The ins and outs of: Prestige
Prestige is an important aspect of Children of the Nile and without a high level of prestige, you will not be able to complete many of the game’s scenarios. Gaining prestige is costly and you will have to maintain it as well. In this article, I will delve deeper into the various aspects of prestige. I will explain the 5 ways to get it and will discuss the pros and cons of each way, then I will give you some general information on how your prestige can drop and how to prevent and counter that. How to use the prestige you gained is beyond the scope of this article and perhaps something for the future.
Different ways of gaining prestige
In most scenarios you will start with a prestige of 0. On Normal, this is enough for 4 educated employees, on Hard this is enough for 3. As a simple rule of thumb, on Hard, for each 10 prestige points you gain, you will be able to employ 1 extra educated elite, on Normal this is 1 per 6 points. You can increase your prestige in 5 ways: By opening sites on the World Level or defeating enemies, by commemorating events, by building tombs, by building statues and by expanding your palace. Each of them have their own pros and cons but there’s no way to get prestige cheaply, it will always require a considerable investment and much time to get enough prestige to complete the mission. Let me tell you some more about each way of getting prestige.
The World level
During most missions, you will be provided with the opportunity to build forts, ports and monuments, with the opportunity to supply cities and allies or starting trade with cities. Usually, important constructions or actions can be commemorated in your city with steles and obelisks but sometimes some sites require such a significant investment that you will get a direct prestige boost from them, these will be listed under “Exploits” in your prestige tab. This way of gaining prestige can be very helpful early in the game, when you don’t have any overseers yet. Without overseers, you can’t build steles and obelisks and therefore you cannot commemorate what you have done. However, the prestige you get from these sites almost always gradually drops to half their orignal value or even to zero and thus must be considered as temporary increases in your prestige. You can use this temporary increase to get an overseer to build something that gives a more permanent prestige boost, but don’t count on it, that you can keep all your educated employees just by opening a couple of these sites.
The same goes for defeating enemies. Defeating a small camp of raiders usually doesn’t affect your prestige at all and sometimes you can’t even commemorate it. On the other hand defeating heavily guarded forts or an enemy capital will provide you with an oppurtunity to commemoreate it as well as a direct prestige boost, but as said before, do not forget that this boost is rather temporary. In most missions, you will not be defeating all those enemy sites just for the sake of getting prestige, since you will have to, to be able to complete the mission, but the extra prestige is a nice bonus of course.
Related to the way described above, is gaining prestige by commemorating great deeds. The increase in prestige from commemoration depends on two factors: the basic prestige a deed is worth and the way you commemorate it. Obviously, commemorating a victory with a small stele doesn’t inspire your people as much as commemorating it with a grand obelisk. Whatever monument you decide to build, commemorating events provides you with a much more stable fundament to expand your prestige upon. Once you have built a monument commemorating an event, it will rise in prestige first before dropping again but you will almost always be left with a helpful bit of prestige when the monument reaches its minimum. The negative side of commemoration is the cost involved. In most missions you will not be able to quarry obelisks and steles yourself. Opening a stele quarry and importing steles from a world locations doesn’t cost much, especially not compared to the opening of a obelisk quarry and importing obelisks, but since a grand obelisk can give as much as twice the prestige a stele gives, it might be worth it to invest more (even it it’s a lot) in the import of obelisks.
Yet another way of getting prestige is by building tombs. This is something you can expect to be doing in every single mission. You don’t have to build a grand pyramid everytime someone dies, but the enormous prestige hit you get from a Pharaoh dieing without a tomb is just a thing that cannot be neglected and not only that, you will require a tomb for your nobles in order to keep them happy. The cost of tombs ranges from 60 bricks to hundreds of blocks of limestone, but so does the prestige range from close to nill to more than you’ll ever need. The one thing to keep in mind is that tombs behave the same way as other monuments initially, firt the prestige they give will rise a bit, then it will drop to a minimum again, but tombs also can increase in prestige a second time when someone is buried in them. Needless to say, a tomb being used for the mummy of the Pharaoh is worth more than the tomb of a nobleman’s family.
Building statues is, I think, the most aesthetic way to increase your prestige. The size of a statue ranges from very small and one tile in size, to enourmous Pharaohs and majestic sphinxes. Most statues require a basalt statue and depending on their size, you either need a small or large one. The prestige gained from statues is reflected by the cost of building one and the initial value will increase a bit before decreasing again just like with other monuments but it’s interesting to note that there are 2 statues which do not require basalt and might therefore be an interesting investment. I’m talking about the sphinxes. The small sphinx costs only 75 bricks and provides you with a little prestige, but the large sphinx, although more costly, is a very nice way to increase your prestige when you have some bricks to spare.
Enhancing the Palace
The most interesting way to build up your prestige is by enhancing your palace. It can be done in steps, as long as the royal family is happy, the prestige doesn’t drop and all you need is bricks and food. There are 2 enhancements that require 75 food and 25 bricks, there are 3 enhancements that require 50 food and 50 bricks and there are 2 enhancements that require 25 food and 75 bricks. But when you don’t have much of one or both resources, you don’t have to do them all at once. Your prestige will still rise somewhat with each enhancement but it will not drop when you keep your royal family happy. A fully expanded palace gives you 20 prestige.
In conclusion, I would like to add one more thing before repeating the general rules and my advice. When you build a monument, it will always give you more prestige than the same monument built for a second time. The first small mastaba will be worth more than the second and the first sphinx will be worth more than the second. Keep that in mind, along with the fact that the initial prestige provided by a monument is not what you will receive in the end. I think that all of the 5 ways to get prestige are worthwhile, but some are more suited for one situation than another. If your city is rich, go for those grand obelisks, if you’re low on food but high on bricks, go for that Large Sphinx. There’s no escape from tombs though and you must decide for yourself what you like best. Larger tombs require more resources, but give more prestige, although you may also decide to only build tombs to keep everyone happy. Something you should always consider in every mission, I think, is upgrading your palace as early as possible. No overseers required, no imports required and 20 prestige is something useful.
Finally, I want to give you some information on how prestige is lost, or rather, how to prevent that. Generally, your prestige will decline over time and there’s nothing you can do about that besides adding new monuments during the entire mission. Also, Pharaoh’s death will give you a minor prestige hit but if you have built a tomb, the rise of the prestige of the tomb should even things out, give or take a few points. The negative effect in prestige is about 10 to 20% of your current prestige. The one thing you do have to worry about is having a pharaoh die without a tomb. It takes a very, very long time before that’s forgotten and having a -40 prestige is a lot and requires many, many monuments to get even with that!