1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

What's a Great Person Point worth?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by damerell, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    UK
    (This is very much a work in progress, looking for comments on this first stab at it.)

    It's an ongoing question as to when it's better to appoint a specialist, and when it's better to work a tile. The direct yield of specialists and tiles is easily counted, save for one question... what's a GPP worth? This is an attempt to put a rough value on GPPs.

    First, the easy part. The minimum value of a GPP is zero; if you accumulate them in a city that doesn't produce another Great Person before the game is over, they did you no good at all.

    Now, the hard part. We're really trying to deduce the value of a GPP per turn - because we are comparing with tile yields, which are also accumulated per turn. But if we consider settled GPs, it's hard to figure this out; the longer things go on, the more GPs will be produced, so the value of a GPP per turn (used for settling GPs) depends critically on how many turns are left in the game. This gives us some reassurance we're taking the right approach relative to gamespeed; on Quick, each GPP produces a higher fraction of a GP - but with fewer turns left to pass, it will produce the same number of GPs overall.

    So let's instead consider bulbing. The value of bulbing peaks when a GS's 1500+3*population beakers "fits into" a technology; somewhere around Education. But by then several GP have been born already, so the cost of one will be high. Let's guess that, in fact, the cost of a GP is around 1500 GPP; then conveniently each GPP is pretty well interchangeable with a beaker-per-turn.

    But... if the city worked tiles, it might get commerce or hammer multipliers from buildings; but if the civ was Pacifist or Philosophical, or had the Parthenon or the National Epic, the GPP might also be multiplied up.

    So approximately, the value of scientist GPPs (that will actually produce GS) is (GP birth rate multiplier) * (maximum value of bulbable technology, or 1500+3*pop) / (current GPPs per GP), to be compared with the actual post-multiplier yield of the tile in question.
     
  2. Cheps

    Cheps Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Note that specialist yields are also multiplied by buildings (e.g. a library will boost scientists beakers).

    Something to keep in mind is that as the game is advancing
    - GPs get more expensive (need more GPPs to generate one)
    - You'll most likely have a big GP farm with lots of food (i.e. lots of specialists), National Epic, etc
    So typically, early game most of your cities can run specialists and generate GPs provided they have some food available, but eventually the GPPs of the "weakest" cities will be to low to generate GPs.

    Of course with representation it may still be well worth it to run specialists, even if the city won't produce any GP.
     
  3. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    UK
    Well, yes, but the thing is; all that stuff's easy to count up and compare with the tile(s) one would otherwise work. The issue comes when you try to deduce the extra value added by GPP.

    Indeed. But... there comes a point before that, as tile yields increase with civics and technologies, and the GP a city will produce comes later and later in the game (which obviously diminishes the value of a settled GP, but less obviously diminishes the value of a bulb, because it's always worth having something earlier rather than later) where running specialists would produce a GP but it's still not worth doing; and we can't answer the question of when that is without somehow determining the value of a GPP.
     
  4. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,000
    Location:
    Pangea
    Interesting topic, and i'd say always depends on your big plan :)

    Let me give an example that often happens in my games..i want to bulb 2x Edu and 1x Lib (you can if you avoid machinery) cos iam boxed in (deity) and need a Curis breakout.
    So my big plan was using first GA for GS farming. Now it's a good question, grow 2-3 cities with this task (even) bigger, or run 2 scientists before my GA? Gets even more complicated if you figure in stuffs like NE or Paci, but usually the better tactic would be: grow big, and starve for 8 GA turns while getting 200% bonuses.

    During that GA, GP points have infinite value in cities that will complete a GP and help getting Lib.
    Before, food should have priority. It's also useful for whipping buildings shortly after (Forges, maybe AP hammer buildings..).

    Also early, GP points for 2 GS normally have big value: Academy in your best city, and Philo bulb.
    Or a merchant, great as well.
    Later in the game, GP points decrease much in value. Not only are bulbs worth not much anymore if you can research with 500+ beakers, but also the amount needed for your next GP usually make only your NE city worthwhile for collecting them ~~

    Iam strongly anti-tile value calculations thou, 3f can be worth more than 1f5h sometimes.
    And simple scientists for a few turns can be better than growing more, if a key tech needs to be reached quick (good example: Music).
     
