Civ Tweaks - Round FIVE THOUSAND!

It’s that time again; the patch has been out for a bit, and while most civs are doing broadly well, there are a few that could use some tweaking. I love theorycrafting this sort of thing, and my goal is to fix them in as small and simple a change as possible, so here we go.

  1. Sicilians

Sicilians are probably the most unbalanced civ in the meta right now. They are, hilariously, basically overpowered at >1000 ELO, firmly holding the top rating, but simultaneously the WORST civ at high elos by a pretty wide margin. They need to be moved up at high elos, but simultaneously moved down at lower elos.

  • Change 1: Donjon now costs 100W, 175S, instead of 75W, 175S. This will slow down the noob krepost rush a bit, and make it a bit harder to pull off, as well as not trading as well with towers, at least at first.

But what? Starting with a nerf? Well, yeah, you’ve gotta solve that problem at low elos or they’ll become unbearable at high elos.

  • Change 2: Villagers can now turn in resources at Donjons.

They still won’t be able to research eco techs at them, but this will allow players to double up defensively, but NOT offensively, and make Donjons a far more viable choice around the base, and even around the map for collecting resources aggressively.

  • Change 3: Donjons can be built in the dark age, and count as a barracks for aging up, but cannot fire any arrows in the dark age.

This change will dramatically smooth out the sicilian dark age. Since players can just build a donjon to age up, they can get their defenses in order much faster, and be prepared for enemy attacks when they come.

The net result is that the sicilian dark age and feudal age will be dramatically easier to defend, but their offensive ability will be (moderately) weakened. This will make them far better at actually taking advantage of their farming bonus, and getting to use it. At 1900+, they actually do have a climbing winrate curve, it’s just that they start too low to do anything with it.

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  1. Dravidians

There was a great game today by MBL, who was playing Dravidians into Byzantines. He did fantastically, right up until he ran into about 3 knights, which cleaned out his skirms and then he lost the game.

But, I don’t actually think the knights are the heart of the problem here. The real problem is that they can’t use their elephant units early on, due to a weakness to monks, which means they’re stuck on a pike/skirm comp in early castle age. Their siege strengths are likewise countered by monks; the whole civ is completely shut down, merely by threat of monks.

So by solving the monk problem, we can facilitate all other parts of their kit. I have two propositions to solve this issue.

  • Skirmishers and Elephant Archers fire 25% faster → Skirmishers and Elephant Archers fire 25% faster and deal +2 damage to monks.

What does this do? It takes their existing gameplay and directly pivots it into elephants and siege. Elephants will still be vulnerable to monks, but now will take 3 shots to kill a monk, rather than 2. Skirms will now take 5 shots to kill them instead of 6, making it far more likely to get a lucky kill, rather than a near miss that gets healed back to full.

Alternatively:

  • Dravidians receive free Atonement.

This might be too powerful. It would also fix the monk problem early on, allowing dravidian monks a decisive advantage on entering castle age, but perhaps that’s what’s needed.

  1. Bulgarians

Bulgarians greatest weakness tends to be around early imperial age. They often go for early Kreposts, trying to rush down their enemy before they can get to imperial. Unfortunately, the enemy often DOES get to imperial, and since Kreposts can’t make trebuchets, all the offensive kreposts immediately die and then they lose the game. While they actually win over 60% of games that end in the first half hour, they can rarely seal the deal.

Their lategame is actually quite decent however, most notably with Stirrups. What they need is a way to gain a bit more momentum, to push them through to the late imperial age.

With that in mind, I think they should get a bonus similar to the Spanish:

  • Receive +20 Stone per technology researched.

By the time they get to the castle age, they’ll generally have researched 4-6 technologies, and gained a free ~100 stone, putting them just ~ 150 away from their first krepost. And as the game goes on, and they research more techs, they’ll probably get a second free Krepost, as well.

If they start getting pushed back, they’ll start researching counter techs, and get more stone, allowing more defenses and helping them to get castles to build more trebs to counter the attacker. And when they research siege upgrades in imperial age, that too will help them with more stone.

I think it’s important to note that this shouldn’t help their aggression with the kreposts terribly much. Being able to put down one more krepost will probably not have a massive impact on their early offensive power unless their existing kreposts were poorly placed. And a few hundred extra stone is going to be least impactful at lower elos that tend to be floating plenty of resources anyway, while being most impactful at higher elos that value every bit of stone highly.

This should help them survive longer, and get to their lategame power more consistently.

  1. Burgundians

Another poorly-performing civ at the moment is the Bugundians, not the least because they basically don’t have an imperial age tech at the moment. Flemish Revolution was a flawed idea that proved almost impossible to balance; before it was completely overpowered, but now it’s basically useless. Their Unique Unit, too, is very rarely seen at the moment.

