Civ balance on arena, some civs might need a nerf here too

You all know that I am too vocal about nerfing civs that have too many advantages, but that ones mostly go to arabia balance, in arena, while the balance on arena is good, some civs still overperform here.

Bohemians

  • Gold Shaft Mining and Stone Shaft Mining aren’t free anymore, having all mining techs for free is way too much.
  • Move the University discount to Italians, I think Italians will benefit more of 75W universities than Bohemians.
  • Standard and Elite Hussite Wagon HP reduced to 180 and 220, so Mangonels are better vs them.
  • Houfnice AoE reduced.
  • Lose access to Siege Engineers

I think those changes are neccesary because all together makes them too strong on arena.

Poles

  • Obuch PA reduced to 1, +5 gold cost
  • Folwark now gets 5% of farms instead of 10%, but also allow to garrison up to 6 villagers.
  • Szlachta Privileges reworked, not sure how, but having semi-trash cavaliers and super powerful winged hussars is a flawed design, by the moment the player gets the opportunity, Winged Hussars are just left out in favour of cavaliers, which despite lacking armor, they are objectively stronger than Polish Winged Hussar, while the tech is fine on open maps, on arena I ve seen instances where spam of 30G cavaliers match halbs in numbers and beat cost effectively Elite Leitis and camels lol, that shouldn’t happen never.

Those changes should nerf their power on arena by a lot, while the folwark one could help them on arabia.

Turks

  • Castle age Jannisaries -1 range, Elite Jannissary gets same accuracy as hand cannon at 75%
  • Free LC and Hussar upgrades gone, replaced by Stable technologies gold cost removed.
  • Artillery cost raised to 650W and 500G.

While in arabia they are below average, on arena they are what mayans are on arabia, outright OP in the whole word, in castle age jannissaries outrange pretty much anything and their attack is really high, at least allow xbows, skirms and mangonels to do something vs them, If you are competent on arena you will know that having free LC and Hussar upgrades is huge, in castle age you get such power spike to get map control and contest relics, that alone puts you on a huge and massive advantage as LC is better vs spears, and that only continues to grow in Imp with free Hussar upgrade and the extra PA, replacing that with Stable technologies no longer costing gold nerf such supremacy but buffs them on arabia, especially when scout rushing into Knights, plus buffing them vs cavalry as they can tech quickly into heavy camel to offset the lack of pikes, balanced by the fact they lack paladin. and Artillery after buff also contributes to that supremacy on arena, this tech is way strong to be that cheap, and Turks have free chemistry.

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I generally agree on that Balance should also consider Arena. It is second most popular map which can deserve attention on balance.

For Turks, I think 8 range Castle age Jannisaries are iconic for Turks and I wouldn’t touch that identity.

I also think that Free LC and Hussar and +1PA on top of that would be too much. I would just remove free Hussar upgrade and only leaving free LC upgrade. It would nerf too strong Turks early imp powerspike.

Also reducing artillery cost several patches ago was inconsiderate considering how strong that tech is and how strong Turks on Arena. It is better to cost stone again but slight reduce cost than before (like 450G, 300 Stone)

Not sure about Poles, it has high winrate but not much preferred in high level Arena Play.

3 Likes

The thing is, 8 range for them is too much, people trash out conqs but they literally outrange everything in castle age, even skirms are pointless vs them and mangonels are useless.

Yea but only free LC feels just soo boring as civ bonus.

Nah the cost I proposed is expensive enough to keep the tech not too accesible as currently is.

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I like this post overall, well reasoned and demonstrated.

Bohemians
Gold/Stone Shaft Mining bonus is a desperate design by the developers, glad you suggest to remove it. And the discount they have for so many buildings is just a lazy messy design by the developers, Malians civ bonuses on steroids for no reason.
However I’m not sure I’d nerf Hussite Wagon this way, the HP is quite justified considering the high price and the low mobility, I’d rather either lower their armor to -2, or lower their hidden “Siege Armor” type to -15. How about that?

Poles
I dont like what you’ve done to Obuch, you’ve turned it into a generic Champion with a minor gimmick of lowering armor. They’re already too similar to Champs due to their awful movement speed unlike other Unique Infantries. Their talent of reducing armor is kinda bad design, it doesn’t really stand up by its own to identify the unit, you need some sort of diversity in stats as well, and that’s what they did with the very unique 2 PA. I also totally get their low gold cost, they’re meant to be a meat shield for a ranged unit if you want to fully utilize their “gimmick” rather than have a Champ. I think this unit just needs lower damage, from 8/10 (elite) to flat 8/8 (elite). (lowering the price of the elite tech accordingly from 800f 600g to 600f 400g) Though I totally get why they need to get nerfed.
I like the Folwark change, it takes them away from the pseudo Slavs area and bring playability to the table.
Regarding Szlachta Privileges, it’s arguably one of the worst designs in AOE II, as you said- it makes no sense especially considering they have such an amazing Hussars. It needs to be the other way around as many others have suggested here, instead of 60f 30g Knights (which still encourage an uninspired boom) it will turn into 15f 75g, which gives Poles the alternative to avoid the predictable boomy nature they currently have and go 1TC push with a lesser farming eco. (tech cost will be changed as well from 500f 300g to 250f 300g)
Let me know what you think of this one.

