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Hermetic Order Buff

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by ContraryPoke, Aug 2, 2020.

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  1. ContraryPoke

    ContraryPoke Chieftain

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    Most agree that the Hermetic Order is not nearly as strong as the other societies, and that's mostly because ley lines are hardly useful (and sometimes harmful) until their 3rd promotion comes along in the late game. The other SS first bonuses are immediately impactful.

    My suggestion is to simply buff the intrinsic benefits of ley lines to provide an Oracle-like bonus of +1 to great person points to adjacent districts. This would make them incredibly more useful and fits the HO theme well.

    Alternatively, they could provide +50% great person points to adjacent districts, district buildings, and wonders. This is more unique and would scale better. Giving wonders the bonus would make city planning more interesting too.

    I do consider this buff to be borderline OP, but you can't control where ley lines spawn (all the other 1st bonuses you have direct control over) so would that justify their strength in my mind.

    Any thoughts or other suggestions?
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    Well the Ley Line feature itself could grant some kind of base yield.

    But the real issue is that +1 district adjacency is weak given that is totally blocks anything else on the tile. If it was +2 that might be closer to what the other societies have. Alternatively, at some point (2nd or 3rd tier) add a “hidden ley line” reveal like how we get shipwrecks and excavation sites. There are so few on the map and you can’t even see them until you join up.
     
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  3. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    Ley Lines should give a major boost instead of a standard boost.
     
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  4. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    I guess changing that would be both technically very complicated (don't think Civ6 supports ressources you can see, but which don't have an effect on you - just denying the yields wouldn't be enough, you would also have to supress the tile blocking effect) and it also would have a downside on the gameplay-wide: If you are not HO member, but know about the LLs, you can try to block them for member civs by settling there on purpose.
     
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  5. Datian

    Datian Warlord

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    A +2 might be a bit excessive, how about giving it only if you settle on it ?
     
  6. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    In general, a ley line is only guaranteed to spawn near your capital. You often don't have any more.
    At +1 a, pre-industrial leyline is worth at most (in perfect terrain) +6, up to +12 with all the relevant cards. This is not easy to do and you need to surround it with districts, and this implies +3 for most of those districts.

    This is absolutely wiped away by the power of something like the OGO, the void singer faith conversion, having an extra policy slot, etc.
    +2 is not as strong as it sounds because you have to build near the ley line, it's not adding +2 to your ideal mountain spot and river triangle etc.
    I made a custom civ with the ability that the city center gives a +2 to most districts. It's not as strong as you'd think specifically because of that little wrinkle.

    Now, yes, at +2, maybe you find a desert site that's got a spot with like 3 ley lines. But even then that's not very big yield in the grand scheme.
     
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  7. Datian

    Datian Warlord

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    And after all, you're allowed to have some fun with unusual design !

    There might also be a tweak on the alchemical society, in the same spirit than the gilded vault : the gold and production bonus could be related to the initial adjacency of the campus. This way the building, though good, would look less bland.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  8. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I fully agree, as a minimum, the Ley Line should offer +2 adjacency, but I even more like the idea of Great Person point boost from Ley Lines to adjacent districts, because it synergizes perfectly with the tier 3 ability and because it's something that would have significant and immediate impact in early game, which this society direly needs.

    I also agree the Alchemical Society should have its production bonus scale with the district adjacency instead of the flat +2 bonus, which is really poor.
     
  9. wesplaysciv

    wesplaysciv Chieftain

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    I do think Hermetic Order makes sense as the Great Person SS, and a buff to GPP (perhaps via adjacency to Ley Lines as suggested) makes sense. This could also help make it somewhat more helpful for a culture strategy.

    Maybe they could also have access to a special great person somehow that could create a Ley Line or two? It will also be a bit of a gamble joining this one but that would derisk it somewhat.

    Ok now I'm going further out there and to be honest I have no idea what Ley Lines represent in reality, but maybe they could also provide full power to adjacent districts in later eras? This would make it feel better that they "take up" a potentially valuable tile spot.
     
  10. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Giiving great person points would also be in line with the Dragon Lines they are based on.
     
  11. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    There is a real world concept called Ley Lines. But in abstract it’s just like “veins of energy” in the earth, and where they cross they are... extra special?
    I think Ley Lines specifically have been tied to a bunch of theories about European monuments.
    I guess you could have called them a “Locus of Power” or something equally mysterious.
     
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  12. wesplaysciv

    wesplaysciv Chieftain

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    Ok so now I like my full electrical power to adjacent districts idea even more!
     
  13. kryat

    kryat King

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    I am clearly in the minority thinking HO is actually quite strong. I think most people have just been playing them poorly. You really have to lean hard into great people for this SS, which means you’ll be doing well enough in the early game without added bonuses. Just run projects. Lots and lots of projects.

    But if you want an easy buff, the extra GPP for districts next to leylines is probably the best idea. This would have the added bonus of allowing HO to found a religion earlier (which admittedly, doesn’t synergize well, but it’s something of value).

