Gleaming Thoughts; Self Sufficiency

Firstly, Iv been playing builder games since the first Stronghold. It was the game that hooked me on town/city builders.
Since then, there has been this recuring theme with the good city builders; Self sufficiency…
This is the gleaming part of This game that sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I like the game, dont get me wrong. But, when you have to rely on the trading post to do anything, it seems like the game has missed the bullseye. Especially when the trader is so random.
In my eyes, if the ‘city’ is being managed correctly, it becomes self sufficient. There should be no reason to use the trader, if the player doesnt want to. (Or the map is lacking that resource)
The major thing is the production of heavy tools. You need at least one heavy tool from the trader to even start making heavy tools. (missed the bullseye) And, then you could go years without a trader bringing any.
Just for this one topic, If you intend your game to rely on the trader (wish you wouldnt, because you can never reach ‘self sufficiency’), then you need a way to request a trade. Have a way to request an item, and the amount, plus a time frame. The shorter the time for delivery, the higher the cost. (kinda like RL) A “Special delivery”, if you will…
From what I can tell, that One thing, is what is holding the game back. Having to buy cattle, seems right. But, not being able to produce your own heavy tools from the start seems like your town has already lost.
The game is called Furthest Frontier…Not Furthest Trading Company… :wink:
This also leads me to the tier unlocks. The first tier blacksmith should have the means to make your first heavy tool. A tier 2 blacksmith, with heavy tools installed, can double their production. Either way, they should Never have to rely on the trader. (Unless the map lacks Iron) Tier 2 town has a coal maker, and an ‘armory’, which I would consider a tier one blacksmith. They sould be able to craft your first heavy tool. Even if it takes them 2 years to do it. Plus, I also believe they should be able to produce tools, and crude weapons. Theyre an ‘armory’ right!? Maybe they should be relabeled? I picture an armory as storage, not a production building. And, if the ‘armory’ can produce armor and takes Iron ingots to do it, then why isnt the smelter unlocked? No way to utilize the armory without it. (Oh yeah…FF Trading Company…) The smelter and T1 blacksmith, AKA Armory, and coal production should all unlock at T2 city…IMO
Resources are the game to a city builder. As long as the resources are there, a city should be able to be self sufficient.
Again, I like the game, and the art, etc. But, this sticks out like a sore thumb to a vet. city builder.

EDIT: Though I will say that you can reach a form of self sufficiency after T3 town hall. But, I do think you should never have to use the trader, if you dont want to. Except for some ‘luxury’ item that isnt really a necessity. Like cows for cheese, or maybe silk for high tier clothing, oil for lamps or high tier cooking…etc. All things that would raise efficiency of your workers. But, wouldnt keep them from working.


please use the return key and add some blank space lol Very hard to read your post.

I do agree the trader being needed so much is bad and makes this more
of a trading game than building game. I have to go in every time the bell
rings in fear i miss something I need.

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Some of this they are already working on - but not all.

They’ve already announced Deep Mines and Quarries, so that every map (theoretically) will be self-sufficient in Coal, Gold, Iron, Stone, possibly Sand and Clay, and Foresters for self-sufficiently in Logs (and, therefore, one presumes in Planks and Firewood).

It has been suggested (several times!) that ‘gathered’ required resources like Herbs and Willow be moveable like Berries so you could set up ‘Herb Gardens’ or something similar to increase the sustainability of those.

Being able to ‘Order’ certain goods through the Trader is also supposedly coming. From a sufficiency standpoint, my take is that this would allow me to be sure of getting those critical first Heavy Tools so that I can set up my own Blacksmith/Smelter and manufacture my own. Once that’s done, I can supply myself On Map from those Deep Mines of iron Ore and Coal.

I doubt that they are planning to make the Trader utterly ignorable. They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to set it up, establish it as a fixture in the towns, do the graphics, etc. I just don’t see them abandoning it as a ‘nice to have’ but unnecessary part of any village/town. My own hope is that IF they continue in this direction, theoretically the Trader should only be necessary to get your On Map production and supply started, after which you can set up sustainable supplies from your own map. Make the Traders only required for ‘Luxuries’ or to set up initial production that leads to On-Map Sustained Self-Sufficiency, the establishment of which could even be a Victory Condition.

