Wonder Ranking (4.2.3)

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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Dec 31, 2005
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So its been a while, wanted to take a look at the current wonder balance.

For this, I'm going to do two ratings for a wonder: Ex: A/C

First Number (Wonder Power): This is the actual strength of the wonder, ie how much do I want it. For this, I always consider optimal alignments. Obviously certain strats favor certain wonders. A high ranking wonder doesn't mean I need it in every game, but it mean a good portion of the time its a very solid play for a lot of strategies.

S - reserved for just a few rankings, the true creme of the crop....probably OP.
A - Very good wonder, I want it in a lot of games, it will often set the tone of several of my strats, its just very good.
C - Decent wonder, I get it when I can.
F - Not even a terrible wonder per say, but I can just never seem to fit it in, there is always other priorities (and that extra wonder cost for future wonders of course).

Second Number (Ease of Building): How hard is it to get this wonder? Some wonders the AIs LOVE to get, others they will often ignore. A high ranking means I feel pretty confident I can pick this up in a lot of game, a low ranking means I need to move heaven and earth.
S - The AI practically has forgotten this exists, I never have trouble getting it.
A - Most games I can get this with standard build orders
C - I have to push a bit to get this wonder, but I have a reasonable chance with the right conditions.
F - Extremely hard to get this, the AI just gobbles it up like candy. Building this wonder feels like a major accomplishment in its own right.

Ancient Wonders
Spoiler :

Stonehenge - C/S
Very solid opener to the game, makes a number of pantheons more foundable than they would be otherwise. With the right start (which isn't too hard to get) I can guarrantee I get this wonder, never miss it when I want it.

Pyramids - C/S
Gives a nice expansion boost to start the party, but it weakens your religious opening, and the other benefits aren't as great.

Statue of Zeus - A/F
Gives a solid benefit that will last you the entire game, excellent for warmongers. But my lord is it hard to get, the prereqs are tough to get that early in the game.
Petra - C (A for trade civs)/A
an extra Tr is never bad, often easy to get due to the desert requirements.

Temple of Artemis - F/C
Not bad but there is just so many other things to do right now, I never feel like the commitment is worth it.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus - A/C
The more I've played the more I keep wondering if MoH is just a sleeper wonder. The benefits seem so innocent, but with good play its a permanent +10% to your most important yields in your capital all game. And the stone works is actually amazing to give you prod ITRs, which can be a monster boost in the early game.


Classical Wonders
Spoiler :

Great Lighthouse - A/C
Sneakily good on water heavy maps, if your playing naval heavy games, this benefit adds up a lot.

Great Library - C/C
Its a nice boost when you get it, it really is, but I find it doesn't have the longevity to really warrant a higher ranking.

Hanging Gardens - C/C
I think this wonder at first glance just looks amazing, but I don't think its ultimately as good as it lets on.

Roman Forum - C/A
Often overlooked I think, but this wonder is a very nice benefit at that point in the game.

Terracotta Army - S/C
If you're planning to warmonger, I don't think there is a better wonder in the game. The amount of culture this generates is not measured in the hundreds, but the thousands.

Parthenon - C/C
Its a decent culture and science boost at the time, tends to wane though.

Oracle - A/F
One of the hardest wonders to get imo, the AI bonuses and hunger for this wonder makes getting the oracle its own personal minigame. But the boost it gives at this point in the game is amazing, I can launch you into medieval.

Great Wall - F/C
of course I want the bonus...but I can never find the time, and as the AI loves to ramp up war around gunpowder it often has a lot less benefit than it appears at first glance.

Ankor Wat - A/C (maybe F).
Nice benefit for a lot of playstyles, though pretty tough to get

Collossus - C (A for trade civs)/C
Again, extra TR is never bad.


Medieval Wonders
Spoiler :

University of Sankore - A/A
A major boost to Tradition GP play, missing this wonder feels like a kick in the pants. Fortunately I find its pretty easy to get as long as I focus to it.

Hagia Sophia - A/C
An excellent religious wonder.

Borobadur - A/C
Another excellent religious wonder. Whether you value HS or Boro depends on your religious style and what beliefs you have taken.

Alhambra - C (A for horse UU focused civs)/F
Its a decent bonus for wamongers, especially for those melee mounted focused civs. However, brutally hard to get, if I'm not the only authority player I don't even bother considering this.

