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Going for Gold: Pantheons

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, May 16, 2018.

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Is this item in a reasonable state of balance?

Poll closed May 30, 2018.
  1. Yes

    60.0%
  2. No

    40.0%
  1. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I use it. Good production to build wonders, stone and marble further boost wonders, and the tech path leads to hanging gardens and halicarnassus. The monument bonus is actually really nice.

    Is it overall worse than starting on mines with Earth Mother? Absolutely, but I don't have the option for Earth Mother when I start on jade.

    The top two pantheons IMO are Open Sky and Earth Mother. They're just a stupidly big pile of yields that scales all game long.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  2. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    If you admit it's worse than Earth Mother, then can't we admit that it could use a little buff...? They can also be ancillary buffs, like "Quarries are constructed 100% faster."


    As for Earth Mother and Open Sky - the footnote for both of them in my experience is that it's not often easy to found with them. They do scale well - but imo every single one of the Pantheon's that requires a Worker improvement is a pain to found with due to the time involved in making the improvements. At the very least, you won't found first.

    You also need to define "scaling" a little bit better. While Earth Mother is like having a Factory in your city all game long, things like God of War, Wisdom, and others provide tons of extra Faith in a scaling way, and I can't say that my Faith is ever wasted, especially when it gives other kinds of yields in return.
     
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  3. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I frankly don't want to play a mod that makes every pantheon earth mother tier. Craftsmen is a pretty good pantheon that I really enjoy getting the chance to use. The problem here is Earth Mother. It's basically just directly OP with a minor weakness of having a bit less faith than you'd like. If you have any means of dealing with the faith at all (or you just get a few iron, those tiles hit 3 faith each once improved), then starting on mines is just way better than starting on other land.
    1:c5production: per 2:c5citizen: is so much better than the scaling of Commerce or Wisdom (which is capped at half the number of followers). I cannot agree at all, I don't find these two effects remotely similar in power level.

    I think wisdom is dumb either way though. G has said repeatedly we shouldn't add classical era buildings to pantheons, but then we get an effect like this one. Effectively it means your pantheon gave faith to research labs. Science and gold both change so dramatically in output that you have to cap these beliefs (in my last game my capital alone had more than 600 science and 400 gold).

    This is what I'd do to Wisdom.
    1 :c5science: and :c5faith: in all cities. 1:c5faith: from councils. 1:c5faith: from scientist specialists.

    Provides slow faith scaling as the game goes on. I think its way simpler than the current version, and it isn't new code. Commerce could get a similar thing.
     
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  4. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    Isn't Earth Mother 1 production for 3 citizens?

    Anyways - this still doesn't relate to the feasibility of keeping a Pantheon when in order to keep it throughout the game, you need to be able to found with it.

    For Wisdom - fair enough, also seeing as Ancestor Worship has a lower cap for...no reason?
     
  5. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives King

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    Said 1 per 2 in the game I played on the Feb 18th beta. I didn't take it myself though so it's possible that it's a typo. Or accurate but not intended.
    Yes, but you don't need to always found from your pantheon exclusively. If there are pantheons that are harder to found with but give more rewards if you do, that's a viable choice for civs with bonuses that relate to religion - and there are a number of those.

    Not to mention that things like production, culture and gold can help you found it they allow you to get your shrines up more quickly or adopt the faith-related tenet in Tradition sooner.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  6. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    It's 1 per 2 in my game. It's a recent change.
    I really, really hate this counterpoint, because Ethiopia, India, Byzantium, Maya, and others exist, who can still get a religion. You could get a faith natural wonder. You could ally a faith CS. You could rush the scrivener's office. You could just really push shrines. There are ways to get faith, especially since this pantheon is giving you a ton of hammers and culture to play around with.

    You should not just add busted amounts of non-faith yields and call it balanced because the faith is low-ish (sorry this isn't directly at you specifically). This and open sky really are not close to balanced, and I can't just not pick them. It means that when I had the pasture start, now there's no appropriate pantheon. And I have to deal with AI who take them!

    It isn't hard to found with either, you get 1 faith per mine AND 2 faith per iron, so 3 total from an iron mine. You also build your settlers, workers, and shrines a lot faster with the extra :c5production:.
     
