Authority Deep Dive Round 2

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,564
Playing around a bit more with Authority on the new version. So I still think some adjustments to Authority would be good. Instead of looking a new abilities, I'm seeing what a reshuffling of abilities could look like. Ultimately I think part of Authority's issue is that its military and economic bonuses are spread out....where realistically Authority needs those economic bonuses early to get the party started. The military bonuses can wait as the Authority player switches from barb/CS harrasment into full scale war with another civ.

So here is the idea:

Authority V2

Opener

Old: +25% combat bonus versus barbarians, reveal barbarian camps. +1 prod per city. Gain culture when killing units and clearing barbarian camps.
New: Unchanged

Imperium (now 1st left policy)
Old: A free settler appears near the capital. Cities founded or conquered gain 40 science and culture, scaling with era and population.
New: Cities gain 20 gold and production when expanding borders, era scale. Gain a free settler. Gain 40 science and culture and founding or conquering cities, scaling based on era and population.

Commentary: We generally agree that Authority is meant to be a heavy wide, highly expansionist tree. By consultating its expansion bonuses earlier in the tree, we give Authority a rock solid start. This gets its initial cities and yields going, starting the war engine.

Tribute (new 2nd left policy)
Old: Cities gain 20 gold and production when expanding borders, era scale.
New: Killing a military unit generates science based on the strength of the unit. Gain 25% of tribute from city states as culture.

Commentary: Now the Authority player starts its heavy unit killing and CS tributing, getting its needed science and culture from the effort.

Dominance (1st right policy)
Old: Killing a military unit generates science based on the strength of the unit, and melee units heal for 15 after killing a military unit.
New: The barracks generates +1 happiness and +2 culture. Unit supply from population increases by 10%.

Commentary: We are keeping the flavor intact of using your military might to keep your people in check, its just that is now represented by the "barracks" military building rather than a unit. This lets Authority keeps its units out killing barbs and taking cities.

Militarism (2nd right policy)
Old: Each city with a garrison gives +1 happiness and +2 culture. -15% to Unit Maintenance, -50% to road maintenance.
New: Melee units heal for 15 after killing a military unit. -15% to Unit Maintenance, -50% to road maintenance.

Commentary: With our engine intact, we now start to focus on making the units stronger and better.

Honor (3rd right policy)
Old: +10% CS, free unit every 10 pop, -25% to war weariness.
New: Unchanged

Commentary: Honor finishes us off, rounding off our military power, adding a few extra units, and increases our longevity for war with WW reductions.


So this version would require minimal (if any) new code, but I think it focuses Authority better. Authority players can now get their engines going quicker. They still have to work hard to maintain the engine, but now they aren't so far behind other players which gives them a chance to stay relevant in the medieval wars to come.

for those who would like to see the new tree unfettered with the old, I put it down in the spoilers:

Spoiler :

Shown in optimal policy order

Opener: +25% combat bonus versus barbarians, reveal barbarian camps. +1 prod per city. Gain culture when killing units and clearing barbarian camps.
Imperium (1st left policy): Cities gain 20 gold and production when expanding borders, era scale. Gain a free settler. Gain 40 science and culture and founding or conquering cities, scaling based on era and population.
Tribute (2nd left policy): Killing a military unit generates science based on the strength of the unit. Gain 25% of tribute from city states as culture.
Dominance (1st right policy): The barracks generates +1 happiness and +2 culture. Unit supply from population increases by 10%.
Militarism (2nd right policy): Melee units heal for 15 after killing a military unit. -15% to Unit Maintenance, -50% to road maintenance.
Honor (3rd right policy): +10% CS, free unit every 10 pop, -25% to war weariness.
Finisher:
Border expand bonuses doubled. Can purchase mercenaries
 
Last edited:

nekokon

Prince
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
434
I think for Authority we're still missing the big component of "aggressive expansion" (in contrast to peaceful expansion from Progress), and we need better bonuses from conquered cities to encourage warmonging with a purpose and specific goal (to conquer, not to "farm" enemy units).

Given that early conquered cities are likely to become your cores mid game, I suggest bonuses which speed up that process like faster rebuilding, should take that bonus from civilizing mission from imperialism and put here instead (as mid to late conquered cities are likely to be left as puppet forever, thus them having faster rebuilding speed doesn't mean much, while that bonuses are much needed for early conquered cities to quickly grow into your cores).

We can even combine this with the "free happiness" from barrack, by expanding this faster rebuilding bonus into a raw increase in production in exchange for higher unhappiness. Something like give +10 hammers to puppet cities but +20% unhappiness (simulating slavery), giving player the choice of delay annexing for free production boost if they can handle the unhappiness, or annexing earlier if happiness is becoming an issue or they want to focus specific building (UB) earlier.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,564
I think that losing a free settler will hurt authority a lot, it will become much weaker (and it's not strongest tree now).
Oops! Complete oversight on my part. The free settler is there, in fact its faster than it was before!
 

rkkn

Warlord
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
188
So in summary,

In the end the bonuses are all the same except that one is improved: garrison -> barracks. This is a pretty significant improvement as this frees up a lot of military.

