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Policy Discussion: Piety

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

  1. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I've started a 3.3.4 game, using Piety early game and playing as Arabia.

    I have to say that Piety feels dramatically underpowered. It gives you very little in the early game that helps at all. Most policies are underpowered or totally useless (religious tolerance). Nearby civs that went Tradition were powering ahead of me - and Brazil was building up super-cities surprisingly fast. [Actually I'm really confused as to how Brazil wasn't having happiness problems give how fast it expanded and how big its cities were.]

    Part of my bad luck was that the other three civs on my continent also all founded their own religion and used great prophets to overwrite the religion I had spread to them, but even so there didn't seem to be much payoff from Piety.
    Something else weird though: triggering the Reformation policy also gave me a free Great Prophet, so I was able to enhance and reform my religion. Is that intended??

    Arabia's UA also seemed underwhelming.
     
  2. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Was it the Great Prophet from the Finisher?

    And yeah, it feels weird that you can reform your religion (and often do) before enhancing it...

    Ideally we'd have two Piety trees. One that helps you get the religion out (Ancient era) and one in the medieval Era that let's you take off (Reformation belief, Prophet/Gold bonus, Religious Tolerance). As it's now the effects are all over the place... But that's not really possible unless we remix Aesthetics and Piety again or if it really is possible to put a tech requirement on one policy. I can see two lines in Piety a la:

    Ancient Era Line (2 policies plus opener): Faith boost on shrines and temples, gold boost, less % faith costs, ...
    Medieval Era Line (3 policis plus finisher): Great Prophet/Holy Site boost, Science Boost, Religious Tolerance, Reformation Beliefs, Free Great Prophet, ...

    That way you also solve the problem of AI's filling it up too early AND you can have stronger effects...
     
  3. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I've been playing a different flavor of CEP regarding religion that makes religious tolerance as a policy more attractive.

    I've doubled the cost of the first great prophet, the delta for the faith cost of the next great prophet, doubled the cost of inquisitors and missionaries and doubled the faith cost of buying great people.

    Also, I'm playing with 12 civs on a standard map size so that it's a more condensed map. Also, increased the expansionism and war tendencies of the AI, but that's unrelated to religion.

    There are still just 5 religions available on the map, despite the number of civs increasing from 8 to 12. This makes it more competitive in getting a religion. It also takes longer to get one and it's harder to spread your religion. So, passive religion spread matters more, so many of your cities will end up with minority religions.

    It also has the side effect of many civilizations not having a native religion. There are 7 of them, instead of just 3, so you can use religion to help create allies. I wouldn't expect everyone to like that style of play, but I prefer playing where you cannot just spread your religion at will. Many times I can't even get a religion and just have to wait until someone else's religion spreads to my borders.
     
  4. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Hmmm.... it might well have been.

    I can see your point, but as you say, I think we can still combine both in a single tree. I don't think we need to explicitly change them by era, we just have policies that are more useful at later points in the game. And some, like the reformation, might be more useful earlier or later depending on how you use them.

    Reducing the power of the Tradition and Liberty finishers would make it easier to select some of Piety and some of one of the others early on without missing out on a big prize.

    But the most important changes for Piety would be:
    Bigger gold boosts from theocracy. Maybe +1 gold from shrines, +2 gold from temples, +4 gold from holy sites.
    Get rid of religious tolerance, replace it with maybe something else. Maybe a science boost from libraries? Religion works better wide than tall, so it would be nice to have something that helped counteract the science penalty.

    Another possibility would be to have the opener double construction speed of shrines and give +1 faith per shrine, and then have organized religion give faster temples and +2 faith per temple.

    This sounds like it would dramatically reduce the value of going for a religion at all. If it costs that much, why bother? Better to just focus on growing your economy and ignoring religion entirely (or ignoring once past the pantheon).
     
  5. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    It doesn't really make it insignificant. Religions are very powerful, and being the founder of one has a lot of advantages. You can pick beliefs tailored to your situation and you get founder beliefs, enhancer beliefs, and reformation beliefs. Such a big advantage should come with a cost, and the cost of that is ignoring other aspects of your military or economy.
     
  6. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I have the impression the more religious AI's tend to fill up the tree before going for Liberty or Tradition. If this is true (haven't tested it on a big scale), it IS a problem when we have "no use now" policies in a ancient era tree. How DOES the AI chose its policy picks?

    Agree on Tradition and Liberty Finisher, disagree on putting everything on religious buildings making them as strong. As for Religious Tolerance, one proposal was to boost it with a science-per-religion-present in city bonus. Agree that a science bonus fits here.

    That's two very similar policies, not sure...

    My thinking was that it makes the free prophets from Liberty and Piety Finishers and Wonders so very very strong. The direction may be a good one though, slightly higher costs and faster spreads.

