Author Topic: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)  (Read 2018 times)

Offline Valtiel

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Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« on: August 16, 2013, 03:40:22 AM »
The resource drops all seem... kind of weaksauce. I don't think they're very useful for their opportunity cost except when you've already backed yourself into a corner by running out of something, and they're certainly not something I'd ever plan on using.

Note, the costs listed below assume you're playing on Normal difficulty or below. At Hard+, the town specialization kicks in, and all basic resource producers have their base production rates halved.
  • Logs drop, produces 2 logs per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Woodcutter, produces 3 logs per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and 2 logs. I see no reason to ever place a logs drop unless you are completely out of logs.
  • Rock drop, produces 5 rock per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Rock quarry, produces 4 rock per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and 3 logs. Fractionally better value, but I only see this being used if you've run out of building spaces and need to build a new town centre to expand.
  • Pig drop, produces 4 pigs per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Pig farm, produces the same 4 pigs per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, 2 lumber (1 log) and 1 wheat.
  • Sheep drop, produces 3 sheep per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Sheep farm, produces the same 3 sheep per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, 2 lumber (1 log) and 1 wheat.
  • Wheat drop, produces 4 wheat per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Wheat farm, produces 9 wheat per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and only 2 lumber (1 log). You'd be mad to ever place a wheat drop.
  • Iron drop, produces 10 iron per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Iron mine, produces the same 10 iron per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and 8 cut stone (24 rocks). Might be worth it occasionally, given 8 cut stone is six turns work for a rock quarry.
  • Clay drop, produces 10 clay per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Clay pit, produces 7 clay per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and 4 lumber (2 logs).
  • Horse drop, produces an inexplicable half a horse per turn for 5 turns, at the cost of two AP. Ranch, produces one whole horse per turn forever at the cost of 1 AP, one tile, and 4 lumber (2 logs). Again, this drop looks like madness.

Most of these look terrible to me. The only one I can see myself using is the iron drop, and maybe the log and rock drops if I completely screw up and run out of either wood or space. It seems they just don't give enough resources quickly enough compared to the basic production structures. If the logs drop was five logs per turn for two turns, or even ten logs for one turn, it might be more tempting to someone who needs a large pile of wood in a hurry.

Note, the iron drop feels different from the others - iron mines are one of the more expensive basic resource producers.

However, I've played very little of this game, and I am - so far - resoundingly terrible at it. Those of you who have more experience: am I missing something? Are these drops actually very useful when town space is at a premium? Do they become much more useful on Hard difficulty and above?

Or am I right, and these need buffing somehow? If so, do we want to just increase the rate of production, increase the duration of production, go with my first thoughts and make them produce about the same amount in a shorter space of time, or turn the AP cost down to one? Alternatively, might there be another clever way to improve these?

On a slightly related note, it seems that where you choose to place these items is utterly irrelevant. You don't benefit from putting them near your towns, and none of the units on the map interact with them. I'd expect bandits to steal them at the very least.

One possible change to these is quite drastic but might make them more interesting as well as more useful: Have them behave like the collectable token items. A resource drop isn't aligned to any faction, but human military units will move to it and collect it; at which point its entire resource amount is added to the faction that owns the unit*. So, location matters, and you can't use it to benefit a faction that has no appropriately-placed military units, and there's a slight extra opportunity cost to placing it (a huscarl going and picking up sheep isn't going and pummelling the enemy). On the other hand, you can use resource stockpiles to lure units around.

The biggest problem with this I can see is that it's yet another way to use one side's actions to benefit the other side, which might be too powerful.

*Or, in the case of bandits, spent on ale, wenches, and whatever the male equivalent of a wench is.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 03:54:30 AM by Valtiel »

Offline Misery

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 06:29:39 AM »
Yes, these could do with buffing.  I use the stone one sometimes, generally in the super early-game when the Norse are inevitably doing their "somehow down to 2 rocks" thing again that seems to be a part of my usual early build.

They're OK when you're REALLY strapped for resources, generally when you dont have additional space for another building, but.... even then that still ends up not helping much.  And the stone one is usually the only one I need.

These need to be stronger.  With the new mechanics in place like the culture system, it'd make some sense to have stronger versions of these that cost some of that.   Like, I dunno, one that costs a couple hundred culture (or whatever) and gives you 100 of a resource over the course of 5 turns and then probably has a cooldown.   Something like that wont totally solve your economic woes when things are going bad, but it could be helpful in getting out of a tight spot.

The current versions though, I strongly doubt that most players even use them.

Offline blastpop

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 08:19:04 AM »
I ended up using the rock once and it proved unneededl, because the bottle neck if I recall correctly was the lack of production not resources, something I didn't realize when I spent the AP. I'm a newbie at the game, so my exposure to this game is very limited compared to some. The purchased raw material must be placed within the boarders of the city, which is also a cost-  that space is unavailable for 5 turns.

So far I have to agree they are not that useful in the current form. Yet I do feel there should be some system to help the player if they need something critical.

Maybe the player could be allowed to have a needed resource by spending a certain number of AP to "power" a certain building type for a period of time to produce a finished resource. Include a  long cool down. so it wouldn't be a game buster.  Less thematic, but maybe easier to execute.

Just an idea.


Offline Valtiel

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 03:11:34 PM »
Actually, resource stockpiles don't need to be placed within the borders of a town. You can stick them anywhere. This is one small advantage they have - they don't fill up your towns.

I think a resource stockpile has to be producing twice as rapidly as the equivalent production building in order to be useful in anything other than a niche situation. For example, unless you are out of lumber or out of space, you can place two wheat farms in the time it takes to place one wheat stockpile, and the farm will still be here in six turns time. I'll allow an exception for iron drops, because iron mines are silly-expensive compared to most other raw resource producers.

With the production rates boosted, I can see myself fairly frequently using rock, clay, and log drops (in order to get the boost I need for an expensive one-off building like a school), and occasionally using the others for exceptional purchases with peculiar costs like Singasteinn.

[Edit: Grammar]
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 04:11:32 PM by Valtiel »

Offline blastpop

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 04:31:14 PM »
Interesting- I must have had a bug- since I could ONLY place within my town borders... Even with repeated tries.

Offline Valtiel

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 04:34:21 PM »
That's odd. Try again in the latest version; if it doesn't work you've found a genuine bug and can Mantis it.

Offline blastpop

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 05:31:22 PM »
Just started a fresh game and it now works. The problem was likely my fault, but I am glad its functional.

Man this is a cool game!

Offline nas1m

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 12:46:05 AM »
I tend to only use the Stone and Iron ones occasionally, so i think you are right - they could definitely use a buff. I would go for the proposed solution of doubling their output per turn, but keep their AP cost the same to prevent spamming.
The improved, Culture based variants could be added nonetheless, though.

There is one niche use of resource tokens, though. They can be used to cheaply deny a tile to any (non-flying?) unit for Five turns at a very low cost. I was never quite sure whether this was intended...
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Offline x4000

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Re: Usefulness of resource drops (stockpiles)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 08:42:23 AM »
Okay, first attempt:

* All of the resource drops have had their output doubled.

Thanks!
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