Simulation Strategy Video Games

Banished: An evolving world of citizens

Back in February, I wrote a couple of posts about playing Banished and how to go about it – Surviving on your own in Banished Part One: Villagers and Part Two: Resources. Then, about a week or so later, I wrote a recount of one of my first attempts at playing the game with hard starting conditions – Banished: A game of hard starting conditions (part one and part two). However, the game has been updated since then and I would like to take a moment to go over the changes that have been made and how they affect the game.

Changes to Banished

There have been a number of updates and a whole heap of fixes since the game was released. Some of these have more of an impact on how we play the game than others. Such changes are as follows, including various bugs that may have made the game more difficult in a manner that was unintended by the developer.

Banished: Citizen work assignment and behaviour

Citizen work assignment and behaviour

  • Fixed a bug that caused large population cities to randomly unassign workers.
  • Citizens now won’t be assigned far away tasks without a specific profession (pick-ups, gathering, clearing, etc.) unless the tasks have been around for a long time, or haven’t been assigned to someone local. This keeps citizens far away from walking across the map in most cases.
  • Citizens now limit the distance they’ll walk in the winter when it is very cold.

Citizen hunger and warmth

  • If citizens are already walking to get food at a distance location and become starved, they’ll now interrupt the walk and get food at the closest market or storage barn.
  • If citizens are working far from home and become hungry, they’ll eat food from their home as if they brought food with them. This will not interrupt the current task. If no food is available at home they will interrupt the walk and get food at the closest market or storage barn.
  • Because citizens can eat from home when far away, they can better deal with freezing, and visit a warm place when needed.
  • Fixed a bug that caused starving or freezing people to get stuck in a loop doing the same job over and over if no food or warmth was available to resolve the starving or freezing issue.
  • Fixed a bug that caused citizens not to warm up when eating at home in some cases.

Banished: Farmers and herdsmen

Farmers and herdsmen

  • Fixed splitting or emptying herds from pastures. This will no longer cause small pastures to become overfull.
  • Foresters no longer cut down orchards.

Citizens fighting fires

  • Citizens are now more effective at fighting fires and putting them out.
  • When fires break out, citizens fighting the fire now run at high speed.
  • Citizens working in an area where a fire breaks out will now be interrupted to help fight the fire.
  • Fixed a bug that caused non-labourers to not fight fires.
  • Citizens fighting fires will only be interrupted by sickness, freezing, or starving.
  • Citizens will now only search for water in an area around the fire. Far inland areas need wells for fires to be fought.
  • Increased the number of citizens that can fight a single fire to 50.
  • Increased the area of effect for citizens fighting a fire.
  • If enough water is brought to a building on fire, the chance of the fire spreading is lowered.
  • Fixed a bug that caused buildings on fire not to be high priority.
  • Fixed a major slowdown in large towns when fires break out.

Banished: Everything else

Everything else

  • Citizens without a workplace will once again do any job on the map. Citizens that have jobs will generally still stay near their workplace unless work to be done has been around for several months and no general labourer has done it.
  • Tombstones now decay in 4-6 years instead of 13-17.
  • Existing tombstones have had their decay time reduced by half.
  • The trading post volume was been increased to 60000. This allows larger auto purchases to occur without overflowing storage. Existing trading posts need to be removed and replaced for this change to take effect.
  • Builders will no longer walk the long way around to the other side of a bridge or tunnel when constructing it if it’s more than twice the distance to the closer side.

What all of this means

For starters, the citizens of our town will behave in a manner that is much more efficient and less suicidal, which is great. In the first release version of the game, sometimes they would make bad decisions early on which could spell doom for some citizens later on. An example of this would be the builders walking the long way around to the other side of a bridge or tunnel when constructing it even if it’s more than twice the distance to the closer side problem just above.

On the other hand, I believe that some of the changes aren’t as necessary as others, but we can see that they ease the troubles of town planning in smaller maps. An example of this would be the tombstones now decaying in 4-6 years instead of 13-17 years change. Of course, one could argue that not all citizens have to be buried and that the longer the tombstones stay, the more careful we have to be in planning (in a positive yet still challenging way). However, as I already said, I don’t believe some of the changes were that necessary, but that doesn’t mean they impact negatively on the game. Overall, I would say these changes have generally been really good and improved upon the game, but that’s up to the individual player to decide in the end.

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