One simple change. Do consider with an open mind! Herbal Medicine : Villager work rate +0.25% for every Monk/Missionary alive + The current useless effect of Garrison Healing
This would make the monks and monk techs significant and historically accurate as well as make logical sense, and isn’t game breaking. Monks would contribute a small amount to economy, making them worthwhile to train/keep alive in general(not just for use against Elephants/Bombard Cannon)
It shifts the meta a little only on Arena and Gold/Relic Nothing (remember you need as many as 40 monks and 100 villagers alive to add just 10 more villagers worth of economy, which never happens and is a poor way of losing the game due to not being able to micro). Hence, it is a tiny amount per monk, less than even a one-fourth of a relic, even if you have 100 VILLAGERS!
It means more Monks and Missionaries will be seen in gameplay, as they are currently MOSTLY IRRELEVANT. Which is not good. Monks/Missionaries en masse are already hugely underpowered(except if Viper Mastapiece).
Similarly, Monastery techs would become more relevant even in open maps(not just Arena). As relevant as the devs originally would like them to be.
Hence, the higher the villager population, the greater the need of healthcare becomes visible in-game, and the greater the benefit of having it.
The effect of healthcare and religion on the quality of life on villagers will be portrayed beautifully within the gameplay.
It’s already the map where monks are the most used, so why bother to introduce a change that would further that by like 0.1%?
Then why bother?
So for you not being usable en mass = irrelevant? It’s not because a unit isn’t suited for spam in late game it isn’t relevant. Never noticed how people will rather withdraw their 10 knights when they see a monk rather than risking being converted?
You’re making it look like Monks are weak and the techs that improve them are thus irrelevant, but it’s obviously not the case. The techs that protect you against conversion, Heresy and Faith, respectively cost 1000 G and 750F 1000 G. Do you think that the unit that is worth paying 750F 2000 G to be protected from is “irrelevant”
If you think this needs to be portrayed then just send a monk to heal your villagers once in a while and that’s it.
I think DE’s Herbal Medicine is the most underrated technology, including in high level play, and you should get it if you plan to make multiple Castles. Just 10 seconds of garrison time in a Herbal Medicine Castle heals 12 HP for one unit, which sounds like nothing. But for a full Castle garrison that’s up to 240 HP healing for the group. For example, this puts a half-dead 20 Arbalester army back up to almost full HP.
Herbal Medicine can also pay back its 350 gold cost super fast. It helps to imagine any lost HP as lost resources, rather than seeing only dead units as lost resources, because damaged units are less combat efficient and are no longer worth the full price you paid for them. For example, a half-dead 20 Arbalester army is worth 700 total resources, despite the initial 1,400 total resources you paid for them at full health. But 10 seconds of Herbal Medicine Castle healing improves their value by 441 resources, with 282 of that total in gold. Though that’s 68 gold short from 350 in this Arbalester example, that’s not much in the late game, and the value improvement goes up with higher gold cost units.
Depending on Castles still makes Herbal Medicine situational. But I’ve seen many high level games with, say, damaged archers fighting under a friendly Castle that could’ve garrisoned for Herbal Medicine healing while shooting arrows out of the castle. Or damaged Knights near a friendly Castle suffering mass archer harassment that could’ve garrisoned for Herbal Medicine healing without adding more idle military time, because the archers are already idling the Knights. Though it would need getting used to the additional micro, Herbal Medicine has a lot of power potential to unlock.
Not every tech has to be useful. Town Watch is useful for villagers’ line of sight, but… I often never research it. Because not only does it cost 75 food, but that food would have been put to better use by making another villager instead. 40 monks costs 4000 gold, even if you got trade that’s lot of gold wasted.
Monks are not irrelevant. They get you relics, which is a key end game resource. And they are the bane to elephants and knights and can even heal your units.