The decimal prices update

This small update comes to mainly rebalance multiple things related to the price calculation of resources in order to counter price-gouging explotis used to generate easily very high incomes.

Arbitrage & Market study

Both these factors have been modified and rebalanced to complicate price gouging.
Now, all neighboring territories will count to define the “regional price” of a resource used in arbitrage, even territories with whom the player has no trading relations (although at -75% influence), representing the influence of smuggling. The decay of a neigbor’s influence from distance has been lowered as well.

For market study, the formula has been reviewed to give less volatile results that are less influenced by the supply/demand ratio. Previous formula was defective on low volumes, causing it to give extremely high results making it easy to achieve high prices and therefore high incomes. The supply/demand was compounded, having influence in the market study and then again in the official supply/demand factor.
New market study is now much more influenced by the wealth of the different social classes.
It will now be very hard to reach high prices in cities with no rich classes.

Victory point changes

The victory points have been simplified, now every player contributes all his Victory points to the nation instead of contributing a different share based on his rank. This was done to simplify things for player and to prevent exploits of rearranging ranks temporarily to get an instant surprise victory.
However, a nation will now need about 75% of the world scores to gain 100 victory points and win.

The upcoming update…

This is just a minor update to rebalance some urgent things. The reason its rather limited after this much time is that i’ve been working on the next major update which will be the biggest update since the early access began, changing a lot of the game dynamics.
That upcoming update will focus on governance and state power, with many new techs, capital government buildings, regional territories attached to cities, territorial statuses, more progressive growth for nations etc…
This will be a very significant update that requires all the new mechanics to be completed together, and retro-compatibility with current games on this version will not be good due to the extent of the modifications. Therefore until then things will remain quiet.


The decimal prices update
v0.3.2.x

– Added support for decimal prices of resources
– made “base price” factor affected by cultural production skills
– fixed market trade isues causing a modification of recurrent offers sizes
– fixed problems with crushing resolutions & invasion
– all nation ranks now contribute at 100% of their Victory points to the nation
– it now takes 75% of world scores to reach 100VP instead of 50%
– fixed bug in resource price calculation causing invalid market share factor (used in market study)
– reworked price arbitrage formula to increase influence of more distant neighboring territories
– regional price (of price arbitrage) now even includes the territories without any trading relations, but with an influence reduced by 75%
– fixed battle pathfinding issue

Improving the Civilization Points Update

This update focuses on polishing the previous update that introduced the Cultural system with Civilization Points.
Based on community feedback and experience from the ongoing games, it rebalances many aspects of the Cultural system.

  • Traits can now be revoked, but it requires a significant time to do so and it can only be done one at a time.
  • The bonuses given by production skill levels have been rebalanced and are now specific to each resource to ensure each resource is more worth specializing into.
  • Military units no longer require the equipment techs to be recruited, allowing for more weaponry trading and specialization (ex: archers can now be recruited out of bows even if you don’t have the bow production skill or knowledge)
  • The formula for progress towards new Cultural levels has been changed. Instead of being simply the total of produced State Culture, it is now the total of State Culture produced per habitant *100. The reason for this is to eliminate the population amount of this equation, as it favored too much players with lots of city vs players playing with only one or two. Now both can earn new Civpoints at the same rate, and average life quality in their city is what will differentiate them.
  • Cultural traits are now reset when spawning in a colony or as a new leader, and automatically reassigned based on the city’s contents. 

This update also sees the introduction of the Official Test Server, that will be running in the Tester branch to test upcoming patches before they are applied to the Main branch. 
To play on the Tester branch, you need to go into the game steam properties, in the beta tab, and select the branch “tester”. 
This will allow less frequent and more stable updates on the main branch, and therefore the rest of the servers, but it does require players willing to play in a more unstable test version of the game. I had tried this before when the early access started but the Test server couldn’t maintain enough active players to be worth it. As long as this one remains active, it will allow for more stable and smooth game updates.

