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Testing North7

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  • #5118
    Nilla
    Participant

    You know me, Tom. I like to write my comments on a daily basis. I guess you´ll prefer this page rather than my usual blogs on WOB. I plan to make it as usual when I test something new; personal comments of things I like/dislike, questions, suggestions….

    Actually, I haven´t started a game yet. I just downloaded and took a brief look at the menus. My first impression is WOW! The new buildings really look fantastic. I do look forward to building them.

    A few questions about the new starting options: I took a look at the new terrain “lowland”. It seems to have a little bit more mountains and hills than the earlier forest terrain. Are there any other changes in the terrain types?

    I read that there are no nomads in new start “seafarer”. Really? A real-time game without nomads? I don´t think I could play that. Or do you have any other “goodies” for impatient players like me, to make such a start more tempting?

    I also read that “Christianity” need to be “bought” from merchants. That´s not a bad idea but it will probably also mean that it takes much longer to build the small chapel that can attract nomads. Or can that pagan idol or the Thingstead attract nomads, too?

    I will start a game later this afternoon and tell you how it went on tomorrow.

    #5131
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    Nice to read you here. I don’t mind blogging on WOB but yes, why not testing this board while testing the mod. Maybe I get some ideas how to improve it for this use. At least handling bugs and beta issues is easier on this separate board.

    Terrains are completely unchanged, I just renamed the Forest to Lowland because as Seafarer you settle in a land where this term would not fit. If there are more hills than usual it must be just “luck”.

    To deal with the new conditions as lone Seafarer is thought to be a special challenge only in this scenario but doesnot mean it’s also interesting to play. Let’s see. In all other starts you probably have a point about missing early nomads with the chapel depending on trade. To let Thingsteads attract some nomads sounds already like a good idea. They do not yet.

    Looking forward to your blog. It’s an open forum now, so everyone can read.

    #5139
    Nilla
    Participant

    I started a new game. It feels good to be a “test pilot” again. First, I didn´t know what starting options I wanted to play. Usually, I try to test new settings but the only really new starting option; the seafarer is not for me. When I read about the changes, I see nothing about farming, so I´ve decided to play a game on “harsh”. Which to me means no farming and why not make it as extreme as possible with the “survivor” start.

    I´m kind of glad for this choice. Not because this is a smooth, calm game but because I discovered one important thing that needs to be changed: the herds of deer are much too small and fragile.

    With “survivor” you have nothing from the start. After you´ve taken away the spawning berries from the start (good, and logical) the only option left for survival until summer is the “instant hunting”. There were 2 small herds in an acceptable range from the start. I killed 3 deer. That´s an absolute minimum. I even needed to “fake demolish” the first house to let the 102 venison they have hoarded “out on the market” for everyone. This “overhunting” (?) lead to that one of the herds was totally extinguished. I never saw the single deer left again. The other herd did come back with 4 deer. After I´ve killed two of them, I occasionally saw 2 deer but never again more. A bit later one of them seemed to have died of natural causes, so now the settlement occasionally is visited by a single deer and I can´t see any herds nowhere on the map. There might be a few deer hiding in the forests but hunting totally 5 deer seemed to make more or less every deer on the map disappear.

    I don´t think this is your intention, Tom. I can agree that hunting was a bit overpowered. But I find that reducing the output of meat from each deer and maybe also only allow one hunter in the hunting lodge can solve the “problem”. It might be OK to make the herds generally a bit smaller but I don´t find the idea of not letting the herd grow if there´s only one single deer left good. Deer seem to die of natural causes, hunters also kill a deer when he sees one on his way to “his” hunting circle, so it´s not possible to prevent to extinguish small herds by accident.

    So imagine a Nordic game without farming and without hunting. I say; a real struggle! It feels like “Ironman” even if it´s not. (I don´t even think it´s possible to survive an Ironman game) The poor Bannis have walked around in rags most of the time. I was happy as one merchant brought wool but after I´ve built a tailor, I realized that you can´t make any coats with only wool. I don´t mind that you need to make Wadmal first, that´s good and logical but why do you need leather for all kind of clothing? Maybe you think of shoes. That might make sense.

