Feels like it will be better for Chinese to use it, for water map it is a bit awkward for the timing to build it.
Last patch increased scout cost also made chinese double scouts build harder to use.
Not a lot but a slightly buff make Chinese feel smoother to play.
So you want a even worse start? a IO definitely can’t compare with two village.
Chinese used to start with 50% more villagers than all other factions. 6 villagers instead of 4.
Then, everyone started with 6 villagers but Chinese didn’t start with 8, they also started with 6. To compensate for the nerf, they got +100 starting food which is still a nerf since 2 villagers can gather more than 100 food over the course of the game.
And then, the +100 starting food was removed aswell.
Go and check the post from Stress Test where pro players gave their impressions. Everyone said Chinese sucked and of course it did. They completely removed a core component of Chinese starting bonus without giving anything in return. Imagine Mongols without their Ovoo or French without faster villager production and cheaper tech.
Chinese should get their +2 starting villagers back. Look at the recent patches. Abbasids and Delhi got big buffs to Berry gather rate which is a huge change for their earlygame power. HRE finally got their Prelates bugfixed so they are an earlygame powerhouse aswell due to the 40% gather rate bonus, which is much stronger than the 20% from officials early on.
Well, when Chinese got +2 vills. Mongol had age2 knight and English has much stronger LB.
If you give +2 vills to chinese to could going to be too op now.
Important to note - the (pre-nerf) ovoo was only 2.5 villagers worth of increased resource production. So I agree with @NyanRacinCat that just straight up giving China 2 more starting vills would be OP.
I think 5 vills and an IO would be a pretty decent buff for China, tho that’s not the number one buff i want for China personally (that being a 25% landmark discount)
5 vil + IO wouldn’t really change that much but could be a nerf as well. 6 vil start + immediate IO production would allow IO to come out before the first food drop and immediately supervise for the bonus. Starting with 5 vil + IO wouldn’t change that but now you have the first drop to only be 5 vil so the IO would pretty much be staring at the mill construction and a couple of seconds of nothing. The only thing that is beneficial here is the extra 100 food saved from not building IO. In which case, could just give a discount for the first IO or china +100 extra food off the bat.
Better idea is to have china start with 6 vil AND 1 IO. Yes the IO would effectively be idle for 15-20s but that idle time is preferable to the current BO. It wouldn’t be completely OP bc it would take a few minutes to scale exponentially.
Secondly the only reason you can pop the first IO before first food drop is bc you inefficiently build the first mill with all your vills which doesn’t speed the build linearly therefore technically it’s a lost…(negligible).
Having the 6 villager build the mill and having the IO pop out in time to oversee the firsr drop is a net GAIN over having 1 villager build the mill and missing the oversight first by the IO. But starting with 6 and IO would obviously be superior.
Next buff IMO is to reduce the cost of dynasty by 10% BUT ALSO increase the landmark build for said dynasty by 100%! For example dropping the Imperial academy second would take 1 villager 47.5 seconds!! AND only cost 540 resources (360 food and 180 gold).
This would be extremely powerful BBQ of the sun drop. Currently the drop is effective but cost a billion villagers gathering seconds. Also goes hand and hand with defensive play.
Side note stone towers need to move to castle or take twice as long to build while in fedual.
Last suggestion that would be an extremely strong buff is to alllow Imperial officals to be qued from the Imperial academy (makes too much sense) AND have Imperial offical que time be reduced by song dynasty TC buff (when qued from TC). AND have a late castle upgrade or part of the yuan dynasty that allows 2 more IO to be made (for a total of 6!! )
I support adding an IO at the beginning.