Improving the Civilization Points Update
v0.3.1.x
– cutural traits are procedurally reset and reassigned for colonies and new leader spawns
– added confirmation popups before making cultural point changes
– added ability to revoke cultural traits one at a time (about 48h for persistent games)
– progress of cultural level changed from ‘total produced state culture’ to ‘total produced state culture per habitant x100’
– fixed culture intelligence feedback loop: culture generated by population is now affected by Life quality rather than intelligence
– fixed issues with bloomery tech idea
– agricultural food skills now provide a much bigger productivity bonus (about +20% per level)
– made custom productivity/materials bonus per resource instead of 1 single value for all resources
– updated wealth production of buildings to account for productivity bonus of cultural skills
– units can be recruited out of available equipment even if the techs to produce these equipments are not known
– all consumable related techs now auto enable consumption trait as well as production (when these are required)
– free production skill for pottery, cloth, and leathercloth
– wooden battlements are now unlocked by ‘construction’ knowledge (same time as wooden platforms)
– production skill of meat only unlocks with ‘Animal capture’ knowledge
– increased range of flint collectors, mud camps, woodcutters
– free production skill for flour resource

Previous hotfixes
– fixed empty chat notifications at every restart
– fixed “my games” tab not working
– fixed armies retreating voluntarily (ex out of ammo) from not auto encamping
– fixed crushing victories not giving loot to winner
– added failsafe to prevent invalid nb of used civpoints
– fixed missing recruitable units: wolf warriors, bearserkers, elephants
– fixed but with hunting mission not completing if first attempt failed
– fixed nations names not updating when game is over
– fixed UI issue with GDP exceeding value limit in territory menu
– fixed UI issues in the trade orders text inputs
– fixed another issue in battle pathfinding between defensive layers causing battle issues
– fixed bug where production skill levels don’t provide correct bonuses (lvl3 is lvl2)
– fixed bug where civpoint monopolized by ongoing projects is not freed before trying to auto-enable trait, causing it to fail
– fixed bug causing migrants resettling to generate too much local culture in small settlements
– excluded workmarkers (building platforms & terrain) from inaccessible self destruction
– fixed NPC factions having 0 skills/consumptions
– fixed problem with state ownership costs when combined to an export trade route
– implemented max values for trade offers
– paused auto-destruct of infrastructures if there’s an ongoing battle
– fixed bug causing erratic movements of units in battles leading to server crashes and stuck battles.
– theater, baths, washing and tavern services don’t require production skill

The Civilization Points Update

The Civilization Points Update

Adds Cultural policies, resource consumption choices, production specializations, battle balance improvements, and server performances improvements.

 

Civilization Points and Cultural Traits
This update adds a significant new long-time planned gameplay mechanic to the game: Cultural Traits.
Cultural Traits are like Policies but for Culture. Unlike Policies, they are – at least for now- permanent once enabled, and they require “Civilization Points” to be enabled.
Civilization Points are earned in 2 ways: one can earn them by completing the early missions or by levelling up your culture.
This happens in a similar way as an RPG game: the ‘XP’ is the State Culture all your cities are producing and everytime the XP bar is filled you gain a new level and unlock an additional Civilization Point.
As with RPGs, with every new level it requires more State Culture to be produced before reaching the next one.

This update comes with 2 cultural traits: consumption customs and production skills.
– Consumption customs represent the adoption of a resource by your population and the cultural custom to consume it.
Indeed, from now on, distributable resources are no longer automatically consumable by the population. Each resource needs to be adopted with a custom costing 1 Civilization Point, although some common resources have the special property of not requiring a cultural custom (ex: the Doctor service).
– Production skills unlock the ability to produce a resource. From now on, like the consumption of resources, a cultural trait is required to enable their production. Like Customs, some common resources also have the property not to require a cultural skill to be produced (ex: tools).
However, unlike consumption customs, production skills have up to 5 levels: the first level enables the production while investing additional Civilization Points will increase the productivity of the resource and reduce its material costs or increase the natural sources productivity (depending on the resource type).
The result is that it now costs a minimum of 2 Civilization Points to enable both the consumption and production of a resource, and it is also possible to choose to only adopt the consumption or production of resource types, or to invest mode points to specialize in the production of a specific one.

