|Update: Homeland Biome Bands|
October 29, 2020
I'm still on the road this week, evaluating potential places to move to as part of the Great California Exodus, but I managed to implement some substantial changes.
Homelands determine where you and your other family members can have babies, and they exist to ensure that people remain at least somewhat geographically separate. Separate towns are more interesting than one big town for a variety of reasons (trade, transportation, etc.) Historically, your family homeland was determined by wherever your family settled down and built a functional well.
Specialty biomes determine what your family is good at, and what they have to offer other families. Your family has a corner on the market in whatever biome you specialize in. Historically, specialty biomes of all kinds were scattered at random across the whole map.
But specialty biomes and homelands were not tied together in any way. In fact, it was possible for your family to settle, and make their homeland, in an area that was far away from your specialty biome. Thus, it was possible that another family, when seeking you out for help with your specialty, might need to lead your back closer to their homeland to find an instance of your biome. When this happens, it doesn't feel very much like trade. Furthermore, if you settle near a specialty biome other than your own, that nearby area is effectively dead, unusable space for you and your village. You can't build there, at least not without the help of distant specialists.
So why don't people generally live in and around their specialty biome? That would make more sense, and solve both of these problems.
In this update, your family's homeland is no longer defined by where you build a well, but instead connected to a new horizontal band on the map that contains your specialty biome. In fact, that specialty biome only occurs in your band, and nowhere else on the map. Other non-specialty biomes occur everywhere, exactly as they did before, but the snow biome occurs only in the north-most horizontal band, and the jungle and desert occur only in the two south-most bands. In between these bands, there's a band with no specialty biomes at all (the centers of the gray rocky areas have nothing but more gray rocky areas), and this serves as the homeland band for the language specialists. They make up for not having a resource specialty by having a bit more iron veins in their homeland.
If your're looking for snow, you can walk north. If you're looking for jungle or desert, you can walk south. Historically, looking for a particular specialty biome involved quite a lot of trial and error. And now, when seeking out a biome expert, you will find plenty of the desired biome around them where you find that expert. This also gives the map a more cohesive, regional feel.
Thanks to Twisted for proposing this change.
In addition, several bugs and issues with follower gates have been fixed, and property fences now decay more slowly.