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Pantheons - Second Edition

Gidoza

Emperor
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
1,307
If I may, I'd like to take another round to communally look at our Pantheons and tweak them, aiming for perfection. Some discussion has been going on in the "Balance - Religion and Faith" thread, however Pantheons deserve their own. I'm calling this "Second Edition" because it's following-up on a thread that existed something like 8 months ago.


What I'm going to do is break up the Pantheons as we know them into thematic groups, that way we can compare them within their groups and against one another. Secondly, I'm going to offer a "Faith counter" of sorts - it is as close as I can get to what each Pantheon is offering in terms of Faith for the early-game moving towards getting a Religion, and what each Pantheon offers after the founding of Religions for the rest of the game as a whole. With these notes marked, I'll offer my ideas for tweaks within the context that makes sense both in short-term and long-term themes; bearing in mind that I'm not merely accounting for Faith, but for any other yields a Pantheon is offering. I will admit that I'm being reserved in my estimates - but my reservedness is global, so if my estimates are generally low, at least they're low on an equal plane (admitting my bias in the data - invitation to PLEASE OFFER CORRECTION).

I'll also be pulling from various ideas and comments I've seen in the other thread and making notes where appropriate. The "Baseline" that I am assuming for Faith generation will be the "resource Pantheons" - I'll be comparing everything else generally against those.

And thus we go.

For reference, here are the "Faith points" I'm using to weigh some strengths/weaknesses of some Pantheons.

PF (Pocket Faith) - About how much Faith one can realistically expect around turn 50 assuming normal circumstances (points to how much "oumph" the Pantheon has towards generating a Religion - I'm assuming 2 or 3 cities even though theoretically you could certainly have more, and that the player is being somewhat intentional of aiming for more of a particular resource if that's what he wants for more Faith generation).

Keep in mind that I'm NOT including Shrines in the calculation - it's strictly what the Pantheon can provide. That said, if there's a building the Pantheon offers that provides Faith, I may or may not include it, because if you want to dive for a Religion, building a Shrine in your expansions could offer you more than a building related to your Pantheon (thus, a waste of time for calculating Religion purposes).

CF (Constant Faith) - Roughly how much Faith per city on average you might be getting out of this in the long term.





SECTION I - RESOURCE PANTHEONS

As pointed out in the other thread (Moi Magnus), these Pantheons generally have no scalers for Faith, and so while they can be decent at the beginning, their usefulness from a Religious perspective sort of takes a gradual dive. I have a suggestion for a small scaling idea that would keep these balanced in terms of Religion early-on and strengthen them later, but we'll get to that at each one.


Earth Mother
+1 Faith and +1 Gold from Mines on improved resources, and +2 Production from Monuments.

PF - 4
CF - 2

Commentary: If there's an issue with this Pantheon, it's that some Mines aren't exactly practical to use right at the beginning, as they don't give Food - thus you'll be sacrificing precious growth of your city in order to gain the Faith/other bonuses from this Pantheon.

Thought: It occurs to me that a really boring +1 Food in every city would help mitigate the aforementioned problem, but it's not entirely out of place as food comes from the Earth.

Suggestion: If the Faith of this Pantheon was buffed to 2 at the Medieval Age, it would stand its ground a little better for the remainder of the game. Alternatively, we could pick a Medieval-Aged building to offer +2 Faith.


God of Craftsmen
+1 Faith and +1 Gold from Quarries and Stone Works, and +2 Production in cities with a Specialist.

PF - 4
CF - 3

Commentary: I couldn't help but notice that this Pantheon is effectively identical to Earth Mother in terms of its yields, which is pretty boring. This also means that it suffers from exactly the same problem as the other one, so my general ideas wouldn't be any different. However, it could be interesting to swap some of the yields for other things - as Craftsmanship often has Culture tied to it somehow. The bonus on the Stone Works makes up for the fact that it takes longer to research - I think?

Thought: Perhaps we could swap the Gold from either the Quarry or the Stone Works to Culture instead.

Suggestion: Buff the Faith of the Pantheon to 2 at Medieval so it keeps up with things. Alternatively, we could pick a Medieval-Aged building to offer +2 Faith.


God of the Open Sky
+1 Culture for every 3 featureless Plains or Grassland tiles (without hills or features) worked by a City; +1 Faith and +1 Gold from Pastures.

PF - 5
CF - 3/4

Commentary: Whereas this Pantheon's side-bonus (culture from featureless Plains/Grassland) used to be unreasonably strong before, the fact that the tiles need to be WORKED now makes this part of the Pantheon effectively useless. Think of it: if I actually have Pastures to build or really any other resource to work, why would I be working the featureless Plains or Grasslands? I have to assume that the early-game culture output of this Pantheon is going to be roughly 0. On the other hand, we like to be kind to Goddess of Nature because Mountains provide nothing and are unworkable - but the truth of the matter is that nothing save the most enormous cities ever work all their tiles anyways, so building a city in the middle of a Mountain range really doesn't cost you anything. Consequently, it doesn't really make sense to me that God of the Open Sky should be penalized because Grasslands/Plains are useful, since they'll never all be worked, either. If we're talking about truly featureless tiles with NOTHING on them - I can't help but wonder if just planting a Culture on every single Grassland/Plains tile wouldn't be okay, but only if it is WORKED (working only the boring tiles for culture). It's a thought. In any case, I generally assume that this Pantheon is stronger than others in the Faith department as Sheep/Horses/Cattle tend to show up more often than other things and don't take away from your food when using them.

Thought: Buff secondary Culture ability as per working tiles: 1:1 even seems not too bad (you can't work them ALL and the Pastures, too).

Suggestion: Give the Stables a +2 Faith bonus as a scaler for the Medieval Era.


God of the Sea
+1 Faith and +1 Production from Fishing Boats and Atolls; +3 Food in coastal Cities.

PF - 4/5
CF - 2/3

Commentary: Moi Magnus pointed out that you need to reveal Fish before knowing the full extent of the usefulness of this Pantheon, and Funak pointed out that you'd probably aim for it if you had decent access to Crabs/Whales. However, I think that if the player has enough of the resource he needs (whatever you constitute as "enough"), it's pretty solid as it offers the things you want most early in the game: Food and Production. Can't complain!

Suggestion: Add +2 Faith to the Harbor for scaling effect.


God of the Stars and Sky
+2 Faith, +2 Production, and +2 Culture from Tundra tiles with improved resources.

PF - 8/10
CF - 4/6

Commentary: As most have pointed out, this Pantheon takes a bad start in Tundra and makes it not bad. The issue however is with the Faith generation, which seems like a bit overkill as it's TOO reliable - double the Faith generation as any of the neighbors is actually quite alot. I have an alternative that could be worthwhile, though.

Suggestion 1: Instead of the above, the Pantheon could read, "+1 Faith from all Tundra tiles; +2 Production and +2 Culture from Tundra tiles with improved resources." This would enable the same flexibility of usefulness out of the improved resources without catapulting the player to a Religion, while on the other hand letting the player dab into small Faith bonuses here and there through other relevant Tundra tiles (Forests and Hills).

Suggestion 2: The scaler for this Pantheon could simply be that an additional +1 Faith is added to the improved resources in the Medieval Era.


Goddess of Festivals
+2 Faith, +2 Culture and +2 Gold for every unique Luxury Resource you control.

PF - 6
CF - N/A

Commentary: My presumption is that this Pantheon does NOT include resources traded in or acquired from City-States, but I could be wrong. Either way, however, the bonus is decent now since the upgrade and naturally scales as you gain more territory, so I don't really see a need at the moment to modify this. A note that I made the CF "not applicable" because whereas you can average out 1-3 Mines near any given city, this kind of calculation just won't work, here.


Goddess of Purity
+1 Faith and +1 Food from Oases, Lakes, and Marshes; +1 Happiness from Cities on rivers.

