1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Worldreligions or Generic-only-Religions

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Loppan Torkel, Aug 18, 2004.

?

Worldreligions or Generic-only-religions

  1. worldreligions

    59.6%
  2. generic-only-religions

    30.9%
  3. don't care/other

    8.0%
  4. traits

    40.9%
  5. no traits

    10.1%
  6. don't care/other

    6.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. menwia

    menwia Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    245
    yeah - but what if I like the specific religion model of Buddism for example. I have no desire to change it though. I would actually like to be able to explore what I could do as a Buddist Nation which is ground in real world history, and see maybe if I could do better - or do something different with it.

    I like the challange of taking something which is real in the world and using my it and my own abilities to see what possibilites are avaiable, and how I could do things differnt.

    For example - I wanna see if I can take Christianty - in its stragiht jacket form with specific relgions model and see if I could have won the Crusades and dominated the world. That 's part of the fun, knowing that you are as close as possible to what decisions Ceaser might have made or other great leaders and other civs - and to see if you could do better or do something different.

    I like the constraints of Specific relgions - it's part of the challange. If you go the Generic way -then I lose that sense of challange. Why do romans have legions and not some Generic milatry unit - because it was the roman legions which were part of their might. Same reason, why have a Generic religon that I must use in the game, when I can actually have the closest things to it.

    I want the constraints of Specific Relgion. That's were the challange lies for me. To use real world example as close as possible and to see in what combination I can use them to do better then all the great leaders of our History.

    If I sat down infront of Alexander the Great and told him how I had to face a Generic Relgion in my conflict -he would laugh at me and he would say that he actually faced the real thing - there's no way you can compare yourself to me he would tell me . . . of course we can never get as close to reality as it really was, but we can at least do our best.

    I don't know, that's just me I guess . . .
     
  2. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    I don't think a generic religion would be as void and limitless as you'd talk about it. Again, using basic variables from reality, you'd end up with very plausible and realistic outcomes. Monotheists would be more centralized and thus more powerful at converting, but more vulnerable to splits. And to be a fundamentalist monotheist would mean embracing the most intolerant form of that religion, and all the benefits and drawbacks that come with that.

    If you're a specific religion, you're without traits, and evolution is limited to what wonders you can build. So, in actuality, there's very little that makes you Christian, very little that lets you play through what it meant to enforce and deal with that religion as it grew. Because what it meant to be a Christian in history is what it meant to have various ideological values, not just to call yourself a Christian and make buildings.

    Not to mention that nothing's stopping you from building Christianity yourself from the two variables. But what about realism, you might ask? Well, in this case, the owness is not on the developers of Civ and what they think Christianity is, but what you think Christianity is. And if you want it to conform as close as possible to reality, then by all means, do it.

    And nothing's stopping you from building a Crusades scenario or an Alexander the Great scenario. In fact, with all the possibilities in Civ as is, it would be unlikely that you'd find yourself in the exact situation that Europe was in the middle ages, or the Ancient Hellenistic period. You would never get a chance to test yourself. A scenario (in either model) could give those time and location sensitive traits, abilities and units that make sense for that scenario. And naturally, you'd still be able to see if you could achieve absolute victory in the crusades, or stand up to Persian religious movements the way Alexander did.

    There is no benefit to constraint in the specific model, because the constraints are to keep the labels as meaningless as possible. Too much meaning and you end up generalizing (Christianity is a militaristic religion, for example). What you're talking about is the benefit of having those real names. There's actually more potential to model the forces of a middle age crusade in a generic model because you can add actions, traits, and bonuses and still be plausible -- you just won't end up facing religions with a proper name.

    Which is still a benefit.

    But I think we're on the verge of agreeing to disagree. Which is fine, because both models seem to be basically fleshed out (unless you want to talk about religious wonders... and anybody could do that. And I'd probably be the most happy with whatever Firaxis comes up with anyway).
     
  3. menwia

    menwia Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    245
    Yeah, but bullding wonders kinda symbolizes the values you would want within your brand of religion.

    But yeah, I think you're right - we are on the verge of that 'lets agree to disagree,' and like yourself - although I have a prefrence of one the other one is also plausable as both models basically have the same features - with a few differences here and there - more I think a prefrence difference rather then a concept one. Because, even wtihiin the Generic Model -we will not include made up wonders and other such things - but rather stuff which are as close as possible to history.

    I'll make you a deal - for the world relgions model you push the 'freedom and flexablity' cause, and in the generic one i'll push the 'historically accurate' cause - lol, that way we can balance each other out and get a pretty good working model either way. lol,

    OH - P.S. I know my spelling is really bad - I'll try in the future to smooth it out - I think i'll cut and paste it into word and do spell check before I post it. Once again - thanks for being so patiant. lol - (I know I already made some errors). :)
     
  4. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    Haha, well, to tell you the truth, I think the work is done! I agree, both models would probably have largely the same wonders. And there are plenty of wonders already in the game of a religious nature, not to mention the creativity of many other people in other threads.

