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[Tuning] Religion - Round 2!

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Dawnbringer

    Dawnbringer Warlord

    Feb 11, 2016
    Here's an update. Nov 10 version.


    Apostolic Tradition: B+

    (Building) +4 GA points/+4 Faith. +5 GA points from Holy Sites
    (General) Gain GA when spread religion (era scale).

    This has a niche for GA focused civs. And it is fine as it is. It's not for every civ.

    Ceremonial Burial: A+

    (Building) +5 Faith. +5 Faith from Holy Sites. Gain Faith when your own unit is killed.
    (General) Gain 25 Faith/50 Culture when expending a Great Person (Era Scale).

    Great for GP gameplay. A little more desirable now with tradition buffed (since last update).

    Council of Elders: A

    (Building) +4 Faith, +5 Food. +5 Science from Holy Sites.
    (General) Gain science when spreading religion (Era Scale).

    I have grown to like this more and more for my general convert all your stuff strategy.

    Hero Worship: A+

    (Building) +5 Faith, +15% Military Production. +5 Production from Holy Sites.
    (General) Gain Faith and GA points when conquering a city (Era/City Population scale).

    Best holy site. Best for warmongering civs.

    Holy Law: B

    (Building) +4 Faith, +6 Gold. +5 Gold to Holy Sites.
    (General) Gain Faith, Science, and Gold when purchasing a policy (Era Scale).

    I haven't taken this in a while. But I'll try to have a strategy revolving around this soon.

    Mandate of Heaven: C

    (Building) +2 Faith/Culture/Food/Science/Gold/Production. +5 Faith for Holy Sites.
    (General) +15% to all yields of Holy City during a Golden Age.

    I think this directly competes with Apostolic tradition and it's losing because of the lack of GA points. This isn't bad, but it's just the backup plan if someone else took apostolic tradition away from you.

    Theocratic Rule: C-

    (Building) +10 Faith. +5 culture for Holy Sites.
    (General) WLTKD increases Faith/Culture/Gold/Science by 15%.

    I think only Progress/Authority China would want this because they're the only ones who can reliably hit that WLTKD (or WLTED) for all of their cities. I personally don't use enough merchants to get WLTKD enough to justify taking this, and even then, I would probably just go Ceremonial burial anyway for culture bonuses.

    Way of the Pilgrim: C

    (Building) +4 Faith/+2 Culture. +4 Art/Artifact Slots. +5 Tourism for Holy Sites.
    (General) Gain Tourism with religion spread (Era Scale)

    I only take this as a backup if someone took ceremonial burial.

    Way of Transcendence: A

    (Building) +3 Faith/+5 culture. +5 Food from Holy Sites
    (General) +300 to all yields when you enter a new era (Era Scale).

    If you ever get a religion before classical, this is the way to go. It's way stronger than I expected when I had the chance to try it out and I snowballed really hard that game. This is mostly a Celts founder as they're the ones who can rush a religion before they hit classical reliably.


    Asceticism: B

    +1 Food per follower (max 15)

    I've started taking this and it's helped a lot in my tradition games. Though it's not the greatest, it's still good enough as is.

    Cathedrals: B

    Faith building: +3 faith, +3 gold, Farms +1 gold/+1 prod, reduce poverty, 25% pressure/20% resistance, great art slot

    Last time I gave this an F. I definitely was undervaluing it. But I think it's still not the greatest because it's still a building, which requires investment and slows you down.

    Churches: A

    Faith building: +4 faith, Missionaries can spread religion 3 times, reduce boredom, 50% pressure/20% resistance, great music slot

    Probably the best building as it allows more mileage out of your missionaries. You usually only need to build one of these and start spamming missionaries.

    Cooperation: C

    +7 yields every citizen born. Scales with era.

    I've tested this a few times lately, but it doesn't seem to have much of an impact.