  5. ksa76

    ksa76 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    You state that the minimum value of a GPP is zero; if you accumulate them in a city that doesn't produce another Great Person before the game is over, they did you no good at all.

    Well, all specialists contribute worldwide to the generation of GPPs besides their multiplying effects to research, production and commerce (besides culture and espionage for artists and spys). As such the dedication of a specialist can never be zero.

    In the short term, the most profitable specialists are arguably priests combined with the the Ankor Watt Wonder (2 hammers, 3 beakers and 1 commerce), but you should add some scientists, merchants and engineers in the mix, as there are serious diminishing returns for additional Great Prophets as is also the case for additional Great Scientists, and Great Merchants once you have gotten your Shrine for your national religion, an Academy in your Great Library/Oxford City, and secured Sushi Inc. Great Engineers are probably the most desired great people on bigger maps with their ability to rush expensive wonders and to get Mining Inc.

    As rightfully pointed out the value of additional great people tend to diminish throughout the game, though the opposite is true pre-parthenon. Also their value is greatly increased with Pacifism and during Golden ages, though this should be compared to higher tile yields. My rule of thumb is that you should always dedicate specialists instead of working unimproved tiles. The only exception may be a ocean tile with lighthouse (if you consider that an improved tile) or in the case of great spys.

    You tend to equate the maximum value of great specialists in their ability to bulb expensive techs. However, the value of Sushi Inc, Mining Inc, an Academy in your science city, and a shrine in your Wall Street city as well as Golden Ages will often exceed the benefits of bulbing.
     
  6. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    UK
    No, they don't contribute "worldwide", they contribute in a particular city. And if that city doesn't pop a GP, the value of that GPP was zero. That is not the same as saying that the value of the specialist is zero, which I obviously never said; although specialists do not have a "multiplying" effect on anything.

    No, I don't. I'm taking a first stab at this; and I'm looking at bulbing not because it is necessarily the best option, but because it is an option whose value can be readily quantified, and one that is taken often enough that it is clearly not, in the general case, vastly inferior.
     
  7. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    UK
    I think the difficulty with tile value calculations is not that they are done, but that they don't recognise that the exchange rate between the various outputs fluctuates. If 3f > 1f5h, then that's because food is worth more than hammers right now; try and quantify by how much, and we can tell if the 2f3h tile is worth working.

    Sure, the value of a GP fluctuates wildly too. But that doesn't mean I don't want to take a first step at saying (for example) "if I appoint scientist specialists here, and if I plan to use a resulting GS to bulb a technology, each scientist specialist's GPP is effectively worth n beakers per turn" - because that's the first step in determining if I want those specialists, or to work high-commerce tiles.
     
  8. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,299
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    First of all, great topic, damerell :)
    I guess this is why evaluating the usefulness of GPP seems alarmingly difficult. The above strategy involves building the most expensive early wonder in the game plus possibly founding Taoism to get Angkor Wat. (I'd probably consider building the Mids if I saw stone and lots of food around but even in these cases rushing a neighbor or settling key locations might be more beneficial in the long run. Depends on the map of course.) Back to the topic, this is definitely not a winning strategy for the average game, at least not on the higher levels. I guess if we want to evaluate the usefulness of GPP in general we should assume no wonders and probably evaluate the PHIL trait or Pacifism separately.
    This is probably worth a try. Let's simplify the subject and let's assume for the moment that you're only interested in GPP because you want to bulb technologies. In this case you would definitely go for GSs only, as they would provide the most beakers and generally the most useful technologies.

    The things to consider:
    1. What are your options to maximize your GP points towards a GS? (Are you running Slavery (which leaves you with 2 scientists max), do you have access to Caste? How much food do you have? What's your happy cap? Are you Spiritual, Creative, Philosophical? Or Financial who would hate lo lose that riverside hamlet in favor of a measly scientist?)

