Salutations merchants of Calradia
We have been working on some changes regarding the economy of Calradia for some time. With the new patch we can finally share those changes with you.
So we wanted to take this opportunity to share the changes as well as the reasons, rationale and limitations behind them.
To properly explain where the changes came from we need to start with the existing problems.
First of all `economy` in this sense is about trade goods, caravans and workshops so mostly trade. Equipment wages and loot values are a separate topic. Surely it is still related but they are sequestered enough to be handled separately to a decent degree.
So what are the primary issues we thought we should prioritize?
- Over stocking of trade goods in towns. This is the mother of all problems. Its causes are many but its effects are more.
- With abundance of trade goods in town markets, price index drops to very low.
- Its not only about a single trade good being in stock in huge quantities, but also every trade good being available in pretty much every town in about 5 years.
- Low profit margins. Low price index means profit margins are low as well.
- Caravans and workshops have limited potential profits.
- Workshop variety has limited effect.
- Variety between town markets is not high, making the game world less interesting.
- Market homogeneity limiting trade opportunities, limiting how much profit player can make as the games goes on.
- With limited profits Trade skill xp gain is also curbed severely, making it harder than intended to increase trade skill.
- Trade gameplay in general is less rewarding even for making money compared to more mainstream methods.
Just went through two quick play throughs of 1.8 and these issues are still quite prevalent.
While companions assigned to trade caravans do acquire more trade SP than before, the world economy becomes stale after roughly
the first year of gameplay and trade no longer becomes a truly viable means of income.
Even with all the perks I could give them, workshops would not go above 450 income and they would erratically lose all value
fast, leading to constantly changing what type of shop they were in the hopes of making profit.
Some questions/suggestions I have about trade
1) Would it be possible to have events that introduce scarcity or demand of goods? Like droughts that significantly reduce the amount of crops produced, luxury goods becoming in demand within certain cultures for certain period, or seasons having more profound effects on good productions?
I ask because unless the world is introduced to devastation via raids or sieges, the economy becomes stagnant and the value of goods remains the same across the map. If random events were a new variable, I wonder if that could add spice to trade.
2) Workshops have had a level indicator next to them for the entirety of EA, wondering what is planned to do with that or if that is just a placeholder text.
3) Is the amount of caravans an issue in maintaining variety in town goods? Each town seems to have at least 3 caravans, and within the first few weeks the value of goods drops dramatically. Sounds extremely basic, but have you considered limiting the amount of npc traders to help out with variety?
4) Caravans simply aren't worth your time later in game as they are immediately destroyed while at war or by bandit parties. Unless caravans are made neutral parties that are only attacked by bandits or have an option to have an even larger caravan party, this will remain true as even bandit parties will have around 25-50 troops.
5) The main character and companions need more methods of receiving trade SP in the games current state. Owning profitable caravans/workshops, being a governor and having caravans/villagers enter settlements, or just boost the amount of SP earned. Trade growth currently caps around 150-180, and unless you make it your primary objective to further boost it, it just plateaus.