Happy Ending for Everyone

Rule the world - or die trying!
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Re: Happy Ending for Everyone

#16 Post by Tsunamiracle » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:38 pm

These were my plans going past the gala:

I need to have my agents on the lookout for foreign threats, which requires just a little bit more Intrigue. At this point, I need to quickly start getting the rest of the skills up to speed; with pro-Lumen printing, I don't think I need to get Julianna's help with the murderer, but if there's time for it, it shouldn't be too difficult to get Sense and Wield Magic up juuuust enough to survive the encounter. Failing that, pardoning him is better because it doesn't lead to him publically destroying things with his magic.

The next major check is Briony with Lore, but with high Meditation, I think it can get boosted quickly. (My plan was humor her, then talk about her parents.) The rest is getting Naval Strategy/Logistics/Climbing/Wield Magic high enough to get through the naval battle, on top of recruiting as many soldiers as possible. Once those are finished, all that's left is grinding Medicine and hoping it's enough to get the medical epilogue instead of, say, the military one. Which might be easier said than done, to be honest... Still, I can't find any time at all to squeeze in enough medical knowledge for the hospital, even if I delay the offer with Talarist's visit. At least it can be inferred that Ixion will always get a hospital if Nova doesn't get one first, and Elodie just doesn't care enough to find out about it...

I was going to raise taxes and/or skip out on Sabine, as I'm a bit concerned about not having a lot of money to hire soldiers with in the final stretch, between the printing press and the warships; paying off Ixion worries me even more, even with the haggling. I'm not sure if Ixion needs any particular relationship with Nova in order to get the mention in the epilogue; I can't remember what I did when I got the slide on one of my runs, but I probably either punished Brin or intimidated the diplomat since that's what I usually do.

As for Week 13, I think I can cut a corner there as well and send the woman off to labor. This would put a big dent in noble opinion, though hopefully not enough to cause war (maybe I'd have to skip raising taxes?). It doesn't quite put the Lillah-Mead family at ease, but I'm also considering skipping the marriage with Talarist and getting enough Ciphering for Briony's message so that Kevan will be willing to marry Elodie. Although there's still a need for Conversation for Talarist and Briony, it's not as steep as the amount needed to keep Kevan happy in the trial. I can probably just bring Court Manners to the cut-off and all it a day.

(The other option would be to let the woman get herself killed, but that might be deviating a little too far from a golden ending.)

(Speaking of other marriage candidates, personally I'd prefer either having a good marriage with Kevan, or having the Banion-Elodie and Joslyn-Brin double marriage. One of them puts Kevan in a relatively healthier living situation, and the other lets Joslyn and Brin get their heirs with minimal fuss. Picking Talarist for my tests was a leftover from my failed attempts to get the hospital, and you only need a little bit of Court Manners to skip the necklace.)

(Of course, both of my preferred endings require MORE skillchecks, Ciphering and Court Manners + Intrigue respectively. Unless it's possible to have Selene as a mentor and still get her and Julianna married, so that I can send Julianna away and choose Brin with no further checks...? At least that should be easy to test on its own. I'll edit this post with the results, hopefully in a few hours once I'm done checking something on another game.)

I also planned to let Arisse continue caring for Adair. While she probably shouldn't have that much power at her disposal, the only real problem with letting Arisse take regency of Elath is if she begins a civil war. She will probably be able to keep Adair safe until he comes of age, and he seems happy enough with her. The only options off the table are sending him to either Erwin or Armand (since doing the latter annoys Arisse a lot). It'd be nice if I could make a compromise with Adele, but I don't think there's any way to get enough Divination for that in time.

It's been a long time since I did the accounting route for the crystal, so I might give that a try. I still think I'll use the agents for foreign threats, though; on my war run I had to get very high Logistics for that point in the game to notice Shanjia was up to something, and even with the relatively less hectic pace of mid-game, I'm not sure if I can get it high enough. I don't think there's much risk of a rebellion, unless I decide to throw all caution and rules out the door and give up land to Ixion. But part of the list does include good approval ratings by the end, and the nobles might still be stinging from early-game issues.

Thanks for the advice! I might tackle early-game later on from a different angle, and see what comes from it. If I still can't get it to work, I might cut out one or two other scenes so I can see if my endgame plan is even feasible.

re: Happy funtime war epilogue: Those were indeed the four countries I ended up at war with! You can also get in trouble with several unnamed nations if you do something really bad to one of the named countries.