Flemish Revolution is the big one, though. The big issue is that it’s either a game-winner, or a game-loser. There is no middle ground, when you get it you lose all your villagers and so if you don’t seal the deal then and there, you’ve basically lost your entire eco and paid to do it.

With that in mind, I’d like to actually revert some of the previous changes, and make the tech more powerful - but limited.

  • Flemish Revolution price reduced by 50%.
  • Flemish Revolution now lasts for 5 minutes, and Flemish Militia revert to Villagers.
  • Villagers built 100% faster.

This will change the tech from a game-winner or game-loser, to a brief onslaught to be survived. You don’t need to last forever, just hold on until it wears off and you can rebuild and attack. Meanwhile, the other player now has a bunch of forward villagers to deal with, but he hasn’t lost his entire economy. He can also replenish his lost villagers much more rapidly.

  1. Minor Tweaks

The rest of the civs are broadly in a pretty good state, but here are a few minor tweaks to some under-performing parts of the game.

  • Vietnamese - Chatras

Chatras is probably one of the more mediocre elephant techs out there. I can’t remember the last time I saw a vietnamese battle elephant.

  • Battle Elephants +100 HP → Battle Elephants +100 HP, all existing elephants healed to full.

This should encourage a bit more early elephant play.

  • Britons - Yeomen

While very good for foot archers, it’s very mediocre for the towers, especially given the cost. Svan Towers offers vastly better performance for a much lower cost.

  • +1 Foot Archer Range & +2 Tower Damage → +1 Foot Archer Range and +4 Tower Damage.

  • Aztecs - Jaguar Warriors

Probably the worst UU in the game right now. For context, Japanese Samurai beat Dravidian Urumi Swordsmen 1v1. Jaguar Warriors lose that fight. So even in their theoretical wheelhouse, Jaguar Warriors are bad. Any other time in history you couldn’t get away with buffing them, but recently they’ve seen enough nerfs they’re solidly a B-level civilization at almost all elos, so now is the perfect time.

  • Jaguar Warriors gain +1 attack per killing blow, with a max of +4. Garland Wars increases this limit by a further +4, to a maximum of +8.

This will make them need to be babied at first, but if you can use them to kill enough weak units and then heal them up, you’ll have an incredibly powerful unit - but one still completely weak to ranged units and siege.


That’s it! Really, it’s a remarkably short list, and the current state of civ balance is remarkably good. Just a few more little things, and we’ll be golden!

2 Likes

Sicilians:

I disagree with you. Making the dongeon cost +25w (up to 100w 175s) while making it a gather point is a very strong offensive bonus is the sense that it incites to go tower rushing, as your villagers can directly gather resources after each tower, so it is like the dongeon costs 175s only, while Sicilians start with 300s.

I feel it is better if the tower rushes are bad whenever your opponent isnt going super greedy (so tower rushes as a situational tactic), and if the perk of the Sicilians is to not need villagers anymore after the first tower (as sergeant continue the job).

Dravidians:

I accepted the fact that Dravidians are designed as one of the hardest civs to play, as they lack knights and have two rather high elo oriented civ bonus, namely wood per age and cheaper siege. Wood per age can be abused at high level way way more than at low to mid elo, and siege discount is designed more for mangonel usage.

I think non Malay non-siege elephants shouldnt be meta in castle age.

Free atonment sounds weird as they miss many monadtery techs, but I would welcome the idea.

Bengalis are a civ fighting off lack of knights with better monks. For Dravidians, I would either buff their monks, or give something like range unit deal +1 damage against cavalry units, or they get -2 damage from cavalry units (xbows & skirms die in 5 hits instead of 4).

Bulgarians:

I first want to point out that they are good out of high elo.

To put perspective to your idea, +20s/tech means a little more +2 free castle once you most techs, and at least +1 castle in early imperial. You usually start around 3150s, which is enough for 4 to 5 castles.

This is a quite strong bonus. Together with cheaper blacksmith techs, in early castle age, you can easily have 4 blacksmith techs + loom/wheelbarrow + 2 wood techs + 2 farm techs + 1 gold tech + bloodline = 240 stone, so you have nearly enough stone for a krepost and 2 TCs without doing anything. Other civs usually got their own ~400 resources bonus by that time, but you also have over 200f from blacksmith techs and +100s if you make 2 TCs afterward.

That is a lot for a civ that is good at low to mid elo, but probably not so crazy for high elo.

I think it might be too much without nerfing somewhere, or at least scale down the bonus.

Anyways, Bulgarians got several topics just for themselves as the civ in its state is hard to balance between low, mid and high elo.

Burgundian:

I dont like Flemush revolution and think it should be replaced. Anyways, the civ is still very strong in clised maps, and the UT has no impact on open map. So your change sounda pointless.

