Another approach to make underused UUs viable

Hi all,
a lot a people are complaining that several UUs, especially infantry UUs, are underused.

We are discussing a lot of solutions, like cost reduction, increased speed, better fight stats… But, to be honest, I do not think that making samurais 5 or 10f cheaper will make them common. Same point for other UUs, like shotels, karambits, but even ballista ele.

My impression is that the main problem is not the cost or the stats. Champions are simply better than samurais or TKs because they do not require a castle. I would not go TK if my opponent is going champions simply because my champions do the same job a little worse without requiring multiple castles.

To add more variety to the game, we may think of a new castle tech, allowing you to train your UU at slower speed in the corresponding building (basically a worse version of goths/huns).

Some civs cleary will not have access to this tech (mayans, chinese, mongols…) but civs with unused UUs, like Japanese or Teuton may have.

I would say that, if we choose the civs carefully, the balance should not be modified too much, while the game will gain a lot of variety.

I mean, I am pretty sure that samurais (currently never used) coming out from barracks will not break the balance. If none uses them (imo because of the castle requirements), we may start to see them, for instance to counter kennishs, konniks, boyards…

My questions:

  • is this option meaningful for other underused UUs (I did just the example of samurais)?
  • should the tech enabling the training be a castle age tech or a imperial age tech?
  • which civs should (or should not) get it to ensure more game variety without braking the game balance?

i think its a cool idea, would have to be careful, but it might even work with things like karambit, they train fast already, so would just mean being able to make a semi instant strike force in random places… even if they dotn trade well

I would say it works for basically all infantry UUs. Plus some other more. Karambits for sure. However there are some borderline UUs, like jaguar warriors.

They are under used, but Aztecs are a top pick. If that tech is given to aztects, JWs may make aztects top 1.

Also vikings and celts are to be discussed. Celts are very good, but in castle age they have a poor tech tree, so this option would speed up the moment in which they are weakest (late castle-early imp). Berserk is already very powerful so you may need the multiple castles investment instead of the single castle investment (to research the magic tech).

For other civs it is way easier, like malay, japanese, ethiopians, teutons… but even civs with non-infantry UUs, like slavs, italians, and portuguese.

Also for elephant archers and ballista elephants I am curious to see what people think… It is true that these last two are very pop effective late game TGs or deathmatches, but I would say that, in a late game TG with full trade and boom, this magic tech does not make a huge difference, since you can buy multiple castles…

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Celts do 2 things in the Castle Age

Hoanging or booming. I think thats fine overall

To be honest, I would give the magic tech to celts, but someone may disagree…

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  1. this gives a buff to civs who dont need it.
  2. this devalues the goths and huns bonus. Furthermore those 2 civs are basically losing a unique tech.
  3. how is it fair some civs get 3 unique tech while others get 2?
  4. what compensation do civs who still need a castle to make their unique unit get?

Sorry, but I’m strongly against it. There are 2 civs that are the exception, and that is to compensate the fact that they are a one-dimensional unit tipe kind of civs (all infantry or all cavalry), that would be a lot more weaker if not for their UU (especially goths).

If you compensate it with slower TT, then people would however prefer to train standard units, since build a castle to research a tech just to train a unit that is slow to mass that a similar standard unit… you can probably guess where I’m getting here…

Also, this isn’t the problem of every UU, think of WE, it would matter little if you can train them from stables, their limiter is the high food cost.
Another example are the JW, people still wouldn’t make them even if you could train them from barracks, EEW would be better for raids and champs would be more cost effective after supplies, JW basically are the meso HC, they counter a non-meta unit tipe (infantry), that’s why nobody use them, not because they are trained at castle, similar things happen for other UU.

I guess this argument could be made for some other civs, but only if we look deeper at their balance and conditions of both the civ in general and the UU, not for everyone indiscriminately.

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also by the way, this already applies to the huns as is (castle 14 seconds, stables 26 seconds before team bonus reduces to 21 seconds).

This is not for all the civs. So if you give this magic tech to Japanese, well… you will see just some more samurais. If you give it to mayans, you will break the game. Buffing a civ not needing it. The point is that this tech may be given only to civs which do have an underused UU.

Despite the new magic tech would be less powerful, giving more training time, this new tech makes a less unique the hun/goth UT. But this does not nerf these civs, at least not directly. Moreover the new tech may be available in imp.

You (goths, huns) get a UT which is a stronger variant of a tech you miss. For instance, turks have a similar effect for their imperial UT.

Clearly none. The overall point is that an underused UU either needs to be very powerful (mayans) to be worthy a castle investments. If the UU is bad, just soft the multiple castle requirement.

To be honest, I do not expect that this new tech will introduce a “castle drop into samurais” strategy. You will just see a bit more samurais. Currently none trains samurais. If we want to see more samurais, either we give a huge buff to samurais (with the risk of making it OP in TG late game, where you have several castles), or we soft the multiple castle requirement. The third option is to accept that you will never go samurais, unless some extremely rare situation.

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and japs, celts, and teutons need buffs?

you mean like the hun bonus does?

basically a bunch of civs are going to get a 3rd unique tech, while goths and huns basically fall behind in unique tech. how is that not a nerf?

huns is basically what you’re describing though.


Japanese do not. But then we have to accept that they never train their UU. This new tech would be more an indirect buff for them: it does not boost their go-to strategy.

However, if we want to see underused UUs more often, we have to accept that the civs having these UUs will get at least an indirect buff.

I would say it is more an indirect buff for the civs getting the tech. I mean, buffing a civ has the same effect of nerfing all the others (except that typically people do not like nerfs).

I did not know. Then we can either give the hun another UT or buffing the existing ones.

My overall point is a proposal to add variety to the game. People are asking for improving underused UUs. This can be a solution. Changing one or two UTs is easier than buffing, say, 10 underused UUs.

I was just trying to propose an alternative way to stat buff. Especially considering that people often underestimate how relevant a castle investment is (I know you are not between these people, but it is quite common).

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why do we need to see UU being used? the game has been designed this way for 20 years and were all of a sudden going to change bthe design of the game?

indirect buffs are still buffs.

because huns totally need a buff right now.

It is an issue that the majority of players is asking. To be honest I do not see this huge need. But, since a lot of people are asking for that, we may try to think a solution.

Personally, I would like more to see a buff (every kind of buff, not necessarily to UUs) to the weak civs, instead of a buff for the siege tower. But there are tons of request to add variety to the game by UUs. I would say that, if we do want to do that, my proposal can be discussed. Otherwise, if we do not want to see more samurais/shotels and similar, then they are perfectly fitting the fact that they should be underused…

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just because the majority of the players ask for something does not mean it needs to happen.
the majority of players are not affected by balance and could totally get away with making JW, Samurai, etc, as the reason they win or lose a game is never balance.

This is true, but clearly some UUs are too situational. And cleary game variety is a good thing.

Would we go pure samurais in a game? Difficult. None likes using a strategy having less possibility to win than pure crossbowman/knights.

Is this a good thing? Well, this does not help game variety.

Is having more samurais mandatory? Clearly it is not, but overall I would say it is preferrable.

is it? I’ve seen many a games practically ruin themselves for trying to give yourselves too much variety.
in the name of variety sc2 has come to the point where people are calling the current patch a “Terran Patch” as Terran has so many opening options in the game and Zerg in particular has been nerfed repeatedly to make that happen, despite relatively balanced win-rates in the match-up.

so my question is then - if people really want “more diversity”, are they prepared for balance and the pro scene to be a joke for the next 6 months to a year minimum while that happens?

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