View Full Version : religion in dune wars


Riso
Jan 12, 2010, 09:42 AM
I am a bit confused on why the religious system is the way it is.
So please tell me how the religions in the mod come to be.

Outside their buildings and units I actually find them rather boring as such, after having played Fall From Heaven II.

I am especially confused on why Imperial, Landsraad, Qizarate and Technocracy are not simply civic choices to set attitude. Especially since they are locked for some civs.

It isn't like Dune is short on religions like Zenufism, Zensunni, Zensunni Christianity, Judaism, Mahayana Christianity, Judaism and Zenchristianity*.

While for example the Shai-Hulud and Mahdi stuff are nice flavour, I feel they should be more of an outgrowth/extension of Zensunni and not their own seperate religions.

*Extrapolated based on the Dune Encyclopedia on the alternate title for the O.C. Bible.

davidlallen
Jan 12, 2010, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the feedback! Please read the original religion design thread (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=330907) for some background. The earliest version of Dune Wars did use the religion names from the OC Bible. But, those are just names. There is no interesting design there. Instead we tried to make each religion have a different purpose.

I agree that FFH has done a great job with individual religions, probably way more than any other mod. We certainly would like to reach the same goal of different play styles for each religion. In vanilla, by design, there is no difference between the religions at all, so we have definitely done better than vanilla. After you read the above thread, please help us out with some suggestions about how we can make the religions more unique and interesting.

Riso
Jan 13, 2010, 10:53 AM
The other thread seems to be a bit all over the place, but the main thing I gathered is that you want to have a mechanic that tracks the influence of the emperor and the great houses.
Good idea, but I dont think pretending they are a religion is the way.
I'll make a different thread about CHOAM.

I too have a problem defining religions properly so far, but I feel there should be a single unified starting religion for everyone based on the O.C. Bible (Zenchristianity? Orange Catholicism?).
See it as the status quo choice.
Offshots: Zensunni/Wanderers, (Tleilaxu) Zenufism.

Now I originally thought that Zensunni should be only the result after researching techs called, say, Shai-hulud worship and Mahdi prophecy.
But perhaps it is better if both techs come after Zensunni, a pacifist creed, to show the changes Arrakis has on the Fremen, modifying their belief piecemeal until it results in the idiosyncratic Jihadist variant that rules the Dune series.

Qizarate should not be its own faith. It means the Fremen have now a large religious bureaucracy that spreads their faith in the whole universe. It creates a true a theocracy where not only the leadership but also its servants are priests/monks.

The Golden Path could found a religion for the God-emperor, but the 3500 years of rule are enforced with lots of whip and not much carrot on purpose, so I don't see how anyone would be happy to be honest.

Technocracy is a form of a meritocracy and therefore should be removed.
There is no reason that a belief in a supreme being would be at odds.
Just make "no religion" a prerequisite for the return of thinking machines, due to its religious prohibition.

davidlallen
Jan 13, 2010, 11:19 AM
The previous thread is the actual design discussion, so it does go all over the place. The main author of that design, Ahriman, is traveling for a few weeks but I am sure he will have some strong opinions on this.

It seems you disagree with the definition of every single religion we have. If you would like to propose some new religions and their actual mechanics, that would be great.

Pickly
Jan 13, 2010, 03:00 PM
At Riso:

Instead of thinking of them as "religions" think of them more as "philosophies" or such. The mechanics used in game seem to represent the spread of ideas well, better than, say, corporation systems might do, and adding in a new mechanic to simulate this could be quite difficult.

(The planetfal mod has a similar idea, where the "religions" represent more ideas and goals for the future, rather than religions as such.)

davidlallen
Jan 14, 2010, 09:29 AM
Good point. I have tried to capture this in the short descriptions in the religion section of the pedia:

Imperial religion states that the Emperor shall hold supreme power.
Landsraad religion states that the Great Houses shall hold supreme power.
Mahdi religion states that the Messiah shall hold supreme power.
Qizarate religion states that the Church Bureaucracy shall hold supreme power.
Shai-Hulud religion is the original superstition of the Fremen people.
Technocracy states that technology shall hold supreme power.
Tleilaxu Zensufism states that the Bene Tleilax shall hold supreme power.

Riso
Jan 14, 2010, 12:06 PM
Instead of thinking of them as "religions" think of them more as "philosophies" or such.

The problem with seeing them as philosophies is that this is partly what civics are for:

Mahdi religion states that the Messiah shall hold supreme power. -> Despotism, (Fremen) religion
Qizarate religion states that the Church Bureaucracy shall hold supreme power. -> Theocracy, (Fremen) religion
Technocracy states that technology shall hold supreme power. -> Meritocracy+no state religion


Imperial religion states that the Emperor shall hold supreme power.
Landsraad religion states that the Great Houses shall hold supreme power.


I was actually brainstorming a civic that sets CHOAM/landsraad voting based on support for either, but then I got stuck on actually defining the emperor in the game.
As it is, sorry, doesn't make much sense.

It would have made more sense create "Liet's Way", a religion that believes in the terraforming of Arrakis and preserving ecological balance. Should have fizzled out spectacularly after reaching that goal.

The mechanics used in game seem to represent the spread of ideas well, better than, say, corporation systems might do, and adding in a new mechanic to simulate this could be quite difficult.

But they are not used that way. If the game had a mechanic that would only allow you to set a civic if the majority followed said idea, or research a tech, then yes, sure why not.
Until then YOU define the goal using civics and actual playing style.

