Videospirit This gets Ginasta's RP to 43 by the end of the current build, has way more ProN than the save you posted, and only loses a Trin max copy. Compared to my original save, it doesn't lose that much ProN in order to gain 2 more ginasta RP and some higher hidden scores, but it does lose a good amount so I still think my original save is more optimal, but you might find this one more to your tastes.(If you dominate varia and fuck altina immediately you can skip the dusty horde investment, not piss off the little girl, and get Ginasta to 46 and max copies trin 10 by speaking to her first after the reunion. If you allow varia's rape and fuck altina immediately you can get Trin max to 11 while still having reshaped varia for max vhala score. Both routes seem more optimal than saner altina unraped reshaped varia which was the baseline we're using, but I still worry about the second of those routes pissing off the little girl)
my run is this: https://pastebin.com/CZuL5uFC [still in testing phase]
previous iteration: https://pastebin.com/XGd4pECA
i basicaly have everything you have, with a lot of plus and none of the minus. [i'm talking up the start of chapter 4], perfect BoY, 2 ardford banks + crystal, early five bank return, megail 100+ rp bonus in boy aftermath, deed of vinario, trin 10 copy slots, higher social/economy/religion scores etc... the return in chapter 4/5 are less compared yours because i made a strategic decision, buy the war monument in the first iteration. you don't buy it, that milion on ProN can be capitalized for making an huge difference in return down the line.
First off, I consider cache excavation mandatory for an optimal playthrough because it's a permanent character upgrade, no matter how trivial. Nothing is as important as that is. A few other frameworks I use for optimization are If a check needs 20 religion or 40 social there's no point in having 21 religion or 41 social. So if there is no check that needs a hidden score to be higher, the hidden score gained by an action is worthless(But obviously take the action that gives you better hidden scores if they both have the same cost). Non hidden scores like ProN are more valuable than hidden scores, so getting the most ProN in the end is a primary optimization goal just below character upgrades like the incubus king cache as long as you aren't failing checks. And finally, we've already seen all of the effects of the battle of yhilin fallout. After weighing the decision for a long time, I concluded deliberately sacrificing the chaos score in that battle is probably worth it for the ProN it saves you in the end, but I didn't realize it was costing me ginasta rp at the time so I'm less certain about that now.
+10 LUK have little value because most of the enemies had 1 LUK (and usualy the one having an higher score are boss and thus immune to all the status simon can inflict), and +10 AGI is very little help in battle order, if you have AGI boost equip your simon act first neverless. in your situation cache excavation is like a shoot in the foot, whitout much room for debate. you can take the cache without jeopardize or miss anything you don't already miss (ardford restaurant) tho. like in my previous iteration run for example.
not all the hidden scores have the same value, because some have harsh thresholds and/or very little opportunity of gains. one scoial point is roughly worth two economy and one religion is comparable to two social, for example. character attributes boost are useful in combat and in combat alone. if your combat capability are unchanged by the alteration mean the boosts are irrilevant. in reverse simon level is used many time, outside the combat environment, so simon xp is a lot more valuable and skip unforge battle is a huge xp loss for simon. if you want say they don't make a difference, the stats boost from the cache don't make a difference either, so that investment isn't so mandatory or the essence research will be mandatory as well.
the bit about your evalutation of chaos in BoY it's the exact difference between a "good enough" run and a "optimized" one. you can have the same thing, but avoid a lot of the hindrance. this require a lot of works and some counterintuitive choices, but it's doable. in your posts you say to struggle to reach the acceptance thresholds because you miss a ton of them with subpar choice. the need to push the premium steel after the battle is a good red flag, you have the money, but you cannot use because other check (liquid assest for guild join), if one had the money find a way to use in the right moment it's one of the core of the optimization process. another possibility for you to take the premium steel in reunion is delay joining the guild after the reverse bribing by merchant guy the last day of the summit. you miss +5 with dari, but you already miss another +10 with the essence research missing, so little harm done. [this choice was one of the main point in some of the previous iterations of my run, so it isn't a speculative option]
Aramite supplier isn't a huge return on investment, but it's immensely profitable compared to almost anything else you could spend those funds on. By the end of the third arclent war it's already earned 10k in profit. It's useless for the third arclent war though for sure, since you want to just barely get to the point you can control supply lines on the aram front in order to get aram collateral damage above 20 at the same time. The extra 10k cost on yhilin supplier does pretty much negate that gain though until the first round of chapter 5(not a loss though), but you can't ever buy the aram supplier if you don't buy it there too. Not having Aramite Supplier is a bigger loss to your final score than the yhilin score and yhilin acceptance from having high chaos in the battle of yhilin.