    We've thought through the models enough to know that the details would work. But to argue what the details are would be futile, because in the rare case Firaxis reads this thread and says "they're right, here are the pitfalls of religion, and here are the basic concepts that would work" they'd probably change around the details anyway.

    I'm pretty much ready to retire this thread, so to speak... except to clarify some of the future debates that might arise from new participants and be a champion for both these models (although you're right, probably a bit more the generic model than the specific model).

    Somehow I suspect people will look at this thread, say "what the heck" and decide it's better just to leave it alone. I think a lot of people have done that already :)
     
  5. menwia

    menwia Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    245
    lol - I wouldn't blame them - especially with my spelling. lol

    but yeah, i agree . . .
     
  6. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    7,656
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    OK, this will be my last word on the issue before I retire too, then ;)!

    Key issues for me are:

    Base Religions and traits (Stability vs Influence)

    1) Animism-highest stability, lowest influence. Examples: Shinto, Aboriginal Dreamtime, Native American Totemism.

    2) Humanist-second highest stability, second lowest influence. Examples: None come to mind, but any religion which focuses on a living human being-probably a temporal ruler-would fit the bill.

    3) Non-Deist-average stability, average influence. Examples: Confuscionism, Taoism.

    4) Polytheist-second lowest stability, second highest influence. Greco-Roman Pantheon, Norse/Celtic Pantheon, Hinduism.

    5) Monothiest-lowest stability, highest influence. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Jehova's Witness.

    Influence and stability are further effected by your civs legalism, libertarianism and spiritualism.

    Sects and traits (Edited)

    1) Orthodox (Increased happiness/culture from religious buildings, reduced tech research rate, increased stability) Examples: Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish Orthodox, Coptic church.

    2) Reformist (Decreased happiness/culture from religious buildings, increased stability, lower religious corruption) Examples: Protestant, Lutheran, Methodist.

    3) Ascetic (Reduced corruption-religious AND secular, reduced luxury and resource trade, increased happiness from religious improvements). Examples: Essenes, Catharists, Bhuddists, Menonites (Amish).

    4) Blood Cult (Religious culture boost from sacrifices, reduced international rep amongst non 'blood cult' civs, increased stability and influence). Examples: Aztec and Incan religions, Kali cult.

    5) Militant (Greater influence for 'active' conversion attempts, lower war weariness against 'foreign' religion types, lower stability). Examples: Wahaabi, Zionists, Evangelists.

    6) Fundamentalist (Increased resistance to passive and active conversion, Reduced tech-research rate, increased stability).

    Although there is the theoretical possibility of EVERY combination occuring within the game, some sects are more likely in certain base religions over others. As follows:

    1) Animism-ascetic and blood cult most likely. Orthodox and militant least likely.

    2) Humanism-Blood Cult and militant most likely. Ascetic and Reformist least likely.

    3) Non-Deist-ascetic and militant most likely, Blood cult and orthodox least likely.

    4) Polytheist-Blood cult and militant most likely, orthodox and reformist least likely.

    5) Monotheist-Reformist and Orthodox most likely, Blood cult and ascetic least likely!

    Of course, these base 'odds' can be altered by government type, proximity and/or trade with civ(s) of that sect, relative morality level, as well as your social engineering settings and in-game actions. The main issue, though, is that sects are NOT under the direct control of the player, and can occur spontaneously. You can manipluate the conditions for their appearance, however, AND you can choose to embrace, ignore or repress an emerging sect. Lastly, sects and base religions will be further defined by the types of Wonders (small and great), improvements and units you build.

    Religious schisms can occur if the ratio of 'alien' to 'native' religious culture is quite high. With this base rate being influenced by happiness, religious corruption levels, distance from religious 'capital' and the like. If a religious schism occurs, the player retains 'TEMPORAL' control of the city. However, religious buildings in that city now produce x% (?) less religious culture each turn (possibly even none at all), and no further religious improvements and/or wonders can be built, by you, in that city (though a neighbouring civ of the city's new faith could!) Also, a city which 'converts' to a new faith is in greater danger of breaking away-either to form a new nation or to join an existing nation of the same faith!

    Well, without going into any further detail, that is the model as I envisage it. I would not be completely AGAINST specific religions, so long as I can edit their traits (if any) in the editor and/or name them as they appear within the game! My preference, however, is for generic-and will remain so ;)!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  7. rhialto

    rhialto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,163
    Those numbers kind of confirm what I said. The big 4 account for over 70% (actually 81%) of the human race. In any case, I never said that tribal religions or Judaism would be excluded from the real world religions model. Judaism is specifically named as in, and most 'primitive' religions are defaulted to as generic animism.

