New World Closed Beta Beginner Tips

New World is hosting a Closed Beta until August 2nd that allows players to experience what the game looks like currently. Starting the game is relatively straightforward with the tutorial teaching you all of the basics of fighting, crafting, and gathering. However, there are several crucial tips that can make your life much, much easier.

1. Craft the Coarse Leather Satchel

The tutorial will provide you with a basic satchel that can improve your encumberance by a small amount. However, the first craftable leather satchel can increase your encumberance by 1000 – roughly translating to carrying 100 more item weight.

This will greatly improve how long you can harvest/gather raw materials for before having to go back to a settlement. With how long it takes to actually move around in this game, this will alleviate the headaches that you will end up facing. One other benefit is that using this satchel will ensure that you don’t run out of space from gathering random things on your way between settlements. You won’t have to throw out any materials just to make room for the iron deposit you just found.

2. Level “Harvesting” to 30

Regardless of which skill you want to dedicate time to in the future, levelling up Gathering to 30 allows you to collect from plants that provide Motes (and higher level versions of Motes). This plays a role in crafting gunpowder, lifestaff, firestaff, and many more. Keeping a healthy stockpile of motes is infinitely easier if you can just collect whichever ones you end up seeing when travelling between points. Gathering can be rapidly increased by gathering herbs and hemp.

3. Use wells in towns for Water

You don’t have to run all the way outside to the nearest stream for freshwater. All towns (as far as I know) have a well either inside it or just outside. This saves you a ton of valuable time if you are mass-crafting potions and need a reasonably close source. Using the town well will also remove the need for storage space dedicated to water.

4. Items placed into storage can still be used for crafting

Feel free to dump all of your gathered resources into the storage at your main settlement. Occasionally it will glitch and say that you don’t have a certain resource, but it is easily fixed by picking it up and putting it back again. It is a great quality of life measure that helps with improving item organization. Keep in mind that once you craft new items, the new items are now in your inventory. You will have to get into a habit of dumping everything as soon as you get back and making another trip to the storage before you leave again.

It is important to know that each settlement has its own unique storage. If you decide to move to a different city, you will have to bring all of your resources with you. One way to overcome this is to always set your “Inn” at the same city that you have all of your resources. Choose your city very carefully as well – usually one of the ones in the middle of the map are the most popular.

5. Craft Iron tools

Tier 2 tools are very easily accessible early game. These improved tools will speed up the gathering process much more than basic tools and there really is no reason not to craft them. Once you get to the first settlement, you can easily create a set of these tools just from resources you pick up on the way.

6. Push to level 20 before grinding Tradeskills

By the time you hit Level 20, you will have experienced enough of the game to know more about what you want to dedicate your time to. I initially really liked the magic in this game and spent half the day grinding out gathering and arcana only to realize that I enjoyed the sword/shield and smithing aspect much more. One other benefit is that Level 20 is when you unlock a second satchel spot. This increases your max weight to 300 (without other bonuses) and can help a ton with actually grinding.

At the same time, definitely explore as much as you can about the different available skills. Try out everything before you commit, but don’t feel the need to actually grind things out until later on in the game.

7. Join a Company

New World is definitely a group-based MMO that has amazing benefits for those who decide to party up. EXP is not currently split between team members, and having a group of people to play with helps you all progress extremely fast. Instead of killing mobs one-by-one, a group of you can take down multiple mobs at the same time. Many of the missions are also “Kill X amount of monsters” type quests, and landing a single hit on the mob will give you credit. Joining a Company is the easiest method for you to find a group of players to explore the game with.

8. Specialize Refining within the Company

Once you join a Company that you like, talk amongst yourselves and dedicate yourselves to specific refining roles. This tip is NOT meant to be restrictive – it just helps a ton with crafting and avoids frustrations. For context, the Auction House in game at the moment is not very well-populated with resources. To craft a Tier 3 Steel Sword, you need Tier 2 Leather, Tier 2 Wood and Tier 2 Ingots (Steel). If your company gets organized and splits up the trades, everyone will be able to craft whichever item they wish.

One added benefit is if you have a funneling agreement with a small group of Company members, you can each level up your respective refining skills much, much quicker.

9. Keep equipment that has bonuses to Trade Skills

In your journey you will find equipment that has certain bonuses like “increase chance of obtaining rare resource when logging by 2.5%”. Even if you do not think you need it now, having a full set of these bonuses in any Trade Skill will be very useful. Specifically for mining, it enables you to gather Gems that you can later refine and place into sockets. Without it, it is much more difficult to find these resources.

Another reason to keep them is that it is difficult to craft the ones you specifically want. Crafting an item with a specific perk requires you to add on an ingredient that has that trait. These items are obtained by gathering the related resources. It can take a long time to grind for the specific one you are looking for and it is much easier just to hang onto them as soon as you see them.

10. Scrap everything you don’t need

For beginners, the drops you get in the early game aren’t worth very much. You very likely won’t be able to sell them to other players and there currently is no way to sell them to an NPC. If you don’t need it (and it doesn’t have a Trade Skill boost as mentioned in Tip #9) then you should scrap it for materials. You will always need the extra resources it provides and will actually be of use to you rather than being thrown out.

11. Resources spawn in the same location

Once you find a useful resource, make a mental note of it or make a note of it on a PDF of the map. Alternatively, you can refer to this map here since it appears to have most of the resources annotated already. Crafting in New World requires using the previous tier as materials. For example, crafting a Steel ingot requires Iron ingots. This means that all of the basic resources like Iron and Oil will be in demand no matter where you are in the game. Making a note of where to find resources will be important to reducing wasted time.

12. Always have Food and Potions

It is incredibly easy to have food up 24/7 since you have the ability to set a camp virtually anywhere and there are turkeys all over the place. The basic boost to constitution and the constant heal from food is valuable to reducing downtime.

Having a supply of potions is likewise very simple once you collect a few herbs and some water. Potions can be used to quickly regain some health, but it does take some time to actually use. Unfortunately, if you are playing alone then it may be difficult to find a time in the middle of combat to chug a potion. However, if you are playing with a group then this minimizes your down time and enables your entire group to continue grinding.

13. Take it slow and enjoy the game

Try to take a step back and just enjoy the game for what it currently is. I personally really like the Trade Skills aspect of New World – I definitely spent more time crafting and gathering than I did actually doing quests. Every player will enjoy a slightly different aspect of the game, but do explore as much as you can before committing to a certain playstyle.

14. Resource size affects respawn timer and EXP efficiency

Larger resource nodes (i.e. large mountain of iron vs. small pile) take longer to respawn after you have gathered it. Most obvious example of this is for oil when you try to make an efficient run gathering all you can. The large oil nodes take a few minutes longer to respawn even though you mine the small node first. Keep this in mind when you are planning your gathering route in the area.

Gathering larger nodes will give you more of the resource per second, but the smaller nodes are better for leveling up the Trade skill in the first place. An example of this is when you are chopping wood – try logging the skinny trees and keep track of your EXP gain in a minute vs. logging large trees. You will notice that you end up gaining EXP faster, but will gain less wood. Keep this in mind in the early stages of the game when it is more important to level the skill up than it is to gather tons of wood for crafting.

15. Craft the highest tier possible for the most efficient EXP per material

It is pretty obvious that crafting higher tier products will give you more EXP. However, if you are not a big fan of gathering or spending gold on the basic resources, crafting ONLY highest tier products will give you the most EXP for the resources that you have. Gone are the days of spamming iron daggers in Skyrim. If you have the materials for it, always go for the higher tier item.

That being said, higher tiers require more specific resources that tend to be in short supply. For example, rugged leather requires tannins that you can really only farm from level 45 mobs and above. Otherwise you have to run around opening chests just to gather a few here and there. At least on my server in Everfall, tannins are almost always out of stock. Same thing goes for Oil at the moment due to the limited supply.

One way to get around this resource shortage is to simply ask to trade with someone in your Company that has a different Trade skill focus than you. Do keep in mind though that tannins and oil tend to be some of the most sought-after materials due to how they are needed in weaponcrafting.

16. Pick up town quests whenever you are grinding Trade skills

When you are grinding any of the gathering related Trade skills, picking up a few of the town quests will net you some EXP, standing, and gold. Most important of these is town standing since the bonuses that will provide will be much more useful. Other than benefits like reduced cost, faster gathering, more tokens for faction quests, and increased EXP gain, you will also need to be at level 15 standing in order to purchase a house.

Doing random town quests while you are out gathering does not take up that much extra time. Most of the ones that I have picked up are ones like “Hunt ____ Elk/Rabbit/Wolves” and I just complete them idly as I walk past. Specifically for wolves, they tend to walk around areas that you are gathering in and you usually have to fight them regardless. Town quests are a small bonus you get for doing what you usually do anyways.

17. raft armour sets that give bonuses to Trade skills

The bonuses from a full set of any of these traits can be huge for Trade skill efficiency. An example of this is that even just having 3 items with the “increase woodworking” trait improved my “extra resource” chance up to around 20%. When you refine 100 wood, you now get 20 extra. If you are focused on crafting in any way, getting a full set of these traits is an absolute must.

To actually obtain the items that you use to craft armour with these perks, you can either go to the auction house or you can gather more from related resources. For example, I have found a ton of the woodworking perk item just from logging constantly. These items can be applied to any type of armour when you craft – it is not limited to just leather or just cloth.

18. Save up vegetables and create food that boost Trade skills

Vegetables are fairly hard to farm in New World. Most of the ones I have seen come from the provision boxes that you see around the world. Some vegetables do exist in the wild and can be gathered consistently, but things like Broccoli mostly come from boxes. Whenever you encounter one, make sure to save what you find. The reason behind this is that the food items you can make can boost any of the Trade skills.

If you are not a big fan of cooking, you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way for them. However, even crafting the first tier food items can be helpful in things like resource gathering. It can speed up the process for you and help reduce the grind that is needed to level up refining or crafting trade skills.

19. Approach “open X boxes” quests systematically

These quests can get annoying once you have opened 4-5 of the boxes and can’t find the rest. One way to combat this is to approach the area systematically. Look on your map once you arrive and make a mental note of all of the buldings in the area. Comb through each one step by step so that you don’t end up missing any by the time you get to the end.

I am personally not a big fan of these types of quests and I really do hope the devs change up how it is done. However, until they change it this is one of the methods to reduce your frustration when questing.

Another alternative is to actually use this map that some people have developed that marks down all of the chests in the area. Whenever I have used it, it has always been enough for me to complete my quest. However, some people may not like having to alt-tab back and forth and the systematic approach might be better suited for them.

20. Join a group and do PVP faction quests

This is one of the best ways to level when you are in the level 25-30 range. Most of the quests are best completed with a group since they commonly consist of killing a certain number of things or opening a number of boxes. Having a group also helps prevent you from being jumped by enemies since you will have forced active PVP status.

The extra EXP from killing mobs is also a great bonus to the quests when you are in a group since all you need is one hit to get the reward. Opening chests is also a good way to gather useful resources that are needed to craft higher tier products. There are other ways to gain EXP effectively, but this is the most well-rounded method I can find. Some people like to spam corrupted breaches, but that can be difficult for you depending on your gear situation and on the level of breaches that are available.

21. Armour weight determines dodge distance

Wearing all heavy armour will turn your dodge into a tiny hop that barely travels any distance. Similarly, wearing all light armour gives you that long distance dodge that can get you away from your enemy more efficiently. You can monitor this by going into your inventory and highlighting the bar right next to your equipped armour and seeing which category you currently fit into. You can mix and match different types of armour and it is the final weight that matters the most.

Equipment sometimes have the perk that lowers the weight of the armour. This can be very valuable if you allocated very few points into constitution since it will give you a better escape mechanism. This is especially true for ranged weapons since being able to back away even for an instant is important to getting your shot off. Avoiding enemy interruptions of your attack is crucial and having lighter armour will allow you to dodge away to do so.