    I also made some other notes;
    The possibility to make stone tools at the campfire makes the “survivor” start much easier. They certainly don´t last long but help a lot at the beginning.

    Is it possible to have different “buttons” for small and big stones? It´s hard to see the stones in the forests and I accidentally cut big ones as I wanted small and it was also a struggle to find 18 boulders for the Thingstead.

    I´m not so fond of the changes of the mini clay pit. First, the miner can never climb out of it after he´s got his 12 clay. There´s a homeless sign on his head and I guess that he will starve to death unless you send a builder to liberate him fast enough. You need to refill it with clay? A never-ending loop? I find some spare soil of minor quality would be more realistic. That would mean that it costs work but no material to demolish it. Like the changes, you´ve made at the pastures. I find that´s a good compromise between your old version and the vanilla costs.

    The bloomery seems to follow the limit of logs.

    I have a few more things on my notes and I can also show some screenshots later. But this is enough for now.

    #5141
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    Good idea to start testing as survivor, the most tricky one to balance. Will answer by points.

    With the reindeer you might have been unlucky on your map. There are still big herds with up to 30 animals, just not that close to each other as in version 6. The smaller groups are more common and you probably had only those in your starting area which makes it then of course much harder to hunt enough. My idea here is to make the small groups of deer slightly bigger and also to let them re-spawn with minimum 2 or 3.

    Leather for tunics I added with belts and shoes in mind, yes. And to not make it too simple with clothing from wool where leather would then be almost useless. An idea is here to let herdsman take a sheep hide if they slaughter one for some leather. So shepherds can be self-sufficient but still need the tannery chain.

    A separate Button for Boulders is of course possible and probably liked by most players. I found it nice to move over the forest and to pick boulders for a Thingstead but can become annoying after the first time.

    About Stone Tools from the campfire, do you think it takes away the “thrill” of the survivor start? That’s still my concern about them but I liked the idea and wanted to try. The original idea was to add Flint to collect and to limit stone tools to early game in this way but it would be a new resource only for a very short part of the game.

    In my test, the miner always could get out of the empty Clay Spot (will do some more tests on different terrain) and the idea is to fill it with clay after starting a proper clay pit. Is not that cool to flatten the hole by filling it up? But I will think about it.^^

    The Bloomery will be fixed following the metal limit.

    Great to get some good feedback now to this version! I’m really used to work alone on things but it’s so much more productive this way.

    #5144
    Nilla
    Participant

    I´m pleased that you appreciate my thoughts and findings.

    Reindeer
    I´m sure that there is something wrong with the deer. At least at this medium valley map. I can´t imagine that that´s purely bad luck. I went back to an early save (unfortunately I haven´t made many) and in year 4 there are actually quite a few deer to be seen all over the map, among others one larger herd. At the next save in year 17, I can´t find many and now in year 21, I only see one single deer. There might be a few hiding in the woods but certainly no herds. I also can’t remember that I´ve ever seen a small deer, so my guess is that there´s something wrong with the reproduction. (And I haven´t killed more than those 3+2 the first couple of years.) The same thing may go for the black grouse. They are harder to spot but there aren´t many to be seen at the later saves.

    Leather
    My shepherd has just started to slaughter and I can see no sheep hide to make leather from. And it looks like animal fat is food. I think I read in your description that it can be used for some production chain but since there isn´t much produced, my Bannis are very keen on this fat and it´s gone fast, so there will not be much left for the production of oil, candles or whatever can be made from it.

    Stone tools
    I don´t know if I find them good or bad for a survivor game. It made the start easier, faster and more relaxed. And since they wear out very fast, there´s no risk that you want to delay to build the iron production chain to use stone tools for a longer time. I didn´t make any notes but if I remember it right, you can make 3 tools from one stone and the production was surprisingly fast for a tool-less person. Maybe you could cut the production numbers a bit so that you need to invest more time and material to be able to take this shortcut. And there will still be enough other challenges with the survivor start.

