Dravidians redsign ideas

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.

Nature of the civ:

  • Defensive
  • Slow-moving
  • Good supply of resources

Civ Bonus:

  • 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.

Unique Units
2.Urumi Swordsman

Unique Techs:
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:
Wootzsteel :
Infantry and Cavalry attacks ignore enemy armour.

Team Bonus:
Economic buildings (Lumber and Mining Camps, Mills and Market) provide +5 population room.

Nature of the civ:

  • Defensive
  • Slow-moving
  • Economical
  • Self-caring

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

  1. GentleEvening5’s - Dravidians rework without knights and Urumi Swordmen rework, and
  2. runtygrunty’s idea of making Medical Corps a civ bonus.

I’d at least rename the Thirisadai, given the ship class that inspired it is completely made up


The Slavs farming bonus, and even simply better, which is not creative and is risky.

For the economic bonus, I would keep the existing fishing bonus and improve the wood bonus to get 10 wood for each existing Villager. When there are more villagers, you can get more wood when hitting a new Age.
This would be a more flexible bonus, quite helpful for navies, building buildings, and farming, which doesn’t make them lose their naval advantage when the team bonus no longer makes Docks provide +5 population.

Why Scout Cavalry here? This goes against their theme and makes them very powerful early game.

This is a No.
In the late game, you’ll be able to sell food for a higher price, buy food for a lower price, and sell it again.
Such a cycle means unlimited gold at no cost. Adjusting the base sale won’t help.

Some my suggestions.

To provide a new mid-game power.

  • Remain Barrack tech discounts.
  • New bonus: Two-Handed Swordsmen available in the Castle Age.

To keep the naval advantage.

  • Remain the fishing bonus and the current team bonus.

To improve the land game experience.

  • Gain Husbandry and Redemption but lose Block Printing.
  • Remain the RoF bonus at least for Skirmishers.
  • Receive 10 wood for every existing Villager when hitting a new Age, rather than a fixed 200 wood.

To adjust the problems of historical references.
According to the records in the AoE Fandom, the Medical Corps and Thirisadai are based on the outdated Wikipedia entries that believed to be hoaxed since they had no historical references

  • Rename the Castle Age UT to Payanam — the admiralty and logistics of the medieval Chola army.
  • Rename Thirisadai to Marak kalam — the largest type of ship in the Chola Navy.
  • Payanam still provide the elephants regeneration as its first effect.
  • Payanam can also make the elephants move faster, or make the elephants have a resource trickle when not during the battle animaiton. (Inspired by the card Grazing in the AoE3 Indians.)
  • Payanam may also allow Marak kalam available in the Castle Age and make Marak kalam a bit cheaper.

To improve elephants.

  • Gain BEs and Crop Rotation.
  • Wootzsteel only benefits the infantry, or ignore just 50% of enemy armor.

To remake Urumi.
I would like to make it something like a Huskarl but anti melee.

  • HP: 40 → 50 (elite)
  • attack: 8 → 10
  • armor: 7/0 → 10/0
  • speed: 1.02 (or 1.2)
  • Can always cause the trample damage, but the charge mechanic is used to dodge projectiles instead of giving extra attack.
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Yup! agree with a lot of inferences here especially the scout line regenerating HP. There is no point in having such a weak scout line without civ bonus.

Spice trade tech looks interesting. But in problematic castle age, food is more valuable than gold. But I can see a use case in late imperial age.

The main problem with new civs is the elephant archer. Normal archer costs wood and elephant archers cost food. This is a fundamental design flaw. This was a legacy design of old Indians unique unit. Unfortunately lazy game designers just carried forward that. Nobody used elephant archers with Indians. The devs never wondered why.

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I fully disagree. Elephant archers are fine by themselves. They are just a very expensive pop efficient archer, so they are nice in late imperial games (especially closed maps team games), and very hard to justify in castle age, way worse than for cav archers.

But at least they have good accuracy and are usable even without thumb ring, contrary to cav archers. Some civs got horrible cav archers, but are still fine as a civ.
I think you shouldnt see EA as knights replacement, but as cav archers replacement. When your opponent is going full knights, you shouldnt counter it with full EA.

The “problem” of “new civs” is for me the lack of knights/camels/s.riders/eagles. So there is no problem with Gurjaras, only with Dravidians and Bengalis.

For low and mid ELOs, civs without good cavalry need a very very strong bonus to survive. Like Britons got extra range for xbows and Vikings got a strong mid game eco along with +2 knights.
Now imagine Dravidians with the Britons +1/+2 extra xbow range. The civ would be at least fine (not advocating for this specific change, it s just as example).

