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Topic Subject: AoE3 Reloaded: Age of Enlightenment
posted 10-07-12 05:14 PM EDT (US)   
For a while, I considered AoE3 one of my favorite games, but it lacked something (I never played AoE2, and played AoE1 as a little kid). And then I realized the problem: it's a very different game.

I and II were not 4X games, but they had a somewhat 4X feel in the way you explored a world, built a civilization... I would have multiple bases, age ups felt like an achievement, and I felt in control of a nation. III feels more like a crowded deathmatch... it doesn't even have a diplomacy feature!

I also rather disliked AoE3's fantasy-ish setting. It actually got me interested in the time period, so much that it became my favorite, but I call it fantasy because it's horribly anachronistic, not really grounded in anything, and has a colonial focus. (Which isn't an inherent problem, but I've come to decide that such epic wars as the Thirty Years War would be much more interesting than little colonial squabbles. It's even clear from the units that it's trying to transplant European warfare into a colonial game.)

The way I imagine a proper Age of Empires III is to get off the colonial focus and onto Europe, and to make it more of a 4X than a deathmatch. Taking some of the expansion features of Rise of Nations, some internal politics ala Tropico (of all things), and then a solid diplomatic and economic system would make Age of Empires III an even bigger revolution over II than II was over I while keeping the AoE feel.

I have an idea for an "Age of Empires III: Age of Enlightenment" that I'm currently working on, and will post. It has a lot of the basic AoE, but ramps up most everything.
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posted 10-07-12 06:32 PM EDT (US)     1 / 10  
AGE OF EMPIRES III: AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Ages
High Middle Age = The (since AoE3) obligatory economic-focused age, but there is a major variety of units. The reason for including this as one of six ages is that it gives the player more time to experience Renaissance warfare.

Renaissance Age = From 1400 to 1500, this is the beginning of light warfare as the players' war engines get up and running. Based on levees, the units are mostly light gunpowder with tons of melee and cavalry.

Centralization Age = From 1500 to 1600, this is mostly a repeat of the Renaissance Age but with better stats. By this point, all archery should be phased out.

Westphalian Age = From 1600 to 1700, the focus of military changes to mercenaries and total war with continued improves in gunpowder. Cavalry is still a fearsome force, and military sizes are massive.

Enlightenment Age = From 1700 to 1780, you finally experience a shift to standing armies and the invention of bayonets shifts most of your infantry into one unit, while cavalry diminishes in importance. By this point, religion loses importance at the same time that class warfare becomes significant.

Napoleonic Age = From 1780 to 1820, this is the game-breaker age where artillery becomes the king of the battlefield, the levee en masse combines the best of levees and standing armies, and you gain many powerful techs and new research powers. Religion is removed as a force and ideology allows you to drive monarchial enemies to ruin.

Main Resources
Food = Used as upkeep for all units. Although technology helps, this is always the most important resource to focus on.

Wood = Used primarily as a construction and upkeep for buildings.

Stone = Used primarily as a construction and upkeep for fortifications.

Metal = Used primarily as a construction and upkeep for military units (weaponry).

Gunpowder = Used primarily as a construction and upkeep for gunpowder military units. Mainly an upkeep (and an expensive one), this one gains in importance over time while Metal decreases. (As armor is phased out.)

Trade = Used almost solely as a trade good for obtaining Gold and an upkeep for all classes of society (a luxury).

Gold = Money, used for most actions.

Abstract Resources
Economic Manpower = Used for training new civilian units.

Army Manpower = Used for training new land military units.

Naval Manpower = Used for building new ships.

Production = Used for producing most everything.

Knowledge = Used for researching new technology.

Settlements, Borders, and Logistics
Rather than construction being possible anywhere, all buildings are tied to Settlements. For European civilizations, these are Villages, Fiefs, and Castles. Fiefs should make up the majority of a player's settlements, and support the production of all Main Resources except for Gunpowder and Gold (Gold can be gathered by gold mining, but has many sources beyond a Fief's gold mines). Villages support most of the Abstract Resources and research buildings, and their Markets and tax rate are a major source of Gold. Castles can support military buildings, which are necessary for a military (standing, levee, or otherwise). Your borders are the boundary in which your are allowed to construct new settlements. Like Rise of Nations, capturing towns is the main way of expanding once you run out of space, but before then, colonize everything!