Pickly
Jan 14, 2010, 04:49 PM
Civics best represent choices made by an overall government (State religions as well), while religions represent the spread of ideas throughout a general population. I see no problem with such a system, and do not see the point of your complaints.

Riso
Jan 15, 2010, 02:54 AM
You forget that a government is not an insular entity distinct from the general populace.
It cannot act in a vacuum.

Ahriman
Jan 18, 2010, 12:35 PM
I certainly have many strong opinions on this design, and I would ask that anyone read the other thread thoroughly if they're interested in proposing a redesign.

The main point I would make is this: in the Dunewars mod, we are not using the "religion" function from vanilla civ to represent only basic religious belief.

We used to have a system like the one you suggested (with Mahayana Christianity, Zenshiism, etc.), but it was really boring, and kinda illogical.
In the pre-Jihad era, religion isn't that big a deal for most people in the galaxy. The Great Houses and the Emperor aren't really very religious, and religious variation isn't an important characteristic in determining galactic politics or power.

Hence, it doesn't really make sense to use religions in the same way that vanilla does, where they all have the same effect and all they really do is determine diplomatic alliances. That's well and good for earth history, but doesn't fit Dune so well.

"Religions" in DuneWars are supposed to represent a mixture of philosophy, power/influence/allegiance, and gameplay characteristics. It doesn't represent just a belief set about god (s) or the nature of the universe.

Imperial religion provides happiness, political influence and diplomatic bonus in the early game, but can be overcome by other religions.
CHOAM/Landsraad provides trade bonuses, and encourages you to obtain strategic trade goods and maintain open borders.
Mahdi is a militaristic conquest religion.
Qizarate is a large-empire management/economy religion.
Shai-Hulud is easily accessible in the early game, and provides water efficiency.
Technocracy is about using thinking machines, and providing industrial and research benefits at the cost of happiness.
Tleilaxu Zensufism is the Tleilaxu's xenophobic biological scientific way; it helps encourage the feel of Other in the Tleilaxu.

In other words; the system *works* - it provides gameplay differences, and makes religious choice an interesting decision.

They also represent the setting of an "old order" that can then later be overthrown by one of the new driving forces from the Dune Books (the Jihad, the Bureaucracy, or potentially Thinking Machines in an alternate history).

I think these are far more interesting in a design sense and a gameplay sense, than a simple vanilla system where we relabeled the standard religions into Dune universe names.
Yes, there are some logical holes in the system (there isn't really any great way to balance factions while still having an Emperor who is as powerful as the rest of the Houses combined), but it still works better than any other alternative proposed. And its *different*. Different is good!

The current Civics system also works pretty well IMO. I don't see any major gains from reworking it to try to incorporate the ideas that are currently covered in "religion".

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 04:49 AM
I've played few turns of Dune right now, but I notice that the religions are quite often founded by unthematic civs. Maybe introducing some new flavours will result in more lore-like founding.

Ahriman
Jan 21, 2010, 08:02 AM
Which things are you noticing that are unthematic? There are flavors that encourage canon-founding, and some hard-coded restrictions.

Corrino have a preference for Imperium.
Atreides have a preference for Quizarate (Alia and Leto II)
Ix and Ordos have a preference for Technocracy.
Ecaz have a preference for CHOAM.
Fremen have a preference for Shai-Hulad or Mahdi (and can't adopt most others).
Bene Gesserit usually get Shai-Hulad.
Tleilaxu are always Zensufi.

In practice these civs won't always found these religions, but it isn't easy to make it more likely than it already is without a lot more hardcoding that significantly reduces the flexibility of the mod.

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 08:34 AM
Bene Gesserit usually get Shai-Hulad.

Shouldn't it be the Fremen who should usually get it?

And while I can see a Noble House "going native" and adopting Shai-Hulad, something seems strange about Corrino being Shai-Hulad, leaving founding Imperium to other players.

but it isn't easy to make it more likely than it already is without a lot more hardcoding that significantly reduces the flexibility of the mod.

Introducing new flavours may help. It's possible though only XML.

Also, when speaking about "preference", do you mean the "favourite religion" tag? Because in default BTS it's useless when "Choose Religions" option isn't enabled.

Ahriman
Jan 21, 2010, 08:58 AM
Shouldn't it be the Fremen who should usually get it?

Not really. The Fremen belief system at the start of Dune has been heavily influenced by the Missionaria Protectiva. The Fremen follow it, but its not clear that they found it.

Having Fremen start with Mysticism is one proposal we are considering; that would make founding Shai-Hulad more of a tossup.
Similarly, we're looking at adding an even that gives Fremen a Shai-Hulad mystic when they research Jihad, to ensure that Fremen aren't left without a religion.

Introducing new flavours may help. It's possible though only XML.

What flavors are you referring to here?
There are tech flavors for religion, industry, etc. and leaderhead values for religion.

Also, when speaking about "preference", do you mean the "favourite religion" tag?
I mean the favored religion tag in leaderheadinfos, and then a few of the other leaderhead tags.
Eg: Most religion founding techs have a religion flavor weighting, and religious leaders have Religion as an AI flavor preference. The founding tech for technocracy has a industry/scientific flavor values, and most Ixian and Ordos leaders have industry or science flavor preference.

My understanding was that the favored religion tag *did* have an impact with the Better AI mod in terms of increasing the probability of having the AI research the tech that founds the religion (though I am not certain this is true), and that the tag would also influence the probability of having that religion be adopted as state religion.