22. Pay attention to defence type

Many beginners fall into the trap of just choosing the gear that has the highest gear score. Unfortunately, this is how you end up dead when fighting against the wrong enemies. It is a good idea to mix and match armour types to make sure you have both physical and elemental defence.

This tip isn’t meant to tell you to avoid high gearscore items, but rather to pay attention to your overall blend of equipment. High score is better, but not if you end up one-dimensional with no elemental defence.

As long as you are mindful of this pitfall, don’t be too concerned about min-maxing anything. Most people end up with a mix of armour due to randomness of drops anyways, but do keep this in mind from time to time when you equip new items.

23. Re-speccing is free until Level 20

Use the early game to mess around with your stats and explore what type of character you want to build. It is completely free for your to try different things and different weapons.

It is also free to reset your weapon skills as well! There are two trees for every weapon and each have 3 unique skills you can try out. This allows you to customize your playstyle since you can use skills from both trees at once.

This is a great opportunity for you to try out crazy builds like going all Focus as an archer to spam triple shot or to adapt your build to your current situation. I’ve personally used this method to change all my points into constitution when I partied up with higher level friends just so that I can survive in the areas that they were grinding in. Take advantage of this and use it to improve your gameplay.

24. Use the player-made maps to track resources

There are a few different maps floating around that can be used to track almost all of the resources. The one I use is here and is great for finding resource nodes like oil and iron. This is also the same map mentioned in tip #6 since it has the function to find chests.

This can also be used to map out your gathering route to maximize your time efficiency. Instead of manually running around certain zones, this will allow you to directly go from node to node. I personally used this method when gathering Oil early on since it was very important at that point to avoid the mobs (specifically the alligator).

Bonus Tip: Alligator attacks can reach you even when running away – climb on obstacles to avoid them

For whatever reason, alligator attacks can catch up to you even when you are sprinting away. Very few early game mobs can do that, and the alligator is the most common one I have seen. If you have the misfortune of pissing one off, climb up onto obstacles. If you don’t have an unreachable obstacle nearby, climb over anything you can and force the alligator to take the long path around. If you try to sprint in a straight line, it will likely kill you if you don’t have enough physical armour.

The most problematic area I have seen this in is in the Marshes when gathering Oil. One wrong move and you end up slowly moving through water and the alligator eats you. Fortunately, there are these boulders here and there that you can climb up on. From that point, you can actually use your ranged weapons to kill the alligator and continue gathering your oil.

Going Medieval Review (Early Access)

If you’ve logged thousands of hours into RimWorld and Banished, Going Medieval is the perfect new game for you to try. It is an extremely promising new colony sim that just entered into Early Access – boasting a list of features reminiscent of RimWorld when it first came out. Yes, it is still very new and barebones, but the framework has the potential to become another behemoth in this genre.

This review will go over what the game does well and which areas it needs to improve prior to release. Overall, it is still a strong recommend if you enjoyed other colony sims.

Going Medieval is on sale for 25% off full price at Green Man Gaming until June 11th! If you are interested in starting the game, check out our Going Medieval Essential Tips!

Pro: 3D Building is Amazing

Having played other colony sims, the ability to create buildings in 3D is a great change in pace. There are a few kinks to be worked out, but the overall feeling even in Early Access is still fantastic.

Going Medieval is the game to play if you ever wanted to design your own functional village, build a castle from the ground up, and throw up walls/traps to protect your people. It even gives you the option to build a basement or underground rooms if you so wish – some players have actually opted to building their entire base underground!

As the game becomes more developed and more items/buildings are added, your customization will definitely improve. The devs will also hopefully add modding support at some point in game development and that will open the game up similar to how RimWorld has tons of new content in the workshop.

Con: Building System is Hard for Beginners

The system can be a little confusing when you first start out. The tutorial tips give you a brief overview of how to build and orientate yourself to the different levels, but actually constructing a building you the way you want will take time.

One aspect I struggled with in particular was accidentally placing walls/items on the wrong floor and accidentally cancelling/deleting the wrong part of the building when I was trying to fix the mistake. This alongside a slightly unclear camera POV makes the early building process lackluster. Once you get more practice, you should have no problems designing structures to your content – but occasionally something will screw up and leave you feeling dissatisfied.

Pro: Easy to Understand Research System

Very straightforward system of creating different types of books as currency and spending it on your research of choice. Although some people might not like this linear progression system, it makes sense to me from a freedom standpoint. Unlike other games where you are locked into a specific research topic, the system in Going Medieval will allow you to choose what you want to research as long as you have the books for it. This gives you more flexibility to build up resources and spend it once you identify what you need next.

It is also cool to see that even though you “spend” your books, they still exist as physical items that you have to store. It gets annoying though once you progress through the game and end up with stacks and stacks of books with no ability to store them on bookshelves.

Con: Poor Work Prioritization AI

The work prioritization system in Going Medieval is virtually an exact copy of games like RimWorld and Amazing Cultivation Simulator. Unfortunately, it does not quite work as well as you may think. For example, even if you prioritize your “doctor” to healing, your other villagers might still die from their wounds since they were not tended. Likewise, prioritizing cooking does not seem to really prioritize them to cooking. There were multiple instances where the cook would start chopping trees even though the cooking task was not finished and there were more than enough raw supplies available.

Forcing prioritization of tasks is also very micromanagement intensive. You have to select a villager and right click to manually force them to do a task. Having a more robust AI system and an easier method of forcing tasks will be crucial to providing players with a smooth gaming experience.

Pro: Excellent Raid Concept

I’ve encountered three types of raids so far: random raids, raids after you accept a new member, and attacks from wolves. The simple backstory behind why a raid occurs is an excellent system for storytelling purposes and I am excited to see what new scenarios will come in the future.

On the roadmap they describe diplomacy and a vassal system with other villages in the region. Raids backed by these systems will really improve that sense of immersion where you can roleplay as a medieval Lord fighting for land and glory.

Amazing Cultivation Simulator also has a similar faction and raid system where enemy factions will periodically send their disciples to invade your home. You can engage in some basic diplomacy, but most players just choose to fight the battles since it is a fun way to play the game.

Con: Cannot Move Furniture

Really big pet peeve of mine is not being able to adjust furniture in rooms. I like to design a very basic structure when starting the game, but moving everything around once I have a more permanent structure built. Going Medieval does NOT have any way to move furniture, meaning you either have to design your buildings very well right away, or you have to deconstruct and rebuild items where you want them.

Keep in mind that each time you deconstruct furniture you also lose part of the materials. For wood furniture it is no big deal, but rebuilding a kitchen early on can be problematic since iron ingots may be hard to come by.

Pro: Great Colony Sim for Beginners

Although building may be difficult for absolute beginners, overall the game is extremely forgiving. It is actually fairly difficult for your village to get wiped out – food is relatively easy to come by as long as you researched preserved food, and raids are low risk as long as you have 1 archer.

Many of the game concepts are also easy to get the hang of within an hour of starting such as planting crops, building roofing, setting storage areas, and setting up breweries/smokehouses.

Con/Neutral: Limited Combat

Lots of opportunities for the devs to expand on combat in the future, but at the moment it boils down to putting archers on roofs/hills and sending melee fighters to guard the stairs leading to the archers. Once archers start firing, you just have to manually select targets for your melee fighters to ensure that no one reaches your ranged troops.

Unfortunately, there is no “hold ground” command and you end up with a zerg rush towards the enemy the moment they are in range. I usually end up with injuries on the archers due to this whenever I get lazy and don’t manually set targets.

There is a lot of promise, however, since the siege concept shown in trailers could open up so many opportunities for squad-based combat. I have this down as a con currently but will realistically be a pro in the future after some development.

Neutral: Lack of End Game Content

As a brand new Early Access game I have little expectation for having a fully fleshed endgame. However, before buying you should be aware that the vast majority of intended features are not yet implemented. Take a look at the roadmap and see if you like what you see.

I personally already really enjoy this game, and the roadmap is extremely promising to me. It is not a guaranteed hit, and people should be careful for sure, but I am willing to take the risk based on what I can see so far.

Final Thoughts

Overall verdict for Going Medieval is a buy even in its Early Access form as long as you can overlook some of the bad quality of life aspects. It is definitely an enjoyable game despite not having all of its features quite fleshed out yet. Many of the planned future developments are also exciting to see since it seems to take a different direction than other colony sims.

Going Medieval is on sale for 25% off full price at Green Man Gaming until June 11th! If you are interested in starting the game, check out our Going Medieval Essential Tips!

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Crusader Kings 3: How to Play Tall Guide and Tips

Most players start Crusader Kings 3 with a big ol’ bucket of paint and try to completely cover the map in the colour of their nation as fast as possible. Due to the need to expand, it is often times very easy to overlook or even ignore the idea of taking a break to develop your Holdings.

An interesting playstyle from previous Paradox games is the idea of playing “Tall” instead of “Wide”. The overall gist is that you dedicate all of your efforts in building up a small number of Counties/Duchies to create a highly advanced core province that provides a ton of money and levies. The process to this involves strategically constructing buildings, improving development, maintaining land upon succession, and rapidly researching technology.

This guide today will go over some of the most important tips and tricks to playing Tall in Crusader Kings 3. See our other Crusader Kings 3 Guides for more information on how to get started if you are a new player.

1. Prioritize Gold and Development Buildings

Prioritizing gold at the start of the game helps speed up how fast you can construct buildings in your Counties. Generally you want to aim for the largest gold amount and work your way down the list of available buildings. Some are locked to certain terrain types (e.g. you won’t have farms in a mountainous terrain), but there will definitely be a few that offer some gold boost.

Increasing development is also crucial to playing Tall due to its impact on both income and on research speed. One of the ways to stay ahead of your enemies is to advance research fast enough to outpace their income and levy growth. The boosts you receive from development may not seem like much at the start of the game, but once you unlock higher levels of development you will begin to see your income rise substantially.

Another bonus to keep an eye out for is the decrease in construction cost and construction time. Since you are heavily investing into more buildings, having a reduction in time and cost can go a long way to speeding up growth.

2. Select a Core Duchy with many Holdings

The entire idea of playing Tall is to focus only on a few Counties at a time. One of the easiest options to accomplish this is to focus entirely on one Duchy at the start of the game. Typically each Duchy will have at least 2-3 Counties that will usually take up all of your gold.

Each Duchy gives you a spot for a special building that provides substantial bonuses. One of the buildings that is recommended is the one that increases holding tax by 10% in only that Duchy. Improving all the Counties in that one Duchy with the bonus will optimize your gold gain.

There is an argument for hanging onto Duchy Capital Counties instead of being all centered into one Duchy. Doing this and building all of the special buildings with Realm-Wide bonuses to your army can increase your fighting power by a ton – but also makes it less efficient with increasing gold gain. Overall, focusing on one single Duchy becomes more efficient with the Tall playstyle and allows you to expand faster.

Final thing to note is that you should choose a starting character that has lands with a large number of holding spots. This ultimately determines your long term growth cap and how much space you have to expand in before needing to capture another County. Increasing the density of holdings will make your Tall gameplay go a lot smoother.

3. Improve Development with Steward

Although stewards can be used to increase your gold income, they are much better used in improving development. I usually just stick my steward onto my capital County and let them continuously increase my development. It is a very slow process and there typically isn’t too much of a reason to switch them off.

Like mentioned above, improving Development is more beneficial due to the increase in research speed. Development’s effect on income is not nearly as good as directly receiving gold using your Steward, but the end goal is to out-tech your opponents.

4. Focus Education on Stewardship or Learning

Stewardship and Learning are the absolute most essential stats to aim for when you are playing Tall in Crusader Kings 3. Stewardship and Stewardship Lifestyle Traits increase your gold income by a ton and is very much needed to sustain your construction. Learning is needed to increase your research speed – which in turn will improve your income and further development.

Both are essential, but the early game should be focused on Stewardship. Depending on your starting character, you may or may not be the Cultural Head. If you are not the cultural head, the Learning and research focus will not be as useful as the extra gold.

