gold and jewelery
tobacco and cigars
sugar and rum
plain mining (bauxite & iron)
pineapple, bananas, papayasranching (beef)
logs, lumber & furniture
tourism (slob or snob)
It needs to be reemphasized how important the options for setting the physical characteristics of random islands are. All of the chatter about how to set El Presidente's characteristics has led to most players' losing track of their importance. They provide a very important way to "tilt" gameplay toward a favorite industry.
All the sliders except 'water coverage' register increased difficulty upon movement to the left and decreased difficulty upon movement to the right. Look at the 'mouse-over' line at the bottom as you point at each spot on the ranking scale.>> Vegetation:
Unfortunately, the full title ought to be Rainfall & Vegetation
, but the PopTop folks made their pick to make it simple. I guess they hoped players would understand\guess that rainfall has to be balanced with the amount of plants. The range is from a desert where you may have trouble growing food for your citizens, but the tourists will love the sunshine; to an entangled jungle swamp where sugar cane will love to grow, if you can get the fields cleared. Many players have spent undue time trying to script more rain when they could have had it right from their original setup.>> Water Coverage:
This has to be considered in direct relationship with the item "map size"
set in the bottom chart pair of sliders - the horizontal one. While it is only speculation, this is probably an artifact of PopTop's intent to have an offshore oil industry -- more water coverage would have equaled more potential for oil drilling rigs. As the game exists however, probably the only advantages for settings above the minimum are ease of pathfinding for the various ships and a bit more space for the fishing fleet to work in. Otherwise, it's the difficulty ranking and what the players wishes to look at.>> Minerals:
Increasing the number of deposits naturally increases the chance of one's being close to the initial settlement. I know of no reports about the ratios among the three minerals based on frequency -- or at all for that matter. I have the impression that the random map generation does not mix the minerals in one deposit.>> Population:
The range is 30 to 70 and the number of farms varies in proportion. Primarily, this has to do with the difficulty ranking. However, if you wish to run a "nationalist"
oriented island and choose the Special Condition Immigrants Out!
, you will be well advised to select the maximum starting population.>> Elevation and Map Size:
These are two scales - vertical and horizontal - as illustrated in the lower box. They are also two distinct issues with some implications.
>>> Simulation vs 'just a game' -
If you wish to keep the Caribbean flavor, you will know that SMALL islands are of two basic types: very flat barely above sea level with shallow sea around them; or volcanic thrusting up from the depths with considerable mountains. The big islands (e.g. Cuba) and flavor from Central America are something else. If you just want a game, go for any combination you wish.
>>> Map Size, i.e. Horizontal slider -
Many players use a small or moderate sized island to keep the difficulty ranking higher or to satisfy a "city building" goal. That's fine. However, I suggest that using the full horizontal scale with other modifiers to keep a healthy difficulty ranking really enhances gameplay. There's the contrasting setting of water coverage, and the ability to leave some (a lot) of the island reserved from development\exploitation. This might have interesting consequences with those dreaded "random events" - especially hurricanes. A caution: using the full scale does seem to cause the map generator to spin-up two islands just jammed together.
>>> Elevation, i.e. Vertical slider -
As mentioned above, I recommend within two or three points from either end of the scale, but never near the midpoint. Why get involved with the editor's land adjustment tool to create fake terraces for growing sugar cane when you can have a flat swamp with the initial settings?Warnings:
> Mineral deposts do become exausted. At maximum, they are eight levels deep. So the pits reach a maximum depth, but the miners keep on appearing to work. You have to monitor the output. You also should have estimated the initial number of tiles in total that the heaviest part of the deposit covered.
> Agricultural production's main fluctuation has to do with the rain fall pattern. Soil quality
is affected only by pollution and not the crops. The pollution effect on soil quality cannot be reversed. Farms themselves polute at the rate of 2
over the range of 10 tiles. (T3 made a great elaboration on this.)