When it comes to housing and logistics, a unit must be assigned to a House and job in the same settlement's jurisdiction (though Tents can serve as a temporary, mobile second home for your pioneers and construction workers). Fiefs have a very large radius for work and construction, but this is balanced by the peculiar logistic system. Rather than a general pool of resources, buildings and units have separate resource stockpiles (which you can use menus and "mapmodes" to quickly locate), and the resources must be in their stockpile for them to use them. So, while your mine may be far from your Fief, the worker must make a trip to the Barracks for the soldiers to be trained... well, without supply lines and warehouses. Things like Mills, Lumber Camps, Mining Camps, etcetera can act as a temporary warehouse, and Transport Carts move large quantities of goods on a set path. Building roads greatly speeds up Transport Carts and helps ease micromanagement. This isn't all that notable in peacetime (just set your Transport Carts to "auto-manage"), but is crucial in wartime when siege warfare and raids can destroy an economy faster than battles.

Resource Gathering
FOOD
Food is gathered from many sources, which we can sum up as wild or cultivated. Wild resources generally are gathered by Hunters, cheap workers who hunt, forage, or shore-fish. Hunters are far cheaper than building expensive farms, but their relationship to farming is different than in previous Age of Empires games. Is traditional for hunting to be more productive in AoE, while having the disadvantage of using up natural resources. In Age of Enlightenment, nature will replenish itself after time, but Hunters are terribly slow and yield little. For a Hunting-based economy, almost all of your units will be on food collection! That's why it's crucial to use Fishing Boats (who gather from infinite Fishing Pools on the ocean) or Peasants who run farms. Farms are made from Farmland or Pastures, the former being an infinite source of moderate yields and the latter supporting livestock that must fatten, and be trained, but give a very fast return. Both Farmland and Pastures are very long and expensive to build (compared to the Hunter), and their efficiency varies on the land... you may be thinking, "why should I build my farms away from my Fief, where the resources are used?" Well, the best farmland isn't necessarily next to your Fief. In fact, it could be a patchwork. Better land equals faster rates of collection. A Mill can hold Food until it is brought to a Bakery... from there on, units will take a small amount to their House for future consumption. Farmland varies in appearance for aesthetics (apple trees, corn fields, potatos, etcetera).

Wood comes from trees. Trees can be replanted and grow like livestock fatten, but regenerative forestry is no faster than cutting down wild trees. Wood is stored in Lumber Camps, and then put in a Carpenter's Shop from there on.

Stone, Metal, and Gold all come from mines, are stored in Mining Camps, and then a Brickmaker's Shop, a Blacksmith, or a Mint. Gold has many more sources, though, as I will explain in trade and taxation. I believe all resources should somehow be renewable, so here comes the Surveyor, a unit costing significant Gold and Knowledge who can survey a particular area, with a percent chance of finding a new deposit every minute or so. (The chances are decreased if the land is under constant survey.)

Gunpowder is produced in a Powdersmith's Shop in a Village, and is stormed in an Armory.

Trade can be gained from lots of different sources, as it represents basically anything that is used as a luxury... in India, it might be spices, while in the Carolinas it might be tobacco. In the case of those farmed goods, there will be specific farmland areas designated for said goods... basically, sockets. Trade can also be produced in small quantities in a Village's Guild Houses, but it's not very efficient at all compared to plundering nature.

Production, while an "Abstract Resource", functions like the Main Resources. Production is produced in a Village's Workshops, and is generally an abstraction of both equipment and labor. Like the hammers in Civilization.

