Dravidians are terrible

There’s a lot that could be done with minimal changes. Here’s what I would do:

  • Make Arabia fish pond generation more consistent.
  • Medical Corps improved from Elephants Heal 30hp/minute → Elephants Heal 30hp/min and gain +5 LOS
  • Elite Urumi Swordsmen +0.05 Speed

See how that plays out; I’d anticipate a fair improvement, primarily from the fish pond generation, bringing them up to maybe 46-47%% on Arabia, more in line with other maps where fishing is more available.

I dunno. Viper is convinced that the Dravidians are good, enough to basically mock the premise of this thread. I feel like he has his reasons to believe that. I’d say arguably the best AoE2 player currently is more qualified to give an opinion on a civ being good or bad than basically anyone else.

Take any continous period of data on open land maps with a sufficiently large sample size. I think that it is extremely meaningful.

Possibly, but way more micro involved. With a ram, just garrison a villager. What do you do if your opponent attcks your support unit with, say, vils and archers, or knights?If you have a ram, garrison your vil inside. If you have a monk, you are screwed. If that monk moves, the castle will gun him down. If he doesn’t, he dies anyway.

I personally don’t like any unit discounts for dravs. I think they should be like teutons. Better units from almost every building, but no unit discounts.

I mean, there are like a dozen ideas on this thread already.
I want just two things. Give them redemption, Add light cav to the units benefiting from medical corps.

Although I’d also be okay with giving them DemiserofD’s idea of extra LOS.

Yeah, and he lost against Hera 3 times concecutively with them. 2 of those were in the last 3 days.

Look, I love theViper. I think that he is the GOAT, and Hera will need a decade to catch up to him, if ever.

However, you cannot take one player’s opinion above the numbers, ever. Especially when Hera repeatedly shows that Dravs are weak by winning against them.

Yeah, I guess you must be right. If the best player can’t beat a strictly inferior player using the same civ 3 times, then it must be the civ and not the player. Hopefully Viper realizes that.

You’re still ignoring most maps to get the dataset you want, which makes the data biased at best. I honestly don’t even think it’s open maps either; it’s really maps without consistent fish. Being open alone isn’t enough, it’s being open and missing out on one of their primary eco bonuses at the same time. Fix that, and they’d be halfway there.

Well, if they attack you with knights, you get at least one conversion off, and that alone can be enough to win a fight. Not to mention, you’re saving quite a few resources otherwise spent on repairs. It’s an option I haven’t seen as much, at least, and I think people might be sleeping on the ability to heal them for free, but that’s certainly not helped by the fact that they don’t get a discount on them.

Really, that wood discount kinda throws their entire gameplan out of whack.

Sorry, I meant on the building itself.

I’m talking about the single most popular category in 1v1s. It is also the majority of 1v1 ranked games. I think you are downplaying it.

As I said, I’m only looking for ~50% win rate. I’ll even settle for 48% for all Elo ranges.

Not against someone who can micro. If you try to convert, I’ll just garrison the knights in the castle, and jump out near your monk. Or use vils to attack the monk and then get the knight out.

I’ve seen survivalist use this pretty often. Ele rams are actually pretty decent in closed maps, when you go for monk and siege with militia for support. Unfortunately, that’s the only case where they are as good as, or better than rams.

Ah, got it. That might be good, but I still don’t like it. It doesn’t fit with the civ, and isn’t very cohesive. It feels tacked on, just like the siege discount bonus

What’s also funny is that Dravidians and Ethiopians are the only two civs with a full Siege workshop, and neither were known for great Onagers or scorpions, from a historical perspective.

I just think you’re missing the most important thing, is my main point here. If you assume they’re bad at all open maps, then you’ll buff them differently compared to whether it’s just open maps lacking fish.

Just by throwing a few shore fish spawns into the maps currently lacking them, you could significantly bridge the gap. Honestly, it’s strange they’re lacking them, given that sheep, hunt, and berries are fairly universal.

No strategy is flawless. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work generally. I did test it just now though, and if they have murder holes the monks die, so that’s unfortunate. Maybe they should increase the height of the armored elephant hit box, that should be pretty easy.

