How to give Mongols Steppe Lancer and stay balanced

Step 1: Give Mongols Steppe Lancer (and Elite upgrade)
Step 2: Remove Knight cavalry line
Step 3: Optional balance changes: Option 1: Remove Champion upgrade, Option 2: Remove Heavy Camel upgrade, or Option 3: Apply both options 1 & 2

The Mongols were known for their mobility and light cavalry. They were not known for heavy cavalry, infantry, and camelry.


They really need to give older civs an overhaul to make them more historically accurate. There’s no reason for far-east civs to have European-style knights as their only cavalry now that the Steppe Lancer and Battle Elephant exist. Give the Mongols the Steppe Lancer, the Persians the Battle Elephant and so on, and remove the Knight line from them.


(1) Balance is more important than historical accuracy.

(2) Even if you can get both balance AND historical accuracy with these changes … it would change AoE2 too much. It would be far more than just a couple of balance changes if lots of civs had Steppe Lancers but knights removed. It’s important that the game still feels like AoE2 with balance changes and extra civs … rather than a completely different game altogether.

P.S. I actually have the opposite idea. Remove the Steppe Lancer from Cumans. It’s a way to both (a) Nerf Cumans (b) Give Tartars more identity.


How can you make this argument? If you could make AOE2 more historically accurate AND maintain balance, it would make the game more enjoyable and immersive. It would make the game BETTER!

What’s with all these old school AOE2 players that want to keep everything vanilla? I’ve been playing the AOE series since AOE came out in 1997. It has been my favorite series of all time, and my only issue with the series is that the civs are not unique enough (until AOE3). Now Microsoft and Relic are literally making AOE4 to have more unique and historically accurate civs. So your argument doesn’t work here.


It still has to feel like AoE2.

For example, Starcraft, AoM and AoE3 are great games … so you could make interesting changes that were arguably good that are similar to those games …

… changing the random maps to mirror maps for example (like they have in Starcraft) … whith no random generation so resources were fair … is a common suggestion … but an unpopular one!

It’s not that mirror maps are bad or not more fair. It’s that that changes the core game of AoE2 way too much.

I’m not “one of those oldschool players” … it’s not about nostalgia … it’s about making improvements without changing the CORE of the game. There’s a difference. I don’t want to “keep everything vanilla” either … if I was like that I would be one of those oldschool players who was unhappy with the new expansions and the improvements DE has added. I’m not. Why? Because they improve the gameplay and add things WITHOUT changing the CORE of the game.

You don’t think my argument doesn’t work because you haven’t addressed my argument at all you’ve addressed your own misrepresentation of it.

Yes, with AoE4 of course changing the core gameplay from AoE2 doesn’t matter so much … because it’s not AoE2! It’s AoE4. So it’s actually what you said that doesn’t work.

Even then, there are clear similarities between AoE4, from what we’ve seen, and AoE2 … and that’s simply because AoE2 is the most popular and successful of the AoE series. But the difference is it’s STILL a new game … and of course it’s fine to have more flexibility … it’s a totally new game. I have no complaints about any of the core gameplay from AoE2 being completely different in AoE 4… because it’s a different game altogether. But we’re not talking about AoE4 … we’re talking about AoE2. And just because I don’t want the CORE of the game to change doesn’t mean that I want to ‘keep everything vanilla’, lol.

Obviously there comes a point where you change the core gameplay of AOE2 so much that it isn’t even AoE2 anymore.

And yes, even if it was better balance AND historical accuracy … that wouldn’t mean it was more fun to play … because most of the AoE2 community still wants it to still at least feel like AoE2 with improvements … and not like a different game altogether.

Like I said, changing away from random maps to mirror maps would be more balanced … but most of the AoE2 community don’'t want that … and it doesn’t mean that anybody who doesn’t want to turn this into Starcraft wants to keep “everything vanilla”.

It’s not as simple as you pretend it is. Taking half the knight civs’ knights away is not going to happen … even if it was both more balanced and historically accurate? Why? Because it’s less fun and it wouldn’t feel like AoE2 anymore to so many people. That would be far too big of a change … obviously. Not going to happen … for a reason. There’s more to a game’s greatness than merely balance + historical accuracy.

