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. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    If a policy is clearly "modern," then it would bother me in terms of realism. This could arguably be addressed by putting those policies at the end of a relatively late-blooming tree. I'm more concerned about benefit inflation, which has steadily increased across pretty much all areas. Making more trees available earlier once again makes the game easier. (We disagree on the value of more choices vs tough choices.) If more trees were going to be available earlier, then I agree that specializing them for more specific (rather than general) purpose is the way to go. If you also weakened policies across the board, then the added choice wouldn't necessarily make the game easier. But that is an awful lot of reconceiving just to make more policies easier to get.

    As has been mentioned elsewhere, the overall problem largely comes with our endless buffing spirals. If things are too easy, you have to reduce efficiency. There's nothing wrong with some stuff being less useful than others, as long as it's not worthless. I prefer the base game being harder, so that choosing an improvement, SP or GW delivers a satisfying result. That's why I liked the idea of changing the Village yields, for example. But you could just as easily go about trimming the fat from the buffing of weaker improvements, and many of the secondary +1's of this or that now dotting the GW landscape.
     
  2. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I don't think Realism is a problem for opening Authoritarianism or Order an era earlier. You will not be able to fill up the trees anyways right away and most of the times you need to take one of the other policies of an old tree. But even then, proto-Nationalism or Proto-Socialism can be traced back there and it's not as if you will be able to declare Total War in the Renaissance anyways.

    Even then, gameplay trumps realism, and if what it takes to make these three trees viable, then so they should open earlier. Isn't that what they seem to be doing with the expansion anyways, prolonging the Industrial era with more WWI-like units. And prolonging that era = more utility for those policies?

    Looking at the poll again, maybe it'd make sense to make Liberty and Tradition be exclusive again. But I get it, that's against your design philosophy as it takes away some choices. But the stacking of the cultural bonusses in the opening do seem broken to me, maybe if only the first one of those counted...

    As for the Wonders, I disagree moving some of those exclusively to Social Policy Finishers (as in finishing a tree opens up this wonder). There would be not enough wonders... Now if you turn it around and give a wonder an additional bonus if you have also finished a tree, that might make it more worthwhile and also help with one of the weaker wonders.

    As for adding additional wonders, wouldn't that go too far away from vanilla? Or they could support/enhance/enable a National Wonder instead of a Great Wonder. Before adding another feature, I just think it should be clear what the goal is of that (making people fill out trees?)
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Possibly prolonging that era doesn't equate to making the Industrial trees available sooner to me, but maybe I'm missing something.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that, with tweaking, all of the trees are viable. What you can't do is fill out all of them - especially if you're kicking butt so much that the game ends before you get there. But why should you reach into more of them if you're that far ahead? That would be like complaining you can't use modern units because you win in the Renaissance. Just as most players choose either Tradition or Liberty, or dip into both, then the same pattern should hold as the eras progress. Even with wins in the 250-turn range, I sometimes fill out most of Order as well as Enlightenment, part of Patronage, and Tradition or Liberty. Why would I want more?
     
  4. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I implicitedly understood that no era will be shorted thus if you prolong one era you will lengthen the whole game. Also more techs will be added and they may be optional, but I don't think so. (Optional techs are really hard to balance), thus more technologies = longer games (if the costs are not cut down).

    And I agree that games should last longer and only decided in the last era, or otherwise late starts be encouraged more ;) Because you are right, the last era doesn't matter all that often - be it social policies, units or whatever. How many times have we discussed and rebalanced the German Landsknecht, but has the German Panzer been changed? I'm actually not sure ;)

    What can we do to let games be won "later"? The whole Victory system is off for me since it just asks one question for the whole game (per condition). Have you built the spaceship? Have you conquered all the Capitals? Have you filled up 6 Social Policy Trees? Instead -in my opinion - victories should be gradual, with each era awarding you victory points. So Being the first to open/fill a era technologically gives you one science victory point, whereas conquering one capital gives you a conquest one. I don't have a whole system since it's not something we can change and it'd change the basics of civ V, so that has to wait at least until civ 6, but I think it's a core problem of civilization (V).
     
  5. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    I'm still amazed at Patronage being so low. I don't think people realize the culture, happiness and science boosts that stack in that tree - let alone the production boost. Also, if you have met all of the CSs and somehow time Angor Wat with the tree's +20 influence, you get 6000 gold of influence and enormous benefits otherwise on a 12 CS map.
     