Once you are the Cultural Head and have a income of at least 9-10 gold, it may be a good time to consider switching to a Learning focus for educating your Children.

An alternative method is to merely choose an Education Focus that suits your child the best. Choose the higher of the two stats and also take into account the childhood trait as well. Compatible traits will improve the final quality of education that the child receives.

5. Secure a good Steward

A good Steward can speed up your Development growth and can also greatly increase your gold gain if needed. Securing a good one can sometimes be a little bit more complicated. Hitting “C” and trying to find a Steward can be difficult – especially since the ones with highest Stewardship may not have an interest in joining your Court.

One of the easiest methods is to constantly monitor the Court tab for new visitors. If you are a Duke, you should begin to have a few visitors trickling in that have decent Stewardship stats. However, this does take a bit more time and there is no promise of actually obtaining a good Steward.

The other method is to marry one of your daughters to the potential Steward that you found on the character finder. Playing Tall typically means that you will not be doing much expanding for much of the early game. Securing alliances for power and war-time allies is less important in this situation. Instead, marrying for a good Steward has a direct impact on how fast your realm develops and should be the optimal choice.

6. Avoid more than 2-3 Heirs

Playing Tall means that you will not be focusing on expanding your realm as much as playing Wide. A result of this is that you end up with fewer new Counties and Duchies that can be granted to your other children.

With that in mind, succession planning becomes much, much more difficult to handle. You will want at most 3 children who are in line to inherit. Any less and you run the risk of your heir dying and ending the game, but any more than 3 will result in definite issues with losing your valuable core counties.

Most common way to avoid this is to divorce and re-marry to an older stat-based character once you have your 3 possible heirs. Alternatively, you can also seek out the Celibate trait to reduce fertility. However, this method carries more risk and you should usually go with the divorce method.

Once you have only 2-3 heirs, you can either manage your succession as per our Succession and Inheritance Guide or just disinherit them once you are close to dying. The prestige cost is relatively easy to sustain since you will only have to use that function 1-2 times.

7. Forbid Heir from becoming a Knight

Fewer children means you have to be extremely careful about keeping your heir alive. The most common way that your characters die is in battle if they show up as a Knight. Even if your heir has 5 Prowess and is unlikely to be sent off, still go through the process of Forbidding them from becoming a Knight.

Likewise, it may be tempting to let your Heir be a Knight if they have 20 Prowess, but the risk is definitely still there – especially if you end up fighting a losing battle. Keeping your heir alive is the most important objective.

8. Marry for high Stewardship and set to “Manage Domain”

Whenever you marry, your spouse shows up on your Council and gives you a bonus to your stats based on theirs. Marrying someone with very high Stewardship and setting them to “Manage Domain” can add fairly large amount of Stewardship to your existing character. Higher stewardship increases your regular gold income and also allows you to hold onto more domains.

Keep in mind that domains also include the number of castles you can hold (and temples if your religion allows). Even if you are playing Tall, a higher domain limit means you can directly hold onto even more castles/temples. More holdings means more taxes and faster growth.

9. Ask for Gold from Head of Faith

Like mentioned in our Beginner Tips, asking the Pope for Gold is one of the easiest early game money making methods. All you need is 250 piety and a decent opinion from the Pope and you will receive a healthy sum of gold (usually between 125-250ish).

The downside to this is that you do end up losing quite a bit of piety. However, playing Tall means that you really don’t need a lot of it since you won’t be waging many Holy Wars. Gold is infinitely more valuable to you in the early game and you should always ask for Gold whenever the option comes up.

10. Defend against Raids

This seems like a no-brainer, but you actually need to pay attention to your holdings if you are in an area that has raiders. The game does not pause nor slow down when you are getting raided and the results can be devastating.

Once your holding has been sieged down and looted, you get hit with a fat 50% reduction in income for several years AND a decrease in control. For someone playing Tall, losing even 1-2 holdings can be enough to cripple your growth for the next decade.

Always make sure to monitor your holdings when you set the game to higher speeds to make sure that you can raise your army in time to defend your land.

Another tip is to increase the fort level of your holding to give yourself more time. If you already constructed all of the gold buildings, it is a good idea to invest in the building that increases Fort level and provides increased garrison. Higher garrison count means the raiders need a much larger group to even begin the siege timer. Once you have started rapidly researching, the increase in garrison from these buildings can sometimes be enough to fend off the raiders altogether.

Protecting your assets is a much, much more important part of the game when you are playing Tall and should always be in the back of your mind.

11. Do not invest in Feudal Vassal Holdings

It is a complete waste of money and you won’t see any return on it. It takes several hundred gold for you to construct a building for your vassal – but the end result is they might pay you 0.1 more taxes (at 25% tax rate) if you are lucky. It would take you a ton more time to see any sort of return on this compared to if you saved up the money for your own holdings instead.

If you find that you are maxed out, then start working on another County to include in your core. There will always be better ways to spend your gold than to improve your feudal vassal holdings.

However, temple holdings can actually be a fairly decent investment if you have extra money. If you are in a Theocracy, the tax rate is approximately 50% for your Bishop as long as they have a good opinion of you. More on this will be discussed below.

12. Build Temples and Increase Bishop Opinion

Like mentioned above, Bishops give you 100% of levies and 50% of gold if their opinion of you is good. Temples have a higher max gold income than Castles and will not count towards your total Holding limit since they are held by the clergy.

With Castles you always run the risk of losing it to another child due to succession and will provide less gold at max. However, Temples will give you consistent income throughout the game and the Bishop can also improve the Temple on their own. As a long term strategy, building temples will pay off more and have less risk than creating Castle vassals.

Conclusion

Playing Tall in Crusader Kings 3 is a very satisfying experience once you are able to get it to work. The early game can be a little rough, but you will end up snowballing much harder once you have constructed a few buildings.

Thank you all for reading and I hope that this guide has been of some help for you!

See our other Crusader Kings 3 guides here for more information on how to start playing the game:

Crusader Kings 3 Beginner Tips

Crusader Kings 3 Succession and Inheritance Guide

Crusader Kings 3 Prestige and Piety Guide

Crusader Kings 3 Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count

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Crusader Kings 3 Succession and Inheritance Tips

Now that you have built your kingdom/empire, how do you ensure it stays together? In Crusader Kings 2, the default would be to change succession to Primogeniture and raise a good heir. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury in Crusader Kings 3. The Innovation necessary to set that succession law doesn’t even appear until 1200AD and you still need to advance your culture far enough to unlock it.

This guide will go over some basic tips of how to manage your titles upon you current character’s death. Much of it can be difficult to understand at first, but it becomes much more clear once you get the hang of it.

This guide pertains to Partition and Confederate Partition Succession Laws

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Beginner Tips guide here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

1. Check the “Title Loss on Succession” tab for heirs you still need to land

This section will essentially be your “homepage” for all things succession related. It will tell you which heirs do not currently have enough land and will begin taking your current Counties away from your primary heir. The worst thing that can happen is to see your entire list of counties going to your random heirs instead of your primary – leaving you with extremely weak military and financial capabilities. Constantly check back to this page to see where your succession is at.

2. Each heir requires a Duchy and a County (typically)

For any ruler that is a Duke or above, the general rule of thumb is that each possible heir will need a duchy and a county to be satisfied. There are exceptions to this rule, but keep this in mind when you are landing your children. The reasoning behind this is that in Partition and Confederate Partition Law, each child receives an “equal” amount of land. If you are Duke or above, you will have a Duchy title that is passed to your eldest son (or child if you have equal laws). Your other children will also want the same to be “equal” and will require a Duchy as well to stay happy.

For Kings and above, you typically will only have one Kingdom to give to your primary heir. The other children will usually still be satisfied with a duchy and county if you land them prior to dying. The more counties and duchies you have, the more lands the children will require to stay satisfied.

In my runs, I typically start off with this general rule of thumb and add more lands as I go to satisfy the other heirs. This method ensures that my primary heir receives the best counties at the heart of the lands that I have spent time and gold developing.

3. Grant newly conquered lands to other heirs

Constantly check back to the “Title Loss on Succession” tab every time you obtain more counties and duchies to pass some titles off. If you are very successful in conquering lands, you will usually end up above the holdings limit and the duchy limit. My default is to just work my way down this list of heirs and grant a duchy and a county to each one until they are no longer there.

These lands will typically be much worse off compared to your original holdings since they are usually a different culture, lower development level, and lower control. Instead of reserving these ones for your primary heir, give them to your other children to satisfy their land requirements.

Giving these lands to your children rather than your vassals also has benefits of keeping the lands within the family. They are easier to call upon in wars and typically have a higher opinion of you.

4. Splintering the realm is not always a bad thing

If you aren’t able to create a Kingdom by the time you finish your first character, you will end up with a splintered realm due to other children being the same rank as your primary heir. This in itself is not a bad thing since the new realms are usually much weaker than the one your primary heir inherits. Your new character also has claims on the old lands that you had and can start a war to get them back.

It is usually a good idea to immediately declare war on your siblings right after you start the new character since their counties are typically weaker at the start. In most of my games, I haven’t encountered many difficulties with this method of gaining land back. However, it is a bit of a pain having to do this each time and it eats up valuable time that could be spent conquering new lands.

Worst case scenario, your splintered realm remains splintered and you now have another independent Duke in your Dynasty. This actually adds more Dynasty prestige according to the current calculations – allowing you to obtain powerful Dynasty perks faster.

5. Counties are the most important titles

If all you have is your single capital County, you likely won’t be able to defend your entire Kingdom/Empire. With how Levies and Taxes work, your Counties are the absolute most important titles in Crusader Kings 3. Your vassals may be able to provide you with these resources, but things can quickly go sideways once they start joining factions. The Faction Strength is based off of a percentage of your own strength and it is infinitely harder to maintain control when you only have 2-3 thousand men at your command.

Prioritize 2-3 highly valuable counties (in addition to the capital) to be passed down to every single character you play. Give away as much as you need to in order to satisfy your other heirs before you die so that these core Counties remain in your direct command.

This will make your life a ton easier when putting down rebels and fighting your other siblings for control. The larger you expand, the more careful you have to be in ensuring that you stay in command of your powerful base of operations.

6. Partition is better than Confederate Partition at preventing realm splintering

In Confederate Partition, if your child has enough land then they will automatically create a higher tier title to match yours. For example, one of my sons can have the Duchy of Brittany and enough lands to create the Kingdom of Brittany. Upon my death he will automatically create that Kingdom and split off from the Kingdom of France under Confederate Partition. In Partition, this would not happen since titles are not automatically created.

Going with Partition instead is almost exactly the same succession law except for not creating new titles. If you are at a Kingdom level, then it is worth considering changing the law to avoid having another Kingdom to deal with. Like mentioned in Tip #4, it isn’t always a bad thing but it can get tiresome having to constantly fight after each inheritance.

The downside to this is if you do not have enough Gold to create a Duchy title and you are only a Duke, your heir will take the County and remain a vassal. This can be a big problem since you can’t just go to war with them as in Tip #4, and you end up losing that County for good. Make sure to avoid this by either rushing to the Kingdom stage or by managing your Gold properly to ensure titles are granted appropriately before your death.

7. Send your other sons to War as Knights

Unethical and very disturbing, but you can get rid of your other unwanted heirs by “Forcing” the Knight status and sending a small group of them to fight a much larger enemy. Crusader Kings 3 is ruthless at killing off Knights with poor Prowess and your sons are no different. You also don’t get any penalties from this method other than increasing stress due to your children dying.

The biggest downside to this method is that you are placing all of your eggs in one basket. If your primary heir dies, it is game over for you. If you ever want to consider doing this, then make sure to “Forbid” your primary heir from being a Knight.

8. Avoid Disinheriting, Murdering or Imprisoning your other heirs

The penalty for Disinheriting is far too high for this to be a manageable method of controlling succession. You lose a ton of prestige each time you do it and if you have 5-6 viable heirs you will be in a huge amount of prestige trouble.