Only at high ELO, the players do not really mind missing knights compared to having Koreans level of knights. So for me Dravidians and Bengalis are very hard civs that people shouldnt main if they want to climb the ladder.

In the end, most people complained about archers and xbows being OP in open maps, but Spanish and Bulgarians are going much better than Begalis and Dravidians.

  • I would vouch for a better food bonus for Dravidians that applies to both fishing and farming. Hunters and foragers can collect food at the regular speed. So, yes, 5% faster fishermen, fishing ships and farmers is a nice bonus.
  • As for your wood bonus, that is a really nice idea since the present wood bonus is not useful in Imperial Age. But you’re making Dravidians further OP on water maps, which is very undesirable and unwanted at the moment.
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I’m pretty sure themes could be kept aside when there is a need to buff, and civs get certain civ bonuses irrelevant to their theme and that’s okay. Here’s a handicapped civ that needs better cavalry. I would have self-healing horsies, and if that’s too much to ask for, we could have Dravidian cavalry without the last two cavalry armour upgrades just like Malays.

Anyway, you will never see horsies as Dravidians’ main army unless you are a pro whose play-style is different from vast majority of gamers.

Slower self-healing Light Cavalry without Husbandry and Bloodlines are very powerful in early Castle Age? Not sure how ‘very’ powerful since they are the most ‘meh’ light cavalry in the game.

Dravidians need Spice Trade. What tea and silk meant to Chinese is what spice meant to Dravidians. They excelled in spice trade and wealth poured in. They are going to pay for this tech anyway, and this bonus doesn’t come for free like Saracens. The amount of tax levied for sale of resources shall be higher than Saracens’. You can also remove their current gold mining upgrade.

And the whole point of my design is to make Dravidians more ‘economy-oriented’ than ‘infantry’.

These chnages suit the existing design better than before.

They are already a top tier naval civ and would continue to be so with their Galley-line killers (Thirisadai) and fully upgraded Dock. The present Team Bonus is bad. At least Dravidians could have got Gurjaras’ Team Bonus (not camels though).

Yes, their Skirmishers are much better than Elephant Archers in countering many UUs. They make up for the lack of good mobile cavalry (knight-line) in such cases. And their Elephant Archers are useable with Husbandry, but I highly doubt if Dravidians would go for Elephant Archers with bad Medical Corps and no Block Printing. Redemption would do good to Dravidians.

Khmers and Persians have these bonuses already. And what about the cost for such a Castle Age tech with multiple bonuses? Much more food on already food-hungry units?

Does this mean elephants also generate resources while moving as well? And how many resources would elephants generate?
And we should actually make elephants in the first place.

‘Mara Kalam’ and ‘Mara-Kalam’ (not ‘Marak Kalam’) sound better than ‘Thirisadai’ as for as grammar and history are considered. I tried spelling it the other way, but the forums’ censor would hash (#), hash (#) it 11.

This killer ship in Castle Age is too OP, and others would vehemently oppose this change. l, myself, want this ship in Castle Age, but I know that’s going to make Dravidians ‘the best naval civ’ in the game. There are, already!
And with your proposed wood bonus and with existing Shipwright tech, why do you want to make this unique ship much cheaper and faster on top of being available one age earlier?

Why nerf Wootzsteel? At the moment, Dravidians’ best answer to Hussite Wagons and Organ Guns is their Light Cavalry with Wootzsteel. And Dravidians’ Light Cavalry is actually useable only in one case (which is snipping Hussites and Organs), yet you nerf that? Not a good idea. Andnot to mention that Bohemians are a monk civ with Spearman-line that deals +25% bonus damage. It’s better to use Light Cavalry with Wootzsteel than Battle Elephants (without Wootzsteel), Urumis (expensive and poor pierce armour) or Champions, where the former provides more value for what you pay for, but certainly don’t become a nightmare for the opponents.

To remake Urumi.
I would like to make it something like a Huskarl but anti melee.

This is a wrong idea. Urumis actual weakness - ranged units and defensive buildings, but they are good against most melee units once they get Wootzsteel. They are squishy and die to castle and TC fires. If you want to buff Urumis in parallel with your proposed tech tree rework and balance changes, you need to make Urumis run and fill up the void Dravidians have because of immobility. You could also have Urumis as anti-siege units.

charge mechanic is used to dodge projectiles instead of giving extra attack

That’s a nice idea and this is one of the buffs Urumis need.

You can post your organized thoughts in one reply after reading my statement totally, instead of replying halfway through reading and splitting it into several replies.

