AOE2 has long been my favourite game of all time. Over the years I’ve come up with various concepts of what I would like to see in the ultimate RTS. A lot of these concepts involve a considerable amount of complexity and micromanagement. I know this is not for everyone. I propose a game type dedicated to those who enjoy greater complexity, micromanagement, and city building. These will invariably be longer games. This is my concept on religion. I hope AOE4 includes some of these.
Religion was of no real signifiance in AOE2. You built a monastery and had a monk who could heal, convert, and move around relics. During the Middle Ages in Europe, religion was of huge signifiance. Countless wars were thought in the name of religion and it effected everyones lives; from peasants, to soldiers, to royalty. How can this be portrayed in a game?
I propose demilitarized zones for religion. Imagine something like the Vatican. At a random locations around the map there could be a demilitarized area for each religion. Each demilitarized zone would act as the religious centre for all civilizations adhering to that religion. It would act as a living town, making the world more alive, and be a place of peace for all players of that religion. The city and its surrounded would be demilitarized, so no units would be able to attack while in the vicinity of the zone. The city would only be accessible only to civilizations adhering to the specific religion.
I’ll use Christanity as an example for how this would work:
Demilitarized Zone: Papal State
Holy War Type: Crusade
The Papal state is a demilitarized zone accessible to only Christian civilizations. The state conists of a fortified town surrounded by idyllic farmland.
You can sent villagers and military units on a pilgrimage to the Papal state. Units who complete the pilgrimage and pray for a day/night cycle, will be blessed and receive a bonus (able to hold more resources, more hit points, move faster, etc). You don’t get these bonuses for nothing. 1 in 25 pilgrims will be taken as tribute. This unit is no longer under your control and becomes a citizen of the Papal state. If the unit was a peasant, they will work on the Papal fields. If the unit was a military unit, they will join the Papal army. Units who make the pilgrimage to the Papal state will gain permanent bonuses.
Once you build your first church, you can then train a priest. Each church can sustain one priest. Priests gives minor temporary bonuses to units close to the church. Each church can train and sustain one missionary. The missionary can give gives minor temporary bonuses to units anywhere on the map. The missionary can also convert units, which the priest cannot. For every church you build, the Papal state will request ongoing tribute from you. It is not mandatory to pay this tribute. Once you’re priest has served for 7 day/night cycles in your church, you can sent him to the Papal state. If he prays there for 7 day/night cycles, you can upgrade him to a bishop. Once you have unlocked your first bishop, this also unlocks cathedrals (if you are advanced enough).
Cathedrals sustain one bishop. The bishop gives moderate temporary bonuses to units close to the cathedral. These bonuses do not stack with the bonuses from priests. Each cathedral can train and sustain one warrior bishop. A warrior bishop gives gives moderate temporary bonuses to units anywhere on the map. Warrior bishops can also convert units, which bishops cannot. For every cathedral you build, the Papal state will request ongoing tribute from you. If you have two or more cathedrals, and one of your bishops has served for a period of 7 day/night cycles in your cathedral, you can send him back to the Papal state. If he prays there for 7 day/night cycles, you can upgrade him to archbishop. Civilisations can only have one archbishop.
Your archbishop rotates between your cathedrals. He gives temporary considerable bonuses to units close to your cathedrals. The Pope may call your archbishop to the Papal state at anytime for mass. While your archbishop is visiting the Papal state, the Pope may promote him to cardinal. Civilisations can only have one cardinal. The cardinal remains your unit but now remains permanently at the Papal state. Now that you have a cardinal, you may vote along side other cardinals in matters of the Papal state. Cardinals vote whether to release grants, sent miliary assistance, and whether to enact holy wars. The Papal state may reward busy churches and cathedrals to help make structural advancements.
If you’re town is under attack, you can request assistance from the Pope. If you’re being attacked by a fellow Christian civilization, the Pope may ask that civilization to halt the attacks or put restrictions on that civilization. If the attack is from a non-Christian civilization, he may send the Papal army to assist you. All requests are decided upon by the Pope and his cardinals. If Christian civilzations are being assulted by non-Christian civilzations, the Pope may call a crusade. Players who participate in cruisades will be rewarded with bonues, incentives, and spoils of war. Alongside Christian civilzations, the Papal army will also take part in the crusade.
- Preist: Max one per church. Base unit. Gives minor temporary bonuses to units near the church.
- Missionary: Max one per church. Base unit. Gives minor temporary bonuses to units anywhere on the map, can convert enemy units.
- Bishop: Max one per cathedral. Upgraded from priest. Gives temporary moderate bonuses to units close to the cathedral.
- Warrior Bishop: Max one per cathedral. Upgraded from missionary. Gives temporary moderate bonuses to units anywhere on the map, can convert enemy units.
- Archbishop: Max one per civilization. Upgraded from bishop. Gives temporary considerable bonuses to units close to any cathedral, can convert enemy units.
- Cardinal: Max one per civilization. Upgraded from archbishop. Permanently resides in the Papal state and votes on Papal affairs.
Any comments or thoughts appreciated.