I have played the ancestry patch with Macedon for a while and really like the new changes. Marrying off your divorced wife to the other party for some loyalty only to marry the pirate queen Teuta of the Ardiaei afterwards is hilarious and engaging.
One significant old problem persists, though: The steamrolling of the player, mainly connected to having an abundance of money to spend.
As it has been mentioned in this thread: https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/222778/criticism-and-feedback
it is way too easy to get rich quick.
I for my part, think this is mainly due to the extensive amount of upkeep reducing
abilities, traits, skills and other effects in the campaign, diminishing an already too low upkeep (which ranges mostly from 50 to 200 gold per unit; although the units might be 8 times as effective on the battlefield, this does not show in their upkeep) to a nearly nonexistant one (about 100 gold for a Tier IV unit), when it actually should increase with a growing empire
(reflecting the increasing management overhead).
Possible solutions for this matter without needing to rebalance the entire economy or trait system:
1. Increase the overall army upkeep with imperium level
: I tested this in one of my mods to great effect. Unlike the sometimes arbitrary corruption increase ("oh you have surpassed this magic number of conquered regions? 10% percent of your entire populace just got corrupt!"
) it would be tied to the number and quality of your armies, which is something you can control even after surpassing the threshold. I'm not talking about excessive percentages, but just a little progressive increase to counteract some of the positive effects from research and characters. An example from the aforementioned test mod:
2. Increase the higher tier land unit upkeep
by using something like this formula on the current unit upkeeps: upkeep = upkeep * (1+upkeep/360)
OR recalculate them somehow based on the sum of certain stats etc. Tier I and II are adequately priced in early game, but Tier III and IV units are way too cheap, and by the time you can build them, you can replace all of your armies with only elite units without any problem or monetary concerns, while still swimming in gold afterwards. I think Tier IV units upkeep should per default be around 300-400 at least instead of 200 like it is now, because while your economic output multiplies, your upkeep generally reduces, making recruiting supreme elite units all the time a no brainer. For illustration, here an example of the test formula above, increasing the high tier unit upkeep while keeping the low tier moderately priced:
I also sometimes think the game's economy was balanced without much regard to what trade between factions can do for you - It's insanely powerful. I managed to reach +26000 income from trade as Saba by trading with only 13 factions, each of them eventually giving me around +2000 income per turn - which is the upkeep of an entire army in vanilla. The best part: As far as I can tell, trade income seems not to be affected by corruption, which lead to me having the trade income surpass the income (after corruption) from provinces eventually. This effect would also at least somehow be adressed with the changes mentioned above, because the trade income will need to be used in the army upkeep.
I hope you consider these changes or ideas for one of the next updates. In any case, thank you for this newest update because the family tree with its intrigues is wonderful and increases the immersion tenfold.