  7. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I do realize that the push for Shrines with Gold is a thing with regard to founding and that certain Pantheons will be pretty unique for Religion Civs.

    I suppose I am looking at founding from the point of view of a non-Religion civ. I consider it a given that a Religion civ could found with anything, so that makes the choices in a sense irrelevant from that perspective, and one wonders if that set of choices should then produce Faith at all (like Celtic Pantheons): that way, Religion Civs can reap the benefits of non-Faith yields, while non-Religion Civs - were they to pick such a thing - would be because they know they wouldn't found anyways, so they may as well invest in the material benefit.


    So coming from that angle, I'm thinking of more dullard Civs from a Faith perspective like Germany, the Huns, Pocatello, Inca, etc...from the perspective of these guys, I'd want to see Pantheons in two formats, as you said:

    1. Stuff I can equally found with.
    2. Stuff I could never found with but would benefit me greatly.

    The way I see it, the current Pantheon setup gives one a false sense of security from #2 because it certainly looks like most Pantheons are gearing towards founding in an equal manner: it isn't true, but it looks like it. The one Pantheon that really, truly fits in this category in my opinion is God of All Creation. The Tundra and Desert ones *seem* like they could be of this ilk, but honestly I think the Faith on resources actually takes away from making them a truly category 2: I'd dump the Faith entirely on them and give them another yield of some kind. That way, if you start in Desert or Tundra as a non-Religous civ - you'll keep up with those who have a religion by surpassing them until your Pantheon vanishes, but if you're a Religious civ, it'll be a powerful investment all game long.

    In other words, I think some Pantheons are trying to play into too many hands at once.

    Of course, we want multiple choices for everyone - hence my Maya game where Wisdom might have been ideal, but Ethiopia beat me to it so I took Renewal instead as it played into my start (while mourning the lack of Deer anywhere).

    All that said, I would think that the ultimate "default" Pantheons that have an equal chance of founding and are based on your start are those based on a resource of some kind: Mines, Quarries, Pastures, Plantations, Camps. Since we can't help our start, it doesn't make sense to imbalance these only to further imbalance a start when the resources involved are themselves not equivalent. If a player reasonably thinks about not founding, there should be multiple options (like All Creation) that provide a full-fledged failure of founding bonus, not half-arsed one.
     
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  8. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    To quickly address this as I just saw it - I'm shocked at the 1 production per 2 citizens - I thought 1 for 3 was too strong. What precipitated this change?

    Also, I'm quite aware of pushing Shrines and Natural Wonders and what-not, but that has nothing to do with the balance of the Pantheons. You can't make an argument that runs, "There are other factors, therefore balance is impossible." No - you balance them first by excluding other factors. Then, when other factors are superimposed, those factors provide their own differentiations based on a foundation that is solid. I don't get how it could make sense any other way.
     
  9. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    This comment is totally unnecessary. That's not my argument at all. Did I ever imply balance was impossible? No, I said a specific belief wasn't balanced, and your frankly terrible argument about low faith doesn't rebut that at all.

    You implied you can't get a religion with it, but you can. It's clearly possible to get a religion with, and I gave you some examples how.

    This argument gets made really often, where people keep repeating some weakness in regards to a balance discussion. Yes low faith is a weakness, but something can have a weakness and still be wildly OP, which Earth Mother is, especially if the weakness is really easy to address (like low faith).

    As a religious civ, honestly I'd consider taking it even if gave 0 faith. 1:c5production:per 2:c5citizen: would be a top tier follower belief, its directly better than diligence. 1 :c5production: per 3:c5citizen: alone would be pretty close to diligence because your # of followers is usually a bit lower than your actual population. Oh and culture on mines too.

    The hardest part of getting a religion with Earth Mother is just getting Earth Mother itself, it was the first pantheon chosen by AI 3 times in a row for me.

    I really think earth mother should get a different secondary effect, because X:c5production: per X:c5citizen: isn't a very pantheon-esque bonus to me. Also why give production to the mining pantheon? Low production starts don't have mines. I've actually looked at Earth Mother on tobacco starts, early production would be a really useful pantheon but its currently tied into a secondary effect that only land with high production can use.
     
