might sway your population. In either case, the detriment to pursuing close borders with a neighboring town is very real, and the current system doesn’t seem too far off. Why? Because there is a solution.

    The solution: take out the other town, or take it over; whichever you prefer, but the town must go! For a game which focuses so heavily on, and completely encourages, engagement in combat and world domination, this seems like a fine solution to the problem, and one which should be pursued wholeheartedly, and at every pass. Simply eliminate the other guy, and your problem goes away.

    Now, if you choose to pursue diplomacy, then I might see a decrease in the constraint due to influence, only. Say, for crude example, there are 2 factors for growth constraints: 1) proximity, and 2) enemy influence. Then, say, you form a peace treaty with that civilization, and the enemy influence constraint is cut in half. Some turns later, you form an alliance with them, and now the remainder of the influence constraint is removed entirely; allowing you to grow up to your present domain size, but not beyond, thus reflecting a proximity penalty only.

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