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Great Person Buildings

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by AgentTBC, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    This should be a short and sweet question. Are the buildings you can make with any of the great people (academy, fortress, whatever the artist can make, etc) ever worth it? They seem grossly underpowered to me compared to the other abilities of the great people, particularly the scientist and engineer. But maybe I'm missing something.
     
  2. Unearthly

    Unearthly Chieftain

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    Landmark (culture) isn't bad, does the merchant get one? I hardly ever get great merchants. Agreed on the scientists and engineer. If you are going rationalism, the great scientist tile actually has the same output as a scientist, + the base tile instead of the 3 great scientist points.
     
  3. Jamuka

    Jamuka Warlord

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    I like the academy. The great engineer building seems underpowered, but still worth building occasionally. The great merchants is just bad... I don't think the extra gold per turn will ever be better than a golden age.
     
  4. alvan

    alvan Chieftain

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    I would never use the Engineer for that, better rush a Wonder. But the other guys, sure - They make perfect for desert tiles
     
  5. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    See, when I look at the math I can't see how using a great scientist to put an academy in a desert tile makes sense. You can use him to instantly research a tech regardless of cost. Lets say you use a great scientist to research a tech costing 1800 beakers... do you know how many turns you'd have to be working a desert tile with an academy to make up those 1800 beakers?

    I suppose an argument could be made for the landmark early on since it's the only way to get a tile which produces culture and popping a few social policies earlier is useful... but later on I'd absolutely rather have a golden age, even a ****** 5 turn one, than a sucky tile which produces 4 culture. A 5 turn golden age later on means what, 1000 extra gold and 1000 extra hammers, give or take? And that's a 5 turn one. Every extra turn just makes it that much better.
    Similarly, using a merchant for a trade mission is crazy. You get 30 influence and a chunk of gold... but you'd get a lot MORE gold by starting a golden age unless it is very earlier and 30 influence is nothing. 250 gold will do that.

    So I can't see the point. You're far better off using an engineer to hurry a wonder, a scientist to get a free tech (particularly since you can choose the tech), and artists and merchants to start golden ages. I use great generals for golden ages, too, once I have two of them. Maybe on a huge map I'd want to keep 3.

    This seems counter intuitive. Why give the great persons cool abilities if using them is actively detrimental. The trade-off seems like it is supposed to be about a smaller payoff instantly versus a bigger long-term payoff... except they got the numbers backwards. The instant payoff is actually hugely bigger than the long-term payout.

    The way to fix it seems obvious to me. Nerf the instant payouts and increase the long-term ones. My suggestions:

    1) Great Scientist - Make academy bonus scale with era. 1 hammer + 4 science in ancient. 2/6 in medieval. 3/8 in industrial, 4/10 in future. Obviously these numbers might need tweaking but you get the idea. That would make using the academy more appealing. Now to make science pops less overpowering. I suggest making the tech which gets researched random. No more saving up 2 scientists and slingshotting into Industrial era on turn 200 because CONGRATULATIONS your great scientist just poppsed Iron Working instead of Biology or whatever.

    2) Engineers. They already provide a fixed instant hammer pop as you can see by using them on very expensive wonders. So that's fine. The engineer building needs a huge boost. Like the Academy, it needs to scale with era. Start at 4 hammers/2 Science in ancient. Increase to 6/3, 8/4, and 10/5 over time. And as before, I'm pulling the numbers out of my butt but it should be straightforward to figure out what the numbers need to be to make it a tough choice as to what to use the GP for.

    3) Artist. I dunno, I think GP bombs are cool as is. They're VERY situational but thats not a problem. Maybe just make the landmark scale with time and provide a bit of gold. 4 culture/2 gold in ancient, 6/3 then 8/4 then 10/5 over time.

    4) Merchant. Seems obvious: The trade mission needs to provide a bigger inluence bonus and more gold. Remember, to make it worthwhile the gold bonus needs to be significantly more than the gold you get from a golden age because the golden age also provides a big hammer boost. I suggest +90 influence and... well I don't know how the current gold boost is calculated but I'd suggest making it based on era. Something like 300 gold in ancient, 600 in classical, 1000 in Medieval, 1400 in Industrial, and 1800 in modern.

    The building should be the inverse of the Artist, provide a bunch of gold and a little culture. 4 gold 2 culture - 6/3 - 8/4 - 10/5 or whatever.

    5) General. The fortress sucks. Terrible. I'm not sure how to make it better. Increase the range of its auto-damaging ability to 2 hexes? Make it bigger... like 3 hexes you can lay down in any configuration to make a Maginot line type deal? That would be cool but I suspect impossible to do in a mod.

