View Poll Results: What shall we do with the Merchants?

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  • Keep them as they currently are in game.

    2 9.52%
  • Remove them completely.

    8 38.10%
  • Rework them as per JoC's proposal (see post 31)

    11 52.38%
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Thread: Merchants

  1. #61
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Don't think so.
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  2. #62

    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    Don't think so.
    Haha there is democracy my dear Lifth, but is your mod soa you decide...
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  3. #63
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Don't get me wrong. I did'nt mean it won't be implemented ever but it won't probably be implemented in the next release
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  4. #64
    tmodelsk's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: Merchants

    I think I'll create a tweak 'Merchants nerfed' in my next SSHIP-Tweaks release.
    I'll do it configurable, so anyone could decide - configure buildings (ex. guilds) that updates merchants number limits.
    But I won't rework whole merchant guild system (it's a lot of work).
    SSHIP mini-mods :

  5. #65
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Thanks Mate. Appreciate
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  6. #66
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    I think a quick implementation of the changes is possible.

    What’s not to be changed:
    - initial merchants – they stay in-game until they die.

    To be done in the EDB:
    1) remove all the phrases “agent merchant” and “agent_limit merchant” from the buildings (you can also just change this limit to 0 in all cases)
    2) add the “agent merchant” and “agent_limit merchant” to the following buildings:
    --- m_merchants_guild
    --- m_explorers_guild
    --- any other m_economic guilds – if the team finds it fit
    --- slave_trading_center
    --- merchant_vault building
    We may also decide that merchants are to be recruited only from Merchants HQ then "agent merchant" should be added only that building while for the other only "agent_limit" .
    Just to recall:
    1. the slave building and the bank building can be established only in a Huge City (and only by some factions), while the HQs might be established in a Minor City but it's one-per-faction - unless it's present in a conquered city - ie. it's gained by an AI
    faction /
    2. This means a faction will have an access to 1 merchant after a few dozens of turns (when it gets Merchant HG) and possibly the 2 if it gets Explorers HQ. Only exceptionally anything more.
    3. this solution benefits small-medium factions with access to Minor Cities. If you have 5 cities or you've got 30 cities you can still build only one HG of each guild. You can get more if you take another faction's HQ - a good incentive not to exterminate the conquered cities.

    To be done elsewhere:
    - change the Trade Multiplier. On they basis what’s been said (eg. Inchon) I’d propose it should be multiplied by factor of 1,3. Tomek, in which file it’s defined?
    - lower the Merchant guild requirements (eg. from 100 250 400 to 25 60 120, Merchant Guild Levels parameter in EDG)
    - (optional) create a pop-out information window shown at the beginning of the game describing the solution for the (unaware) players.

    The more difficult part would be left for future modification:
    - creating benefits for some interactive events
    - modifying the mission rewards
    - special solutions for the merchant republics (Novgorod, Venice, Pisa) – if any
    - linking some historical events to the appearance of a merchant

    It’s to be decided if the implementation of the following should be pursued (it’s very easy to be done in the EDB):
    The provinces have also a “capital” resources so it’s possible to make for each faction one merchant. However, once a faction conquers an enemy capital, it will be able to recruit this merchant (what can be somehow prevented).

    Do I miss something?
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; October 12, 2017 at 01:35 AM.

  7. #67
    tmodelsk's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Jurand - thanks for detailed specification.
    I've done this , almost, but there's one problem.

    Within one single city the 'agent_limit merchant N' entries do not stack, do not sum.
    Merchants Limit for particular settlement (from buildings from one settlement) = max value of (agent_limit merchant N) from settlement's buildings.
    SSHIP mini-mods :

  8. #68
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by tmodelsk View Post
    Within one single city the 'agent_limit merchant N' entries do not stack, do not sum.
    Merchants Limit for particular settlement (from buildings from one settlement) = max value of (agent_limit merchant N) from settlement's buildings.
    I understand that you mean a following situation: in a Huge City there's a Master Guild and a Slave Trading Centre - this should make a global limit for this faction +2 agents, but it's still +1?

    In this case the simplest method would be to get rid of that slave trading center and bank vault impact on the number of merchants (what goes in the direction preferred for instance by Lifthrasir to get rid entirely of the merchants: less is better than more, isn't it). It would limit the whole merchant mechanism just to master economic guilds (as I mentioned, MWY plans to make a few more so the max number will be not 2, but slightly more).

    An related questiosn: can a buiding be with “agent merchant 0” and “agent_limit merchant 1” - in other words: can a building increase the global limit (provided there's no other building in this city increasing this limit by the same or higher number) but not be able to produce the merchants by itself, or a building must be able to produce merchants to increase the global number?
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; October 25, 2017 at 01:00 AM.

