Going for Gold: Pantheons

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

?

Is this item in a reasonable state of balance?

Poll closed May 30, 2018.
  1. Yes

    60.0%
  2. No

    40.0%
  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So I went India and took God King, probably the first time I've used the thing in months, to see if its actually worth a damn. I feel like India should be pretty strong with this guy, the immediate faith I gain at the beginning compensates for the abysmal faith production, and in theory I'll have large Indian cities with lots of followers for a nice solid bonus.

    So I'm on Turn 147, I was able to found around Turn 95 with some shrine first play, a pretty comfortable found on Immortal nowadays. But my bonus from the pantheon....is +4 science, culture, faith, gold, GAP. Which is....not great.

    Its an even bigger problem with India, as India really needs that first GP to get the pressure rolling, and my faith production is so poor that getting that first GP is proving a challenge, so meanwhile my cities are getting converted. Now we will see if once I have done my first round of conversions if the pantheon starts to scale up....but I'm extremely disappointed it in it at the moment.

    Updated: Turn 155, I have converted 4 of my cities, and now my bonus is at +9. So lets see where it goes
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  3. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

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    - I agree Stars and Sky needs to be a bit stronger to compensate for tundra's downsides, but it's overtuned right now in my opinion.

    - because the tiles grant you culture, you actually get much faster border growth than in almost* any other situation in my experience, especially with Tradition (but I've also played with Authority + Stars and Sky and it does fine as well)

    - I disagree about the drawback of horizontal expansion: you can expand out of tundra beyond the 2nd city and do fine: you'll get +5 to +8 (or more) culture from all the resources around your 2 first cities which carry you through your first 3-4 policies quickly.
    In any case, my proposed change makes it slightly easier to expand out of tundra.

    - I forgot to mention that I play on Communitu - perhaps other maps have fewer resources and make the pantheon worse?
    I'm certainly willing to admit there can be something map-dependent here.

    * Russia with Tradition and God of the Expanse is likely better overall. But for non-capital cities, Stars and Sky starts out faster (you get +1 or +2c as soon as you found).
     
  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Bear in mind that the new changes include the following to snow tiles:
    Stars & Sky: 1:c5faith:1:c5culture:1:c5food:1:c5gold:
    University: 1:c5science:
    Scientific Revolution: 2:c5science:

    So Snow tiles can potentially have 3:c5science: base yields in addition to any resources on them, which will all give 5+ base yields.

    So maybe Stars & Sky could stand to be reduced to 3 yields just based on that. Personally, I would removed the :c5gold:Gold to start. That will help differentiate it more from Spirit of the Desert (1:c5faith:1:c5production:1:c5gold: on resources)
     
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  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Snow is a non-factor when Stars and Sky are activated, tundra is harsh but there is always something better to work at that point than snow, and the snow scalers are much too late in the game to be a factor in pantheon balance. So whether Stars and Sky should be nerfed or not, to me has nothing to do with the snow buff.
     
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  6. corps_of_discovery

    corps_of_discovery Chieftain

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    Let's compare the five pantheons that give substantial yields to unimproved tiles:

    1. Stars & Sky: 1:c5faith:1:c5culture:1:c5food:1:c5gold: / tundra and snow resources (+4 total)
    2. Nature: 1:c5faith:1:c5food:1:c5gold: / 2 mountains (+1.5 total); 3:c5faith:2:c5culture: to natural wonders
    3. Purity: 1:c5faith:1:c5food: / lake and 1:c5faith:1:c5food:1:c5production: / marsh (+2.5 total)
    4. Renewal: 1:c5faith:1:c5culture:1:c5science: / 2 jungle or forest (+1.5 total); 2:c5food:2:c5science: to markets
    5. Desert: 1:c5faith:1:c5production:1:c5gold: / desert resources, 3:c5food: to oases (+3 total)

    Based on immediate yields upon adoption, Stars & Sky is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Both Nature and Purity are highly situational. Renewal is strong, but the the bonuses per 2 tiles presents an interesting trade-off where it's often not advantageous to build settlers until you reach 5 pop instead of the usual 4. Furthermore, maximizing the outputs of Renewal often means delaying connecting resources that would require.

    The only pantheon that has comparable immediate power to Stars & Sky is Desert, which can sometimes be OP with a combination of flood plains wheat, oases, and desert hill resources. To that end, I think Desert could use a slight nerf as well. My proposed changes:

    Stars & Sky: 1:c5faith:1:c5food: to resources on tundra and snow, 1:c5culture:1:c5production: per two worked tundra or snow tiles (+2.5 total)
    Desert: 1:c5faith:1:c5production: to desert resources, 3:c5food:1:c5gold: to oases (+2 to +3 total, assuming you're never working more oases tiles than regular desert tiles)
     
  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Even on the dream Spirit of the Desert start I usually don't find myself snowballing out of control. I think it's because it has no :c5culture: and no :c5science:. I've passed it up many times on land with a lot of desert resources just because my civ needed early game :c5culture:.

    If stars and sky gets a nerf just dropping the :c5gold: should be fine.
     
  8. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    Snow resources don't exist during the religion race, unless you rush Iron (and be lucky to have one on snow nearby). Therefore, the snow buff is completely irrelevant.
     
