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Old Sep 18, 2010, 12:16 AM   #1
Pragmatic
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Great Scientist: Academy vs Discover Tech

According to the game manual, a great scientist can "Discover Tech" on any tech for which you have the prerequisites--it doesn't have to be the one you're currently researching, you'll be provided a list. (Max by era: 70 in Ancient, 150 in Classical, 440 in Medieval, 1425 in Renaissance, 2200 in Industrial, 3350 in Modern, and 4000 in Future)

Or they can construct an Academy, which provides +5 science points. Modified by buildings (University/Wat, Medieval, +50% science; Observatory, Renaissance, +50% science; Public School, Renaissance, +50% science; Research Lab, Modern, +100% science), for a total of +17.5 science per turn by the Modern Age. (And be sure to build it near a city that has lots of jungles and a mountain...)

I searched and searched, and that seems to be the only things that influence the decision. The more I look at it, I don't see what is the point of a mid- to late-game Academy. Early on, at least, you have the remaining number of turns to recoup the opportunity cost (max of 14 turns in Ancient, or 30 turns in Classical, 44 turns in Medieval). But in the later ages? There's a max of 114 turns in Renaissance (probably dropping if it rolls over into Modern), 176 turns in Industrial (again, dropping...), 191 turns in Modern, and 229 turns in Future.

As fun as it would be to pop a bunch of Academies down, there's not enough reason to past Medieval. At that point, the focus would be in assigning specialists (sadly, their effects are not listed in the manual... I'm starting to think that the ONLY thing specialists provide is "great person points"...) to science buildings to generate more Great Scientists.

***********************

Seems there's only one policy that affects science on a geometric (as opposed to arithmetic) basis: Secularism [Rationalism] provides a 15% bonus to Science , available in the Renaissance era, but that's STILL putting everything Renaissance and beyond into the "up to 100 or more turns" category.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 06:23 AM   #2
DalekDavros
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The academy fares even worse when you realize that it's preventing you from putting a different improvement on the tile. Trading post under secularism = 2 gold, 2 science. Even if you don't care about the gold at all, the academy is only really providing an extra +3 science over the next best use of the tile.

If you're going for a cultural victory (and so Piety is locking you out of Rationalism), it might be useful to get the Academy since science from other sources will be a bit scarcer.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 06:42 AM   #3
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Yeah, for all we know so far, the academy seems to be underpowered. Maybe they balance it later with increasing output of the special buildings per aera. For example +2 science per aera or something like that.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DalekDavros View Post
The academy fares even worse when you realize that it's preventing you from putting a different improvement on the tile. Trading post under secularism = 2 gold, 2 science. Even if you don't care about the gold at all, the academy is only really providing an extra +3 science over the next best use of the tile.

If you're going for a cultural victory (and so Piety is locking you out of Rationalism), it might be useful to get the Academy since science from other sources will be a bit scarcer.
The strategy guide explains that rationalism is powerful but limited. Saying it "peters out" when you hit the later part of the game. That it becomes harder to have a strong industrial base or a raging economy they're left undefended against their rivals.

It could be talking about the fact that every city becomes a little more in need of a library/university/public school/ect. Which adds up in maintenance.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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I agree, beakering (it's not a bulb anymore) seems like it's a lot more powerful than creating an academy in anything after the medieval era. However, the same was true for teching vs settling the great person in Civ4, although you didn't get a full tech and settling didn't make you lose an improvement, which meant it was a little less extreme.

