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Please get rid of districts.


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Apparently I'm a masochist as I'm starting another game.

I want to move my starting district to a better location at the beginning of a new game but I can't because then I'll lose all my starting food.

The reason being it's placed on fertile soil which I want to use.  I want to temporarily move it onto dry dirt and then eventually on platforms on water so it's central and not taking up space that can be used.

I still don't know how distribution posts/drop offs work, but even if I did, it would take 3-4 hours of gameplay to have the science/resources necessary to even do that.  Yes, I read the little article on steam, about 20 times, and it still doesn't make sense.  Don't know where to put the drop offs, don't see what the point of the gate is, do I need drop off points on both sides of the gate, I assigned distribution and it still did nothing.  It takes several hours to be able to have the resources to attempt to do this, and most likely a drought will kill me while I'm trying and I have to start over again.  Re-migrate the beavers back to starting district before they die of starvation.  Wait 3-4 hours to have resources to attempt again, I just don't see what the point of this is?

Am I really the only person that thinks that's dumb?  I could go give my neighbor some stuff by walking over there, I don't need some very expensive distribution network setup to be able to deliver goods to a neighbor.  Feel like at every turn I'm met with frustration in a game that should be the ultra cozy.  Weird arbitrary rule sets that you don't even teach the player.  You spent more time on this convoluted distribution system than you did the tutorial.

 

Ps, why do you have 2 feedback sites?  I'm being told email address is being used by another member, yeah, ME.  Just tell me to sign in ffs.

Edited by Swissy88
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Think of gates as "State Lines" or borders... or District border Markers. Just like when you drive down the highway and see a Welcome to {enter state or country} The gate would be the Welcome to ... Sign for your districts. When you run a path through the gate, it creates a divide. One district on one side and a new one on the other side. And so any  path connected to that gate will now be "owned" by the district on that side of the gate. So if i go to one side and build something, it would be subject to the rule of that district only. Such buildings, will only be used by the district on that side of the gate. So a Log Storage area on the right side of the gate would not be used by the left side of the gate. So if you want to transfer goods between them, The distribution centers, will allow That District Only, to send resources it has, to other districts. In order to receive goods, you must build a drop off IN the district you want the items delivered too. Remember your gates are your borders.

You can place drop offs, and dist. centers anywhere you want as long as they are on a road connected to the district center, and on the correct side of any gate, or border. 

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PS. I have a sollution to your original problem. You would have to build a new district center where you want it, get a road close to the center without connecting it(you cant even if you try, since there is one already connected). Then, once the new one is built, delete the old one and then immediately connect the path to the new one you just built. Repeat this process to move your district center as many times as you need to. 

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I've had no trouble with the district system, personally, though I agree it is a little rough to get the research done into it in the early game.

That being said, as a game programmer, the district system certainly makes a huge difference to the overall performance of the game due to pathing calculations, and makes a lot of the numbers easier to crunch. The game devs have provided pretty simple to use UI for moving population around between districts as well, so I've found little trouble in managing them.

The only thing I think they could maybe improve a little is a cleaner UI for migration between any districts in a single screen rather than having to click on each District Center manually and moving only that center's beavers at a given moment. Often times I have ONE "active breeding" district and need to move 1-4 beavers from that district to every other district at once, and the current UX for that is a little obtuse.

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So I just wanna add my voice here with OP-

I want to start by saying I understand WHY you have opted for a system like this; as Jurann has said it's a LOT easier to limit pathing and job/labour calculations if it's separated. 


I completely detest the district system in its current state; it's illogical and an artificial bottleneck to any form of exponential growth of a colony. It instead tries to force linear growth which doesn't work if population growth itself ISN'T linear; great idea with iron-teeth completely unsustainable without micromanaged population control. 

The districts force separation of settlements that still produce beavers at a similar rate - which means I have to repeat basic colony construction over and over, rebuilding gathering and production for tons of resources that I already have a surplus of in my starting district - I don't want to but I find myself in a position where I instead build 5 distribution posts to render the intended system irrelevant because it's an awfully inefficient resource dump to play as intended and that makes 1/2 of the game about just ignoring progress to metal and just focussing on building a forest to turn into distribution posts so you can ignore the district mechanic. <- this makes game play stale because it's easier to ignore the system than utilise it.   