EDIT: Fixing things in my Sims game took much longer than it should have. That said, I just did a speedthrough testing the thing I said I'd test: Yes, it seems like Julianna and Selene will still get married if Julianna was sent away. (Truthfully I went the dueling route instead of the naval victory because I wanted to go fast.) But I'm not sure if there's any big advantage to picking Selene over Julianna -- you immediately get to talk to Joslyn in Week 6 instead of having to talk to your mentor first, and it opens up the Brin endings without having to mess with the expanded dance list. On the other hand, this means you have to do the Lumen propaganda, since Selene is more secretive when dealing with the murderer, but without any Strategy it's not like the printing press can be used for anything better. The moods for plot-related talks might change a little with Selene, but hopefully it won't be game-breaking...

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Re: Happy Ending for Everyone

#17 Post by Mir » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:14 pm

I think the only mood change you get from Selene is an Afraid point instead of a Willful or no mood change when talking about getting into the vault (though you get a Willful when you decide to hear her out) because she's like "well, if you can't get into the vault yourself, we're gonna have to kill the guards" and Elodie's like "wat". I can't remember if there's a different mood for dealing with the creeping shade, but since you're not going down that path it shouldn't be an issue. Otherwise I think their conversations are pretty similar, though obviously you'll be missing the one about discovering Selene at the chapel. You should be good, I think.

You could always just throw the condemned man in jail. I think since that's less public it won't lower Lumen approval ratings, but it will cost you money.

If you'd rather marry Kevan or Banion/Brin, I'd skip the Talarist marriage, personally. As long as you don't offend him or marry Adair, there don't appear to be any canonical consequences to not getting married to him (for example, I've never seen him upset about Elodie getting engaged to Banion instead of him unless Elodie is dropping him for Banion). You can get enough Court Manners to avoid the necklace in a single week taking one class as long as you're not Depressed. Using his visit to delay the hospital woman gets a bit trickier, though...

The problem with the Naval Battle is that it gives you a lot of Cheerful points over the course, and Medicine is boosted by Lonely. If you knock out the Military and Lumen stuff first and then work on the Climing/Athletics next, you could do a lot of walking in the gardens to get your Cheerful and Lonely maxed out, and attend services to knock off a single Cheerful point to turn your mood to Lonely to get the bonuses? Would that even be feasible...?

Heh, once someone pointed out using accounting to get into the vault and not having to completely turn your mood around from yielding for Demeanor, I never went back. Though...if I do follow a path where I need presence, it gets a bit tricky sometimes. :T

Honestly the best ending I ever got was getting the hospital and printing press, ending the Ixion conflict bloodlessly by paying off Ixion at a reduced rate, having the condemned woman accept prison and appeasing Kevan (this might have actually been the hardest to pull off), recruiting Lucille, raising taxes to make up what I spent in a way that wasn't obvious, defeating the condemned man, recruiting Sabine as a spy (she had nothing to do, but it's nice to have a competent agent?), keeping Adair alive, getting Briony's family to communicate again, resolving things peacefully with Togami, having Elodie happily married, and Elodie's economic skills raising the standard of living for all of Nova. It's pretty sweet, but I wasn't able to get Julianna and Selene married, Briony wasn't adopted as her aunt's heir, and Lumens still weren't well-liked (at least there was no mention of Julianna getting pelted with vegetables, so small victories). I don't see any reason why Elodie couldn't have some strings pulled to have Selene stationed in Ursul or why Julianna wouldn't adopt Briony anyway (since she's not going to have any of her own children - though Corisande might not be as for it if Lumens aren't as highly regarded in society), but it's...it's not the same. I could have all that happen if I try it again now that there's been an update and beat Shanjia at sea, but I think resolving things peacefully with Togami is better for more people in the long run, so... (Also, while I'd rather marry Talarist if I can't be with Briony, marrying Kevan is probably a better alternative for him and his family, since there's no other way to get him into a better living situation. You really can't do everything right in this game.)

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Re: Happy Ending for Everyone

#18 Post by Tsunamiracle » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:42 pm

I think I got it. I even managed to get that dang hospital.

First: OH MY GOSH, thank you for the Accounting advice! Elodie is so much better suited for a run with Intrigue and Military when she's not so deep into Yielding. Usually I rely on Royal Demeanor to carry me, but that was completely the wrong idea for this plan. I ended up with an Elodie that didn't really look at all like a queen, but knew how to get things done.

