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Policies: BNW Adaptation

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    But you're not adding more ways to spend faith. You're taking the existing ways to spend faith and forcing the player to take Piety policies in order to access them.

    Add more ways to spend faith to the list of reformation policies, by all means, as long as they're interestingly different and don't just make faith into a duplicate of gold.

    But don't take away the existing founder and follower beliefs!

    Honestly, the Monastery solution (creating a new faith-purchase building that is in the Piety tree rather than requiring a belief slot) sounds much more promising. That is a real extra, taking up a policy slot, rather than a belief slot.
     
  2. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    If you don't like my proposal, what alternative would you suggest? :)

    I don't think the monastery idea is feasible with our current modding tools. I think things with a faith cost must be unlocked by beliefs, by the "UnlockedByBelief" field in the Buildings table. That seems to be the only way to do it. The game appears to skip other checks like policies or leader uniques.
     
  3. Anastase Alex

    Anastase Alex Warlord

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    While I love the idea of having faith spending as a finisher, I would like to still keep some faith spending in the religious beliefs, and at one point in the tree itself.

    For example in the tree, you could have two forks

    Religious buildings: requires Organized Religion Religious Tolerance gives us the choice between:

    "Spend faith to buy..."
    Mosques
    Monasteries
    Pagodas
    Cathedrals

    The finisher gives us the choice to

    "Spend faith to buy..."
    Science buildings
    Production buildings
    Gold buildings
    Early units

    Then in the beliefs we choose when picking a religion we get the reformation beliefs.
     
  4. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    - This doesn't strike me as a problem for human players (per se), but it's definitely an issue for the AI if it goes down the piety track before it gets a prophet/religion. In as far as reformation makes sense timeline wise and for the AI to move to the finisher, I can see that as valuable.

    In as far as moving all the beliefs off that allow for spending of faith, I'm less certain. I could see moving some, but not all. Monasteries, maybe early units, and if possible some way to buy "religious" buildings. I'm not as skeptical as Ahriman at moving the mosque/cathedral/pagoda to the piety tree (because I proposed doing it myself at various points), but I think if they are moved, they should probably not be on the finisher.

    As I see it. The problem with this plan is that it takes spending things on faith and only makes it possible via finishing a set of policies where now we can select things to spend on at the cost of a great prophet founding or enhancing a religion. Which is much less costly than taking 5 policies. The point there is that it puts too much emphasis on the finisher in order to have selective uses for spending faith accumulation rather than the current system which doesn't.

    The other issue is that there are only a few of the reformation effects that are really all that useful that they would be important religious beliefs to take within your religion. They'd have to be buffed to make up the ground.
     
  5. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    a) As a general principle, do not take any policies away from the existing founder/follower beliefs. There still need to be things for people who build temples/religious wonders/etc. but choose not to take Piety policies to spend their faith on.

    b) Create some new, additional beliefs in the list of reformation beliefs that are based on faith purchase. This could include: buy production buildings with faith, buy gold buildings with faith, buy a monastery with faith (IF this can be done in such a way as to not block mosque/cathedral/pagoda)
    and hopefully some others that are more inventive.

    Have the reformation policy have 1-2 pre-requisites, but not be on the finisher, so it does not require the whole tree.

    c) Create some new, additional beliefs in the reformation beliefs that are based on how widely your religion is spread.
    These could be similar but slightly weaker to versions of some of the Founder beliefs, and could stack with them. That way the Piety tree helps to reward religious spread, not just make it easier.

    I guess I just totally don't understand this. The problem was "not enough things to spend faith on". Why would we want to make this worse for every player that doesn't go Piety?

    Also, if we put them all in a single Reformation belief, then we're now removing the ability to get more than one; before you could pick multiple beliefs from different categories that let you buy stuff with faith.
     
  6. Wichtel

    Wichtel Chieftain

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    Is it possible to create a policy that gives us another set of belifes? Basically duplicating Reformation? If that is possible we could create a new belief that gives you the "choice" between identical beliefs that grant the ability to buy a monestary with faith.
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Each belief has these hardcoded true/false flags: Pantheon, Founder, Follower, Enhancer, Reformation. Swapping the belief of "missionaries convert barbarians" with "can purchase units with faith" just requires exchanging their true/false flags.

