A Deep Dive into Authority

CrazyG

Deity
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
6,057
Location
Beijing
One every third tile, with the count starting adjacent to your city borders.

There is no real necessity for barbarian camps to destroy roads (although it does need to destroy actual improvements). There's nothing stopping them from pillaging the road afterwards, of course.
I think they shouldn't appear on roads for practical reasons (though it would make sense historically). In a situation where your cities aren't that close because of a desert or something its going to be very frustrating.

The pillage if I send a route to a neighbor or city-state we'll just have to live with.
 

KlHannibal2

Warlord
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
229
As a frequent war monger, I am mostly happy with authority. I actually like that it's not an automatic choice to take it for a domination game or if you have a military civ. You have to assess the situation and choose between progress or authority first. A very impactful and interesting choice IMO. You can always go authority second if the situation calls for it.

The only thing I would change is transferring the culture and happiness from garrisons to a building (e.g. barracks) and get rid of the free units. These units come later than the garrison bonus. So when you unlock your garrison bonus, you have to send your actual army home.

They usually don't get upraded as they would then use unit cap. So you have pikemen in modern age to keep your pop happy.
 

Voremonger

Warlord
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
192
Location
Germany
I actually like that it's not an automatic choice to take it for a domination game or if you have a military civ. You have to assess the situation and choose between progress or authority first. A very impactful and interesting choice IMO.
I generally agree with this sentiment but I think in the current state of the game it doesn't quite work out. As I see it there are two problems:
  1. Expansion is primarily limited by happiness and Progress is objectively better for happiness. Authority gets +1 happiness, +6 production, +2 culture per city. Progress gets +1+population/15 happiness, +3 food, +3 production, +3 gold, and +3 science per city in addition to a 10% needs reduction. There is a passed congress proposal for smoothing out the growth penalty from unhappiness but I don't think it has been implemented yet.
  2. Authority is only better than Progress if you end up with a sufficient number of extra cities to compensate for the fact that each individual city is worse. I only have my gut feeling for this but excluding very crowded maps I think this rarely happens.
As I said in a previous post, I don't particularly care if policy trees are balanced. I mostly pick Authority simply because I find playing optimally under those constraints more fun than playing optimally with Progress.

Anyways, as I've written this post I had an idea for Authority: reduce the happiness thresholds at which military penalties kick in via some Authority policy. So specifically, reduce the happiness percentage at which your units get debuffs and become more expensive to produce. Happiness is based on yields and if Progress didn't give better yields than Authority there would be no point in picking Progress at all. So instead of giving Authority more yields/happiness it may be better to just change the happiness target for Authority players. That way they could expand further than Progress players (via warmongering) and there would be a greater incentive to build units compared to buildings. I also think sending unhappy people to war would fit thematically.
 

KlHannibal2

Warlord
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
229
Authority can get more yields than progress by killing many units, taking cities and tributing. I don't think a buff is needed.
Conquering is the easiest way of winning anyways IMO.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,567
Conquering is the easiest way of winning anyways IMO.
Probably the biggest debate point is whether authority is actually better for wide conquest than progress.

Authority boosts implicit combat boosts, while progress gives you a better engine for troops, and more science for better quality.

Some have argued that progress is actually a better conquering policy all said and done.
 

KlHannibal2

Warlord
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
229
Probably the biggest debate point is whether authority is actually better for wide conquest than progress.

Authority boosts implicit combat boosts, while progress gives you a better engine for troops, and more science for better quality.

Some have argued that progress is actually a better conquering policy all said and done.
IMO, the question is not what is better for conquest, but what is the better first pick for conquest. If I go progress first for conquest, I will still take at least some policies from authority second.

Authority yields depend on availability of barbs, city states and an early target for conquest.
Accordingly, both trees can be valid first choices for conquest.

If you do an early war, only found 3 cities and go for god of all creation, you can compensate for lack of science.

I once tried progress into fealty for conquest and had bad results with that.

It can be better or worse depending on the situation.

Authority has some combat buffs in addition to yields that need to be taken into account.
 
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KlHannibal2

Warlord
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
229
One thing I would like to get changed is that you can declare war and peace out with city states at will. You can conquer city states without allowing them to even fight back. Declare on your turn, take your shots at the city, peace out. Repeat next turn.

This is not strictly related to authority.

Maybe a 5 turn limit to change between war and peace could be implemented.
 

GoreBush

Chieftain
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
23
Authority's entire power lies on someone nearby to steal. City States to get tribute, barbarians to get culture, cities to take. If you get the right map, your a god. You tribute a culture CS and your swimming in early policies. You get 3 barb camps nearby and your feasting on culture for turns and turns. But other times, you have open ground. You found that one early barb camp, and then nothign. No city states in the area. Suddenly you are completely stuck in the mud. While tradition and progress have natural terrain that benefits them as well, neither of them are nearly as swingy as Authority. This to me is the number 1 problem with the tree.