  6. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

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    Yes, the game should not end until the LAST turn (500, 750, 1500), barring a conquest victory. You get points for the things you mentioned and you also get points for each (former) victory condition you achieved. So you may have won the space race, an AI the UN vote*, ....

    And reduce or nil the victory points for building wonders. Their value should be in their value, not in VPs. They should also not be indestructible, so taking the city containing a wonder may not gain you the wonder (20-30% chance of its loss).

    * An AI wins the UN vote; but the UN votes still continue, so another AI or you might win the NEXT one, etc.
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Totally agree about Patronage's power. And on a Continents Plus map it's not hard to hit the jackpot you describe, if you focus on it early enough. (By the way, here's an example of icebreaking triremes sometimes making the game too easy!)
     
  8. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    Yeah, I am playing Pangea Plus mostly now, so generally don't care about breaking ice as I will have three or four Triremes exploring in all directions getting experience, culture and money for my empire while finding the CS's and major civs. I find ranged frigates to be incredibly powerful for taking out coastal cities as I am sling shotting my way through archeology with GS's and Oxford.
     
  9. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    One thing to keep in mind with policies is the AI. Right now the AI cannot handle having more than 2 branches open at a given time. Any configuration which would inhibit the AI from finishing a tree would possibly break it outright.
     
  10. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    I didn't choose patronage because I don't just dip into it, I fill it out every game.
     
  11. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    Oh crud, I may have misunderstood the poll. I thought he was asking which trees are the most useful for any strategy regardless of the primary purpose of the trees. In other words, which trees are the most universal and beneficial regardless of your game plan!

    But yeah - I get your point. I fill that tree out ASAP after I have gone down the right side of tradition, the middle of honor and the middle three of Commerce. The only difficulty is trying to figure out where Piety fits in - and that usually depends on the status of my tech tree.
     
  12. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I don't think Liberty and Tradition were ever mutually exclusive... at least not for the human player. The AI does have to pick between them.

    Basically yeah - trees we get 1+ points in when we reach that era, regardless of our strategy. Piety is the best example. I want to make more trees like Piety, where 2 policies are useful for anyone (like happiness) and 4 policies are specialized for a few strategies (like culture buildings).
     
  13. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    I was thinking about this yesterday: what is the thought process behind the happiness modifiers for Patronage and Commerce, for example, being so much larger than the Enlightment happiness boosts (in most cases). There a few policies in Enlightment that just make me go "meh" (gold for science buildings, academy/scientests boost, happiness for science buildings) but I get them anyway because I want the two free techs at the end.

    Whereas in Piety or Patronage I feel like I am windmill slamming almost every policy.
     
  14. Jaybe

    Jaybe civus fanaticus Supporter

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    The AI could not pursue both Liberty & Tradition at vanilla release, but that changed with one of the patches.
     
  15. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Consider what we need for +2:c5happy: in each city:

    1. Enlightenment requires a Library and University.
    2. Commerce requires each city to settle on 2 luxuries.
    I usually achieve the first goal more easily than the second. The patronage version typically gives higher numbers than either of these, but requires a peaceful interaction. It depends on playstyle. The commerce and enlightenment versions can be achieved through conquest. :)
     
  16. kc_bandit

    kc_bandit Chieftain

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    Okay, I have a lot to learn then, because the idea of conquesting ten cities, for example, AND occupying them to make sure they have a library and a university makes future social policies come at a snail's pace (at least it does for me) - policies in the mid to late game which can make a huge difference I have found, so I rarely occupy (unless it is one of six cities or something that I have taken and it is on a coast so I can build a harbor).

    Also, for Commerce, all it takes is 12+ allied city states to give you a ton of happiness from all of their luxuries and copies thereof - which is further compounded with the Patronage tree. Am I missing something there? In other words, you don't need a ton of cities with improved luxuries. Of course if you do, then it is even better, but isn't nearly as easy to do as just completing some quests or gifting gold.

    So I guess you are saying that happiness for Enlightment is good for wide science strategies - with a lot occupied or self settled cities. But that's pretty much it? If so, then the work involved to get all of that happiness is MUCH harder than just allying CS's which gives you benefits in both the Patronage AND the Commerce trees (not doubling up, but certainly amplifying the results for esentially some gold from time to time or just completing quests that you would have done anyway).

    More importantly, it costs you a ton of happiness to actually have that many cities, right? So I assume you are building colloseums, theatres, stadiums, et al as well to compensate?

