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Thread: Largest Income But Struggling To Keep Up In Tech - Why?

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    Largest Income But Struggling To Keep Up In Tech - Why?

    In 3.1, I am playing Great Britain in a game started in 1399. It is 1626. For some time, I have been struggling to catch up to France & Spain in tech, even though each has much bigger armies and less income. I don't understand why that is.

    The relative situations haven't changed significantly for some time. Currently, the facts are as follows: Income: GB-350; F-334; S-187 Inflation: GB-3%; F-3%; S-34% Armies GB-101,000; F-305,000; S-235,000 Prestige GB-95; F-51; S--34; Tech GB-22-23, except Production of 19; F-25-27; S-24-26. In provinces, France, Spain and Great Britain are #1, 2 and 3 respectively in the world and GB is not that far behind. I keep my # of colonies to 6 or less and currently have 3. I keep my army maintenance at about 50% unless there is a reason to raise it temporarily.

    I am particularly baffled by my falling behind Spain in tech and my inability to catch up with her.

  2. #2
    Maybe you got alot of non-core provinces or alot of distant overseas ones?
    Sliders towards serfdom/narrowminded?
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    bring the game home!
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    What are your (and their) slider settings? That has a big influence on tech costs. Principally Innovative-Narrowminded and Serfdom-Free Subjects, but Centralized-Decentralized affects income.

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    Most of my overseas provinces are in eastern North America and the Caribbean. I control most of both areas and have cores on most of those provinces. I have no provinces in Europe outside Great Britain. My key slider settings are as follows: centralization- 0; Free subjects- +1; Innovation- -5, which is all the way to innovation.

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    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Have you been minting like crazy at some point?
    Maybe just fell behind so bad that you're just catching up?
    "There are no limits to what science can explore."

    -Ernest Solvay, Belgian Chemist

  6. #6
    How high is your inflation?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wack3 View Post
    Most of my overseas provinces are in eastern North America and the Caribbean.
    Eastern North America may be your problem. Most of those provinces have fairly low base tax and their goods aren't particularly valuable before markets are built. The Caribbean has better base tax values but again the goods aren't particularly valuable to start with. Low income provinces don't give you that much more money but each additional province pushes up your research costs.

    Also the research effects are cumulative with the increases in production and trade efficiency making it harder to catch up.

    Government type helps - the 10% production efficiency from Administrative Monarchy is worthwhile.

    Finally - are you trading? Do you have 5 merchants in all the valuable CoT's that you aren't embargoed from and can you keep them there? That income is important.

    I don't understand how the income shown in the ledger is actually calculated but my impression is that it isn't really an accurate reflection of the economic power of a country and how well they are researching.

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    I have never minted a lot. I emphasized technology development from the beginning of the game. When I fell a little behind, particularly in naval or land, I focused on catching up as the priority. For much of the game, I stayed about even. I gradually fell behind, but never much more than I am now. It seems that there is something about how economy/technology works that I don't understand. My income has been much greater than Spain for some time. I would think that maintenance of the large French and Spanish armies, when compared to mine, would give me a good competitive advantage in technology development. The one factor which might partially explain it is a number of stability hits from Free Subjects, Innovation, religious turmoil and the like. I always keep stability at 3; when it goes down, I stop research and raise my stability. However, I would think that France and Spain have to deal with those problems too. The largest part of my income is from trade.

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    In response to Vork99, I emphasized trade from the beginning and have maintained 5 merchants in all COTs for a long time. I have monopolies in several COTs and own 2 in London and Alabama. I watch the tax bases of the provinces that I take. I minimize the number of 1 or 2 tax base provinces that I take and take those last if possible. My government type is Administrative Monarchy. I put workshops and market places in all provinces as soon after they were available as possible. I used money taken in peace settlements from North American tribes to pay for much of my development. I have built 1 refinery and 1 weapons manufactory.

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    General JimboOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wack3 View Post
    I have never minted a lot. I emphasized technology development from the beginning of the game. When I fell a little behind, particularly in naval or land, I focused on catching up as the priority. For much of the game, I stayed about even. I gradually fell behind, but never much more than I am now. It seems that there is something about how economy/technology works that I don't understand. My income has been much greater than Spain for some time. I would think that maintenance of the large French and Spanish armies, when compared to mine, would give me a good competitive advantage in technology development. The one factor which might partially explain it is a number of stability hits from Free Subjects, Innovation, religious turmoil and the like. I always keep stability at 3; when it goes down, I stop research and raise my stability. However, I would think that France and Spain have to deal with those problems too. The largest part of my income is from trade.
    Continuous expansion will slow you down.

    FYI, this happens in all of my games. Especially since the cap on rising tech costs has been removed.

    You could also let your stab recover "naturally" (using your monarch and other bonuses) more, rather than investing heavily in it, especially at +2.

