(2-NS) Great Prophets gain the ability to unlock the faith purchase of a Great Person type

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Legen

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Proposal:

Great Prophets gain the ability to unlock the :c5faith: faith purchase of one :c5greatperson: Great Person type for your civilization.
  • Great Prophets gain a separate ability that consumes the prophet on use.
    • Name suggestion: Spiritual guidance
    • Like the Holy Site ability, that prophet must not have used a city conversion before.
  • Upon using it, you can select a :c5greatperson: Great Person type not yet unlocked for your civilization. The selected :c5greatperson: GP type will be available for :c5faith:faith purchase to your civilization starting at Industrial Era.
    • Other civilizations do not benefit from you unlocking a :c5greatperson: great person type through this method, even if they share the same religion with you.
  • Can only be used if at least one great person type is yet locked, and pending uses of this ability are lost if all great people types are unlocked before the choice is made.
    • Safeguards to a player being unable to end the turn in edge cases.
    • Edge cases: picking 'To The Glory of God', having one type yet locked and picking the finisher of the relevant policy tree, spending multiple prophets in a single turn.
  • Limited to 2 uses per game for each civilization.

Rationale:

When you think about it, it is weird that great people faith purchase is primarily unlocked not by :c5faith: faith or religion, but by :c5culture: policies. This proposal is an exercise on how we can have :c5faith: faith purchase of :c5greatperson: GPs as a default pursuit for all civilizations through the religious game itself.

There are many potential uses for this ability, as certain :c5greatperson: GP synergies are sometimes tied to policy trees that may not be ideal for your strategy. For instance:
  • All ideologies have tenets that depend greatly on a specific :c5greatperson:GP:
    • Freedom: Transnationalism (merchant -> Industry), which is not ideal for civs or situations that favor Rationalism instead (e.g. Korea, Babylon, or when facing these two).
    • Order: Spaceflight Pioneers (engineer -> Tradition), which would require you to pair a Tall-oriented tree with a Wide-oriented ideology.
    • Autocracy: Lebensraum (general -> Authority), which may not be ideal for civs that may prefer Progress, or that are meant to be flexible and adaptable (e.g. Celts, Iroquois, Rome).
  • Certain civs have a unique :c5greatperson: GP replacement, but the player may want to pursue policy trees that don't unlock it (e.g. Venice, 34UC Carthage with a general/admiral replacement).
  • Certain civs have special bonuses tied to a specific :c5greatperson: great person, but may want policy trees that emphasize a different part of their uniques (i.e. Japan, Sweden, Assyria).
The expected impact of this ability is to add flexibility on builds that are very dependent on specific policy finishers, or on the 'To The Glory of God' reformation. Civs with a heavy focus on religion also gain another option for their late game. This will not necessarily see use on every game, or even on most games; some players will prefer to spend faith on more Holy Sites instead for extra :tourism: tourism and/or the Holy Land reformation, or as a replacement to :c5production: production instead (Zealotry, Divine Teaching, Faith of the Masses). Others may find that their current policy choices already unlock the most relevant :c5greatperson: GP types for their strategy anyway and see only marginal benefits from additional unlocks.

Spoiler Rationale before the addition of a limit of 2 uses per game, no longer relevant :
How balanced it will be? It depends on the current balance regarding :c5faith: faith output. Without major :c5faith: faith imbalances, the main restriction I foresee to this ability is the exponential :c5faith: faith costs of Great Prophets, plus the opportunity cost of not having a Holy Site or city conversions out of them. Moreover, spending a prophet this way only opens an option, instead of giving you immediate yields as you would with any other great person. I expect most players to unlock one or two key great people for their strategy, then find the :c5faith: faith cost of additional prophets to be prohibitive. Certain civs and beliefs may be able to push it further, but anyone aiming to unlock more than two :c5greatperson: GP types will likely find it much easier to pursue the 'To The Glory of God' reformation instead.


Amendment:

Added a limit of 2 uses to this ability.
 
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This will require a lot of rebalance since some civ/belief lower cost of prophets, and the ability to sacrifice a holy site for a new GP type to buy (which would give at least 3-4 GP of that type to match the cost of buying another old GP type you unlocked from policy, repeatedly for a few more times) is really strong.
The idea is sound, but I would prefer to have a limit to this (maybe only once or twice max - equal to an extra 6-8 GP of your 2 choices). Then we can consider this a straight buff to faith (which value dropped after midgame) and no need for further balance change.
 
