The anti-exploits update

Time for a new update, finally!

 

This update focuses on many gameplay changes to fix balancing issues and exploits.

Elephants
Elephants and Mammoths have been a consistent source of exploiting,  used by some players to become pretty much unbeatable and making this unit too central to military gameplay.
A number of new changes have been made to counter these flaws associated with them: 
– To counter players storing all their livestock -including hundreds of hoarded elephants and mammoths- in their army’s inventories (to avoiding having to maintain labor intensive paddocks), animals may now escape and be lost from the inventory via an event, especially if kept in large numbers relative to the units guarding them. The only way to keep them safely being with proper paddock buildings.
– To counter players keeping hundreds of elephants as resource and only insta-recruiting them for war (avoiding the high upkeep of these units), elephants can now only be stored in a special Elephant pen building (they cannot go into regular cheap paddocks anymore) that costs high maintenance and can only store 1 elephant.
These 2 measure should help avoid that a few players monopolize hundreds of elephants, and to counter exploits allowing to escape the high cost of maintaining a few elephant units, as it should remain an elite and expensive unit.

The new “Elephant pen” building.

Inacessible areas
To counter players deploying troops or placing buildings such as defensive towers in inaccessible areas on purpose ( building a staircase to access a hilltop/wall > building there > deleting the staircase afterwards ), any building in an inacessible area will now be auto-abandonned. Troops deployed into inacessible areas will also auto-redeploy to default positions.

Spawn griefing
To counter players using a second account (or their own) to repeatedly spawn as colonies of a target enemey in order to sabotage them from inside, or to spawn in a nearby inactive player as its successor before using all its resources to suicide against that enemy, the spawning rules have been modified.
– The basic cooloff period is now exponential and increases at every new character made in that same game.
– Colonies and successions are now “Precious starts” with their own cooloff period of 15x the default one ( that’s 15 days in persistent ) regardless of the player’s main cooloff and affecting all the Precious start types as soon as one is used. Therefore a player starting as a colony will not be able to restart in another one for 15 days even if its his first character with a 1 day cooloff.
– To prevent players using the “spawn close to” feature to spawn near their enemies in order to sabotage them by suicide and griefing, all characters now have a unique “invite code” which must be communicated to the new player willing to spawn close, ensuring that this feature can only be used between consenting players.

State power
Many exploits involving the milking of inactive/dead characters to provide high amounts of extra State power to Nations in order to allow them to grow bigger have been countered.
That includes auto-removal of dead characters from nations, limitation of the transferable State power via treaties, and freezing of state power and tax transfers from inactive characters.

Representative money
Representative money proved itself too problematic for the game balance as it trivialized all the other mechanics and difficulties of the economy by being too powerful and easy, making some players infinitely rich.
Until it can be better modeled by the addition of some gameplay mechanics, its effects have been mostly disabled. 
As a placeholder solution and to keep Gold and Silver relevant in the meantime, these 2 metals are now a attributable resource that fills the need for Luxury of the population.

 

 