If you have the sadistic trait, the intrigue option of “Murder” then becomes available to use on your children. However, if you get found out then the Kinslayer penalty for most cultures can be fairly harsh. Repeat this process for another 4-5 other children and it quickly becomes an issue. Like mentioned above in Tip #7, having your children die is a very risky choice since it can quickly result in a game over if your primary heir dies.

Imprisoning and executing is another method to remove heirs from your dynasty. This incurs a huge amount of tyranny to accomplish for anything more than 1-2 heirs. Like above, this runs into issues of being a Kinslayer and increases the potential risk of a game over.

9. Grant Titles to the heir of your heir

If there are no other ways to resolve your current succession issues, granting titles to the heir of your heir enables you to use those Counties at a later point in the game. You can’t grant everything to your son due to the succession law, but it still works for your grandson. One other benefit to this is if your grandson dies, typically the titles transfer back to either you or your heir according to their succession law.

Keep in mind that this method is typically a last-resort since the Counties you are granting are far more useful if they are directly controlled by you. Only do this if you know your character is about to die and no other tip on this list is going to work.

10. Make sure your son’s marriage type is NOT matrilineal

This is a little bit off-topic, but it should still be mentioned in case any new players are reading this. All of the marriages you arrange for your sons should NOT have the matrilineal option ticked since that means any of their children will be of a different dynasty. It is usually safest to arrange for a marriage even when they are children to secure alliances and to ensure that the children still belong to your dynasty. Once they are adults they can marry other people on their own unless you restrict their marriage freedom.

Conclusion

Succession laws are vastly different in Crusader Kings 3 than they are in Crusader Kings 2. It is one of the biggest adjustments to make, but once you get used to it the story of your characters become much more interesting. I hope that this guide has helped you with organizing your realm and ensuring your lands stay strong!

Thank you all for reading and happy conquering 🙂

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Beginner Tips guide here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

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Software Inc Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Software Inc is a business management simulation game that revolves around the idea of building a successful software corporation. It is a fantastic tycoon game that incorporates many features that bring out the best of the genre. There are constant updates continuously coming out that add further depth to the game, and this set of tips is meant to help beginners get started.

Tip #1: Start on Easy with NO LOANS

It is natural as gamers to immediately want to jump to medium or above difficulty settings, but do that in this game and you will most likely start with a terrible impression. Starting on easy does two major things that I am aware of: it gives your starting character higher starting stats and makes cash flow faster into your bank. Additionally, starting with no loans gives you much more time to get your first product out since your starting guy does not have a salary. This sets the game up to be a little bit more forgiving for your first playthrough.

Tip #2: Increase your starting Programmer and Designer skills

Adjust the beginning slider so that designing and programming is at a higher ratio than the other few options. When beginning the game, it is recommended to start off with a smaller product suitable for a one-man team. Having a solid designing and programming skill helps you get the product out faster and increases the overall quality of your work.

Leadership, Marketing, and Artist are all very important, but at the beginning, it is all about survival. These other skills can be easily developed later on and can be complemented by staff you hire while you’re still learning. Let’s break down why:

Leadership:

  • Not too much to say here, this really only comes into play when you have a team and your character is designated as the leader. Team leads essentially just have meetings with their group and that increases everyone’s efficiency. Later on when you have the opportunity to get leaders trained with the HR Function, leaders become more important in automating the simple human resource tasks for you. As for the beginning, don’t worry about it too much.

Marketing:

  • Some people might argue that having a high marketing stat to begin with would benefit your first product, but I disagree. The amount of quality you lose by adjusting this to a higher value is not providing you with a better start at all. Marketing takes money to do well and that is capital you do not have at the beginning. Focus on this for later on products when it isn’t a do or die situation.

Artist:

  • Depending on your product, you may actually need to adjust this one as well. However, if you decide to go with the simple products that do not use graphical interfaces, programming and designing are the core. If you decide to go ham on your first product and add in all the graphical designs, then increase this stat to just below the designer and programmer stat.

Tip #3: Set your specialization to 2D or Audio

There are many, many possible products you can choose to get started with, but I have found through dozens of playthroughs and testing that choosing the 2D Editor or Audio Tool to begin with makes it a lot easier to progress in the game.

There are three major reasons for this:

  • These two products require the least diverse specialization at the start of the game (only need the 2D or Audio specialization to effectively make either product)
  • It is usually easier to create a higher quality product with just one person
  • Marketing is not necessary to ensure this first product succeeds
  • These three reasons are essentially linked in the sense that a one-man team will not have the proper specializations at the start of the game to cover complicated products like Operating Systems, and this resulting lower quality product is not going to *succeed without excessive marketing. These issues are resolved by starting with the 2D Editor and Audio Tool options.

Tip #4: Ride Solo

At the start you really do not have enough capital to spend on another programmer or developer. Hiring more employees would essentially bankrupt you before you get halfway through the Alpha stage. Your starting developer (if starting on Easy) should have the capabilities to finish a Good or even Great quality product on their own provided they are given enough time.

This is where the significance of this tip comes in:

With no additional staff, your only cost would be your rent and your utilities. This should be around $700 at the beginning, which should last you for much longer than you need to develop a simple 2D Editor or Audio Tool. As compared to the ~$2000 for just one more additional rookie developer, going solo is a no-brainer.

Tip #5: Expand SLOWLY

Regardless of how your first product sale goes, it is a good idea to get into the habit of expanding slowly. I’ve had so many games end prematurely because I expanded fast right after a decent first sale, and ended up making much less on subsequent products. Look into what product that you would like to “main” and hire programmers/designers/artists with those specialties.

On Easy, it isn’t too hard to maintain a good cash flow, but higher difficulties make it hard to sustain higher salaries effectively. Get into the good practice of tightly controlling all your expenses including servers, staff, heating, rent, and salaries.

Tip #6: Get a dedicated Marketing Team

Managing multiple production lines can get confusing late game, and having a dedicated Marketing team to refer all marketing tasks to makes it easier. You can start with just 1-2 marketers at the beginning attached to your core team, but once you want to get your brand name out there, you should set the team up on its own. Usually, a team of 1 Lead and 9-10 Marketers is enough for you to get your marketing to Prominent pretty easily.

Additionally, the Marketing team can also be given marketing contracts to fulfill – essentially paying for themselves. There will be a daily marketing amount that your team has to fulfill, but I have found that as long as you fulfill around 70% of it your client will remain happy. One consideration for this is that you could be marketing for a competitor’s product and that may affect your own sales, but realistically if your product is good enough this won’t matter too much. You could just take contracts for other types of products as well if you are worried.

Tip #7: Utilize the Project function

Once you have a decent cash cushion, it may be beneficial for you to set up an additional team that is managed through the automatic Project function. In my previous post, I went over how the project management function in this game can essentially set you up for passive income. It is especially useful if you set up your project for something straightforward and with little variance like 2D Editors or Audio Tools. This lets you hire exclusively for the product and the end result is a higher quality sale.

Going back to the previous point, having a dedicated Marketing team also means you can set up multiple projects and have all of their marketing needs met by a single team. I have played numerous games where the marketing level for my Audio Tools and 2D Editors reached Widespread with little effort on my part.

Tip #8: Start your own Server

Gotta love passive income. Hosting contracts can be a very lucrative way to sustain your operations and entering into distribution deals with other companies can give you a hefty sum each month. Additionally, you would end up paying someone else to host your games if you decide to not do it yourself.

1. Buy 3-4 servers and link them. (Can do this by right-clicking one server, selecting “select all in room”, then select the “link” function) 2. Hire a receptionist and set up the reception (this lets contracts show up on the “Contracts” tab) 3. Accept any Hosting deals above ~0.35/mb to maximize profits. 4. Go to the “Distribution” tab and click “Open Online Distribution Platform” 5. Go to the companies tab and find one with a decent number of fans and medium company worth. (Do not go for the higher end companies yet!!) 6. Offer to sell their products on your online distribution platform. Note: Not going for the larger companies right now is a good idea because they tend to give you a smaller cut and your servers may not be able to sustain their usage. However, it is a good idea to get started as soon as you can since you can re-negotiate your cut each month. Having a longer relationship gives you a better chance to ask for a larger cut. Becoming the sole online distributor also allows you to constantly negotiate for larger and larger cuts as well.

Tip #9: Train new Programmers in a Support Team

A great way to get a solid, well-trained team of programmers is to first set them up as a Support team. What you need to do is hire a bunch of low salary programmers and a lead that have “Amazing” or “Great” compatibility or higher. Next, assign them all of the support tasks for all of your products and see if they can cope with the workload. If you can, then you can get another amazing source of passive income. Get those contracts and start seeing this team pay for itself!!

Over time you will see your support team gain specialization based off of the products they are supporting as well as an increase in their overall programming skill. When you are developing a new product, you can assign them to the programming phase to help increase quality. It just comes down to how much work they have and if they are able to keep up with their support workload.

Tip #10: Send people to training

Training your idle employees!! It may be a little micro-managing, but it certainly helps to cover all of your specializations over time. Another option is to first train all of your Leads with the “HR” skill so that they can do it for you. One option I found that worked well was setting the number of employees gone at once to 2, then setting the number of months to 3, and then setting the time delay to 0. When you have a full team, this setting lets you have enough members to get the product moving while still having some people gone for training.

If your style of play is just one team that covers all specializations, you may want to consider upping the number of employees to around 3-4 employees at once and moving the number of months up to 6. This will considerably slow down product development, but it will give you a better-trained team faster. This method is usually for late game when you have a cash cushion.

Conclusion

Software Inc is an absolutely fantastic game once you really get into it. Use these tips as a way to get started and figure out your own way to enjoy this masterpiece. Keep in mind that this game is still in Alpha though, there will be updates that change the way this game should be played.

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Crusader Kings 3 Prestige and Piety Guide

Crusader Kings 3 is a medieval strategy RPG game that uses a “Prestige” and “Piety” system. These are rare forms of currency that you accrue throughout your game and have a variety of uses. Careful management of these resources will allow you to expand your lands, obtain riches, and give you bonuses to many aspects of your gameplay. This guide will go over the basics of what the resources can commonly be used for and how to increase your prestige and piety.

If you are new to Crusader Kings 3, check out our Beginner Tips guide here for more information on overcoming early challenges. Our Succession and Inheritance Tips are also available here if you are having difficulty adjusting to the forced Partition system.

What is Prestige?

Prestige is a measure of how famous your character is and is spent on declaring wars, increasing Realm Authority, changing succession laws, and inviting Knights/Claimants to your Court. Many of the realm expansion methods in Crusader Kings 3 comes down to making a claim on territory and declaring a war for it. Often times you will end up spending a ton of prestige on this feature alone and you should always be ready to take advantage of opportunities to take more land. Increasing Realm Authority is important to maintaining control over your already-obtained lands. High authority will prevent lands from being inherited outside your realm and will also allow you to change succession laws to ones that enable you to pass more fiefs to your direct heir. Finally, the “Decision” option to invite more Knights is invaluable to strengthening your army. A few decent Knights especially for Counts and Dukes can be a game changer when fighting against a similarly sized opponent.

Once you have accrued enough Prestige throughout your lifetime, your Level of Fame will also improve all the way from “Established” to “The Living Legend”. Each Level of Fame provides you with increased Secular Opinion (opinion from anyone that is not clergy) and increased number of Knights. The opinion boost at max level is +30 and it gives you another 4 Knight slots that you can hire for. This bonus can be a great way to ensure your vassals still tolerate you and Knights themselves are fantastic in Wars. When you are able to hire Knights at Prowess 12 or above, they can each take out 50-60 men with ease.

With all of these features in mind, having a good supply of Prestige is extremely important to both expanding and maintaining control over your Realm.

What is Piety?

