Great Scientist: Academy vs Discover Tech

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Pragmatic, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I fail to see what that opportunity cost has to do with science per turn, to me it looks like a function of the tech tree layout and being able to choose the techs first and foremost. If you couldn't reliably go three techs down at some points with free techs but had to research it that would go a long way. It's just that being able to grab those techs immediately that should take you 40 or 50 turns to research is very, very strong because it puts you at a position in the game where you either get a lot larger bonuses from the city states, have a vastly superior unit type to everyone else, win the game, or any combination of the three.

    Unfortunately, what adds to the small opportunity cost is the low production rate compared to teching and the generally marginal buildings. In Civ4 I often felt bad about having to take a military tech because there were juicy economic techs (changing policies, adding yield, and so on) scattered all over the tech tree. In Civ5, there are very few of these. The only ones that have a significant effect are Civil Service and whatever buffs your lumbermills and even Civil Service is kind of moot due to the huge amount of food Maritime CS offer you for some money.

    I know that in the late game Biology will allow your cities to again grow in 5 turns but by that time the game is usually decided (in that either you or a run-away AI has a huge tech lead). The only times when I saw this 75% storage really kicking in was when I deliberately slowed myself to see some huge cities once.
     
  2. Law Lord

    Law Lord Chieftain

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    I strongly agree with this line of reasoning. There are just very very few true incentives to taking an economic tech over a military tech in Civ 5. Most of the economic techs merely offer the upgraded version of an economic building that will take far too long to build anyway. Military techs have an immediately felt advantage because there are more cost effective ways to achieve unit upgrades and production than there are building upgrades and production.

    One potential solution might be to tie the Social Policy trees to specific economic techs rather than eras. Purely speculatively, I know that if I couldn't get Rationalism before Scientific Method, I'd think harder about going all-out military. I still might go all out military :D Combine this with bringing back restrictions on beelining one tech line all the way, and the decisions become more meaningful.
     
  3. EverNoob

    EverNoob Prince

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    I occasionally settle my GS instead of the free tech, but always with the first GS and never later than classical era. In the context of specializing a city for science using national college/university/observatory the settled GS will be worth more beakers in the end than free teching.

    Other than that specific context, free teching is the way to go. By the time you hit coal or oil, is doesn't matter if the academy is on a resource or not. Losing 5 beakers at that point of the game is insignificant.
     
  4. sesaMe

    sesaMe Chieftain

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    i use them almost exclusivly on goldenages as they tend only to spawn from puppet states

    by which time im past the clutch techs like civil service or steel and knee deep in the skulls of my foes

    i suspect acadamies are best used on tiles with 1 commerce and 1 production so they still produce efficently during goldenages. river hills/deer/cows? accadamies DO remove jungle >:
     
  5. jwallstone

    jwallstone Chieftain

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    I know this is a strategy thread, but I'd love to get people's input on what changes would help. I made a mod that makes a few cautious changes:

    -Academy does not remove jungle.
    -Academy +1 w/ some techs, to make it scale more as the game progresses.
    -Manufactory provides the same strategic resources as a Mine (and gets the same +1:hammers: bonus), so there is no disincentive to just replace a mine.
    -+1 yield to great people improvements w/ relevant techs.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=389887

    Would this make Academies more attractive to people? I don't want to make huge changes, since my goal was to make cautious tweaks.
     
  6. CrimsonEdge

    CrimsonEdge Warlord

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    It depends on the stage of the game you are in. The earlier the stage of the game, the less value discovering a tech is and the more value an Academy is. It's about total potential gain versus immediate tech.

    Sometimes you'll want to pop a scientists to get a specific tech for your strategy. Other times you just want solid constant science gain. Seeing as you can only have X number of scientists per city, having an academy being worked after that point can add a lot of science.

    It's an interesting mechanic that hasn't fully been explored yet.
     
  7. _hero_

    _hero_ King

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    I actually think great people should have a second golden age option. Rather than the standard one. Great scientists should allow a golden age which increases beakers per pop from .5 to 1. Great Engineers should give hammers and Merchants gold. This would have to be altered in some way so as to be better than what regular gives you. Either +1 in all tiles rather than just tiles that already have it, or make the special golden ages last longer/not have diminishing returns.

    Finally, Great Artists should give +culture. I'm not sure what would be a good balance. I want to say +1 per pop for X turns. I'd think this would allow for large empires to actually gain a social policy or two and medium empires to be capable of getting a cultural victory, while still helping small empires get one too.

    And Generals, though they don't need a buff could get a "combat golden age" that gives +X% combat strength for say, 10 turns.
     
  8. DiabolicX

    DiabolicX Chieftain

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    Discover tech
    /thread
     
  9. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    I don't think I'll ever want to build an academy just because it eats a hex that I probably want to use for something else. Deserts, tundras, snows can be used but if you accidentally build on top of your only source of oil, then you've wasteed your GS.
    I always bulb, except very late game where I can use for a golden age, even a 3 turns one can be worth it with a big empire.
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Nice idea, but beakers per pop is already 1
     
  11. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    If you got 100 Science per turn from an Academy, you'd feel differently. But you don't get anything approaching that, so there's no meaningful opportunity cost as things stand.

    Education, Construction and Astronomy are very strong. Currency is strong, and can be very strong if you have the right luxuries.

