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Byzantium

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Gothic_Empire, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

    Joined:
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    Aight. I just played a game as Byzantium and they are made of elemental anti-fun, in addition to being weaker than other, comparable civs.

    Core Problem:
    As more enemy players found religions, the Byzantine UA grows potentially weaker. Every time another leader takes a pantheon or belief, Byzantium has fewer options, and fewer ways to achieve the sort of religious synergy Theodora is meant for. Unwanted religious beliefs or beliefs that cannot tie into a specific strategy are functionally identical to not having this belief at all, and can even make the religion worse in certain cases.

    Byzantium essentially has to earn its UA through map-luck, and the longer this takes, the more likely this UA is to be incredibly weak.

    To make matters worse, Byzantium can be completely denied the use of its UA, especially on higher difficulties. Theodora effectively becomes a blank civ if she misses the chance to found a religion.

    Supporting Problems:
    The free Great Prophet genuinely comes too late in the tech tree to help Byzantium found a religion. It can help her enhance, but this is unhelpful and seems strange considering that her UA involves founding a religion, not enhancing one.

    The same is true of Byzantium's building.

    ####

    Suggestion #1
    Make the enhancement of a religion special, not founding the religion.

    Allow Byzantium to enhance ANY religion with special abilities that only Byzantium will get. If Theodora founds a religion, this functions as one would expect, but if she does not, then the first religion her cities adopt would get these beliefs tacked onto them, and the religion's founder would not.

    This addresses the depreciating value of religious beliefs by "Celting" her - she just has special beliefs no one else can get and can tack them onto any religion.

    Suggestion #2
    Allow Byzantium to conquer a Holy City and inherit the religion permanently, enhancing it after it has been hijacked. The opportunity cost between religion and military in the early game would then be interesting instead of panic-inducing.

    This does not address the depreciating value of "extra beliefs" which get nabbed by everyone else, but adds a fun, random element to the civ. It also synergizes with having city siege horsemen.

    Suggestion #3
    Give Byzantine specialists +1 faith, as per the Gandhi change being discussed. Change the Unique Temple accordingly. Or don't. Let her have fun-time amounts of faith. Tradition then becomes the choice for securing an early religion. With absurd amounts of faith, the depreciated value of not having all available choices becomes dampened. With that much faith, you can make far more beliefs viable for far more strategies.

    Suggestion #4
    Give Byzantium their extra belief upon founding a pantheon, and let their pantheon not get passively wiped, ala The Celts. This is pretty boring but could work.

    Suggestion #5
    Byzantium founds a religion when they found their second city (first on OCC), which is their holy city. This religion is always the same and can always be founded. No idea what the bonuses would be, but it can include an extra belief from the main pool.
     
  2. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Are you reading my mind? :)

    The Byzantines are getting a small facelift in the next patch.

    G
     
  3. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    That's great news! You rock. =)

    GIVE ME ALL THE DETAILS SO THAT I CAN OBSESS. o_o
     
  4. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Honestly I think Byzantium is totally fine now with the 400 faith prophets, if you beeline for philosophy you're going to get a religion pretty much every time.
    And more than 'pretty much every time' feels boring to me, no civ should have the advantage of a guaranteed religion, that's just silly honestly, you have to put some effort into something.
     
  5. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    The opportunity cost of bee-lining to that tech is enormous, and no other civ can get robbed of their UA entirely or bit by bit.
     
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    New UA:

     
  7. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    I assume that means the free prophet from philosophy is gone?
     
  8. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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  9. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Yes. The utility of the bonus is obsolete now that she's guaranteed a faith. While it may come off as cheese, I like the theme - Eastern Orthodoxy was a fairly late religion 'to the party' (compared to other global religions), so this actually allows Theodora to focus on other things aside from religion in the early game, as she can get a religion whenever she wants. Definitely unique.

    G
     
  10. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    While I feel the whole bonus religion (I'm guessing she isn't going to straight up hold a stop for religion in a game, that would be really unfair) I'm honestly not a big fan of letting her take beliefs that are already taken. I just don't like the concept of the same belief being present in two different religions, and founding a religion faster should still have some sort of benefit.
    Also honestly you can make a decent religion out of scrap, especially with an extra belief. This isn't like vanilla where (over) half the beliefs were crap.
     
  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    We'll try it, see how it goes. Who knows, you may like it. :)

    G
     
  12. Funak

    Funak Chieftain

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    Not likely. I have a pretty good idea about concepts and rarely change my mind when it comes to them. And allowing two of the same belief is really something I don't like.
     
  13. CunningGabe

    CunningGabe Chieftain

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    Looks interesting, Gazebo. I've had too many games where an AI-controlled Theodora has no religion at all.
     
  14. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Naw, I like this. I see where Funak is coming from, but at the same time, it's an incredibly powerful tool that removes everything that's wrong with Byzantium.

    She is rewarded for early religion by... having an early religion. Her UA has no more or less punishment than any other now, and that's how it needs to be. This is good. Before, her UA had punishment built into it, because other religious civs could leech power off of her. Whether or not you think a decent religion can be built using scraps (I really don't think this), there's no denying that potentially losing parts of your UA to an enemy was bad. It made her unique in a bad way, from a gameplay perspective.

    Questions:

    Will she be able to choose her pantheon redundantly with another civ?

    If she takes a belief first, is it gone from the pool for other civs?
     
  15. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Redundantly? Yes, all beliefs will be available for her. If she takes it, it is no longer open to anyone else.

    G
     
  16. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Fantastic! I can't wait. =)
     
  17. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes Chieftain

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    Sounds very very good!
     
  18. jacktannery

    jacktannery Chieftain

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    Great change - this was needed; and allows for some unique gameplay. Looking forward to play theodora now!
     
  19. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    I'm happy to give this a try, but I think making a religion from scraps is quite fun and would be good for Byzantium. If I can pick whatever beliefs I want then a) there is no reason to rush a religion (except getting bonuses sooner and denying them to my opponents, for which the former is true of everything in the game and the latter doesn't feel impactful) and b) I'm probably going to do 3 buildings and go for Sacred Sites every game. Even if I don't actually get Sacred Sites, 3 buildings + Piety is amazing.
     
  20. callmewoof

    callmewoof Chieftain

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    I agree that she needs the religion in order to make the UA function, but I hope that you aren't literally giving it to her. Example:

    Turn 2: A pantheon has been founded.
    Me: Screw you, India

    Please oh please don't tell me I'm going to see a turn 2 religion foundation. :cry:
     

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