Please Fix the “Fur Trade Mechanic”

Issues with the current system

  • You’re still mining gold by proxy, this is not fooling anyone

  • Having both a market and a “tribal market” causes confusion

  • The mechanic is not “fur trading” and doesn’t capture any of the history of native economies of that time

  • Needing to make the building is inconvenient and detracts from the fun of the game

Proposed Rework

  • Add in dens as a new source of coin (the generation of these would not be civ dependant)

  • Add upgrades, shipments, and ceremonies that reflect the historical trade networks that natives gathered wealth from (detailed below)

  • Remove the tribal marketplace and implement new coin gathering mechanics using the Teepee and Longhouse (detailed below)

  • For balance, introduce a coin mining exclusion zone (for all players) around the first town center of Haudenosaunee and Lakota players (would be lifted after the town center is destroyed like the building exclusion zone)

New Source of Coin: Dens

  • Contain 500 coin each (possibly slightly more for ones like beaver)

  • Gathers at a slightly faster rate than a mine but slower than a treasure ship (~0.7 coin/second)

  • Gather rates affected by hunting upgrades

Dens could repurpose the treasure model, so no additional models would need to be made.

Cards and Upgrades

Cards

\ 67x67
Fur Trade: Ships 3 travois that can transform into a den and 1 travois that builds a market

\ 68x67
Trap Line Travois (Infinite): Ships 1 travois that can transform into a den. Den yield +5% (this can keep adding up every time you send it)

\ 68x67
New Ways: For Haudenosaunee (but not Lakota) this card lifts the restriction on mining

Market Upgrades

\ 68x67
Pemmican Trade: 15% of resources gathered from hunts is gathered as gold.+15% yield on hunts

Longhouse Upgrades

\ 67x67
Maple Harvest: 30% of resources gathered from trees near longhouses is collected as coin (A toggle can be set to increase the fraction of coin gathered by an additional 10 or 20%). +30% gather rate and yield for trees near longhouses

Teepee Upgrades*

\ 67x67
Fur Pelts: 10% of resources gathered from hunts near teepees is collected as coin (A toggle can be set to increase the fraction of coin gathered by an additional 10 or 20%). +10% yield on hunts gathered near teepees

\ 68x67
Nomadic Hunters: Teepees can pack up into a travois and move to a new location (allows you to follow the herds)

Plaza Ceremony

\ 67x66
Beadwork Ceremony: Generates coin

*Teepees should have more of an economic function rather than boosting hitpoints. They could function somewhat like a granary but instead of boosing rates, they could boost yields. Cards could still be sent to give them an additional military function like an attack boost aura, healing, etc.

Proposed rates would obviously be subject to balance requirements.

11 Likes

For me as a lakota player, the most annoying part is that i need to get 50 wood for it, and the most efficient way to do it is with a treasure. This kind of restricts my early game a little bit. They could surely do a better job at it.

Then as the game goes on, being capped at 10 workers is also annoying. Add the need for 300 wood to safely set up a mining operation.

I honestly don’t see the advantage. It is a direct nerf to lakota and and hauds early game, mixed with some sjw. It is one of the few things i see as not great in DE.

9 Likes

Haudenosaunee and Lakota are among my most played civs in AOE3:ES but I never play them in AOE3:FE due to changes such as these that kill the fun.

Also, I’d like to add: Please never bring back Anthony Brave as a consultant again. The man is incompetent.

4 Likes

For other readers’ reference, this was my suggestion from last year: IDEA: alternative to Tribal Market for Lakota/Haudenosaunee

These days I find it too convoluted & reliant on the whole “wagons can become anything” idea. Would rather suggest replacing the 50-wood Marketplace with an ability to convert expired treasure spots into fur camps (limited coin deposits, same graphics as Marketplace, neutral & gatherable by any Lakota/Haud vill but no other civs), meaning the player gets to skin the animals they just trapped or slayed, and use the site to capture more animals.