Fun fact: Apparently you can get into the treasury and grab your crystal early if your Accounting is high enough. You can skip talking to Joslyn and reporting back to the mentor this way, and the only requirement is having Julianna/Selene say "hey you need to find your crystal". This is ridiculous, Econoprincess is too good.

Being able to switch into Willful quickly also let me raise Lumen enough to detect Lucille directly instead of having to mess with Meditation. For flavor reasons, I decided to go for the History epilogue, which meant picking up 90 Novan History for Briony along the way instead of going for the lower but less-convenient Lore check. Sorry, Selene, I'm in it for the magic and not the religion.

Here's the hilarious part: Somehow, I got away with not having any Climbing at all. And, on closer inspection, I also failed Wield Magic during the battle since I forgot Elodie was right on the edge with Wield Magic and needed to have her Lumen outfit on. And, yes, I tested it without either her Lumen or Military outfits, and she still won the battle.

I can't believe this.

On a side note, using the gardens and toys to boost both Cheerful and Lonely was indeed useful in quickly boosting Medicine, although if I remember right there need to be some skills in it to begin with. Ultimately I dropped the Medicine Epilogue plan when I realized that changing the way I approached several scenes freed up enough time to grind for the hospital.

List of things I managed to pull off:
* Printing press
* Paid off Ixion at the lowest price
* Peacefully resolved the trial
* Hospital
* Danced with Brin
* Lumen Minister
* Exposed the murderer for what he was and killed him
* Left Adair with Arisse
* Hired Sabine as a spy
* Helped Briony reach an understanding with Corisande
* Did not publicly humiliate Elodie at the tournament
* Somehow won the naval battle despite failing the Magic and Climbing checks
* High Lumen approval
* Married to Kevan; all other listed marriage candidates are in good standing, and the double marriage is possible
* History epilogue

Here's my latest run for anyone curious about what I did (warning for descriptions of everything in Kevan's backstory). It's not fully optimized since I realized some things can actually be skipped, but beyond a bit of changed priorities I don't think I'll alter this much. The only issues I can see with this playthrough:

* Debugging shows that Noble Approval is a little on the low side -- failing all the grand ball checks chews it up, and they're the ones footing the bill with adjusted taxes. But at least it's in the positive numbers; this run ends with it at 10, which is about 30 points higher than what it usually ends at in my runs.
* Money is a tad low at a little over a thousand lassi. It's something a year or two of higher taxes could easily fix, though, especially since Nova won't be facing another invasion in the immediate future. The blow could be softened picking a respectable feast, but I do love splurging on fancy food.
* Not enough skills to successfully meditate between Lieke and Gwenelle. I think it might be possible to get enough Flattery in time, but I'm not too bothered by this since there aren't any lasting consequences for siding with Gwenelle. I mean, I suppose it makes Lieke and Bennett feel like trash... It's not a priority, but if it's possible to handle this better then that would be nice.
* Elodie can't do much at the tournament. Not going at all drops approval, as does totally failing at an event -- except for falconry, in which case her tutor stops her from competing, saving her reputation and, more importantly, her falcon. (On that note, you could increase noble approval by competing in the falconry tournament, but this requires max Falconry and may not be possible in a History Epilogue run.)
* Leaving Adair with Arisse is a questionable political choice, since Arisse probably should not have so much power. However, there shouldn't be any major noble unrest within the next three years, and no matter what she's always going to be able to influence him as his stepparent (especially since it sounds like he spent a lot of time with her and her younger children).
* Shanjia is, as it always is, a very grey area. Is it right to give them the manpower for their military if it means keeping the rest of Shanjian society stable? Is it better to conscript the poor, possibly separating them from their families, while also triggering civil unrest in Shanjia with financial strain, if it means it takes Shanjia even longer to build an invading force against Nova or any other nation? Should the soldiers of Nova and the reputation of Lumens be sacrificed so that an alliance can be made? In hindsight, I'm not sure if Nova and Shanjia could ever reach peace if they're too busy sending warfleets at each other, so when considering the future making peace is probably better than trying to make a few individuals happy.
* Elodie didn't get a chance in early-game to hug Joslyn and tell him she loved him :' (

I agree, though -- there isn't a way to get a "perfect" run, since a lot of things are mutually exclusive. A lot of it is balancing the good of a nation with the good of an individual. And it makes sense to me that there is no one single "correct" way to rule Nova and win the game, where it's absolutely wrong if Elodie doesn't check off every box on the list of people she has to help. It's certainly fun to see how much can be improved in a single run, though.

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