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Policy Discussion: Tradition

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Stalker0, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I felt like the last debate on polices got a bit hectic, since we are talking about all of the trees at once. I would like to focus discussion on one tree at a time to keep the results more organized. If people disagree we can close this thread down and go back to the big thread.

    One key thing that has changed in BNW that should factor in our discussions is the new culture victory. Because policy trees are no longer keys to victory, filling them out is no longer a priority. Before we focused on making an entire tree useful so filling out the tree for the culture victory felt useful. We don't have to concern ourselves with that as much now, if a tree has a specialized policy that isn't always going to be wanted....that is not as big a deal now.

    I'm going to bust out the rating system again as well! I collapsed D and F because people tended to lump them together last time. I also put a bit more distinction between a strong policy and a game altering policy.

    A - Policy is often the reason you choose a tree, generally a powerhouse policy no matter how you are playing.
    B - Strong policy, often a key to a playstyle, but perhaps a bit too specific to be considered an A.
    C - Solid policy. You like it, your happy to take it, but its not game altering, just nice to have.
    F - Weak policy. You take it only when you have used up better choices, or because its a prereq for a good closer or a much stronger policy. However, you never like taking this policy.

    Tradition
    Overall: Tradition is my favorite tree currently, in that i pick it often and will often finish the whole tree. Part of that reason is that due to its opener, legalism (culture buildings), and the fact that tradition works with tall civs where polices are gained quicker; I can race through this tree in the early game very quickly.

    Opener: B Very solid. Though i personally hate getting culture for culture's sake (i don't like policies that exist just to make other policies faster), the effect is so strong early game that it actually increases the benefits of all the other tradition policies, and combined with the faster borders ability that the policy is a good one to take. Plus the hanging gardens is amazing if you can swing it.

    I know there is debate about moving the faster borders later in the tree. I personally would be fine with that, the opener would be weaker, but not so much that i wouldn't want it.

    Aristocracy: B Pretty much a requirement for a wonder strategy though i would say too specific for an A.

    Legalism: C Early on the extra culture from legalism lets you race through the tree. Or it can be taken later in the game for a bigger culture boost. My only beef with it is i often feel forced to take it just to pick up the two policies below it because of the pace of policy gaining using tradition.

    Monarchy: C+ Monarchy is actually a really solid policy, one of my favorites in the tree, but it doesn't really dictate a game style so i gave it a C+. Still i like it as is.

    Landed Elite: C Doesn't alter the game, but provides a very nice bonus, i have no issues taking it.

    Oligarchy: F I simply hate this policy. The garrison bonus i either feel is weak or overpowered (and i hate going to war against someone with this policy). And i don't keep enough garrison to warrant it. I take it solely for the tradition closer.

    Closer: A By the time you get this policy, aqueducts are often still a ways away, so you can get buildings you don't even have the tech for. That combined with the base growth bonus gives your civ a big boost to growth. Then combine that with the ability to buy great engineers in the late game, and this closer is just packed with things that anyone would want to have.
     
  2. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I tend to play wide, so I'm less experienced with this tree.

    Opener: B, maybe even A.
    Probably too strong as opener. One should grab it 99% of the time.
    Aristocracy: B
    just as you said
    Legalism: C
    I'm really annoyed it's a prerequisite for 2 policies, makes timing very difficult. Have to agree it's very strong if used well.
    Monarchy/Landed elite: both C
    Solid, if you want to focus on your capital. Not very game-changing if you have 5+ cities, but crucial for Venice I guess.
    Closer: B
    Unlocking the hanging gardens and purchasing GE's lategame is very sweet. B because it makes your first cities grow so fast that it almost makes expansion impossible due to happiness limitations.
     
  3. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Opener: A I think the border reducer should be moved deeper into the tree really. It's too easy to cherry pick it (I always pick this first right now) and ignore the tree for a while. We could put some other bonus here instead along with Hanging Gardens (tomice, it's on the opener, not the finisher).
    Aristocracy: B Basically fine. I could see a minor boost to the wonder percentage, or adding culture on wonders instead of the gimmicky per 10th happiness effect.
    Legalism: C- Harder to time because it is a pre-req for better policies.
    Monarchy: B. Agreed it doesn't fit totally with a tall play style, but it is a very useful pick.
    Landed Elite: C- . Pretty limited bonus. I'd rather see it apply to more cities as the closer does.
    Oligarchy: B. Works better with a wider empire than a tall one though (free upkeep). Maybe tone down the bonus to 25% and give XP? (this also applies to the concerns about later unit balance I expressed here)
    Closer: A Buying Engineers alone is valuable later on. I tend to slow path through this tree right now and cherry pick other things so the aqueducts show up around the right time but aqueducts are still very powerful buildings. Base growth is very nice, but I'd be fine if the closer just had engineer buying and aqueducts and move the base growth into the tree itself.

