(1.8.0) Workshop Numbers & Feedback

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azakhi

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&S
Hello, as someone that always finds himself trying to maximize profits in games and collecting data for that purpose, I wanted to share my findings and feedback for workshops in 1.8.0.
First of all numbers from game code/data with the addition of observed numbers in game:
WorkshopInputOutputConversion SpeedBase Input PriceBase Output PriceExpected Base ProfitObserved Input PriceObserved Output PriceObserved Profit
Wine PressGrapeWine2.520752252565162
BreweryGrainBeer3.510100565836124
Linen WeaveryFlaxLinen2152006701667136
PotteryClayPottery2182006641769142
Olive PressOlivesOil2.5302108502765157
TanneryHidesLeather15025035044146148
Velvet WeaveryRaw SilkVelvet0.758050069010166141
SilversmithySilverJewelry0.75130600802150300237
Notes:
  • Base prices are listed just as a reference, should be ignored as observed prices are usually far from base prices.
  • Calculated profits ignore Sweatshops and Mercenary Connections perks, which can increase profit by 20% and 25% in order or 45% in total.
  • Workshops that don't produce just a trade good are ignored for simplicity's sake.
  • Observed prices are gathered from multiple examples of in-game prices where the the town had relevant workshop. You might have observed lower/higher prices but remember that workshops will change prices.
Opinions:
  1. Profits are very low. Especially compared to other sources of income. Ignoring Silversmithy, workshops average at 140 gold a day profit and about 200 gold a day with both perks. They cost around 25k gold to buy, which means it takes 178 days (or 125 days with perks), roughly 2 years in game to make that money back. And this is not good compared to other sources of income. For example being a mercenary gives you 160 gold per influence. Raiding a hideout gives 6-7 influences, prisoners that worth about 400-500 gold and including loot, it gives around 2000 gold. Even if we assume 1000 gold spent for soldiers etc., raiding a single hideout is equal to 7-8 days of workshop profit. Other activities give even more gold.
  2. Workshop selling price needs to be increased. This might be just an oversight during the workshop balance update. How can a workshop that cost 25k to buy and has 11k in capital can be sold for only 7700? Doesn't make any sense and doesn't feel good at all. Player should be encouraged to take risk and switch to another workshop in another town if long term it seems better. Considering current workshop profits, a 35 gold increase in profit, which is 25%, would mean switching to a different town would pay back in 542 days. Ridiculous number. It is far better to just sit on the not so good workshop.
  3. Perks need to be updated for new workshop numbers. Market Dealer perk gives 20% less upkeep, which is only 20 golds a day. While its alternative, Caravan Master, gives 30% increased carrying capacity. Far better. Rapid Development perk gives 5k gold if workshop is captured. I believe this is from old values, where a workshop cost around 15k, so 10k loss. Now workshops cost about 25k so it is 20k loss. Should be updated to something like 15k.
  4. Initial workshop selection needs improvement. I think a town having 2 of same workshop can make sense in certain situations. Sometimes the input is so abundant and other options are not so good that 2 of same workshop becomes a good option. However 3 of same type is very, very unlikely to be a good option. And game seems to put a lot of 3 of same type workshops in 1.8.0.
  5. All workshops but Silversmithy has close profit, which is nice to see. And Silversmithy has its own problems. The silver sources in the game are rare and thus prices fluctuate a lot. And you might see your workshop not produce for a day when there is no silver available. I think for this reason Silversmithy having a higher profit margin is good. If the player wants to engage with production by supplying input material, they can gain higher profit for their time.
 
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Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Great thread. Thank you very much for the information.

I do agree with the income sources are pretty much unbalanced currently. On the other hand, I find ok the numbers you are sharing related to workshops income. My thoughs about this:

  • Workshops price is about 13-15K in 1.7.2. I am not sure why the cost has been raised in 1.8.0. On the other hand, 2 years in game to get the money back is not that bad if we think about you are going to be getting this money consistently during the whole campaing (20 years or so).
    • Most of my campaigns are shorter than 20-30 years currently though, because the game is not really enjoyable in late game IMO, but this is a different topic.
  • All passive income with pretty low risk should grant low reward IMO (except fiefs, which should be hard to get but pretty profitables). I do agree with Mercenary contract looks much more appealing than a simple workshop, but you cannot stack mercenary contracts, while we can stack workshops and get about 1000 dennars daily without having to invest any effort on this.
  • AI lords are not able to get workshops. While this is probably something which most of the people do not care, I personally do not like the fact about the player having great income sources which the AI has not access. I know this is not a solid argument, because there are other income sources like smithing, which makes this even worse, but I just would like to point that I do not like the idea about player having huge advantages over the AI.
  • Other income sources like smithing or battle loot are providing an insane amount of money, and this is the main reason because workshops looks bad compared to them.

