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Most Universal Policy Trees

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Feb 18, 2012.

?

Most universal trees:

Poll closed Apr 18, 2012.
  1. Liberty

    37 vote(s)
    63.8%
  2. Tradition

    32 vote(s)
    55.2%
  3. Honor

    19 vote(s)
    32.8%
  4. Piety

    18 vote(s)
    31.0%
  5. Commerce

    19 vote(s)
    32.8%
  6. Patronage

    9 vote(s)
    15.5%
  7. Enlightenment

    14 vote(s)
    24.1%
  8. Freedom

    9 vote(s)
    15.5%
  9. Autocracy

    1 vote(s)
    1.7%
  10. Order

    9 vote(s)
    15.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Vote for 3 to 5 choices.

    Which trees are you likely to choose at least 1 policy in, when not pursuing the tree's main focus?

    • Liberty: fast early expansion
    • Tradition: tall empires
    • Honor: conquest victories
    • Piety: culture victories
    • Commerce: coastal cities
    • Patronage: allying all citystates
    • Enlightenment: science victories
    • Freedom: specialist economies
    • Autocracy: conquest victories
    • Order: wide empires
     
  2. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    Interesting question.

    I ALWAYS go for the right side of Tradition to get the bonus for Wonders - regardless of Tall. The Liberty bonus production isn't nearly as good for Wonders, and I try to buy as many buildings/units as I can, so the general production bonus just isn't as good for me.

    I ALWAYS go down the middle of Honor for Professionalism - regardless of Conquest.

    Unless I am completely landlocked, I ALWAYS go for Commerce - but if I am landlocked, I still usually go that route anyway for the money boost, decreased purchase prices and cheaper roads/GM an eventual major boost to Happiness when it is completed.

    Now that Happiness plays such a crucial role (an incredible addition to the strategy, by the way - and much needed), Patronage becomes huge for the Happiness from allied/friendly CS's. The bonus research and production make it all the more important for almost any strategy (let alone all of the food, culture and units you get from the CS's). So, I ALWAYS go Patronage now.

    Piety is also up there because it gets you a free Policy and decreases the amount of culture required for more policies - and again, policies are good for any victory condition.

    The others are situational - Order if I have a lot of cities, Enlightenment if I need the Science, Freedom if going specialists, then Liberty for fast expansion. But those were left out because they are situational. Autocracy . . . Well, by the time it rolls around, the game is usually in hand for me, so it's just not needed.
     
  3. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    I have never played a game where I have not gotten the free worker and settler from liberty in the first few policies. Honour for me is a rare choice, except for the very first pick.

    Autocracy is still, for me, effectively useless. If going for a conquest victory, I am usually already finished by the time I can open it. So, I suppose it is the least Universal of them all.

    I could see myself going order in many games, but by the time I can open it, I am on my way to getting the finishers and more powerful policies in other trees, so usually miss it.

    I still think Order and Autocracy need to be more valuable to warrant a late-game pick.

    Freedom, for me, represents the best tree: Always useful for anyone, but situationally extremely beneficial. A good example of the 80/20 rule.
     
  4. black213

    black213 Emperor

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    I voted for Tradition, Liberty and Piety.

    Tradition's one policy gives food on defensive buildings and finisher increases surplus food, so it's also good for wide empires.

    Pretty much all of Liberty's policies are fitting for all situations. Always good to pick early.

    Piety is also good for wide empires due to the happiness boost.
     
  5. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I practically never miss Commerce. Money seems always to be very tight as I spend it always pretty immediately and only keep a small amount for emergencies.

    Liberty and Tradition taken together give extremely strong cities. Free Defense buildings that give both production and food. But only cherrypicking a few policies (for the free settler or the wonder building bonus) doesn't strike me as good as some other seem to think in here as it means you miss out on the finishing bonus. Also, taking three extra policies only for the wonder seems to high a cost for me.
     
  6. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    I know this might seem like an extreme move but putting the extra worker into tradition and keeping the settler in liberty would certainly make me less likely to dip into either and more likely to stick with one, if that is the intention you had in mind. It also doesn't conflict with the 'tall' v. 'expansion' split: Usually I'm more likely to need that worker when going tall.
     