The ability may have additional limitations, e.g. can only be used on spots without human guardians - obviously you trap fur at places that attract animals, not humans (also mirroring DE War Chiefs’ different mechanical solutions for animal/human guardians). Amounts of a deposit can be flexible to ensure balance, e.g. adjusted by map size, total number of treasures, on top of guardian difficulty. Needless to say, a player’s starting mine & fur den are replaced by a special fur den that turns into a camp with standard starting coin.

It’s a far more radical gameplay change, but also more logical and less arbitrary.

(Yeah, maybe the coin techs also add very slow coin gather rates to hunts.)

1 Like

Meh I think we should stop taking this fur trade thing so seriously. The current mechanics have the right idea behind them, but they should address the shortcomings: allow more than 10 villagers to gather from it, reduce cost to like 25 wood for 2 if it really must have a cost (granaries from affrican civs don’t have a cost or keep the cost and increase yield). If it turns out hauds and lakota are too strong, just nerf starting resources or something. No need to come up with wanky mechanics to make it work.

At most you could grant lakota and hauds explorers a 2x bonus to gold treasures that involve fur trading.

2 Likes

That could be a viable way to do it, but treasures are pretty random and map dependant so it might be tricky to have it consistent enough to be fair. And I’d like to avoid extra/unnecessary buildings like the tribal market.

My thinking was to have the dens just replace most of that treasure type with a resource instead (we now have a new source of gold with treasure ships so it’s not too much of a stretch). I agree that there are getting to be too many wagon shipments but the cards with transforming travois would just be an assurance for maps with more mines vs dens.

It would be cool if there were also treasure types where the treasure was access to resources instead of just immediate benefits. Like one of these dens guarded by a honey badger or lynx and you couldn’t gather from the den until you defeated it. You could have stuff like blueberry bushes guarded by black bears or treasures that are just a big grizzly or bull elephant that you could harvest fur and ivory from once killed to get coin (kind of like how the boar in AoE4 is almost like a food treasure).

1 Like

They absolutely do not. They took away their ability to mine gold because “it’s not historically accurate” but what it was “replaced” with is STILL MINING, just from a shack next to a mine. This is much less fun, and arguably more offensive than just mining gold. If they’re not going to put any effort into a mechanic that is truer to historical native economies, they should just revert the change and let them mine like everyone else.

The fur trade and pemmican trade were the main pillars of their economies at the time. Currently, the fur trade is only referenced in a single card that swaps food for gold, and pemmican is not mentioned at all in the game. What I’m trying to suggest here is something that is true to the history, and not an intrusive or low-effort solution. A new source of coin that works similarly to mines supplemented by upgrades that utilize their existing buildings to help extract coin from other resources wouldn’t be too difficult to get used to.

6 Likes

Since the last two updates focused on the Inca and the Aztecs and the devs claim to be working on civs that still don’t have home city customization, it’s safe to assume that an update for the Haudenosaunee and/or the Lakota is next.

Hopefully we will finally get a more permanent solution for the awkward fur trade mechanic. Most ideas in this topic sound better than what we currently have. I can think of a handful of another solutions:

  1. The simplest solution would be to remove the tribal market completely and add a “villagers generate x amount of coin while gathering food from hunted animals”.

  2. The tribal marketplace gets reworked to be a building that has to be built near wild animals, like a shrine or granary. Nearby animals generate a gold trickle or an x amount of coin whenever they are killed.

  3. The tribal marketplace gets reworked to be a building similar to the regular market, but with a new mechanic. Whenever a villager kills an animal, wild or not, it adds one “hide” to the inventory. Hides can be sold for a certain amount of coin, varying with the animal that hide was from. For example, an elephant hide should be much more expensive than a deer one. The new Tribal Marketplace also generates gold over time depending on how many different hide types you have in your inventory. If you have only 1 hide from 5 different animals, it’s going to generate coin faster than if you have 20 hides from the same animal.

2 Likes

I hope you’re right about an upcoming rework. Although a lot of the European and Asian stuff needs updating too, so I’m not so confident that the North American natives are next.

Hides as another resource or collectible sounds a bit overly complicated, so I don’t think that’s the most elegant solution.