Machu Picchu - F/S
Once in a blue moon I have the perfect settings for Manchu, and then....its just a decent wonder. Otherwise its very bad, one of the worst imo, but there are games where you can still bag this thing like 2 eras later.

Forbidden Palace - C/A
Again fairly easily to grab if I make the top bar commitment, and a solid bonus throughout the game, though not as defining to progress as sankore is to tradition imo.

Karlstejn - F/C
If you really just cannot reform than this is good, but generally I can reform if I commit, and I don't find this wonder worth ignoring other buildigns and wonders.

Notre Dame - C/C
With golden ages being more of a premium now, I think this wonder got a boost but its just a one and done kind of benefit.


Renaissance Wonders
Spoiler :

Globe Theater - F/A
There just's better stuff to do at this point in the game.

Chichen Itza - A/C
Was pretty darn good before Golden Ages were scarer, so now that duration feels even more impactful.

Himenji Castle - A/C
I rank this on tradition civs, where the defense and supply are really noticeable. Otherwise its more an annoyance when your neighbor gets this and it makes warring them a slog.

Leaning Tower - A/A
Probably one of the best combos of good benefits the AI doesn't seem to recognize. This is great wonder for any playstyle, and its often yours for the taking if you just want to go over and grab it.

Porcelain Tower - A/C
Likely the best science wonder in the game assuming you don't play with RAs on (although maybe it is there too haven't played with RAs in a very long time).

Taj Mahal - C/C
I might be convinced of an A now with GAP being scarcier, but it still always feels like a nice to have.

Uffizi - F/C
Just not great at this point in the game.

Sistine Chapel - C/C
Its a good boost no lie, but at the time its coming its a question of how much difference does this really make.

Summer Palace - F/C
Never bad, but it doesn't push the needle on diplomacy in a truly strong way, and I can just never find the worth to get it.

Red Fort - F/A
The problem is, the city that is often best to build this may not be the city you need the defense in (and often is not). Its not consistent enough to be a good wonder.


Industrial Wonders (note that in my games I often find I have caught up or even pushed past most AIs, so ease of building rankings tend to go up a lot here).
Spoiler :

Neuschwanstein - F/A
The only thing this gives you worth a damn is happiness....and for the hammers it might be better just to bust out a couple of public works. But it is pretty easy to build I find.

Lourve - F/A
Its a fun boost in the archeology race, but its still not a great wonder. Only its theming makes it worth anything, but its still not worth much.

Palace of Westminster - S/A
The more I play the more I realize how powerful votes are. This wonder is what puts Statecraft at the absolutely top of DV play, as this can be the difference between having your Hegemony numbers and not being close. This wonder wins games.

Eiffel Tower - C/A
A nice bonus but nothing flashy.

Brandenburg Gate - A/A
This one serves two interesting masters, the warmongers that want every bit of Xp they can get, and the Tall players that need every scrap of supply they can get. Its very good for both of them.


Modern Era Wonders
Spoiler :

Statue of Liberty - A/S
A free policy is just straight up awesome. Gives a major boost to production at a time when Tall freedom players often lack for it.

Empire State Building - A/A
At this point in the game, great people start to be worth quite a bit, and the gold boost is actually quite noticable in large civs.

Kremlin - A/S
Not equal to the Statue of Liberty, but again the free policy is what sells it.

Cristo Redentor - F (A for CV players)/A
Garbage for anyone other than CV players, but for a Cv push its a notable boost in tourism.

Broadway - A/S
I think Broadway is a sneakily good wonder, and often brings Industry home in the late game. You get a LOT of culture off of this thing if you do it right. It might be even more culture than Terracotta all said and done, though of course TA gives it to you sooooo much earlier in the game.

Prora - S/S
This is the best of the 3 ideological wonders by a good bit. It shores up two critical weaknesses of heavy warmonger play, happiness and culture.


Atomic Era Wonders
Spoiler :

Pentagon - C/A
Its a weird mash of abilities, and its nice, but its not truly game altering, especially as the game moves a bit and the jet fighters aren't as strong.

The Motherland Calls - A/A
None of the abilities here are particularly impressive, but there is a lot here, and taken all together its a very solid package.