    About the only GEM effect that might be useful in this tree is culture on wonders. The others were moved to other BNW trees/ideologies. Possibly a minor culture increase on culture buildings (applied only to "later" culture buildings?).

    I'm not sure how removing the culture tiers works with the free culture building policy either. I assume you'd just get whichever next one you don't have in tech.
     
  4. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    One thing I'd comment on.

    -

    I think what this means is that the closers should not be as all powerful versus the tree itself. If we can move some effects into the tree, and leave the closers to be more closely related to Great People (either free ones or generating through faith-buying), and some other effects, that'd be fine with me. We should instead be asking ourselves whether it is worth getting this policy, or going over to this other tree and getting that policy. And if that's the case, then individual policies still need to be reasonably strong and useful. If there are policies within the tree itself that are not that good, that should still be a concern. If there are several such policies, that should be very concerning (we'd ignore the tree or cherry pick like with patronage). What it suggests to me is that the issue was filling out the tree should be a reward, but not seen as essential. If it is seen as essential, it's because the closer is too valuable to ignore it.

    Tradition right now looks that way with a good opener and good closer, and a kind of middling to solid tree itself. We should probably strengthen the tree and weaken the closer (and maybe the opener) as a result. I think the default tree is basically fine if we just re-arranged some of the bonuses and boosted a couple here and there.
     
  5. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    I'm a big fan of Tradition as well, and usually finish it.

    Opener: A Just getting the extra culture is enough to make me take it in the very early game, and the border expansion on top of that--I can have four cities dominating half a continent by the early-mid game. Hanging Gardens are a meh--I never build them.
    Aristocracy: CDefinitely a necessity for wonder construction, but I always found the happiness buff under powered. I skip it if I'm skipping wonders.
    Legalism: B+ Honestly, if I take tradition, I take this one. I can usually get enough culture through ruins/the tradition opener that I can use this policy to build a monument before I would build one normally.
    Oligarchy: C I skip this one on occasion, or it's usually the last one I grab so I can get the closer, or when my GPT is low and I have garrisons, I take it to up my gold while I get markets, trade routes etc. But the benefit is usually temporary and quickly forgotten unless I'm shooting for a defensive culture victory.
    Monarchy: B A very nice policy for boosting happiness and gold, but not really widely helpful. I'd like to see the happiness boost from Aristocracy added in here, myself.
    Landed Elite: C- Considering the closer also boosts food production, I always have felt that this policy is a bit redundant. In the end, if we're planning on making closers "less important" I would suggest melding both food buffs together into this one policy.
    Closer: C Food buff aside, I love this for the aqueduct. Purchasing great engineers is nice too. I'd meld the two food buffs together, keep the aqueduct as the closer with maybe a boost to capital production instead, scaled to population. Or, move the border expansion perk from the opener to the closer--I think it's powerful enough for that.
     
  6. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Question: What does rating the policies actually achieve?

    Chosing the policies often is quite automatic for me by now after all. I have a preconceived strategy in mind ("this game, I wanna go after City States, thus I chose Siam, thus I play this way"). Isn't one idea to go the other way around. Provide sensible bonuses depending on the situation we are in. For example I though the free Great Artist in Aesthetics was weak, but it can provide you with a Classical Era Great Work. It's situational

    Now I don't want to go to the opposite here and just propose stuff blindly out into the night. That'd be wrong again. What I do wanna ask is what the goals should be, you seem to only ask about how strong each policy is?

    The other thing, while I agree that we shouldn't go back to GEM per se, there are quite a few things made better there that have not been changed much with the new BNW systems. Sure I could see something involving Trade units in an early tree (or more gold from pillaging them in honor), and certainly Piety-available-at-start requiresa retooling of the early trees, but I'm quite confident we can take over quite a few things without much discussion, for Tradition f.e.:

    - The extra border growth is too strong on the opener,
    - Growth boost is better than free aquaeducts (though that might be subjective...)
    - 1 happiness per 10 population isn't a good effect,
    - etc. ...

    I guess, I'm asking, why should we do all this work again? I wouldn't know how to evaluate right now...
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    A fair question:

    1) I think the goal at the beginning of this new mod was to reevaluate the game based on our new BNW model, and be more conservative in our changes. To that point, i think a second look at the policies make sense.