The reason behind this system is to favor specialization, trading, and teamwork against players trying to do everything by themselves.
It will now be much harder to hoard all food types right at the game start, and players working together to specialize in complementary resources will be necessarily more efficient than someone spreading Civilization Points to produce everything.

Battle improvements & anti-small troops rebalancing
Besides this new system, this update brings significant fixes and improvements to battles and server performances.
It aims to fix the recent overused practice of making many troops with only a few units instead of a single maxed out troop, as it turned out to provide an absolute advantage versus the bigger troops.
It also aims to improve the resolution of larger battles that, combined with the practice of using many small troops, have caused huge strains on the servers (and even causing Server 5 to be shut down unable to resolve a giant battle taking place there).

Many things have been modified to re-balance big troops versus smaller ones, especially for range units who now get a ballistic malus below 5 units, and extra attacks for larger troops. 
All troops in general now cost 1 extra coin of upkeep, so that using multiple small troops comes at as more expensive as well.
Cavalry has been significantly buffed with the addition of a special “melee mobility” property that makes them considered as ‘in movement’ even when engaged in melee. This gives them an extra advantage against range units, because moving units benefit from a bonus proportional to their moving speed against missile attacks (harder to hit). The ballistic range of mounted archers was also increased, and a bug causing their attack rate bonus to be ignored was fixed.
On top of that, troop mass now plays a significant role in melee combats at every turn and not just during the initial charge. This also strengthen the melee advantage of larger troops versus smaller one, as well as cavalry units in general.
Mounted archers should now be a much better anti-archer unit  (although they still lack a skirmisher movement ability to avoid being engaged in melee).

Least but not last, infrastructures such as walls are no longer allowed on inaccessible tiles and will self destruct on inaccessible tiles.
This will put an end to the practice of the ugly ‘grid wall’ forts made with walls stuck together without any spacing or access.
Yes, this will cause counter intuitive issues in some specific cases of placing walls on cliff edges, but its a price i’m willing to pay to put an end to the practice of these forts which were common due to their cost efficiency.

 

The Civilization Points Update
v0.3.0.x

– Introducing Civilization Points, used to enable Cultural Traits
– Implemented Cultural Level, which levels up from total produced State Culture and where each level unlocks a new Civilization Point.
– Added new Culture tab in Government Menu for Cultural policies
– New cultural trait: consumption custom, needed to unlock demand of a resource by population
– New cultural trait: production skill, needed to unlock production of some resources + allows for production specialization
– added self-destruction of infrastructures on inacessible tiles (ex walls)
– added visual icon to tag inacessible buildings & infrastructures + delay before making it effective
– penalty of ballistic skill -6% per unit for range troops below 5
– range units +1 attack per 5 units in troop
– +1 upkeep per troop in a formation
– adding ballistic skill malus to range units firing at an enemy that is engaged in melee (-50%)
– improved behavior of range units in open field defensive zones and collisions with enemy troops
– fixed pathfinding bug causing units to sometimes ignore stoping at x distance from path target (ex for range units, causing them to run into melee)
– fixed bug where formation redeploys on territory edge if a 2nd battle happens after it moved into it in a battle
– fixed bug causing some units to have incorrect attack speed (ex mounted units missing extra attack)
– increased ballistic skill of mounted units
– adding “mobile attacker” property to mounted units, so that they benefit from moving cover against range attacks even when in melee
– added melee skill modificator based on the ratio of attacking troop mass to defending troop mass: gives a strong melee bonus to larger troops vs smaller troops.
– added random anim offset for siege rams to prevent all sounds from adding up at the exact same time
– fixed battlecode issue where troops navigating between defensive layers would not see existing wall and gate breaches, causing them to make more useless breaches.
– fixed battlecode bug where stairs on cliffs would have a very high pathfinding cost in siege, causing units to alway climb instead
– fixed battlecode bug where troops have incorrect siege priorities in forts with more than 2 layers (gates)
– server optimization: battle pathfinding avoids calculating same path twice if 2 troops share the same exact path
– server optimization: refreshment of light regions improved to reduce loading/unloading region data frequency
– server optimization: reduced frequency of light regions refreshing and reducing it when there’s ongoing battles
– fixed bug allowing to accept a treaty twice in a row
– fixed a possible server crash happening during a rebel leader spawn if multiple rebel armies are present on spawn location
– colonies income modififactor increased from -75% to -85%
– fixed bug with loyalty not being reset in secondary cities in a succession spawn.
– made separate project and trigger to allow for horseback riding tech out of camels only
– fixed bug causing issues with Goldsmithing tech
– fixed bug causing some hidden resources not to show up when having the idea for it (ex: pearls)
– removed inventory control of national armies for anyone but the formation owner.
– fixed passive troops (civilian units) still doing pillage when part of an attacker’s formation
– fixed UI issues in nation hierarchy of large nations
– fixed logic problems with combinations of gates + cliff + stairs
– fixed edges display glitches when building while heights display is also disabled
– fixed issues with wall logic connections with cliffs causing incorrect tile edges to get blocked or not.
– fixed issues with tribal rebellion event
– battle deployment: improved choice of region border when an army is deploying from the edge but not coming from any previous tile
– reducing adornments need to 25 for leadership mission

