In this thread I am going to look at the various Ideological Tenents. I am also going to comment on the "availability" of each ideology, in terms of how easy it is to get levels in each. Since there are many of them, I will use a simple rating system.
A - Really good balance, this tenant is useful without being too strong.
C - Decent balance. This tenant is either a bit UP or OP.
F - Bad Balance. Its either so weak I can never find a place for it, or so strong I cannot resist it.
* - I don't have enough experience with this tenant to give it a rating, I may come back to it later.
Note: I will note that I am very heavily biased against "one and done" type tenants, in general they never seem worth it compared to benefits that just keep on trucking turn after turn. So with few exceptions, most of these get a low rating from me.
Availability: A - A decent amount of events can give you good authority if you want to go high in this tree.
- Iron Fist (C/F) - Control is flexible enough to be worth something, and at least this tenant is first in the list, meaning you can have it very early to kick off certain styles. Still, I would much rather have a +1 control per turn or something.
- Prestige (A) - Decent, and fun, its nice to get super high experience commanders.
- Service (*)
- Watchful (*)
- Dangerous (*)
- Conscription (F) - If this came earlier so I could pull off some early invasion rush, it could be really cool, but its VERY far down in the tree, and by the time I get it....I can pump out my own transports easy enough.
- Discipline (A) - A fun combo of raw money + military might.
Overall: * - Too much in the tree I haven't played with yet, so I'll reserve judgement. Theme wise its probably the most on-point tree, just a solid war focused tree.
Availability: C - Can be a little hard to get deep in the tree sometimes, but a pretty good pace on this one.
- Kindness (A) - More diplomacy is always more good.
- Charity (A) - Really solid bonus if crime is a problem, can massively cut it down for you.
- Sustainability (A) - Pollution reducers are hard to get, solid bonus if you need it.
- Humility (A) - Moar Diplomacy!
- Favored (C) - An okay bonus, a lot of warring civs will have enough approval to cover the drop but it has its uses.
- Popular (*) - I'm not sure how much oomph this really gives.
- Consensus (*) - Its unclear how good this is, does the AI really respect the penalty? I mean realistically if an enemy is invading your home planet you have royally messed up already, so I'm not sure how much protection this really gives you.
Overall: C - The tree has a bit of a mixed theme but hits its high notes well, I use this tree a decent amount for various styles.
Availability: F - Very hard to get up this tree.
- Patient (C) - Persuasion is at least a stat you might use a lot of the time, so its still murky how good that stat is.
- Pioneering (F) - If this was tenant 1, maybe for an immediate rush. But otherwise colony ships aren't that expensive.
- Good Neighbor (F) - I can just pick up a diplomacy bonus from another tree and cover this (and get other bonuses as well), and make open border agreements.
- Agrarian (F) - If farming wasn't so weak this would be good, but I just never need this kind of global bonus. I'll stop by Compassion's pollution reducer first.
- Prepared (C/F) - Though I advocated for the change here from a +1 to a +2...I still don't think the repair rate is fast enough. Further, it doesn't fit the "theme" of Cooperation. My new suggestion, give all ships a +1 FLEET bonus to repair. That is much more in theme of actual "cooperation", and of course its a much much bigger bonus. Yet I don't think its OP, the fleets that are going to have lot of ships...are going to get killed not damaged, so the repair doesn't help. And on the big ships where you need it, frankly you need a LOT of repair to make it useful, as ships at that point take quite a beating in each fight.
- Cooperative (F): I just don't find the approval penalty here all that much.
Overall: F - Probably the weakest tree in the game, hard to get up the tree, and I never want to.
Availability: C (OP) - Creativity is probably the one tree I think there are too many points in. I sometimes get to the top of the tree without investing in a single tenant, there seem to be creativity points just scattered everywhere in the game.
- Efficiency (A) - A solid bonus
- Impulsive (A) - More speed is always appreciated
- Persistance (A) - More stats is more good.
- Constructive (F) - If this was the first entry in the tree...it has some use to help win the expansion race. But its way too deep in the tree, and too easy to replace.
- Planning (C - OP) - Logistics wins fights, and a permanent +8 over your enemies is one of the best military bonuses in the game, probably too much. Also because of the speed you get creativity points, I've often gotten this pretty early in the game, where it can increase your logistics like +50%, which is just way too good.
- Resourceful (A) - Awesome
- Perfect Production (A) - Awesome
Overall: A - Creativity is absolutely THE best overall tree, with very little weakness. I could use this tree for almost any strategy, its good for cherry picking or to take it straight down the line. Themewise its a bit scattered but the notion of creativity is also a hard one to grasp, so it still works for me in theme.