PF - 4/5
CF - N/A

Commentary: If you have a good Lake start, then this will net some decent starting Faith and make your city grow quickly. However, I don't find Lakes to be as reliable as other "resource" types, nor Oases, nor Marshes, so I'd tend to thing that the Faith benefits will fall off in the long run, even though the Happiness will be a boon throughout the game.

Suggestion: Perhaps +1 or +2 Faith from Baths would be a nice touch for later-game development.


Goddess of Springtime
+1 Faith and +1 Culture from Plantations, and +2 Gold from Markets.

PF - 3/4
CF - 2

Commentary: Definitely a weaker Pantheon in my opinion from the Faith perspective, as the tech isn't immediately accessible, and one often needs to cut down trees/jungle to access some of the resources you want to improve.

Suggestion: Is it possible to give the chopping wood ability to Workers simply from taking this Pantheon? If not, oh, well...anyways, we could give +2 Faith to Gardens here for scaling purposes.


Goddess of the Hunt
+1 Faith, +1 Food and +1 Culture from Camps.

PF - 5
CF - 2

Commentary: My experience with Camps is that they tend to be more rare than other resource types, but when they do show up, there's lots of them. And the bonus offered here is pretty solid and useful. I can't see any reason to change it.

Thought: I can't help but wonder, however, what a synthesis between Goddess of Renewal and Goddess of the Hunt would look like. That is, dump one of the bonuses from the Camp and leave it to the other "half" of the Pantheon: they're both mostly Forest-dependent, so it could work nicely.

Suggestion: For a scaler...I don't know what, but something that adds Faith somewhere. :p (suggest something and I'll edit the post)


Spirit of the Desert
+2 Faith, +2 Food and +2 Gold from Desert tiles with Improved resources.

PF - 8/10
CF - 6

Commentary: Much like the Tundra Pantheon, this transforms a bad start into a good start - but the Faith boon is a bit overkill, I think.

Suggestion: Like Tundra, switch the Pantheon to "+1 Faith on all Desert tiles; +2 Food and +2 Gold from Desert tiles with Improved resources." Again, this could be offered an additional +1 Faith on the improved resource tiles when we hit Medieval Era for scaling. I think this would be weaker than the Tundra version, though (as Desert tiles tend to be less interesting), but not *that* much weaker.


God of the Sun
+2 Food, +1 Gold from Granaries. +1 Faith and +2 Culture from Farms on Wheat.

PF - 3
CF - 2

Commentary: This Pantheon is at one and the same time really awesome, and really difficult to assess: you'll get amazing yields from your Granaries and for whatever Wheat you have around, yet Wheat isn't common everywhere, so it can certainly scale down with time. The immense Culture that can come from it in a good spot is a real boon, making me think the Gold on the Granaries is probably unnecessary. In any case, it could probably use a scaler for later on in the game.

Suggestion: Faith yield on Wheat buffed to 2 in the Medieval Age. Actually, the +1 Gold on Granaries could be initially removed, but then recovered at the Medieval Age, and this seems okay.


SECTION II - SORT OF RESOURCE PANTHEONS

These are basically the left-over Pantheons that more or less follow the same set of rules as what I've called the "resource Pantheons," without actually having a real resource attached to them. I think that their main characteristic is that we haven't figured out how to balance them well, yet...


Goddess of Nature
+1 Faith and +1 Culture for every 2 Mountains within 3 tiles of a City, and Natural Wonders gain +3 Faith and +2 Culture.

PF - 3-16
CF - 3

Commentary: Reality is that Mountains aren't everywhere, and neither are Natural Wonders. Actually, the bonus for the Natural Wonder, when you think of it, isn't *that* impressive - it'll be overshadowed by most Resource Pantheons soon enough as improvements get built, and you can't just go and find Natural Wonders anywhere. The bonus for the Natural Wonder is that you get it instantly, and so it's a useful jump. This may or may not be enough to get you a Religion.

In reality, where I think the real power in this Pantheon is lies in the Mountains bonus: as I mentioned earlier, since not all tiles are worked by any city anyways, it doesn't really matter if there are a bunch of Mountains around (and should you start with many Mountains in your initial city radius, the bonus Culture will expand you to new usable tiles soon enough). So a good plot in the middle of the Mountains can easily and instantly snatch you 3 to 5 Culture/Faith each. And as far as I can tell, the same Mountain can function for more than one city at once - so all you need to do is settle a couple of cities, and you can be generating 15 Faith effortlessly from this Pantheon. Suffice it to say, I'm confident to submit that the present form of this half of the Pantheon is overpowered.

Suggestion: Drop the Faith/Culture generation for Mountains back down to 1 for 3. Even this may not be enough, but baby steps. I don't think scaling is required, here.


Goddess of Renewal
+1 Faith and +1 Culture for every 2 Jungle or 2 Forest tiles worked by a City; +1 Science and +1 Faith from Herbalists.

PF - Incalculable
CF - At least 1

Commentary: The issue with the former automatic version of this Pantheon is that most found it too strong. The issue with the present version of it is that it seems pretty evidently too weak. You pretty much need a Forest/Jungle without resources in it for this to be useful, because any resources in the forest save Deer/Truffles will cut down your Forest/Jungle (thus less relevant tiles to work); otherwise, if you have lots of Deer/Truffles in your vicinity, I'm wondering why you aren't just going with Goddess of the Hunt. So yeah, the issue here is that this IN THEORY looks pretty solid, but in reality one ends up chopping down half the trees one wants to use in order to access the resources that are there. Not very helpful!

Suggestion 1: My first honest suggestion is a merger with Goddess of the Hunt. Yes, I know - it means that there won't be 2 forest-related Pantheons, and that's boring. Maybe so. But it'll make sense. And I hope to tackle some of the more generic Pantheons so it's not like you'll be SOL if you're in the middle of a forest. If Camps were generating Faith/Gold, and Jungles/Forests were generating Culture, with the Herbalist as a side-bonus, this could be interesting.

Suggestion 2: Workshop could provide Faith scaling by offering an additional +2 Faith. Now I wonder: Could we go back to the old passive way of calculating the Faith/Culture from Forests/Jungles, BUT with a condition? Instead of "within 3 tiles of a city," make the condition to be, "within the city's borders." That way, it's not a huge automatic bonus, but instead is gained gradually through gaining tiles. I feel like this would be a better solution if it is possible.


SECTION III - SCALERS

Scalers are all the Pantheons that intrinsically generate more and more Faith as the game progresses, and consequently don't need anything to scale for them because their long-term Faith generation will naturally be massive. I consider as a consequence, however, that if there are long-term benefits, then some of the short-term benefits (namely, non-Faith yields) need to be less pronounced, as they tend to be here: whereas in Resource Pantheons, you will have a Faith and a Culture or a Faith and a Gold per tile; any Culture/Gold in these Pantheons tends to be associated with a single building, a single bonus per city, and that's all you get: the focus is on Faith generation. The challenge is making it fair enough in the early game so all the Pantheons don't end up being niche picks for individual Civilizations.


Ancestor Worship
+1 Faith for every 4 Citizens in a city; +1 Culture and +1 Faith from Councils.

PF - 4
CF - N/A

Commentary: My instinct here tells me that there's something wrong, especially when you put it into relation with other Pantheons. God-King, for example, offers 4 yields for every 6 population; whereas Ancestor Worship is offering 1.5 yields for every 6 population. I'd suggest that Ancestor Worship isn't quite holding up its end of the deal, and isn't really distinctive enough - for example, whereas God-King could be a generic yield Pantheon, Ancestor Worship has the opportunity to be a Faith muscle Pantheon. It's also not like you're going to get anything but your Capital (if that) up to 8 population by the time Religions show up - not to mention that if you want to push the Faith bonuses of having enough Citizens, you either need to stand by till 4 population in your Capital before making a Settler, or just not having Faith in the Capital while making Settlers. Either way, you lose out. I think that a buff is warranted here - but I am wary of the possibility of overpoweredness on account of the Council's presence.