But perhaps the bigger improvement is that it's now much more front-loaded. The second policy (or first if not counting the opener) is hella strong, being one and a half of the old ones, and that "one" is something that's really strong to get early. A settler. And it's now feasible for all of your settlers (except the turn 0 one) to give the culture and science infusion instead of missing it on the first two or so. This results in quite a lot more early culture, so the third policy comes much faster too.

This strikes me as too much of a buff. Is the general consensus that authority is the overall weakest first tier policy tree?

Overall power levels aside, I like the reordering. The new order looks a lot more fun.
 

alchx

Warlord
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
216
The settler will be very early. You can get two policies for Authority on turn 21:
- you need ruins with money or 50% construction acceleration - the monument will be ready on turn 9
- we also need ruins with 15 culture and we will get the first policy on turn 13 or 15
- we clean 1-2 camps and on the 21st turn get 2nd policy.

Although with the current tree, on average, I get a settler through policies at 41-45 moves, which is quite late.
I had the earliest 4 citizens on turn 20, but the settler could only be built after 12. If you are not in a hurry, then it is normal to release a settler on turn 28-36. Around the same time that you can finish building the Pyramids.
 

rusbeh

Chieftain
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
47
Maybe move either the free settler or the 40 science and culture from new cities to tribute?
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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Messages
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Maybe move either the free settler or the 40 science and culture from new cities to tribute?
If it’s considered too strong I would move the free settler back. So you are still getting benefit on your natural expansions
 

stormfallen

Warlord
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
123
I kinda wonder if removing the free settler might make Authority easier to balance, because it feels to me like the tree's status has been revolving around that ability for years. Too strong on a second policy, too late as a third policy.

Possible ideas:
Reduced settler unit cost or increased production speed. Weaker in the moment, but scales better.
No pop loss on settler unit creation. Gives Authority a pseudo food bonus, which it's missing compared to Tradition and Progress.

Putting either (or both) on the third policy gives you the choice of whether to settle your second city earlier and pay more, or later and pay less, like the current choice between getting the free science and culture or not.
 

CrazyG

Deity
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Oct 14, 2016
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Beijing
So this is much, much stronger than the current version of authority.

I think its much more AI friendly, particularly in science.
 

pineappledan

Deity
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Alberta, Canada
Won't splitting the science on kills and the heal on kill involve giving Authority 2 different free policies? This is more clutter on the unit promotion panel.

Overall much stronger. Not sure if it's warranted.

I seem to be the only person Who actually likes the garrison bonus. With the new Barbarian spawning, it seems more sensible to keep some garrisons in your back line. We used to have an entire crime needs mechanic that relied on garrisons to keep cities happy, and now it seems we're on a warpath against this mechanic in general. If this passes then the only garrison bonus in the entire game is maintenance free garrisons in Imperialism.
People want safe ways for units to contribute to the empire economy, and yet they also seem to find it completely unacceptable that they be required to simply sit somewhere. So what kind of rewards or incentives would be needed to stop people from getting their knives out for this mechanic?
 

besset

Warlord
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
191
I would put free unit every 5 pop on Honor. It can take a long time to get your cities to 10 pop as authority, and since the free culture and happiness is not tied to garrisons anymore these units will have very little use. Might as well just remove it at that point. But every 5 pop makes it more useful and also comes into effect earlier
 

Voremonger

Warlord
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Mar 20, 2018
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Location
Germany
I would very much prefer getting the culture/science from gaining cities as my second policy rather than my third. I don't particularly care whether the tree at some point also grants a free settler. Instead of an unconditional free settler a free settler when razing a city would also be interesting. I suspect the AI would not be able to make good use of this mechanic though.

I'm fine with the bonuses from garrisons as they exist right now. I would also be fine with attaching said bonuses to garrisons.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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Messages
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So what kind of rewards or incentives would be needed to stop people from getting their knives out for this mechanic?
The problem isn't the mechanic, its that its on Authority. It just does not mesh with Authority's style of play, its actually an anti-synergy with their style of play. Incentives don't change that.
I don't have issue with garrison bonus elsewhere, especially later in the game when I can afford enough military to have both my roving war bands and my garrisons at home.

Switching this to a barracks requirement sticks with authority's military theme, and maintains the flavor of "using the military to force happiness from the population".
 

pineappledan

Deity
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Alberta, Canada
Moving the 2 :c5culture: 1 :c5happy: to barracks conflicts with Imperialism's Colonialism, which also gives :c5culture: to barracks. Armory is also boosted by a fealty promotion so I guess there is some overlap there too.

