How would you alter the culture bonuses?

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It's pretty uncontested that the Battanian culture bonus is considered the best in the game (unless you're playing as a pure trader, and even then it's debatable), I (and presumably many other people) also think some of the culture bonuses are rather underwhelming. I really doubt that TW would change these bonuses (again), especially after the release, but how would you change them?

I would:

- Replace the 20% cohesion loss reduction with decreasing snow movement penalty for the Sturgians by 30-50%

- Nerf the Battanian forest movement penalty reduction from 50% to 25%

- Replace the Aserai caravan cost reduction (since only the player benefits from this iirc) with a -25% cost of recruiting, upgrading & daily wages for mercenary units

- Replace the Khuzait bonus to animal production in villages with a decrease to "wrong culture penalty" from -3 to -2 (I chose this to reflect the rather laissez-faire approach of historical nomadic empires over their dominion, but it might be a tad too good?)

- Change Vlandia's +15% income for mercenaries (since the lords don't actually benefit from it) to +15% experience gain to Noble units. Also possibly change Vlandia's malus to -5-10% experience gain to normal troops (although this is more for flavour but may make Vlandian lords too weak so it's not really necessary)

- Change the Empire's bonus to influence while in an Army with a -20% cohesion loss bonus (the same one Sturgia currently has)
 

Aurex

Veteran
WB
Hmm, I would go for something really drastic, something that would alter the gameplay of each faction, giving them both large advantages and significant penalties to certain game styles.

-Sturgia: I would put a lot of emphasis on their army cohesion and numbers, making it more difficult for them to field large armies without payment or loot rights therefore having them use money, not influence to keep armies together. Maybe make their single warbands slightly larger (perhaps a bonus in party size for all Sturgian characters too?) Would also make it so the villages raided by them lose more hearths and add some "forcibly recruited peasants" to their armies. Also, a bonus when they're fighting on snow or near to the sea or major river and give them lower morale to compensate.

-Battania: I was thinking of them being more of a defensive faction, so I would give them bonuses for siege defense (archers shoot faster, have +15 archery skill, infantrymen have slightly more HP and autoresolve favor them a little more) and a bonus to damage against mounts, since they're always sparring with Vlandia. Maybe also some bonuses for hearth growth in villages linked to castles and hides production (good hunters.) More important, to make them feel unique I would like if they could control defensive fights by having the ability to pick terrain more freely than the others, starting with an ambush and things to that extent. To compensate, they might have fewer men overall and less armor, not to mention far more expensive noble units.

-Empire: Perhaps something really different for them, as in a "meter" of Empire cohesion. The larger one of the Empires becomes, the more often the others declare wars on it - at the same time, the closer an Empire gets to reunification the larger its bonus becomes. I was thinking of bonuses to their city growth, their army quality, their morale (it should start really low, since the Empire is fractured and in disarray) and their influence. They should also have a real senate system with some intrigue, would be nice. To make sure they don't snowball too badly with something like this, they should be HIGHLY reluctant to pursue long wars with the other factions until the Empire is mostly unified (also having penalties when fighting other factions) and maybe have extremely expensive noble troops and generally speaking low morale for the lower-tier troops.

-Khuzait: Large bonuses to influence and renown gain for battles and raids. More loots from raids and the ability to "transfer" hearths from raided villages to their own. Also large penalty to economy in peacetime and a lot of infighting between lords, making it far, far more expensive for them to field large armies if they lack a lot of influence and they've been losing too many battles. Stronger militia defending the villages would also make sense, as would some weakness in siege defense. I would also add something like a penalty for enemy morale whenever the Khuzait field more than 50% cavalry, on top of more prisoners taken after sieges and battles. Also, a "silk road" mechanic shared with the Aserai: keep X and Y settlements safe and prosperous, get huge bonuses and unique goods and troops.

-Aserai: Strong economy, large bonuses to workshop and caravans, hearth growth and prosperity in peacetime and large armies that consume more food than normal and have a harsher time limit (based on the leader's traits) before every noble goes back to their own fief. Silk road mechanic shared with the Khuzait, large penalties to economy when at war with them or not in control of the "silk road" settlements.
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant at Arms
Vladia should get renown and influence from battles - influence gives merc $ anyway, but it'd be more generally useful beyond being a merc.

Sturgia should get the snow bonus back, and it should be balanced with Aserai and Battania with consideration for the relative rarity of terrain

Empire Instead of an army bonus to influence, all empire troops start with bonus XP. Better for the early game, still reflects the theme.