Well, Dravidians at least were known for their architecture. Having some sort of building bonus wouldn’t be unreasonable. I’m uncertain if it should be specifically targeting the siege workshop, though.

My silly thought for changing their team bonus was ‘all buildings give +1 population capacity.’

Well, actually, one South Indian empire did use catapults and cannons called damboli in defense of their fortresses. So there is some historical basis for good siege, for the Dravidians at least. But the Ethiopians are total nonsense.

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That’s not as bad as I thought. Then, their poor tournament W/R is the issue on high elo. I think we can just add Redemption and call it a day. However, the chance of that happening is lower than Dravidians tournament W/R.

I was typing a whole lot of things clarifying and trying to explain his misconceptions. But you’ve put it really well and clearly.

I’d prefer if it acted as some kind of armor instead of attack. Like infantry ignore attack upgrades on enemy units or just blacksmith attack upgrades. Making only scorps and gunpowder and maybe some ranged uu effective against Dravidian infantry.

Not sure how to interpret all the 3 at once simultaneously but they could continue having their same mechanics if Wootz steel was replaced with a pseudo-armor or if they traded dodge shield for charge attack in a progressive way like a previous message in the thread mentioned. If people are hell bent on keeping them as a glass canon unit, they should cost much lower, like 40 food and 15 gold.

Yes this is very important and necessary.

This will actually become the new worst UT in the game by far, worse than even Aethism, Hussite reforms and Nomad. Why would you want to spend any resources on such an awful unit. Its not a Khmer or a Burmese or a Vietnamese elephant to have a good use. It would be much better to just keep doing halbs instead of 110 food 70 wood Dravidian BE.
Ideally this should be replaced by some very strong bonus on siege imo. Like a secondary projectile with 0.25 second delay that does 50% damage or something like that.

Exactly. That just means, its not a bonus that’s as good as it seems on paper. Its totally ok for a civ like Lithuanians to get an average skirm bonus since skirms are just a complementary unit for them. But not otherwise.

Again all of it just means slightly better trades in feudal forcing a couple of more units from the opponent. A skirmisher bonus is never going to be enough to compensate for several design handicaps.

And will continue to do so. Its not just a low elo thing to laugh at. He could get ahead in eco and micro the way out of some other opponent, but when he meets his someone his level, he will lose.

It just means any player will lose to an opponent his skill level. Doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses to someone weaker. There he’s expected to win.

Chinese have the best winrates at the highest level and worst at the bottom. And their winrates progressively gets better with elo. For Dravidians its just the opposite. That means when players learn the game better, Dravidians keep getting worse. Which simply implies the title of this thread.

This is great to hear, because its something that I always mention. But Dravidians are bottom 5 in the past 1 year of stats. They had like a bottom 15 but not a bottom 5 winrate in one of the patches which lasted for 3 weeks but that’s about it. They were, are and will remain an awful civ if no balance change comes through.

That’s just a change for Gurjaras and Hindustanis all-in castle age play and a flex for a fully boomed Bengali player, in case they get there. Don’t think anyone should ever do Armored elephants with Dravidians.

Yes. And Hindustanis B tier and Dravidian C tier.

Its more meaningful if you restrict by elo and map category. For example. If you took the overall stats of a civ like Spanish from last year, it could be 50.5% or something like that. It might look completely balanced but when you check individual map categories, you could notice they were a bit weak on regular start but OP on Nomad. And hence they got severely nerfed on Nomad and buffed a bit on Arabia. OG Vikings, Italians plenty of other examples.

Wow, the whole thread has been discussing that. Better economy bonus, alternate raiding unit, rework of urumi, some new unique building, tower related bonus, rework of medical corps, rework of elephant archer usability, dozen other things were suggested.