  7. EmperorFool

    EmperorFool Deity

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    When don't you need a free Worker? ;)

    I chose Liberty and Tradition because I start with those in 99% of my games, moreso with VEM because they are so powerful early on.

    I've never used Autocracy--even when starting a game with conquest in mind--because it comes too late and by then my military doesn't need any help.

    I've only taken Commerce policies a few times. Sometimes I will take the first in Vanilla for the 25% :c5gold: boost in the capital, but that's changed in VEM and I'm usually swimming in money by the time it becomes available.
     
  8. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    That's actually kind of funny. I find myself deleting workers and rarely need more than three or four throughout a game. There are only so many tiles that need to be improved, and I generally try to concentrate so heavily on coastal cities now, that the number of tiles to be improved by a worker goes down even further. I use work boats ten times as much as I use workers.

    Yes, early on you get the stone, marble, luxuries, pastures, mines all up and running asap, and then there is a major lull in the action - maybe building roads to CS's or whatever. Obviously, if going for Wide, you will need a lot more workers.

    Anyway, to spend two policies in Liberty to get a worker when you could spend that on honor and easily make the 230g to make up for buying one worker seems like a no brainer to me. So, early on, I just save up the 230g, buy the worker, and 6 turns later I get the 240g gold by selling the luxury he just improved. And then do it again and again after that every 30 turns.
     
  9. EmperorFool

    EmperorFool Deity

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    True enough. I find myself filling out the Liberty tree anyway, so I'm nabbing the free Worker no matter what. Normally I'll have plenty of workers, but in my current wide game I stretched out my empire long-ways and find myself actually building workers (instead of capturing them), and I've had to build a few more again because my cities are growing so fast. I've never worked so many unimproved tiles before. :lol:

    I also don't think I buy units/buildings enough. I'm sitting on 10k :c5gold:, and it's burning a hole in my pocket!
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The aim here is for each policy tree to have some choices with universal appeal, and some specialized. Piety is the best example of this. The happiness early in the tree is useful for almost anyone, while later policies are more focused on culture victories. Based on the results of this poll, and my own experience, I think this goal is met with the early policy trees. :)

    The harder problem is late-game trees like Autocracy, because of the way Firaxis did some early balancing efforts.

    Autocracy was already rather subpar when Civ 5 released. It was rated at the bottom of favorite tree polls on the vanilla general forum. Firaxis then blocked policy saving, which was intended to prevent an unusual exploit where players save up all their policy points until the end of the game. It was a more successful strategy than normal policy selection because of weak early trees, and cost-reducing effects in late game. This mod had already fixed those problems so the exploit wasn't an issue. The mod's approach was more complex than a policy-saving block, however, and Firaxis took the simpler approach.

    However, the unfortunate side-effect of the saving block was to further reduce usefulness of late game policy trees. In the past we could save up policy points when approaching an era transition to invest in the next tier tree. With that strategy Autocracy is actually quite good. I removed the policy-saving block last summer. By that time most players were accustomed to the block, and don't strategize for policy-saving any more. This is the primary reason a tree like Autocracy is so difficult to balance now. It comes so late that if we don't save policy points, it's very hard to give it a sufficient impact on the game.

    The damage from the policy-saving ban is done, and by now I think it's irreversible. I've tried rearranging policies in the trees, buffing them, making them more useful. I don't think that's worked either.

    Would it make sense to try a more fundamental approach now? We could rebuild the Freedom and Autocracy trees with new primary focus. The focus could fill some sort of mid or late game need current left absent.
     
  11. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

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    Playing large/epic games, I'll have several workers. They only cost 1g maintenance and are useful even in late game if you are going to be taking any cities.

    In vanilla I would prune them severely since their maintenance is as great as any other unit.
     
  12. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    There is no doubt in my mind that Autocracy simply doesn't carry much weight because it comes at a point in the game where I can be fairly certain in my military situation one way or another, and the best way to bolster my military is through improving yields. That being said, I find both Order and Autocracy to "feel" underwhelming even if I know they are fairly strong.
     
  13. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    I only voted for two: Liberty for the free worker and settler, and commerce for the free GM. Any other tree I invest in I intend to finish (although I have never taken autocracy and haven't taken order for several months).
     
