Gods & Kings - (Late Night) Thread of Ideas, complaints and suggestions


Gods & Emperors
Apr 23, 2003
First, let me say the expansion is amazing. I'm nearing the end of my first full game now. Instead of making a new thread for each of these, I thought I might as well centralize them. For the past four days I've been going to bed at 1am and waking up at 6 because of this game. Good job Firaxis, Ed, the team and the Frankenstein testers.

Some will be late night ramblings, others will hopefully be insightful. Note also this is impressions of my first game on an easier than usual difficulty.

Impression: Seems a little bare bones despite all the hype. Once my spy is in their capital, If I have a tech lead, all they can do is passively wait for tips about enemy plans.
I have no problem with passive espionage, but combined with complaints about tech stealing being possibly overpowered in some situations here are some suggestions.

  • Adjust move time between 1-5 turns based on distance of your capital and theirs.
  • Add layered espionage within the capital. For example, recruit spies can only infiltrate a low level government job where as higher ranking spies can infiltrate the inner circles of government.
  • The recruit will report more basic information, the veteran will report more details, and news feed information.
  • Allow optional 'news feed' that drips back interesting anecdotes about AI leaders. Caesar threw a fit after he was denounced? Theodora traded for those truffles because of her pet. etc. These will be canned form stories over a trade deal, DoF, denouncement, DoW, espionage etc. written with fill in the blanks to fill in the leader name
  • Intrigue screen should be more than a log of notifications. I should include a graphical view of the web of relations similar to the diplomacy screen in Civ3 or infoaddict mod
  • Allow players to find out AI attitude/approach towards each other through espionage and put this in the intrigue screen; also show who is trading with whom, plus basic summary of public deals like War,RAs, DoF and denouncements.
  • There should be a way to conduct spy vs spy missions in city states when two civs are trying to rig elections.
  • Humans should get a notification if their pacts of secrecy/plotting against a civ is discovered (see next section).

Impression: Much more stable and this is coming from someone who liked/understood vanilla's diplomacy. I particularly like the expiring penalties and the self renewing deals. Also friends tend to ignore negative modifiers. However, it still feels a bit like being taken for too much of a ride sometimes rather than being in control. Here are some ideas.

  • Allow symmetry for intrigue (X plotting against Y) for both human and AI by adding back pacts of secrecy so the AI can find out who the human player is plotting against and act/behave accordingly.
  • There appears to be a bug where if you convert an AI's holy city and promise not to do it again, natural spread of your religion into their territory counts as you breaking your word, even though you have no control over that
  • Allow players to mention to AI city-states of contention. The AI will sometimes (I've only seen it once) mention a certain city-state is considered under their sphere of influence, yet the human can't do the same, and the AI for the most part do no tell the human players this (perhaps friends only?)
  • For the post Renaissance re-alignment, allow a notification where players notifies the world (similar to an event notification) that they intended to follow order/autocracy or Freedom BEFORE they switch to that SP.
  • AI will then feedback to players. Friends will agree/disagree, enemies may extend an olive branch, giving players a chance to preview the coming world order. AI's will do the same, allowing players to agree or disagree.
  • This also creates a first mover advantage and adds that as a dimension in terms that is clear for people to see. The first Civ to pick one of the 3 SP could well bring enough substantial sized Civs for the other Civs to have no choice but to follow down that path or risk alienating friends or civs that matter. This also opens the flavour for the true pariah civs to go it alone and stick it to the big boys.

Impressions: Very neat and unique. I like the pressure system, I am very OCD fighting the encroachment of christianity into my lands and I'm really fighting a losing battle there. But I still don't fully understand a lot of things, so my ramblings may include things with obvious answers or mechanics I don't completely understand.

  • It seems kind of strange that where as espionage is completely menu driven, religion is very OCD in that you have missionaries, prophets and inquistors
  • I think there's a place of macro level 'policy' to affect religion beyond just bonuses (player choices should be able to affect how a religion spreads, slow the spread of others, and even diplomacy)
  • There should be an option for players to issue edicts that target certain religions in their empire and allied city states. This reduces spread of said religion in those lands but incurs a diplomatic penalty for civs following that religion
  • Conversely, there should also be edits that encourage the spread of certain religions.
  • Both should be tied to having Piety SP open
  • Players going down rationalism will not be able to issue edicts on specific religion but may issue anti-religious edicts that slow the spread of ALL religions , or tolerate all religions (status quo)
  • What is the significance of the fall of a holy city? I took the Christian holy city, and demolished their followers. Within 5 turns, due to intense pressure for conversion, the city was Christian again...
  • The religious war mechanic I'm not seeing. So we can purchase holy warriors with faith, but with 10 civs on a large map, 6 religions is still far too many. Most of the civs that matter have their own and diplomacy is pretty much about the side competition on converting as many cities/city states as possible. Allowable religions should be less than 6 for a 10 Civ map. Perhaps 4 or as few as 3.
  • Before the Renaissance all Civs should be able to declare Holy War, if they have a religion (even if not their own); cities captured during a Holy war will have an option outside of annex/puppet of eradicating the religion in that city or to tolerate it. Eradication incurs diplomatic hit or bonus depending on what religion the AI has and the city stays on revolt even longer and incurs extra unhappiness during that period.
  • After the Renaissance, Civs with an active Piety branch and Theocracy SP can delcare holy war. Civs not on piety or lacking theocracy can no longer declare a Holy War.