Colonialism gives 2 :c5science: 1 :c5culture: to barracks, armory, Mil Academy, Forts, and Citadels. If this move went forward I would propose this change to Imperialism also be made:

Colonialism
- no change to monopoly bonus
- Military Academies, Forts, and Citadels provide 2 :c5science: 1 :c5culture: (drop barracks and armory)

Martial Law
- Yield penalties in puppeted cities reduced to 60% (no change)
- Garrisons no longer require :c5gold: Gold maintenance, and provide +1 :c5happy:, +3:c5production:, and +3:c5science:

That would unstack Imperialism from overlapping bonuses with Authority (Barracks), Fealty (Armory), and Statecraft/Autocracy (Constabulary) while also presenting the Garrison bonus in a package that lowers the costs while also giving perks. It would also level Colonialism and Martial Law out a bit. Between Imperialism's two tier 1 picks, Colonialism is hands down the best option every time.
 

CrazyG

Deity
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Oct 14, 2016
Messages
6,057
Location
Beijing
People want safe ways for units to contribute to the empire economy, and yet they also seem to find it completely unacceptable that they be required to simply sit somewhere. So what kind of rewards or incentives would be needed to stop people from getting their knives out for this mechanic?
I like the flavor of the garrison bonus but its often a trap. Its in such conflict with what the rest of authority wants to do. Unit supply is a very harsh constraint as authority throughout the game, early on I sometimes go over the limit intentionally because its worth having an extra unit. Giving up an extra unit on the frontline usually isn't worth 2 culture per turn. Sometimes those units that don't cost supply sit there all game, but most of the time I pull them to the frontline to fight.

Ironically it would be an extremely useful bonus for tradition or progress.
 

rkkn

Warlord
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
188
The problem isn't the mechanic, its that its on Authority. It just does not mesh with Authority's style of play, its actually an anti-synergy with their style of play. Incentives don't change that.
I don't have issue with garrison bonus elsewhere

Hm I can agree with that. I think it would make more sense to have something like a Tradition bonus that makes garrisons cost no supply* and some other bonus. Tradition is the more defensive tree. Tradition wants to keep its guys close to home, while Authority wants to send them out.

* (or something functionally equivalent like each increases supply by 1 if that's easier to do)
and have this be Tradition's supply bonus
 

ma_kuh

Prince
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Sep 13, 2022
Messages
340
The yields for city founding/conquering should also trigger at 75% (non-era scaling) for all existing cities (maybe excepting the capital), to mirror Progress's partial-refund of techs. It helps solve the incentive to delay settling just for the policy trigger, and separates the power level of the ability from where the policy ends up on the tree.

These changes retain the need to Tribute CS, which I don't like. I would like an option to choose Authority with Statecraft, without tanking my ability to interact with CS for other bonuses or a core mechanic of the policy tree.

If I recall, didn't vanilla have free garrisons in a policy? Maybe that only applied to maintenance, but if it could be made to apply to Supply I think that solves a lot of the problems with maintaining a garrison. +1 Supply for each city with a garrison, something like that (it'd be a gamier solution but possible)? Giving it at the same time as the free unit spawns feels like the obvious option here. Which actually already come with the no-supply cost promotion, so why is this the problem?..

Maybe it's just me but keeping a garrison doesn't actually feel bad right now, especially with new barbarians. Having some defenses for the random harassment solves a lot of "problems" with the more common barbs.

Also I'm starting to feel like the problem is the mixed views on Authority's place in the game. It sounds like a lot of people think Authority should be "you have to be at war at all times to gain value", and anything that doesn't support that directly is leading the policy in the wrong direction. I think that's a recipe for a one-dimensional policy tree. Giving more chances to trigger similarly valued yields for non-war actions is better design. Things like border expansion, having a large military, the military buildings. Some of this already exists, I think it should be expanded. I mentioned it in the first thread, I think envisioning Authority as the "on the map" tree and letting their existing burst-yields trigger on border expansion, pillaging, and on-kill, (and maybe on-promotion) is the right way to go. Give the culture on-trigger to the opener, and spread science, gold, production, even food across the early policies. Make the choice about which yield to get first, not about how you want to get it. The bandwidth on picking the trigger-type takes up too much space when you have to spread it over 6 policies.
 

nekokon

Prince
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
434
I have similar view (also stated in the first thread) that we need bonuses to unbind authority from the "must be constantly at war to progress" as that's what make the tree the weakest for AI (as they're indeed horrible at war).
It can be anything that doesn't involve being at war constantly but benefit from after war results (like bonus to building speed in puppet cities), or in preparation for the next war (like bonus to training/gifting units) to keep Authority in the war path.
 
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