Suggestion: Let's bring Ancestor Worship back down to 1 Faith per 3 Citizens in a city - it will be more potent for the early game without being overwhelming, and be very worthy for its sheer power later on, strictly in Faith. If we're worried about its being too strong early on, my suggestion would be to eliminate the Council's bonus to Faith, to Culture, or to just wipe out that aspect of the Pantheon altogether to leave it as a super-Faith generating Pantheon.


God of Commerce
+1 Faith for every 20 Gold produced by owned cities; +2 Faith and +2 Gold in Cities with a City Connection.

PF - 3/5
CF - N/A

Commentary: The question I have to ask (since this is one I haven't tested) is whether the Gold produced for Faith is coming from total GPT, or GPT BEFORE expenses. If it's the former, I'm worried this is too weak. If it's the latter, then I'd say it's fine and nothing needs to be done to it. A Merchant would do well with this.


God of the Expanse
+25% faster border growth, and gain 20 Faith every time a city expands its borders. Bonus scales with Gamespeed.

PF - I have no idea.
CF - I have no idea.

Commentary: A while ago, I posted a game review in the game review thread in the other forum that explained what happens when this Pantheon scales by Era, and consequently why that should never be allowed in the future. Let's just say that with the old, more expensive Great Prophet prices, I was easily affording them into the 25000's of Faith and wasn't putting up much of a sweat. However, I haven't really tested it since then, and am at a loss to give an analysis, because so many things can so easily affect Border Growth (well, Culture...). But to keep up with the other Pantheons at the current Faith yield, we'd be talking about a border expansion every 5 turns, which seems rather extreme. So my instinct tells me that it needs a buff, but I don't know how much...

Suggestion: Actually, if I was going to buff it, I'd even be inclined to say to make the Border Growth modifier something much higher like 100%, and let that run the show. Could be a fun side-bonus to run. But anyways, like I said - needs a buff of some kind.


God of War
+50% increase in City Ranged Combat Strength, and gain Faith if you win a battle.

PF - Indeterminable.
CF - Indeterminable.

Commentary: I recall pushing for this to be strengthened, as once upon a time it was rather awful to depend on it and really you could never get a Religion out of it, even if it was fun in theory. However now, I'd say it's a bit too strong (and I know this from experience, as it's a favorite of mine). The Faith from kills naturally scales so well with unit power growth and number of cities, that especially in the late game, I'd consider it one of the most reliable sources of Faith there is. It doesn't need a BIG nerf, but a nerf nonetheless.

Suggestion 1: First off, let's move the +50% increase in City Ranged Combat Strength over to the Goddess of Defence - God of War just doesn't need it, and it fits better with Goddess of Defence. God of War will be generating so much Faith and this is its specialty; let's let the defensive Goddess enjoy blowing stuff up with her cities.

Suggestion 2: From the current value of how Faith is generated on kills, I'd say that a 5-10% reduction is warranted, but really I think 5% would be enough. Between this and the removal of the City Ranged Combat Strength bonus, I'm inclined to believe that it would be right on.


God-King
+1 Culture, +1 Faith, +1 Gold, and +1 Science for every 6 Followers.

PF - 2
CF - N/A

Commentary: I see lots of discussion about whether this is really useless or really powerful, and I guess when you think about it, they're both totally true assessments. What it really comes down to, though, is that you're not really going to get a Religion from this Pantheon without a ton of help from external stuff. What this makes me think of, though, is that if this Pantheon is depending on externals to gain a Religion, anyways, why not make that the theme? As follows...

Suggestion: I seem to recall that we once had another Pantheon around that seems to no longer be around, that gave only NON-FAITH yields whenever a Border Expansion occurred (correct me if I'm wrong). How about we run with this? Let's dump the Faith aspect from the "every 6 Followers" and keep the rest, while adding a bunch of non-Faith yields every time you have a Border Expansion. Thus, this Pantheon will never actually yield any Faith and be in its own unique department whereby it just offers the believer some crazy good yields that are of benefit directly to the Empire. I think it would be a very fun alternative. :D


Goddess of Love
Gain 10 Faith and 10 Golden Age Points every time a Citizen is born. Bonus scales with Era and Gamespeed.

PF - 2/3
CF - N/A

Commentary: Realistically, I need to assume a population point every 10 turns or so in the early game (barring some amazing circumstances), which puts this at about 1 Faith per turn per city, which is one of the worst yields of any Pantheon out there. It might be able to manage in competition later on, but yeah...this needs a buff.

Suggestion: Boost the Faith per Citizen born to either 20 or 25. The Golden Age Points could stay the same or increase, but I don't think putting them at 15 would be a bad choice.


Goddess of Wisdom
+1 Faith for every 10 Science per turn. +1 Science and +1 Faith in every City.

PF - 4
CF - N/A

Commentary: I'd say that early-game Faith generation for this Pantheon ultimately depends on making expansions, which isn't a bad thing. After that, I imagine it would hold its own pretty well where science is concerned. One must ask how this stacks up against God of Commerce - if God of Commerce is based on income before expenses, then I'd say they're pretty even, and essentially no change is needed apart from minor ones. Need to test myself some more.


SECTION IV - THE ODDBALLS

These are the Pantheons that fit absolutely nowhere else, play by their own rules, and for the most part depend on particular buildings for Faith generation, which can be weird because you need the right techs and lots of production to make things work at times. They can be both fun, but stupid...


God of All Creation
+3 Faith in Capital; +1 Culture and +1 Happiness for every Pantheon ever founded (including this one).

PF - 3
CF - N/A

Commentary: Most that I've read have been saying that this Pantheon is overpowered - and overall, I'm inclined to agree: it's early-game benefits are immensely powerful and undeniable. However, its peculiarity is that it has a swift decline and crash shortly after the early game...but it may not matter, as you may have won the game by then (slight exaggeration). I will agree that it needs to be curbed somehow, but none of our current attempts have really solved the problem of either not making it strong too early or making it a miserable failure later on: furthermore, it often robs someone of a Religion slot.

Suggestion 1: I'm not the first to suggest this (re: Funak), and I won't be the last: but I'm inclined to just say delete it. But that may be a bit harsh.

Suggestion 2: We can keep this Pantheon being the magical Pantheon that gives instant great bonuses, while still having it not be too powerful early on and not crash as badly later. Here's my idea.

First off, we need to stop tying it to other people's Pantheons...

+1 Faith, +2 Culture, and +3 Happiness in Capital; an additional +1 Faith, +2 Culture, and +1 Happiness per Era reached.

Translation: This means that when you take the Pantheon, you immediately have +2 Faith, +4 Culture, and +4 Happiness; when you reach Classical, it will be +3 Faith, +6 Culture, and +5 Happiness, and so on. This seems more reasonable, and if it needs to be adjusted, I'd think it would even need to be a tad stronger - but it won't be game-breaking anymore I don't think. Rather than being a pick that's always awesome all the time, it's a real meaningful choice as the "crap, someone else took my Pantheon..." backup choice for anything.


Goddess of Beauty
+3 Faith and +1 Culture from World Wonders. +15% Production of Pre-Renaissance Wonders.

PF - 3 or 6 (but most likely 3)
CF - Reasonable.

Commentary: An early Wonder will get you decent Faith generation out of this, but it quite frankly won't be any better than the Faith generation any other standard Pantheon would be getting you. And the Culture is certainly absolutely worse. The bonus is that 15% boost to Pre-Renaissance Wonders, so we can really make use of them as much as possible - and if the Pantheon is kept thru the game, the Faith bonuses from it would be decent enough, I think. Though maybe a small boost is worthwhile.

Suggestion: Add +1 Gold per Wonder. Not huge, but seems reasonable.


Goddess of Fertility
+1 Food and +1 Faith from Shrines and Wells, and 15% faster Growth Rate.

PF - 4
CF - 2

Commentary: Decent boost that one can't complain about, and it offers a Faith benefit to a building you already have and certainly a different building you want. The Faith generation kind of trails off really fast, though, and maybe there's something we can do about that.

Suggestion 1: Moi Magnus offered that we add Water Mills to the list, and I don't see why not. This will keep the numbers balanced between River and non-River cities.

