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Topics - clayffo

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AtG - General Discussion / issues and suggestions V24.0
« on: August 08, 2018, 01:10:31 PM »
ok so I played a game through 328 turns.  I'm currently on an unrecoverable crash, so I thought I would  take some time to review the game in the current version. the map being discussed is the july 26th group game.

If you read my previous post the other day, I mentioned an increase in the challenge of the game and some changes that were uncomfortable.  I found ways to forge ahead and overcome these changes.  The biggest adjustment I had to make was my initial priorities.  the top priority in this game is getting wood going.  Its' not real clear, but logging production is now based upon +1 wood per surrounding square of woods around the logger.  Therefore, you have to find a forest and put down your logging camp there.  When the camp taps out, you lose all the forest around the logger as well.  This makes it critical to get stone up asap and build a woodworks.

Additionally, some of the civs start significantly advanced.  in this game, the Lombards (pink) directly to the south start with a cattle ranch, sheep ranch, iron mine, salt mine, vineyard, and wheat farm.  they also have 2 warriors and 3 bandit camps in their territory, so attacking them takes some planning.  Having a Civ start so far ahead of you makes the game more defensive and, at least for me, pushed me to move north and west.  Unfortunately, there is a Roman camp directly west, so that makes 2 expansion paths not possible early on.

about 5 or so recruits in, I got a livestock guy, so I did something I never did in previous play throughs, I used the fishing boat.  This was a game saving moment for me as my food options were limited.  I did not want to use a hunter on the sheep and deer to the north, as I needed cloth and parchment.  There is not a river nearby, so I could not put up a trader to buy these resouces (cloth and parchment) until much later in the game.

Here are some items that I liked and disliked about the current version:
-  too many demanding characters that refuse to switch trades.  I found it hard to get a farmer with so many of the initial clans restricting me to metalworks, honor, discovery, and livestock.  Oddly enough, a batch of agriculture guys come through right after I no longer needed them.
-  Baldric has a permanent "Sullen" trait, which makes her upset all the time.  she also has a "gains no experience unless in a social trade" trait, which means she has to work in the camp.  This creates a lower mood with other clans and you cannot fire her.  You can, I suppose, send her to get captured by bandits, but that's a workaround
-  On several occasions I had no choice but to punish a character.  Let's take Hilbrand for example.  He was an honor camp guy of mine  and he had a conflict with someone else in the camp that required me to punish one of them.  I could not just separate them as the other clan would be upset for their desire of him being punished not getting fulfilled.  So I punish HIllbrand and now he has a PERMANENT trait of refusing to work.  The only things I could do was give him alcohol (this is a temporary work around) and move him to be a farming apprentice. 

again this is silly that you have to use an unworkable characters or send them to their deaths.  There should be a way to resolve disputes and allow them, over a few turns, to get back to at least being neutral. Otherwise, maybe you could have the option to put them into slavery, whereas you would get a discount of food use, but would have no family growth and reduced production. 

-  I like the shepherd idea and used it.  However, I was extremely disappointed when I put up 2 sheep ranches and discovered that the +1.25 sheet per turn only applied 1x, when it should have applied to each ranch, giving me 2.5 sheep per turn.  as a result, my grand plan of using 2.5 sheep per turn to make both cloth and meat failed.  This should be fixed

-  galleys dont' work.  There is some great land directly east of your starting position, but you have to either walk through unfriendly territory or sail.  When I tried to move my camp, spearmen, and explorer onto the galley, the option is greyed out (merge armies). 

-  The food production counter is broken.  Currently I have 263 food, 2 wheat farms, a butcher, a cheesemaker, baker, breadmaker, briner and plenty of salt.  However, it shows my food at -0.1 .  Additionally, the briner and cheesemaker apparently don't work at all as I have no stocks of preserves or meat.  In version 23, if you check my attached game file, I had over 1000 preserves using the briner with salt and meat.

-  the flax plantation doesn't appear to be balanced correctly. it is located to the west of my main camp, along the border with the Romans.  It only produces 4 flax per turn with an apprentice and some upgrade boosts.  However, the wheat plantation to the South / Southwest of my main camp produces +42 wheat per turn.  why is it that one farm can be a +42 and a mine can be at +21, but a flax plantation is only at +4.  in order to use the tailer, you need +8 flax per turn.  this puts me at -4 per turn.

-  apprentice upgrades do not scale balanced with output.  For example, I have 2 iron mines.  why do I have 2, well because the 2 mines produce a total of 46 iron per turn.  However, if you  go with 1 mine and an apprentice, your output reduces to 23  Even after some character upgrades with boards, you can increase the apprentice to +9 iron, making your output +32 .  This is applicable to all mines, not just iron.  yes there is an offset of having to use 20 stone to make a second mine, but I feel the sacrifice is well worth it for +14 extra iron per turn.

