- Best answers
This thread has two main parts with very different suggestions
1 option should be considered as a list of simple potential solutions to balance things in a very short time.
2 is a little more complex and interesting, but similar.
Simple idea. 1 part. Balance North and South
The most simple way to balance things is just to delete snow penalty for everyone and give sturgians some other bonus. Сategorical. Easy. Great for balance. But it's not even close to be the only possible solution.
Also it will not make the world more interesting, but vice versa. In this situation it's better for everyone to be as different from others as they can be, but still keep the world balanced.
So it's better in the second way, which is to give sturgian culture a 100% bonus immunity against snow, excluding winter season. Explanation: So they will move in snow in their cultural home north territory as fast as everyone moves without snow, excluding winter. Also they will move as slow as anyone else in winter outside their territory. Logic - they simply know north territories very well, but in winter all known passes are completely invisible because of snow, so they are in the same conditions as everyone else. Also they will have a useful cultural bonus as everyone else has, not a useless one like they have now. It will help to defend their home territory, because everyone else will struggle all year long if they want to conquer them. And in winter it's harder any way.
But that's not all! For balance it is 100% needed to add the next thing into the game.
Desert desperately needs it's own penalty. And it can easily be speed penalty too, but 75% lighter! It's logical and realistic. It's desert, not steppe. It can be something else, but speed penalty is easy to add to the game as it's already an implemented mechanic.
First simple option - all year long - 25% of penalty snow applies to movement speed. So not too slow, but a little slower than usual. and balanced.
Or second even easier - 100% - the same penalty snow applies but only during summer only for desert territory - it can be called "Siesta attrition" for example or no name, it doesn't matter.
Also if they conquer someone else's territory, they will not have any bonuses or penalties. Everything's balanced
Why it must be done?
It's simple maths. Right now Sturgia always has 80% penalty out of 100% possible because of snow. But in winter practically everyone else have 100%, except for Aserai (desert), who never have any penalty. Still 75% of the year everyone, except for Sturgians have 0% penalty! Roughly of course. Some certain areas are covered with snow all year long too and some are always a desert, not only Sturgian and Aserai territory, but these are not that big.
Bear in mind that these numbers are penalties. so the lower the number - the better.
So let's see how unfair it is: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
Sturgia = 80+80+80+80=320% penalty in summary
Aserai = 0+0+0+0=0%
Everyone else = 0+0+0+100=100%
Another suggestion. A little more complex, but similar to the first above, which is better, as for me. But still a simple way to change this in terms of adding new mechanics - is practically not adding anything new.
So how to make it more balanced without practically adding anything new? In terms of maths it'a very simple.
1. Sturgian culture bonus, including sturgian villagers and everyone else, should have near 75% immunity to snow. Not 20 like now - see the difference. So they would have 100% penalty in summary too, like everyone else instead of 320!
Maybe 60-65% as if they conquer more land they will still have this bonus every winter in any territory, so for this bonus not to be OP. That's where it becomes more complex. Not perfect, that's why I thing the first suggestion above is better. But still already more balanced than it is right now. They will still have a penalty in their home territory all year long no matter how much other territory they will conquer, but be stronger outside of their homelands than any other Kingdom in winter.
2. Absolutely the same as in the first suggestion above for desert.
So if it's applied the world becomes balanced in terms of seasonal penalties and bonuses!
Everyone now has 100% of penalty in summery all year long.
2 part. Winter and Desert Attrition
The other way more complex and interesting, but similar way is to add "winter attrition" and "desert attrition", but different from I suggested earlier. What makes it work - it's logical and realistic, because of natural low supply during winter and it's cold, so you need wood and warm clothes during your travels. Also I think that the current speed penalty is the least important and dangerous thing, when you think about winter season. So at least it may need some changes.
For balance and to make things more interesting, it may be a good idea to have winter season effect "winter attrition", which already causes party slowdown (implemented with snow effect), but we should at least add faster food consumption and maybe a need to have wood/warm clothes/fur/hides with you (maybe only one thing). The northern part of the map, Sturgian's territory should have such an effect during all seasons, except for summer, and during winter it can have "severe winter attrition" effect for non-Sturgian culture units with even higher and more dangerous penalties.
Sturgians of course should have at least 75%-100% immunity to "winter attrition" effects and 75-100% immunity to "severe winter attrition", as they are adapted to cold. Also maybe they shouldn't need wood/warm clothes/fur/hides at all. Or like in 1 option - to give sturgian culture a 100% bonus immunity against snow, excluding winter season..
As practice shows, because of negative economic effect, their as appeared tiny 20% culture bonus immunity to only current snow effect is not even close enough, so these immunity numbers need to be tested and may be even higher for them and don't need wood/warm clothes/fur/hides at all f.e. only in home territory. As currently there is no such thing as a political border in the game, a home territory could be considered some effective distance from their closest village or fief.
For balance we would have a similar, but lighter "desert attrition" effect in southern desert territories, where you should be penalized respectively, but also for not having some other certain good(s) with you - f.e. new one clear water or existing wine, beer and grapes instead.
Important reasons on why it is a good idea:
First of all it can help with snowball effect.
It will force most Kingdoms to stop wars during winter season like in reality, except for Sturgians being more aggressive because of immunity. And it's good, especially because Sturgians are the first Kingdom to be wiped out most of the time (actual for beta 1.1 version and earlier ones). So this will surely change the situation.
Makes you manage your party better during winter. This makes game more interesting and different during winter or in northern territory.
Such effect needs counteraction. So every party without immunity should have more food and wood with them. Or wood is not needed to survive, but makes it easier to survive, so having wood instead makes you a little immune to an effect.
Also it would have been good having a little immunity if you have a new resource - warm clothes. Or Fur and hides instead not to create a special new one.
But warm clothes can be useful not only for this purpose, but also become a seasonal good, so you can buy it during summer and sell it during winter for profit.
So it can be realized in different ways, depending on which is better for overall balance.
It maybe especially good for Sturgian roleplaying. Also right now Sturgians are the worst balanced Kingdom, why not to balance it this way?
UPD. Some of my other threads, which are not exactly connected with this topic, but can make this game better in one way or another:
Suggestion. Make training grounds the new main source of training, especially for recruits. Add recruiters and patrols in the game.
Suggestion. Building in towns and castles is way too fast and free. Maintenance.
Tools to balance food and prosperity. Detailed suggestions for food shortages.
Build your own fief with future upgrades. Detailed.
Capitals/all fiefs with unique buildings and additional opportunities.
Hideout difficulty. A possible solution, both if you like or hate them. Detailed.