Money sinks 💸

I started thinking about this when I was having a hard time placing price tags at some of my modded items.

I think money is strange right now. Play the game a few times and you sure will find an easy way to be swimming in gold. At late game, if the player wants, he will buy anything at any price. Having an item with a high gold value does not make it more valuable than other items. High prices can only affect new settlements.

I usually play with self imposed challenges, mainly these two: no damage to the terrain and no hoarding, producing only what is needed.
Talking about money, it means that I do not have excess items to sell, and I have to buy stone and metals all the time.
Even this way I still have excess money, which I usually burn by buying wood instead of cutting trees. Also some novelty items, like mutton to be cooked.

What are your thoughts on money?
@Rabid_Llama or @Brackhar Do you guys have some future work for the game economy?


I agree but that is sort of the way it ends up in most end games. There are semi artificial ways to alter this like paying ever increasing taxes back to a kingdom or guild in order to gain prestige. Or requiring more luxury items that simply cannot be made to keep your people happy. Or even spending money on chance items like loot boxes, quests that may or may not provide something unique, or the ever popular temporary services like soldiers to protect your town.
Any or all of those could be used to soak up some of the money. Alternatively upgrading hearthlings could also cost gold which would add some degree of difficulty early on but again once you get them upgraded it would be about the same.
Not sure if that was your point or if you were more interested in some actual regional economy which would be cool sort of SimCity-esk where you would be forced to trade for resources.


As far as i see, the currency in the game is gold. This can even be mined as ores. But even though they are the same material, they dont have the same functions… What if we could smelt down the goldcoins and use them to make golden inlays or a great golden statue? Why do we need the ore?

And why cant we then smelt the ore into coins?

I have suggested in the past some kind of system where you on top of the materials needed to build a structure, you have to pay some kind of tax, based on the land it requires to be builded…

At the very least we could get some kind of goal to pile up a huge amount of gold needed by the “king or whoever sits behind the curtain” so they can achieve some kind of thing with them… please a newly awaken dragon or payoff an orc army roaming the area…


Wishingwell that gives some kind of buff?

Create some kind of beast or creature that eats gold and needs to be feed?

What if each hearthling have a small coffer that they need their own room to place in? Every bit of gold that comes in, gets divided out to all the townmembers, then there could be individual achivements that they strive for? Some might have gold fever and needs a steady stream of gold to not going insane? Other might hate the idea of currency and get a bad mood if they have to much gold? that would be an interesting balance to hold :slight_smile:

Is it after the new buildingsystem that the economy would get an overhaul?



Though I completely agree with you, I want to say that excess money is a pretty normal thing in any community / city builder. In SimCity, Cities: Skylines, hell even Fallout 4, once you get to a larger size, your income is higher than you’d ever spend.

Using SimCity for a second, once your income is $25,000 per tick or higher, you’re basically in sandbox mode, placing whatever you want. Unless you’re an idiot and don’t keep your city balanced, it just causes your numbers to increase more.

That said, pulling from other city builds, normally when you’re to swimming in gold status, you use that to buy / build monuments or achievement level builds. Skylines has a space elevator, large hadron collider, fusion power plant, etc. Maybe the equivalent could be done?

I’d like this idea, depending on how it’s balanced. At the same time, how 1 'ling will just show up because we have enough gold and food bothers me now. The reason I say how it’s balanced is that this can hurt players in the beginning.

I had a similar idea.

Use them to make the new gold flake so you can have ornate everything.


Maybe it could be partially solved creating a good trading system where we didn’t have everything we need in the map and we had to buy things from the traders.

My biggest problem with money is not that we are swimming on it, but that we don’t have much to do with it.
The map we are living on is made in such a way that we have everything we need on it. We don’t have to buy anything unless we set “home rules” (like not mining).
The traders just become excess-stock sinks and they don’t have much to offer. Even worse the prices they ask for their wares versus what they pay for ours are completely unbalanced, they remind me of mmo vendors, making it imposible to buy materials to craft something and then sell it or to become a market town where you make a profit by buying and selling.
Finally, we can’t neither smelt part of that money to get gold to craft or decorate.
In the end the money just piles up.

I’m not kin on artificial money sinks. I want to be able to use my money for something productive for the town: Establish a profitable trade/craft, get exotic or badly needed mats and food we can’t produce locally, and so on. With traders coming to town frecuently and realizing what is that we buy and what not.

Have Fun, Kyth.


Maybe an interesting gold sink would be construction. Give the choice between having hearthlings build your building (as it currently is) or paying a large sum of gold to have the building insta-build by some hired contractors (currently the ib command from console). This would allow for converting gold to building score. Add in some extra cost, the people insta-building building have to earn something, and you got a great gold sink which saves players time (and frustration if the building will not complete in a normal manner).


