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Question Hold off entering new chapter

Greetings, everyone!

As a quite new player, I have done all the research in Chapter V and am now ready to open the chest over "Advanced Scouts" to start Chapter VI. Vague information about rising prices for tournament, Spire and province encounters (I am mostly catering) connected to research progress makes me hesitate to press the "Open" button.

Might it be a good idea to stay on my plateau for now, use the daily knowledge points on Ancient Wonders and take some time to build up and maximize residence and production buildings, collect Spire rewards as well as level up wonders before I proceed?
 
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Far Reach

Conjurer
Opening the Advanced Scouts chest will make subsequent province encounters cheaper (rather than more expensive).

It is true that each additional (mandatory) research you do will increase your tournament and spire costs by a tiny amount (0.42%) but that is offset by new advantages such as upgrades allowing increased production of goods. (This is the result of a formula which aims to reduce, but not eliminate the tournament advantage of late game players.)

Continuing straight on certainly won't harm your city, but levelling residence and production buildings (and also selected Wonders) is a good thing to do also. Personally I would charge onwards, but some players enjoy a break between chapters (particularly the later chapters which require temporary chapter specific settlements to be constructed.)
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
On the other hand, entering a new chapter will unlock the next stage of adversaries in fights and possibly introduce new resources in catering/negotiations.

On the other other hand, entering a new chapter will kick future received buildings from the Magic Academy, Spire and Events.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
Any new chapter techology till the very end of the 15th chapter will only benefit you more than what it would penalize your tourney/spire game.
So basically you can keep advancing through chapters without any fear till the end of the 15th chapter, cause beyond that (all embassies chapter and all chapters ahead) will hurt you more (in terms of spire/tourney) than what it would benefit you.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
It's also the number of Ancient Wonders upgrades that make your tournaments etc harder and Chapter 15 affects it the most. If you keep your AW upgrades down, it's not noticeable that much. So having a break to upgrade you AWs might not help you that much. The only time I have a break is when I need to organise my city to create more space for the settlement. That's when I upgrade current buildings to the max so I can remove some of them or need them for more resources to keep progressing.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
In the end of the 15th chapter you get the final military technology for Rangers, Valorians and Frogs ( they all get a special effect ), that´s why the 15th is so important to get.
Beyond the 15th chapter you actually get nothing in terms of military technology, and the few upgrades for Barracks, Merc. Camp, and T.Grounds together with some armories and 4th leveled units improvements (things that make them a little better but without any aditional effect), and all the before comes with a huge penalty for your Tourney/spire game that overshadow all those poor research advantages.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
I see how the growing disadvantage is created. Has anyone (pref. the devs) ever offered an explanation for this decision? It must be frustrating for high-end players after all.

Developers usually leave it up to us to analyse things, I suppose they don't want to give away spoilers. Anyways, in my opinion it's to give new players a chance to catch up and compete with end game players. It would be quite boring to be stuck at the bottom of the ranking list forever.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
I see how the growing disadvantage is created. Has anyone (pref. the devs) ever offered an explanation for this decision? It must be frustrating for high-end players after all.
Many talking have been offered, but mostly is: "we don´t care about the end-game players", devs don´t listen, many things (not only the penalty by chapters, AWs development or expansions placed) are imbalanced in the game (for example the multiple Brown Bear stackability) but devs don´t seems to listen.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
Developers usually leave it up to us to analyse things, I suppose they don't want to give away spoilers. Anyways, in my opinion it's to give new players a chance to catch up and compete with end game players. It would be quite boring to be stuck at the bottom of the ranking list forever.
Yes, it is one of the good things in this tourney system, it can give beginners a "chance", but always a medium/end gamer would have advantage over beginners not matter what.
In other perspective and point of viewing, as you well have presented, if the tourney rules could change, end gamers would have a huge advantage over medium/beginner players, so the actual system is not that bad after all.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
That is news to me. So, if upgrading Ancient Wonders does not give you any advantages, because the progress is offset by additional difficulty, is it even worth investing time and care in systems like KP swap chains etc.? I thought the wonders would be the greatest thing about your city, because it is the only kind of buildings where you can actually make choices that affect gameplay and citybuilding flavour.

