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How Underground Sect actually works

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Aenthin, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    I've always wondered how this works and it's really only now that I've understood how it works.

    It's a pretty common misconception that spies exert religious pressure on their own. In reality, spies exert pressure if and only if there were existing religious pressure on that city to begin with. In a distant city where there is no pressure from your religion, the spy will not exert pressure. However, when religious pressure starts to exist (e.g. setting up a trade route to that distant city), then Underground Sect begins to do its wonders.

    Another misconception comes from digging the .xml files. It says on the files that spies only exert 5 religious pressure--1 less pressure compared to a regular city on Standard speed. However, I noticed while testing that my spies actually converted followers faster than sending two trade routes to a distant city. Then I realized, 5 religious pressure on the .xml files probably didn't mean 5 flat pressure. It probably meant it had the strength of at least 5 cities exerting pressure on the same city (which is 30 pressure on standard)!

    tl;dr, Underground Sect allows spies to add 5 cities-worth of religious pressure to an already existing religious pressure, thus speeding up the process of conversion.

    Of course, there's still the debate of whether or not this is still actually useful compared to other equally, if not more powerful, reformation beliefs. Not to mention, you'll probably want your spies to actually do something other than spreading religion...maybe...

    ----

    An update to this. Basically, a couple of folks helped me discern the true effects of Underground Sect in Reddit (here's the thread if you're interested). To summarize, though:

    When your spy/diplomat is sent to a city, Underground Sect will only work:
    • If there is existing pressure exerted towards the target city, or
    • If the city has at least 1 follower of your religion
    If one of these conditions is met, your spies/diplomats will exert 5 cities-worth of religious pressure, which depends on game speed:
    • Quick: 45 Pressure total
    • Standard: 30 Pressure total
    • Epic: 20 Pressure total
    • Marathon: 10 Pressure total
    This religious pressure is not affected by the Arabian UA, Religious Unity or Religious Texts Enhancer Beliefs although they can still be used in conjunction for spreading your religion faster.
     
  2. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% right as usual, MORTY

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    Pics or it didn't happen.
     
  3. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Chieftain

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    It was tested by me. I was modding for a scenario and realized that if increased pressure you can pretty much insta flip a civ. There should be somethin about the belief in one of the guides/war academy thingies.
     
  4. docbud

    docbud Chieftain

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    Pics of what?

    I never understood folks who always demand pictures or it didn't happen.
     
  5. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    Delivered. Twice.

    An update to this. Basically, a couple of folks helped me discern the true effects of Underground Sect in Reddit (here's the thread if you're interested). To summarize, though:

    When your spy/diplomat is sent to a city, Underground Sect will only work:
    • If there is existing pressure exerted towards the target city, or
    • If the city has at least 1 follower of your religion
    If one of these conditions is met, your spies/diplomats will exert 5 cities-worth of religious pressure, which depends on game speed:
    • Quick: 45 Pressure total
    • Standard: 30 Pressure total
    • Epic: 20 Pressure total
    • Marathon: 10 Pressure total
    This religious pressure is not affected by the Arabian UA, Religious Unity or Religious Texts Enhancer Beliefs although they can still be used in conjunction for spreading your religion faster.
     
  6. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% right as usual, MORTY

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    Then... Underground Sect actually spreads the religion secretly. Kinda. As well as any other way of fudging the feedback.

    Why does Manila jump to two followers, do you think? I don't know that the 5-times figure is accurate, since that would predict Prague should be way slower than Manila, but as a guess to my question it could be the Spy pressure showing up after the other pressure algorithmically. So the first follower gets there, then the Sect condition is run for the city , applying so much pressure it bumps over the first and second follower ribbons.


    Religious Texts carries the expected meaning of "Religious Pressure from cities spreads 25% faster", if undocumented.
     
  7. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    Considering you don't want your enemies to show where your spies are, of course it will not show pressure exerted by them. The mod on the second album reveals the pressure exerted by the spies, however, and shows the 5-times figure as +30 Religious Pressure constantly.

    Also as to why Prague doesn't seem to convert too fast compared to Manila most likely because of how religious strength works. Even with a Great Prophet and a couple of Missionaries, when you're trying to convert a city with generally high population, you don't always completely convert all of the citizens to your religion. Hell, you'll even often see Holy Cities having 23 followers despite having 25 citizens, a Grand Temple, being surrounded by 5 cities of the same religion, and having 3 trade routes to cities with the same religion (or similar). I think this is partly because of balance, because the Religious Tolerance social policy wouldn't work otherwise.
     
