Author Topic: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha  (Read 2318 times)

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

« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 09:37:50 AM by clayffo »

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 04:11:31 PM »
Excellent points, most of these. Previous build was more stable to me. Diplo even worked kinda.
Fishing I had no problem training for.

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 11:51:38 AM »
so I've finally been able to get a few games above 150 turns .  Most of the time I have critical failures that permanently end the games much earlier.  based on these 3 games, I have noticed a couple significant problems.

1.  all 3 games have ended in famine.  Food does not effectively scale when you get clan totals of 22+.  the RNG nature of resources has lead to large sections of the map with no resources .  The upgrades for resource improvement are too expensive and by the time you have them, the resources are gone.  (i.e. no more herds nearby the forage once you get the "lord of the hunt." or the " meat cutter"
2.  Ranchers seem broken for a couple reasons.  1.  the rancher immediately sets up and gives me 10 of the resource (say cattle) then the rancher does jack squat until the foraging or meat cutting is complete.  The rancher should progressively add cattle to the tally (say +1 ea turn) for a while like a mine.  Secondly, if you have horses, you have to spend horses on non food / cloth upgrades, such as the trader.  2.  The upgrade for "overseer of the range" should not require a separate person from the rancher.  The rancher should receive an upgrade opportunity as the rancher doesn't do anything once the ranch is set up.
3.  Once you get past 100 turns, the team tends to get really spread out.  it hasn't been uncommon that I've had mines/loggers that were 20+ squares away from my main camp since the food resources required a lot of traveling to get to.  There should be a way to maintain closer ties with the team.  I feel that there should be a phase 1 version of "start a kingdom" that allows you to gain a larger control territory and automatically farm resources off the squares (like civ 5) without having to create special camps. 
4.  I have some  concerns that once the enemy clans get enabled, the game will be extremely hard to succeed at unless you get a great RNG roll.  I am not training any soldiers at all and I cannot stay alive.  I don't know how I could defend resources at this time and still gain resources if I had 2-3 soldiers.  I don't know how I could keep the soldiers health up, even when trained, since the cost of healing is way too expensive
5.  There should be a way to fire or re-roll a new clan. some of the clans that are forced on you are completely useless or just bad for the team.  I have had clans that were lazy, did not want to do any trade work and had a quadruple multiplier on fighting with other clans. 
6.  There should be a way to set up a recruiting center / training center to improve the quality of clans.  THis work camp would improve the speed of recruiting and allow you to change traits (similar to darkest dungeon)
7.  I think that each clan should be a bonus starting resource or trait that allows the player to get off to a good start.  For example, the huns,  being fighters by nature, would start off with horsemen who could immediately go out and raid other clans.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 02:03:46 PM by clayffo »

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 10:02:49 AM »
I played a map today;  good resources, lots of mines, plants, and a few farms to cap.  I was able to create 2 V2 mines, including a  gold mine, an apiary plantation, stone block production via a coal mine, and cloth production via flax.  Unfortunately, at turn 85 the game had a complete melt down that ended in me having to re-install the game. 

However, my primary take away from that game was, again, food.  Despite my great wealth and resources, at turn 85 I had 4 food with -1 food per turn going into winter.  I had explored an area of approx. 40x40 squares in all directions from my starting position and there were no food options.  The map was surprising short on herds and fish; I could not find any and I ended up retraining my hunter as a watchman since he was not doing anything to help me.

really my only choice at that point would have been to hopefully buy any animals the caravan had and to use the meat cutter.  I had the cash to do so, but this would have been a stop gap measure that would not have solved my key problem.  Had a found a food resource even farther into the frontier, it would have taken until the next winter to move my operation and I may not have survived that trip.

doing a somewhat cursory search into Germanic peoples of the Roman era, it was pointed out that tribes like the Mongols and Suevi lived primary off of animal based products; meats and milks.  They primary sources of these were a combination of home grown herds and hunting for game.