Bletchley Park - C/A
The main issue here is that it boosts spies...but often you are a tech leader as Rationalism, so you lose a lot of the reason to have your spies in the first place. Its never bad, but that weakens a lot of its benefit.


Information Era Wonders
Spoiler :

CN Tower - A/A
At this point in the game, its all about going for the win. This pushes CV players over the top.

Sydney Opera House - C/A
I always want this, but at this point in the game I often have all the key policies I need, and so its a bit too little too late.

Hubble Space Telescope - C/A
Its often less a win wonder, and more a "I win a little faster" wonder, but it does do its job.

Great Firewall - A/A (C for CV players)
My ranking here might seem odd, as it doesn't really help you win the game. However, it helps you not lose it, this is the final protection against an encroaching CV player or people spamming you with spies. Now what's more interesting is how important it is for a CV player to consider this so that their key enemy doesn't get it, but that can be tricky as a CV focus rarely gives you the tech lead at this point in the game.

CERN - A/A
Cern just does what it needs to do, finish the game.
 
This is a lot of stuff but I am a civ player so ...
Something happened in 4.2.x and its easier to get wonders.
Ancient era wonders:
I avoid ToA, hard to get AI loves it, not worth the trouble I also avoid pyramids, AI goes quite hard for it.
I've started going for SoZ, its good, used to be impossible now its not, Mausuleum is great, same reason as synagogues are great.
AI forgets Petra is available, but maybe not enough desert tiles, its a decent wonder.
Classic Era:
Terracotta is very strong.
Oracle, Parthenon and Glib all good but I prefer the bottom half so Im usually out of reach.
Ankor wat is good for wide but a luxury if I get, I dont go out of the way and usually busy building something else.
Hanging gardens is some extra food for starved start and early garden for faster great people, but as I recall no gpp on the wonder, not horrible but very low prio, similar story with colossus, ok but I need other stuff unless Im ottoman.
Roman forum/great wall I let someone else take.
Medieval:
Notre dame is the only one I care about.
Renaissance:
Chichen Itza, leaning tower, porcelain tower and taj are all really nice I try to get them.
Industrial:
Neuschwan is good so is the slater mill (did it change name?).
 
I do like the +10% Food that ToA gives and +25% towards Range Units. Usually not worth rushing/going for though.
GLighthuose isn't very good when you unlock, it doesn't get good until Navigation, imo.
Roman Forum is very good.
The main Medieval Wonders I care about are on Theology.
Ufizzi and Globe are fairly useful for their global -1 Urbanization.
I wish Sydney OH was available a bit earlier.
 
I struggle to get Terracotta, I pray most games an AI near me makes it so I can just take it. I am a little too distracted to focus on city macro (I play on Immortal).

I find masonry is never what I want early game as I rush for archers/spearmen/markets to get a war going and then not go broke persecuting the war. My capital is usually struggling with population as I need to crank settlers out to get the good spots before the AI does.

Stonehenge is an indispensable part of my game though, so easy to pick up and such a nice boost to religion to ensure you found with great beliefs.

I find statue of Zeus mediocre, I take cities when I kill enough of their army I can establish map control around the city. Once I have map control from killing units the city is easy to crack. It is extremely rare I take a heavily contested city. Being able to attack cities better is way less important than breaking their army.
 
On Quick and Deity/Immortal rarely I've seen Pyramids/Stonehenge go very early, before the earliest a good but sane start could get them. The last time I saw this was a while ago but I never feel truly safe going for them, and the penalty for failure is kinda sorta death.

Those two are really special in that way, as the lost production sometimes is impossible to make up at that point of the game, you miss one by a turn and you are pretty much dead. Even if the hit rate is 95% the 5% miss rate can hurt more than a 50% miss rate on other wonders.
 
yeah. a good strat when it works is monument->stonehenge, skipping shrine. It works most of the time, but if it doesn't then...well. Not only do you have nothing to show for it, but also you've got zero faith. everyone is in classical before you get a pantheon
 
yeah. a good strat when it works is monument->stonehenge, skipping shrine. It works most of the time, but if it doesn't then...well. Not only do you have nothing to show for it, but also you've got zero faith. everyone is in classical before you get a pantheon
On Immortal, I know how to get a Turn 26 pyramids/stonehenge (with the right start, aka some early food and 3 1f/2p tiles)....and I've never failed to get it. Is the wonder going faster than that on deity?
 
like 95, or even 97% of the time you can get it in the latter half of the 20s and still be ok. but every now and then it'll go on turn like 22 or something
 
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like 95, or even 97% of the time you can get it in the latter half of the 20s and still be ok. but every now and then it'll go on turn like 22 or something
Yeah that must be an America player, I could see that.
 