Gold interacts with Trade in the form of... trade. While nations can set up direct trades and bartering, the Market-based system involves a Settlement's demand for goods. Markets have a certain area of effect (always including their own Settlement), and any units that live within the area add to the Trade Demand. A Market will seek to reach perfect balance, selling when it has a surplus and buying when it has a deficit. You can coordinate a route for your Merchants to travel, either importing or exporting; as the trip lengthens, so does the "Transportation Cost", the selling price of your goods. The Market will always prefer the lower priced goods, so TC is a bad thing. On the other hand, Exoticness balances it out; the distance between the Market and the source of production adds to the cost, but at also to the real value of it, so a Market is willing to pay more for an exotic good. (Foreign goods receive a small boost to the real value, and overseas exoticness is worth more than overland exoticness.) Not exactly a great economic simulator, but it does represent exotic goods without having a million different resources, and isn't prone to abuse... if you keep looping your road back and forth, you'll just add to your TC and make your Merchants uncompetitive.

Internal Politics = The Leadership
Internal Politics involves the four classes of your society and influential nobles. The nobles, in particular, are randomly-generated characters who serve as governors, generals, and the like and whose ambition can endanger your rule. You play as the guiding spirit of a dynasty (if a monarchy) or a faction (if a theocracy or republic), and losing your nation in a rebellion counts as much as a defeat as being conquered by foreigners.

Your main character, who is pretty much "you", would be the Leader (the title depends on government type, of course). The Leader has a measurement of Health, an assortment of up to ten traits, and then four main skills: Administrative Skill, Military Skill, Diplomatic Skill, and Political Skill. These Skills provide a number of effects, but primarily Administrative/Military/Diplomatic/Leadership points that are necessary for most everything. These points represent your capability of getting things done; Administration, for example, is used for most construction projects while Military is used for leading troops into battle. The costs vary depending on the significance of the project; training a new Peasant requires a minute amount of points, while researching a major economic reform requires a huge amount. The decision-making comes from when you count up all the "little things'" cost in the aggregate. How about 50 new Peasants versus one technology?

A Leader doesn't rule alone. You do have a Spouse, and (hopefully!) Children, the most suitable of whom is the heir (the line of succession can also branch other ways; as long as the heir to your throne is within your dynasty, it's okay). When choosing whom to marry your direct family to, you can choose an existing character or the lesser nobility (which will create another unlanded character). Your reign will exist for as long as you can pay the upkeep; you will eventually die, but traits and purchasing medicines can help you along. Traits can also harm you, though.

The factions system in a Republic, Theocracy, or other non-hereditary government has the faction replacing the dynasty as what you're trying to preserve, and you as the faction leader (and head of state) can appoint candidates to run in the next election. It might seem like a disadvantage to have to deal with elections, but in ye olde days of the Enlightenment doges tended to serve for life, and kings had just as much of a threatening job keeping the nobility in check. Both systems of government (the dynastic and the hereditary systems) allow you to appoint an Advisor to each of your four categories. Advisors can be created by Leadership or traded for in Markets. Advisors will actually give you in-game advice, can be assigned to run parts of your country for you, and most importantly improve your stats.

The other characters (all of whom have their own families) are the nobles, the generals, the clergy, and the Great Men. A Settlement is required to have some character ruling it; if no such vassal is available, you will be prompted to spend Leadership making new a character. If you don't, the area falls into anarchy and eventually becomes an independent city-state. The characters have their own stats, just like your Leader, but their accumulated points may only be spent on their Settlement, and they gain less points as well. So long as your nobles are happy, the only concern is whether their traits and stats are as high as can be, but ambition and mistreatment may make them less than trustworthy. Every character has a hidden ambition that they will try to act upon (except for the Leader, of course, since they are the player). While many ambitions are harmless, an ambition such as "Gain Power"... well, you can see where that's going. On the mistreatment side of things, screwing over your vassals (such as heavily taxing them, ignoring them, or at worst, seizing their land) will decrease their Opinion of you, and at low Opinion they will begin plotting rebellion.

Generals can be produced with a mixed cost of Leadership and Military, but they are rather expensive to maintain, so choosing to convert your nobles into generals (as was the custom of the time) is often more economical. Just make sure they have a good Military stat and are willing. Like how Settlements require a leader, military units must have an officer assigned to, and in the vicinity of, them. Captains are the lowest rank, and can command units directly nearby. Generals are higher, and have a wide radius of effect for commanding Captains. Above that, you can have additional levels of Generals eventually going back to your Leader. When an officer gets cut off from the chain of command (outside the radius). [NOTE=With sea units, these ranks would of course be called Captains and Admirals, with Captains running a single ship and Admirals managing a very large theatre.]

