In Warband, with the revamped formulas, I understood the hardship formula, but again it was flawed, and prosperity of my Town did not increase despite my best efforts to help it.
I never did a lot with the villages but the towns will grow in prosperity but it has to be through caravans so long times of trade will make your town great. you can talk to the gild master about the wealth of the town... sorry you were disappointed with the First and Second
if it helps the king always gives you the hardest off village.
This brings back memories to when I loved the game so much that I wanted to delve into the formulas. I'll explain why prosperity in Caldaria was doomed to always be low.
The hardship index is just a measure of whether or not the town has enough resources. If the hardship index is high, that means the town is suffering from shortages, usually due to villages around it being pillaged and no village is trading with them.
High hardship index = low prosperity.
Reason for low prosperity in towns: eternally high hardship index.
The first reason is that the hardship index of a town that just suffered a war, never decreased to the number before the war started.
Let's say the peace time hardship index of a town is 20. The higher the number, the more scarce the goods and the less prosperous the place.
If villagers bring a lot of goods to the town, the hardship index decreases. But most of the time, villagers only bring just enough to prevent the hardship index from being higher. So generally speaking, villagers only stabilize the hardship index, they don't have enough goods to decrease it.
Suddenly, war started. Villages around the town are being pillaged, causing a shortage of goods. No villages trade with the town, the town suffers resource shortages, and the hardship index increases to 50.
The war then stopped. Villages recover, and resume trading with the town.
There are 2 ways to lower the hardship index, one is a natural decay of hardship index that is not dependent on villagers trading. I cannot remember the exact rate, it's like 5%, a very small number. But it exists in the formula.
The 2nd is for villagers to lower it by bring more goods. The problem is, villagers as I mentioned earlier, can only stabilize the hardship index. They usually never trade enough to lower the hardship index.
So that leaves the hardship natural decay. The problem is, the number is so small, that it doesn't lower enough and is often countered by some other variable. So the town's hardship index remains at 50.
Again, the villagers only trade enough to prevent it from going any higher. They only trade enough to stabilize the hardship index, whether it was 20 before the war started, or 50 after the war.
This shows that the formula is flawed. The formula is supposed to lower the hardship index to 20, the pre-war number, from natural trading between the villages and town. But it never happened because the way the formula was written depends on the decay rate, and using that number just felt clunky.
Reason for low prosperity in villages: cattle numbers doomed
1. The first reason is due to rounding. The birth rate of cattle is 5%.
Decimals will get rounded down in for the game engine. So you need 20 cattle or more to ensure that there will be a birth of 1 cattle. If you have only 19 cattle, 5% of 19 is 0.95, no cattle born. So it must be 20 or more.
The developer actually fixed it after I pointed it out, but there are more problems.
2. The second reason is due to grazing size.
Cattle and sheep share grazing size. Yes there are actually sheep in the formulas but they are never sold. It is a way to control the cattle population, so that they never increase to millions.
Once the number of cattle and sheep exceed the grazing size, they will die to starvation and decrease.
The problem is, sometimes it is possible for you to have the perfect number of cattle and sheep to have exactly the same size as the grazing size. So the cattle and sheep will never die to starvation. I *think* cattle and sheep cannot give birth if they match the grazing size, so no births or deaths can happen at this point. But the 3rd reason will reveal why cattle population will always be low.
3. Only cattle suffer an epidemic. Sheep don't.
This means that the cattle population will always decrease, and the sheep will always increase when they compete for grazing size.
And once they reach that exact equilibrium with the grazing size, the population doesn't change, except when an epidemic happens to cattle again.
Villages also depend on cattle to make milk and cheese for towns. Low cattle means lower than intended resources for the town. And when I was playing, all villages will eventually have low cattle population, because as time goes by, the cattle epidemic will keep happening.
So what happened is Caldaria is forever doomed to have lower prosperity.