Suggestion 2: For scaling purposes, I would add the Aqueduct and maybe one other similar building later in the game, but nothing further.


Goddess of Protection
+10 HP healed per turn in friendly territory; +1 Faith and +1 Culture from Palace, Walls and Barracks.

PF - 3?
CF - 2

Commentary: Last one! I'll be honest, I don't understand this Pantheon. I guess it's not bad. But it's really not good, either. You can't really depend on its Faith generation very much, but I guess it gives extra Culture. The bonus hit points is good for healing - but if you wanted to war, I'd just go with God of War. This Pantheon is just strange. It needs something.

Suggestion 1: I've previously suggested that the +50% Ranged Combat City Strength be moved from God of War to here, which suits the theme pretty well.

Suggestion 2: The Armory and Military Academy (or something to that extent) would make for good scalers.

Suggestion 3: I'm tempted to say to boost the healing to 15, but maybe not necessary. What do I know. ^_^



CONCLUSION

To recap, what I'm aiming for here is a list of Pantheons that are not generic and all the same, but that generally speaking all have a meaningful shot at a Religion, and in some way retain their meaning in a more-or-less even way as the game progresses. This includes some Pantheons that give various yields through Improvements or Buildings, some Pantheons that strictly offer Faith, and others that offer no Faith whatsoever. While there's always going to be the "dummy" Pantheons, I'd like to think that even the ones that tend to be cast aside can be intentional and poignant selections for a good host of Civilizations in an attempt to do well.

Let the discussion begin! :)
 
God of Commerce
+1 Faith for every 20 Gold produced by owned cities; +2 Faith and +2 Gold in Cities with a City Connection.

PF - 3/5
CF - N/A

Commentary: The question I have to ask (since this is one I haven't tested) is whether the Gold produced for Faith is coming from total GPT, or GPT BEFORE expenses. If it's the former, I'm worried this is too weak. If it's the latter, then I'd say it's fine and nothing needs to be done to it. A Merchant would do well with this.

I was actually going to not respond to this thread, mainly because I'm tired and there is way too much text. Also from experience arguments between the two of us never leads anywhere :D.
But then I got to this part and I just had to comment on how terribly wrong you are here. This is one of the absolute bet pantheons in the game, you can pretty much blindpick it every game and always get a religion from it.

Sure on one hand it got weaker with the nerf to city-connections a few patches ago, but on the other hand with the nerf to city-connections (and early trade-routes) gold became a lot more scarce, making the extra gold from this pantheon even more valuable, especially for Progress (who are forced to build city-connections for science) or Authority(having cheaper roads). Gold is one of the best yields in the ancient and classical era, allowing you to buy units and invest in buildings getting your expansions up faster, also allows you to keep a bigger army around.

Sure you need to build roads, but building roads is usually easier than building specific improvements, and roads rarely gets pillaged or blocked by barbs (you also don't have to work potentially weak tiles just to get faith.

Later in the game the secondary effect of the pantheon translates into massive faith-gain (well not exactly massive, but still usually way more than other pantheons).
 
You didn't even mention the Farms on Wheat Pantheon.

I can see us combining some of these weaker Pantheons to make a good Pantheon, but that's not what we should be doing.

The necessity of needing Improvements hinders the Resource Pantheons. If there were some base Yields given on some Resources (like in Vanilla), they would be on the Basic Resources. There isn't a good balance between the Improvements: Plantations are 95% Luxuries and Pastures are all Basic.


Some Suggestions for other Pantheons:

God of the Expanse: Some base Culture or a boost to Monuments could help get those boarders growing.

Goddess of Love: This one feels like it should have some passive building bonuses with it. Or just combined with another Pantheon. Faith and GAP don't really have any synergy until you have a Religion. Maybe we ought to swap this with Cooperation.

Goddess of Fertility and Protection: Probably just need more Buildings on them.
 
I was actually going to not respond to this thread, mainly because I'm tired and there is way too much text. Also from experience arguments between the two of us never leads anywhere :D.
But then I got to this part and I just had to comment on how terribly wrong you are here. This is one of the absolute bet pantheons in the game, you can pretty much blindpick it every game and always get a religion from it.

Sure on one hand it got weaker with the nerf to city-connections a few patches ago, but on the other hand with the nerf to city-connections (and early trade-routes) gold became a lot more scarce, making the extra gold from this pantheon even more valuable, especially for Progress (who are forced to build city-connections for science) or Authority(having cheaper roads). Gold is one of the best yields in the ancient and classical era, allowing you to buy units and invest in buildings getting your expansions up faster, also allows you to keep a bigger army around.

Sure you need to build roads, but building roads is usually easier than building specific improvements, and roads rarely gets pillaged or blocked by barbs (you also don't have to work potentially weak tiles just to get faith.

Later in the game the secondary effect of the pantheon translates into massive faith-gain (well not exactly massive, but still usually way more than other pantheons).

Funak, yes, we have arguments, but we've also agreed on many things as well - a couple incidents in a couple threads doesn't nullify the rest of the good stuff. If I have an issue with argumentation with you, it's the sort of blanket statements that tend to get in the way of things - I mean really, did you *have* to mention that you weren't going to respond and that there's too much text? If it's not your thing, that's cool - but I'm not going to make a post like this and leave things unsubstantiated. And it's cool to tell me that I'm wrong, too - you did it in my other thread about Seaports, but in a less disrespectful way: I read the post and was like, "Oh yeah, Funak's right," and that was about the end of that. I rather expect you to come and post here - post meaningful things - because I actually respect and am interested in your opinion. And you can say that I'm incorrect and wrong - but do you really need to say it in the most severe way possible? My intro to the very thread included the fact that I could be wrong about things, haven't assessed things perfectly, and am requesting correction - if I'm wrong about something, I'm wrong about something. Just say it - you don't need to make it the highlight of your post and enforce it to the point that it looks like you're being totally dismissive.

As for God of Commerce - I did say that this was one of the Pantheons I didn't test. :p And thanks for highlighting the issue, because that's what this thread is supposed to be for (again, we're working on balance together, and I'm very intentional about it - and it doesn't get done without you here). However, do notice that the value of 5 I offered it is one of the highest on my list, so it's not like I'm unaware of its potential.


You didn't even mention the Farms on Wheat Pantheon.

Whoops!

EDIT: Actually, I know why I missed it - it's not in the Wiki!!! And I don't have it with me now, so will add later.


Goddess of Fertility and Protection: Probably just need more Buildings on them.

You're probably right and that's where I'm leaning as well - the thing is that we don't want to offer too much too early or they'll go nuts really fast. I've noticed that the breaking points for many Pantheons is 3 Faith - in particular, you see this with God of All Creation, Goddess of Nature, and Goddess of Beauty: these tend to get Religions fast not even so much because they have 3 Faith per turn, but because they get that 3 Faith per turn *immediately*. So while someone else is building a Mine for 10 turns and may have 6 Mines around - these Pantheons are leaping far ahead and keeping their lead because it isn't possible to shove ahead enough with the other ones before Religions come around. Because of that, I'm inclined to reduce their starting Faith values to 2, and compensate them in other ways.
 
I'm glad to see this thread, I agree its a good debate to have to finalize some of the pantheons.

As a King player, I don't normally have any issues with getting a religion, regardless of which pantheon I pick. So the faith balance is less of an issue to me. So I will give more context on the other bonuses.

To me, the major question to ask the higher level players: is a pantheons faith generation so low that it will likely cost me a religion? If it is, I think its a definite balance concern. If you still can get one, just not necessary the exact one you wanted, then I think its just a question of whether the other bonuses are worth it on their own. I also think that means that the faith generation doesn't need to scale as a default, its one for certain pantheons but not a requirement.

So my take on each, I will use a quick letter grade (A,C,F) to rank how I think about them in general.

Earth Mother (F): Agreed that mines are too weak early game (though they do much better in the mid and later stages), so really its the +2 production from monuments, and that doesn't compare to other pantheons.

God of Craftsmen (F): More useful in general than Earth Mother, but still on the weak side.

