I don't see how that follows.
Suppose that we extend the idea of noble points and call them "skill
points" instead. Charge 1 point to create a noble, 10 points to learn
a skill category that the faction doesn't already know, 3 points to
learn a skill category that a faction does know, and 1 skill point to
learn any subskill. Start factions with (say) 20 skill points, and
give a faction 1 new skill point a turn.
Under this kind of scheme you could become a sailing master and start
building ships just as quickly as in Oly II, but you wouldn't *also*
be able to become a master builder, a master weaponsmith, miner,
etc. as well.
Don't let people create their own nobles. Give each faction an
initial noble with 2 general skills. From then on, create nobles
randomly in the cities, each with 1 or 2 general skill categories
depending upon the city. Factions can win over these unattached
nobles in various ways -- with money, persuasion, force, etc. -- much
like the current game. These noble can learn new subskills in his
general skill categories as desired, but cannot learn new skills.
Some skills might be quite rare -- I would expect conflict to control
the city where the College of Wizardry produces the occasional rare
and powerful noble with Magic.
At any rate, you get the idea. There are ways to prevent factions
from doing everything at once that won't necessarily slow the pace of
>This can be quite frustrating.
A certain element of frustration is a *good* thing. I know that right
after I get an Oly turn I'm frustrated that I can't immediately submit
my next turn. I've felt the same way playing the old Empire. But
having played Blitz Empire, I realized that simply speeding things up
so that I'm never frustrated does not make for a better game.
>Perhaps if such things as exploration and study were *automatic*
>things that you do while doing other things.
I'd like a slightly different solution to this problem. If we go back
to my idea of extended noble points, you get a situation where you
could create drone nobles without any skills. These nobles can go out
and do things like exploration, etc., that any noble can do. Somewhat
like controlled units work in the current game. (I think you'd want
to make "commanding men in battle" be a Combat subskill in this case,
so that people can easily create a large number of powerful stacks.)
-- Scott T.