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Topic: Discussion about (barbarian) economy

WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 17:11

Because the debate about economy models in the thread "Bugs" goes far beyond the topic in my opinion, I suggest to do further discussions here.

@Nordfriese: Now you really bombarded us with numbers face-wink.png

Nordfriese wrote: I also ignored the time the worker needs to carry a ware to his flag (I think it´s about 4 seconds, so it wouldn´t change the statistics much).>

king_of_nowhere said it's 3,6 seconds. They matter because fast workers have to go more often to the flag than slow workers, so the relations of the buildings change.

  • Atlanteans: Farm or blackroot farm: 90 seconds; woodcutter 30s; hunter 35s; fisher 16s.

  • Empire: Farm 100s; Vineyard 80s; hunter 35s; fisher 17s

  • Barbarians: Farm 100s; hunter 35s; fisher 18s

I took the sleep values for woodcutter, hunters and fishers. The actual time should be larger.

I don't think that woodcutters, hunters and fishers are that fast. You could check out my values in the thread "Bugs"

I got the values for the other buildings by testing them in the game. I can also post the detailed calculation, if anyone doesn´t believe me. In cases where a ware can be produced in several ways (e.g. hunter or piggery for imperial meat), I took the average time.

Since this suggestion lowers the barbarian´s average food cost (exception: rations are more expensive in the new inns and big inns than in current taverns), barbarians are actually given an advantage. There is no need to worry about becoming weaker in contrast with Atlanteans (as GunChleoc warned).

I think that you made some mistakes again. I experienced that it's easy to make mistakes if you make a theory about widelands face-wink.png

Therefore, my suggestion would affect the balance only slightly, but in the middle of the game, barbarians would become easier to manage. It seems to me (correct me if I´m wrong) that barbarians are a tribe which is particularly easy to understand for beginners.

I think that Atlanteans are the best tribe for beginners by far. Why? They've only got 1 model of economy and no one of their workers need experience.

Second best are Barbarians. But they have some buildings which they have to upgrade 2 times, and a lot of their workers need experience, one of them 2 times.

Why is the empire even more complicated? Barbarians have got 2 models of economy (normal mines and deepest mines). But the empire has got 4 models of economy (normal or deep mines? piggeries or hunters/fishers?).

At the moment, inexperienced players see the mine economy run wonderfully, then they enhance the mines for the first time and suddenly, everything takes 4 times as long. After the second enhancement they expect more trouble but there is no more than after the first upgrade. I´m not saying that there is no logic behind that, but it can be hard to understand.

SIDE NOTE: I know it may seem as though barbarians get a real disadvantage by forcing them to produce lots of bread early and making it impossible to operate inns and big inns without beer ans strong beer, but anyone who thinks that: Please prove that my statistics are wrong ore useless before arguing about that. Mathematical facts and human intuition disagree very often.

You didn't mention the costs of buildings and tools

king_of_nowhere wrote:

P.S. Your numbers for farms are a bit wrong, barbarian farm produces every 100 seconds while imperial and atlantean (both types) farms produce every 80 seconds. that was determined experimentally by me over dozens of farms and hours of gameplay.

I can confirm that


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einstein13
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 20:28

I don't think that Empire food economy is complicated. Empire is like "huge income company": first they use all natural resources (fish & meat), then they produce on their own (pigs). The economy just transform from one type to another.

And about 3.6 seconds: yes, it is true value. It was measured few years ago and I've provided that. If something changed in the code - the value could change. But I don't think so. face-wink.png Link here, go to page 4


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 21:00

I want to discuss abot the space needed for each building.