God of the Open Sky (C): I agree the core part is worthless. The improvement part is decent though, its not hard to get 3 animal around the capital, and certain starts to get 8-9 plots around your first 3-4 cities, so it can scale decently.

God of the Sea (A): One of the strongest pantheons to me. Drives a coastal city strategy on its own, faith or no faith.

God of the Stars and Sky (A): If you have the right start, and incredible pantheon. Otherwise worthless, but its fine to have a few of these in the mix.

Goddess of Festivals (A): Also a very strong pantheon with even a decent start. With just 2 luxuries near your capital, you are raking in 4 culture and gold, much more than many other pantheons offer as a base. And of course it just gets better from there.

Goddess of Purity (F): Requires the perfect start to be useful to me, I can't remember ever taking it.

Goddess of Springtime (F): Completely beaten by Goddess of Festivals in most cases to me.

Goddess of the Hunt (A): Great pantheon with a strong deer start (which is not uncommon). Really takes your initial cities off the ground. One of my favorites.

Spirit of the Desert (A): Like the tundra one, with the right start, one of the best in the game.

Goddess of Nature (C): Goddess of Festivals still beats this one to me. Natural wonders are so finicky, and mountains more so. But even with 2 mountains and a natural wonder....goddess of festivals is still comparable, and will only get stronger with time.

Goddess of Renewal (C): This one is right in the middle for me. I agree that early on it provides very little value, but strong forest/jungle locations are really good...so it scales very well. Also, any science bonus early on is useful. On of those where goddess of festivals is probably still better overall but it has its uses.

Ancestor Worship (F): Never take it, pretty lousy overall. It scales ok, but so do other pantheons, and this one has a much weaker start.

God of Commerce (C): Seems on the lower end to me, the faith can scale well but takes a lot of time to get going, I generally take other ones.

God of the Expanse (A): Great pantheon to take in combination with Authority's Tribute policy, and other things that give benefits to border speed/border growth. Its one of my favorites for that....border growth can be very slow, and this really helps.


God of War
(N/A): Don't have any experience with this one myself. This seems like just a strong faith generator, but doesn't give me any other yields. But if its a really strong faith generator....then it seems balanced to me.

God-King (C or F...depends on answer): Big question on this one. Once you have a religion, do you lose pantheon followers? If so, the yields actually go down with time...and this pantheon is worthless. If not, its a really good late game scaler, but it takes a while to show muscle so I don't think its OP.

Goddess of Love (C): I thought this one was really good, but I think God of all creation may do the job better. Its one I've chosen a lot though.

Goddess of Wisdom (C): Science is always good, especially early on, so this one seems solid.

God of All Creation (A): Has become my default, I agree its probably on top. For even smaller games you are gaining +4 culture and happiness. You mention it doesn't scale, but its not like the happiness is ever lost. It will provide you a +4% bonus to most yields through much of the game (unless your happiness is above +10), and is effectively +4 Golden Age points per turn (which is why I think it beats Goddess of Love overall for GA points).

Goddess of Beauty (C): As a King player, I find getting the prereq policies for many wonders is far more of a delay in building a wonder than its hammer cost. As such, I actually think that a pantheon that gives you strong culture will save you more turns than this bonus does.It seems so amazing, but scales pretty poorly in actuality, and I think other pantheons do the job better.

Goddess of Fertility (A): One of the stronger ones imo. The food boost is great, more growth is great, scales well with wide play. What's not to love?

Goddess of Protection (C): You mentioned God of War. The difference is God of War gives you rewards for war, this one helps you war. In long wars, I spend a lot of time with healing, so effectively doubling that rate is no joke. Also has surprising good culture scale. I think this one is underestimated.

God of the Sun (A): If you have a good wheat start, my god this one is amazing, I love it!
 
God of the Open Sky :
A litlle better that what you think : a featureless tile is a tile without forest, marsh, ... A ressource is not a feature. An improvement is not a feature. So you can have a pasture which is a featureless tile (just need not to be a hill).

God of All Creation :
I think this pantheon could find a place as a pantheon you want to take if you don't want to found a religion.
Maybe something as :
  • No faith at all
  • + 3 culture + 3 happiness
  • + 2 culture + 1 happiness for each founded religion.
 
God of the Open Sky :
A litlle better that what you think : a featureless tile is a tile without forest, marsh, ... A ressource is not a feature. An improvement is not a feature. So you can have a pasture which is a featureless tile (just need not to be a hill).

And it gets a little bit worse when you realize that it needs to specifically be 3 plains or 3 grasslands, not a combination of the two. To be perfectly honest this side-ability is A LOT worse than the side-abilities on the other improvement based pantheons.
 
God of the Open Sky :
A litlle better that what you think : a featureless tile is a tile without forest, marsh, ... A ressource is not a feature. An improvement is not a feature. So you can have a pasture which is a featureless tile (just need not to be a hill).

God of All Creation :
I think this pantheon could find a place as a pantheon you want to take if you don't want to found a religion.
Maybe something as :
  • No faith at all
  • + 3 culture + 3 happiness
  • + 2 culture + 1 happiness for each founded religion.

Ah, good clarification on God of the Open Sky regarding resources - that makes it better so I'll have to re-assess; still seems like it would be weak, though. EDIT: Just saw Funak's post, and that confirms it.

Regarding God of All Creation - I like where your idea is going; it's similar to the one I suggested for God-King. Let's just have two of these! I like that you changed "Pantheon" to "Religion," though, as that's less of an insane bonus and relies significantly less heavily on map size than previously - although I think it would be better to ditch reliance on Pantheons/Religions altogether.

@Stalker0 - I think your concern about getting a Religion is a good one, and this is what I'm aiming for: maybe a Pantheon doesn't get the first Religion, but all of them should have a reasonable shot at getting one (save the ones we're discussing to have no Faith generation whatsoever). Obviously, any Pantheon can then theoretically not get a Religion (it's normal for others to do better than you on an equal playing field), but at least it's fair game. So the first half of it is smoothing that part out, and the second half of the project is making sure that Pantheons that persist have some kind of equal footing in the long-term of the game. Again, it doesn't need to be exact, but it should be extreme for one and light for another barring very specific things.

@Funak - About to do some God of Commerce testing. However, your previous post gave me a thought: it occurs to me that City Connections generating Faith is probably a bad call on any Pantheon, though I don't see a problem with any Pantheon's using City Connections for extra yields of other kinds. It gives a very weird and biased favor to Carthage, Askia, etc...which I'd say that we generally don't want in a Pantheon. I think that swapping out City Connections in God of Commerce for a bonus to the Marketplace would be more even-steven for Civs in general, and we can re-assess where we put the Marketplace.

Finally, can someone post the data for God of the Sun? :/ I don't recall it off the top of my head, and I probably won't remember it when I'm playing the game. :p I'll add it to my initial post sooner or later, though.
 
And it gets a little bit worse when you realize that it needs to specifically be 3 plains or 3 grasslands, not a combination of the two. To be perfectly honest this side-ability is A LOT worse than the side-abilities on the other improvement based pantheons.

Ah, right. The only time I've tested it, I only had grasslands. (And I've never continue this game, so I don't know if it would have been good or not)
 
Finally, can someone post the data for God of the Sun? :/ I don't recall it off the top of my head, and I probably won't remember it when I'm playing the game. :p I'll add it to my initial post sooner or later, though.

+2 Food, +1 Gold from Granaries. +1 Faith and +2 Culture from Farms on Wheat.

(added to the wikia as well, thanks for noticing!)
 
God King
Removing the faith from God-King is not necessarily à bad idea, but it feel strange for me :
I've always considered God-King as the "Religious Victory" : If you convert everybody to your religion, it gives you à stupidly higth number of yields, and almost give you à Victory (I'm almost certain God-King count every follower, including forein followers, but it was maybe a bug of an old beta).
So making difficult to found with it go against what is for me the core of the Pantheon.
 