  8. kaspergm

    kaspergm Chieftain

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    Wow, this was actually enlightening, I'll have to eat my previous words that Underground Sect is utterly useless. Whether it'll actually be useful when there are other religions in play ... well, that's another question. :p
     
  9. ThorHammerz

    ThorHammerz Magus Ascendant

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    Actually, it's correct...... which makes underground sects rather powerful :crazyeye: (contrary to popular belief). Pics are unnecessary if one can verify the logic with the actual game code :)

    Code:
    void CvCityReligions::AddSpyPressure(ReligionTypes eReligion, int iBasePressure)
    {
    	bool bRecompute = false;
    	ReligionTypes eOldMajorityReligion = GetReligiousMajority();
    
    	ReligionInCityList::iterator it;
    	for(it = m_ReligionStatus.begin(); it != m_ReligionStatus.end(); it++)
    	{
    		if(it->m_eReligion == eReligion)
    		{
    			[B]int iPressure = GC.getGame().getGameSpeedInfo().getReligiousPressureAdjacentCity();
    			iPressure *= iBasePressure;
    			it->m_iPressure += iPressure;[/B]
    
    			// Found it, so we're done
    			bRecompute = true;
    		}
    	}
    
    	// Didn't find it, add new entry
    	if(bRecompute)
    	{
    		RecomputeFollowers(FOLLOWER_CHANGE_SPY_PRESSURE, eOldMajorityReligion);
    	}
    }
    
    The value of int iBasePressure is the value of SpyPressure found in

    Code:
    		<Row>
    			<Type>BELIEF_UNDERGROUND_SECT</Type>
    			<Description>TXT_KEY_BELIEF_UNDERGROUND_SECT</Description>
    			<ShortDescription>TXT_KEY_BELIEF_UNDERGROUND_SECT_SHORT</ShortDescription>
    			<Reformation>true</Reformation>
    			[B]<SpyPressure>5</SpyPressure>[/B]
    		</Row>
     
  10. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    If they added the text "in cities with your religion" it would have avoided so much annoyance.
     
  11. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    Agreed. Same with Unity of the Prophets, really. It took me a while to realize they were talking about rival Inquisitors and Great Prophets being unable to remove your religion completely.
     
  12. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% right as usual, MORTY

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    Ooh, I just thought maybe some special names could have helped with that. "Inquisition(s) and Great Prophecy(ies) reduce this religion's presence by half instead of eliminating it." Instead of referring just to the unit which is a distraction from a syntactic standpoint.

    The math of the experiments, if I done this right, means that follower pressure is logarithmic (the requirements are exponential). It's the only way that they could make f(6x) =~ C + f(x) for even that short test frame.

    ....
    which again, is about the only shot the game had at keeping it secret. Once you know the spread isn't following the projection, you -know- there's a Spy. It's just the difficulty of tracking the number yourself (and reading into a hidden variable, besides).
     
  13. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    Very interesting. It makes me want to go try it with Arabia.
     
  14. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Great find OP! Thanks!

    This seems like a Deity-level way to spread my religion. Definitely could be fun!

    Now, can someone spell out how having many AI cities following my religion be significant leverage for some VC?

    Why Arabia in particular? Because the extra range means getting that first point of influence is easier?
     
  15. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% right as usual, MORTY

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    Imagine all the reasons you want your cities to have your religion. Now take that away.

    Also founder beliefs that aren't IFD.
     
  16. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    Probably of the following things:
    • Longer caravan range
    • Double religious pressure from trade routes (doesn't multiply spy pressure, but stacks well)
    • Desert bias for Desert Folklore
    • If all else fails, Camel Archers!
     
  17. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Mostly I value founding to (1) keep my pantheon, (2) some free money from Tithe, (3) the easy CS quests, and (4) extra faith from Grand Temple. I tend to keep my religion in my cities just because I can.

    I may be thinking too small, but I don&#8217;t see how your thought exercise helps answer my question.

    But now having read the Reddit thread, I think the main appeal of Underground Sect is how much easier it makes converting CS. So that appeals to me, but I not sure how I could really exploit it. Maybe for DiploV? Hmm, I might revisit the Siam DCL, as my finish time on that map was awful.

    Founder beliefs are so weak, I have never considered the ones that give per-city benefits. Underground Sect could change that! One could also get proper traction from Papal Primacy.
     
  18. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% right as usual, MORTY

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    Take those things away from your opponents. Except 3, which AIs can't do.


    Also the best defense for your religion is always spreading your religion, and the same goes for spreading followers around for Tithe and World Church (if you pick up that booby prize). I just assumed this was obvious... but that's not explaining this conversation.
     
  19. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Still think it's crap for a reformation belief but it's a rather interesting find :)
     
  20. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    The second point in particular.
     
  21. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    None of that really matters though, and AI get other CS quests, so why not the conversion one?

    Not at all. It is pretty easy to keep your own cities converted. Spreading to an AI that founded is just asking for trouble, so actually counter-productive for any sort of defense.

    I have not watched either of these closely enough. Tithe does well enough just on my own cities. World Church seems very weak.

    No, not obvious at all.

    Well, I like Evangelism well enough, but now I think Underground Sect is stronger than that!
     
  22. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Actually that sounds perfect, founding AIs only get mad at you for using Missionaries and Prophets to convert their cities.
    The spies do it in a deniable way (its 'natural pressure')
    Although you may get in trouble if the spies steal something.
     
  23. Redaxe

    Redaxe Chieftain

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    Wow its good to be back after the forum outage ;)

    That's a pretty interesting find with Underground Sect - I tried it once but couldn't seem to really get any noticeable results out of it so I must have had my spies on the other side of the map.