Internal Politics: Class Warfare and Revolution
So, that's characters for you. Keep them wealthy. Don't be feared or loved, be both. Classes are a different deal. There's the Peasantry (poor), Merchants (middle), Nobility (rich), and Clergy. Another way to look at it is the Medieval view of their roles: Peasants work the land, Merchants do the trading, Clergy do the praying, and Nobility command it all (and are the professional warriors).

Each class has an amount of "Influence" measured as a percentage (this is just an abstraction of political power and raw numbers), an amount of Funding (an abstraction of the amount of money the class can spend promoting their interests or, if worst comes to worst, purchasing weaponry for the rebellion), and Opinion of you. Classes can generally be pleased by pandering to their goals, and they also grant missions. It's a lot like the political factions from Tropico. They also tend to be content with a certain level of "homeostasis"... a class is happy where it is, until it moves up or down. Then, it will be happier or angrier until it gets used to where it is. It's not gradual shifts you have to be concerned it about... it's the sudden ones that shake everything up.

Peasants, for example, want their basic needs taken care of. If you keep them very poor by denying Trade and Food demands, they won't be able to accrue Funding and expand their Influence/armament, and thus remain a non-threat. If the Peasants were to start gaining more Food, they'll become happy. However, try and take that away after a long time, and they'll get angry. And then they'll have the Funding to do something about it. As the Peasants get rich enough, they'll eventually start campaigning for representation in government. While you could try to pander to the Peasantry, it might require you redirecting resources and could possibly upset the Nobility or Clergy.

Merchants are in support of whatever trade policy will net them the most money. So long as you leave them a good cut, they will generally be happy. When Merchants see a way to increase their profitability at a Market, they will lobby for you to change the tariff rates or pass embargoes... even if it hurts the economy as a whole. You may also be approached by entrepreneurs who seek to purchase Monopoly rights on certain businesses, which will please the Merchants and temporarily boost your coffers but carries severe economic and Peasantry penalties in the long run.

Nobles mostly only care about hogging wealth for themselves and maintaining power. The way you treat named characters has a big effect on the Nobility. They tend to be a pro-war lobby, but are opposed to standing armies.

Clergy are concerned with bringing more wealth into their churches and making the nation more pious. They serve as the right-hand of the Church in religions with an organized church.

Religions
Religion was still one of the driving forces of conflict and society in this time period, and this is reflected in diplomacy and internal politics. Your nation begins with it's historical religion (e.g., Catholic for the Italians), but as the leader you can strive to convert.

Your chosen religion has various effects, and determines your interactions with the rest of the world. One such factor is Casus Belli (see "Diplomacy"). If another nation has a heretical, or even worse, infidel, faith then you are pretty much given the carte blanche you wage war on them. Supporting your religion is also important to keeping the clergy, the Church, and the true believers in your society pleased. Every Settlement has a percentage breakdown of their religious demographics. While a 100% state religion empire would be ideal, any time minorities get involved things become messy, as minorities become rebellious when you are intolerant and majorities become rebellious when you are tolerant. How do you juggle these different religious factions?

Any given faith is either organized through a central Church (like Catholicism), a state-managed Church (like Anglicanism), or is disorganized (like Lutheranism). On the map, there are Holy Lands and cities, such as Jerusalem, Mecca, and Rome. In the game options, alongside your chosen civilizations for the game you can choose the organization levels of each religion; if you organize Catholicism, a Papal States nation will be added that begins the game with control of Rome. Create an ahistoric scenario where the Sunnis are organized, and a Caliphate will be created with control of Mecca. (You can choose to start as one of these theocracies as well.) Religious organization can change over the course of the game. In any nation with a high enough amount of Faith and a powerful enough Clergy class and Opinion, they can declare themselves the new church (giving other countries of their faith the option to accept them or not).

