Old World (pka Ten Crowns) from Soren Johnson

Mohawk continues to make great balance changes, adjusting and improving the game. Here’s a quick (does 25m count as quick?) video summarizing the changes:

I’m most excited about the historical nerd potential of the dynasty system.


It is on sale for 20% off ($31.99) on Steam

Ooo, nice. I’m waiting for a 50% off before I pick up a Steam copy and jettison EGS but $32 is a steal for anyone who doesn’t already own it.

Thanks for the breakdown, @alcaras. Very helpful to hear guys like you reading over the patch notes and adding your interpretations and commentary!

On Mohawk’s official stream yesterday, my newest favorite Old World streamer, nolegskitten, specifically attempted to push the new options for Inquiry. Very interesting to see in action. I’m not sure how I feel about introducing what looks like a relatively esoteric combo/exploit to boost early tech research, but I trust that those of you banging on the test build will make sure it’s properly sorted. :)


Old World is also on sale for $31.99 from GOG.

But don’t buy it from GOG if you plan to use Mac ARM support (because it isn’t there).

What you saw was probably a bug with the Workshop integration that’s fixed in the upcoming patch. But I’ll also note that specific mod is useless now, the turn limit is off by default and it’s just a toggle in the advanced game setup, you don’t need a mod one way or another.

Thank you for the info! I’m really enjoying my time with Old World. Awesome game!

Just watched this video: I Was WRONG About Old World. - YouTube, in which JumboPixel says he experiences decision fatigue while playing Old World. I think it’s a common belief that meaningful decisions is what makes a strategy game interesting, but having to think tires our lazy brains. In your personal honest opinion, does Old World ask to make too many decisions per turn, too few, or just the right amount?

Anything can be a job if you make it so.

I have no idea who Jumbo Pixel is, but I was reminded of something:

Anyway, if you’re asking for personal opinions, mine is “just the right amount”.


This depends on the individual. I think Old World is a fantastic design that is also exhausting and painful for me to play, but I acknowledge that others experience it differently. For example, I tend to focus on “min/maxing” and thus spend a great deal of brain power on decisions others may find trivial. This means I am increasing the amount of work my brain is doing to play the game. But I can’t help it - it’s my nature.

I do in fact love games based around “interesting decisions” but there is definitely a sweet spot for me at just the right quantity and complexity of decision making, which varies by player.

My thoughts on this topic are a bit similar to my thoughts on managed risk versus constant risk in game design: there is a spectrum, with different sweet spots for different players. For game developers, I think there is a tension between maintaining an integrated design, which is naturally going to have a fairly focused sweet spot on both the decision-making and risk-management spectra, versus wanting to appeal to as many players as possible, which can make the sweet spot bigger, but often at the cost of an inconsistent or internally conflicting design.

I feel like Old World does in fact nail its intended sweet spot, but the sweet spot is just a bit too micro-manage-y for my personal tastes. However, I still respect the hell out of the great design as an artifact of design.

Here’s a t-shirt for my approach to Old World:

No man, I must manage the flow! If I don’t manage the flow precisely, it might flow wrong! And that would be bad!

Be advised that you dudes should be happy that your unique brains are not unique in the way mine is.

Yep. There are a lot of micromanagey decisions, and some of them are additionally unnecessarily fiddly - particularly territory development. Yes, it feels very clever to build granaries next to a developed food resource to get lots of popgrowth, but does it add much to the game? Or the urban area expansion rules - and all the exceptions to them! Very fiddly. Or every military unit having subtly different advancements and leader abilities that need to be taken into account - again, fiddly.

This is not my biggest issue with the game however - you can always turn the difficulty down a notch and try not to sweat the small stuff. My real problem is the way I play it seems almost never attractive to go to war with the other nations. You might be forced into a war, but you rarely will want one. I’m sure there are good warmonger strategies, but the AI seems much stronger at building its military and expanding than building economy and tech, so as long as you can expand well early on you don’t need a war - and if you cant expand well early on youve got an even steeper mountain to climb.

Old World is so good if you just let workers, cities and tech build what the game suggests, and enjoy the events, family management and ambition goals. Play a bunch of games that way (they’re short) and absorb the game design details over time as your curiosity leads you.

The problem with Old World is that while it’s possible to min/max the decisions, it’s almost never necessary to. Sure, you can get extra resources if you place X next to Y, but the solution is usually to just build more quarries (and mines, and lumbermills). Now, full disclosure, I’m working my way up the difficulty tree, and I only started my first game on Noble this morning. And it’s definitely more challenging. So I could be wrong.

I also seem to be always at war. First with the barbarians, then with the tribes. If the game goes long enough, with the other civs. So I do like that the orders system forces you to choose between warmaking and building your economy. I like the competition for wonders and city sites.

I do think that the UI could use some work. It’s always a little obscure how I can force religious conversions, or improve relations. The mechanism isn’t always consistent. I’d also like a full screen mini map with different overlays to see, for example, the spread of religion, or where fighting is going on. It’s also hard to keep track between turns who’s going where.

Overall, enjoying it. Nice spin on a familiar theme.

We are exactly the opposite! I like sweating the building / economic decisions and just want to get through the events and family management. I do enjoy shooting for the ambition goals and deciding if it’s worth going all in on one at the expense of other things to try and get the victory.

I wasn’t sure if I should share it here or not, but for what it’s worth, I wrote a (very long) review about Old World on my website. I comment on the game’s systems (of which there are too many) and also provide commentary on the game’s representation of the ancient world (which leaves a lot to be desired).

The long and the short of it is that I ended up not liking Old World. I think it’s a bit of a mess, with too many systems vying for attention, hampered by a UI that is utterly byzantine. Also, all those tooltips-within-tooltips strike me as aggressively user unfriendly. As an archaeologist, who has to deal with people’s weird ideas about the past on a more or less daily basis, I also very much dislike how ahistorical it is (except if you decide to play as the Romans, more or less – but then their leader in this game, for whatever reason, is fictional!). Feel free to ridicule me about that again, but Old World is quite possibly the most frustrating “historical” game I’ve ever played.

Again, my thoughts for whatever they are worth.