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Mide Beta Feedback (Comparing Both Versions of Beta)

Felix_CarnifexFelix_Carnifex Junior MemberPosts: 23Registered Users
I have played a very hard Mide campaign on both versions of the ancestral update and have some feedback for CA.

Comparing the two versions, this new update has greatly slowed down the overall steamroll and progress that I used to be able to do in both the release version and the first beta. In beta 1, I was able to quickly expand my Irish Kingdom without much worry about food, income, public order, character loyalty or enemy invasions. Within about 50 turns I had conquered much of Ireland through force, annexation and help from allies. Food and income were a non-issue relatively quickly once my economy was up and running and my characters were all loyal and not a concern for me much. Overall, beta one was a great improvement from the release version.

Beta 2 on the other hand has shaken up the campaign progress significantly. No longer an I steamrolling the map with my armies, with no concern about food, income, loyalty, rebellions or invasions. The first 30-40 turns were a slow struggle which i will detail out;
  • Income was relatively difficult to improve, albeit over quite some time it did slowly go up with the right building improvements and good governors. I was struggling early on to maintain a fullstack plus a halfstack and also have enough left over to build. It usually took a few turns of stockpiling to build a building. The AI on the other hand appeared to be able to field 2 full stacks with ease.
  • Food was always an issue, there was never enough of it to build buildings or train units. Most buildings require some food to build and I feel that the requirements are too steep. It effectively is asking you to swap 10 food for X amount of income or to forgo hiring a unit into your army and early on these are huge considerations. You need units to defend your lands and conquer new ones, which will improve your food and income, but you also need buildings to increase your income to support more units. This is a huge change to the formula and I think that perhaps the building food requirement should be 75% or 50% of what they are now. The I have not played into the late game to see how these changes will shape that phase, but when I loaded up older saves, where I had food surpluses at or above 1000, they were now negative by a few hundred. I think this needs to be changed or tweaked to bring the requirements down just a bit.
  • Character loyalty was almost always low, the base loyalty appears to be 3 or 4 for all characters upon hiring, with traits, wives, difficulty level and low estates usually bringing the loyalty down to rebellion levels. This was a huge change from before where loyalty was not a concern, just equally distribute some estates and problem solved. It is a struggle to bring your character's loyalty up to 5 as so many factors are now working to bring it down. Throw in the fact the once one of your food settlements gets captured and your food slider goes into famine it brings with it public order issues and negative traits for your governors if you are unable to recapture the settlement.
  • The AI actually invaded my lands and took settlements from me, surprising! Many times my plans were brought to a hold because I had to spend 10 turns chasing a rogue single unit army that would capture settlements, build units and then move on to the next, always just outside of my army movement range. While this was mildly annoying, it did slow down the steamroll enough to make you consider how to position your armies to block the AI from being able to do this while you were invading their lands.
  • Legitimacy and the new Decrees system were not used at all by me in Beta 2, and I am on turn 78. Never was there a case where I had enough Legitimacy and coin to actually use the new mechanic. I don't think they are worth it in the early game as the cost is too high for the benefit, it is usually better to spend the money on building, unit upkeep and, with the new loyalty changes, it usually demands that you spend it on increases to character loyalty or you will have a secession on your hands. I liked how the system worked previously, as i was getting the Fair of Tailtiu every few turns and was able to afford it. The bonuses it provided were very nice to have for the campaign as they helped out with many of the public order problems. I was also able to use Legitimacy effectively to annex four factions very quickly in the early game, which catapulted me to dominating Ireland. In Beta 2, Legitimacy is something that I am not even thinking about as there is never enough of it available, I am unable to get enough of it in quantity and it decays much too quickly. I have yet to play around with this mechanic and I am assuming that it is the same for the other factions as well.

