[BERT] My Personality Traits rankings with analysis.

Tiberiu

Prince
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I've used the search function but haven't found a topic that goes into depth about personality traits so I've decided to create this one and give my insight. Criticism is welcomed.

The opinions expressed below might not be flawless but they do help me win any standard apollo game in around [ 200 turns, minus 30 or plus 30 ] depending on the luck with exploration, artifacts, random events in a game.

The numbers near the trait represents the value Diplomatic Capital that you can obtain via the agreement made available by the trait. The higher this number is, the higher the theoretical benefit that you can obtain, however sometimes lower can be more affordable for the AI and thus in practice can gain you more DC.

Political Traits.

Excellent.

- Subtle. +15. More effective spies. Spies can have a very powerful impact on the gameplay and this trait only makes this even stronger. There is little else to say except that a spy-focused strategy is very effective and only has the flaw of being a little low on reliability due to the nature of how spies operate. Yet, 75% chance for the important operations means the numbers operate in your favour.

- Generous. +15. Cost of purchasing reduced. An energy-based strategy can be effective thanks to all the ways to gain it, and also because it is one of the very few things unaffected by having very low health.

- Enlightened. +15. Virtue cost reduced by percentage for each agreement. At maximum level it is 6% and you can gain a 30% reduction by signing 5 agreements. Virtues are very strong so this trait is good.

- Progressive. +9. Health increase for each agreement signed by you. Gaining a lot of health bonuses in order to gain the benefits and expand very wide can be a strong strategy and this trait helps with that.

Average.

- Enterprising. +3. International trade route yields boost. International trade is ok but I think Internal or Station Trade is even better. That is because International Trade also helps your trade partner obviously and can make them become stronger, faster than they would otherwise.

- Insightful. +15. Gives science for each agreement signed by you. Some players might find this trait better than I do but in my opinion the power of it is diminished by the fact that the science it gives is especially useful early in the game, but at that point you need DC to improve your traits. If you spend DC to sign agreements, then you won't have a lot of DC to improve traits. And even worse by not having traits, you have fewer requests from other factions for your agreements. Science is good though, so in theory this trait can be ok, just not as good as others.

Bad.

- Expansionist. Cheaper culture cost for city plots. +15. City plots are not that hard to aquire and Water city don't expand anyway. So this trait is just bad in my opinion.

- Ambitious. +3. Better city development rates. These rate increases are too low to be worth it. They would have to be at least double for me to not consider this a bad trait. And the agreement is only +3. Maybe, just maybe, it can be good for Al Falah in order to double down on their bonus.

- Disciplined. +9. Faster XP for units. XP is useful but veterancy is limited anyway so the units will achieve their limit soon enough. This trait just isn't good.

- Aspirational. +9. More city orbital coverage. Orbital coverage is not a problem, and if you need more, this will not be enough. A comm relay is not that hard to obtain. Worst Political Trait.


Domestic Traits.

Excellent.

- Industrialist. +3. City production increases. More production is always good whatever you are trying to accomplish. The low amount of possible DC gained is not necessarily a bad thing, either, especially if this is taken early.

- Cooperative. +15. Internal trade route boost. Internal trade is very strong and it can be boosted in multiple ways. Getting all these ways (Warp spire, Industry virtue, Domestic Trait) is a worthy strategy.

Good.

- Developer. +25. Instant health increases. Health is always good. This trait can be a decent way to reach the maximum benefits for health and it remains good because you can sometimes sign a +25 DC agreement later in the game. However the amount of health isn't very impressive so I can't give this trait the best rating.

- Commercial. +25. Energy increased by percentage in cities. Focusing on energy can be good and Energy is always useful. It is also not under the penalty of negative health. The DC you can gain from this is also nice in the endgame.

Average.

- Humanitarian. +9. Food percentage increases in cities. Food is penalised by unhealth and also the agreement might be too good for the AI. However food focusing can be effective sometimes so I can't rate this as worst option.

- Refined. +15. Culture percentage increases in cities. Culture is nice but the amount is too low for my liking. Maybe in a strategy where you are gaining all the cultural bonuses you can find...But in my opinion there are better ways to spend DC.

- Innovative. +15. Science percentage increases in cities. Science is good but once again I think there are better ways to gain science and better ways to use DC.

Bad.

- Vigilant. +9. Slower intrigue in cities. Intrigue isn't a problem. Bad trait.

