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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

Making Temples Relevant

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The temple is a generally useless building since it provides only healing.  The priests are likewise problematic; their vulnerabilities and slow speed make them hard to coordinate with many effective troop combinations.  As a result, this build seems to be ignored in most high level play.  While I don't wish for it to be a must build structure, but it should be at least viable in some cases.  Age of Empires II made it a useful building by two ways: first, it could generate income with relics; and second, monks could be used to defend against costly units like knights through their conversion abilities.  

Conversion can seem cheesy in a game, something practically game-breaking if battalions were introduced, but it makes a valid point: priests should be viable units to train outside of their healing abilities.  Religion played a focal role in life of the ancient times and should not be underplayed.

One way that temples could be more useful is to introduce patron gods to specific temples.  For example when a temple is built, he player could dedicate it to Athena for a defence and loyalty buff, Poseidon for a horsemen and ship buff, and Hermes for a commerce and movement speed buff in the case of Athens.  There also could be upgrades to improve the abilities of priests beyond healing.  

Generally though, if there are specific gods available to players unique to each faction, that would of course make balance harder, especially in the case of contrasting the paganistic traditions of most factions to that of the largely monotheistic Zoroastrianism that Persians practised during this time.  Still, I think that an approach like that would be much better than the current iteration of temples and religion.  That said, I would be interested to hear alternatives to this option.

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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Here are just a few ideas for technologies that could be introduced for temples:

 

Banking: Temples provide a gradual trickle of metal.  

Historical justification: Many temples were used for this purpose.  A famous example was the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.  Probably the Celtic and Iberian factions would not have access to this.  

 

Omens: Small boost in line of sight for all units.

Historical justification: Consulting priests was common before battles.

 

Wrath of the Gods (or of God for Monotheistic faiths): Priests give a small attack aura.  Linked with...

Protection of the Gods: Priests give a small defensive aura.

Historical justification: Religious figures were often important in imparting a degree of psychological security to soldiers prior to a battle.

 

Ceremonial Cleansing: Temples provide a healing aura, and all units get an increase in hit-points.

Historical Justification: Not all temples were dedicated to healing people, but there were a few examples of these kinds.  As a result, the healing function should not be default in my opinion.

 

Sacred Texts: All technologies are cheaper.

Historical Justification: Religion was an important part of learning in most ancient societies.

 

Harvest Festival: Farming output increased.  Priests have aura that helps boosts gathering speed.

Historical Justification: Most religious holidays were based around agricultural phases in the year, allowing for farmers to more easily know when to plant and harvest.

 

Astrology: Ships have more line of sight and move faster.

Historical Justification: Knowledge of the stars was useful for navigation purposes aside from its religious uses.

 

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Navigation using stars fall into Astronomy. They make sense mathematically too while astrology usually defies all odds in probability. (Dont take this statement the wrong way)

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Not precisely true.  The two disciplines are about roughly the same subject just with different premises and conclusions.  Astronomy is simply a scientific approach to understanding celestial bodies.  Astrology did primarily have its function in attempting to understand the future, but the contributions it gave were valid for navigation purposes.  Even now we use Greek astrological terms for various geographical locations such as the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.  Most of the time the scientific experts of these times were priests, and their purposes were many times just as much practical as ceremonial.

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The only new thing I've learned here is that some temples were actually used for healing. I thought that's the only area where 0 A.D. emphasizes gameplay over history and realism.

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I remain skeptical. Aside from identifying constellations and seeing they moved, nothing scientific about it exists. Those two can be classified as astronomy.

Astronomy did very much exist back then. What Ptolemy did was not astrology. What he did was impressive for the time of a geocentric universe. He even proposed solutions based on science for things the model could not handle. Obviously wrong, but its closer to what science is about.

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32 minutes ago, smiley said:

I remain skeptical. Aside from identifying constellations and seeing they moved, nothing scientific about it exists. Those two can be classified as astronomy.

Astronomy did very much exist back then. What Ptolemy did was not astrology. What he did was impressive for the time of a geocentric universe. He even proposed solutions based on science for things the model could not handle. Obviously wrong, but its closer to what science is about.

Identifying constellations and seeing their how they moved is precisely why it had applications in navigation.  Whether those two can be classified as astronomy, most constellations were named by astrologers.  Although it's not as if priests researched these phenomena for the explicit purpose of finding one's way, but their research had uses.  

Astronomy during this time period was of course practised most famously in Alexandria, where astronomers such as Hipparchus basically proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system.  This does not however indicate that these natural sciences were of that much use to a common sailor.  Most philosophers were elitists and preferred to keep their findings on an academic level, not for things that could be applied for the masses.  The main point I wish to make is that just because something had scientific methodologies does not mean that it invalidated incidental findings discovered through less scientific approaches.  

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India was also a major source of both astrological and astronomical data and theory in the period with some contact with the Greek civs at least according to my Hindu astrology guru there was an exchange of scholars and writings that is the tradition in northern India evidence lying in congruence of Greek and Sanskrit words for various technical terms.

Enjoy the Choice :)        

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Hipparchus was geocentric. In fact, his theories ensured the survival of a geocentric universe for a long time.

But he did accurately (for the time) model the apparent motion of both the sun and moon. Even Earth’s precession.

Then again, I guess pseudo-science was the norm of the time. So maybe it was the same people who told to look at the North star and that people born when a constellation is at zenith would be rich.

Edited by smiley

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I see. Aristarchus did indeed propose a heliocentric universe. But the geocentric model as proposed by Claudius Ptolemy had already been the standard by then and would remain so until the mid 1500s.

I thought about this a bit more and “astrology” would indeed be the better term. If something like Greek Fire was added, it would be under alchemy. Not chemistry.

Those were the sciences of the time. Who's to say that a millennia down the road, part of todays science wont be pseudo-science then. 

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