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  1. Having just completed all three vassal quests on Normal difficulty, I can summarize a very basic and effective strategy which will have you breaking even or earning a surplus in all resources even after building the portal. I'm surprised this hasn't been clearly discussed before, at least not that I could find. If you do a completionist playthrough (by clearing every bandit/monster encounter from the world map and clearing every dungeon), make the Ukat your vassal as required (tested by siding with the Brokk, though I'm fairly certain siding with the Borgen would provide the same result) which silently awards +1 to wood and +1 to iron regular income in the Ukat ledger line, and complete the Ukatish prisoners quest then triggered at Fort Haven (to rescue Ukat prisoners from the Palace of Atonement) which silently awards another +1 to iron regular income in the Ukat ledger line, you will then be able to build all buildings/improvements in all 7 forts, including all fort upgrades and guard towers and the home portal, with the sole exception of 4 barracks (I recommend placing your 3 allowed barracks in one fort in each of the three vassal regions). You will at that point - even after building the home portal - break even on wood, have a +1 income surplus of iron, and have a +2 income surplus each of stone and quicksilver. Unfortunately, you will have an unavoidable 20% theft chance in the Vol after making the Vol your vassal as required (tested by siding with the Owen, though I'm fairly certain siding with the Mascha would provide the same result) and with the "Diplomatic Visions" Nisse dream perk active, which I believe becomes 25% after the Calamity quest starts, but even that - which could be lowered to 15%-20% by building the second barracks in the Vol and still breaking even on iron income - will only be a minor inconvenience. Even if you somehow ran out of a resource due to theft (unlikely, though with all the above completed and 20% theft in the Vol, each turn when theft does occur would result in losses of -4 wood and -7 stone instead of maintenance/gain of 0 wood and +2 stone respectively), you would have just over 250 gold regular income to automatically cover any temporary resource shortage. After all my theorycrafting before starting this playthrough and reading through the many discussions on the forums, this was surprisingly easy to pull off, and even on higher difficulties, the above will hold true (with the possible exception of slightly higher theft rates). I also didn't have any problems in the early or mid-game, as long as I kept an occasional eye on iron and to a lesser extent wood, and didn't build all the apothecaries until mostly completing Ahriel. So, not sure what all the fuss was about! SHORT VERSION 1) Clear all bandit/monster encounters on the world map and all dungeons 2) Get "Diplomatic Visions" Nisse dream perk 3) Make Ukat your vassal (tested with Brokk alliance) (gives +1 wood and +1 iron in Ukat region) 4) Complete "Ukatish Prisoners" quest triggered by Miranda at Fort Haven by helping prisoners escape (gives +1 iron in Ukat region) 5) Make Vol and Ahriel your vassals (tested with Owen and Trench Town alliances) 6) Build all buildings/improvements in all seven forts including all fort upgrades, guard towers, and the portal, EXCEPT 4 of the 7 possible barracks, placing 1 barracks each in one of the forts in each vassal region 7) Other than a 20% theft chance in the Vol which will affect your wood and stone stockpiles during unlucky turns, you'll have per-turn maintenance/income of 0 wood, +2 stone, +1 iron, and +2 quicksilver (note the theft chances may be slightly higher on difficulties above Normal)
  2. Now that I'm much nearer the endgame (I just completed all three vassal quests - yeah, I've been playing a LOT the past couple days), it turns out I only saw this message while still clearing the Haven colony region early in the game and for the first couple hours in the first vassal region. I have a very completionist playstyle such that I first clear every encounter on the world map in each region, then clear each interior zone (town/dungeon) one by one; I assume this is what frequently triggered these messages in the first few hours, as I hadn't yet had much more than one fort built and a couple dungeons cleared for some time. However, I never again saw that message after the initial few hours - probably around building the second fort - despite completing zones at the same pace as before, so it seems my fears of constantly feeling pressured to quickly rush through dungeons at a regular pace just to avoid crippling resource shortages later in the game were unfounded. Apparently, once you've reached a "critical mass" of completed areas, you pass a threshold and no longer need to worry about the "uninspired" message again. At least, those were my practical findings as well. Thanks once more for the additional input!