    Perhaps from a Christian's point of view Lutheranism and Greek Orthodix are different religions, but from the point of view of non-Christians, they are the same, or at best, splinter groups of the same religion. In the model, teh differences would be reflected in the players' choice of wonders he builds.

    Doubtless Shi'ites and Sunnis would make the same argument about being differnet, as would Tibetan and Zen Buddhists.

    One common critiism is that certain religions, Norse being the common example, didn't have denominations or sects. At least within Norse religion, there were three different core denominations - Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Scandinavian. And there were groups that would worship individual gods to the virtual exclusion of others in the pantheon, making what would effectively amount to sects. I imagine similar sects existed for almost every polytheist religion.
     
  8. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    Thanks for those valuable examples, Aussie. Personally, for sects, I'd like to see a few others / a few different ones, but again, the details aren't important (for reasons I've stated earlier).

    Fundamentalist -- the most strict interpretation, you're popular among your base, but hated more among your rivals

    Lifestyle -- you don't have a huge multi-tiered institution, but it's mainly a few monks, and a few axioms by which you live your life

    Evangelical / Missionary -- one of your religion's top imperatives is to actively convert other people, and to not do so would be sinful

    Just throwing those out there. But again, the point is you have core religions, and a few core subdivisions/spins on those core religions. I think your examples, Aussie, are perfectly appropriate.

    Anyway... so... what's ... up?
     
  9. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    7,656
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    OK, I know I said I would 'retire' from this thread after my last post, but I just wanted to add the following points.
    Firstly, I think it is best to keep the total number of sects as small as possible-with the option of adding more via the editor. I certainly feel that the militant and orthodox sects I have mentioned cover the fundamentalist and missionary sects that you brought up, DH, especially when you look at the traits! I could see fundamentalism being in the game as a sect as a half-way point, perhaps, between Orthodox and militant. The missionary/evangelical sects you mention, though, are already covered under the broad banner of 'militant', as it represents a religion which actively promotes its religion in foreign nations (whether through war or 'missions') and cracks down on religious diversity at home. A fundamentalist sect, then, would probably have a lower tech rate, even, than orthodox sects, have a greater resistance to external 'religious culture', and lower chance of schism. In fact, I think I might edit my earlier post to reflect this!
    Another thing you might have noticed is that I have tried to give EACH sect three traits-two positive and one negative, to help keep them all balanced. I would be happy to see this rise to two positive and two negative, though, if anyone would like to offer suggestions ;)!

    Lastly, before I TRULY retire from this thread, I wanted to point out that there are TWO main ways of converting foreign citizens to your religion. The first is passive, where religious culture builds up in foreign cities. The ratio of this culture to the 'native' religious culture determines the frequency and success chance of 'conversion' attempts. Another way is the active method, here you establish a 'mission' in a foreign city, through which you can attempt to convert citizens. The success of both the establishment of missions and later attempts at active conversion will depend, in part, on how much religious culture you have already accrued in that city, though can be increased by devoting greater resources to such attempts. Missions also increase the natural flow of religious culture to the cities where they are established (and this is where the 'militant' bonus comes in!).
    Hope this helps to explain my model a little bit better.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  10. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,073
    Moderator Action: The discussions on Zionism have been split-out from this thread.

    They can be found in world history here.
     
  11. elderotter

    elderotter Otter King

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    659
    Location:
    Central Upstate NY
    I agree with alot of what you say here - but still to win a diplomatic or cultural win which instituing a search for world peace would(probably) entail still means inflicting one Civ's ideas onto all the other Civ's. My idea of world peace is not the same as that of other people in other cultures ideas. In fact every individual on the planet probably has a different idea of world peace.
     
  12. Hassenpfeffer

    Hassenpfeffer Cobalt Thorium G Device!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Sasquatch Country
    I came in LATE LATE LATE on this discussion... but at the end of many long tirades I wish to say this. It's a game, and this would be a mod. If either of these two facts offends you, sell your computer and leave the rest of rational humanity alone.
     
  13. Hanno

    Hanno Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Africa
    I'm a christian, so as a religious person, I'd like to say it is great that they included religion in the game: It brings out a whole new dimention in the game that did not exist before. I can not possibly see how anyone can be offended by the way civ4 included religion. (Execpt maybe if your religion lost, but then you just played badly :D)
     
  14. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    I remember this thread. I think playing the game only confirms what I was saying. The developers would not have the stomach to implement a fully realistic religion model with all the complexities of history.

    So without that option on the table, you'd have people who want a highly specific historical model that would actually be UNREALISTIC -- because religions are hardwired their abilities at the beginning... and another camp arguing that religion would need to be generic to prevent a cartoon charicature of each religion (e.g: Muslims and Christians get a war bonus, Buddhists and Hindus get a peace bonus).

