Dravidians New Bonus for Preventing Raiding

Bengalis are better than them in closed maps.

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Fair, but worse on water maps…call them roughly even.

What would be a bonus that would help JUST with open maps but not closed or water maps? IMO faster walling is still the play here; feels like that wouldn’t make a huge amount of difference on closed maps, since it’s usually pretty easy to get walled up there no matter what.

You talking about Bengalis or Dravidians?
I don’t think either of them should get a new bonus. They need to replace or tweak existing bonus.

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I was thinking more along the lines of a new regional option, like maybe giving them fortified palisade walls or something. That way it could be independent of their specific civ bonuses.

They have enough regional things going on for them already.
If you compare all Indian Civs, I would say Bengalis can have one more UU, and Hindustanis need some way to differentiate their Caravansarai from Persians, otherwise there isn’t enough design space left.
There is a limit on reasonable amount of variations that civs in AoE2 can have to keep consistency. All you can do is to adjust tech tree or adjust existing bonuses. We should not add more on top of it.

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It won’t be the same. Its +1 range and more arrows from tc. So obviously cheaper. In fact low impact castle upgrades like Hillforts, Tigui should be much cheaper themselves.

And this doesn’t. Its for town centers and that’s not going to impact water play. If its locked behind UT, wouldn’t impact Nomad play either. Anyways those stats are based on very few games at mid and higher elos.

They’re fine against raids. They get monks with extra armor for early and mid castle age, have bloodlines+husbandry and plate barding armor, Unique units have trample damage in melee and wouldn’t trade that worse vs cavalry.

First of all they’re not a good civ for closed maps to be cautious about not buffing them. Secondly, town centers shooting more arrows or having an extra range doesn’t make a civ good on water or closed. No one ever picks Lithuanians on closed or water maps. Your argument for not granting this bonus makes no sense. Its purely an open map bonus.

This is once again an extremely useless upgrade. You CANNOT wall and sit inside a box, you’ll run out of space. If you do slightly larger walls with quite a lot of defense units, you’d just fall behind because of wasting so much stone and villager work time in the middle of the game and give up most of the map control. This faster wall building bonus doesn’t make sense for a momentum civ.
Units take -30% damage from cavalry, enemy units within 10 tiles of a Dravidian building move and attack 20% slower, tc get extra range and extra bonus damage vs cavalry - things like these are useful anti-raid bonuses.

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I was talking about a shared bonus with both the Dravidians and the Bengalis.

Dunno why you think this is the only use case for walls.

Half Tigui and half Hill Fort then? I have no problem with such a tech. But I don’t like it for Dravidians.

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We’re discussing options for Dravidians to protect themselves from +2 cavalry raids for open maps. And you proposed this. There’s 3 ways you can use that bonus:

  1. Open drush or maa, wall off your base to protect against scout-skirm follow-up from opponent and hit castle age fast - this is where I mentioned you can’t sit inside a box. You’d need to step outside to build towncenters and there’s no knights to handle feudal units.
  2. Stone wall across a wide area of the map a while into castle age when +2 knight raids could potentially begin - the main topic of discussion. At this point if you spend 300-400 stone building stone walls, you’d fall behind quite a bit and you’ll give up map control completely.
  3. You send vills forward and wall of your opponent resources fast. - Needs a strong dark age bonus for it. Either in terms of military like lets say +1 attack for scouts/militia against vills or eco. Dravidians have neither.

If you go wall after 45 mins, it doesn’t matter how fast you do that, there will be canons and trebs. Opponent could even onager cut it. Its useless. In a very tiny subset of games where you as the Dravidian player has the forward position, stone walls can help wall-off a part of your base faster but that’s like a very niche situation where the bonus will ensure the walls complete.

I’d much rather have a different bonus too. Either for siege, infantry, tower or food economy. But OP’s idea has some merits to balance the civ for open maps.

Um, no there aren’t. There are infinite ways you can use the bonus. It’s entirely down to the player’s creativity, as with doubled build speed, stone walls would now cost effectively the same amount as palisades, while actually constructing faster.

Players could replace some or all of their walls with stone walls. They could expand their base a little bit or a lot. But critically, it would have the most impact wherever players need to place more walls, while having relatively minimal impact on closed maps where walling is already easy, or on water maps where walls can be sailed around.

Only infantry makes sense with their design imho. They are designed as very aggressive civ. Tower and food economy feel off. For siege 33% wood discount is massive. Maybe get SE but that’s about it. Their W/R is not that bad now. So I’ll still prefer a better elephant tech replacing Medical Corps. Or an infantry tech also work. I’m dying to see all infantry +1/+1 armor as an UT.

Something I’d really like is to give 1/3rd the value of medical corps to all infantry within maybe 2 tiles of an elephant. Infantry lose a huge amount of value with even a little bit of lost hp, so to me, that would be basically the perfect and lore-accurate buff to the skill.

You can write your name with walls in the middle of the map or do infinte number of troll things but not things that fit the purpose of walling for an open map game. Stone is quite valuable and unless you have a strong follow-up in castle age, spending all that stone isn’t going to help in any way. Lets just say the civ has a uu like Leitis, Coustillier or Monaspa then you can afford to be a bit behind and then the uu will compensate for it through raids. Or lets say you have a civ like Mayans or Poles with good eco and cheap units, you can stay a bit behind till you get castle and then spam military. Dravidians neither have a good raiding uu nor strong yet cheap aggressive military nor a long term benefit for eco. You’d just wall and reach imp slower and have worse units with no map or relics left. That’s why I said it doesn’t make sense for a momentum civ, a civ that needs to be fast.

