This is just a quick poll question. Those familiar with calculus can just skip to the question at the bottom. For those who need a quick and dirty refresher:
You can think of designing AoE2 as a maximization problem. Assuming the mechanics are established, the only question is how to set the thousands of parameter values like unit HP, civ bonus values, tech tree availability, etc. to achieve the best designed game the mechanics allow for.
The game currently “resides” at the point in the parameter space with the current unit stats, civ bonuses, tech trees, etc. A path through this space would consist of a list of small changes to various values such that you “travel” from one point to a new point in the space via some specific series of small steps.
Now a local maximum occurs when a small step along any path causes the design of the game to worsen. Keep in mind that these small steps can be along directions that involve multiple parameter changes at the same time. For example pikes train 1s faster, knights train 1s slower and squires costs 10f less would together form a small step.
So here is the poll question:
- Agree strongly
- Agree somewhat
- Neither agree nor disagree
- Disagree somewhat
- Disagree strongly
An equivalent phrasing for the above starement in question is “The design of AoE2 cannot be improved without changes in mechanics or large changes in parameter values.”