Certainly I notice Corrino found Imperial more often than another faction selected at random, and Ecaz founds CHOAM more than another faction selected at random.

But at the end of the day, I don't think we want a game experience where the canon factions *always* found their favored religions.

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 09:07 AM
What flavors are you referring to here?

You can add new flavours, adding them to the default FLAVOR_RELIGION, FLAVOR_MILITARY etc. So you can give a moderately high FLAVOR_IMPERIAL to the Corrino leaders and the Imperium founding techs.

My understanding was that the favored religion tag *did* have an impact with the Better AI mod in terms of increasing the probability of having the AI research the tech that founds the religion (though I am not certain this is true),

I see nothing like that in the changelogs.


But at the end of the day, I don't think we want a game experience where the canon factions *always* found their favored religions.

I wouldn't want that either.

Ahriman
Jan 21, 2010, 09:24 AM
You can add new flavours, adding them to the default FLAVOR_RELIGION, FLAVOR_MILITARY etc. So you can give a moderately high FLAVOR_IMPERIAL to the Corrino leaders and the Imperium founding techs.

Hmm. Worth considering. Where do you define the new flavors? In the leaderheadinfos file, and then the tech values in the techinfos file?

So we could:

1. Create Flavor_Shai_hulad, Flavor_Mahdi, Flavor_Imperial, Flavor_CHOAM, Flavor_Quizarate, Flavor_Tleilaxu and Flavor_Technocracy

2. Remove flavor_religion, and remove flavor_religion from all leaderheads and all techs.

3. Assign tech flavors as:
Faith:
Shai-hulad 10, Tleilaxu 4

Jihad:
Mahdi 10

Feudalism:
Imperial 10

Imperialism:
Imperial 5

Great houses:
CHOAM 10

Protected trade:
CHOAM 4

Industrialism:
Technocracy 10

Cybernetics:
Technocracy 4

Academies:
Quizarate 10

Golden path:
Quizarate 5

etc.

(Or similar; this is from memory, I don't have the tech-tree in front of me)

4. Assign new flavors to leaderheads.
Eg:
Duke Leto:
Flavor_CHOAM = 2

Alia:
Flavor_Quizarate = 3

Leto II
Flavor_Quizarate = 3

Corrino leaders
Flavor_Imperial = 3

Bene Gesserit leaders
Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 2
Flavor_Imperial = 1
Flavor_CHOAM = 1
Flavor_Quizarate = 1

Ordos leaders:
Flavor_Technocracy = 2

Ixian leaders:
Flavor_Technocracy = 3

Ecaz leaders:
Flavor_CHOAM = 3

Harkonnen leaders:
Flavor_Imperial = 1
Flavor_CHOAM = 1

Feyd-Rautha
Flavor_Mahdi = 1

Liet-Kynes:
Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 3

Stilgar
Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 2
Flavor_Mahdi = 2

Paul Muad'Dib
Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 1
Flavor_Mahdi = 3

etc.

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 09:33 AM
Hmm. Worth considering. Where do you define the new flavors? In the leaderheadinfos file, and then the tech values in the techinfos file?

I believe that in addition to that there's another file with the list of all flavors. I'll search for it right now.

I'd increase your flavor values by 2 points or so. In Vanilla, the smallest tech flavor value is 2, moderate is 5, large is 10.

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 09:37 AM
Got it! It's GlobalTypes.xml, <FlavorTypes> tags.

Ahriman
Jan 21, 2010, 09:47 AM
It's GlobalTypes.xml
Thanks.

I'd increase your flavor values
We could probably double them.

However, atm most leaders have 2 flavor values: a major at 5 and a minor at 2.

We don't want religion preference flavors to be overwhleming economy/industry/military/ecology type flavors for most leaders.

But I guess if those flavors are only going to favor 1-2 techs each, it probably doesn't matter much.

Lone Wolf
Jan 21, 2010, 09:57 AM
But I guess if those flavors are only going to favor 1-2 techs each, it probably doesn't matter much.

Yeah. Besides this, the AI's evaluate the techs not only on flavors.

CyberChrist
Jan 22, 2010, 04:19 PM
There seems to be a few oversights in the Python code regarding Tleilaxu Zensufism.

1) Once in a while it happens that there are more than 1 Bene Tleilax civilization, but only one of them gets the benefits/effects of the religion.

2) If the Bene Tleilax civilization marked as the Tleilaxu Zensufism civilization is defeated then all handling of Plague stop (includes curing plagued units/cities - and regardles if there is another Bene Tleilax civilization still alive ... at least until game is reloaded and second civ gets recognized).

3) If no Cure is available then 1 Plagued unit present in a city will ALWAYS infect the city. Surely there should only be a chance that infected units will spread the Plague to city (perhaps basing chance on number of infected units present in city)?


Also, IMO then all Fremen civilizations should get the Shai-Hulud religion for free whenever they found a new city, but there should be no Holy City before someone builds Shrine of the Worm (which should then not require Holy City to build, but rather make building city the Holy City).

You could still leave Faith as the founding tech for Shai-Hulud (just in case there are no Fremen civ in the game at all).

Ahriman
Jan 22, 2010, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback. The mod certainly isn't designed to be able to deal well with multiple copies of the same faction; it breaks many mechanics.
The mod doesnt' deal well with over-stacked games in many ways (which is the only way you can get 2 Tleilaxu - with more than 9 players).

Surely there should only be a chance that infected units will spread the Plague to city (perhaps basing chance on number of infected units present in city)?
Well, if there is a highly infectious bioplague, then yeah, its always going to start an epidemic.

