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PolyCast Episode 207: "On All the Faults"

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by DanQ, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Time to address. The two-hundred-and-seventh episode of PolyCast, "On All the Faults", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick, "Makahlua", Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew and "MadDjinn" with first-time guest co-host Fabio "Fabio1701" Luelmo. Carrying a runtime of 59m59s, the summary of topics is as follows:

    - 03m19s | Open Mic
    Responding to feedback on Episode 205 that questioned the "backlash" against the Downloadable Content (DLC) Map Pack inclusion with Civilization: Beyond Earth pre-orders, revisiting a "most addictive" games list and a case for the Patronage over Rationalism CivV Social Policy in feedback for Episode 206; then, two emails and a tweet from a new show listener challenging and accepting themselves to meet a consumption deadline.
    - 16m16s | Forum Talk
    How enabling Raging Barbarians in Civilization V does, and does not, change a player's city build order, behaviour and more is followed by a contentious debate on whether the XCom Squad unit is overpowered or not (22m57s) and giving cites away during loosing multiplayer matches: cheat or tactic?
    - 38m15s | News
    Meeting the Polystralia and Franco-Iberia factions in the up-and-coming Civ: BE.

    - Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
    Liking to dislike, username origin, roleplaying and forgetfulness.

    Recording live before a listening audience every other Saturday, PolyCast is a bi-weekly audio production in an ongoing effort to give the Civ community an interactive voice on game strategy; listeners are encouraged to follow the show on Twitter, and check out the YouTube channel for caption capability. Sibling show RevCast focuses on Civilization: Revolution, ModCast on Civ modding, SCivCast on Civ social gaming and TurnCast on Civ multiplay.
     
  2. Fabio1701

    Fabio1701 Chieftain

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    As a first timer, I had a blast! :D
     
  3. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    :cool: -- thank you again for being on the show.

    Try as you might, I doubt you'll be able to listen to an episode in the future in the same way as you have done before... even if you have listened to any-to-all of those recorded live. :D
     
  4. Nick31

    Nick31 Chieftain

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    Hey guys,

    I'd love to voice some extreme frustration here. Never have I wanted to scream at my computer more than listen to you guys 'discuss' my comment about episode 206, read it out, and STILL not give my an accurate account of what I said :).

    Seriously, it was very frustrating to hear people chuckle as if I was suggesting doing things I didn't suggest. I never said to open Patronage in lieu of finishing Tradition. I specifically said to open AFTER completing Tradition but before you can open Rationalism. And yet you guys were chuckling and laughing at how stupid I am and how I am 'doing it wrong.'

    Second, you guys were chuckling and laughing at how stupid I am for for not going right side with the +20 Influence... which makes me think that you guys didn't understand my premise at all. And frankly, if you aren't going to take 30 seconds to actually think about what I proposed/thought then ignore me and don't include me in an episode!

    To repeat: the issue is beakers. And if you're desperate for happiness, the ton of happiness after beakers. If you've completed Tradition and not able to unlock Rationalism, you have choices to make. And if you're preparing for CS Allies early (gold gifts, quests, barb camps) then you'll already be friends or Allies with several city states and the issue is getting Science (and a LOT of it). The +20 influence doesn't make your friends and allies give you science. And of course, that will delay your science, delay your Rationalism game, et al. Basically going right side proves the point your players were making that Patronage is worthless after it was changed. But if you thought about what I proposed you'd understand that i'm advocating a different perspective.

    Now, the issue (which was somehow not discussed) is whether you can get a quick +15-30% science via CS beakers very early, which will stack with Rationalism and other things (not in lieu of them). And it would be nice if someone actually mentioned that rather than chuckle and say I'm 'doing it wrong' by somehow not understanding that Monarchy in Tradition is good or that Rationalism is overall more science.

    The issue is whether in the medieval era you spend a few policies unlocking other things (i.e. Commerce, Exploration, or Aesthetics) or Patronage. And the science from a good Patronage game is not, repeat not insignificant. I can show you all kinds of saved games to that effect.