Overall, he updates have definitely changed the flow of the game, some aspects for the better and some not so much. It is now much more methodical, slowed down, challenging and must be planned out. I can no longer steamroll across the map without much concern about any of the points I mentioned above. While I generally like all of the new improvements I think that there needs to be some tweaks made. I think that food requirements for buildings are now too high, character loyalty is edging close to becoming difficult to maintain, Legitimacy was non-existent in my campaign and needs to be changed back to how it was before or reduce the natural decay, decrees are ignored as they are much too expensive for what they offer in the early game (they may be useful once your kingdom has good income and Legitimacy gain), Character loyalty needs to be addressed as it feels much too low now, the estates system can be a bit confusing at times when your characters desire more than the faction leader for no reason or get the "Jealous" loyalty reducing trait, from what appears to be handing them out from your kings holdings to your subjects; this one needs more clarification.

I like where the game is heading and applaud CA for taking the time and effort to polish this great game into something even better. Hoping the changes I mentioned help in that process.

Comments

  • InocybeInocybe Posts: 144Registered Users
    Legitimacy is definitely broken in the current version. They removed the legitimacy from various source (when joining an ally in war, the fair) and they vastly increased the natural decay of legitimacy over time. I also find that food is limiting, but I think it makes overall the game harder !
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    Without knowing what difficulty level you are playing on point one is hard to talk about, as the AI gets quite a few bonuses on higher difficulty levels.

    I'm tempted to adjust the progression of food upkeep for certain building chains so that instead of going -10/-20/-30 it goes -5/-15/-30 so that its a bit easier early on but the same in the late game.

    Base loyalty for characters is between 2 and 4 when they're created. We're looking at the frequency at which certain traits are gained to fine tune this area. we're also likely to make Abbeys give Estates for all factions, not just the English Kingdoms, so there are a few more Estates around for players to give out to help with loyalty issues.

    We're adding Legitimacy gain through raiding, and also looking at the costs for decrees to find the right balance there.
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • riadachriadach Posts: 161Registered Users
    edited August 2018
    Could it be possible to partially separate decrees from the fair of Tailtiu though not breaking the link entirely?

    Yearly, you still get the option to hold the fair of Tailtiu, acceptance would mean cost in coin but boost in legitimacy as it was before.

    After agreeing to hold the fair, your decree choices are unlocked. These will cost you more coin and more legitimacy than you gained from holding the fair in the first place.
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    The decrees for the Fair are already only unlocked each summer, what would putting an event before do apart from make it even more expensive to do?
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • riadachriadach Posts: 161Registered Users
    Purely about legitimacy.

    You can choose whether you're going to use the Fair to gain legitimacy (which is very historical) or use it to pass a decree for a different end that will use up legitimacy (also quite historical).
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    We're adjusting the Legitimacy costs of decrees, and raiding will add Legitimacy. That will enable people to make more use of Decrees as well as managing their Legitimacy better.
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • riadachriadach Posts: 161Registered Users
    Solely reductions, or could certain decrees grant legitimacy as well?
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    The Decrees for Mide will cost Legitimacy for now, so no they won't give it as well.
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • Felix_CarnifexFelix_Carnifex Junior Member Posts: 23Registered Users
    Hi Jack,

    Both campaigns were on Very Hard (stated in first sentence of post).

    The food penalty reductions for buildings would make the early game a bit easier to get through as currently it feels a bit harsh. I find myself avoiding building any buildings tat require food or upgrading them early on because money and food are so tight and are needed in many areas (Military, Economy, Politics) at once. I do like the challenge of balancing food requirements for units and buildings but at least for the Mide campaign, it felt a bit too punishing.

    The abbey estate would help with the loyalty issues on harder difficulties because as Mide I start with two church buildings but no estates for them.

    While raiding for Legitimacy gain does sound like it will help with actually being able to use the Decrees, what is the benefit of raiding a province to gain Legitimacy and a bit of money rather than just taking it? I think the raiding stance will help but I need to try it out for myself and see if I will actually use it to enact Decrees rather than just taking a province.
  • InocybeInocybe Posts: 144Registered Users

    We're adjusting the Legitimacy costs of decrees, and raiding will add Legitimacy. That will enable people to make more use of Decrees as well as managing their Legitimacy better.

