Introduction: Unlocking Ideological Traits
Ideological traits are unlocked using points amassed through colonization events, building colony improvements, and other decisions made throughout the game. Each ideology's points can only be used to unlock that ideology's traits - in order to turn a new leaf as a malignant galactic scourge, you'll need to practice what you preach. When you make a choice for a particular event you will earn points only for that particular trait, as would be expected.
Traits can be mixed and matched to create an unique ideological mix. In fact, focusing on a single type of ideology (absolute pragmatism, for instance) will rapidly increase the point cost of every unlock. See the General Considerations section below the tables for details.
The three ideology tables are presented below in somewhat abbreviated form for quick reference. These tables can also be accessed in-game using the ideology tab in the main screen.
Abbreviations: DoW Declaration of War; ZOC Zone of Control
Some of the bonuses in the table unlock buildings, which require additional explanation.
Elevation Foundation: Increases a single (1 per faction) colony's morale by 100% and grants 1 Benevolent ideology point each 5 turns
Missionary Center: Increases influence and grants 1 Benevolent ideology point per Center constructed every 10 turns.
Temple of Enlightenment: Grants a 200% bonus to research for a single (1 per faction) colony and generates a Benevolent ideology point each turn.
Preparedness Center: Increases the defense of a colony and grants 1 Pragmatic ideology point every 10 turns per Center constructed.
Arbitration Center: Increases the Pragmatic reputation of the faction building it, and encourages other factions to have your faction arbitrate their disputes.
Intimidation Center: Increases the morale of a colony by 50% (+10% per level, +2 adjacency to Approval) and grants 1 Malevolent ideology point every 10 turns per Center constructed.
Citadel of Revenue: Increases income and grants a Malevolent ideology point every 5 turns.
Death Furnaces: Increases the raw production of a colony by 50% (+10% per level, +3 adjacency to Production and Research) and grants 1 Malevolent ideology point every turn. Extremely powerful since there are very few improvements that improve the raw production values before it gets allocated to manufacturing, research, and wealth.
Planning how to use the ideology table
Galaxy Size and Density of Occupation: The primary means to gain ideology points is the colonization process and the building of ideology producing buildings (which need be unlocked in the ideology table before they can be used). If playing a small galaxy you may have few choices and they should be made with the understanding that you will be very unlikely to be able to unlock ideologies further into a particular section. On the other hand, in a not too densely populated immense galaxy you may be able to unlock an entire table. Plan accordingly. In any event a critical issue is whether you can unlock the buildings that give ideology points over time. If so you will get a steady, if slow stream of points; but if you cannot reach them to unlock you obtain nothing.
Time Dependent Value of Some Ideology Items: Some ideology features vary a great in value depending on when they are unlocked. For example, Benevolent - Enticing forces all colonies and starbases in your ZOC to convert to your faction. It is important to realize that this is a one-shot, one-time opportunity. Only enemy starbases and colonies in your ZOC at the time this bonus is unlocked will be affected: anything afterward will not be affected. Thus, if there are few or no enemy starbases or colonies in your ZOC unlocking this trait is not helpful. On the other hand, unlocked at an appropriate time it can be a massive game-changer. If you have a few colonies that you are just beginning to influence and if there are major or minor mining or other starbases in your ZOC the balance of power in the galaxy can change instantly. Thus full awareness of the ideology table and its consequences at a particular point in the game is potentially vital.
Choosing Traits to Acquire
Ideology traits have a cost in points which increases as one unlocks various traits. The first trait unlocked in the game will cost 10 points. After the first trait, the each subsequent trait from the same ideology branch will cost an 10 additional points; so that if one first unlocks a benevolent trait, it will cost 10 points; the next benevolent trait will cost 20 points (assuming it is the next trait unlocked). However, traits in other ideology branches will also have costs increased by 5 points whenever a trait is unlocked in a different branch. Thus, if one unlocks a benevolent trait first for 10 points, to unlock the a pragmatic or malevolent trait next will cost 15 points. As a further example, suppose one unlocks a benevolent trait, then a pragmatic trait, and thirdly another benevolent trait. The costs will 10, 15 (plus 5 for one trait unlocked in a different branch), and 25 (20 points for the second trait unlocked in a branch and 5 for one trait unlocked in a different branch) respectively.
As another example to illustrate the difference in concentrating on a particular area as against choosing traits from different areas, if you choose to work only in the first row of the Benevolent Table, the cost of the first two traits would be 10 + 20 = 30 points. To unlock one Benevolent trait and one Pragmatic trait the cost would be 10 + 15 or 25 points. Thus you spend less points to unlock traits in two separate areas. However, the strongest traits generally come later in the tables and, as for the Benevolent - Enticing trait discussed above, can have dramatic impacts. It is reasonable that if you expect to earn a great many points that concentrating on individual rows of a particular area may serve your purposes better despite the extra expense. There are several entries in the ideology tables that involve buildings which yield a one time or a continuous addition of ideology points, besides having valuable characteristics as buildings themselves. Unlocking these traits therefore suggest themselves. As another example, consider the Temple of Enlightenment, which when built increases a colony's research output by 200% and yields 1 ideology point every 5 turns. Combined in a colony with the a Technology Capital and other research buildings it can produce an enormous amount of research. Thus, depending on your intended style of play, it pays to examine the ideology table and make plans as to the best use to make of it. There is no "right" answer and many strategies are possible; but it is far better to set goals to aim for that agree generally with your other plans than to aimlessly pick a trait to unlock when each opportunity presents itself. When you are offered a choice from a colony or galaxy event, for example, it is appropriate to have a idea of what you want to reach in the ideology table, rather than pay too much attention to the immediate benefits available at the time.