  3. As I'm getting further into the game (I'm halfway through my first vassal state exploration in the Ukat), I'd really like to get a better sense of what exactly triggers this message and the resulting "freezing" of your resources and funds. One guess would be that if you don't "clear" a new dungeon after a period of X days, you get the message. However, this trigger would be grossly imbalanced, as it would disproportionately punish a player who quickly clears a series of dungeons in a few short days and then takes a rest of X days and finds his/her assets "frozen", vs. a player who exploits the system by only clearing each dungeon just often enough to maintain a steady stream of uninterrupted income. I hope this isn't how this works, as it would result in vastly smaller amounts of total resources available to players during the course of the game when they move through the game more decisively - the precise opposite of what should be intended by the mechanic in the first place - but I don't know if anyone has any evidence to support either this or another mechanic. I have a feeling nobody really has any idea, but thought I'd make one more attempt at seeing if this can finally be clarified. Thanks again!
  4. Right, I thought there was a hard cap - it's on skill points, as you say. I appreciate all the feedback and clarifications.
  5. Oh, so there isn't a hard level cap? Not sure where I read there was. Good to know!
  6. Thanks for the advice, osnola. I thought the level cap (another thing I dislike, ha) is 20, though?
  7. Well... darn. Thanks for the further info, all, though it's not what I wanted to hear.
  8. Thanks for the quick reply, Randomizer! It's odd that more than one Steam poster in that topic seemed to specifically describe this alleged "scaling", but I wasn't ready to trust some random claims over there. Time to finally get into the new trilogy!
  9. I'm finally about to start my playthrough, but just happened upon a Steam discussion topic (https://steamcommunity.com/app/1058130/discussions/0/2564160288803102582/?ctp=3#c1628538644183441771) indicating that most enemy encounters are scaled to be just under or over your current level. I absolutely despise level scaling in single-player RPGs in all its forms, though I don't want to rehash a pointless argument about it here - I'd just appreciate confirmation/clarification from anyone experienced with the game as to whether this is in fact the case. Thanks!
  10. Jeff did kindly reply to an email I sent asking him for more info on this (as well as transmitting other issues) - I had to chuckle at his response, which I didn't find surprising. The man is endlessly patient with his fans! "The message is pretty unambiguous and even the guy on the YouTube video says the right answer. If you just lay in bed for the week, the game won't hand you stuff. Finish missions to make your colony strong. I'm not going to dig up the actual algebra here. Just, you know, leave your quarters and play the game!"
  11. Great info! I'm still waiting for what's likely to be the final patch (1.0.4) before I pull QW from my backlog of games for my first playthrough, but is this information accurately shown in the skill tree tooltips - i.e. does the "+1" change to "+2" at level 6 in that display? If not, would you please ask Jeff to fix the display? (I've already emailed him my third set of suggestions in as many months based on my observations of forum discussions and playthrough videos, and though he's always patient and takes them on board, he's probably getting a little tired of seeing me pop up in his inbox by now!)
  12. OK, that would make sense. Still not sure what exactly constitutes "completing a mission" and how often such needs to be done to prevent this outcome, but Jeff does like to keep his game mechanics vague!
  13. Interesting strategy! I get the feeling the only person who could shed more light on this would be Jeff, but I appreciate the input.
  14. Ah, OK - thanks for the info. It seems that what actually causes this message is still unclear (how are "missions" defined, how many must be completed, in which timeframe(s) must they be completed), though from what you said, it may somehow be related to the overuse of "teleporting"/fast travel (?). But on my last specific question (does this affect lands outside the Haven lands), you indicated it does affect non-Haven land forts in your experience. Can you please share a screenshot of what the message says in that case (I assume the "your colony" language is replaced by "vassal" or similar language)?
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