Turks
Jannisaries must have 8 range, that’s the core reason why this civ has no Elite Skirms nor Pikes. The power spike here is a wonderful feature, instead of sanding it down we have to see how we balance it differently. For example increasing the price of Jannisaries. Anyways 7 range Jannis murders any possible innovative play on Arabia, it will turn Turks into a generic Stable Civ with the option of going CA. (Huns, Magyar, Tatars…)

By the stats you’re showing these three definitely need to get some attention, that’s great that you brought it up.

2 Likes

I agree. All free mining techs seems a better version of Koreans and turk bonus in mid game. Only the first mining techs being free makes more sense.

I strongly agree with a HP nerf on hussite wagons. Strong vs castle units. Mangonels are pretty expensive in Castle age. Even knight cannot easily reach them as they have buffed pikeman.

This has been proposed several times but not implement. I guess devs are quite reluctant to give Italians any wood bonus which may be more impactful in water maps.

Agree. Obuch is strong vs melee units. Then it should be weaker vs archers.

I think removing free hussar upgrade is enough. No need to change Janissary 8 range. Otherwise, it will be a worse version of bohemians. Same atk and range as castle bohemian HC.

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But it always has been since the original AOE2. I would nerf their projectile speed again to make the opponent dodge the shot of Janissary.

Not boring considering it also tied with instant +1PA bonus. They have too much bonus on Light cav line and it should be adjusted. I think your solution can also be good, but I prefer not removing bonus from the original aoe2 entirely.

Just 200W more expensive than current state means nothing. I think its cost should be at least 450W 850G if it doesn’t cost stone. It still not expensive considering how strong that tech is.

I really like this one. I’d go for garrisoning up to 5 villagers instead of 6, since the Folwark gives 5 pop space.

Makes them a little bit weaker on Arena and makes farming around Folwarks safer (but not too safe) on open maps.

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I don’t think that nerf is elegant, just making them weaker in the area they are already weak, nerfing the HP means that Knights can do better, because 200HP is elephant tier resistance lol

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There is a pattern, latest civs are quite OP on arena by design, so the newer civs will dominate them even more, turks got overbuffed with the extra pierce armor on sc line and extra HP on HC, bullet speed oh and the UT cost changed to wood, but bohemians pretty much counter turks badly so it is only a matter of time for them to take the crown.

Also poles and their insane boom into obuch and then easy switch to cavalry spam is quite OP for the team games scene.

So i think arena and boom maps are a lost case, things wont change much until stronger civs arrive, i predict trash siege coming, some new range anti gundpowder unit(to counter turks and the rest of artillery units), some kind of ranged anti infantry unit, new fancy economic bonuses capable to overshadow burgundians and poles and if you wonder why those units, well the answer is pretty simple everyone wants to use the most powerful civs to counter the most popular ones so it is in fact an endless cycle that pushes more civs.

3 Likes

I’m fine with either of the options, this unit needs a nerf that’s for sure.

Hi, I appreciate that someone finally takes arena balance into consideration, since I only play random I have almost gave up playing the map since early 2021 due to bad balance changes/introduction of new broken civs for the map.

On the other hand, I think you went a bit too hard with the nerfs since none of these civs is exactly a powerhouse outside of arena.

I think what makes bohemians too strong on arena is the combination of cheap blacksmith + monastries and free gold shaft mining, and this is true not only on arena but even on other maps where FC is meta as you can see in WWC. Their ability to get insane castle age timings and then spam monks from 3-4 monastries for map control is just insane and very very hard to counter, so I think one between monastries discount and free gold shaft mining has to go.

On the other hand I disagree with university change. I don’t really see how does that really contribute to bohemians strenght on arena since i don’t see which of their builds actually requires to prioritize an university (except maybe fast imp builds that can be nerfed anyway if you remove gold shaft mining). On the other hand, prioritizing university is pretty crucial for bohemians on open maps.

About hussite wagons, I don’t think they’re that strong, they’re expensive and their damage output is pretty low for what you pay. The main issue I have with them is that monks can convert all their counters, and it’s an extremely easy transition with bohemians for the reasons explained above, but again I think this is more of a monk issue rather than a wagons issue.