I'm inclined towards removing the city-aspect of the plague though, and just leaving it on units. Leave unhealth frmo Tleilaxu for facedancer spy missions.

Also, IMO then all Fremen civilizations should get the Shai-Hulud religion for free whenever they found a new city, but there should be no Holy City before someone builds Shrine of the Worm (which should then not require Holy City to build, but rather make building city the Holy City).

This would present a number of problems.
1. This would inhibit Fremen being able to play as a Mahdi-civ rather than a Shai-Hulad civ.
In particular, Mahdi would never spread to get Mahdi in any cities that weren't conquered, because religions can only passively spread to cities that do not already have a religion.
2. It would provide a powerful (and unnecessary) early game bonus for Fremen. Fremen are already the best in the early game, with their easy movement across desert, +1 water deathstills, and crysknife fighters.
3. It would provide a shrine too early, and make the shrine too powerful (+1 gold for every Fremen city, without even having to spread the religion yourself through missionaries).
4. Arguably the Bene Gesserit are the founders (and controller/manipulators) of the Fremen religion. This would kinda remove that.

I think I prefer the current system, augmented by an event that gives a free Shai-hulad missionary to a Fremen player if they research jihad tech and mahdi has already been founded, and maybe giving Fremen the Mysticism tech to start with (instead of what - exploration?).

CyberChrist
Jan 22, 2010, 05:56 PM
I see, your reasoning seems flawed to me though.

How does it provide them with a shrine too early?
Why should the Bene Gesserit be the natural founders of the inherit belief system of the Fremen?
Why would the inherit beliefs of a people not automatically spread with them when they colonize?
And if you loose the techrace to found Shai-Hulud you almost always loose the race to found Mahdi as well (in all games I have played so far anyway).

Far too many plot inconsistencies for my taste - which leads to a loss of Dune atmosphere ... for me.

I guess I'll just have to do what I normally do with mods that doesn't live up to my personal requirements ... and make my own heavily modified version ;)


Btw, I frequently get 2 factions from the same civ on Huge maps and Mammoth maps always generate a script error during map generation.

CyberChrist
Jan 22, 2010, 05:59 PM
Well, if there is a highly infectious bioplague, then yeah, its always going to start an epidemic.
Fair enough, but then why isn't the chance to infect other units also 100% instead of the current 25% chance only?

davidlallen
Jan 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
Far too many plot inconsistencies for my taste - which leads to a loss of Dune atmosphere ... for me.

Do you agree that there should be some variability between games? Or do you feel that each game must generate exactly the same plot as the books? I hope you will agree there must be some variability between games.

Please let us know the details of what other things lead to a loss of Dune atmosphere; this feedback will be very helpful.

Btw, I frequently get 2 factions from the same civ on Huge maps and Mammoth maps always generate a script error during map generation.

I have not used mammoth maps much. What is the error you get?

Ahriman
Jan 22, 2010, 09:30 PM
How does it provide them with a shrine too early?

A shrine that is *buildable* with hammers requiring only Faith tech will come much earlier than one which requires that you build a temple first and get a priest specialist, and then wait for ages to get a great prophet.

Why should the Bene Gesserit be the natural founders of the inherit belief system of the Fremen?

Because the belief system of the Fremen has been manipulated over thousands of years by the Missionaria Protectiva. The Bene Gesserit are religious manipulators, few more so than the traditional religion of the Fremen.

Why would the inherit beliefs of a people not automatically spread with them when they colonize?

Because that would not work well for gameplay; it would prevent Fremen from using Mahdi religion effectively, which is very thematic for them.
Besides, why does the state religion of any other faction not spread automatically when they build a new city? It doesn't in vanilla either; this is how religions work in civ.
If you want auto-spread on founding, then play Tleilaxu.

And if you loose the techrace to found Shai-Hulud you almost always loose the race to found Mahdi as well
This is not my experience. Most factions are quite slow to get Jihad tech. Even more so if we make the flavor changes suggested earlier in this thread (I will try coding them up maybe tomorrow).

Far too many plot inconsistencies for my taste - which leads to a loss of Dune atmosphere ... for me.

I think that a mod where the Fremen could never effectively use a messianic jihad conquest religion would also seem very inconsistent to me.
There are a lot of minor inconsistencies; sometimes mechanics have to bend to fit the engine/gameplay requirements. This is unavoidable IMO.

Fair enough, but then why isn't the chance to infect other units also 100% instead of the current 25% chance only?
Because shooting at somebody in a brief battle is far less likely to lead to them being infected than is living with them in the same city for months.

I am not fixed on the current way that plague works, but I think I prefer my religion design to the one you are proposing.

Again though, thanks for the feedback. If you can think of other ways to improve flavor without weakening gameplay or game variety then I'd be excited to see them.

Btw, I frequently get 2 factions from the same civ on Huge maps
The mod is not designed well to work on Huge maps. There just aren't enough different canon factions to really make this feasible.

CyberChrist
Jan 22, 2010, 11:46 PM
A shrine that is *buildable* with hammers requiring only Faith tech will come much earlier than one which requires that you build a temple first and get a priest specialist, and then wait for ages to get a great prophet.What gave you that idea? I certainly never said anything about the Shrine being buildable - it should be constructed by a Prophet like always.