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  10. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives King

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    That's kind of an important part of the picture though. If you are playing a religion-focused civ, what are the benefits of that? Founding early isn't really that great on it's own. Being able to found with a wider range of pantheons in various circumstances makes that UA much more meaningful.
    I would argue that might lead to situations where religion-themed civs found last or struggle to found at all because they picked a non-faith-generating pantheon lol.
    That would make tundra, desert, and various other starts more difficult IMO, given how significant religion can be. I don't think any pantheon should be designed with not founding in mind - rather there should be perhaps tiers of risk and reward.

    E.g. Tier 1: strong chance of founding, standard rewards (Commerce, Wisdom)
    Tier 2: harder to found, better rewards (Earth Mother, Protection)
    Tier 3: needs a specific niche or alternate source of faith to found (God of All Creation, Nature, Purity)

    I do think it would be nice to see fewer pantheons in that last category because it means they aren't relevant particularly often. I think the risk/reward tradeoff is worthwhile having though.
    I would love the pantheons to feel a bit more even, and for different starts to all have decent chances of founding. There seem to be inherent differences between the improvable resources that appear on different terrain types though, that makes slightly different approaches for each one appropriate.

    Mines give you early yields and happiness. Quarries have nice initial yields but take longer to improve. Plantations on jungle or forest are similar to quarries - plantations on flat land are accessible earlier but have worse intial yields, so a pantheon needs to account for both. Pastures don't have a luxury associated with them so you won't know whether or not that pantheon is viable until you research Animal Husbandry. And don't forget fishing boats, which unlike other improvements can be purchased with gold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Just to clarify this point a bit more. Ultimately because there are so many pantheons, it is okay if pantheons are niche....as long as the niche is something you can reasonably identify when you select the pantheon. So the note here is, if you want to found with "faith lite" pantheons, you only select them in situations where you have faith compensation. If you got a faith ruin, if you got an early faith CS, if you are taking tradition 2, or using a faith civ....these are things that allow you to be a little riskier with your pantheon selection.

    Therefore, we should always look at pantheons in their best light, because while that may not be common....as a niche pantheon it only needs to happen some of the time.

    So earth mother wise, I think assuming a strong mine start is reasonable. Now assuming a lot of iron....I'm more dubious about that, but with recent changes maybe the spear rush will come back into play and then you will have a good understanding of your iron in time for the pantheon.
     
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  12. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I think there's a clear distinction about pantheons:

    1. Terrain based. This strongly depends on what you have around your cities. It's safe to bet that you are going to pick a pantheon just when that suits your surroundings.They usually require workers or working boats.
    2. Building based. This just affects your research path. If you pick something like Protection, you are going to rush walls. So if you have already decided which techs to beeline, you might already know which pantheon suits your path. Then you prioritize this building and see what gives.
    3. Miscellaneous. Now these are pantheons that reward doing something like growing, killing units, connecting cities or working on specialists.

    Some pantheons work just too well for some civs. Commerce is nuts for Carthague. War is nuts for Aztecs. Love for India and China. Religious civs just can make better use of low faith high yield pantheons, but their balance should not consider whether the pantheon is going to be picked by a religious civ. The same we don't nerf Commerce because of Carthague, we should not nerf low faith pantheons because of religious civs, but because they deserve it. Meaning pantheons that make you win regardless of the civ.
     
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  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I think you should always evaluate pantheons in their ideal situations as long as those ideal situations are relatively easy to come by.

    So War should be evaluated in the hands of the Aztec. Commerce should be evaluated in the hands of Iroquois/Carthage/Songhai. Low faith pantheons in the hands of naturally high faith civs (Spain, etc).

    Where I think the "relatively easy to come by" caveat comes into play is things like relying on meeting and befriending a religious civ to cover a faith deficiency. That's probably not something you can usually rely on and is maybe better left out of consideration for simplicity.

    So having said all that, I think the strength of Earth Mother probably needs to be evaluated in the hands of a civ like Spain, or at the very least in the hands of a civ that doesn't care about founding because they plan to conquer a religion. It sounds like it's probably too strong in that situation.
     