Fighting AWs give more advantage than they take away through the penalty. Yes, non fighting AWs penalise you on fighting side but do give advantage in other ways that can make up for it. The way I went about it is to pick one or two AWs that benefit my playing style the most and upgrade them to the max before I add new ones. This way I keep AW upgrades to the minimum and get the most out of my chosen AW. Also, if there's other buildings that give what an AW does, I try to use these buildings as they don't affect the calculation.
And yes, the value of KPs is not as high as it used to be due to this change.
 

Sir Derf

Mentor
Golden Abyss and Mountain Halls can provide Population massively more efficiently than any other building.
Martial Monastery and Watchtower Ruin can provide Culture massively more efficiently than any other building.

Those four, IMHO, have the greatest impact on city design and flexibility.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
What you are saying here makes me think that upgrading the Golden Abyss is an utter waste, as you can always get gold via residences and neighbourly help. How many wonders do you maintain, if you don't mind me asking?

I only focused on Golden Abyss and Mountain Halls and it took me 1.5 years to upgrade them to level 30. I do like progressing fast in the game, just do my fair share in tournament and get to the top of the Spire every week. I understand that you might not like these AWs but for my purposes they work very well. My GA gives 91k population while magic residence gives 19k. So it gives me a lot of space to play with. Also, now when I temporarily removed all population buildings to make space for huge settlement, it gives enough coins to keep my city running. Now I focus on Martial Monastery and Simia Sapiens to improve my fighting.
There is not one correct way to play this game. What I've noticed that you can't have it all so it's up to you to decide what to focus on: fast progress or high tournament score. What I picked is fast progress to finish all chapters and then focus on improving the tournament.
 

Far Reach

Conjurer
What is the rational in discouraging research beyond the 15th chapter? It will not affect me for a long time, but I am curious how this phenomenon is explained.

In the "News from Elvenar" forum the relevant Inno project manager asserted "progress in the game - in any form - should still be worthwhile and improve the tournament success."

I agree with @DunkelSaturn that C16 and C17 are somewhat negative for tournament performance. A handful of hard core top tournament players stopped chapter progression for that reason. On the other hand the latest Chapter (19) is clearly beneficial to the tournament player - and there is some evidence that Inno are rebalancing to correct the anomaly which @DunkelSaturn described.

It is also worth pointing out that these issues are mainly the concern of players who are competing for the top few places in the tournament. Other considerations aside from research and AW levels include minimising expansions [and using premium expansions in place of regular expansions wherever possible], fighting nearly all battles, effective crafting, good battlefield strategy, time (e.g. to manually fight some battles), availability of certain evolving buildings, a willingness to spend money (e.g. on diamonds to flip the crafting recipes) etc. In my view, all of these factors are more important than Chapter level. C19 players regularly top the tournaments on many servers.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
I agree with @DunkelSaturn that C16 and C17 are somewhat negative for tournament performance. A handful of hard core top tournament players stopped chapter progression for that reason. On the other hand the latest Chapter (19) is clearly beneficial to the tournament player - and there is some evidence that Inno are rebalancing to correct the anomaly which @DunkelSaturn described.

Yes some 4th star units are a little better, especially orc strats, but in no manner this advancement diminish the huge penalty that reasearch + new expansions given in those chapters to the tournament squad size penalty are in comparison to that improvement, they´re just stratospheric, in order for a late game player that is located in the 19th chapter to compete and have a game with some one located in the 15/16th chapter like myself they should deploy an enormous quantity of battle buildings (above 35 - 40 or more of them) have at least 2 Brown Bears and fighting AWs mostly in his city.
If I knew that in the 19th chapter I would be able to improve even more my tourney game I absolutely will advance till there, but there´s almost nothing in those upper chapters that can seduce a harcore tourney player to leave the sweet spot of the 15th chapter, just a enormous increase in yours and enemy squad size to titanic levels.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
Yes some 4th star units are a little better, especially orc strats, but in no manner this advancement diminish the huge penalty that reasearch + new expansions given in those chapters to the tournament squad size penalty are in comparison to that improvement, they´re just stratospheric, in order for a late game player that is located in the 19th chapter to compete and have a game with some one located in the 15/16th chapter like myself they should deploy an enormous quantity of battle buildings (above 35 - 40 or more of them) have at least 2 Brown Bears and fighting AWs mostly in his city.
If I knew that in the 19th chapter I would be able to improve even more my tourney game I absolutely will advance till there, but there´s almost nothing in those upper chapters that can seduce a harcore tourney player to leave the sweet spot of the 15th chapter, just a enormous increase in yours and enemy squad size to titanic levels.