all the suppliers (megail's gift excluded) are worthless in term of stats and money return. you need them for their bonus during BoY and 3AW and nothing more, it's an easy trap think "use 20K return 60K, it's huge" the pitfall is the value of absolute ProN amount in relative terms, it change a lot during the game. in the first round you had 60K/70K at best, during megail route 150K-200K, the reunion round is ~ 1.5M and each other iteration few million of ProN. 20K in megail's is comparable to 150K in reunion or 200K+ in chapter 4/5 investment cycle, so it's a lot. a return of 15K (reunion) + 15K (3AW aftermath) + 5K*N (N chapter 4/5 cycles, six for now) for a so huge investment are useless. expecialy if with that money you can take option giving you a net return in rp an stats like take the yhilin supplier for less and bridge repair in reunion round (with the investment itself and the free DF in chapter 3). if you can live without the suppliers bonus during BoY/3AW the suppliers can and must be skipped. in the end if you don't take aramite supplier it's 0 ProN less in war aftermath (-20K cost -10K no markup yhilin supplier +15K reunion +15K after the war). in chapter 4 we have 5 investment cycles and in chapter 5 one, this mean 30K less in a pool of ~ 20 milions. with that money you can buy a couple of furnitures for the hq and nothing more (rooms or decoration), at the start of chapter 5. it's nothing.
Speaking of which, first off, if you're talking about my all 3 banks optimal route, you can just guard ari yhilina instead of intercept ari-khan if you want to buy the dusty horde to get chaos down to 4 or less so essence shielding is almost useless there(Well not entirely true, it can save you 10% discretionary funding by lowering chaos to 3 so you can clear it for free I suppose) and only having 11 quality and 29 size is a loss there(4 army size and 1 collateral damage, and the 4 army size is worth like 20% funding). In order to maximize ProN while getting the best result for the third arclent war you have room to spare if you do poorly in the battle of yhilin too. You gain just as much ProN whether chaos was high or low(and 7 chaos is the same as 5 chaos in the end, so you can further optimize the battle by making it even higher once you accept it doesn't need to be 4 or less), and you'll never get more than 10k pron from the discretionary funding not having dusty horde costs you(40% discretionary funding is worth at most 10k ProN and it's often only costing you 10% funding).
if you don't find a waste using 40% of DF in repair ( 10 chaos, 30 economy chaos), the reduction in army don't make any difference. they change any other globals stats? no. they change the result in any battle outcome? no, the military extension aviable in the war change? no. it change nothing, in negative, but you recover 30/40 DF for avoid economy chaos (with some rp for few girl, notably megail and her double 100+ rp bonus in aftermath and past-talk) you can have a perfect boy, no chaos or collateral clean up with the DF projects, no need of extra victory points outside the first double noble campaigns [you want it for ambassador evaluation anyway], doing it without the chaos -2 grant by yhilin bank investment it's hard, but it's still doable, but this isn't your situation, you take the bank, having chaos 7 is unaccpetable for a optimixed point of view, 1-4 can be ok, if you capitalize it in another section, but i don't have seen any optimized playthrough doing it. there is a lot of hint in the game, both in dialogues and in the underlying math pointing to the useless of army scores after the erosia invasion, so any change in army stats after erosia don't change anything more.
RP for girls from deeds of Vinario is worthless unless it helps pass a check. The Takkan score is also worthless since Takkan score is way way higher than it needs to be, and no arclent acceptance check it could help with needs the bonus so far either. I'd rather have 100000 ProN I just never spend than buy the deeds, and you can invest that 100k in earning more profits. Why give that little shit any money at all when you can just say "Takkan is mine and your paper is worthless" and let him tantrum knowing he won't achieve anything.