Your chosen faith determines what bonuses (and maluses) you get, but the game allows for lots of customizability and different ways of "evolving" your religion. At the start of the game (the 1300s), even Lutheranism didn't exist. What age you pick for the game to begin in decides what religions already exist. The rest have to be discovered or invented. At the start, Old World religions include Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Sunnism, Shiism, and Judaism (Judaism carries significant maluses to growth, and as such a Jewish state is very unlikely to be created by the AI). However, upon reaching the Centralization Age a Catholic nation (that is, most of the white European civs) discovers Lutheranism and Calvinism, not just for themselves but for everybody. Once this "Reformation" event begins, any nation can also choose to form a national Church. This allows for the creation of Anglicanism, but not just English (you could create "Francism" or "Spaniardism" or some such). These national religions are limited only to your nation, though, and as such will make you a bit of an outsider.

In Islam, Sunnism and Shiism are the only religions, but if a Caliphate or Imamate is formed then you can choose to declare yourself Independent Muslim. If you seek dominance of a faith that already has been organized, you can either begin a civil war within it (a schism) or try and create circumstances in which the Church will lose authority. The Church/Caliphate/whatever loses religious authority if their own Faith is lower than that of their following nations and they lack much secular power.

Asian, African, and New World religions are generally more peaceful and disorganized, with tougher requirements to create a central Church. What is unique to them is monarch-worship; the Chinese have the Mandate of Heaven, the Japanese have the Emperor, the Inca is a sun god, etcetera. This is a lot like forming a national Protestant movement, but is even more independent-minded and can be layered with another Asian/African/New World faith.

Lastly, there's late-game ideologies, which act as a sort of second level to religion. Beginning in Age V, you can choose to support one of three ideologies: Conservatism, Enlightenment, or Revolutionary. (Conservative being the ancien regime, Enlightenment being a more liberalized society, such as Britain or the "Enlightened monarchs", and Revolutionary being full-on republicanism like America and France.) Conservatism essentially continues the game as normal, just with the new tech to play with. Enlightenment ideology shifts the power balance more to Peasantry and Merchants over Clergy and Nobility and also eases religious tension. Revolutionary offers the most powerful techs and reforms, but is playing with fire. In Age VI, Revolutionary ideology unlocks things like the levee en masse, proto-nationalism, and secularism, and it's also subversive (spreading the revolution to nearby nations). The unfortunate factor is that any non-Revolutionary nations will be very fearful of you and basically begin the French Revolutionary Wars (the AI will do this, and player monarchies will be heavily encouraged to do so).

Revolutionary ideology also opens up some more religious options: Secular [insert majority religion], Deism, and Cult of the Supreme Being. The Secular choice pretty much resolves most of your religious problems with heretics, but still carries penalties with heathens and especially the worst infidels (those outside of your major religion group). Deism encourages technological growth and religious tolerance with infidels but comes at the expense of relations with the more religious members of your society (Conservatives, the clergy, etcetera). Cult of the Supreme Being is the extreme form of Deism.

Diplomacy
It worked with the small map, but I thought it was ridiculous how AoE3 lacked a diplomacy feature. Since "Age of Enlightenment" is basically a real-time 4X, it has more diplomatic options.

AI nations have Relations with other nations, which are just the sum of how "friendly" they are. Then, there's Interests and schemes and all that. A nation's Interests represent what their goals are (which usually including "winning the game" ), and they, along with fear, factor into the decision-making process. Interests can be goals such as "Naval Dominance" or much more focused plans like "Dominate the Yucatan Peninsula". Human players, of course, can do as they please, but they have Interests as well (think of them as being class missions for the whole nation). Interests can change, but they do so slowly and for the most part based on conditions. A nation can spend a significant amount of time manufacturing a new Interest.