Vietnamese:

They are “alloed” to not have the best elephants,no shame in that. Their elephants are still strong on longlasting team games.
I think no change is needed.

Aztecs:

I hate designs where the same unit deal different amount of damage.
The unit isnt the worst (I still favor teutonic knights in that regard) and has its niche uses (easy switch against huskarls, karabits, ghulams, etc)

Another problem with your changes is that people will still ask for milicia buffs anyways, and the main reason Jaguars are underused is that champions/LS are underused.

If you want to give it love, I would rather make it a more late game unit by making it cost more food and less gold (ex. from 60f30g to 75f,15g), or give it more melee armor (ex from 2 to 4).

4 Likes

True, but only if you’re building it with villagers, and next to a resource. That creates innate vulnerability and actually weakens all-in donjon rushes, since only a few of them will actually provide that benefit. And, of course, having forward villagers offers significant vulnerabilities, as well.

The main place where this will help is actually with farms, where you need the most protection. In terms of aggression, just needing an extra 25 wood to get started will slow down the initial rush enough that I think it will dramatically weaken the OP low level donjon rush.

I don’t think ANYTHING shouldn’t be meta in some cases if they’re available. If they weren’t meant to be used in castle age, we wouldn’t have them in castle age.

Sure - but they also sacrifice a huge amount of their stone building Kreposts, which cannot build trebuchets. This just makes up the difference.

Much the contrary, I think it has the most potential in open maps, where your enemy needs to quickly wall up and defend. It’s just suicide at the moment, which this would help resolve.

It’s not the elephants, it’s the technology. This change would make it more valuable in short 1v1 games without changing the balance in long team games, making it better overall without breaking the balance.

NGL, that seems like a bad reason to not like a change. Units with changing stats is a great and under-utilized option in the game right now.

The objective here is to differentiate them from the Militia line. The biggest problem right now is that there is very little the jag can do the militia line can’t do better and cheaper, given Garland Wars also effects them. This change would allow Jags to fill a completely different niche.

Changing the cost would just make it compete MORE with the militia line, so you’d either make all jags or all militia, which is bad design. Far better to make each one have a niche in which they’re good. Which, to be fair, is already the case - it’s just that the jag niche is far too small and poorly-performing. This change would allow you to use them in their intended niche, THEN in other niches, but also encourage using them TOGETHER with champions or other units, as a meat shield to protect your highly-valuable jaguar warriors.

Thus creating unit diversity.

Just give Knights (without any upgrades) to Dravidians. It will not only fix their castle age mobility problem but also make them the only civ with Ele Archer + Knights combo which will be unique. The Unupgraded knights will be still viable with Wootz tech.

1 Like

For sicilians, I dont think Donjona should be built in dark age when you pair up with several boni. I don’t think Donjon as resource gather point alone is op as it can be offset by tower buff. But if built in dark age, donjon cannot be offset by towers then.

Imagine Sicilians player click age up and build Donjon at your berries or woodlines. Once they reach feudal, you have no measure to counter it properly. Building towers cost 80s. Just revert dmg resistance to 50% is good enough for scout rush and knight rush but just nerf hauberk pierce armor. It is simple but effective.

Foe Draviadians and Bulgarians, buff militia-line. I wonder whether changing militia food to wood cost will be suitable. Plus, elephant UT arent really very relevant in castle age. Swapping dravidians UT will make more sense

I think most forward tower are supposed to be put behind the opponent wood line.

Sure, it could be used late castle age when you have a good enough food eco. Which can happen if you are stuck in castle age due to long fights where you cannot save up the imperial age resources for a long time

But in the context of aoe2, slow units with a high food cost (such as elephants and LS) are very hard to afford with low economy.
food horse units such as knights, light cav, conqs are fine because they can do their thing quickly (killing skirms, vils, monks) and run away when in danger.

By the way, it shoyld be very obvious that not every unit has the same level of viability.

No, it doesnt matter, a free krepost is a free krepost.

You talk like you put one krepost in the front of your base then ADK boom. This is not the playstyle to balance the game around, as higher level players will play way better than that.

You seem fixated on trebs. But then again, I think you missread the game and how kreposts should be used. You can dive trebs. Given you have a free krepost and, say 5 konniks ready to dive, how the hell does your opponents got an expensive castle, one or two trebs, and enough army to prevent the dive ?? Either you are afk booming, or you are hard loosing the game.
And by the way, kreposts have less range than castles. If your opponent is 650s ahead of you, he can kill your krepost by building hus castle 10 tiles away from your krepost. In castle age.

Kreposts can be build as anti raiding buildings in your base, thanks to high dps. They can also be placed at aggressive locations, especially on the opponent TCs. When you start a krepost at an opponent TC, he has to either overcommit with a castle or army (then you pressure elsewhere) or to leave with his villagers.