The anti-exploits update
v0.0.19.x
– fixed decimals not working for trade route amounts
– fixed 3rd party operators in your trade network not being available in the trade route menu.
– added various extra warnings and ‘first time’ tutorial messages.
– added ‘Invite codes’, which are codes specific to every character and now required when trying to spawn near a specific one. This ensures a player may now only use the ‘spawn close to’ feature with the other player’s agreement, as he must have his invite code.
– respawn cooloff is now variable and increases at each respawn
– added a ‘precious start’ attribute to colony and succession start types. they have a x15 cooloff (so 15 days in persistent) once used, regardless of the player’s spawn cooloff.
– fixed animal resource icons
– elephants/mammoths now have their own ‘paddock’ building that can only store 1 elephant and costs high upkeep. They can’t be kept in regular paddocks anymore.
– animals kept in formation’s inventories can now escape, especially if kept in large numbers relative to their keepers.
– fixed recycled materials not being state owned
– fixed bug when demolishing fields of recovering wheat instead of the field’s food
– fixed the number limit of some annexes (ex: windwheels per mills) not working
– fixed barbarians targetting territorial claims
– fixed building tab displayed in territorial claims
– decreased score cost of victory points.
– subordinates now contribute to the score. players receive a fraction of their subordinate’s scores.
– territories now requires <10 of resistance to be made a colony: it is no longer possible to immediately make colonies out of invaded resistant territories
– slowed culture decay of foreign cultures in regions
– some armors now cost additional leather to be crafted
– gold and silver can now be distributed to the population and fill the need for “luxury”
– greatly reduced wealth gained by gold and silver stocks (with the representative money policy)
– increased ‘cover’ of all battlements
– added more tutorial messages
– fixed a bug where recycling planned constructiosn of platforms gave back materials
– buildings in inacessible areas are now auto-abandonned
– fixed exploits with deploying troops in inacessible areas
– max transfered state power by treaties is now 25%.
– active characters with no territories are now ‘powerless’.
– inactive characters with no cities are now auto-abandonned from their owning player, and therefore becoming directly “dead”.
– dead characters with no subordinates are auto-expelled from nations
– dead/powerless characters have 0 production of state power.
– dead/powerless do not transfer taxes or state power in nations.
– treaties with dead characters are auto-ended
– transfer of coins or state power in treaties is frozen for non-active characters
– fixed an issue with resistance when liberating your own cities
– added support for decimal material costs
– recycling infrastructures like roads, fences or walls now recovers 50% of its materials
– small fences now cost only 0.5 of wood or stone.
– fixed purchased resources on markets not being state owned.
– WARNING: fixed calculation errors of income from state-owned resources. the error generated extremely high income in some cases, allowing for exploit.
– fixed incomes from state resource sales not being subjected to waste
– added server the option of enabling a daily autorestart at a specific time
– fixed state purchases not counting in supply/demand price factor
– light helmets cost less metal
– increased upkeep of heavy shields, cuirass and heavy helmet
– increased attack skill and damage of battleaxes
– increased armor of armored elephants
– fixed issue with mass bonus in melee charges
– bows cost less materials
– silver is slower to produce
– slightly reduced the city-size malus affecting breeding willingness of porcos
– slightly reduced additionnal health bonus from mutiple foods above 4
– fixed state ownership loss when transfering resources from different warehouses
– fixed recycled resources from demolishing building not being state owned
– you now recover 50% of the previous building’s materials when upgrading it

The State resources update

After the last update added “profitability” to buildings, adding depth to the economy and making it much less forgiving, this new update adds “State resources”, which will alleviate the issue of having to use heavy subventions on buildings producing resources mostly used by players such as tools and weapons. 
Since profitability was added, these buildings became really difficult to maintain active and players had to use overkill subventions to make sure the workers would have enough income no matter what their production was. This method was really wasteful and impractical.

Now i’ve added proper State-owned resources : you  (the state) can own directly a portion of the stocked resources of a territory.
This amount is now clearly shown in the resource menu.
You don’t pay for resources you already own when using them ( ex for building new stuff ).
You can also set it to auto-buy a specific amount of resources, or more interestingly to buy the whole production continuously, making it a “State resource”. 
This option will be really interesting for strategic resources mentionned above, as you can now make it that the whole production of tools or weapons is automatically bought when produced, ensuring a regular profitable income for the producers without the need of subventions, while not having to pay for these resources later on when using them to build or recruit units as they’ll already be yours.

The new sub-UI to manage State ownership of a resource. It tells you how much resources are currently owned by the state and allows you to control it.
Loading resources into a formations now requires you to take ownership of these, which means paying for them if u don’t own them already.

 

Besides that, Trade routes now have dynamic prices. The price initially set serves as a minimum limit.
If the local price at the destination is high, the price of these goods will increase in the trade route itself as a consequence.
Because the price in these trade routes also influences the local price in the exporting territory, it means prices are now more likely to spread across regions and something worth 50 in a territory is less likely to be worth 1 in the other territory producing and exporting it.

Also, lots of other minor modifications and fixes, including some improvements in the battle code regarding range units and melee units in defensive zones.