I believe that is no any civic tree intended to be universal all-purpose solution for every game situation must be present. Conversely, in order to have a true balanced, diversed and competitive gameplay player strongly need to find which one of present trees will be most profitable in his own strategic situation. So if you find after reconaissance some intended-to-be peaceful civilizations or juicy to-be-bullied city-states or nice barbarian spots then authority is your way. Otherwise go progrees or tradition.

One thing i currently strongly dislike about authority is a garrison-locked units needed for entire civic be profitable. It directly punishes aggressive playstyle entire tree designed for.
 

KlHannibal2

Warlord
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
229
I believe that is no any civic tree intended to be universal all-purpose solution for every game situation must be present. Conversely, in order to have a true balanced, diversed and competitive gameplay player strongly need to find which one of present trees will be most profitable in his own strategic situation. So if you find after reconaissance some intended-to-be peaceful civilizations or juicy to-be-bullied city-states or nice barbarian spots then authority is your way. Otherwise go progrees or tradition.

One thing i currently strongly dislike about authority is a garrison-locked units needed for entire civic be profitable. It directly punishes aggressive playstyle entire tree designed for.
I fully agree. And to add to this: if you are NOT SURE if you have enough barbs, city states or an early target for conquest, play it safe and don't take authority. I have made this mistake often enough.
 

alchx

Warlord
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
216
One thing I would like to get changed is that you can declare war and peace out with city states at will. You can conquer city states without allowing them to even fight back. Declare on your turn, take your shots at the city, peace out. Repeat next turn.

This is not strictly related to authority.

Maybe a 5 turn limit to change between war and peace could be implemented.

Yes. And you can also destroy all units, make peace, receive tribute, resume the war and capture the city-state. There should be something like this:

1) If we received a tribute, then we cannot declare war for 10-15 turns (after all, they paid off, and we keep our word, otherwise no one will believe us)
2) If we declared war, then we cannot make peace for 10-15 turns.
3) After the conclusion of peace, we can demand tribute (sometimes it is required to destroy the units of the city-state in order to start being afraid), but we cannot declare war for 10-15 turns.

Receiving tribute should reduce influence on the city-state, but should not block the receipt of new quests. Do the citizens of the city care who completes the quest - a friend or an extortionist?

Existing influence should not affect the possibility of claiming tribute. But the influence will fall after receiving the tribute (I will suggest that the minimum fall immediately from any level - to 0 or -20). This will give the player a choice - either passive bonuses from the city-state, or instant income.
 

azum4roll

Deity
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
2,239
Yes. And you can also destroy all units, make peace, receive tribute, resume the war and capture the city-state. There should be something like this:

1) If we received a tribute, then we cannot declare war for 10-15 turns (after all, they paid off, and we keep our word, otherwise no one will believe us)
2) If we declared war, then we cannot make peace for 10-15 turns.
3) After the conclusion of peace, we can demand tribute (sometimes it is required to destroy the units of the city-state in order to start being afraid), but we cannot declare war for 10-15 turns.

Receiving tribute should reduce influence on the city-state, but should not block the receipt of new quests. Do the citizens of the city care who completes the quest - a friend or an extortionist?

Existing influence should not affect the possibility of claiming tribute. But the influence will fall after receiving the tribute (I will suggest that the minimum fall immediately from any level - to 0 or -20). This will give the player a choice - either passive bonuses from the city-state, or instant income.
Please make a proposal with this.
 

cidk2000

Warlord
Joined
May 24, 2022
Messages
131
Location
Wales UK
Authority is the least favourite tree for me of the ancient/classical trees.

I cant seem to war with it properly myself, ive played progress/fealty/industry russia and can easily warmonger and with the resources bonus i can easily get 50% of the strategic resource monopoly. With Industry i can 1turn produce/buy units and maintain a huge army.

going authority with celts/ japan is a good option but i find i have to be at war constantly and holding any army they have to be really experienced by mid game to keep up the momentum thus often if im forced to go fealty as i need the religion bonus and or to maintain it effiently going statecraft is a no no if im claiming tribute another option is artistry. Ill more than likely having to pause the warmongering or having a lot of puppets.

its also better to warmonger from a progess or a tradition start and then imperialism or autocracy. A authority start is weak overall and agree with @Stalker0 changes but i dont think it can compete with a progress warmonger
 

BaldSamson

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
59
Ready for some crazy ideas?
Here are my changes related to combat and the Authority tree. Keep in mind, I always play with a small map, overloaded with civs (10) and CS (16), and I've made several changes to Tradition/Progress as well.