And by the way, the problems Bulgarians mains face at your level (and at mine) doesnt matter. The civ is fine at our level. It is only a talk about pro level.

But forget what I say about the usage of krepost. You as bulgarians should just not use krepost, and make castle instead. With the change you propose, by the end of castle age, you can nearly afford a castle without mining stone by playing the stardard/meta skirms+knights play. Then you can make trebs as well.

We shouldnt balance an imperial age UT to make a bad open map civ viable on open maps.
Like, how does it even look like ? Lots of open maps games are supposed to be decided in the feudaland castle age plays…
So you imagine that in most games as Burgundians, you are nearly dead up imperial age while managing to invest into a castle, and the UT put the game back in your favor without being an instant win ?

Elephants start to get viable when you have a big eco, and can pair the unit with something strong against monks and pikes (easy hard counters), and while ensuring yoy are well defended against raids.

Elephants based techs arent supposed to be meaningful on short open map games, just like the siege onager tech.

NGL, that sound like a horrible reason to want a change. Then you will ask for Warcraft3 style heroes with levels, bevause its great and all, then invisible units because why not, then politicians on aging up because they do it in other games, etc…

I have my likings in game designs just like you can have yours…

No, it would just make them a better Champions, faster, tougher and with more damage.

There are many other ways to differenciate two infantry units, and I like other ways way more. That’s it.

1 Like
  1. Sicilians:

It’s OK not to encourage low elo players to go youpudding, but I worry about making Donjons less conducive to a trade with the Towers. I remember that Sicilians were particularly weak against tower rush in the past because they couldn’t trade properly. On the other hand, allowing Donjons to store resources is more helpful for low elo players than high elo players. I don’t mind spending an extra 25 wood before Donjons are built when I can save 100 wood directly for the villagers I sent to your base when Donjons are built. I think these adjustments will not help you achieve your goals.

Not allowing Spearmen to be trained at Donjons is an option in my opinion. This means that going youpudding will face a greater threat from Scout Cavalry, which is much trickier to deal with at low elos. When Donjons can be built in the Dark Age, it has the additional effect of prompting the player to seriously consider whether to build a Donjon or a Barrack, otherwise the Donjon may most likely always replace the Barrack in the open maps.

If we still need different units in Donjons than Serjeants, I’d personally go with Rams and/or Siege Towers. They often cannot be used well at low elos, but their potential is more likely to be fully utilized at high elos. A good player may need to build only a Donjon outside the walls, and then can continue to send Serjeants into the opponent’s base to raid and build more Donjons.

By the way, I would do two more things for Sicilians:

  • Changed farm bonus to last +33%.
  • The price of First Crusade changed to be determined by the type and quantity of spawned units, so there is no longer a quantity limit on units.
  1. Dravidians:

Free Atonement is clearly a better option than the other one, even though it may still take time to research if people think directly enabling is too strong. Also I would make the siege weapon discounts part of the UTs to avoid monk siege rush becoming too strong, and discount gold instead of wood.

The problem of BEs and EAs not being suitable in Castle Age is global. Even though Malay’s bonus to cost is the most immediate buff it’s not very effective enough to make them viable. You can’t reverse this phenomenon with a small bonus unless the bonus is big enough, but once the bonus is too big it is very easy to be broken. I also don’t like the net gain of their EAs. Their EAs are very strong in the late game, and the bonus against monks makes them stronger at that time.

  1. Bulgarians:

Receiving stone is actually very powerful. It almost allows you to have one more Tower shortly after hitting the Feudal. When you consider that the early Imperial is when the civ weak, this bonus actually buffs the more earlier games. As others have said, there is a risk of being broken.

I always think that making University techs cost no wood would be a sufficient and mild buff. This makes the Ballistics and the Architecture line easier to access, pretty helpful when they are forced to use ranged units in the early Castle age and also beneficial when they are actively building towers and Kreposts. Easier access to the Siege Engineers also naturally encourages them to utilize more siege weapons.

  1. Burgundians:

Having FM turn back into a villager is seriously troubling. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if such a large number of units suddenly lose combat effectiveness on the front line and have to be controlled one by one to return to their positions of gathering resources?

I can understand your desire to keep the economy from being severely disrupted by FR. I would say it’s fine to just try making villagers build faster first.

I still have seen them. What I really haven’t seen is Malay Harbors.

Villagers turning into Donjons is not much of a buff. Its still a hefty price to pay for some protection, not worth it.

It doesn’t give any extra resources, it costs a lot more, takes almost 2x the time as barracks and most importantly your stone is gone. So this isn’t much of a buff.
The ability to build in dark age is quite decent but wouldn’t achieve your desired effect of buffing them at higher elos. Its still going to bring some cheesy things at lower elos without doing much at higher elos.