He was convinced OG Khmer were good, OG Portugese were good too. Both civs got 2 huge buffs and 1 small nerf to actually become good. Sometimes being the best player and frequently playing against weaker opponents, you get a misinformed opinion about the relative strength of a civ. It’s the whole reason he suffered through NAC4 with Bengalis.
This is Viper himself about his opinion on Bengalis after the tournament ended:

So next time when a pro player says a “this is a great civ”. Just don’t blindly follow that. See whether the player who said its good is picking that civ in tournaments. Is he able to win with them? Was the win against an opponent who’s equally good? (Like Hera, Liereyy, Yo or Tatoh for Viper) Was the win always on a certain specific map or a map category? (Like is it a water map, where several docks and galleys/fire galleys are produced. )

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Not necessarily; it could just mean their strategies are different enough to not synergize well with meta strategies. The thing about Chinese is, they are basically tailor-made for high-elo players who know exactly what to do and have the skill to execute at high speed. Dravidians, by contrast, have strengths that are very unusual. Ignoring armor is unusual. Healing on elephants is unusual. High-dps elephant archers are unusual. Charge attack splash damage is unusual. Lacking any high speed units is VERY unusual.

They are the ultimate anti-meta civ, and so it makes perfect sense for them to be more challenging as you get to higher skill ratings, where the ability to make split-second decisions on instinct can win or lose a game.

Doesn’t necessarily imply they’re bad though. Remember that Hoang singlehandedly inflated the Celt winrates for years, and it TOOK that much to get people to realize how good they could be in the right hands, with the right strategies. I would not be at all surprised to see something similar here, but we will never find that from a meta player, because they just don’t take the time to sit down and run the same civ over and over a hundred times to experiment and figure out exactly how to play it.

Technically yes but to make their strategies competent, a dozen other changes need to be made to the game. Cost, hp, repair time, repair cost of palisade walls, houses, cost/speed/base hp of militia line, food collection rates from farming, base cost of a farm, archer production time, effectiveness of forward towers, position and amount of mines within wallable areas etc.
You could see how a lot of players play heavy into the feudal age sometimes when opponent has limited wood or gold and stone are forward. But such feudal friendly generations are rare and you can’t play Dravidians assuming you’d get such a generation. Even when map generations are like that, Dravidians are not the most optimal civilization. Magyars, Bulgarians, Khmer, Burmese would do better.

Its not about speed. There are 2300+ players with less than 40 apm who comfortably win with Chinese. Its a good set of bonuses, very good tech tree and high elo players know how to use that to their advantage against any other civ. The bonuses are more fundamental and benefit the player irrespective of army decision. You have extra villagers working throughout the feudal age, you’re able to collect much more resources than most other civs. Once in castle age you can go for multiple military upgrades or eco upgrades or monk techs or switch armies and the tech discount bonus is always applicable.

What you refer to as unusual is just mediocre and incompetent. Ignore armor is ridiculously expensive for a bonus that Burmese get for free. Elephant archers are not a castle age unit and lack important upgrades to scale well into the imperial age. Healing on elephants at that rate is awful. Charge attack, splash attack, ignore armor everything is a copy from other civ’s UU/UT. And those civs have better bonuses, monks, amazing tech tree.

It didn’t take anything. Celts are quite a mediocre civ on 1v1 land maps as well. Yes hoang picked them and kept winning quite a bit. Imo, he was just better than the players he was able to consistently succeed with that strategy. Despite the fact that he artificially boosted its winrate, almost no one ever picked it in tournaments. They are a little less terrible compared to Dravidians since they atleast have knights, a long lasting eco bonus and a fast moving uu. The only thing that was problematic was militia line getting extra speed in dark age and once that got balanced, the ######## stopped picking it.
Anyways its such a terrible thing if a civ is forced to do some kind of all-in like that all the time and can’t compete otherwise. Lithuanians, Berbers are very good for laming and villager rush. But they’re not forced to do that. Except for a few every civ has good usable options.

Its ok to experiment and figure out different ways to play a civ. But there should be something good for it. Good eco, game reversing uu, crazy good monk bonus, anti-conversion bonus, lower damage from siege, strong ranged units, towers something. If everything except skirms is generic, there’s nothing to figure out.


I honestly don’t understand why you bother presenting such a false image and then tearing it down. Anyone who plays the civ knows none of those things are true.

Dravidians have issues, yes, but their strengths and uniqueness are not their problem.

But honestly, this does elucidate my point pretty well. No matter how good a civ is, it’s impossible for it to shine if people deliberately blind themselves to what it has, in favor of what it doesn’t. The number of times I’ve seen players even ignoring the most basic of bonuses, like not taking nearby shore fish, boggles the mind.


