The Production and Trade systems (aka the Economy) are the weakest parts of Imperator

The Production and Trade systems (aka the Economy) are the weakest parts of Imperator

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Panthera_Tigris

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The Economic system is probably the worst weakest part of Imperator by far. Not only is it way too tedious, it makes little logical or gameplay sense. You have to manually set up import goods for each province and then come back every few years in case routes have gone up? It's tedious and its silly. And I am not even going to get into the silliness of a town importing just 1 type of good rather than a bit of everything like a normal person.

Production system is also so weird. Every 13 slaves produce 1 good?? That is BY FAR the WORST idea PDX ever put into a game. So 1 slave produces 1 food, 12 slaves still produce 1 food!?!? Not only is it ridiculous logically, it makes things so tedious since you have to micromanage how many pops you put into each province. Or just ignore the mechanic completely.

Why not just have a more logical system (inspired from Vicky 2):

1. Each province produces a trade good with its quantity (including fractions!!!) based on its population which is then consolidated at the Empire level. Buildings, roads, governors, tech, happiness etc. improve production.

2. The thousands of horse carts carrying these around your Empire should be abstracted. Apparently THIS is the part PDX chose not to abstract with province level trade routes. :/

3. Each pop uses up some amount of each good. So for example, every salve needs 0.05 grain and that's it. Every citizen needs 0.1 grain, 0.05 incense, 0.05 fish etc. While a noble needs a little bit of almost every good. Doesnt this make more sense than just using your 1 trade route to ONLY import Incense for the next 300 years??

4. If you have shortage of a good, you get unhappiness and growth stops. Or you can import which will make trading empires more powerful too. You can just conquer those trade goods but the infra devastation/ pop deaths from war would actually lead to a reduction in supply in the short term. So conquest is not a no-brainer like it currently is.

5. Not all goods should be made by slaves. Some luxury goods should be made by citizens and that would make cities the powerhouses that they should be.

6. Infra would still be important. Granaries will store food that will be used up when blockaded or under siege or during some events. For overseas territories, you will need bigger ports. Bigger cities will require more roads while smaller towns might be serviced by just a single connection.

7. Imports should COST you money. That would make you want to conquer strategic areas and then build infra in those areas.

None of this is groundbreaking really. I am just shocked by how bad the current system is.
 
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IsaacCAT

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The system is designed to represent many things in a simple way. It is not a simulation like you would like to be.

Mainly the design is based in discrete units of goods being traded between nations, like barter, more common in ancient times than the industrial revolution commerce in Vic 2:
  • The number of required slaves producing goods is required to have discrete units of goods. The exact number is function of balancing the desired goods produced / number of POPs.
  • Buildings, roads, governors, techs, etc.. all help in this system to produce more goods. Buildings allow to reduce the slave required for a surplus good, and the others help to create more trade routes
  • Trade routes is the most important factor in I:R trade system. You increase your trade routes with more nobles and citizens, i.e., by founding cities. This is a civilization building game in the end.
  • The income from commerce comes from taxes and not the actual buying/selling of the goods. We are not modelling Rome Inc.
But I agree with you that there are many things that can be improved, I leave you four suggestions that I have made on this regard:

 
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WillemDeZwijger

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Why do you guys always have to phrase it so aggressively lol. Just say "I have some suggestions to improve the production and trade systems".
 
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Alxe

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I agree with @IsaacCAT here, what you basically want is Victoria 2 industrial era economy in an ancient era setting.

I feel that there's a lot of tediousness in setting up trading routes, especially as trade goods become scarcer, but this is to be expected as it's the system that hasn't been overhauled as of yet.
 
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Panthera_Tigris

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The number of required slaves producing goods is required to have discrete units of goods.

It doesn't have to be discrete, fractions exist in the game. As I said, just consolidate at the national level. Or if you want it to be discrete for some inexplicable reason, just multiply everything by 10. 1 slave produce 1 good. 10 slaves produce 10 goods. A trade route moves 10 goods. Done.

It makes no sense to have 1 salve and 12 salves produce the same number of goods. This silliness cannot be brushed away by the "This is a not a sim" argument. This is just wrong. Its not even a realism argument, its a gameplay one! You have to constantly move around salves to ensure multiples of 13 or just ignore the whole thing.


  • Trade routes is the most important factor in I:R trade system. You increase your trade routes with more nobles and citizens, i.e., by founding cities. This is a civilization building game in the end.

Which the proposed system captures much better. In the current system, most goods are worth little once you have your 2 copies for capital bonus. In the proposed system, if you go from 500 citizens to 1000 citizen, you will NEED to double every resource you have or you will have unrest and growth stops. That means you actually NEED to build infra, buildings. You will also need to focus on diplomacy to trade for multiple copies of those goods. What's more " civilization building" than that?


The income from commerce comes from taxes and not the actual buying/selling of the goods. We are not modelling Rome Inc.

