Something that confused me early on in my Dominions 3 campaigns was which is the best mage to use for doing that all important research. Since the logical approach of always using the mage with the highest Research Ability will quickly lead many nations into money problems due to crippling upkeep costs. So to make things easier for new and old players alike, here is a database of the 'Relative Research Costs' for each nations recruitable mages.
The main function of this database is to aid the player in working out which nations mages are the most cost effective at doing research. Although please note that the "most cost effective research mage" does not necessarily mean "the best research mage".
Besides the basic information of a mages purchase cost and upkeep costs, I have also included how many Research Points (RP's) have been accumulated by that mage after 15 and 30 turns, and therefore how much money each RP has cost you relative to the mages recruitment and upkeep cost. Note that after 15 turns a mage gains +1 to their Research Ability (RA) due to them gaining their first experience star. This has been included in my calculations since it has a noticable bearing on the figures. A further note is that a mage DOES NOT gain any extra experience from researching (as page 58 of the manual indicates), and a mage with the 'defend' order gains experience at the same rate as a mage with the 'research' order.
I have not included in my calculations any random magic paths that are not guaranteed (ie. anything below 100% is counted as 0). This may lead to some mages getting lower scores (for want of a better description) than they would if they managed to get a complete set of random picks. I will use Arcoscephale's 'Mystic' as an example of what I mean here -
The 'Mystic' unit has a base RA of 2, and then +1 RA for the native Astral path, and +1 RA for the guaranteed ?1 100% FWES path, giving a final RA total of 4. It also has three ?1 50% chances of getting additional magic picks, but I have not included these in my calculations since they are not guaranteed. But it goes without saying that a 'Mystic' who succeeds in getting all three 50% chances, for a total RA of 7, will be a more cost effective researcher than one who fails to get any. I may included these additional figures, and the percentage chance of mages getting them, in future versions of the database. All depends how many people would find the extra info useful :-)
I have only collected the data for Early Age so far, this is mainly because I want to test the water with regards to how useful people find this database before putting time into doing the other ages. If enough people give it the thumbs up, I shall compile likewise lists for MA, LA, Indy mages, and possibly summons (although upkeep costs are mostly irrelevant to the latter, so any calculations may be better based on gem costs)
I also haven't attempted to analyse the data here, or to make any suggestions as to which mages each nation should use for researching. Since that has the problem of requiring me to be a far better Dominions player than I actually am
So I'm very happy to leave these jobs to the players in the community who know a lot more about these things than I do.
Finally, please feel free to point out any mistakes or omissions I have (most likely) made, and I am very open to any suggestions of what other research/cost related info that might be useful which I have not included.
Done a bit of a tidy up, and added some input functions. The data can now be altered to reflect a given turn number, and the research bonus/penalty from the Magic Scales. The data available is still only for EA at the moment, but once I'm happy with the layout and functions, I will start on the other ages.
All feedback, comments and suggestions are as always very welcome