Manor Lords' dev asks players: Should its supply mechanic be changed?

A medieval city
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Greg Styczeń, the solo developer of smash hit survival citybuilder Manor Lords, needs your help. Specifically, he needs your help deciding whether to adjust the game's supply-and-demand system.

The issue is that when Manor Lords was first made available to critics and YouTubers pre-release, the feedback was that trade was "OP" and it was too easy "to just sell one type of good and make your town uber rich that way", as Styczeń explained on the Manor Lords Discord server. He added a tweak to the system that punished flooding the market with just one good so that "basically if you start selling one type of item a lot, its price will keep falling until the exports stop completely. Same for the opposite, if you keep massively importing some type of good, its price will rise and it will become very expensive."

It's a fix that punishes the playstyle favored by our own Christopher Livingston in games like this. As Chris wrote, "Unfortunately for thousands of tiny citizens in numerous survival city builders I've played over the years, I'm not great at keeping a lot of balls in the air. My usual strategy, then, is to focus on one big ball: I build and manage my city with the goal of massively over-producing a single product or resource, then sell 100% of that resource to traders and use the money to buy all the other balls (food, clothes, livestock, etc.) I need to keep my people alive."

Styczeń isn't completely sold on the fix, however, and went on to say that, "I was never quite sure about it since I thought specializing regions in producing certain goods is how the game should be played. There are other possible ways to make sure players have what to spend their fortunes on in future builds. But of course there is a risk players just won't have to build production chains at all if they can basically import everything without any consequence, possibly not having to interact with certain gameplay mechanics at all."

And that's why this post is in the server's #votes channel and ends with three options for players to choose from, based on whether they want the global market supply mechanic to be A) Kept as is; B) Kept but tuned down cause it's too harsh; or C) Removed. At the moment "B) Kept but tuned down cause it's too harsh" is winning by a handy margin with over 12,000 votes. The closest rival, "A) Kept as is", has just over 2,000 votes, while "C) Removed" has only 415 votes. 

You could try jumping in to sway things yourself, but it seems like things are pretty settled already and the market supply mechanic will be retuned rather than done away with altogether.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.