Why no religion in civ 5?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Fife, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Here's an interesting take on the removal of religion from a reviewer on Rock Scissors Shotgun.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/08/06/a-dozen-or-so-hours-with-civilization-v/

    "It’s alright. I promise. It’s different, but it’s not especially distressing in practice. I miss religion most, and to the point that if I squint a bit I can picture an expansion pack-shaped hole in the game. Or maybe not, as what they’ve done is try to build the raw concept of religion into over state and society ethos. Rather than having religions be a defining reflection of a city or civilization’s nature, it’s now more that the overall civilizations have differing social attitudes dependent on how broadly religious you want them to be. So rather than trying to specifically create, say, a Jewish nation, you can pursue piousness, or you could pursue monarchy. Or you can pursue both. But if you try to pursue both piousness and liberalism you’ll struggle. All of this is done through, essentially, a second tech tree, which is unlocked as your civilization pumps out more culture.

    "It’s less nebulous than the old way – the effects of being more or less religious spelled out clearly, rather than splintered between an array of different faiths that can unlock a slew of different but similar upgrades. You pursue a generalised social ethos, and that can involve being a despot, or a benevolent environmentalist, or a feudal faith-head, or a combination of them all. Cultural victory is accomplished by completing six of the social tech trees, but instead you could cherry-pick the most useful (to you) policies from all over them as a helping hand to another type of victory.

    "The loss of religion will annoy people, there is no doubt about that. But I honestly think it’s more reflective of how religion works in society than the bitty, fiddly multi-faith approach of before. It’s not a magic bit bolted onto the side: it absolutely underpins a culture’s attitude to itself and to the world.

    "Plus, I like that developing my nation’s socio-political structure is now an ongoing strategy, with a specific goal in mind, rather than constituting sudden hard-shifts to something that offers a more useful bonus. Though I do miss the old games’ revolutions whenever you did a sudden about-face on your fundamental approach to human existence. Thousands of tiny voices yelling ‘WTF?’"
     
  2. Matches

    Matches Chieftain

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    Latecomer, but I'm in agreement that I think they're copping out by removing religion. I agree with their reasons for removing it, but like Aussie, think tweaking the way it worked would have been preferable.

    To me, the problem with religion in IV was threefold:

    1.) It was so "binary" when it came to the spread. A city was either Religion X or Not Religion X.
    2.) The early benefits of declaring a state religion were too great, such that as soon as one measly city adopted a religion (which itself was kind of hokey, see point 1), that Civ would declare itself to have that as its state religion, which triggered point 3...
    3.) The combination of 1+2 lead to boring and predictable diplomacy, which resulted in neighboring nations being best friends for 1000s of years simply because a religion that took hold in one city happened to spread one neighboring foreign city.

    All they needed to do was resolve these problems (and really #1 and #2 caused #3, so it's two problems.)

    I would have liked them to find a way to make religion spread more interesting and dynamic. If Buddhism is founded in a city, for example, don't just label the city with "Buddism=ON". When a religion is founded, it's basically based on some charismatic spiritual visionary/charlatan (depending on how you like to look at it) who inspires a large group of people to follow a set of beliefs. But not all the people drop everything and follow this guy. There needs to be a mechanism in the game to determine what percentage of the city follows that religion. So say in-game, when religion is founded in a city, 40% of the city adopt it. (The charmismatic leader effect). The rest think, "whatever" and continue about their business. That religion should then flow to other cities based on the adoption % and culture level in a city, via roads and trade routes. When it does, again, the game doesn't just switch from "off" to "on" for that city. A small minority adopt the religion, while the rest have their own disorganized/pagan beliefs, or remain agnostic/atheist.

    To fix problem #2, why not institute unhappiness penalties for a civ adopting a State Religion? If I have 3 cities of size 3, Hinduism was founded in 1, where 40% are believers, and it has spread to the other 2, where 10% are believers, I have a civilization where only 20% believe in Hinduism. If I declare the nation to be a "Hindu" nation, that's going to cause unhappiness among the nonbelievers. So maybe by declaring Hinduism I make that 20% happy, and I get some culture bonus or whatever, I also suffer consequences as well. Make it so that you only break even declaring a state religion when you've got a majority of believers, then it becomes a much more Interesting Decision.

    It also allows a more interesting and challenging strategy, to play a religious strategy. Use religious social policies that would increase the growth and spread of religions, churn out missionaries to spread your religion in hopes that it takes hold, etc. You could use military units or inquisitors to stamp out the presence of upstart religions on your frontier. Or, you could choose to just ignore it and let religions grow naturally. There are so many ways religion could have been a really interesting part of an empire-building game, and to just drop it was, indeed, a cop-out.
     