- Spacefaring. +3. More orbital unit duration. Orbital units last long enough and are replaced easily enough. This trait just isn't good and is also has a low DC agreement.

- Defensive. +25. Combat boost inside friendly territory. You should not be defending, you should be attacking. So there is little room to use this trait. The potential DC is good but not good enough to make this a worthy trait.
[ Not entirely sure if this does apply to air units, but even if it did, it is still not good enough. ]

Militaristic traits.

Excellent.

- Efficient. +9. Extra production when building units. It is always good to produce units faster. Great for domination victories.

- Profiteering. +3. Better station trade yields. Trading with stations has the potential to be very strong thanks to Station Satellites and to Industry virtue that gives energy for trading with stations. Even with a low potential DC from the agreement, I think this is a top choice. An ultrasonic fence is absolutely needed to use this effectively otherwise aliens might destroy the trade convoys.

Good.

- Practical. +25. Lower maintenance cost for military units. It can make a difference with a lot of units and especially in energy focused strategies.

Average.

- Honorable. +9. Culture when killing units is good but the amount is too low for me to like this.

- Precise. +9. Science when killing units is good but the amount is too low for me to like this.

- Imperial. +9. Strength boost for units fighting outside friendly territory. This can be good but I am tempted to think that the success or failure of a war campaign will not be affected by this trait as the amount is still too low. Maybe if it were 10/20/30 instead of 5/10/15 it could have been a better trait.

Bad.

- Protective. +15. Extra strength for cities for each population. A good colony shouldn't need this but it's worth having it in mind for emergency cases or if some angered kraken or worm comes close to cities.

- Colonial. +15. City plots easier to buy with energy. I am of the opinion that there are better things to do with energy than buying tiles. The reduction amount is still too low to be worth it.

- Suspicious. +9. Fewer successful operations needed for spy level up. If spies couldn't level up quickly enough or if there was a higher limit for spy level than just 3, then this trait could have been good. As it is, it simply isn't.

- Integrated. +3. Fighting inside orbital coverage strength boost. Just no. The amount is too low anyway and the low cost of the agreement unlocked makes this trait certainly bad.
 
Last edited:

vorlon_mi

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Some observations:
Overall: I agree with your classifications for the "Bad" traits in all categories.

Political traits: In some of my recent games, the AI have taken turns declaring war on me for no apparent reason early in the game. With 4 or more AI viewing me as sanctioned, it's hard to get agreements which lessens the appeal of Enlightened, Progressive, and Insightful. Based on your comments, I will give more attention to Subtle and Generous.

Military traits: I agree with your comments about Efficient and Imperial. In my games, I usually go for Precise for the early game, when I'm killing aliens. Even city defense shots can yield some science. I tend to have more Transcendence victories than Domination victories; I will try Efficient in my next military focused game. Profiteering is good as long as the stations hang around. In several games, the AI have destroyed them or they faded because no one established a trade route. Yes, there are two near my territory, with Station Sentinel satellites, but low availability pushed it down from Excellent to Good for me.

Domestic traits: I used to go for Developer to get the instant health -- super important in the early game (turn < 120), but less useful in the late game, when I have affinity buffs to dig out of the negative health hole. I replaced it with Innovative, but I agree that Industrialist is probably better. Regarding Cooperative -- my first trade routes are always stations, help outpost grow, and then usually foreign when I get someone into the green Cooperative relationship. Few internal trade routes early. As I get close to building the affinity wonder, I switch all the trade routes to internal to boost production in the city that will build the wonder. In the late game, the Cooperative personality trait could be very helpful. Choosing it early would have a payoff later.
 

Tiberiu

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Thank you for the comments.

Political traits: In some of my recent games, the AI have taken turns declaring war on me for no apparent reason early in the game. With 4 or more AI viewing me as sanctioned, it's hard to get agreements which lessens the appeal of Enlightened, Progressive, and Insightful.

About war declarations from the AI I agree they can be quite disrupting when they break your agreement-based trait benefits. It seems in any game AIs (usually the neighbours first) will start attacking the human player around turn 75 or so. At that stage most likely we don't have too much of an army to deter them since the capital had to first build some explorers, essential buildings, maybe a few colonists... thus little time for units.

