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Thread: When is it a good idea to use a different faction to build a specialist city?

  1. #1

    When is it a good idea to use a different faction to build a specialist city?

    (I was wondering this, and in the process of working it out, thought others might be interested as well.)

    A faction other than your own imposes a -20% penalty to all resources generated. Gold, Food, Mana, and Research. Population grows slower, with a permanent -50/turn penalty.

    GOLD
    Humans are easily the best at maximizing gold production, because they have access to the Treasure House, a building available after the Mint. It adds +100% to gold production in addition to the Mint's 100%, giving a total bonus of +325%. The racial penalty is applied after the bonus multiplication, so a non-native Human city with a base gold production of 10 and a multiplier of 325% would yield 34 gold after the racial penalty. A Monster city with a base production of 10 and all of its multiplier buildings would generate 32.5 gold. HOWEVER, a Monster or Undead City will have access to another Craft District they can build while the Human City is building the Treasure House. All else being equal, the Monster/Undead City should always have a higher Base Production.

    (Without any +population spells, keep in mind it will take 66 turns to complete a Treasure House if starting from scratch. With Agrela's +pop spell you significantly reduce the time required, to 41 turns. Given that most of my games are "over" by at least turn 100, its doubtful that building a human city from scratch as Undead or Monster would give you that much of a boost. A native race city would generate more gold for those 66 or 41 turns, after all.)

    tl;dr summary: Unless you are going to use Red Dragon Eggs (Red Dragon Eggs can yield +40g/turn for Humans), there is no reason to build a human city from scratch for gold production.

    FOOD
    Monsters are best at food production, as they are able to uniquely build the Pub (+5F, -1G) at any of their cities, and a Fishing Village adjacent to a water tile. Additionally, their food multiplier buildings cost less gold upkeep than the Human equivalents. That said, Humans would never build a monster food city from scratch because the -20% "other race" penalty and the slower pop growth wipes out any gains. They would be better than Humans if the Undead needed to make food for some reason, however.

    tl;dr summary: Only undead should ever build a non-native race food producing city, and the Monster city wins easily.

    MANA
    The Undead have access to two unique multipliers (the Crypt adds +75%, the Mana Vault adds +50%) and the ability to create unlimited Mana Farms (+4 each). They win in any scratch built contest.

    If others have worked out when an Undead City becomes better than a native Human or Monster faction city, feel free to add it. I'll update the post when I have time later. Thanks LTK and others for pointing out corrections.
    Last edited by The Apprentice; 28-05-2012 at 02:41. Reason: Original conclusion was wrong
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  2. #2
    Two things: The population growth in a city of a different race isn't -20% but a flat -50. I'm also not sure if the -20% penalty to resources is subtracted from the cumulative percentage gained by buildings. I can't check right now; where in the city resource production list does the -20% race penalty occur? Is it right after the percentage multipliers?

  3. #3
    Oops- you're right about the -50 penalty. Doesn't change any of the conclusions because the chart I relied on had the proper formula, but shouldn't have wrong info up there. Fixing!

    As for when the -20% is calculated, I don't know for sure. It appears that the game takes the base gold production (say 12), then multiplies that by the total positive multipliers on the city (say +50% for Tax Offices and +20% for Trader trait, yielding a +70% multiplier) and then takes that total and subtracts the race penalty. It worked out when I just checked a random monster city in game, but Math is not my strong suit.

    So, I'll change the human multiplier section, as the game does multiply by 325%, and then it reduces that total by 20%. If I did more things wrong, feel free to chime in. I think the conclusion on when a Human City reaches a gold/per turn advantage is correct, still?
    Last edited by The Apprentice; 27-05-2012 at 22:25.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  4. #4
    The 20% penalty is a .8 multiplier. So the 325% bonus for humans is a 4.25 multiplier. Combined that gives the 3.4 effective multiplier for human cities (for non human race, city of own race would have 3.25 multiplier). This is actually pretty harsh and by the time a human city would be beneficial you probably dont need the slight boost anyway. Combined with the -50pop in the end it would actually cost you a few max pop plus alot slower growth around 10.