    Another problem of religion is its randomness, so you got 5 Religions for 12 civs, and apparently 3 on one continent. So there's one continent without Religion? I'm not sure it's a problem, but it may pose some for balance?
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Honestly, I don't find this to be the case. It takes a lot of investment (and early investment, with significant opportunity costs) to get a good religion out, and the effects aren't amazing. They're worth pursuing with some playstyles in the current design, but they're far from no brainers, they're only sometimes worth the investment.

    You're talking about doubling the amount of investment required, which would dramatically change the cost-benefit calculations. I also suspect that you would run into the problem where cities grow faster than the passive religious spread, and so it would be very easy for religions to get choked off.

    If anything, I find that founder beliefs are now a bit underwhelming. Everything that isn't a founder belief (even the reformation beliefs) end up benefiting anyone you spread your religion too. If you're boosting your competitors as much as yourself, that isn't really that much of an advantage.

    * * *
    Yeah, I'm not sure that's the right way to go either. But its hard to think of other ways to boost a religious playstyle. I don't think we have code that would let us have a social policy that gives, say for example, +X gold in each city that has a majority religion that we founded.

    As I've said many times before, ideally we could have Piety increase the effects of existing beliefs, but that just isn't possible.

    Honestly, religious tolerance in the Piety tree is totally broken. We don't need to tweak it, we need to kill it with fire. Piety and religious playstyle is about spreading your religion far and wide. It is totally antithetical to not spreading your religion beyond your borders and having a neighboring religion also messing up your cities. It's also really hard for even a human player to exploit such a policy appropriately, it's almost impossible for the AI.

    The main argument for it is that the Temple boost comes way before you're going to be capable of constructing temples. Separating them into a shrine policy and a temple policy lets you pick the shrine policy early, then dabble in Liberty or Tradition, then go back to get the Temple policy once you have the tech to build them.

    I don't find great prophets and missionaries to be too cheap.

    I'm not sure it's a problem. If there is a continent without religion, then it makes it really valuable for you to beeline to astronomy and spread yours there. Some games work like that, where a particular strategy turns out not to be so effective because of map generation and AI placement. If I'm sandwiched between a bunch of aggressive civs, then tech racing probably doesn't work so well. If I'm on an island by myself, conquest probably isn't very realistic. If I'm clustered with lots of other civs nearby, peaceful wide probably won't be realistic.
     
  8. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    The AI usually goes after 1 policy tree at a time, so yes, they do fill out Piety before anything else. They get all these useless policies in the ancient era. It would be difficult to program the AI to pick and choose among many different trees.

    For this reason, it's more practical to stick to the designers intentions of having policy trees be filled out one at a time, or at least picking among just 2 trees at a time. The AI only considers 2 options when deciding which policy to pick.

    So, Piety should have policies that are useful in the ancient/classical eras, or all of its policies should be useful later with the era for it being unlocked pushed back later as well. You can't really have it unlocked earlier with policies that don't do anything until later.

    My personal preference is to make it a tree that is available in the classical era and to tweak it's policies for that. I'd be open to having it available in the ancient era, but the tree would need to be overhauled to make them policies that are useful in the ancient era, which would be pretty hard to do and a lot more work.
     
  9. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Wait, so do you like or dislike my idea for putting tech/era requirements on the later policies? You seem to be saying two different things here.

    Yes, the last statement is why I think it's an idea worth considering, as well as your comment about how odd it is to Reform before Enhance.

    This is a good thing imo, there should be different positives and negatives for playing differently - it's what keeps the game fresh! Also, the Grand Temple is really quite powerful, especially in a TR hub with EIC and a Caravansary/Harbor.

    It sounds like you had a lot of competition for your religion: Do you think you still would have gotten your religion if you hadn't taken Piety? Maybe try the opening again, taking Trad or Liberty to see if it had any effect. If every civ on your continent had a religion (I'm assuming standard size/number of civs) do you really not see any of them becoming a minority religion in your cities - thus making Tolerance not "useless"? I'm very curious to hear how the game goes in this area, please report when you've progressed to the Industrial era.

    As I see it, Piety should be taken in conjunction with other trees (especially has good synergy with Liberty - going wide with cheap/buffed shrines, maybe with a shrine-enhancing Pantheon). This is by design, I think, and I like the fact that it is a tree that is intended to be taken slowly instead of straight through to the finisher.

    No opinions on my list of suggestions for changing/buffing Tolerance? I know you hate it, but many of us don't. I think there are some very viable ways to make it better there.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I didn't initially: my religion went out much faster than anyone else's and I spread it fairly wide, but then other civs used their second great prophets to expand their religions (canceling out mine) before enhancing. And missionaries don't really do anything once great prophet expansion has been done.
    It's just bad luck on my part that Austria and Brazil founded religions. [I expected Spain to, but they were a long way away.]

    Yes, I built Stonehenge. I think if I had gone Tradition I would have had a much more powerful early game.

