I’m pretty sure most of us will agree that Portuguese is the weakest civ in the game right now considering all types of game settings (maps, 1v1 or TG, EW or DM or Standard start etc). Personally I want them as strong as Italians (and Japanese and Vikings but they are actually top tier civs for hybrid maps and usually Italians is considered to be ahead of these two in pure water maps). My propose balance change for them is -
Team Bonus : Mill/Lumber Camp/Mining camp and/or Dock provides +5 pop space in addition to/replacing free cartography.
Civ Bonus : Get “War Galley” upgrade for free as a new civ bonus.
Tech Tree : Get Shipwright.
I’ve thought about various possible buffs for them and found a lot others at different places (forum,wiki comment,reddit). Here I made a list -
1.Start with +150 wood
2.All resource +25 at the start - extra food,wood is always good and with extra gold and gold discount they can do a better drush. Also they will be the 3rd civ that can build a tower and a TC with the starting stone.
3.Get +50 all resources whenever age up.
4.Get 1/2/3 free villager when age up to Feudal/Castle/Imperial age.
5.Get 1 free villager when a new TC is built.
6.Get 1 free Fishing Ship when a new Dock is built - Too strong bonus tbh.
7.Free Gillnets/Careening/Dry Dock
8.20%/25%/30% cheaper blacksmith techs - would not help them much imo.
9.No need to research Chemistry to unlock Gunpowder - very similar to Turks,don’t like it.
10.No need to research “Cannon Galleon” tech to unlock Cannon galleon
11.TC techs are 50% cheaper
12.Economy units (Villagers, Fishing Ships, Trade Carts and Trade Cogs) train 10% (needs 10% less time) - Opposite of Aztecs.
13.Military buildings(Barracks,AR,Stable,SW) are 20% cheaper
14.Fishing Ship +5 carry capacity
15.TCs are 25%/30% cheaper in Castle/Imperial age - I think this does not go with the civ that much.
If you have read all of these please know that I’m aware that a lot of players have been fed up with all the new balances every single months because no matter what balance change is happened, it will never satisfy everyone. As everyone says, “Balance change is happened only if it is needed” and I do believe that Portuguese needs a buff. Currently there are literally three civs are preferred as top tier for pure water maps. If Portuguese become one of the top tier water map civ, it will make the water map games more competitive and enjoyable.
Edit : Now I think about it, only one new civ bonus - Mill/Lumber Camp/Mining camp and Dock provides +5 pop space…might be enough for them. Kinda feel like the combination of Vikings TG and half of Japanese CB but in different way. Definitely a great boost for early water game.Even a decent eco bonus for pure land map. Fletching and Bodkin (Not Bracer though but does not require blacksmith) can also work. A good bonus for galley rush in water map or archer rush in land map.
I like this, but only for Dock. Nice thing on Islands where is little place. And will be in water-civ theme.
I will also dont give them Shipwright, but give them faster creation of ships instead, like 15-20%.
Also Gold discount to 20%
And buff to Organ Guns, maybe faster RoF.
On non-water, Portuguese are the most boring civ in the game. (In my opinion)
I’d be in favour of any change which makes Portuguese land military more interesting, and of all the options you list only “1. Start with +150 wood” does that.
However I don’t want Portugese water buffed. They’re already really good on islands. Italian & Viking water should be nerfed instead. And “1. Start with +150 wood” looks like a terrific water boost.
So; yes up for a buff, but none of the above.
(Ideally we could end up with Italians, Vikings, Berbers, Portuguese, Koreans, Japanese, Saracens, Byzantines, and any civ with a complete water tech tree all viable on water maps.)
TBH I can see why the devs have a problem. I can’t come up with an interesting buff either. The only point of interest to Portuguese is lacking squires, but good luck doing something interesting with that…
I would like to see a organ buff, in order to make the combo halabs+OG the way to go. As intended originally.
Another option is a university buff: university and university tech are cheaper (30 or 40%) and can research UTs. This allows cheap ballistics, SE, and chemistry. Also a consistent water buff since they can research the ut there.
1.Getting Squires will help but not that much.
2.Gold discount and feitoria will not cut it. Feitoria has been buffed a lot and still very very situational.
3.Organ Gun is a decent UU now since their spread attack has been increased to 2 from 1. In fact I would rather suggest reduce attack by 2 for the Elite version. But Portuguese is not a strong civ to begin with and this nerf will hurt them badly. So I’ll keep OG as it is now.
The problem with Portuguese and Italians is that they have a decent late game. Which does not need a huge buff (except for their UUs). For Koreans is slightly different since their late game is huge, so if they are weaker in the early stages is more acceptable.
So, for both I would say that some modest early game bonus is needed to compensate their terrible early game.
For Italians I see that the free armor for archers is very requested by the community, but for Portuguese I see a more confused situation.
Portos may benefit from the university discount (both in land and water).
Another option is 50% TC tech for free gold drush. I would add: TC techs are 50% cheaper and researched 50% faster. This is 1.5 vill advantage after wheelbarrow. So a cool buff in the early stages.