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CEG Religion

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Kivin, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    I'm wondering if Religion has been put to discussion very thoroughly since BNW? I don't like it as much as un-modded BNW. I'd like to be able to elaborate on why (once I put my finger on it myself) and what I think should be done about it, but I'd first like to see any relevant discussions on the matter first.
     
  2. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Couple thoughts to maybe isolate the problems.

    1) Are we talking religion sans the piety tree, just the beliefs and spread mechanics?
    2) Are we talking the spending of faith points, costs, accumulation, and the value of objects to spend on?
    3) Are we talking about the interaction of piety with a religion?
     
  3. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    If we isolate to those kinds of questions

    1) I think the spread works okay, but missionaries are basically useless for the cost now. Some of the beliefs changes I don't care for but by and large, beliefs are okay on value where they often were not in vanilla.

    2) There's a big problem here now in spending because of changes to the classification of some beliefs that it essentially locks out spending points on faith except for prophets for large portions of the game (unless you take the piety tree). This can make faith accumulation boring rather than something you had use for after acquiring a religion.

    3) See above #2.
     
  4. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    I'm not talking about the policies or spread specifically. Religion just doesn't feel as good in CEG as it does in BNW. I'm not happy with my ability to purchase with faith, accumulate faith, my choices in beliefs- it all comes together in to a somewhat incoherent system.

    I wish that I had a reference guide of the beliefs from Vanilla and CEG in front of me. I've been happy with my Pantheon choices, but pretty disappointed with the founder/follower/enhancer/bonus belief pools. They feel like they don't have enough selection of good options. It's not the tuning of individual beliefs that bothers me; I think "I wouldn't want this even if it's effect were increased."

    In particular I remember the reformation belief choices being especially meh. If I'm going that deep in to the Piety tree, I want my bonus belief to feel extremely powerful on the world stage of religion. The beliefs which boost spread range, speed, and give bonuses to missionaries and prophets, in particular, should be available here, I think. When I invest in to religion at the expense of other good policy choices, I want to feel like I have a distinct advantage against other religions.

    I think the cost of missionaries needs to be brought down. I'm okay with them not being extremely powerful if they can at least be spammed more. I think in my last modern era game, they cost something like 1k each? That's outrageous. It gives me positively no reason to buy them instead of a great person.

    I know there's been some feedback in other threads about the piety tree itself, so I wont beat that one to death. I'm generally happy with the -% purchase cost, happy from buildings, and bonus prophet. The rest is kinda "meh." Also the great prophet policy is really strong in the early game (guaranteed religion) but very weak in the late game, and its early purchase gives thousands of years of no discernible effect. Could we work on that?
     
  5. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I generally agree. The high cost of missionaries, the nerfs to some of the better founder beliefs (like ceremonial burial) and the fact that many of the better beliefs have all been moved to the Piety finisher means that faith in general is not really very rewarding. It isn't worth building shrines and temples and trying to found a religion unless you go heavily into the Piety tree - which isn't the case for other mechanics and other trees (you can go heavily into military without Honor, you can go for Wonders without Tradition, you can expand without Liberty, you can get city states without Patronage, etc.).
     
  6. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    I noticed some spreadsheets in the git repo. Has anyone made a spreadsheet of the default and modded beliefs?
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I think the default beliefs in BNW are also too weak; many of the mod's beliefs are still an improvement.
     
  8. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I can look into some kind of reference for belief changes. We haven't updated the wiki page in a while, mostly because there were changes galore in progress and it wasn't clear yet what was going to work and what wasn't. That was then. I'll start looking over things more. The big one though was shifting around some as follower/founder/reformation beliefs. As I recall, this was not popular at the time for some of the reasons that are outlined.

    Other than the missionary cost, most of this actually stems from changes to the piety tree anyway from the sound of it. I think the missionary cost increase was to decrease missionary spam by the AI, but I had thought there were limits on how many they could have at once (which means instead they end up with lots of great prophets for conversion, particularly with the current piety-reformation setup).
     