Again, you can’t wall such a wide area. There’s no strong follow-up. This can help against some slow civs like Sicilians but not most of the civs.

True that a free usable benefit for infantry play is probably the best fit. But its a very similar design to Vikings, Malay. So it could still fit for holding the timing advantage. Tower bonus can probably help them get a good lead in feudal age and pair well with infantry.

Viking and Malay like tech tree with twisted, weaker, worse and off meta Ethiopians civ bonuses. 100 food + gold is faster to utilize in Feudal than 200 wood. Free pikeman is more useful than 50% cheaper barracks tech in most cases. Faster firing archer is universally better than faster firing skirms and EA. Only cheaper siege is more useful than late game expensive Imperial Age UT.

And both of their UU’s role is glass cannon. However again Shotel is actually a 100% viable unit due to cheaper food cost, extra speed and the UT.

Maybe just like Royal Heir benefits their UU and regional unit Camel, maybe new Medical Corps should also benefit Urumi. However they already have 3 special abilities - charge attack, trample damage and armor ignoring. A 4th speciality of regeneration will be over loaded.

Maybe giving them cheaper EA instead somewhat like malay?

All resources are ultimately interchangeable. The value of stone as town centers is irrelevant if you can’t survive the initial knight push. If you check their stats, their biggest failure is 30-45 minutes. In theory, pikes should counter this, but as Hera has noted, in early castle age, knights counter pikes. What they need is not more powerful infantry bonuses/etc, but rather to delay the fight for long enough to allow pikes to assert themselves as a counter unit.

You underestimate stone walls. Especially early on, you absolutely can do so, especially when you can construct those walls 40% faster than palisades while being 1000% more durable.

There really is infinite variability. Maybe they use the bonus to construct one stone wall on a vulnerable face, allowing them to completely focus their slower units elsewhere. Maybe they small wall and then have the speed to full-wall later as necessary. Maybe they wall off half the map. It is entirely context dependent.

But they absolutely do have a power unit to work towards; Elephant Archers, in mass, are a game-winning move. It just usually takes too long to get there.

That’s yet another perfect use-case for stone walls.

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That can work as Bengalis also have faster firing EA. Or even Medical Corps being an elephant or even BE version of Kshatriyas or Szlachta Privilege can also work.

If people wanted cheaper elephant archers, it would probably be more effective to just reduce their cost globally. Both Bengalis and Dravidians have relatively low win rates, and Gurjaras aren’t as reliant on them and already have a discount, so any additional discount would be muted in impact.

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Well, Bengalis EA often feel like a monster in closed maps. I think food to gold cost ratio should be changed instead of a direct reduction. For example 80f/70g → 65f/80g will be better.

On Dravidians defensive bonus, half of the bad mobility civ do have some defensive structure or stone bonuses - Koreans, Japanese, Bohemians and even Britons. Rest of the half don’t - Vikings, Ethiopians, Malay and Bengalis. Dravidians is surely designed as the most aggressive among them. So I think it makes sense that they are on the later group.

If anything I’d say, Malay being a slow civ should have got a defence related bonus instead of free infantry armor. My mega civ bonus swap would be
Malay “Infantry armors are free” → Tower technologies (Guard Tower, Keep, BBT, Heated Shot, Arrowslits) are 60% cheaper.
Celts “Infantry moves 15% faster” but don’t have squires → Infantry armors are free and have squires.
Dravidians “Siege units cost 33% less wood” → Militia line moves 15% faster. Medical Corps → Siege units cost 33% less wood.

I don’t like that, mostly the Celts change. They’ve always been the fast infantry civ, I don’t see them changing that now. I wouldn’t WANT that to change.

I do tend to agree that the Malay bonus feels a bit odd, but honestly, I kinda like it for its oddity. Makes them a bit more interesting to play, compared with being more straightforward. Besides, infantry does work quite well with elephants, and if you did remove the bonus you’d probably need to rework their Unique Unit substantially. Feels like a lot of effort for little gain.

As far as Dravidians are concerned, I feel like that would barely be a buff. They already get Squires for half price, which is practically nothing. It would have the advantage of kicking in an age earlier, but honestly squires should ALREADY kick in an age earlier; if that global change ever happens, it’ll hit the Dravidians the most. But overall, saving 50F and getting 5% extra speed is pretty middling on the buffage scale, and I have a hard time seeing that reversing the Dravidian downward winrate curve at that stage.

If you did want to go that route, why not give them ALL the infantry bonus techs an age earlier? Supplies in dark age, Squires and Arson and Gambesons in Feudal?

I don’t think I’d call the Dravidians the most aggressive slow civ. Ethiopians are a much better example imo, and for the most part it seems to me that dravidians are PLAYED aggressively, but are not particularly effective there. They only have about a 51% win rate in that time period, compared to Ethiopians who are closer to 70%. That’s not high enough to me to justify calling dravidians particularly effective there, especially since on arabia that winrate drops off immediately.

Rather, I see them more as a slow burn civ, relying on their elephant units, cheap siege, and powerful trash to win in the lategame. That’s the only place their winrate actually climbs, after all. What I would like to see is them use their early power not to seal games, but to establish map control to hold through their weak midgame period and into their lategame composition. Hence, a stone wall bonus. Push early, and while the enemy is defending, block up significant portions of the map, defending them with cheap siege, until you can get the right mass of elephants or urumis to sweep back in and take the game.