Knights are a widely available unit in AoE2 … that isn’t going to change. This is still AoE2.


So many people are unhappy with this and don’t want this … and thank goodness for that.

AoE2 is a classic game. This is a defnitive edition of a classic game … not an actual remake. It’s a remaster, not a remake.

Old civs still have to feel like old civs. Units that are common still have to be common … you can’t change the core gameplay of the game. Tweaking the balance is important … but, no, DON’T overhaul the gameplay or the civs altogether. Good grief, no, no, no. Terrible idea.

Cysion was very clear about how although they are adding quality of life improvements, new civs, balance changes, etc, they are not going to change the core gameplay because the AoE2 community loves the AoE2 gameplay.

If civs were too unique from each other it would be far too much like AoE3 … and yes AoE4 looks to make civs more unique too … but it’s a different game! AoE2 has never been like that … nor has AoE1. Leave what makes those games great alone …and yes, the vast majority of players of this great game, myself included, DON’T want a HUGE overhaul on civ uniqueness. And yes, it’s also important that knights look the same for every civ that has access to them.

The majority of us AoE2 lovers understand the difference between tweaking the game with small improvements on the one hand and sabotaging the game altogether by changing it WAY TOO MUCH on the other hand! No sabotage of the best game ever, please! I am really happy with the direction DE has gone in so far … the last thing we need is changing the old civs so much that you remove knights from many of them and stuff like that … and we really don’t want to end up with this game having the units look unique for each civ, etc, that is NOT AoE2! That’s fine for AoE3 or 4 but that isn’t AoE2 or 1 … The first two games are not like that. Again, this is a definitive remaster of the ORIGINAL CLASSIC … not an overhaul!

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Wow, that is a lot of words about something this arbitrary, and a lot of really silly assumptions. You do not speak for any “majority”. Old civs have seen major changes in each expansion without any of the imaginary outrage you describe, and there’s absolutely no issue with replacing Knights with Steppe Lancers or Battle Elephants for some civs. Reconsider your life priorities if THIS is what you want to spend your evenings arguing about. The old version of the game will always be there for puritans regardless.


You’re still misrepresenting what I said. I’m, again, not against civ changes or balance changes … I’m against changing the CORE of the gameplay and it’s not an assumption that the core of the AoE2 community love the core gameplay of AoE2.

You once again misrepresent me as somebody who wants to keep the ‘old version of the game’. Total nonsense, again. As I have said, I’m in favor of DE and I’ve been in favor of all the new expansions and balance changes. What I’m against is a completely ridiculous overhaul. And Cysion has made it very clear already, for example, that the core gameplay won’t be changed. Why? Because, like I said, the active AoE2 community loves the AoE2 gameplay. FAR from a silly assumption … it’s completley obvious to anybody who has any idea what they’re talking about when it comes to AoE2.

Removing knights from half of the civs that have knights, including the old civs, isn’t a simple balance change … it’s utterly absurd. It’s very clear that you don’t understand AoE and it’s embarassing that you can’t see the difference between somebody objecting to an absurdity such as that and somebody who wants to keep an ‘old version of the game’. So please stop putting words in my mouth and pretending I’m making such a claim when I’ve said time and time again that I’m not. There are plenty of AoE2 fans who loves the balance changes and new civs but that doesn’t mean they’re crazy enough to think that removing knights away from half of the civs in the game is anything other than completely nuts. It’s not just a bad idea, it’s not just a terrible idea, it’s one of the worst ideas anybody has ever had regarding AoE2. It’s along the lines of “Make this game more like Starcraft or AoE3” level bad.

Once again, I’,m not a “puritan”. … I’m all about the game progressing … hence why I love DE and all the new expansions and balance changes … as I’ve already said time and time again. Just because I think a completely ridiculous overhaul is a completely ridiculous overhaul doesn’t mean I want to keep the game the way it is. I can be in favor of many game imrprovements but still want it to still be AoE2 … and you can’t seem to see the difference at all.

Luckily, the devs aren’t crazy enough to actually remove knights away from half of the civs so I have nothing to worry about and I’m just frustrated that you’re unable to see how crazy of an idea it is. Like Cysion has said more than once: the core gameplay is not going to be changed (and, remember, the topic is AoE2 DE here, not AoE4. Yes, the core gameplay may change a lot for AoE4 (because it’s not the same game!) but this is NOT AoE4).