Its a fun boost in the archeology race, but its still not a great wonder. Only its theming makes it worth anything, but its still not worth much.
No way it isn't a great wonder. The free stuff it gives (1 Great Artist, 1 Museum, 2 Archaeologists) far surpasses its production cost.
 
I do wonder if we couldn't just make Great Wall not expire. It kind of sucks that we have this 1 wonder that just shuts off half-way through the game, and I don't necessarily think it's warranted. The lose all move when entering borders is much weaker than the universal move at half speed in enemy land that the wonder gave in vanilla. It also actually gets weaker as the game progresses for two reasons:
- borders are pushed further and further away from the cities, so passing through the border threshold becomes less of a factor, and exposes your units to countermaneuver less often. I find I pass into foreign land without resistance more easily in the late game, because the borders are often 4 or 5 tiles away from the nearest city.
- More and more emphasis is shifted onto naval and air as the game progresses, and those units aren't affected by GW. Land shifts from your entire emphasis in classical to just 1 of 3 other important domains.

I think we could increase the :c5gold: gold from :c5trade: City connections on Machu Picchu up by 5-10%. The gold bump from this wonder just isn't that amazing right now.
 
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No way it isn't a great wonder. The free stuff it gives (1 Great Artist, 1 Museum, 2 Archaeologists) far surpasses its production cost.
That's my point though, it just gives you some stuff you mostly can get anyway. Now do I want that stuff, of course, but I always have other obligations, other things I want to build (not to mention the wonder increases the cost of all future wonders). Compare to wonders that change how the game is played, or give you a sudden and immediate major boost to the game (such as a free policy). I always want more of course, but there is nothing special about this wonder.
 
You aren't going to get 1 more Great Artist without building the wonder. Archaeologists are also capped, and there's no way to obtain 5 at the same time otherwise. These are immediate major boosts.
 
I do wonder if we couldn't just make Great Wall not expire. It kind of sucks that we have this 1 wonder that just shuts off half-way through the game, and I don't necessarily think it's warranted. The lose all move when entering borders is much weaker than the universal move at half speed in enemy land that the wonder gave in vanilla. It also actually gets weaker as the game progresses for two reasons:
- borders are pushed further and further away from the cities, so passing through the border threshold becomes less of a factor, and exposes your units to countermaneuver less often. I find I pass into foreign land without resistance more easily in the late game, because the borders are often 4 or 5 tiles away from the nearest city.
- More and more emphasis is shifted onto naval and air as the game progresses, and those units aren't affected by GW. Land shifts from your entire emphasis in classical to just 1 of 3 other important domains.

I think we could increase the :c5gold: gold from :c5trade: City connections on Machu Picchu up by 5-10%. The gold bump from this wonder just isn't that amazing right now.
The great wall buff is fair, the border pushing out will make it less strong. Because WOW it is so annoying to deal with in Medieval.

I think it would be more fun to make Machu Picchu's mountain yields better. More gold is kind of boring but OP mountain tiles is a little more unique and interesting. It would be fun to have a culture/science powerhouse mountain city.
 
...
I find statue of Zeus mediocre, I take cities when I kill enough of their army I can establish map control around the city. Once I have map control from killing units the city is easy to crack. It is extremely rare I take a heavily contested city. Being able to attack cities better is way less important than breaking their army.
Don't forget, with SoZ captured workers are no longer treated as POW and that is strong imo.
 
Stonehenge is easy, though an AI Celt team may beat you to it. Terracotta is a favorite of AI. They do get Petra sometimes. I don't recall seeing them go for Neusch though. They will go for Sydney and CN Tower late in the game if not on a warmonger path.

Isn't there code that causes an AI to favor "historical" wonders: India always goes for Taj Mahal, Egypt for Pyramids, France for Louvre?
 
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