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Author Topic: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version  (Read 598 times)

Jon Shafer

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Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« on: April 19, 2019, 03:18:22 PM »
I had originally planned for v1.1 to be focused on quality of life improvements before I came back around to work on gameplay, but having thought about it some more getting the survival and economic aspects of the game in a solid place will affect the gameplay experience a lot more and for a larger number of players. Ultimately, my priority is making the game more fun to play before I make the game easier to play. I’ll be refreshing the update plan soon, but wanted to give everyone an idea of what I’m up to in the meantime.

I wanted food stored as turns in order to make it easy to keep track of how much you had left, but in the end the system has ended up being really hard to balance and I now believe it would be best to simply make food a resource like any other and adjust all the numbers accordingly. Because you could bank stored turns when your costs were cheap it was almost a “reverse inflation” where the more you invested earlier the easier the game would become. The goal is for there to be the constant threat of starvation, but unfortunately it actually turned out to be quite easy to avoid as long as you knew what you're doing. The ability to stack lots of multiplicative bonuses just makes it easier. So the plan for v1.1 is now to take another look at food, starvation, and resource production balance generally.

The target full release date for v1.1 is mid-May, but I'll soon start posting new builds to the unstable branch in Steam every Friday afternoon, with the first going up today. The balance is definitely off and things will continue to change, but if you want to follow along with how things are shaping up feel free to have a look.

If anyone has thoughts on this topic feel free to post them here. I'm also happy to answer any questions, and will post design and implementation updates in this thread as v1.1 progresses. The next patch after this update (v1.2) will be focused on quality of life improvements. No specific ETA on that yet, but it'll probably come in the month or two after v1.1.

In terms of specifics, foragers, timber structures, and stone structures will be separated into 3 distinct tiers. Previously they all kind of overlapped, but now they're a clear hierarchy in terms of both output and cost. You will use and need all 3 in each game now. Food is now much more important, so don't ignore it! You can stay ahead if you prioritize it, but it can also sneak up on you pretty quickly. If you run out of food the mood of your clans will start to drop, and if at least half of your clans become resentful they’ll actually overthrow you and the game will end.

Here’s a changelist for all the stuff that’s in the new unstable v1.0.1.1:


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v1.0.1.1

2019 April 19

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MAJOR FEATURES


- Food is no longer stored as turns, but is a normal stockpiled resource like all others. Surplus food production no longer spoils. Players now start the game with only 5 turns of food, which will disappear quickly!

- Starvation now results in the Mood of all Clans dropping by 1 per turn. All other penalties associated with starvation have been removed. If more than half of a player's Clans are Resentful when the turn ends the player will lose the game.

- Each subsequent Family now joins a Clan in 10% less time than the previous one. Families now provide a Clan with a Combat Power bonus, but no Resource Production bonus, as this ended up breaking the game's economy and food balance.

- Significantly rebalanced the cost and output of most Structures and several resource refinement Professions.



MAJOR BUGS FIXED


- Fixed rare crash in Goal AI.



GAMEPLAY TWEAKS


- Increased XP required to gain a Level in a Discipline. This means it will generally take longer to train Clans in the midgame.

- Increased rate at which new Clans arrive.

- Increased Cloth cost of increasing the Popcap.

- Skipping the Settlement's turn now produces 1 Treasure and 1 Fame per resident Clan (previously always 5 Treasure).

- Stone Structure Apprentices now produce as much as the base version of the Structure. Adding an Apprentice slot now costs 20 Boards and 10 Parchment.

- Paths now increase movement speed by 3x.

- Caravan price balancing. More to come.

- All Plant and Mineral Resource Deposits now last for 24 turns (previously it was a mix between 24 and 18).

- 'Resentful' Clan Mood is no longer permanent.

- Free food goody hut result now provides 10 Food (previously 5).

- Increased cost of Tinkerer to 30 Tools (previously 20).

- Watchtower Apprentices now cost 20 Weapons (previously 5) and produce 20 Fame per turn (previously 5).

- Cooper now provides 4x food (previously 2.5x) and costs 3 Boards per turn (previously 2).

- Armor upgrades for Warrior Professions now provide a larger bonus.



MINOR BUGS FIXED

- Fix for borders not visually updating after capturing structures.

- Fix for crash when loading a save file when a 'new faction unlocked' notification was up.

- Minor text fixes.



MISC

- Resource stockpile now shows the current number of turns of food left, now that it's no longer automatically stored AS turns.

- Brought back 'STARVATION' label in the resource stockpile panel.

- Caravan Screen: re-ordered price and quantity labels, and softened gold-colored buttons for specials.
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at contact@conifergames.com. Thanks for your support!

Re: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 07:43:42 PM »
Thank you for your continued work on the game. I am looking forward to the release of v1.1.

Re: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 09:39:34 PM »
Indeed. Look forward to playing again with a rebalanced version.
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Jon Shafer

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Re: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 11:57:52 AM »
Thanks guys! Got a lot on my list I'll be working through over the next several months so make sure to check in on the game every so often. :)

- Jon
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at contact@conifergames.com. Thanks for your support!

Jon Shafer

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Re: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 12:42:13 PM »
v1.0.1.2 is now up. It's a fairly small update since I've been spending most of the week playtesting. Should be more changes in next week's build.

- Jon
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at contact@conifergames.com. Thanks for your support!

Jon Shafer

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Re: Rebalancing Food + New Unstable Version
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 01:12:13 PM »
v1.0.1.3 is now live in the unstable branch, and has a LOT more changes compared with last week. The game is much tougher now, maybe too much so, but that's what I'm testing right now. Next week will be focused on that and improving the gameplay balance and UI for the caravan system.

I'm looking into why the new unstable branch builds might not be working on Linux and Mac and hope to have that fixed for next week's build.



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v1.0.1.3

2019 May 3

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MAJOR FEATURES


- Brought back 'Group Games' for testing purposes. This will only be enabled for the 'unstable' and 'developer' branches in Steam.

- Rewrote logic for clan desires, which makes their start softer, makes 'milder' desires more likely, and adds a chance of desires fading away.

- It's no longer possible to level up clans by spending Parchment, as this being possible skewed the economic pacing of the game too much. It is still possible to switch a clan to a different discipline. 

- Increased clan family food cost from 0.2 to 0.3. This makes keeping everyone fed a fair bit tougher. You also now start with 10 food instead of 5.



GAMEPLAY TWEAKS


- Rebalanced several economic Professions and their upgrades. Added a few new 'synergy' professions, which are all generally less powerful now.

- Reduced Morale recovery to 10 per turn (previously 20).

- Increased vision range of all units.

- Increased Cloth cost of raising the popcap.

- Increased Structure cost to 50 Timber or Stone Blocks.

- Greatly increased the benefit provided by Warrior Profession Armor upgrades.

- Clans no longer automatically level up to their Profession's level.

- Clans now show up a bit more often.

- Reduced chance of the 'Find a Warm Place' clan desire.

- Noble clans no longer produce Fame.



MINOR BUGS FIXED

- Fixed crash where AI kill bandit camp operation would have a 'null' camp.
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at contact@conifergames.com. Thanks for your support!