Piety is a representation of the virtue of your Character in Crusader Kings 3. It dictates how the religious members of your faith view your character and can be used for founding Holy Orders, asking the Pope for funds (if Christian), declaring Holy Wars, creating your own faith, reforming your religion, consecrating your Bloodline, requesting Divorces, and improving the opinions of your clergy. The most useful of these is the ability to ask the Pope for funds as a Christian – for 250 piety you can receive several hundred gold. This is a very useful boost in the early game when you are more likely to be spending gold on things like Knights, Men-at-Arms, or even for bribes. One of the best features of Crusader Kings 3 is the ability to create your own Faith that is tailored to your specific playstyle. There are many different tenets to select from and is a whole new topic in itself – just know that you will need a lot of piety to do so and it will take a long time to accrue enough.

Similar to Prestige, Piety also has Levels of Devotion ranging from “Dutiful” to “Religious Icon”. However, earning Piety is a little bit more difficult and it is rare to reach the last level. Fortunately, the only real bonus from these ranks is improvements to clergy opinion and you don’t really have to worry too much about leveling it up.

Piety is arguably less important than Prestige when it comes to day-to-day bonuses that you consistently use. However, if you want to dabble with religion and conversions, you definitely have to start building up your Piety as soon as you can since it is more difficult to obtain. It will take quite some time for you to get enough to play around with some of the more interesting religious features.

How to obtain Prestige in Crusader Kings 3

Call Hunts

Calling hunts is the most straightforward method of increasing your prestige in a short period of time. Hit F8 or go to your Decisions tab and you can select the “Call Hunt” function. The cost of calling a hunt differs based on your rank, but for Dukes it costs around 67 gold. This cost in itself isn’t too bad when you consider that you can receive several hundred prestige from the single hunt. Calling for Hunts has a 5 year cool down period.

Hold Feasts

Feasts usually give you 150 Prestige upon finishing and occasionally will give you more depending on the random events that come up. Just be aware that some of these events will occasionally cost you Prestige as well, so be extra careful about which option you click. It can be found in the same way as “Call Hunts” above in the Decisions tab. Holding a feast costs around 100 gold for Dukes and increases beyond that for Kings and Emperors. Similar to “Call Hunts”, there is a 5 year cool down period for holding feasts.

Select the “Majesty Focus” in the Diplomacy Lifestyle Tree

This lifestyle provides you with +1 Prestige per month. This might not sound like a lot, but many other variables only give +0.3-0.5 Prestige per month. For example, the Duke of Bavaria in the 1066 start only has +2.65 Prestige per month to start off with and this is already including the “Ambitious” trait that gives another +1 Prestige per month. Of the various ways to build up Prestige, selecting this Lifestyle is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways. There are also numerous useful perks in the Diplomacy tree that you should definitely take advantage of like the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli.

Create Titles

Creating titles will cost you a fair chunk of gold, but will also provide you with a ton of Prestige once you do. For example, creating the Duchy of Moravia costs you 250 gold and gives you 300 Prestige while creating the Kingdom of Bohemia costs you 500 gold and gives you 400 Prestige. If you are already set on creating these titles, the Prestige you obtain from them is usually enough to give you the Prestige needed to start another war.

Be careful to not create too many Duchies since holding onto more than 2 will make your vassals like you less. There is also a risk of these higher titles being lost upon succession since Primogeniture does not exist until 1200AD.

One other method (which is a little unethical) is to grant Duchy titles to vassals where you actually hold the Counties. Once it is granted, the vassal will likely dissolve the title since they hold no De Jure fiefs – allowing you to re-create the Duchy for more Prestige. This method costs quite a bit of money, but you can essentially print Prestige as you see fit. It can also be seen as slightly gaming the system and can take the fun out of your current play through.

Join Ally Wars and Contribute

When you join an Ally War and actually contribute, you will get a split of the Prestige according to the War details. Click on the specific War you are in, go to the “Enforce Demands” tab and scroll down until you see the part that says “Allies share _____ Prestige based on their contributions”. You will actually have to contribute to the total War score for the Prestige to be allocated to you even if you are the only Ally called to war. Also be aware that if you join the War but do not contribute, there will also be an opinion penalty from your Ally.

Raid (if available)

Tribal governments have the ability to raid for loot and you will also gain Prestige for each successful gold you bring back. All you have to do is siege down an enemy settlement and cross back into your own borders with your loot for it to go into your stockpile. If you are attacked on your way and lose, you will also end up losing your gold.

The Raiding option is really only available to Tribal governments and not for Feudal governments. If your goal is to gather more Prestige, also be aware that many of the Men-at-Arms for Tribal governments cost Prestige for both hiring and upkeep. There are other better ways to gain Prestige, but this method is almost required for the Tribal players to keep up with costs.

Set your Chancellor to “Foreign Affairs”

The Chancellor will add to your monthly Prestige gain depending on their Diplomacy Skill. Someone with only 10 Diplomacy will only generate around 0.5 Prestige per month, while a Chancellor with 20 Diplomacy will give you 1 Prestige per month. Like mentioned above, the monthly Prestige gain in Crusader Kings 3 is actually fairly low – these bonuses of +1 per month do end up adding up quite a bit.

Avoid calling every Ally to War if you don’t need them

Even when you do everything right and tried all of the tips here you can still run out of Prestige. In those cases, we have to work on preserving the Prestige you already have by reducing the amount you really need to use. The most important method is to avoid calling every single ally you have to war when you don’t need them since each ally requires a significant amount of Prestige.

Examine your troop count and compare it to your opponent and their allies. If you already have more Levies, Knights and Man-at-Arms than their entire Alliance altogether, chances are you don’t need to call in your King and Duke allies into battle. Don’t hesitate to spend enough Prestige to guarantee victory, but definitely do your due diligence in investigating how necessary they really is.

How to obtain Piety in Crusader Kings 3

Go on a Pilgrimage

This is an option in the “Decisions” tree that will send your character off on a Pilgrimage to any of your religion’s holy sites. The further away the site, the larger the Piety gain. Be aware that this method costs a lot of gold – which potentially makes it not an option for Counts and Dukes. For example, a trip to Jerusalem might be considered to be “Very Long” and cost you 187 gold. During the trip, there will be several events that pop up that give you options to obtain Piety. Some have costs attached to it and others might give you undesirable modifiers like “Ill”.

At the end of the Pilgrimage, you usually receive a large sum of Piety plus the “Pilgrim” trait that gives you +10% Piety per month. Some tenets like the “Armed Pilgrimages” tenet will give you an additional +2% Monthly Piety Per Knight. With 10 knights, this is a 20% boost! In the example above with Very Long trips, the Jerusalem journey that I sent my character on generated 625 Piety at the end of it.

One last point to consider is that there is a 15 year cool down for Pilgrimages. If you have the means to do so, going on a Pilgrimage as soon as possible will be beneficial if you intend to use a lot of it later on.

Select the “Theology Focus” in the Learning Lifestyle Tree

With how difficult it is to accrue any decent amount of Piety, the +1 Piety per month is a fairly large boost that should be considered for any ruler you intend to use to wage Holy Wars or reform faiths. The perks in the Learning tree are also great for reducing Piety costs and certain perks like Theologian and Prophet also give boosts to monthly Piety gain.

However, don’t pursue this option if you have a ruler that has decent stats in other trees since the additional monthly Lifestyle experience can be much more useful if used properly elsewhere.

Seek Indulgences from the Pope

You can buy Piety from the Pope with gold through the “Seek Indulgences” option that pops up when you right-click the Pope. The cost for this option is usually around 200-300 gold for anyone Duke and above. The higher your rank the more gold you need to pay. Unfortunately, it appears that regardless of the amount of gold you pay, you only end up receiving 100 Piety in return.

With how useful gold is and how difficult it is to obtain for early game characters, this is typically an option for Kings and Emperors. This option is essentially a reverse option for when you ask the Pope for money except you gain opinion instead. Our Beginner’s Tips guide also mentioned using Piety as a method for gaining gold early. This is actually one of the main reasons to gather Piety early game if you have no intention of reforming your faith or declaring holy wars.

Set your Priest to “Religious Relations”

Similar to how Chancellors work, a Priest set to “Religious Relations” will provide you with monthly Piety gain. It appears to operate on the same scale used for Prestige gain where a Priest with 10 Learning generates +0.5 Piety per month and a Priest with 20 Learning generates +1 Piety per month. With how much more difficult it is to generate Piety than Prestige, this is one of the more desirable settings to leave your Priest on whenever possible.

As mentioned in our Beginner Tips guide, the Priest is one of the best ways to fabricate Claims and expand territory. You will end up having to make a choice between building your realm versus building up Piety. I typically find it most useful to focus on claims earlier in the game and Piety later on once I have established a decent base of operations.

Educate Children and select Traits that are Virtuous

Changing traits for your adult characters is extremely difficult and very RNG reliant in Crusader Kings 3. However, you can set your character as the Educator for your heir and other children and you can decide which traits they get when the menus pop up. There is still a certain degree of RNG since they might not always hit the ones that are considered to be Virtuous by your religion, but this gives you some level of control over how it is done.

You can also set the primary focus for your heir to be Learning, but keep in mind that this should only really be done if they innately have a high Learning value. Forcing your child into an education that does not suit their abilities will be detrimental to how well they function as adults. See Tip #14 on our Beginner’s guide for more information about adapting to your character’s traits.

Improve Learning in random events

There are occasionally random events that pop up if you select the Learning Lifestyle Tree that can give you additional Learning points. The higher your Learning, the more Piety you gain per month. Each point your character has in Learning gives an additional +0.1 Piety per month. An average character that has around 12 Learning will have 1.2 Piety per month, but someone who has really focused on Learning and has 25 will receive 2.5 Piety per month. This is a substantial boost to how much you receive each month and can definitely be useful in the long term.

Conclusion

Crusader Kings 3 treats Prestige and Piety as much rarer forms of Currency compared to Crusader Kings 2. They can be immensely valuable in most aspects of gameplay and can be difficult to obtain when you need it most. Hopefully this guide has helped some of you with overcoming the challenges you have faced when you ran out of these resources!

Read our Crusader Kings 3 Beginners Guide here if you are just starting out in the game. Our Succession and Inheritance Tips are also available here if you are having difficulty adjusting to the forced Partition system.

Thank you all for reading and please comment below if you have any other tips or suggestions! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on our guides and reviews 🙂

Transport Inc. Review

Transport Inc. is a new strategy management game that places you in the role of CEO of a new transportation corporation. It has a laid-back art style and a chill theme with minimal complexity. This is one of the easiest tycoon style games for new management gamers to start with. For those who have experience in this genre, Transport Inc. is one of the games you pick up to just have a chill time at. This review will go over some of pros and cons of Transport Inc and will also highlight the unique features that other games typically miss out on.

Overall, this game is perfect for anyone new to the management tycoon genre because of its easy to start gameplay and the casual theme. You can fully control how fast you want to expand and the game offers various settings to allow you to stay ahead of your competitors while going at your own pace. There is also a reasonable amount of depth if you want to try your hand at micromanaging all of the individual vehicle routes for maximum efficiency. You can either pay no attention to the overall profits as long as you are positive, or you can dedicate more time to figuring out exactly how to maximize your growth. This style of game is appealing for new and old players alike – but experienced players may find the total features slightly lacking in depth.

Best Features

Strikes

Transport Inc has a system where you have to manage how much you pay your employees or they end up going on strike. There isn’t too much depth to this since you really only have a slider that dictates total pay, but the feature itself is great to make things more realistic. As the company expands and time goes on, it is natural for your workers to want more money. This system forces you to consider which vehicles and transportation routes are worth keeping late game. You may have to spend some time digging around the “Routes” menu to figure out which buses can be better allocated elsewhere. Increasing pay pre-maturely also leads to less profits that could be dedicated to expanding your company. However, leaving the pay increase too late could lead to a costly strike that you have to pay a bribe to end. This in itself can set you back – but adequate monitoring will allow you stay ahead of the game.