That's it for now. More as I play.
All very interesting feedback. :goodjob:

The espionage ideas seem more like they'd add flavour than anything overly useful, wouldn't you say? Would that be their aim, or do you think they would be quite powerful?

The diplomatic aspect of religion is probably not evident because the modifiers are really low, particularly when compared with espionage. Same deal with the late game social policies. This requires balancing.


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Yes, I think half of my espionage suggestions/appoarach to it is simply giving it more flavour. The news feed idea is more inspired from the fake news in Sim City. Though I think having the spies report back that an AI leader is upset over game events may make it more immediate for players.

I do also think that this is a good opportunity to bring some of the infoaddict stuff into the espionage screen. AI have different attitudes toward each other which infoaddict reports. I don't see why spies can't find out for us what our ally Rameses think of world leaders.

As for religion, I think people would be more frustrated if the religion modifiers are too high.

6 religions for a 10 civ game seems high for me. In mine, 1 of the 4 civs who did not found their own was also knocked out of the game entirely. So 9 civs, 6 with their own religion. (unless Im remembering the # of religions wrong. 6 seems like the correct #)

Based on my first game and a partial test game on launch day I would say religion fees somewhat like picking a train at the terminal but once you pick your ride your not really in control of it anymore. I'm not sure if I want Civ4 level of control, I quite like the pressure system, but perhaps having players adopt a state religion seperate from the founding aspect would be interesting. This way, if i found 1 religion but decides to follow another because it has benefits, I can do that. I have control.

The choice will also affect how my old religion spreads and how the adopted religion spreads. I'm fine with putting hard limits of how many turns it takes before people can declare and official religion, or tie it to a piety SP or a technology. But I think having some control over that, before dealing with the diplomatic modifiers, is crucial, especially if the plan is to make religion more significant diplomatically after patching.
So Madjinn and LouisXXIV comments in this thread about the place of cities in trades sparked this idea:

Noting that capitulation is something in the Civ5 AI and the AI will often give you everything when it is losing, here is something I think will make diplomacy more interesting.

Instead of giving you everything but their capital or half their empire (depending on circumstances and how badly they are losing) peace negotiations should be more focused.

large lump sum, gpt, or cities should be on the menu but not all 3 together. Obviously, the bigger the capitulation the more you get. But this also creates a hierarchy of sorts gold < cities < resource cities < core cities

These are then neogitated through several rounds. Once peace lock is open, the first round is always the cheapest route to peace, most likely a small gpt or lump sum payment, whichever is less. If that offer is not suitable, continue inflicting damage until the 2nd round is open, in which case a larger gpt or lump sum is offered. If that fails, the 3rd round is opened. Once you get to 3rd it's time to negotiate which cites which can range from 1 to a few. But never all of them or most of the AI's cities.

Other than cities, there can even be an option in the 3rd round to tie the foreign policy of the capitulating civs to the winner. Like a defense pact in reverse, but they declare war or force peace with city states and other civs based on the winner's diplomatic standing. The deal lasts for 30 turns.

This should limit some of the incredible windfalls and late game gambits that some players try to pull on the AI, exploiting its capitulation coding.

Depending on how the war is going, it should be allowable to hit 3 rounds of negotiations in 3 turns.

Peace deals then effectively becomes a negotiation between 2 parties and causus belli can be more nuanced. Perhaps the human player was just minding his own business and may be tempted for the quick cash. Or may choose to negotiate for a city at the peace table.

This can also add a diplomatic dimension. Cities the AI gives up in peace terms will be part of a diplo modifier and coudl cause future tensions. If the programmers can implement this, it would also be possible to retrofit that into wars generally where the AI may identify cities theyve lost to someone else as causus belli and do it in a coherent diplomatic language.

I think this negotiated approach is much more in tune with Civ5's philosophy than mass conversion of an entire empire into puppet cities.
note: I didn't mean that cities couldn't be traded in peace deals. They just shouldn't be sold.

Yep I understood that point. :) I think that discussion was just a starting point for the wholesale trading of cities when AI capitulate as many of them do end up getting sold. It's just a tangential thing, hence I decided not to post it in that thread.
Ok here are a few issues I have.

