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Policy Discussion: Piety

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Stalker0, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    We will discuss piety in this thread.

    Again the rating system!

    A - Policy is often the reason you choose a tree, generally a powerhouse policy no matter how you are playing.
    B - Strong policy, often a key to a playstyle, but perhaps a bit too specific to be considered an A.
    C - Solid policy. You like it, your happy to take it, but its not game altering, just nice to have.
    F - Weak policy. You take it only when you have used up better choices, or because its a prereq for a good closer or a much stronger policy. However, you never like taking this policy.

    I'm also using a new acronym: CFCS (culture for culture's sake). This refers to policies that simply give you the ability to get more policies. I personally hate this type of design, especially now that policies aren't win conditions.

    Piety
    Personally i consider this the weakest of the opening trees by a decent margin.

    Opener: F The speed bonus of shrines/temples doesn't give me much, and the great mosque i don't consider that great either. If it didn't open up the tree i would never take this policy.

    Organized Religion: C Decent enough, nothing special.

    Mandate of Heaven: B Honestly this is the reason i take piety. If i'm going pantheons that burn a lot of faith then this lets me generate a lot more of them.

    Theocracy: C- Just okay. Gold bonuses are much weaker overall now due to more gold coming through TRs.

    Religious Tolerance: F Its a bonus i can't really control, and frankly how often does it come up?

    Reformation: ? I've never gotten it, by the time i get to this point there are too many other policies in other trees to take.

    Closer: C You get a free GP which is always nice, but the culture benefit is just okay.

    My big question with piety is, why get a lot of holy sites? In GEM when they gave big culture (probably too much in fact) it was one thing. But now i spend faith to get a GP to build a holy site....to get more faith to spend on GP? I don't think holy sites are good enough on their own that its worth going through the whole tree to pick up benefits to them.
     
  2. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Agreed it is the weakest of the four ancient trees, but it still has some useful perks in it.

    Opener: C Djenne is good if missionaries are made rarer or more expensive (and it gives a free mosque, which is not bad as a free building since there is happiness involved). Faster/cheaper temples matters more than the shrines usually, but it can rapidly build up faith points in a wider empire.
    Organised Religion: C Mostly fine. Might be better to combine with the faster shrine/temple effect. Or do something like add faith to monuments.
    Mandate of Heaven: B, Could be better at -25% (if we raise prophet/missionary costs), but definitely best policy in the tree to cherry pick. Should maybe have a pre-req.
    Theocracy: C Okay. I'd rather see this spread out to other religion buildings (the bought ones too). Holy Site bonus is essentially irrelevant and should be moved to the finisher.
    Tolerance: F I haven't found that passive religion spread is sufficient that there are many cities this comes up. The AI mostly spreads through prophets and a couple border cities with pressure and my own trade routes, which doesn't lead to a lot of cities that this would matter. Also not all pantheon effects are all that useful anyway that I get much control over it.

    I'd rather see this effect in the Freedom ideology and made stronger (any minority religion pantheon)

    Reformation: C Would help if the beliefs were stronger or more balanced. If there's a couple obvious picks, it's kind of pointless to have the others available. Conceptually it's a great idea.
    Closer: B Very good if you don't take the Liberty finisher first (so to use that on something else rather than a religion), and use to found or enhance a religion. But you have to get through a much less useful tree first to do this. The Holy Site bonuses could be combined and improved here as they're not adding much.

    I think this tree could use a major overhaul.

    Some options:
    1) Put things like higher passive pressure or spread values or ideally defence from spread/pressure in.
    2) Add a bit of culture to religious buildings. +1 maybe. This is probably the main reason the tree is weak is that you only get culture from it if you pick a pantheon/religion benefit that provides it while every other early tree will provide cultural benefits on its own. This can also mean there's no reason to take it as you can get a religion without it and take other benefits instead of culture, the tree then helps once you have a religion for faith-buying buildings and spamming faith-buys later in the game.
    3) Maybe move some of the religion buildings to the tree (monastery, improved, or pick one of pagoda/cathedral/mosque). I'm not sure if this possible, but given that wonders are now unlocked by policies, I suspect it is now to put a building on a policy. This would also allow adding some happiness to the tree (via the buildings you could then buy)
     
  3. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I'd suggest you go for Reformation in one of your next games (maybe change the way you normally play totally?), it can be horribly strong. And you can get to it quite easily (it's four picks in) so normally, there should be no competition by the AI and plenty of choice.