    The rest are, as you suggest, crap. The FP is a very high quality building but arrives surprisingly late, since you should be decimating the tech tree by the time you backfill all of those prereqs.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    RA techs are only "random" if you don't steer them by allocating a turn of research into technologies you do not want, so RA can actually accomplish the same thing.

    It's rather dubious that you're going to come up with much useful analysis if you fail to see how a change in the beakers/turn of an academy has on it.

    If you take a ludicrous example like academy = 100 beakers/turn, you'd see why the "opportunity cost" of those BPT are relevant, but that the option is not sufficiently strong for it to be optimal in most cases.
     
  13. ChevalierdeJstn

    ChevalierdeJstn Chieftain

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    Beakering/bulbing is just too overpowered to ever make Academy worthwhile. The marginal return from beakering an entire new tech is always going to be greater than what an Academy might produce. Especially because of the way SPs are determined by era and not specific techs. (IMO the game is broken in this respect. I like Law Lord's suggestion for a fix.)

    And no, building an Academy early in the game so you get more turns of +5 science does not make it "better". Marginal utility, not aggregate, people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_utility

    People seem to also be posting ideas for fixing the imbalance on this thread, so here goes:

    I don't see how it's possible to upgrade the Academy in patches to a worthwhile extent without further breaking the game. The obvious solution would seem to be to decrease the power of beakering. Having already posted accusing the game designers of sacrificing playability for "realism", this is a case where more realism - let's say the GS beakers a new, _random_ tech - could make the game more fun.

    I consider TMIT's reference to 1-turn researching to "steer" RAs an unfun exploit, so it doesn't concern me. The problem is that the game is not currently playable in a way that makes the choice between Academy/Beaker at all fun (or a real choice). What are you going to do, pretend you were going to beaker a tech you don't want so that building the Academy becomes more attractive?
     
  14. avandol

    avandol Chieftain

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    Just count the additional beakers. In early times 5 beakers add in a significant way to your science total.
    So 5 add. beakers (with a library 6) multiplied with the number of turns until you hit whatever you set yourself as goal. In your case, Oil.

    Gotta tell you though - at the time you actually start pumping oil, Academies are outdated, since they dont add in a significant way anymore.

    Number example assuming you build the academy in a city with a library:

    Your overall beaker score is 50. You build the academy and thus, add 6 beakers.
    (That would mean a research increase of 10.2%!)
    Lets say, it will take you 200 rounds to outdate him. Since I usually play Epic speed, I'd rather count 600 or mroe rounds, but thats up to me.
    So in 200 rounds he produces 1200 beakers which amounts to several techs, even in epic or marathon games early in the game.
    Had I wasted him on a tech like monarchy or anything, I'd have gotten alot less.

    This is the amount without factoring in unis, observatories or politics.
    Factor all of those in and count the time from building the acad. to winning the game you will get a very nice number of beakers, amounting to several techs instead of just one.

    Of course, the later you get the GS, the less the number up to the point where it doesnt amount to one tech anymore.


    As a rule - if my techs cost more than 1600-2000 beakers I bulb, before that I build.
     
  15. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Yeah Academies on grasslands.

    With a University and an Observatory it's a 10:science: tile that feeds itself.
    Or a 20:science: tile if you add a Research lab.

    What a crappy improvement.

    Lets see, 100 turns, 10:science: per tile... 1000:science:. That's a renaissance tech!

    Moral of the story: if you have half a brain and place your academy properly (near a city that can build an Observatory), you'll get at least 2-3 techs out of it before the game ends. And please don't counter with "GAME'S ALREADY OVER BY THAT TIME LOLZ" arguments because you need 4 techs to do a horseman rush.
     
  16. avandol

    avandol Chieftain

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    The important part is that especially in the early game its a powerful addition, while its usage is mitigated towards the modern times.
    In fast speed games this is further mitigated, but there the techs cost less as well.

    Sorry, but if you cant see the benefit you should repeat your basic school math lessons. Its simple algebra. Like Bibor wrote (/agree Bibor)
     
  17. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    And don't forget the national college (another +50%) which can be built quite early (depends on your expansion) and doesn't cost many hammers.

    By the way, is it always +50% of the original value or is it cumulative?

    For example with uni, college and observatory: 5 + 2.5 + 2,5 + 2,5 = 12,5 science
    or: 5 * 1,5 * 1,5 * 1,5 =~ 17 science ?
     
  18. The Great Apple

    The Great Apple Big Cheese

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    By the time you have both a university and an observatory you're probably not going to have that many renaissance techs left. There's also the fairly strong argument that a tech now is better than a tech in 100 turns time, and another 150-200 turns after that, especially if you're slingshotting deep.
     
  19. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Oh yes, national college; forgot about that one. Bonuses are cumulative.

    So 5*2,5 for a 150% bonus for a total of 12,5.
     
  20. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    Ok, thanks.

    So, I'd say in most games it's a 100% bonus because mountains can be rare.
    On emperor, tech costs are 400 (civil service), ~680 (astronomy) and 900 (scientific methods = public school = another +50%:goodjob:).

    Imo, it's worth it, at least for the 1st and 2nd academy. Tradition tree for the 33% growth rate in your capitol (= science city) should be useful as well.
     

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