    I really don’t think you should be able to make the lines. That’s way too strong. It’s quite achievable already to settle 10-20 leylines (albeit, most in less than hospitable terrain). But with proper preparations, each of those could give 20 science, 8 production, and more yields for flavor when Industrial era hits. Nothing in the game gives a 200-400 science per turn power spike. On the low end, that’s like slotting a fully realized Rationalism with powered labs in 14 cities. If you could build your own leylines, you’re breaking the game.
     
  14. wesplaysciv

    wesplaysciv Chieftain

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    I only completed one playthrough with HO, standard size map, 7 civs, and two Ley Lines were within reach of my capital and one was settleable in tundra nearby. I did get the more crowded continent, though. There were 4 or so taken by one neighbor but I would have had to conquer her (including her capital). I imagine the total number of them is somewhat fixed but distribution can be very uneven.
     
  15. kryat

    kryat King

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    I’ve done 2 games with them now. In my first game there was one next to each capital, then I was able to find and settle 5 cities each with 2-3 in tundra. I wasn’t looking too hard in that game, but there were a few more pockets I could have tried to settle.
    In there second game, I was more aggressive. Still only one near my capital, but I found spots for another few in nearby desert. Being able to get off-continent fast seems like a must.
    I could see it going either way for changing the distribution. From what I can tell, the leylines concentrate in desert and tundra because they can’t be on a tile with a feature or resource, so probability pushes them out of usually occupied land. Getting rid of that would mean more homogenous distributions, and an easier time finding them near you, but they’d be easier for the AI to settle sooner, and you wouldn’t get the same benefit of being able to work 2-4 tiles in one measly city.
     
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  16. wesplaysciv

    wesplaysciv Chieftain

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    Does anyone know yields for Occult Research project? By the time I unlocked it GP were getting thin and I was playing as Catherine Magnificence so did Court Festival, might try another playthrough...
     
  17. ContraryPoke

    ContraryPoke Chieftain

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    I agree that they are strong late game, but what's the fun in that? The earlier the era, the more impact it has on the game. I'd take a decent early game bonus over a strong late game bonus any day. HO need the 1st promotion buff not only for balance but for enjoyment too. The bonuses are very bleh until the industrial era rolls around when the game is close to decided and things are just running their course.
     
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  18. kryat

    kryat King

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    I don’t know, I think it’s fun in the early game. The fun is finding and settling leylines and in racking up as many GPP as possible just knowing you’ll rocket past competition as soon as you get that third promotion. That’s what happened to me. On Immortal, I was in a competitive 3rd for science through renaissance. Once the game hit industrial though, it was an amazing payoff. While Poundmaker (former science leader) was able to beat me to Satellites, he didn’t even make it to the 1st Mars colony by the time I won. It’s maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoy being able to very quickly wrap up a game.
     
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  19. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Warlord

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    What does the other Secret Societies does.

    What is the most important are the 2 first Promotion Titles. Because it is what allow you to snowball. We could consider the third one as a game finisher.

    The Owls of Minerva:
    Spoiler :
    Their unlocking method is really simple and you will unlock them sooner or later, no matter what. We could debate how powerful an additionnal economic policy slot is, but it allows you to slot God King and Urban Planning early on, for earlier Pantheon and some Production. Furthermore, each Trade Route to City-State translate to an Envoy, so you will end to early Suzerain, so early Diplomatic Favor that you can sell to the AI. Basicly, no early sacrifice, more flexibility and better way to cripple the AI with Diplomatic Favor.
    The Gilded Vault allows an additionnal Trade Route (Trade Route are powerful), meaning you either have ton of Gold or have even more City-State to your control. They also grants Culture equal to adjacency bonus. It means a coastal city with CH/Harbor/CC triangle on a river with 1 sea ressource will have a 5 Gold CH (and 4 Gold Harbor). And this can happens with Free Inquiry that add Science to those adjacency. Basicly, a double adjacency to CH with Free Inquiry and Reyna yield 15 Gold, Culture and Science.
    Later on, she gets a Wildcard policy (still a debate, but heuge flexibility because you can slot the double adjacency cards to CH way longer), and some Spies. Good to either protect your Commercial Hub to lose Gold from other Spies

    Basicly, the Owls of Minerva secure City-State suzerainty and allows you to swim in Gold with additionnal Trade Route, and gain a lot of advantage from a Cmmercial Hub / Harbor / City Center triangle with the Free Inquiry. Maybe not the best on Pangea and wider maps setting, but clearly powerful.


