It seems to be the community consensus that the HRE’s inspired warriors tech is not working well no matter how it is used. If you try to buff your units in battle your prelates quickly get killed, and if you try to buff them before battle the buff quickly runs out. To remedy this, I propose that the devoutness tech be changed to double the duration of a prelate’s inspiration from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. This would free up prelates from the economy to buff military units as fewer prelates could inspire the same number of villagers, and it would allow military units to be buffed before battle without the buff immediately running out. I believe this change is simpler and more in line with how the developers originally envisioned the tech than some of the other community-proposed changes I have seen (e.g., aura buff similar to the warrior monk). What do you guys think?
That’s a nice easy fix, but may be a little too extreme, double is allot, especially for the economic benefit, they would skyrocket in early economy
So, I have a long answer for why it wouldn’t be a good implementation, and it all ties up to population efficiency, specially late game.
As we all know, HRE has the best villagers out there, due to the fact they carry more. With wheelbarrow, their 14 carry cap goes up to 21 carry cap. This means more time working than time traveling to deliver resources and back to work. Paired with the inspire ability, HRE vills are powerhouses of resource gathering.
In a late game situation, HRE needs a lot less villagers than other civs in order to have the same income rates, due to crazy vills + a few prelates for inspiration. It translates into a lot of free pop space for military, which can be replenished properly if lost. This means HRE can always have 10-20-30 more soldiers in the field, in a more tighten up economy, which is easier to defend and require less base building effort. So, this eco benefit translates into other defensive and military benefits, which is crazy when you think about it.
Other methods for getting pop efficiency are the tier 3 economy upgrades. Those which are expensive as hell and usually nobody does them? Well… what you are buying with them isn’t the resources back, but the population space for more units. Instead of having 60 vills in farms, late game, with Precision Cross-Breeding (tier 3 food gathering upgrade) you can have like 55, or even 50 units in farms. You have just freed up 10 pop space! in maxed out armies, 10 soldiers can do soooo much more, as the battle can snowball so hard due to that. Now imagine that HRE have that kind of thing, but way stronger (40-50%, instead of 15%), and still can research tier 3 eco. It’s a very late game situation, but the results are bonkers.
Now to your idea, of doubling the inspiration time. It would free up even more pop space. HRE would need half the prelates, and I understand you want to still have them and use them in battle, but other people might just build more army, to a point of super overwhelming the opponent. It might even feel unfair, to have 80 villagers, 5-6 prelates and 110+ army.
To that matter, I believe inspired warriors is in a nice spot. It’s not meant to be used during combat, and not on everyone. Your change would make it feel almost like Rus’ Warrior Monk, but without needing to put the prelate in danger, with the added benefit of fielding more military units with the best economy ever. It’s way too much, and that’s why I don’t think it would be a good change.