Aserai I think should get a healing bonus, instead of trade bonus - the description notes their medicine, plus trade money is still awful

Battania I'd remove or reduce the sight bonus and reduce the forest bonus.

Khuzait I would give a sight bonus to, fits their nomadic and more evasive hit and run nature

This gives them all something reasonably useful that's not overly specific to the point of being negligible to the player. I think Battania would still be the strongest, but less extremely - so it's not like a major nerf hammer. Battania does start as the smallest faction so it helps balance that a bit.
 
Leave them as is and add cultural-locks to Policies.

Maybe scale the Culture bonuses & lightly decrease to Maluses as your Clan Tier increases or as a Kingdom expands with different benchmarks such as Castles/Towns owned, Clans at a specific tier, number of clans.

That would - in my opinion - give more utility and flavor to Cultures and overall Kingdom Management since right now everyone pretty much goes Vlandian or Aserai. Makes no sense to me how the Empire can declare Grazing Rights or a Horde or Arabian Confederation would have a Senate or Peerage
 

anoddhermit

Sergeant at Arms
Leave them as is and add cultural-locks to Policies.

Maybe scale the Culture bonuses & lightly decrease to Maluses as your Clan Tier increases or as a Kingdom expands with different benchmarks such as Castles/Towns owned, Clans at a specific tier, number of clans.

That would - in my opinion - give more utility and flavor to Cultures and overall Kingdom Management since right now everyone pretty much goes Vlandian or Aserai. Makes no sense to me how the Empire can declare Grazing Rights or a Horde or Arabian Confederation would have a Senate or Peerage

Wait, would the player be locked into having the starting policies of their culture for their independent kingdom?
 
Wait, would the player be locked into having the starting policies of their culture for their independent kingdom?
That's a good point. Right now, if I am not mistaken, when you create your own Kingdom you can select a culture between your starting culture and the culture of the Fief in which your clan currently occupies. To counter-act that you could select a culture group that your Kingdom will follow but also have a choice whether or not to personally maintain those bonuses/maluses.

So you can pick an Aserai culture and get the trade benefits but then also pick an Empire culture set for your own Kingdom so you could enact policies such as Senate and Marshals, and so on.

This also makes me really want a way to homogenize cultures of cities I conquer too so you don't get the loyalty malus either. Because the meta with Kingdoms is to pick Empire since there are more of their fiefs and use AI Lords/Companions for the other cultures.
 

Brano

Sergeant at Arms
Anything that stinks with balancing...stinks. If everything needs to be balanced, why bother with all that "bonuses"? Let's just play doll-dressing.
Take empire culture. It is the most advantageous right off the bat because it is most numerous represented culture in this game world and it's spread is set in stone. Player can't change it. So if I want to go thru easy gameplay, I will choose empire. If I want challenge, I will choose other culture.
Khuzaits were once nomads, but they are not anymore. It is the same sedentary nation as others now. At least game lore says so. They live in cities and villages. Why any movement bonuses? You are battanian and have your army full of horses? Good for you! You are fast!
Movement in snow bonus for Sturgians? Why? Do they have ski units to move faster than the others?
Battania having bonus traversing forrests? Why? Are forrests of Battania different to forrests of Vlandia or Empire?
And so on and so on...
 
Anything that stinks with balancing...stinks. If everything needs to be balanced, why bother with all that "bonuses"? Let's just play doll-dressing.
Take empire culture. It is the most advantageous right off the bat because it is most numerous represented culture in this game world and it's spread is set in stone. Player can't change it. So if I want to go thru easy gameplay, I will choose empire. If I want challenge, I will choose other culture.
Khuzaits were once nomads, but they are not anymore. It is the same sedentary nation as others now. At least game lore says so. They live in cities and villages. Why any movement bonuses? You are battanian and have your army full of horses? Good for you! You are fast!
Movement in snow bonus for Sturgians? Why? Do they have ski units to move faster than the others?
Battania having bonus traversing forrests? Why? Are forrests of Battania different to forrests of Vlandia or Empire?
And so on and so on...
I mean I agree that some culture bonuses like the Battanian and Aserai are silly. It would be more logical if it were based on troop culture affecting the speed, something like having x% of your warband consist of Battanians would decrease your forest movement penalty by y% (still wouldn't explain why Battanians are better at navigating through forests but idk maybe the forests in Battania are more dense or something which makes Battanians better at moving in forests?).

Honestly I also think that having a loyalty malus for owners with different cultures is also a bit silly. It would be more logical if the culture malus was determined by the garrisoned troops' culture instead of the owner's culture.
 
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