With this said, I would have 2 possible suggestions.   
1.  Ranchers would have a second tier skill called animal husbandry.  This would allow the Rancher to continuously produce more of the captured herd.  The overseer of the herd skill could enhance to quantity of herd production from +1 / turn to +3 / turn, similar to the weapons skills
- additionally, create an upgrade to ranchers for milk production as both an asset and a food stopgap should you run out of food
2.  allow squares with forest to have a set quantity of "game."  The hunter could use the forage skill to hunt that game.  The huntsman and lord of the hunt skills would enhance the hunters +food / turn.

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 10:04:07 PM »
Where are all the sources of this learning come from?

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 11:12:34 AM »
more suggestions:
1.  hot keys for reporting:  there should be a way to have brief but useful reports that can be moved around the screen and hidden/shown with a hot key.  Some useful reports would be 
- potential conflict report between tribes
- activity report (who's working, not working, active, waiting for a task, etc)
- turns to exhaustion of resources being worked
- mini map with color indicators of resources, land marks, camps, enemies, etc)
- expanded notes report.  I think it would be nice to have a report that not only allows you to pencil in who should do what, but also what activities you need to do
Perhaps a standard set of tasks could be created and be customizable with the ability to strike through completed tasks.
- health and well being report per tribe (for example someone's in the wilderness and has less than 50% health)
- available resources that are not being exploited
- list of available buildings that you have the resources and available staff to build
- current relationship with each known AI

2.  Improved automation:  As more tribes get recruited, the amount of tedious and repetitive clicking becomes annoying. 
- passive until attacked or a critical decision must be made (like civ 5/6).  If I have someone picking berries and the square becomes "cold" I want to be able to have that tribe camp in place for the winter and resume picking as available without having to click them passive every turn
- auto explore (same as civ 5/6).  This feature should include an option to set passive the explorer during the winter to avoid dying
- Survey a designated area automatically - should be able to select a grid of squares and assign the  surveyor to identify all
- select at least 3 or more skills to train and prioritize training (for example I want to learn woodcutter, then surveyor, then hunter)
- optional tutorial talking bubble for each tribe with recommended actions

3.  character development:  I mentioned this some in a past post, but it is tedious and frustrating that tribes can only excel at one skill. 
- The first item is that someone trained in a higher skill should have all lower skills automatically available (such as a miner should also be a digger)
- There should be an option for a secondary skill with the ability to field upgrade that skill.  If I have a miner that is 20 squares of forest from my main camp and that mine expires, I now have a tribe that can do nothing for 4-5 turns or an entire winter.  you can't go to the next mine and start it up because there has to be an area of influence in place.
- There should be a way to train and improve the efficiency of skills through experience and not just buying expensive upgrades.  As I've said in previous posts, as the tribe grows, the productivity of the tribe declines.  This is due to many factors, including expensive training costs, lack of resources on the map (RNG at it's finest), tribe is too spread out (too much walking time between jobs),constantly having to retrain due to a lack of relevant resources available, and conflicts between  tribe members requiring someone to be removed .

4.  finally, there should be a way to get rid of bad tribes.  Fire them, kill them, send them to the mines, whatever.

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 04:36:11 PM »
I played a bit of 23.2 and here are some more ideas.  I'm going to leave the "raging barbarians" aside as I think we all know it's not balanced

The basic idea behind nomadic tribes of this era was that they would pick a spot typically grasslands surrounded by forest and near fresh water.  The main camp was set up as a semi permanent structure for at least 1 year, maybe more depending on the land and local politics.  Herds and farmland were established surrounding the campsite.  Local resources were exploited, such as game, wood, and iron.  It was typical that herds would be used for multiple functions, such as meat, milk, furs, clothing, tools and finished goods, such as the use of wool to create rugs and clothing.  Trading was a big part of this as it created a way to get products not locally available and allowed for the transfer of knowledge and culture. 

The way this game plays, the main camp is really just like a settler that allows for the establishment of camps.  There is no real feeling of a "tribe" when you have  camps that are 10+ squares from one another.  With that said, the recruits you get don't seem to have any level of commitment to a "one tribe" mentality. 