-  Im not at all on board with how attacking other civs work.  There appears to be absolutely no benefit to capturing another civ.  you turn off their production, but you have to keep a soldier there to prevent them from restarting.  It should be like Civ 5 where you cap their city and you get all of their resources and territory.  If you see my game, I cannot expand south and take advantage of the horses, cattle, salt, unidentified plant and vineyard because they are in alemanni and Lombard territory, even though the Lombards and Alemani are effectively defeated. 

-  There is a neutral wheat farm right next to the Alemanni.  I cannot capture that farm.  when I put my spearmen to attack, the command is ignored.  I had 3 spearmen against 1 neutral warrior, so it should not be a problem to cap that farm.  it may have something to do with it being in alemanni territory, but I don't know.

-  fishing camps.  Currently you can only forage for fish, however, fish do not regenerate.  It would seem to me that if you can build permanent wheat farms that don't exhaust, you should be able to build fisheries.  Once I exhausted all the fish, I had to move my camp back to the water and bring in my fisher for retraining

-  I find the desire to be in a warm place to be an aggravating problem that takes away from the game.  I had two characters, Alman, who had to be in discovery, and Ogier, who has to be in honor, both moving back and forth into the camp to meet this request.  Alman was an explorer, which really wrecked me when she was 20 squares from my base in winter.  she ended up getting angry.  Ogier had to be removed from my army and retrained in camp.  This meant retraining a camp honor guy to be a spearman.

-  I will bring up the issue again with "dig in."  there should be a warning or automatic disengage of "dig in" when winter hits, so the characters don't lose health without you realizing what's going on.  my 3 man spearman army had to disengage and spend 10 turns in winter going back to heal due to this.

-  There need to be more optional pop up windows to track resource production vs. use, as well as who is doing what and when. 

It s very time consuming to have to constantly click on field staff and make sure they are not upset or have useable upgrades that I'm not aware of.  In the camp, you can see pretty clearly who's doing what, however, you can't tell if you're optimized and if someone is even being useful.  When winter hits and farms go offline, there is not message saying, "hey, your breadmaker is offline as there's no wheat. you should retrain them for the winter" 

Additionally, you can have an apprentice feuding with a miner and be totally unaware that this is going on.  you may be losing up to 9 materials per turn for no reason at all.  worst case, your miner gets to the point where he refuses to work and you have to abandon the mine.

-  there are some problems with the Enoble skill.  some tribes can get it , some crash the game when you enoble them.  For example, I wanted to enoble either Biegel or Faramond so they could be scribes.  However, both crash the game when you try to enoble them.  Oddly enough, you can enoble manheim and alderman, who are both in honor.  YOu may have noticed I have 2 tinkerers, this is the reason. 

as a final note, I found it to be funny that the Arnold Swartzeneggar portrait guy was named Manheim, as that was the name of Arnold's character in the movie Escape Plan.

I think I've said enough for right now.  my game file is attached, HOWEVER, be warned that it will crash on turn 328 no matter what you do.  please use it for reference and instruction as you see fit.

AtG - General Discussion / Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« on: January 12, 2018, 11:46:25 AM »
So I finally received a key to play the alpha.  these are my thoughts after about 20 hours of play through .  I apologize if some of this is repeated elsewhere or on the private forums, which I do not have access to.  I'm not including things obvious to an alpha, such as the markers for unfinished graphics

Bugs / Crashes
- entering another clan's control space crashes game
- attempting to conduct diplomacy crashes game
- clicking pack/unpack too quickly on camp sometimes crashes game
- moving camp through wooded areas and quickly clicking "unpack" creates frame loss and crash sometimes
- I cannot engage in training someone for fishing.  with the training and 20 wood, it shows as blanked out.  I have tried having it within my control area while doing this
- Enemy clans do absolutely nothing.  they don't attack, mine resources, or move about the map. 
- attacking an enemy camp causes a crash
- having too many saved games (ive had up to 171) sometimes  causes a crash.  Game runs cleaner with fewer saves
- play Europe map crashes game

