Hello fellow Rome - Total War fans!
Today I'm happy to introduce you the new features for upcoming release of Barbarian Empires: Hellenistic Legacy 1.0.3, specifically the new mechanics involving taxes and trade. As we all know, economics in RTW was usually quite simple and predictable, as the bigger settlement is, the more money it produces and eventually you end up swimming in money. For the most of the game in campaign mode, player do not really had a chance to think strategically in Rome: Total War, as he either planned his moves on tactical level, by choosing best construction plan for each settlement individually, without taking into account other settlements, or, simply, leaving everything on automanage as some players find campaign building part in RTW quite boring.
My goal was to spice up the system without adding too much complexity (you have Extended Cultures V for really complex and confusing stuff after all), so I decided to introduce additional level of strategy, a minigame of its own where you now can carefully plan your expansion and settlement development. That's what Trade Hubs, Governors Palaces and Academies are now for, along with Colonies and Native Culture buildings and their bonuses. Let me explain you how this all works in detail.
As you can see on this screenshot, Native Culture buildings will now have some penalties ready for you if you blindly overexpand your empire without carefully developing it. First of all, note the local tax penalty of -50%! This effect may be negated if you upgrade your governors building to the maximum. Second, for now, if you capture a settlement of a foreign culture, you will suffer global factionwide penalties to trade and taxes. These penalties stack, so the more problematic settlements you have, the bigger will be total impact on your economy. You can effectively kill trade in your entire empire with this!
To slowly wear down these penalties, you will have various tools at your disposal. First of all, comes precious Colony building line, which not only convert population to your culture, but also minimizes the negative effect of a Native Culture building. Trade penalty is negated immediately at first level of Colony built, which is handy indeed, while tax effect will gradually go down with each next level of Colony.
Next, goes Academy/Scriptorium/Ludus Magna line. These buildings will further help decrease negative effect of Native Culture, adding +1% factionwide tax bonus per level of Academy line built. Now these buildings are much more useful than before!
And finally, Trade Hubs. This building line serves one main purpose: to virtually redistribute your local excess trade goods all over the empire. These are especially fun to use, as they globally increase your trade base value, but they also have a couple of negative side effects. First of all, they decrease your population growth in the settlement, going up to -3% population growth with maximum level of Trade Hub. Second, they decrease local trade base level (obviously), so they are best used in regions with already low trade (as trade base can't go lower than default trade base), and where population growth is high enough to afford such a huge penalty. Combined with Academies and Colonies, these are able to completely remove penalties of non-native culture settlements integrated to your empire.
All these small improvements act together to make campaign more immersive and fun. Hope you will like how Hellenistic Legacy will be played now! Stay tuned for more updates and articles, and thank you for supporting Barbarian Empires series!