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Introduction of new features and change in philosophy in regards to the design (specifically about the two features: taxes and trade).

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If you followed me closely during the making of Dawn of Kingdoms (a Warcraft 3 mod with similar ideas to Lords of Arkanova), you know that i always insisted on the philosophy that essential resources used to make units (like gold, iron etc) must be finite in order to keep these resources precious to the player (and also so that games cannot last infinitely long)

However, while I was playing Age of Empires II (and games similar to it), I realized that resources do not have to be always finite to feel precious (in AOE2 for example, gold is very valuable but still theoritcally infinite through holy relics or trading in team games).

Also, on a less important note, i've had criticism about my mod that it did not feel right to have some realistic mechanics, but then to not have things like taxing your people or trading with other nations to gain more gold in the game.

So I decided to introduce concepts like taxation and trading. The idea of how trading will work is still completely up in the air (however I really like the idea that was in AOE2 - two market buildings and a caravan unit going from one to the other to get gold - and the farther it is - the more gold you get.)

Previously gold could be obtained only through mining gold ore and then smelting it.

The way taxation works like now is: every serf and builder has a home building, of which there are 3 "tiers" and 3 corresponding tiers of luxury wares. Tier 1 homes - a simple hovel and serfs in it require only clothing (the first tier of luxury), tier 2 homes - more advanced and require boots on top of clothing, and finally tier 3 homes - the most advanced and require all 3 luxuries. The more luxury wares the serf has available, the happier they are, the happier they are, the more taxes they provide.

T1 HouseT2 House

the first tier and second tier of housings (graphics for the final one is not finished yet)

Another way to adjust taxes is a simple slider in the UI. This is the amount that you (the lord of the town) demands. The higher the taxes you demand, the lower the happiness of your subjects, but the more they pay (and possibly more likely to rebel - which might or might not be a feature)

I would love hear your feedback and discussion on this topic!


This new taxation system definitively sounds interesting, altho I'm not sure about the meaning of the "3 tiers" : do you need a certain amount of luxury in order to upgrade a Tier 1 Hovel to Tier 2 or will it do it automatically ?
Also, what does it grant you to have Tier 2 houses, more income, more happiness ?
Or is it just an indicator of your luxuries ?

Also you talk quickly about trade but will it actually be like in AOE2 or otherwise ?

Anyway, keep up the good work :)

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Koltira Author

Hey! thanks for asking, the tiers of houses are not upgradeable into eachother, you can build them as a seperate building. Tier 1 house means that the serfs inside that house will not get unhappy and will not use the tier 2 and 3 luxuries.

At its basis, more happiness = more gold, happiness can be increased by having more food or luxury. Therefore, serfs living in tier 1 houses wont need as many luxuries, but they will always give less taxes.

On the other hand, if you do have serfs in tier 2 house, but you do not provide them the luxuries they demand, they will be unhappy (a slight - to their overall happiness).

Also note that unhappy serfs will still give taxes, just less frequently.

About trade - it's still up to debate how it will work, but i'm coining with a similar idea to AOE2 (basically just a caravan unit going back and forth between markets generating gold based on distance)

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I love your brief train of thought about finite vs infinite resource (reserve)s and how infinite reserves are not necessarily degrading the value of your resources. :)

On a small sidenote:

>> The more luxury wares the serf has available, the happier they are, the
>> happier they are, the more taxes they provide..
>> The higher the taxes you demand, the lower the happiness of your subjects
>> Also note that unhappy serfs will still give taxes, just less frequently.

These seem to be a bit contradicting / potentially spiraling to a deadlock, but maybe only because you are using the same term ("happiness") in all cases.

Will the serfs provide some base taxes even on 0% tax if they are super 'happy' (wealthy) and will provide 0 coins even if the tax rate is on 100% if they're 'super unhappy', or this is rather meant to mimic progressive taxation (= more wealth [higher tier] => more coins per tax % set on the slider)?

I also probably would not link taxation frequency to happiness, rather, the player could risk their serfs losing tiers (wealth) and happiness if overtaxed. Losing tiers could lower their ranking (and base tax), ultimately making them homeless (barring any income), while unhappiness could lead to unrest or them refusing to work, or even periodically stealing random resources from the player (as a 'robin hood' effect).

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Koltira Author

Thanks for the reply.
The answer ot the first question is no, if you have taxes set to 0, you will get nothing, but serfs will be happier.

I should have mentioned that happiness also has another aspect, in which, the happier the worker/serf, the smaller pauses there are between his/her individual jobs (so a very very unhappy serf might just sit idle for a minute, but a very happy one will go immedieatelly back to work), so there is the upside to having lower taxes for the sake of happiness.

They will also always provide SOME taxes even if they are unhappy as possible, but taxes are set to 100% (they will also work, but their pauses will be extremely long).

I'm still on the edge whether or not very unhappy serfs should steal or even rebel against you, as that might be way too backbreaking for the player to comeback from. Right now i was thinking about a less severe punishment that there's a chance an unhappy serf might just leave your town (dissapear from the map or just go to the edge of the map and then dissapear)

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