You actually are modelling Rome Inc. and I am asking you to change it. In the current system, every extra resource gets sold for cash. No one even cares what good it is because all of them are just extra 0.2 to 0.5 cash. Generic. In the proposed system, you will not be selling them like you currently are ala "Rome Inc". You will using them to feed your people. You will actually care what good you are making because your people will demand each type of good in a certain quantity.
 
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Panthera_Tigris

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I agree with @IsaacCAT here, what you basically want is Victoria 2 industrial era economy in an ancient era setting.

There is nothing in there that is even remotely exclusive to an "industrial era economy".
 
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Rabid

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I agree that the goods production system should make fractional goods, I disagree that there should be a full system of pops consuming goods of different types. A higher level of abstraction is fine for a game set in this period.
 
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cristofolmc

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I agree. Maybe not a 100% with your suggestion but yes with the diagnose. Its so poor and arbitrary. It just doesnt fit Arheos idea for the game. It doesnt agument the simulation like all the other reworked systems do. And instead of a core part of the game, it feels like an isolated mini game mechanic that you could actually ignore. The fact that very populated provinces could have 0 trade going on its just ridiculous
 
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Whiplash

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Calling it industral era economy also seems cheap without explaining what exactly about it is exclusive to it. I am fully on board with OP here. The trade system is a hassle and fails as a simulation system, which in return limits the strategic potential of the game.

What I wouldn't do is to make import/export a player decision, i would automate it, which i also think is more appropriate to the era. What goods you get from which nation is determined by land reach and naval reach, which is then again influenced by streets and size/amount of ports. A negative or positive multiplier is determined by relations between nations, with the diplomatic option to embargo a nation. As suggested war and conquer should have drastic impact on trade good production, to the point that it requires significant investments to come close to unconquered trade good production. (conquered pops being much more unhappy etc) This should incentivize diplomatic routes, which also gives some more significance to rhetoric technologies. And so on.

This + some adjustments to the character system is imo the only thing left standing between imperator and the status of masterpiece.

Edit and slight deviation from the topic: People often seem hesitant to get to close to Vic 2 with Imperator, and some may think that certain Vic 2 fans just wish to transform every paradox game into vic 2, but i think that unlike other recent paradox games, imperator is set up perfectly to follow vic 2's route, as OP proposes. This game really profits from becoming less static and more dynamic, which i think is proven by the enhancement of the pop system during the post-release development of this game. It actually feels more impactful to me than vic 2's pop system, as it mediates the feeling of growth/decay, civilatory advancement and power very well. It also makes the brutality of war very tangible (e. g. my friend lost half of the population of his capital in an endless and brutal war in our MP save against the seleucids.) Now if one imagines how a regional war decimates trade, and thus leads to further decay of one's civilization, a even higher sense of gravity will be given to wars.
 
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IsaacCAT

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It doesn't have to be discrete, fractions exist in the game. As I said, just consolidate at the national level. Or if you want it to be discrete for some inexplicable reason, just multiply everything by 10. 1 slave produce 1 good. 10 slaves produce 10 goods. A trade route moves 10 goods. Done.
Trade represents the presence of the product, not a quantity of 100 or 1000. More than one trade represents the abundancy or surplus of the good.

Which the proposed system captures much better. In the current system, most goods are worth little once you have your 2 copies for capital bonus. In the proposed system, if you go from 500 citizens to 1000 citizen, you will NEED to double every resource you have or you will have unrest and growth stops. That means you actually NEED to build infra, buildings. You will also need to focus on diplomacy to trade for multiple copies of those goods. What's more " civilization building" than that?
Goods beyond the surplus in the capital can be traded away for increased taxes income. In other provinces, produced goods provide bonus to the local POPs.

I agree that we could make goods a requirement for many things to improve the gameplay, like iron is required for Heavy Infantry. But remember that having 1 good is having access to that good, not 1 unit of the good.

In the current system, every extra resource gets sold for cash. No one even cares what good it is because all of them are just extra 0.2 to 0.5 cash. Generic. In the proposed system, you will not be selling them like you currently are ala "Rome Inc". You will using them to feed your people.
We do not sell extra units for cash. We tax the commerce of goods. And you start commerce when you have a surplus, this is 101 prehistoric societies.

Try to think in access to goods instead of goods produced.
 
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Bovrick

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Just so people are clear: I don't believe anyone in this thread has defended the current system, criticisms have just been about OPs particular vision for a replacement. FWIW I agree with @Rabid
 
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Trade represents the presence of the product, not a quantity of 100 or 1000. More than one trade represents the abundancy or surplus of the good.
Which still does not solve the problem of representing the amount of trade goods created. If one slave is enough to make a "presence of iron" then nonetheless 8 slaves working in iron mines should have some sort of impact on the money generated through trade
 
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Razmorg

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Trade hasn't really been touched much by the reworkings since Imperator release. Imo they made it a bit better with the fairly recent revision but it still shares the same issues since release.

I think we are all expecting it to be a major focusing in the future. Military just took priority and for good reason imo with how levies tie into culture.
 
