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  #1  
Old March 14th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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Default Site Searching Strategy

A recent post on expansion strategy included a post by KissBlade that had the following link: thread

This excellent post has a paragraph on the end on site searching strategy that is in all likelihood excellent advice but I am still balking at taking this advice (please forgive me my noobishness). As the post suggests I do find acashic record very tempting. Maybe this because of my latent OCD, or my lack of experience in MP games, but I do seem to have a hard time adjusting to the idea of not using acashic record.

Now, most of my experience is with EA T'ien Ch'i, so that's my reference point, but I'd be interested in comment from the point of view of any nation. I've read posts indicating acashic vs the individual spells is a tradeoff of gems vs mage time. That makes perfect sense, but we are talking about a lot of mage time, here, right? I mean wouldn't that equate to 8 casts of the individual spells vs 1 cast of acashic? That could translate to an awful lot of research or mage combat availability.

Also, given that you're going down the single spell road, that still means you're not hitting the holy sites. Now this could easily be a reflection of my OCD, but it just bugs me that in all probability I would be missing out not just on holy, but in the case of a non-blood nation, also blood and maybe some of the other sites, as well.


Having said all the above, here are some detailed questions:

1) One thing that surprises me is that in the post it says that almost all of your site searching is done with spells. Would this apply even to TC, which seems to have such an excellent cadre of mages for searching? In SP testing, I do find myself going through a phase in the early game where I do a fair bit of searching with 2-3 Masters of the 5 Elems, and/or 2-3 CMs. Is that just plain bad mage use?

2) Does this question of the relative cost of acashic vs single spells change when site frequency changes? Say 35% vs 50%?

3) Same question, but say you have a 20% conjuration bonus site, does this dramatically change the balance in favor acashic?

4) I imagine in practice, that experienced players using the spells don't actually cast 8 different spells on every province. Obviously, if you already found 4 sites you're not going to cast more spells, but would anyone care other rules of thumb on how much work they put into casting site searching spells?

5) If you're not using acashic, how much work do you put into finding the holy sites? Just send an indy priest around, or do you take your best national priest? Or do you just skip this holy site thing, for the most part?

Last edited by Edi; August 21st, 2008 at 05:41 AM.. Reason: Added prefix
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

Everything has pros and cons...

(1) Manual searching means search, move, search, move. Spell searching gives you search, search, search, search. So as soon as you can do spell searching its best to switch to it. Your mages will also be in the lab if you need to summon or forge instead of search. Drawback, if you find a province that needs a mage to enter a site or you need a lab to recruit then you have to send a mage from home.

(2) Not really.

(3) Good question. I will leave that to people more math oriented than I

(4) in practice most set a group of mages of each type to casting. They all cast on the same province each time. Sometimes I will leave off some because I want (possibly incorrectly) to increase the chance of finding an earth site before filling up the slots with nature sites

(5) I tend to try and keep priests up near the moving armies anyway. And anytime they have to stop then I search.

There are times I use Acashic. Such as finding a prime chokepoint and I want to everything about it before investing in a fort there. I might get a free fort, or surprised later by a site that causes disease. I rarely have every mage-type so I can check for every possible site using other spells. Im not sure if thats spread-sheet thrifty but I do it.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:22 PM

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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

Well, one keeps learning. What are holy sites? Even though I've had priest/magi search provences before, I don't remember uncovering any of these.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

1) Not necessarily, no, since 5 Element Masters and Celestial Masters can each search several paths worth of sites depending on what picks they get from randoms. The lv 4 sites are so rare as to be almost nonexistent and they only appear in certain kinds of terrain (e.g. waste for fire, plains fore air, forest for nature etc) and lv 3 sites are, aside from a common one for each path (Iron Cliff, Well of Pestilence, Cave of Clouds and a few others) rare compared to lv 2 sites. So a mage with multiple lv 2 paths is far and away the most efficient searcher early on. Even lv 1 paths help find some really good sites, like the metal order towers.

2) Yes. Somewhat. The higher the frequency, the bigger the payoff since there WILL be more sites with the higher frequency. Of course, searching by mage will also be more efficient.

3) Depends, but astral gems are so useful for a lot of ther things too that it's still somewhat on the high side. Now, if you were to find The Ultimate Gateway (conj. bonus 50%), that would be a different story...

4) Too situational, depending on available paths, gem income and other needs to make any hard and fast rules.

5) Rather little. They are rare and aside from a couple of unique ones (which you are unlikely to find, all other things being equal), they aren't much good to justify the effort.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

Holy sites are sites that require priest levels to find. They act like any other sites otherwise.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:45 PM

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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

So a holy site is another source of gems?
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Old March 14th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

Some are, some let you recruit priests, some strike undead in the province with holy fire. They are different holy sites, just like any other path.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 07:03 PM

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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

This explains what was happening to me in an SP game of mine. I had the PoD who was generating these dead guys and I kept getting messages saying something about holy fire or something was knocking some off every turn.

Guess I'll do more priestly searching.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

Thanks for the answers, this does help!

I seem to recall from Dom2 days that there was an unholy type, and that that was different than holy. However, in the site DB, I don't see anything labeled as "unholy" - does this exist any more?

Also pulling from quantum mechanic's original post, we have the following list of tendencies in type of sites vs. terrain types:

nature in forests,
earth in mountains,
water in mountains and forests,
astral in plains,
fire in wastes,
air in mountains and wastes.

Is this list complete? I would certainly have guessed that water sites were more common in sea provinces (for example).

Also, death isn't on this list and neither is the terrain type 'swamp', is there no terrain type particularly good for death sites and no site type more likely to be found in swamp?
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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Site Searching Strategy

"Unholy" sites don't exist anymore afaik. (...and I miss them!)

Not sure about the completeness of the sites vs terrain list.

(btw, I use acashic record with a vengeance when I have access to astral.)
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