Country License System

To expand your corporation into other countries (or states), you have to purchase a operating license. Large countries and states will require more money to purchase the license – it can go from $60,000 to even $200,000. This feature adds an interesting strategic component to the game where the player has to consider whether or not the license is worth the investment. Instead of $60,000 going towards more vehicles and routes in your existing territory, will the new territory provide more profitable opportunities? To answer this question, you can check out our beginner’s guide for tips on when to expand. You will have to manage your funds to ensure that you have enough cash remaining to actually take advantage of the new territory while still being ambitious enough to seek out these new opportunities in the first place.

Manager System

Transport Inc. allows you to hire managers that can automate when your buses, trains, and planes are sent off to depots for repair. This prevents the player from being crushed by the huge amount of micromanaging that could occur late game once you have dozens of vehicles all over the map. However, this manager system does come with a cost. The initial cost to hiring a bus manager is $25,000, and buying a depot is another $25,000. At the start of the game $50,000 can go a long way to increasing your profits and growth. The player will essentially have to decide at what point the automation is worth the investment cost. Again, this feature adds to the realism of what the cost of a corporation may look like. Larger companies will need to spend more on management employees to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Likewise, the train and plane managers cost a lot more and purchasing enough depots for all of the vehicles will be another few hundred thousand dollars. Check out Tip #2 in our beginner’s guide for more information on when it is best to hire managers.

Bank Loans and Interest

Like with most business tycoon games, Transport Inc. has a system for taking out loans to invest into your business. One of the biggest differences is that this game is absolutely merciless when it comes to interest rates. Any new players reading this: be very, very mindful of the interest and think extremely carefully about whether or not you actually come out ahead. If you take out a 18% loan without thinking, it can put you back several months just paying off the interest. Make sure that the new route you are investing in will generate enough revenue to actually make the venture worth it. Likewise, a well-thought out loan can definitely boost your company growth by a ton. The bank loan feature in this game is very simple, but also captures the essence of what players need to consider in taking out loans. General rule of thumb that we advise is to avoid any interest rates of over 12% since it becomes much harder to make a good return on.

Chill Music and Satisfying Money Notification

The overall vibe from Transport Inc. is very relaxed and minimizes any stress that you may encounter. Music does a great job of giving you a good atmosphere to just chill out in and enjoy the game. It definitely fits the upbeat, satisfying tone of the game. Likewise, seeing the money go up in your account is also strangely satisfying. Whenever your vehicle reaches a city, you see the passengers or cargo unload and you get a nice green popup in your screen that tells you how much you just made. Overall the developers did a great job in making this game a satisfying experience.

Great Campaign (Tutorial)

This game does a great job of creating a tutorial that draws the player in piece by piece. The campaign starts off with just the basic bus routes and slowly adds more and more features until you are expected to just run the company successfully. I can see how starting this game in freemode with just a few tooltips can be extremely confusing. This approach does a great job of keeping the player engaged. You don’t have to worry about not being able to pick up on the different aspects of the game as long as you finished the campaign.

Natural Disasters and Sabotaging Competitors

There are a variety of complications that spice up this game. You could meet a natural disaster that shuts down all of your routes to a city, or you could experience a boost to income from holiday trips. Anything can happen to both you and your competitors and forces you to stay on your toes. The sabotage system in this game also adds a light level of strategy where you can do things that effectively put you ahead of your opponents. It is not necessarily overpowered, but it definitely does give you an advantage. This feature is enough to give the game that competitive edge, but not overwhelming to the point where it becomes more of a fighting game.

Negatives

Vehicles automatically run even when empty

There is no option at the moment to stop the vehicle from running the route if it is empty (due to ticket prices being too high). This results in an empty vehicle running all the way to its destination and costing you fuel while generating no income. There should be a default option that allows you to stop this from happening. This is especially annoying for new players who don’t have a good sense of ticket prices yet. You could leave things as the default and vehicle could just run with no delay – resulting in a player being set back a ton due to lost income. See Tip #3 on our guide for how to manage this issue.

Star system is poorly designed and provides little feedback to the player

It is a good idea to have some sort of feature that dictates required vehicle quality and how that can affect ticket prices – especially when taking into account the size of the city and needs of the customers. However, the current implementation is faulty in that the user really has no clear idea of how the train stars match up to what the route needs. The general idea of larger cities requiring more stars makes sense – but there needs to be more feedback for the player to use. At the moment, the best way to avoid this issue is to micromanage and change up the ticket prices through multiple trips to find out the best price. However, there should be a system that allows you to copy over the same prices for similar routes once you have discovered one that works. It is very tiresome having to do the same thing over and over again for each and every single route.

Needs a cleaner route interface and an option to adjust ticket price on that menu

Currently you have to go back and forth between the routes menu and the actual train where you can change the ticket price. This adds needless clicking and should be improved so that the player can easily see which routes need some micromanaging. The UI is also a little confusing since it isn’t very clear which number is the trip profit and which one is monthly. A hover-over tooltip would be a great fix and allows the player to see more information about their vehicles.

No option for partial loan repayment

Transport Inc. does not allow you to repay your loan partially. You either have to repay the whole thing, or you just have to get hit with the full interest. Not entirely sure if this is an intended function, but either way it is very frustrating to not be able to chip away at loans. There should definitely be an option to slowly work at it instead of having to do a large save-up of cash. One current fix for this is to take out another loan with smaller interest to make up for the difference you are missing and repaying the loan that way. This can be considered as a way to “refinance” loans to a better interest rate. See Tip #6 on our guide to overcome this issue.

FPS drop late game

Depending on your set-up, you could completely avoid lag altogether. However, I started experiencing some FPS drops as soon as I got more than 40-50 vehicles running (using a budget gaming laptop with 1050 Ti and i5-8300H with 16gb RAM). Keep this in mind if you have a rig that has worse specs. However, Steam reviews seem to suggest that this game runs very well even on older PCs. You may have to tinker with the options a little bit to minimize any stuttering you may experience.

Conclusion

Overall, Transport Inc is a great buy for around $10 and is easily worth the money. It scratches that business management itch very well and includes several features that every good tycoon game should have. However, there are a few gameplay and UI issues that have to be fixed before this game can really shine. I would definitely recommend you pick it up if you like building businesses or if you are new to the tycoon genre altogether. If you are a more experienced player, I would recommend waiting for a sale or until these issues are fixed.

Thank you all for reading and please check out our Transport Inc Tips and Guide for how to get started in the game. Also follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with our guides and reviews! 🙂

Crusader Kings 3 Beginner Tips

Crusader Kings 3 (CK3) is a medieval strategy and management game that places you in charge of guiding an entire dynasty through hundreds of years. It is the long-awaited sequel to Crusader Kings 2, and it does not disappoint.

Any new players interested in starting with Crusader Kings 3 will likely meet a fairly sharp learning curve initially. Even if you have played Crusader Kings 2, there are still quite a few subtle differences that can stump you in your first few rounds. This list of beginner tips will hopefully help with getting you started in Crusader Kings 3!

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Succession and Inheritance Tips here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

1. Fabricate Claims using the Bishop (or other religious leader)

This is one of the biggest changes since Crusader Kings 2. Instead of the Chancellor, it is now the religious leader that is used to fabricate claims. Another change is that it is no longer a randomized chance that rolls every year – there is simply a progress bar that fills up for the claim to occur.

The speed of progress and whether or not you receive a duchy claim instead of county claim is dependent on the skill of the bishop. Typically it can take around 1-2 years for the county claim to go through and it costs around 70-100 gold to claim. Please also keep in mind that you cannot be negative in gold to start a war so have some saved up in advance.

2. Learn the basic hotkeys

There is a LOT of clicking that goes into Crusader Kings 3. It is definitely worth learning the basic hot keys for bringing up menus if you plan to play for any longer than a couple of hours. Here are the simple ones that I like to use:

  • F1: Character Screen
  • F2: Realm
  • F3: Military
  • F4: Council
  • F5: Court
  • F6: Intrigue
  • F7: Factions
  • F8: Decisions
  • 1-5: Game speed (5 is extremely fast, be warned)
  • Space: Pause and Play
  • E: Regular Realm map toggle
  • T: Cultural Map
  • R: Religious Map
  • U, I, O: Duchy, Kingdomg, Empire Titles (shows them regardless of whether or not they’re formed)
  • W, A, S, D: Map Movement
  • B: Go back to previous menu

There may be other hotkeys people use, but these are the ones I’ve run into so far that I consistently use all the time. The escape key is just the usual button for exiting out of tabs. However, if you are trying to get rid of only the “Issues” menu then hit Tab instead since the Escape key will exit out of everything else first.

3. Increase County Control using your Marshall as soon as possible

Control makes a huge difference in how much levy and taxes you receive from a county. Anything below 50 Control will be a huge hit to what you can receive. It is usually worth sending your Marshall in to return Control back to 100 as soon as you are out of a war. This is actually one of the mechanisms that Paradox included to prevent snowballing since it’ll increase how long it takes for you to reap the benefits of new counties.

One caveat to this is if you are expecting someone to initiate another war with you in a short period of time or if you have a really great claim on someone who is momentarily weak. In this case, keep your Marshall on the “Organize Levies” tab for the extra Levy Size and Reinforcement Rate. However, during peace time increasing Control is much more important than increasing levies or improving commanders.

4. Christian Rulers can ask the Pope for Gold – use this ability early game

You can easily get anywhere between 125 to 200 or so gold as a Christian ruler in exchange for 250 Piety and a temporary decrease in relationship with the Pope. To qualify, it is best to have a good opinion score, some virtue traits, and as few sins as possible. There generally isn’t a good reason to not take the gold especially in the early stages of the game.

If you start off as a Duke or King, gold problems will likely still be at the front of your mind. Piety is a resource that does play a big role in being able to wage Holy Wars, but gold can usually take you a lot further. You need gold to pay for starting up your Men-at-Arms Regiments and to hire Knights with high Prowess. Without this fighting ability, it is hard to wage wars in the first place. Take the gold and think about Piety later.

Once you hit the part of the game where you are interested in reforming religions or embarking on Holy Wars, check out our Prestige and Piety guide here for how to obtain Piety.

5. Hover over information for a few seconds before moving to the tooltip

Once you wait around 3 seconds or so, the information bubble changes borders and sticks around for you to move your mouse onto it. For example, if I want to check my Monthly Income breakdown, I would hover over the tab so that the information bubble pops up, wait for around 3 seconds for the border to change, then move my mouse onto the bubble itself. Hopefully this helps with preventing any mild annoyances about getting the information bubble to stick around.

Alternatively, you can go into the “Game” section of the settings and change the Tooltips to Action lock or Mouse Tendency. This will give you a bit more freedom in choosing what you prefer. I personally stuck with the original method since I hate having to click again and again for the tooltips.

6. Forbid Sons with low Prowess from being Knights

Found this out the hard way when 3/4 of my sons died in the same battle. If they don’t have high prowess then they are much, much more likely to be killed in battle. Keep in mind that Martial and Prowess are two completely different values that represent different things. Martial is the main value you usually see that represents their ability to command troops – it is also the value you use to select for a good Marshall. Prowess is the ability to actually fight, you can see a person’s prowess when you look to the right of the main stats and see the hand grasping a sword.

To forbid a person from being a knight, hit “F3” to bring up the Military Menu, click on the Knights menu, scroll to your sons and select “Forbid”. In some cases, you might even want to keep your heir safe and forbid them even if they have a high prowess score. Things can randomly happen in battle and sometimes avoiding the risk altogether can be better for your dynasty.

One other thing to keep in mind is that some characters have the “Brave” trait. This trait increases the character’s chance of dying in battle by 100% while offering a few bonuses to combat ability. It is great that some characters are monsters and can carry a fight, but don’t let that character be your only heir (unless that is what you are role-playing). Keep an eye out for this trait specifically just in case!

