Devs shouldn't be scared to remove bonuses?

We’re seeing some bonuses get reduced by a third or more. Some examples if the spoilers for the next patch may be believed:

  • Aztecs TT reduction -15% -> -10%
  • Aztecs carry capacity reduced +5 -> +3
  • Khmer elephant bonus speed +15% -> +10%

I think it might be better to completely remove some bonuses. This would allow civs to have a sharper identity, defined by a smaller number of bigger features. At the same time it would free up bonuses for civs that need to be buffed.

Though I understand why the devs would be scared of the backlash. If some people consider a bonus a core part of the identity of a civ, those people are going to be upset if it gets removed.

just to be more explicit:
When I suggest removing a civ bonus, I don’t mean “do it in a way which is an over-nerf”. Eg for the Aztec example, you could remove the carry capacity bonus completely but in compensation buff the TT reduction back up to 15% (or 20%, whatever is balanced). Equally you could remobe the TT reduction completely but buff the carry capacity.



Very true.
Devs should just consult the right people, a lot of concerned people for the balance changes, and have n part in deciding those themselves really, and not be afraid to make radical changes wherever necessary,

so that all units and technologies are also balanced, and and are as or more useful than their price.

Yes, they should and I’m very glad they do: Players who understand the game, are very successfull playing it and give valuable insight on what strategies work or don’t work. Sorry to say it, but that’s certainly not you (nor anyone who just has a passion for balance changes, but lacks expertise of the game).


Well, these bonuses are still strong and are part of the identity of the civ. The op eco is part of Aztec identity in aoe2, they would play very differently without it and would need some huge buffs. Khmer are supposed to be the best elephant civ.
But I agree these small or staggering bonuses are cowardly, sometimes it feels like the devs are unsure about how a civ should work. 10% is still very noticable and strong on most bonuses but the devs shouldn’t go lower than that.

what if we try it to reflect for other civ bonuses other then aztecs then i think it could cause alot of wierd loops of complains and maybe holes

So you seem to say that the devs shouldn’t remove bonuses, but also that the small & staggered bonuses are cowardly. I’d like to plush this out a little more if that’s ok.

A list of Aztec bonuses, indicating where they have been changed, or probably will be changed:

  • villagers carry +5 ->? +3
  • military TT reduced -15% -> -10%
  • monks gain +5 hp / monk tech
  • start with +50 gold

Now suppose Aztecs are still OP, and they need further nerfs, would it be better to reduce the remaining bonuses (monks +5 -> +3, start with +50 gold -> +30 gold), or to remove 1 of the bonuses?
I disagree about the huge buffs, surely removing 1 of these 4 bonuses completely would be less bad than nerfing all of them by more than a third? Or am I missing something?
The issue in my mind is the ‘Aztec identity’. Strong eco & fast military production & strong monks & starting with extra gold, these are all part of the ‘Aztec identity’. But if you want to nerf without disrupting the Aztec identity you end up with “small, staggering and cowardly” bonuses.

I don’t really have a strong opinion wrt Aztecs, so it’s an open question for me :slight_smile:

@Atafas, could you give some explicit examples of what you mean? Is it just that if the devs listen to the forums too much they’ll have to change stuff and then change it back again?


About the specific case of Aztecs:
The faster production is only that good because you have the better eco behind it. The eco bonus is more important than the others and I’d rather not have the gold or monk bonus but +5 carry capacity instead of +3. The upcoming nerf will surely hit them enough and I guess they get better jag warriors in exchange. But if they we’re still op I think you would want to remove the free Gold as it’s one-time and also similar to other bonuses. Or you just resign and completely redesign the civ, as with the other meso civs they are made to be oppressive because they are so gold-dependent which is of course hard to balance.

I don’t think so. Look at Koreans.

Okay, maybe Koreans are exception.

Like Mayan resources last longer bonus strong, if they want to nerf Mayans devs will make it from %15 to %10 without totally removing it because they need to add replacement to it.

Let’s suppose Aztecs op and they removed carry capacity and training time reduction, Aztecs will have just 2 bonuses, they need to make it at least 3. Or Aztecs going to be like a generic civ. Having useless but various bonuses doesn’t hurt.

Yeah i agree with you about the devs being scared smoehow of some changes, sometime i really feel that they don’t know how to deal with some strong/weak civs and buffs/nerfs cases, but to be honest this is how the things maybe works, they do a buff/nerf and wait for players reactions and responses about if these changes have broke the balance then take the replays and suggestions of the players that gonna help to make a better buff/nerf to lead to good balance

Something that bothered me when I played aoe3 in 2006-2007 was that when a civ was overpowered and some was underpowered, usually the patches made major nerfs to the OP civ and major boosts to the UP civs, simply shifting the situation making something else unfair and changing even how the game was played completely…
I wish for more frequent and narrow balance updates. Like, are Khmer, Aztec, Mayans and Lithuanians OP, other civs are just “strong” and some civs are “weak”? Make very slight changes to just the OP civs first and see if it levels them a bit with the civs in the middle, and later on you try to fix the civs that are under.

Too many changes at once is too complex for the changes to actually achieve balance, the changes only come once in a blue moon and change the game completely.

Simplicity makes things easier to design, to predict results


Removing bonuses should only be a last resort and they should be replaced with something else if it happens.

for example if you take the whole goth bonus as example 1 and if it would hurt taking 1 away without ad you said hurting their intentity

then in example 2 i wanna look at underused things like huns/saracens and if/what effect it would had if you remove madrasha or atheism

in example 3 i wanna look what happens if you change procentic and how it would affect it

for this example we could take franks and change the 2 existing %

Yes removing any particularly large bonus is going to hurt a civ’s identity. I think as a rule of thumb a bonus which could be halved and still remain very impactful shouldn’t be removed.

yes UTs shouldn’t be removed, unless something takes their place. Each civ should have 2 UTs in the Castle. (Imp camel and Imp skirmisher are 3rd UTs, but those aren’t available in the Castle.)

Yes meaningful balance can be done without completely removing bonuses, for example by changing the percentages associated with the bonus. I’m not sure why you bring this up?

Let me guess, are you one of the right people?


I don’t know, are you?

Although I’m pretty sure TheViper, Hera and Nili are, and they have said themselves in Quotes, that
“El Dorado needs to be nerfed to +30 HP from +40 HP” and that
“Elephant Archers post buff are trash”, or “EA good only in DM, in RM pffff”,
“Mamelukes are prohibitively costly/too costly to even consider”,
and also that “Leitis are just too strong”,
and also that “Ballista Elephant is a troll unit”,
and also that “Aztec economy is almost broken/too strong”
and Hera has also said that War Elephants are a joke.
Viper has said multiple times that “Genoese Crossbows are just too underwhelming”.

So I support them, and create threads for those exact changes citing them.

In my opinion even transferring bonuses is a good idea. There are civs which are clearly stronger, while others clearly underpowered. So, for instance, if you remove the faster training units to Aztecs and you give to Italians you nerf the strongest civ to buff the weakest one. Aztecs tbh should be remain untouched since they are going to receive a very big nerf.


No, I am not and neither are you.

More like you create a lot of threads where there’s no pros opinion and you claim that’s your opinion too.
Pretty sure none of them asked for a longswords buff, but that’s literally what you ask for in half of your comments.

And they don’t need an embassador, they are in contact with the developers, pretty sure they’ll give their real imput there and not on stream


The answer is simple: Neither of us are the right people