If Donjon-serjeant-donjon rush is too powerful at lower elos, the right thing to nerf is the build time of Donjons from Serjeants in feudal and castle ages, training time of Serjeants in feudal age. Maybe Donjons take twice as long to get built by Serjeants but First crusade restores to current value in castle age. And to buff for higher elos, you’d have to either improve ranged unit play with some benefit to it, restore the resistance bonus to 50% or make them a bit faster with economy in some way.

I think every day you watch a game and conclude something so incorrect about Dravidians without realizing its just a particular situation and matchup. I didn’t watch the game but his opponent probably didn’t do much knights because Byz lack bloodlines and it will be low value for cost. And that’s the same reason why Elephants are NEVER played even with civs that have a stack of bonuses on them. Making 1 or 2 Elephants like those 3 knights sure. But not more than that and a bonus damage against monks while good, does NOT address the mobility and weakness to knight-skirm or knight-monk-mangonel plays.

This is actually quite decent in some situations and could be a nice change. Its never overpowered because most civs are not going to do a heavy amount of monks against Dravidians and even if they do, those civs get fervor and can run their monks away before their atonement kicks in and snipe the Dravidian monks.

Their biggest weakness is early castle age. Again this is just a consequence of negligible eco benefits, long feudal age play being suboptimal.

This is an amazing change. It can improve their ability to punish greedy feudal age plays or mind game into faster castle into quick Krepost drop. I think this is perfect. I would also change their bonus of blacksmith and siege workshop techs costing -50% overall instead of just -50% food.

I think its mainly because their close alternative Monaspas are more popular but otherwise Coustillier are still quite a good unit.

That’s still a gimmick. I think their eco discount should revert back to 40%, flemish rev should be replaced with a tech that improves coustillier.

Quite decent for some megarandom team games.

Nope. They should actually get no benefit on towers. The civ bonus should change to just +1 range in castle age and Yeomen should give Longbows alone +2 range. And the cost should be reduced.

This is not how you judge a unit. Jaguars vs urumi or samurai vs urumi are just a very situational fight even in those civ matchups. In general, Jaguars are bad because Jaguars get 6 p.armor in imp and have 20 damage, 75 hp while Militia line for Aztecs isn’t that far away. Sure you would kill some infantry a tad bit faster but that’s not enough value to justify 15 extra food and 10 extra gold cost and all the castles. To buff them you’d either have to make them cheaper or give them +15 hp or +3 base attack so that they add significant value over their militia line. Another way to buff them is remove champion benefitting from garland wars, make the upgrade a bit cheaper.
Btw, by far urumis are the worst unique unit in the game. A castle unit with 0 p.armor, no range, moderate speed, subpar hp and costs a lot of resources - extremely terrible unit.

1 Like

Just not gonna happen, same as Meso civs never getting knights. It’s a theme thing.


The first one, sure. But that’s not where the big strength of the rush comes in. It largely has to do with the invulnerability of Serjeants and the ability to spam donjons across their base until they can’t do anything. By slightly increasing the cost aggressively, it will slightly weaken that strategy while strengthening them in a more defensive role.

Basically, it tunes the Donjon to be more of a resource defense specialist rather than a more general-purpose offensive building. This also helps to distinguish when they should be building castles and when they should be building Donjons, since the two have quite the overlap right now.

En-masse, sure. But that’s where the anti-monk bonus comes in. The biggest problem with early elephants is twofold: that their damage scales poorly to resource investment, and that they’re disproportionately weak to monks. They can serve very effectively as a damage sponge and unit-blocker if you can address the monk deficit, which is what this aims to achieve.

Sure, and that’s what I’m focusing on. Go watch some pro games; you see it happen again and again, they build some forward kreposts, they can’t quite finish the enemy off before they get to imperial, all the kreposts go down to trebs, and they die. It’s quite remarkably consistent.

The lower elo you are, the less impactful a small amount of bonus resources, mostly in the castle age and above, is going to be. Most players at my elo and below are floating large amounts of resources in any case, so this bonus would really mostly help at higher elos.

Why not? If a civ is bad on a particular map, AND they have a bad UT, it makes sense to tailor the UT to address the map weakness. Honestly, I love the idea that you could, if you’re losing in castle age to cav pressure, age up and press the button to repel their attack for 5 minutes, and then rebuild and take things into the late game where you’re stronger. Sounds like a highly entertaining strategy.

Bad viewpoint imo. In my opinion, any tech that’s completely useless on some maps should be tweaked to make it at least occasionally useful everywhere. Elephants can be viable in the right niches, but they’re damage sponges, so having elephants doesn’t segue nicely into a tech that will only boost their damaged hp by ~50 or less. By having it fully restore their hp, it encourages early use, knowing you can later return them to full strength.

