States are not and never have been what drive religion, though. I'd like to see religion removed from something the player controls to something the player responds to. So you can set a state religion, decide to tolerate or persecute a religion, perhaps even reform a religion--but religion itself is at a level removed from the player's control. There's not really a space for a religious victory in that context. Civ6's handling of religion is, IMO, extremely dissatisfactory, and RV is responsible for at least 60% of that. I think the need for revision becomes especially apparent when exactly one religious civ in Civ6 actually founded its religion--Arabia. Christianity didn't originate in Georgia or Spain or Russia. Buddhism didn't originate with the Khmer or Japan. Hinduism didn't originate in Indonesia. Civ4 and Civ5 handled religion okay, but still with a lot of room for improvement.
Religion is based upon a kinda specific example of religions being founded in a country and quickly becoming a tool of the state to the point that we could say that the point founded it (Islam for Arabia, Confucianism for China for examples), just like the way civilizations expand are based upon the very specific examples of how European countries viewed cultures, conquest and civilization. They had to choose a way to simulate it, to abstract it in a fun and engaging way (because passivity is generally less fun that actively interacting), and this way is not bad.
But, yeah, they went too far IMO. I am really enjoying the customization side of religion, definitely. However, making it tedious AND a victory condition in itself was going perhaps too far. I think that a best religion would be a mix between Civ 4 and 5 :
- From Civ 4, we take the influence on diplomacy that having the same or different religions (with the possibility of taking some sort of secularism at some point);
- From Civ 5, the customization of the religion with several tenets, going with the shtick of building your own civilization.
In fact, I'm really enjoying how religion works in Humankind. Sure, this game has lots
of room for improvement, but I think religion is currently in a sweet spot. Everyone basically founds its religion, but needs followers to expand itself (so you're rewarded by propagating your religion, unlike in Civ 6), you can still customize it, and it is a part of the diplomacy, until you reach Secularism (you're immune from religious grievances) or even better, State Atheism, which is counted as a religion without bonus. This
way of handling religion is, IMO, perfect.
I agree with your general thoughts here. My own personal spin on Eurekas is that we need to get away from the locked Eurekas, because they become repetitive and, like you say, forces you into doing irrelevant things which kills immersion and adds a lot of micromanagement.
I would rather that technologies are grouped in broader pools based on their focus: Military, science, religion, economy, production, infrastructure, etc. And then Eurekas work such that doing an activity will have a small chance of triggering a Eureka towards the next technology related to that activity. So if you're in war, attacking a unit will have a small chance of giving you a Eureka towards the next military technology. When your workers build improvement, there will be a small chance of triggering the Eureka for an infrastructure technology, etc. This would mean that you would actually have more Eurekas in areas that you do a lot, which I think is much better than the current system. Also I think Eurekas need to be a lot rarer than the current "gotta catch them all" system.
The whole technology tree has to go. Seriously, it's a relic from the past, that's so narrow-minded, but it's traditionnal, so why change it?
I'd prefer a system ala Stellaris way more. You choose which techs you want to research from a pool of three proposed available techs (renewed each time you researched a tech). Each tech has some weight of appearing in this specific pool, and some elements might influence it (like, previously researched techs, your own ethics, some resources discovered...). It is a much satisfying blend of the random nature of scientific research and some control for the player to not be at the mercy of the RNG gods.
If it were me, the system of techs would be entirely redesigned. We have to
get out of this outdated tech trees. Having each "tech" with a chance of being randomly discovered each turn (a very small chance). Those chances increases if you have enough intellectuals/scholars/researchers in your empire, and based upon other elements, like environmental (bigger chances to discover sailing or fishing if settle near water, bigger chances to discover sailing if you discover fishing, etc...). Linking the probability of discovery of one tech to other, previous techs, could maintain some sort of the "tech tree" for those who really want it, but... We also have to get out of our European single minded tech progression. Like, you don't need to discover the wheel to know how to use money. Or you could even discover the Steam Engine during the Antiquity, but without mass metallurgy, coal, or even the economic necessity of using it (because you have much cheaper slaves), it won't help you that much.
JUST. GET. RID. OF. THE. TECH. TREE!!!!