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PC idea to Enhance Religion in 4

The Caltrop

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
97
A most precarious yin-yang...I know that the devs don't want to offend anyone with religion, and yet many fans (on this board and others) have expressed a desire to have the religions at least be somehow unique, instead of just generic ones that come at various times. So, I have two idea-sets that enhance the concept, and IMO is unlikely to offend most people. Here they are:

IDEA SET 1:Religious Relations

Certain religions are naturally different. Different numbers of dieties religous practices, etc. Well, can't you just use the basic aspects of one of the religions, and use it to apply its base relation to other religions?

For Example: Islam is strictly monotheistic,Hinduisim is polytheistic. Muslims probably won't get along that well with Hindus (at least, not at first).

Are Muslims going to be offended because their religion is portrayed as monotheistic? Umm, no, because it is monotheistic! :lol:

IDEA SET 2: Base Religious Aspects

Using only the most basic, wide-rangingly true facts about a religion, like its number of deities, give a particular religion a bonus.

Example: Confucianism is a religion of society, and emphasizes one fufilling one's role in that society. So, a Confucian civ gets -X% corruption, and an X increase in production.



What do you guys thinks?
 
The Caltrop said:
A most precarious yin-yang...I know that the devs don't want to offend anyone with religion, and yet many fans (on this board and others) have expressed a desire to have the religions at least be somehow unique, instead of just generic ones that come at various times. So, I have two idea-sets that enhance the concept, and IMO is unlikely to offend most people. Here they are:

IDEA SET 1:Religious Relations

Certain religions are naturally different. Different numbers of dieties religous practices, etc. Well, can't you just use the basic aspects of one of the religions, and use it to apply its base relation to other religions?

For Example: Islam is strictly monotheistic,Hinduisim is polytheistic. Muslims probably won't get along that well with Hindus (at least, not at first).

Are Muslims going to be offended because their religion is portrayed as monotheistic? Umm, no, because it is monotheistic! :lol:

IDEA SET 2: Base Religious Aspects

Using only the most basic, wide-rangingly true facts about a religion, like its number of deities, give a particular religion a bonus.

Example: Confucianism is a religion of society, and emphasizes one fufilling one's role in that society. So, a Confucian civ gets -X% corruption, and an X increase in production.



What do you guys thinks?
The way that religions are linked to technologies provides that distinction for the first idea already.

The second idea is right out. You have completely missed the reason for why they have chosen to not give religions bonuses: they don't want to spark debate over what advantages different religions have. Also, I can't actually believe that religion would give any major bonuses to societies. I'm an athiest myself, but religion really doesn't do anything but keep people generally happy. You gave the example of Confucianism - in reality for most societies that follow that doctrine; the citizens work as hard as they do because it's the only way of staying alive. But also because of the structure of the economy even that doesn't translate to greater productivity. I think the way religion is currently implemented ie having temples and cathedrals provide happiness is the most realistic way of showing religion. Of course, I welcome the ability to choose your specific religion but I don't think that needs to come with anything more attached.
 
I think religions should keep their names, but over time they should gain traits. Lets use an example.

Let's say your the Romans and you found Christianity. It begins with no traits. It's mostly "generic". Now, your civ embarks on massive military conquests, and it neglects scientific research and buildings. Over time, your religion will gain the traits "Militant" and "Fundamentalist".

These traits come with bonuses and disadvantages. For instance, cities with a religion that has the "militaristic" trait would experience less war wearieness and military units would be slightly cheaper. The Fundamentalist trait would give a penalty to scientific research, but would make your citizens more resistant to conversion. Money received from religous bonuses (like tithes etc.) would also be increased. Acting contrary to the dictates of the religion may cause some discontent.

Suppose this militant, findamentalist form of Christianity catches on in the Mali civ. The Mali are a peaceful nation, focused on trade and scientific research. Discontent will spread through the Mali, but eventually, a different strain of Christianity will develop. These traits of Christinaity will have the Scholastic and pacifistic traits. Pacifism will make war wearieness more profound, and will give cultural bonuses to the civ. Scholastic traits will give scientific bonuses to those cities.
 
Legionary37 said:
I think religions should keep their names, but over time they should gain traits. Lets use an example.

Let's say your the Romans and you found Christianity. It begins with no traits. It's mostly "generic". Now, your civ embarks on massive military conquests, and it neglects scientific research and buildings. Over time, your religion will gain the traits "Militant" and "Fundamentalist".

These traits come with bonuses and disadvantages. For instance, cities with a religion that has the "militaristic" trait would experience less war wearieness and military units would be slightly cheaper. The Fundamentalist trait would give a penalty to scientific research, but would make your citizens more resistant to conversion. Money received from religous bonuses (like tithes etc.) would also be increased. Acting contrary to the dictates of the religion may cause some discontent.