@Funak - About to do some God of Commerce testing. However, your previous post gave me a thought: it occurs to me that City Connections generating Faith is probably a bad call on any Pantheon, though I don't see a problem with any Pantheon's using City Connections for extra yields of other kinds. It gives a very weird and biased favor to Carthage, Askia, etc...which I'd say that we generally don't want in a Pantheon. I think that swapping out City Connections in God of Commerce for a bonus to the Marketplace would be more even-steven for Civs in general, and we can re-assess where we put the Marketplace.

Meh, there are weird specific-civ-favoring things all over the game, I don't necessarily think that would be call for removal.
While I do think that God of Commerce is one of the, if not the, overall strongest pantheon in the game, I don't necessarily think it needs to be nerfed. The reason why it is so strong is just how safe it is and how it benefits early game rapid expansion, but it being consistently strong also means that it doesn't have any real ridiculous games, something like discovering you have 6 tundra-deer next to your capital. I was mostly calling you out for severely underestimating it, I don't think it needs to be nerfed.

God King
Removing the faith from God-King is not necessarily à bad idea, but it feel strange for me :
I've always considered God-King as the "Religious Victory" : If you convert everybody to your religion, it gives you à stupidly higth number of yields, and almost give you à Victory (I'm almost certain God-King count every follower, including forein followers, but it was maybe a bug of an old beta).
So making difficult to found with it go against what is for me the core of the Pantheon.
I will admit that I haven't actually tried God-King out in a while, was planning on doing a Byzantium game and run with it, but I've not gotten around to it yet. Is people picking it actually that big of a problem? I don't think I've heard anyone actually mentioning God-King in months.
 
I will admit that I haven't actually tried God-King out in a while, was planning on doing a Byzantium game and run with it, but I've not gotten around to it yet. Is people picking it actually that big of a problem? I don't think I've heard anyone actually mentioning God-King in months.

Count me in with the crowd saying that the lack of a ceiling on God-King makes it eyebrow-raisingly powerful if you can manage to make it the world's dominant religion.
 
God King
Removing the faith from God-King is not necessarily à bad idea, but it feel strange for me :
I've always considered God-King as the "Religious Victory" : If you convert everybody to your religion, it gives you à stupidly higth number of yields, and almost give you à Victory (I'm almost certain God-King count every follower, including forein followers, but it was maybe a bug of an old beta).
So making difficult to found with it go against what is for me the core of the Pantheon.

I always assumed it only applied to your own cities, and that if you spread your Religion, that other people are getting the same bonus, because Pantheons follow your Religion around. So to me anyways, the most powerful use of it would be to keep your Religion to yourself. However, if it works the way you and wobuffet say it does...then yeah, that's definitely OP and my initial reaction would be to go straight for the delete button. It seems strange to me that there would be a Pantheon that can be spread via Religion that no one else can benefit from - that means it's functioning more like a Religious Belief than a Pantheon. Can anyone confirm this?


@pandasnail
+2 Food, +1 Gold from Granaries. +1 Faith and +2 Culture from Farms on Wheat.

(added to the wikia as well, thanks for noticing!)

Thank you, and thank you, and you're welcome! :) Will add a note to it right away.

Meh, there are weird specific-civ-favoring things all over the game, I don't necessarily think that would be call for removal.
While I do think that God of Commerce is one of the, if not the, overall strongest pantheon in the game, I don't necessarily think it needs to be nerfed. The reason why it is so strong is just how safe it is and how it benefits early game rapid expansion, but it being consistently strong also means that it doesn't have any real ridiculous games, something like discovering you have 6 tundra-deer next to your capital. I was mostly calling you out for severely underestimating it, I don't think it needs to be nerfed.

Well, first off, if it's the strongest Pantheon in the game, in my mind it needs to be nerfed, but anyways...

Just ran a test with it with Egypt. The instant I picked the Pantheon, I understood how I underestimated it - I didn't realize that the bonus to "City Connections" included the Capital (I assumed that only cities other than the Capital could have a City Connection, and I was basing my estimates on this). This definitely changes my assessment of the Pantheon, and I'd agree with you that it makes it to be one of the strongest ones available. +2 Faith immediate Faith is almost a match to some of the other strong ones that probably also need a nerf in the early-game Faith department (all the +3-ers), so with a single City Connection - yeah, that's a big boon. I opted to intentionally avoid building Shrines apart from my Capital, and delayed Stonehenge for a really long time even though I could have easily built it - I managed to get the 4th Religion in a standard game only a turn after the last person got his. I also didn't take Tradition. The City Connection bonus is soooooooooooo strong! But I'll come back to this in a minute.

I agree that there are Civ-specific things all game long, but you can have Civ-specific things that are nevertheless not biased. For example, let's assume that Goddess of Renewal was balanced to our liking. Obviously, it's likely going to tend towards a favored pick for the Iroquois, because their starting bias is Forest-based. However, just because the Iroquois have a bias here doesn't eliminate the possibility that some other Civ couldn't also start in a Forest for reasons not having to do with that Civ's bias. So whereas Iroquois might pick Goddess of Renewal more often than other Civs, the overall *effectiveness* of Goddess of Renewal to an Iroquois as compared to anyone else would be about the same.

This is different when you bring a Faith bonus into the picture with City Connections and someone like Carthage in the game. Carthage isn't just going to be more likely to pick God of Commerce - Carthage also strictly benefits from it more than anyone else would particularly in the early-game (which is the period I'm most concerned about - I don't really care as much about the rest, though that's of course important). In this case, I'd have to say that this is either nerf-worthy or has reason to be eliminated. A balanced Pantheon shouldn't be so strong that it becomes the go-to pick for a particular Civ, or an average pick for particular Civs and sub-par for others. Another example is Ancestor Worship - it'll probably be a better pick for China, but any Civ can do decently well with it if they have a strong food start.

That being said, my analysis of God of Commerce inclines like this: I'm worried on the one hand of dumping the City Connection idea entirely, because Markets as I suggested aren't exactly easy to build right away, and the Pantheon otherwise has no natural Faith generation from its main bonus; this could however be compensated by +1 Faith in the Capital naturally (or by just having the Gold thing always round up - or even just implying it, but really having the Faith come from the Capital), with the Faith bonus to Markets on the side. It could even work to have +1 Faith and +3 Gold on the Markets. Alternatively, we could drop the City Connection bonus to +1 Faith, which could work, and maybe increase the Gold bonus to +3. Or, have a reduction to tile maintenance costs (I was actually bankrupt for the first 100 turns due to paying for my very fast Roads...the City Connection income came nowhere close to the cost of the Roads, and my cities were 4 or 5 tiles away from one another). Anyways, those are my thoughts here, but we could also do other potential stuff (maybe involve the Council somehow, which I suggest removing from Ancestor Worship in favor of reducing the need for Pop for the Faith generation there). In any case, I'm quite certain that the Faith yields from City Connections presently being offered in God of Commerce are a bad idea.

Meanwhile - my next test looks like it's going to be God-King, because I've apparently completely misunderstood how this Pantheon works...



EDIT: Now I remember why to save the 2nd post - because the initial post is now *exactly* 30000 characters long with the addition of God of the Sun, so there ain't anything more being added there. :p
 
Count me in with the crowd saying that the lack of a ceiling on God-King makes it eyebrow-raisingly powerful if you can manage to make it the world's dominant religion.

That's in theory, you kinda need to make it work in practice before you can call out on it :D.
 
That's in theory, you kinda need to make it work in practice before you can call out on it :D.
Well, I can't load this game from the Missionary Evangelism thread anymore, but I'm pretty sure at least 120 or so of the yields are from God-King. This is on King Difficulty, on a Small(!) map.
 
Goddess of Festivals
+2 Faith, +2 Culture and +2 Gold for every unique Luxury Resource you control.

PF - 6
CF - N/A

Commentary: My presumption is that this Pantheon does NOT include resources traded in or acquired from City-States, but I could be wrong. Either way, however, the bonus is decent now since the upgrade and naturally scales as you gain more territory, so I don't really see a need at the moment to modify this. A note that I made the CF "not applicable" because whereas you can average out 1-3 Mines near any given city, this kind of calculation just won't work, here.