    If we wanted to create a new category of beliefs, I would have to redesign the system so each belief has a "category" field which defines which category it belongs to. Firaxis should have done it this way in the first place. Creating it after the present poorly-designed system is already in place would require a lot more work. I think the other ideas proposed so far would require this change. It would probably take a week of work, and make this project incompatible with other projects which change the c++ code. I'm very reluctant to do that much for one policy.

    It's important to balance faith income with expenses, but we can do that with what's already in the game. I'm very reluctant to add new things to the game unless there's no other way to balance the game.

    I'm focusing on the problem where Piety adds new income without adding new expenses. It's a concrete issue we can easily solve without adding new things. :)
     
  8. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Which of my proposed changes that require c++? I would have thought they are basically just the same as existing effects and are pure XML changes.

    But.... this will make the game worse for anyone who doesn't pick Piety, and basically won't change the game for anyone who does pick Piety, because they could have picked those faith purchase policies already as founder or follower beliefs.

    We don't need to add a new category of beliefs, we can create new Reformation beliefs.

    Shrines, temples, and various faith wonders can give you a lot of faith. You can't buy any great people until the industrial age, and there is a limit to how many missionaries we need. Why should we force any player who wants to use religion at all to go Piety? That's not what Piety is there for. Piety is there for making it easier to get a religion (or get it early), and to enhance the value of getting a religion. It shouldn't be required in order to meaningfully use Faith at all. Just like you can benefit from city states without finishing out Patronage; you can expand without getting Liberty, you can fight and conquer without getting Honor, you can use naval trade routes and ships without getting exploration, you can do well in science without rationalism, etc. etc.

    Policy trees shouldn't be a straightjacket that is required, they should be enhancers. I thought that was part of your design goal for policies.
    But if you can't spend faith on anything except missionaries until the industrial era, then you've killed off faith as being a meaningful part of the game for anyone who doesn't go to Piety. [And in your design, take ALL of Piety, if you're moving this to the Finisher.]

    But you're not fixing it by adding new expenses, you're just taking the expenses away from anyone who doesn't get Piety. That's not a solution!
     
  9. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Let me try to explain with an example. In the current version of the mod, I could pick Holy Warriors and Pagodas as beliefs, whether I have Piety or not.

    Piety will increase my faith income and make things cheaper, so I could use those abilities more, but I could still get them without Piety.

    Under your proposed change, I can now only get one of them, not both. And I can't get them at all without Piety.
    So there are now *fewer* things that I can spend faith on than before the proposed change, while faith income is the same as it was before the change.

    The issue is not just the marginal effect of what you get from Piety, it is the absolute level of faith income and expenditure opportunities.
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    It's important to balance income with expenses, but we can do that with missionaries and great people. It's more effective to spend faith on missionaries in the early game so we get our benefits from religion. We don't need other things to spend faith on until we've fully spread our religion, in the late game. Great people and 1 other selection is enough. This will let us focus on more interesting effects for the new thing we choose.
     
  11. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    How do you propose doing that? By increasing the faith cost of missionaries? That just makes faith less valuable. Under your proposal we would end up with a situation where it was never worth building a temple unless you were getting the entire Piety tree. That seems undesirable.
    You can't just balance faith income and faith expenditure, it also has to be balanced so as to make faith generating buildings and wonders worth investing in.

    Great people and missionaries is not enough. Missionaries aren't that valuable. They're useful for spreading religion to cities that don't have it, but they have almost no impact on any city that actually has an established religion; they have hugely diminishing returns.

    There is a long gap between when missionaries are useful, in the classical and medieval eras, and the industrial era when you can start buying great people.

    If there is nothing to spend faith on but missionaries, which aren't really needed past the early game, then we'll have a weird situation where anyone who doesn't go Piety just piles up great prophets (they can't even save up their faith for later use on great people, great prophets are auto-generated), and has nothing to use them on but holy sites, which do nothing but make more faith.

    And note, even for Piety players, you aren't increasing their options by moving faith-cost things to the reformation belief, you're reducing their options. They used to be able to take multiple beliefs to spend faith on, across different categories, but under your proposal they'll only be able to take a single belief to spend faith on.