Because the belief system of the Fremen has been manipulated over thousands of years by the Missionaria Protectiva. The Bene Gesserit are religious manipulators, few more so than the traditional religion of the Fremen.Maybe they are, but as Shai-Hulud is currently described it makes no sense for anyone but the Fremen to found it. However, the way you are describing it here is making me think that perhaps the Bene Gesserit are the ones that should be starting with that religion by default - and change the description of it so that it is not the inherit belief of the Fremen.
...
Of course that wouldn't really be in accordance with Dune lore either - as I understand it.


Because that would not work well for gameplay; it would prevent Fremen from using Mahdi religion effectively, which is very thematic for them.
Besides, why does the state religion of any other faction not spread automatically when they build a new city? It doesn't in vanilla either; this is how religions work in civ.
...
I think that a mod where the Fremen could never effectively use a messianic jihad conquest religion would also seem very inconsistent to me.
Personally then I think it was a mistake to make a seperate religion for something that is clearly a religious dogma - and should be a Civic.

Anyway, since this is the inherit belief of all living Fremen it would make sense to have it spread whereever they go - although it would also make sense that it would never spread automatically to any other civ (ie. spreading it would require Missionaries).

Regarding how vanilla civ handle the spread of religions then I for one always thought that that was yet another area in dire need of improving (need I say that I haven't played anything close to resembling vanilla civ in years).


If you want auto-spread on founding, then play Tleilaxu.
...
If you can think of other ways to improve flavor without weakening gameplay or game variety then I'd be excited to see them.Fremen already work like I want/described in my personal version of Dune and I am happy to report that gameplay has in no way weakened by this.


Because shooting at somebody in a brief battle is far less likely to lead to them being infected than is living with them in the same city for months.I would be very surprised if most spacefaring civilization had no clue what quarantine measures was or knew how and when to make use of them (reduced chance of infection spreading) - and if not then why wouldn't they then be ransacking their fallen enemies for equipment/information (increased chance of infection)?


I am not fixed on the current way that plague works, but I think I prefer my religion design to the one you are proposing.Fair enough, it is your mod after all.


The mod is not designed well to work on Huge maps. There just aren't enough different canon factions to really make this feasible.It is working nicely on Huge maps. I see no problem with several different factions of ie. Fremen - in fact having more Fremen factions than any of the invading houses seems rather thematic to me.


Speaking of which ...
It seems a bit odd to me that the non-Fremen civilization doesn't bring a bit more technological punch in the production and weaponry area from their homeworlds - and that the Fremen doesn't have a bigger edge on the desert survival/population size area to begin with.

I mean Arrakis IS supposedly THE most important planet in the entire universe for the space faring civilizations, so it boggles the mind to think that the houses wouldn't at least supply them with some advanceed starting equipment or force them to pretty much having to reinvent the wheel for everything out of their own pockets.

Perhaps that could be an area that could be expanded on, so that the houses bring a few pieces of tougher hardware(units) with them and the technology to build more (once they can get their hands of any required resources and/or get the facilities needed to build them up and running), but they severely lack the technologies for basic survival on Arrakis. And vice versa for the Fremen.

Both sides should of course be demanding a high diplomatic standing before even considering compromising their respective technological advantages by trading these techs to the other side.


Btw, this would allow Shai-Hulud to be part of the expanded advantages on the Fremen side. :D

CyberChrist
Jan 22, 2010, 11:58 PM
Do you agree that there should be some variability between games? Or do you feel that each game must generate exactly the same plot as the books? I hope you will agree there must be some variability between games.I would say that a mod which cannot generate enough variety without straying from it's own Lore, has far more serious problems with variety than allowing the same civ to start with the same religion in each game could possible cause.

Fortunately I don't think Dune Wars is a mod with such a problem - there is plenty of variety to go around to allow staying true to the Lore :)

Ahriman
Jan 23, 2010, 08:15 AM
What gave you that idea? I certainly never said anything about the Shrine being buildable

It seems I misinterpreted what you meant by this: "(which should then not require Holy City to build, but rather make building city the Holy City)."
My apologies.

perhaps the Bene Gesserit are the ones that should be starting with that religion by default

The mod has much less replay and much less variation if factions start with a particular religion.
Other than the Tleilaxu (who are xenophobic and isolationist in the extreme, and are supposed to have a feel of Other) factions should not be starting with a particular religion.

Starting with a fixed religion also reduces flexibility even in a canon sense.
Historically accurate Fremen should be either Shai-Hulad OR Mahdi.
Historically accurate Bene Gesserit could be Shai-Hulad or Imperium.
Historically accurate Atreides could be Shai-Hulad, Mahdi, Landsraad or Quizarate.
etc.

If you're interested in a narrower mod with less flexibility, where each faction is closely tied to its canon lore, you might be interested in following the Warhammer Fantasy mod (currently in pre-alpha).
In that mod, there are a ton of factions (28?) almost entirely made of UUs, but each faction is quite narrow (only has one religion it can ever adopt, many factions start with that religion, strengths and weaknesses of each faction are hardcoded - eg Dwarves are good heavy infantry and siege, but non-existent cavalry, Bretonnia has excellent knights but weak infantry, etc.).

Personally then I think it was a mistake to make a seperate religion for something that is clearly a religious dogma
"Religion" in Dune Wars represents a mix of things, including power allegiance.
The Shai-Hulad religion represents the traditional ways of the native population of Dune (including the non-Fremen people of the pan and graben - the Pyon villages), and of an overall policy which supports them. It would be close to canon for example for the Atreides to adopt Shai-Hulad.