Change:
+5 gold / +5 science when you kill a combat unit regardless of branch. This scales with era.
Rationale:
It doesn't scale well purposely, but helps bootstrap the early game for combat focused civs. It's an active reward that requires some planning and risk taking to maximize.

Change:
All civs can hire mercenaries, but they cannot be upgraded and they cost +2 maintenance.
Rationale:
I found myself over optimizing around free companies (and landschnects before). I would delay building units and beeline the tech to hire a whole army instead. I would favor civs that could upgrade from those units and get full XP + 2 carry forward promotions (gold from attacking cities and no movement cost for pillaging). All very gamey and overpowered.

Mercs find their right place now, they are a temporary solution that can help swing a war/battle. I can't find any reason to hide them behind a branch, and they can be useful to any civ, but since they don't upgrade you aren't overly invested in them.

Authority Branch:

Opener

1. Gain culture/production when you kill Units (50% of CS)
2. Remove BarbarianCombatBonus
3. +1 culture per garrison

Rationale:
Barbarians aren't any easier to fight now, but you're getting more out of them. You can opt for a simple +1 culture by keeping a unit home but it's usually not optimal. It's better to be out fighting and getting tributes.

Scaler
1. Remove production / city
2. +10 culture / +10 gold / +5 science per tribute. (50/50/25 from max scaler)

Rationale:
Early game tribute is pretty easy, so this stops it from being game breaking. You have to work through the policies ASAP to get the most out of it, so there is a built in disincentive to trying to mix in

Discipline
1. Remove yields from border expansion.
2. Military units production modifier = -15% and +10xp.
3. New building Palace Stable
  • +2 horses
  • +2 production and great general points

Rationale:
The passive bonus for each city to border expansion seemed too arbitrary and egalitarian for the branch. In return you get cheaper units with a small boost to XP and a guarantee of 2 horses, boost to production in the capital, and a quicker first general.

Warrior Code -> Spoils of War
1. Remove free settler
2. Remove bonus from settling cities
3. Increase bonus from taking cities (??->100)
4. +75% of CS to culture/production when you kill Units. (with the opener this totals 125% CS to culture/production)

Rationale:
The changes makes the branch directive very clear. It's not an expansionist branch, it's a domination branch. I've removed the free settler from the Pyramids as well, so there is no free cities floating around. I'm still playing with the balance on unit kills, but feels good for my setup right now.

Military Tradition
1. Fort(+1) and citadel(+2) research/production/great general points
2. Replaced heal on kill with +15 max XP on policy promotion

Rationale:
It seems like this would enable incredible amounts of science, but realistically you can't/won't work unlimited forts. I suspect this is what helps the Authority AI keep up in science more than any of the other changes. I've proposed similar changes in VP for removing the magical unit healing, and it plays very well.

Military Caste
1. Reduce culture from +2 -> +1 from garrison (+1 was added to the opener).
2. Unit gold maintenance reduction ??? -> -25%.

Rationale:
Minor changes to keep the branch balanced. The maintenance reduction helps keep the AI from going bankrupt with a large army.

Professional Army
1. Remove conscription (free unit spawning)
2. XP bonus doubled to 100%

Rationale:
I was never a fan of the garbage unit spawning and removed it years ago. I've never looked back. Elite units are fun, and the AI does get into some of the more powerful combos with this.

Finisher
1. Tribute bonuses tripled: + 100/100/50. So we go from 50/50/25 (from the scaler) -> 150/150/75(with scaler + finisher).
2. +10 influence to city state unit gifts.
3. +25 bonus to bully score.


Rationale:
Authority is the ultimate risk/reward branch. I've removed almost all the passive yields from the branch, so you are forced to be active to maximize the potential rewards.
 

CppMaster

Deity
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
2,163
Location
Poland
Ready for some crazy ideas?
Here are my changes related to combat and the Authority tree. Keep in mind, I always play with a small map, overloaded with civs (10) and CS (16), and I've made several changes to Tradition/Progress as well.

Change:
+5 gold / +5 science when you kill a combat unit regardless of branch. This scales with era.
Rationale:
It doesn't scale well purposely, but helps bootstrap the early game for combat focused civs. It's an active reward that requires some planning and risk taking to maximize.

Change:
All civs can hire mercenaries, but they cannot be upgraded and they cost +2 maintenance.
Rationale:
I found myself over optimizing around free companies (and landschnects before). I would delay building units and beeline the tech to hire a whole army instead. I would favor civs that could upgrade from those units and get full XP + 2 carry forward promotions (gold from attacking cities and no movement cost for pillaging). All very gamey and overpowered.