    Piety in general suffers from the uncertainty embodied in the religion system of civ5: Do I need lots of faith (to burn on buildings/units/great people) or do I need none? The cheaper purchase policy is heavily dependent here and the Holy Site one kinda as well. It's quite hard to balance around actually and I think, the whole rebuilding needs to go hand in hand with a religion not-overhaul-but-readjustment.

    So I can't really rate them since Religion varies so freaking much from game to game, at least to me.
     
  4. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    The opener ensures that you get a pantheon when you know you'll benefit from one. The half-cost of a shrine can easily translate into gobs of extra culture, faith, or science in the earlier parts of the game, depending on your situation. It's not exciting, but it's definitely not worth an "F." Especially if you're one of the civs with a unique shrine or temple.
     
  5. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I think Piety needs a lot of work. I'm usually a fan of staying as close to the core game as possible, but I really dislike the religion aspect of the game.

    Like Thal, I think that the benefits of something should be proportional to the effort that it takes to get that benefit. Religion doesn't meet this standard test.

    Religions are super easy to get, and once you have one they are extremely powerful.

    Religions are too easy to spread too. Great prophets are too cheap. Missionaries are too cheap. Inquisitors are too cheap. Holy sites aren't powerful enough for wasting a great prophet on one (and also using up a potentially productive tile).

    You shouldn't be able to get a religion without a major investment of time and effort. Shrines should let you get a pantheon, but not a religion. Temples should provide +3 faith, have 2 gold maintenance, and have a bit lower production cost. You should have to have a few temples going or Stonehenge or a religious city state ally to get enough faith built up for a religion.

    Religious city states are pretty useless right now in the game so having higher faith costs for everything plus boosting the amount of faith from a religious city state would make them worthwhile.

    The first religion should appear in the Classical era, and that's for whoever built Stonehenge or has city state allies helping them or some faith natural wonder. Later religions should appear in the medieval era for those civilizations that built temples.

    Then, it should take some effort to spread your religion to all your cities and even more to spread it internationally. If you want to have one of those religions that covers your entire continent then you should have to neglect your military, science, gold, and culture to a degree to accomplish that feat. If you choose to just build shrines, then all you should get is a pantheon, then have some other civ's religion eventually spread into your cities.
     
  6. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    Agree that Holy Sites need a substantial boost. The extra yields in the Piety tree don't cut it for reasons that should be obvious (using a policy to upgrade a rare tile improvement vs. using a policy point elsewhere that upgrades yields in every city, or empire-wide)

    To me, 1 :c5faith: isn't comparable in value to other yields 1:1. I'd say at a minimum double the output of Holy Sites, if only to make them worth using a GP, which cost faith. The Holy Site should reasonably pay for the GP's faith cost within 40 - 50 turns.
     
  7. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    The trouble with faith is that it really easily snowballs because there's only so many ways to spend it that will be interesting (especially pre-industrial era). It works like a slow "gold" yield that doesn't have any upkeep to burn it manually, other than pagodas really. It just keeps rising if you push into it. I ended up with several prophets in a couple games just because I had nothing else to spend it on.

    Upping the faith-related income on holy sites might be necessary, but making it high enough to matter may just make faith accumulation get really silly.
     
  8. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    See, I don't have this problem really. When I go for a religion, I often use it not as a primary strategy, but as a means to shore up a weak point in my empire, usually militarily. Rather than waste production and gold on units, I just take the pre-industrial purchase belief, and then rack up as much faith as I can, pumping out an army while my cities focus on culture/wonders/whatever else I need.

    The real issue is that religions can be wildly different, and yet they all rely on the same yield. Some require lots of faith in order to buy buildings/units. Some require no faith, aside from the occasional missionary. Different play styles yield different religions--it makes it one of the more interesting and frustrating mechanics, I think.

    To me, the piety tree could go one of two ways. It could broaden its scope, focusing on benefits which can benefit most religious play styles, like adding culture to faith buildings, or lowering purchase costs. I don't find these than interesting, personally.

    What if instead, we used policies as a way to specialize religions further? As an example, moving the two "purchase unit" beliefs into a single policy choice that might be called "Holy Warfare," which then gives you a choice (along the lines of how one chooses reformation beliefs) of being able to purchase pre-industrial units, post-industrial units, or naval units (which can't be bought with faith at all at the moment). Another policy could be "Religious architecture" would allow you to choose between the faith bought buildings.

    The upshot of this method would be that a players can found religions without going through the piety tree, but players that do ought to have religions that can do more interesting stuff.

    It would probably require lots of work, but it would be more compelling in my opinion.
     
  9. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Those who choose the 'Piety' branch SHOULD be looking for religious/culture benefits.
    Therefore all the choices should be related to greatly improving:

    Faith generation
    Religion improvements
    Holy Site bonuses
    or cultural benefits from the above.

