I've said before, but an important reason for why I've settled for the alternative effects is because any of the proposed God of War and Goddess of Protection are hard to justify in economical terms, while I'm also being wary of adding just more yields to pantheons that currently focus on unique effects. Both pantheons only provide two yields, when most other pantheons provide three yields, and not in greater amounts to compensate for the lower variety (meaning lower total yields). Moreover, both War and Protection require buildings that are situational, expensive, have a maintenance cost and don't match the economic value of the other Ancient Era buildings. No matter how I look at it, focusing on Barracks or Walls mean falling behind in economy and development, compared to what the rest of the pantheons ask you to focus on.
God of War also can't afford to stay passive like the other pantheons due to reliance on the faith on kill. Compared to other pantheons, it requires a much bigger reward to justify it, as many of the other pantheons can provide a stronger economic engine with less effort and risk, doubly so if you account for the lower investment on military (and the associated maintenance costs) required for them. I didn't want to just make the Barracks provide over 4 total yields, or add another yield to the kills, so I settled for an alternative effect, and aimed to make it thematic, natural and made the pantheon more fun to use.
And then, I think the other two proposals miss the main point on why the current Protection is so slow, as both essentially require you to set garrisons for an extra point of faith. With the cheapest garrison unit costing 40
and having a 1
maintenance cost, both proposals are essentially asking your empire to pay a total of 150
and incur a 2
maintenance for 1
for each city, which is very inefficient and arguably worse than the current Protection. That extra maintenance in particular plays a role in why the current Protection is slow, you end investing in less buildings than usual due to that and is pressured to go for trade and build Markets (another expensive building) to address it, despite the pantheon itself having nothing to do with it. It is messy, and an important reason why Protection is tough to work with. Since neither of the other two proposals address this point, I had little reasons to think that they were an improvement over the current Protection.
I get that there are people wary of the alternative effects being strong, but I also think that the economic part plays a big role in a pantheon's balance, and that many other pantheons can outshine War and Protection solely on having better economic value. The alternative effects are meant to ensure both War and Protection are competitive with the rest without having to resort to extra yields.