How is the economy now?

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Ted Striker

Veteran
When I last played this last year the economy was all kinds of screwed up. Workshops barely gave any income and caravans were just fodder - a total waste of money. Smithing seemed to be the only reliable way to make money outside of constant combat but it felt so cheesy.

Have they made improvements to it finally? And if not, are there mods to improve it? I'm reinstalling and don't want to resort to the smithing cheese method again.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
The economy is finely balanced at the moment. You can't take it for granted.

  • Cities aren't as profitable as they used to be.
  • workshops can be very profitable if you choose the right ones in the right locations. Expect 1-400 return on them depending on your access to the right locations and whether they're affected by war - some can be higher than that depending on circumstances. Most of my current workshops are in the mid-100s - I have them all in safe cities because of wars so I can't access the best locations.
  • Smithing is still good for buffing your income - although playing as a trader can net you a lot these days and now that they've improved how traits function, trade perks outweigh smithing perks in the late game.
In my current playthrough I am at mid-game, I have 5 million in the bank, and I've never entered a smith. I own 3 cities within the Southern Empire, and I am Emperor through election. I'm passively earning about 4k per day - which I'm about to kill by raising up a couple of parties. I don't think this playthrough is my best, but I haven't been focusing on money so it's going OK. Certainly you can make wads of cash if you focus on it, without smithing anything.
 
I feel like the word economy is too much for this game. I just go with "Constant combat" as "that's the game" basically. I don't smith.

Workshops suck because you loose them if you go to war against the faction they reside in, meaning your options for getting "the good ones with the best setup" are usually non-existent for most games. Sure you can join the khuzaits and buy all wool weavers, but other then that it's slim pickings for most factions. Also even the "good" ones are nothing compared to just beating up a lord's party, which is the corner stone of the game so... yeah.

I don't like caravans because they waste a companion slot. I think we should be able to just make caravans, does the NPC have a companion? No. It's just a dum do nothing mechanic.

THAT said in 1.6 I was able to stabilize with about +400 gold daily as solo clan with 100 Khan's guard party with 1 town (from rebels), 4 wool weavers and 1 caravan. It might be slightly worse in 1.6.2, don't know but it shouldn't be so different not to work. This of course is YMMV as most people don't stay a solo clan so they can't just make whatever workshops they want and such.
 

Ted Striker

Veteran
Is the 5 million from nonstop warring? That's what I'm looking to avoid - the need to constantly wage war and raid villages and caravans just to keep a steady income.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
Is the 5 million from nonstop warring? That's what I'm looking to avoid - the need to constantly wage war and raid villages and caravans just to keep a steady income.

No... I gathered most of that before I joined a kingdom. Do a Youtube search for Halcylion's money printer... It's basically a loop - starting at Askar for horses... then selling them in Vlandia, picking up more horses in Senon, then selling them through Sturgia or the central Empire... At each stop pick up the cheapest produce and sell it as you go - ending up back at Askar. If you start with 100 horses, each loop can net you a quarter of a million profit amd 10 to 20 trade points.

If you do this, picking off bandits and bandit bases along the way, you'll end up with a good sized party as well. I really only use workshops to cover the cost of my party - everything else comes from trade. As Ananda says above, caravans are pointless past mid-game. They're too vulnerable. I use my companions to gain relations with the cities I like.

I try to avoid constant war where I can and only step in when it looks like my faction will lose a city. Constant war is a grind and you never get to manage your fiefs. Sometimes you have no choice but to go on the offensive.

Edit: Don't get me wrong tho.... some playthroughs I barely scrape by with the clothes on my back and everything goes bad. Some I end up with more cash than I can ever use.
 
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I think it's fairly balanced. With 4 shops, 5 caravans and 1 city (with 2 villages) I can support an army of about 200 and 200 city garrison.

The only problem I have is that all new Parties I create, bludge off me for too much to pay their costs ! The amount they take seem excessive. I hope they become self sufficient quicker.

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When I last played this last year the economy was all kinds of screwed up. Workshops barely gave any income and caravans were just fodder - a total waste of money. Smithing seemed to be the only reliable way to make money outside of constant combat but it felt so cheesy.

