Imperator DD: Important balance changes and missions

Imperator DD: Important balance changes and missions

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Arheo

Game Director, Imperator: Rome
Feb 13, 2018
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Greetings all,

Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the more significant balance changes coming to the game with the advent of the 2.0 release.

Manpower

Due to the levies and legions features being added, manpower is undergoing a few adjustments. Simply put, manpower from pops is being increased, whereas the expected number of years for manpower to reach the maximum cap is being reduced.

This effectively means that your monthly manpower gains will go up, whereas your manpower pool will remain broadly similar to before.

Why these changes?

Well, with levied units being proportional to your population, we found that fielded forces tend to be larger than if one builds armies 1 unit at a time. Combined with the fact that levied pops do not contribute to resource income, this usually results in significant waiting periods in between conquest - something that could often feel like a hard block. Of course, these changes don’t offset the need for good pop planning, they merely mitigate some of the increased potential for attrition and casualty damage.

Statesmanship

As of 2.0, statesmanship will be vastly more important than prominence in republican elections; simulating more of a meritocratic/political aspect to character importance. It should become more likely to have long-serving officials elected to Consul, than those with inherent prominence from one of many sources.

Subjects and Integration

The per-pop cost to integrate subjects has been reduced significantly, as often pop growth would end up outstripping integration speed for larger subjects. Additionally, the AI has been altered to more frequently consider integration of smaller subjects without strategic potential.

Several subject types have been added in 2.0, many of which are accessible through the invention trees.

1.png


Additionally, previously tag specific subjects such as Syracuse’ mercenary state subject type can also be unlocked through the innovation tree, provided the Magna Graecia content pack is owned. Syracuse will still start with this subject type unlocked.

Oratory Inventions

During development of the oratory tree, it became apparent that more diplomatic ‘keystone’ style effects were required. Several have been added, and tie in to protectionism and intervention.

2.png


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While the sum of the various keystone inventions can certainly seem very powerful, the limiting factor will still be how one spends the limited number of innovations one receives over the course of a campaign. Situational choice remains relevant, and allows for tailoring national capabilities according to desired playstyle.

While the invention trees still contain numerous modifier changes, we’ve tried to add plenty of decisions or unlockables that affect how you play the game, as well.

Mercenaries

The size of mercenary stacks now has a greater scaling based on where they are situated. This ensures that they maintain long-term viability, and allows you to better ‘grow’ mercenary bands for your own nefarious purposes.

This functionality previously existed, but was heavily reduced due to the propensity for ludicrous mercenary stacks. A more reasonable scaling has been applied.

Holy Sites and Treasures

Due to popular demand, you will now be able to remove treasures from holy sites not in your pantheon, without razing said site to the ground.

4.png


Additionally, holy sites have been given more prominence in the territory UI, where the holysite image will now replace the city status image, and will also show any treasures currently in the territory:

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Treasures are a gameplay feature that were previously very difficult to interact with, as many of you have pointed out. These changes ought to mitigate some of those concerns.

AI Expansion

Whilst very difficult to balance optimal play and historical accuracy for the AI, we’ve changed the way that the AI evaluates potential wars. This puts a greater emphasis on going after claimed land, a vastly reduced likelihood of expanding into tribal territory (for non-tribal governments), and a greater likelihood of engaging in more evenly-matched warfare between regional powers.

In practice, this results in better expansion for our classic ‘great powers’ such as Rome and the Diadochi, and fewer snaking conquests into low-value tribal terrain. Of course, Imperator remains a sandbox - games will not play out the same way twice, and where sometimes Rome may fall, other great powers may rise to take their place…

6.png


Yes, that is Rome as a client kingdom.

And now I shall hand over to @Chopmist who’ll take you through the final, essential mission for any successful Diadoch.
 
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Chopmist

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Ave again, this time we’ll be taking a look at the last mission coming with our expansion Heirs of Alexander, a shared Diadochi mission designed by @Trin Tragula which is available to all five Successors when they complete two specific missions from their unique set (e.g. Egypt must complete Eastern Border and Thalassocracy).

Named Diadochi Empire, this mission provides a late-game challenge and thus expects you to already be a large nation, and directs you in establishing a new kind of realm that will fulfill Alexander’s dream of a lasting empire. It also sets out to draw up what might have been if a historical, lasting, united Hellenistic Empire were to dominate the Mediterrenean instead of Rome. The end goal of the mission, apart from lasting government institutions and a strong dynasty, is a uniting common identity beyond cultural and tribal differences - an alternative to Roman citizenship in real history.