Here are some suggestions:
-  the stone for permanent structures is really not a good mechanic.  Stone is damn near impossible to get unless you trade.  Structures like farms and mines should last a good long time on their own and should be upgradeable to the stone structures in the future.  this would allow for longer term use and a bonus to production
-  allow for the development of common squares around the area of influence .  These squares will not have the same productivity as named resource squares, but will be upgradeable and sustainable for 1 or more years.  Allowing for this development from the onset of the game will create greater responsibility to pick good spots and commit to them
- require camp locations to be permanent for a minimum of 1 full year
- allow for empty squares to be cultivated (by appropriate trades) for future development (ie. create forests, grazing lands, herds, etc)
- allow for watchmen to build defensive structures (watchtowers) for a more reasonable cost.  20 wood is too expensive.  I would say 5 wood max as you will need at least 4 of them. 
- a big missed opportunity is with the waterways.  I have yet in 20 games to even do fishing much less anything else.  establishing at the head of a river and body of water should have a set of benefits that offset the loss of land other than just setting up a trader. 
   - establish more profitable over water trading routes
   - ship yard
   - fisheries

 The way the game plays, each recruit you have has a variety of traits and skills; they interact with each other.  therefore, I think that they should contribute more and have more individual value:
- - right now tribe recruits are essentially the workers.  They should be leaders of their own workers
        - Create a tech tree for each tribe leader and allow for the automation of their minions to create and develop around the resource captured.
        -  use skills to uniquely develop resources and extend their viability
        - Create the ability to gain multiple uses out of a resource (such as cows for meat, hides, milk, parchment)
                   - build roads and infrastructure necessary
       - create a way to integrate individuals into the core "tribe" system over the course of time or a rewards system (such as a title)

Trading - the current system just sucks.  The sell prices are undercut and the buy prices are over priced.  it also makes no sense to have an anonymous trader that only offers some goods and only comes by once every 5 turns.  There should be regular trading during spring, summer, and declining in fall.  very little in winter
- being able to trade with other factions and "neutral" factions is key to trade, technology and culture.  there should be a trader sub category for establishing trade routes with other tribes.  If you establish a trading facility, you should be able to train and supply caravans
- base trade would be gold only as an enhancer to the existing facility.  any goods you add to your trade caravan shall be offered in trade or gold based on each stop of the caravan.  Goods of no value to anyone will simply return to you as "unsold" I hate the idea of cheesing the NPC into buying 200 wood they don't need just because of a mechanic that forces the sale

The next is bandits.  if you destroy a bandit camp, which takes at least 2 bowmen, you receive an incidental reward, not even as good as a ruin.  worse, you most likely won't have the oil needed to heal those bowmen, so they are of diminished value later on.   a bandit camp should yield (1) recruiting opportunities (2) use of their camp as a defensive outpost, (3) any workers they captured previously (4) some gold and other materials.

Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 11:51:27 AM »
At this point the game is no longer playable because every game crashes in 50-75 turns and I cannot recover it. it's too frustrating to constantly start over, especially when I have a good roll.  Here are some thoughts

-  the resources are pretty good now.  some things are too expensive still such as fortify costs, sledge upgrades (logging), healing, etc.
- stone block costs for V2 resources are still too expensive.  I think that 10 blocks would be more fair
- upgrading bowman weapons is a bit too expensive.  can't really do early game
-  I primarily use bowman because spearman and calvary are too expensive for early game.   It requires 3 bowmen to be effective, which is pretty resource intensive, unless you find neutral camps to raid for workers
-  fishing still does not work for me at all. I  train the skill, have zone of control, but my guy won't go on the water.  right click does no action on that square
- upgraded blacksmiths/weaponsmiths should provide a benefit.  I would recommend 6 return for 4 iron.
- Fortify camps is a good way to create the early game expanded territory.  I think it's somewhat fair cost wise overall
- I think that disguising the hunter as a bandit is a great idea and works well.  However, there needs to be a prompt so if you click on one of your resources, you won't automatically attack your own people/camps
- farms are really not that good right now.  even if you upgrade them, they don't produce that well.  berry picking is the way to  go, especially with the upgrade. I think that upgrading the farming production should be modified from +2 wheat to +4 wheat
-  there should be a pop up note regarding besieging.  you wouldn't know if you didn't pay attention, but if you besiege in the winter and the square your on is red on resources, your guys lose health.  you have to encamp during the winter and besiege when the squares are not cold.  There should also be a counter for how many days to complete a besiege depending on the number of bandits in the camp