Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Once upon a time…

A city level in War of Magic had two key game mechanics attached to it.

First, it determined what improvements you could build. The higher the level, the more powerful improvements you could construct.

But secondly, it limited the number of improvements you could build as well. 

Unfortunately, this had the effect of being very frustrating to users who quickly discovered that they couldn’t get their settlement to the next level without wrecking something which is highly annoying.  So it was taken out.

In v1.3, it’s back. But with a  twist. This time, housing improvements will always be available to construct. Thus, if you max out a settlement, you’re not stuck, you can still upgrade it with more housing.

This will add some teeth to crazy cities that have no local population but have immense numbers of studies and the like. While some users have expressed an interest in limiting what you can build based on the population of that settlement, I preferred to see this mechanic a bit more abstracted. After all, I live in Canton Michigan but work in Plymouth Michigan.  But there should still be some rough correlation between city expanse and population.

When combined with the fact that repeatable improvements will cost increasing amounts and you bring the world back to having a smaller number of important cities without quite so much sprawl.

The beta process will let us do some rebalancing based on this sort of thing.

Comments (Page 3)
on Jun 16, 2011

As a total noob to Elemental, just a few impression regarding city management after one (long) night of playing.

In principle I agree most with:

ALL buildings ought to be upgradeable.  Upgrading an existing building costs:


A basic question that occured: Why is city management so complicated? And why do most people here seem to try to make it even more complicated (admittedly with lots of good ideas) instead of making it smoother? Anybody remembering going from Civ2 to Civ3? This step was ingenious. Enhancing gameplay, handling, strategy and tactics by LIMITING the number of choices, buildings, techs...and simultaneously introducing strategic resources and luxuries as a new game concept. I would prefer a step in that direction...

1. I would rather limit this all too fuzzy city management. You should be able to build the improvement once (computer-placed on the map) and upgrade it with every city level (upgrade visible on the map, but still computer-placed) plus building some new improvements per level.

2. Why do I have space-problems even if I stick to the 5-tile rule for new cities?

3. Is there any faction-specific building? Or building-limits? If there are, they should be dragged to the front and matter for the style of playing a faction. Same goes for tech-development. Although I understand the idea of leaving all choices to the player and thus creating a "uniqueness" for every game played, it is not necessarily experience-enhancing. (Btw, I noticed this in other Stardock-Games, GalCiv 1+2, for example, have way too much techs imo)

Connected to that: Despite the Empire/Kingdoms is there any notable distinction between the appearance of the cities? They all looked kind of the same...



on Jun 29, 2011

The citizen system is needed for town growth, and as a cap for infinite building.


I think part of the problem is that the citizen system isn't forcing hard choices that much right now (though Brad's changes might work for this)


I do think getting rid of human city-placement is a good thing, it adds very little and is micromanagey.  Unneeded feature.



I personally like it so it should be an option.