    So even for Piety users, the can't-spend-faith problem becomes worse, not better.

    How so? If there are more interesting effects for reformation effects then by all means add them, but that doesn't require shifting the existing faith-purchase effects away from follower beliefs.

    Anyway, I've made my point I think, I'll duck out of this conversation and let others contribute their views.
     
  12. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I don't understand the confusion. You said you like the basic idea:

    My alternative is very similar to that idea, easy to do, and gives us more options than just one building. We've talked about this a year without finding other workable solutions. I'm willing to try other things if you can think of a better alternative, but we haven't found any other options so far. My idea may not be perfect, but it solves the problem. Sometimes it's better to have an imperfect but workable solution than to keep searching for an unattainable ideal.
     
  13. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    1) I like the idea of concentrating faith purchases in one place (in the piety tree)
    2) I do feel like faith is too much of a all-or-nothing deal, but not much can be done about that.
    3) Holy Sites should not create faith (since that means a self-filling circle). Now that culture from landmarks is gone/dependend on museum-tech archaeologists, I could see them granting culture which would make them powerful, or tourism or happiness.
    4) I do agree that the piety tree is tricky to set-up. One advantage I'd like to point out is that if faith-purchase believes are concentrated in the "reformation" category, you distribute them more evenly over the religions (in that, 1 religion = 1 faith purchasing belief). Before, they could be concentrated much to easily in one religion. That should make their balancing more easily.
    5) I only skimmed your rather long discussion since I was watching football. Apologies for missing any oh so important point.
     
  14. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Have you ever seen someone pull at a loose thread only to see the whole sleeve fall off?

    That's what just happened here.
    I could have sworn this was a discussion on Policies. It seems Policy and Belief are intrinsically tied and any change in one has a flow on effect in the other.

    I really haven't put any thought into how to make the whole 'faith' thing better.
    All I know is:
    1) there needs to be more ways to use the 'faith' yield
    2) let's not remove any options from one playstyle to fix another
    3) there needs to be clear definition of any problem(s) and
    4) clear definition of the fix(es) of those problems

    After reading this thread (twice) I still can't clearly see what is being broken/fixed.
     
  15. jma22tb

    jma22tb Prince

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    I like the idea Thal has.

    If the faith costs are significant enough vs. maximum possible income, then I can see that policy being balanced, where religious civs are competitive, but not broken, where early religion civs just dominate the entire game from start to finish.
     
  16. jwerano

    jwerano Wonderstacker

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    Is the idea here to make piety more powerful since its typically not as good as tradition or liberty?
    I dont see how shuffling where and when the beliefs can be accessed make piety stronger and more worthwhile to pick compared to other trees.

    The overall idea might be a more natural way for religion to progress but I dont see how piety is getting better if that was the aim here.
     
  17. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Your idea is not similar to that idea at all. As far as I can tell, your idea involves removing the Cathedral, Pagoda, Mosque, Holy Warrior, etc. etc. beliefs and making them all Reformation beliefs, so that only players that complete the Piety tree will have access to them.

    Your idea doesn't give more options, it gives fewer options, because it means that non-Piety players will have no access to these faith-consuming beliefs, and Piety players will only be able to pick a single one, rather than being able to get multiple faith consuming beliefs across Founder/Follower/Enhancer beliefs.

    Creating a Monasticism that gives a new policy is almost completely different; it does not take away anything from anyone, it just adds something.

    I'm fine with adding things to Reformation beliefs. I'm strongly opposed to taking away existing Follower and Enhancer beliefs, or to making it so that players who don't get piety policies have nothing to spend Faith on before the industrial era except missionaries.

    How is faith an all-or-nothing deal? It isn't in BNW. Players still get some value from Faith even without investing in the Piety tree by picking faith-consuming beliefs like the Pagoda.

    I agree with 1) through 4).

    I believe that the main problems with faith and Piety in BNW in BNW are that:
    a) Piety lacks a clear role and is underpowered.
    b) There aren't enough ways to spend faith
    c) Piety doesn't do anything to increase the value of a religion that is widely spread (many cities or many followers).

