Balance change ideas

A few months ago I made a doc about things I’d like to see buffed or nerfed, talked with a bunch of 2k+ players. Here are some of the ideas. I’ll also try to explain why the changes. There is not much structure into this thread, like units, then general changes.
Sometimes I might propose that something gets replaced for something I’m not sure of or don’t know, or maybe i’ll have some leads…

  • Eagle warriors : cost increased from 20f/50g to 25f/50g (maybe 30f).

Early castle age eagle spam is way too powerful. They are good raiders, trade well against archers and cav, resist to monks and longsword are not mobile while eagles are, and all of that for a low cost. Also remember that eagles are good in mass but not that strong in little numbers. The goal here is to let a chance to the opponent to transition into a counter unit or better prepare his defense.

  • Monks : conversion range changed from 3-10 seconds to 4-8 seconds. Units with conversion resistance take from 4 to 10 seconds to convert | OR | All units have fixed conversion time.

Honestly, I don’t like the fact that conversion is random. It should be a fixed time for every category of unit. It would make the game even more skilled since good players will know the conversion time and will know if they can snipe the monk or will have to delete their unit. No more lucky or unlucky conversion BS. But if it’s too much, increasing the minimum conversion time from 3 to 4 seconds and reducing it to 8 seconds should make it fairer.

  • Wolves : No more random spawn, but on specific locations.

What it means is that wolves should probably disappear on classic maps like arabia because it’s so enraging to be attacked by one of these when you’re drushing, for example, or try to sneak a vil somewhere. It’s not fair because your opponent might not be in the same case. It’s another example of randoms things that you cannot control but can give an advantage to your opponent. Wolves can be put in a map design to prevent from certain strats like vil rush or drush.

  • Elite skirmisher : upgrade cost decreased from 230w/130g to 200w/100g | Upgrade time decreased from 45s to 35s

This change is meant to match xbows upgrade time which is 35s. Bodkin is 35s too. It can make a huge difference when castle age timings are the same and the first fight can decide the game. Cost is also too important because you also need ballistics in some cases, and 230w is a lot of wood early castle age, plus the university which is 200w and the upgrade itself. An archer civ will make a 2nd TC or a siege workshop for example.


  • Britons : remove the bonus production for something else.

I’m not sure about what could be put to replace this. I think it’s too strong in teamgames especially. Maybe “archery techs are less expensive” or put the current teambonus only for britons and change it.

  • Celts : Celts make no sense in this game to be honest.

Celts are not a middle age civilization. They should be renamed for “Scots”. Even in the campaign we play the Scots but they’re labelled as Celts. I don’t really understand why Celts have strong siege units aswell since it’s not accurate historically (see Robert I castle destruction policy). This civ should be reworked into infantry and gunpowder civilization, specialized in raiding in the early ages (which they do fine with wood bonus and fast infantry) and gunpowder in later ages (imperial age). We know the scots used gunpowder in the early 14th century and started to use it a lot in the 15th century.

  • Chinese : too versatile and too easy to make army transitions. They also have a very strong eco.

Something from their tech tree should be removed like heavy camels, thumb ring, last cavalry armor upgrade. I don’t think they need a huge nerf, just something that’s relevant enough so it’s noticeable when you’re up against chinese.

  • Goths : Like Celts, Goths makes no sense.

Goths make sense as a middle age civ (wisigoth kingdom) but their units don’t. They have access to gunpowder units for example. They should be renamed into “Visigoths”, since even the civ emblem shows the devs probably thought about the Visigoths. The idea of swarming infantry is from antiquity when the Visigoths fought against the Roman Empire but the Visigoth kingdom in Iberia saw the beginning of feudalism.
I think This civ should remain infantry based with something related to raiding, but with a better cavalry. Some changes with the siege could also be on the table. I also don’t like their unique unit design but that’s for another discussion.

  • Huns : Huns don’t make much sense as well, they never were a middle age civilization.

They have access to paladins and halbs and I understand this on a balance perspective. Huns should be specialized in cavalry and cavalry archers with en emphasis on raiding, thus making tarkans more interesting than cavaliers. I don’t think they need much changes, probably a different imp unique tech.

  • Japanese : Now have access to bombard canon

It’s historically accurate and japanese really struggle against civs that have access to FU skirms or with better castle/imperial age. Having access to bbc could help a lot.

  • Mayans : either nerf eco or el dorado

reduce the 15% bonus to 10% or put it only for gold and stone and not for food and wood | OR | Nerf el dorado by increasing its price.

  • Persians : bring back the 5% tc production in dark age.