    I would say for the gold/food/mana its almost never useful to build a town from a different race. Just stick to whatever you have or aim for the buildings/units you need.

  5. #5
    Well, the undead do always win in mana production, since they can make limitless +mana buildings and none of the other races can. Of course, you'd need a fairly sizeable undead city to actually complete it's mana tree and go back to making more basic mana buildings... for mid size cities, it might be more efficient to just skip a lot of the mana bonus buildings, so you'll have to figure that out for yourself.

  6. #6
    You are using the same base production, but that isn't a fair comparison. You should be using the same number of buildings. Also it turns out a base of 10 is too low as to get more money from adding a treasure house than a craftsmen you need to have already built 2 craftsmen.
    To justify a treasure house with only human buildings takes a city of size 8.

    Human
    Base value 12
    Modifiers +325%
    Total 51
    After Reduction 40.8

    Monster
    Base value 15
    Modifiers +225%
    Total 48.75

    Undead
    Base value 14
    Modifiers +225%
    Sub total 45.5
    Food maintenance -0.5 (for Bat fort's food maintenance, if you have a food deficit this would be -2)
    Total 45.0

    Thus a human city is no use for gold to the other races even at size 8. You need to add 30 to the base before the human city is better for the undead than one of their own. That is two gems instead of the two craftsmen. Then you have to factor in the lower growth rate, and the loss of money while it grows. For monsters you have to add 60 to the base, so with 3 gems comes ahead at size 11.

    Conclusion: It is almost never worth building a human city just for the gold.

    ADDED: This is all based on having only money generating buildings. If you create the city with a settler you will have a non-money generating building as you first - so would need to get to size 9 for the above figures.
    PoN Beta

  7. #7
    Actually, given the math formula above, there is virtually no reason to build a Human City from scratch for Gold purposes. It takes an extra building slot for Humans to max out, so the other races would have an additional Craft District as well.

    The Humans at max multipliers get (3g*4.25)-((3g*4.25*.2) for every craft district they build. However, the other races get (3g*3.25) per each craft district, and have another in the background. Meaning that the only time I can see a Human gold city being worth founding is on Red Dragon eggs- the Human variant yields 40g/turn whereas the other races produce food or mana.

    Edit: Saji's post notes the building issue more eloquently than I did. I think that non-native Human Gold cities are only worth it when exploiting Red Dragon Eggs. A bunch of other math posts also appeared above, so if mine is wrong in the details, ignore them.
    Last edited by The Apprentice; 28-05-2012 at 00:33. Reason: Ninja's?
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  8. #8
    The math here seems sound, so I'd suggest putting it up on a wiki page for the Advanced Guides section. I was doing some of the same math myself on the Cities page. Can someone double-check that for me? Also, tell me if there's anything missing from that article.

    I checked the order of the race penalty calculation in the city tooltip, and it seems to be in between the percentage multiplier and the upkeep cost subtraction. So that implies that a city of a different race works only 80% as hard to produce resources as cities of your native race, because from that 80% the upkeep costs still have to be paid. That's pretty much what I expected.

    One more thing: There's something strange I noticed about the resource production of castles. When I scroll through my non-capital castles, some are shown as generating +2 gold, food or mana, but only if there is already a calculation involving these resources. So a city with a market but not a farm has a castle that gives +2 gold, but 0 food. And strangely, a city with only a mana trap (+3 mana, -1 gold) has a castle that gives +2 mana, but also +2 gold. Should I put that in the bugs subforum?
    Last edited by LTK; 28-05-2012 at 02:10.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SolaceAvatar View Post
    Well, the undead do always win in mana production, since they can make limitless +mana buildings and none of the other races can. Of course, you'd need a fairly sizeable undead city to actually complete it's mana tree and go back to making more basic mana buildings... for mid size cities, it might be more efficient to just skip a lot of the mana bonus buildings, so you'll have to figure that out for yourself.
    Too bad especially late game you usually cant spend all the mana anyway.