Have they made improvements to it finally? And if not, are there mods to improve it? I'm reinstalling and don't want to resort to the smithing cheese method again.
Everything is the same ... workshops bring in at best 200-300 coins. Cities and castles are not profitable to maintain ...
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Economy is pretty much balanced with some exceptions. If you are one of these people who like to be rich at day 100 without any effort, you are maybe going to find some income sources not great, but most of passive income is well balanced.

- Workshops are perfectly balanced currently. You can get 150-300 daily which means that you get your invested money back in 70 days or so, while continue getting money for free during the rest of the campaign. Losing workshops due to wars just happens if you do not plan correctly where to buy these workshops.
- Caravans are also ok and the only problem is in late game when there is an insane amount of bandits. You can get like 350-400 denars daily average. Caravans are not great when you are at war because they can get destroyer easier though, but still worth to buy them.
- Fiefs income is still low in my opinion, but at least decent compared to what it was before. You can easily get +3000 daily from a high properity town.

Now, talking about other income sources:

- Manual trading is ok and you can get a good money, it feels ok and balanced.
- Loot is OP and probably the second best income source in the game. You can still pretty much get tons of money while wrecking lords with your archers spam.
- Smithing is still utterly broken and you can get 50-100K daily without problems.

If you like to play challenging games where you do not feel overturned compared to other clans, then just skip smithing, do not spam archers, and you going to feel that the game is balanced.

On the other hand, if you want easy money and become rich at day 200, just spam archers and abuse smithing.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
- Workshops are perfectly balanced currently. You can get 150-300 daily which means that you get your invested money back in 70 days or so, while continue getting money for free during the rest of the campaign. Losing workshops due to wars just happens if you do not plan correctly where to buy these workshops.
- Caravans are also ok and the only problem is in late game when there is an insane amount of bandits. You can get like 350-400 denars daily average. Caravans are not great when you are at war because they can get destroyer easier though, but still worth to buy them.

I think this is the ideal way to assess whether a passive income source is broken or not. In an average long campaign that goes for thousands of days, earning your investment back in 70 is outstanding - but it is a high enough cost outlay to ensure the player has to do some work before they get in. The risks to this investment are that the city's villages get raided or the city is sacked. But in the longer timescale these are always recovered from, so a workshop will pay for itself.

On the other hand, I find that 7-10 years into a campaign, caravans never survive long enough to earn their investment price. Bandit inflation means that by that time there is always a slow moving blob of 50 or 60 bandits waiting in the wings for when the caravan is caught by a swift moving mounted party of 10. The insurance trade perk is helpful, it can claw back 1/3 of your investment, but in late game even that doesn't cover the investment cost of repeat caravan losses. You can easily sink 100k into caravans and lose it all in a month for 25k insurance and a few thousand in trade returns.

So I think the ability to upgrade caravans further in the late game when you're rocking large parties and forever wars is a significant loss for playability. I'd like to be able to manually add troops to a caravan and manage it's wage budget like I do with my parties.
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
On the other hand, I find that 7-10 years into a campaign, caravans never survive long enough to earn their investment price. Bandit inflation means that by that time there is always a slow moving blob of 50 or 60 bandits waiting in the wings for when the caravan is caught by a swift moving mounted party of 10. The insurance trade perk is helpful, it can claw back 1/3 of your investment, but in late game even that doesn't cover the investment cost of repeat caravan losses. You can easily sink 100k into caravans and lose it all in a month for 25k insurance and a few thousand in trade returns.
The main cause of this problem is that for some reason beyond all comprehension TW kept bandit spawn sizes tied to player level so the more stronger you get so do the bandits in the world and then they wreak the economy by killing caravans left and right.

This was one of the worst design decisions of warband/classic and they kept it in bannerlord instead of tying their spawn rates and size to prosperity/security of nearby fiefs for example.
 

