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(4-11b) Proposal: Change to Free Thought's "+2 luxuries on Admiral use" ability

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Sep 13, 2015
Spoiler Free Thought policy (Rationalism) :
+25% Yields for :c5greatperson: Great scientists, and +2 copies of unique Luxuries for :c5greatperson: Great admirals, when you expend them for their Instant Yield abilities. -5 :c5unhappy: Unhappiness from Religious Unrest in all cities.

Spoiler Regimental System policy (Imperialism) :
Earn :c5greatperson: Great Generals and :c5greatperson: Great Admirals 33% more quickly. The Great General and Great Admiral :c5strength: Combat Bonus aura is increased by 10%, and its radius by 1 Tile.

  • Free Thought's Great Admiral expenditure aspect moved to Regimental System.
  • Free Thought gains "+2 Visibility Range on civilian units" (great people included).


Rationalism's ability to earn more luxuries from Great Admirals is often so situational for this tree's playstyle that it may as well not exist there. Nothing in Rationalism pushes you towards building a navy, nor it allows you to purchase admirals with faith. This ability makes a lot more sense as part of Imperialism instead, and is only in Rationalism to provide it with an effect that isn't just another flavor of "more science".

As a replacement, this proposal adds a bonus to civilian units that is mainly thematic with its policy (Free Thought), much like the admiral effect is in practice. This doubles the visibility range of those units (from 2 to 4) and may find good uses for certain type of units, such diplo and missionaries; nonetheless, the intent is to give a relatively unique and flavorful effect without major changes to the tree's balance.
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I think the visibility boost is “fine” but also think it’s 100% unneeded. This nerf would not change my use of rationalism one bit.

I do think this bonus makes much more sense for imperialism who can actually faith buy great admirals
I totally agree that the admiral bonus isn’t suitable on rationalism.

The visibility boost seems like a placeholder. The admiral boost was weak and rationalism could barely use it, but this doesn’t seem like it does much good either. Rationalism has a deeper problem of not having any boosts or abilities other than raw science and needs reduction. It gets the job done, but it’s not compelling or interesting in any way.
I will also also note that the -5 unhappy to religious unrest is surprisingly good in any situation where there are nearby founders, I find it’s a fairly significant unhappy source in the late game
Doesn't the visibility buff not create insane worker recons? They can even stack with military units, be used as bait and also make roads.
Great generals and admirals would already to a good job at that kind of recon, since they're intended to get this effect as well. But yes, likely. Same for a diplo unit inside the borders of a nearby civ that isn't giving open borders to your enemy.

Workers don't have a good movement speed, so they are a bit limited as a scouting option. Missionaries and late game diplo units, on the other hand, are really mobile and would do this kind of recon really well.
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Note that currently extra copies of luxuries that Admirals grant never sell for good money (unless there's an unhappy civ), as they're never requested for WLTKD or CS quests.
Proposal sponsored by Legen.
I've never had great admiral's voyage of discovery do anything for me. I'm in deep unhappiness, I buy a great admiral for finishing the imperialism tree, and I am still severely unhappy, and my extra resource can't be traded because I'm sanctioned.

I sponsor a complete overhaul of the great admiral, since warring causes unhappiness, the new great admiral ability should somehow reduce unhappiness, since the free luxury is just simply not working.
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