    Dunno if the great general fortress thing is possible. Other than that it should all be trivial to do. We know that tile yields can change based on techs and policies so having them change based on era can be done. The actual numbers might need tweaking but I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with these ideas.
     
  6. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    Also, this is what happens you post when you cant sleep.
     
  7. Samy

    Samy Chieftain

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    I've been using GP buildings up until now, since I've been playing settler difficulty so things haven't been tight. They've provided a nice variety, but at higher difficulties where things get tight, I can see how crunching the math might reveal they don't hold up.

    - re: scientist tech random? I don't want to see that. There's nothing more annoying than burning an important GP and seeing something crappy come out of it that you didn't even want. If tech popping needs to be nerfed, I'd rather see beakers capped, like they have for engineers -- if the building is too many hammers, then the great engineer can only complete part of it. Similarly a great scientist might only complete part of the beakers for an advanced tech. I'd much rather see that than random techs.

    - re: artist culture bombs. These are awesome, and especially in a crowded map they are practically a must have. In fact I find that the number one most important thing for my entire civilization strategically is to have a good artist pump city. But that may be because I always played C4 with cultural tile grab strategy and GAs are the only way I can continue my favorite strategy in C5.

    - re: GP buildings. It'd be nice if you could relocate them somehow. What if later on you find aluminum or uranium under an Academy? You'd have to basically raze and throw away the entire GP to get at the resource. It'd be nice if a worker build a mine in the same tile that already holds a GP, then it'd respawn the GP upon completion of the improvement.
     
  8. Asylumer

    Asylumer Chieftain

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    360 turns base. Combined with up to 4 buildings (one national wonder) that give +50% each you can get something like 15 beakers per turn from that one tile (plus whatever the terrain gives) and pay off the price in 150 turns.

    Eh, I've done worse. :)
     
  9. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    Samy: I think the GP buildings have to provide strategic resources in the hex. Otherwise it is, as you say, very risky to use them. As to the scientists, I'm not sure capping the beakers would work unless you cap it at a low enough level that they become worthless later on.

    The biggest reason they are overpowered is not because you happen to spawn a scientist and, hey, you decide to grab whichever tech you were going to research next... it's if you deliberately play the game with great scientists in mind. Also remember that you can save them up and use them all at once. So you can beeline a few techs right from the start, save up two great scientists, and then enter the Industrial Age absurdly early, well under 200 turns into the game. That means you can open the Order or Autocracy policies WAY early. Think about going down the order tree that early! It's crazy.

    That's only one way to abuse them. You could slingshot into Riflemen while everybody else is using Swordsmen instead. Or whatever.

    But if you cap the beakers low enough to prevent that, it because pointless to use the scientists to pop techs past the classical era.
     
  10. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    Yeah, which is obviously virtually never worth doing. The 150 is such a best-case scenario and so late in the game that I don't think it's really worth discussing. Around 300 turns is a more likely scenario. And, of course, you can use them to pop techs worth way more than 1800. Basically building the Academy never pays for itself even before you take into account that help now is far better than help later. The later you get the scientist, the more absurdly tilted away from the building the equation becomes.
     
  11. Asylumer

    Asylumer Chieftain

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    The full bonus may be late game but your example of 1800 science costs are only seen with the introduction of Electricity which has a base cost of 1900. If you get a GS during the earlier turns you'd see costs more around the lines of 440 (education) and 680 (gunpowder). In the long-term you could still end up ahead by using the GS to build an academy... discounting any sling-shot strategies of course.

    Late game however there's practically no reason to build the Academy as you'll never catch up to the 3300 techs near the end before the game is over.
     
  12. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    On pure number of beakers over the course of the game, yeah, you can end up ahead if you build an academy earlier. But even then the advantage of being able to select a tech instantly is likely significantly more advantages than a 1% increase in your beaker total spread through the rest of the game. All of the beakers from popping the tech show up instantly. And, of course, you've got to work the tile for the Academy which means you aren't working some OTHER tile or running a specialist. That's not a trivial cost.

    But yeah, the earlier the scientist shows up the less bad the Academy is. Ditto the Great Merchant where if he shows up any time except right at the beginning, making his building is a ridiculously bad idea.
     
  13. Leif Roar

    Leif Roar Warlord

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    Except for the cost you incur in working the tile with the academy rather than running a specialist or working an ordinary tile: would you rather have 6 research or 3 research + 3 great scientist points?
     
  14. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    it's less than half a scientist in practice
    make the academy on tiles you don't get +2 food from
     
  15. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    I had a great scientist pretty early in my current game so I spent some time looking at tiles, research costs, etc to check if I was miscalculating early Academies and their usefulness. It's true that an early enough academy can increase your science output by more than 10% which seems like a big deal on the face of it. Except I realized something we overlooked.

