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a year ago Aug 10,2023, 14:00:58 PM

Trade and Poaching Preview

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If you’ve been following our recent blogs, you might have been wondering why naval combat should matter to you, or why we introduced domestic trade routes towards your capital. Well, it all ties into how international trade will work in the new update, and how you can mess with it. 


International Trade: Would You Be Interested in a Trade Agreement With The English?

International trade is a crucial interaction in Humankind, as it creates lasting economic ties and thus diplomatic cooperation and stability, so with this update we want to make trade clearer and increase the impact of disruptions to your trade network. 

To that end, trade between empires (including vassals and their lieges) will now always connect their capital cities. This reduces the hard to read “trade route spaghetti” of the old trade interface and gives you a better idea of the path a new route will take. It also concentrates all international trade along a few major routes, letting you take better advantage of it with infrastructure, protect your interest, or interfere with your enemy.


The trade view, set to only show international routes



Buying resources still requires an upfront payment and the appropriate diplomatic treaties (unless you are a Merchant empire, who can now always buy resources from others without signing treaties first). However, unlike before, trade routes now have an upkeep cost for the buyer based on the territories they cross and increasing slightly with the variety of goods on the same route. This upkeep cost can evolve over the course of the game, as technology, infrastructure, and control of the land changes. For example, routes crossing ocean territories will be expensive at first but become cheap with the advent of Three-Masted Ships, roads and railroads reduce upkeep, and routes in territory you own will be cheaper than in foreign territory. Of course, trade routes may also need to cross neutral, unclaimed territory, where they will form neutral trade nodes to serve as indicators and interaction points for the passing trade. 


Neutral trade nodes can be found on land, coasts, and oceans



Poaching: What’s Yours Is Mine

So far, so good... But that doesn’t really affect trade, does it? They may be going to your capital now, but you’re still getting all the same resources, right? 

Not always! In the new update, armies and navies can poach trade routes at various points along their path (such as neutral trade nodes or harbors) to interrupt the flow of resources and divert some or all of them to their own empire. Just steal the Saltpeter you need from your enemies, and bring along their gold and gems while you’re at it!


Trespassing freely is quite handy when you want to acquire some resources


Such attacks on peaceful trade are frowned upon, though, so while an army is poaching a trade route, any other empire can attack them without generating any grievances. Even once they stop stealing trade, armies will be marked as outlaws for a few turns, leaving them vulnerable to counterattack. Even stealthy units won’t go unpunished, as poaching a trade route will immediately reveal them to everybody. This makes poaching trade routes a risky move, but on a rich, isolated trade node it can be well worth it. 


"Nobody" is stealing anything here, nobody suspects a thing...


That’s all for our previews of the next update. We hope you’re excited about these changes and additions, and will join us next week to celebrate Humankind’s release anniversary. 

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 2:57:02 PM

Splendid! Thank you for the simplified trading routes and the mayhem we can now bring in them. I also really like the retribution placed on poaching armies, but not entirely clear what the poaching army gets, are the resources paoched available only while the army is poaching, which will mean you have to station them there to continue receiving the benefit? If they stop poaching does the poaching army get a movement or strength penalty? Is there a cool down before an army can poach again? 

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 3:32:04 PM

Looks to be a very interesting update. This, combined with the downside of not having resources being increased Industry costs, seems to balance out very nicely.

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 4:29:03 PM

I like it! Makes trading a more risky process, but also incentivizes gameplay around making armies to protect key trading posts and perhaps having fewer, but more beneficial, trade routes. Very cool update. 

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 4:45:51 PM

Will there be an update when it comes to naval warfare having to do with stealth and countering it?

Wald

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 5:58:37 PM
The-Cat-o-Nine-Tales wrote:

Neutral trade nodes can be found on land, coasts, and oceans

Trade nodes on oceans ... I remember having suggested this two years ago here.

I like these changes!


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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 5:59:05 PM

This is shaping up to be a really exciting update, love the idea of being able to go pirate with your guys.

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 7:25:20 PM

Before, trade routes got you money for passing through your cities, with a number of different ways to increase that gain. Now that trade routes cost money to upkeep, will those infrastructures/Emblematic Quarters/Legacy Traits work differently or get buffed, or is the plan to balance the upkeep cost around the gains you can already make?

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 7:48:26 PM

Will poaching generate grievances? Will there be a possibility to make poachers/pirates look like neutral units instead of our units?

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a year ago
Aug 10, 2023, 10:04:32 PM

Another interesting component for the upcoming update. Keep it up, please.


(As often), a few questions on how this will work:

- You said that poaching allows taking all or some of the resources. What determines what/how many resources are poached? Is there a limit per unit? Can the poacher choose which ones?

- Can a trade note cover trade routes between multiple player pairs, e.g. a trade route between player A and B as well as a route between B and C at the same node? If so, what happens if that is poached? Does the aggressor have the choice to poach just some resources or resourcing belonging to a particular player combination?

