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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 think religion was pretty strongly intended to be something that you would try to spread as far as possible. Nearly all the founder effects only benefit you by spreading to lots of cities.
    The religion spread mechanics all favor choking out other religions.

    Other than prophet blocking, I don't really find religion very gamey at all, the spread patterns and passive spread create religious blocs that gradually stabilize. This feels like real history.

    I much, much prefer the Civ5 style religions where by and large you have one religion or the other as opposed to Civ4 style religions where they could all just add up on top of each other. I think it is really much more fun (and mostly more flavorful) to have the Christian World vs the Islamic World vs the Hindu world vs the Buddhist world, with some fringe border areas like the Balkans where there is a mix.

    The mechanics just don't encourage/support a situation where lots of religions are present in lots of cities.
     
  2. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    I think maybe you missed the thrust of my post (it sounded like you didn't know this before):

    I almost never use Inquisitors outside of this role (since, as you noted, they're pretty weak otherwise), and I don't game the system by using military units to block Prophets (but by the same token I won't move my units to make it easier for them;)).

    I forgot to respond to this earlier:
    The best thing about BNW is that so many more systems play in with one another; I think there's design precedent to continue this in other aspects of the game as in this case.

    [As a side note, we clearly don't have the same design philosophy: I've always disliked how linear Civ 5 has been (at least before BNW) while you seem to prefer more straightforward, linear effects. That's fine, Thal will always be the final arbiter - I suspect our discussions are interesting to him because of it.:)]

    It sounds to me that you tend to play a very defensive religious game - in your next Piety game, try a different playstyle, especially if a neighboring religion has a decent Pantheon that's useful to you. It's definitely taken some getting used to for me after a year of G&k, but I think it's a lot of fun.:)
     
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I knew it, but it's one thing to keep an Inquisitor stationed in a city all the time to protect that city, and another to have an Inquisitor follow a great prophet around forever blocking each city that it gets close to, forever micromanaging. In my view that's just as gamey as blocking with military units; we shouldn't be doing balance design around assuming that kind of playstyle.

    It's not clear what "linear" would even mean in this context. I don't like mechanics that the AI doesn't know how to benefit from, or whose value depends on the actions of other players and not the actions of the human. I like using buildings to support city specialization, I think it's fine to have buildings that you don't want everywhere, but policies are empire wide and there are only a few options and you have to get every policy in a tree in order to get a finisher, and many good policies have weak pre-requisites. So I'm much more leery about having narrowly specialized policies that are only helpful in niche circumstances. I prefer policies to all generally support the broad playstyle and theme of the tree they're in.

    Thal seems to favor effects that are always useful even more than I do. He complains that he doesn't understand how I like *any* effects that aren't always useful ;)
     
  4. Lissindiel

    Lissindiel Chieftain

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    About the missionaries and GPs. I played a marathon vanilla game yesterday; at ~1800 found Boudica on the other continent, still sitting in medieval age. There was some good oil deposits near her, so I've put my city there. Then I noticed four (!) Great Prophets and an army of missionaries heading my way. I've captured GPs, killed missionaries, but Boudica just kept spawning more of them. Had to burn her from the map. Something should be done with the missionary purchase cost - it was like a plague.
     
  5. Anvari

    Anvari Warlord

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    I just played a 8 hour long vanilla game with Faith on Deity (Continents plus, Huge, legendary start, Marathon, max. CS and Civs, no ruins, random leader beside the BNW ones). I got Marocco and spawned in a nice desert with lots of Food Plains. I was third to get my Pantheon up, the one was on my continent but the other side (which was a lot of way) and one on the other continent i didn't scout when i had to quit.

    I was lucky and got Stonehenge (with 4 chopped Forests) and Old Faithful with my first Settler. Except one Policy for Honor Opener i put everything into Piety. It spun quickly out of control. Got my Religion second and was the first to enhance. Three neighbors founded a Pantheon too, but at the time i got my Enchanced Religion they finally got a Religion themself. After additional 60-70 turns i started to get aggressively and pushed my religion to their minor cities and surrounding CS. Around 400 turns in, my Religion had as much pressure on their Capitals as their Religion. All three never really started.

    After that i got kicked pretty bad, 9 DOW from other Civs because i captured Genoa. Pricks :( Even Holy Warrior couldn't fix it. Four fronts are a little bit too much.

    Long story short: I don't think you can get other religions in your realm if you are a little bit aggressive and get their cities first.
     
  6. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    This is useful feedback, thanks. How much did the Piety policies help though? By how much did they increase your faith production/religious spread? How useful were Theocracy and Religious tolerance? What reformation belief did you pick, and did it help? Did other civs seem to be benefiting significantly from your religion?
     