  10. #10
    1. Comparing number of turns isn't always correct. After conquering powerful city of the other race you usually choose between developing this city further and wiping it out to build your own from scratch. In this case foreign race starts much more developed and could reach top buildings around the same time as native city.

    2. Human cities will win with the same level if there are additional gold sources, i.e. mines. They are loosing in number of turns to reach this, so you'll not need them to be built from scratch, but this needs to be considered for captured cities.

    3. Some races have additional special buildings - i.e. monsters could build Cheese Cave, Butchery and Monster Dragon Farm, having much greater base output. Surely that's not the best use for dragons, but Butchery is great for a food city.

    In these cases you need quite advanced calculator for making a choice, displaying results in graphs to make choice between short-term and long-term output.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by stealthnsk View Post
    1. Comparing number of turns isn't always correct. After conquering powerful city of the other race you usually choose between developing this city further and wiping it out to build your own from scratch. In this case foreign race starts much more developed and could reach top buildings around the same time as native city.

    2. Human cities will win with the same level if there are additional gold sources, i.e. mines. They are loosing in number of turns to reach this, so you'll not need them to be built from scratch, but this needs to be considered for captured cities.

    3. Some races have additional special buildings - i.e. monsters could build Cheese Cave, Butchery and Monster Dragon Farm, having much greater base output. Surely that's not the best use for dragons, but Butchery is great for a food city.

    In these cases you need quite advanced calculator for making a choice, displaying results in graphs to make choice between short-term and long-term output.
    1. True - you need to consider the situation.

    2. No - a mine isn't enough. A human city with 8 gold producing buildings will only produce more money for an undead player than an undead city if two of those buildings are gems, two gold mines isn't enough. For a monster player human city with 8 gold buildings will never produce more money that one of their own.
    A monster / undead own city produces 3.25 gold per base gold production.
    A human city owned by monster / undead produces 3.40 (4.25 * 0.8) gold per base resource, and takes an extra building to do it. So that extra 15% needs to offset the 9.75 (3 * 3.25) they get from an extra craftsman - that needs a base of 65 from monsters, the bat fort means undead only need a base of 43 for the human city to be as good.

    Also all the time it takes to get to this point the own race city is better, and so is building up a surplus, and it is growing faster so gets there sooner.

    A captured city comes with a head start on population, and saves the 50 for the settler, but if it has too many non-gold buildings that can make things worse as they make gaining the necessary number of gold buildings harder.

    3. Race only special buildings do alter things - a human only +40 gold building shifts the output 126 in favour of the human city.
    PoN Beta

  12. #12
    Regarding second - yes, I meant more than just one mine.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by stealthnsk View Post
    Regarding second - yes, I meant more than just one mine.
    It isn't just more than one, you need 5 mines, and that ignores the fact that now you need 2 extra buildings - so you are talking about cities of size 11 before the human one becomes better. At this point the own race city is larger, and growing much faster.
    PoN Beta

  14. #14
    Corporal
    DungeonlandMagickaWarlock: Master of the Arcane

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthnsk View Post
    Surely that's not the best use for dragons
    It is if you have access to gold dragon eggs.

  15. #15
    Or access to your favorite Temple Unit and the Levitate Spell.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by buchecker View Post
    Too bad especially late game you usually cant spend all the mana anyway.
    True, it's also a problem how you eventually only need gold, anyway. Plus humans can make 7 types of temples, to the other race's four.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Corran109 View Post
    It is if you have access to gold dragon eggs.
    Human city is better as gold is generally more useful.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthnsk View Post
    Human city is better as gold is generally more useful.
    True. I'm just saying that if you have access to gold dragon eggs, the red dragon eggs are either gold or food for you, nothing more. I'm pretty sure if you can get 2 red dragon eggs within the perimeter of a monster city, then buff it, you'd be set for food for the rest of the game.

  19. #19
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    A Game of DwarvesWarlock: Master of the Arcane

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    Undead get 40 mana for Red Dragon Eggs, i dont think Gold Dragon Eggs can be turned into some type of resource, you can only use to make Gold Dragons.
    Does multiple Cassino works? One time i manage to get 3 in my city radius?

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