McDadden

Recruit
So I think the ability to upgrade caravans further in the late game when you're rocking large parties and forever wars is a significant loss for playability. I'd like to be able to manually add troops to a caravan and manage it's wage budget like I do with my parties.
+1. Totally agree. I've paid the extra money for better troops in the caravan and instantly regretted it when four days later I find they've been captured by bandits. I find it crazy how easy they get destroyed. If you've ever really focused on hunting caravans, it's not that easy. You need specific perks and troop comp in order to catch them and then actually beat them.
I started a raider playthrough to focus on doing this to see how much killing villagers and caravans affects a city at a time during a war. Also hoping to turn some hefty profits in the process.
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
The main cause of this problem is that for some reason beyond all comprehension TW kept bandit spawn sizes tied to player level so the more stronger you get so do the bandits in the world and then they wreak the economy by killing caravans left and right.

This was one of the worst design decisions of warband/classic and they kept it in bannerlord instead of tying their spawn rates and size to prosperity/security of nearby fiefs for example.

+100

Really really bad game design this. Hope they change course on this
 

Nogand

Recruit
Is the 5 million from nonstop warring? That's what I'm looking to avoid - the need to constantly wage war and raid villages and caravans just to keep a steady income.
You won't have to wage war, if you join a kingdom the war will come to you. AI kingdoms are insanely aggressive for some reason.
 

Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
I think this is the ideal way to assess whether a passive income source is broken or not. In an average long campaign that goes for thousands of days, earning your investment back in 70 is outstanding - but it is a high enough cost outlay to ensure the player has to do some work before they get in. The risks to this investment are that the city's villages get raided or the city is sacked. But in the longer timescale these are always recovered from, so a workshop will pay for itself.

On the other hand, I find that 7-10 years into a campaign, caravans never survive long enough to earn their investment price. Bandit inflation means that by that time there is always a slow moving blob of 50 or 60 bandits waiting in the wings for when the caravan is caught by a swift moving mounted party of 10. The insurance trade perk is helpful, it can claw back 1/3 of your investment, but in late game even that doesn't cover the investment cost of repeat caravan losses. You can easily sink 100k into caravans and lose it all in a month for 25k insurance and a few thousand in trade returns.

So I think the ability to upgrade caravans further in the late game when you're rocking large parties and forever wars is a significant loss for playability. I'd like to be able to manually add troops to a caravan and manage it's wage budget like I do with my parties.

I never pay 25k for a caravan. The basic one costs 15K and if you buy it in early game, the caravan will easily survive more than 5 years. Assuming it gives you 300 dennars daily average, you are going to get 126K dennars in 5 years for buying a 15K caravan. Caravans are pretty damn good in early game if you do not go to war against everyone.

Plus, if you are playing a merchant play through as Aserai, you can get caravans for just 10K and they are rarely going to get destroyed. So these caravans are going to provide you a pretty good amount of money. It is even better if you get the perk which returns 5K to the player every time a caravan gets destroyed.

Talking about bandit infestation in late game, yes, I also hate it. This is for sure a really bad design.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
I never pay 25k for a caravan.

For clarity sake, I believe was referring to late game, when caravans loose their profitability. You're correct that caravans are great early game when your level is low - especially if you're Asari.

The figure of 25K refers to the 5K insurance payout for each of 5 caravans.

If you outlay 100k on 5 caravans (Imperial $$ + the companion fitout), and you can expect 25K back in insurance... those 5 caravans need to make 75k to pay for themselves. At your rate of 300 per day, that's 250 days combined in the field - each caravan needs to survive for an average of 50 days minimum - late game, they rarely survive a week, let alone a month.

Of course, if you cheapen out on the fitout and select a good trade/steward companion it can moderate things. But my guess is you'll still end up short. My inkling is that at this stage, companions are better left in cities where you might want to either recruit troops from, or recruit into your kingdom - the relationship gain they can earn can bring the cost of bribery down by tens of thousands.
 
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Dabos37

Sergeant Knight at Arms
For clarity sake, I believe was referring to late game, when caravans loose their profitability. You're correct that caravans are great early game when your level is low - especially if you're Asari.

The figure of 25K refers to the 5K insurance payout for each of 5 caravans.

If you outlay 100k on 5 caravans (Imperial $$ + the companion fitout), and you can expect 25K back in insurance... those 5 caravans need to make 75k to pay for themselves. At your rate of 300 per day, that's 250 days combined in the field - each caravan needs to survive for an average of 50 days minimum - late game, they rarely survive a week, let alone a month.