    Diligence: S

    +1 Production per 2 followers (max 20)

    Hands down for one of the best beliefs. Free production for all your cities. The only downside is if you spread your religion.

    Inspiration: B+

    +1 Culture per 2 followers (max 10)

    Culture is king at the moment, but this is extremely limited still.

    Mandirs: B

    Faith building: +3 faith, +2 food, +10% food, reduce poverty, spies cannot assassinate GP, 25% pressure/20% resistance, great music slot

    Not completely bad, seeing as how often the player gets spied on.

    Mastery: A+

    Specialists get +2 of their primary yield

    If you're not taking this and you're tradition, you're usually losing out. It's just simply too good to ignore as tradition, getting bonus culture and production from your specialist slots.

    Mosque: B-

    Faith building: +3 faith, +2 science, reduce illiteracy, +20% culture during GA, 25% pressure/20% resistance, great writing slot

    Mosques are only good because of their ability to boost culture. The rest are just cherries, but too bad it isn't the icing.

    Orders: A

    Faith building: +2 faith, +10 def/+50 hp on city, +15 exp and morale bonus for land military units, reduce crime, 25% pressure/20% resistance

    Pretty good for conquest. This gives the ability to all your cities to have the morale bonus, instead of only one city, which allows for more effective armies coming from different cities. The exp bonus is hardly relevant (unless you're shaka).

    Pagodas: B

    Faith building: +2 to all yields for every religion that has a follower in city, great art slot

    Since the change to Pagodas, it has been pretty good. However, it's a risky payoff as you will have to deal with unhappiness from religious division. (Theoretically. I haven't tested it lately since I usually overwhelm my neighbouring religions)

    Scholarship: C+

    +1 Science per 2 followers (max 10)

    Science...isn't that important, and this is way too limited.

    Stupas: F

    Faith building: +3 faith, +2 GAP, +4 tourism (architecture), reduce illiteracy, 25% pressure/20% resistance

    Far better options elsewhere. Doesn't even have a great work slot.

    Synagogues: B-

    Faith building: +2 Faith, +3 production, reduce crime, +15% science during WLTKD, 25% pressure/20% resistance, great writing slot

    The 3 base production is still a good investment of faith. However, it's still a building and with how my games have gone lately, this has definitely moved down a lot.

    Thrift: A+

    +1 Gold per follower (max 20)

    After the buff, this has been really noticeable getting that ton of income early on. It allows for a lot of investments and buying units when you have to build up the cities.

    Veneration: S

    +1 Faith per 2 followers (max 10)

    I would argue that this is still the best snowballing follower belief. And it's not like your opponents benefit much if they actually get this. Faith isn't useful if you're not a founder. And if your neighbours are founders, I'm pretty sure they would like their own religion more.


    +1 happy per two cities following religion, +15 to resting influence for CS following religion

    Not a good choice, even for diplomatic focused civs. No change, especially since pacifism grants more happiness.

    Evangalism: B
    Get science when spread religion to foreign city. Missionary conversion strength +25%.

    Good for spreading your religion around, but there are just better options currently. This triggers war more often than not, so it's good if you like more ways to entice opponents to fight you.

    Pacifism: B
    Missionaries/Inquisitors cost 30% less faith. Holy City gains +1 happy per 6 followers in non-enemy foreign cities.

    Decent warmongering option...but then again, I really think that there are better options still.

    Resilience: F
    Prophets 25% stronger, 25% less faith. Rival Inquisitors and Prophets reduce religious pressure by 75% instead of 100%.

    This is terrible, unless I'm purely spamming prophets for holy sites, which I probably won't, it's just not worth it at since I don't use prophets to convert cities.

    Ritual: B+ (S for India)
    Religion spreads 20% farther away, and double speed to friendly city states. Pressure via trade routes doubled.

    This is one of the snowballs that I underrated the last time. Even with the nerfs, it's still pretty good.

    Scripture: C+
    Religion spreads 30% faster (60% faster with printing press). Spies exert extra religious pressure on cities.