Imbalances / areas to clean up
- higher skilled trades need more benefits - for example, a blacksmith makes 1 tool for 1 iron.  a toolsmith makes 4 tools for 4 iron.  The toolsmith should be more efficient, such as making 6 tools with 4 iron. 
- Caravans do not sell food.  why not?
- need more hot keys to move between screens without clicking so much
- early game oil is super hard to get.  I have not had a game yet where I even found the resource (played up to 171 turns).  This makes healing extremely difficult
- Regarding healing, I think it's unnecessarily hard to heal a character with the resource requirements.  There should be a doctor/healer trade that can handle the job
  automatically for all characters within the control area.
- Cloth and parchment are super hard to get too.  I have only been able to maintain these resources via caravan trades.
- Tinkerers are too expensive to operate.  1 tools per turn severely restricts me on maps with limited resources.  15 turns/training is a very high alternative
- Clan recruitment.  the first 14 go by real quick.  the next 6 ok, but that's if you can get your hands on 5 cloth.  After 20, it really becomes a chore to get people unless you have the resources to bring on a Bard.  Depending on the map, alcohol can be a real challenge.  I have not tried using a feast master as of yet
- I don't really understand the whole meat thing.  When I have a hunter working on a herd, all I see is food +/-.  There is no supply for "meat."  When I put a rancher on the same herd, I get a stock pile of animals (cows, pigs, etc) but they show as a resource, not "meat"  I get that there are butchers and some mechanics to make that whole thing work, but I never seem to have a stockpile of animals and a subsequent butcher available due to the constant lack of food available on the map.  by the time I have a "lord of the hunt," usually the herds that were nearby are used up just to survive.
- stone blocks has been another real point of contention.  Due to the very high cost of building (20 wood for farms, etc), it's real hard to have excess wood to make coal.  I have found that coal mines are rare and, if you find one, usually the cost of having it is outweighed by the loss of not having an iron mine.
- Traders should offer more benefits.  8 gold / 20 gold per turn is good, but there should be access to a greater market.  perhaps, via a trader, we could get more preferred pricing (buy/sell) than offered by the standard caravan
- wood access.  the cost of "woodworks" is too expensive. as explained earlier, it's hard to get stone blocks going and the cost of 20 has been too hard for me to achieve so far when you consider finding a stone quarry (rare), training up stone cutters, tools (need iron also) and then 20 turns to make the product.  It seems to be way more efficient to have a wood bundler and 2 wood collectors, rather than a logger (can generate 9.5 wood/turn during the spring/summer)
- boards again another real challenge.  the 20 wood to continually build all these work camps make it hard to stockpile for board production, and that's if you have free recruits to train up a woodspitter.  I have been into that 20+ clans situation when I get to woodsplitters and I usually do not have a free hand to do it
- wool the biggest issue I have with cloth is the lack of reasonable access.  Since early game you have to use any herds available for meat, if you find a herd of sheep (also rare) you cannot afford to take advantage of it. 
- to relieve the wool issue, I think that an early game unit should be a scavenger.  This would be a character that could generate a small, but sustainable amount of food from resources on forest, brush and stream squares.  this could include fruit and fish
 - along with that, when my character (say a gatherer or farmer) is upgraded to get +2 fruit, where does that fruit go?  it does not show up as a resource, however, there is an animation for +2 fruit.  I don't notice any increase in my + food either

here are some things I discovered through repetition and failure that really improved my quality of life in the game, but were not particularly obvious to me . 

- Workshops maintain their own area of control.  you can move the camp without losing those resources.  The point of confusion I had was that one of the first things I did in game one ws capture a farm.  the farm gave no resources and no control areas, however, I was able to abandon the farm and keep the farmer
- to add to above, make a hunter right away and  go find neutral farms/logging camps.  abandon the camps and you get free workers
- the base update of each skill allows for a 2 point immediate upgrade to a clan.  you have to hit the exclamation point and then pick a character
- keep clans with +morale in the camp.  make them in house trades like blacksmith.  This greatly reduces fighting if you have a couple of them
- you have to keep track of the tickerer.  It takes 1 tool per turn, so if you train him, you will have to upgrade your blacksmith or else you will show as 0 in your tools/turn
- buy 5 cloth at the first or second caravan.  sell whatever to get it if you don't upgrade from 14 to 20 clans, you will quickly hit your cap and lose growth
- cash is king.  Re-roll if you have to, but get a  gold mine or trader asap.  the only way to survive and get the impossible resources you need, like cloth, is to buy it
- Ranchers create horses, pigs, etc in your inventory, but once you hit 10 that's it.  you have to dispose of those animals prior to demo of the facility.  However, the ranch will not time out if you leave it be.  The problem is that ranches do not create resources past 10.  If you have something like horses that you'd like to save, well the price for those horses is a rancher that does nothing for you.  If you demo the ranch, you lose the horses.
- clans do not pick optimal paths of movement.  don't select more than 2 squares ahead of them or else they may end up going around a lake instead of through the woods

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