Empire wars balance

Since we are going to receive a empire wars ranked queue, I was wondering if they will balance some civs specidically for that mode more often than before.

I am not talking about tweaking some civ bonus that made no sense in that setting, like chinese and mayan one. The whole premise of that mode is skipping dark age and starting with a fixed ammount of villagers. I talk about actual balance changes that may be minor for random map but more impactful there. For example, franks lost treadmill crane some time ago, and that change was made mainly for deathmatch.

In empire wars, civs with low eco such as magyars or koreans can shine more than in random map. It is possible that some of those civs becomes OP there. Do you think they will keep balancing the civs for random map and empire wars?
If so, what changes would you do to the current civs for EW?

I suppose they will try to find a way around Vikings/Eth for the time being since they are the big two auto-picks. Anyway I sure don’t want them to make changes that would carry over to non-EW settings.

I don`t think so… Even for DM there was no balance, just because there are civs which adventage during middle game, but weak post-imp, on the other hand we have a civ shining in post-imp. Balancing RM with a lot of civs is quite difficult, so i wouldnt expect special balance for EW

I guess so. There already have been minor changes and against the background of everyone picking vikings or ethiopians on the araba-like standard map they probably will continue doing so going in future. Would make sense when EW gets integrated in ranked.

Can’t really think of anything that would be significant for ew but minor for rm. I wouldn’t expect changes that exceed the start specifically in ew because it would be awkward to have civs playing out differently across different game modes.

I don’t even think that is the case. You’re probably right for eco bonuses that are effective in dark age (like celts), though. For instance, ethiopians not only gets picked because of faster firing archers but also their eco which is pretty strong in ew.

I don’t like the incoherence of what civs get their bonuses and which not. I mean formally I can see why ethiopians (feudal age bonus) do and lithuanians (dark age bonus) don’t but I don’t think it makes any sense in terms of actual gameplay. I get why chinese don’t have extra vils and instead have standard res, they’d be too strong otherwise (bc you won’t have idle tc at the start with all that farms and berry vils) but imo lith, aztecs and persians should get their starting res. Beyond that I don’t think there is all that much do balance.

Next balance changes will probably include also EW balance changes. The devs are pushing this game mode and i would imagine this will include balance changes as well.

yep which means some civs just won’t be good in Empire Wars. Lithuanians they chose to make them start without the extra food and it made the civ a complete non entity, as an example.

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Lithuanians can start with +75F in EW and Persians with +50W

I think this thread asks the wrong question. It assumes empire wars is even able to be properly balanced without significant changes.

  • For one thing “If something is OP in empire wars then it’s OP in random map” is usually true. After all it takes a large bonus to be OP in a game where your starting economy is like 8 times bigger. But by contraposition it must also be true that “If something is not OP in random map, it is not OP in empire wars” is usually true. Nominal bonuses like 150 food or 50f/50w fall into this category.

  • The reason the above is not universally true is because the EW starting resources are about 1500 lower than a normal game at 27 villagers. This has a bunch of implications which weren’t really thought of. While the economy ratios of two civs will still converge toward the same number, the time for them to get within a “reasonable” range of the ratio they’re balanced for is greatly increased. E.g. take vikings. If you assume 50% of costs are fixed (villagers, buildings, walls, etc) and wheelbarrow is a 10% improvement on resource gathering, then vikings have 20% more resources for military expenditure. So 20% is the asymptote they converge toward. However if you start with 2000 resources (normal game ignoring stone) it takes about 5 minutes to get above 10% total military advantage. Meanwhile starting with 500 (empire wars start ignoring stone) it only takes 90 seconds. At 10 minutes there’s still a 4 point difference.

  • You can also check to what degree some of the bonuses are OP compared to random map. E.g. Mayans and Chinese having +1 and +3 starting villagers with no penalty in empire wars is strictly weaker than +1 and +3 villagers with the penalty in dark age. This is because of how “late” empire wars starts (27 villagers). By that time the Chinese or Mayan player has long paid back the starting penalty and a good Chinese player will be down maybe 1 villager tops. Of course this would be OP in empire wars because of the lower resources.