    If I am totally off base here, I would like to learn how you manage that many cities, occupy them, pay for or build the court houses, science buildings, etc. and make it all work. To me, that seems like a lot of work, time and gold versus allying CS's. Is the science boost from doing so just insane? Is that the difference maker??

    Thanks again for taking the time with my newb questions. Trying to learn!!
     
  17. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Occupied cities generate science, while puppets do not. Occupied cities also output more culture. This allows us to research new sources of culture quickly, which in turn speeds up policy rate.

    It sounds like you play conquest games. Have you tried conquering citystates? It instantly gives 50 turns' worth of alliance bonuses. Since turns early in the game are exponentially more important than later turns, an immediate early bonus is much more powerful for warmongers like us than an over-time bonus. Citystates are easier to conquer than a major civ and incur fewer diplomatic penalties. I usually capture a few in the Classical era, then turn my attention to a major civ in the Medieval era.

    This is why the value of these policies depends on playstyle. Commerce is a much better investment for a warmonger than Patronage. You can find more details in my Mongolia strategy on the strategy forum. The general concepts outlined in that post apply to any conquest game. :)

    Try playing as Bismark in your next game. Build an army from barbarians and then smack your nearest citystate neighbors. Culture and military citystates are the best targets. Killing one cultural CS can instantly fill out one or more Honor policies, and killing a militaristic CS gives a bunch of free units. Maritime citystates are less useful since conquest games struggle to stay happy, and massive population growth makes it more of a challenge.
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Thinking this over, what do late game empires really need?

    • Wide or conquest empires need to reduce :c5angry: anger.
    • Tall empires need more :c5food: food to use up excess happiness.
    Below are my thoughts on how to reorganize the trees that way. Each tree has a few universal policies for anyone, and a few specialized policies for specific tasks. I think this should improve the standing of trees who fared poorly in this poll.







     
  19. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I do like that Autocracy now has a happiness and a military branch. I would however like a connection back to Honour, f.e. in form of another benefit for having a unit garissoned in the city. Otherwise, this tree looks pretty good to me.

    As for Freedom, I don't reall get how Human Rights improve Farm efficiency. But I guess naming is tertiary in importance, I do differentiate the policies on effect, not name anyways ;) How much is a +1 food on farms really worth though? and it actually "forces" you to try to take Communism, the hardest to get policy in the Order Tree, as well for maximum benefit. It just doesn't seem like something I would get, or which I just get for the Finisher.

    What if you take the Finisher Idea from Autocracy and adapt it to the other trees as well? Namely a 20 turn bonus on the main focus of the tree? So Finishing Freedom would get you a 20 turn Growth Bonus (not food so that you don't fall back into minus afterwards). I mean that does remind me of the time we call the Wirtschaftswunder here in Germany. When after the War in the fifties and sixties everything seemed to go up and it was all rainbows and unicorns until 1968 and the Paris and Berlin Student Protests. (or gold bonus, as the boom economy of the Fifties would fit and it's already basically in your finisher, if you make it run out after 30 turns you can make the bonus larger = fits better with endgame)

    I'd just think it would fit better than +1 food for farms on Human Rights. I just don't have enough farms normally so that it would seem worthwhile. And in Tall games, I often do have Rationalism and Commerce, which enhance villages, or go specialist anyways. And the Policy does seem too deep in to go take it after having taken Communism.

    The same goes in my mind for Communism. It seems to be the last policy in the tree so you normally will take it with the finisher, which is +production on villages, not really much synergy. Or is that wanted? However I could imagine as a bonus 20 turns of production bonus - rather bland, not? - or 20 turns of science bonus - would fit rather more with the notion of "it's the 20ies after the October Revolution and the Soviet Union marches onwards into the Space Program and Gender Equality, all the ideologies of early Leninism basically".

    It's just that Communism and the Finisher seem to lack a bit of creativity...
     
  20. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I agree completely with your points mitsho. Those are good ideas for changes to make!

    Creativity is often confined by limitations of the policy files, but in this circumstance I can manually code temporary effects like those with lua. Effects like that can also be applied to opportunities. The double usefulness makes this very appealing. I've been wanting to do temporary bonuses for opportunities, but I estimate it would take 10-20 hours to write the code framework, so it's been a low priority until now.

    My thinking with human rights is it represents better conditions for agricultural workers, and innovations like the high yield wheat developed by Norman Borlaug, which saved billions of people from starvation. Perhaps there's a better name to express this?

    Food bonuses, in general, help use up the high excess happiness people report is a problem in tall empires.
     

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