I agree that janissaries need a rework, they’re just too good in early castle age and they completely lack counters in low eco scenario. In general if turks manage to drop a forward castle in early castle age, unless I somehow manage to expand I find extremely hard to do anything useful to stop the push, expecially since if I commit to castle/guard towers defence then turks are always going to have an edge in the imp race due to free chemistry.

I also think that artillery buff was a pretty bad idea and it should be reverted since right now the tech is extremely underpriced for what you get.

I disagree with the LC and hussars change though, there are quite some civs that, thanks to early game eco bonuses, can comfortaby compete on relic wars with turks just by going up earlier and using that timing advantage to get the LC tech.

About Poles, I don’t really have an opinion since I have not played them enough nor played against them on arena. I get the reasons behind the folwark change you’re asking for and it actually makes sense, but I personally like the current risk/reward mechanic and I don’t know how much it would help on arabia, since the nerf on the farming boost is pretty noticeable and it would make the option of dropping new folwarks in feudal on the back of the base a lot less appealing.
On the other hand, I agree with you that the access to both semi-trash knight line and winged hussars is not a good design, since they basically overlap in strength and weaknesses. My personal idea is that one of the two UTs has to be completely changed and replaced with something else, and I think it has to be the castle age UT.

2 Likes

So you want to nerf civs that already are bottom 10 on Arabia, to appeal a map that has less than 8% play rate in 1v1, ok ok, so let’s see for a second what you propose as compensation, as clearly no compensation would hurt even more their performances on other open maps, making them even worse overall.

Bohemians…nothing, just straight up nerfs.
Poles…garrison 6 pop in folwark, again nothing (Khmer houses can do the same, but it’s hardly relevant), again straight up nerfs.
Turks…760 extra gold spare, at the price of 650more food and 95 seconds research time, 10% more E.Janissary accuracy, this may be viable.

I can support your ideas about Turks, but I’m totally against your “nerfs only” policy for Bohemians and Poles.

Side note for devs, unrelated: please stop making civs without Thumb Ring.

2 Likes

Generally just looking at some winrates and proposing a nerf without giving an explanation why these civs would be strong gameplay wise is a bad idea.

Best example poles. The civ simply isn’t op on arena. If you wanna nerf poles you first need to nerf teutons or malay as these are better here just more difficult to execute. In my experience why poles have a high winrate on arena is mostly bc people don’t know how to play against them. Like 50% of the time when I play poles here people try a forward castle drop vs me and that doesn’t make any sense. Poles basically get a castle without eco sacrifice as you usually put 3 vils on stone instead of going to gold as part of your BO. This means you get the stone for your castle shortly after. Then you can even get second tc and with folkward match your opponents fast imp time with way better eco. In short poles might be the single best civ for defending forward castle. Other than that the civ hasn’t anything out of the ordinary going for them. If you just boom vs poles a lot of civs will have better army comps to abuse their weaknesses. Really no need to nerf them. Winrates just reflect that people haven’t figured out how to play vs them.

And turks and bohemians are strong but not op. They also have weaknesses that you can take advantage of if you play properly.

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I agree on Poles but not Turks/Bohemians. Which weakness you can take advantage? Turks have no pike/no skirms with weakness against archer before buff. But it is no longer the case after free +1PA for light Cav buff. I think at least free Hussar upgrade should take away to nerf too huge early imp power spike. Also, Artillery cost reduction was huge mistake and it should be reverted.
Maybe weakness against halb+ seige ram is the only weakness Turks have in closed map but not all civ have this composition and even Turks have their own seige ram.

For Bohemians, lack of good cavalry (especially underwhelming light cav) is their weakness in late game but it is hard to survive before that point. I think this civ is too focused on intentionally OP on Arena with huge discount on building combined with free mining, and little bonus until Feudal to help them in open map. I would take away their monastery discount entirely and replace with Barrack discount to help their early eco and drush in open map.

So there is basically two ways to play turks on arena. First is to go castle age aggression with jannis. That strat is incredibly strong but also dependent on making dmg early enough. No matter how you do it forward castle drop is always a risk and can denied. Castle at home is safer but has less dmg potential. So while turks has the best castle UU play in the game bc of those reasons I don’t think it’s op.

Second strat is light cav for map control and relics and boom behind. Later on usually cav archer, hussar and bbc comp. The free light cav upgrade is great for map control but other civs have better eco so at this point no issue at all. The hussar, ca and bbc comp is extremely difficult to counter but also takes quite some time to get into. This leaves opponent time window in early imp despite the free upgrades you get as turks. Halb siege ram is very good as you mentioned. Turks will have to choose if they open hussar or cav archer. Both at the same time won’t work. And while in early imp arb still beats ca, halbs beat hussar. And halb siege ram can actually beat both if well timed. Also you get faster to arb halb compared to hussar ca.