    Opener: B
    Quicker religious buildings means quicker :c5faith: production

    Closer: C
    If you are going to invest in this policy all the way the end result should be great. (Same applies to any policy tree)
    +3:c5culture:, 1:c5faith: x No. Holy Sites per city would focus your use of GP more finely.

    Organised Religion: C

    Mandate of Heaven: B

    Theocracy: C
    Can't really see the benefit of a :c5gold: boost in this tree

    Religious Tolerance: F
    Next to useless. The 2nd pantheon may not have any bearing on your location or situation. Maybe change it to allow your religion to be effective when it has an equal standing with other religions in your city. 50/50% = Your religion wins

    Reformation : A
    Just because if you go this path you want added benefits


    Lastly I have always felt 'Piety' should be available early. Faiths developed very early IRL so to have this tree available from the start makes sense.
     
  10. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    The gold part is flavor related, but I could see moving it to a religious belief or reformation belief instead and making it stronger (apply to more buildings) and moving the holy site bonuses to the same policy or both on the closer.

    I wouldn't mind having a buy buildings policy or a buy units policy. I'd say if we can't make the religion stronger, which is what the tree should aim to do, we should give you more things to do with faith by default alongside faith accumulation bonuses or purchase reductions. I'm not sure if faith-bought units are any easier than buildings to be linked to a policy but there are now free units with an ideology pick.. so maybe.
     
  11. Wichtel

    Wichtel Chieftain

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    If we just want to tweak the tree a bit we should consider turning Orginazied Religioninto the opener and move the ceaper buildings into its place. If you want to get a religon you will get Pottery first and build a shrine as soon as possible. Even if you skip a scout and build a monument first you will have your first shrine before you have the piety opener. It will help you with your second shrine and temples but they will come later.

    Overall I think the tree is really weak as an opener and it is only good if you get lots of stuff to buy with faith. But even if we just make the tree a bit better there will still be problems:

    1) Faith is kind of weird. If you dont get an early faith boost (Stonhenge, Religious City State, Holy Mountain) you will need to get a shrines and temples to get a religion. You will need more faith to get a religion, but when you finnaly have it all the beliefs you can chooes that need lots of faith (buying buildings/units) will be gone. The only thing you can buy will be missionarys and great people in the industrial age. A way to get at least one building or unit you can buy with faith in the piety tree would normalize religions a bit and make faith less of a gamble.

    2) Temples are bad. You cant build them really early when +2 faith would matter and later you build them to get the great temple. You might build them to get a faith that lets you spend faith, but if are are a bit too late all that faith will be kind of useless. If you go wide or ar under religious assault temples get a bit more useful. Does anyone take the temple beliefs that are available? If no one does, we could turn Theocracy into a temple boost. We turn the gold boost into a belief and group it with the other temple beliefs and let the player choose one.

    3) Holy Sites are terrible the first to prophets will found/enhance your religion. When you get a third prophet the last thing you need is +10 faith. It could boost pressure or something. But as they are they might not be there at all.

    Other stuff: I think its strange that you can get a reformation movement before you have a religion. Reformation should be the finisher.
     
  12. Anvari

    Anvari Warlord

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    Yay a Faith-related thread :) I love to play with faith and all things around that. In BNW i think you hit the nail, Piety is horrible. But maybe we should look at the old version of this mod. The GEM Piety tree is way better.

    For reference:
    Old G&K GEM Piety tree
    Spoiler :
    Opener
    +5 National Happiness.
    +50 Faith.

    Charity
    +5% Gold from religious buildings.

    Inspiration
    +1 Free Policy
    +2 Culture from religious buildings.

    Tolerance
    +1 City Happiness from Shrines and Temples.

    Unity
    10 turn Golden Age.
    -25% National Happiness required for Golden Ages.

    Devotion
    +3 Faith per turn.
    +1 Faith per city.

    Finisher
    -25% Faith purchase costs.


    Original BNW Piety tree
    Spoiler :
    Opener: -50% Build time for Shrine and Temple

    Organized Religion: +1 :c5faith: for Shrine and Temple

    Mandate of Heaven: -20% :c5faith:-cost when buying units and buildings

    Theocracy: +10% :c5gold: in Cities with a Temple and +3 :c5gold: at Holy Site

    Religious Tolerance: Cities with multiply religions get the second pantheon bonus

    Reformation: additional reformation belief

    Closer: free Great Prophet and +3 :c5culture: at Holy Sites



    I think a mix between the old an new would work best. I'll write the tree in my opinion. Please be reminded that i just use numbers, tweak them if you like but don't quote me with: 'OMG this is totally imbalanced because random number X is too high'. It's just a number that we can change. Thanks :)


    Opener: This should have an instant Faith-bonus because it's so important that you get your Pantheon up early. And i personally don't mind the 5 Happiness, because you kinda need them at higher difficulties when playing with religion but it could be delayed a little bit. The decreased build time is neat. It serves multiple strategies. I think we should keep that as well. That means
    50 Faith and 50% decreased build time for Shrines and Temples.

