Cattle

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So... I really don't know why no one has discussed this. Maybe no one but me does quests for the villages.

In the beginning of the game, and probably all the way to level 6 or so, you can go to a small village and ride up to the "village elder" and when you ask to buy cattle from them they typically tell you, "Hey there sonny-jim! I gots me 126 heads of cattle. You can buy 'em fer 22 denars a piece if ya like." However, by level 15 you ride up to the same elder and you'll hear one of two responses to the same query; "WHAT!? Who are you? What do you want? Not here to raid us are you?! Oh, you want to buy cattle. We have none left. 15 Marauding lords have been through here in the last month and we're all out!" or "WHAT!? Who are you? What do you want? Not here to raid us are you?! Oh, you want to buy cattle. We have 3 heads left and you can buy them for 2200 denars a piece."

Holy Funkin' Waggles! When other villages are asking you for 8 heads to replenish their corals you first must spend days trodding around the countryside until you find a village that actually HAS cattle, and then must pay exorbitant prices for, frankly, not enough cattle. Even at level 25 it's not worth it to me to spend 10 days and 18000 denars to get +8 reputation with a village. Is this a broken game mechanic? Am I the only one having this problem? The other quests for villages are very reasonable; "Go buy us 8 sacks of wheat at 100 denars a piece from the nearest town/villiage. They always have them in stock." "Spend 2 days training us and then fight with us against 25+ local bandits." Not too easy, not too hard. Why the hell do the cattle quests become so outlandishly resource consuming? Not only that, but they increase in frequency if I'm not mistaken, likely because no villages have cows left.

One final thing, IMO the rate at which lords raid villages is too high. It is likely a reflection of "reality" but it's just an annoying mechanic which causes all the world's villages to constantly be in a state of gut-wrenching poverty. The game could do with some party-level AI enhancements.
 

Nathan90

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNW
I have had no problems with cattle quests..They are easy.and if you don;t want to buy the cattle just steal them.
 

fragonard

Grandmaster Knight
WB
They're not quite as bad with the discovery of a quick fix to make them easier to herd.  There was a thread about it a few days ago; just change one number in a text file.
 
I'm saying that I can't even find a village that has any cattle, let alone one with cattle of reasonable prices. The problem isn't herding and the problem isn't just the price, it's that lords raid villages so much that all the cattle in Calradia end up slaughtered.
 

Engima

Recruit
theguruofreason said:
I'm saying that I can't even find a village that has any cattle, let alone one with cattle of reasonable prices. The problem isn't herding and the problem isn't just the price, it's that lords raid villages so much that all the cattle in Calradia end up slaughtered.
Poor cows...  :cry:
 

erikred

Recruit
theguruofreason said:
I'm saying that I can't even find a village that has any cattle, let alone one with cattle of reasonable prices. The problem isn't herding and the problem isn't just the price, it's that lords raid villages so much that all the cattle in Calradia end up slaughtered.
This is a function of trying to pay off two or three 500 troop garrisons. After a certain point, the only good, reliable way to make enough money to cover your weekly expenses (and keep up the morale of your 100+ member entourage) during a siege is to plunder the nearest four villages and sell poor Bessie for meat.

If you factor in costs for improvements, bribing Ladies to keep you popular with the Lords, and paying off heroes who do quests for you, you can see that a King probably doesn't have time to do much _apart_ from raiding villages.

Quick tip for those wheat missions, btw: wheat does occasionally run thin, so if you have a castle, consider stashing wheat in your chest there.
 

Nathan90

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&SNW
I think i'm just lucky when it comes to Cattle...i just found a village that had 256 heards of cattle  :shock:
 

TheMageLord

The Handyman Can
Knight at Arms
M&BWB
I'm not sure if it's changed in 1.003, but looking at the .960 trigger for cattle it's obvious why theres a problem.

Theres a 3% chance of all cattle being eradicated no matter the number, and a 40% chance of losing 3-8 cows. 50% of the time they get positive growth, which gives a 1% to 11% growth plus 1-3 on top of it. So if you have 10 cows, you'll get 1-4 extra. Then a 7% chance gives you 11% to 21% growth plus 1-3 on top of it, so with 10 cows you'd get 2-5 extra.

So once you reach 0 cows: Week one, you have a 57% chance of gaining 1-3 cows. Week two, you have a 43% chance of losing all your cows and a 57% chance of gaining about 1-3 more on top of it. Week three, same 43% chance of losing them all and 57% chance of gaining a couple again. If you get consistently lucky you might get 20 or 30 and have it start building, but hitting 3% even once brings you back to 0 and every 40% hit will knock you back a few checks.

I can't see anywhere else that adds cattle in the .960 files.

Hopefully this has changed in 1.003, but given that the problem still seems to remain... I doubt it has.

-edit- I just compared the two text files, it's still the same. No wonder everyone has trouble with cattle, they are on a decline from the get go and never really have a chance to go back up once they eventually drop.
 