  9. Ranslee

    Ranslee Chieftain

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    Stone can show up on snow.

    I haven't found Stars & Sky to be too powerful. It merely makes up for how bad the tundra start is - you are stuck with 33% worse base yields on forests and 50% worse base yields on flat, and hills being the same doesn't help when you have only 1 food on everything.

    This is not the case with mountained areas, lakes, marshes, jungles, forests or desert, because all of those have normal or better base yields.
     
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  10. DeAnno

    DeAnno King

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    The brokenness of Stars and Sky is how spammable the tundra forest deer tiles are to grow off of, and how much they cluster on certain maps. Its the goofy situation when you go Granary first in your 2nd city to blow out your lake and 3 deer or something. The capital often had kind of a bad start though, and even a slightly bad start has ridiculously terrible ramifications, so usually it's kind of balanced.

    The main way it can be really busted is lakes at the capital honestly. You have a couple lakes to give you a good start instead of a bad one on tundra and suddenly the pantheon is a monster once it lands on your well developed empire.
     
  11. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Stone can also appear on snow.
     
  12. Ranslee

    Ranslee Chieftain

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    Deer being clustered is the result of a higher chance for a tile to have deer in tundra... which is making the terrain bearable, not broken.
     
  13. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    I've changed the Stars and sky pantheon in my local files to give production instead of culture and I find it well-balanced now. Culture is the biggest reason why it's OP, you get lots of free culture without having to improve any tiles. It is reminiscent of the old God of all creation (when it still gave 1 culture per pantheon, if I recall correctly) or the old Goddess of festivals (when it gave 2 culture per luxury) where it was a great pantheon to take even if you weren't planning on getting the religion, because the shot in the arm from the extra culture made the game so much easier, including translating that advantage into eventually conquering someone's holy city.

    So that would be my proposal: have the Stars and sky give production instead of culture.
     
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  14. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    So funny I just rolled up a perfect example of what I think is the strongest Stars and Sky kind of start.

    Spoiler :

    upload_2021-4-19_16-12-15.png


    So I'm getting the best of both worlds here. I am just on the edge of the tundra with my capital, so I still have good food and hammers, while I'm still milking some pantheon benefits. But then as you can see, my next few cities will have very nice starts with the pantheon. The main drawback is this encourages me to settle south instead of north, which may be get more cut off by korea than I like.

    Now whether you think Stars is OP or not, I feel like this is the area where the actual debate is at. Gaining tundra benefits without suffering a lot of tundra penalties, is Stars too good?
     
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  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I've been changing my view on Tutelary gods. Its still niche, but using off the back of a Stonehenge opener with Tradition is a pretty solid strategy. You go the Engineer first on Tradition, and can basically build anything you want. Also the GE comes out sooner as compared to Beauty + Artist First Tradition... though not as quick as Beauty + Engineer First Tradition.

    Part of what makes it useful is that you can build a wonder and then get your settler out quicker....which helps compensate for wonder early tradition strategies that can get boxed in if there not careful. And in that niche....its pretty solid.
     
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  16. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I've found that Tutelary Gods is really good with progress because of the 3:c5food: per city.

    Last patch had a very successful game with it as Polynesia. Build Stonehenge (since it's on the tech path to Moai anyways), then with :c5food::c5science::c5gold: from progress, :c5culture: from Moai and :c5production: from Tutelary you can expand extremely quickly while just being good at everything. With ruins and the ability to scout and meet all CS very quickly you have a high chance of some bonus :c5faith: somewhere, but even without it I'm able to get a religion on Deity.
     
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  17. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    That's a truly lovely Stars&Sky start, Stalker! I agree, Stars&Sky can be OP in such stars, especially due to extra culture (that is being removed in the new version, IIRC?) and the fact you don't need to improve tiles to get the benefits. The same applies for Spirit of the Desert pantheon. I don't have a good idea on how to address this balance-wise, but I know that I personally refrain from playing tundra/desert-heavy starts because it feels a bit like cheating/having the game too easy.

    As for tutelary gods, they usually get snatched by the AI before I get the chance to take it, so I can't really comment on it. But judging from "theory", I would agree with both Stalker and CrazyG, it can get really good for the human player as well!
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    One "stealth" benefit of Stars/Sky and Spirit of the desert.... I just find that I am never unhappy with these pantheons. The passive yields they give, means my yield efficiency per pop in my early cities are very high. To the point where I don't have to cap growth and just let the cities do what they want to do. I see a similar thing with renewal.

    Its as subtle as it is tremendously powerful.
     
  19. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    New version just dropped the gold, so it's only 1:c5faith::c5culture::c5food: now
     
  20. abulafia77

    abulafia77 Chieftain

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    I'll post my gripe here:

    Pantheon "Goddess of Renewal" gives "1 1 1 for every 2 Jungle or 2 Forest tiles".

    What I just noticed is that Jungles and Forests are counted separately and rounded down, i.e. 1 Jungle 1 Forest = no pantheon bonuses.

    Same mechanics apply to herbalist (1 Jungle 1 Forst = no food bonus).

    Is this intended behaviour? It is compatible with the description ("2 Jungle or 2 Forest") but may not be intuitive for players - it certainly was not for me!
     

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