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Zeus: Game Help
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Topic Subject: Fun challenges for Zeus
posted 04-10-20 09:08 ET (US)   
I just finished Pharaoh on Very Hard and I'm starting a replay of Zeus, but the problem I'm running into is that even on Olympian this game is just so easy compared to the other three in the series. The downside is that this is my favourite game in the series so I'd really love to find a way to make it more difficult.

Are there any self-imposed restrictions or challenges people use to make this game a bit more difficult?
Replies:
posted 05-02-20 04:54 ET (US)     1 / 7  
The main gripe of the difficulty is extremely easy base Campaigns, which probably skewed the people's perception on Zeus' difficulty - custom player campaigns can show how hard this game can be.

As for personal restriction I always try to keep with:

Don't use bribes against invasions.
posted 05-09-20 00:53 ET (US)     2 / 7  
Don't bribe invasions
Don't use the pause key
Only one fountain must exist for the entire adventure
Only one infirmary must exist for the entire adventure

No roadblocks
No export allowed.. or...
No taxation allowed... whichever you prefer.

No export of products that are valued above 60 drachma.

If you're playing Greek, only one college/drama school/gymnasium for the entire adventure.
If you're playing Atlantean, one inventors and one university for the entire thing.

No appeal buildings allowed ... not even one... This one is particularly hard, and forces you to use other buildings that you may not even know could generate appeal, albeit little. Iirc, that is the common/grand agora and the theater.


-----------------

Also, here's a very nice one....

If you're playing an adventure where you have to build Hephaestus' sanctuary at the start, then -- no maintenance offices allowed... make it so that you have to build the sanctuary as fast as you can before the fires happen and your city becomes a raging inferno.

Once the sanctuary is built, there will never be any more risk of fire in the city... but even with the sanctuary built, you'll still be faced with a problem: some buildings can still collapse.

So with this in mind, you are now forced to use buildings prone to fire but not prone to collapse (e.g. inventors' workshop, agora, timber mill) in order to save money, and that you have to replace the fountain and infirmary every single time it collapses, so that your city doesn't become a wasteland.

[This message has been edited by Mazeppa (edited 06-23-2020 @ 04:42 AM).]

posted 06-20-20 17:08 ET (US)     3 / 7  
Weird. As if building sanctuaries is like watching paint dry, isn't hard enough on the player's mind and concentration. Me, I read a book.
posted 06-23-20 04:20 ET (US)     4 / 7  
Weird. As if building sanctuaries is like watching paint dry, isn't hard enough on the player's mind and concentration. Me, I read a book.
As the saying goes, there's no harm in trying.

I did the Hephaestus thing way back in a custom adventure I made, and it's interesting coz you get to learn not only what buildings can be saved by Hephaestus, but also planning, managing efficiency and stabilizing your economy (e.g. when should I to place this? What should I place at this time? How do I place them? Is it appropriate to place this?? When should I replace that storehouse? etc).

And like you said, building sanctuaries is like watching paint dry... it's a waiting game and I don't enjoy that aspect either, but if you're building Hephaestus' sanctuary in a city with no maintenance offices, it takes away that mindset, coz you'll be constantly glued to the screen, ensuring you'll be saving resources and population by replacing buildings at risk of fire or collapse.

And the reward for this is immeasurable.. you'll no longer have to worry about fire again when Hephaestus' sanctuary is completed.. it will remove so much micromanagement that is required from you and it'll feel like a heavy weight has been lifted from your shoulders.... you'll only have to worry about replacing damaged granaries and fountains now, to maintain your food and stabilize your city.


But to make it possible to build the sanctuary without maintenance offices, it requires:

- marble by trade.. forget about making marble at home, because masonry shops will collapse faster than workers even finish digging the marble, even if the building is placed very close to the quarry.

- with wood, it's possible to produce it at home, as one fully staffed timber mill can produce around 3-8 wood before fire comes in and destroys the building.

- with sculpture, you can produce it at home, but as long as you import bronze.. one fully staffed sculpture studio can produce 1 sculpture before collapsing.


Under the right conditions, you can get townhouses and a good four-digit population with hephaestus' sanctuary and no maintenance offices in the starting episode if you manage to do things right.

[This message has been edited by Mazeppa (edited 06-23-2020 @ 04:52 AM).]

posted 07-04-20 11:23 ET (US)     5 / 7  
@Mazeppa

I'm not sure how your post addresses mine. More that of the post's author, which is what my post was based on.

To the post's author. Try paying your workers the highest amount of wages but don't tax them. Attack allied cities that you depend on for trade, not your colonies, though. Give money as gifts to other cites, so that, in effect, it takes a lot longer to complete a mission let alone an entire adventure.

Ultimately, though, why would you do that, when, as has been mentioned, give it a few years and play it again, this time following the advice in the walkthroughs, in particular, that of 'Peloponnesian War', where I cleverly sited the two sanctuaries on the island. Thereby giving me more space on the mainland.

Ultimately, it's the playing of the games that makes them fun, the same applies to the campaigns in Age of empires II.
posted 07-06-20 09:22 ET (US)     6 / 7  
I'm not sure how your post addresses mine. More that of the post's author, which is what my post was based on.
Ah, apologies then.

When you mentioned sanctuaries, I just assumed you were responding to my idea on sanctuaries.
Glad to see the misunderstanding is cleared.

To the OP: If you really want a challenge, play the top-rated custom adventures in Zeus, and you'll see how tough this game can be.... Especially from authors such as genis, Orichalc, Sevveli, DerangedDuck, hannabad, Thrim, Haspen, psyche and bobT to name a few... and Senseisan's adventures are fantastic with puzzle solving.

[This message has been edited by Mazeppa (edited 07-06-2020 @ 09:25 AM).]

posted 12-08-20 08:21 ET (US)     7 / 7  
To the OP: If you really want a challenge, play the top-rated custom adventures in Zeus, and you'll see how tough this game can be.... Especially from authors such as genis, Orichalc, Sevveli, DerangedDuck, hannabad, Thrim, Haspen, psyche and bobT to name a few... and Senseisan's adventures are fantastic with puzzle solving.
Do you have any recommendations for specific adventures? I'm a little wary since I think Zeus is a game where it's very easy to fall into the trap of "fake difficulty." Like there's a difference between an adventure that says "You have limited space and resources and many enemies both natural and supernatural. Think ahead and plan carefully" and an adventure that says "You have to build a Sanctuary of Zeus. There are only two spots on the map that can fit one. One of those spots will later be ravaged by an earthquake. You have no way of knowing this ahead of time - the choice and the consequences are both arbitrary."

In designing and playtesting an adventure of my own, I've learned it's very easy to make Zeus challenging, but it's much much harder to make Zeus challenging in a way that's fun.

[This message has been edited by TheYellowDart (edited 12-08-2020 @ 08:24 AM).]

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