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Fealty/Statecraft/Artistry Review

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So as G is trying to complete a stable non-beta version, I wanted to do a last pass on some areas and see if there are any holes.

    First look is at mid-tier policies.

    Fealty: Currently one of my favorite trees overall. I think fealty has excellent balance and flexibility. It hits a lot of nice areas, and works with a lot of build styles. For example, I think fealty works well for both tall and wide styles.

    Also, I really like fealty's 3 leaf structure. Its a tree that is good to finish, but its also a great tree to go down a path for what you want, and then switch over to something else if you want to.

    Opener: Solid. Even if you are not big into faith, the monastery is a great building to add to any empire.

    Scaler: The defense is very nice for tall empires needing to make their nut even tougher to crack, and it helps everyone with crime. The food is great for any empire.

    Nobility: Solid. A nice boost to castles.

    Serfdom: Another solid bonus, especially for empires focusing less on specialists and more on terrain.

    Burghers: A bit nerfed now that GM don't generate effectively endless WLTKD, but still a great bonus. Any hammer multiplier is strong, and the double border expand is fun for authority players maximizing tribute. The trade route bonuses are just a wonderful addon to an already solid policy.

    Divine Right: This is imo the weakest pick of Fealty. I have never understood the half happiness to culture bonus. In most cases its not that much culture, and it doesn't help with borders or get magnified by culture multipliers. And the boredom drop I have never really felt. Its the policy I take for the finisher. The one change I would consider here would be move the trade route bonus from Burghers to this policy, as I think Burghers holds up fine without it.

    Organized Religion: Its the religion focused policy, and it does a solid job at it. What I appreciate about the tree is that I can go right down the middle and ignore this policy if I don't want to focus on religion. But if I do, this can be a nice solid one.

    Finisher: The finisher is fine, its not the strongest one but it does the job. But also because I don't think the finisher carries this tree, I feel empowered to go into other trees if I want to. I consider that a strength not a weakness.


    Statecraft: A fun tree for diplomatic or trade route focused play....which even if not your primary focus in the game is always so present that you will not mind the bonuses you get here. Statecraft's biggest weakness to me is the lack of a happiness scaler until late in the tree. For wider players wanting to use the tree, happiness balance can be a problem....though the gold scaler does help you if poverty is your main concern.

    Opener: The opener can be surprisingly powerful...and one I've even taken later in the game just for its bonus alone. Its not hard to get +12 to every yield in the capital, +1 gold per city. That is a nice little boon for a capital focused play. Also, I think its the opener that brings the most power when its first taken. With fealty you have to buy the monastaries and wait for the growth to pay off. With Artistry you have to wait until those extra GP start to make a differnence. With with Statecraft, BOOM your capital becomes amazing in one powerful action.

    Scaler: Nothing to write home about, but a nice bonus nonethesless

    Foreign Service: For a diplomatic focused player, a lot of tools here. The strategic resources I find are ok (but I never seem to have a problem with those even when I play tall). But the other bonuses are all solid.

    Trade Confederacy: Everyone uses trade routes, and everyone can benefit from this. Even if you don't care a lick about the influence, the bonuses are nice.

    Shadow Networks: This is a great policy. More spies is solid, the culture boost is nice though I think overated, but then you get a solid science boost as well.

    Consulates: More delegates is always good, but we are also now at the point where statecraft starts to show a tourism focus as well.

    Exchange Markets: This policy just rocks hard. In fact, I think its bonus can be spread out. I would be fine moving its tourism bonus to consulates. That way consulates can be a nice focused policy for people wanting tourism, and let exchange markets just be a solid trade route focus.

    Finisher: The palace of West Minster is a nice wonder for diplomatic play if you can bag it. Otherwise, I generally like the finisher, its solid but not overpowering.


    Artistry: My main issue with artistry is that its a very niche tree. Its very TALL and specialist focused, its unlikely you would take it off of a progress or authority start, whereas the other two trees I think can handle either approach with no issue.

    One secret strength of the tree is its focus on culture, meaning you will get through this tree faster than the one ones...and it can springboard you into and through your next tree. That can't be discounted....its not very exciting but it does have a power.

    One thing I don't like, the tree focuses on certain things unnecessarily. It gives you a lot of GAP...but TALL civs don't lack for Golden Ages, its often easy to make them eternal. It has tourism bonuses...but so does statecraft, and I'm sure which one wins (until the finisher...more of that later).

    One thing I wish this tree had is a production bonus for archeaologists. Especially since the finisher relies on them so much.

    Opener: Its a nice one, and one I've been tempted to pick up even if not pushing artistry.

    Scaler: The science is a nice bonus, the GAP helps some but eventually becomes weaker as your GAs become more common.

    Humanism: This begins your culture slingshot with specialists. Otherwise...I think its a little muddled here. I would rather it picked a yield and just stuck with it instead of spreading them around. For example, every work is +1 science/culture....and done.