5% is insignificant in actual experience. But you can’t just improve it either, because you can’t make it better than the Slavs’ one. The usual approach is to choose a certain aspect and give enough buffs on it. So, I would say the best thing to do is just keep the current fishing bonus and leave it alone.

The benefits of improving wood bonuses are far greater on land than on water. Of course it would help the water too, but for the Dravidians who are weak on land, it would a fitting improvement. If you want to nerf their water (especially after this wood bonus improvement), changing the team bonus is the solution, because that’s what makes them strong on water.

Just because you don’t have to stick to the theme, doesn’t mean you can ignore the theme.
For a civ where horses are supposed to be weak and have no merit, it would be weird to get a military bonus that has a direct benefit to horses.

Anyway, my suggestion above already states that I choose to keep the regeneration in UT, so I don’t have this problem.

The Chinese have not emphasized tea and silk in their technology tree.

It doesn’t matter that you have to pay. As lo## ## you can earn more gold from selling food than you need to buy the same amount of food, this will be OP, as this effect will allow the player to quickly get more and more gold by repeating selling and buying food.

Especially in the late game food is quite cheap. This means that if you want to prevent the effect from being abused like that, you have to turn it down very low that the gold you earn by selling is still not enough to buy. At that time I just think that it may be just better to simply research Guild.

The Khmer one is a bonus, not a UT effect. Here, Dravidians will pay so that a better one can be obtained. This kind of design is very common. For example, the Burmese’s infantry attack bonus “overlaps” with Garland Wars.

The Persian one is even not a problem, because in actual operation, the objects they can affect are different. Persians have no access to Battle Elephants, Elephant Archers, and Siege Elephants, while Dravidians have no access to War Elephants. What’s more, the Mahouts should not be a UT effect at all, but a part of the War Elephant elite upgrade.

The cost of a technology is not related to how many effects it has, but rather how much influence those effects totally bring. For Payanam, I think it might be around 400 food & 200 gold or 300 food & 300 gold.

A useful elephant civilization must have an economic bonus, but the bonus does not necessarily have to be directly about food.

That improved wood bonus means you can have more Farms for free. It can also be repurposed for other strategies when you don’t need to use the elephants. In fact, it’s better than a pure farming rate boost. In addition, I also mentioned above that if they want to have a good BE strategy, they should gain Crop Rotation.

I was going to type “kk” consecutively, but that would be censored, so I split it with a space.

OP? I’ve never seen anyone win with this unit. The vast majority of comments I have observed are that the unit is not worth using at all. Whoever uses it loses the naval battle. At that high cost, it has no real advantages other than the population efficiency. Even in the pinnacle of naval battle in the Imperial Age, there is still no player intending to use it to get ahead. It’s already a more highly situational unit than War Elephants, and probably only Missionaries can match it.

Giving it a chance to be a little cheaper (like 10% off or 15% off) is a decent change. And/Or making it available in the Castle Age can give it a useful period before people have Galleons in the Imperial Age. Having to build the castle first and research the UT in order to use it early would be a good tradeoff.

Also, making Payanam also have small naval effects besides elephant effects is to reflect the historical reference that it was not only also the logistics but also the admiralty of Chola Empire.

Their best answer to Hussite Wagons and Organ Guns in the Imperial Age should be Bombard Cannons, not Light Cavalry.

If you want to have them have a decent Battle Elephant strategy, it’s obviously risky to have Elite Battle Elephants with ability of ignoring 100% melee armor, even if they don’t have Plate Barding Armor.

The current Urumi with Wootz Steel are stupid, melting everything they come close to, including ranged units, Samurai, Teutonic Knights, and Jaguar Warriors. The only thing that can restrain them is their own cost.

Dravidians need a decent option against melee high mobility units such as Knights, and a remade Urumi with high melee armor (7 → 10) and enough speed (1.2) is a good way to go. Changing the charge bar from giving extra attack to dodging projectiles helps keep them from melting units that are supposed to counter them, and allows them to survive under archers’ attack a little longer as infantry to fulfill their role that against melee high mobility units.

IMO, Urumis are fine
The problem the Dravidians have is the big difference between the water maps, where they are solid without being OP, and the land/open maps (Arabia), where they just suck, especially against Knight civs
The Dravidians are a naval and infantry civ with a huge eco bonus, but you have to play outside of the stable, hands down the worst in the game (why do they have access to that building at this point?, even Incas and Aztecs have more options with a stable)
Ideas should be focused on Infantry and/or Archer Elephants; make these units work

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The tech is OP for water and it will only encourage 3 TC boom in castle age. It does not give any answer to Knights.