    I'm an Immortal player in that I win 95% of my games on Immortal, so I'm not suggesting some lower-level game strategy. I thought it a prescient point to suggest that people don't understand the early science boost available if one plays the left side of Patronage.... And your conversation stunned me because no one actually examined my point. The right-side is mostly irrelevant to take before the left side (you can take it after the science boost if you want to play Patronage in lieu of Rationalism/Ideologies, but I wasn't suggesting that).

    I also thought it important to add because one of the Hosts from 206 was saying he only plays on Emperor level because he didn't like higher difficulties. I thought a perspective from a high-level player would be a nice comparison given that many people don't think of Patronage as viable.

    And finally: Please, please understand that laughing and chuckling about how 'I'm doing it wrong' and 'the game is pretty much over' if you have 10-15 CS Allies as if I'm some low-level player just frolicking through a game with no priorities... well, it's kind of insulting to hear. I'm someone taking the time to listen and participate to a fun podcast. I'm not listening to it to have people butcher my ideas and then laugh at me. :rolleyes:

    Any game can be 'Pretty much over' if you do something well. Games are 'pretty much over' if you beat the AI to Education. Like 100% of the time. A game is 'pretty much over' if you take a juicy AI capital with lots of Wonders. Still, you play to do those things.

    Sooooo, I guess I just wanted to post my reaction to what I felt was a dismissive and condescending use of my post, which I frankly wouldn't have made if I knew your reaction to it.

    To be clear: I expect and have no problems with anyone disagreeing with my take or explaining how they do things differently. But to hear a glib chuckle from the group when no one, I repeat no one, correctly articulated my reasoning in the first place... is tough.

    It makes me inclined not to listen. It's a trivial thing to get annoyed over, obviously, but it's immensely frustrating to hear a group of players quote your post, quote it incorrectly and laugh about things I never suggested, then utterly refuse to even contemplate for 30 freaking seconds what I was suggesting:

    That 6, 10, or eventually 15+ CS Allies can produce a gross benefit of 15, 20, or 30% of your total beakers (at a very early point in the game) if you lineup your CS game early and well, and have a few policies to burn before getting to Rationalism. The choice isn't, wasn't, and never was proposed to be Left-side Patronage vs. completing Tradition or opening Rationalism.

    The choice was to get to left-side Patronage science as soon as possible, and having at least two medieval era policies to use and maybe even all three before Rationalism. But likely just two and then delaying Rationalism opener just one policy timeframe (possibly less if you burn a Great Writer) and taking the Allied science bonus to get MORE than just +10% science. Often twice as much.

    I didn't say this was always achievable. Just that if you're playing in maps and conditions where lining up a an early group of CS allies is feasible, and well-executed Patronage game (left-side) is very strong. But that most people never actually try what I was suggesting, and therefore people never play it. Which, your dialogue confirmed, frankly.

    I'm really disappointed by the dialogue and the inference that I'm an idiot...and I don't think I'm overreacting :). If you re-listen to that section, the inference that I'm an idiot with nothing positive to add to the gameplay of a good player is pretty overwhelming. The group was incredibly dismissive and not one person tried to examine what I was saying. Not even for a few seconds to play Devil's Advocate.

    It was really disappointing. Disagree with someone all you like, but mocking them while 100% failing to talk about their game suggestion is aggrevating.
     
  5. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Chieftain

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    I also had a blast when I was on the show.. I had that same feeling..
     
  6. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Hello Nick. I went back and listened again to the portion of this episode where we discussed your comments as I wanted to address your concerns as quickly and meaningfully as possible.

    We never quoted you as saying to open Patronage in lieu of finishing Tradition -- on your specific point of opening Patronage after completing Tradition, I read that aloud. However, yes, a fellow panelist then inferred that you had said that you did not complete the Tradition Social Policy first and commented from there: none of us caught that at the time, nor had I caught it until listening to the segment yet again. Our bad there. I also quoted your noting about being "quickly [c]ulturally" means that you "can open at least two Patronage polices before being able to open Rationalism". The "before being able to open" portion of your point is not something that had registered with me nor do I believe it did with my fellow panelists. We made a mistake here too and, in so doing, misunderstood what you were proposing and responded in that vein. This I feel led to the qualified "kind of doing it wrong" comment from one of my fellow panelists, for instance.

