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How would you feel if Malakim had +1 hammer per priest in base?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by akatosh, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Rhetorical question here, since base FFH2 is fixed at this point. In your opinion, would base FFH2 be better or worse if Malakim were tweaked to add +1 hammer to priest specialists?

    I ask because my favorite thing about FFH is how interesting and different the civs are. Many of them are different because they have fundamentally different economies (e.g., Lanun, Khazad, Infernals) and others because of a slew of interesting unique units (e.g. Amurites, Balseraphs.) I feel that Malakim don't quite have enough in either area. +1 commerce in desert is a nice boost, but aristofarms are still aristofarms. Camel archers, nomads, and lightbringer-->mage-->sandlion spam don't quite do it for me.

    So I was thinking--what if Malakim had the opportunity pursue a fundamentally different economic structure through mass priests? Essentially an "altar economy"?

    To some extent, this can be done already and there are some good synergies with the spiritual trait. Spiritual-->half price temples-->extra priest slots and higher happy cap to run those priests with Religion civic-->more priest GPs-->altar levels-->more priests and bonus hammers for priests, and more xp for disciple units which are already buffed with Spiritual. Malakim add a little extra to this on top, with the desert shrine stacking xp with the Altar, Varn being able to pick up Philosophical, the worldspell creating priests (that can be used to build temples), the Lightbringer UU, and I believe a higher chance of founding Empyrean in the capital (stack Dies Diei with the altar in the capital for even more xp.) Spiritual also lets you micro civics, switching in and out of theocracy or pacifism/arete to boost GP generation.

    However, when I play Malakim these synergies are sort of nice but the Altar stacking just takes too long to be a primary source of hammers in the way that Governor's manors are a primary hammer source for Calabim, or vaults are for Khazad. In short I feel that the beginnings of this powerful synergy are there, but there is just something missing to take it over the top in the way that StW+Org/Fin+Aristofarms+Gov Manors+Breeding Pit+Feasting+Slavery work for Calabim, or Vaults+RoK gold+Mines+Arete+Arete GP+Vault GP+worldspell+hills+dwarf race+dwarven forges work for Khazad.

    I have seen posts about earlier versions of FFH where apparently the hammer generation from Altar levels was greater, and was worth it for any civ to pursue. I wouldn't want to buff Altars so much that every civ goes for it (making it uninteresting) but I would like to see it be viable for SOMEONE.

    That's how I came up with this thought of, what if Malakim had some kind of starting bonus to priests that encouraged them to go for an "Altar economy." It could be implemented as a civ trait, a function of the Malakim palace (similar to Sidar palace), or a function of the Desert Shrine UB. I am not asking for anyone to do this in a modmod specifically, I'm just wondering what people think of the idea generally.

    So in closing:

    1) What do you think of this idea?
    2) Would you want it to be a +1 hammer per priest, or +1 science, or something else?
     
  2. Azhral

    Azhral Let's get Tactical!

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    Hmmm. (so you know how its goes, type up a long reply, accidentally close the browser, yada yada)

    I love the Malakim, easily my favourite civ. Their +1 commerce in desert, plus a floodplain start, plus Aristocracy, can equal a massive tech lead. Their only real downside to this is the horrible production inherit in a desert start.

    The +1:hammers: per priest would be a major boost, and if done well could easily lead to production parity in the early-mid game.

    My concerns come after that. More priests mean more Great Prophets, which means more levels of the Altar of the Luonnotar, which means even more :hammers: per priest, and so on and so on.

    The end result would just make them even more powerful in the mid to late game than they already are. They don't need that.

    +1:hammers: per priest would be too powerful, but I think +1 priest slot or +1 Great Prophet point per Desert Shrine (and/or per Citadel of Light) could be a bit more balanced.

    Actually +1 priest slot per desert shrine wouldn't be a poor idea. Playing as Malakim there's too little reason to invest into Desert Shrines until later in the game. They're a massive hammer investment in the early game in a desert start, but letting them earn back those hammers with an extra priest would make it worth it, but also mean that on a non-desert start its not overpowered due to less food meaning less specialists.