No, not liking something is objectively a bad reason not to make a change. Game balance should be the only guiding factor in this regard. Frankly, most changes people ‘don’t like’ they ended up getting used to when they inevitably happened. You’ll get used to it.

Exactly. Why have both champions and jags if you’re only ever going to use one or the other?

Jags should be notably different from champions, not just a better version you usually can’t get to because it requires a castle.


Donjons will still trade very effectively with towers at this price point. The biggest issue with towers vs donjons has more to do with area coverage, as they’re able to attack you in multiple places while you can only defend in one. This change would actually help in that regard, since in a defensive role, Donjons will essentially be 100 wood cheaper - IE, the same exact price as towers, while being substantially more potent.

It’s only in aggressive roles that the increased cost will be a major factor, and even then, predominately in the early game, when wood is still a major aspect, not just stone.

I’d be fine with either one, but would slightly prefer the EA and Skirm bonus, as it allows for the same total number of bonuses. I really don’t think it would make a massive difference in the lategame, however; with massed elephants, you’re already going to kill monks in basically one shot, so either they’ll get off the conversion or not regardless. The main place this will be impactful is earlier on, with lower elephant numbers.

This is convenient, because that’s also where elephant archers are weakest.

Ideally I’d have it indicated by a charge bar under their name, so you can tell when it’s time to retreat to safety - or when it’s time to research Sappers and keep the assault going. It WOULD require some skill, but honestly, I think that’s a good thing, as presently, the tech is way more valuable at lower skill levels than high. By forcing players to efficiently use their resources, it will change the value of the tech and rebalance it more towards higher elos.


Allowing it to be used for aging up and for building progressions will be most helpful at higher elos, where such things run on finer timescales and resource limits. One of the bigger problems right now is that their Donjons kinda directly contradict progression in other ways. When you’re already floating resources, that’s far less of an issue, but when you’re carefully using every resource available, it makes a much bigger difference.

IE, at higher elos. Would this change alone be enough? Perhaps not, but it’s a good incremental change on the way towards a better balance point.

Not really; I’ve seen the exact same thing in dozens of games, both by myself and by pro players. The profound weakness to knights and early siege is too notable to ignore, but it’s facilitated by their equally-profound weakness to monks.

image

As you can see, while they’re not exactly great at castle age, their real weakness is at early imperial, when trebs come out and clean up the kreposts.

Thanks!

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of UU-improving techs. They tend to make UUs into meme strats that require too much investment for common games. I agree the UU is underperforming atm, but I think it would be better from a gameplay and diversity perspective for that to be resolved via direct buffs to the unit, not by adding UTs that are so specific.

It’s somewhat a gimmick, but what it’s designed to do is turn Flemish Revolution from something you only rarely see, into something you’re far more likely to see, but which is also far less likely to outright win a game on its own. By reducing its price, but also it’s power AND long-term cost, it makes it a far more interesting option in a much more diverse array of cases.

Why? Britons are quite weak statistically at the moment. Giving them some better towers could help resolve that issue, and it’s already a theme of the tech. I’d rather preserve that theme than end up making britons even more of a one-trick pony.

It’s just one metric; the point being, they underperform even at their niche use, even when compared to a more generalist unit in the Samurai.

I do agree with you otherwise though; Jags are too similar to Champions, so it’s rarely worth bothering. That’s why I want to make them LESS similar to the Champion line. Making them cheaper or stronger just overlaps even more with the Champion; ultimately, you’ll end up using only one or the other, when ideally you should have cases in which using BOTH is actually the best case.

By making Jaguars more expensive and micro-intensive, but also with a much higher potential power ceiling, it creates scenarios where you’ll want to have both; the militia line as a damage sponge and protector for the Jags, and the Jags as the powerful but protection-needing damage dealer.

But you make them actively aggressive against the natural enemies they’re supposed to have, especially by a free civ bonus. Like buffing Spearmen with a bonus against Militias, or buffing Archers with a bonus against skirmishers, it’s hard for me to appreciate this kind of design. In comparison, the Bengalis bonus is at least somewhat defensive and conservative and beneficial to all Elephant units rather than specific to EAs.

And it actually doesn’t mean much. Monks still have longer range than EAs, and the attack bonus is meaningless when too far away to fire. Most importsntly, the reason people won’t actively use EAs in the Castle Age is still there, even if you buff them by this, and Dravidians in the Imperial, when they do use EAs, the EAs fire so fast that they don’t need such a bonus at all.

I think the real problem of this civ has never been the EAs themselves (because the problem of themselves do not only affect this civ), but the lack of power of units other than elephants in the Castle Age, so that is why in other topics I hope to make the Supplies line provide double the effect and rework Urumis. If I were to buff their elephants, I would only buff BEs, not only for balance, for gameplay, but also for historical accuracy.