- I suppose poaching does not destroy the trade route and that it resumes as normal when the poaching stops? Is there (still) a way to permanently destroy a trade route? I confess I never really understood how it works in the current game version. Did ransack destroy trade routes? If so, will it still do that?

- I suppose the aggressor only gets the poached resources for as long as the poaching continues? Or is there a fixed "get it for x turns"? I suppose there is no "poached" trade route from aggressor units to aggressor capital and it just goes straight to the aggressor?

- Does the changed merchant affinity apply to strategic resources as well or just luxury ones? Is in top of the existing trade bonuses or does it replace them?


And of course, is there now an ETA for this update? You mentioned it would likely not be ready for the anniversary but "soon" (tm) after.

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a year ago
Aug 11, 2023, 8:06:10 AM
ilusha100 wrote:

Splendid! Thank you for the simplified trading routes and the mayhem we can now bring in them. I also really like the retribution placed on poaching armies, but not entirely clear what the poaching army gets, are the resources paoched available only while the army is poaching, which will mean you have to station them there to continue receiving the benefit? If they stop poaching does the poaching army get a movement or strength penalty? Is there a cool down before an army can poach again? 

Once you order an army to poach a trade route, the poaching will take effect the next turn, and it lasts until disabled (either voluntarily, or because the army is killed or driven off the tile). While the army is poaching a trade note, you get some (or all, if the army is powerful enough) of the resources passing through that node. (This is immediate with no transport required... poaching from the poacher shipping back tot heir capital could have gotten very confusing). There's no cooldown, nor any other penalties beyond being labeled an outlaw.



elgorbadez wrote:

Will there be a beta we can participate?

Probably, but we'll talk more about that later.



Egorex wrote:

Will armies ransacking outpost also get this outlaw status?

The outlaw status is exclusive to poaching armies. It's meant to make it easier for other empires to protect trade that is important to them even if they are not directly affected (e.g. kicking a poaching army out of your ally's territory if they're stealing the resources you were trying to buy).



EndlessFun wrote:

Before, trade routes got you money for passing through your cities, with a number of different ways to increase that gain. Now that trade routes cost money to upkeep, will those infrastructures/Emblematic Quarters/Legacy Traits work differently or get buffed, or is the plan to balance the upkeep cost around the gains you can already make?

Yes, ways to gain money from Trade Routes still exist, and you can make a pretty penny from it if you lean into it.



Banxomadic wrote:

Will poaching generate grievances? Will there be a possibility to make poachers/pirates look like neutral units instead of our units?

.Yes, poaching does generate grievances. But no, I'm afraid disguising as neutral units won't be possible. It's something we examined very early, even before launch, and it wasn't feasible. Too much work and too many problems for the few new gameplay opportunities it opened.



Shadowhal wrote:

Another interesting component for the upcoming update. Keep it up, please.


(As often), a few questions on how this will work:

- You said that poaching allows taking all or some of the resources. What determines what/how many resources are poached? Is there a limit per unit? Can the poacher choose which ones?

- Can a trade note cover trade routes between multiple player pairs, e.g. a trade route between player A and B as well as a route between B and C at the same node? If so, what happens if that is poached? Does the aggressor have the choice to poach just some resources or resourcing belonging to a particular player combination?

- I suppose poaching does not destroy the trade route and that it resumes as normal when the poaching stops? Is there (still) a way to permanently destroy a trade route? I confess I never really understood how it works in the current game version. Did ransack destroy trade routes? If so, will it still do that?

- I suppose the aggressor only gets the poached resources for as long as the poaching continues? Or is there a fixed "get it for x turns"? I suppose there is no "poached" trade route from aggressor units to aggressor capital and it just goes straight to the aggressor?

- Does the changed merchant affinity apply to strategic resources as well or just luxury ones? Is in top of the existing trade bonuses or does it replace them?


And of course, is there now an ETA for this update? You mentioned it would likely not be ready for the anniversary but "soon" (tm) after.

.How much you steal depends on the power of the army that's doing the stealing.

Yes, trade notes can cover more than two players.

Yes, poaching is non-destructive and trade will automatically resume. Ransacking does destroy them, as far as I recall.

Yes, the resources are only gained while poaching, and this is one case where we still "teleport" them. (It would get messy otherwise)

Yes, merchants can buy any resource, at any time. Even while at war, as far as I recall. (Though if you rely on that while annoying your neighbors, you might be locking yourself into a Merchant Only run until you get International Trading.)

And no precise ETA yet, so I'd rather not say too much. :)



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a year ago
Aug 11, 2023, 9:21:35 AM

We got our commerce tab ! =D

Nice rework of the commerce. I really love the simplicity you try to bring here.

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a year ago
Aug 11, 2023, 3:12:41 PM

(And I see there is some chaneg about the research button at the top ^^ )
But how poaching will work on trade network shared with allies ? We will stole at all people without distinction ?