  9. #69
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Just a quick input: agree to limit merchants amount but disagree to remove any building, at least without MWY's input
    Under the patronage of Flinn, proud patron of Jadli, of the Imperial House of Hader


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  10. #70
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    Just a quick input: agree to limit merchants amount but disagree to remove any building, at least without MWY's input
    Where there's any trace of proposal to remove any building?

  11. #71
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    (...)In this case the simplest method would be to get rid of that slave trading center and bank vault impact on the number of merchants (what goes in the direction preferred for instance by Lifthrasir to get rid entirely of the merchants: less is better than more, isn't it). It would limit the whole merchant mechanism just to master economic guilds (as I mentioned, MWY plans to make a few more so the max number will be not 2, but slightly more) (...)
    But I might have been confused
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  12. #72
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    In this case the simplest method would be to get rid of that slave trading center and bank vault impact on the number of merchants (what goes in the direction preferred for instance by Lifthrasir to get rid entirely of the merchants: less is better than more, isn't it). It would limit the whole merchant mechanism just to master economic guilds (as I mentioned, MWY plans to make a few more so the max number will be not 2, but slightly more)
    Commas count: it's about getting rid of the impact of those buildings, not the buildings themselves. The impact is - as put in the initial proposal - an additional merchant from the highest level of those two buildings (Huge City).
    If you want to play a historical mod in the medieval setting the best IMO are:
    Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project and Broken Crescent.
    Read my opinions on other mods here.
    ........................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods (all made in 2018): SSHIP, Wrath of the Norsemen, Broken Crescent.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Hints for Medieval 2 moders: forts, merchants, AT-NGB bug.
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding. No good mod yet, alas!
    Dominant strategy in Rome2, Attila, ToB and Troy: “Sniping groups of armies”. Still there, alas!
    .................................................................................................................................................................................
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  13. #73
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Fine then
    Under the patronage of Flinn, proud patron of Jadli, of the Imperial House of Hader


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  14. #74
    tmodelsk's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: Merchants

    I've released SSHIP-Tweaks version 1.03 with new tweak 'Merchants Nerfed".
    It's available for download.

    You can install only this tweak over your SSHIP installation, just:
    • click 'Clear all' to disable all features
    • enter word Merchant (or just merch) into filter field
    • enable Merchant Nerfed tweak only


    Merchants Nerfed are highly configurable, see wiki page.

    From version 1.03 your configuration (tweaks you enabled and their configuration, their parameters values) is saved in mySettings.xml file.
    So if you close SSHIP-Tweaks installer and open it again - it will 'remember' your last configuration.
    Settings are saved when you hit "Apply features" button.
    It could be very usefull, because for example you can experiment with various settings of this tweak with your on going campaign (it's 99% save game compatible, see wiki page),
    and configure it to your likings.

    If you update from prevoius SSHIP-Tweaks version, remember to "Restore backup" with your old installed version and then delete old version and install new one.

    Last edited by tmodelsk; October 28, 2017 at 08:45 PM.
    SSHIP mini-mods :

  15. #75
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Great job! Well done Mate

    Just for info for whose who choose to start with no merchand: originally, some of them were created to reflect the business power of some Italian cities and some others to help "poor" factions like the Norwegian one in Suede or the Cuman one in Ural. So choosing that option may drop your income significantly from the start.
    Last edited by Lifthrasir; October 29, 2017 at 01:35 AM. Reason: Typo
    Under the patronage of Flinn, proud patron of Jadli, of the Imperial House of Hader


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  16. #76

    Default Re: Merchants

    I feel bad, I entirely missed the window for voting on this poll, and it seems like things are already moving forward apace.

    If there is still any room for input, I would vote for keeping them as they are. I have never found them to be that much of an annoyance (Even in vanilla, by the late-game I would have literally hundreds of merchants, and not bat an eye. I mean, I recruit one, send him to a good resource, forget about him entirely until his death, at which point he is replaced by a new one. Where is the micromanagement?), and, as some have said already, they do add a bit of amusement to the game.