Goddess of Festivals includes resources traded or aqcuired from city states. While it is nice to feel you're a god by gaining easily +10 faith, culture(!) and gold by turn 70, it's also in a desperate need of a big nerf. You always have 2 different luxuries around your capital, meaning that unless they are in jungle (or forest), you're going to have +4 of each yield easily by turn 40. There are often two different luxuries nearby, so settling your second and third city near/on them grants you +8 of each yield. Add to that the luxuries you import from other civs or city states and you'll start to see, why this pantheon is broken. Combine this all with Indonesia or Mongolia (with heavy tribute) and deity feels quite easy. I recently controlled 9 different luxuries by turn 90 (although I was probably using Indonesia). Good luck trying to get similar yields with any other resource based pantheon (with maybe the exception of Stars and Sky and Spirit of the Desert). Festivals is ridiculously overpowered, guarantees a religion, guarantees a massive policy lead (unless against Poland) therefore guaranteeing any wonder you want. It also takes away any worries of negative GPT allowing you to easily sustain a big enough army to defend yourself (or attack if that's what you want) and basically guarantees a victory.

God of the Stars and Sky
+2 Faith, +2 Production, and +2 Culture from Tundra tiles with improved resources.

Spirit of the Desert
+2 Faith, +2 Food and +2 Gold from Desert tiles with Improved resources.

There is one big difference between these two pantheons. Spirit of the Desert gives you food, God of the Stars and Sky doesn't. We all know that lack of food is a major issue on tundra and desert (although flood plains can help counter this), so the +2 food on every improved resource is extremely powerful on Spirit of the Desert and it's harder to make Stars and Sky work, as it will be hard to to grow your cities and work many improved tiles. In addition to that, I feel that there are more resource tiles on desert than there are on tundra and a flood plains start in itself can easily be stronger than a grassland/plains/forest start, while a tundra start is almost always a reroll bad. While both are too strong from my point of view, Spirit of the Desert is much stronger.

God of Commerce
+1 Faith for every 20 Gold produced by owned cities; +2 Faith and +2 Gold in Cities with a City Connection.

PF - 3/5
CF - N/A

Commentary: The question I have to ask (since this is one I haven't tested) is whether the Gold produced for Faith is coming from total GPT, or GPT BEFORE expenses. If it's the former, I'm worried this is too weak. If it's the latter, then I'd say it's fine and nothing needs to be done to it. A Merchant would do well with this.

God of Commerce is great. If I play Carthage or the Iroquois, I always pick this. +4 gold and faith from the start is great. I'd say this is borderline overpowered but since it doesn't give you any culture, I'm not so sure about that and there sure are pantheons that are stronger than Commerce. Just look at Spirit of the Desert (that isn't even as strong as Festivals), which gives you the same +2 faith and gold on each improved desert resource but in addition to that, you'll get +2 food too.

The +1 faith for every 20 gold per turn you make doesn't make a big difference, the main point about this pantheon is the faith and gold you get from city connections. When you actually start to get lots of gold per turn, the value of faith has significantly decreased.

God-King
+1 Culture, +1 Faith, +1 Gold, and +1 Science for every 6 Followers.

PF - 2
CF - N/A

Commentary: I see lots of discussion about whether this is really useless or really powerful, and I guess when you think about it, they're both totally true assessments. What it really comes down to, though, is that you're not really going to get a Religion from this Pantheon without a ton of help from external stuff. What this makes me think of, though, is that if this Pantheon is depending on externals to gain a Religion, anyways, why not make that the theme? As follows...

I don't find it too hard to found a religion with God-King. Stonehenge is easy to get, which helps a lot. If you go wide, you can quite easily get enough faith from shrines to found a religion and if you don't, you're going to pick tradition and its second policy gives you +2 faith. On the other hand, I don't find God-King as strong as many others. It takes a long time to spread your religion so much that you'd get lots of yields from God-King and once you manage to do it, the value those yields has dropped and the majority of your science and culture is coming from other places. I'm not saying that the yields are bad at that point, but it comes at the expence of missing out valuable early yields and snowball you'd get from other pantheons.

God of All Creation
+3 Faith in Capital; +1 Culture and +1 Happiness for every Pantheon ever founded (including this one).

PF - 3
CF - N/A

Commentary: Most that I've read have been saying that this Pantheon is overpowered - and overall, I'm inclined to agree: it's early-game benefits are immensely powerful and undeniable. However, its peculiarity is that it has a swift decline and crash shortly after the early game...but it may not matter, as you may have won the game by then (slight exaggeration). I will agree that it needs to be curbed somehow, but none of our current attempts have really solved the problem of either not making it strong too early or making it a miserable failure later on: furthermore, it often robs someone of a Religion slot.

Suggestion 1: I'm not the first to suggest this (re: Funak), and I won't be the last: but I'm inclined to just say delete it. But that may be a bit harsh.

Suggestion 2: We can keep this Pantheon being the magical Pantheon that gives instant great bonuses, while still having it not be too powerful early on and not crash as badly later. Here's my idea.

First off, we need to stop tying it to other people's Pantheons...

+1 Faith, +2 Culture, and +3 Happiness in Capital; an additional +1 Faith, +2 Culture, and +1 Happiness per Era reached.

Translation: This means that when you take the Pantheon, you immediately have +2 Faith, +4 Culture, and +4 Happiness; when you reach Classical, it will be +3 Faith, +6 Culture, and +5 Happiness, and so on. This seems more reasonable, and if it needs to be adjusted, I'd think it would even need to be a tad stronger - but it won't be game-breaking anymore I don't think. Rather than being a pick that's always awesome all the time, it's a real meaningful choice as the "crap, someone else took my Pantheon..." backup choice for anything.

I have said this many times but God of All Creation is far too powerful. The amount of early culture you get from it is too big and too snowbally and with All Creation you'll never need to worry about happiness. As far as I know, All Creation was designed as a pantheon that you'd take when everyone else has already picked their pantheons and you don't have a chance to get a religion. In practice, I always get a religion with All Creation and I get so much culture that only Festivals and tundra pantheon are comparable to that. Unlike the Stars and Sky, you don't need a poor start to make Festivals or All Creation work. In addition to that, All Creation works very well even if not many pantheons have been founded. It actually works so well, that if I had to use India, I'd probably pick All Creation most of the time, since other pantheons are impossible to make work at the start, but All Creation grants you free +3 faith, +1 culture and +1 happiness.

In addition to the crazy good early +3 faith, +8 culture and +8 happiness, which makes All Creation one of the best pantheons for a wonder spammer, it is also the most boring pantheon ever. You don't need to do anything to make it work! You choose it and you get the yields.

God of All Creation has been discussed several times and it seems to be impossible to balance. I'd suggest deleting too or at least taking away all faith the pantheon gives. Even without faith, All Creation would be very strong, since +8 culture and +8 happiness is amazing and you wouldn't need to do anything to gain it. If Goddess of Festivals wasn't so good that you'd want to take it every time you play, It would take special conditions for me not to pick God of All Creation.

Goddess of Beauty
+3 Faith and +1 Culture from World Wonders. +15% Production of Pre-Renaissance Wonders.

PF - 3 or 6 (but most likely 3)
CF - Reasonable.

Commentary: An early Wonder will get you decent Faith generation out of this, but it quite frankly won't be any better than the Faith generation any other standard Pantheon would be getting you. And the Culture is certainly absolutely worse. The bonus is that 15% boost to Pre-Renaissance Wonders, so we can really make use of them as much as possible - and if the Pantheon is kept thru the game, the Faith bonuses from it would be decent enough, I think. Though maybe a small boost is worthwhile.

Suggestion: Add +1 Gold per Wonder. Not huge, but seems reasonable.