    2. What technology will you be able to bulb once you get your GS? Will you benefit from it immediately? Will it have a good trade value? (It's important to note that letting a scientist sit around unused in your city waiting for something useful to bulb actually 'loses' you beakers in a way... You could have used it to build an Academy in the meantime, used it for a GA; or you could have at least settled it (worst case scenario)).

    Probably, although GAs can be monsters in the mid to late game for a developed empire with all the commerce and hammer benefits. Also, corporations are only available later in the game (if you're into it... I'm a SP fan.)
     
  9. ksa76

    ksa76 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    I was convinced that gpps were somehow accumulated globally. But after testing I can see that I have been gravely mistaken.
     
  10. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,299
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Unfortunately not. This is why keeping a single big GP farm is more effective than trying to coordinate multiple ones (unless you have tons of food, and some great commerce and production sites to back them up, of course, but you rarely do).
     
  11. lindsay40k

    lindsay40k Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,660
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    England
    Worth noting that there's a big difference between a civ that's using one big GP farm with NE & loads of Wonders & specialist-enabling buildings, and a civ with several targeted GP farms. I just pulled a beastly Wonder rushing game with Pacal of all people; started with grabbing Great Wall and then Pyramids, and capturing the Hindu HS (obv WS candidate, even before it founded Islam as well). Ended up turning Mids city into a GE (and occasional GS) farm with NE (both these types were VERY valuable - wanted SY to give me full intel on neighbours, and GEs for Wonder grabbing), WS city into GPro/GM farm, and bagging GL in capital.

    That setup led me to plan to grab Sushi and CreCon (for a late Culture win, which I enjoy more than conquest), since I'd got control of what GP my GPP would yield. I ran Pacifism and rushed Parthenon, and settled or burnt off pretty much every GP until I was approaching the techs to found corps.

    I could equally have run Theo and invested the Parthenon hammers in a small army to get cracking on taking over my continent. In that case, I'd have been inclined to aim for SP and took what GP I got.

    (As an aside, I found a Sushi-powered late game SE unusually brilliant; whilst running 100% culture, I was still teching every five turns or so and generating a >100 surplus. I had so many Merchants running, I was popping GMs in cities other than the 'big three'.)
     
  12. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Settler

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,299
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    This is really powerful if you can pull it off. :goodjob: Did you oracle MC? Built the Hanging Gardens? Or the Hagia Sophia?
     
  13. lindsay40k

    lindsay40k Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,660
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    England
    Human rival Oracled Feudalism, and an AI beat me to HG by three turns. Got HS, though - beelined Theo with it in mind, and the AP in WS city.

    Which brings us nicely back on topic; I got Angkor Wat, and the OP's point about value of GPP influenced many decisions. Having built Banks all over the shop to enable WS, AWpriests were worth more, turn by turn, than Engineers. Ten cities each generating a bonus 5gp a turn is nothing to sniff at, after all. However, in cities running so many specialists that under Pacifism and with Parthenon (I left SciMeth alone for ages) they were likely to pop a GP at some point, once I'd started industrialising and was approaching Combustion, Plastics and Radio (capturing a large city half a map away and being able to run two +50% Artists whilst whipping a Courthouse is just awesome) I was tending to run max Engineers instead to increase my odds of getting a GE.

    GE GPP became especially valuable here, since dedicated GE production got interrupted by Louis sucker-punching me with a navy. Took GE city back same turn, but he'd razed NE and Ironworks and burned all the accumulated GPP >.<
     
  14. Steamwerks

    Steamwerks Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    Typically if you're boxed in, securing iron and horses could be very challenging and/or expensive. Myself, I usually go cannons/grens in this situation, as they not only facilitate a swifter invasion in most cases, but bring the added benefit of caste workshops :goodjob: and m.academies. The upper path generally isn't enticing enough without marble and a guaranteed lib->nat for taj. I believe the lower path to steel is simply a more robust and reliable strategy overall (especially with stone!), able to better absorb mid-game dows, and less dependent on all-in objectives such as music, lib (susceptible to gp pollution), and taj. These goals aren't guaranteed on deity, and the investment often becomes a wash if they aren't achieved. Furthermore, the AI will often delay steel for a looong time if you get to it first! :lol:

    I am curious though, as I've seen a preference for cuirs expressed by a few other players here, and would be very interested to hear your reasoning behind that choice! Perhaps game speed or leader selection has some bearing on this? I usually go standard and random, respectively.
     