7. You can increase Men-at-Arms regiment sizes directly

Simply click on the regiment portrait to bring up the menu and hit “Increase Size to ____”. This gives you more variety in which Men-at-Arms types you want to bring into battle with you. The overall cost would still be the same since the size upgrade is the same as the initial buy cost, but you get to hire different types of regiments as a result.

8. Diversify your Men-at-Arms Regiments

Unless you did some extra work in scouting out your enemy’s troops when they fought in other wars, it is difficult to determine which regiments they will be bringing to the fight. The “counter” mechanism can limit your opponent fighting efficiency by up to 90% if it is a direct counter. For example, instead of your Armored Footmen dealing 32 Damage, it’ll only deal around 3 if the opponent brings a unit of Skirmishers to the fight.

Diversifying your regiments gives you a much better chance at negating your opponents and having at least some of your regiments do full damage. This might not always apply depending on cultural troop availability and terrain, but if you are all over the map then this gives you the most flexibility. If you follow tip #7 as well, then you should have no issues with adapting your army to the enemy you are expecting to fight.

9. Bring Mangonels or Onagers if you are sieging

They are cheap compared to other regiments and the decrease in overall time required to siege down a castle is definitely worth it. Instead of the default 1.0 progress per day, you now have 1.6 with Mangonels (1.3 with Onagers). This is a boost of 50% – meaning instead of 3 months to siege down a city, you now have to only wait for 2. If you are fighting any other kingdom or even duchy, the time you save can literally be the difference between victory and defeat.

If you are worried about cost – don’t be! The total for a Mangonel is 0.32/month when raised while a regiment of skirmishers is 0.44/month. For the benefit that it brings for sieges, this should be at least the third regiment you pick up.

The big downside to this is that they have no bonuses to fighting power during regular field battles. The opportunity cost lost here is that you could have afforded another unit of bowmen or skirmishers that might have been handy if it was a close battle. Buying this regiment third would be a good balance between improving your fighting ability and your siege ability.

10. Choose the right Commander

A good commander can influence a battle a ton and even win you fights where your army is objectively weaker. Having a higher tactical score is one thing, but many good commanders also have traits that give bonuses in certain terrain types or to increase damage altogether. Selecting the right commander means you sometimes have to override what the automatic selection is and carefully look through the traits of who you have available.

To change commanders, highlight your army and hit the “Select new Commander” button in the very lower left corner of your screen. Sometimes this button will be greyed out if you are either in battle, or were recently defeated and the army is still retreating. It is usually a good idea to hit that button right when you raise army just to be sure there aren’t any better choices for commanders.

11. Be mindful of River Crossings and Boat Landings

You get a fairly large debuff whenever you are trying to attack someone across a river. It is a much more defensible position and can easily give the weaker army enough of a bonus to win the battle. Taking the long way around might be less time efficient, but it avoids getting you into sticky situations. This is also one of the areas I started paying a lot more attention to than I did in Crusader Kings 2 since I saw many of my armies get wiped by the mechanic.

Likewise, any army that just got off the boat will have a debuff that makes them much less effective. If you are defending against an invading army, stopping them right at the shore is usually one of the best tactics to maximize your winning opportunity.

12. Read through all the Lifestyle Perks

Some of the bonuses from these perks go beyond just being percentage based increases to character ability. For example, the Diplomat Tree has a perk called “Forced Vassalage” that unlocks the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli. It is a great way to start wars straightforwardly instead of having to either wait for fabrication or going through the whole process of finding and landing a claimant.

It is also worth reading the tooltips for these new abilities since they can give you a much better idea of what character you could be building into. Using the same example, the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli is initially restricted to only being valid on Rulers that have no more than 3 Counties in their realm. However, it can be further improved based on the cultural innovations you pursue. Once you have innovations like “Divine Right” and “Rightful Ownership”, it can increase the vassal realm size by 2 each. Knowing this, you can now tailor your cultural innovations to these specific ones if you are the cultural head.

Reading through the tooltips for all of the perks can be tedious, but it will give you a ton more role-play value and give you greater customization of how you want to play the game.

13. Start with Petty King Murchad in 1066 to explore mechanisms

This is a really common tip but it is one worth repeating. It is considered to be one of the best starting situations for learning since it gives you a really great opportunity to explore the various ways to expand your territory and provides you with advantages over all of your immediate enemies.

You start the game with one County for yourself and one for your vassal while everybody else in Ireland starts with just one. Already this is enough for you to win the De Jure war that you begin with. From there, you can experiment with the “Fabricate” function or learn how to obtain claims through marriage or landing claimants. It is also a situation that forces you to be good with your money since you really have to save up for the men that you want to buy.

Once you have unified Ireland into a Kingdom, you can then experiment with larger-scale intrigue and claiming systems like marrying off your son to one of the lesser noblewomen that still have a claim to England. You will usually encounter issues like rejections due to Patrilineal Marriage concerns which give you a realistic taste of what the rest of the game could be like.

14. Adapt to your character traits

Unlike Crusader King 2, Crusader Kings 3 has a much higher importance placed on traits and how they affect character interactions. Playing every single chractert you use as a Warrior will inevitably lead to your demise. Look at the traits, perks, and stats that your character has and determine which lifestyle would best suit their abilities. From there, read through the possible perks and explore the new mechanisms they unlock. This way you can fully experience the full extent of features the game has to offer.

I initially started with purely going the same strategist/commander character playstyle, but once you being dabbling in other treas like stewardship and diplomacy you begin to realize there are a ton of other options out there. A stewardship focused King can literally generate enough income to max out a stack of men-at-arms and still have some to spare for Mercenaries. Slap on a good commander in your court and you’re set to conquer the world.

My point here is that Crusader Kings 3 opens up a ton of replay and role-play value. Even if you just want to paint the world in the colour of your Empire, there are many different ways for you to do so. I hope that this tip gets you exploring into the diversity that exists in the game.

Conclusion

Crusader Kings 3 definitely lived up to the hype for me and I hope that this list of beginner tips will help you enjoy the game in the same way. There are ton more features in this game and I will do my best to cover them for you. Please comment below if there are any specific questions you have or if you have any other tips that you want included in the guide!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great time conquering 🙂

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Succession and Inheritance Tips here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook for consistent updates on my guides and reviews!

Transport Inc. Tips and Guide

Transport Inc. is a management tycoon game that places you in the role of CEO of a large transportation corporation. It is your job to develop a profitable transport system that consists of buses, trains, and planes. You have to determine the most profitable routes – accounting for variables such as demand for comfort, length of trip, travelling speed, and even what your opponents are doing. Overall, Transport Inc. is a game that fits right into the business building niche and is a fresh look at casual management gaming. For more information check out our Transport Inc Review.

This guide will go over some of the best tips to get started in building your own transport conglomerate!

Tip #1: Start with multiple buses instead of trains

It is tempting to take out a big loan at the start of the game and buy the license to use trains. Unfortunately, this usually leaves you with very little cash flow and extremely slow growth. Start off with multiple small buses that run between small cities to maximize growth and minimize need to reduce ticket price.

This method is also great to min-max your early game profit since you can pin-point exactly how much transportation is needed to satisfy all of the routes from a city. If you are a new player, this method gets you used to the idea of which buses are the best for which types of cities.

Tip #2: Use a manager once you have 7-8 buses

A bus manager currently costs $25,000 to start using and needs $25,000 to set up the first depot. For a brand new playthrough, $50,000 is a hefty chunk of cash that is much better used to build more buses. It is usually manageable to manually select which buses to repair if you only have around 8-9 buses running.

Also consider the fact that your buses will take quite some time before they really need to be repaired. There is no need to even build the depot until the buses are partly damaged – much less purchasing an office for the manager. The micromanagement of repairs does not become problematic until you have 10-12 buses running in various locations.

Use the cash you currently have to invest in the best possible opportunity in front of you – more buses!

Tip #3: Micromanage ticket prices for new routes

Until you are extremely comfortable with knowing what prices work with which types of buses between which cities, definitely micromanage the ticket price for the first few trips. This is one of the best ways to improve your profitability. Whenever you buy a new bus, estimate what a good price is by comparing the number of stars to the size of cities it is moving between. Typically anything lower than 2 stars should have a lower ticket price if even one of the destinations is larger than a small city. Make sure to do this for both the regular passenger and the high-paying passengers.

If you do not usually like micromanaging prices, consider how much of an impact even 1-2 dollars makes on overall profitability. The price of the ticket is per passenger per 100km – once you mutliply that out by the dozens of passengers you have, it becomes a significant number. This is especially important when you purchase large vehicles that transport a large number of people or goods – remember that each dollar is multiplied multiple times!

Tip #4: Use appropriate buses for the large cities

It is much more profitable to actually use the right buses to transport people between large cities. These routes typically require a higher star rating and a faster speed. If you try to use a low-tier bus that travels slowly, you will end up having to reduce ticket price so much that you could even come close to losing money per trip. You have to either choose the right bus or choose a different route for your investment to make sense.

In the opposite situation, if you choose to use a fancy bus between small cities, make sure you increase the price substantially to account for the cost of the bus. It is okay to use a more comfortable bus in these situations, but they are honestly better used in large cities since the possible profit is higher.

Tip #5: Take out loans in Week 1 and avoid interest above 12%

It might not seem like a big difference, but the extra 3 weeks could potentially save you a ton of money by avoiding interest. If you take out the loan right after the month starts, this gives you the full month to start making money before your first payment. In comparison, taking your loan out in Week 4 means you immediately have to pay back part of the loan with interest.

Keep in mind that this tip depends on your ability to pay off the loan early. If you don’t plan to do so, then you can ignore this tip. I do recommend paying it off early though, since many of the loans are in the range of around 15% – which adds up substantially over time.

The 12% number is just an estimate I use to avoid massive interest rates that take forever to pay off. The usual return on interest will be higher than that 12% as long as you micromanage the ticket price as mentioned above. Feel free to experiment around, but this general rule of thumb has helped me avoid bad loans.

Tip #6: Take out lower interest loans to pay off old loans

This is a function that essentially re-finances your bank loans. Your company will end up paying much less in interest if you constantly monitor for the best possible interest rate.

Keep in mind that in Transport Inc. there is no function to partially pay back a loan. If you plan to take out a new loan to pay off the old one, make absolutely sure that you can loan enough to actually pay it off.

Another tip is to take out the largest loan for a max duration if the interest rate is at 8%. This extra cash will definitely help you a ton in ramping up your bus routes and the max duration means you can definitely pay off the loan early and minimize interest.

Tip #7: Do not blindly acquire competitors

Unfortunately, not all of the competitors are smart about placing depots and repair sites. After acquiring a competitor, I quickly found out that their buses don’t always have access to a depot nearby and it has resulted in a ton of broken routes. If you are interested in acquiring a competitor, please try to aim for the one that is near to you. This way the buses can always route to your original depots if need be.

Alternatively, spend some time after the acquisition to ensure that depots are well-built in their area of the map and that all of their buses are under your manager.

These mergers have the potential to skyrocket your profits since you are essentially adding a ton of buses to your arsenal. Just keep in mind that you may have to spend quite a bit of time micromanaging the ticket prices and new routes to ensure that they are profitable for you.

Tip #8: Click on existing cities to explore which area to unlock next

You can see potential routes when you click on your existing cities. This helps you determine which area has the most demand for your transportation. Typically I like to choose the area that has high demand in cities that are connected to your existing area through railroads. Later on in the game, the railroad system is a great way to supply transportation and investigating the potential of the area ensures you are planning for the future.

This tip is also to prevent you from being mislead by other factors like total number of available cities. More cities might not always be more profitable if they don’t have as many routes to connect to your original hub. More cities also means it is more expensive to license – be sure that this is the right investment before purchasing.

Tip #9: Diversify transportation methods and products moved

Transportation Inc. has mechanics like disasters, holidays, and road closures that can have a huge impact on your transportation empire. Diversifying beyond just buses ensures that you have other sources of revenue in case road closures hit your current routes hard.