  7. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    If anybody wants to reduce the maximum amount of religions on a map instead of adding additional AI players, try adding the following to your CEP_Options.sql file (or use a mod-mod):

    PHP:
    UPDATE Worlds SET MaxActiveReligions MaxActiveReligions 1;
    There are the following fields in handicaps file:

    PHP:
    <TechNumOptionsConsidered>2</TechNumOptionsConsidered>
    <
    PolicyNumOptionsConsidered>2</PolicyNumOptionsConsidered>
    This is what determines how many policy and tech options the AI considers when making a policy/tech decision. The larger this value is, the "worse" decisions the AI will make as it will take the "best" options available to it and choose (randomly?) from there. However, in terms of policy decisions, increasing the number of policy options available may increase the likelihood of the AI picking from other trees.
     
  8. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    If I understand correctly, it goes like this:

    For Policy #1, the AI can chose between the first 4 trees. If it's for example a Religious and Expansionist one, it'll chose randomly (?) between Liberty and Piety. Say it choses Piety.

    For Policy #2, it can chose between Tradition, Liberty, Honor and two Piety Policies. It choses the best two and then randomly? That should get a higher chance for Piety again, right? (3 good ones are Liberty Opener and Piety1 and Piety2, 2:3 that a Liberty will be in there and then 50-50 if it's chosen, so 1:3 right?). Say it goes again to Piety.

    For Policy #3, there are either 3 "good options" (Liberty Opener and 2 Piety) or just 2 good ones (if mandate of heaven is chosen). Again looks good for Piety.

    While that is just one way it could go, this process can get quite self-feeding and even more so the less links we have. With more links, there are fewer options = higher chance of opening another tree = more diverse options again.

    What it does mean for sure to me is that we can't have "long-term" policies in Piety... (and that maybe raising that to 3 should often lead to more trees opened up, but maybe less later ones?)

    Someone care to count all the odds btw.? :D
     
  9. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    Yes, that sounds about right. For a pious, expansionist civ with PolicyNumOptionsConsidered at 2.

    Except this. The AI would pick it's best options based on it's flavors and not chance. So if the AI has a higher religion flavor than expansionist then it would always pick the two piety options as the "best" ones and pick (randomly?) from there.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I disagree with the conclusion. I agree that it means that the AI will go ahead and pick the policies now. But that doesn't mean that the policies can't be things which provide gradual benefits over time rather than having the benefits frontloaded. Sometimes the human player would want to pick a long term policy.

    I guess it depends on what you think of as a long-term policy. I agree that we shouldn't have policies that have no effect until medieval era, but I don't really think that had been on the table.
     
  11. Anvari

    Anvari Warlord

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    Hey

    1+2) Piety Policies: The opener was pretty nice actually. The temple has pretty low cost and with 50% discount it was the first building i build. Even with a 1 pop city i was fast. I had 6 cities at the end of my game. So Organized Religion was worth about 10 Faith/turn, which isn't bad. I had around 10 Faith/turn when i picked OR, got +3 bonus.

    3) Third policy from Piety was Theocracy and i would pick it again. Helped a lot but i had a lot of luxuries in my cities, 3 copper and marble in the capital alone. That played a huge part. Mandate of Heaven worked fine, paired with Holy Warrior i could buy 3 Comp Bows after my first 2 DOWs (near the end) and i could hold, bought 2 additional ones in the next turns but 9 DOWs just killed me. Five bought units means 1 got one free. So yeah, paired with HW it's great. Religious Tolerance was crap, just as i mentioned above and several times already. At least with my playstyle i never get the other Religions in my cities or they disappear fast.

    Reformation was ok. The Finisher also.

    4) I think they would have, if they didn't killed me. Desert Folklore had only granted two other civs on my continent bonusses (Arabia and Rome). Tithe as Founder is for me only. The first Follower i picked was Religious community, because i already got a lot of Faith and i needed a bit more Hammers. Info Addict said, the Cities with my Religion from my enemies where significant stronger in production then the rest. Most of the Capitols had around 25-30 hammers/turn at size 12-15. The Iroquois benefited the most with 39 hammer at 16 follower. That means their base was maybe around 34-35. Remember, i played Marathon so 4 hammers/turn are huge if you need 30-50 turns for one building. I used one Missionary 2x there around 50 turns before i got DOW'ed. The second follower was Holy Warrior but none of my Competitors had much Faith so i don't think it granted them anything, maybe a unit.

    Sadly i don't have a big sample size. Maybe i shouldn't attack a protected CS next time just to build Petra there :>
     
  12. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Let me rephrase, policies that do not gain you anything at the moment. Examples would be Theocracy when you haven't researched Temples yet and are far away from a Prophet you can settle down. Cheaper Faith Costs when you can't buy anything yet (and it's a possible second pick...). Free 4 culture buildings when you don't build another city for the next 100 turns. Wonder policy when you don't build wonders. Reformation when you don't have a Religion yet (is that possible btw.?).

    Otherwise I think I agree with you ;)

    @Stackpointer Leaderflavour prioritizes the choice I see. Which makes it obvious why Theodora always fills up Piety so quickly...
     