This is an interesting idea but my god is it powerful. I just don't think it can be balanced without some strong amount of readjustment elsewhere.
 
I had this idea today and wanted to get some discussion immediately, so I kept it simple. I just rechecked the faith costs on IGE to better evaluate it:

generic civ​
Byzantium​
India​
Prophecy​
Byzantium + Prophecy​
India + Prophecy​
1st​
800​
680​
520​
600​
480​
390​
2nd​
1100​
935​
715​
825​
660​
536​
3rd​
1700​
1445​
1105​
1275​
1020​
828​
4th​
2600​
2210​
1690​
1950​
1560​
1267​
5th​
3800​
3230​
2470​
2850​
2280​
1852​
6th​
5300​
4505​
3445​
3975​
3180​
2583​
7th​
7100​
6035​
4615​
5325​
4260​
3461​
8th​
9200​
7820​
5980​
6900​
5520​
4485​
9th​
11600​
9860​
7540​
8700​
6960​
5655​
10th​
14300​
12155​
9295​
10725​
8580​
6971​
11th​
17300​
14705​
11245​
12975​
10380​
8433​
12th​
20600​
17510​
13390​
15450​
12360​
10042​
13th​
24200​
20570​
15730​
18150​
14520​
11797​
14th​
28100​
23885​
18265​
21075​
16860​
13698​
15th​
32300​
27455​
20995​
24225​
19380​
15746​
16th​
36800​
31280​
23920​
27600​
22080​
17940​
17th​
41600​
35360​
27040​
31200​
24960​
20280​
18th​
46700​
39695​
30355​
35025​
28020​
22766​

As of note, Prophecy (-25% cost) stacks differently with Byzantium (-15%) and India (-35%). It stacks additively with Byzantium's UA (-40% cost), but stacks multiplicatively with India's UA (-51.25% cost). India's cost is truncated, a.k.a. the decimals are subtracted whenever relevant.

With Prophecy, these two civs can lower the costs enough that they wouldn't be far from having a de facto TTGoG with the proposed ability. I was considering some alternatives to limit how far a civ can go (e.g. unlock GP every 2 holy sites), but I think it will have to be a fixed limit to how many times the ability can be used, as proposed by nekokon. I'll amend the proposal to add the limit.
 
Proposal amended: added a limit of 2 uses to this ability.
 
I think this would be a good feature for a civ's unique ability.

As is, I think you would always spend a great prophet to unlock great writers if you don't have them. They're just too strong to pass up.
 
I think this would be a good feature for a civ's unique ability.

As is, I think you would always spend a great prophet to unlock great writers if you don't have them. They're just too strong to pass up.
And great scientists. Those two alone are absolutely worth the price of admission.
 
I assume this would only be unlocked as an ability after you’ve founded and enhanced? I don’t like the idea that prophets have 4 unique actions at the same time.

The thing I like about this is that it could unshackle some civs from policy trees that unlock “their GP”, like how I find it really hard to justify any other policy tree than industry for venice and authority for Venice and Mongolia, respectively. There’s other good things about those trees for those civs otherwise, but unlocking the purchase of your UGP is an overriding concern.

This would also nerf TtGoG pretty good. This would be huge for Byzantium, who can buy GPs before industrial.

I would limit it to 1.
 
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As someone who enjoys Tradition India, I love the idea :lol:

The ability to take Inspired Works as a reformation belief, and still unlock other Great People. :eekdance:
 
Op can probably make another counter proposal thread and give this a limit of 1 so ppl can vote on 1 or 2 or no in the poll.
 
I assume this would only be unlocked as an ability after you’ve founded and enhanced? I don’t like the idea that prophets have 4 unique actions at the same time.

The thing I like about this is that it could unshackle some civs from policy trees that unlock “their GP”, like how I find it really hard to justify any other policy tree than industry for venice and authority for Venice and Mongolia, respectively. There’s other good things about those trees for those civs otherwise, but unlocking the purchase of your UGP is an overriding concern.

This would also nerf TtGoG pretty good. This would be huge for Byzantium, who can buy GPs before industrial.

I would limit it to 1.
Op can probably make another counter proposal thread and give this a limit of 1 so ppl can vote on 1 or 2 or no in the poll.
I suppose it doesn't make much difference to lock the ability to after the religion is enhanced, the ability is for the long term and is bound to be delayed in favor of enhancing. Though, I think it is better left available outright at first, just so that everyone is aware of the ability. If it ends cluttering the screen, we can lock it behind enhance in a later patch, when everyone is familiar with the ability.