    Refinement: One of my favorites in this tree. The happy bonus is powerful, and this can really slingshot your culture ones GAs kick in.

    Heritage: This one is meh. First, you are not going to suddenly make this tree tall wide with the tourism penalty reduction...sorry it ain't happening. The GAP bonuses aren't that great. This policy is pure tourism, and I wish it wasn't a prereq policy. In other words, I would love to swap this and National Treasure.

    National Treasure: Solid and useful.

    Cultural Exchange: A decent little boost at this point...though I might prefer a food bonus here to make it easier to work those guilds.

    Finisher: I feel the finisher is overpowering in a way. The hidden sites can generate a lot of extra artifacts for you, pushing you ahead in the tourism race. So much to the point, where I still wonder if statecraft can compete with Artistry on CV. I know it can until the finisher, but the finisher nets you a lot of extra artifacts.

    And then there's the secret culture bombs you can get that can further jack your culture skyward. The finisher feels the most "essential" of the 3 trees....which again notes Artistry's inflexibility compared to the others.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    That' a typically solid, comprehensive analysis. I've been reflexively going with Fealty, since I almost always have a religion, but you've highlighted that the so-so finisher is an invitation to dip elsewhere. I agree that Artistry is relatively limited, but don't have a problem with that. Recently CV's have seemed to be the quickest way to win.
     
  3. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

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    For me the middle trees are the most boring ones, if aiming for DV go Statcraft, if you picked tradition and wan tto win CV pick artistry, everything else fares best with fealty in my experience.

    (Though I lack expierence with Statcraft as I only took that with DV civs)
     
  4. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I disagree. All trees have merits, as do mixing them. I'm fond of going 2 in Artistry for the culture on specialists policy, even when going wide.
     
  5. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    You refer to the Artistry's GAP being on the weaker side of the scale but that's what makes it so good for wide empires.

    Wide tends to have happiness issues due to expansion and more warfare, so the GAP afforded by the scalar basically makes up for it. I've had games sitting at single digit happiness with the GAP points carrying me through GAs (like 8 happiness and then 100 GAP from artistry). It's insanely good for wide.
     
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  6. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

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    Ok I have never done that, as my understanding was that the 3rd trees give such big boosts it is allways best to go for them asap. Might be wrong if you do it ;)
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I don't think anyone's suggesting delaying entering the third level. It's more about mixing and matching on the second.
     
  8. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

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    So I am gueesing that just 6 Policies in the middle trees are needed? I was under the asumption that you have to finish one tree, learned something new today :)
     
  9. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Yes you only need to reach a particular number of policies to unlock the next set / ideologies.

    6/12/18 to be exact.
     
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  10. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Golden Ages always get +20% hammers and culture, those golden age points in artistry are really good. Free great person is really handy as well, you can take a prophet to enhance your religion if you want to play a spreading religious game
    I totally agree, its such a wall of text currently
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Artistry is not very good when you don't have the food to work on specialists, and I think this is a good thing. The same statecraft can't shine when cs are far away.

    But it seems to me that artistry has more synergies with tall, thus more synergy with tradition, and that limits options. Not completely useless for wide, as it was before.

    Don't know. Maybe instead giving so much culture to digging, it could be something helping gpti. Or reducing unhappiness from specialists (wait, this is in rationalism now, isn't it?)
     
  12. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    With regards to Artistry vs specialists.

    The %modifier only matters as long as the city is actually capable of creating a Great Person. You don't actually have to work all specialists when going wide, and can typically specialize certain cities to make use of the %modifier more evenly. This means that the number of specialists doesn't really matter beyond what you need to generate the GPs.

    So all the "on-spawn" GPs can be thought of similarly. You'll spawn the GPs if you specialized cities regardless of how many you work in total across all specialist types.

    The only weakness for low-food civs is the culture per specialist, but if you compare this tree to other trees, you'll see that they provide similar culture output.

    Beyond what you specialize, you'll probably just work specialists in a city that won't likely ever produce a GP.
     
  13. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    How frequently do people find they can build Castles at the point where they adopt Nobility?
     
  14. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Very close.
     
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  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I'm usually quite far away from castles
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Lol.
     
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  17. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Yes, I was very impressed with myself.
     
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  18. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Euh... one had more culture and the other more science in their games?
     
  19. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    To be very close to Chivalry by the time you unlock Nobility, you should be actively researching to get it (unless you have ridiculous science output). It's definitely either quite close or a few techs behind. It's almost never on-time.

    That might be why there are different experiences being reported. Chivalry after all is at the dead center of the tree so any deviations from the "center beeline" may lead to you getting the tech relatively late.

    @Txurce might be actively heading towards Chivalry while @CrazyG might be focusing more on the top or bottom sides of the tree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  20. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

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    Usualy not to close to castles
     

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