Originally posted by aesculapian on the .com.au forums;
Culture Point Efficiency
Don't know whether anyone's interested in this, but I was interested enough to do some number-crunching and thought I might save anyone else the trouble.
As you know, buildings and resource fields generate culture points, which are a prerequisite to founding your next village. To quote from Travian Help:
If you're the average Teuton - raiding, breeding armies, and leaving your infrastructure 'til last - then you just build a Town Hall, throw parties to generate Culture Points, and forget about it. In that case, read no further. If you're the average Gaul - simming happily away, building your empire until it's strong enough to churn out an army to wipe the smile off those Teuton's faces - then you may be interested in this.
The crux of this mini-guide is that different buildings generate different amounts of culture points, and (obviously) cost different amounts of resources to complete. So this table shows you which buildings give you the most daily culture points relative to how much resources you need to spend building it; in other words, which is best value-for-resources as far as CP goes.
The table shows for each building's maximum level (level 20 for everything except: Treasury and Crannies - level 10; 'Resource Factories' - Level 5), how many culture points are generated daily, and how many resources are required to complete all levels of the building. It's arranged in order of best to worst CP value-for-money. It's not quite a linear scale for levels lower than maximum, but fairly close.
The biggest surprise is that the humble cranny is the most cost-efficient source of culture points. Of course, this is limited by the ceiling of 6 CP per day maximum; so once your building sites start filling up, and you need to get the most out every site, you may want to knock down a cranny or two and replace it with a less cost-efficient, but more productive (and more useful) building. Nevertheless, right at the start of the game, this is the quickest and most cost-effective way to build up CP for your first expansion; so one more good reason to build crannies!
Not surprisingly, the Main Building, the Market, the Academy, and the Embassy are great for culture points both in absolute terms and in cost-efficiency. However, less obvious buildings such as the Granary, Warehouse, Wall (any tribe), Rally Point, and Trapper, are also very cost-efficient for Culture Points; their total yield is low, though not as low as the cranny.
The top two buildings for culture points in absolute terms are the Palace, and the Town Hall (even without holding any parties at all!); but as the table makes clear, both are relatively expensive, and hence less cost-efficient than many others. 'Resource Factories' such as the Sawmill, Grain Mill etc are very poor CP generators, both in absolute terms and in cost-efficiency. Resource fields are obviously more cost-efficient than the table suggests - because of course they pay back resources.
A key point to realise is that resources spent on parties will generate one-off CP in a hurry, but are otherwise 'wasted'; whereas resources spent on infrastructure will carry on generating CP for the rest of the game. For example, with about 20 000 resources you could throw a Small Celebration and get a one-off boost of 500 CP. Alternatively, with the same resources you could build (say) 4 Level 10 crannies, generating 24 CP per day: after 21 days, you have over 500 CP, and still counting; and you've had the benefit of your crannies. The same argument holds true, to different degrees, for all the other buildings. Parties are great for giving a quick boost to your CP; but buildings will get you more CP in the long run.
So if you're trying to decide what to build or upgrade, and you have your next village in mind, perhaps this will help make up your mind.