    Thinking about it, I can't come up with another civ that has such a production disadvantage in their preferred terrain as the Malakim do. Only ones I could think of were the Lanun (but ports mature very quick and confer other bonuses too) or the Doviello (but tundra is just as productive as other terrains, just less food).

    Those are my thoughts anyways.
     
  3. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Yeah, the Malakim do have a defining mechanics problem.
    They're floodplain kings, though.
     
  4. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Hmm, interesting thoughts. I am surprised to hear that you consider it overpowered, though. Priests start at +1 hammer, +1 gold and eat up 2 food. That's equivalent to working a riverside plains that Muris Clan goblins have dumped their trash on. After you sacrifice 3 great prophets to build Altar 3, it's the equivalent of working a plains workshop without smelting or guilds. After you sac 2 more priests, you get altar V and have the equivalent of a smelting plains workshop (3 hammers, 1 gold.) That's still weaker than a simple grassland mine.

    If Malakim had the +1 hammer per priest, after investing 5 great people (mind you, these are GPs you're not using for academies, bulbing, rushing wonders, building shrines, golden ages, or shrines) you would have 4 hammers and 1 gold per priest. Now 1 priest (that eats 2 food) is equal to working a riverside plains mine (4 hammers 1 commerce eats 2 food). Except the riverside plains mine is available at mining, and Altar 5 requires you to go deep into the religion tree and spend many turns getting great priests.

    Eventually it seems like it would be powerful because of the synergies available, but it certainly doesn't seem strong in the early game to me.

    edit - maybe I am underestimating the value of the +1 commerce on desert start. Still, I think a Malakim altar economy wouldn't compare to the power of governor's manors or dwarven vaults.
     
  5. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    +1 commerce at desert is godly if you have floodplains nearby, useless otherwise. I actually think that it's not that great of a design to have a civ's power change depending on a terrain, but unable to "create" that terrain.
     
  6. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    the main problem for me is that engineer (artisans?) would be worth so much less than priests...
    at 2 hammers.. versus the "new" priest 2 hammers 1 gold.

    IMO it would be more equilibrated to have priests "cost less".
    let say that malakim priests are ascets... they "eat" only 1 food instead of 2 (like merchants).
    so give 1F to priests.

    and add that shrine gives 2 priests slots.
    so early game you have 2hammers per 2 food (+2commerce)
    on small cities, priests output would double : twice more priests: much more hammers.

    but on the other hand, priests slots are limited, and they'll still generate unhealth.

    but on the other hand, if you have lot of food, and limited slots, going engineers will bring more hammers... priests would still bring less hammers per slots.

    only issue would be with theocracy and illimited priests slots...; humpf.
     
  7. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Hmm, Tower of Complacency + Sacrifice the Weak + Theocracy + priests providing +1 food = infinite priests, or limited only by unhealthiness? Sounds cool to me :)
     
  8. Azhral

    Azhral Let's get Tactical!

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    See, altering the priests themselves just ends up giving massively overpowered bonuses in the late-game and almost no benefit in the early-game.

    Incorrect. +1:gold: is much more valuable than +1:commerce:. And Malakim on a desert start will, at worst, have a Desert Hill to work (+1:hammers:, +1:commerce: [Or even just a plain Desert, which is +1:commerce:]). Running a Priest is much better thanks to the extra gold, and extra GPP points.

    I still think the best option is for the Desert Shrine to allow 2 Priest slots rather than just the 1. Gonna mod that in my own game and give it a try, see what happens.

    3:hammers: 3:commerce: mines on a riverside desert hill (with financial) aren't too bad either. But yea, the floodplains are the key. Also Scorch can create deserts, but not floodplains, in vanilla. I've modded in the ability to Scorch to floodplains, and I think its a bit overpowered considering the AI don't even try it. Still, Malakim get other bonuses from desert other than an extra :commerce:, such as double movement, extra strength (especially on attack) and Sand Lions.
     
  9. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    Why is +1 gold better than +1 commerce? +1 commerce gives you the choice of having 1 gold or 1 science depending on the slider. Moreover Deruptus multiplies commerce, not gold.
     
  10. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    true...
    at 100% gold, the 1 commerce is increased by deruptus as commerce AND later as gold by banks and other gold multipliers.
     

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