Finally, there was absolutely no need to get personal. I will not reconsider my life priorities just because you tell me to. AoE2 is my life priority … hence why I want to defend AoE2 DE from terrible ideas. Ideas that are so bad that, if implemented, would actually ruin the game altogether. This is a remaster of a classic … not a whole new game altogether. You can make improvements, new civs, balance changes … but you can’t completely alter the game so much that it’s not even the same game anymore. Taking away knights from half of the civs in the game, including old civs, and giving half the civs steppe lancers INSTEAD of knights … is completely nuts.

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For all your obnoxious talk about “misrepresenting” you, it’s funny that you manage to state THREE times in the same post that I want HALF the civs to have Knights removed. Where did I say this, exactly?

Dear lord, even just skimming through your droning posts is giving me a migraine. Get help. Meanwhile I’ll help myself out of this sorry thread.


I still don’t understand how giving Steppe Lancer to Mongols would change the core of the gameplay. I already don’t like how Portuguese, Indians, Vietnamese, Italians, etc. design was handled already.
If Steppe Lancer gets nerf to the point where it has it’s own usefulness then I see no problem adding Steppe Lancer to Mongols and Huns.
Also back then Battle Elephants wasn’t a thing for Indians because DLC exclusivity was a thing. Right now those exclusivities are gone. Nobody would hate Indians recieveing Battle Elephants if it’s added in the game now. Also Battle Elephants nerfed to the point where they aren’t as op as they used to be.
Besides we got Xolotl Warrior unit for meso civs now. Does anyone complains? No. Anyone asked to add them? No. But it was a fine small details.
Most important thing to remember is chaging unit or civ balance doesn’t change the core theme. Even if you wanna complain about changing core theme then look at Cumans and Meso civs. Cumans is on top of that bad bonus idea and needs a redesign asap. Meso civs have slightly different playstyle but almost same. I see no problem.


You HAVE misrepresented me repeatedly as you keep claiming I want to keep the old balance and you’ve even called me a puritain despite the fact that I’m happy with all the new expansions, the changes to DE so far and all the balance changes. I’ve made it very clear that I want good changes just not absurd overhauls.

And now you misrepresent me yet again. I NEVER SAID that YOU were suggesting that half of the civs had knights replaced with steppe lancers. What I’m complaining about is the idea of overhauling many of the old civs and replacing their knights with steppe lancers. Mongols have always had knights and it would be silly to remove knights from them. It’s bad enough with one civ but it’s a slipperly slope to changing more. You said “They really need to give the older civs an overhaul to make them more historically accurate. There’s no reason for far-east civs to have European-stlye knights” and you went on to suggest removing the knight line from some older civs. You didn’t specifically say that half of the civs’ knights should be removed, but I didn’t specifically say that you said that either, and when you’re talking about overhauling multiple old civs it certainly sounds like that.

So, don’t ruin half of the civs, just many of the old ones, then? Historical accuracy shouldn’t ruin the gameplay and there’s more to good gameplay than gamebalance, as well. Like I said, mirror maps are a great way of balancing the game but scrapping random maps and replacing them with mirror maps would be a balance improvement that would ruin the game.

Balance changes need to be made that DON’T overhaul things.

Tweaking and improving the balance for the old civs is great. Overhauling the old civs completely is totally nuts.

Whether it’s 50% of the civs having knights removed, 40% or 30% is completely besides the point. Completely overhauling old civs is nuts. Balancing and tweaking improving is one thing … completely overhauling stuff is going far beyond what a remaster or definitive edition is supposed to do.

I don’t understand why I have to be so thorough in explaining why this is such a silly idea.

Even giving ONE of the old civs Steppe Lancers is silly enough already. The Steppe Lancers is a unit shared between the Cumans and the Tartars similar to how eagle warriors are shared between the meso civs.

Wow, and I thought that my idea of removing the steppe lancers from the Cumans was bad enough when I realized it would interfere with the Cumans’ campaign if the Cumans have lancers in their campaign.