Anyway, I would like to clarify that I like really challenging games, and maybe this is not the case for the majority of players. I think that the player should not be able to easily sustain 100% elite armies without having any issue, because this is one of the things making the game excessively easy and boring in the late game. I also think that we are able to upgrade units too fast currently, but it is also a different topic.
 

azakhi

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&S
Great thread. Thank you very much for the information.

I do agree with the income sources are pretty much unbalanced currently. On the other hand, I find ok the numbers you are sharing related to workshops income. My thoughs about this:

  • Workshops price is about 13-15K in 1.7.2. I am not sure why the cost has been raised in 1.8.0. On the other hand, 2 years in game to get the money back is not that bad if we think about you are going to be getting this money consistently during the whole campaing (20 years or so).
    • Most of my campaigns are shorter than 20-30 years currently though, because the game is not really enjoyable in late game IMO, but this is a different topic.
  • All passive income with pretty low risk should grant low reward IMO (except fiefs, which should be hard to get but pretty profitables). I do agree with Mercenary contract looks much more appealing than a simple workshop, but you cannot stack mercenary contracts, while we can stack workshops and get about 1000 dennars daily without having to invest any effort on this.
  • AI lords are not able to get workshops. While this is probably something which most of the people do not care, I personally do not like the fact about the player having great income sources which the AI has not access. I know this is not a solid argument, because there are other income sources like smithing, which makes this even worse, but I just would like to point that I do not like the idea about player having huge advantages over the AI.
  • Other income sources like smithing or battle loot are providing an insane amount of money, and this is the main reason because workshops looks bad compared to them.

Anyway, I would like to clarify that I like really challenging games, and maybe this is not the case for the majority of players. I think that the player should not be able to easily sustain 100% elite armies without having any issue, because this is one of the things making the game excessively easy and boring in the late game. I also think that we are able to upgrade units too fast currently, but it is also a different topic.

I would agree with price being okay if workshops were as stable as say Warband. Currently you can lose them fully if the settlement is captured by enemy OR becomes an enemy town. So unless you buy workshops from the faction you own/serve, quite high chance you will lose it to enemy at some point. Wars are being declared left and right. And another thing is, selling price is way too low. So if you regret buying a workshop, that is a big amount lost, which again makes picking a safe location more important than profits since profit isn't too big.

Same argument for your second point, workshops aren't too reliable early game to be considered safe passive income but then again this probably depends on playstyle. If you never join any factions or buy workshop only when you join one and pick the safest city, maybe.

I agree with last 2 points.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Yes, that's the thing, it actually depends a lot on the playstyle, but it is actually something which I find good. I mean, it should not be compatible (or at least not easy) to be the worst villain in the world, riding villages and killing civilians daily, while at the same time you are a renowned merchant. I think it is ok that you have to actually pick some specific path or paths in every moment to make every playthrough feels different than others.

Talking about me, I usually start the game playing as merchant, or just fighting as a mercenary or vassal in one or two factions. So, I get the workshops in places where I know that I am not going to lose them ever. For example, you know that it is almost impossible to see Vlandia and Khuzaits going to war, and the same happens with other kingdoms (except in the late game, when we are already insanely rich and some kingdoms are maybe over-extended). I really do not remember the last time I lost a workshop, because I always get them in pretty safe places.

Comparing with Warband, I really love how Warband economy works and I find it much better balanced. In my global balance view, there are too many overpriced things in Bannerlord like high tier equipment which is still too overpriced, smithing is still pretty OP when you reach +200 skill level, battle loot is still too high, getting highest units level is extremely easy, and you can get a full elite army in the first campaign days, while at the same time you cannot even dream about getting a high tier armor for yourself, etc. In Warband, economy makes much more sense, while in Bannerlord it looks like devs in charge of different ecnomy features are disconnected from each other, and some prices do not make sense at all.
 
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