So I’m thrilled for the new resource Influence that you are introducing with the African DLC. It allows for a variety of playstyles and is a needed resource for buying techs, building native and mercenary units and to send special unit shipments.
You provide the player with multiple ways of getting this resource, like from some building trickles, special units/priests and villagers gathering from coin mines (having the option to switch % for how much you want), fattening heard, resources crates in each age equivalent to other resources in the same age, and other cards. This is all great!
It also made me see how much of an inaccessible resource export is . Yes you collect it while collecting other resources, the gather rate can me improved up to 60% by sacrificing 10% eco, has Good Faith Agreements (GFA), intervention, 300 export in age 2 card and if you are Japan you can trade it for gold at Age IV+. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to have a mixed army from your consulate choice throughout the game if you choose to invest in the right cards and sacrifice part of your other resources if you choose so, for a reasonably more expensive export equivalent unit?
Sounds good on paper. Let’s do the math… 0.03/s gather rate upgradable to max 0.06/s. Five musks (shadow-teched) cost 400 export, that is 13,333 villager seconds, vs 390 villager seconds that it takes to train regular musks. That is 34 times more, and even with 60% gather rate it’s 20.5 times more, and that’s without counting the wasted 10% resources. This sounds extremely severe…
Even more absurd, when taking into account its theoretical value through exchange one time cards like Dowager Empress (China) Exchanges all export for 1.6 times the coin, it has a theoretical converted export gather rate of 0.38/s and with Red Seal Ship (Japan) Exchanges all coin for 0.83 times the export, it’s 0.5/s. Of course these kind of trade cards like Fur Trade with French is meant to give you a greater value, but this is about 10 times its actual gather rate.
I’m not saying Export is useless by any means, it is an extra resource that you collect for free after all and it gives you access to amazing techs, with a particular good value with GFA. But it would be awesome that if a player decides to sacrifice part of their economy for a viable export army mix at any point in the game, they should be able to but they can’t.
This is why I propose creating Home-City cards that allows you to do so (sacrificing other cards for these if you go for such a strategy), while staying distinctive from Influence mechanics. Here are some ideas
-1.5/s export trickle Age I
-Improve the native craft card to give you export for each trading post constructed, not just each native tribe (this could currently be the worse Age 3 card in the game)
-Send a card that allows you get a waaay bigger export income rate when you go for the 5% and 10% resources for export options at the consulate. Age II.
-A card that allows you to get export from trading posts (gets better with TP upgrades)
-Dramatically improve Export gather rate from Sumptuary Laws card and Porcelain Tower (and their XP gathering too since we are at it)
Of course these are all just suggestions. Hope to hear ideas from the community and devs! @tilanus @InterjectionAOE @Ippert @Breadalus. This is an example of what I meant with extending your great new ideas into already existing parts of the game on my review. I also remember hearing @AussieDrongoBBQ in a recent Stream agreeing with making export a more viable resource, this is my attempt at it, but I’m thrilled to hear your thoughts.