Ideally, I’d like to get rid of the tribal marketplace altogether. I think using their existing houses at the center of the mechanic would be the most culturally and historically accurate.

The way teepees were implemented in the original game always felt like a very contrived way of including them. Teepees allowed the Lakota to be mobile and follow the buffalo. Reworking them to have an economic function would be more fitting. They used all parts of the buffalo so it would work well to have teepees determine the resource composition you extract from the buffalo. Mechanically, having them able to pack up and move would allow you to easily place them where you want to get resources from.

They renamed Iroquois to Haudenosaunee which means “people of the longhouse” so making longhouses a central part of their economy would be embracing that heritage. Longhouses are bigger investments that can’t be moved, so mechanically they can’t just be built wherever there are hunts to extract coin from. But the Haudenosaunee were forest people who harvested maple sap so it would be fitting to allow them to use their longhouses among the trees as a means for gathering coin.

The plaza is another building that could be adapted to generate coin with a beadwork ceremony. Beadwork was of great value to both tribes, and the Haudenosaunee even used wampum shell beads as currency.

1 Like

Definitely following this, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make this happen with my own mod. I need a new way to gather coin because I can’t think of anything myself. The game just doesn’t have a whole lot of great ways to actually allow a new gold gathering mechanic that isn’t inherently problematic because the game’s balance demands a player interact with all 3 natural resources on the map - gold, wood, food - because they’re otherwise difficult to balance and quickly become OP because they only have to focus on 2 of the natural resources.

5 Likes

I highly agree with this. I been toying with re-enabling the teepee economic aura in my mod, but it feels like that’s stacking a lot of things onto a single building, especially with the other changes I made to it.
It’s not inaccurate, tbh, but it makes for very skewed gameplay if both your economy and military is buffed from the presence of a building. At that point, you have to invest everything into building as many as you can, everywhere you can.

As for the Longhouse… I still personally think the Longhouse should be a unique Town Center rather than just a unique house. As a unique TC, it’d be interesting to have free farming spots that slowly spawn around it over time, and to have these generate coin passively alongside the food that is normally gained from farms.

In my opinion, the teepee should primarily be an economic building, not a military one. The buff could be increasing yields of nearby resources by ~5% per nearby teepee. It would let you hunt longer, chop wood longer, and get a bit more gold out of dens (if they were implemented). The only thing it would be overpowered on is mines, but since the Lakota can’t access them, that’s not an issue. With an upgrade, they could be used to regulate your gold gathering with a toggle similar to mountain monasteries and play an even greater role in your economy.

If they had the ability to pack up and move, they could be more expensive and durable since you could make just a few and move them when resources are used up. You could possibly even have them act as an economic shipment point.

As for military function, I would restrict that to only being enabled by cards like the Friendly Territories one currently in the game. It could grant a healing and attack boost aura to teepees but probably shouldn’t stack per teepee.

I think the longhouse is best implemented as a house even if that is scaling it down a bit from the real thing. If they didn’t make them the house building then what would they use? And the Haudenosaunee already have a plantation building that acts as a coin-generating field.

My suggestion for making them allow you to get coin from trees by “gathering maple syrup” isn’t quite as robust as getting coin from hunts via teepees, but I think there are some benefits to a mechanic like that. For one, it reinforces the theme of the Haudenosaunee as a forest people and puts some emphasis on the longhouse. Second, it works better mechanically since you can’t just build longhouses to follow herds like you would with teepees. Third, it would make the Lakota and Haudenosaunee factions more consistent and easy to learn if both had similar economic mechanics revolving around their houses.

As a minor aside to developers:

Currently there are a few references to native forestry and economic plants, like Haud’s Maple Festival and Inca’s Coca Cultivation, though at minimum (without the more radical gameplay changes we proposed, and keeping the Estate building as is), it would be better if the Estate models are more accurate to history instead of a cotton farm. E.g. a maple nursery for Haud, a cocoa farm for Aztecs, who historically used cocoa beans as coins.