    My solution is:
    d) Leave the core of religion and founder/follower/enhancer beliefs as they are.
    e) Make the Piety tree into something that has a purpose in enabling you to get and enhance a religion earlier, get you to have more faith/use faith more efficienctly, and give you something extra to spend faith on. This is best done by adding new reformation beliefs which have the effect of letting you spend faith on other things (eg gold buildings - representing things like the Templar Order's role in founding banking - or production buildings, or a new Monastery religion building), and adding new reformation beliefs that reward you for having many cities or followers of your religion (culture, production, gold, happiness, food, GPP, tourism, etc.).
     
  18. lockstep

    lockstep Prince

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    The faith costs of Cathedrals, Monasteries, Mosques, and Pagodas increase after the Medieval Age (and vastly so after the Industrial age), so these buildings were designed to be bought in the mid game. Often, there are trade-offs between a missionary and a faith building. Your proposal takes away that choice. It's a substantial change from unmodded BNW, and IMO for the worse.
     
  19. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    This is a terrific post – and the emboldened bit bears repeating because it's precisely the reason that trading posts / villages remain a niche improvement even though CEG has (quite rightly IMHO) lowered the gold / hammer multiplier attached to purchasing (compared to vanilla). Despite the change, villages really only remain worthwhile building on jungle hexes (where they're built for the science boost post universities) and in puppeted cities.

    The emboldened sentence meanwhile is why looking at the table in this thread (which quotes total yields from farms, mines and villages) is fundamentally flawed: because it takes no account of the multiple of hammers that it costs to buy something using gold. Much better that someone focusses on break even gold: hammer ratios (which equate the time taken to buy and build respectively) given the multiplier and adjusts the amount of gold produced by villages to reflect this break even and other relevant factors.

    Like @EricB, I'd agree that the solution may be to buff trading posts via the commerce tree. The caveat I'd make though is that I think the buff needs to come by around the time that civil service is unlocked, because civil service plus iron working means that farms and riverside mines will be a better set of improvements than a village, given the gold / hammer purchase multiplier.

    IMHO, liberty meanwhile is definitely the wrong place to buff villages – what liberty clearly needs to provide more of in my view – perhaps even as a closer - is the one thing that the gamer needs above all else when RExxing: happiness. To that end, how about letting the liberty closer provide a small amount of additional happiness for extra copies of a resource settled by a civ? That way, settling luxuries is still encouraged – and the RExxer has more insurance than currently that they'll get some benefit from settling additional luxuries even if they can't trade them. In other words, the RExxer gets better protection from resource clustering on a map.

    Re: piety. IMHO, @Ahriman has it spot on: the key issue is that the gamer needs more things to spend faith on. Those things that the gamer can already buy with faith should ideally IMHO be seen as the minimum set available to any gamer, irrespective of whether they take piety. As a result, I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that piety would benefit from adding to the list of things that could be bought with faith, as has been suggested by @Ahriman and @Tomice. Compelling the gamer to take piety to be able to spend faith on certain things would be a very retrograde step in my view.

    To illustrate why, consider being next to a missionary spamming AI and being unable to buy pagodas – even if their religion's follower belief allows it – because doing that now requires the gamer to complete piety. The resultant inability to secure happiness from pagodas would force the gamer going wide to secure happiness from elsewhere (ie. both limiting tech choice and the ability to play wide) and the value of opening borders to such AI.

    As an alternative given the work involved, would it make it easier if piety provided boosts to already existing units or buildings?

    Disagree very strongly. Taking Jesuit Education to be able to buy universities (in particular) with faith is a brilliant example of how faith can be used to buy something well before the late game. What needs to happen IMHO is for piety to provide additional, interesting, ways for the gamer to spend faith before the late game. Doing so could really improve the game's pacing, which - despite the vast improvements CEG makes over vanilla - still rather resembles feast (in the late game) or famine (in the early-mid game) IMHO.