    I now can relate to any listener of the show feeling at least confused by this disconnect, let alone you as the person whose perspective was being discussed. Although not the aim and purpose in the least, in the critique of your comments I understand your perception that we were critiquing you personally and with malice. I hope I have been able to adequately articulate how it is not that we did not take the time to consider your suggestion, but that we misread a couple parts of it and how this informed much of the conversation in turn. I appreciate your expounding on your original points in response to Episode 206, in particular the connections to the Happiness accrument in your argument as to me your focus to this point had been on science accumulation.

    On PolyCast we value all suggestions made and those we discuss, and particularly want to incorporate those that are communicated to us as members of our audience that are relevant to our coverage as you have. We never intend to belittle anyone's suggestions and where we disagree work to constructively criticism them: the same goes for differences of opinion between panelists, a circumstance of which came up on another topic on this very episode no less. As the owner, producer and lead co-host of this podcast, this is a policy and practice that I take pride and invest in. I believe we have established a long-standing reputation of so doing, and also for acknowledging when and where we err in its pursuit. I believe the primary issue with your comments in reply to Episode 206, Nick, is again rooted in the misreads and subsequent misunderstandings where much of our collective criticism understandably then can come across as injurious. It was and is never our intention to make anyone feel mocked, dismissed or badly otherwise in how we address their views on this show. I feel badly that you feel badly. :( I hope that you will choose to continue to listen to and contribute to PolyCast in the future.
     
  7. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    Nick, I felt the same way about how they handled my comment about World of Warcraft being addictive. I mentioned how I didn’t “need to” play WoW because I “wanted to” play it, but because I felt I “needed to get my money’s worth” out of my subscription. To which somebody just sloughed it off by saying something like, “Why would you pay for a game you don’t want to play” (For the record, I cancelled my subscription a while ago because I couldn’t dedicate the time I felt I needed to spend on the game). I wasn’t addicted to “playing” WoW; I was addicted to “getting the most” out of the money I spent. Whereas, Civ is free to play so my addiction is truly derived from my desire to play the game rather than being compelled to play because I should. But, I suppose the fault was my own because I don’t think I worded my post well to reflect that thought. Still, I didn’t enjoy being scoffed at.

    Don’t worry, Dan, I still intend to listen to upcoming episodes.

    Also, Nick, I too tend to go full Tradition, left side of Patronage to Scholasticism, full Rationalism, and Ideology in most of my games. It works well for me and I’m glad to see you can still have success with it on higher levels (I’m a measly King palyer).
     
  8. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    A question and a comment:

    1. Do you have a preferred Ideology in this circumstance (or even generally speaking)?
    2. I strongly recommend never qualifying yourself as a "measly" player based on your difficulty level. Pardoning the pun (or not ;)), but so much comes into play when deciding what difficulty you are going to play at most or indeed any of the time... ultimately, having fun is what is most important!
     
  9. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    If I'm going for Culture, I'll take Freedom so I can get the boost from Broadcast Towers.
    For Domination, I'll go either Autocracy or Order depending on whether or not I have, or intend to build, tanks. I have various offensive strategies depending on the civ I'm using.
    For Science, I'll go Freedom because I have a lot of cash for buying SS part (though I haven't pursued this VC in a while).
    For Diplomacy, I go Freedom too because I don't like any other Diplo-focused Tier 3 Tenets, but I hardly ever make use of Treaty Organization anyway. I just like the GP and Specialist themed Tenets and I set all my cities to Science focus and spend my faith on GSs

    Beakers seem to be the key to every victory condition, so I typically go with the above-mentioned SP choices (unless I'm doing something specific like Honor with the Aztecs). I tend to take Tithe, Pagodas (if I can beat the AI to them), Religious Center, and Religious Texts. With Pagodas and Temples giving me +4 :c5happy: , I usually don't have a huge problem with unhappiness. Between Tithe and sending all (yes, all) my cargo ships out for the highest gold possible, money is never an issue and I can eventually be allies with all the CSs (Alex notwithstanding).
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    On the most addictive games, I'm surprised the Zygna games didn't make the list. (Mostly 2008 to 2010 before they got too greedy and put so many "special events" in that it really wasn't special.)
    Again, not really that good, but you felt that you had to be online every few hours to avoid falling behind in both "in game revenue" and in game character development.
     