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Bovrick

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Trade hasn't really been touched much by the reworkings since Imperator release. Imo they made it a bit better with the fairly recent revision but it still shares the same issues since release.

I think we are all expecting it to be a major focusing in the future. Military just took priority and for good reason imo with how levies tie into culture.
I would love for the next big focus to be on economy-trade-navy, bringing through interconnected systems there in the same manner as culture-military did. Followed by a diplomacy-politics overhaul, and then IR should be at a perfect place to halt overhauls and stick to tinkering and adding meat.
 
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Bezborg

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I agree that the goods production system should make fractional goods, I disagree that there should be a full system of pops consuming goods of different types. A higher level of abstraction is fine for a game set in this period.
But isn’t this period full of accounts of how important unit allocation and consumption was? Half the written records from this time is stock ledgers. The first written document on earth is a ledger saying who gets how much of a food good lol. Soldiers were paid in exact amounts of grain and salt, etc... public holidays meant giving out measures if grain, bread etc... provisioning was prominent in all public affairs, and records bear this out as well. Some stages of the cursus honorum were dedicated precisely to managing grain stores.

So if anything is representative of this period, it’s meeting a population’s consumption needs
 
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Rabid

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But isn’t this period full of accounts of how important unit allocation and consumption was? Half the written records from this time is stock ledgers. The first written document on earth is a ledger saying who gets how much of a food good lol. Soldiers were paid in exact amounts of grain and salt, etc... public holidays meant giving out measures if grain, bread etc... provisioning was prominent in all public affairs, and records bear this out as well. Some stages of the cursus honorum were dedicated precisely to managing grain stores.

So if anything is representative of this period, it’s meeting a population’s consumption needs
I don't disagree with this, but if you're going to use the existence of ledgers as a reason why the game needs to include a detailed simulation of the needs of every simultated person, then the same needs to apply to any game ever created which is relating to the management of people and territory. If the game isn't primarily about production and consumption, then a certain level of abstraction is fine. It works for Victoria because the game is primarily about how the industrial revolution completely changed the fabric of society by inserting technology into the manufacturing process, allowing a vast increase in production over a short time and new and fantastic things to be made that weren't feasible before.

There's nothing like that in this period, and as much as I would enjoy a more detailed simultation, I can't see how it would meaningfully add to gameplay over a more abstract system.
 
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Bezborg

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I don't disagree with this, but if you're going to use the existence of ledgers as a reason why the game needs to include a detailed simulation of the needs of every simultated person, then the same needs to apply to any game ever created which is relating to the management of people and territory. If the game isn't primarily about production and consumption, then a certain level of abstraction is fine. It works for Victoria because the game is primarily about how the industrial revolution completely changed the fabric of society by inserting technology into the manufacturing process, allowing a vast increase in production over a short time and new and fantastic things to be made that weren't feasible before.

There's nothing like that in this period, and as much as I would enjoy a more detailed simultation, I can't see how it would meaningfully add to gameplay over a more abstract system.
I disagree, I’d say availability of goods and stability of supply was paramount in this time period, and made the distinction between civilization and savagery. City states rose and fell on their ability to secure a stable supply of food. Empires rose on commercial profits.

What you’re talking about is micromanaging industrial production chains. Nobody is talking about that here, merely a more conplex consumption model.

To be more clear, nobody is proposing to make cotton fields and textile manufactories etc... “cloth” on a province level is all the abstraction you need. But is “1 cloth” supplying all of rome, same as a backwater in Hibernia? That’s abstraction overload
 
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Panthera_Tigris

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criticisms have just been about OPs particular vision for a replacement.

I wish there was any actual criticism! What exactly do you have a problem with from my list of suggestions and how would you do it better?

Trade represents the presence of the product, not a quantity of 100 or 1000. More than one trade represents the abundancy or surplus of the good.

Not really. Even the game distinguishes between 1 incense and 2 incense and 3 incense and so on.

Try to think in access to goods instead of goods produced.

No, the game doesn't work like that either. For example, the quantity of food does matter, its not just access to food. If a city needs 10 food, it needs 10 food, not just access to 1 food. You are claiming that is not how it works??

I am just saying other goods should also be like food because that is what makes logical sense. And the game should automatically distribute all those resources from local sources while the player can focus on international trade and increasing production.
 
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Rabid

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To be more clear, nobody is proposing to make cotton fields and textile manufactories etc... “cloth” on a province level is all the abstraction you need. But is “1 cloth” supplying all of rome, same as a backwater in Hibernia? That’s abstraction overload
I didn't say that the current system is fine, I said that going as fas as making every single pop have demands which need to be met is too far along the line of simulationism for the period. There's good improvements which can be made without going that far. We already have the food system which makes being able to feed your cities into a legitimate concern.
 
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IsaacCAT

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Which still does not solve the problem of representing the amount of trade goods created. If one slave is enough to make a "presence of iron" then nonetheless 8 slaves working in iron mines should have some sort of impact on the money generated through trade
The slaves are taxed and provide income through taxes