  15. babar

    babar King

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    600
    The way the mechanic is designed is a bit unintuitive, but I think it's a good measure to make small empires more viable.
     
  16. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,000
    Location:
    Pangea
    On normal speed, mounted units are better than on Epic or Mara..yeps.
    Also, Deity (i know it's annoying to repeat that, but it's important for many strategic points..) often requires fast wars.

    You have big AIs around, they usually will have solid research and techs for bribing others in on you, and peace vassal also dangerous.
    If you take too much time getting steel and maybe grennies too, then can only move 1 tile per turn thru enemy culture..can lead to very unpleasant situations ;)
    With Curis you have a fast moving unit, very strong on open field and can react better.
    You can also blitz or fork some cities, before they have time to bring reinforcements.

    ...aaand it's a better bulbing tech path. If you go steel, that's what AIs like doing also, and you get no good trade bait (for bribing in others, i.e.).
     
  17. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    In Dystopia
    Something worth noticing when having to decide between a tile and a specialist:
    Imagine Babylon and Akkad. Babylon has a library and produces 4 commerce, Akkad has a Market and produces 4 commerce too. Both Babylon and Akkad have the choice between working a 0 food 3c tile and working a scientist (B.) or a merchant (A.).
    Completely disregarding GPP, it's better to assign the specialists. Why? This way Babylon will produce 8.75 beakers at 100% research and Akkad will produce 4 beakers and 4 gold at 100% research. If you would have taken the commerce tiles, that would have been 8.75 beakers and 7 beakers: a difference of one beaker/gold.
     
  18. damerell

    damerell Slow Worker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    UK
    Oh, dear me, I hadn't even thought of that; and Civ 4 is a hideous mass of rounding issues, too.
     
  19. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,048
    But that's not mainly rounding issues, that just how the multipliers work. The rounding is a bit of a concern, but it would happen with the commerce tiles too if you had different percentages.

    The bigger issue is that if you have a multiplier building for one thing and not another its better to 'specialize' the city if your slider is heavy in the other direction. If your slider is 0 and you have a building with a library and no market the scientist is better than equivalent commerce, while a merchant is pointless outside of GPP.

    Note that the final numbers for Babylon are exactly the same, and there's no point in assigning the scientist if you don't need the GPP.

    More realistically, if you're running 70\30 or 50\50 or something the specialist is generally better since its 100% to whatever has the multiplier.


    I don't really like putting a commerce value to GPP though, it's easy enough to place a relatively accurate value on your GPP on the fly. In most cases you want your GP farm running at max anyway, and your GP farm won't have commerce tile alternatives anyway...

    Golden Ages and corporations are the strongest use of Mid-late game GPP, both of those scale directly with empire size and type, so you cannot put a general number on their value... Their exact value fluctuates wildly from game to game. Earlier you can pin down a value a little more directly, but it's still a lot of work to consider all variables and not much reward for all that work.
     
  20. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,914
    Location:
    London
    Interesting thread, I was playing a SE game with the Mids, running REP/Caste and I farmed every tile. I found the play to be very strong in the beginning, but it became less powerful as I went into the Modern era. Bad luck with the RNG meant that an AI teched education himself and he traded it to Mansa meaning I also lost Lib that game but did win in the end (Immortal).

    I think in the long term, for a growing empire, cottaging is the superior way to go because although they're small to start with, they actually grow and net a lot of commerce, but specialists stay the same (ignoring multipliers which effect both methods).

    In a simple situation:
    A city at size 3 working two farmed grassland tiles will net you one specialist slot, but the same city at size 3 could be working two cottages which will eventually grow into towns. So long term, tiles is better, but in the beginning, specialists are needed to get that snowball effect for bulbing and academies.
     

Share This Page