  11. Nick31

    Nick31 Chieftain

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    I am glad to read Dan's response. All one can ask from someone is to read one's thoughts and give them a decent think. I am glad Dan was able to do so.

    The additional comment I'd add after reading Dan's response is to build from the intro to the episode:

    I was chuckling when one of the hosts (guest host?) began by commenting that all his fellow co-workers weren't Civ players because they weren't able to think that hard. Certainly most of us play Civ because we enjoying thinking and imagining. I suppose that is why it is odd to hear someone admit (paraphrasing): we didn't think about your question, we just read it, and we didn't stop to think about what you were suggesting.

    As you've recorded 207 episodes, Polycast seems a veteran show. Were you interested in my feedback, however, I'd suggest that we want to hear you guys (and gals) really examine a concept (gameplay or otherwise). To put it crudely: Less talk radio, more intelligent friends having a thoughtful hangout.

    I have more thoughts on the Patronage question, but I'll post separately below.
     
  12. Nick31

    Nick31 Chieftain

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    One of the reasons I decided to post on the forum this year (in addition the Civ:BE announcement), is the amount of threads discussing/asking how to step up difficulty. There have been several, particularly in moving up to Emperor or moving up to Immortal.

    Since that is something I spent a lot of time upon after buying BNW, I like that question. In the spirit of things, I'll spell out a few more reasons why building a CS Ally base helped me combat the AI bonuses.

    From my experience, Patronage and CS relations depend upon many things, but particularly Gold. And AI Trade.

    If you've been good at sending out units and scouts, you'll be able to meet as many Civs as as soon as possible, and hopefully kill some barb camps and free workers. That plus, additional quests, will already yield some CS relationships. But turning those into a real CS core can be down to how much Gold you can give, and how.

    The Patronage openers (left-side) are decreased rate of decay and increase influence from Gold. These make a 500 gold gift significant, particularly if you can give a lump sum when the CS has a quest about that. Other quests include connecting a resource which is often easily obtained by Allying with a CS that has that resource. Basically, that 500 lump sum can go a long way.

    Trading with the AI can bring huge amounts of gold, and repeatable every 30 turns. On average, it is achievable to sell 4 luxuries for 240 gold each, and maybe 5 Horses or Iron for 225 each. That equates to over 1400 gold every 30 turns, assuming you can make and sustain Declarations of Friendship with AI (even those that may backstab you later) and make lump sum trades. You can also trade for gpt, but that lowers the math some. It is still significant, though.

    I feel the difference between an Immortal and higher player and a lower-level player is a) getting the gold, but most significantly, b) What to do with the gold?

    It is a pages-long discussion as to what to do with gold, which buildings to buy, etc. And gameplay conditions can vary as to what will benefit you. But CS Allies, if spent and built up well can be fantastic investments.

    Two Maritime Allies give you +6 food in the Capital and +2 Food in your other cities. That's a Hanging Gardens and a free additional Granary (Lite). Culture Allies will give +13 culture (after reaching Medieval era), which can be immense if you're struggling in that department. Military Allies will give a unit every 17 turns and sometimes a bad ass one (Longbows, Camel Archers, Elephants, Impis, etc.).

    Hence, that 1400 gold, if spend after opening first two Patronage policies, can essentially buy 3 CS Allies, or maintain such influence if you're already cultivating them. It could by other things, too, obviously. But in this example, that 1400 gold is worth at least 3 Luxuries (12 happiness, but 18+ if some are Merc states with Jewelry/Porcelain), plus maybe two military units, and other benefits.

    If you can do some things in the quests and barb-camps, within two cycles (60 turns), you can build a powerful network of imported happiness, culture, food, and maybe military. Faith, too, but that is often less useful.

    For the player who is either a) not able to cultivate good AI trade, or b) using that gold to buy units or Markets, or something else, you may wish to consider planning a CS network and using the AI to arbitrage. I often sell every luxury possible (even my only copies) to maximize the CS I can buy, provided I'm in the right situational conditions.

    On top of that is the next policy: +25% CS Allies science, which if combined en masse (at least 5 and hopefully building to more), can be worth an Empire modifier of 15-25%. And I've had games with more. This comes at a crucial game time, as you're preparing to arrive into and excel into the Industrial era (where you can truly turn around a game with the AI if you're behind, or leap far ahead of them (Public Schools, Oxfording into Radio, Ideologies, and eventually into Research Labs, et. al).