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  14. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I disagree. I can stand a mines only pantheon, but not a Carthage only pantheon.
     
  15. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    That's not the scenario, though. Commerce is also extra powerful for Iroquois and Songhai, not just Carthage.

    The only pantheon I can quickly think of that I've only ever taken with a single civ is protection with Japan. Every other pantheon has multiple civs/scenarios that work (I think).

    Judging and balancing pantheons around non optimal usage just seems odd. Players are expected to choose pantheons optimally so wouldn't they be balanced that way?
     
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  16. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I've taken protection with other civs, it's a pretty consistent back up for me.

    War is great for more than just aztec.
    Commerce works with civs who have to build roads for city connections. In fact more than a few guides for civs who aren't carthage recommended commerce specifically.

    I've tried India with Love and it sucks. Even with the great prophet discount I almost missed a religion. I doubt its any different for China. You can check your current games and do basic math to see how bad this pantheon is.

    As example, in my last game with progress (which has the most early growth due to fraternity), as of turn 100 I had 6 cities with a total population of 32. This involved an early food CS ally (I was Germany).

    Citizens before the pantheon don't count, so 4 pop from my capital isn't relevant, only 28 citizens count. The first citizen of new cities doesn't either, so that's 23 citizens that count, or 345 faith gained from love. It means your shrines have to provide the majority of your faith. If you say I got the pantheon on turn 30, it averages out to about 4.9 faith per turn on 6 cities. Also the golden age points are kind of bad because you get your first golden age earlier than you actually want it. The AI does well with it because they get significant bonuses to early growth, but for humans its trash. It's primarily a faith source but it's not high faith. Even if I played China and got a bit more growth it doesn't seem appealing.
     
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  17. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives King

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    I've taken love and enjoyed it a lot, but only when I had faith from other sources. Tbh I tend to play civs with some kind of faith boost, so that may be skewing my perspective. I do think it's an important part of the picture. Would be nice if Love was viable in more situations though. I guess the challenge is not making it OP in the hands of the AI.
    The one that stands out to be is Nature. Mountains just aren't that common.

    Protection has worked pretty well for me in the past. I tend to have other sources of faith to supplement it, but from my perspective it's pretty OK particularly if you have other reasons to research Military Theory (like a UU or UI) and Construction. Not the easiest to found with, but the extra health on healing in friendly territory feels really nice IMO. I wouldn't object to it getting a buff, but I don't feel it's essential either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  18. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Your counter argument does not invalidate my point.

    Commerce is good for any player that focus on connecting cities and not just when picking an early connection civ? Then great, it's in a good spot.
    Love sucks even for growth civs? Then currently Love sucks, period.
    War is good for any player focusing on early war, not just the early warmongers? Then, it's OK.

    The only drawback of not taking into account each civ uniques for balancing pantheons is that Commerce is a no brainer for Carthage and war is a no brainer for Aztecs. (And Love ought to be a no brainer for India).
    But consider the alternative. If a pantheon is only good with one or two civs, then that's a very niche pantheon that I would only pick if I am playing with the synergistic civ.
    I am not opposed terrain niche pantheons, since I don't know where I will start next game, but civ niche pantheons are effectively removing them for every other civ. This impoverishes the options.
     
  19. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives King

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    There is a middle ground between those two approaches though. Crdvis said:
    Not 'in all cases'. So I think this rules out pantheons that only one civ can make work. In any case, what do you feel is currently a civ-niche pantheon? Perhaps we can find some things that we agree deserve attention.
     
  20. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I don't have anything specific. I've been playing Ethiopia for a while, and I was always tempted by the science pantheon. In Emperor it is guaranteed to found a religion, and I get to choose my pantheon before I can opt for a terrain based one. Since I know the early game is strong for Ethiopia I go for pantheons that scale better, craftsmen and wisdom. But I don't make any numbers unlike CrazyG, so I don't know in advance how good it is going to be before playing. Also, I don't really have the time to play a lot.
    (but I have time to tap on the smartphone to the forum while I'm out of the house).
     
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