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religion in dune wars

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Dune Wars' started by Riso, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Riso

    Riso Chieftain

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    I am a bit confused on why the religious system is the way it is.
    So please tell me how the religions in the mod come to be.

    Outside their buildings and units I actually find them rather boring as such, after having played Fall From Heaven II.

    I am especially confused on why Imperial, Landsraad, Qizarate and Technocracy are not simply civic choices to set attitude. Especially since they are locked for some civs.

    It isn't like Dune is short on religions like Zenufism, Zensunni, Zensunni Christianity, Judaism, Mahayana Christianity, Judaism and Zenchristianity*.

    While for example the Shai-Hulud and Mahdi stuff are nice flavour, I feel they should be more of an outgrowth/extension of Zensunni and not their own seperate religions.

    *Extrapolated based on the Dune Encyclopedia on the alternate title for the O.C. Bible.
     
  2. davidlallen

    davidlallen Chieftain

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    Thanks for the feedback! Please read the original religion design thread for some background. The earliest version of Dune Wars did use the religion names from the OC Bible. But, those are just names. There is no interesting design there. Instead we tried to make each religion have a different purpose.

    I agree that FFH has done a great job with individual religions, probably way more than any other mod. We certainly would like to reach the same goal of different play styles for each religion. In vanilla, by design, there is no difference between the religions at all, so we have definitely done better than vanilla. After you read the above thread, please help us out with some suggestions about how we can make the religions more unique and interesting.
     
  3. Riso

    Riso Chieftain

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    The other thread seems to be a bit all over the place, but the main thing I gathered is that you want to have a mechanic that tracks the influence of the emperor and the great houses.
    Good idea, but I dont think pretending they are a religion is the way.
    I'll make a different thread about CHOAM.

    I too have a problem defining religions properly so far, but I feel there should be a single unified starting religion for everyone based on the O.C. Bible (Zenchristianity? Orange Catholicism?).
    See it as the status quo choice.
    Offshots: Zensunni/Wanderers, (Tleilaxu) Zenufism.

    Now I originally thought that Zensunni should be only the result after researching techs called, say, Shai-hulud worship and Mahdi prophecy.
    But perhaps it is better if both techs come after Zensunni, a pacifist creed, to show the changes Arrakis has on the Fremen, modifying their belief piecemeal until it results in the idiosyncratic Jihadist variant that rules the Dune series.

    Qizarate should not be its own faith. It means the Fremen have now a large religious bureaucracy that spreads their faith in the whole universe. It creates a true a theocracy where not only the leadership but also its servants are priests/monks.

    The Golden Path could found a religion for the God-emperor, but the 3500 years of rule are enforced with lots of whip and not much carrot on purpose, so I don't see how anyone would be happy to be honest.

    Technocracy is a form of a meritocracy and therefore should be removed.
    There is no reason that a belief in a supreme being would be at odds.
    Just make "no religion" a prerequisite for the return of thinking machines, due to its religious prohibition.
     
  4. davidlallen

    davidlallen Chieftain

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    The previous thread is the actual design discussion, so it does go all over the place. The main author of that design, Ahriman, is traveling for a few weeks but I am sure he will have some strong opinions on this.

    It seems you disagree with the definition of every single religion we have. If you would like to propose some new religions and their actual mechanics, that would be great.
     
  5. Pickly

    Pickly Chieftain

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    At Riso:

    Instead of thinking of them as "religions" think of them more as "philosophies" or such. The mechanics used in game seem to represent the spread of ideas well, better than, say, corporation systems might do, and adding in a new mechanic to simulate this could be quite difficult.

    (The planetfal mod has a similar idea, where the "religions" represent more ideas and goals for the future, rather than religions as such.)
     
  6. davidlallen

    davidlallen Chieftain

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    Good point. I have tried to capture this in the short descriptions in the religion section of the pedia:

    Imperial religion states that the Emperor shall hold supreme power.
    Landsraad religion states that the Great Houses shall hold supreme power.
    Mahdi religion states that the Messiah shall hold supreme power.
    Qizarate religion states that the Church Bureaucracy shall hold supreme power.
    Shai-Hulud religion is the original superstition of the Fremen people.
    Technocracy states that technology shall hold supreme power.
    Tleilaxu Zensufism states that the Bene Tleilax shall hold supreme power.
     
