Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Terra Mystica» Forums » General

Subject: Why are some Sanctuaries more expensive? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
J
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
So one of the biggest draws about this game to me is the unique factions and their unique boards. That being said there are some fairly standard prices for buildings across all of them (sans the factions with abilities tied to building costs). Dwellings, Trading Posts, and Temples all more or less cost the same no matter which board you get (even though there is some variation on the Trading posts income). The Strong Holds are unique so it makes sense that their their prices are too. However the Sanctuaries are a complete head scratcher for me. I cannot figure out why some of them are more expensive.

The Standard cost for a Sanctuary seems to be 4 workers and 6 coins. There are 7 factions that break this.

First of all there are the factions with unique payment schemes (Engineers and Swarmlings) whose Sanctuaries cost a different number of workers. Since the worker difference is more due to their faction traits it's not relevant for what I'm talking about.

Second there are the factions with better than average Sanctuaries. Darklings and Swarmlings get an extra Priest while Chaos Magicians get an extra favor. Again these factions get a by cause it makes sense that better = More expensive.

Lastly there are the 3 factions with completely average Sanctuaries yet for some reason they cost 8 coins instead of 6, Mermaids, Auroran, and Cultists.

So yeah any insight (either official or opinion) from anyone on why these 3 factions specifically have more expensive Sanctuaries? I mean in theory these 3 factions are stronger than normal and it would be a balancing mechanism but Auroran, on top of having no innate ability, have been shown to perform below the average whereas Cultists were originally so problematic that a new house rule was introduced to buff them. There are some other odd things about certain factions (like why are Dwarfs trading posts so good) but I just cannot understand why these 3 factions were picked as deserving a minor detriment.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris H
Singapore
flag msg tools
mbmb
allstar64 wrote:
Auroran, on top of having no innate ability, have been shown to perform below the average whereas Cultists were originally so problematic that a new house rule was introduced to buff them.

An interesting statement. Are you aware that Cultists are currently ranked 2/14 in ratings and Auren right in the middle (7/14)?
Of course, those adjustments were made long before such statistics were known, but it doesn't seem like these factions are as weak as you claim.

For mermaids, I can understand it very well. Mermaids have a relatively weak SH and a relatively easy time connecting spaces for towns - making the SA more expensive makes the otherwise very easy 3-space town more expensive and makes the SH a bit more attractive in comparison as a means to get the 7 levels for a town.

Cultists, well, they already get more cult advances than others, encouraging them to develop vertically. A more expensive SA makes horizontal expansion a bit more attractive.

I assume that for Auren, the thought process was similar. Their bonuses are also focused on vertical development, making the SA more expensive is a way of saying "also look into other options".
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Georg D.
Germany
Höxter
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
allstar64 wrote:
Auroran, on top of having no innate ability, have been shown to perform below the average whereas Cultists were originally so problematic that a new house rule was introduced to buff them.


Why do you think so? I won with the cultists before the rulesupdate. And I don't think that cultists were that bad before. If the cultists had been the worst race the rulesupdate would have changed nearly nothing. The update only changes what happens if noone takes the power but if the cultists were the worst race no one would deny the power. You would lose an advantage against stronger races only to deny a weak race a slightly stronger bonus - not very clever.
AFAIK the update was more some kind of streamlining as they didn't want an raceadvantage be that dependent of other players choices.
Before the update the cultists got some hate but it was always 'known fact' that the fakirs are the worst race - and they got no update. So the update was clearly no act of rebalancing the factions.

Unfortunately I can't answer you question. Perhaps Chris is right. I don't think it is a very convincing explenation but I can't find any better one ;-)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
No I wasn't though to be fair whenever I looked at the faction rankings I was always going by the statistics page here and I didn't know there was another listing. The statistics page shows Cultists at 4 and Auroran at 11, that coupled with people's comments on this board about the Auroran are what I was basing my comments on. However the Cultists's ranking is likely based on updated rules whereas the choice to give them a more expensive Stronghold was made before that which is why I didn't consider their position as much.
Quote:

For mermaids, I can understand it very well. Mermaids have a relatively weak SH and a relatively easy time connecting spaces for towns - making the SA more expensive makes the otherwise very easy 3-space town more expensive and makes the SH a bit more attractive in comparison as a means to get the 7 levels for a town.


If this statement is right I absolutely hate this. I've seen designers do it in other games (for the record it worked badly in the other game). Rather than making one path more attractive relative to the average cost they make the other less attractive. I mean your statement can be summarized as "We gave mermaids a bad stronghold so lets give them a bad SA too so their SH seems better by comparison." That always strikes me as a very poor way to balance your game.

I understand your comment about the Cultists wanting vertical expansion but I don't really understand your comment about the Auroran wanting it (that is moreso than any other faction normally wants it).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris H
Singapore
flag msg tools
mbmb
The thing with mermaids is, they're one of the best at horizontal expansion. Giving them a slightly more expensive SA means a small impediment on the way to getting 3 towns. Getting 3 connected spaces is just ridiculously easy to achieve for mermaids.