Suppose this militant, findamentalist form of Christianity catches on in the Mali civ. The Mali are a peaceful nation, focused on trade and scientific research. Discontent will spread through the Mali, but eventually, a different strain of Christianity will develop. These traits of Christinaity will have the Scholastic and pacifistic traits. Pacifism will make war wearieness more profound, and will give cultural bonuses to the civ. Scholastic traits will give scientific bonuses to those cities.
Aside from being very complicated, that too would probably draw up anger from people. I know several Christians who would take offense to their religion being categorized as 'Militaristic'. You just have to understand: Firaxis made the extremely wise decision to not give religions any bonuses at all to simply avoid this whole can of worms. And I support that decision completely.

Also, the other problem I see with your idea is it's a chicken and egg situation. The religion gives you a bonus. But to get that bonus you have to develop your Civ in that area. So therefore why do you need the bonus?
 
To be fair though Belcarius, if I understand Legionary37 correctly, he wants religions to acquire traits based on a players mode of play-not according to anything inherent to the religion. i.e. if your Confuscian faith becomes militant and scholarly, then this isn't a judgement on Confuscianism-its a judgement on how you-the player-approaches the game. I really don't see how anyone could find offense in that-because it avoids pigeonholing religions based on historical stereotypes, and instead makes religions into dynamic entities which evolve according to the nature of the societies who embrace them.
A simple way to approach it would be to focus only on the founder of a religion. So if the Chinese found Bhuddism, then proceed on a path of non-violent Physical and Cultural expansion, then the Bhuddist faith might (after 20 turns) adopt a combination of the 'Evangalist' and 'Baroque' traits. Anyone who joins the Bhuddist faith also gains the benefits (and flaw(s)) of these traits as well. If the Chinese then turn around and embark on a 20-turn period of violent conquest/expansion, then Bhuddism would lose its Baroque trait, and probably acquire the Militant trait in its place. In some ways, your religious traits might come to closely resemble those of the leader of your civ-if that makes sense.
To my mind, this would be a very simple concept to implement, and could be done without offending any but the most sensitive people (those who are unlikely to play the game anyway). It will also give much more lucrative reasons for adopting another faith than mere diplomatic bonuses.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
 
Aussie_Lurker said:
To be fair though Belcarius, if I understand Legionary37 correctly, he wants religions to acquire traits based on a players mode of play-not according to anything inherent to the religion. i.e. if your Confuscian faith becomes militant and scholarly, then this isn't a judgement on Confuscianism-its a judgement on how you-the player-approaches the game. I really don't see how anyone could find offense in that-because it avoids pigeonholing religions based on historical stereotypes, and instead makes religions into dynamic entities which evolve according to the nature of the societies who embrace them.
But that doesn't make sense. If the bonuses are determined by what sort of civilization you build, then the bonuses do not actually come from religion, do they? You can't determine what bonuses you get based on how you play each different game - it is neither logical nor practical.
 
Actually, it is you who is currently making no sense Belcarius :confused: . Whether you want to admit it or not, the outward appearance and character of a religion is often-if not always-dependant upon the character of the nation within which it resides and-most particularly-the nation which founded it. After all, the basic tenets of both Christianity and Islam are no different today than what they were 1000 years ago. Yet, a quick glance will tell you that the appearance and even practice of Islam is very different from what it was a millenia ago-the same with Christianity-and much of this has to do with the domestic/foreign policies of those nations which founded/practice that faith. This system recognises this fact. It also enhances the replay value of religion in the game, IMHO.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
 
The Caltrop said:
Example: Confucianism is a religion of society, and emphasizes one fufilling one's role in that society. So, a Confucian civ gets -X% corruption, and an X increase in production.
Confucianism isn't even a religion, in the strict sense.

It's more of a social philosophy.
 