    So, If I understand properly : Since legitimacy does not decrease (natural decay) if you win some legitimacy at the precedent turn, raiding would avoid natural decay. Am I right ?
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    Inocybe said:

    We're adjusting the Legitimacy costs of decrees, and raiding will add Legitimacy. That will enable people to make more use of Decrees as well as managing their Legitimacy better.

    So, If I understand properly : Since legitimacy does not decrease (natural decay) if you win some legitimacy at the precedent turn, raiding would avoid natural decay. Am I right ?
    Yes, with mechanics like Legitimacy, Tribute, Heroism, if you do an action to change the value during the turn, natural decline will not kick in. It only kicks in if the value does not change for a whole turn.
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative Assembly Brighton, UKPosts: 1,346Registered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff

    Hi Jack,

    Both campaigns were on Very Hard (stated in first sentence of post).

    The food penalty reductions for buildings would make the early game a bit easier to get through as currently it feels a bit harsh. I find myself avoiding building any buildings tat require food or upgrading them early on because money and food are so tight and are needed in many areas (Military, Economy, Politics) at once. I do like the challenge of balancing food requirements for units and buildings but at least for the Mide campaign, it felt a bit too punishing.

    The abbey estate would help with the loyalty issues on harder difficulties because as Mide I start with two church buildings but no estates for them.

    While raiding for Legitimacy gain does sound like it will help with actually being able to use the Decrees, what is the benefit of raiding a province to gain Legitimacy and a bit of money rather than just taking it? I think the raiding stance will help but I need to try it out for myself and see if I will actually use it to enact Decrees rather than just taking a province.

    You can engage in raiding stance and then take settlements, or do it in neutral territory as well.
    Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
  • Felix_CarnifexFelix_Carnifex Junior Member Posts: 23Registered Users
    I think I just need to modify my strategy to actually use Raiding stance since have almost never used it and found the benefits very minor. Looking forward to this Legitimacy gain from Raiding change in the next version!
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Posts: 2,386Registered Users

    Without knowing what difficulty level you are playing on point one is hard to talk about, as the AI gets quite a few bonuses on higher difficulty levels.

    I'm tempted to adjust the progression of food upkeep for certain building chains so that instead of going -10/-20/-30 it goes -5/-15/-30 so that its a bit easier early on but the same in the late game.

    Base loyalty for characters is between 2 and 4 when they're created. We're looking at the frequency at which certain traits are gained to fine tune this area. we're also likely to make Abbeys give Estates for all factions, not just the English Kingdoms, so there are a few more Estates around for players to give out to help with loyalty issues.

    We're adding Legitimacy gain through raiding, and also looking at the costs for decrees to find the right balance there.

    My general take on the beta vs. the previous version of the game is that the early game was already plenty challenging, but the later part of the game got a bit slow. The changes in the beta are pretty good in concept, but the implementation seems to front-load the difficulty they add into the first part of a campaign (which was already hard) but are still relatively easy to manage later in the campaign. So the beginning of a campaign has gone from challenging to brutal, but by a few turns before hitting the short victory conditions, it still starts to lose interest.

    I'd say what you say here about food would be a good idea; I also think it would be a good idea to do something similar with PO effects (maybe not on buildings, but definitely for characters/events/allegiance) - I don't object to PO effects being challenging when they get to higher levels, but in their current state I went most of my campaign before I started to upgrade my industry just because even level one of an effect can be quite severe.

    I don't think starting loyalty is an issue; it's more that a lot of the negative traits seem to be linked to being a new character. So, e.g., almost all characters start with low influence, and some of the worst traits you get come from ... low influence. So it's a high probability that a new character is going to end up with with penalties to PO, allegiance, and loyalty, just for being new. So, either link this to higher influence, or maybe loss of influence (from politics, etc.) or give generals an influence boost for having the job - or maybe just boost starting influence.

    The other thing with loyalty, which might be slightly off-topic, but is coming to mind, is that I've had a number of high loyalty characters involved in 'plotting' events, which seems counter-intuitive ...
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