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Tuhalu

Fertility Rates

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One thing I'm finding really frustrating with this game is the vast gap between normally fertile and Bountiful couples.

Empirical rates noted over 3 successful campaigns and a few failures

In my subjective experience, if I marry a pair of 15-20 year olds together and one is Bountiful, I can expect 5-8 babies before they get too old and die. If both have Bountiful I can expect something like 8-15 babies!

On the other hand, if I marry a pair of normally horny 15-20 year olds together, I can expect 0-5 babies before they die of old age. I'll probably get some children out them, but sometimes the results suggest they aren't even trying or are secretly Infertile.

I have seen Brad comment that the chance of being Infertile is going to be tweaked down considerably and they will add a low fertility trait (name not yet decided!) as the opposite of Bountiful. Those are good things in and of themselves, but I believe the game needs some tweaking of the normal and bountiful fertility rates as well.

What you need to Keep your kingdom running

From what I understand, most players aim for 4-6 Keeps as a stable number of Keeps. There are 1-3 Sagewrights and 1-3 Crucibles on top of that. Lets go with a fairly middling set of buildings (and even leave one out) and assume 5 Keeps, 2 Sagewrights and 2 Crucibles. Just to populate those you need 5 Regents, 5 Partners, 6 Sagewrights and 2 Standards. On top of that you'll need 5 Heros to take into battle at any given time. That's 23 Heros per generation.

Each Keep will need to produce 4-5 babies per generation minimum to sustain those numbers. It is more like 5-6 babies if you expect to absorb some losses in battle or you actually want to have some choice in who you use (rather than just who goes where). When you are trying to grow your kingdom, you'll need even higher fertility rates or you'll have to rely on the Recruit Hero research item to get enough heros to fill your buildings.

Suggested Fertility Rates

Normal Fertility rates should be brought up so as to allow normally fertile partners to reliably (90% of the time) produce in the range of 4-8 children over a full lifetime. The Bountiful bonus can probably be decreased to the level where a single bountiful parent increases that to 5-10 and a pair increases it to 6-12. Call that +25% fertility bonus per Bountiful parent. Low fertility parents would have a similar negative penalty, giving about 3-6 children for one low fertility parent and 2-4 children for two low fertility parents. That's around a -25% fertility penalty per low fertility parent.

Impacts on Play Style

* With low fertility rates it will be impossible to maintain your population of heros, much less grow them, without liberal use of Recruit Hero and/or Adoption.

* With normal fertility rates, you can probably maintain a stable population with normal fertility rates, but you will need to get Heros as battle rewards or through the Recruit Hero research item to populate new buildings.

* With Bountiful rates, you'll be able to grow your population without Recruit Hero, but you might still need it to help you get better traits and personalities into your bloodlines.

In most games, you'll probably have a mix of all three rates, so it should even out, but families with low fertility bred in will be much smaller than those with high fertility.

With the current building costs, it looks like you'll want to use Recruit Heros a few times per campaign just to get new blood for later Keeps. All your original Heros will be well into old age (or dead from Heart Disease) by the time the fourth Keep is ready, even if you just build Keep after Keep. In the current patch, it will take 36 years to build up to 4 Keeps and longer if you want to build anything else.

An additional issue is that you must marry your regents young or you'll miss out on their best fertile years and fail to maintain/grow your population. This is fine if you have 2 Keeps for one house and can stagger the deaths a bit. It's terrible if you have one House per Keep, because Regents typically live into their 60s. This leaves you with 30+ children who are past their best breeding age. When this happens, you need Bountiful regents and partners again just to keep up.

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Re: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/15648/

Related to this, Brad mentioned:

We're going to look at this for sure! Right now INFERTILE is the opposite of BOUNTIFUL and that doesn't really make any sense! :D

I think we should change it to be:

BOUNTIFUL

Normal

LESS FERTILE (anyone have a sweet name for this one?)

and then a special rare trait of INFERTILE

Smiles

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Thanks for that Smiles. After spending hours writing the post, I forgot to go looking for the post I was referring to :)

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The suggestions should probably go in the linked topic, instead of here! :-)

Smiles

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