Casus bellis are tied to Interests, religion, and the like. Settlements and particular regions of land/sea have Claims. 99% of these Claims would be "Nation A built Settlement B, ergo Nation A claims Settlement B on grounds of territorial integrity" or some-such diplospeak. Besides random Claim events you can receive, and manufacturing Claims, circumstances may lead to a nation gaining (or losing) Claims. Other casus bellis include things like trade disputes and insults and that sort of bullshit. You can declare war on anybody you like for any reason, but prepare to pay the price: you will be condemned by most everybody. Will you suddenly get dogpiled by every nation and your own people just because you seized a Fief? No, that game would suck to play. But try and keep toppling countries, and it will come back to haunt you...

Ergo the use of situations in which you either don't need a Claim or get special Claims. Religion is a main one; after all, you have the Catholic/Orthodox/Sunni hate triangle at the beginning, and the real fun begins with the Reformation (or any other religion's equivalent, if you chose to set them up as organized in the game options).

That's Casus Bellis. Fight sparingly, or be willing to spend a ton of Influence manufacturing false Claims. As for other diplomatic options, you can send Diplomat units out to other nation's capitals on various missions, ranging from sweetalking them, to negotiating trade, to spreading nasty rumors about a nation to raise their Infamy...

Colonization and the Map
In the settings you can customize which regions to use, but the game can contain several "maps" at one time: the Old World, South America, the Gulf of Mexico, North America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Orient (all of it adding up to nine). These maps limit what civilizations can coexist; the French, for example, may only start in the Old World. The player(s) can choose any map they want to start on.

Now, I haven't thought out how the non-Old World civs will play yet, but the tech works different depending on what region the civ is from. In the Americas, technology is pretty much stagnant, and (unless you change settings) the AI will reliably create societies just as advanced by the time of colonialism as they were historically. (This all goes for Africa as well.) The good news is that you can still survive and conquer, if you can pull a Meiji. Once American/African civilizations (the limited tech groups) encounter civilizations with unlimited tech (Asians or Europeans), they begin to unlock the ability to advance along the tech tree. If a player can build the Iroquois Empire strong enough to survive the initial European onslaught, then you can put most of your resources into Knowledge production and hopefully westernize.

For Asians, technology is a different matter. History has shown us that the Asians were just as technologically capable as Europeans, but they kept throwing away technology; for a while, Japan was top gun producer in the world, but then the Shogunate outlawed firearms! If not for that stupidity, then Asia would have easily resisted colonists. The way Age of Enlightenment represents this is that the Asians have no maluses to technology, but their restrictive societies give lots of events and decisions to discard technology, generally to maintain internal stability. The AI will usually indulge in this self-destructive behavior, but the player is welcome to accept a few noble rebellions in exchange for long-term survival.

Your own map (region of the world) will start out fully-explored, and lightly settled (a Village, a Castle, and a few Fiefs), with more depending on your settings. Geographic features are also randomly named, kind of like picking names for forests and rivers in Civilization (except you have no control; they have the cultural names of whatever civ is closest to them at the start), and you are informed of any new settlement's locations. When exploring a different map, the Black of Ignorance has to be revealed by explorer-type units (more on that later). The Old World, Orient, India, and Southeast Asia maps should fill up quickly (in the sense that borders cover most of it).

So, why colonize? While foreign Trade from your own map is valuable, Trade coming from other maps is extremely valuable. In addition, colonies give you an avenue for expansion when the map has already filled up. Colonizing involves first sending out an Explorer, an officer who is capable of leading units into the Black of Ignorance. Once you've decided whether or not the area is worthwhile, you can ship over some Colonist units to construct your necessary buildings (Fiefs are renamed Plantations and Castles are renamed Forts, but that's little more than aesthetics). Trading Posts and Missions are special buildings unique to colonies; a Trading Post allows you to tap into trade with the uncivilized tribes and gather goods yourself using Frontiersmen, while Missions have religious purposes. Both are built on the edges of your colony. Besides the organized, civilized natives (like as Aztecs, Inca, Iroquois, Ashanti, Zulu, etcetera) there are "tribes" who don't function as nations for game purposes. Whether they farm (and as such are sedentary) or hunt (and thus are nomadic), they serve as an obstacle to your expansion, raiding villages when they don't fight each other. If you are too aggressive, they may become frightened and band together into larger confederacies.