    I can only see this being necessary against either India or Spain, otherwise...this is just overshadowed.

    Sainthood: A
    +1 science/culture in holy city for every 6 followers in foreign cities. 100 Faith for popping a great person (Era scale).

    Really good to keep your culture and science competitive (or to get it to insane levels).

    Tithes: S
    +200 gold per city converted. +1 gold/faith per 6 followers in foreign cities.

    Tithes still remain as my favourite enhancer, despite its nerfs. The snowball is still there (though less oppressive at this point), and the gold is always nice.

    Zealotry: F
    Purchase land units with faith. +25% strategic resources.

    I still think it's not good enough to even be considered (though the AI always takes this first because they value the extra strategic resources so highly).


    Crusader Spirit
    : S
    +10% CS in enemy lands, +10% CS against those with opposing religion. Receive gold and culture when you conquer cities.

    +20% CS is nothing to sneeze at. However, if you've cleaned house on the religion, then +10% CS isn't worth a reformation, but that bonus culture and gold may be good enough.

    Defender of the Faith: B+
    +15% CS against people in your own lands, +15% CS against those of an opposing religion. +2 faith/+3 culture per defensive buildings.

    This is good for a defensive turtling civ. However, being defensive is generally a bad thing, so I'm just assuming that you'll be taking this for +4 faith and +6 culture in your cities (for walls and castles). It's not bad...but there are just better choices.

    Faith of the Masses: B+
    Buy Opera Houses, Museums, and Broadcast towers with faith. +5 culture each.

    Saves hammers, gives culture. It's actually decent overall.

    Global Commandments: A-
    Gain +10 Science, Gold, Culture, Faith, and GA points per turn while host of the WC. Gain 150 of those same yields when you pass a resolution. Era Scale on both bonuses.

    It's good, but risky. You have to be well ahead of everyone else diplomatically for this to stick. Generally requires you to be deep in statecraft.

    Jesuit Education: C
    Buy Universities, Public Schools, and Research Labs with Faith. +5 science each.

    Again...science isn't as good as culture in this mod, it's ok, but "ok" just isn't good enough.

    Knowledge through Devotion: F
    +3 faith/+1 culture for each landmark and great person improvement. GW gives +1 culture.

    Planting great people when you reach this starts to get questionable. And getting faith for the planted people isn't appealing enough for me to take this over the other choices. For this to become viable, the great person improvement needs to be +3c at least for me to actually consider it over others.

    One World, One Religion: S
    Gain +1 votes per 8 CS, missionaries erode existing religious pressure.

    I have learned that if you control the world congress, people will suffer far greater than you expect. Passing your religion is a huge advantage when you get more votes and get tourism bonus (and *gasp*, more religious pressure). Oh wait, you probably wiped out their religion anyways when your missionaries are basically mini-prophets.

    Sacred Sites: C
    Hotels and buildings purchased with faith give +3 tourism, Hermitage gives +10 culture/+10 tourism.

    You honestly should be grabbing Faith of the Masses instead. The tourism isn't worth it unless you're have like 20+ cities spammed (byzantium specific strat).

    To the Glory of God: A
    Purchase any type of GP with faith. Gain +30 gold, science, culture, and faith when a Great Person is expended (ERA Scale).

    While the gains were nerfed, this is still one of the better choices for GP spam play. The versatility is also pretty good when you can choose which one to use.
  2. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

    Jul 2, 2016
    Agree on the CS bonus. Neat in Vanilla, but in VP all the Great Diplomat spam means that your influence will rarely be at the resting point for constant friendships, which is the main point.

    it follows the regular era scaling model I assume, which is x1 in Ancient/Classical, x2 in Medieval, x3 in Ren, x4 in Industrial, etc.
  3. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Jun 13, 2013
    Tampa, Florida
    There needs to be a better way to word that then. That's hella confusing.