We’ll see how this all implements - hopefully, in the near future.


as always boris you make posts I enjoy reading and replying to lol

Well I do not want “make the Trader utterly ignorable”

but my town living or dying on trade is not good either. (unless
this was a trading game) For me trading should be for a few
items that are truly 911. Not all sorts of stuff I gotta get
from every trader every time. The deep mine will help a lot.
My main town ran out of gold/iron/clay/sand/coal 1500+ years
ago so I am forced to buy stuff every single time. If I do not
say iron ore/iron ingots my smiths and forges and armor makers
etc… all stop.

like you said Sustained Self-Sufficiency

that is what I want and the trader only to fill in the gaps and hiccups
of running a town. That being said IF the trader building
was more automatic and the workers there could be told to
buy all iron ore and iron ingots and move it to global storage
then I would be way more ok with this being a heavy trading game.

They’ve said they want to implement Orders through the Trading Post for specific goods. IF that includes ‘standing orders’ for goods, that would fill your desire for being able to get just the resources your map is light on: Tallow, Coal, Sand, etc or some manufactured resource you don’t want to mess with or, temporarily, don’t have the extra workers to build the production chain for.
Keeping the Traders as a ‘safety valve’ rather than a Requirement for our villages, which I agree is the best ‘model’ for the game.

yes if they add it so I do not have to micro manage so much then they can make
the game trade heavy. I’m not kidding I go in the trader so much I dread it.
So many clicks my finger hurts.

yes it needs to be standing order.

However, if I could buy say 10K ore in 1 purchase
then I could live with it. If it ends up being hey we have 30 shoes if you
want to buy them for 2x normal prices we can bring them now then F THAT lol

I have 3.1 million gold and I want to use it so sell me 5000 pair of shoes
then I can shut down that tech and only go in to the trader area every few years.

Now, those numbers would break my immersion in the game: unless you had a dock and ships coming in, there’s just no way 10,000 tons - or even 10,000 pounds - of ore could be delivered by a single Trader. Likewise 5000 pairs of shoes. Even at 1/2 pound a pair, that’s over a ton of shoes, which would pretty nearly max out any Medieval trading wagon.
I would put a limit on amount of single sales from a single Trader, but that also would give the developers something else to work on: even small medieval trade ships (the Knorr, the early Cogs) could carry 30 - 50 tons or more in a single trip, so the village on a map with a place for a Dock and sea/river access could potentially make much greater use of the Trading Post to bring in (or send out) Resources and goods.
That would also allow the gamer to pick and choose: if you want to play a Trading Game, get a map with Water Transport access and start laying up wood and stone to build a Harbor and all the facilities. If you want to go the Self-Sufficient Route, stay away from the water!

  • Which I know we aren’t going to get until some time after Release, but I like to keep ‘priming the pump’ with all the things the game could do with water transportation and water power, both of which were really exploited in the Medieval period the game is sort of set in.
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well you must hate it already then because a single wagon comes in with 1200+ logs
and piles of other stuff lol 5000 shoes is WAY less than 1200 logs which would take
dozens of wagons and weigh many many tons.

I disagree there should not be a limit. If I have the gold I should be allowed to order
a wagon train amount of stuff. Send 50 wagons if you have to. In real life if you
have the cash you would have no problem getting what you want.

Anyway, ore has no weight in this game. 10K ore means nothing just as 1200 logs
means nothing. 1 unit is just a number. 1 meat is just that there is no weight/space
attached to it etc…

I’m actually surprised you said it would your break immersion in the game because
this game is not realistic at all. Another example of many is it takes a year to walk across
an average town (about 1/4 of a mile)

“Immersion” is a personal response to game events and mechanics, so is by nature intensely personal. I can overlook raiders coming back after taking 75 - 90% casualties every single time, although I smirk at it, and I can overlook the ‘time dilation’ disconnect between Annual and Individual times, but seeing one trader’s wagon disgorge a cargo that would take a major cargo ship or an entire railroad freight train to carry is just one too many “impossible things to believe before breakfast”.

  • Which every single game has, some more than others. Which ones are Too Much varies from person to person, and from game to game: if something is required to play the game, I can overlook it, even if at the same time I start thinking about how it could have been done another way.