So now when people play the old Mongols campaign in AoE2 you think that they should replace all the mongol knights in the old campaigns, with all the classic memories, with steppe lancers?

That wouldn’t be a definitive edition or remaster. That would indeed be an overhaul/remake … which is not what DE is about! It’s not rocket science! You can’t take knights away from the old civs and replace them with steppe lancers! And Steppe lancers is supposed to be a unit that makes some of the new civs special … it already doesn’t make much sense to give it to old civs but to REPLACE the knights of civs like Mongols with Steppe Lancers … it’s completely nuts. In the name of “historical accuracy” … historical accuracy has never been prioritized over gameplay in AoE and thank goodness for that.

I just … don’t even … the degree of terribleness of overhauling old civs to such a large degree cannot be overstated.


So, to be clear, a definitive edition for a classic game is NOT about drastically overhauling old civilziations to the extent that you remove and replace an entire unit line from a bunch of them under the name of “historical accuracy” … that isn’t something that the devs have ever done and there’s a very good reason for that. Definitive edition is a remaster with quality of life upgrades, graphical upgrades, new civs, new content and improved game balance … but STILL classic gameplay … it is NOT an overhaul.

I mean, seriously, steppe lancers are already an overpowered unit that need a nerf for the two civilizations that have them available … and some of you guys think it’s already a good idea to start giving them to more civs?! 11

And @Takfloyd, I forgot to point out that you called me obnoxious. That’s twice you’ve gotten personal with me now … and you tell ME to get MY priorities straight?!

You tell me to “get help” too?! That’s THREE times you’ve gotten personal with me. You’re the one with the attitude problem … so you “get help”.

@bigbossbro08 I didn’t say it changes the “core theme”. I am not the one who cares about “themes” or “historical accuracy” even when it ruins gameplay.

I said that it would change the core gameplay/core of the game. And, yes, drastically overhauling multiple old civs to the point of taking knights away from multiple old civs and replacing them with a new unit … (and giving Indians battle units without a thought to game balance … just under the name of “historical accuracy”) … that would alter the core of the game.

I mean, even with just the Mongols it’s a horrible, horrible idea. What about the classic Mongols campaign? A lot of people like that.

This isn’t a remake. This isn’t an overhaul. This is a definitive edition of a classic with some improvements, tweaks and new content. I have no problem with improvements, tweaks and new content. I DO have a problem with overhauling the classic civs. This isn’t about adding a new bonus to the Koreans because they’ve always needed it … here you’re talking about removing a whole unit-line from multiple old civs and replacining them with a new unit meant for two of the new civs. And giving Indians Battle elephants … both of these “overhauls” being done in the name of “historical accuracy” … seriously, this is not how the game works. Gameplay is top priority. Ugh, why do I even waste my time on this thread if nobody who knows what they’re talking about is going to be here to agree with me to explain why this is such a truly awful, awful, awful idea. It’s not easy beng the only person on the thread having to explain this to a bunch of people supporting a 100% nuts idea that would completely ruin DE. There’s nothing “defintiive” about “remastering” a classic and adding new content if what you’re really going to do is completely overhaul the classic stuff … I mean, this is so completely bonkers I don’t know why it even needs explaining.

DE isn’t about removing a whole unit line from a bunch of civs and replacining it with a new unit, that is currently alrready overpowered!, in the name of “historical accuracy.”

And adding batlte elephants to indians too? I mean, why? “historical accuracy” … I don’t even. Do the people who want these changes even play ranked?!

When these crazy changes don’t happen it’s because they’re exactly as crazy as I say they are.

I think Knights should stay the way they are now. Just nerf Steppe Lancer and Cumans now then add Steppe Lancer to both Mongols and Huns. Steppe Lancer should be balanced in such a way which’ll be the part of unit choice not some broken or unbalanced thing.
Also I find some people who just goes way overboard talking about balance. Even so talking about old civ they indeed went serious change. Especially introduction of secondary Castle Age tech. Take Mayans for example. They were a good Archer civ in AOC days but right now with the introduction of Obsidian Arrows their Archer line literally replaces Siege. Franks can now spam Knights from Stables. Mongols can be Huns at the late stage of the game with house bonus. They were still balanced in AOC but had some pesky issues here and there which was fixed in a lot of unofficial balance patches in Voobly. Koreans needed some buffs. Agreed and it’s a good thing they got one now. But I hardly doubt giving Battle Elephant will make Indians any op as a lot of people claims. They really doesn’t perform any good at all now. They still wouldn’t be that op with the attack nerf. If it feels too op then devs can simply remove them. If Eles felt too op then why those Rise Of The Rajas civs were bottom tier civilization? Why their winrates wasn’t high?
Also what do you mean by ruining DE? Have you seen Cumans? Are they any good? Saw current game itself? All those bug reports? As if game is any good at all with the current buggy state.
You are going way too much saying crazy. As if you know the game better than the dev itself.