Persians are kinda weird, they have an interesting tech tree but they always end up losing to faster civs. Also their elephants are not suited for most 1v1 maps but they should remain unchanged. Maybe buffing the elephants speed and removing the imperial unique tech to something better would be interesting. Getting bracer could also be an option but it would make trashbows really strong.

  • Portuguese : technologies now cost 20% less gold in addition to researching 30% faster.

I don’t know for the percentage but I think it could make Portuguese interesting while not making them too strong

  • Saracens : Archer bonus against buildings should be removed.

I know this idea might not be popular but archers should never be able to pass through buildings. Before the new expansion came out I was thinking of giving them faster attacking camels but hindustanis have it now so 11. Saracens have a good tech tree but they’re not a top civ in land, water or hybrid maps. They’re too versatile and can struggle against specialized civs with a good eco bonus. Also their eco bonus is useful if you store resources which is not that good when you’re supposed to use them and you also need to have resources to sell in the first place and without an eco bonus it’s hard to use the market and not ruin your eco.
i’d like saracens to have another small eco bonus

  • Sicilians : 50% bonus reduction decreased to 25-35% | castles are built 50% faster instead of 100%

These changes should make sicilians cav a bit weaker against its counters and their castle drop a bit less strong. The sicilians is a very strong civ, not used that much because of the dominance of crossbows but underrated a lot.

  • Pathing issues : I think hitboxes are too big for most unit models. It results in weird pathfinding or units blocking themselves for nothing at all.

  • Laming : While its part of the game, i’m not a huge fan of laming, I think there are things that are more interesting than laming in this game. Maybe having 3 boars instead of 2 but with less food on each could be interesting. Laming would still be possible but a bit less punitive.

This sums up some of the changes i’d like to see. I like what the devs did with some civs, like changing useless unique techs to better ones (slavs, vietnamese). Some unique techs are still kinda useless like chinese, celts, spanish (castle age unique techs). I think we have enough civs for now, what i’d like to see is reworked civs.

To be honest I think the game should be redone from nothing to fix its performance and pathing problems, on a new game engine with better code, so maybe it would be possible to have a game with no game breaking bugs. Then it would take less time to maintain the game in a playable state and put more efforts into making it even better competitively.

Agreed, Eagles right now are just too strong.

Also Agreed, but the xbow and arbalest upgrades need to be more expensive.

Man, it isn’t the team bonus (otherwise why we don’t see Huns as a must have in every Arabia TG?)
Is their stupid range the gain combined with the other bonuses (sheep bonus + super cheap TCs) and ofc the team bonus, nerf the range, buff longbowman range, so if you want truly long ranged archers then go for castles and UU instead of just spamming arbalests, which lead to one sided match ups in TGs.

Man lots of things in this game don’t make sense for historical accuracy (see Mesos access to Onagers for example), Celts exceptionally strong siege weapons aren’t exactly accurate for their history, but is fun to play, Celts are fine.

First, nerf the cheaper techs bonus, is what makes them too strong in too many situations, something static like 10% or 15% cheaper techs and is fine. Also, nerf the Chu Ko Nu.

Goths need a better tech tree and that’s it.

Huns are already a strong civ for 2k players (shown in several tournaments where players go for cav archers), they don’t need more changes.

And that make them OP on Arena in conjunction with the fast attacking infantry + complete archery range.

Yes please! Mayans are just broken on open maps, but at the same time the archer discount + Plumes also need a nerf, the Archer discount is imo the most stupid discount in the game.

Persians need Mahouts removed and the speed buff given by default to Elite War Elephant, the dark age workrate is what made them OP long time ago and I highly doubt it will be back.

No, that will make them too strong on water maps (where they are already a top civ) and even on closed maps (where they are also stupid with the double castle organ gun thing).

I agree! this TB is completely ridiculous when paired with Ethiopians or Britons, esp for TG Arena, rather replace it with Cavalry Archers trained 25% faster, Saracens recover some cav archer identity that was lost when the archer bonus vs buildings was removed, while also being historically accurate.

Man, I would rather keep the bonus as is because is barely evidenced on archers, skirms or infantry, is only OP on Knights, but because of Hauberk + First crusade (Which I think the free serjeants have to be removed), I would just revert the Hauberk cost nerf, but remove Bloodlines (Cavaliers are still going to be strong vs archers, but much weaker vs other cavalry), in compensation increase the attack of Serjeant, give them Hussar and Thumb Ring.

About the 100% faster building castles, I think is indeed overpowered in some situations (check TheMax vs Vinchester KOTD 4 game).

The fact that you complained about three civs being out of the timeline suggests that the timeline actually starts earlier than you think it does.

