I would redesign Dravidians Civ (which is actually based around Sri Lankan and South Indian kingdoms in the game) as ‘Economy and Naval Civ’.
Nature of Dravidians Civ:
Historically, this was a civ with slow moving land units (‘slow’ because it didn’t have large numbers of the best horses and camels) based around peninsular Southern India and the island of Sri Lanka that excels in food production, naval battles and trade. This region still has the highest elephant population anywhere in South Asia. Historically, it has had plentiful paddy-fields, and the Cholas’ irrigation the ‘Grand Dam’ is a great man-made engineering from c.150 CE that still stands today.
What should have this South Asian (Indian) Civ got with respect to elephants based on the above facts?
- Gurjaras’ elephant units train faster, deal bonus damage and get food discounts.
- And Bengalis get really good elephant bonuses and are an elephant civ in the game.
- Dravidians - some useful elephant bonus? RIGHT! But do the current bonuses help Dravidian elephant units? Not much.
Wootzsteel Siege Elephants don’t get Husbandry, Bloodlines and the last Cavalry armour. They are incredibly slow and BBCs are much better (wood over food, and the range and the line of sight that come with it for a tortoise civ). Because of bad/ineffective elephant bonuses, it is worth not creating Battle Elephants and Armoured Elephants.
On top of that, you have to keep them alive till you research Wootzsteel. It seems as if the Devs made Wootzsteel the remedy to all the miseries of Dravidians in the game. But why is Wootzsteel not a Civ bonus (from the start of the game), or at least as a Castle Age tech when it was invented in 1st century BC? Dravidians should be buffed if Wootzsteel comes to them as an Imperial Age tech.
Design 1: ECONOMY AND NAVAL CIV
Nature of the civ:
- Good supply of resources
All food income 10-20% faster (starting from Dark Age) or food income +5% Dark, +10% Feudal, +15% Castle, and +20% Imperial Age.
This bonus does justice to Dravidians’ farming and fishing heritage.
Economic buildings (except TC and Docks) have more line of sight. How much line of sight? Shall be +2 to +6, or +1 per age starting from Dark Age.
Elephant units and Scout-Cavalry line regenerate 20-30HP and 10-20 HP respectively per minute.
Elephant Archers and skirmishers attack 25% faster.
Castle Age Tech:
Spice Trade :
More gold returns from food than usual. Base minimum sale of food increased from 100 to 200, 300 or above so as to not abuse the exchange feature.
Spices were the unique commodity Dravidians traded during ancient and medieval periods. Pepper, turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon reached the Far East (China) and the West (Rome) from Dravidian ports like Muziris, Kochi, Kollam and Calicut (which are in south-western peninsular India). And Dravidians eliminated pirates, and secured trade routes along the Malay peninsula.
Imperial Age Tech:
Infantry and Cavalry attacks ignore enemy armour.
Economic buildings (Lumber and Mining Camps, Mills and Market) provide +5 population room.
Design 2: INFANTRY AND NAVAL CIV
Nature of the civ:
The following bonus (Grand Corps) is added in the place of Medical Corps to the existing game design of Dravidians (Infantry and Naval Civ). (However, they lose discounted Barracks techs bonus and Supplies.)
All land units (excluding villagers and trade carts) 5-10% cheaper, +5 to +10% more HP and regenerate +5 to +10% HP per minute.
This keeps them as immobile as they are right now but gives them some respite from troubles caused by immobility.
Apart from the above design ideas, I agree with