I never said battle elephants were overpowered or that adding them to Indians will make them too powerful.

Indians don’t need battle elephants and huns and mongols don’t need steppe lancers. Why add them? For “historical” reasons? There are no gameplay-wise reasons to give those civs them.

I never suggested I know the game better than the devs themselves. Far from it. In fact, I said I liked ALL the changes the devs have made … what I dislike is the silly suggestions that have been made in this thread that, thankfully, the devs will see as silly and not implement.

Yes, I have seen the current game itself. The Cumans are OP. Have YOU seen the game itself?

Soooooo much misrepresentation. I NEVER called the devs crazy. I’ve enjoyed all the devs’ changes. It’s the suggestions in this thread that I have been saying are crazy. I’ve been supporting the devs the whole time. Seriously, where is this nonsense about me claiming to know the game better than the devs coming from or me calling the devs crazy? Outrageous accusation. I never said the devs are crazy and I supported the devs fully. I said that the changes offered in this thread are crazy … and last I checked the devs haven’t added them! Thank goodness for that!

TL; DR I never said that the devs’ changes are crazy, in fact I said the total opposite: I said that I’ve loved all the changes that the devs have made. I said that some of the ideas proposed in this thread are crazy. It’s absurd to say that I’m calling the devs crazy when I’M the one supporting their changes and saying that they AREN’T crazy enough to implement some of the changes offered in this thread.

I think, that it is right, that big fundamental changes should not be done to civs, in order to keep existing gameplay and keep old scenarios working generally as they were meant to work.

Removing knights would be a very big change for civs, when they were expected to train them either as human players or AIs. Often scenarios even have existing knights in them, which would not make sense anymore, if civs could not train them.

A mix of both claims (adding s.lancers to mongols and keep the gameplay direction of the civ) can be done. It doesn’t need to be a definitive NO. Steppe lancers are known to be nerfed next patch, and if that’s not enouch balance changes will keep coming. Discussion must be adressed around the nerfed unit, not the current one.
I think what people, including me, is looking for with this claim is not historical accuracy (in that matter AoE is flawed from its roots) but something like “historical representation” or “historical caricature” (?). I mean, if you say “lance wielder horseman of the steppe”, first thing that comes to my mind is not cumans nor tatars, nor any turkic but mongols. They are the most stereotypical steppe people, and their lacking of steppe lancer takes out the horde fantasy of playing with them.
In regards of balance and gameplay, if both kinght and s. lancers lines get to a point of similar strenght, and with proper balance changes is it so crazy to give mongols at least non elite s.lancers? I mean, both units fit a similar place in the rock paper scissor game, it doesn’t give you a huge flexibility in terms of army composition. Wheter you choose to train one on another in a game, it’s not a completely different army. I’m not a balance and gameplay expert, but even the full replacing option doesn’t seem bad to me.
What i mean with all this is that even a full replacement doesn’t change their “core gameplay element”. You are not taking out kinghts and giving them teutonic knights instead. It’s just a switching from one cavalry unit to another just slightly different.
Hope we keep the construcive and respectful environment of the discussion.

Existing units can’t be removed from civilizations, because it breaks existing scenarios and AIs. Often AIs in scenarios are being coded to train certain units. If they suddenly couldn’t train them anymore, it might totally break those scenarios.

These civilizations had their shining times too, before being conquered. You can read about them from “History” section (openable from main menu). AOE 2 puts a lot of different civilizations from different times together and changes them in order to improve balance.

yup. goths against spanish doesnt make sense, are the spanish were once goths…