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Policy Goals

Discussion in 'Strategy Forum' started by Thalassicus, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    • Each tree is somewhat useful for most people, and mostly useful for some people.
    • Early policies weaker than later policies.
    • Powerful finishers balance situational policies.
    These are three overall goals I follow when designing policies. There might be other goals I haven't been able to figure out how to put into words yet. The first point is an important philosophy for policies in the Vanilla Enhanced Mod. I've listed some examples below of how the philosophy was applied.

    Liberty
    Extra production, policies, and happiness are somewhat useful for most people. The tree as a whole is most useful for early rapid expansion.

    Tradition
    The left side of the tree is useful for just about anyone, providing bonuses to culture, gold, food, and border expansion. The right side of the tree is most useful for tall empires with few cities and lots of wonders.

    Honor
    Going down the central path to Professional Army provides valuable income, even in a peaceful game when defending against attackers. Science victories can also easier after some conquest. The tree is most useful for conquest victories.

    Piety
    The two early happiness policies are useful for anyone, while later policies in the tree are specialized towards culture victories.

    Commerce
    Many people invest in two policies of this tree to get a Great Merchant. Extra worker speed is also useful for any strategy. The tree is most useful for highly coastal empires, since water provides a lot of gold. Commerce is also valuable for conquest and diplomatic games games (since those rely heavily on gold).

    Patronage
    Investing in Aesthetics is useful for anyone with a quick boost with all known citystates. Deeper investment in the tree is most useful for a player allying with numerous citystates.

    Enlightenment
    Extra gold and happiness on science buildings are valuable for any strategy. Further investment is most useful for players running out of things to construct in cities, or when pursuing a science victory.

    Freedom
    Early policies in the tree improve citystates, defense of friendly territory, and golden ages, all of which are useful for a variety of strategies. Later policies in Freedom primarily benefit societies focusing on specialists.

    Autocracy
    Unit experience and lower maintenance costs are useful even in peaceful games, for defense forces. Deeper policies primarily benefit Conquest games.

    Order
    Happiness form the opener is useful for anyone short on happiness in the late game. The various production bonuses are useful for any game - tall, wide, or conquest. The opener and finisher favor wide empires.
     
  2. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I don't really like this. I think it is very sad to remove the specialization of policy trees. I think that it is good for policy trees to support particular strategies. Patronage is the ultimate example of it; it is a tree that supports a city-state strategy. Its not going to be useful at all to anyone who isn't getting city states, but that's fine, because such a strategy won't take it.

    I also don't like the idea that you're designing this around "people". It should be around strategies.

    I don't think it is good to make the trees more generic and less focused. If you can optimally play the same with or without a particular policy tree, then that policy tree is poorly designed.
     
  3. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The goal is for increasingly focused policies in each tree. You're discussing making trees less focused, which is not the goal. Rearranging policies without changing values cannot make a tree more or less focused.
    People follow a playstyle made of strategies. Saying "a person uses a tree" includes playstyles, strategies, preferences, and so on. Could you clarify what your objection is?
    This is illogical because Aesthetics gives citystates; it does not require citystates to be useful. It's also illogical for players to completely ignore distant citystates in the second half of the game, since the benefits of late game alliances outweigh the costs. This means the opener and Aesthetics are useful for any strategy, not just those focused on bribing citystates.
     
  4. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    This seems like an excellent idea to me. There should be a reason to dip into trees. Perhaps it is a little too lenient, but that is a matter of opinion.

    Order and Honor don't seem to match the "dippers can dip and specialists want the whole tree" philosophy. You need to take 4 policies in Honor for the dipping policy. And Order seems to not really favor wide overall.

    I also completely disagree with Ahriman. Designing around "people" is the same as designing around "strategies", because people use strategies. I sincerely doubt he means to design around people, and thats just the way he worded it.

    Furthermore, games are about making meaningful decisions. If we make some decisions more meaningful in a game like CiV, it makes other decisions less meaningful. For example, if you make the initial decision of what type of strategy to follow too important because it changes the whole game, then you have essentially removed the importance of all other decisions such as individual policy choices. You are going to go Piety, not Organized Religion then beeline Aesthetics.

    Making synergies too powerful or obvious removes meaningful decision from those individual elements, but increases the importance of the initial decision to use the synergy. In other words, you are simplifying the game by making the game into fewer decisions, each of greater importance. Is that good or bad?

    Or should we have a ton of decisions, but each one is unimportant? That is the same as having no decisions. But so is having 3 decisions.

    The key is a happy medium. And of course we can't all agree on where that medium is. That's what makes games art.

    If we get too many policy choices but each policy is wimpy, then we have no meaningful decisions. If we have to go all or nothing in taking whole trees, then we have very few, but really important decisions.

    So Thal's policy (har har :crazyeye:) of choosing this happy medium is good in my opinion.
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I think you, me and Seek are all coming from the same place on this: a desire to have crossroads pretty early on in trees, and to have the trees clearly favor one approach to the game.

    You have said this enough that I believe we're not far apart. Maybe we complainers should focus on the specific trees that don't seem to quickly take us down one clear road.

    Hmm... maybe, but I see this like Ahriman. If I enter Patronage, it's to at least pick up the left hand side.

    On the other hand, GamerKG used Honor as an example of a non-dipping tree, and it's my new favorite "dip," especially when I build two scouts. (Have others tried this?)
     

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