    Being able to buy a barracks with faith (as suggested by @Tomice) is a great example IMHO. If devising other new buildings to buy with faith is a tough ask though, then, from a gameplay (ie. not realism) perspective, I'd suggest enabling the gamer to use faith to buy the other buildings that unlock national wonders would be an option to consider – because all too often the gamer is discouraged from building those wonders unless they play narrow / tall. (To illustrate how this might work, you could for instance give the gamer the choice of being able to build one (and only one) of the pre-requisite buildings with faith across their empire, so the war monger might choose a barracks, the RExxer an arena, the builder a smith, the diplomat a market, and so on. Libraries would likely be unavailable to prevent the hugely wide empire faith buying the libraries needed for a National College and because, in any case, Jesuit Education allows faith to buy universities.) I can imagine however that many will see this as being too much of a boost to wide empires.

    As always @Thalassicus, thanks to you and everyone else for what you've done and are trying to do with Civ 5. :)
     
  20. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    Just wanted to chime in on the debate...

    I'm with Ahriman and against the proposed change. I don't think removing beliefs from the general pool to a specialized Piety only pool is the solution.

    The mod within a mod version that I play with doubles the faith cost of missionaries, great people, great prophets, prophet deltas, and founding a religion. It doesn't double building religious buildings (pagodas, mosques, etc) or pantheon costs. In this version, every civ is going to get at least a pantheon because pantheons are very cheap compared to religions.

    Religions appear in the classical and medieval eras, never in the ancient era. To get a religion, typically what you need to do is pick a pantheon belief that gives faith bonuses. Going into the Piety tree helps too because it boosts shrines and temples. Building a religious wonder, using religious city states, and religious natural wonders are also beneficial.

    I know to most of you this type of play makes it look like faith is devalued because costs are higher, but I did this a while ago as a fix to the problem that I noticed right away, which Thal talks about. Faith income is just much higher than faith expenses, so I raised expenses. It's a quick fix I know, but with this I don't have that mid-game problem that you guys are talking about. During the medieval and renaissance eras you are spreading your religion. By the industrial era, you've spread your religion about as much as you can reasonably. This also keeps one religion from dominating the entire globe.

    As to the discussion on the Piety tree. The opener (cheap temples and shrines), and the first two policies (decreased faith costs, more faith from shrines and temples) are quite valuable. Taking those policies is very beneficial to getting a religion and spreading it. I also delay unlocking Piety until the classical era. What normally happens is that you get a shrine or two or three going in the ancient era. This gives you a pantheon. If you select a belief that boosts faith and you go into the Piety tree in the classical era, then you can typically get a religion. If you go after a non-faith belief, then you're likely not going to get a religion.

    So, Piety is more valuable in this scenario because it's really a big key in being able to pile up enough faith to get a religion. In my most recent game, I got a religion and filled out the Piety tree. There are some junk policies in there that need to be changed for sure. The boosts to temples is decent, but the policy giving you the second religion's pantheon belief is just horrible and needs to be scrapped. The reformation belief plus the free great prophet is very nice. I used that free great prophet to enhance the religion. Holy sites are also pretty nice giving a lot of faith, plus culture and gold. I put a holy site near a gold-focused city to boost gold in that city.

    Now I know most of you wouldn't want to double faith costs like this and alter the mechanics of the game so much (although I recommend trying it for yourselves, it improves the game even more), so you do need something that faith is useful for. Typically empires that have a lot of faith are going to be wide empires since they have more cities, which means more shrines, more temples, and more land (for tiles producing faith). So, I have a pretty simple proposal. How about a policy in the Piety tree replacing the dud policy (the one that gives you the 2nd pantheon belief). This policy would instead give you culture proportional to the amount of faith you have, similar to how the happiness/culture policy works in the aesthetics tree.

    Maybe give 1 culture nationally per 10 faith per turn that the empire is producing. That might be kind of weak by itself as a 2nd tier policy, but that in combination with something else might be pretty good. We could as allow culture buildings to be purchased with faith as a policy in the Piety tree. So a 2nd tier policy being 1 culture per 10 faith per turn plus allows the purchase of culture buildings with faith.

    If that isn't feasible to do because of the way the game is structured, then a 2nd option might be an additional culture boost to holy sites. Holy sites can give you 8 faith, 3 gold, and 3 culture right now already. They're still iffy to build even with that because of the opportunity costs and what else you could spend the faith on, so maybe a further boost to holy sites giving them an additional 3 culture would be an option.
     

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