Likewise, the product that you move (regular population, high-paying population, goods) will also be affected by a variety of game mechanics. Having a good diversity ensures that you will have as many opportunities to benefit from events as possible, while also ensuring that disasters do not wipe out your entire profit.

Tip #10: Remember to develop small routes late game

It is very easy to be tempted to save up a ton of cash to buy a $3 million plane late game. However, all that time that you spent on waiting for money could have been used to develop a lot more of the smaller routes. These routes individually may not have as much of an impact on your profitability, but developing $3 million worth of them definitely will.

Once you consistently get around $200,000 to $300,000, make a mental note to slow yourself down and re-evaluate all of your current cities. Building a small route to transport 50 people between two cities might not sound like a lot, but every single bit of profit counts.

Also keep in mind that there are very few large routes that are actually available – the vast majority of opportunities are still medium sized routes that only move around 80-90 people at once. Don’t lose sight of all of these opportunities and you will be able to reach expensive vehicles even sooner.

Tip #11: Avoid overfilling routes

Just because the route says there are 100 people needing transportation does not mean that you should place two 50-person buses on that route. It takes time for the population regenerate and placing two buses on this route will just result in wait unnecessary wait times.

Maximize your profit by approximating how quickly the demand replenishes and add/subtract buses to ensure they do not wait at all at either end.

Tip #12: Damage expensive competitor vehicles and close their roads

Once you are consistently making a few hundred thousand dollars a month, take the time to analyze your opponents and identify which routes are most commonly used. Transport Inc. allows you to use nefarious methods to gain an advantage. The most potent of these is the ability to close roads. When used properly, you can very literally put a stop to your competitor’s entire empire. Sure there are a few small routes here and there, but I have found that a lot of the routes your opponents use actually end up overlapping at certain sections.

Likewise, damaging their most expensive vehicle will not only force them to pay for repairs, but will also delay their profits. This slows down their growth and allows your own company to gain the advantage. Destroying enemy vehicles is usually a more expensive option, but you almost always end up coming out ahead once you take into account their lost profits.

Tip #13: Complete the Story Mode

Many players I know like to skip tutorials in management games, but I heavily recommend you all finish the Story mode for Transport Inc. It is actually a very well thought-out tutorial that keeps you intrigued the entire way. The missions are approached in a step-wise manner that slowly adds more features as you move forward. By the time you get to the end, you will have learned how to play the game to its fullest degree.

The pacing of the story is also great since it lets you take time to complete the mission, but also adds a slight pressure since you have competitors that you have to beat. It also locks some features initially so that you do not get overwhelmed and fall into early traps.

One final benefit about the Story Mode is that it places you in different parts of the world with different cities and settings. This gives you a chance to develop skills in analyzing where to expand, instead of just doing the same thing over and over again.

Conclusion

Transport Inc is a fantastic business management game that really scratches that Tycoon itch. It is a great combination of casual gameplay and opportunities for micromanagement. I hope that this guide has been of some help in giving you a smoother start to the game.

Thank you very much for reading and please comment below if you have any questions or feedback! Check out our Transport Inc Review to see if this game is for you.

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New World Beginner Tips Continued

Please see here for the first part of our beginner tips for New World.

1. Resource size affects respawn timer and EXP efficiency

Larger resource nodes (i.e. large mountain of iron vs. small pile) take longer to respawn after you have gathered it. Most obvious example of this is for oil when you try to make an efficient run gathering all you can. The large oil nodes take a few minutes longer to respawn even though you mine the small node first. Keep this in mind when you are planning your gathering route in the area.

Gathering larger nodes will give you more of the resource per second, but the smaller nodes are better for leveling up the Trade skill in the first place. An example of this is when you are chopping wood – try logging the skinny trees and keep track of your EXP gain in a minute vs. logging large trees. You will notice that you end up gaining EXP faster, but will gain less wood. Keep this in mind in the early stages of the game when it is more important to level the skill up than it is to gather tons of wood for crafting.

2. Craft the highest tier possible for the most efficient EXP per material

It is pretty obvious that crafting higher tier products will give you more EXP. However, if you are not a big fan of gathering or spending gold on the basic resources, crafting ONLY highest tier products will give you the most EXP for the resources that you have. Gone are the days of spamming iron daggers in Skyrim. If you have the materials for it, always go for the higher tier item.

That being said, higher tiers require more specific resources that tend to be in short supply. For example, rugged leather requires tannins that you can really only farm from level 45 mobs and above. Otherwise you have to run around opening chests just to gather a few here and there. At least on my server in Everfall, tannins are almost always out of stock. Same thing goes for Oil at the moment due to the limited supply.

One way to get around this resource shortage is to simply ask to trade with someone in your Company that has a different Trade skill focus than you. Do keep in mind though that tannins and oil tend to be some of the most sought-after materials due to how they are needed in weaponcrafting.

3. Pick up town quests whenever you are grinding Trade skills

When you are grinding any of the gathering related Trade skills, picking up a few of the town quests will net you some EXP, standing, and gold. Most important of these is town standing since the bonuses that will provide will be much more useful. Other than benefits like reduced cost, faster gathering, more tokens for faction quests, and increased EXP gain, you will also need to be at level 15 standing in order to purchase a house.

Doing random town quests while you are out gathering does not take up that much extra time. Most of the ones that I have picked up are ones like “Hunt ____ Elk/Rabbit/Wolves” and I just complete them idly as I walk past. Specifically for wolves, they tend to walk around areas that you are gathering in and you usually have to fight them regardless. Town quests are a small bonus you get for doing what you usually do anyways.

4. Craft armour sets that give bonuses to Trade skills

The bonuses from a full set of any of these traits can be huge for Trade skill efficiency. An example of this is that even just having 3 items with the “increase woodworking” trait improved my “extra resource” chance up to around 20%. When you refine 100 wood, you now get 20 extra. If you are focused on crafting in any way, getting a full set of these traits is an absolute must.

To actually obtain the items that you use to craft armour with these perks, you can either go to the auction house or you can gather more from related resources. For example, I have found a ton of the woodworking perk item just from logging constantly. These items can be applied to any type of armour when you craft – it is not limited to just leather or just cloth.

5. Save up vegetables and create food that boost Trade skills

Vegetables are fairly hard to farm in New World. Most of the ones I have seen come from the provision boxes that you see around the world. Some vegetables do exist in the wild and can be gathered consistently, but things like Broccoli mostly come from boxes. Whenever you encounter one, make sure to save what you find. The reason behind this is that the food items you can make can boost any of the Trade skills.

If you are not a big fan of cooking, you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way for them. However, even crafting the first tier food items can be helpful in things like resource gathering. It can speed up the process for you and help reduce the grind that is needed to level up refining or crafting trade skills.

6. Approach “open X boxes” quests systematically

These quests can get annoying once you have opened 4-5 of the boxes and can’t find the rest. One way to combat this is to approach the area systematically. Look on your map once you arrive and make a mental note of all of the buldings in the area. Comb through each one step by step so that you don’t end up missing any by the time you get to the end.

I am personally not a big fan of these types of quests and I really do hope the devs change up how it is done. However, until they change it this is one of the methods to reduce your frustration when questing.

Another alternative is to actually use this map that some people have developed that marks down all of the chests in the area. Whenever I have used it, it has always been enough for me to complete my quest. However, some people may not like having to alt-tab back and forth and the systematic approach might be better suited for them.

7. Join a group and do PVP faction quests

This is one of the best ways to level when you are in the level 25-30 range. Most of the quests are best completed with a group since they commonly consist of killing a certain number of things or opening a number of boxes. Having a group also helps prevent you from being jumped by enemies since you will have forced active PVP status.

The extra EXP from killing mobs is also a great bonus to the quests when you are in a group since all you need is one hit to get the reward. Opening chests is also a good way to gather useful resources that are needed to craft higher tier products. There are other ways to gain EXP effectively, but this is the most well-rounded method I can find. Some people like to spam corrupted breaches, but that can be difficult for you depending on your gear situation and on the level of breaches that are available.

8. Bring a Lifestaff for easier travelling

Travelling around in New World can be a huge pain at the moment. You usually end up toggling running using “=” and then just watch Netflix for a few minutes until you get to your destination. With a Lifestaff, the charge ability allows you to teleport forward and gives you a much needed boost to travel time.

No other method exists as far as I know to increase your movement speed this fast. The hatchet does have a increase speed function embedded in the beserk ability, but it still isn’t as fast as the Lifestaff charge.

It can take a bit of time to fully level up the transport ability, but it is worth every second. You can just tap an enemy with the staff and immediately switch to your main weapon and it will still get experience.

9. Armour weight determines dodge distance

Wearing all heavy armour will turn your dodge into a tiny hop that barely travels any distance. Similarly, wearing all light armour gives you that long distance dodge that can get you away from your enemy more efficiently. You can monitor this by going into your inventory and highlighting the bar right next to your equipped armour and seeing which category you currently fit into. You can mix and match different types of armour and it is the final weight that matters the most.

Equipment sometimes have the perk that lowers the weight of the armour. This can be very valuable if you allocated very few points into constitution since it will give you a better escape mechanism. This is especially true for ranged weapons since being able to back away even for an instant is important to getting your shot off. Avoiding enemy interruptions of your attack is crucial and having lighter armour will allow you to dodge away to do so.

10. Pay attention to defence type

Many beginners fall into the trap of just choosing the gear that has the highest gear score. Unfortunately, this is how you end up dead when fighting against the wrong enemies. It is a good idea to mix and match armour types to make sure you have both physical and elemental defence.

This tip isn’t meant to tell you to avoid high gearscore items, but rather to pay attention to your overall blend of equipment. High score is better, but not if you end up one-dimensional with no elemental defence.

As long as you are mindful of this pitfall, don’t be too concerned about min-maxing anything. Most people end up with a mix of armour due to randomness of drops anyways, but do keep this in mind from time to time when you equip new items.

11. Re-speccing is free until Level 20

Use the early game to mess around with your stats and explore what type of character you want to build. It is completely free for your to try different things and different weapons.

It is also free to reset your weapon skills as well! There are two trees for every weapon and each have 3 unique skills you can try out. This allows you to customize your playstyle since you can use skills from both trees at once.

This is a great opportunity for you to try out crazy builds like going all Focus as an archer to spam triple shot or to adapt your build to your current situation. I’ve personally used this method to change all my points into constitution when I partied up with higher level friends just so that I can survive in the areas that they were grinding in. Take advantage of this and use it to improve your gameplay.

12. Use the player-made maps to track resources

There are a few different maps floating around that can be used to track almost all of the resources. The one I use is here and is great for finding resource nodes like oil and iron. This is also the same map mentioned in tip #6 since it has the function to find chests.

This can also be used to map out your gathering route to maximize your time efficiency. Instead of manually running around certain zones, this will allow you to directly go from node to node. I personally used this method when gathering Oil early on since it was very important at that point to avoid the mobs (specifically the alligator).

Bonus Tip: Alligator attacks can reach you even when running away – use Lifestaff charge or climbing on obstacles to avoid them

For whatever reason, alligator attacks can catch up to you even when you are sprinting away. Very few early game mobs can do that, and the alligator is the most common one I have seen. If you have the misfortune of pissing one off, either use your Lifestaff charge to get away or climb up onto obstacles. If you don’t have an unreachable obstacle nearby, climb over anything you can and force the alligator to take the long path around. If you try to sprint in a straight line, it will likely kill you if you don’t have enough physical armour.

The most problematic area I have seen this in is in the Marshes when gathering Oil. One wrong move and you end up slowly moving through water and the alligator eats you. Fortunately, there are these boulders here and there that you can climb up on. From that point, you can actually use your ranged weapons to kill the alligator and continue gathering your oil.

Conclusion

Thank you all for reading our continued New World Beginner Tips guide! As always, please comment below if you have any other tips that would be useful for other beginners or if you have any feedback.

Read first part of the beginner tips guide here and our beginner War guide here.

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