Communications Lines, Fog of War, and Other Knowledge-Related Features

Game Modes

[This message has been edited by Random Username (edited 10-19-2012 @ 01:15 AM).]

posted 10-15-12 02:29 AM EDT (US)     2 / 10  
Cool. Now go make it.

StormComing (to me): "Seems like you're way under-ranked"

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posted 10-16-12 01:21 PM EDT (US)     3 / 10  
Good to see this place is still at least slightly alive.

First of all, find some better age names.

Then I'd say swap Gunpowder out for Coal, it's more versatile (you can use it in production, or for fueling ships/factories etc), or make it an abstract limitation, so eg, one powdersmith can support X number of units (with say, a cannon costing 10 units, and a ship 20-100 depending on the size).

Also, you'll need various types of production, stables affect how fast cavalry is produced, while gunsmiths affect how fast gun units are produced, etc.

[This message has been edited by MatthewII (edited 10-16-2012 @ 11:16 PM).]

posted 10-17-12 01:52 PM EDT (US)     4 / 10  
I'm not particularly fond of Age III and Age IV names, but I can't think of much else. Centralization refers to the death of feudalism as monarchs tightened their control. Westphalian refers to the Treaty of Westphalia... not the best name, but I thought it was a good enough allusion to the Thirty Years War, which is the focus of this age.

I disagree about Gunpowder versus Coal; although Coal could be used in production, it's not that big of a fuel in this day and age. For a Victorian-era game, I would definitely include it. For the Renaissance/Enlightenment period, I don't see as it's particularly needed.

The reason I have only one type of Production is for simplicity, it would get way to complicated if you had to manufacture things like "Armor" and "Guns" individually.
posted 10-19-12 08:26 PM EDT (US)     5 / 10  
I disagree about Gunpowder versus Coal; although Coal could be used in production, it's not that big of a fuel in this day and age.
Well, except for anything and everything to do with metal.
The reason I have only one type of Production is for simplicity, it would get way to complicated if you had to manufacture things like "Armor" and "Guns" individually.
By this point plate armour was mostly in decline, but seriously, you want to use the same production for both horses and guns?
posted 10-20-12 07:51 PM EDT (US)     6 / 10  
ON GUNPOWDER AND COAL
For smelting it? Okay, you're making your point.

With as complicated as the game already is (assigning AI governors and frequent pausing would be expected of the player), it can't hurt to add additional resources.

But to include Coal for anything other than Production, it would require changes to the basic economics system. So I suppose what you'd like is a resource tree, where (for example) Metal wouldn't be used in military units, it would be smelted into Guns/Artillery/Armor using Coal as another resource and then THAT would be used in the unit's production.

PRODUCTION TYPES
Well, a distinction between Weaponry/Equipment/Goods would be okay, but that's the furthest I'd take it. Horses actually are a very important resource, I hadn't taken that into consideration... I would consider it a type of Manpower (giving us Economic Manpower, Military Manpower, Naval Manpower, and Horses).

NEW UPDATES
Do you have any thoughts on the religious, diplomatic, and political features?

I'm going to remove casus bellis, but I think there should be some way to represent how nations didn't just go around conquering everywhere.
posted 11-04-12 02:32 AM EDT (US)     7 / 10  
Can't offer much opinion on the politics/diplomatics/religion front I'm afraid, those sorts of things generally go right over my head.
posted 11-07-12 08:32 PM EDT (US)     8 / 10  
I actually happened to be at a forge recently, made myself a potholder. I knew that coal was important, but now I actually know myself...

Perhaps the Casus Belli thing could be handled with a Belligerence counter, which has to be reduced using diplomacy and time. Every time you go to war you gain Belligerence, but it's a lot more if the war is considered completely gratuitous... like if you were a Catholic Germany attacking another Catholic ally on the map without a justification and with aims of conquest, you would gain rapid Belligerence.
posted 12-30-12 10:12 PM EDT (US)     9 / 10  
I would buy this game. Even if the graphics were awful, this sounds phenomenal.
posted 01-04-13 10:46 PM EDT (US)     10 / 10  
Too complicated.

Don't sweat petty things.
Don't pet sweaty things.
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