It represents a society with traditional beliefs, that is better suited to water-poor Arrakis; hence why the temple gives a water bonus (basically, from a more water-efficient lifestyle).

It seems a bit odd to me that the non-Fremen civilization doesn't bring a bit more technological punch in the production and weaponry area from their homeworlds - and that the Fremen doesn't have a bigger edge on the desert survival/population size area to begin with.
How would you implement this, in a way that would still be balanced and work in a gameplay sense?

it boggles the mind to think that the houses wouldn't at least supply them with some advanceed starting equipment or force them to pretty much having to reinvent the wheel for everything out of their own pockets.
The idea of the mod (a rough fuzzy backstory) is that there has been some Great Disaster on Dune, with a massive cataclysm destroying most of the population and equipment, and cutting Dune off from the rest of the galaxy.
Its a fudge, but its really the only way that you can actually fit the Dune universe (where technological progress is extremely slow, and you have an entire galaxy to trade with) into the Civilization game engine, which is about starting from nothing and then researching techs and building up an empire.
It doesn't work great from a logical sense, but I can't see any feasible alternative.
Civ is about slowly researching techs and building up. That's how the game engine works. And its fun!

There are a few things where the idea is that there is "leftover" tech from before the disaster. For example, the early game House Shield Generator is designed to represent a single large Holtzmann shield leftover from pre-Disaster. To import/build more than one, you have to have the much later Ablative Shields tech.

Both sides should of course be demanding a high diplomatic standing before even considering compromising their respective technological advantages by trading these techs to the other side.


This would kinda make Fremen diplomatic outcasts - if none of the other factions would trade with them without very high relations.

There are some interested ideas here, but I think Fremen are "different" enough already (with sandriding units), and we are intending to eventually make them even more different (removing vehicles, thopters, suspensors, etc. so that they are really infantry only, and can only get mechanical units by capturing them).

* * *
It sounds like you want a mod which is much more fixed in replicating the specific history of the Dune Universe. This is fine, but it isn't really what we're interested in doing.

There are other players who are at the opposite end; they dislike restrictions, and want to be able to have basically any game combination, including wildly implausible alternate histories (Bene Gesserit using Thinking Machines, etc).

For example, check this thread (this page and surrounding pages): http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=8733976

I think we are trying to strike a compromise between these two design philosophies.

Ahriman
Jan 23, 2010, 08:35 AM
Got it! It's GlobalTypes.xml, <FlavorTypes> tags.

I can't find a globaltypes.xml
Where is this located?

I was trying to create a mockup of this changed flavor design to do some testing.

Lone Wolf
Jan 23, 2010, 08:42 AM
I can't find a globaltypes.xml
Where is this located?

Assets/XML. It appears that Dune Wars doesn't have a custom GlobalTypes.xml (that's likely why you can't find it), so you can just use the one from base BTS.

Ahriman
Jan 23, 2010, 10:01 AM
so you can just use the one from base BTS.

Yeah, it isn't in Dunewars. Is trouble going to be caused (with vanilla or other mods) if I start adding Flavor_Mahdi and the like into the base BTS xml files?

CyberChrist
Jan 23, 2010, 10:07 AM
It sounds like you want a mod which is much more fixed in replicating the specific history of the Dune Universe. This is fine, but it isn't really what we're interested in doing.Yes, it is clear to me now that you are adamant to keep things as they are and not really open to explore any new ideas/concepts atm.

Fair enough, I am used to this from other mods and will just do as I always do - overhaul the mod to my own liking.

davidlallen
Jan 23, 2010, 10:20 AM
Yes, it is clear to me now that you are adamant to keep things as they are and not really open to explore any new ideas/concepts atm.

Fair enough, I am used to this from other mods and will just do as I always do - overhaul the mod to my own liking.

One moment please. Ahriman is not the implementor of this mod, I am (along with deliverator and others.) I have noticed over the six months I have worked on this mod that Ahriman holds his opinions very strongly.

But his is *not* the final word. Please let us know your ideas and continue to post here.

Many ideas which Ahriman did not like have been incorporated into the mod. If we really cannot reach any agreement, of course a mod-mod is in order; see for example the 1.4 version of this mod, in the thread A mod-mod: "Dune Wars Reduced" (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=330138), which was my mod-mod originally.

Lone Wolf
Jan 23, 2010, 10:43 AM
Is trouble going to be caused (with vanilla or other mods) if I start adding Flavor_Mahdi and the like into the base BTS xml files?

If you start modifying the vanilla assets, it will cause very bad things - mostly not with the mod itself, but with all the stuff that checks for presence of civ4/lack of cheating (patches/lock modified assets, for example).

However, why would you need to do such a thing? You can copy BTS GlobalTypes.xml directly in the mods/dune wars/assets/xml, and then start changing it and saving it there. It's possible to have one GlobalTypes for base BTS and one GlobalTypes for a mod just like with any other XML files.

Ahriman
Jan 23, 2010, 11:07 AM
However, why would you need to do such a thing?

Because I didn't know:
You can copy BTS GlobalTypes.xml directly in the mods/dune wars/assets/xml, and then start changing it and saving it there.

Ok, thanks, I will try this.

I have never worked with XML; I am not a coder at all, I'm a designer and tester.

* * *

Yes, it is clear to me now that you are adamant to keep things as they are and not really open to explore any new ideas/concepts atm.

I do not think this is a fair accusation. I am open to many new ideas, and changes. For example, I like the ideas posted by Lone Wolf above; using flavors for the religion techs to encourage slightly more canon religion founding and choice. His suggestion seems very likely to achieve a valuable design goal, without creating any further unforseen consequences. Hence I support it and will try to make the change and test it myself.