I’m largely concerned with the Lakota for balance, but I have to agree on this - the Teepee should be an economic building, not a military one. The only downside is this makes the Lakota remarkably bad, as they become an incredibly short-ranged civilization with no ability to create anything to attack from a distance. Teepees were supposed to be a way to make up for this - an incredible amount of health to give to what few ranged units they do have is one of the few possible ways to balance them for combat.

Without some way to reliably attack from a distance, they become an incredibly early-game focused faction with no ability to scale into the later game, even if they get an economic boost.

Personally, I did give them an Arrow Knight-esque unit by reworking the Cetan Bowman to be an Age 3 siege trooper and moving the Wakina Rifle to Age 2, and this did readily solve most of their problems.

It most surely is the correct approach. You approach is far more awkward than what the developers have implemented. While I can understand the thirst for historical accuracy, you simply cannot just create a civilization which ignores all the main mechanics that other civilizations have. The fact that Lakota and Hauds need to do this mining by proxy thing makes them awkward. The original design, while not historically, accurate, fitted better into the game.

And if we care so much of historical accuracy, you could just argue some other nations/tribe come to your marketplace to buy the fur and will mine the coin for you to pay it of. Which is exactly what happens in real life, at some point, someone had to mine some gold/sliver somewhere.

And if we are on the topic of historical accuracy, not all civilizations had gold mines in their lands, some not even silver mines, what are we going to do about that? should we invent a new source of gold for each one? ofc not.

The way forward is to remove some of the limitations I mentioned in my original post. Not only will introducing dens make a hell out of map design, but it will also be a direct nerf to Lakota/Haud: the enemies can just control all the dens on the map (which will be lakota/haud only) and there goes your source of gold. It is already pretty difficult to control those gold sources as is, since you need to protect twice as many gold mines as your enemy to get even, since you only have 10 villagers in them. As for collecting gold from hunts and wood, that’s is such a binary approach it can never work in game: Hauds and Lakota will either be groundbreaking OP when you can’t deny hunts, or worthless when you do.

2 Likes

To be honest: Right at DE’s launch, I had thought about what you said, and came to a similar conclusion, which should be obvious to any game designer: the game has a definite, finished basic resource system, and you can’t simply up and sidestep it. RTSes have done factions that ignore a whole system (like Lakota’s own houseless design, faith asymmetry in AoM, or Night Elves with wood), or pile on new systems (like the corpse-eating in Dawn of War), but it’s madness to rewire a finished civ’s foundations without extensive retuning of the whole thing. And the designers aren’t going to do that to Haud/Lakota at this moment.

With that said, this is just a community forum. People here should be able to chill and do some uninhibited brainstorming for no cost, and that’s how I approached it.

2 Likes

Lakota ignoring houses isn’t the same thing. Houses can be counted in villagers seconds. Lakota is balanced around not having to build houses by having their units much more expensive than other races to make up for those missing houses. So they have to go out and hunt more than others due to enormous food costs.

So far, my own mod’s approach has been to simply allow the Lakota to build regular markets on top of mines and have those extract gold. It makes sense - the markets are trade centers, and on top of mines, they do all the trading.
The downside is that means no villager participation, which results in a ridiculous amount of reliance on buildings, which is a bit poor for game balance.
But, on top of that, I did heavily skew resource needs extremely heavily towards food/wood by making all their units cost wood/food (except the Rifle Rider and Wakina Rifle - thus symbolically displaying that gold is only necessary for European technologies, and that all traditional technologies are possible without European methods.)

It’s not a perfect fix and has its own balance issues, but it does force them to still interact with mining nodes without visually mining, solving that problem.

Sure, in theory, that can be supplemented by a variation of how Stone works for AoE4 Mongols: most things don’t cost coin, but coin can be spent to boost or alter them in some way, or simply as an alternate cost.

Yeah but the problem is, wood heavy costs are bad for late games.

Another idea is to have a sort of building similar to cherry orchards that can only be shipped that grants gold instead and deny mining completely. But this involves slowing down gold gathering to compensate for safer resources.