    Organized Religion: Yeah ... original BNW is really crap. This should help you getting to your first Pantheon and Religion but we already have that covered in the Opener. I would take a few things from Inspiration (GEM), meaning improve the usefulness of Shrines and Temples beyond getting pure religion bonuses. '+2 Culture from religious buildings' is really nice and should a lot if you are going for a Holy Warrior-military type of strategy to get a few more beliefs, as well with a peaceful culture-victory type. This should also be the place for a Happiness. Maybe we can use the Tolerance-style of a bonus here ('+1 City Happiness from Shrines and Temples'). The happiness would also work very well with a military strategy. That would leave us at:
    +2 :c5culture: from religious buildings and +1 :c5happy: from Shrines and Temples

    Mandate of Heaven: Nice thing, the GEM finisher was 25% but it comes way later. Originally we had this sort of bonus late, because it's so strong. I still think its strong but at 20%, it should be fine. And TBH, the new Finisher is better :) I wouldnt change it.
    -20% :c5faith:-cost when buying units and buildings

    Theocracy: Charity and Theocracy are both gold-related Policies and should be compared. Imo Charity is superior, because it scales better with more buildings. An initially weaker bonus that gets more powerful if you invest more is always great. The +3 Gold on Holy Sites look strong from a G&K perspective but BNW is different. I really don't know if we should keep it or not, but you probably won't benefit from it until you reach GP number 3 till 5, the same time some technology-related improvements for Great Persons kick in. One other thing i picked up here was improved pressure from a Holy Site. I think that's a really cool idea. We could also think about improved reach, given that your pressure isn't that bad to begin with because you already invested so much in religion. (Religious Pressure and spread distance are two unique things!) It's way different from the usual bonuses and if we can get the right number, should be a great way to improve Holy Sites and religious play and it fits with the name of the bonus. The exact numbers however are difficult. I personally think we could mix them, each Holy Site grants +5% Religion Pressure and +10% Reach. These numbers should prevent that you get too powerful if you have Great Prophets every 25-30 turns later (with is possible) or one perk on its own is too powerful. Both combined however work nicely.
    +5% :c5gold: from religious buildings and +5% Pressure and +10% Reach from Holy Sites

    Religious Tolerance: I really dislike this one because it's opposed to what you want to archive with your investment in Religion, Piety and Faith. The old GEM tree had Unity and Devotion. Both don't have a counterpart in BNW. Unity is for additional Golden Ages and Devotion increases your Faith-gen. Given the unique position (if we want to keep the layout), it should at least have Unity's free Golden Age-effect. On the other side, i'm not the biggest fan of reduced Happiness for Golden Ages because i tend to get only as much Happiness as i need. Devotion could jump in and grant additional Faith per City/turn/building. Given that we had a change in the Pagodas, Monastery and the others (you don't need a belief to build them), we could rename Religious Tolerance to Unity and do:
    Grants a free Golden Age and +2 :c5faith: from religious buildings.

    Reformation: It's a cool idea and something we didn't have in G&K. Should be strong enough and a worthy last policy.
    Adds an additional reformation belief

    Closer: Given that this comes for "free" and we have the former bonus already way earlier, the original BNW doesn't feel wrong. A free GP is always nice, a Prophet fits the theme of the tree and the second bonus picks up the Culture bonus in Organized Religion. I think it would work.
    Free Great Prophet and +3 :c5culture: at Holy Sites


    Well, that's from me for now. Have fun reading my wall of text :p

    Marc

    Edit: Minor fixes
     
  13. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I agree for flavour that reformation should come later, but there are some reformation beliefs that are more powerful the earlier you take them, i.e. the convert barbarian belief. These beliefs are essentialy a second Founders belief, so we may be correct by reshuffling the beliefs between them. The things is, it's often easier to get the reformation belief than the enhanced religions or even the first religion...