#1) Suicidal GG

This is a war where Rome Sneak Attacked me after pretending to be friendly. His changes were slim. Modern airforce but his land units were a generation behind.

GG had an escort (i just killed it), but he was infront of the attack allowing me to kill him right away, not behind even though there were no units infront of the GG for the area of effect to work on. Shouldn't the GG stay back abit?

Regardless of the odds of Rome's chances of successfully pulling off his offensive, having the GG around longer would make it longer to kill them all off.

#2) Suicidal Airforce

I have Neapolis surrounded. I would take it the next turn. AI had 3 bombers stationed and was their primary airforce base.

Instead of rebasing his airforce further back to continue harassing my forces the next turn, he moves a cannon in. Allowing me to kill the 3 bombers and his cannon.

The tactic isn't unreasonable but is the AI aware how badly outmatched he is?

#3) AI alternate capitals can still be puppets

OK, I thought this would be fixed by now :(
Weekend thoughts after my 3rd full game

  • My initial impression holds. 'Fun' elements like insider information on useful aspects of a rival/friend's performance would be interesting.
  • These would be written like news headlines and deal with issues ranging from level of empire happiness and diplomatic interactions with other leaders
  • Reporting diplomatic interactions with other leaders would provide a much needed symmetry in intrigue. So if you go to a leader to try to bribe them to go to war, there is a chance a spy will find out about the plot. The chance shouldn't be high, or humans will simply opt out, but it should be low enoug that the risk/reward factor would be enticing to humans.
  • AI's coup'ing your CS allies is really really annoying the influence loss is crippling if your not cash rich and is a middle power who need that luxury/food or CS culture buff. They need to patch this somehow. It's nice that the AI can do it, but being left with no recourse is a problem. There should be diplomatic interactions around coups, and there should be a low cost way for the person who lost the CS ally to throw a hail mary counter-coup that will win their city back. Right now, it's a crapshoot for spies and a money sink
  • I do like that espionage is such a scare resource you have to think long and hard where you plant them.
  • Tech stealing and this potential stuff is too opaque. I plant my spies in '5 star' potential cities. Tooltip says Berlin is generating over 9,000 potential but It will take me 80 turns to steal a teach. I'm still not entirely clear on how this is calculated, but there has to be a clearer way for players to spend the 4 turns (in standard speed - 1 for moving, 3 for surveillance) to quickly find out if there are any techs to steal on the 4th turn there and if so how many techs ie: 1 only, more than 1, more than 5 etc. Not too specific, but more information than what we have now.


  • AI seems bugged that when city bombard kills a unit, the defending ranged unit will not use its move. It's possible it did use it and I just missed the animation AND the damage my units took, but i've seen it enough to think it may be related to the observed City-State defender bug where a melee defender (not a ranged unit) who runs into their city to boost the city's strength never manages to heal as it it's spending it's movement points each turn and that prevented it from healing. It then gets picked off and killed in a few turns as soon as it leaves the city. Makes no sense to me. Unit inside a city not doing anything should heal to full.
  • Combat is generally much improved and I like losing units and feeling through strategic options for war, rather than it simply being setting up artillery and blowing everything away.
  • Holy fudging crap. England Longbow > Gatling > MG upgrade path is insane. MG with 2 tile range can mow down an army. I've never had much interest in playing England before but after watching the AI use that Longbow promotion against me, I want to play them now. The improved naval stuff is just cake. I would actually recommend the AI be tweaked even more to favour building and preserving longbows even more and pursue Industrialization/Ballistics and deploy gatling/machine gun rushes adjusting AI war strategy accordingly. Can you imagine Liz massing these things? I am scared.

  • After several awful starts with Theodora on hilly, jungle starts that would have been better suited for Inca, I decided to go warmonger and was able to keep the Vikings onside for me the entire game. That said, every other Civ eventually fell out of favour with me due to the warmonger penalties.
  • Siam/Alexander are monstrous with city states AND espionage. Espionage, instead of being the great balancer, actually makes these two civs with a CS related UA a lot more unstoppable because if they are leading, they can dump gold to get a strong coup success rate and coup your CS, making you spend increasingly more resources to keep your CS. This is true really for any AI civs leading, but these 2, because of their city-state focus deploy their spies almost exclusively in city states rigging elections and plotting coups. It's insane.
  • Great Adminals spawning in my capital (2 of them) facing an inland sea/large lake is infuriating. Can they be made to use roads to get to a coastal city and disembark? or perhaps allow players to choose which city to earn them? Please?
  • AI seems to be able to rushbuy units in puppeted cities. I've seen it once so far. Bug or a 'tweak' to make them more competitive? So long as they're not summoning gold fromt he thin air, I'm ambivalent if they can do their rushbuying out of sight. But I would just prefer they fix the puppeting issue by allowing AI civs to unpuppet cities as they lose their core and or if they need more production for whatever reason.

That's it for now.
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