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That’s something I’ve wondered, and apparently it’s for several reasons. Yes, it’s partly because Briton archers have other bonuses, but it’s also because archers rely on mass more, they are cheaper so 20% archer production > 20% kts production, and in a 3v3 there is 2 flanks but 1 pocket so obviously a flank TB will be an actual TB and not help just 1 player.

Tbh I think the chu ko nu gets too much hate. Yes it’s very good but so are the other archer UU as well. It just stands out because it’s on the better civ. Also Chinese arbs themselves aren’t bonused, so the civ already follows the design u want for Britons.

It should affect one other unit type (like say light cavalry) because otherwise it’s just a worse archery range TB.

It’s a gigantic nerf in castle age because even no BL civs can use the “outspam with more kts” approach to counter them while becoming problematic in imp again because the “market abuse to rush plate barding + hauberk” shenanigans become a thing again. And none of the counter buffs are enough.
They should probably make it so that serjeants can’t build donjons in feudal age so that they don’t have to make both the building and unit overpriced to prevent Inca 2.0 from happening.


Well yes, but at the same time there’s a line with other team bonuses (Goths, Huns, Celts), I think nerfing the TB is kinda going vs that line.

The problem is Chinese already have a wide tech tree with lots of options vs other things and on top of that they have that insane UU that’s too cheap and too easy to mass.

I pictured the team bonus like the Gurjara one (affects cav archer UUs).

But thats’ basically to nerf them in castle age too, their Knight rush is often quite annoying because pikes and camels barely work vs them, and that only continues to grow in Imperial with Hauberk+first crusade where Sicilian cavaliers get as the only viable counter heavy cavalry, and not all civs have such option, esp in 1v1.
And that basically makes Sicilians to be played only as a Knight civ, leaving Serjeants completely unused because of that.

Well my idea is leave feudal serjeants alone, but in castle age get 10 attack instead of 8, and the elite one gets 12 attack instead of 11 (Elite serjeant upgrade has to be reduced then), that makes up for their 35 gold cost and motivates players to mass them since feudal, so we finally see an infantry civ that uses the UU consistently.

or swap Magyars and Britons TB

but aren’t you asking for the tech bonus to be nerfed already?

But it affects two unit types, all the more reasons to make a similarly minded bonus like that.

Sure but then what’s the point of bonus damage protection if you’re not actually that protected and you get destroyed by everything that doesn’t need bonus damage.

Nothing is done about the fact that plan is 100% dying to mangonel + xbows (because donjons are worse than guard tower against mangos)


Personally I thought of 4-9 seconds, but whatever, a little bit more consistency with conversion times would be lovely. Never really thought of units having fixed conversion times, but definitely sounds interesting.

Yep, either that, or increasing the cost of the Xbow upgrade. Both could work well in my opinion.

I was thinking of reducing it to 10 or 15%, don’t have a good idea either of how it could be replaced.

I’d like to see Heavy Camel upgrade removed. But just reducing the technology bonus to a fixed 10% could work as well.

As you suggested, reducing the longer lasting resources to 10% is the way to go in my opinion.

As long as docks are not included in that bonus I’m fine with it.

Might be too strong on water, not sure about it. Maybe the research time could be reduced by 40 or even 50%. Another suggestion would be to make it 20% but include Age-ups.

25% would be too little I think. But something like 33 or 40% could be good.
On the other hand I would give them a litte buff for the Donjons by reducing the wood price from 75 to 50.

In addition to all that, there should also be some nerfs for Gurjaras (bonus damage, number of sheeps garissoned or tech tree) and Hindustanis (Ghulam or tech tree), as well as buffs to Dravidians (Redemption) and Bengalis (not sure what exactly, but basically they could need anything 11)

This is often overlooked by a lot of players. For 2v2, you can see Mayans is a good candidate over Britons but in 3v3 and 4v4, a Britons is almost a guaranteed pick because of their archer strength as well as their TB. Britons player got rekt by opponent in early game? No problem. Other flank has 50 xbow in 25 minutes to save your day. (Yeah I know over-exaggerate the numbers but you got the idea).

Kind of a lot of overlap with the other thread.

The whole thing about civs not being historically accurate is played out. Like, we get it, and it was probably a great point the first few times someone brought it up 20+ years ago, but people keep bringing it up like it’s some novel concept that demands radical civ redesign. It’s pretty clear that none of the old civs will ever be reworked to maximize historicity, and I struggle to see more than a couple changes that have ever been made primarily with that in mind, despite plenty of low-hanging fruit in that regard. Only one I can think of is Mercenaries → Corvinian Army, which is just a renaming with no effect on balance/gameplay. So renaming civs may be a possibility, especially for overly broad umbrella civs like Slavs and Celts. I would support motions for civs to become more historically accurate, there’s just no momentum behind it other than wishful thinking.