Seeing how Influence works, should Export have viable means that makes it a reliable resource income if you invest on it?

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.

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I think for the most part export is already pretty viable for its design, unlike influence where its a lot more integral to the eco of the african civs since its used for both mercs and natives, export is only spent in one place.

The units you get from the consulate are also buffed so them being limited is ok. and for the most part they are used extensively , China use it for musk, india for cav and Japan for clubs

I do agree that there is some things that can be done to make it a bit more accessible. The biggest problem to me is that the larger armies and more expensive units are almost never used outside of treaty since you would just want to get the smaller army sooner rather then save for the larger army.

I think instead of increased gather rates, you can allow the Asian markets to trade resources for export, that way you can sell your bank to get a large army sooner.

I think it would take a lot more civ rework and lead to many balancing issues. Here is why, I play India a lot, and their weakness is a lack of artillery but a couple times in a game I can send a cannons to help mitigate this weakness. But if you can mine this specifically then India can easily become a cannon civ, or even use gendarmes for heavy cav. Turning its weaknesses into strengths.

there are some other differences/ hindrances to wanting to develop that resources more as it only trains from one building slowly, so you do not want too much investment into it. So it would really need to make these consulate units also more available to train, which would just ruin these civs. China would never run out of dopple spamming and turn its cav weakness into a super strength like all its other strengths.

Export should not be treated the same as influence, export is a resource you spend at one building only and it’s more of a “side resource” rather than a “main resource”.

Influence on the other hand is used for some shipments, to get builder wagons, native trade post sites, to get techs, and to train units.

Export is used mainly for either units or to ship a building wagon, also occasionally for minor techs like the Chinese trickles.

They need to properly balance influence first, from what I’ve seen the trickles need increasing, it’s such an integral part of the african civs but takes so long to gather, something like a native tech thats 250f 250g is much harder for the african civs because it’s 500 influence, walls also cost influence which needs changing asap because the resource already seems hard to come by.

influence is a full blown resource you have to manage just like the others. it is used on all native units and improvements, all mercenaries, and all artillery unless you side with british as hausa, The unique special units (the anti-merc infantry and the super mortar) also cost influence. Immigrants and upgrades that improve defences also cost influence.

It might be a pain but it’s also a boon too since the burden on your other resources will be lower and you don’t need to assign villagers to influence.

I think if we have something like the Empress Dowager card but as a tech it would solve most of the problems with export

I’ve come too soon. Now it’s been talked about in other circles as well https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe3/comments/pjftx3/can_we_get_export_crates_form_shipment_for_asian/

Strange - homecity sends colony a box of exportable tea so you can send it off to another country…

Why did the Home city not send the stuff directly then?

Lol.

I don’t think export crates makes realistic sense. In principle, there can be some new mechanic that can make export easier to make. But given that asian civs are balanced to be a certain way means that we can’t expect any new mechanics for them.

Yeah I agree with this, which is why I proposed these alternatives to make it distinctive to influence as well. Although to be fair to Reddit OP 300 export through “Diplomatic Intrigue” card has been around for waay longer than any influence crate.

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