Should missionary strength increase over certain points of the game?

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by SpankmyMetroid, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. SpankmyMetroid

    SpankmyMetroid Warlord

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    One inconsistency I’ve noticed is that the resistance of cities to religious conversion gets gradually higher and higher; any reigious tenet buildings and the temple gets built presumably in the medieval/renaissance by the latest after that religion gets reformed. But there’s no way to really increase the strength of your own conversion besides a few tenets and borobudur. I feel like the religious battleground really takes place in the early to midgame and then just falls flat. Population is so high in cities, combined with the pressure of surrounding cities from said high population, that it can take one or more spreads from a missionary to even get one pop to flip (and noticed this with borobudur even). In an 18 pop city, that’s in the worst case 5 missionaries to send over to just get it to flip (it won’t stay that way unless you convert surrounding cities), which by the way your opponent’s single inquisitor can just completely erase your progress. Their 800’faith purchase negates your 4000 faith purchase. Even the strategy to send a prophet over to completely convert a city is much less effective once the map gets dense with cities in the late game; converting 4 cities means a lot less if there’s now 6 cities in that pressure area, and the likelihood of those cities flipping back very quickly is high (not to mention those inquisitors can just negate your great person). You could send over multiple GP’s but that’s a massive risk if war’s declared (and no human player would ever pass up the chance for multiple free holy sites). Seems like it’s just worth it to save up for great people at that point, which is exactly what happens in the majority of my games once they’re unlocked. But religious conversion still remains really important! The biggest draw is for tourism (which IMO is underperforming, my last few tall games I probably could have won a SV slightly sooner if I focused on that instead of tourism, despite going artistry), but keeping good relations with hostile neighbors, and other various reasons (flipping city states to you for yield bonuses for example) exist.

    Maybe the strength of religious units (and/or pressure from trade and proximity) could be looked at to be very slightly increased after certain techs, or even certain ideological tenets, to facilitate more late game religious pushes? Printing press, radio, internet (the latter two also worth it if you’re beelining for a CV anyway?)

    Moderator Action: Moved to General Balance. - Recursive
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2021
  2. looorg

    looorg Prince

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    Isn't this supposed to reflect how people are getting more and more secular and diverse as time passes instead of being religious fanatics? The cost also goes up as the eras pass so your strength/cost ratio also goes down. There already are certain choices that does increase pressure and strength such as the printing press.
     
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  3. SpankmyMetroid

    SpankmyMetroid Warlord

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    The strength/cost ratio going down is also part of the problem. Cost should go up per era since faith becomes more and more abundant, but it’s certainly more directly worthwhile to your win conditions to just save up for great people instead of throwing missionaries at cities.

    I do agree those beliefs/wonders would lose their punch if there was a universal increase, but the way I’m seeing it you need to stack those bonuses anyway to even have the chance to flip something in the mid-late game with only a few missionaries. The bonuses should make it easier but not having them shouldn’t lock you out of the game.
     
  4. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    If I were to chime in - I'd say that the one Policy in Rationalism would reflect the only "secularism" the game needs - most societies are still plenty religious at the moment if you ask me.
     
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  5. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    The current religion spread is fine - there are people complaining spreading is too hard while others complain holding their own religion is too hard.

    The one thing that needs to be removed/toned down is religious difference unhappiness.
     
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  6. beginner_

    beginner_ Chieftain

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    I agree. Missionaries get pointless pretty quickly. On top of that the belief that makes Religion spread faster and further is simply overpowered (I think it's called Orthodoxy). If a close AI chooses that you can say goodbye to your religion if you don't use inquisitors regularly.
     
  7. Vhozite

    Vhozite Warlord

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    There are plenty of religious people but I feel pretty comfortable saying that organized faith is not as big a part of modern society as it was a millennia ago.