    The final left-side policy can then be worth an addition +12 or 14 happiness depending on how many CS luxuries you can important (plus 50% extra strategic, but that's usually only important for Oil or Aluminum... maybe Coal, but not usually helpful for Horses and Iron, as you can't trade more than you can mine/pasture from your own land). You can generally get happiness through Ideology at that time, so it's not always crucial, but if you need a boost eventually (to combat Ideology influence penalties, for example), it is nice. Also if you're a wide player, that +12 happiness is an extra large city.

    And lastly, there is the popular question: How do I avoid getting stampeded by huge AI armies before I've gained the tech lead?

    I find CS Allies more than just "a meat shield" as discussed derisively in the podcast. They are strategic points which the AI military engine struggles with. If the AI has a navy that is going to raid and blockade your cities, a coastal CS will not merely use its ships to attack the AI, it will prevent them from reaching you many times. That's 'shielding' but not even as 'meat.' They can turn the tide, particularly with two such coastal neighbors.

    More commonly: by allying with CS on the threatening AI boarders, you disorient the AI as the AI doesn't plan for flank attacks and threats from the CS and will often devote huge resources to fighting the CS. If the AI is readying 16 units to invade, it may invade with the first 8 but then immediately transfer the other half to the other side of its empire to deal with a CS that has entered and pillaged land.

    A CS city also makes a great chokepoint (citadel-extraordinare), if it's on the frontier, as you can then execute a proper "meat shield" and use the CS to protect a flank or simply rally behind.

    Anyway, you can play a heavy CS game in many ways, and often without opening Patronage much at all (although the opener of lower decay and unlocking Forbidden Palace is generally worth having). And there are games where I use my CS network without getting deep into Patronage because I need other policies more, or have been slow to accrue culture.

    But in a lot of conditions, a thought-out plan to build CS influence and get that science policy (in addition to all the other bonuses from CS Allies) has gotten me a huge science boost in a way I couldn't otherwise.
     
  13. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Thanks, shaglio.

    With respect, Nick, that is not what I said. We most certainly thought about your question and what you were suggesting. What I said was that we misread part of your comments which informed parts of our consideration and responses, based on these subsequent misunderstandings.

    My position is that if we were not interested in your feedback, we would not have covered it on the show in the first place nor would I be continuing the conversation with you here to address your concerns on that coverage. I'm glad that you brought them to our attention so we could do just that.

    This is towards the kind of dialogue that I feel is beneficial for all of us going forward. :)

    A good argument to question why no Zynga game placed anywhere on Rolling Stone's list. Short of an answer from RS itself, one can only speculate... so I will :D albeit with reason. As with my response to Fabio who was surprised that Eve Online didn't make the list because if he had become a paid subscriber it would "ruin" his life, perhaps no Zynga game "ruined enough lives" at Rolling Stone to make their ranking too.
     
  14. Nick31

    Nick31 Chieftain

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    Dan, once again, I thank you for thoughtfully replying. And I know you are sincere in your well wishes, which is both kind appreciated.

    In the spirit of things I'm amending this post to merely include my response to episode 206. One can simply read it and decide whether it was easy to understand or otherwise.

    This is what I wrote in the discussion on 206, and the panel discussed:

    "Ha, well you take Patronage after completing Tradition. And if you're quick Culturally, you can open at least two Patronage policies before being able to open Rationalism.

    Certainly Rationalism on its own is better for science, particularly in getting to the Specialist boost. But, if you're on the appropriate map, and you're doing well with units clearing camps, I find you can get to Patronage so quickly that you're really just maybe delaying Rationalism one policy..."

    Personally, I am puzzled at how a really smart group of players could read that and then discuss it as it was discussed on 207.
     
  15. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Agreed, with the addendum that if one or more AIs are stubbornly determined to acquire and maintain Ally-status with one or more City States, it is more often than not not worth your while to continually sink gold to keep 'flipping' their Ally status back to you.

    Exceptions to me would be in needing their votes for a key-timed Diplomatic Victory or, to a lesser degree, being the one type of City State on the map that will get you a particular benefit that is difficult (e.g. Maritime) if not prohibitive (e.g. Mercantile) to have supplemented otherwise. (Particularly pre-Ideology on the latter example.)