    The Voidsingers:
    Spoiler :
    The unlocking method is not that simple, as Tribal Village tend to disappear with time. You have to build a Scout and not be too unlucky.
    The Old God Obelisk allows to yield 4 Faith and have an additionnal Great Works slots. This allows an earlier Pantheon if you prebuilt the Monument. If you expand like crazy with the cheap Monument, you can yield a lot of Faith that translate to a huge Monumentality game. Plus: it allows to slot some early Great Works.
    After the Ritual is quite insane: 20% of Faith yield Gold, Culture and Science. That means that their Faith is worth 150% (100% Faith + 20% Culture + 20% Science + 20% Gold (but Gold is twice less powerful). It means if you focus on Faith generation (basicly, some Pantheon about adjacency to Tundra / Desert / Jungle), you are not going to be that far behind.
    The Cultist unit is quite specific. You waste Faith to have a change to city flip a city and regain that lost Faith with a Relic. I am not saying it is not powerful, but this is coming a little too late.


    The Sanguine Pact is quite specific. So I can't really talk about it. My first impression is that it feels fun, but does it really matter in the end? I need to test it.

    The Hermetic Order:
    Spoiler :
    The unlocking method is not automatic. You need to discover a Natural Wonder (100%) but that 100% is decreased when other civilization did it. On one Tiny map game, I end up to never discover them.
    The Ley Line is a random ressource that increase by 1 the adjacency bonus of district. Basicly, it is like a passable mountain when we have Machu Picchu. Once you discover the tile, you neither can improve it nor put district on it. Farms triangle? Not anymore. Governement Plaza over it? You better reload your game, put the district and only after unlock the Ley Line. Furthermore, that dead tiles does not yield anything yet, and they are quite random: they do not follow a strict pattern.
    The Alchemical Society is not as great as the Gilded Vault. The Culture from adjacency of the Gilded Vault is here 2 Production, and the additionnal Trade Route with Harbor is now +1 GPP to Engineer and Merchant. Sure, University is better than Bank, but that Alchemical Society feels empty.
    Indoctrination allows to use the exploit the Ley Lines yield. Sure they are good. But why this late? This could be in Initiation without causing too much problems, because the yield are non existant in the early game.


    I think they should:
    • Change how the Ley Lines appears in the map. Instead of being random, each Ley Lines should be aligned. For example, the game consider at the begining of the game with Hex Line are compatible and at their intersection appears a Ley Line. Either those Hex Line are chosen randomly (so, chance of cluster), or follow a patern (each lines are 3 tiles to each other). This means some Ley Lines could appears on Mountain, Lakes, Oceans... and this would be ok even if unexploitable.
    • Ley Lines should not prevent anything to be built over it. They could be like a random "Volcanic Soil" where you put everything over it, including district. It would be amazing that the tiles improvement / districts has some change visual change if built over a Ley Line. Just like districts / improvements over tundra/snow tiles are covered by Snow.
    • Do something to increase the Initiation power:
      1. Either: indoctrination bonus could merge with the Initiation. The tiles yields are not increased before we get the some Great People, so not that broken in the early game.
      2. Or: Ley Lines give major adjacency bonuses instead of standard ones (as mentioned by @iammaxhailme)
      3. Or: additionnal GPP (as mentioned by @ContraryPoke)
      4. Or: +1 district slot to each city, à la Germany?
      5. Or: +50% Production towards districts next to a Ley Line, à la Ik-Kil?
    • Maybe do something to increase the Alchemical Society?
      1. Maybe change the "+2 Production" into "Production equal to this district adjacency bonuses". (as mentioned by @Datian)
      2. Maybe change the "+1 GPP (Merchant / Engineer)" to "+1 GPP to all GP according the existing district in the city".
    After all, the Gilded Vault is way better than the Bank, while the Alchemical Society is a little more powerful than the University. But the University is way better than the Bank. Overall, Alchemical Society isn't that far away from the power of the Gilded Vault.


    So far:
    • Owl of Minerva are more flexible with additionnal governement cards, allow to control city-state leading to have a huge amount of Diplomatic Favor in the process and able to cripple AI economies, has addtionnal trade routes, has a huge synergy with Free Inquiry dedication, and some Spy games.
    • The Voidsingers generate a lot faith, has a huge synergy with Monumentality, has a huge synergy with Religion (either the adjacency Pantheon + Work Ethic, since Faith yields Culture, Science and Gold, or a late Relics game with Reliquaries and free slots from the Old God Obelisk, or even a Jesuit Education game), allow faith to generate Science / Culture and Gold, can do more consistently the religion / tourism victory, and some Loyalty games.
    • The Hermetic Order has overall better districts adjacency and overall better Great People game, and some good tiles to exploit if they did a Great People game.
    Yeah, I feel some imbalance.[/spoiler]
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  20. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    Making Ley lines able to hold districts or wonders (which is what the basis for a lot of the irl stuff about them is) would require a DLL change to be clean.
    There’s no condition for placement where you can say “this has <regular placement conditions> AND <regular conditions but on a Ley line>.”
    You’d end up being able to put any district/wonder on a Ley line Regardless of the other stuff*
    *Technically, we could still enforce land/sea distinctions.

    What they really need is a column in the relevant tables that allows an object to ignore a given resource or resource class if its regular terrain requirements match. A lot of people struggle with custom improvements etc because of this issue.
     
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