I personally prefer to keep the limit at 2. One of my motivations for this proposal was to have :c5faith: faith as a primary way of unlocking :c5greatperson: Great People, at the very least comparable to :c5culture: culture, and having 2 :c5greatperson: GPs of your choice seems to be the point when it is comparable to having 3 :c5greatperson: GPs predefined by policies. That said, I'll likely amend the proposal later to leave the actual limit as separate votes (1, 2, maybe 3 if someone has an argument in favor of it).
 
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At 2+ I hardly see the point in having a limit at all. You will pick the GPS you most want to have, and you will be able to buy more than half of all the GP types (5 of 9), so you have more than enough options that the remaining 4 don’t matter. That’s the threshold where this flips from unshackling civs from strict policy choices into basically doing whatever they want with no tradeoffs.
 
At 2+ I hardly see the point in having a limit at all. You will pick the GPS you most want to have, and you will be able to buy more than half of all the GP types (5 of 9), so you have more than enough options that the remaining 4 don’t matter. That’s the threshold where this flips from unshackling civs from strict policy choices into basically doing whatever they want with no tradeoffs.
Even just 1 is a gamechanger. I can go tradition and now buy Great Writers....culture beyond your wildest dreams. I can buy GS without rationalism, hell I can go Imperalism 2, Rationalism 2 for super science and still get the GS buy, insanely good.

Again its a cool idea but make no mistake, this is not a thing that will unlock some "interesting strategic options". This is pure unadulterated power creep. There is never a situation where I wouldn't use a late Great prophet for this unless I'm going TGOG, there is no strategy here, its just MOAR POWA.


I think just adding an option is too good, maybe if it swapped the ability. So tradition could gain Great Writers but lose Great Engineers, etc. There still likely a good number of ways to abuse that, but its a least a bit more reigned in.

Another option is to only list out GP from trees you have the opener in....so at least your having to spread your policies out to get the benefit, and so again your trading one benefit for another. Example: If I take tradition, and then the progress opener, with the great prophet I could unlock Great Writers.
 
I originally wanted to remove finishers as a way to unlock great people, as power creep wouldn't then be a major issue with this proposed ability. You'd have a limit of 3 uses to unlock 3 GPs and the policy finishers would offer only some secondary benefit (e.g. great writers cost 25% less faith). I didn't add this both to keep the proposal simple and to not mess with non-founders, who cannot generate prophets. I'm still looking for a proper alternative to that.

One idea I had to limit power creep is to add a cap on how many great people you can purchase if they were unlocked by policies, instead of through prophets. For instance, say that the cap is 2; if you went Progress and didn't decide to use a Spiritual guidance on writers, then you'd be limited to faith purchasing 2 writers throughout that game. Meanwhile, whatever great person you did unlock through prophets (say, you chose scientists) would have no hard cap. And, of course, TTGoG would remove the cap for all GPs on top of unlocking them all, so that it remains the same as it is now.

A slight modification of this idea is to have the cap on policy-unlocked GPs to start at a cap of 1, but have it increased by 1 whenever you plant a Holy Site. The potential for powercreep is still there, but it is now gated by some heavy :c5faith: faith output. Messes even more with non-founders, though.

I don't think people would want to give up the way it currently works in favor of it, though.

maybe if it swapped the ability. So tradition could gain Great Writers but lose Great Engineers, etc. There still likely a good number of ways to abuse that, but its a least a bit more reigned in.
Only if the swap also transfers the cost increases to the new GP. Otherwise, the ability can be used back and forth between two GPs to reset their costs. Still, faith remains secondary to culture in actually unlocking GPs.
 
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I do like the fact that you have to consider the Great People faith purchase options enabled by your policy choices. You can easily afford to throw out one Great Prophet by Industrial Age, and even unlocking one key Great Person purchase option is incredibly powerful, you only need to stack the one for your win condition. As Stalker0 said, this is pure power creep and would reduce the amount of interesting options to make.

It would also make faith even stronger than it already is, and it already feels nigh mandatory to get a foot in the religion game.
 
On the flip side, this could be a way for non-founders to leverage Great Prophets. I don't know the details on what non-founders are allowed to do with Prophets, or if they get them?
 
Proposal failed due to lack of sponsorship.
 
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