Ultimately the game does not play like a district game, why would I have to repeatedly rebuild a temporary colony for metal that isn't a permanent resource; I spent a ton of time and effort and then the metal runs out and I have a new colony that is just living on it's own? Why? 

 If you want to implement a district system make it function independently and make the inter district travel and trade system SIGNIFICANTLY less limited or make it entirely micromanaged to the nth degree with a direct trade for every single item that I should set up. DO NOT make it limited to 10 trade items or one way. Do NOT make a system that leaves me with a redundant settlement. DO NOT make it a system that requires subversion. 

Suggestions:

A tier system - start with settlements then as the settlement expands assign 'work districts' allowing worker priority. Gate settlements off if you wish but allow for significant expansion and formation of metropolises as the settlements grow into each other.

[Note if there is an upgrade system and a tech tree and these things can be baked into your districts later - that makes for amazing scaling and an aim but If the system isn't intuitive and not focused on scaling however in a base building game like this, it doesn't belong in the game.]

Secondly stop the gate system as in its current state it's an inelegant solution to a  much larger issue. Districts not only should bleed into each other but should be able to directly assist neighbouring districts with workloads to allow for smoother expansion and gameplay. 

Thirdly there needs to be a long and short range system; a lot of people want trains, tunnels, boats and even carts. This makes for an easily tacked on trade route system. Whereas simple labourers can carry resources on foot between closer locations. 

All in all I don't think it should be a total scrap but definitely a LOT of tweaking and changing. 



 

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I'm sorry, but i really like the districts. There is a lot of freedom to build your colony how you want it and when you want it. It just takes a little time to learn how they work. Please just give it a little time and play around with districts, and read people's helpful explanations. The districts were confusing for me at first, but i just played with them until i figured it out, and now i love all the possibilities with them.

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4 hours ago, mc_thulu said:

"it's illogical and an artificial bottleneck to any form of exponential growth of a colony. It instead tries to force linear growth which doesn't work if population growth itself ISN'T linear; great idea with iron-teeth completely unsustainable without micromanaged population control."

Just FYI - in both my playthroughs to date, both the basic beaver race and the Iron Teeth, I've had no issue with exponential growth. As long as you have plenty of available housing in each district, you will get plenty of new kids being popped out. The more districts with space available, the more exponential the growth. Same with Iron Teeth - just make more and more and more Incubation Chambers or whatever they're called. Growth is as explosive as you want to make it, and when you want to cap it, just reduce your available housing or incubation pods to suit. With the normal tribe, they won't make babies when out of housing, and with the Iron Teeth you have penultimate control over birthing, down to being able to manage every aspect including pausing babies before they're even born.

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I feel like your issue is with the lack of good tutorial to be honest. I mean, don't get me wrong, districts can be clunky based on the way you get them started (I have suggestions I should probably finally post) but a lot of the struggle you described is because you didn't know how the relevant export/import buildings work. Totally understandable. It took me a couple minutes to figure it out myself (after the hours it took getting to that point).

 

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1 hour ago, Chandarin said:

I feel like your issue is with the lack of good tutorial to be honest. I mean, don't get me wrong, districts can be clunky based on the way you get them started (I have suggestions I should probably finally post) but a lot of the struggle you described is because you didn't know how the relevant export/import buildings work. Totally understandable. It took me a couple minutes to figure it out myself (after the hours it took getting to that point).

 

Yeah, good points. The Export/Import buildings are super important, and when I'm going to start a new district, I pre-plan the buildings and basic needs layout as much in advance as possible (usually before I even migrate folks over) so they have a plan of attack the moment I migrate them. Then pre-Export some logs, planks and food for a few days, again before I even migrate. And I wait until I have around 12-16 beavers I can throw into it at once to get it off with a bang - that's 4 in the District Center, 2-4 Lumberjacks, 1-2 Gatherers (if there are berries), 2 for Water Pumps, then get a Builder's Hut, Hauling Post and some storage up ASAP for the remaining beavers. Migrate those 12-16 all at once, immediately after a drought ends, and ka-ching - it's off to the races. Once you've got all that settled, build a couple Farmhouses and start cropping. You can even do some crafty things like setup a Builder's Hut on the edge of the new district and have them pre-build some of the buildings if they're close enough! ;D

Edited by jurann
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I also found the Districts quite confusing at first, but it gets better after some trial and error.