    Clay
    Maybe my miners couldn´t leave because I built my 3 spots close to a mountain. (all 3 had the same issue). Does it have a front side? I can´t see any but if there is one and I happened to locate this side to the mountain, I can understand that the miner has problems to get out.
    I find it weird (from an engineering point of view) to refill a hole in the ground with valuable and difficult clay. There must be some spare rubble all over the place after all construction work that would be more suitable. You don´t need to see it and measure it, same as you don´t need to see and measure the spare wood you need for the animal shelter of the pastures.

    Other notes
    Since it takes quite some time to build a pasture, it would be nice if it would be possible to use more than one builder. Sometimes you would want it fast and I can see no reason to deliberately slow the construction time down.

    Do I need to bother to buy flax seeds on “harsh”?

    We might have talked about this before; you can´t build a road on spawning firewood without clearing it first. That´s pretty annoying.

    I haven´t looked all too much into the production numbers, yet. Just a little bit to see from what it´s worth to produce a surplus to sell. Here are a few remarks. More calculated numbers will come later: The value of the raw materials for wheelbarrows are higher than the product. The profit for iron fittings is very high (but I still haven´t sold many because there´s not much iron ore on the close ground and I can´t afford a mine, yet). You need less firewood to produce charcoal at the tar kiln than at the normal pile. Iron and iron tools are now more profitable with uneducated workers than it was. Maybe I was unlucky but now I have had no merchant bringing gold or silver. I liked very much to buy these metals from a merchant who pays well for my export goods and later use it by other merchants who are more stingy. This possibility seems to be gone. It´s just observations, I don´t know yet if I like the changes or not.

    I will try to add some screenshots.

    First picture
    An impression in year 4. We have just started to produce iron tools.

    Second picture
    Location of small clay pits.

    Third picture
    Overview of the settlement, its inhabitants and its storage in year 17. There´s a very small random interval between siblings. If one child is born in the first family, it takes a few months and one is born in the other family as well.

    Fourth picture
    An impression of an area with many pit frame buildings. Maybe it would be nice if there was a larger general barn in that style as the small one in the left low corner.

    I like the fences. Much more realistic for pastures and fields than the other types.

    Attachments:
    #5150
    Nilla
    Participant

    I went on with this game today and I can say that things have turned out quite well. There are some changes to which you need to adapt your way of playing, but as you may understand; I like such things. The absent deer don´t hurt anymore since I have more beef, mutton, wool and leather than I need. (OK, I import some leather when I can, to be able to export the quite profitable clothing) One thing when I speak about meat; The cows still give far more meat than milk; the last 3 years with a full cow pasture average; 432 milk and 747 beef.

    I stopped the game to write this now because I had a crash. I could reproduce it, so it´s something you need to look at. It´s the big marketplace. The game crashed as I clicked on the footprint. I considered building it because my favourite additional mod; DS Wagon Vendor isn´t compatible; you can´t build any wagon parts. The blacksmith at the small DS-site just walks back and forth with some fittings, instead of bringing the needed iron bars. Here something must have been mixed up by renaming/reclassifying the materials. Now I have loaded the small markets from Kid´s Market Puzzle instead. They are also nice and I hope there will be no problems.

    I have some more notes on my sheet: an unlogical mixture of observations, questions, impressions, suggestions, feelings, you name it.

    The icon for the trapper is located by “food”. First I didn´t find it, but as I did at the foodstuff, I thought that he might produce meat as well. Now he doesn´t and the output of furs is very low. But on the other hand, if I remember it right; the furs bring a higher price now, so it´s still worth building. What´s the reason for these changes?

    I see a tiny problem that you need to build a farmer´s workplace before you can produce any tallow to run a mine. The farmer´s workplace needs glass and the merchants don´t bring any, even if I have ordered it from several. If another merchant hadn´t brought tallow, I would have been nervous about my tools and iron products. Now, I can accept that you need to advance a bit later in history to mine on a larger scale. But it´s not very logical, that mining is dependant on something so ancient as tallow and that you need a building with glass windows to produce it.