    That said there are still a lot of disadvantages to this belief even using it correctly.

    Firstly and most obviously - You want to spread your religion asap in the medieval/renaissance era to get your religious buildings and benefits of beliefs quickly. By the time you have several spies to really get the full benefit of this belief you're already into the final era's and a bit more religious pressure isn't going to do anything that significant to help you win. You only get 1 spy until the Industrial era so that's pretty mediocre in itself.

    Also it requires you to put spies in cities that have a religious follower - that generally means putting a spy in a city within range of your trade routes or passive religious pressure - this can be risky if you steal a technology from a neighbour and you get a permanent diplomatic penalty.
    Usually I send my spies to civs that are far away from me so if they do get caught the diplomatic penalty isn't so dangerous.
    That said I can see it being useful for putting spies in a CityState but that sacrifices the opportunities to steal technologies.

    Still I love the concept of this though- Civ 5 espionage has introduced some neat functions but it still feels a bit limited. I'd like to have seen Religious Sect provide an increase to spy stealing rate and success and also perhaps providing a tourism bonus over that civ or contributing to ideology dissent.
     
  24. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Brilliant! Sadly, that aspect did not occur to me! It has been so long since I have tried to convert founding AIs that I have forgotten why that once appealed to me?

    You get enough warning that this should be easy enough to avoid. Just shuffle the spy around for turn to reset the counter, just a few turns lost to the Underground Sect effect. But the first tech steal does not come at too harsh of a penalty. Although I suppose a main point is to get the &#8216;shared religion&#8217; diplo buff, so why take a diplo hit?

    It would be pretty rare to need to use the Underground Sect on your own cities.

    Yes, but the one spy moves on after converting a city. I think the single spy and the timing should be okay. It is after the wave of AI GPr. I am eager to try this on the Siam OCC DCL. Seems like it would be perfect for converting Assyria -- which, on one play through, I actually made some effort with, but could not get any traction (and that was with Evangelism).

    That is not hard to avoid.

    Yes, me too.

    I usually park leveled-up spies in CS to keep them permanently allied. Underground Sect would work well with that, but just for the extra gold from Tithe.

    It is great to have another task for spies.
     
  25. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    If you convert enough of their cities, you get a tourism bonus from shared religion (founding doesn't matter just following)
     
  26. Aenthin

    Aenthin Chieftain

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    I think the most particularly noteworthy aspect of Underground Sect is that it only gets stronger in late game as you get more spies when you advance technologically. The fact that it helps spread religion allows you to spread your tourism through shared religion while still being able to save faith points for more important Great People. It also frees up some Great Prophets for additional Holy Sites rather than being concerned about converting more cities.
     
  27. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    It seems like it's a consolation prize. Say you want Sacred Sites or Jesuit Education, so you start spending SPs in Piety. But before you can get to Reformation, somebody else picks the one you wanted. What can you do? You've already spent a bunch of SPs in the Piety tree, so you don't want them to be wasted. You might as well make the most of it by taking another Reformation Belief: Underground Sect.

    Especially if you were going SS for a CV, US helps provide a Tourism bonus of having a shared religion.
     
  28. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Hehe, so you're going SS and take US ? :D There is a problem don't you think ? :p

    I don't really see how using a policy for having to use a spy that spreads your religion is really attractive. This can be removed by an inquisitor or a prophet and we all know how the AI love spaming religious units.

    Consolation price seems to be the right word. I'd take Charitable missions before that too.
     
  29. Gurra09

    Gurra09 Librarian

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    What about diplomats? Do they also exert pressure with Underground Sect or is it only spy spies who do that?
     
  30. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    I hate to find myself disagreeing with Acken, but I don't think this is the case at all. I have always had specific intentions for a reformation belief.

    • Aiming for a quick SS CV, only SS will do. That exploit has to be early or don’t bother, not that it will be available later anyway -- since the AI love it. I don’t how see how US, which only starts after you get a spy, is much use towards CV.
    • Jesuit Education is terrific but also needs to be earlish, before Universities. Since the fall patch JE seems to be much harder to catch, but is significantly easier to pick up than SS. There is no substitute for JE.
    • To the Glory of God is terrific, can be late, and is almost always available. So as the main objection of Reformation or as a “consolation prize” TtGoG has the player covered.
    • Spreading my religion outside my cities.
    In terms of this last point, I had valued Evangelism as being very strong, although some people argue that Charitable Missions is better if your target is only CS. Evangelism has synergy with an enhancer and two of the three religious wonders. That said, even when the three pieces all came together for me, Evangelism never seemed to get me that much traction.

    This thread makes me think that US has a stronger conversion effect than either Evangelism or CM. Even better is that it's use is independent of enhancers or wonders, works equally well on AIs as CS, and can be used on AIs that found as well as AIs without their own religion. It also works well with the technique of parking a spy in the most important CS, something players do anyway. Win/win/win!

    So maybe US is consolation prize if TtGoG is not available, but otherwise I think it is quite attractive as the main reason for pursuing Reformation! I look forward to giving it a try!

    Per OP, yes. See the linked Reddit article in OP for additional details.
     

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