"...help pass a check..." two check with megail rp with not-trivial bonus [one of it is just chaos reduction], one more copy slot for trin, a bunch of other minor gains here and there (mode DF = more project, better bonus and no need of pron for that). in opposite side the little army loss for don't research orc evolution in reunion. no one threshold is different [only miss a damage -1 in the battle but it influent in the amount of DF you use] no outcome is changed, no bonus or malus in the war, basicaly same stats at the start of the war [you skip succubus national trade, but it will give you army size +5 and army quality +1 in orcent calculation (govern IV), skip orc evolution in reunion is a -2 size and -1 quality]
Yhilin bank is never worth buying round 1 of chapter 4. It's only a 1/3 return on investment per iteration at that point. Downgrading from the bank to the crystal refinery costs you at minimum 1 profitable investment purchased immediately after the third arclent war too(Although you can buy that investment later) but missing the profits from that investment snowballs to more than 200k pron in losses in the end so the discount on buying the refinery never materializes either. There's always something better to buy unless you're willing to fail the 40 social check(and lose the Elleani RP, which matters come gawnfall) in the succession crises. My latest calculator save I just uploaded in my previous post doesn't buy the bank before the war though, but it needs both the crystal refinery AND the mercenary fleet to catch up to the losses from not buying the bank(The mercenary fleet is nearly a scam true, but you still want to buy it eventually just for high score sake and it costs much less now than later). You also wouldn't want to buy crystal refinery before investment round 3 of chapter 4 anyway if you didn't buy it at ardford, it's just not profitable enough compared to everything else you have to choose from after making necessary purchases to pass checks, so having to wait until ardford reopens doesn't cost you anything as far as that's concerned. This save also can't afford to buy the aram eustrin embassy until round 3 instead of round 2(But it has actual profitable investments to spend that 200k on that the other saves have pretty much run out of by that point).
"is never worth buying" false. RoI it's the most important value for a money-focused investment, but it isn't the only one. the amount of pron required for the investment is a big factor, expecialy if a take it in a later date incur in a substantial markup, other thing to keep in mind are stats and rp change, they can be a good side effect for some return-focus investment, in some case can change the plain roi comparation. in the specific of yhilin bank vs crystal refinery, one keep is cost and return the same for the whole game, the other can be take only a lot after and the cost increase is a 60%, but the return is the same. in more deailed version, bank cost 450K, crystal 250K in chapter 2, 400K in chapter 4. you can buy the bank in the first chapter 4 iteration, crystal in the third (post synod). bank return 300K in aftermath and 150K in third chapter 4, crystal 225K in aftermath and 55K in chapter four.
in the scenario bank chapter 2, crystal third round of chapter 4 is: -450K bank cost +300K bank aftermath +150K * 3 bank chapter four return and -400K crystal cost = -100K
in the scenario of crystal chapter 2 and bank in the first chapter 4 cycle: -250K crystal cost +225K crystal aftermath + 55 * 3 crystal chapter four retunr +150 * 2 bank chapter four retunr -450K Bank cost = -10K
you have actual more money at hand.
based on my run if you don't buy sanitation mage you can switch denmiel archive for gasm fall shop. and i fund all the DF projects, where you miss national trade and shrine renovation (more army stats at minimum) and take vinario deed. if you are boxed in aftermath investments you can skip takkan trade network. you don't realy need that takkan score, cost like givini, but don't grant anything over the ProN, where givini open up a chance in succession crisis, reduce givini orc merchant and increase his retunr, chalice states had a reduce price for infrastructure project. the trade will break even in the war preparation round (the first round of positive earn will be the last of chapter 4), but you can capitalize that 500K ProN for much more return at that point.
As for choosing the north in the negotations. If I choose the north instead of spending 10% discretionary funds for an extra noble campaign I gain an extra 5k ProN to my score which is worth more than 1 extra yhilin acceptance. Even if I didn't need the extra VP, I'd almost always choose the south instead which still costs 1 yhilin acceptance unless the loss of 1 yhilin acceptance would cost me an arclent acceptance by dropping it just below a multiple of 4 before third arclent war. Yhilin economy is worth more than yhilin acceptance, and you have yhilin acceptance to spare. The loss of 2 army size there from holding ground instead of retreating costs you 4 army size after the third arclent war which is almost always enough to drop it below 175 army size or force you to spend more discretionary funding boosting army size, and army size there matters to earn the +5 army size for 175 or more army size remaining when it's time for the thenoursian war(Granted the single point of Erosian front that can help you earn is pretty much worthless, but I don't like failing checks related to army size if I think there's any chance the army size variable might come up again).
