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Tools to balance food and prosperity. Detailed suggestions for food shortages.

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andycott

Sergeant
🥔
In short the main problem is food shortages, which has negative effect on prosperity and vice versa, which leads to other different problems, because everything is interconnected in the game. But high prosperity is not the only thing, which can lead to food shortage, you shouldn't forget about bandits and enemy raiders, who have bad effect on villages, which also leads to food shortage.
So balance in the stated above areas is definitely a problem, even though everything seems to be logical, except for the fact you can't really control either. And it's ruining everything. It may be even a game breaking problem, especially at late stages of the game.
To balance it player needs tools to control at least these two main areas - food and prosperity. Or at least to have direct control of food consumption, which will of course effect prosperity as well.

Suggestions.

1. The main. At least an option or better a few options to choose priorities between food and prosperity in every separate fief. Existence of such a tool will already be a huge addition.
- It can be as simple as prioritizing extra food production, but making prosperity grow less or even stop growing at all and vice versa.
Or a little more complex:
- Prioritize food storage. You will be able to stock a part of produced food separate from market for the future, without selling or consuming it, thus not increasing prosperity too much and not letting caravans take everything from you. More food for harder times - less money. And it may already be enough to solve the main problem, depending on how much food can be stocked, so it's better to make stocks much bigger. But here are the other solutions.
- An option to lower food consumption and thereafter to have penalties in other areas, f.e. popularity or/and prosperity. It may also lead to both militia and garrison desert, if you don't have martial law. 👇
- An option to force food production, which heavily effects popularity and prosperity in a negative way both, because nobody wants to work 24/7 and it makes your town buy food from distant markets for higher prizes, because you can't produce enough. If you already have food shortage it will solve the problem in the short term.
- In addition there can be an option to prioritize prosperity for more balance. If you desperately need additional money, you can give more freedom/opportunities to local markets, which lets locals and caravans consume and buy much more food, because it becomes cheaper, so you will be earning additional money for some time and fasten prosperity. It leads to high food consumption and also reduces prosperity growth in a long run.

2. You can also let the player to buy food and manually stock it in a fief, so it can always be as full as player wants.

3. Another option, f.e. can be called a 👉 martial law.
Don't forget that one of the biggest problems with food shortage is that it depletes garrison, so there should be an option or it has to be by default that garrison troops are the last to starve from such a problem. Like an option of the fief owner for the garrison to have priority access to food over everyone else.
If it is an option it also can be supplemented with a penalty to popularity or/and prosperity. So you can have a huge garrison, but it will result in low militia numbers, low popularity and prosperity.

4. Another one. One of the main problems seems to be bandits and enemy raiders, who don't allow villages to be as effective as they can be. You can't and don't have to deal with both, you can't be everywhere at once. So you need manhunters and patrols to deal with them. It's logical. Manhunters are independent, but you should be able to make patrols by yourself. Also it should be taken into consideration that in the middle/late game bandits literally have armies. If they aren't nerfed or capped, you should be able to make more than one patrol or a patrol with lots of troops.
Manhunters are the best option compared to patrols, because they are independent and won't attack you or your enemies, but only attack bandits and will surely balance the world and will grow in numbers in time like bandits do. While patrols should have very limited troop numbers if manhunters will be in the game too. If there will be only patrols without manhunters, than it's harder to calculate limits for them as bandits grow in numbers in the late stages of the game and patrols need to have a constant cap, because they can attack both bandits and your enemies parties, caravans, etc.

Mods, which solve or partly solve the problem. Read the description of mods.

A mod, which lets you interact with granary directly.

A mod, which solves a part of the problem by adding an option to recruit Patrols for each village. But sadly not the whole problem.

Adds manhunters.

Also this suggestion automates the recruitment and training processes, which would make it easier to control bandits and give both AI lords and human player more time to pay attention on this problem, rather than endlessly to recruit villagers and babysit villages.
Suggestion. Make training grounds the new main source of training, especially for recruits. Add recruiters and patrols in the game.