In previous hotfixes:
– investigate unusually low or oddly located ressources in terrain generation since last patch
– fixed issue causing invalid resource placement in terrain generation
– fixed issues with “copper age ” mission
– fixed battlecode error causing infinite battle
– fixed bug of black flags missing their amblem
– randomized order of events when inspecting events to trigger
– fixed solo game server not auto closing
– fixed bug with neutral formations registering as main defender in battles
– added mission for animal husbandry
– reduced max wood collection action to 30
– made collecting action unit number based and not strength based
– made formation collecting actions only possible on empty tiles

The Jewelry update

The Jewelry update

Adds jewelry production chain and solo/realtime game mode improvements with new game missions to secure early game key techs and improved game speed controls.

 

New missions
This update focuses on improving the experience of solo/realtime games, especially to fix issues caused by the previous update that added the mechanic of hidden natural resources making it much harder to progress alone.
To fix this, new early game missions have been added to better scenarise the discovery of the first critical techs of agriculture, leadership, and metallurgy.
Therefore these techs no longer rely on randomly triggering their ideas, ensuring their discovery and preventing being blocked in solo mode.

Game speed controls
To further improve the rhythm of solo and realtime games, game speed controls have been improved and split in 2 different controls: one for game speed now up to x40 to make sure players are never stuck waiting, and another one affecting only the speed of units and battles still limited to x4.

Jewelry 
Additionally, this update introduces the production chain of Jewelry (luxury need resource) with new natural resources of pears and shells and a new building of jewelry making producing adornments (early stone jewelry) and jewelry (made of gold or silver).

New pearls natural resource, found sometimes on sea shores.
Primitive jewelry makers crafting Adornments out of precious shells collected on the shores.

Wood collecting action
To also reduce waiting times and dynamize the early game, this update introduces a first step towards more formation actions with a new woodcutting action that allows a formation to collect some wood on forest tiles in exchange for APs. This should help giving players more options instead of being typically stuck waiting for a few wood units in early game.
Depending how this is received, i’ll keep improving on this system.

Fixes and server improvements
As always this update includes its fair share of bugfixes and server improvements.
Notably, a key algorithm used for building placement as been greatly optimized, allowing the server to be much faster and efficient at placing automatic buildings such as slums or storages. 
I’m not forgetting about the endless fight with exploiters and cheaters, and this update includes an upgrade of the anti-cheating to detect the use of multi-accounts. However it will remain for now in ‘silent’ mode and thus is not in effect yet.
Numerous infamous UI issues with the policies menu have also been fixed.