you don't need any other noble campaign after the first (double) one. because you had a perfect boy result. southern give yhilin +1 compared eastern, at the price of yhilin acceptance -1. with the north you still have the acceptance -1, because you need copy the old noble. your yhilin acceptance is a lot lower of mine (69 vs 62) and traslate in +2 arclent acceptance more, you can argue at the moment don't count, yes, but i don't sacrifice anything for it, you a few thing, for the same result. if you don waste the discretionary fund in avoidable cleanup you can take succubus national trade. it's an army size +5 in the pre-war calculation at minimum. it's enough to keep you above the 175 threshold at the end of the war. and even in the case you go down that mark, in the end doesn't matter, because you don't need 175 size during the invasion for any threshold in the war. you keep making a few little concession every step of the game, but with few little change in early decision you can have everything you must make conession to obtain without any concessions to make, small or big they are.
I could have sworn Maxing Janine RP before her chat with Ginasta is impossible unless you did things differently round 1. checksHmm what do you know, I actually still place some value on Ginasta rp since we haven't maxed that yet. Still cost you ProN but worth considering for the 3 banks route. 2 Ginasta rp is not worth losing the incubus king cache though, wonder if you could get it by sacrificing the unmen petition in ardford to buy dusty horde. That's giving up vhala rp for ginasta rp though and vhala rp is rarer. Something to toy with if we need even more Ginasta RP in the end, but I'll concede you might have a point about this at least.
you can have all of them, with a perect summit an a perfect boy. it's possibile mainly because a perfect result gran alwasy more rp and hidden scores, and a i said before a not-optimal summit isn't an option if you want make an optimized run. one of the problem of the game is the fact if you start to make concessions at each new section you need more and more concessions to keep the boat afloat.
Most of your suggested changes aren't really optimal, giving up ProN for useless hidden scores way in excess of any checks the game throws at you, but the extra ginasta RP might come up so I've switched my save to a not completely ditching the battle of yhilin to max janine before the conversation with ginasta. You still can't convince me that buying the deeds of vinario is an optimal investment though. If I want the Trin RP I'll just change the way I deal with Altina and/or Varia(I Kind of prefer less sane altina and Dominated Varia in my playthroughs anyway, but we've been operating on a complete opposite of that baseline as that was the request that spawned this discussion), and every other RP it gives is useless(no point getting megail to 100 at battle of yhilin, but it is useful if you want to do that for some crazy reason).
having more ProN of the minimum required for buying enough investments for reach each best threshold in the game are useless as well. and this isn't debatable. when more pron are required of the one i have i will change investment plans, but for now i achive a lot more of you, without making any of the concessions you must take. dominate varia is the wrost choice in an optimizeing enivroment because give you less, in everything. with dominate varia you trade rp/score/outcome with a slightly strong character in combat, i can pass the whole game fights with flying color with reshaped varia, where is the point to take more combat power?. the extra ginasta rp grant by dom varia is a consolation prize for an inferior choice, nothing more, nothing less. the rp from lynine 90+ are in the same situation. it's ironic you keep saying "no point in reach that threshold, no point in aim for that gain" and then you sacrifice anything for useless scores without any threshold you can capitalize. you need the army from orc evolution? no, you need base defence? no, you need the VP from north site? no ...
Lets look at your playthrough you posted in the thread and compare it to mine. You don't get the incubus king cache, you only have 165 army size in the thenoursian war(probably ok actually, but I set 175 as the goal because that's what the check calls for) and hmm you stopped partway through the final investment phase of chapter 4 so let's use that as the end point.
the last iteration i swapped cache for restaurant because is a thing i want test [i still think simon stats boost are more valuable of the restaurant, but still want test the difference in full]. in the previous iteration was the reverse, and the gain are the same, compared your run, at least, if i find the bit of extra money from restaurant are inifluent in the end will revert the decsion. for the erosia invasion i'm incredulous, you need the extra erosian front from army 175? no, my erosian invasion is flawless, all the best threshold in the fronts (erosian: 32, tower: 29, ghenalon: 31), stop tanurak in full, max sabitha rp, all investment done, zirantia top switch, best in DK - FL confrontation... just because there is a threshold isn't a reason to reach it, army size grant only erosian front, if you don't need that loenly point the threshold is irrilevant (like you say about half the thresholds i reach and you scrificie, with the difference i gain something lasting from them) you aim at aramite front 42+? no, the game call for it, but you gain basicaly nothing (you lose a instability -1, aram CD -2, army size +3), so why do want 175 army?