I’m not saying these models are 100% correct but integrating villager time less roughly estimated fixed costs is the closest thing you can get to an estimate of military advantage derived from economic advantage absent gigantic number of playtest hours under very specific conditions. I’d say as long as they keep the initial resources lower than one would expect for 27 villagers there’s going to be problems. However even if you boost the resources there’s going to be some other problems like lithuanians bonus being easy to include but britons/tatars not being easy.

while largely true, it isn’t always true.
Ethiopians are insanely strong in EW, but only about average or maybe slightly above average in Random Maps.
Magyars as well, are basically average at absolute best right now normally, but are considered very strong in EW
Berbers also tend to be a pretty solid pick in EW but also only about average outside of that.

I hope they don’t start balancing around EW. Balance is already full of weird issues and holes, it’d just compound the problem.

EW = Empire wars?
sounds about rigth lol

I know, I outlined the primary reason for the exceptions in my post. Both sides are lacking around resources so any military bonus or economy bonus is greatly amplified in the first 10 minutes or so because the convergence to the “balanced” eco ratios takes some time. Food eco especially takes a while to converge due to the low farm numbers.

E.g. 27 → 40 + castle age gives you 7000 resources (approx, this is the upper bound) over that time span not including the 500 non stone starting resources. So in a normal game this would be closer to 9000 rather than 7500. At least half of that is going to not military units. So the amount of resources available for military production is 3750 rather than 5250. Bonuses are basically pure profit that add into that. Needless to say (3750+x)/3750 > (5250 +x)/5250.

That’s basically the minimum discrepancy. Just looking at red bull wololo most of the games have much less military in the opening 10 minutes meaning those bonuses x are not a 3-5% bonus but can be more like 15-20% which is huge.

It also amplifies the removal of dark age bonuses for the same reason it amplifies the feudal age bonuses.

You can think of it as a lack of inertia: the less inertia there is the more effect small nudges are going to have. RM has more mass but EW uses the same nudges → EW more likely to overshoot.

Impossible, the game modes are too similar.

I just think that civ variety won’t be a strenght of EW, which isn’t a surprise since you completely skip an age, so there’s less room to make civs unique. The only way I see to balance the mode without touching RM is to give some sort of compensation to civs that lose dark age bonuses, but that would be a lot of effort for the balance team and won’t give back the flavor of playing those civs anyway

That’s true and I think it’s pretty good for game variety. With these civs in mind we have 2 civs out of the 3 most popular so (third one being vikings ofc) that seem top-tier in ew but only average in rm.

While they probably profit a bit from the game mode since they skip dark age where there isn’t any significant bonuses for them I think this might rather be due to the map pool than ew itself. RB4 features quite some maps that have an open center and much spaces to maneuver around. So people will likely pick cav and/or cav archer civs against which berbers always is a solid pick.

Yeah that’d be way too much effort and there is enough work to do with balancing rm, matchmaking and the like which should have higher priority imo.


The game is balanced around 1v1 Arabia. Nothing else for the most part. Balancing the game with Empire Wars in mind will ruin the game.

Empire Wars is far from a standard game, and should not be considered in the least.

Correctly! EW = Empires Wars and it is coming to ranked!

Since it will be part of ranked, it makes sense if it is considered for balance changes. The main focus will probably be still 1v1 Arabia, but also other things will get the attention from the devs, so why dont also look at EW?

I don’t think it should be considered. Since we might see some dumb changes to civs due to it. Like Goth getting stone walls. The Persians TC bonus not working until Castle Age. All sorts of things will ruin the base game.

Traditionally, it was Eagle Warrios.
Eagle Warrior ranked mode sounds cool

I agree. But without proper balance, I feel that empirewars will fall like the battle royale mode, so it should be relegated to a “fun gamemode”.

Idk why RW would require Goths to get stone walls or to nerf Persians 11

Empire wars is close enough from RM than it stands a chance ig. And heck I don’t think they ever advertised BR as a competitive gamemode.

There are multiple names used for different things. For example: What is a smush?
Saracens monk rush? Siege much rush? …?