  13. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree with your other examples except this one. While you may choose not to build any, there are usually plenty of wonders available when the tradition's wonder benefit comes in to play.

    That to me is different from policies where i literally cannot make use of them yet, like a gold bonus on temples before i have temples.
     
  14. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    On the topic of placing religious effects within policy trees other than Piety, here would be a word of caution. One thing we haven't really mentioned is whether Piety should be primarily beneficial to civs that found religions, or to civs that use religions, because they can be very different types of policies. For example, Mandate of Heaven (lowered faith costs) benefits everyone--those who found religions and those who don't. However, a policy which buffs holy sites is going to overwhelmingly favor civs that originally found religions. Back to my original point, if one starts moving Piety policies into other trees, be it Rationalism or Aesthetics, they need to be tailored to all players, not just those who found religions. Otherwise, way too much importance is going to be placed on being the first to found a religion, and faith will begin to overpower other yields more than it already can.

    If faith effects are placed in these trees at all (and I would say that they shouldn't) they ought to be designed so that players who chose to not focus on religion can still benefit from them, or else we're undermining other mechanics for the sake of making one more interesting.
     
  15. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    But how much gold was the policy really giving you? Even if each city had 10 gold from tiles, thats only +1 gold per city.

    Temples are Classical era, I don't have a problem with a policy pick that doesn't help you until classical era, and buying things with faith (usually a missionary, I'll get a missionary before a second prophet, so I can start spreading the religion and getting passive boosts) comes very early, so mandate of heaven is definitely helpful early game.

    100 turns seems quite late for a second city, but I don't like free building policies in general. With Piety you can get a religion pretty early, so Reformation is useful pretty early on. And you can pick whether you want a helps-you-now belief or a long term belief.
    [I *think* that you can pick reformation without a religion and still get the reformation belief when you found the religion.]
    None of those seem like examples of things that won't help until medieval era, I don't have a problem with any of them in the Piety tree.

    Well, that's a player choice thing, it's pretty rare that you won't be able to build any wonders.

    I would say that Piety should be primarily about civs that found a religion. Otherwise you're just going to get whatever random beliefs your neighbor picked, which won't necessarily help your strategy much.
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    After playing a Piety game in 3.3.4, I'm increasingly unsure about whether its right for Piety to not have any happiness. Tradition, Honor and Liberty all give happiness, and happiness is at a premium in the early game. I was really struggling for happiness, even with Pagodas and Cathedrals.

    Part of it may also be that I was a bit short on luxuries, I had 8 ivory, 1 pearl and 1 incense, and almost nobody else had any luxuries to trade.
     
  17. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    I definitely agree with this--but if this is how we want religious polices structured, best to try and keep faith motivated polices out of other trees.
     
  18. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Missing the point by going into the details, Ahriman ;)

    All of those things get picked by the AI, but don't help them until quite a few turns later. Compare that to a AI civ that randomly picks the Free Settler or opens Honor (and is surrounded by barbs). They will take these policies, bring up policy costs and only get uses out of them when they've already could've taken another two policies.

    I have to think on griffer's comments, it is a very valid point. My conclusion there is that we first should "reform" the religion system, then come back to this tree (and maybe empower the AI policy selection process in the meantime...)
     
  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    The only faith-motivated policies in other trees are the great person purchases, right? I agree that we shouldn't be adding faith policies to other trees.

    So? That doesn't make them a bad pick. Plenty of policies do almost nothing for you in the short term. I think it's important to keep this anchored to specifics rather than generalities.

    I'd be fine with expanding Theocracy to als boost shrines, and Reformation by the end of the tree you probably will have got another religion. I think there is widespread agreement that religious tolerance needs to be dropped with another effect. Being able to get a missionary cheaper/early on is a big advantage, so I disagree that mandate of heaven isn't useful in the early game.
    So what are we left with that is a problem?

    I don't really understand this. What reforms does the religion system need? I don't see why we can't just boost the Piety policies, and have Piety policies that generally boost a religion-founding and faith-focused playstyle.
     
  20. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Filling out Piety before going into other trees (as is likely for the AI with the current choice of policies) deprives you of basic culture and gold generation. Pantheons can help with that, but the AI may just chose another faith belief... So they lag.

    I bolded the key words in your post btw. ;)

    There's EricB's proposal to take a look at. In general though:

    a) Belief rebalancing (and reshuffling, f.e. heathen conversion to a Founder belief?), taking a look at overpowered combinations
    b) Passive Spread vs. Trade Spread (only works if farther than passive) vs. Missionary / Missionary or Great Prophet Spam by the AI.
    c) Leading to numbers of religion in each game and their spread.
    d) The Faith Mountain in the late game.
    e) Shrine vs. Temples imbalance

    As it is I always either have not enough faith or way too much. More the later to be honest. And lastly: how religion ties into other game system like the World Congress and Tourism.
     

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