    So the problem really is more related to Religion than to Piety itself. I think we need to find a way to allow for both high faith income religions and smaller ones. Because of that - even though it's the most popular belief - I say we should lose the -faith % cost policy. It just upsets the balance too easily leading to too much faith around. Or at least push it further back the tree. But I'm already suggesting policy changes, I'd say we should first "fix" religion, proposals:

    1. Pantheon costs scale less so to allow lagging players to get one
    2. Costs for Prophets (base and delta) increased so to make religion more an investment and temples/Religious City States valuable. "shrines can't get you there alone".
    3. Balance the Beliefs, f.e. (Building beliefs are really strong right now, because of the - % faith cost policy and the reformation belief that grants tourism on bought buildings. Either up the cost or introduce a delta per bought building)
    4. Surplus Faith needs a drain that is neither overpowered (old Great People buying, some tourism belief combos, etc. ...) nor too intertwined with other yields (we don't want to shake the balance for culture and tourism i.e.)

    I could see the old idea of a cemetary (Industrial Era) building that either eats up faith or converts faith, but maybe point 2 will already be enough for that. That holy sites often generate more holy sites is a bit of a problem (=spamming), but point 2 could work against that. It'll be hard to find the right balancing point inbetween them being ubiquitious and nowhere to be found. But BNW changes Landmarks, they are now not "free-to-chose" anymore, but require a ruin site underneath them. So I could see us making the Holy Site a "happiness" improvement. It helps most playstyles, it's flavourful and it doesn't "feed the beast". There are enough options to generate faith around already. I can then see us adding culture via a policy as that makes these sites viable for tourism!

    For the Religious Tolerance belief, would it be overpowered if it included Follower beliefs? Btw. I see that policy more with the Liberty Tree than the Piety one.

    EDIT: If we want to emphasize temples over shrines, we could change the "yield on religious buildings" to "yield on temples" in general or "higher yield on temples, lower on shrines".
     
  14. Dezath

    Dezath Chieftain

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    Can mandate of heaven come later pls.

    I usually like my early policies to help with my immediate early game like all the other policies.

    Mandate is pretty irrelevant early game as you're not going to buy anything with faith until you at least gotten you 1st gp and founded a religion even after that for me its usually racing to get your second one before anyone can take the bonuses you want

    Mandate of heaven is useful mid-late game but really irrelevant early game yet its one of the 1st policies
     
  15. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Isn't reformation the last policy in the tree? Essentially? I think it is just theocracy that isn't required to get it.

    Tolerance doesn't make any sense from any ancient tree. I would be fine with follower effects too.

    I could see moving MoH back and making it stronger. It doesn't need to go to the finisher like GEM though.
     
  16. Wichtel

    Wichtel Chieftain

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    Well there was a period in time when lots of religious cults were existing peacfully with each other (in europe), before the big monotheistic established a monopolys. There is a secularism policy in the rationality tree. I always get Theocarcy last thats why it is strange to me. We could just exchange the great prophet and the reformation belief.
     
  17. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    If it's an ancient tree, which it should probably be, the prophet should be the finisher (or it would be too easy to abuse). The problem is the theocracy pick isn't very good.
     
  18. BroOfTheSun

    BroOfTheSun Warlord

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    Piety was always a secondary tree that I grab while also filling out Tradition or Liberty (usually grab Piety with Liberty in BNW). I think the only way to make Piety a good tree to start with and completely fill-in (without going to Tradition or Liberty) is if you add something that helps boost your growth, expansion, or economy. How about making a policy that allows you to buy workers or settlers with faith? They should probably be somewhat cheap faith price too, since you'll be using this mostly for early game expansion. Also, their faith prices should increase with each era to prevent abuse in later eras. This would make faith generation a big part of you empire.
     
  19. Anvari

    Anvari Warlord

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    TBH i don't think we should go that route. The problem is, you go only Piety if you invest in Faith. This propably means you could grab Holy Warrior, which allows you to purchase all units you want. AFAIK including Settlers and Worker. But if we make it too cheap its an alternative to Hammer and Gold and i don't think that's a good idea. It can work with them, if the Faith-price is high enough. If we make it too cheap, it just becomes too strong if you invest in some Faith-stuff early on and shift your focus on Hammer or Gold later.

    But an food-increase for religious buildings should be possible. Could even be something as replacement for Religious Tolerance.
     
  20. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    one of my chief problems with piety is that this isn't really true. if you research pottery first and build a shrine right when it finishes, the policy does nothing because it comes too late. It only works if you hit a culture ruin in the first ~12 turns or so.

    I used to love piety for wide starts in G&K...but now that city spam got nerfed pretty hard I struggle to find a good usage for it in BNW. Religion is great but you don't need piety for it. As good as some of the reformation beliefs are, they don't seem to be worth giving up the entire tradition tree (or liberty).
     

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