Basically what I do are the following steps:

1) Built a Distribution Center and a Drop-Off point in the main city. Let's call them DC1 and DO1

2) Build the new District and place a District Gate in order to separate the two

3) Build a Drop-Off Point in the new District, let's call it DO2. This one only accepts Logs, Planks, Water, Food.

4) Create a new route between DC1 and DO2 in which I send Logs, Planks, Water, Food (berries usually or whatever surplus I have the most of).

5) Once I get enough Logs and Planks in DO2 to build Water Tanks, Log Storage, Normal Storage, Stairs/Platforms and a Distribution Center (DC2), I migrate 10-20 beavers to District 2 (8 workers for the DC, 4 to haul in the District and the rest are miners).

6) When all the infrastructure is built, I stop sending the Logs and Planks.

7) I mine the Scrap Metal, Make DC2 only accept Scrap Metal and set a new Route from DC2 to DO1.

That's about it and works even for far away districts. I hope it makes sense, as it's my first post and I'm not a native English speaker but if you have any questions, maybe I can clarify

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On 9/22/2021 at 9:11 PM, jurann said:

with the Iron Teeth you have penultimate control over birthing, down to being able to manage every aspect including pausing babies before they're even born.

Yes that's exactly what I mean by population micromanagement. Filling up a house isn't the same as having an exact number of beavers for a specific area. Yes I can build mini lodges but that's a waste of resources - a double lodge is more resource efficient even with the requirement of stairs. 

 

On 9/23/2021 at 3:59 AM, Chandarin said:

but a lot of the struggle you described is because you didn't know how the relevant export/import buildings work. 

I actually not only know exactly how they work but also how to exploit, circumvent and avoid using them as much as possible. I have actually managed to play over 75 hours of the game this week already (a good amount of time despite it being a work week) never mind over 300 hours of the demo. 

My issue is that districts limit my ability to clear and change the landscape in more remote areas, force me to use an export structure (that requires planks) to move scrap from a group of 9 beavers collecting it back to my colony (requiring even more beavers to be sent there in the first place to work in it), stop me from having a single massive colony that can do everything I want them to (pet peeve) and thus I have to play the same initial steps of the game over and over or use a inefficient flawed system to effectively supply-chain a new colony. 

I just want a system where I can infinitely extend my colony to alter the wider landscape without having to commit an entire workforce and population in every single direction. I don't want 6 colonies. I don't want to have 9 beavers gathering scrap in a corner and have them stuck there. I want a single cohesive colony with defined areas of labour and production with no intermediary steps where I need to repeat the quality of life checks that the beavers want for a temporary settlement (scrap is a finite resource). 

I don't want to have to build a new temple, new monuments, new carousel, power network from scratch, primary, secondary and tertiary production to allow for consistent happiness across my whole colony. for a place I'll just abandon later because there is no reason for it to be there anymore. It's a waste of time and resources i could use somewhere else. 

As an exact example of the ludicrous nature of this system: I currently have an area where there is a single row of squares out of range for a dam next to section of houses and I can't connect finish the dam because that 1 row of squares is out of range and I can't progress with construction at all without making a new district to finish that area - there is no reason I should have to do that. it's literally 1 square away. There is a underground supply depot and log pile 7 squares away from the location. a whole housing area, a labour and hauling facility, within 10 squares.

To now finish construction I'm going to have to put a gate, a new district thus cutting off this section from my current district in the work day and then delete the new district centre and gate every day, before the day is over to maintain the food and resource network till the dam is complete at which time I'll delete it forever.  

It's a stupid, ineffective and deeply flawed system. I gave extremely clear reasons why I loathe this system, suggestions on how to improve the situation and clear ideas of what changes could be made to them.  

And just so you know, I did not ask for a half-baked opinion on my comment, I spent time and effort playing with the district system before I showed up here. I worked through several colonies, with several different solutions and several play styles and difficulties.  I didn't just come here and write a wall of text without giving it serious thought. Have the courtesy to do the same. 

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1 hour ago, mc_thulu said:

I actually not only know exactly how they work but also how to exploit, circumvent and avoid using them as much as possible. I have actually managed to play over 75 hours of the game this week already (a good amount of time despite it being a work week) never mind over 300 hours of the demo. 


 

I was talking to the author of the original post. He described struggling to understand what they did and would need hours of gameplay and investment to gain experience through trial and error, hence my suggestion for better tutorials on them. 