Availability: C - Decent early availability, I find it hard to get to the end sometimes.
- Commune (A) - Nice solid bonus, generally useful for the vast majority of playstyles.
- Representation (F) - The bonus here does not seem that strong.
- Generational Homes (A) - If you do have a good growth bonuses (ie Mimot's), then having extra space on all of your planets that you don't have to pay for can actually lead to a very nice bonus.
- Shared Purpose (A) - On large planets can provide a lot of extra bonus.
- Workers Party (A) - If your working your approval right, this is a huge bonus.
- Hope (C) - A solid bonus, though a litttle weaker than I would like for a capstone.
Overall: A - One of the best balanced trees, with a lot of just good solid tenants, and generally pretty on theme.
Availability: A - A lot of liberty events exists, and I generally find I can get most of the way up the tree with just those.
- Self-Governance (C - OP) - I think hands down the best 1st culture pick in the game, so good I find it hard to take anything else. Its either the standard by which all early tenants should be measured against, or its OP and needs to be toned down.
- Mobility Rights (A) - A solid choice for people doing starbase play.
- Free Trade (F) - Freighters are easy to build, and traders easy to come by. This policy gives me nothing that great, and it comes too late in the tree to be some "really early boost".
- Free Markets (C) - Its not spectacular for its place in the tree, but a global bonus is never bad.
- Private Ownership (A) - For a person going heavy starbase play, seems solid enough, though I haven't done the math on expenses to see if its really that great.
- Enterprise (F) - Maaaaybe the navigators might have some use for this with the asteroid decay, but this comes late enough that I have generally handled my colony decay, and asteroid decay is not a factor for most civs.
Overall: C - A few duds and a few insanely good picks, a decent overall tree. Theme its a bit mixed, with a combination of a lot of mismash bonuses.
Availability: A - Pretty easy to move through this tree.
- Unification (A) - Rock solid bonus, good for many playstyles.
- Shared Belief (C) - Its a very big bonus, but honestly I rarely find resistance bonuses all that useful.
- Preferred Culture (A - Mechanics, F - Flavor) - Mechanically this is a solid bonus in the right circumstance. Flavorwise, its terrible. One - The idea that a preferred species would be in a tree literally called "harmony" seems super weird. Two - The Krynn get this tree as their default, and yet this tenant gives their entire civ a -5% approval, that just feels utterly wrong.
- Unique Voice (*)
- Core of the Empire (A) - If your playing a Tall empire, this is the bonus for you.
- Crown of the Empire (A) - Another really good tall bonus.
Overall - A. Some really good meat in the Harmony tree, starts out swinging and gives a lot of good bonuses for people wanting to play a Taller style focused on their capital.
Availability: F - I don't know the last time I saw the top of this tree. You get it a lot from tourism buildings, which are not good, so I rarely see this tree unlocked.
- Flexible (C) - As a global bonus to all 3 stats, its never bad, but its a very watered down bonus. I generally have better things to do with my points.
- Inviting (F) - Random is always hard to build a strategy with, this could be great, this could be 3 festron coming to eat your homeworld's people. And its not strong enough to be worth the risk.
- Adaptable (A) - The gem of this tree, absolutely awesome.
- Cultural Appreciation (A) - Solid bonus
- Acceptance (*)
- Enticing (A) - As the final nail in the culture coffin, this is a great way to speed up your takings.
Overall - F. One of my least favorite trees, its feels directionless. I cherry pick from this tree when I'm doing certain strategies, but overall I just don't feel the theme of this tree at all.
Availability: A - Lots of ways to get innovation if your focused on it.
- Eureka (F - Bugged): I actually don't think the approval boost is working for this tenant right now.
- Deep Investigation (A): For solid survey play a great tenant.
- Focus on Education (C): If you have a homeworld focused on science, getting +3 pop on top (when you already have a lot of pop and its hard to grow more) can be useful for some civs. Its very niche, but in that niche it has a purpose.
- Breakthrough (F) - If this was the first tenant maybe, but I can almost get this amount for one research mission, its just not enough for my precious culture point.
- Logic (A) - Solid.
- Revere Science (C) - Usually when I'm this deep in a tree, I've already addressed my approval issues. Though on a heavy scientist world it might allow you to tear down a few entertainment districts and replace them with more science, so its got its uses.
- Quantum Leap (A) - The only thing better than more science is...more science.
Overall: A - With just a few blips, probably one of the best overall trees, always useful to pretty much any playstyle. Themewise very on point, its all about the beakers with this one.
Availiability: A - Rarely have trouble getting up on this tree should I push it.