  3. wapamingo

    wapamingo Prince

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    see my sig
     
  4. Tweaking? I want nothing to do with how it worked in cIV.
     
  5. pongvet

    pongvet Chieftain

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    Personally, I didn't really like the Civ IV religion system, simply because, as a Christian, I had to make a beeline for Theology, and that led to weakness in other areas, especially on higher difficulty. If I didn't found the faith I believe in, I'd face crippling cultural and happiness problems. Beyond the Sword solved that with the "Choose religion" custom game option. I could pick a Civ that started with Mysticism, make a quick grab for Meditation, and found Christianity before 3500 BC, which was slightly silly, but it let me play with the symbols I like and get an early start for cultural victory. Tough to win that way with only one temple per city, though.

    Hopefully, the new system will focus less on real-world religions, removing the cultural penalty for avoiding symbols I don't like.
     
  6. Grapa

    Grapa Warlord

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    I am not going to miss religion, to be quite honest. I never used it any of my games, and was always a secular/non-religious empire. It honestly had no effect on the game other than making certain nations like or hate you more.

    And that disgusting Muslim snare that always happened when you discovered Islam made me want to stick plugs in my ears.
     
  7. Matches

    Matches Chieftain

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    Not for nothing but, you're a Christian in real life. Civilization is a game. I don't like Monarchy as a system of governance but that never stopped me from researching it or adopting it. As a Christian you certainly do not have make a beeline for Theology in a computer game. As a Christian did you turn the other cheek when an opposing Civilization attacked you?

    In fact I don't really like the beeline method of founding religions anyway. My preference would be for them to be spontaneously founded in a city within x turns of the corresponding tech being discovered. The beeline method was kind of silly

    As for tweaking, my suggestions are pretty strong tweaks - only the very basics are kept the same, and even those I'm open to changing. I've read the city-state proposal, such as it is, and it just feel natural to me. I find it hard to reconcile every religion being founded in a city-state, and the idea of just declaring your entire civilization to be of a certain religion just because some nearby city-state asked you nicely or whatever. My point is, just because cIV missed the mark doesn't mean there aren't ways to do religion right in a game like this.
     
  8. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    Although I agree with Matches, I do believe that your preferred play style could be accommodated in Civ5 with a few minor adjustments to the existing rules. The simple thing to do is to make the acquisition of a religion less passive. So consider the following model: The first tier of your "Piety" Branch might contain Animism (which allows you to found Shinto) & Ancestor Worship. These might lead into Polytheism & Monasticism (which allows you to found Buddhism) on two separate tracks. Polytheism & Monasticism might both lead into Monotheism (which allows the foundation of Judaism, Christianity & Islam). Monasticism, meanwhile, might lead-on a separate track-into Dualism (which allows for Taoism). There might also be room for you to separately adopt Orthodoxy, Fundamentalism, Ecumenicism & Reformism-to add even more character to whatever level of piety you're currently at.
    The point is that merely achieving these levels of piety is not sufficient to obtain the religion. You then have to acquire a Great Prophet & use it to Found the Religion.

    Aussie.
     
  9. PAVLOS_GR300

    PAVLOS_GR300 Greek

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    i dont like removing religions because there is no way to make strong alliances and be sure who is enemy
     
  10. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    We have to sperate real life from the game. We should not have to live "by your leave" if something upsets muslims. They should not involve so called politcal correctness into the design of video games. To me that is disheartening.

    They should implement religions back into the game. Islam included!
     
  11. Gamemaster77

    Gamemaster77 PC > Mac

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    Old thread but still I'm going to say it once more. The developers did not remove religion to be "politically correct. They did it so that the AI would be more realistic. The AI might think, "That person's religion is different that mine, attack!" However the human player honestly won't care what religion the AI is.
     
  12. GrumpyFlumps

    GrumpyFlumps Chieftain

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    Religion is dead. Science killed it.
     
  13. TImithius

    TImithius Chieftain

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    Well in some weays religion made sense and then it didn't. The only time I can truly think of a time when religion defined warfare and diplomacy was in medieval and renaissance Europe. In earlier ages sure it would make sense, but the the time you reach the modern, even industrial, age religion should become less and less definative in politics.
     
  14. woodshadows

    woodshadows King

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    You've been listening to atheist rhetoric whose tenuous relationship with historical facts often makes them more zealots than the theists.