  9. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

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    I have been wondering why prophets and missionaries have a limited number of uses. We have the same tired old worker around after 4000 years, but a missionary dies after spreading religion a few times. Would it make more sense to give them unlimited conversions, but they take time to do their job? Kind of like a spy- the longer you leave them in a city the longer they exert religious pressure. This could also remove the concern with having annoying religious units wandering all over the map.

    So tl:dr- why not make missionaries and inquisitors placed in cities like spies? The great prophets can still be units to make tile improvements/found religions.

    One other thing on passive religion spread- maybe make it enhanced by the presence of religious buildings and more strongly enhanced by having a road connection?
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Right, but this was the wrong approach to take. If the problem was that there weren't enough useful things to spend faith on, then the answer is to add more things to spend faith on, not to increase the cost of the one thing you can spend faith on, because that messes up the benefit-cost relationship. Missionaries just aren't that good once a city already has many religious followers. Hundreds of faith, to add maybe 2-3 followers?

    So faith ends up being devalued.

    I'm not sure that these are technically feasible.
     
  11. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    A couple of things about the different ways religion spreads to keep in mind is spies "can" have an input in pushing the faith on the city they are in.
    Also trade routes also can have an influence in spreading the religion to those cities you trade with. Conversely they have a limiting factor on opponents' religions if you both are trading with the same city.

    Once again, a salient point is made.
     
  12. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    That may be the case. I'm not really sure which beliefs seem uninteresting to me because they're under-tuned, and which ones just don't have interesting/relevant effects for my desired win condition, civilization, or play style.

    I think the next game I play I'll screenshot the belief screens then put them in text later. I'll add that here, or somewhere for documentation purposes and to better facilitate discussions.

    I'm actually more unhappy about the beliefs than the piety tree, though piety isn't blameless.
    Is AI missionary spam really something that we're concerned about? Of course I wasn't around for that discussion, but why is that a bad thing? And how many missionaries could they possibly squeeze out, and is there any reason that the AI can spawn them faster than a human?

    I've never heard of spies interacting with the faith system. Even for Arabia, the trade system is a weak way to spread religion. In my last game, Spain and I (Arabia) were fighting over the hearts and minds of the Japanese, whom were situated in between us. Isabella had the "+25%/50% religious pressure (with printing press)" belief and was city spamming and my trade routes absolutely could not compete.

    True, sometimes I was out-pressuring her, but by so little that it would take an entire age to flip the city.

    I think we need all the religion spreading beliefs in the reformation belief pool. That includes +pressure, +pressure range, and all beliefs which buff prophets and missionaries. This way when you've invested 5 points in piety, you're declaring to the world "I mean to be a leader in religion." This will give incentive to finish the policy tree instead of cherry picking, and comes with the benefit of being able to out-religion more casually religious civs and be competitive with the more serious ones.
     
  13. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Only international trade routes; I don't believe there is anything that would let religion spread faster along road or harbor connections.

    Another issue:
    Many of the pantheons have become very powerful - so pantheons can be stronger than follower beliefs.

    I agree that it might be really helpful to have the current design in front of us to discuss.

    I never really found it a problem, but some people thought it was visually cluttered.
    I'm not sure whether the AI got faith generation bonuses from difficulty or not (which might increase the number it produced). But I think part of what was annoying to players was that the AI was perfectly happy to pour all its faith into missionaries and great prophets to spread its religion widely, even at no particular benefit to itself but to the frustration of the human player, rather than actually spending the faith productively.
    Which suggests another solution - is there a way to change flavors to have some AIs focus more on trying to get religious buildings or other faith purchases?

    This is an interesting approach. I think I'd be ok with that. Leave the religious buildings in follower/enhancement pools, but put the spreaders into the reformation pool.
     
  14. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    Actually, what I had in mind was having the spreaders in enhancement(?) and in reformation. That way, dedicated civs who invest 5 points in to piety and found a religion early can get a distinct advantage to spreading. It'd place more emphasis on finishing a social tree, and maybe make your religion feel stronger than others'. As for the buildings, on the other hand, I don't know. I've literally only ever bought pagodas because the happy is so strong.

    I think I'd be okay with the buildings being in any pool, or a combination thereof. They might make good competition for the spreaders, giving choices of inner strength versus outer strength.
     
