So at the moment, the House of Wisdom is a fairly underwhelming landmark and is one of the major weaknesses of the Abbasid. The biggest reason for this (imo) is that the HoW doesn’t actually provide any bonuses on age up, instead requiring additional investments in both resources and time in order to gain value from it (there’s also the issue of some upgrades being generally useless but that’s another thing).
My proposal is to give upgrades instantly for free in a staggered formation. So, nothing changes in feudal compared to what the HoW’s current behavior is, you’d still have to get whatever upgrade for the wing you got for feudal (usually fresh foodstuffs). However, let’s say you go faith wing for castle age. Instead of then needing to get the preservation of knowledge upgrade and whatever else you want from your existing wings, you’d get preservation of knowledge for free as soon as you age up to castle. You’d still have to manually get medical centers and everything in your feudal wing, but the feudal upgrade for your new wing (faith) is covered by the age up. Similarly, if you then got the military wing to go imperial, you’d get both camel buff upgrades instantly for free upon aging up, but you’d still have to pay for the healthier infantry, as well as the upgrades you haven’t taken in all other wings yet. Beyond that, if you were to get a 4th wing after going imperial, that wing would net you all of its upgrades for free instantly upon construction.
The idea is to make wings have better immediate value later in the game while not greatly affecting early HoW gameplay, which serves two purposes:
- Castle and Imperial wings feel much better to take, as you now have to sink less resources into each new wing’s upgrades, nor do you have to wait for said upgrades to complete. The 4th wing is normally almost never taken at the moment, as imperial resources + 2k more for upgrades + 5m of time to do all of that is comparably not worth it as building a wonder in a 1v1. With these changes, 4th wing becomes only imperial resources + 2m to complete the wing in order to receive all of its benefits, making it possibly worthwhile in long matches.
- Existing powerful wings in the early game (culture and faith) don’t gain much from this change (although getting Preservation of Knowledge instantly with castle age faith is nice) don’t become much stronger (assuming current trends hold, culture is unaffected by such a change), but typically later game wings (military and trade) become substantially stronger. It also encourages possibly delaying a wing in order to get its upgrades for free (perhaps one might delay faith until imperial for instant Preservation of Knowledge and Medical Centers, or delay trade as a 4th wing so both Spice Roads and Grand Bazaar are free)
Of course there’s other issues with the civ (camel riders being extremely underwhelming and certain HoW upgrades serving no clear purpose), but the hope is that such a change would both buff the civ and breathe new life into an otherwise “solved” system (culture > faith > military is the order in the vast majority of games)