Its honestly weird that majority of the civs have better elephants than dravidians who literally have the longest history of training elephants and the largest standing elephant armies in the history. I feel like they should get Malay’s bonus to be honest but no elite elephants with husbandry, but no bloodlines, to act as a strange knight line replacement that is slower and to get heresy, after all, most of the dravidian empires were deeply religious, this way, they would get a decent fighting chance in castle against knights, atleast defensively as cheaper elephants can hold in castle against knights and can allow them to possibly reach their full potential in late game wootz steel.

Otherwise, you gotta win in feudal or you simply cant win. Their eco bonus is very weird, the bonus wood on age up gives a small powerspike that does not last beyond like a couple of minutes.


Yes about historical accuracy

  1. Move wootz steel to castle age very old tech lasted for more than 2000 years.
  2. Monks should be one of the most powerful.(Bhakti Movement)
  3. Imperial age tech for Elephants. like 30hp per minute and cost 30% lessor 40% more hp
  4. Thirisadai is okay. Since Tamil/Kannada/Telugu/Malayalam has many slangs Thirisadai may one of the word used for a big warship. Devs told they used this name from a old chola stone to name the ship.
  5. If Indian civs dont get knight why does south east civs get knights? Hindustanis and Gurjaras have camels/shrivamsha raiders as knight replacement. Bengalis have rathas. What do Dravidians have?
  6. Dravidians had a good cavalry army anyway.
  7. Their Farms should be top tier, but lacks crop rotation
  8. They should get stone mining, since historically They mined big big mountains for ores even during 300 bc.
  9. Siege discount is okay since they had good siege in vijayanagara empire.

But one thing they should have the best monks and best elephants if it should be historically accurate. Since even Southeast civs followed Dravidian style in their warfare. How come they have weak elephants.

But for balance changes Dravidians cannot be good at everything if considering historical accuracy. So they sacrificed. But sacrificed too much.

So Balance Changes would look

  1. Monks get redemption. No techs removed.
  2. Add Bloodlines and husbundry or final armour( Old Japanes didnt have both but they got it).
  3. Urumi +1 pierce +5hp -5 food.
  4. Medical corps replaced with tamil name or any old south indian word and add additional feature. like heal 30hp per minute and +30% more hp or costs 30% less or costs 50% less gold or food.
  5. Also reduce wootz steel cost to 600 Food 450 Gold.

No techs need to be removed. They need only additional techs.

Dravidians are good. no need rework. Just additional techs and little change to unique tech and unique unit is enough. They will be balanced.

Not at all. It was completely made up by an anonymous Wikipedia editor, down to the name. It’s complete fiction.


They have weak Battle Elephants, but not weak elephants. Much like Battle Elephants aren’t a 1v1 unit, neither are Elephant Archers. Dravidian Elephant Archers are very strong, so I’d argue this is ‘historically accurate’ by your logic.

Honestly, for now I’d just give them Redemption and that’s that, I don’t think they’ll need much else, as with Redemption they’ll have very serviceable Monks that’s also in line with ‘historical accuracy’. No need to overbuff them and if Redemption isn’t enough, then the civ can be looked at again in the future.

Trash BE would be able to push castles without spending gold which is significant in the trash war stage of the game, especially since Dravidian AE cost more gold than generic rams while having less HP. With Wootz steel, trash BE can beat anything except halbs and Dravidians have lots of options against halbs. So, it can help force an opponent into options that Dravidians are strong against. Dravidian halbs and skirms are already better than FU. It is a tech for stage of the game that is rarely ever reached, but strong in that situation.
Overall, it isn’t great but still better than Kamandaran. Anyway, the main benefit is historical accuracy. Dravidians would be able to make a lot of elephants without sacrificing long term strategy, depending on how the UT is priced.