A mod. Also not exactly solving the problem. But already a tool to control prosperity, thus controlling food shortages.

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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. 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.
Suggestions. Maths and Winter attrition for balance. Detailed explanation
Hideout difficulty. A possible solution, both if you like or hate them. Detailed.
 
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heu3becteh

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I believe there should be a necessary condition for prosperity growth: food surplus.
With that there still could be prosperity decrease and increase waves, but they will occur at the upper limit of food storage, so they will not lead to garrison death waves.
 

andycott

Sergeant
I believe there should be a necessary condition for prosperity growth: food surplus.
With that there still could be prosperity decrease and increase waves, but they will occur at the upper limit of food storage, so they will not lead to garrison death waves.
Good point.

UPD. A mod, which solves a part of the problem by adding an option to recruit Patrols for each village. But sadly not the whole problem.

A mod. Also not exactly solving the problem. But already a tool to control prosperity, thus controlling food shortages.
 
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andycott

Sergeant
Hey i did a post about this which kinda correlates with your issue so dont wann make a new post here i just link you my reddit post

This is a chain of different problems in the game. So not the easiest task to solve, but hope soon enough TW will fix and balance it all.
 

dicolyen

Recruit
Writing this one just after reading several pages of posts in another thread in the same topic. Killed my idea number 1: getting the villagers to transfer more produced food from villages to towns/castles - I've wiped a village clean of food on day 1. On day 2 they had 200 grain. On day 3 it was 380. On day 4 villages moved out to sell off grain in the city, taking... 30 grain. But it wont work if they move 300, because #demand.
Idea 2 - vastly expand granary storage capacity. To, like, not even 1600 (from totally hillarious 160), but 16000, or 30k+. Its a town, goddammit, it can spare room for 30 "tons" of food. Or maybe add a fifth constant upgrade "granary capacity expand", or something similar. Than we could switch from storage expand to irrigation and back, and pull up prosperity once in a while.
Of course - the easiest way would be to tone down the prosperity impact on food demand, but that's a half-way, since the food shortage will eventually catch up. if not in mid-, than in the endgame.
 

Joseef

Recruit
This is a chain of different problems in the game. So not the easiest task to solve, but hope soon enough TW will fix and balance it all.

I just want to second some of your ideas.


1. We need manhunters. Hirable patrols, create-able parties, something and/or someone to protect our lands while the villagers run around. Lords sometimes help but are extremely unreliable.

2. We need prosperity/food shortage control. It's tedious/boring to have to babysit a town while it constantly runs out of food because they're prosperous. I have spent hours in-game buying up food from regional neighbors only to return to a depleted garrison and a starving populace. That's not what I want from a game!

Some suggestions: Maybe reduce the prosperity-food penalty, short-term? Long-term, I think that system needs to be redone. Perhaps a cap on "Prosperity." Currently, if Prosperity goes too high you just can't keep a garrison at your castles, and it's virtually impossible to keep a stable one in towns. And since Prosperity can grow constantly until a food shortage, this means eventually your castles literally won't be able to keep any troops garrisoned, and you'll have to just constantly refill your towns because food supply is so unpredictable. That seems broken.
 

heu3becteh

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
The food modifier drops with increasing numbers (e.g. 58 units of grain euqal +45 food while 459 equal +56 food)
There is just a cap to amount city consumes daily. Your 58 grain and 459 are not equal, because 403 will be consumed on the next day too.

Granary should be around one dozen times larger, and prosperity should not rise when food quantity is decreasing (that should be already “food shortage” in prosperity change calculation, not when there is nothing left in granary anymore). That should help to shift prosperity-food equilibrium towards full granary, not towards empty granary and dead garrison. Together with turned off overconsumption (“trading goods” food is consumed more than standard demand only to compensate town food shortage) that should solve the problem.
I guess that should help...
 