    Also, there are a couple points about their function in-game.
    1) I have been finding them to actually be quite important at the early stages when playing as a weaker faction. Starting out as Georgia, I had for income, and any army significant enough to take a settlement rapidly put me in the red. However, by putting a couple merchants on choice resources, I could squeak out a small plus, allowing me to slowing build more economic buildings and get the ball rolling, while that one stack took things bit by bit and dealt with rebel stacks roaming the countryside.
    2) Once a faction becomes developed enough to actually have lots of merchants, their economic bonus will have somewhat tapered off, due to greatly increased tax revenues (mo cities, mo people, mo money!), developed trade routes, extensive farms, you name it. Give this, as soon as their numbers could actually be irritating (rather than helpful), they can then easily be ignored without loss of strategic edge.
    3) There are some people who really do have a ball running around with those silly dudes in hats and stealing other merchants wares, and taking that off the table entirely seems a bit rough (especially as those who dislike merchants can simply not recruit them; problem solved), and only slightly less so when their numbers are cut as drastically as Jurand proposes.

    All that being said, if they are not left as-is, my second choice would be, oddly-enough, to go with Lifthrasir's suggestion of just axeing them entirely and getting the guilds polished up. Having to really work through guild politics is a nice substitute for having merchants, giving a similar micromanagement "mini-challenge" for those who are into that, and also makes sense for the historical element of the mod. However, it seems odd to just make it so each faction can only hold a handful of merchants, as that is, well, just odd. There would be hundreds of merchants strutting around trying to get contracts on various valuable resources, and to have just a few makes little sense. Either they are everywhere via the merchant models on the strat map, or they are nowhere and their influence is felt through the guilds in cities.

    That's my two cents on the issue (and maybe a handful more change on the side).
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  17. #77
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    A small resurrection of the thread given that I'm working a bit on the resources for 097.

    You know the changes already included in 097:
    MERCHANTS* the goal of these changes is to limit the increase of time the player deals with the merchants as the faction grows. The fewer merchants but each providing more income will be good for playing experience.
    - availability limited to a few per faction. They'll be provided by:
    (1) each capital (ie if you take another faction capital, you can recruit an additional merchant)
    (2) guilds: Merchants, Explorers & Hanseatic (only after Ostsiedlung event).
    (3) large cities in North Italy and in the Low Countries (if Warehouse is built).
    (4) all huge coastal cities (if Docklands are built).
    - information windows on their impact have been included.
    - the traits of the merchants have not yet been reviewed after 092, but they seem to work more-or-less ok.
    I'm working on the resources and currently the list of changes is as follows:
    RESOURCES:- changes of names of a few resources: "Pepper" is "Local Spices" (given that resource "Spices" also exists and pepper was one of the most valuable oriental spices, the previous system didn't make sense), tolls are "Luxury goods" (in this case also pic is changed).
    - descriptions (info when you hover over a resource) of many resources have been edited.
    - a few on-the-map icons of the resources changed.
    - prices recalibrated mostly downwards while number of resources present on the map increased - all in all there should be a slight increase of income from trade.
    - lower number of merchants combined with higher number of resources means that there'll fewer take-overs by the AI.
    - with the view of historicity, there's been review and changes made to resources present on the map in the following regions: Scandinavia, the Baltics, Central Europe, British Islands, parts of Italy, Byzantine Balkans, Byzantine Anatolia, Maghreb, Egypt. As a result, many changes in the placement of resources. Examples:
    --- Bergen gets Luxury goods from the north (Nidaros, Lofoten) and from overseas (tusk from Greenland, fish and wool from Iceland).
    --- amber is available only along a short stretch of the Baltic sea.
    --- metals instead of silver are in Severike (to signify the Dalarna region).
    --- salt added to Volodymyr (the province was famous for), but removed from Gdansk.
    --- silver in Bohemia is now accessible to the merchants, it's been moved to the Kutna Hora location. Bohemia has an additional resource: linen. Moravia got first resources: metals and honey.
    --- all English provinces got wool, the other resources were adjusted as well.
    --- Venice and Pisa provinces resources changed.
    --- Smyrna (ie Anatolian western coast) have many resources, including mastic from Chios and alum from Fokaia.
    --- silk is produced in Greece (Beotia, Corinth), but less in Marmara region; cotton is near Nicaea.
    --- Crete has 4 resource, and Cyprus 3 resources (these are islands, compensation for the lack of overland trade needed).
    --- whole lot to changes in Egypt.
    --- Sijilmasa provides only gold and slaves.
    --- many other changes.
    If somebody likes to watch a movie and listen to, one may listen to the explanations here.
    You may also read this thread to get the gist, but the numbers and locations are obviously different in the SSHIP.
    If you want to play a historical mod in the medieval setting the best IMO are:
    Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project and Broken Crescent.
    Read my opinions on other mods here.
    ........................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods (all made in 2018): SSHIP, Wrath of the Norsemen, Broken Crescent.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Hints for Medieval 2 moders: forts, merchants, AT-NGB bug.
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding. No good mod yet, alas!
    Dominant strategy in Rome2, Attila, ToB and Troy: “Sniping groups of armies”. Still there, alas!
    .................................................................................................................................................................................
    Mod leader of the SSHIP: traits, ancillaries, script, historical improvements, fixes everywhere.