As a result of its end game nature, the tasks of the mission have steep requirements, sometimes providing a place to sink your wealth, but offering unique and powerful rewards.
The resolution of its tasks will also sometimes allow you to decide between alternative ways to shape your universal empire.

mission1.jpg


The right hand path will first set you up with claims on Alexander’s entire empire in case they have been lost via the Epigoni event, and then ask you to conquer any core regions of Alexander’s empire which remain independent (Macedon, Mesopotamia, and/or Egypt, depending on which lands you already own) and give you a choice on how to govern them, with direct rule over such a large empire being quite taxing.

Conquering all of Persia and reclaiming the lands west of the Indus are optional objectives later on this side of the tree which will guide you in fulfilling the requirements of the Reunite Alexander’s Empire decision, which as before changes your country’s name and color - although if your ruler does not have the Blood of the Argeads trait it will be named the Macedonian Empire rather than Argead Empire.

mesopotamia.jpg


To live up to the empire of old you must ensure your capital has a Great Work (decision-built and starting wonders such as the Pyramids, Pharos, etc. count), ensuring it is a lasting Metropolis.

For this vast empire to function the food supply must also be organized properly; inspired by the Roman bread doles, it will be quite the undertaking to ensure the poor are fed and order is maintained, and your choices in handling this matter will have lasting consequences.

granary.jpg


Parallel to this, the left-hand path demands that you have the Empire government form if you are to manage such a large realm effectively, before inviting you to patronize the gods and asking you to assemble the Anthologia Philosophike - nine unique scholarly treasures scattered across the world which will be combined into one - to prove your dominant position as a center of learning and ensure the survival of the world’s knowledge for posterity.

reliquary.jpg


Further, you will be tasked to establish a bureaucracy to oversee the empire’s administration, and decide on how its candidates will be picked, as well as to patronize philosophers, inviting skilled characters from across the world to the capital. A royal school will also be established, granting all current and future members of the ruling dynasty by blood extra skills in a chosen category to ensure the empire’s leaders are up to the task.

lineage.jpg


You may then prove you are Alexander’s true successor by honoring his memory and collecting his entire panoply - again scattered around the world - creating another combined treasure for your subjects to be inspired by and gawp at. Deification will also improve your ruler’s skills and legitimacy, the authority of the god-king lubricating the spokes of government.

After all that, you may finally achieve Alexander’s dream of a peaceful world-spanning empire, free from the cultural divisions of the past - something which your close-minded subjects will be loath to accept. The game will challenge you with a vast civil war, where you must destroy those who seek to cling to regional identity and unite the empire.

labe.jpg


If you survive that, you will have nothing left to prove to your subjects, or the gods, and Alexander’s ambitions will finally have been realized. A new Hellenistic culture will be adopted by the state and its elite, spreading to the capital and largest cities first, representing the mixing of cultures and the common identity shared by all subjects of the God-Kings of your Hellenistic empire.

hellenistic.jpg


That’s all from me!
 
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Ares Enyalios

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Thanks.

I like that there is a Macedonian Empire now instead of the Argead one.

I further like that inventions are now more meaningful so that some of the mechanics need to be unlocked through inventions. The more, the better! I hope to see a bit more complete new ones. The unlocking of real mechanics / components that offer real gameplay instead of just stats is one of the main reasons Stellaris feels really satisfying in that regard. That's also why i really like the way the Total War games handly research. You get something substantial out of it like a new building, a new unit. The most substantial thing i got in Imperator at release was the streetbuilding mechanic. If you expand on that in further updates, it will add a rewarding gameplay loop as in those mentioned games. This gameplayloop is one of the aspects Imperator was lacking previously.
 
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Wow, amazing stuff! Had those diplomacy inventions been teased before? I love those alternate ways to intervene in your neighbours affairs and that inventions aren't just modifiers anymore. End game content is great too.
 
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Manst

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I can't wait to see the other keystone inventions, they seem so awesome and defiently something the game needed. I need moar!
 
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Lord Finnish

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Absolutely fantastic work as always. Particularly a fan of the guarantee into subject path.
 
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rus-chel

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No Bactria tree?
Very sad. They're worthy of at least 1 unique.
 
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IsaacCAT

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Combined with the fact that levied pops do not contribute to resource income
I understand that levied pops do not contribute to manpower, either. Thank you, that solves the issue about retiring soldiers not using the manpower pool. In 2.0 because armies do not stand for ever, it means soldiers are not there to have babies.

Although, one can argue that infidelity could be a thing if soldiers are for long periods of time far from home...