 

The State resources update
v0.0.19.x
– added state-owned resources: a portion of the stocks that belong directly to you (the state) and do not require buying when using
– added state auto-purchasing of resources production, allowing you to autobuy strategic resources (like weapons and tools) thus facilitating the management of their industries profitabilities.
– trade routes now have dynamic prices. price can increase above its initial minimum if the goods are highly priced in their destination.
– fixed bug of corrupted invisible subvention policies
– fixed issue with Marshals not getting visibility from national armies
– increased scale armor upkeep from 0.2 to 0.3
– increased battleaxe damage from 3 to 4
– tavern service consumes less alcohol
– melee troops assigned to defensive zones may now exit their zone if enemies outside of it are in the same area and actively engaging allies (ex firing at other toops in the defensive zone)
– improved behavior of ranged units in battles: better range detection and they react to enemy charges by firing at least once before being engaged into melee
– fixed issues with raiding and pillaging buildings not working properly
– resistance when taking over a region is now limited by total number of actives in it so that an almost empty territory cannot generate full resistance levels anymore.
– fixed issue of resistance disapearing when transfering invaded regions to other players and allowing for an exploit.
– fixed mounted archers not requiring composite bows tech
– fixed difficulty not resetting when spawning as successor of an existing character
– plaster consummes less limestone
– plans consummes less paper
– reduced clay material cost of justice and school services.
– fixed issue causing clogging of the auto-placement of buildings on the servers.
– dismantling territories (of inactives in nations) now transfers ownership without any penalty: no resistence and auto converts culture.
– fixed servers being delisted from steam lobbies after a while (new attempt).
– lvl 2 hunter efficiency slightly reduced. lvl 3 increased.

The prices update

The price algorithm has been rewritten from scratch to get more accurate dynamic prices, especially its market study component.
Luxury and rare resources should now be priced much higher as a result, as they should have been.
The price UI has been redone to facilitate understanding the different factors influencing pricing of resources. Each element now also provides tooltips with more details and explanation of what it represents.

The prices update
v0.0.18.x
– new market study algorithm that finds the right prices more accurately than before
– removed state consumption factor from prices, for now
– added ‘work price’ , increasing prices depending on the amount of workforce required to produce a unit of resource
– new price UI with more details and reorganized to offer better understanding of the different factors influencing a resource’s final price
– fixed various issues with “new leader” types of spawn
– added a new round of server optimizations to reduce issues on larger games
– armies whose home regions do not have enough population to maintain troops will now decay and gradually lose units.
– some advanced state power policies now require fair exchange.
– added a new “army marshal” status in Nations. Marshals can control all the National armies regardless of their position in the nation’s hierarchy.
– reduced efficiency of pastures

The unprofitable update

This update brings drastic changes to the economy, by adding the concept of ‘unprofitable’ buildings: if a building in functioning at a loss ( making no positive income for its workers ), it becomes flagged as unprofitable and its efficiency will gradually decrease while being avoided by new workers.

Trade balance is now effective on your treasury balance, and trade incomes are subject to waste!

Also noteworthy: workers priority has finally been implemented, as requested for a while by testers.
And it can be set on a per building basis which allows you to make sure your critical buildings ( like wells and food production/distribution) remain functional even if your population decreases!

The unprofitable update
v0.0.17.x
– greatly increased storage capacity of hier tier warehouses and granaries
– trade incomes now subject to waste
– trade incomes now subject to treaty taxes and nation taxes
– added employment priority per building
– added ‘unprofitable’ state to buildings, if the building operates at a loss for its workers (prod cost > incomes )
– efficiency of unprofitable production buildings now decreases with time.
– unprofitable buildings are flagged with a special icon, similar to sleeping or abandonned buildings.
– fixed issues with multiple policies UIs
– fixed bug where subventions where not being taken from the state’s finances balance
– fixed bug where non producing industries still consummed materials
– added vital needs bonus for providing higher quality food (overall increase in vitalneeds satisfaction)
– reduced sows fertility from 10 to 8
– fixed issues with needs satisfaction and life quality calculations
– added details to the UI of population needs satisfaction: you can now see the life quality awarded by each satisfied need
– fixed bug with formation’s upkeep
– reduced cost of claims, but increases exponentially with distance
– reduced colony requirement to 65% vital needs
– rebalanced some techs and project costs
– Misc bugfixes
– In the deployment tool, its now possible to toggle deployment per formation.
– In the deployment tool, you can now see deployment of other troops controlled by other players of your same nation.
– You can now deploy troops in foreign regions.
– Trade balance from all territories now applied to the player’s treasury balance.
– Import costs now taken into account by the rentability price factor (the price modificator ensuring minimum rentability for sellers of a resource). Before was only the local production costs.
– Fixed issues with battle objectives.
– Added new battle action to eliminate all enemy forces in city without invading it, pillaging it, or sacking it.
– Increased max number of defensive zones to 6.