NWCtim

Recruit
Yeah, the problem is that prosperity keeps growing beyond the point where there is food available to support it, which is something that surprised me. Prosperity should only grow when food storage is full.

Having an option to prioritize/reserve food for military use (maintaining full storage, garrison, etc) over civilian use (prosperity growth) would be kinda nice, maybe at a loyalty penalty.
 

andycott

Sergeant
Maybe TW think that everything works fine and as intended.

Because otherwise, if not, I don't really understand, why devs haven't implemented at least the present mod ideas, which already solve a part of problem. After this only granary storage needs to become much bigger, when you upgrade it, and it's also very easy to do.
It's much more important than changing tournament bets and it's prizes all the time, f.e.

Hope at least in alfa version something changes. If I understood right, we will see it very soon.
 

heu3becteh

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
I do not understand at all why tournament bets were at fault too (:
I think it is over-reaction to something. There is a topic about that already.

What is more disturbing for me - is that in other topic discussion shifts towards bandits as a source of problem, which I highly doubt is the case.
In your list of suggestions it is only number 4. In my suggestion (which is almost completely disregarded) it is not present at all.
I believe prosperity should decrease when the food is decreasing. Right now the death waves happen because:
1. Prosperity continues to increase even while food amount in storage decreases, making it decrease even faster. So even if you will just increase food storage amount - it will not help right away. Prosperity should be increased only with positive food balance. Or maybe even food shortage should be added to calculation like now, but not the food shortage below 0 (when starving), but food shortage even when town still has something in storage.
2. Food storage is small and lasts a couple of days. It does not bring much stability. I guess it should be around 10 times larger.
3. Prices are jumping faster when difference between current and stable price is higher (maybe that change follows some exponential equation too, see the topic about price formulation), so if some trader brings huge amounts of food - price drops faster than it will rise back after the food is eaten.
4. Food is eaten at much faster pace when it is available in larger amounts (overconsumption). And it even brings 10 times less prosperity.
With 1 and 2 it should already shift the food-prosperity waves equilibrium towards full granary, without garrison dying.
 

andycott

Sergeant
I do not understand at all why tournament bets were at fault too (:
I think it is over-reaction to something. There is a topic about that already.

What is more disturbing for me - is that in other topic discussion shifts towards bandits as a source of problem, which I highly doubt is the case.
In your list of suggestions it is only number 4. In my suggestion (which is almost completely disregarded) it is not present at all.
Well, right now bandits may not be the main problem, but are a part of the problem. They make it even worse.
Additional patrols can solve the bandit part, yes. But it won't solve the problem itself. I understand this.
But again it's a complex problem, which consists of several parts.
 

heu3becteh

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Well, right now bandits may not be the main problem, but are a part of the problem. They make it even worse.
Additional patrols can solve the bandit part, yes. But it won't solve the problem itself. I understand this.
But again it's a complex problem, which consists of several parts.
I think the core of the problem is that prosperity can not decrease without starvation and garrison dying.
And fluctuations of prosperity are natural thing that should inevitably happen => garrison dies.
 

andycott

Sergeant
I think the core of the problem is that prosperity can not decrease without starvation and garrison dying.
And fluctuations of prosperity are natural thing that should inevitably happen => garrison dies.
It's clear. You're right.
And both player and NPC lords should :meh: have tools to control it.
 

Maximuuus

Regular
I'm not sure it's link to prosperity...
I was, but I'm not anymore because on mye first game I had Poros, which was 8k prosp. and was always between -60 to +20 food supply... (0 garrisons)
In zeonica, when, it reach 8k a few hours later, it was always + with 275 units.

I think I saw in my new game that peasants are not always going to sell their food to the same town...
Maybe they have a better price in another city, I don't know but that's maybe a part of the problem...
 

andycott

Sergeant
UPD.
Added more mods, which solve or partly solve the problem
See other mods, which I added before above in the head of the thread.