However, I do not think that hardcoding Fremen into always starting with or founding/adopting Shai-Hulad would improve the mod. In particular, it will damage the ability of the Fremen AI to found and spread the Mahdi religion. The Messianic Mahdi Jihad is a huge part of canon Fremen flavor.

I am highly amused that you think I am unreasonable in not wanting to make the mod more narrowly based on precise Dune lore/canon, while AnotherPacifist thinks I am unreasonable in not wanting to make the mod much more flexible in allowing all kinds of non-canon combinations (Imperial Fremen, warm and fuzzy Beast Rabban, etc.)

You can't please everyone...


One moment please. Ahriman is not the implementor of this mod, I am (along with deliverator and others.) I have noticed over the six months I have worked on this mod that Ahriman holds his opinions very strongly.

But his is *not* the final word. Please let us know your ideas and continue to post here.

This is absolutely true.
I find that when someone has a suggestion that I disagree with, what works best is when we each try to make our case as best we can, and then David and Deliverator can see both sides and decide what they think will work best. This creates the best mod IMO.
I am a designer; I am not *lead* designer.

I'm open to considering new ideas; if I wasn't, then I wouldn't bother discussing them. But that doesn't mean that I have to support implementing every new idea. If we did that, the mod would become bloated pretty quickly.

If you have some ideas of how to implement:
"Perhaps that could be an area that could be expanded on, so that the houses bring a few pieces of tougher hardware(units) with them and the technology to build more (once they can get their hands of any required resources and/or get the facilities needed to build them up and running), but they severely lack the technologies for basic survival on Arrakis. And vice versa for the Fremen."
in a simple way then I'd definitely like to hear them.

Lone Wolf
Jan 23, 2010, 11:24 AM
I like the ideas posted by Lone Wolf above; using flavors for the religion techs to encourage slightly more canon religion founding and choice. His suggestion seems very likely to achieve a valuable design goal, without creating any further unforseen consequences. Hence I support it and will try to make the change and test it myself.

I like these ideas too ;), though you could have the same effect using Python - you just have to implement code that throws a SorenRandNum dice with the founding, making it so that, for example, Liet every game has a 66% chance to beeline Shai-Hulad and 33% chance to leave it to someone else.

Unfortunately, while I do know that randomizers and tech beelines are possible in Python (or I hope so, at least), I don't know any Python and can't write a code that could implement it :rolleyes:. But maybe someone on the team can.

Ahriman
Jan 23, 2010, 01:33 PM
Attachment contains 3 files implementing Lone_Wolf's religion flavor idea (replacing flavor_religion with separate religion flavors for each religion separately, and then adding these to techs and leaders as appropriate).

GlobalTypes.xml goes in assets/xml
LeaderHeadInfos goes in assets/xml/civilizations
TechInfos goes in assets/xml/technologies

I have tested that they don't cause any xml errors or crashes; I have not tested how big an impact they have on AI tech choice behavior.

* * *

I think this approach is *much* better than forcing with python. The flavor method still allows the AI to flexibly choose priorities; it might have an urgent need for military techs, or growth techs, or gold techs. Whereas a python method would work against the existing tech chooser AI.
We had something like that in an old version of Warhammer; it crippled the AI by making them beeline religion techs when they would have been better off getting economy techs.

* * *
If we combine this change with changing starting Fremen tech exploration -> mysticism, then I think we will do much better.

Pickly
Jan 25, 2010, 03:44 PM
Are updates planned for some Technocracy buildings? It does seem blank at the moment, and I'm guessing something more will be added in the future (since I think I remember technocracy effecting thinking machine buildings in some way.), but I am curious as to what these changes would be.

davidlallen
Jan 25, 2010, 05:17 PM
There has been lively debate about how much overlap there should be between thinking machines and technocracy. In the 1.7.x versions, since December, Ix concentrates on vehicles instead of thinking machines, and technocracy concentrates on thinking machines. You can think about the religious buildings as similar to the vanilla monastery, temple, cathedral and shrine. As it happens, technocracy has only the shrine building.

What other sort of technocracy specific buildings would you suggest?

Ahriman
Jan 25, 2010, 05:43 PM
I have made this point many times, but no-one has ever really given much feedback, other than Deliverator (who seemed to agree) and David (who seems impassive).

Technocracy religion is supposed to be the adoption of computerization and roboticization; Thinking Machines.

That's what it *is*.

Hence, the Automated Factory and the Automated Research Lab (supposed to be Computerized Research lab) are supposed to be Technocracy only.

Without it, the technocracy religion has no real purpose, and no real reason to adopt or spread such a late-game religion, and Technocracy has no feel.

They should also have a minor synergy with Ixian faction, to help represent superior Ixian technological skill (and the Ixian tendency to skirt the Butlerian restrictions on roboticization).

I thought that David and I had agreed on this design, but apparently not.

I would do the following:
a) Rename Ixian weapons resource to "Ixian Technology"
b) Move the Automated Factory to Thinking Machines tech. Have it give +10% hammers with Ixian Technology resource.
c) Rename the Automated Research Facility to Computerized Research Facility. Give it +10% beakers with Ixian Technology resource.
d) Add a "Cymek" unit, that is a technocracy religious UU, and requires the Cybernetics tech.
It should probably be a Walker class vehicle with high strength (20?) and bonus vs melee units, that ignores city walls (like melee units do). Give it a national limit of 5.