    What about potash and rope? Do I need to import it or can it be produced somewhere I haven´t found, yet?

    What´s the advantage of the more expensive frame house compared to the turf house?

    The limit of the sheep run says “food” but for some weird reason, it follows “wood”.

    I have made some more notes but I must confess, I can´t read or remember what I´ve written. Shame on me! But I think, if it´s important, I will remember eventually.

    I´ll add a screenshot from year 30 with the food graph. There´s a severe drop a few years ago. It happens when you play 5X and forget to send your Bannis out in the woods to pick wild food in time, followed by a very cold summer and autumn next year. Luckily there were some friendly merchants that saved us the year after that.

    Attachments:
    #5153
    irrelevant
    Participant

    I’m also doing lowland survivors, but I can’t get the campfire built. When I place it, it does not show the “building” UI (with the necessary construction mats listed) rather it shows the UI with the production pull-down. But it needs construction mats and construction effort, and everyone is just ignoring it.

    Here I am again hijacking Nilla’s thread. But it seems silly to start a new one just for this. =]

    Hi Nilla!

    Attachments:
    #5159
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    Welcome to the beta! The campfire doesnot need a builder, only some stone and firewood to start working. That’s why the production window is already shown. Same with chopping block and charcoal pit where a building guy with hammer and saw would be a bit strange.

    Since Nilla found already a bunch of bugs and also some nasty ones like crashing market or vanishing deer herds, I have uploaded a new version where these issues are fixed. In the sticky changelog you can find all points and on Beta main page you can download. It needs to start a new game.

    #5160
    irrelevant
    Participant

    Ok, there it goes, just in time to start a new town =D

    eta: There was no firewood in storage, was why it wasn’t getting built.

    Attachments:
    #5169
    Nilla
    Participant

    You can always hijack my threads, Irrelevant, you know that. Besides, the name of this thread is “Testing North 7” and that´s exactly what you are doing. So I find we can share this thread and if there are more testers who want to join us, that´s fine with me.

    So I will say goodbye to the settlement with the weird name and start a new game tonight. Now I will enjoy the advantage of living in the town and take my grandson to the swimbath.

    #5171
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    There are some open questions to answer, so far they are not solved by the update. :)

    The Trapper I moved to Hunting Cabin and Gatherer Shelter because I often saw people looking for it there and not in production. I think it makes sense here and the toolbar is now called Farming, Hunting… The fur price was a result of recalculating tailoring recipes if I remember right. I want to look at this to be sure I did not make a mistake.

    With Tallow you are right and the idea is to add a workshop matching old houses, probably in frame style, to make tallow and also some other processing. This is one of those models I wanted to make while the beta test is running.

    Potash is produced in the glass factory if not provided by traders. The idea is adding an Ashery for this job where I already picked photos of a historical building.

    With Ropes it’s the same but they have to be bought for now. I thought to make them from flax somewhere but not sure yet. I have photos of an old Swedish rope storehouse that could look nice also as a production building.

    Frame Houses are the first homes without disadvantage on happiness. They have an open fireplace as well and no windows but I think it would be quite nice to live there. The only other advantage could be 3 over 2 children in the turfhouse as it was in the preview mod.

    #5173
    Nilla
    Participant

    Well Tom, I don´t expect all my thoughts turn into some changes of the mod. The bugs; sure but the rest is more observations that might be something to discuss or think about.

    When I looked at the trapper in the first game, he got about 30 furs worth 40 each year. It´s still a decent profit for a site without input. I didn´t make any fur coats. I seldom process the furs because I always think that the population will snatch all the expensive fur coats before I can get them into the port. Probably too stingy for my own good. I´m sure it would pay off even if a few Bannis want to be dressed in furs. ;)

    A workplace matching the older houses sounds good. But maybe you should leave the jam out. I don´t think there was any sugar available at the Viking era. But maybe your ropes could be added on a small scale. But a cool production site is always nice. I´m a big fan of old industrial buildings.