The National armies update

The National armies update

This update adds a new type of formation : National Armies. They behave in the same way as regular armies except for the fact that they can be controlled not only by its owner but also by all the superiors of that player in the Nation. This will allow to organize national operations more easily without needing every member of it to be online at the same time.

Strategic tools have been improved: defensive zones stop at enclosed spaces like palissades, range units now display their range visually, and formations can now remember their deployment positions in each region they’ve been deployed to, meaning it will no longer be reset if your army leaves your city and comes back!

This update also brings a lot of re-balancing and new mechanisms to counter gameplay exploits.
Units now cost coins to recruit and their equipment has to be paid. It is no longer possible to recruit units if in debt.
Honor now affects Legitimacy instead of State Power. It decays with time. Lots of new actions can affect Honor, such as sacking cities, abandoning cities,  or losing a city to a rebellion…
Penalties for having a negative state power, being in debt , or distance from capital have been overall increased.
Also noteworthy: some policies such as “Fair Exchange” now cause an immediate conflict penalty if repelled.
Exploration ‘exploits’ via the extensive use of lonely civilians in the sea or via the polar regions is now prevented by new events.

This is a pretty large update, although with nothing much new visually. 
Please take the time to read the change log as it contains lots of modifications to gameplay and balance!

National Armies
v0.0.16.x
WARNING: all prior deployment data is lost! you will have to recreate defensive zones and redeploy all your troops.
– added a new type for formation: “national armies”. they can be controlled by all the nation superiors of the formation’s owner, allowing to delegate military management for national operations.
– national armies provide authority to any city of the nation where they are stationned, even those of a different character.
– added the ability to change the type of existing formations: militias can now be converted to regular armies.
– defensive zones propagation redone: it will now stop at palissades if inside an enclosed space!
– troops now remember their respective deployment positions in every region they have been deployed to.
– range for missile units such as archrs is now displayed during deployment
– troops missing deployment data will now autodeploy with orders copied from similar units, or, if none available, get assigned to defend any created deployment zone.
– nation state power transfers and taxes for inactive characters is now capped at 10% regardless of their rank settings.
– increased state power maintenance of subordinates from distance + now non linear: expodential increase with distance
– added state power cost from total number of subordinates (not just direct subordinates)
– coin transfers in treaties are now limited by your current treasury and income.
– trading rights and coin transfers are now only available when the fair exchange policy is enabled.
– added new polar events
– some events can now be triggered when moving even on already explored territories
– changed culture from faction based to character based
– colonies no longer contribute to your GDP, culture or score
– revoking or passing certain policies can now cause an immediate penalty of conflict in all your territories. example: revoking fair exchange now causes +40 of conflict.
– recruiting new troops now has a recruitment cost = training cost + equipment cost
– it is no longer possible to recruit new troops if in debt
– honor no longer affects state power, but legitimacy instead. positive honor now provides a bonus, though less important than its malus if negative.
– honor, wether negative or positive, now slowly decays with time
– cancelling debt now also causes an honor penalty
– sacking now causes an honor penalty of 15
– renouncing control of a region now causes an honor penalty of 25
– losing a region to a rebellion now causes an honor penalty of 25
– increase loyalty penalty from negative state power
– increased waste penalty from negative state power
– reduced waste penalty from weak local administration
– increased local culture from capital distance
– added waste UI details in the economic tab of the territory menu
– reduced production of the “guard” service for towers
– increased (greatly!) upkeep of elephants and mammoths
– reduced number of herds
– reduced meat from herds
– lowered growth of elephant and mammoth herds
– lowered odds of successfully capturing elephants and mammoths
– upkeep of elephant and mammoth units greatly increased
– increased conflict generated by the “seized materials” policy from +5% to +10%
– fixed bug when unloading resources from a formation and not enough room available
– added event to counter the exploit of using defenseless civilians (piglets,oldpigs,sows) to explore
– fixed visibility not removed when a formation got destroyed on the worldmap
– fixed issues and exploits with resistance missing in some cases in NPC cities
– fixed issues with research projects getting stuck
– fixed bug with colonies generating abnormal tax income
– fixed colonies counted as cities in the administration stat calculation
– fixed exploit allowing destroyed building to be repaired for free