Build an even fancier rework on a UT that was considered fancy. It’s a really troublesome change. In the end, it might no longer be liked and used no matter at low elos or at high elos.

An idea suddenly comes up. When a FM turned from a villager (that is, excluding those trained later) dies in battle, the TC that originally trained that villager will automatically spawn a villager for free. This is also equivalent to letting them give up fighting and return to their status as villagers, but it is a more user-friendly design.

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That’s just it; their elephants ARE supposed to be their power unit in the castle age - they’re just unable to effectively use them due to the profound monk weakness. After all, besides husbandry and bloodlines, they have fully upgraded battle elephants in the castle age, and they’ve got Medical Corps to make up the difference on bloodlines. If you want them to have a power unit, Elephants are the way to go, not the least because of how effectively it works with small numbers of stables and how it segues into the use of armored elephants.

IMO the real benefit of this change will moreso be skirmishers than Elephant Archers. In early castle age, when the first monks start coming out and you still have a mass of skirms, being able to use them to effectively snipe monks will make a big difference in how effective monks can be at that stage. It will also force your enemy to play more carefully with them, not just defend them with one or two pikes to snipe light cav. This, in turn, will enable the use of even battle elephants in some cases, as skirms will now counter both elephant counters.

For example, say you’ve got a mass of skirms but nothing to kill with them. Going for further upgrades will be a bad idea in early castle age, so you might have as little as 3 damage. This bonus would reduce the hits needed to kill a monk from 10 to 6, a vastly more attainable goal. Or from 8 to 5, with either elite skirmisher or bodkin arrow.

This means your mass of skirms actually has a purpose in that stage of the game, and it makes the transitional period far easier overall.

The elephant archer bonus is mostly just to keep the bonus simple, but honestly, I don’t think it would be either useless OR overpowered. I certainly don’t think it’ll massively change their lategame dynamics; it’ll improve them from 5 to 4 shots, but you’ve gotta be extremely unlucky to get 4 shots off and not 5.

Possibly, but you can at least work your way upwards from there. Right now, buff them and they’ll become OP at low level and UP at high level. By constraining them, you can then work upwards and have relatively equal balance across elos.

The cost is also a problem. +2 vs monks for foot archers will be more effective but I don’t think dravidians need this.

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I don’t think we need such big changes. Maybe except Sicilians.

New civ Romans and reworked Persians UUs, Legionary and Savar, made both of Sicilians trademark units the Serjeant and Knight really bad. Legionary and Romans LS are more affordable version of Serjeant. And Savar is just better than Siciians Hauberk Cavalier. So Sicilians have just become a Donjon spammer civ.

Land military units except siege takes 33% less bonus damage → Stable units take 50% less bonus damage.
Donjon cost reduced 75 wood, 175 stone → 60 wood, 175 stone.
Donjon no longer is counted as a Barracks but it is counted as a Feudal Building to age up.

The competing buildings are 100 wood each. This 100 wood and 175 stone and takes 90 seconds to build. You’d have to start building at 15th vill to click on time. It doesn’t add much value without knowing what opponent is doing. If the opponent scouts the Donjon position and comes forward and does a tower elsewhere there won’t be any stone left to do a counter Donjon. And finally it produces Serjeants which aren’t a mainstream unit at high levels except for gimmick like the youpudding strategy.

This is actually true and contradicts the change of making Donjons a building to click up. If building Donjon while having less than 25 vills in early feudal age is difficult, its going to be a lot more difficult with 14-15 vills.

This change will make them much worse. They’d try to use it as a dark age building or some laming into forward dark age Donjon etc. Initially some gimmicks might seem like working but eventually it will get figured out and no one will use it as a 2nd building. So the change will become unusable.

This bonus is decent but they don’t have any particular extra weakness to monks, monks just pair well with knights and are hence used. An all-in monk rush against Dravidians is not that common and quite unnecessary. Skirms getting +2 vs monks is quite decent but still has very limited usability against knight-monk-mangonel pushes. The primary balance concern is the weakness to knights and other cavalry units.

I don’t know what stat it is. Its either not Arabia only or includes very low elos or its 1900+ but based on less than 100 games and 2 games per matchup. Anyways I had seen something like this for the previous patch where 20-30 game length was weakest. Trebs do come and clean Kreposts but that happens because they fall behind A LOT by castle age. Their only eco benefit is saving food on smith upgrades and that actually very rarely results into value gained unless its empire wars or some very open unwallable map or map with that rocky terrain. And that’s one of the reasons I like your +20 stone per tech bonus. They’ll be able to force more defense from opponent because of the potential for an extra offensive tower to punish greedy play in feudal age.

That’s just reverting back to early 2023 and before where it was referred to as the infamous “button”. Either ways I think it could rather do something like upgrade existing halberdiers into flemish militia which do 30% more bonus damage than halbs and have 2 extra base attack, 10 extra base hp. That will be fine. All vills turning into military is always a gimmick and buffing it is a bad idea. And anyways they are still an S tier civ for closed maps and quite decent on some passive wallable maps like gold rush.