Aussie_Lurker said:
Actually, it is you who is currently making no sense Belcarius :confused: . Whether you want to admit it or not, the outward appearance and character of a religion is often-if not always-dependant upon the character of the nation within which it resides and-most particularly-the nation which founded it. After all, the basic tenets of both Christianity and Islam are no different today than what they were 1000 years ago. Yet, a quick glance will tell you that the appearance and even practice of Islam is very different from what it was a millenia ago-the same with Christianity-and much of this has to do with the domestic/foreign policies of those nations which founded/practice that faith. This system recognises this fact. It also enhances the replay value of religion in the game, IMHO.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
You're right, but I don't see why if that is the case religion needs to give you bonuses. Bonuses currently only exist in two forms: those from different civs and those from different governments. Different governments it is fair enough to make those distinctions because there has been all sorts of analysis of the effectiveness of these, and with Civilisations it's more a reflection on the general history of each Civ and what areas it has excelled in. With religion, it's simply a means of comunicating the aims of the state to the people - it doesn't provide the means for how this will occur. All religion does is keep the people happy that the system works, and what is going on in the society is the will of god. I agree that that would have some effects on the performance of various social groups (such as the army) if they did it for God(s), but no-one can prove that this is major enough that it requires representation in the game. Take the Crusades for example. Most of the actual soldiers who fought in the crusades would have fought just as hard if they were told the war was simply about conquest and not about Christ. The only effect the inclusion of religion in the struggle had was that when things turned hard they still fought on in the belief that God would save them. THAT's what is already in the game - the concept that religion serves to keep people happy and motivated. It doesn't really provide any more incentive than that.
 
Legionary37 said:
I think religions should keep their names, but over time they should gain traits. Lets use an example.

Let's say your the Romans and you found Christianity. It begins with no traits. It's mostly "generic". Now, your civ embarks on massive military conquests, and it neglects scientific research and buildings. Over time, your religion will gain the traits "Militant" and "Fundamentalist".

These traits come with bonuses and disadvantages. For instance, cities with a religion that has the "militaristic" trait would experience less war wearieness and military units would be slightly cheaper. The Fundamentalist trait would give a penalty to scientific research, but would make your citizens more resistant to conversion. Money received from religous bonuses (like tithes etc.) would also be increased. Acting contrary to the dictates of the religion may cause some discontent.

Suppose this militant, findamentalist form of Christianity catches on in the Mali civ. The Mali are a peaceful nation, focused on trade and scientific research. Discontent will spread through the Mali, but eventually, a different strain of Christianity will develop. These traits of Christinaity will have the Scholastic and pacifistic traits. Pacifism will make war wearieness more profound, and will give cultural bonuses to the civ. Scholastic traits will give scientific bonuses to those cities.

I think this is an excellent idea - Firaxis and the game present the generic PC religious option - the player defines what kind of religion it is.

Is it offensive for Christianity/islam to be warlike/agressive? That's up to the player, in their own home, to decide.

Balancing positive effects with negative too, is good.

All in all another way the player can personalise their experience - religions have 'flavor' and still retain the PC'ness'. Winwin :goodjob:
 
The reason-Belecarius-is to give religions a little more 'flavour', but in a way as to not cause unneccessary anger amongst people with religious convictions. It also increases the unifying nature of religion on those civs that share the religion (i.e. nations which adopt the faith get these traits too, so even if the founder and this other nation differ on cultural or governmental ground, their shared faith will 'unify' them in a way it won't if the religions remain vanilla).
It also raises the diplomatic stakes involved with religion, because changing faiths has a much deeper impact if traits are involved. Another way to spice up the inter-relationship between diplomacy and religion-using traits-is by the idea of Sectarianism. Namely, only a religion's 'Founding Civ'-or at least the civ which currently controls that religion's holy city-may change the traits of the religion via alterations in gameplay behaviour. Any other civs which play against a religion's traits instead run the risk of 'Sects' appearing within their nation. These Sects can spread like any other religion-and the 'host nation' needs to decide whether it persecutes this sect, accepts it or adopts it as their national faith.
I would like to add some 'caveats' however. First is that though traits grant bonuses, they also grant penalties. Second is that the extent of the bonuses and penalties-as well as the extent to which gameplay influences traits-is affected by how secular your society is (i.e. Civics setting). Thirdly, though a 'random' allocation is possible, it would work equally well, IMO, if the founding player actually got to select the traits of his religion-but with everything else working as I have previously described it.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
 
Perhaps instead of getting bonuses for a particular religion, a leader or central figure in that faith is created, similar to the leader you select to run your empire. For eg, your civ (the french ) discovers the advance necessary for catholicism. Paris is now the center of the catholic faith, and suddenly the pope appears on your list of advisors. Now, the pope has been given a couple of randomly chosen traits (let's say scientific and industrious) and thus prods you to increase your scientific output, aquire more sources of iron, and of course build more catholic cathedrals. If you don't try to do as he says, the pope becomes unhappy and passes on his discontent to catholics throughout the empire, who become less productive (that is what happens in civ4 instead of unhappy citizens, isn't it?). Meanwhile, a little to the east, the catholic minority in the scientific and industrious persian empire is quite happy and maybe even more productive. Later on, when the persian empire decides to become a theocratic buddhist state and persian catholics are persecuted, the pope talks you into declaring war on persia, and suddenly catholics all across france are singing your praises and becomeing more and more productive.