Of course, if you cheapen out on the fitout and select a good trade/steward companion it can moderate things. But my guess is you'll still end up short. My inkling is that at this stage, companions are better left in cities where you might want to either recruit troops from, or recruit into your kingdom - the relationship gain they can earn can bring the cost of bribery down by tens of thousands.

Ok, thanks for the clarification.

On the other hand, some people have been discussing in another thread if TW should balance all income sources together, keeping in mind that the players will use all these sources at the same time or not.

For example, if devs balance income sources thinking that all the players will buy caravans, workshops, do manual trading, smithing, get money from loot, and get fiefs, then this is a pretty bad thing for players who do not want to play in that way. But at the same time, devs should be thinking on avoiding the players’ money inflation, and keeping the game somehow hard for people who enjoy playing challenging games. So, as I see it, there are only two options:

- Balancing all income sources together and making all of them weak for avoiding money inflation.
- Balancing each income source separately without keeping in mind other ones.

The problem with the second option is that the players getting all income sources at the same time will be swimming in money pretty easily. So, I am ok with some income sources being incompatible with other ones. For example, if you like to be constantly at war fighting everyone, then caravans and workshops are not for you, but fiefs and battle loot will provide you enough money. On the other hand, if you want to play as merchant doing manual trading, then your workshops and caravans will be pretty safe, but you are not going to get money from fiefs or battle loot. This is for me the best way for balancing all income sources, and this is the reason because I find correctly balanced most of aspects about economy (except smithing which is totally broken, fiefs’ income which is a bit weak IMO, and battle loot which is still too high, especially if you spam ranged units for getting easy victories).

(Bandits scaling with player’s level should be removed in my opinion)
 

Ted Striker

Veteran
Any mods to control that bandit infestation? Yes I remember it was seriously bad, especially up around Vlandia. With all those armies and lords running around as the game progresses there should be fewer bandits. Never made sense.

What I would like is an economy that centered more on cities, villages and maybe castles instead of looting or cheesing smithing. Workshops tie into that theme but for passive income a prosperous city should be the best there is.

Caravans would be a much better investment if the bandit spam was controlled too. I don't think even upgrading them would help. Too many bandits.

We need a mod that keeps the bandit spam under control (and preferably customizable). I also think lords should be targeting bandits. Caravans and trade should be the key to prosperity and the AI should acknowledge that and do what it can to control the bandit population in their lands.

Maybe that's asking for too much lol.
 
This really highlights the need for more diplomacy if you think about it. I forget when it was introduced, somewhere later in 1.5.x, but Lords did start to prioritize hunting bandits and I think they also will take out bandit hideouts.....if they're not otherwise at war.

To test this, I would use console commands to automatically declare peace with Southern Empire, and while at peace their territory had very few and very tiny bandit parties compared to other parts of the map which would have 60 bandit doom stacks running around intercepting villagers and caravans. If there were longer term NAPs or Alliances it would help stabilize the strife within territories so Lords can solve Issues, kill bandits & hideouts, and prevent Prosperity/Loyalty from continuing to death spiral.

Right now, at a certain point, an area becomes too raided and borders sieged too heavily for prosperity to recover and then they're dropped into poverty and cannot even raise a horde or peasants to kill the Bandits.

Brings up another feature, somewhere in the Encyclopedia or Kingdom tab to show total money loss due to banditry. You figure each villager party / caravan has their loot tracked in the back-end, if they're killed, that money-value rolls up and disappears from the main economy. Would be interesting to have it externalized and also play into the AI decision making.
 

Ted Striker

Veteran
"...if they're not otherwise at war" is the issue then. I haven't played since 2020 but it's good to hear the AI does go after bandits, but it has to do so during war as well because the map is almost always at war.

Maybe tie bandit control to castles. Castles have garrisons and are historically used to control the surrounding lands. Those castles can maybe produce a patrolling garrison that hunts down nearby bandits, regardless of war. If bandits reach some critical state of population in the area the castle should react.

I don't know how to balance it properly without leaving it highly vulnerable to exploiting but something should be done.
 
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