If you check aoepulse all patches in the last 6 months except for the one in which regrouping was bugged(NAC5 patch) , they have 51% winrate at 1900+. That’s not weak. And people rarely do towers in post imp with Britons for 1v1. It could be very matchup specific if they did. They have a fast dark age, good bonus in castle age, get +4 cavalry, good siege, their ranged units get extra range, and they have full upgrades on infantry, 100% treb accuracy. Armenians, Dravidians or some other slow paced civ with no plate barding armor and mediocre units should ideally get that bonus.

Yes I agree with your change of giving them additional dps over time. That’s pretty decent value compared to militia line. I just don’t agree with the logic behind why you say they are weak. Losing to some extremely niche unit like urumi swordsman shouldn’t be a way of judging any unique unit.

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I’d say it’s more compared to a barracks, honestly, since it unlocks the use of Archery Ranges and Stables. So you can get a barracks AND a 100-wood collection building in one, in practice, the offensive or defensive capability would actually be free. As long as you’re using it to defend resources, of course.

What you’re saying is certainly true right now, but that’s because you’re basically paying 275 for a barracks that can’t even work as an age-up building. You’re also absolutely right that Serjeants currently are rarely used at higher levels of play, which is why the goal should be to make using them as easy and streamlined to get into as possible. With this, you literally don’t have to do anything extra to get them.

But again, that’s only true IF you place them on resources you’re going to collect, buffing them defensively but weakening them(moderately, early on) offensively.

I think that has a lot to do with mind games. Why don’t people go for monk rushes against Dravidians? Because dravidians don’t go for builds that are weak to monks. But that also means dravidians tend to lose a lot.

If dravidians start using more powerful (but monk-vulnerable) strategies, you’ll naturally see more monks used against them, which is you won’t see those sorts of strats employed UNTIL they have a way to actually counteract monks. Otherwise they know it’s just playing into the enemy.

But the simple fact that so much of their tech tree is elephant based inherently makes them more vulnerable to monks than usual. The absence of Husbandry for their scout cavalry is just the cherry on top.

I feel like for Flemish Revolution, there is no way to balance the tech as it currently stands. It’s too all-in. Making it last for a set period of time(and then allow players to make more) is the only way I can think of to retain the identity of the tech, and make the tech useful, without making it OP.

Upgrading other types of units seems like the sort of thing you just forget about because the difference is so moderate. It has to be a BIG effect - but it also needs to be temporary, so that there’s a way out for the defending player. Otherwise it’ll just feel unfair one way or the other.

Hey, fair enough. It was honestly just the stat I had on my mind as I was writing it, they certainly underperform in enough other ways.

And what’s meant to happen once the timer runs out? All your Flemish Militia just turn back into vils? That’s an instant loss button, either you kill the other person in 5 mins (almost never going to happen), or you have all your vills in their base with all your military gone, and you straightup lose instantly. It also doesn’t make logical sense to undo it, and wouldn’t be fun.

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That assumes you’re using it in a purely offensive role.

And to be fair, that is the only way to use it right now, but it wouldn’t be anymore. Say they’ve got a bunch of knights running around your base. Or even worse, a bunch of elephants are overwhelming you. Or they’ve got 5 trebs and a bunch of archers destroying you.

So you press the button, kill the trebs, chase them out of your base, build some new villagers to build some castles or production buildings, then retreat your remaining flemish militia back to your base to resume your economy. Instead of only being able to use it to instantly win or lose, there are a HUGE assortment of new possibilities open to you.

And how are you meant to have them go back to work easily? What if people don’t get any value at all and are upset that it’s a completely wasted investment? How are you planning to tell them how long they have left? What if people don’t pay attention to how you would surface that? I really don’t think there are new options available, I think your idea just makes it much less fun to use, with almost uncontrolled behavior for it.

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My thoughts on Bulgarians -

Let’s decide what should be their primary source of their pierce damage first. Defensive buildings like Castle, TC, Krepost, Tower or CA or Siege like Scorpion. Or maybe even Hand Canon which they had during beta. Then give them some bonus on that type of building/unit.

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You can screw up using anything. Buy the wrong tech at the wrong time, and it can lose you the game.

That’s just where skill with the game comes in, and increasing the skill cap for this bonus is a good thing, as it allows it to be balanced around a higher level of play.

I think it’s gotta be the krepost. They don’t really have any bonuses towards siege until imperial, and even then a pretty minor one, mostly targeted towards rams.

But Kreposts are already quite powerful - they just don’t really flow terribly well, imo. Make their strategy flow better and you’ll see some big improvements right off the bat.