So while most archer civs have a terrible match up long term vs turks in early imp they usually have a time window. I’d agree that turks is incredibly strong but I don’t find it uncounterable especially because you don’t get these cav units on arena to use their mobility but to have higher dmg output and tankiness as turks. So there is usually a point when the zransition into your desired comp feels somewhat awkward. Having insta bbc might help here but a good castle placement by your opponent and the right army choice still can overwhelm turks before they have their units out in good numbers.

As to the cheap monasteries I kinda agree. I wouldn’t take it away entirely bc then the supposedly monk civ is left with pretty generic monk rush aside from having faster gold income and all necessary upgrades. But reducing the bonus a bit seems plausible.

Aside from that bohemians have an incredibly deadly late game comp which is hard to counter for many civs. If you get there especially most archer civs straight up die. But as with turks getting there takes time. Elite wagons and houfnice upgrades are super expensive and can make them vulnerable to early imp arb siege push. Also their army is super slow so even on arena you can take advantage of that. And while theor free eco techs a great in late castle age and imp other civs can get their eco rolling earlier. Lastly their units do have counters. Like if you play wagons and halbs infantry and siege ram works well. Yes you do have great hc as bohemians but the issue oftentimes is getting them out in time. And if you go hc halb you’ll vulnerable to arbs until you get wagons or lots of hofnice in safe position which again takes time. So similarly to turks you can beat bohemians by making the correct units at the right time bc you probably will need less resources than them.

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Thanks for nice analysis. You know how to play Arena quite well, and can understand how strong those civs are. But I don’t support idea that those civ shouldn’t nerf.

Turks have so much free upgrade on Hussar/ chemistry which make them quite easy to get this composition. Also in early imp Turks usually have map control and can pressure opponents with instant BBC. The weakness of hard to getting those compositions aren’t really there.
That is why I propose take away free Hussar upgrade which give too much boost in early imp. Other civ have to get Halberdier by costing 300F 600G which is not cheap in early imp. instant +1PA and free LC is strong enough.

That is why artillery cost should be increased again. Instant BBC with 100HP itself is strong enough and should not be that easy to get 14 range BBC to take down all enemy castle.

Trash monk UT is unique enough for monk civ and their monk rush can be viable after monastery discount taken away because they also have free mining tech. That is why I propose to remove that bonus entirely. They have strong options in Arena such as Wagon, Houfnice, Castle age HC etc and they don’t need to be best monk civ on top of that.
Btw, I think this civ relatively OK compared to Turks. Agree on rest of the points.

2 Likes

Whilst I agree that these Civs (and Spanish btw) could use a nerf on Arena, they also need some kind of buff on arabia/open maps in the exchange. Also the nerfs need to be very well adressed.
Like the Turks light cav is also very useful on open maps, therefore i wouldn’t touch it.

Also the proposed nerfs are way too much. I know it is tempting to nerf all the “annoying things” but a lot of these can often be reduced to single nerfs, as they are just indirect consequences. Especially with Poles and Bohemians. They have both insanely strong eco bonusses that are especially useful on arena. A single, well-targeted adjustment there can do a lot already.
For Poles, the Folwark is one of these things. IMO there can be done a lot, like reducing the amount, increasing the range and adding protection. But if there should be added garrison space it must be at least 8 (better 10) as you can fit 8 farms around it. If it’s only 5 garrison space, 3 vills are doomed, which is silly.

Bohemians should be quite easy aswell as it is indeed mostly the free mining upgrades that make them so strong on arena. If this is nerfed, hussite wagons become less strong naturally (not that they are really op currently imo). I hope to see an adjustment for the HC line in the next future, then bohemians hopefully get stronger on open maps aswell, as HC can work better in smaller groups than archers (i.e. can herass from more multiple angles).

Turks is a bit more complicated indeed. One weird Idea is to remove Atonement from their tech tree. But it could possibly work. In the exchange their camels could deal 25 % more bonus damage.

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Turks dont have siege engineers to buff their bbc so cheaper artillery UT is not a direct buff for them. +2 range in fact is just +1 range for bbc, and the current price is good. UT which costs stone is outdated stuff, it makes sense when it just costs gold and wood.

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Instant chemistry and more HP on BBC is strong enough compared to other civs regardless of Seige Engineers and artillery don’t need to be research that easy. Also it benefit BBT which can outrange enemy BBC.
Cranellation still cost stone and UT tied to Tower/Castle make sense to cost stone. If it doesn’t cost stone, it need more gold cost to balance strong effects.

I really wouldnt like those changes. Are to extreme for civs that, yes are strong on arena, but are below average in arabia and open maps. Bohemians without their mining bonus or a nerf to the folwark for Poles would delete their only eco bonuses, and that would make them terrible in open maps.