I didn't mean to say the mermaid SH was worthlessly weak, it's just not one of those you'd have to build in every game.
The scenario I had in mind for the earlier statement was something like this: Imagine you have 4 tiles joined together, with the option of going SH/TP/D/D or SA/TP/D/D for a town. The SH route is cheaper (by 2w 7c total) and gives you a boat advance, the SA route gives you 2 favor tiles and a priest as income. With a faction that's already great at horizontal expansion, perhaps they figured it would help nerfing the vertical a little by slightly increasing the cost of the SA line.


For Auren, as I see it, in most games you'll be trying to compete strongly on cult tracks. Off the top of my head, I'd say you'll be aiming at 16+ points from tracks and extra cult income every round, often multiple times.
Combine the Auren ability with 2 temples as soon as possible (SH and 2 temples by R3 probably) and you get a serious powerhouse with lots of endgame score potential and tons of extra income. My guess is that they wanted to encourage at least a little horizontal expansion by telling the player "hey, why don't you aim for 2x4 tiles and a 3rd temple rather than building an SA?".
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rhett Morgan
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Allstar, generally, that nerfing a race should be a carefully thought out process (I don't think any of us disagree on this) and that penalizing a track to "encourage a different play style" seems heavy handed.

I suppose this is a tough decision for any game designer that does asymmetrical game play. Should you power down races because they are too powerful or should you power up races to match the most powerful?

My preference would be to make the Mermaid SH 6PW per turn and/or remove the favor for their SA while decreasing the price to 4/4.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Thrar wrote:
The thing with mermaids is, they're one of the best at horizontal expansion. Giving them a slightly more expensive SA means a small impediment on the way to getting 3 towns. Getting 3 connected spaces is just ridiculously easy to achieve for mermaids.

Sorry I'm not convinced about this. There are other factions who are arguably just as good at Horizontal expansion if not better like Witches who's Sanctuary is standard.

Quote:
I didn't mean to say the mermaid SH was worthlessly weak, it's just not one of those you'd have to build in every game.
The scenario I had in mind for the earlier statement was something like this: Imagine you have 4 tiles joined together, with the option of going SH/TP/D/D or SA/TP/D/D for a town. The SH route is cheaper (by 2w 7c total) and gives you a boat advance, the SA route gives you 2 favor tiles and a priest as income. With a faction that's already great at horizontal expansion, perhaps they figured it would help nerfing the vertical a little by slightly increasing the cost of the SA line.

The Mermad Stronghold also gives you 4 power income which is quite a lot not to mention a shipping Upgrade can be worth anywhere from 2 to 5 points depending on how many times you upgrade your shipping during the game. Further in all likelihood you wouldn't want your SA in a town that had 4 building but you would likely want to save it for down the line so I'm not so sure about this reasoning either.

Quote:

For Auren, as I see it, in most games you'll be trying to compete strongly on cult tracks. Off the top of my head, I'd say you'll be aiming at 16+ points from tracks and extra cult income every round, often multiple times.
Combine the Auren ability with 2 temples as soon as possible (SH and 2 temples by R3 probably) and you get a serious powerhouse with lots of endgame score potential and tons of extra income. My guess is that they wanted to encourage at least a little horizontal expansion by telling the player "hey, why don't you aim for 2x4 tiles and a 3rd temple rather than building an SA?".


You see what I'm having such a hard time accepting about your reasoning is in some instances you say that the expensive San are to promote less vertical expansion and more horizontal expansion (Cultists, Auren) yet in other places you say that it's to make it harder for those who specialize in horizontal expansion (Mermaids). I don't really think you can have it both ways.

___________________________

After thinking about it a lot something Dawned on me. It occurs to me that every faction who's ability directly helps with endgame scoring has some sort of price detriment.

First of all Cults. The 3 factions whose ability helps in cults are Auren, Cultists and Chaos Magicians. All these guys have sloightly more expensive San although the Chaos Magicians have a better than average San. However CM obviously start with another giant detriment which probably was factored into them.

Second Network. Although many factions have abilities that indirectly help with network (Witches extra dwellings, Halflings easier terraforming ect) the only 2 Factions whose abilities that directly help with the network are Mermaids and Fakirs. Mermaids of course have increased shipping and the more expensive San. Fakirs... well what do Fakirs not have working against them? All the ratings and opinions point to them being the weakest and badly underpowered. Their ability might be one of the best for end of game network but it's shackled behind a grossly expensive SH. Note that Dwarfs do not belong in this category cause while their ability does help with network at the end it's effectively just an inferior carpet flying and being able to skip only 1 hex can work against them with aggressive opponents.

I'm beginning to think that when the game was being created any faction with abilities that directly helped in end game scoring were given a detriment in price. It seems to add up with what we've seen so far.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rhett Morgan
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
allstar64 wrote:


I'm beginning to think that when the game was being created any faction with abilities that directly helped in end game scoring were given a detriment in price. It seems to add up with what we've seen so far.


And with favor 11 adding so much meat to the middle game contributes to those races' disadvantages. The Cultists being the best of the bunch for some reason...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.