    Kill it with fire ;)
    It's too hard to reliably have multiple religions in your cities, especially when you are using a religious playstyle. If you don't spread your religion wide, then you don't have a buffer zone and you risk having all your religious work extinguished by wandering great prophets.
    The trigger condition (multiple religions in a particular city) is too narrow to warrant a full policy, no matter how powerful the effect.
     
  11. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Am I not allowed to change my mind in under 2 hours? :lol: :mischief:

    But I stand with my point, I feel it's gimmicky as no other tree works like that and we will probably get a few complaints/questions/bug reports if we do it like that, but it still might be worth it IF we want to keep Piety as an Ancient Era early Religion boost tree. (If not, we need some way of boosting early religion in another way, maybe a Shrine-based NW that gives a few more extra faith?)

    @Ahriman, feeling a little bit pyromanic today, eh? :D (hmm, wasn't there a torch smilie somewhere?)
     
  12. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Your game sounds unusual from my experience - Stonehenge is often gotten super fast by an AI, so I never try for it (all the Religious wonders actually seem to be highly prioritized by the AI now), and having the AI use their second Prophet to spread is something I haven't seen before (at least, not something I've noticed seeing).

    So what about moving it to the Rationalism opener? Divorcing it from Piety will essentially divorce it from the "religious playstyle".

    Btw, I find it's quite easy to maintain minority religions if that's what I'm going for (obviously it's not always a good idea) - get one inquisitor to follow enemy Prophets, don't use Prophets or Inquisitors in your own cities (can't with Inq.s anyway), set up TRs with differing religions, don't pick Religious Texts/Itinerant Preachers, etc.

    :lol: Just wanted to make sure that was what was going on and that I wasn't misunderstanding you.:)

    :devil::ar15::c5razing: One of these maybe?:p

    I agree it's heavy-handed and we can probably get the tree to work without it, but it will be more difficult.
     
  13. BroOfTheSun

    BroOfTheSun Warlord

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    Just a thought, religious tolerance might be a little easier to work with, if Great Prophets and Inquisitors didn't completely take away rival religions. Maybe if they only took away like 75%, then it would be easier to get the benefits from religious tolerance.
     
  14. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Agreed. Someone else suggested the same last page, so it's already on my list:

    Though I realize it's not entirely clear *how* those units will be less effective - I'll edit it.
     
  15. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    It was only at emperor, I had a good production start (lots of plains) and I beelined calendar.

    I didn't literally see the prophet, but it's hard to imagine how they could have reconverted multiple large cities otherwise as early as they did. I do find that its very hard to choke out an AI's religion, even if all their cities are your religion by the time they found theirs.

    Maybe, bit it still seems very weak, and it's weird for rationalism to have effects that depend on religions.

    Inquisitors are one-shot, so that is very very expensive, you need 4 inquisitors per prophet. By the midgame its cheaper to just use your own prophet to turn some back. But then you're blowing all your faith on something that isn't very helpful.

    Inquisitors are already pretty weak, wouldn't that make them even weaker?
     
  16. Anvari

    Anvari Warlord

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    Maybe i'm doing something wrong here but all the talk about Religious Tolerance got me thinking. I never got a second religion in my cities. Usually i'm one of the firsts who got their Pantheon and Religion up, so maybe that's the problem? Additionally i always place Inquisitors around my cities. GP or Missionaries never get a chance to spread anything.

    So why should we even considering a policy that works against you. Usually you don't want other religions because they give other player boni and reduce your own.
     
  17. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Inquisitors' best use is just to hang around - Missionaries and Prophets can't convert a city with an Inquisitor in it - so just grab one and don't let the Prophet do his thing. It's pretty easy since you can use roads and they get blocked by your units.
     
  18. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    :goodjob:

    :ar15::c5razing:

    Keeping great prophets out by blocking them with military units = super lame.

    I see your point about using an Inquisitor to block, but I don't really think the game should be designed around that kind of strategy.
     
  19. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Because maybe Religion wasn't intended as turtleish and "gamey" as it plays out now? Because your are practically building your own little thing and forgetting about the rest (maybe spreading it, but else?). That's not what is intended with BNW, it wants more interaction with other players after all. There are other boni possible instead like a World Congress Resolution that gives you additional delegates per number of religions in your cities (instead of the World Religion resolution). It'd need buffs and I'm not sure if we want to go that direction, but it's possible. One Argument: Keeping it close to Vanilla.
     
  20. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I tend to just park one inquisitor in my holy city and buy them up late game as needed for other large cities (and use high pressure to re-convert it back rather than missionaries or prophets). If they're reduced to 75% effectiveness, they should at least get two uses.

    The Prophet I find is mostly powerful on the first conversion, and then diminishes. So you can still get majority religion, but you won't wipe out the other religion in the process. 75% strength might be fine there.
     

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