I'm not at all sure about the other GP improvements, either. They all sound pretty lame, except maybe for the manufactory (and that doesn't sound too great, either). Citadel might be useful at choke points but I guess that your opponent will be able to find a way around it in most cases.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:04 AM   #6
Polobo
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Likely they limit the maximum beakers like they did with the Great Engineer so which later-game it is better to "Beaker" it is not a super-powerful ability.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:25 AM   #7
Alsark
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Not to mention if you accidentally put the academy over a resource then you're screwed (unless it claims resources - I dunno, I haven't read the manual).
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, the manual states that: "If constructed atop a resource, the Special Improvement will not provide access to that resource." (from p.100)
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Yeah, I agree, it seems like the instant tech option is much better than the academy. Do tech costs scale with difficulty? If they do, that'll make the instant tech even better. If not, it looks like the beaker cost in Civ5 is a lot lower than civ 4 (although I guess tile yields are also lower so it's about the same).
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:44 AM   #10
bhavv
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The special improvements are pretty pointless then. A trading post gives 2 gold, and 2 science. Thats more than an Academies 3 science, and equal to a custom houses 4 gold, plus if a resource pops up later on, you only lose a few worker turns changing from a trading post to another improvement.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jaldaen View Post
Unfortunately, the manual states that: "If constructed atop a resource, the Special Improvement will not provide access to that resource." (from p.100)
Thanks for that info.

Yeah, I'm officially never building an academy (at least, not sans-patch).
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jaldaen View Post
Unfortunately, the manual states that: "If constructed atop a resource, the Special Improvement will not provide access to that resource." (from p.100)
This looks like a stupid mistake on the designer's part that won't survive the first three patches.
Seriously, what am I supposed to do when I discover a large source of uranium or aluminium under my academy ?
For me the only specialist improvement that looks like it will be worth building is the citadel.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:52 AM   #13
jaldaen
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Yeah, I wonder why the Special Improvements were moved out of the cities... and whether they could be modded back in. It seems like there is a lot of unnecessary risk in building them and not enough reward. Still... the game isn't out and this kind of stuff could be patched so I'll wait and see how it actually plays in the game.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:53 AM   #14
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Yes these should definately be buildable inside the city, not on terains :x

And Academy should be +4 research, not +3.

That way you can only build one per city, and it doesnt ruin your terrain improvements or risk being built over a resource.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 09:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaldaen View Post
Yeah, I wonder why the Special Improvements were moved out of the cities... and whether they could be modded back in. It seems like there is a lot of unnecessary risk in building them and not enough reward. Still... the game isn't out and this kind of stuff could be patched so I'll wait and see how it actually plays in the game.
This would be a relatively easy modification. We'll be provided with the art. All we'll need to do is modify the Great Scientist for his ability to trigger on city tiles rather than improvements and create a building that matches the statistics of the improvement for the scientist to create.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 10:00 AM   #16
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I think academy is very useful for early scientists, since with city upgrades it could lead to several techs even if you discover a resource here later. There's a huge gap between Iron/Horses and Coal where you don't discover new resources.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 11:07 AM   #17
bhavv
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Well, I were wrong.

Acaemy is +5 science, not +3.

That sems good then
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 11:08 AM   #18
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Well the Great Person buildings can be built on terrain that can normally not have anything. In that case they are worth it.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 11:18 AM   #19
Alsark
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Well the Great Person buildings can be built on terrain that can normally not have anything. In that case they are worth it.
From the sounds of it, mines can be built on anything, and farms can be built on deserts (maybe they mean flood plains). If this is true, there should be no "unworkable" tiles, aside from mountains (which great people couldn't access anyway).
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 11:51 AM   #20
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Eh, it'll be a risk. You can always put an improvement on a tile and later discover a resource on that tile. Just a bit riskier with a great person building. I don't think having to take the risk is that terrible - it's a strategic choice. Building them on tiles adds some flavor and the potential for multiples and forces choices and risk. If a city has 36 tiles and you have several cities and place one or two academies, the odds would seem to be in your favor.

Using a GS for a tech is powerful but it's a one time thing. There are a LOT of buildings that amplify science so a +5 with all the multipliers could be pretty significant and help boost you thru several techs. Even if you never make it "pay off" the thousands of a single late tech, it could still be very helpful, the earlier the better.

Earlier on when techs are only costing 100's it'll be a tougher choice. Use now for a couple hundred, save for later years when techs are costly, or get 5 per turn modified for a long time (probably have a library by the time you could build an academy so it'll be 6+ if they keep fractions).

It seems like an interesting mechanic bound by strategic choice and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
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