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Byzantium

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

  1. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Great idea. Since we already done GW with Japan earlier. I am already imagining how fun will this challenge be. Please make this next challenge.
     
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  2. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    Or GPTI + GW + Embassies + Great Admirals to cover all GP
     
  3. peterw1987

    peterw1987 Prince

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    Except that it is very hard to calculate all the tile.
     
  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  5. Grabbl

    Grabbl Prince

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    The challenge will come, with approximately the Paramecium task (+ perhaps CppMaster) probably. I'm waiting for the next version, then we're ready to go.
     
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Organizing my thoughts after having completed my game with Byzantium on the 5/30 patch. I'm not a fan of the new bonuses to Byzantium. This is a continuation of a conversation from the Spain thread, where we were talking about the historicity of some civ's UAs. In my opinion, Byzantium's UA is the single worst example of poor historicity in a UA. It's more like a tech demo of the game's religion mechanics than a reference to history.

    Here is Gazebo's counterargument, so you don't have to go looking:
    It's my understanding that the term 'byzantine' refers primarily to their administration, not to religious matters. The neoplatonism and constant back-and-forth between Aryans, Chalcedonians, Myaphysites, etc. certainly could be seen as a diverse, though the diversity of thought in Constantinople is still a fraction of the mess that modern Protestantism has made.

    To be a little more structure in my criticisms:
    1) historicity is a bit lacking for Byzantium's kit. See above.

    2) There's already lots of GP-focused civs. Korea, Japan, Arabia, Austria, Maya, Babylon. It was my impression that Byzantium was supposed to be a generalist faith civ, so why are they getting funneled onto a specific type of religious play?

    3) The faith discount is a) too much like India's GProphets discount, and b) too focused on capitalizing on 2 specific beliefs: 'To the Glory of God' and 'Zealotry'. A secondary focus of multiple faith buildings for even more faith sinks as well. The bonuses feel restrictive.

    4) Too much synergy with the Fealty opener. The fealty tree opens with a 25% faith discount and unlocks monasteries as a faith purchase. This adds up to 40% discounts on all faith purchases, and another easy faith sink for Byzantium's monstrous faith production. There is relatively little else of value in the tree for Byzantium, especially if you are going for a GP focus, so the Fealty tree feels incredibly front-loaded. Just put 1 point in Fealty and the rest in Artistry.

    Alternative secondary bonus: Antemurale Christiantatis : +1:c5strength: City Defense in all cities for every Foreign City following your religion.

    Reasoning:
    1) Less restrictive than faith discounts and GP purchases. Spreading is always good, even if you don't have a religion that benefits directly from lots of followers. Some beliefs, specifically founders, would benefit more than other, but it's not nearly as restrictive as the current bonus.

    2) No other civ focuses on maximizing religious spread as a core strategy. Ethiopia probably comes closest, but their kit just rewards rushing down reformation as fast a possible, with no long-term benefit.

    3) Historically relevant. Byzantium held against Persian, Arab and Turkic invaders for a millenium, acting as a bulwark for their Christian brethren. This is typified by the nigh-impregnable Theodosian walls.
     
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  7. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    Good idea, however, I would change +1:c5strength: CS to +1 GAP in all cities to have an impact all the time, not just when defending.
     
  8. Chandler

    Chandler Warlord

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    +1 :c5goldenage: in ALL cities for every Foreign City following your religion? As much as I love Golden Ages... Wouldn't it be a bit too much for a "secondary" ability? With 10 cities, and another 20 following your religion (not that hard with Byzantium), you'd get +200 :c5goldenage: each turn. This, of course, if the ability had a cap somewhere. If it wouldn't, it could scale up to ridiculous levels in huge maps.

    As pineappledan said, I prefer a defensive proposal. At least, from a thematic perspective. Though I'm not sure about how useful would that actually be. Also, it's not as if it'd change the way you currently play with Byzantium. I mean, with a strong religion and tons of faith to expend, you'll want to spread it, anyway, so the defensive bonus seems like an icing on the cake more than a particular approach of playing with that civ.