Because of this I think the " for each agreement signed by you" traits are best used after first improving some other trait that gives us a more reliable benefit. Usually in the mid-late game we have an army and thus we can keep at least a few colonies in either Fear or Respect and we can more easily manipulate things through Diplomacy. The hard part is getting a colony weak and then through Fear we can keep them as Cooperative or even Ally if we want to. (I try not to use Ally because of unexpected war declarations forced through the allegiance.) What is a bit un-immersive for me is how a really weak AI with high fear sometimes attacks out of nowhere. It makes AI feel, well... a bit too artificial, almost random.

In my games, I usually go for Precise for the early game, when I'm killing aliens.

Hmm... I have to try it and focus on it, it does sound like it can be fun. Maybe, Brasil or NSA, go with Might right away, get Purity 2 as soon as possible for the other bonus for a total +45% vs aliens, and get Precise as the first trait, and improve it Asap?
For this it seems like a good idea to first research techs that unlock units, and extra production buildings (Chemistry for Recycler and Rangers and Robotics for Autoplant and Tacjets).

Based on your comments, I will give more attention to Subtle and Generous.

If trying them out please consider also making a combo for them, i.e for Subtle try to also obtain Soul Discerner Training ability through artifacts, and for Generous, the Industry virtue that also gives a reduction (they stack).
 

vorlon_mi

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Another overall comment: Since the cost for switching a personality trait is the same as upgrading it, and the costs increase as the game goes on, I'm reluctant to change out a personality trait once I have chosen it. I usually try to set each one in place as my first 3 "purchases" with DC. I will upgrade all 4 in different orders, depending on what I need at the time. Do you ever change out personality traits?

I suppose it could work to choose "Developer" for the Domestic trait, with its instant health benefit, but never upgrade it. After turn 150 or so, swap it out for "Cooperative" for the late game internal trade routes and upgrade that trait.

A caveat: when one switches a personality trait, any agreements that depended on it are immediately broken, which may have some impact on your relations with those AI.
 

Tiberiu

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Like you say, it's a pretty big disincentive to switch out the traits so I mostly choose them permanently too but I also think that in the endgame at some point you start having a lot of DC (like, 100+/turn), from all the buildings and the agreements and there comes a time when it no longer feels that bad to change a trait if you want to. On the other hand of course you can buy a unit or a building with DC with that same ~1000 DC.

A good example of a reason for changing a trait that was good once is like in a wide strategy (for me wide means 15-20 cities), and having used Subtle trait for Spies for Steal Energy/Steal Science. In this case in the last 20-30 turns of that game, through the use of Propaganda (+2% health for each spy at HQ), it can become a good idea to simply put all spies in HQ and gain all the benefits from high health instead of relying on them for Missions that take time and also have a chance to fail. Putting 6-7 spies in HQ each for +4-5 health or even more, can make a noticeable difference. Then, obviously Subtle would no longer do anything and it would make sense to change it if there was DC available. (This example doesn't apply to Chungsu and ARC who I think should keep doing missions all game)

I usually try to set each one in place as my first 3 "purchases" with DC.
I do the same, this seems to be the best idea because this way in theory you can then have the opportunity for more agreements with the AI. And also a good idea, assuming there is not something of a very high priority, seems to be to first set in place the traits with a lower agreement cost because early in the game even the AIs don't have the (250+25/turn) to sign an agreement but they might have that (25+3/turn) to sign a small one.
 

vorlon_mi

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Late Game Diplomatic Capital: I tend to stockpile DC after all the traits are leveled up. My most frequent purchase is a new trade convoy, as my cities grow large enough to support a second or third trade route. At this point, my trade routes usually look like
  • Capital is producing the end game wonder, trade routes from the capital go to station(s)
  • One route from each city goes to the capital to boost production
  • Second route from each city goes to a station (if available) or to another nearby city, to reduce the opportunity for pillaging during the end game war
National Security Policy: That's a great idea! I have struggled to find a "good" choice for the policy, since all of the choices seemed like small beer. I usually chose "increase chances of success", but I will switch to health in my next game. When I start getting lots of agents from Feedsite Hubs, I can just leave them in HQ to boost health. I usually keep an agent in the AI city that is trying to build their victory wonder, so that I can gauge when it might be finished and move my troops into position. In the last few games, someone on the other side of the world decides to build the Beacon, so I need to send Level III (hover) tanks and possibly an aircraft carrier to knock it out.
 
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