First, a bit of introduction. consider a space with a side of 4 steps: you start from your corner, move east, east (plant flag), E, E (flag), NE, NE (F), NE, NE (F), W W W W SW SW SW SW. You should have a parallelogram with every side made by two road segments, each 2 steps long. I wish I could draw, it would make it simpler. Anyway, that's my basic unit. Into that basic unit, on flat land you can fit four small or medium buildings. Or you can fit one farm, and you have enough space left for the fields, with the roads. You can remove one field, but no more than that before the farm loses productivity. So, a farm takes as much space as 4 smaller buildings. If you don't make roads, you can fit a woodcutter+forester pair in that same space, and it's the minimum space they need to work. It's probably a reasonable enough assumption to say that a woodcutter+forester pair takes as much space as a farm. Now, if you expand that basic structure so that its roads are three segments long rather than two, you have a 6x6 unit, and you can fit 4 large buildings in it; you could fit 9 smaller buildings in that space. We can say a large building takes 2.25 times more space than a medium building. So on flat ground

|-| |small building | 1 |medium building| 1 |large building |2.25 |farm |4 |woodcutter+forester| 4

But that's in a perfectly flat map. On a rougher map, you can't pack small buildings that close, so the penalty for making large buildings is smaller; at the same time, you have some places where you can build nothing but a small building, so it's easier to fit small buildings. By experience, you often can make a farm where you would make two medium buildings, or two large buildings where you would make three medium buildings. You can also sacrifice the worst part of your land for planting wood. And you can make most of your small buildings in places where you could not build anything else. So the figures are like

|-| |small building | 0.5 |medium building| 1 |large building |1.5 |farm |2 |woodcutter+forester| 2

Maps like archipelago sea or fjords are an extreme case, because large spaces are counted (for archipelago sea it's 18 or 19 per player, plus one in the middle, if I remember correctly), while smaller spaces are more abundant. So there the ultimate speed of your economy is determined solely by your large spaces. Such maps, though, are very rare - actually I think there are only those two.

I was going to make my own model, but I suddenly grew too lazy to rifle through all the lua files.

But this is still a simple model. there are more complications. for example the value of fish/meat for empire. As long as they can supply with fisheries, fish is inexpensive. When fish runs out, they have to make piggeries, which are large and slow-working. this is a huge spike for the empire. Empire soldiers are probably cheaper than atlanteans as long as they can fish, but they become more expensive later.

And, especially if we want to have an early game discussion, we cannot forget the cost of buildings. You correctly point out how empire economy is not more expensive than barbarian one. But imperial buildings cost huge amounts of marble. Empire cannot make as fast a start as barbarians because of the limitation of supplying all the marble for farms and weapon smith and arena.

Mathematical facts and human intuition disagree very often.

And often intuition is wrong. Then again, mathematic is wrong just as often - because it often starts with wrong assumptions, or it forgets to include some small but important factor. Intuition works really well on complicated systems where you cannot make solid assumptions.

Edited: 2017-03-02, 21:01

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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 21:07

By the way, the mentioned discussion starts here: https://wl.widelands.org/forum/topic/2786/?page=9#post-19785

einstein13 wrote:

I don't think that Empire food economy is complicated. Empire is like "huge income company": first they use all natural resources (fish & meat), then they produce on their own (pigs). The economy just transform from one type to another.

Yes, they transform. But "just" transforming? Suddenly they need much more farms and piggeries are expensive, too. And it becomes really complicated if they have to enhance their mines ;-) So even the complicated barbarians are not that complicated, in comparison. And Atlanteans are less complicated by far face-smile.png

And about 3.6 seconds: yes, it is true value. It was measured few years ago and I've provided that. If something changed in the code - the value could change. But I don't think so. face-wink.png Link here, go to page 4

okay, thanks

king_of_nowhere wrote:

I will formulate a more complete answer in the new thread worldsavior has made (https://wl.widelands.org/forum/topic/2834); anyway, if your point is that there is a huge difference between barbarians working with level 1 mines and barbarians working with level 2 mines, I fully agree. I have never seen it as a problem so far, though.

Me neither

There is also no difference between using level 2 and level 3 mines, as strong beer and beer cost the same. Again, I never saw it as a real problem - just annoying, because breweries produce only strong beer, and to simplify my economy I generally keep only breweries, so I must upgrade any mine twice in a row and I'd rather do it in one step, but that's beside the point.

