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More stressful than fun?

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Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 6:36 am

Not to complain -- I really like this game and am still very much hooked...

However, it's *very* challenging once your kingdom expands beyond its initial boundaries. I recently captured Larissa after several major attempts, and it is under constant -- and I mean constant -- raids and sieges by at least 3 different factions. Not just occasional peltists (who are just *incredibly* annoying to deal with), but groups of hoplites and occasional cavalry. That compounded with the fact that my nearest city (forget name) is constantly out of food. Even though I have all my best units in Larissa trying to maintain this toehold, it looks like a losing cause. I can't take out the nearby factions because their main cities are very well defended. I'm constantly on my heels (not to mention my cities to the north are under raids as well.)

All this brings home to me the wisdom of what others are suggesting:

1) A basic diplomacy feature is desperately needed. It seems all but impossible to be at war with everyone all the time. There has got to be an option to arrange cease-fires, if not alliances.

2) An auto-attack option. Watching your troops take a beating from enemy ranged units and not do a thing about it unless you tell them -- especially when you're dealing with a dozen other threats simultaneously -- is ridiculous.

3) The population cap seems too low. If you're going to be under attack by nearly everyone, it seems necessary to at least be able to have some advantages of numbers. I'm at the point now where I barely have enough units to defend my territory (which is by no means huge, by the way), much less keep acquiring new cities. The disparity between population cap and gold seems off -- I almost always have more $$ than I need, and never enough population points. It would be great if you could press slaves into service as militia or conscripts (not sure if that's historical, but at least it would give you a reason to keep capturing slaves -- all i can do with them is send them to mines and have them occasionally build something.)

Anyway, just thoughts for now. Game is great -- just would like to see it get balanced a little more in the way of manageable fun -- right now I worry it's becoming an impossible click-fest.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 8:37 am

Just a note regarding the population vs money: once you start building triremes you'll need that money. Triremes and catapults don't require any population, just money, and while you don't really need to build catapults (although they help), you will need to build a bunch of triremes.

Anyway, if you've just been following the missions so far, I found it useful to capture some extra Macedonian cities before going for Larissa and the surrounding cities. That way you can get a few extra phalangite brigades, which will help you capture some of the cities neighbouring Larissa, which will cut down on the attacks.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

There was only a brief period of time when I needed more population. And largely that was because I was focusing on Macedonian troops instead of Mercenary. As is stands now I've got all my border cities walled and garrisoned, enough troops to fend off attacks from the areas where I get attacked, and the capability of pushing forward in two locations. With all my troops spread out like that, I've still got about 15 Macedonian population points left open, and over 100 Mercenary. My limiting factors are room to maneuver and, as already stated, Triremes.

Also, while I'd like to see Diplomacy, I've found that there are areas where if you only expand up to a point then you'll have a quiet front on that side of the map. I may have to deal with lots of aggression from the south and east, but with my current empire layout I get nothing from the north and west.

Level 8 Human Music
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: Ireland, Waterford
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

You have said everything that I dislike about this game :p
I hope these issues will be addressed...This is a game..they are meant to be fun..on your spare time.
Not stressful.

This game can be so much more!

Anyway!
I am currently working on the files to mod this game and I have found many good options that can be changed.
I found things like trade routes generate more gold and miners can carry 8 gold each instead of 2.
Also lowering each factions hostile ratings.

I am having problems raising the population cap!
I have yet to figure out what needs changing.

But once thing that I feel would be great is your slaves idea.
Change them into a form of militia force.
This would be very useful and make capturing slaves actually useful.

Since they can revolt and actually turn into a militia force, There must be a way to turn slaves into an actual militia..maybe even captured slaves are only militia?
Since after all they are warriors?

They don't require population and would seriously assist us when holding cities and actually being able to attack properly!

I hope the devs are listening to us or this game will crumble :(

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

I'm not sure I really understand what people are talking about when they say that the population cap is too low. I have yet to reach the population limit in all of my Macedonian cities, and I'm not sure the game even gives you enough settlers to do that. So if anything, shouldn't the amount of settlers that the player receives be the thing to change (although I don't think there's any problem with population)?

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

I'm not sure I really understand what people are talking about when they say that the population cap is too low. I have yet to reach the population limit in all of my Macedonian cities, and I'm not sure the game even gives you enough settlers to do that. So if anything, shouldn't the amount of settlers that the player receives be the thing to change (although I don't think there's any problem with population)?

I believe the subject is about the troop cap, which is based on your population. Also I've reached a point where I've got settlers and no-where to settle them, all my cities are full and every city I conquer is full.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 11:31 am

I believe the subject is about the troop cap, which is based on your population. Also I've reached a point where I've got settlers and no-where to settle them, all my cities are full and every city I conquer is full.

I guess you're right about the troop/population thing, although it would probably make more sense to say that the population cost for troops is too high, then.

Anyway, I'm surprised that You've run out of places to settle your settlers. I don't suppose there are any Macedonian cities left for you to take (I guess not, since you must be quite a ways into the game)? If not, then I think this must be an oversight on the part of the developers.

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

The AI should be a bit less relentless in tonight's beta. Keep an eye on the news page.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

The AI should be a bit less relentless in tonight's beta. Keep an eye on the news page.

Nice! definitely will look for that. "Less relentless" would help a lot!

Again, I did not want to sound like I was going on a rant... This is a brilliant game. Like all games in its fledgling stages, it just needs some balancing adjustments.

I'm thinking of starting a new campaign and expanding more methodically. I thought I had been expanding at a deliberate pace but Larissa is just a hornets' nest that I'm not able to deal with. Am thinking of trying to load up border cities (cities furthest on the supply chain, on my kingdom's boundaries) with ample supplies of food, via workers & slaves carrying it to them, perhaps in the winter. Then, in the spring, launching a campaign into a new region. I had been trying to rely on sheep flocks as mobile food sources during campaigns, but they're not enough to sustain large armies on their own.

Level 8 Human Gamer, writer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: El Paso, Tx
Posted on May 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Significantly less relentless AI would be stupendous. I often get a situation (at least in the early stages) where I'll rout 3 units and not chase them back into their territory because I know it opens yet another can of worms on the world shelf. (I currently have about 6 open, for reference, I mean major territories) So I often don't bother with them, move off somewhere and suddenly there's a three unit strong peltast brigade chopping at my watch towers. It's still damn fun, and to be honest, I live for a stressful Grand Strategy game. Even so, less malicious AI would be great.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Would it make sense (and I haven't tested the beta patch yet so maybe this is premature) that recovery of a unit takes a longer time. Units seem to recover awful quickly. I realize this could be a double-edged sword, but seeing the same units you routed only moments ago keeps things hectic (and hectic is good, don't get me wrong), but some respite from an attack would be good.

Krool

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm

After having played a bit longer on the beta the past couple of days, I can assure you that the AI is a lot more toned down in terms of the raids.

If you expand too quickly in too many directions, the major problem now is food being supplied to the front lines. Half the time I take the farms before I siege a city to refit my units as well as to cut off their food supply.

I still get the summer time raids (which are getting larger and larger) from Athens along the coast line south of Pella, but they are fairly manageable with some units garrisoned in a few places.

So far, enjoying the game immensely, and the supply line aspect of the combat is very interesting.

If you have not had a chance, give the beta a try. Here's hoping they update the demo with the 101b or next beta thats coming out this coming week.

Thanks for such a great game.