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2 hours ago, mc_thulu said:

Yes that's exactly what I mean by population micromanagement. Filling up a house isn't the same as having an exact number of beavers for a specific area. Yes I can build mini lodges but that's a waste of resources - a double lodge is more resource efficient even with the requirement of stairs. 

 

I actually not only know exactly how they work but also how to exploit, circumvent and avoid using them as much as possible. I have actually managed to play over 75 hours of the game this week already (a good amount of time despite it being a work week) never mind over 300 hours of the demo. 

My issue is that districts limit my ability to clear and change the landscape in more remote areas, force me to use an export structure (that requires planks) to move scrap from a group of 9 beavers collecting it back to my colony (requiring even more beavers to be sent there in the first place to work in it), stop me from having a single massive colony that can do everything I want them to (pet peeve) and thus I have to play the same initial steps of the game over and over or use a inefficient flawed system to effectively supply-chain a new colony. 

I just want a system where I can infinitely extend my colony to alter the wider landscape without having to commit an entire workforce and population in every single direction. I don't want 6 colonies. I don't want to have 9 beavers gathering scrap in a corner and have them stuck there. I want a single cohesive colony with defined areas of labour and production with no intermediary steps where I need to repeat the quality of life checks that the beavers want for a temporary settlement (scrap is a finite resource). 

I don't want to have to build a new temple, new monuments, new carousel, power network from scratch, primary, secondary and tertiary production to allow for consistent happiness across my whole colony. for a place I'll just abandon later because there is no reason for it to be there anymore. It's a waste of time and resources i could use somewhere else. 

As an exact example of the ludicrous nature of this system: I currently have an area where there is a single row of squares out of range for a dam next to section of houses and I can't connect finish the dam because that 1 row of squares is out of range and I can't progress with construction at all without making a new district to finish that area - there is no reason I should have to do that. it's literally 1 square away. There is a underground supply depot and log pile 7 squares away from the location. a whole housing area, a labour and hauling facility, within 10 squares.

To now finish construction I'm going to have to put a gate, a new district thus cutting off this section from my current district in the work day and then delete the new district centre and gate every day, before the day is over to maintain the food and resource network till the dam is complete at which time I'll delete it forever.  

It's a stupid, ineffective and deeply flawed system. I gave extremely clear reasons why I loathe this system, suggestions on how to improve the situation and clear ideas of what changes could be made to them.  

And just so you know, I did not ask for a half-baked opinion on my comment, I spent time and effort playing with the district system before I showed up here. I worked through several colonies, with several different solutions and several play styles and difficulties.  I didn't just come here and write a wall of text without giving it serious thought. Have the courtesy to do the same. 

Most everything you dislike are completely optional things that are fully under your control with districts. And the things you say you want to do are exactly what you can do with districts, the purpose of their design. You have full control over how/where/when to use the districts. You don't have to build big full-featured colonies at each district, nor do they have to be permanent residencies. You can move beavers to a district to do a job, then move them back home, freely, as often as you want.

Edited by Zeirlynn
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On 9/24/2021 at 8:25 PM, Zeirlynn said:

You don't have to build big full-featured colonies at each district, nor do they have to be permanent residencies. You can move beavers to a district to do a job, then move them back home, freely, as often as you want.

Why on earth should I need to micromanage population migration every day for hundreds of beavers??? 

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1 hour ago, mc_thulu said:

Why on earth should I need to micromanage population migration every day for hundreds of beavers??? 

I moved 4 beavers back and forth to a "work camp" district to build a dam that saved water flow for the whole map. It took them 4 days i think. The district is still there with a few supplies, in case i decide to do something else with it. I have no clue where you are getting "every day for hundreds of beavers" from. You seem to be trying to do huge things all at once without getting established first. Those are your choices, not the game mechanics.

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Also, I've definitely played around with deleting the initial district center and placing it somewhere more optimal (off of fertile land, for example, or closer to a resource) you're still limited by the location of your starting beavers, but there is definitely wiggle room!

I, for one, kind of like the logistical problems created by the district system - it forces me to think ahead and plan how to best use my resources and where to set up new districts...

That said, it would be handy to have a "district boundary toggle" so i don't have to keep clicking on the district center building to see where the limits are

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The districts work amazing once you set up your distribution correctly from your main one and balance it out. It gives a nice challenge to expanding your territory and it's not as easy as just putting down more houses and paths.

it's very good that you have to distribute food and resources there to start it out and eventually lower the amount of resources needed to be distributed there. 

one of the good uses for the districts is also that you can have a main one an "industrial" one where you make all the planks gears and all that factory stuff and one just for farming and have massive farms all you gotta do then is make the distribution of resources balanced out to the other disctricts and you're set.