    Regarding missionaries, I feel they aren’t in the greatest spot. Other than spreading to my own cities and nearby city-states early on I rarely build them anymore. The huge pressure values you see in foreign religious cities turns spreading with them into a faith sink that doesn’t even work well unless your own cities are projecting big pressure. But if you can generate huge religious pressure you’re better off just letting your religion spread passively and saving your faith for prophets or other GP. After I reform I never build them at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree, and I think this is a normal and completely understandable consequence of the religious pressure changes over water. This made pressure more consistent whether you were playing pangea or continents...and I think it showcased that on the land heavy maps Orthodoxy was OP. Now that things are more stable across more map types, I think its clear that the belief could use a tone down.

    Beyond that though, I don't think missionaries are worthless. I do think spreading into a civ with a founded religion requires a Great Prophet to knock down the initial wall of religious pressure (and I think that is more than reasonable), but after that missionaries are effective.
     
  9. Laz0r

    Laz0r Chieftain

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    The way pressure and faith in general works leans towards a huge wide civ bias sadly. If you don't go wide and spread early you basically have to fight all game just to keep your religion alive, whereas the more you go wide the easier it is to just overrun other religions with ease, especially with the right tenets and wonders. This perspective is from huge maps, though.
     
  10. ilteroi

    ilteroi Prince

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    i wouldn't say missionaries are too weak but inquisitors are too strong. would be totally sufficient if they halved the accumulated foreign pressure.
     
  11. Milae

    Milae Prince

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    Yea I agree, my approach would be to make them have strength proportional to how many followers of that religion are already in the city. It's quite strange that an inquisitor can flip a city from just 1 follower
     
  12. Laz0r

    Laz0r Chieftain

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    A good change would be to make them incrementally weaker the more cities with majority belief you possess. This would mean that tall civs can actually have a hope to defend themselves against larger civ's religions while also making it so wide civs can't completely dominate religiously as they do.
     
  13. SolutionIt

    SolutionIt Warlord

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    I'm still fine with how it currently is. I still remember when inquisitors didn't even have any drawbacks to spamming them and made missionaries even less potent than they should've been. Although I think a good idea would simply be to make missionaries stationed in cities give the city a faith bonus. You'd still have to invest in the missionary in the late game, but at least you can get some extra faith out of those cities. As for how balanced that would be I couldn't really tell you outright. In the early game it'd probably be detrimental since you're not actively spreading religion with said missionary. But in the late game you'd probably be able to purchase an extra great person or two on the more rare cases where your faith output is especially high?

    Could probably even make a new religious tenet based on this concept I'm bringing forward. Or a new civilization that just gets a bonus to it or something.
     
  14. Rafs

    Rafs Warlord

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    If you want so spread with missionaries in the late game, you are forced to take the belief that makes it so you erode on every spread. Personally I think this is fine, because religion (and the decisions you take about it) are all more of an early game thing, and they are played out during that time. Once the early religion "rush" is gone, it's very hard to overturn the situation, but imho this is good, it means the effort you or the AI put into their religious game can actually be felt. If missionaries could easily flip (without using prophets to completely obliterate the accumulated pressure in the city) how could smaller civs defend themselves against larger religious rivals? The pressure is probably already hard to manage, if on top of that you add continued threat of missionaries you are making smaller civs even more vulnerable.

    On Orthody, it is actually very strong enhancer, but when you take orthodoxy you give up other enhancers that give you direct and strong bonusses, be it extra yields or even zealotry (extra strategics + instant full xp purchase). To me this balances it out, as you are losing yields or other bonusses just so your religion can have a better passive spread. Also note that some civs will fight the pressure back, no matter what, with their own inquisitors, so it only works very well on civs that never actually cared about religion (or if someone really bothered to spread early).
     
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  15. Melchizedek

    Melchizedek Prince

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    I think it is okay that missionaries have their moment and then decline. Not every unit needs to be useful all the time. Besides, the usefulness of missionaries is pretty long if you're willing to send them over the oceans to whatever civs didn't found.
     
  16. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    Missionaries getting weaker means Great Prophets have a use besides creating Holy Sites. Worth pointing that out.
     

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