Then, Technocracy religion will have both value and flavor.

Pickly
Jan 25, 2010, 10:19 PM
I guess the question came off a bit more confrontational that I'd intended. (It was mostly asked out of curiosity, rather than an accusation.)

As for suggestions to make technocracy work better, I've noticed that in 1.7 at least the two "thinking machine" buildings are extra productive with power, but there isn't a power building at the moment (I remember one being in in whichever 1.6 patch I started with, but may be imagining this.), so it seems to me that the technocracy "temple" type building may be a power plant, gotten with thinking machines. This would provide some synergy with the buildings, and also allow an Ixian synergy with doesn't push Ix too much into the particular religion in gameplay terms. (Thismay actually be the system in previously, my memory is a bit foggy. If so, never mind. If not, the above system might be workable until something better is dreamed up.)


Unfortunately, I haven't actually read any Dune books, seem movies, etc., so cannot come up with any good in universe ways of handling technocracy. (Even without haveing done this, the mod had done quite a good job of immersion into a world, so nice job on that.)

Ahriman
Jan 26, 2010, 05:37 AM
I guess the question came off a bit more confrontational that I'd intended. (It was mostly asked out of curiosity, rather than an accusation.)

Oh, no no, none of the confrontation here is directed at you. You raised a completely valid point.
The only confrontation is a long-simmering one between David and I :-)

We used to have the power-plant system, but it seemed unnecessary, and it had perhaps a bit too much overlap between Ix and Technocracy.
It felt to some like Ixian UBs were being tied into a single religion, which was too inflexible a design, so we removed this.

Please continue to raise any issues like this that come to mind.

And read Dune! One of the best books ever written.

Praylak
Apr 05, 2010, 08:35 PM
I like what has been done here with religions. I understand how some religions are not focused on the worship of a diety('s), but rather the concept or idea of something else, like technology, or profit. It may not be a religion as we are use to knowing, but this seems to fit pretty well with what little I know of the Dune lore. I think this was some clever work, and a nice feature in the mod. I look forward to seeing them refined in future versions. (Pedia lore, etc).

In regards to Imperial though, I'm a little stumped on. I understand it, I think, but can't seem to find the benefit in it if every other religion simply removes it from my cities. Is it your intention to make it a weaker, or obsolete religion?

If its meant to stay this way, I'd suggest House Corrino start with this religion. If all the main Houses still recognize Corrino as Emperor at the start of the game, it fits? But as other ideas come online, power shifts, and Dune becomes contested thus leadership of the universe, their power will fade, or will it? It might make Corrino a little too stong though. BeneTleixex seem pretty strong with thier start religion, but it works well making them isolationist, and later as other religions come online, universally disliked. Fits like a glove for them.

Oh and are inqusitioners working?

Ahriman
Apr 06, 2010, 05:45 AM
Hi Praylak, thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you like the core of the religion design.

I understand it, I think, but can't seem to find the benefit in it if every other religion simply removes it from my cities.

Imperial has a natural spread-rate that is extremely high; 3x that of other early religions.

So, the main benefits of Imperium are Diplomatic, and then some culture and happiness benefits. You'll note that in nearly every game, at least 3 players end up being Imperial religion because of this spread rate, and form a natural diplomatic alliance for wars and tech-trading. This is very powerful.
Its also the easiest way to win a diplomatic victory; be on good terms with a bunch of players thanks to same-religion bonus.

As you say, we already have an isolationist religion for the Tleilaxu, and Imperial is supposed to be the opposite of isolationist, so I don't think that making it a Corrino-only religion would work well.
The idea is really that in whatever Catastrophe preludes our mod starting, Dune was cut off and Shaddam presumed dead, and a new Emperor appointed, who may end up being a puppet of one of the other houses.
[Corrino does have strong Imperial flavor though, and so are more likely to found the religion than any other faction.]

The displacement factor of Imperium is supposed to model the events of Dune, where the overthrow of the old order is one of the major themes. The old status quo can eventually be overthrown by the Jihad, the Qizarate, or Technocracy (in an alternate-future).

I haven't tested in Inquisitors. I know there used to be an issue with them a long time ago.

Praylak
Apr 06, 2010, 10:37 AM
Imperial has a natural spread-rate that is extremely high; 3x that of other early religions.

Oh I see. Ya it did seem to initially spread fairly quick after founding. So I guess if you want to get the most out of the religion, you want to use the civic that prevents non state religion spread, in order to keep other religions from wiping it out of your cities? Under these circumstances, can the religion respread to a city that already has another type? Or can it not coexist with other types?

Ahriman
Apr 06, 2010, 10:42 AM
So I guess if you want to get the most out of the religion, you want to use the civic that prevents non state religion spread,

Thats one way to do it; another is to not sign open borders with other factions who are not Imperial-followers.

Religions do not auto-spread to cities that already have a religion, so the only way that Imperial will get wiped is by missionary (or conquest by a Mahdi follower).

You can spread imperial to others by missionary, and you can use missionaries to re-add imperial to your own cities where it has been wiped.

Punchline: Imperial *can* co-exist, as long it is the last religion to be added to a city, but like all religions it cannot auto-spread to a city with a religion.

Praylak
Apr 06, 2010, 12:20 PM
Punchline: Imperial *can* co-exist, as long it is the last religion to be added to a city, but like all religions it cannot auto-spread to a city with a religion.

Thank you for taking the time to explain those few things. I understand now.