Probably it would be good to lessen the transition, but I worry that it would require radically changing the way barbarian economy works; and I absolutely hate it when games I like change the gameplay every few months.

Me too! The sentence "Never change a running system" is not always good, but here it is perfect.

Edit: @Nordfriese: Why should we change the barbarian economy at all? There is no reason for that, right?

Edited: 2017-03-02, 21:52

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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 21:20

king_of_nowhere wrote:

I want to discuss abot the space needed for each building.

First, a bit of introduction. consider a space with a side of 4 steps: you start from your corner, move east, east (plant flag), E, E (flag), NE, NE (F), NE, NE (F), W W W W SW SW SW SW. You should have a parallelogram with every side made by two road segments, each 2 steps long. I wish I could draw, it would make it simpler. Anyway, that's my basic unit.

Nice, you build exactly like that one guy in my very first online match : D

(That way to build looked very impressive, and I think it still looks so)

Edited: 2017-03-02, 21:30

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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2017-03-02, 22:39

einstein13 wrote:

I am against adding the bread to barbarian consumption. Many tournament games proven that this is one of the weakest point in their economy. I need strong numbers: calculating how many bread need this economy to produce fully promoted soldier: for small, medium and deep mine. Also what are expenses for other tribes too. This comparison will show if changing any factor will differ a lot or not.

Well, even if you know this numbers, it's not easy to conclude that much about the balancing, because the game is more complex. If you want to see how the tribes are balanced, there have to be matches.

How many people complained so far about the balancing? I can only remember my own complain ("Atlanteans have unfair disadvantages in woodgnome in comparison to the empire") face-tongue.png


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einstein13
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Posted at: 2017-03-03, 00:11

Remember discussion about soldiers strength? We can't make 1000 level 10 fights in the game, but we can simulate them outside the game. Balancing should contain three parts:

  • Author's idea
  • Calculations and coding
  • Players testing

If you skip "calculations" because they are too complex - you have to make more testing and more coding. That is why I prefer calculations and proving there that the idea is good or bad - (almost) no testing is needed and you have feedback very soon, even faster than coding. But of course testing is needed, because calculations are ALWAYS simplified or averaged.

Complaining about balancing was few times since I am here. But thanks to SirVer, the game needs only polishing, not general rewriting.


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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2017-03-03, 00:57

einstein13 wrote:

Remember discussion about soldiers strength? We can't make 1000 level 10 fights in the game, but we can simulate them outside the game.

Okay. But this is precisely calculable in comparison to the costs of level-10-soldiers.

But of course testing is needed, because calculations are ALWAYS simplified or averaged.

Yes. If you want to calculate the costs of level-10-soldiers, you have to look at to many factors. So you can just calculate it simplified...

Complaining about balancing was few times since I am here. But thanks to SirVer, the game needs only polishing, not general rewriting.

Are there complains which are still up-to-date? I would like to see if I could argumentate against them face-smile.png


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2017-03-03, 01:26

well you can calculate exactly how the fight of two soldiers will go statistically. but you cannot simulate an in-game economy. you can calculate how many resources are needed to make a soldier, but deciding which of those resources are of more worth is a completely different matter


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einstein13
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Posted at: 2017-03-03, 01:50

king_of_nowhere wrote:

but you cannot simulate an in-game economy

So what the game is doing? Simulating an economy.

you can calculate how many resources are needed to make a soldier, but deciding which of those resources are of more worth is a completely different matter

I think that it is doable. The ways of creating each resources are finite. For example you can produce bread only in one way: grain + water. All of it can be calculated as time, needed resources (to build up), and needed space. I understand that whole economy is a complex machine, but it is still mathematical model.

Currently I don't have enough data to collect all costs and say that (example) Barbarians are weaker than Atlanteans, but testing (tournaments) shows that balance is rather equal: every tribe has a chance to win with other tribe.


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