Combining ‘wagon trains’ (or cargo ships) with a Pre-Order process through the Trading Post, for instance, would make sense to me: you puts in an order for 5,000 pairs of shoes, some enterprising entrepreneur will put together the wagons, animals, teamsters, and shoes and deliver them.

On the other hand, knowing probably far too much about economic and technological history, I can’t see somebody hauling 5,000 pairs of shoes around the countryside hoping for a buyer: only after your town has proven that it is a steady market for however many shoes you can deliver. That would generate the effort to supply them.

well sure but that is why I am ok with 1 wagon graphically representing a whole wagon train.
So much in this game you have to just suspend disbelief and go with the flow when it comes
to this kind of stuff.

well my town is over 2000 years old ( my main town) i would think after that many years
the traders would know what I need and how much lol but yeah this is about
a pre order not each trader. The regular traders should bring an amount
based on population but it is a hard coded range. 30 to 70 is what I get if I have
100 or 1000 population. If you go to a town with 1000 people you are gonna go with more
than one wagon any way.

You two make some good point s about the trader.

My biggest problem is having to buy your first heavy tools from them. It just doesnt make since to me. These ‘frontiersmen’ can build a town, but cant build a heavy tool for the windmill? What would the heavy tool even be for the windmill, a huge gear? Probably made out of wood…But no…It something made from Iron that takes a blacksmith, coal, and a smelter all locked away. Unless you buy it from a trader…grrrr

The only heavy tool I can think of that the production buildings would need specially made from iron, would be the saws used in the lumber yard. The windmill shouldnt need anything iron. And, the blacksmith needs a heavy tool as well…For what? The forge blower? Wouldnt that be made from wood and leather? Heck…

And, all this disliking, if Im going to be truly honest, is because it may take 5 years for a trader to bring a heavy tool. (or more) Being able to request goods to be delivered is going the be a must, if the game stays the same as it is.

Although, having toured a few old mills, blacksmith’s shops, and the like both in the USA and Europe, I suspect if there’s any ‘historical’ argument for the Heavy Tool requirement, it would be for the Bearings for the axel that allows the windmill to rotate, which if wood would have to be replaced constantly. In the Blacksmith Shop I suspect the heaviest ‘tool’ in it would be the Anvil, which could easily be several hundred pounds of cast iron in a solid block.

Or, far more likely, it’s just a game mechanic to keep the gamer from doing what he/she pleases. Allowing us to ‘order’ the initial Heavy Tools from the Trader, or even on the easiest level include Heavy Tools brought along with the initial settlers, could either be a solution.

The anvil…yeah, maybe that.

As far as bearings go, I would guess it would depend on the era. I do know stone bearings have been used in some of the older designs of windmills, as bearings. But, this game doesnt really fit into any real era. We can guess. And, Id say that is the way devs are looking at it.

It all boils down to the damn trader…lol

If they decide to keep it like it is, then I do hope they will allow for some kind of ordering system.

To follow this thread, they could introduce a reputation system with the traders. After ‘X’ amount of trades, then they will have more, or different, goods. And, after so many, it unlocks ordering.
Or they could allow us to send out scouts to seek out traders that would deliver ‘X’ goods.

Meh, Its still pretty early. I got hopes for the game. I like the randomized maps. I like the way the game starts out. Its T2-T? that gets wonky.

The first trees to propagate.

AoE would run you out of completely wood when the map was out of trees.

Babbit, or even a belt strap of leather would work in a pinch, if there was an oil bath for lubrication.

More than one of Henry’s Model T Fords made it back to town with a strip of belt leather quieting a once-knocking connecting rod.

I was thinking of the surface between the shaft of the wind sails themselves and the vertical shaft through the mill, or even the base of the mill if its a rotating type as invented in the Netherlands in the late Medieval period.
We’re looking at 100s of pounds or even a ton or more on the bearing surface, and potentially pretty high speeds in a good wind with the windmill sails going full blast. The examples I saw in Europe all were rested in big cast iron sockets or stone sockets, pretty heavy constructions, and lubricated with either water or Tallow.
In this period, the actual gears transferring power from sails to grinding stones were almost always wood, and sometimes also lubricated with water or tallow because at high speed they could actually heat up enough to catch fire!

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