I think making them able to capture sacred sites in feudal as a civ bonus would be a good compromise. Then they’d still have to research the sanctity to double the gold gain, now the gold gain isn’t as overwhelming an advantage but still worth fighting the Delhi player over. If they ignore it for 4 minutes the tech will finish; doubling the income, but everyone has 12 more villagers by that point, and maybe a second TC so it isn’t too crazy but still a powerful tool.
If it ends up being too powerful you can increase the time to research sanctity or even move it to castle age. But I doubt that will be needed without buffing them in other ways in feudal. As it was before this patch the main way they could defend from a good early push was often using a market to buy resources with their surplus gold from sacred sites.
There was nothing wrong with it before. There was no need for compromise. I say just reverse the change.
I think there is an argument against it before, that being it forced a countermove by the opponent, like if you captured 2 sacred sites and the enemy wasn’t already preparing a force to get them back you’d basically win. Now that is not to say that I think they needed any kind of nerf before the patch, they needed buffs on a few fronts, I just would prefer this mechanic if it was in a place where it isn’t a make or break sort of thing. If you failed to get sacred sites you were way behind in the match vs playing a different civ.
I’d prefer they buff them enough that failing to get sacred sites wouldn’t be such a big hit, and the enemy wanting to do something besides early pressure to keep you off sacred sites wouldn’t be such a big hit to them. Lower the stakes on the ability and make them competent without it.
Ok I can agree with that.