Yup! 5% faster farming and fishing would be a solid bonus in place of fish carry capacity bonus. It is quite straight forward and necessary for a civ with elephants. I doubt it will hit the farming rate ceiling. So it should be fine.

I had done the same re-design some time back. That design would have been enough to deal with cavalry. The only drawback of that design was that it was food intensive. But the unit would have been amazing to defend one on one vs Knights. Here is the link.

Urumi re-design:
Cost            : 80 Food  25 Gold [**CHANGE**]  Increase food by 15 and Gold 5
Training time   : 12 seconds [**CHANGE**] Increase time by +4 sec
Hit points      : 55, 65 (Elite)
Melee Attack    : 8, 10 (Elite)  same as now
Attack bonus    : +2, +3 (Elite) vs Cavalry [**CHANGE**] (Changed from Eagle)
                  +1, +2 (Elite) vs Siege [**CHANGE**] (Changed from Building)
Rate of Fire    : 1 [**CHANGE**] (Changed from 2) 100% faster
Melee armor     : 1 
Pierce armor    : 0 
Armor class     : Infantry, Unique unit.
Speed           : 1.15 [**CHANGE**] 0.1 Buff
Line of Sight   : 3
Ability         : Charges its attack by 12 (15 Elite) damage over 24 (20 Elite) seconds and
                     dealing a blast attack of 50% strength in 0.75 tiles radius.
                  [**NEW**] The charge bar is also a damage avoiding bar.
                  [**NEW**] The charge bar recharges only when Urumi is not attacking.
                  [**NEW**] Once charge attack is made on enemy unit, the bar becomes empty.

Unit evolution  : Elite Urumi Swordsman
Upgrade cost    : 900 food, 450 gold
Upgrade time    : 45 seconds
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Yes, Medical Corps on Light Cavalry is useful. It is not OP if we look at how that teck works on Elephant units at the present rate. Anyway, Light Cavalry is easily countered by most units in the game.

As for Spice Trade, I think not all Unique Techs are meant to power up their respective civs, take Medical Corps for example :joy:. Food won’t be problematic when you get food faster from water and farms.

The main problem with new civs is the elephant archer. Normal archer costs wood and elephant archers cost food. This is a fundamental design flaw. This was a legacy design of old Indians unique unit. Unfortunately lazy game designers just carried forward that. Nobody used elephant archers with Indians. The devs never wondered why.

Guess Devs thought that useless Battle Elephants (in case of Dravidians) would make way for faster firing Elephant Archers. After all, Skirmishers and Archers can do the job of Elephant Archers economically and the Dravidian player shall not be at a great risk if he loses his Elephant Archers in early Castle Age.

The tech is OP for water and it will only encourage 3 TC boom in castle age. It does not give any answer to Knights.

The tech (civ bonus) is really questionable. After you hit Imperial Age with 100+ villagers, you get 1000+ wood. Increasing wood give away by 200 upon every age sounds much better. I agree with TC boom. With plenty of wood, you can make wood-costing units aplenty - Halberdiers (answer to knights), Archers, Skirmishers, Onagers and BBCs, provided you have enough food or gold to make them.

But Dravidians have a significant problem - food shortage. You can ask me - why not make farms? But to make farms you need villagers, right? I’m not pointing to the question ‘what comes first - chicken or egg?’ The problem is Dravidians’ units are food intensive. For this very reason, I believe that ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T COST FOOD IS THE GO-TO TRASH UNIT FOR DRAVIDIANS, since food is more valuable than gold to Dravidians. Their version of Cavalry Archers and Rams are all food intensive.

Yup! 5% faster farming and fishing would be a solid bonus in place of fish carry capacity bonus. It is quite straight forward and necessary for a civ with elephants. I doubt it will hit the farming rate ceiling. So it should be fine.

I see this as an extension of their existing food bonus that falls apart when:
A. you run out of shore, which renders the fishermen bonus useless,
B. fish is too far away docks, and
C. your fishing ships are destroyed.

Also the civ bonus I suggested is flexible - you can really on food from farms if not from fish, which is actually a consolation bonus on pure land maps, and this may make Dravidians not look very, very meh on Arabia. Not to mention, the current team bonus is useless on such maps.

Bombard Cannons take a ton of resources and time to be made in contrast to Organ Guns and Hussite Wagons. Moreover, Bohemians and Portuguese are gunpowder civs whose unique techs supplement their unique units really well. Light Cavalary (with or without) Wootzsteel is a much better go-to counter for Dravidians.