    Unlike Civ IV, overflow beakers when you finish researching a tech are lost. What that means is that the extra 10% science is actually wasted a lot of the time. A quick made up number example:

    Lets say you are putting out 44 beakers early and an Academy would bring your beaker count per turn from 44 to 49. Now lets say you start researching a tech which costs 350 beakers. Without the Academy it would take you 8 turns to research and you would spill over 2 beakers, which are lost. WITH the Academy it would take you... wait for it... 8 turns to research and you would spill over 42 beakers. Which are lost. You produced 40 extra beakers in that timeframe but because beaker overflow is discarded, you actually ended up WORSE OFF than if you had no Academy since the tile you are working is worse than a non-Academy tile apart from the wasted science.

    Obviously that is a worst case scenario. But it should clearly illustrate that for every tech you finish researching a turn earlier because of the Academy, there will be other techs where the extra Academy beakers are just discarded as overflow.

    I think this realization is the nail in the coffin on academies for me. The level of micromanagement it would require to make sure you aren't wasting the academy science would be terrible. You'd have re-jigger the tiles you are working every time you are about to research a tech and then put them back the way they were the very next turn. Every time.
     
  16. Asylumer

    Asylumer Chieftain

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    That overflow thing really does diminish the effectiveness of science focuses. Shame how it wasn't a problem in Civ 4 but got re-introduced with the latest iteration. Anyways, the Great Person buildings could probably use a boost, but I think it's important to not dismiss their improvements entirely. In my personal mod I plan to nudge them a bit so getting a Great Person improvement feels as though it's a good move. Maybe +1s/+1p, +1p/+1w, +1c/+1w, +2w... Those yields should be fine given the multipliers that become available as the game progresses.
     
  17. Dudu42

    Dudu42 Chieftain

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    Ok, now I disagree.

    Fortress ROCK. They're just very situational.

    I remember playing as China and conquering the Iroquois. After the war, I was pretty weakened, so Elizabeth decided to invade my empire (wise decision, a glympse of inteligente in Civ's AI). Ok, the battle was tough, I lost a city, but the peace came and that's it. I didnt liked the outcome, so I reloaded and started the war against Eliza again.

    This time, I put the genereal - who was inside a city, suporting units - to make a fortress in a choke point that I knew a lot of Eliza's troops would come.

    The outcome: I didnt lost any city. In fact, she gave all she got. Her forces were crushed and the biggest military power turned in a weak one. I lost a pikeman, that's all I lost in this war.

    Did I say I was playing with the chinese? So yeah, 45% bonus to troops. But the fortress was better.

    I tell you really why fortress rocks. The AI dont use water tiles.
    So, they can evade the fortress, try a naval battle and reach your cities. But they preffer the hard way and go straigth to damage. 3 damage for everyone...

    Also:
    Or a fixed number of beakers that could increase by Era. Like engineers who could help, but not finish wonders, scientist could just boost without researching.
     
  18. AgentTBC

    AgentTBC Warlord

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    Dudu42: Have you considered that the Citadel gives a 100% defense bonus... and a Fort with a nearby Chinese Great General gives a 95% defense bonus? Plus the 45% attack bonus? Plus the GGs radius is 2 hexes in every direction and he can move if he has to run away, or after the position is no longer necessary?

    A 100% defense bonus just doesn't seem worth it to me when a regular fort + great general is nearly as good, and is probably better when you're talking about a Chinese great general.
     
  19. Licinia Eudoxia

    Licinia Eudoxia Empress

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    I thought Citadels were useless until I had a game where I teamed up with Alexander and Bismarck to invade the Aztecs. The Aztecs surrendered and gave me four cities. This shot my score up very high, which made Alexander and Bismarck declare war on me immediately.

    My army was good but Bismarck had a sea of Landsknecht, and other units. At least 50, really the largest army I've seen in a game yet.

    I built a Citadel on a hill next to a city where I had a chokepoint. I put a Longswordsman in the Citadel, and a Chu Ko Nu in the city with a Great General. Turn after turn, that Citadel helped me just obliterate his massive army.

    So yeah, it was very situational, but it was pretty amazing.
     
  20. Mathias

    Mathias OCC Rocks!

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    In OCC games, or other games where you intentionally limit your expansion, you might find yourself without anything useful for your Engineer to hurry. I would choose GA over the tile improvement, but since I was Persia and already in an endless GA, I used four (yes, four!) engineers to trade excess food for increased production.
     

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