At that point in your save you have: 4124500 ProN available and have 6225000 in investments I haven't purchased yet in my three banks save. My 3 banks save has 5168500 ProN available and has 6909000 in investments your save doesn't have yet. Your save is 1728000, almost 2 million, ProN behind my three banks save. Other than the battle of Yhilin and 1 more max Trin copy, your save doesn't pass any checks that my save doesn't(Although both saves only need 7 trin copies, you just chose to copy the aramite priestess even though it's not needed since it does give some okay scores).
i buy the war monument at the start of chapter 4. you don't, i open givini ruins before the war, you don't, if i want go for full pron return, changing this two choice can let me easly pass your returns. i just think the lower donovan score is, better outcome will be in the end. [it's the only suitor score you can change post crisis section, so it's seem very relevant] and the tertia rp more valuable of irrilevant extra pron before the war [and you have as side effect of stopping tanurak a +100K at iteration from erosian trade investment, one iteration of it and it's outclass all aramite supplier return for the whole game, and the next isn't the last return].
Ignoring bonuses for investments just not bought yet and differences in torturing Estavan, You have... a maxed out lynine and 5 more fheliel rp, I have 3 more Ginasta rp, and 5 more neranda rp. I have more yhilin acceptance, you have quite a bit more Arclent Acceptance(9 higher than mine at the end of the third arclent war, kind of excessive really since even I only need 1 of war monument or succubus band tour to get 50+ Acceptance by gawnfall and the band tour is quite profitable if you don't buy the war monument in order to get +1 social and new givini score to 40 before round 2 and I use it to get takkan score to 40 round 2 as well).
i reach neranda rp 100 with the whole eustrin final process, before you cannot max her and the only check about neranda rp in gaame is in the govern IV for the diplomatic decision after the border incident, so where is the gain in a neranda +5? [sidenote after you lock her affection the score don't hold value anymore]. my yhilin acceptance is far above yours, at the start of the war (69 vs 62), you close the gap a bit because you go for yhilin force with aka, i have enough acceptance to take the option grant you arclent acceptance. until now yhilin acc. is never used after yhilin final trigger. so no point in increase it any more. arclent acceptance to the contrary is the main hidden stats in chapter 4/5, and in the two event preceding the gathering you use it as "currency" for achive some big picture result (in aram conference hall is a -10 acc, not a trivial amount)
i checked ... and you buy orc democracy? why? it's probably the wrost non profitable investment in the game. you don't need it, for anything. no the gain in tak'kan score can help, the army bonus is ridicolus, can be changed with something more usefull giving same bonus or ignore it tout court because change nothing, it's basicaly something like "i want burn a milion of pron for heat the room". it's don't make any sense, expecialy for a run ok with a BoY chaos of 7. Why buy all the HQ decoration? you need the tak'kan +1 and economy +1 from orc carver? hospitality +1 from ardoheim furniture store? i can understand if one want buy a few decoration because he like them, but buy everything in a shopping spree? it's a bit over 100K buy them all, you can take one small investment (chapter 4/5 relative value) with that money, and the score you gain for buying all of them are useless (i buy all the givini decoration for the magic +1 and hospitality +1, but i always regret it, but i don't buy anything more)
In any event, other than arclent acceptance, which my save still has more than enough of so far, my 3 banks save blows yours out of the water as far as any of the criteria I use to measure success goes by(With me actually having the incubus king's cache more than making up for that hidden score imo). It might be worth me tweaking my save ever so slightly to get +5 ginasta over your save though, didn't realize it was so easy to get janine to 100 before her conversation with ginasta.
your chapter 4/5 investment plan don't make any sense, expecialy in the light of previous decision, it take me several days to make this post, i don't have the time or the energy to make a full pron return simulation in my situation. but from past discussion delay war monument can net ~ 1.5 Milion in increase return in the last iteration. so no. your return don't blow my, because i restrain a lot my return in chapter 4/5 to reach the best in the event and yours isn't in a better shape for mine in financial or hidden stats department. and you lose a trin copy slot at the top of everything else.