    For the reasons I listed, my predictions were right and they kept religions simple. I'd consider religion a success in that they didn't ruin gameplay or the sense of immersion. But I'd also still consider religion a small failure in that there would have been better things to implement with more impact for less development.
     
  15. Hanno

    Hanno Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Africa
    I disagree

    Civ has hardcoded the civs, the leaders and their properties directly from the real world. Why should religion be treated any different? Part of civ appeal is its relation to the real world.

    I'm not 100% about Civ 4, but in Civ 3, America was made "expansive", because of America's real world history. This property would hardly make sense if America starts of in a poor location, and turns out to be a small country. Simmilarly, England is "seafaring" because of its real world context, which hardly makes sense if England starts inland. Religion form the base of most cultures. If religion was made generic, shouldn't the civ's be completely generic and abstract as well?

    Besides, that option would really run the risk of offending people, because of its implication that religion (God, in other words) is man made.

    Still, to each own ;)
     
  16. Bezhukov

    Bezhukov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,001
    "Besides, that option would really run the risk of offending people, because of its implication that religion (God, in other words) is man made."

    I don't see this implication at all, or more precisely, religion IS man-made, but it does not therefore follow that God is. Religion can usefully be described as man's response to God(s).

    As a religious professional, I will say that the implementation of religion in CivIV is somewhat disappointing, while at the same time saying that I have difficulty seeing how they could have done it differently, even setting aside any concern for giving offense.

    Religions are not content-free, but the student of religion will find so much overlap between them, especially surveying the entire sweep of religious history, that assigning specific traits to each religion, as CivIV does with civs, would be highly problematic. No pristine religious dogma survives contact with the enemy.
     
  17. Hanno

    Hanno Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Africa
    I don't really want to be debating this, but I'll just clarify my point. I don't know too much about Eastern religions, but for all three theistic religions, the believe is there that the religion was inspired by God, not by man. Moses and Mohammed is believed to have received their teaching directly from God, and Jesus is believed to be God incarnated. It is Divine truth. To a believer of any of the three monotheistic religions, to say their religion is man made, that is, purely the thought of man instead of not divine revelation, would be similar to say their religion is a fairy tale, and their God is nothing more than a fantacy of some ancient person. It is for this reason that religions are mutually exclusive. The idea that you can consciously "tweak" its character, could border on blasphamy. Religion take on a life of its own, and is beyond anybody's control, aspecially religions founded on holy texts.

    From outside, a religion might appear to be what people think about God. (People play the active part, God play the passive part) From the inside, however, it is about what God reveals about himself to people. (God play the active part, people play the passive part) It is this important difference which, if not taken into account, could offend religious people.

    I totally agree.
     
  18. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    5,742
    Location:
    Oxford
    What's wrong with allowing more religious options but making the player choose them? Thus you could indeed found Christianity or Islam, but turn them into polytheistic blood cults, if you wanted to.
    This would be true to Civ's nature of allowing you to change history, and give more depth to religion in the game.
     
  19. Hanno

    Hanno Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Africa
    A polytheistic christian blood cult ???? :eek: Isn't that a bit like having a Artistic and Agricultural Alexander? :crazyeye:

    If you DO want to add more depth to religion in the game, I would suggest that it must happen indirectly to limit your control.

    For instance: Variations in your religious properties must be dependent of factors like your civic and your leaders characteristics. For instance, the very emotional Alexander might be more inclined towards charasmatic churches, while the more serious Germans will prefer more conservative non emotional churches. Just as an example.

    But, the moment you move into that kind of detail, you move into very dagerous waters, and you really need to watch your step. Having a Polythesitic Christian blood cult would not work, unless ofcause you give the dark variation of the religion a different name, like Satanism. I don't think any country that addopts Satanism as their state religion has much of a future though :lol:
     
  20. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    5,742
    Location:
    Oxford
    That's my whole point. If religions are customisable and all the game developers make you start with is a name, then no-one can be offended by the developers for making statements about their religion, because it's the player who assigns the traits.
    Yes, making it random would also remove offense, but wouldn't be as much fun. If I want to play Black and White I will, but Civ is a strategy game, so having some sort of complex dependence on all your decisions would be time-consuming and unnecessary. That's what the whole game is for.
    Yes, I'm sure that fundamentalists would not like to see their religion's name given to something that, in the game, has an entirely different description, but I really don't see how it's offensive. It's a game where you make your own history. All that's being used is the name of the religion, not the whole thing itself. I think it would be fun to have Christianity founded by Monty and be a blood cult. It lends some amusement to the game which isn't there if you just have 'The Aztecs have changed their religion to blood cult'.
     

Share This Page