I think I just like the idea of a spokesperson for each religion (even though I know most religions today are mostly decentralized...). It would probably get annoying if your polical and religious leader did not have the same traits ("Go to war!" " Make Peace!"), but hey, I didn't think the political leader should have been put in there in the first place!
 
I still am of the opinion religions should be handled like gov'ts... give whatever civ has control of the Holy City for a generically-named/player named religion a bunch of options for "Religious Decrees" that dictate the policies of said religion. Make it more like SMAC, and have certain options disabled for the type of religion, to add some flair, and so it would be harder for 2 religions to be exactly alike...
 
Darwin420's idea is one of the better ones I've seen for an enhanced religious idea. It is PC and allows for strategic player (including the AI) options.
 
Truth be told, I am not so fussed whether or not religious 'traits' are implemented as either:

1) Assignment via founder's gameplay.

2) Selected by the Founder after X turns (and 1-turn anarchy).

3) Traits broken up into 'categories'-like civics-which are either acquired or selected by the founder.

For me it is more about creating a model for religion which allows for genuine differention of religions, but in a way which avoids unneccessary pigeonholing and stereotyping. A goal which I sense the majority of people in this thread agree with.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
 
I'd prefer assigned via founder's gameplay, but by the founder building particular 'wonders' rather than doing particular actions.

And any civ which has that religion as a majority official state religion should be able to build such wonders to affect the direction of the religion.
 
I think that if you wanted to make religions distinguished, there would be more historically accurate ways of doing it than by them providing 'bonuses'. Becuase let's be realistic about what it means to give a bonus. If a place like the USSR was to change from being communist to democratic, you would see certain economic increases, etc. If a country was to change its religion, would it change major facets about how the country operated? The only way that could happen is if there were a large number of people who welcomed the religious change and as they were no longer disadvantaged they would be A) happier and B) express their personal freedoms more, perhaps boosting commerce. But this would be the case for ALL religions, so we are back to square one.

Also, you should only be able to get these bonuses if you did declare a state religion, because it would be hellish for the game to have to model things at a minor level where you might have several peoples of different faiths in the same city.
 
Belcarius. If you notice, my 3 caveats deal with all of your criticisms. Firstly, 'traits' do grant bonuses, but they also impose penalties at the same time. Second, the extent to which a nation suffers/benefits from religious traits-along with the ease you can change them-are influenced by how secular/theocratic your society is. Thirdly, You can only gain the benefits/penalties of a religions traits if you adopt it as your State religion.
Although people may have different preferences for traits, I myself lean towards a series of mutually exclusive 'dyads'. For instance:

Militant vs. Pacifist.
Fundamentalist vs. Ecumenical.
Dogmatic vs. Enlightened/Open-Minded/Scholarly.
Evangelical vs. Insular/Cultish.
Ascetic vs. Hedonistic.
Iconoclastic vs. Baroque/Ritualistic.
Orthodox/Heirarchic vs. Reformist/Open.
Altruistic vs. Mercantile.
There may be others, but those are the most obvious ones. The point is that each half of the dyad will probably have the exact opposite Benefits/penalties. So, for example, Civs with a militant religion suffer less war weariness, and build military units faster-but they have a penalty to building non-military buildings, and a penalty to relations with civs outside their religion. Civs with a Pacifist religion, OTOH, get a bonus to building non-military buildings, and a bonus to relations with other civs, but at a penalty to building military units and war weariness.

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
 
You have to bear in mnd that when a country "changes its religion", there are two levels to consider...

1 - The official state religion that is supported by the government. This could in principle vary both in direction (which religion) and in intensity.

2- The religion of the citizens themselves.

I'd expect happiness penalties if the citizens' religion is not in synch with the state religion. And the religious bonuses would be limited according the % of people in teh appropriate religion.
 
I personally am not a fan of assigning traits to religions. Each religion manifests itself differently in different countries and is shaped by the government of that country. I don't think that when religions spread to different countries they carry any forms of trait. Or when the attitude of a government changes (e.g. warfaring -> scientific) that the religion keeps traits of the original government. Also i don't think the game should ever express a religion as being militant, it's insensitive and a clear stab at the muslim community. It's also historically inaccurate, religions dont make war because they are 'militant' but because of the circumstances of the time.

What I'd like to see is religions that acquire 'traits' due to the circumstances they find themselves in. For example, if the religions holy city was under the control of a civ of another religion then the religious population may demand a crusade to liberate it. Or if one civ was repressing a religion then there'd be a demand to take up arms against that civ. Also religions could fund scientific research that seemed to support there beliefs. Or sabotage it if they thought it was against there beliefs (e.g. evolution). Also if a civ had gone on an unholy war for too long the religion cud become pacifist a be unhappy.

Thoughts?
 
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