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Rev29457 cash musings

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Level 8 Human Truffle Farmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Australia
Posted on February 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

This new era of low income is certainly different. I actually find myself looking at the gold income for the first time. I think things might be a little tight in that I had 400+ profit at one stage by the time I had reached lugdunum but by the time I got Caesar up to Genava and had connected all 3 salassi cities and forts and farms I was down to +79. Either connections cost a bit too much or I have been overzealous by connecting everything to the chain.

I also think this means that market upgrades in cities have no effect. I built one in Genava and it appears that +20% of 0 is in fact ....zero. Will the market upgrade change to a flat bonus of +x amount or is something else going to be implemented? I'll report back later if I find things change further into the campaign but so far things are interesting and a little tight.

Level 5 Human English-Norwegian translator
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Ireland
Posted on February 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

From a realism point of view I don't think it makes sense that there is no income from cities. If there is too much gold I think it may make more sense to reduce the income from mines.

Another option could be to make it possible to add more workers/slaves to mines. Why not increase the number a mine can hold to 100? This would make it harder to fill the mine and max your income from it.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on February 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm

But increasing slave/worker numbers would also hugely increase micro managing on big maps because you would always have to check back all mines to see if they are full yet.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on February 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Cool, thanks for the feedback.

The idea was definitely to make you pay more attention to your gold, since it was becoming largely irrelevant in the campaign.

I understand the historic argument, although I'm not sure what tax collection was like in Gaul during Caesar's campaign. I know the war certainly made him extremely wealthy, but I assumed that was more from looting rather than regular taxation.

As was mentioned, I'm wary of increasing the number of workers/slaves required since we don't want players to be spending all of their time managing their workforce.

I know the first chapter isn't completely balanced for gold yet. We went through and tried to different combinations of objectives to make sure you still had enough income from rewards, but I'm sure we missed a few things. We did also reduced the cost of trade routes significantly in this build.

Thanks for the feedback, we'll keep looking at it over the weekend and see how it goes. There's a chance we may just end up finding some middle road where cities just don't produce as much income as they did before.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on February 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I do kind of like the idea of towns not providing income. Caesar couldn't reliably obtain grain from most of the conquered tribes, let alone taxes. Uprisings were so common throughout the decade, and Roman citizens were always the first to be murdered when they started. The Publicani would have been extremely unwelcome.

I didn't find it too much of an issue to maintain a positive balance, but then I didn't attempt full upgrades in every non Roman town, only markets, walls and fisheries if they could support one.

Perhaps markets should provide a flat rate as Blxz suggested, or a variable one depending on the size of the town based on the recruit pool perhaps? More recruits = more people = more families spending money or some such.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 6:33 am

It's an easy change to make markets produce a fixed income and I'll likely do that regardless of city income just because +50 gold is easier to evaluate than +20% income.

I'm just brainstorming here, but we've been looking for ways to differentiate the faction groups and I've been wondering whether it might work/make sense to have taxation more of Roman thing e.g. native Roman cities generate significantly more tax income than Gallic or German ones.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

Thought of some methods that ended up being entirely too complicated for Hegemony.

Mostly due to the fact that the Hegemony games have a flat income/expenditure rate, not the accumulated wealth of other strategy games.

The only way I think you could do it without screwing with the core economy of the series is as you said, Roman cities provide flat out more money. Problem is though Roman cities are set in stone. We can't romanize cities over time so that raises the question of 'What is the point?'.

Cities are currently visually distinct between 'Gallic' and 'Roman' so instead of changing the cities themselves with some hidden value that if we are honest most players are never going to notice, why not instead have the upgrades perform differently in different faction cities? Using the market as an example, in a Roman city the market is a common feature, Romans are familiar with the idea of currency, trade, purchase of luxury items. Roman towns should then be able to build the most efficient markets, giving a higher boost to income from trade taxes etc.

Romanized Gauls such as the Aedui, having been exposed to Roman culture and practices for almost a century by this point should then have the middle grade market upgrade. The idea of coinage, trade etc are new enough that they as a people are not exactly well versed yet but also established enough within their culture to not be alien and shunned.

Then we come to the west and north of Gaul, the Belgae for example. No concept of currency, only a bartering based system. The markets in Belgic cities and those of the other northern and western tribes would be fairly basic. Low rates of income due to this new system being forced on them. The idea of things being bought with 'worthless' trinkets in the form of metal coins, an alien concept.

Level 5 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

I think cities should give tax income according to its size and faction hostility.
I would also like cities to actually display how much income they provide, without having to go to the assets page.

Level 5 Human English-Norwegian translator
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Ireland
Posted on February 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

My income in chapter 1 is now -54 so I can't bridge the Arar or complete the build two units at Lugdunum objective.

Income:
Base: 865
Mines and farms: 50

Expenses:
Camps and bridges: 50
Supply lines: 59
Units: 860

While writing this I completed the Ancestral Debts objective by accident, which gave me 100 gold, so I managed to build the bridge. Completing the bridge and building a second unit at Lugdunum has given me +275.

I think more gold should be given as rewards for earlier missions, or perhaps the base should be increased (in which case the reward for bridging the Arar and building two units in Lugdunum should be decreased) so players won't find themselves in my situation where they can't afford to complete their objectives.

Level 8 Human Truffle Farmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Australia
Posted on February 11, 2014 at 5:04 am

I like what Bansh suggested about upgrades in different city cultures behaving in different ways. I would have to disagree with some of his reasoning about the gallic peoples not being very used to trade and currency since it isn't true but perhaps some sort of balance can be had.

Different cultures can be more manpower focused while other tribes could be more cash focused, perhaps. I really don't know since I don't have all the information on all the different tribes you will have but some minor cultural or conceptual differences should definitely be there. It doesn't even need to be explained explicitly in the game, you could just include some of the information in those cool little diplomacy screen tooltips about each culture and let us figure it out for ourselves.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on February 11, 2014 at 5:29 am

Having faction specific upgrades is definitely something we'd like to do. The code is all set up for it, its really just a matter of coming up with unique enough upgrades and then testing/balancing all of the combinations.

We'll be pushing a new update shortly that gives about a third of the gold for cities that it used to.

Level 8 Human Truffle Farmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Australia
Posted on February 14, 2014 at 8:25 am

More cash musings. It seems that money is still quite easy to get now that cities produce a little bit. On the whole, more land equals more money.

I was wondering if you might not take something like a total war approach here and add some sort of administrative cost. Call it whatever you want, but the concept is that the more land you take the less total profit you get from each city.

For example: each city might produce 100 gold. But having 2 cities adds a 5% tax so that you get 190 gold for 2, 270 gold for 3, etc.
With a little bit of balancing and some hard caps so that you don't ever lose money by taking a city I think this could help fix the problem of virtually infinite cash.