Are you trying to say, ‘noobs know better than pros sometimes’? That is very arrogant. It is incredibly difficult to come up with anti-meta strategies that work against pros. Hoang rush, Noboru rush (which doesn’t count because devs nerfed it into oblivion) and Persian Douche are more or less the only ones. Even those are not that great. Pros learnt that Hoang rush can be easily countered by getting Redemption (which Dravidians don’t have) and they also learnt to efficiently counter Persian Douche as well. They still work against pros from time to time, but it is very rare. Pros still rate those civs as low tier because they can counter these strategies efficiently.
Pros play many more games than noobs and make way fewer mistakes and even get matched occasionally with noobs in 1v1 and TGs. It has been a year since Dravidians were released. There is a very very low chance that there is some playstyle left to discover with Dravidians. Even if there was some super-secret noob strategy that Dravidians can use, pros would likely see it and learn how to counter it efficiently. Basing your entire argument on some strategy that no one can successfully execute against the pros makes your argument very weak. Noobs also make different mistakes every game. Saying you got value out of some tech or bonus does not mean pros don’t know what they are doing. It more likely means that you were matched with an opponent who made a lot of mistakes that let you get value out of it. That is all.

Or are you trying to say, ‘Dravidians are a beginner civ like Goths and that is okay’? The problem with that is that Goths are very simple: get to Imp and flood infantry. Dravidians are not simple and are a DLC civ. New players may not even get the DLC. Also, Goths got a buff to help them at pro level so Dravidians should also be buffed.

Their strength and uniqueness are not enough to stop opponents from taking advantage of their weaknesses and winning.

Or it could be that players have tried it and found that it is not worth it. Every action has a reaction and pros sometimes don’t do certain things to avoid vulnerability to the counter. Don’t criticize pros for not trying things that work at your level. For example, consider shore fish that sometimes spawn on Arabia.

  1. The pathing to it is inconsistent and trees can be in the way sometimes.
  2. Taking shore fish means vills have to walk between the TC and the shore fish which leaves them vulnerable to the early scout.
    a) Loom would help, but that is a penalty to your eco so early in the game. Most players get loom at the end of Dark age or early Feudal.
    b) Another option is milling and walling the shore fish which costs a lot of extra wood.
  3. The consequence of putting vills on shore fish is that vills are not under the TC. That means the TC cannot zone out a drush and the scout can steal your sheep.
  4. You also need vills under a TC to lure the boar, otherwise the enemy scout can interrupt and kill the luring vill.
  5. In Feudal Age, taking shore fish is riskier than just farming around the TC, if you can get food closer to the TC why would you go to the shore fish?
  6. You cannot place many farms around a shore fish mill, so that is a waste in the long run.

These are the reasons I can come up with of the top of my head. There may be more, and pros would know better.

Lastly, here is a new video of Viper beating Dravidians. He even said Poles are not good on that map and still won.

I think devs are committed to keeping Dravidian stable very bad, so it is unlikely they will get these techs even if it would fix them. Japanese don’t have to have a uniquely bad stable because that place can now be occupied by Dravidians. If Dravidians get a better stable, devs would want to ruin the stable of another civ.

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Everyone knows it is true. Wootz steel is just a heavy cost for the bonus that Burmese get for free for all practical situations. I don’t know which one sounds like a false image to you but none of what I said were false. No one can open elephants or elephant archers and play them all game along. Skirms with a bonus still die to knights. Ethiopians have free pike upgrade, Slavs have free gambesons and supplies, Incas and Goths have naturally cheap infantry, Bulgarians have free militia line upgrades and half the food cost of blacksmith upgrades. For every bonus Dravidians get, there’s a civ with a better bonus. And none of their bonus justifies or accomodates lack of several important upgrades and any kind of anti-siege, anti-archer, raiding unit.
Meso civs are different and good, Gurjaras are different and good, Dravidians are different but not good.

Yes I can create a civ with no knights, no monks, no crossbows but put flaming camels in stable and give a bonus saying flaming camel explosion gives 5 gold. It will be unique, it will have strength but its an abysmal civ with an unusable bonus. Being unique and usable are completely different things. Dravidians are strictly usable only on water maps where multiple docks are built.

Just think practically. People took the pain of babysitting folwark and farm placements to use Poles bonus or completely changed their dark age build order to accomodate the Gurjara bonus. If something is good people ALWAYS use it for winning.
You get 1 patch of shore fish and Dravidian bonus doesn’t remove drop-off like Khmer farm. If you take the 200 food in shore fish and villager keeps walking 10 tiles to the tc, its effectively slower than berries. It might be even worse for other civs but even for Dravidians it will be slower