    However, If we came up with an ability that rewarded you for having more effective defenses... That would be a different thing. Though this wouldn't be much different from Japan's UA (which kinda gives priority to all of the defensive buildings).

    Not sure if we can still make these kind of changes or the leaders' abilities are already locked for the most part.
     
  9. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    I don't see the point. Sure, it's not historically accurate, but most civs are inaccurate. +1 CS per city would get broken pretty fast, and after your bonus was 20+ CS per city you'd be too hard to conquer. It also pushes you into the spreader direction while at least the current Zealotry route means you don't really want your religion outside of your borders. I prefer the current UA.
     
  10. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    You're right. It would be better if you'd get like +3 GAP in capitol for every Foreign City following your religion so it's not broken.
     
  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Imperial history is what I do for a living. You can’t separate Byzantine administration from Byzantine religious policy - they operated interdependently, especially because of the patriarchate’s role in judgeship within the faith.

    In any case, as I said, they’re not a candidate for change.

    G
     
  12. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    This and Spain seem like perfect opportunities for a historical accuracy modmod. I think they're golden right now, no need to rock the boat in the main edition.
     
  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Byzantium is the civ that was changed most recently, and few people have tried the change so far.

    I am reporting that the change has had a negative impact on how the civ plays. See points 2-4 of my post.

    I’m not sure why Byzantium wouldn’t be up for change when I am giving results on the newest changes to it. The new changes create more issues than they solve. You asked us to play through a game before having a knee jerk reaction to the change, and I can confirm that I, for one, don’t think the new bonuses have solved anything. Indeed, they have created entirely new problems.

    Hell, Even reverting the changes back to the older version of the UA would be preferable, in my opinion
     
  14. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    So would Zulu get -66% all yields (-99% Science) in the mod? They didn't even fully research Ancient Era when others were in Industrial.

    But why? It helped both playstyles of Byzantium. Even before change, there were two major ways - you either go expansive and conquesty, or you focus on founder beliefs and go tall/GP focused. Now, the GP focus is stronger, but the ability to spam units also is, especially considering Cataphract got a sizeable buff around the same time. I don't see the problem, really. The idea of +1 CS/GAP/anything per foreign convert would force one into one way of playing way more than the current one as if you went wide and conquesty, you wouldn't benefit. You'd be more encouraged to go tall.
     
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  15. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Did someone say EU4? I feel like I heard EU4. :p
     
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  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    "Both playstyles", right, all 2 of em.

    There are at least 4 strategies which are mutually exclusive. Maybe 5 if you consider 3/4 UC
    - Zealotry domination
    - GP expend instant yields focus and faith purchase GPs
    - stacking yields on missionary spread
    - passive Culture Victory with faith buildings and sacred sites
    - Progress city spam, with focus on happiness and yields per follower beliefs
    - 3/4 UC only - Maximize yields from WLTKD and go tall.

    The new bonus only benefits the first 2 strategies in any meaningful way. To the Glory of God is so synergistic at this point it would almost be a crime NOT to take it. It's my opinion that the bare minimum that could be done is to lock GPs from 'To the Glory of God' at industrial, even if policy unlocks can come earlier for Byzantium.

    3rd missionary spread was returned to the game. The extra byzantium bonuses were given at a time when people were freaking about about how Churches had been changed, so missionary spread was less viable. I honestly think that Byzantium only ever got that second bonus because people were reacting to the Church nerf. Now they have this buff and 3rd spread is back, which was another indirect byzantium buff. Some of the beliefs got slightly buffed as well, but that was minor
    I don't agree that adding what is essentially a weaker version of a founder belief would tilt Byzantium overly into a new strategy. Even with wide, peaceful play, city defense would help control crime. And an offensive play would allow you to capitalize on your city's strength immediately on capturing new ones, or make forward settling less risky.
    On the contrary, I think that many of the civs have made wonderfully inventive use to highlight distinct aspects of many of the cultures. In particular, I think America, India, Celts, Morocco, England, China, and Aztecs have stellar UAs. @Gazebo put a lot of thought and care into some of the UAs, and it shows. The really good UAs, however, can serve to highlight some of the lacking ones.
    "keeping you religion to yourself", I would say, is actively anti-historical. Christianity doesn't keep to itself; it's not Hinduism. Remember when a shared religion was the basis for a continent-wide call to action to support Byzantine forces?