I'm not sure it's link to prosperity...
I was, but I'm not anymore because on mye first game I had Poros, which was 8k prosp. and was always between -60 to +20 food supply... (0 garrisons)
In zeonica, when, it reach 8k a few hours later, it was always + with 275 units.

I think I saw in my new game that peasants are not always going to sell their food to the same town...
Maybe they have a better price in another city, I don't know but that's maybe a part of the problem...
As I wrote above, it's a complex problem. And food is 100% interconnected with prosperity.
 

heu3becteh

Recruit
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Added more mods, which solve or partly solve the problem
To which extent in your opinion they solve the problem, by the way?
I will have no opportunity to test it during the nearest time...

Well, obviously garrison will not starve without garrison starvation, but besides that, will starvation happen without it being justified by raids, brigands, sieges, harmful player interactions with market or other valid reasons?
 

andycott

Sergeant
To which extent in your opinion they solve the problem, by the way?
I will have no opportunity to test it during the nearest time...

Well, obviously garrison will not starve without garrison starvation, but besides that, will starvation happen without it being justified by raids, brigands, sieges, harmful player interactions with market or other valid reasons?
There's already 7 mods in the head of the thread, not only these 3 new.
They don't fix the gameplay completely of course. But solve most particular problems, concerning the thread.

Everything's written in mod's descriptions. Most of them are too obvious or have detailed description on how they solve one or other problem. It's odd to duplicate such information.
 

Rabies

Knight at Arms
To my mind, prosperity ought to be a direct measure of the flow of trade through the town's market. If there is a trade surplus (value of goods sold exceeds cost of goods bought), that means more money is flowing into the town than is leaving it, which means it's getting richer (more prosperous). In that case, the prosperity number should increase by some formula connected to the value of the surplus.

If the town is buying goods to a greater value than those it's selling, the opposite happens: money is flowing out of the town, so prosperity reduces.
[For all I know, this could be how it actually does work already; I haven't spent time investigating it at all.]

That system doesn't take into account whether not there is a surplus in food production/consumption, and nor should it have to. If the markets and caravan trade system is working properly, it should be able to even itself out: that is, a food production deficit in a town should cause prices to be high, which in turn should attract caravans to sell food there at a better price. The town would then need to be producing other trade goods to sell to the caravans so that it can afford its food imports; if the town can't match the cost of its food imports with goods to sell, then it will lose prosperity over time.

Increasing prosperity absolutely should increase food consumption: richer people eat more food than than poor people do; plus there's also the factor of an abstracted population increase, perhaps, but population of towns is not directly measured by the game, apparently. It needn't be the case that prosperity be limited by food surplus, since trade should be able to compensate - if the mechanics that govern trade in the game are working as they should.

The main gameplay problem arising from this is that garrisons suffer losses if the town runs out of food. The simplest and most intuitive fix for this is just to separate the garrison from the rest of the town's economy when it comes to food, and have them be supplied by their own stockpile which is directly managed by the town's Lord (or governor) - this is what any sensible garrison commander would do in such circumstances, anyway.

The garrison's number (unlike the militia) is too changeable for it to factor in to the general economy, and there are too many varying circumstances that require it to be suddenly increased or decreased which are totally separate from the general requirements of the town. It simply doesn't make any sense for garrisons to have to rely on the food production and marketplace of the town they're stationed in, nor for the market to be expected to support them effectively when their numbers are so unpredictable. It's never going to work while the two things are connected directly.

I think this is an essential change, frankly: have the Lord set a minimum amount for the garrison's food stockpile, and when it gets below that amount it should automatically buy more food from the market to top it up. Again, that would cause food prices to rise, which in turn should attract more caravans to sell more food there. The Lord should also be able to manually add to or take from the stockpile whenever they want. Only when the garrison's food stockpile is totally deleted should there be any losses to garrison numbers.
 
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