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Port Royale or Tropico?



Village Idiot
Nov 3, 2014
Luckily, I've been putting off making the next effort post due to laziness, but that's just spurred me on to get it on.

Here's the results of my second completed game. Well, factually it was my first game, it's the one I played at weekends, so, logically, my midweek game finished before this one. As a result the game took a lot longer to complete and had me doing all kinds of varied stuff, trying out all the mission types, failing riddles, failing missions, trying out all the buildings, having a wife, trading everywhere, lots of trial and error plus the fun of discovery over precision:


I've no idea why the French offered me the victory, I barely ever went there and wasn't playing a French start. It seems to direct you to whichever port you're in when it feels ready to offer you the victory, just another automated wally. This game took much longer than the previous one, coming in at 5 years and 9 months, however, the surprising thing is that this game garnered me more points than the previous, more efficient game:


And it used the exact same game settings as the other game. My reputation per town was better, I had more assets, more ships, but much less buildings, slightly more workers/sailors, much less infamous pirates but many more accomplished missions. However I look at it though, I'm quite staggered that a game which takes so significantly longer than another game can produce a whopping 400+ improvement in score. Is the game suggesting that the longer you play, the more points you score? Wow, that's another singular bizarity which slaps replayability in the face.

I've still got 2 more games on the go, both of which are efficiency-led and it'll be interesting to see how the scores for those pan out. I'm already starting to sag with my enthusiasm with the game, but it does still have that one-more-turn aspect which munches through hours like nobody's business, it's just being motivated to start it up that's getting harder and I've completely lost the whole fuck everything else in my life I've got a game to play euphoria and now think about loading it up after I've cleaned the house or washed the dishes etc etc.

After I've done with the 2 other games I'll write up a review that will sum-up and replace all these as-it-goes thoughts and will likely be more positive than reading about the daily disappointments its provided upon replay.


Village Idiot
Nov 3, 2014
Of those 2 games I abandoned one out of boredom fairly early on but have now completed the other, the game where I tried to put all of my game knowledge to the test and try and produce a full efficiency run, really putting the pedal to the metal. I'll now provide a spoiler-free guide to anyone wanting to try and min/max the game:

Starting settings:

Start Year: 1570: Spanish Domination (but playing as England start-point)
Game Target: Governor (other choices being: Balance, Sailor, Navigator - no-one really knows what balance means from any source I've read)
Game Duration: Unlimited (other choices being 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years)
Sea Battles: Difficult (other choices being simple, moderate)

There's really no point in choosing sea battles to be any lower than difficult because sea battles even on difficult are extremely easy but at least with difficult you'll still get the odd one or two battles per game which make you feel like you've achieved something worth achieving, something really exciting. Governor is the highest rank you can achieve so there's little point going for lower ranks unless you're choosing a time limit, to which you'd have to be pretty n00b to not get sailor within 1 year and Navigator in 2/3. 5 years for governor in your first game might be an ok challenge but you might as well pick unlimited for your first game and 3 years for an experienced game.

Pushing myself quite efficiently I managed to get to Helmsman within 1 year of play (game starts on March 2nd 1570 and Helmsman is the rank after Sailor):


And this was before I even managed to find the Hideout. In this game my first map-hunt was a treasure hunt rather than for the Hideout. For this game my hideout was out in the middle of nowhere, which could have contributed to slowing down my rate of progress. Once I'd found it I didn't use it any more in this game. Anyway, my hideout came just a few days later at the very beginning of the 2nd year:


By this point I had quite a lot of stuff going on, utilising 2 large automated trade routes, some buildings up and running and 2 battle fleets roaming the seas, one to concentrate on the main mission, the other to do random stuff as and when it appeared. It wasn't too long before I got the next promotion to Navigator, so selecting Navigator as your game goal, like Sailor, seems a bit redundant really, your game would be over just at the point where you're really engrossed the most:


The riddles I mentioned earlier in the thread come about randomly at the AI's discretion and in this game I didn't seem to get many at all. The first one I reacted to was the second one of the game and I had the capacity to hunt down its treasure without slowing me down too much. As I said previously, always go to these locations with a full crew and full of canons, literally at 100% capacity, because there's a good chance it'll just give you a full crew or fill up your canons, neither of which are comparable to either 2 exp points for your captain or being filled up with Rum. Min/maxing these missions gives a superb boost if you get the Rum. Here I got 545 free barrels of Rum, about 150,000 gold at the very worst prices and a really nice chunk of free and easy trading exp towards your next promotion:


Navigator to Captain is a really long and rather dull stretch and feels like the biggest gap in the game with regards to promotions but getting to Captain within 2 years still came a lot sooner than I expected, well within 2 years and even with me, by this point, slightly easing down on the min/maxing due to laziness and comfort:


Also within the two years, but only just, I managed to fully complete the main quest, once again using middle tear ships to defeat the best ships possible and being awarded the 200,000k'ish free gold doing this provides. The main mission is promotion locked, new quests only becoming available from promotions, the last required promotion being Captain:


I thought I'd have to wait an eternity for Admiral, what with no main mission to keep me interested and having to rely on the quality of randomly generated missions but, to my surprise, the victory rank of Admiral came around quite quickly. The only major change in my assets had been sending out lots of independent pirates for a cut of their take:


It's a real shame though, getting Admiral less than 1 month into the third year, it would have been so much more awesome to have snuck it in within 2 years. And this is the gap I'll leave open to other people to have some kind of min/max target they can truly be proud of. I honestly don't think Admiral is possible in one year. It might be, but I couldn't really imagine how, what with the game having no means to display your exp so you never know what's contributing what, so you don't ever know what's contributing the most, so you don't know which aspect to min/max specifically. But 2 years for Admiral, yes I could see that being a genuinely interesting challenge for someone. It seems your final point scores having nothing to do with time taken and rely completely on just the things listed on the score screen, which could all be easily manipulated to make score a fairly irrelevant decider as to someone's quality of victory beyond tie-braking two people who finished on the same day, to which a tie break still seems fairer than this arbitrary nonsense of a scoring system:


So yeah, hopefully people can use this as a guide as to how well they're progressing and what's possible with the game. Final time to completion: 2 years and 28 days.

I'll do that final review another time when I've had more time to think about it, but, sadly, three runs seems the limit of this game and I can't see any reason to have another game other than a nostalgia run in 10 years or something. Game 1: The fun of the new & learning/exploration, game 2: fine tuning what you've learnt, game 3: min/maxing.
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Possibly Retarded
May 27, 2012
Did you try Patrician 3??

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