Hello all, after numerous successes and failures I believe I have found the current “optimum” order for tradition picks under the current system. This list is of course by no means perfect and different picks are valid options depending on how the game develops and what your opponents do.
1) Discovery: The very first thing you do in the game is anomalies. This is before the research ships get parked over a planet to Assist Research. This is also the critical phase by which to plan expansion, therefore surveying the territory around is crucial. Finally this gives you the best opportunity to get your precursor artifacts done quick, which can be very powerful if on Cybrex or First League.
2) Expansion: After Discovery comes a period of rapid expansion. Even “playing tall” can benefit from this pick early since 30 administrative capacity is nothing and the +20 essentially translates into faster research and tradition. Ideally you would want to begin a period of rapid expansion towards the end of filling out this tree.
3) Harmony: Feel free to take later, but filling this tree out for +5% stability will help ensure stable growth long term, and the governing ethics attraction plus amenities usage bonus can help keep the factions from getting out of control. The rest of the tree isn’t as useful, and this tree can even be put on the back burner halfway through for the next tree if necessary.
4) Prosperity: By now you should have numerous planets beginning to fill out with populations, and prosperity, as the name suggests, ensures that your economics run smoothly. It also helps with building as your city districts become better. The reason I like to pick Prosperity after Harmony is because the bonus Merchants for Prosperity don’t come online until you hit 50 pops. Therefore filling out this tree early gets little value since you’ll probably only be at 50 on your capital. However a 5% Stability bonus early on can be a massive boon, especially if you’re aggressively colonizing tough planets.
5) Diplomacy: Federations are good, but often times you can get invited to a federation instead of having to do it yourself. However, this tree specifically gives you a 10% market bonus at the Galactic Market. This is probably the single most powerful tradition pick in the game and seems to be massively undervalued by a large number of people. In combination with the Galactic Market the 10% bonus combines into 20% for a unique advantage that no other player can achieve. Once you’re in first place with economics it becomes simple to “corner the market” through your unbeatable advantage, usually by selling alloy.
6/7 Domination / Supremacy: The last part can go either way. Ideally you want to save the really big fighting until after you become an economic powerhouse, because losing a battleship is nothing at the point where you have multiple factories pumping them out. However if forced into fighting by this point, Supremacy can come before Domination.
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