  7. Riso

    Riso Chieftain

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    The problem with seeing them as philosophies is that this is partly what civics are for:

    Mahdi religion states that the Messiah shall hold supreme power. -> Despotism, (Fremen) religion
    Qizarate religion states that the Church Bureaucracy shall hold supreme power. -> Theocracy, (Fremen) religion
    Technocracy states that technology shall hold supreme power. -> Meritocracy+no state religion

    I was actually brainstorming a civic that sets CHOAM/landsraad voting based on support for either, but then I got stuck on actually defining the emperor in the game.
    As it is, sorry, doesn't make much sense.

    It would have made more sense create "Liet's Way", a religion that believes in the terraforming of Arrakis and preserving ecological balance. Should have fizzled out spectacularly after reaching that goal.

    But they are not used that way. If the game had a mechanic that would only allow you to set a civic if the majority followed said idea, or research a tech, then yes, sure why not.
    Until then YOU define the goal using civics and actual playing style.
     
  8. Pickly

    Pickly Chieftain

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    Civics best represent choices made by an overall government (State religions as well), while religions represent the spread of ideas throughout a general population. I see no problem with such a system, and do not see the point of your complaints.
     
  9. Riso

    Riso Chieftain

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    You forget that a government is not an insular entity distinct from the general populace.
    It cannot act in a vacuum.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I certainly have many strong opinions on this design, and I would ask that anyone read the other thread thoroughly if they're interested in proposing a redesign.

    The main point I would make is this: in the Dunewars mod, we are not using the "religion" function from vanilla civ to represent only basic religious belief.

    We used to have a system like the one you suggested (with Mahayana Christianity, Zenshiism, etc.), but it was really boring, and kinda illogical.
    In the pre-Jihad era, religion isn't that big a deal for most people in the galaxy. The Great Houses and the Emperor aren't really very religious, and religious variation isn't an important characteristic in determining galactic politics or power.

    Hence, it doesn't really make sense to use religions in the same way that vanilla does, where they all have the same effect and all they really do is determine diplomatic alliances. That's well and good for earth history, but doesn't fit Dune so well.

    "Religions" in DuneWars are supposed to represent a mixture of philosophy, power/influence/allegiance, and gameplay characteristics. It doesn't represent just a belief set about god (s) or the nature of the universe.

    Imperial religion provides happiness, political influence and diplomatic bonus in the early game, but can be overcome by other religions.
    CHOAM/Landsraad provides trade bonuses, and encourages you to obtain strategic trade goods and maintain open borders.
    Mahdi is a militaristic conquest religion.
    Qizarate is a large-empire management/economy religion.
    Shai-Hulud is easily accessible in the early game, and provides water efficiency.
    Technocracy is about using thinking machines, and providing industrial and research benefits at the cost of happiness.
    Tleilaxu Zensufism is the Tleilaxu's xenophobic biological scientific way; it helps encourage the feel of Other in the Tleilaxu.

    In other words; the system *works* - it provides gameplay differences, and makes religious choice an interesting decision.

    They also represent the setting of an "old order" that can then later be overthrown by one of the new driving forces from the Dune Books (the Jihad, the Bureaucracy, or potentially Thinking Machines in an alternate history).

    I think these are far more interesting in a design sense and a gameplay sense, than a simple vanilla system where we relabeled the standard religions into Dune universe names.
    Yes, there are some logical holes in the system (there isn't really any great way to balance factions while still having an Emperor who is as powerful as the rest of the Houses combined), but it still works better than any other alternative proposed. And its *different*. Different is good!

    The current Civics system also works pretty well IMO. I don't see any major gains from reworking it to try to incorporate the ideas that are currently covered in "religion".
     
  11. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    I've played few turns of Dune right now, but I notice that the religions are quite often founded by unthematic civs. Maybe introducing some new flavours will result in more lore-like founding.
     
  12. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Which things are you noticing that are unthematic? There are flavors that encourage canon-founding, and some hard-coded restrictions.

    Corrino have a preference for Imperium.
    Atreides have a preference for Quizarate (Alia and Leto II)
    Ix and Ordos have a preference for Technocracy.
    Ecaz have a preference for CHOAM.
    Fremen have a preference for Shai-Hulad or Mahdi (and can't adopt most others).
    Bene Gesserit usually get Shai-Hulad.
    Tleilaxu are always Zensufi.

    In practice these civs won't always found these religions, but it isn't easy to make it more likely than it already is without a lot more hardcoding that significantly reduces the flexibility of the mod.
     
  13. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Shouldn't it be the Fremen who should usually get it?

    And while I can see a Noble House "going native" and adopting Shai-Hulad, something seems strange about Corrino being Shai-Hulad, leaving founding Imperium to other players.