    Now we have some suggested changes ready to go from our work last time, but i think its worth ensuring that those changes are necessary before they are carried out.

    2) Take a closer look at my ratings, its not just about strength, its often about how strong a policy is in carrying out a playstyle. As you said, if i pick a policy because it is a key function of my playstyle...well that policy may just be fine and dandy even if its not a must have all the time.

    To me, a policy that is key to a common playstyle (like aristocracy for wonder building) is worthy on a B. An A policy goes beyond that. The bonus is so good that many different playstyles want that bonus because its just that good.

    3) My first real goal is weeding out the F's. I don't mind many policies being C's at first pass, but i think there are some true stinkers that can be corrected.
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    This is actually some of the reason that i wanted to do another review of the policies.

    A lot of people are saying the aristocracy's +1 happiness per 10 pop isn't that great. Ok..but is it worthy of a change? The base aristocracy wonder bonus is very good if i'm going for a wonder strategy (aka that situational aspect you were refering to), the happiness is just a bit of frosting. In the past we went ahead and made those changes, but if we are going for a more conservative approach this time, i don't believe something like this should be changed.
     
  9. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Rating should give us a general idea if there's consensus that a policy sucks or is overpowered. Some of them are now better because of economic or culture changes overall.

    But I tend to agree that if a policy wasn't changed from GK, and was pretty bad then, it's probably still bad and we could be reinventing the wheel to show that it is bad. The question would be what effects to replace it with.
     
  10. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I tend to think the 1/10th happiness policy is worth a change. I'd rather bump the wonder effects than have some kind of gimmicky frosting that isn't worth very much and make that policy a very good specialised pick (for wonders) rather than a weird mixed policy that has a trivial effect on happiness.

    It's much easier to understand and manage the liberty tree's -5% unhappiness on population even though it is technically less happiness added if you can manage population growth effectively. Policies shouldn't inspire a lot of micromanagement.

    I think moving the growth bonus from the finisher to the landed elite policy (and eliminating the capital only bonus or melding it into a modest +1 food bonus per city) is a no-brainer though.
     
  11. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    That probably cuts to the core of my question: What constitutes a playstyle? Is "wonders" enough? Or is that just wide-tall-conquest division? Are City States a playstyle on their own or are they 'modular' to another approach? Is focussing on mounted units like some civs do already enough for a playstyle (as opposed to more infantry heavy civs like Rome or Denmark?).

    I just like a bit more clarity here, I guess. I also fear that this detail-obsession forgets the bigger picture, i.e. I want 3 options for culture, so I create a capital-culture, a per-city culture or a barb-hunting culture thingy. Instead you may say that 1 culture per city is not really interesting, so.. let's lose the liberty opener (hypothetical scenario here ;)). I am just asking if this is doing it backwards?

    I am very critical if you can do it like this here. I have nothing against ourselves, but we may very well be a very limited group thus susceptible to group bias and all that stuff. Open discussion (like the army or jungle thread) often helps more in those situations than rating stuff.

    On that note, I agree with mystik that the 1 happy per 10 pop is more gimmicky than helpful and that policies as a design rule shouldn't have effects in two different fields.
     
  12. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Rating does give some level of feeling on the subjective values of the community, and opens opportunities to point out that something or someone hasn't considered the value of some effect to a particular style or strategy if people have wildly different opinions. At that point we can re-evaluate and see if maybe something is better or worse than we thought, or fits into those styles and bigger picture in a different way than we expected.
     
  13. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    A few thoughts:
    The cheaper tile acquisition should be moved deeper into the tree, maybe finisher, maybe policy.

    The aqueduct policy should probably require you have the tech (don't the free defensive/culture building etc. building effects we've had work like that?), it's a bit too powerful early on.

    The free culture buildings is boring and a bit lame. Tradition/Tall doesn't really struggle with getting early policies out, and Tall empires don't really struggle a lot with being able to construct buildings, and as we've noted elsewhere ampitheaters are more specialized buildings now so getting a free one of those isn't great, and a free monument is a pretty weak effect. I'd replace it with something else.
    If we keep it, I agree it shouldn't be a pre-req, you should be able to time when you want to use it better so that you don't just get monuments.

    I'm ok with openers being fairly weak, +3 culture in the capital and hanging gardens unlock is probably fine.