    As these numbers are relative to game speed, I take it you're referring to Standard? I've been a Quick-speed player exclusively since not long after CivV's release... and no, not because it's a good name for a game speed (although it doesn't hurt :mischief:). To that end, I prefer Quick speed as that is the preference of speed in my cooperative MP gaming circles.

    Certainly. The only 'absolute' I follow here is with respect to not buying gold-generating buildings like Markets and Banks.

    Absolutely.

    When comparing Patronage to Rationalism on the science front as was our focus for discussion on this episode, our view is that the latter will almost always come out in front of the former. I'll add to it by saying that with the addition of Quests, the leading-in-X-quantity-reward and the ready ability to bully City States for gold and then give back to them to gain more influence than you had before, it makes in my assessment anyway Patronage's desirability less than it once was in the game cycle let alone in comparison to what Rationalism provides.

    Units I can understand, but not buying Markets... I feel you're better off buying Happiness buildings to keep your empire's growth, as well as the ability to fight offensively and/or defensively, healthy and build gold-generating buildings for in cities where their modifiers warrant the boost they'll more than pay for the time spent building them and generate more revenue to put towards purchases otherwise.

    For me part of what it fundamentally boils down to is a combination of moving parts and who controls them and how. Rationalism draws on moving parts internal to your empire whereas Patronage does so largely on those external to it: more often than not, Rationalism is greater than Patronage for science generation. Were the percentage of City States' science output that also goes to you were greater than 25% (say 40% or even 50%), that would make Patronage more desirable but also call into question balance particularly as the game progresses. There is also the underlying consideration of the size of each City State as that fundamentally constructs their science output just as in your or any AI 'proper' cities.

    My feeling is embedded in part of what you have said. Were this policy within Patronage available sooner and/or Ideologies came later, or even were constructed differently in terms of their Happiness output, then I would be more inclined towards Patronage in general. Science is King in CivV, but Happiness is its most trusted advisor so to speak. Before Brave New World and Ideologies, the positioning of this Social Policy was stronger.

    I was not intending to be derisive when I made that comment, but rather openly speculating if that is what you had meant. We also discussed how certain CS go on the offensive in war and can become a militaristic asset above and beyond "meat shield" status.

    Absolutely. I typically have some City State allies for some or all of a given game and rarely touch Patronage at all. I rarely feel that its opener is worth taking for the lower influence decay given that adopting it is effectively sacrificing another Social Policy which is likely in and of itself more advantageous in the moment, thereby more meaningfully improving your chances to realize moments in the future. I find that if the AI doesn't pursue Patronage in the early game, they're not going to even once Banking is reached mid-game: it is in those cases where I'm feeling precarious about my World Congress standing, especially before City State allies enter the votes calculation equation, that I would consider it.

    Even then though, I consider where I am at otherwise in my Social Policy adoption progression... it may very well be more worth my while here to pursue City State quests towards making them my ally, whether or not they're currently allied with another civilization, and push towards the moment in the technology tree when they will count in said calculation. Then there's the whole wiping another civilization off the map to... proportionally improve my World Congress voting strength. :evil:
     
  16. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    What we considered, and what we said, demonstrated that we thought about it. The breaks that formed the basis of our misunderstanding were not due to rushing or not thinking, but rather misreading. As an analogy, we input some incorrect values when populating the variables of the starting equation and then proceeded to correctly follow the next steps for calculations; as they relied on those incorrect values, our output did not reflect the intention of the procedure.

    I appreciate your willingness to amend your response above in question. That said, I would not want you to do so unless I have shifted your reasonable person inference to that which matches my own. I hope I have :) but if not, then I will regard this as a matter of our agreeing to disagree: either way, let's close this chapter of the discussion.
     
  17. Nick31

    Nick31 Chieftain

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    Hmmm, lots of good dialogue. Before I respond in depth, yes I'm assuming any game discussion is referring to Standard Speed. Unless specifically said otherwise. I thought the forum generally does that. Certainly it aids my comprehension.

    Also, unless someone explicitly says otherwise, I'm assuming all dialogue is Single Player. MP is a different game.
     

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