  15. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Perhaps I should have worded my statements better, sorry.

    Spies only exert a limited pressure once you take the belief "Underground Sect"
    Trade is only 'useful' in international routes, as @Ahriman pointed out. When the trade route selection screen is open you will see the influence of the dominant religion(s) on both cities, yours and theirs. This is useful when you have bonuses from the World Religion and any other modifiers such as that.
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    You mean multiple copies of the same belief? Mixing the various beliefs between the two?
    I'm not sure either is a good idea; I don't think any one religion should be able to get 2 of the best spreaders (eg 30% longer distance and +33/50% spread rate).

    One thing that could be done is to move away some of the spreaders that are founder beliefs. I think founder beliefs should be about benefiting you from the spread of a religion, not helping you spread it. If you spend your founder slot on helping to spread, then there's not much value in actually spreading the religion.
     
  17. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    That's what I meant, yes. I can see how "double-dipping" in spreaders could be overwhelmingly powerful, but the whole point of filling in Piety instead of, say, Honor, is to have a stronger religious presence than your competitors (in my opinion).

    It's a valid argument that +% spread rate & +% spread distance combined might give an unfair advantage. What if we put those two beliefs ("Itinerant Preachers", "Religious Texts") in the Enhancement pool as normal, but placed all the others in both pools. For clarity, that includes:

    • Missionaries and Inquisitors cost X% less faith.
    • Prophets X% stronger and earned with X% less faith.
    • Missionary conversion strength +X%.
    • Religion spreads to friendly City-States at double rate.
    • Gain X faith each time a Great Person is expended.
    • Missionaries' Spread Religion action erodes existing pressure from other religions.*
    • Your spies exert religious pressure on the cities the occupy.
    • Inquisitors and Prophets reduce this religion's presence by half (instead of eliminating it).*
    * These ones seem particularly strong and might want to be limited to one pool only.

    I would also whole-heartedly endorse moving any spread-related beliefs to only enhancement/reformation.
     
  18. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I'm not sure.
    I think it could be very confusing to have cloned beliefs in multiple pools. The belief screen, which lists all the beliefs for various religions, already gets quite crowded.
    I guess I also find most of those beliefs to be quite weak.

    I think think the main problem with religion is that a lot of the founder beliefs are too weak, and so spreading the religion isn't really that valuable. If founder beliefs were solid, then maybe a strategy of really concentrating on religion spread with belief picks and faith expenditures would seem more profitable.

    I'd agree with this.
     
  19. Kivin

    Kivin Chieftain

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    I'm not sure I agree that it'd be confusing. Also, how would any of these changes affect the world religion's belief screen? (I agree that it's an atrocious thing to look at, but allowing it to limit the development of the game's religion is a bit dubious.)

    As for weak beliefs, somebody needs to be re-tuning them so they're better.

    I've always imagined that religion should be a powerful game mechanic. After all, culture (policies), trade (gold), and so on are. One of the first and most common ways I used religions is to pick Tithe and spread as much as possible for the big gold payout. I had a recent game where my income was doubled due to diligent spreading - something like +300g/turn in the indy era. I was able to fund a serious industrial army of my religion's tithing.

    However, there were few or no serious contender AIs with high religion flavours. Had there been, my religion would have been much less useful. I would have wanted to be able to pick from two serious spread beliefs in order to assert myself as the dominant religion.
     
  20. Dunkah

    Dunkah Emperor

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    Is it possible to make Missionaries increase pressure. Really this is what they do in real life anyway.

    So if the city has no religious pressure and has no religion currently you use up one of your "Spread Missions". Once you use all of those your Missionary pops just like now. Or if the city has a religeon currently you move your missionary into the area and park him there for a big increase in pressure.

    Gives the missionary a boost. Reason to purchase.

    Make that pressure cummulative and you could keep a holy city down even!

    I think a good way to spend faith is to allow trading of Faith. x amount of faith to a Civ for a donation. Could represent Peace Corps types.... Home building Volunteers etc.

    How about allowing Missionaries the chance to build Monuments, Cathedrals or Pagodas etc costing so many turrns and so many faith?
     

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