    I think there is a good point that we don't really need 2 policies that increase food/growth. I also like giving excess food/stored food multipliers more than I like giving free food. Excess food rewards you for building lots of farms and really concentrating on growth, whereas free food lets you not work farms and work other tiles instead, and I like encouraging Tall to build farms; basically its the difference between complements and substitutes.

    I agree that oligarchy feels weak and boring. Part of this is that the military part of the game is dull now, since the AI is so passive. If there is more of a threat of an early assault by the AI, then this might be more significant, especially if you have a melee unit in the city and so get a decent city ranged attack strength.

    I strongly agree with this. The closer should be a nice bonus that fits the general playstyle of the tree, but should not be too powerful, or too specialized. So you should never feel forced into taking a weak policy pick in order to get a powerful finisher because the finisher is better than the policy.

    I think it's fine to have a brainstorming discussion with ratings to identify problems and see if there is some consensus before providing suggestions for suggested fixes.
     
  14. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    I'd prefer it not on the finisher myself, moving it to a tier 1 policy would be ideal to me, so it requires a little more investment but not too much if you want to cherry-pick it.

    This makes sense to me.

    This is an excellent point - what if the policy just gave +1 culture to all culture buildings but the monument? Might need something else to beef it up though - move the free Great Artist from Aesthetics?

    I don't think it's broken as is; there's no real pressing need to change these policies imo.

    Yes, once early aggression is back on the table (especially if Honor is retooled to make civs that take it truly fearsome) Oligarchy will be fine with the vanilla effects.
     
  15. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    That might be ok, it might also alleviate some of Thal's concerns about the ampitheater and opera house.
    But then it is a truly terrible early game policy, it takes ages for it to have any impact at all.

    I'd rather keep those effects in Aesthetics.

    I agree, I don't feel strongly about it, those effects are still useful.
     
  16. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    My concern on the growth policies is to move the growth effect (surplus food effect) from the finisher to landed elite. Which seems too weak and the finisher too strong. The finisher has too many growth effects that could be spread out in other words.

    Free aqueducts makes sense on the finisher as it is still a powerful effect, but limited to a small number of cities, complementary with other growth bonuses, and would come at a time when aqueducts might actually be technically available.
     
  17. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    My problem with aqueducts on the finisher is that it is a powerful effect that requires you to take Oligarchy in order to get it. Oligarchy is a niche effect (especially during the early game) and it can feel very frustrating to have to take it when you don't need it in order to get the finisher effect.

    The free aqueducts are much more powerful than the +15% excess food.

    It would also be nice if the policy encouraged you to beeline the tech for aqueducts as a playstyle option. So I'd lean towards aqueducts on landed elite and the surplus food bonus on the finisher.
     
  18. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    If we go by all those criticism, we will need a few more Tall effects (for Tradition) and also for Aesthetics (but not necessarily Tall effects in this case). Ideas:

    - Trade Routes from or to Capital grant x yield in capital
    - X instant yields every time the Capital grows
    - Happiness per adopted policy
    - National Wonders get cheaper (decouple from Wonder one?)
    - % bonus (science?) on National Wonders
    - I'd really like something else with Trade Routes, extra range?
     
  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I think we're at risk of tying too many mechanics to trade routes. I'm already a bit concerned at how many trade-route oriented civs we have. It's a good mechanic, but it shouldn't take over the game.

    Tall civs already have easier/cheaper National wonders, because national wonders require buildings everywhere and are more expensive the more cities you have. So we probably don't need more bonus on top of what we already have for wonders.

    +culture or happiness from wonders is one possibility, though as we established it's hard to balance.

    Instant yields per capital growth is interesting. Though one thought is that Tall is not the same as capital-centric, I think it would be good if we have not too many Tradition policies that focus on just the capital. We should expect in general Tall empires to have ~4 supercities.
     
  20. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I'm not sure what criticisms are involved here. Oligarchy seems like the only real weak link here (I find it fine but I play wider usually than most I'm sure) and even that will be okay when the AI is aggressive early on again. "Legalism" could be improved by moving the culture borders effect there from the opener. Aristrocracy just needs a light bump in production on wonders and rid of the gimmicky happiness benefit. Landed Elite could get one of the growth effects from the finisher and then we could move on to other trees.

    Maybe give the opener the +1 on later culture buildings effect (something that wouldn't add much early but would be useful down the road). Instant yields might be interesting as well, possibly on monarchy.

    Trade route effects should largely be in the middle game policy trees (commerce, exploration, patronage, maybe aestethics too). I'd rather tradition focus more on growth and wonders, with some cultural effects.

    Happiness per policy seems like a late game effect and dilutes wonders that offer it.
     

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