I'd just watch out as they might make the newest chapters even better for tournament and it might take you a year to catch up. Of course, I could be wrong but personally it wouldn't surprise me. There's too many complains about the effect of progress on tournament score.
 

DeletedUser501

Enchanter
I'd just watch out as they might make the newest chapters even better for tournament and it might take you a year to catch up. Of course, I could be wrong but personally it wouldn't surprise me. There's too many complains about the effect of progress on tournament score.
I´d doubt devs would change the tourney/spire system, the only manner they could seduce players to keep moving through chapters would be if the new fighting units could have a second effect, that would make a huge difference, so probably many will advance to get those fighting units.
Imagine a Orc strat with a second side effect, it will kill everything, the same for rangers with a second effect turning enemy units less powerful, they will kill everything, no even steinlings will endure a potential ranger with two abilities.
 

Far Reach

Conjurer
Yes some 4th star units are a little better, especially orc strats, but in no manner this advancement diminish the huge penalty that reasearch + new expansions given in those chapters to the tournament squad size penalty are in comparison to that improvement, they´re just stratospheric,

Have you also accounted for the effect of the roughly 25% increase in troop production speed (from barracks, merc camp and training centre upgrades) ?

The research cost for each of the later chapters is in the 10-15% range. I can't remember the exact number for C19.

The expansions are irrelevant since they only count if you place them. Even if you do, they'll only make a few percent difference per chapter.

Chapter 19 (in itself) is clearly positive for the tournament player even without the 4* units.
 

Turing

Bard
What you are saying here makes me think that upgrading the Golden Abyss is an utter waste, as you can always get gold via residences and neighbourly help. How many wonders do you maintain, if you don't mind me asking?

The GA and Mountain Halls are fairly neutral in pure tournament terms - the effects they give are beneficial (eg the population means you need fewer residences), and the comparison to the cost is complicated, but probably close. They are both very good ones for general progress, however, especially the GA which is also cheap to upgrade compared to others.

As Silly Bubbles said, all the fighting AWs are beneficial to the tournament (except, perhaps, in some extreme edge cases) to level 30 (beyond L30 sometimes they add little in benefit). To calibrate a bit - from the start if you upgrade 10 AWs to L30 - doing that will take you years - it will double both your squad size and enemy squad size in the tourney, so you need to train troops faster to keep up.

On your original question:
Might it be a good idea to stay on my plateau for now, use the daily knowledge points on Ancient Wonders and take some time to build up and maximize residence and production buildings, collect Spire rewards as well as level up wonders before I proceed?
Slowing down a bit so that your residences and production catches up a bit may be useful. Residences upgrade every chapter and it's best to keep them near max. However you may need numerically fewer of them as they get bigger in later chapters, so maxing every last one is perhaps unnecessary if you end up teleporting one or two.

For the goods manufacturies upgrading them is good, BUT the population costs on them are so high, that it's often better to NOT max them until a couple of chapters after you unlock the tech for them. By that time you have better residences and can absorb the population cost of the upgrade better. When you first unlock new goods techs, typically the old tech may actually produce more for a given city size when you account for the other buildings needed to support them.
 
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Sir Derf

Mentor
Oh, just for comparison sake, Chapter 18 regular Residence gives the 11,100 Pop in 20 squares, for 550 Pop/square, while a GA giving 91k Pop does it in 9 squares, for 10,111 Pop/square, or nearly than 20 times the efficiency. Shoulda mentioned earlier.
 
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