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On the Federation HUD, beneath the lines for acres and gold is a third line for Population. This is a third score that tracks the number of citizens in the realm.
Citizens are not subjects. Subjects are players. Citizens are a simple number score like gold and acres, and that score is affected by various in-game events. Citizen handling pays off in improved gold income.
As a realm grows (or shrinks), its theoretical capacity changes and so does the citizen score. Higher personal rank, higher ranks for a player's subjects and downline, and larger downlines all increase capacity.
Capacity is not a limit on growth, it is simply a theoretical baseline based on realm size.
Capacity Increases for ranks (Your rank and the ranks of everyone under you)
Note: If at any time you have no subjects, then your Maximum Citizen count is reduced to 1, regardless of rank; the same holds true for any of your direct subjects, if at any time they no longer have any subjects then their maximum citizen count is also reduced to 1.
Periodically, averaging perhaps once every three years or so, disaster strikes. There are three types of disasters: famines, diseases, and crime waves. Each results in a small population loss and presents choices. It seems that disasters only appear for those in the rank of Marquis and above.
Four options are presented for each disaster. The default is to do nothing, which costs no gold but will lose more citizens. There are low-cost and higher-cost options, with the low-cost option typically losing just a few more citizens and the high-cost option gaining a significant number as reputation improves. Bonuses and penalties tend to scale according to rank and/or population.
The fourth option is quite new to the game. It is the chance to research the causes of the disaster, at a cost about double that of the high-cost option above. This will not gain citizens; a small loss is typically incurred on a par with the low-cost option.
But after 20 attempts at research for the same disaster, that disaster is permanently prevented and a significant bonus is received:
- Famine: +3 gold/acre forever.
- Congratulations! after extensive research, you've become and expert in the production of food, and you are now immune to famine. in addition you've gained 3g/acre efficiency on your own land, totaling ..g/acre.
- Disease: The abbot takes an interest in your work. His price is cut by about half, and he promises that your donation will benefit your subjects.
- Congratulations! after extensive research, you've become an expert in preventing disease. You expect no more outbreaks. In addition, the abbot of the local monastery will also be seeking your new found expertise.
- Crime Wave: You and your direct subjects are immune from sabotage. NOTE: The one who did the research has to be online for this to protect the direct subjects from sabotage.
- Congratulations after extensive research you have become an expert in crime prevention , crime waves will no longer affect you in addition you and your direct subjects are immune from sabotage.
- ALL: In all cases additional citizens periodically come as word of the accomplishment spreads. This is about equal to half the citizens normally received for picking the expensive non-research option on a disaster, but at no cost in gold.
Note: A player can only be expert on one disaster. If one disaster is being researched, switching to another will strip away all progress made on the first disaster -- even if it was otherwise complete!
That means, pick one and only one to ever research.
In the case of accidentally researching another disaster after you already fully researched one, thus losing the bonus, you need to research your old disaster only once (for every research spent in another disaster? I don't want to check on this possibility. I went accidentally trained disease only once while I was maxed on famine) to get it back to maximum. An observation on the side: Regaining the maximum research bonus does *not* give you an influx of bonus citizens like you got the first time you reached maximum research.
Additionally if you do choose to change your research from one completed research line to a different one, you will have to research twice as much. First you will be un-researching your current line of research and once you have done that 20 times, you will begin doing normal research on your new research. NOTE: The Research Acumen potion appears only to work when going up the research ladder. I gained two while trying to change from Famine to Disease and still had to un-research Famine 20 times and on my 21st research it finally used both potions. However I did immediately upon completion get a message the Abbot was seen headed this way but had not seen him yet that day so it is possibly a fluke, more research is needed.
When an ambassador is sent to one of your allies, one of the options presented is to give citizens. The amount will be specified by your HUD if this option is chosen. Some of the citizens (60 %!) will get angry and go away; this effect is reduced to 25 % if you have an embassy to that ally.
Winning a jousting title pays a prize in both gold and citizens.
Other one-off events can affect the citizen score, such as certain path to royalty options.
Citizen Impact on Income
The citizen score affects both monthly homage payments and census payments every other year.
Monthly Homage Increase
Citizen count dramatically affects homage income, the monthly gold received from subjects. If the citizen score stays at 100% of capacity (this can be checked on the blue Accounting tab), the player gets 100% of the normal homage. If population slips below 100%, only that percentage of homage is received. And if it rises above 100%, up to a maximum of 150%, homage is increased. (The people paying the homage still pay the same amount in all cases; this increase or decrease only affects what the liege receives.) So good citizen management means more gold every month.
Biennial Census Payments
Citizens also pay off in January of each even-numbered year during the census. Federation HUD players, in addition to gold for every direct subject, also receive one bonus gold for every (Rank) citizens for their population. A king's bonus is thus 1/10 of his population, a princess gets 1/9, a duke 1/8 and so on. And for census purposes, citizens are not capped at 150% of capacity (as they are for homage), but count all the way up to 5000% of capacity! This can make census bonuses quite large indeed.