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6:02pm on Monday, 16th July, 2012:

Odd One Out


The latest expansion to Civilization V includes a number of improvements (which isn't hard, as there was a lot wrong with it before). The two main ones that affect gameplay are from older incarnations of the game: espionage and religion.

I switch off espionage, because I never gain any benefit from it. Other civs keep stealing my technology but I'm never behind them to steal any of theirs. I found that the game was a lot less tiresome when I set the city state number to zero, so removing espionage is along the same lines as that.

I can't switch off religion, though. When I found one, I can choose from among a fixed number of properties for it (such as Ceremonial Burial, which adds +1 happiness for every city following it — who cares what the rest do?). I can also choose a religious symbol from one of 11: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Tengriism, Zoroastrianism. You can change the name associated with the symbol if you like, but AI players just go with the default. All cities will eventually have a religion; the more that have the one you founded, the better for you.

Now I realise that this is an expansion called "Gods and Kings", but nevertheless I'd have hoped that the advantages of having a religion in ancient times would have perhaps become more like disadvantages in the later stages of the game. Surely as science improves and education widens, the effect of religion should diminish? I'm not asking for a 12th "faith" of atheism, because it isn't one; I am asking for them to make it that if you build education improvements in a city, the amount of faith it generates falls. Or, if you prefer it the other way round, if you build religious improvements in a city, the amount of science it generates falls.

Oh well. I knew Civ5 wasn't realistic when I found I could shoot arrows across the English Channel.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).