Hopefully, we can say that a levy or Legion cannot stand for more than one man lifetime. Or can Legions have their men to stand for ever?
 
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Mod S

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So i take it this is the second last Dev Diary?
 
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Does the Diadochi mission includes Pyrrhus and Epirus, the true successors to the Argead throne? :)
 
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Can you please just stop making focus trees and make full system overhauls as the DLC. I know some people are giga hyped for mission trees and flavor like this, but it does nothing for me. I still want to support the game financially however so its core systems can get the love they need. The current financial system does not allow me to show this however. If I pay for flavor I'm supporting more time investment from the devs on flavor in the future, instead of updating core game mechanics. If I don't pay I'm not supporting a game I have spend 500 hours in and I want to continue supporting. It's just a lose lose for me this way, I'd rather have 2 years without updates if that means we get dynamic cultures and religions instead of what we have now, even if that means a 40 euro dlc. I'm going to vote with my wallet and not buy 15 euro mission tree packs, even though that's the only way I could support this project, it just feels bad.
 
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cristofolmc

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Oohhh it feels like the release date is coming soon. We are already wrapping up with the balance changes. Very exited.


Btw the new diplomatic mechanics sound amazing. Cant wait to try it. I really like the new tech tree feature. It merges national ideas and tech into one feature making the gameplay completly different depending on what you focus on! Great stuff!
 
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nikkythegreat

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Damn, these missions are almost OP. But to be fair by the time you get these missions you would probably be the undisputed premier power of the world.
Hopefully at some time in the future Rome, Maurya, and probably Carthage would get something similar.

Also I noticed that invention costs require 1.00 of the new currency. Does this mean we will have modifiers like heritage or military traditions that would give invention cost discounts? Like Helenistic heritage would give you -5% invention cost in 2.0 instead of the current +0.01 civilization.
 
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Liggi

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Can you please just stop making focus trees and make full system overhauls as the DLC. I know some people are giga hyped for mission trees and flavor like this, but it does nothing for me. I still want to support the game financially however so its core systems can get the love they need. The current financial system does not allow me to show this however. If I pay for flavor I'm supporting more time investment from the devs on flavor in the future, instead of updating core game mechanics. If I don't pay I'm not supporting a game I have spend 500 hours in and I want to continue supporting. It's just a lose lose for me this way, I'd rather have 2 years without updates if that means we get dynamic cultures and religions instead of what we have now, even if that means a 40 euro dlc. I'm going to vote with my wallet and not buy 15 euro mission tree packs, even though that's the only way I could support this project, it just feels bad.

I doubt that "mission" content is taking away from development time on mechanical aspects of the gameplay. Missions are largely pure content, just modifiers, text and so on, they are a very different beast to something like dynamic cultures and religion. They are separate DLC, so you're free not to buy them if you don't see any value, but I wouldn't worry so much about time being "taken away" from other things that you do value. Think of them as a bonus that you can ignore if you want.
 
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Quimera

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Can you please just stop making focus trees and make full system overhauls as the DLC. I know some people are giga hyped for mission trees and flavor like this, but it does nothing for me. I still want to support the game financially however so its core systems can get the love they need. The current financial system does not allow me to show this however. If I pay for flavor I'm supporting more time investment from the devs on flavor in the future, instead of updating core game mechanics. If I don't pay I'm not supporting a game I have spend 500 hours in and I want to continue supporting. It's just a lose lose for me this way, I'd rather have 2 years without updates if that means we get dynamic cultures and religions instead of what we have now, even if that means a 40 euro dlc. I'm going to vote with my wallet and not buy 15 euro mission tree packs, even though that's the only way I could support this project, it just feels bad.
Relax mate, in my years with PDX I never see such a game that change so much the mechanics and tweaks the features of the core of the game, not even with EU4-Emperor DLC, just the next update of EU4 come closer to this, now that PDX fix a lot of soules and barebone mechanics like pop and levies more legion system to the game, they can still improve the game in other branches too, like these Your Imperator priorities 2021 Edition | Paradox Interactive Forums (paradoxplaza.com) , right now I am happy they keep adding flavours to the diaochis, who know if they tomorrow add new mechanics for Persia restoration, India, Italy minors or Punics cities and more, but right now, glad they try to fix the diaochis, the main dogs at the start of the game, with many variables that affect their neighbours. This new update is a huge step in the right direction, that you want or not the new skins and mission trees are at your regard, you will paly anyway the free update and improvements, my other hands, after some sceptical dlcs I think I will purchase this one.
 
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