    Very rarely has religion been the ultimate cause for a war. World history has few examples of religion playing a large role in provoking war. On the other hand, in european/middle eastern history religion has often served as a convenient pretext for wars. Leaders then as now have needed justifications for wars they have engaged in for divers reasons; religion is/was an easy sell for a vastly religious populace. The specifically monotheistic/proselytizing nature of the Abrahamic religions was very convenient for the prosecution of wars; "my god is the only god, you must die if you don't accept my god." Don't confuse justification with causation tho. Hatred/suspicion/the desire to retain or enhance power/personal vanity and egoism or other character traits of leaders/historical grudges, etc, etc, are generally things which lead nations to war. In general, nations/leaders don't need to struggle very hard to come up with reasons for war, they certainly haven't been influenced by religious sentiment to wage more war than they otherwise would have waged without religion as a factor.
     
  15. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    Well they made a big mistake, because the AI is less realistic than ever. LOL! BTW your statement "That person's religion is different that mine, attack!" is fundamentally true of mankind's history. Sad but truely it is. When I played civ 4 I cared what religion the other civs were. Realistically you could find friends easier who shared the same religion as your own. To take that out of the game has made it flat and too predictable. The simple reason being, is that the AI has less variables to think about. There has to be more than just a one dimensional decision making process for the AI. From dealing with the AIs by playing the game, this is a tremendous shortcoming. I do hope they fix it soon.
     
  16. Gamemaster77

    Gamemaster77 PC > Mac

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    Sorry I meant to say "more like the human player" not "more realistic of history". You may care what religion the AI is but the vast majority of players would not. You may be able to find a mod for it though. If not, its never to late to start. ;)
     
  17. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    Just throwing around a couple ideas here to fight the "AI acts differently from humans" problem. None of this is thought out:

    First, trade would need to be brought back for this to work.

    Trading with a civ with the same religion as you results in both of you getting (e.g) culture per turn while you're trading.

    However, each civ starts with a different religion (randomized, and yeah even in 30 civ games they all have their own to start, there's enough religions out there for this to happen).

    Switching religions costs a revolution or something.

    Thus, you have two countries trading. One might care more about culture, the other about production. So it makes sense for the culture one to switch religion; at the cost of a turn with no production, they'll get more culture per turn. So would the civ that did nothing, but they're not culture-focused so they'd benefit less in theory.

    Then, between humans and AI alike, there'd be disagreements "you switch" "no you switch" "screw this relationship *prepares for war*".

    In the end, you might see a few major religions with a few civs each adopting it.

    But maybe that's not enough benefits\problems, so to take it one step further:

    You all started with a religion, and that's your founded religion. Each civ has their own.

    Whenever you're in keeping with your founded religion, you get +1 happy.

    For every other civ using your founded religion, yet get something else, like some gold maybe.

    Now, militaristic civs have a reason to coerce others to their religion.

    Even with the -1 happy and allowing free gold to someone else, some civs may switch to another religion anyway, to keep a strong civ satisfied, and to get culture from them and the other civs who likewise joined that religion.

    The toughest thing here is preventing the founder of a popular religion from running away with the game, but, by using small but significant amounts of gold, and giving more culture bonus to smaller civs, and through other tricks, it should be possible. It's up to each civ to determine whether switching to a religion is in their best interests.

    Under this system, religious victory is acquired by, uh, making it so every civ alive has been part of your founded religion at some point in the last 100 turns. The 100 turns part is so civs can't back out at the last second while the winning civ conquers the last non-converted. And maybe also that you must not change your own religion for the whole game, or for the last 100 turns.
     
  18. GrumpyFlumps

    GrumpyFlumps Chieftain

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    You seem to make one point:

    "Very rarely has religion been the ultimate cause for a war."

    and then proceed to argue against yourself:

    "religion has often served as a convenient pretext for wars.... "

    Pretext or the reason, makes no difference, they were still religious wars!
     
  19. Drawmeus

    Drawmeus Emperor

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    While I disagree with the premise, he's not contradicting himself.

    "religion has often served as a convenient pretext for wars" means that while religion might have been cited as the cause by the aggressor, they're lying/mistaken. The word 'pretext' strongly implies that the wars were NOT about religion.
     
  20. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    It's a simple explanation that only has to do with game mechanics.

    Civ4 had a very quantifiable diplomacy system of positive and negative points. Then each leader had probabilities based on those points of whether they would go to war with you, and limits based on those points on whether they would trade with you. Religion was one of the strongest modifier of those diplomacy points.

    Civ5 wanted a non-quantifiable diplomacy system so that the way a leader acted towards you was less predictable because the game developers felt this would be more realistic, as real life leaders act unpredictable at times. Thus the diplomacy points specific religions provided were not needed and varying religions became unnecessary. Religious buildings are still in the game and so are religious social policies.

    Personally I think diplomacy in civ5 sucks and they dropped the ball big time getting rid of the quantifiable system.
     

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