Mercs find their right place now, they are a temporary solution that can help swing a war/battle. I can't find any reason to hide them behind a branch, and they can be useful to any civ, but since they don't upgrade you aren't overly invested in them.

Authority Branch:

Opener

1. Gain culture/production when you kill Units (50% of CS)
2. Remove BarbarianCombatBonus
3. +1 culture per garrison

Rationale:
Barbarians aren't any easier to fight now, but you're getting more out of them. You can opt for a simple +1 culture by keeping a unit home but it's usually not optimal. It's better to be out fighting and getting tributes.

Scaler
1. Remove production / city
2. +10 culture / +10 gold / +5 science per tribute. (50/50/25 from max scaler)

Rationale:
Early game tribute is pretty easy, so this stops it from being game breaking. You have to work through the policies ASAP to get the most out of it, so there is a built in disincentive to trying to mix in

Discipline
1. Remove yields from border expansion.
2. Military units production modifier = -15% and +10xp.
3. New building Palace Stable
  • +2 horses
  • +2 production and great general points

Rationale:
The passive bonus for each city to border expansion seemed too arbitrary and egalitarian for the branch. In return you get cheaper units with a small boost to XP and a guarantee of 2 horses, boost to production in the capital, and a quicker first general.

Warrior Code -> Spoils of War
1. Remove free settler
2. Remove bonus from settling cities
3. Increase bonus from taking cities (??->100)
4. +75% of CS to culture/production when you kill Units. (with the opener this totals 125% CS to culture/production)

Rationale:
The changes makes the branch directive very clear. It's not an expansionist branch, it's a domination branch. I've removed the free settler from the Pyramids as well, so there is no free cities floating around. I'm still playing with the balance on unit kills, but feels good for my setup right now.

Military Tradition
1. Fort(+1) and citadel(+2) research/production/great general points
2. Replaced heal on kill with +15 max XP on policy promotion

Rationale:
It seems like this would enable incredible amounts of science, but realistically you can't/won't work unlimited forts. I suspect this is what helps the Authority AI keep up in science more than any of the other changes. I've proposed similar changes in VP for removing the magical unit healing, and it plays very well.

Military Caste
1. Reduce culture from +2 -> +1 from garrison (+1 was added to the opener).
2. Unit gold maintenance reduction ??? -> -25%.

Rationale:
Minor changes to keep the branch balanced. The maintenance reduction helps keep the AI from going bankrupt with a large army.

Professional Army
1. Remove conscription (free unit spawning)
2. XP bonus doubled to 100%

Rationale:
I was never a fan of the garbage unit spawning and removed it years ago. I've never looked back. Elite units are fun, and the AI does get into some of the more powerful combos with this.

Finisher
1. Tribute bonuses tripled: + 100/100/50. So we go from 50/50/25 (from the scaler) -> 150/150/75(with scaler + finisher).
2. +10 influence to city state unit gifts.
3. +25 bonus to bully score.


Rationale:
Authority is the ultimate risk/reward branch. I've removed almost all the passive yields from the branch, so you are forced to be active to maximize the potential rewards.
Do you think it'd be balanced for AI? I don't think so.
 

CppMaster

Deity
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
2,163
Location
Poland
Authority is the ultimate risk/reward branch. I've removed almost all the passive yields from the branch, so you are forced to be active to maximize the potential rewards.
This. AI kills and capture cities less frequent than players. AI would really struggle if it's dominating, because of less passive bonuses.
 

BaldSamson

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
59
This. AI kills and capture cities less frequent than players. AI would really struggle if it's dominating, because of less passive bonuses.
AI captures cities all the time in my games, including my own frontier cities. I think you're discounting the snowball that comes from conquering cities in general. The result is 2-3 really strong civs in the midgame rather than a boatload of mediocrity. I usually see at least 1 civ completely eliminated during Medieval, and the lategame is usually down to 6-7 civs from 10.
 

CppMaster

Deity
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
2,163
Location
Poland
Well, I'm not convinced, but you can make a proposal about it; Maybe others like it better.
 

Bison

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
2
AI captures cities all the time in my games, including my own frontier cities. I think you're discounting the snowball that comes from conquering cities in general. The result is 2-3 really strong civs in the midgame rather than a boatload of mediocrity. I usually see at least 1 civ completely eliminated during Medieval, and the lategame is usually down to 6-7 civs from 10.
I'm not an expert but that may happen purely because you play on a small map with more civs. There's less room for tradition or progress to shine without room to expand and wars being declared every turn, and it's easier for AI to move to conquer a city if it's so close by.
 
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