Fixing the "no city" economy

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Fixing the "no city" economy

This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Zaskow 2 years, 8 months ago.

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    Issue is simple: you can survive with 3 nice stacks (not full of T4 but still interesting stacks with some T3 and a few T4) for many many turns on a small map with normal number of treasure sites, without any city.
    You just need to clear sites and take gold rewards.
    And more generally, you can have huge converted armies without much income from your cities because you can clear your way out through sites’ loot.

    2 main solutions:
    – use “Few” sites setting but most people don’t like the idea (less things to do every turn)
    – reduce the rewards from sites and reduce the value in gold of items

    I think the value in mana is ok (it’s very little) so the main issue is the gold value.

    Suggested fix from cbower:
    “Maybe it would be easier to cut in half the sell for gold cap, and then reduce the value of each item by half. There are many of items to do, but it is straightforward, and I think it would accomplish what you want.”

    So what would it do? Reduce gold value of all items by 50% and reduce gold reward by 50% if you choose not to take the items (or skills, etc.) when you clear a site?
    That would be good I think.
    Maybe 50% is too much, we should test, but I think it’s a good starting value.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Hiliadan.

    Jolly Joker

    I think it’s way simpler to fix.
    Losing your last town while having no settler unit on the map should give a moral penalty of -5000 or something like that. This would give all units worst morale, leading to desertions and fumbles in battle. Your army would simply crumble and be a pushover.
    This morale fix should apply to summons, undead and machines as well, obviously.



    Maybe I should have untitled the discussion “Fixing the ‘few cities’ economy” because the issue is not limited to my example of being able to survive without cities at all. It also applies when you have 1-2 towns and big armies. So your proposed fix is insufficient.

    Furthermore, I don’t think we should make it impossible to survive when you have lost your last city. It’s part of the game and part of the fun to survive and pillage everything in your wake.


    Jolly Joker

    That’s self-contradictory.

    In any case your problem is non-existing: It’s not wrong to have a working “few cities economy”. There are more or less two options here: 1) you have sufficient force to guard all your cities; in that case; that doesn’t leave much room to expand, so it’s down to the better economy to swarm a town with wave after wave of units, breaking things down.
    2) There is a strong plundering party roving around; in that case you first have to bring the (weaker guarded cities down, corner the force and be done with it.

    There are only so many sites to explore, and when those are all done it’s curtains.



    Just one question?

    Do you also planning on cutting the gold which you get directly, when you capture a gold mine or a forge?

    Otherwise i think the reduce sounds like a reasonable idea. The items should be the prirority when clearing a site.



    isn’t being able to viably go cityless and burn down every settlement on the map a significant part of rogue balance



    isn’t being able to viably go cityless and burn down every settlement on the map a significant part of rogue balance

    Maybe but here you’re talking about Rogue and about plundering cities.

    What I’m talking about is a Necro army with raised Titans + ghoulified units + a Theo with many converted units, surviving on clearing sites.

    @jj: there are too many sites. We had cleared less than 50% of the sites of the map on a small map with normal number of sites and I had 1000+ gold and survived for many turns already.
    One reason why Necro or convert abilities are too strong is that you can sustain large and strong armies without much issues just by clearing sites (same happened with cbower converting 2 T4 giants early game: he could sustain them despite -70 or something in gold income, because he could clear sites).

    @lykus: I think gold reward when you clear a mine, etc. should also be reduced. Although if we can distinguish between low level sites (mines especially) and other sites, that would be good because mines gold rewards are more early games boost than long term sustainer of armies.


    Jolly Joker

    That’s part of Necro and conversion balance, though.



    Yes, that is.
    But that’s not addressed in the topics dealing with that and I think it deserves a dedicated discussion because it’s a complementary solution to fixing directly the way the conversion skills work and are acquired.



    I suppose this is PBEM-mode feature only, right? Because in live MP no cities means almost instant lose in most cases.



    Mmh, I suppose it is harder to convert units on your way through all the sites in live MP (because of auto combat) so the issue is less acute.

    But as I said, I should have named the topic “fixing the ‘few cities’ economy”. It’s not limited to when you have no city.
    If there is very few converted units (including through charms, ghouls, etc.) in live-MP, then yes, this change could be negative for live-MP.

    So I don’t know. I’m in favour of not having different games for live-MP and PBEM so maybe we should just drop this idea.