    Introducing new flavours may help. It's possible though only XML.

    Also, when speaking about "preference", do you mean the "favourite religion" tag? Because in default BTS it's useless when "Choose Religions" option isn't enabled.
     
  14. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Not really. The Fremen belief system at the start of Dune has been heavily influenced by the Missionaria Protectiva. The Fremen follow it, but its not clear that they found it.

    Having Fremen start with Mysticism is one proposal we are considering; that would make founding Shai-Hulad more of a tossup.
    Similarly, we're looking at adding an even that gives Fremen a Shai-Hulad mystic when they research Jihad, to ensure that Fremen aren't left without a religion.

    What flavors are you referring to here?
    There are tech flavors for religion, industry, etc. and leaderhead values for religion.

    I mean the favored religion tag in leaderheadinfos, and then a few of the other leaderhead tags.
    Eg: Most religion founding techs have a religion flavor weighting, and religious leaders have Religion as an AI flavor preference. The founding tech for technocracy has a industry/scientific flavor values, and most Ixian and Ordos leaders have industry or science flavor preference.

    My understanding was that the favored religion tag *did* have an impact with the Better AI mod in terms of increasing the probability of having the AI research the tech that founds the religion (though I am not certain this is true), and that the tag would also influence the probability of having that religion be adopted as state religion.

    Certainly I notice Corrino found Imperial more often than another faction selected at random, and Ecaz founds CHOAM more than another faction selected at random.

    But at the end of the day, I don't think we want a game experience where the canon factions *always* found their favored religions.
     
  15. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    You can add new flavours, adding them to the default FLAVOR_RELIGION, FLAVOR_MILITARY etc. So you can give a moderately high FLAVOR_IMPERIAL to the Corrino leaders and the Imperium founding techs.

    I see nothing like that in the changelogs.

    I wouldn't want that either.
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Hmm. Worth considering. Where do you define the new flavors? In the leaderheadinfos file, and then the tech values in the techinfos file?

    So we could:

    1. Create Flavor_Shai_hulad, Flavor_Mahdi, Flavor_Imperial, Flavor_CHOAM, Flavor_Quizarate, Flavor_Tleilaxu and Flavor_Technocracy

    2. Remove flavor_religion, and remove flavor_religion from all leaderheads and all techs.

    3. Assign tech flavors as:
    Faith:
    Shai-hulad 10, Tleilaxu 4

    Jihad:
    Mahdi 10

    Feudalism:
    Imperial 10

    Imperialism:
    Imperial 5

    Great houses:
    CHOAM 10

    Protected trade:
    CHOAM 4

    Industrialism:
    Technocracy 10

    Cybernetics:
    Technocracy 4

    Academies:
    Quizarate 10

    Golden path:
    Quizarate 5

    etc.

    (Or similar; this is from memory, I don't have the tech-tree in front of me)

    4. Assign new flavors to leaderheads.
    Eg:
    Duke Leto:
    Flavor_CHOAM = 2

    Alia:
    Flavor_Quizarate = 3

    Leto II
    Flavor_Quizarate = 3

    Corrino leaders
    Flavor_Imperial = 3

    Bene Gesserit leaders
    Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 2
    Flavor_Imperial = 1
    Flavor_CHOAM = 1
    Flavor_Quizarate = 1

    Ordos leaders:
    Flavor_Technocracy = 2

    Ixian leaders:
    Flavor_Technocracy = 3

    Ecaz leaders:
    Flavor_CHOAM = 3

    Harkonnen leaders:
    Flavor_Imperial = 1
    Flavor_CHOAM = 1

    Feyd-Rautha
    Flavor_Mahdi = 1

    Liet-Kynes:
    Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 3

    Stilgar
    Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 2
    Flavor_Mahdi = 2

    Paul Muad'Dib
    Flavor_Shai_Hulad = 1
    Flavor_Mahdi = 3

    etc.
     
  17. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    I believe that in addition to that there's another file with the list of all flavors. I'll search for it right now.

    I'd increase your flavor values by 2 points or so. In Vanilla, the smallest tech flavor value is 2, moderate is 5, large is 10.
     
  18. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Thanks.

    We could probably double them.

    However, atm most leaders have 2 flavor values: a major at 5 and a minor at 2.

    We don't want religion preference flavors to be overwhleming economy/industry/military/ecology type flavors for most leaders.

    But I guess if those flavors are only going to favor 1-2 techs each, it probably doesn't matter much.
     
  20. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Yeah. Besides this, the AI's evaluate the techs not only on flavors.
     

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