- Ambition (A) - The discount is pretty significant, and early game sometimes that money saved can allow you to grab a key leader, but the money keeps on saving time and time again.
- Recruiting (C) - I'm not really sure how much use this is, but its got its moments.
- Incentives (A) - If you have a lot of leaders (which you will if your pushing this tree) its a nice bonus.
- Celebrate Talent (*)
- Merit (A) - Combined with ambition leaders become really really cheap, enough to start flooding the factions.
- Poaching (A) - If you want to go heavy conquest, getting a free leader for each core world taken is nothing to sneeze at. I find it has somewhat of an anti-synergy though. If I have few oppurtunity tenents, than its good. But if I have ambition and merit...than leaders are dirt cheap, I can easily replace them.
Overall: A - The most one theme tree, truly focused on leaderly goodness. In general a very nice selection of talents.
Availability: F - I very rarely have seen the top of this tree, it seems hard to climb up.
- Intimidating (F) - I just don't find bonuses to intimidate all that useful. They have their moments, but its few and far between, compared to other bonuses taht just keep on working.
- Callous Disregard (A) - I generally don't take it super early because your still covering the approval, but once you do its a very nice bonus.
- Military Reverence (F) - Soldiers are easy to get.
- Ruthless (A) - If you want invasion power, now this is how you get it.
- Attrition (A) - Very good bonus, funny enough for this being the "go out and invade tree", this is one of the best defensive bonuses in the game.
- Bloodthirsty (A) - Nothing better than conquering the galaxy and the masses cheering you for it.
Overall: C - Again a few duds but some really good bonuses towards the end, and mostly on point for raw invasion power.
Availability: C - Sometimes issues getting to the top.
- Silver Tongue (F) - Deception as a skill just seems really really weak, and turning my leaders into cowards isn't all that useful either.
- Criminal Ties (A) - If your playing a high hostile game, being able to expand into pirate invested areas without major escort can give you a solid leg up in the expansion race. Its a niche policy, but its fun when you want to use it.
- Darkness (C) - A moderately useful defense policy.
- Paranoia (*)
- Crime Lords (C) - 3 leaders is nothing to sneeze at, though this comes pretty late when my need for leaders is usually a lot less.
- Hidden Agenda (A) - In the right place, can be the most powerful tenant in the game.
Overall: F - I just find secrecy really lackluster. I feel like almost everything it does, I can do better in other places. I also don't feel like I'm doing any real "spying" with this tree.
What I really want to see are tenents that makes my diplomats the gods of spying. Give all of my diplomats the ability to steal money or techs, or XYZ. Give me permanent vision of enemy starbases or something. Honestly I would love a total revamp of this tree.
Availability: C - A decent amount of events and buildings for this one, but I do have some trouble getting to the end of the tree some games.
- Sacred History (C) - Its ok, the +1000 influence is not as much as you might think when your really push your borders, and the heritage project is just ok, but if you are going full influence every bit helps.
- Ancestral Home (C) - If your going full fury on influence, again every bit helps. The bonus being early is a bump to it.
- Code of Laws (A) - There's always room for another policy no matter what phase of the game.
- Alluring (F) - The actual bonus this gives is so tiny its non-existant.
- Radiant (A) - A nice solid global bonus
- Devotion (A) - Solid.
- Dogma (A/C) - I'm torn here. I mean when you need this bonus you REALLY need it, and it does its job. But realistically if you have been investing in this tree at all you are probably going influence already and so really shouldn't have problems keeping your planets from flipping. As a capstone to one of the "influence trees" it feels strange.
Overall: A - I think tradition does its job well, and is very on point theme wise (its all about influence).
Availability: F - Its really hard to get a lot of transparency in my opinion, very hard to get up this tree.
- Amiable (A) - Kicks off the good relations and trade in short order.
- Negotiators (A/C) - I'm no real fan of diplomatic credits but if you are doing a lot of trades than this can be worth a good amount of credits per turn.
- Shrewd (*)
- Trustworthy (A) - Global stat bonuses are always solid in the right hands.
- Fair Traders (A) - Moar diplomacy!
- Reliable (*)
Overall - I don't know what to make of this tree honestly. It feels like this and compassion are twins, moreso than any other two trees in the game, so much that i'm not really sure why they both exist. In general, I like compassion better, as I can get the +1/+2 diplomacy combo much earlier (compassion gets those tenents earlier and compassion is just easier to get point wise in my experience). This tree has some fun things to do with trades, but compassion has some really nice global bonuses. Of course you can go the ultimate diplomacy combo of Transparency + Compassion....but that honestly seems like overkill at that point.