  

The Jewelry update
v0.2.6.x
– added missing display of resource rewards in projects UI
– added Pearls and Shells natural resources
– added Jewelry and Adornments resources
– added Jewelry maker buildings
– added Jewelry techs and projects
– added new early game missions to direct the discovery of agriculture, leadership, and metallurgy (which no longer rely on random discovery)
– added wood cutting action for formations
– added better game speed controls in solo & realtime games, with game speed now up to x40 and separated from battles speed
– fixed server crash causing loss of time for timed events
– optimized algorithm for free space detection (AI building placement) –> server much faster at auto placing buildings like slums or storages
– anti-cheating upgrade for multi-account detection (silent for now)
– fixed settling action not working on some claimed territories
– fixed problem of some ideas triggering despite lack of natural resource (ex fishing)
– fixed problem of some critical resources sometimes missing from starting region (ex missing meat source)
– fixed issue on server regionmap files
– auto converts nomad form types in a non-NPC owner controls any city
– fixed UI issues with policies in government menu where policy settings would reset to 0
– moved “treasury contribution” parameter into the “privileges” policy
– simplified and cleaned up leader wealth privileges & contribution calculations + added more UI feedback
– fixed problem of troops all deploying around the same camp when 2 formations already in territory start a battle
– fixed building workers income bug from state owned resources
– fixed city ambient sounds from considering inactive buildings as active
– fixed invalid ruins sprite for 4×4 buildings
– improved automatic placement of formation camps
– fixed issue where event-triggered battles would register an attack instead of a defense, depleting AP
– fixed bug of wildlife presence when visiting a region with wildlife after having visited a region where wildlife had left
– networking improvements to fix a case of connection loss during initial worldmap loading for some players

 

 

The resource hiding update

The resource hiding update

This new update adds a long-needed small feature: the hiding of undiscovered resources.
This has been needed for game balance for a long time. The problem was that all resources being visible from the start, all territorial conflicts would occur mostly in the beginning of the game as every player would naturally try to secure all the needed strategic resources, then turtling for the rest of the game.
Now, multiple resources are hidden until the tech associated with them is discovered: for example, iron ore only gets revealed once Iron working is discovered. 
With this, new conflicts will arise as techs unveil resources throughout the game’s progression and thus re-balances the strategic desirability of territories. It will also make it harder for experienced players to optimize and game the tech discovery mechanics.

Besides that, this update contains many fixes for reported issues as usual, and notably a few improvements of the battle AI. 
The behavior of troops seeking the shortest distances when travelling through water had been broken by previous patches and was fixed in this update but also improved so that they will now also seek the embarking point closest to their predicted point of disembarking instead of embarking from the closest point of their final target (as in some specific cases these can be rather different locations).
On top of that, proper support for combined siege points as been added: water shore + palisade,  water shore + cliff or  cliff + palisade will now be properly accounted for. The issue of palisades on shores being ‘ignored’ by disembarking troops is therefore fixed as they now have to breach it from their embarkations.

 

The resource hiding update
v0.2.5.x
– Resources related to undiscovered techs (ex iron ore to iron working ) are now invisible until the tech is discovered.
– Added encryption to some client side cached files (-> in case of retroactivity issues, clear your AppData\Local\Ymir\cache folder)
– fixed issue with barbarians present on a primitive tribe location during player spawn & triggering a battle
– fixed issue with the wildlife leaving event.
– fixed buildings not being destroyed during pillage
– fixed troops retreating on a tile occupied by enemies not triggering a battle
– battle AI: improving behavior when retreating to stop ignoring everything else no matter what.
– battle AI: improved pathfinding to further minimize travelling distances through bad layers (ex water)
– fixed battle AI issue where range units in defensive mode kept trying to target out of range units instead of in range ones.
– check global banlist immediately when registering new character to prevent banned accounts from exploiting the grace period on new servers
– unconfirmed fix of odd issues with corrupted territory claims unclaiming or changing ownership for no reason
– decreased construction time of builder buildings
– fix bug being able to recruit troops during ongoing battles
– fixed issue with claims of evacuated cities
– fixing calculation issue in leader contributions from privileges
– fixed owner-less annexes not showing up in red in the annex tool
– fixed server issue with exe arguments when auto-restarting
– fixed problem with treaties being sometimes ineffective (trade, passage… )
– fixed issue causing deployments to still fail in some cases
– fixed being able to claim sea tiles