    I'd say
    "Gain +10 Science, Gold, Culture, Faith, and GA points per turn while host of the WC. Gain 150 of those same yields when you pass a resolution. Era Scale on both bonuses starting in ancient."
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    For Clericalism, is it possible to make it that every influence gaining quest gives +5 (or +10) more influence? That would make the CS bonus more relevant I think.

    Just a reminder that Mandate of Heaven was bumped to +20%, so people may be underestimating it. That said, I still think Theocratic Rule is better overall, but for a very small civ (or a Venice), its still solid.

    I think people also underestimate Theocratic Rule. It requires a Great Merchant focused playstyle, or at least a focus on resource trade, but it can be very powerful with concentrated use. Very few things in the game give percentage bonuses, so this tends to scale very well into the late game. Also +5 culture for holy sites is no joke. I also agree its the natural one for China.
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    Is there any era scale in the game that doesn't work this way?
  6. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Jun 13, 2013
    Tampa, Florida
    I don't know, but if I always assumed that it scaled like that, other people might as well. I assumed it started in Renaissance, because you literally can't found the WC before that.

    There's also not a ton of documentation on stuff like era scaling, so it took me ages to figure that one out at all. (The specifics, not the basic concept obviously.)
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    Definitely something we can both agree on. Is this something we can put in the civiliopedia?
  8. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

    Jul 2, 2016
    It's a bit of an odd situation since era scaling is a part of VP that affects a lot of stuff, but afaik there's nothing ingame that really explains it.

    Simplest thing I can think of would be to change the ingame description of anything that "scales with era" to "follows Era Scaling Formula" and then have said formula as an article in the ingame civpedia, so people will hopefully search for it.
    ElliotS likes this.
  9. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

    Jun 10, 2013
    Only going to talk about things I'd almost never take.

    Church - C Probably because I'd rather get useful yields. Still, I love conquering cities with it - I convert them to my religion and my Missionaries are awesome at spreading it to my cities. It's just that I'm too aggressive for a building like that.

    Cooperation - F No real impact. Too unreliable. Even pre-nerf I didn't feel it was OP, it gave you about 1-2 yields per turn total if you think about how much it takes to grow a city later on. It needs at least the yields buffed up to 8 and +10% Growth, or back to its old self. But I dunno, maybe that really was OP, I just didn't notice.

    Zealotry - F No impact. I'd rather get Tithes and buy buildings and/or units. AI likes to take it to make itself less of a threat.

    Veneration - F
    it's back to being terrible.

    Knowledge through Devotion: F so now I can get more yields from non-GP related stuff while also getting a Culture/Science building for a bit of Faith, which I can easily get with Piety... Why would I take it? No reason to do it.
  10. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Oct 14, 2016
    So I just played a game where I did not found a religion, I was Genghis Khan and figured no worries, I'll just capture someone else's holy city. Got zealotry as a result, and it wasn't all that bad. For Genghis you actually can be in the situation where you have a ton of horses but still want more. Also came in handy for spamming frigates later on.

    Right now I would say that the extra strategics are more important than the faith purchases, which I did buy a few of, and its nice to have but not worth giving up the resources other beliefs can provide. For this to make sense I think the faith costs of units needs to be quite cheap, maybe they could even start extremely cheap but scale like great people?
  11. Bromar1

    Bromar1 King

    Feb 26, 2015
    I'm okay with church having low yields because there are so many "on spread" yields you can get from other beliefs.

    Veneration should become 2 faith for every 3 followers.
  12. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

    Jul 2, 2016
    The beef I have with Churches is that you can't get Open Borders until after Civil Service, fairly late in the religion spreading game. So if you're trying to spread your religion to another AI, you'll get spreads of 1000 + 750 + 500 = 2250 of religious conversion out of it, whereas regular Missionaries will give you 1750; that's only about a 25% jump. I'm not sure what the best way to fix this would be though. Move Open Borders to an earlier tech, or maybe give Missionaries 50% conversion strength instead of an additional charge?