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a year ago
Aug 12, 2023, 3:13:57 PM

Hi, great Dev Diary !


Given the increase in number of individual resource copies, had you considered a system where trading one away through international trade would remove one from the domestic market, thus creating an export vs. internal tradeoff (money vs. FIMS) ?


And incidentally why was it discarded as seems to be the case (ie. External purchases not impacting the domestic availability) ?


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a year ago
Aug 13, 2023, 11:44:15 PM
The-Cat-o-Nine-Tales wrote:


Shadowhal wrote:

Another interesting component for the upcoming update. Keep it up, please.


(As often), a few questions on how this will work:

- You said that poaching allows taking all or some of the resources. What determines what/how many resources are poached? Is there a limit per unit? Can the poacher choose which ones?

- Can a trade note cover trade routes between multiple player pairs, e.g. a trade route between player A and B as well as a route between B and C at the same node? If so, what happens if that is poached? Does the aggressor have the choice to poach just some resources or resourcing belonging to a particular player combination?

- I suppose poaching does not destroy the trade route and that it resumes as normal when the poaching stops? Is there (still) a way to permanently destroy a trade route? I confess I never really understood how it works in the current game version. Did ransack destroy trade routes? If so, will it still do that?

- I suppose the aggressor only gets the poached resources for as long as the poaching continues? Or is there a fixed "get it for x turns"? I suppose there is no "poached" trade route from aggressor units to aggressor capital and it just goes straight to the aggressor?

- Does the changed merchant affinity apply to strategic resources as well or just luxury ones? Is in top of the existing trade bonuses or does it replace them?


And of course, is there now an ETA for this update? You mentioned it would likely not be ready for the anniversary but "soon" (tm) after.

.How much you steal depends on the power of the army that's doing the stealing.

Yes, trade notes can cover more than two players.

Yes, poaching is non-destructive and trade will automatically resume. Ransacking does destroy them, as far as I recall.

Yes, the resources are only gained while poaching, and this is one case where we still "teleport" them. (It would get messy otherwise)

Yes, merchants can buy any resource, at any time. Even while at war, as far as I recall. (Though if you rely on that while annoying your neighbors, you might be locking yourself into a Merchant Only run until you get International Trading.)

And no precise ETA yet, so I'd rather not say too much. :)


Thanks, that all makes sense.


Just one quick follow-up: if the army strength isn't enough to poach everything, is there a player choice? If not, how does the game decide? Strategic > unowned luxuries > owned luxuries would make most sense I suppose.

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a year ago
Aug 14, 2023, 10:14:40 AM

So, what happens if I surround all the hexes around my poacher. Does the outlaw marker still work, can others interrupt me?

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a year ago
Aug 16, 2023, 8:23:45 AM
Elphealer wrote:

(And I see there is some chaneg about the research button at the top ^^ )
But how poaching will work on trade network shared with allies ? We will stole at all people without distinction ?

When you poach a trade node, you only poach from trade routes that do not involve somebody you have an alliance or Non-Aggression Pact with.



Xerx3s wrote:

Hi, great Dev Diary !


Given the increase in number of individual resource copies, had you considered a system where trading one away through international trade would remove one from the domestic market, thus creating an export vs. internal tradeoff (money vs. FIMS) ?


And incidentally why was it discarded as seems to be the case (ie. External purchases not impacting the domestic availability) ?

It could be an interesting trade-off, but I don't know if it was ever even seriously considered: The focus of Humankind's trade is creating economic and diplomatic ties, and to that end the only choice on the seller's part is whether or not to sign the treaty... Allowing that kind of trade-off would have meant completely redoing that system, which simply would have taken too much of our available resources.



Shadowhal wrote:

Thanks, that all makes sense.


Just one quick follow-up: if the army strength isn't enough to poach everything, is there a player choice? If not, how does the game decide? Strategic > unowned luxuries > owned luxuries would make most sense I suppose.

As far as I recall, the limit on how much you can steal is applied to each resource individually. So it's more of a "An army of this strength an steal at most X copies of a resource" function. Which means that even weak armies might get you a breadth of resources, but if you want to steal a large volume of one resource, you have to show up in force. I believe this was done to avoid precisely such "which resource gets stolen first" questions (because unless we popped up a dialog asking for your input, we could never be sure to get the one you really want, and we didn't want to add that extra step to every time you try to poach.)



Ansive wrote:

So, what happens if I surround all the hexes around my poacher. Does the outlaw marker still work, can others interrupt me?

Yes, the "outlaw" status only applies to the army doing the actual poaching, so technically you can surround them with six other units to provoke grievances. Poaching itself generates a grievance, though, and often with multiple empires no less, so you're at best breaking even on number of grievances.



SaiH wrote:
Is this a new type of submarine?

Yes. I had already hidden it in a screenshot in the post about naval combat, but it was time to make it more obvious. There might be one or two other new naval units as well.

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