    A cap of 20 cities is standard, so that would be A-OK by me. I think that 20CS is strong, but it's a good reward, and I think that actively working to contain Byzantium's religion so as to make them less formidable on defense would be an interesting mini-game, which would also feel quite historically relevant as well.

    EDIT: I would also point out that, as the only civ with a guaranteed religion, Byzantium is the only civ for which a UA based on religion spread is even tenable. It would be a shame not to take advantage of that fact.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  17. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    But they do benefit to a comparable degree? Sacred Sites tactic will make you expend less Faith because of the -15% cost so you can get the Tourism much faster (potentially earlier access to Musician from Artistry) and get Sacred Sites reformation earlier, stacking yields on missionary spread should be good considering yours will cost -15% less, Progress city spam benefits the least but it can convert it's own cities easier and at a smaller cost and this peaceful tactic seems a bit weird considering an aggressive Authority Byzantium does exactly the same thing while stopping others from benefitting from its UA more easily. All of them are also having the GP from their ancient/classical tree come earlier. I just don't see it, sorry. Yes, typical Tradition/Authority probably got the most of a buff, but other subtypes still got a lot in almost the same quantity.

    I don't agree you're forced to take Glory of God by the way. If I go authority, there's Crusader Spirit. Tons of free Culture/Gold and CS% is nice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  18. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Well, just go try it for yourself. I tried it, I got my reformation belief up by 2nd tech in medieval, and I pumped out GPs every 5 turns afterwards for 2 full eras. It felt downright dirty. I can’t possibly be the only one to have given Byzantium a shot in the past month since the Borobudur and Byz changes, can I?

    And no, they absolutely do not stack to a comparable degree. At best, they save you a turn or two of set-up at the beginning. 15% :c5faith: discount does not make much difference if all you need is 800:c5faith: to get 4 faith buildings which all generate :c5faith: on their own. I didn't even go that route in my last game, and by early renaissance I had >300:c5faith: PER TURN. Giving the civ with the single highest :c5faith: generation in the game a further 15% :c5faith: purchase discount is completely overstacked.

    By mid-medieval, you are desperate for a hole to throw all your faith generation into. The only 2 beliefs which facilitate that are GP purchase and unit purchase. If you have zealotry, you don't need to the glory of god, because you have a faith sink

    EDIT: once again, I will reiterate. It has been more than a month since this change, and I’m the only one who has reported back on a playthrough. I cant productively debate these changes with a gaggle of armchair theorists.

    Go play new Byzantium. Until then, I have made my report, and I suggest 5 possible changes:
    1. Scrap the new bonuses entirely and walk away.
      • The AI can't plan and exploit Byzantium like a human can. That's just what it is. If it doesn't test well in AI games it doesn't mean the civ is broken. Unless you are designing this game specifically so robots can play it without human interaction, then "This is a solution looking for a problem".
    2. Scrap the 15% :c5faith: discount and increase base Basilica faith to 4:c5faith:
      • If Byzantium needs more faith then give them more faith; don't step on India's toes. Pure :c5faith:generation is Byzantium’s jam.
      • The 15% discount synergizes too well with fealty opener
    3. Hard-lock 'To the Glory of God' so Byzantium can’t abuse it before industrial
    4. Think of a different secondary UA bonus
    5. Think of a different non-UA bonus; buff the UB or UU instead:
      • make basilica purchaseable with faith, like Mission, so it can be used to sink faith, and buff sacred sites
      • restore Cataphract back to the full 4 moves
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  19. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I think the best thing is to simply lock the GPs from purchase to be limited to whatever your policy tree gives you, as pineappledan says, and then be done with that. To the Glory of God is already powerful enough when limited to Industrial anyway. There are enough Faith sinks and ways to enjoy Byzantium otherwise.
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    For future consideration, telling another player their argument is invalid because they haven't played the civ is built on the presumption that the only logical outcome is yours if one plays the civ. I don't think that's fair.

    G
     

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