    I’m in favour of not having different games for live-MP and PBEM so maybe we should just drop this idea.

    Actually you said that separate mod for PBEM is not needed according to poll.



    conversion centric strats are, in my experience anyway, near nonexistent in live MP, precisely because you can’t really control weather the AI converts or not.

    it’s a pretty nice bonus when you have a bard along or a theo hero with convert or a necro hero with convert undead, but it’s not significant enough to base a strategy around. the only way you’d be able to consistently guarantee converts would be doing something like sending in 6 bards against an indie, which would probably cost you a bard or two every battle! certainly not worth what you’d gain in converted units generally.



    Actually you said that separate mod for PBEM is not needed according to poll.

    No, that’s not exactly what I said. I said that for the current tournament, for next round, the judges decided not to use a mod.
    For next tournament, it’s sure we will use a mod. And maybe in some other rounds of the current one, we will use a mod (when the only persons not eliminated all want a mod for instance).



    I updated the Wiki with the malus value when you run dry on gold:
    Basically, you start to get a malus (of -200) when your balance is in negative and more than 10% of your upkeep. So if your upkeep is 11*16 = 176 (11 T3), you need to have a negative balance of at least 18 to start getting the malus (and of course, 0 gold in bank).
    If moves to -400 when you exceed 25% of upkeep. Then it creeps to -800 (when it really hurts) when you go over 50% of upkeep.

    + you also have a -200 Empire Happiness because of Empty Treasure.
    -600 is bearable, especially if you have Morale bonus through heroes. And if you have Sustainable Warfare or equivalent, you can keep a lot of units without issue.

    I also updated the desertion probability in the Wiki. It’s only 20% and only if you’re on Worst morale (below 600).

    I don’t think we should change the Empire Happiness malus since it would snowball quickly out of control in situation when a player does have city but not enough gold, and that’s not what we want.
    So I see 2 options: 1/ increase morale malus when upkeep cannot be paid and / or 2/ change the probability of desertion associated to different morale status.

    I think we should do both.
    It could be something like:
    -200 Unit has not received 10% – 25% of its wage
    -600 (was -400) Unit has not received 25% – 50% of its wage
    -800 Unit has not received 50% – 75% of its wage

    And then put 5% probability of desertion for Very Low Morale and 25% (instead of 20%) for Worst Morale.

    Also, it would be good if we could have a cumulative effect. If you’re on deficit for 5 turns in a row, you should get an extra punishment, otherwise, you can just stay at 0 gold with -24% of your upkeep for ever with almost no penalty (especially if you play Undead who do not get terrain malus + I’m not even sure Undead suffer from the “no wage paid” malus).


    Going into AoW_ClassSkillData.rpk, and then ClassSkill Data (diplomacy modifiers), reveals the default treasury/wage penalties. In addition to what you stated, there appears to be a -100 morale penalty when the unit has not received <10% of its pay. When it hasn’t received >75% of its pay, the penalty jumps to -1600 morale.

    There’s a field in the settings that looks like it is used for making the penalty wane each turn (?). I’m not sure if the penalty could instead be ramped up by applying a negative wane value.

    You raise some good concerns about the Undead (I don’t know the answer). I also like the idea of a cumulative effect, if that can be achieved.



    There’s a field in the settings that looks like it is used for making the penalty wane each turn (?)

    Is it really so? The penalty lasts 10 turns so isn’t it the duration of the penalty instead? From my test, the penalty stayed even after I came back to positive treasury. And if I went from -25% to -50%, the unit got -400 instead of -200 (but not -200 + -400 = -600, which means it’s not cumulative).

    Thanks for looking into the rpk by the way! I update the Wiki with the information.

    I hope more people can discuss this and the possible solutions. If it’s not fixed, count on me to exploit this in next tournaments.



    Turns out undead will desert without gold, which is good I think. It means simply increasing the morale penalty should be effective against all classes. Thanks for the information. Personally I think I would lean towards just increasing the morale penalty, 20% chance to desert since that’s each turn. Alsdo the modification looks super simple thanks to WanderingScholar looking it up.



    Two other options:
    1/ increase the gold upkeep of T3 and T4 (the Empire Building Mod did that)
    2/ add mana to the upkeep of T3 and T4



    As partial decision we could make most structures give mana/knowledge/whatever as reward instead of gold.

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