TheMageLord

The Handyman Can
Knight at Arms
M&BWB
Heres the 1.003 trigger (simple_triggers.txt). It's on line number 37 if you have a text editor that shows lines (like notepad2), or you can just search for some of the numbers and find the right spot.

24.000000  32 6 3 1224979098644774912 648518346341351501 648518346341351591 521 3 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774912 45 2136 3 1224979098644774914 0 100 4 0 2147483678 2 1224979098644774914 3 2133 2 1224979098644774913 0 4 0 3 0 5 0 2147483678 2 1224979098644774914 10 2136 3 1224979098644774914 111 121 2107 2 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774914 2108 2 1224979098644774913 100 2136 3 1224979098644774914 1 3 2105 2 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774914 5 0 2147483678 2 1224979098644774914 50 2136 3 1224979098644774914 3 8 2106 2 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774914 5 0 2136 3 1224979098644774914 101 111 2107 2 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774914 2108 2 1224979098644774913 100 2136 3 1224979098644774914 1 3 2105 2 1224979098644774913 1224979098644774914 3 0 2112 3 1224979098644774913 0 101 501 3 1224979098644774912 45 1224979098644774913 2121 3 1224979098644774915 1224979098644774913 10 2108 2 1224979098644774915 2 1 5 936748722493063202 1224979098644774912 288230376151711816 1224979098644774915 0 3 0

There are many ways you could edit the way it works. The red 0 and 100 are the parameters for the random number generated (between 0 and 100), and it then takes 0-2 for 0 cows (3 in the code), 3-9 for big growth (10 in the code), and 10-49 (50) for negative 3-8. 50+ is the low growth one. You could change that to 45 100 to make it give a roughly 9% chance of 3-8 negative growth and 91% chance of small positive growth - that'd probably balance it out good enough to work, but it would remove the chance of big growth and big loss entirely. You could also go through and modify the blue numbers - the first and third being the straight cattle added range, with the second being the range to subtract. The lime green number (3) is the chance of eradicating the herd. The yellow numbers are the amount to increase the herd percentage wise, first for the big growth then for the small growth. It takes that number divided by 100 so 111 is 11% increase.

That should give someone enough info to make whatever changes they want. I'm not sure if it will take effect in a savegame (I haven't actually tried editing simple triggers between games before...).

Link to other tweaks.
 
Thanks a ton MageLord. Is there any way to alter the chances of loss on a 0-100 roll? It would be perfect if you could just change the roll range of loss from 10-49 to something like 10-25. That would probably balance it out pretty well. I'm considering changing the amount of cows lost from 3-8 to 1-3, and just lower the %gained to something like 100-105 and 106-111 so that things don't get out of hand. I'm assuming due to proximity that the first set of blue numbers is the additional increase for large growth. I'm also considering lowering the chance of losing all cows to either 0 or 1. Again, thank you.
 

TheMageLord

The Handyman Can
Knight at Arms
M&BWB
The highlighted 0 100 is the number generated. It then has less than checks, where the green 3 tells it to take a number less than 3 as a complete loss (0-2, so 3% chance). The lone 10 that comes shortly after it is the one for the bigger growth - it's basically 2<X<10, so 3-9 (about 7% chance). Then the 50 a bit later (only 50 by itself in the whole script) is the negative growth of 3-8 chance, and thats taking everything from 10 to 49 - so about 40%. Everything higher than that falls into the last category of normal growth.

So if you just change the 50 to 25, you'd cut the chance of losing 3-8 down to 15%.

Oh, and things won't get way out of control - cows are capped at 101. They can't go higher than 101 or lower than 0.
 

t1337Dude

Recruit
Cattle quests from what I can tell are broken. They seem impossible and are somewhat ridiculous. Earlier I had to bring 8 cattle to my King during a campaign - and all enemy villages were on the other side of the map. So I go to a few friendly villages to buy cattle. 3000 denars per cattle? Is that a joke? So I end up going to the the Rhodok's villages (all the way from Wercheg) and most of the villages didn't have any cattle to take. I found one with 5. Well, now what? I have to balance a herd until I find a village with another herd, and then juggle both herds all the way to Wercheg? I don't even ****ing understand how I control where the cows go. I tell them to go "onward" and they just run in random directions. These quests just don't make any sense and I get a headache just thinking about it. The story has a happy ending though. A Marshal election happened mid-way and my quest was magically erased.
 
Thanks again MageLord. This will help a lot.

And to tl337Dude: when you choose "drive the cattle onward" they run away from your party, so you stay behind them relative to where you want them to go and things usually work out. The only problems arise when you're trying to get them to cross a bridge or go through a narrow mountain pass. Anyway, make the changes to the simple_triggers.txt and I hypothetically we shouldn't see any more problems finding cows. I don't know about the price. It seems to be completely random as I've found villages much later in the game that have 3-8 cattle and want 2000-3000 denars for them, and I've found villages that have 1 cow and want 22 denars for it. Maybe it just has to do with prosperity? I hardly pay attention to prosperity until I own a fief.
 
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