Cool that hired contractors do the work, but how will you explain away the visual of the instabuilding process, immersion-wise. If hired contractors do the work, the player still expects that to take time, or that you need actual contracters on the ground. If you can’t explain that away, it becomes spooky action (ib) at a distance (done by absent contractors).

Maybe contractors have a more efficient building process, prefab building pieces, cranes etc.


Show Hearthling contractors building it but it’s faster. The trade off is that your Hearthlings aren’t tied up building and can continue on with other tasks.


Love the idea of mercenaries. I feel like way too much of my population gets tied up in military. Wish I could augment my military with some mercs.

Not really a fan of having to pay ‘taxes’ to build. Aren’t I the highest authority in this region? Whom am I paying and why?

Exotic goods always interest me. I’d throw large sums of money at things that are rare, interesting, help my town etc. etc.


Something I’ve brought up before as a potential function of the game is advance economics. Your settlement starts as a small gathering of shacks housing a small, intimate community. As the town grows and gains recognition and the population grows, the needs of the people should get more complex. By the time you’re a city, your workers, crafters and artisans want to get paid. That would definitely eat into your town’s stock pile of gold while adding an interesting mechanism to keep your hearthlings happy.

I expand on this and options for economics in this thread from… wow a year ago?


Who gives you the town quest?.. :slight_smile:

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@Fornjotr, think that, if you have to pay taxes to the Queen you should be also entitled to ask taxes from your hearthlings, and from the traders… (even the goblins that go through “your” land :smiley: ) In the end a “tax mechanic” would work in your favor and you would end up with even more money and a new “happiness mechanic”.

Have fun, Kyth.

PS: The Queen asking for a sum of money, once in a while, to raise an army to repel an Orc Horde or suffer an increase in orc spawnings is another idea, though. Deserves some thought. Payment should guarantee a “peaceful” spell of time.


We have some lore that there used to be a larger kingdom that fell, as well as we have the donation to the church for Ascendancy. Maybe we can have an option to “support” the empire, and in return get gifts/donations in return.


So their work is free, until your town reaches teir 3, then they want to be payed? I like your idea, but I’m curious where the line is that this “feature” would be activated at.


I’d say tie it to the township quests. So far they only have the first tier of quests established, but I’d assume they plan to have more. Tie this to one of those quests, maybe the second or third in the series. Make there be a trade off. Maybe in order to levy taxes, you need to start issuing salaries. And I guess the player could have the choice of setting pay to 0, but that would impact happiness accordingly.

I think the best system would be some sort of taxation, with the tax value based on net worth per Ling (tax increases with net worth and decreases with number of Lings). The question is what to do if the player fails to pay. Negative happiness modifier doesn’t seem enough.

The Anno series makes the population have higher expectations when it gets wealthier. Luxury goods may be an exotic addition for a pioneer, but for well-established crafter in a prosperous town food without some exotic spices may be a disappointment.


I think late-game uses for gold are a fantastic idea, and something the game sorely needs. I’d prefer it to be something positive the player can spend on rather than an obligation like taxes, though.

Broadly, traders need a lot of expansion and re-balancing, so I hope that they can provide a big part of the money sink that the endgame needs!

I’ve been doing a lot of work on campaigns and encounters recently, and I’ve probably been neglecting the “just pay them off” option…


I feel the same way… paying ‘taxes’ is just a blatant money sink with zero engagement, reward or fun.


I think having some items that are only sold by traders would be okay to spend money.

Maybe some special containers or decoration items that can’t be crafted. Different colored carpets and curtains for example or a special sort of fence for RC (never have that much wood and stone is not really my thing).

Or a trader with exotic stuff from enemies. I’d love to be able to buy some of the goblin barricades or some graveyard stuff from the undead church.

Maybe a trader from that bunny cult? Some of my Hearthlings would love that.


I’d also like to know what happens at tier three. If it means everyone takes you super seriously, and you get giant, army-sized kobold raids, then paying contributions to an alliance association in return for on the ground support might be a good investment. Basically you can play it as, “you are a big town, suddenly noticed by the outside world far and wide, and now you must build your connections.” Then using money for that could be a good thing.


In exchange for paying those “contributions” to alliances or “taxes” to the Queen you could get spawns on your map of friendly squads, royal troops or mercs. They would patrol the land just like any other spawn and attack every enemy they see… As long as you keep paying those patrols would keep spawning. Just an idea.

Have fun, Kyth.