  18. #78

    Default Re: Merchants

    Just a very minor suggestion: to rename merchants to "prominent merchant" in the places where that name appear, or something similar. In my opinion it would be a nice compromise between the vanilla take on merchants, and the attempt to portray historicity; surely one could find stories of such figures, like the famous ones, i think.

    If you wanted i guess you could even research historical people, for the name of the merchants at the beginning of the game.

    And even add a bio in the character traits a la EBII/DaC...
    Sorry, i get carried away

  19. #79
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Merchants

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindathar View Post
    Just a very minor suggestion: to rename merchants to "prominent merchant" in the places where that name appear, or something similar. In my opinion it would be a nice compromise between the vanilla take on merchants, and the attempt to portray historicity; surely one could find stories of such figures, like the famous ones, i think.

    If you wanted i guess you could even research historical people, for the name of the merchants at the beginning of the game.

    And even add a bio in the character traits a la EBII/DaC...
    Sorry, i get carried away
    Hey, finally somebody interested in this part of the game! Great! I've been working on resources and merchants recently so I'm happy to see the interests!

    We may think about the name, I'd be interesting to see what other people say.

    For the bios, it'd make sense for 15th century (think DIK mod) but for early 12th - not really. But if there're moders who would want to do it - minimods are always welcome.

    Concerning resources, I'm reviewing the situation based also on merchants' considerations:

    ;==========================================================================================================;----------- RESOURCES ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ; Placement of resources - take into account:
    ; (1) historicity:
    ; --- some provinces were famous for EXPORTING certain resources (eg. salt near Krakow, wool in England, wine along Rhein, in Hungary, or in Monemvasia)
    ; --- the overall balance in the income from provinces and their development over centuries (eg. often provinces rich in gold stayed poor nonetheless).
    ; (2) how the trade between provinces is generated by the M2TW engine
    ; --- a province trades with the neighbouring provinces: the more land borders (even over the impassable terrain), the more trade connections
    ; --- only sea trade for the islands (need to have plenty of resources to be at par with other provinces)
    ; --- no trade of the same good: the neighbouring provinces do not trade the same resource
    ; (3) merchants' profitability:
    ; --- a resource close to the capital will not be profitable anywhere on the map - so if you have textiles or glass close to capital, your merchants won't trade it in the game
    ; --- stacking of resources make a place more profitable and it should be put in the places famous for resources - where it would be historical to see a merchant at work
    ; (4) visual aspects:
    ; --- don't place a resource just in front of a settlement because it's name tag would cover it
    ; --- many resources will be close to settlements, but try to spread them also to far away corners
    ; --- the pics shown on the map (they play differently with different textures - sometimes they're partially "drowned" into the ground)
    ; (5) prices of resources
    ; --- some resources are more profitable - think of it in balancing the income of a province
    ; --- mines would provide additional income - so some provinces may get much richer after they're built-up
    ; (6) gameplay considerations
    ; --- they should be spread across the map to make it (map) relevant in more places; in other words: many areas of the map are never visited so the resources may give a reason to.
    ; --- trade should probably play larger role in overall income so one may place more resources and increase their prices.

    ; AVAILABLE RESOURCES:
    ; iron -> Metals ivory -> Oil tobacco -> Salt chocolate -> Glass sulfur -> Linen
    ; coal -> Herbs dogs -> Fruits camels -> Honey tin -> Luxury Goods elephants -> Cattle
    ; gold, silver, marble, timber, slaves, amber, textiles, dyes, silk, cotton, furs, wool, spices, sugar, wine, grain, fish
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; September 22, 2020 at 01:56 AM.

  20. #80

    Default Re: Merchants

    An alternative approach would be to drop the literal term "merchant" altogether, and recast the mechanic in terms of a "trading camp". Thus, England doesn't set up a merchant on a wool resource, but instead sets up a trading camp there. This seems to me to pay more heed to the greatly limited number of available "merchants", to make a bit more historical sense (no one is actually sending some dude out there, but a trading camp might well be established by the crown), and to explain why one might stay in one place for so dang long.

    The downside to that is that many of the traits and ancillaries would need to be recast with the "camp" idea in mind. Their triggers and effects (the game mechanics side) need not be changed, but the descriptions and names of things definitely would need to be. That is work I'd be okay doing though. Changing merchants to "trading camps" would also necessitate new strat map models and new "portraits", which are tasks I would not be suited for (though I think we've now got one or two lads who could do such things well).
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