    Cooperation giving a growth bonus is a nice idea, it's obviously best for growth-oriented strategies but the yields themselves don't look particularly appealing on their own.

    Thinking about Knowledge Through Devotion more, I'm thinking that what it really needs is a way of actually getting you additional GP, TTGOG gives you both additional GP and bonuses for using them. Something like a flat 20% boost to GP rate, or maybe 1% per follower up to a certain cap to make it really reward tall civs. Another part of the problem is that the main thing you get out of it is additional Faith, but it doesn't really give you a useful outlet for that Faith. Alternately I think KTD should have the "buy any GP with Faith" instead of TTGOG, that would synergize better, by Industrial Era you probably won't be planting many GP but that's not a big deal, you just get one effect earlier and one later.

    Scripture is closer to on par with Ritual now, but I think it still needs something to differentiate it from Ritual, because they still fulfill the exact same purpose. If it weren't already on Tithes I would say Faith on foreign followers would fit. Actually, taking the Faith off Tithes and giving ~4 Faith per foreign follower to Scripture might not be bad, it's not like Tithes couldn't use a small nerf.

    I thought Zealotry only works for land units? Unless you just mean the strategics. I'm not sure why it doesn't work for Sea/Air units, that should probably probably be added.
  13. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    The thing to remember with Cooperation is that its yields can snowball. One thing I like to do is Cooperation with Tribute.

    Your city grows....you get bonus food and culture. The culture expands your borders, triggering tribute....giving you food. The food helps you grow, triggering Cooperation.

    Its true that Cooperation tapers off late game, but its very powerful early, and all of those yields early are very strong. Further, it helps build up your cities so they can stand on their own easier. It definitely needed a nerf from +10, could it be +8? Probably.
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Oct 14, 2016
    I just meant having extra iron for frigates (I was on continents and also had a large amount of cannons)
  15. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

    Mar 13, 2016
    Haven't seen a more recent thread with a discussion of churches. Churches offer both 50% passive religious pressure and 3 spreads per missionary. Lately I've been often selecting churches and they seem a bit too strong for me in the religious spread game, and I'd be interested in seeing what happens if we moved either the 50% or the 3x spread to another belief (and adjust both beliefs accordingly).

    In the discussion in the above thread, Galbias pointed out that it's only a jump of 500 strength (around 25%) pre-open borders. I thin that's not necessarily true, because the first spread can be used on your own cities or on a city state, which means you get 2750 out of a missionary. Also, the 3x spread becomes very strong if you go with the "One religion" reformation belief, where missionaries are kind of like mini-GPs/inquisitors. And on top of all that you get an extra 25% religious pressure, which is almost the equivalent of selecting the ritual enhancer (+30% strength spreading).

    What do you guys think?
  16. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Jun 13, 2013
    Tampa, Florida
    I don't have a problem with churches being good at what they do and offering nothing else. I think they're where they should be. (In function and power level.)
  17. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

    Mar 13, 2016
    Don't they also give 4 faith (most of any building), reduce boredom and provide an empty spot for a great work? Even without that, churches are imho by far the best follower belief for spreading religion, and then you get the aforementioned bonuses.
  18. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

    Sep 19, 2016
    Don't forget that the extra missionary spread is insane when combined with things like Evangelism. That extra passive spread and faith is a lot stronger than it seems when you see it mount up with the rest of your religion. Doesn't help that you're guaranteed to get a good enough combination since your faith is higher and the reformation will be one of the first to come. And when the AI gets it when they're not separated by water? Well, you'd best get a proper inquisition going - backed up by a healthy dose of war, since everyone will spam churches as soon as it's the majority. I don't like churches.

    This isn't say that it's completely broken. I play with a lot of civs so it's just a personal issue with how it's always forcing the same backlash that makes everyone hate me. I prefer other buildings for my play-style.

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