Just an idea that came to me that is probably gonna get shat on by everyone but I am wondering what everyone’s opinion is on this… So as we know, there is basically 3 things that set civs apart from each other in this game:
access to techs and units,
civ bonuses and
access to unique/regional units and more recently unique buildings
Now generally speaking, most civs from what I can tell are blanaced in such a way that their various civ specific bonuses that appear as text on the left hand side of the tech tree generally give the civ a net positive effect of some sort like increased resource gather rate, improved unit stats, discounts of various types and so on (hence why its called a “bonus”), this is then usually counter-balanced in some way by penalising the civ by restricting their access to some techs and units.
So lets call this the basic “civ design philosophy” in AOE2. Ok so far so good…
But then this got me thinking, what if the devs designed some civs with a different design philosophy that is the opposite of the standard design philosophy? So that some of their “civ bonuses” have a negative effect on the civ which is then counter-balanced in some way by either better access to techs and units or more powerful civ bonuses. Why don’t we see more of this?
Granted we have a couple of examples of this already in the game (Huns starting with -100 wood offset by not needing to build houses and Chinese starting with no food offset by having more villagers) but these examples are fairly tame and surely we could definitely have some more crazy ideas. There are so many more ideas and concepts that could be tried, like giving some units a movement speed/attack speed/ or cost penalty but then buffing some other unit or some other aspect of the civ to counter balance it. Or making a unit longer than usual to train but making it stronger than its generic counterpart in some way. The possibilities are endless and restricted only by our imagination (and gameplay balance considerations). So what do people think? Why do we not see more of this?
The problem with things like this is that it would make the game impossible to balance across all maps and all modes.
Ideally, you want a win rate of 47%-53% for all civs, across all maps, and all modes(1v1, team game, 9 vil start, empire wars, etc). This is already super hard to achieve.
Now, if you add new civs which go against the design philosophy, you will destroy this balance. It might even be theoretically impossible. i.e, there would be no cases, under all modifications, preserving the integrity of this mechanic, where the game is balanced for all modes.
Not to mention that this will add to the learning curve for new players, upset traditionalists, etc, etc. So, no. If I were a designer, something like this would never go through.
Yea fair enough, these are all valid points. Still fun to think about and come up with some ideas even if just to figure out why or how certain things would be overpowered or unbalanced if implemented.
I suggested in another discussion the following civilization that maybe what your are suggesting:
A civilization with stronger-than-normal towers and stronger priests
Their bonus would be “Fanaticism”
Make your priest able to covert ALL BUILDINGS, Castles, TCs, monasteries, wonders…all of them. (except walls) and every building you convert you gain any technology already researched and the ability to create any of the units produced on that building by the enemy, but no new technologies.
The downside is by researching this tech, would make all your buildings only able to produce trash units, cheap ones with no upgrades possible, and all units already built would be converted to generic trash units.
So this civilization can build vanilla /generic units or research Fanaticism and capture enemy buildings to create their units…
Yeah, they are. I still remember a patch note that says Khmer farmers now work 3% slower. They still work faster than generic though not as fast as they initially were. And almost a month ago @casusincorrabil confirmed Mayans still work slower. If latest patch didn’t change that secretly, they should still be slower. They are just not mentioned in tech tree.
I don’t like negative bonuses, it’s poor civ design. The current system of positive bonus + limited tech tree elsewhere to offset it is way better imo. Negative bonuses always seem too forced, especially the ones suggested by Robbie Lava, it just seems like it’s trying too hard to be different. I like the fact that aoe2 civs have a lot of similarities. It makes the 43 civs less overwhelming. Imagine if aoe2 civs were all as different as aoe4 civs. It would be impossible to learn them all.