Goddess of Beauty seems like a pantheon that you'd want to take, if you're going to hoard wonders, right? Well, it isn't. If you're going to hoard wonders, you're better off picking a pantheon, which gives you more culture, since lack of policies is almost always what restricts you from building wonders. +15% production to wonders is indeed nice to have, since you probably have other things you'd want to build too, but it's not worth the risk of not actually getting the wonder due to the lack of policies. If you want wonders, pick either Goddess of Festivals or God of all Creation instead of Beauty.

God of War
+50% increase in City Ranged Combat Strength, and gain Faith if you win a battle.

PF - Indeterminable.
CF - Indeterminable.

Commentary: I recall pushing for this to be strengthened, as once upon a time it was rather awful to depend on it and really you could never get a Religion out of it, even if it was fun in theory. However now, I'd say it's a bit too strong (and I know this from experience, as it's a favorite of mine). The Faith from kills naturally scales so well with unit power growth and number of cities, that especially in the late game, I'd consider it one of the most reliable sources of Faith there is. It doesn't need a BIG nerf, but a nerf nonetheless.

I find God of War one of the weakest pantheons to be honest. It has one major problem: it only gives you faith. There are other pantheons which give you more faith than God of War, but they also give you other meaningful yields. I don't know if it's better on the slower game speeds but on standard speed I find God of War one of the pantheons that gives you least faith, which is quite sad, since you're not getting anything else from it, besides more RCS to your cities, which doesn't sound useful at all.

As a conclusion, I'd almost always pick Goddess of Festivals if I hadn't desided that I won't use it because it is far too powerful. It is in a desperate need of a nerf. If we ignore the existance of Goddess of Festivals I would only use God of All Creation, Spirit of the Desert, God of Commerse or God of the Stars and Sky (if I ever saw a good tundra start). Goddess of Renewal, Goddess of Nature and God-King could also be good choices from time to time but I'd never pick the rest of pantheons if I didn't limit the use of the strongest pantheons. It is easy to see that some pantheons are far too strong, if you can always ignore most of them.
 
Hey Forsti - I scanned over your comments quickly as I'm focusing my limited time on something else right now, but your feedback is definitely appreciated and right on the mark. You've pointed out some stuff that I didn't know and didn't assess quite right, and I appreciate that. Would you be able to use these observations and suggest changes or tweaks to the Pantheons in question that will bring them closer to general balance? I'll comment more specifically, later.


Meanwhile, regarding God-King...

This morning I had a sore throat and it was preventing me from sleeping. So I just got up at about 4:20 in the morning and gave up on the sleep thing, made myself some soft and nice oatmeal, had a banana, and some hot water with chicken broth, which was quite soothing. And since I had nothing better to do, I opted to do my God-King test and see exactly how this Pantheon works, anyways.

I picked Spain, and opted to hyper-aggressively settle new cities. I picked Tradition to go for extra Faith (and for what it's worth - I've always felt this pick overpowered at 1st tier - I sense it would be more balanced as a 2nd-tier choice with only a single prerequisite); got first Pantheon (God-King, obviously), and first Religion at either turn 72 or turn 78, whichever it was: my Religion choices were Ceremonial Burial (since I'm Tradition and couldn't think of a better idea) and Churches (obviously, if I want to spread Religion faster). Can't help but notice that even with +50% Pressure, Pressure generally speaking in the new system is awful and needs to be unretracted a bit. Anyways, I've managed to build up my cities pretty quickly by stealing 2 Workers from my nearby City-State, who promptly then had a Barbarian Horde, got conquered, then I took the place back so he's now my ally. :D Otherwise, I'm on a pretty convenient isolated island with 6 cities - was going to be 7th but someone else took my spot, nevertheless I'm not upset. Have been rushing Shrines, and Events have offered my Shrines and Monuments +1 Faith each.

Suffice it to say, my Religion is booming (standard map). Constantinople got Religion #5, which puts # of cities per Religion at 1, 2, 3, 4, and mine at 14. I also got my upgrade to Religion just after Constantinople got her Religion starter, and I've presently added Inspiration and Sainthood (why not just stack bonuses...though it was a tough call between this and Resilience). Anyways, it's not even turn 140 yet and I'm only 6% away from getting my Religious National Wonder - which should only take a few more turns: thinking of taking either Knowledge Through Devotion (most likely) or To the Glory of God. Either way, my plan here on in is to convert enough to build my NW, build up all my Churches, and then probably gun for a few Great Prophets to go convert the Holy Cities of my rivals, as 3 of 4 of the Civs I've met so far are the other Civs who have Religions. I'm netting about 50 Faith per turn, which will be over 70 when I've finished all of my Churches in a few turns. And my Culture has gone from being utter crap to completely insane in the last 10 turns.


Stay tuned - will edit and update this post later when I'm back to the game again. :)



UPDATE: Allright, so I can confirm that God-King really *IS* universal like a Religious Enhancer. Weird! I'm certainly getting outrageous benefits from all this! What I haven't yet been able to confirm is whether the Pantheon works for anyone I spread it to - I'm assuming it does, but it's very difficult to prove. The only way I can think of doing it is to build about 40 to 50 Missionaries and convert one player's entire Empire in a single turn, and observe if their Gold income has changed drastically as a result of it (on account of the population that DOES NOT belong to their own Civ). I would say that if the Pantheon doesn't apply to all players the same way as other Pantheons do, this is kind of unfair and definitely a problem; however, even if it does, it's so weird because it would escalate things like Research for all players, and you could expect high-level tech to come around 40 turns earlier, much more policies for everyone, etc...nevertheless, I'm leading, so there you go.

In other news, what I've also discovered is this: Great Prophets are the most pathetic and worthless pieces of crap ever. My Prophet couldn't even convert a city with 11 population in a single try. For the cost of the 3rd Prophet, I could have built 10 Missionaries that easily would have outperformed it. Once you get to the 4th Prophet and onwards, Missionaries are WAY WAY WAY better at conversions than the Prophet ever could be. It's pathetic. The Prophet will need to have 12 conversion strikes with 3 times the power for me to seriously consider using them again as a conversion tool. O_o

And finally: Just as I've been complaining about the Faith yield on Holy Sites - Ceremonial Burial's bonus to Holy Sites is fantastically dumb - MORE FAITH??? It will never pay off in 300 turns!!! Bah. ^_^
 
Hey Forsti - I scanned over your comments quickly as I'm focusing my limited time on something else right now, but your feedback is definitely appreciated and right on the mark. You've pointed out some stuff that I didn't know and didn't assess quite right, and I appreciate that. Would you be able to use these observations and suggest changes or tweaks to the Pantheons in question that will bring them closer to general balance? I'll comment more specifically, later.

Goddess of Festivals needs a big nerf. -1 faith and -1 culture sounds like a sufficient one. It would be better than it was when it got some complaints but it wouldn't be as broken as it now is.

God of All Creation seems somewhat impossible to balance. I wouldn't mind if the pantheon was removed altogether. If it has to stay, I'd probably try removing faith from it and just leaving it with culture and happiness, although it might still be too strong considering how important early culture and happiness are. If it was still too powerful, taking away the scaler from culture and setting it to around +2 should do the trick.

The yields of Spirit of the Desert should be something like +1 food, +1 faith, +2 gold per improved resource tile. With yields like this it should still be a good choice for a flood plains start but you wouldn't want to settle a new city on a riverless flatland desert tile, which is something you can do nowadays, if there are enough resources around. On the other hand, it the pantheon is supposed to give you access to settling on such locations on desert, where you wouldn't usually have almost any food, then it needs +2 food and should only have +1 gold.

I'd also nerf the faith of God of the Stars and Sky to 1 per improved resource tile to prevent it's faith generation from becoming too strong. I'm not so sure about the rest of the yields. +2 culture seems too much due to the massive importance of early culture. I also believe Stars and Sky should give you food, since you need it on tundra much more than you need it on desert. Perhaps it could provide something like +1 faith, +2 food, +1 culture on improved tundra resource? Would it be too much?

I'd start with these changes. Once the strongest pantheons get nerfed, it could be a good time to see if there are pantheons that are still too weak and if some of the pantheons still are too powerful.
 
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