  11. #11
    Army manitenance has zero impact on tech progress, except to the extent that you mint. Army costs are paid in cash, therefore in effect out of your annual income. Tech costs are paid out of monthly income, and 100% of that can go to tech if you can afford to support your army out of annual census taxes.

    Each tech costs a certain amount per province. If you have more provinces than France, that means that each tech costs you more than it costs them. When that is added to the effect of sliders - and I believe France starts off with some points in Innovative - it is quite easy for France to take the lead.

    Plus, France may well be Lucky, which decreases tech costs by 2%.

    So, it's not that unusual a result if you have been an expansive coloniser.

  12. #12
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    What SharpFish said, in one of my England games I was around 5 or so years behind my European neighbours due to my massive colonial empire, even with my sliders at max Centralisation.
    I suggest adopting Press Gangs to reduce your naval upkeep so you can pump more into your tech, or you can adopt NTB and pump the cash you save from that into your tech.

  13. #13
    It may come down to the relative poorness of your European provinces, which will generally contribute a lot more to your tech costs than will colonies until the price of new world goods increases massively. France is probably the richest area in Europe other than Italy, whereas the British Isles excepting the South have low base tax and lots of grain/iron provs.

    In addition, I'm guessing that France and Spain have been doing mainland expansion which you have not, and so the provs they have gained are better than your colonies. However, colonies are a long term strategy; once sugar and coffee prices start going up (should be very soon) you should do better than them.
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    Captain synthshadow's Avatar
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    Agreed with notanumber, Most of my games are centred around Britain in one way or another. I was ALWAYS relying on neighbour-bonuses to prop me up in tech costs as I went hideously colonial very early on and was costing me a fortune.

    Once the fur and sugar/coffee/cotton provinces core and you plop market places in there, not only do your revenues shoot up, but the overseas tarrifs you get aswell, meaning you'll leapfrog over france and Spain, especially if you've managed to keep them out of the new world as much as possible.

    Word of warning, France and Spain become RIDICULOUSLY rich if they get their claws too deep into the high value new world provinces - keep them out as much as you can!!

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    The fact that tech costs are calculated per province seems to explain the tech research slow down experienced when you develop many overseas provinces, at least until they are cored and prices rise. Is it correct that those provinces are a net negative on research for some time after they are colonized or conquered? Is the effect significantly different for colonized, as opposed to conquered provinces? By 1616, more than 200 years into the game haven't prices risen significantly? I haven't paid much attention to that. Most of my overseas provinces have been cored for some time. I got to the New World many years before anyone else.

    However, none of this seems to explain Spain. Both France and Spain have always had more provinces and continuously expanded. Spain has many overseas provinces, primarily in S. America, but also some in N. America. It has 34% inflation, significantly less income and a much larger army. Regarding the cost of armies, it may only indirectly affect tech, but doesn't it limit how much you can reduce minting (and increase tech) and still have money for merchants, building and other expenses? The difference in army sizes is huge and the cost of maintenance is substantial.

    I will definitely try letting stab grow "naturally" when it is at +2, rather than stopping research to increase it quickly.

  16. #16

    It's simple.

    "I have been struggling to catch up to France & Spain in tech, even though each has much bigger armies and less income. I don't understand why that is."


    The computer is a cheater.

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    Sergeant Bill Wack3's Avatar
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    1113, you may or may not be right. The thought has occurred to me It is surprising that you are the first to suggest that - and that I haven't asked about it. Either way, I want to better understand how the game operates. I guess the question is this - does the AI have an advantage in tech research on normal difficulty? Thanks.

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    General JimboOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wack3 View Post
    1113, you may or may not be right. The thought has occurred to me It is surprising that you are the first to suggest that - and that I haven't asked about it. Either way, I want to better understand how the game operates. I guess the question is this - does the AI have an advantage in tech research on normal difficulty? Thanks.
    How much the AI is cheating changes with patches and expansions - it used to cheat outrageously (it would shoot for something like 150-300% forcelimits worth of army - obviously an unreasonable amount). The AI has since improved, but on the other hand, the AI has played by the rules a little more.

    I do not know to what extent, if any, it cheats in the current game. I remember hearing it didn't - but I'm not sure if that covers everything.

  19. #19
    Field Marshal Dafool's Avatar
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    From what I remember hearing, the only bonuses or "cheating" the AI uses are based on Difficulty(Hard makes them stronger) or being "Lucky," in which case they'll get a whole slew of different bonuses. In any case, I don't believe there is much else the AI can do that we can't, especially in regard to tech.

    After reading through I honestly can't see any reason why you would be constantly behind. It may have to do with something you can't see, like modified income or something for your enemies, or it could be some sort of player error where you're just missing something that's affecting your tech progress. Obviously we have no way of knowing exactly what it is, but every other possibility seems to be exhausted at this point.

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    bring the game home!
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    The only true cheat the AI uses is that it doesn't suffer from naval attrition. Difficulty settings and Luck are given by the player, and are thus not true cheats.

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