  14. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I think the policy-saving ban prevents an exploit, so I've never had a problem with its repercussions. (It just occurred to me that often what you call "strategy" I call "exploits.") But the later policies do need some adjustment. I always go for Order after finishing Enlightenment, and am happy with it; how far I get varies. I also always took Autocracy when playing with Germany, but agree that its value was diminished by how late it came. Freedom is a different case, in that at one point I recall Sneaks considering it an automatic choice the moment it became available, but has since been significantly revised downward.

    Speaking broadly, you can either make these trees available sooner - in which case they should be highly specialized - or leave them where they are and make them more broadly powerful. There's something to be said for making a tree appealing enough to require a stronger cultural or scientific effort in order to reach it in time.
     
  15. wobuffet

    wobuffet Barbarian

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    It seems the easy way to solve this would be simply making the later trees available earlier. I don't see any problem – gameplay, thematic, or otherwise – with opening up players' strategic options earlier.
     
  16. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    Thoughts:

    Wonders unlocked via completing a policy tree:
    - Tradition: Karnak
    - Liberty:Nazca Lines
    - Honor: Alhambra
    - Piety: Templo Mayor
    - Patronage: The Duomo
    - Commerce: Jiayuguan Fort
    - Freedom: Tahrir Square
    - Autocracy: The Motherland Calls
    - Order: Empire State Building

    These all have amazing icon art done by Pouakai/sukritact team. Each could be given an effect that both directly boosts the suggested VC of that policy tree as well as supplements the yields less focused on due to its choosing.

    The Motherland Calls for example could give +X :c5war: to all new units where X is the population of the capital. In addition, it could grant 2:c5production: on every farm.

    The Duomo could grant +1:c5culture::c5science::c5gold::c5production: per Allied CS.

    This would create a scenario where going for the less traveled tree would give you a better chance to complete its finisher wonder.
     
  17. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Apart from the inherent value of those finishers, having universally strong ones like this balances the lure of going a la carte, particularly if more trees are available earlier.
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I've strongly considered this. The only thing I'm concerned about is it's unrealistic to have some of the autocracy/order policies in the Renaissance. Would this bother people at all?

    @Sneaks
    I like the idea of finisher-wonders! It fits the concept of automatic difficulty adjustment discussed before, but in this case, automatic balance adjustment.

    It's a slightly different concept than the problem I'm trying to solve in this thread. Policy strategies are basically:

    • Finish no trees.
    • Finish a few, partially invest in others. ← goal
    • Finish every tree we start.
    When vanilla released it was strongly A. Policy finishers swung it to C. One factor is how universal/specialized trees are, which I want to focus on for now. I suspect finisher-wonders would not heavily influence this scale. However, I do like the idea. If you have time to do those wonders I think it'd make a great addition to the game.

    Alternatively, what if some of the less-useful existing world wonders could be made into finisher wonders? Some of them are incredibly hard to make useful:

    • The Great Wall
    • Himeji Castle
    • The Louvre
    • More I'd have to look up
     
  19. orangecape

    orangecape Chieftain

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    I find the Great Wall strange. I never try to rush to it but in my last game I randomly ended up getting it because I was surrounded and no other AI bothered to build it. It was *devastating*. Every time the AI tried to attack me the movement penalty absolutely destroyed them and my archers and chariots just wandered about my territory massacring the enemy at will. You might well argue that defensive wars are easy anyway but if you ever find a defensive war a challenge the Great Wall will make it trivial. Thus I think it is extremely useful if the game is hard and useless if the game is easy. The Himeji Castle is similar but less powerful but does last until the end of the game. In both cases I think you would find them excellent wonders if you are really fighting off a dangerous enemy. I know I *hate* attacking AIs who have them, particularly the Great Wall since mobility is by far to the advantage of the player. I think if you powered up the Great Wall any more it would become quite overpowered on high difficulty levels. Himeji and the Louvre seem okay but not terribly exciting.
     
  20. Dunkah

    Dunkah Emperor

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    Is it possible to open only part of a given tree early. So that you could choose say openers to all trees right away and then as time goes on further policies in each branch open up. You could put it on some sort of "En Eschelon" type of curve so that more of the traditional earlier policies open up early.

    This would allow someone who was choosing a science victory early to get some early enlightenment policy choices. It would also allow the "Non cultural" Civs to choose say all 6 enlightenment policies with it's only 6 choice possibilities during the game.
     

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