    I also wondered a bit about the houses because the menu says that the frame house is less warm than a massive wooden house (log cabin). That´s logical. Your Viki says that the turf house and log cabin has a warmth of 80%. So if this is still right the frame house would have an efficiency of 60%; and less good than the cheaper turf house. Or have you made any changes here?

    I started a new game earlier. And since you now promise nomads (that I haven´t seen yet, even with a trading dock and a Thingstead for quite a few years) I chose the new seafarer option. The text at the start still says no nomads but I hope this is something that only isn´t changed yet.

    The herds now reproduce alright. It still looks like there are fewer and smaller herds than in earlier versions. In “seafarer”, you have some sheep and even if it takes some time to build a tannery and tailor to be able to use the wool and sheepskin, I never ran totally out of coats. It´s hard to say how it would work at “survivors”, I guess there might still be some problems but that´s alright. Survivors should be hard. By the way; the menu of the sheeprun would need a 4th line to show all products.

    I like the new landscape with only birches. There wasn´t so much forest at my starting position so I was as careful as I could using logs at the beginning and I think that it paid off. The birch forests grow larger and denser. I´ll show some screenshots tomorrow.

    #5174
    Nilla
    Participant

    As I promised; a few pictures from my new settlement.

    First picture
    Starting options. You can see that the birches are quite spare around the starting spot.

    Second picture
    The first years managed. The most important rule I followed; use as few logs as possible. This scenario might suggest that we are on Iceland but we will not do the same mistake as the vikings did. That means; use as much firewood from dead branches as possible. If there´s a choice; choose buildings that need few logs. You can see the stores; a small log shed need 10 logs for 400 goods, a pit shed 4 for 800 and a storehouse needs 36 logs for 1800 goods. That´s the reason for the many small pit stores.

    You may also see that I have no ordinary charcoal pile. When I first looked at the numbers, I thought that you´ve made some mistake, Tom. The ordinary pit needs 16 firewood for 12 charcoal, the tar kiln only 8. But when I think about how the production works, these numbers are totally logical. Both sites use the same principle; burning wood in the absence of oxygen. The difference is only that with the more complex construction, you can take advantage of the tar that´s also produced at the more simple kiln, but here it´s simply seeping into the ground and can´t be used. With the tar pit, I get the same amount of charcoal out of each firewood, the tar is simply a bonus. In that other game, I had both kilns and my impression is that the production at the normal charcoal pit is a little higher, so later if you need a lot of charcoal but not so much pit, it might be better. That´s good.

    Third picture
    We Nordic women have always been tough and strong; like carrying heavy stones in the snow slush.

    I´m not sure which God this idol represents. I hope it´s Freja; the fertility goddess. I´m pretty sure that would be the most likely idol for a peaceful settlement like this. The others are obvious male warrior Gods.

    Fourth picture
    Here´s where I stopped yesterday.

    I deliberately built the small clay pits close to the mountain, and yes, you fixed that bug, Tom. The miners needed no builder to be liberated from the pit.

    I show the food graph. I was a bit too ambitious about making a lot of food. The first summers were also warm and everything grew well, especially the heavy turnips! I built more small barns but they were filled in no time. The sinking food storage is partly deliberate. A combination of testing rye (no good idea at “harsh”), no more turnips until most of the stored turnips were eaten and cold weather. I hope I wasn´t “over-eager”. This is also a cold summer, the temperature is at its peak; 10 C at the moment. It´s August and soon time to start the harvest but you can see how the fields look like; not much to get this year. That´s why you need an overproduction of food good years if you want to be dependent on farming on “harsh”.

    The idea of making some food heavier than other is interesting. It gives a crop like turnips, that has a high output also with uneducated farmers when it´s cold, a disadvantage compared to other crops. Even though I find a weight of 4 a bit too much. (Unless you develop this further and change the weight of more food. But in that case, the capacity of storages and markets needs to be looked at, as well)

    Attachments:
    #5180
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    Everything fine.. I don’t include something where I’m not convinced of or not think it can be worth trying.

