I played a couple games of this alpha, and both times I got approached by goblins by day 2. The first time I immediately declined the shakedown, and got hit by 3 raiders almost immediately. I lost a lot of people, even though I had two footmen and rallied. The second game though, I just didn’t respond to the shakedown. I just let it sit and teched up to Blacksmith, got three footmen, iron armor for two of them, pikes and a steel short sword. Then I declined, but it didn’t matter at that point. A worker somehow wandered into their camp and got killed, but then I sent my footmen over and they killed the camp.
So my suggestions are these
A. The marauders shouldn’t be the first goblins you ever see. Just doesn’t seem right. The difficulty should scale up, starting with thieves, then progressing to footmen waves, and then finally marauders.
B. I don’t feel like they should raid you on day 2 if you decline the goblins. The goblins themselves maybe shouldn’t even spawn on day 2. Just seems off timing wise, even dwarf fortress generally gives you awhile to actually prepare. I suppose technically I could just make a bunch of wooden swords and shields and promote and demote people trying to time the immediate early waves but that seems pretty hardcore for base difficulty.
C. That said, the goblins should definitely deadline faster from the shakedown. My second play I didn’t respond for many days, and right now that’s the best way to handle the goblins. Why bother declining until you are ready? Perhaps they should even hit you harder if it times out, although there should probably be a timer bar if that’s the case. Heck I didn’t really need to decline at all, I could just get to the point of wiping out the camp completely strength wise and go do that without ever responding to the chieftain. As long as they aren’t hitting players with a bunch of marauders on day 2 I think having a reasonable deadline to the shakedown would be much better. Particularly if it even has a UI element of a timer bar.
D… The bronze mace used to be better than the iron mace, but now the iron mace is the strongest weapon you can make. This seems silly, even the steel longsword which is the most difficult to get access to is actually weaker. In fact, taking into consideration material cost and level of the blacksmith the iron mace is now ridiculously good. Perhaps goblin marauders should have goblin specific weapons instead, so the iron mace can be nerfed while preserving the current challenge level of the marauders.