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I understand why districts are in the game, but I also don't like how much effort has to go into building up basic resource gathering when I already have that stuff in the first district. Setting up new districts is just a pain, and I avoid it any time I don't have to for specific resources. 

My suggestion would be to leave districts essentially as they are, but allow beavers from a district with a lack of supplies to travel to neighbouring districts and take the supplies. It would also be useful to be able to turn this feature off. But this would mean that we don't have to mess around with all of the distribution post crap, which is mostly just annoying, and we could just rely on resources from our main districts without worrying about gathering things like wood, making planks etc... It would also make it easier to set up districts that specialise in specific resources.

The districts really do need streamlining, I haven't used them in my last three games, even on extremely large maps, just because it's a pain to set up new districts and micro manage them. 

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Ok, turns out I created a somewhat duplicate post but I'll add my 2 cents here. 

I also don't like it mainly because it draws an arbitrary border between parts of your colony and that ends up getting frustrating really quickly. The whole system is very similar to how Anno treats separate islands. But those are actually separate. So it make sense that for you to start a new "district" or colony or whatever, you might want to set it up as it's own entity with separate inventory and trade routes between them. 
But in this game, there is no reason for these hard borders (other than maybe a technical one?). So when the game tells you that you can't do that because it's 4 blocks to far from whatever, it's just frustrating. 

There are reasons to keep a similar or alternative system to but I'd go with the opposite default. Instead of forcing the player to separate their colony, allow them to paint in districts to enforce a more efficient movements of goods or whatever. 

Also, setting up a district is frustrating because it forces you to do a lot of careful management for simple things. And finally, when two districts visually merge into one, It seems unintuitive to treat them as two. So when you have two which grow close together but they're totally separate in terms of mechanics, that seems strange. 

I'd advice to take two steps back and thing about what the system was suppose to accomplish. If it's technical reasons, can't those be solved somewhat differently? If it's supposed to add challenge for instance by penalizing expansion or by preventing the player from acquiring late game items (scrap metal) to early, couldn't that be solved by adding more intermediate dependencies to actually use scrap metal? For instance, maybe bind reserach to population so that you can only unlock metal working after reaching 30 or so citizens. Or maybe there is no need for a district system when you just penalize extrem trevel distances more... 

I've learned this recently from Martin Molin (that guy that builds this big marble machine instrument thingy.) It is often usefule to take two or more steps back and think about if you can't just throw out the system you're trying to optimize and improve. If districts feel odd to many users, maybe we can just throw them out and figure out what they initially tried to achieve? 

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Yeah, I’m with others here that don’t like districts.  I’m not going to repeat their words, but do want to make it clear I understand the reasoning behind having them and do onow how to use them.  That doesn’t mean that I like them and it’s definitely not the gameplay experience I want (as is).

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On 9/30/2021 at 10:42 PM, William said:

I also don't like it mainly because it draws an arbitrary border between parts of your colony and that ends up getting frustrating really quickly.

This is EXACTLY my biggest issue. 

 

On 10/1/2021 at 12:45 AM, FuryoftheStars said:

That doesn’t mean that I like them and it’s definitely not the gameplay experience I want (as is).

I completely agree with this. 

 

On 9/30/2021 at 3:14 AM, TTV fi5hii said:

one of the good uses for the districts is also that you can have a main one an "industrial" one where you make all the planks gears and all that factory stuff and one just for farming and have massive farms all you gotta do then is make the distribution of resources balanced out to the other disctricts and you're set.

The problem is that there are limits to your 'export' network. I don't want to build 6 of the same building to export the raw resources to my extended settlements; 1 building should be enough, a trade route or network should be in play and most importantly there should be some sort of hierarchy system to allow for consistency. 

I can't stress enough how this game is all about population management and growth. A lot of people seem to not get that once your population reaches a certain point a band-aid system doesn't work to manage resources there needs to be SCALING. Building the same building 20 times isn't scaling; I have rows and rows of storage buildings that are there only to buffer the demand of my colonies. I have rows of mills and rows of bakeries with their own storage buildings all full bottlenecked by a lack of automation and scaling.

Districts are not a solution to this, they are part of the issue.   

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