    Seems, you already outsmarted the Iceland scenario. Maybe the birches are spreading a bit too fast and should keep wood more rare. Also, the turfhouses want to get a matching storage. Digging for clay was probably not the first thing a Viking had in mind after arriving there. =)

    About deer, this is the only starting condition without big reindeer herds. I doubt there was any deer at all but I did not want to make hunting completely useless. Survivors start at the main land with forests and big herds and will not have to suffer of these special conditions.

    I made changes at the houses and the wiki still refers to North6. Since log cabins now need some glass, I saw no reason why they should not have perfect warmth and gave them 100%. Turfhouses are warm too but without proper oven and chimney, firewood consumption will be not so efficient -> 80%. Red cottages still have the advantage of happiness + less risk on fire over log cabins due to the tiled roof. Frame houses have 60%.

    The production list of the sheep run get’s a fourth row then. Good hint. :)

    #5184
    irrelevant
    Participant

    I also have an observation regarding charcoal production. I have a charcoal pile and a bloomery right next to each other. The bloomery seem continually to run out of charcoal, the charcoal burner seems unable to keep up.

    eta: seems like the burner has finally caught up. Must have been due to idling.

    #5185
    irrelevant
    Participant

    I don’t understand how the mechanics of filling in a clay pit works. It seems to use the same amount of clay that was originally removed, which makes sense. However, I just had 12 clay placed into one, and now I cannot get anyone to work on it. The work button is greyed out, and I cannot assign the required worker. The pit is still there, a hole in the ground unusable for anything.

    How is this meant to work?

    #5186
    1
    Participant

    <Since log cabins now need some glass, I saw no reason why they should not have perfect warmth and gave them 100%. >

    You could make poor alternative version of the log houses, look all same, except wooden hatch-door window, opposite glass windows and no chimney. Possibility to upgrade them to glass window and chimney version to get better ratings. Poor folks lived without glass, even when glass windows start to spread and become common.
    When they warm those no chimney houses, people have to go outside wait, or if they can withstand the smoke, lay down on the floor if don’t want go outside harsh winter to wait smoke clear, or if lucky they could make to neighbour house to wait.

    #5188
    irrelevant
    Participant

    Hard to get much of anything done with only four workers (Survivor).

    Building a trader on the stream cause the river is too far away. Took forever to find a site that would fit. Don’t have much in stock to trade away though. Must be time to look for gold.

    Agree with Nilla, the tar pit is better than the charcoal burner.

    Wondering about happiness, is three stars the max possible with Bannies living in ghoatis? Both are in the circles of a well, an idol, and a sauna, but never more than three stars.

    I’ve gotten so used to Ironman that I am overstocked with food. I need to remember to resist that urge.

    Yes, pit houses are the way to go, I’ll never waste logs on a small shed again.

    Attachments:
    #5191
    irrelevant
    Participant

    Got a pair of nomads, that was huge. Enough extra hands to do farming, went from zero hearts to four in short order. Starting to make small quantities of trade goods. Hide capes, iron tools, furs, traps, blueberries, all are good.

    Attachments:
    #5194
    Tom SawyerTom Sawyer
    Participant

    Doesn’t sound funny in real life with those old log houses, not only because having to wait outside in winter but just think about the smoke inside. That’s why happiness detraction.^^ A primitive log house without glass is a nice idea, I will make a note.

    In Irrelevants village it’s not enough to get more than 3 stars. They need at least 4 aspects and the goahti removes one, so it’s only 2 and not all three homes are fully covered.

    Filling up the clay spot works by clicking the small button after it is empty, then a miner will carry 12 clay to the hole and has to do some work with a hoe to flatten the ground. When this is done, it can be released with the remove construction tool and something new can be built there. Also a new clay spot again and again. That’s why it has to be filled with same material. If you remove it before filling it up, it leaves a hole.

    The survivor start seems to work quite well. I did not know it’s possible to build a trading dock at a small stream. It actually needs two deep water tiles in a row across the flow direction but you somehow did it. :)

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