MinMax’s formula is somewhat outdated and no longer as accurate as it once was in terms of % error in predicting costs. As it stands, things are slightly cheaper in-game than his model. You can tell by using his spreadsheet and checking with your in-game numbers at whatever encounter in Spire or tourney. That being said, I am sure the devs tweaked the numbers, but the key variables are likely still in play, as it makes sense that they are indicators of progression in game. For my small city, I can still observe the effects of expansions and techs quite easily. And lastly, wonder levels had always been the smallest influencing factor out of all the variables before. Personally, as long as I don’t build every single wonder, then it’s good enough cost saving for me. The ones I do have, I don’t really worry about maxing them out (plus, I heard

@Sprite1313 is trying to catch me). Now with all that disclaimer stated, you used the somewhat subjective word “difficulty” in your title question, which will prob get confusing and muddle the picture a bit.

There are actually several MinMax formulas and they describe different things. The Spire and Tourney progression formulas are separate from the CAL formula, but are derived from CAL. The CAL number describes your progression in the city based on techs we’ve unlocked, plots, wonders and such.

__CAL does do not explain difficulty__. It’s just a number to describe how the game sees how “far” you have come along. The progression formulas describe costs, both to cater and fight. One can say this somewhat also describes “difficulty” as you can see the ratio of your troop stack used (yes, I used stack again,

@samidodamage …to avoid confusion with squad size). However, the progression formula shows this ratio is actually

**fixed** for

__everyone__, regardless of what combo of whatever they have unlocked or built in their city. In other words, regardless if you build 700 wonder level upgrades or 7, it will result in the same ratio at a particular encounter in Spire or tourney. If the ratio is 2:3, for example, a player might see that as a battle of 200vs 300 troops or 18000 vs 270000 troops, depending on how they have built the city. Therefore, on paper, it is not necessarily more or less “difficult” if everyone has the same ratio. Howeverrrr, you will need to replace more dead troops by next week if your numbers resembles the latter and *that* might be more “difficult”. The formula also does not account for enemy troop combinations, which also affects difficulty.

“Difficulty” is tricky word, but it is mostly dependent on how far up the Spire or deep into tourneys a player chooses to go as the ratio widens for everyone until it hurts a lot since it is harder to fight outnumbered. Selling wonders will affect your costs for sure, but “difficulty” is somewhat subjective.

This post is brought to you by “quotation fingers”.