Is European unit upgrades too expensive?

European units needs 400 resources to upgrade in fortress age, and only gets 20% stats upgrade. Native units takes much less resource to upgrade, and they get 25% upgrade in age iii. And Asian, African… Every of them needs much less resources. This makes it difficult to balance between civs. Russian age iii has been buffed a lot, but people still tend to play colonial rush, as upgrading every age ii unit is awkward.

And “Royal guard”… Is it really a “civ bonus”? 10% extra stats doesn’t make a huge difference even in treaty, but 2000 resource is a DISASTER. Even a European civ try some FI builds, they’re likely to avoid using those RG units: French spam guard musketeers, Germans upgrade their war wagons, etc. This is denying the designers’ ideas.

Though, these are not huge problems in the old days. But as the new civs are added in one by one, it’s time for some adjustments. EVERY African influence units are auto-upgraded, and Italian/Malta seems to have many auto-upgrade units too, and traditional European units become dumb nowadays.

We can make every non-Native/African civs to upgrade units with 200 wood 100 coin for 20% upgrade, and it will make the game easier to understand. Civ differences is what AOE3 differs from AOE2/4, but too many unnecessary differences is not ideal design. And for RG upgrades, it’s possible to split them into 600/600 and 400/400 two-stage upgrades (standard 30% upgrade, followed by bonus 10% upgrade), or just 750/750 RG upgrades.


People have been arguing for reducing the royal guard to 800 800

I would say the 5% difference for vet upgrade is pretty minor, considering that euro units often are more upgradeable through other means such as combat cards

5% upgrade is minor, but 200w/200g is annoying compared with 200w/100g.

I think royal guard is a disadvantage (apart from in treaty). It just makes you less able to upgrade in age 4 because of the high cost.


Royal guard has been a dumb design since 2005. I’m surprised why it is never touched, and I would like to hear the reason for that.


I think RG’s point is that they should probably think, “Well, 10% more HP and Damage isn’t very satisfying, but what can we put in its place?”
It would be interesting if in addition to the code change there was also a texture change, at least for the shared units, to differentiate the RG from other units updated at the guard level.

Royal guard should cost 800 800, it’s very expensive for a minor difference, I’d rather have 2k res extra in units than a 10% upgrade to attack and hp.

Maybe make the 10% bonus a shadow tech at age 4, then give them the common guard upgrade. It can be a little expensive than normal to balance them out.
Or even more radical: make the 10% bonus a shadow tech in age 3.
Right now it actually hinders mass use of the “featured unit” in age 4.

I always think upgrade costs and effects are kinda arbitrary and are designed just to be unique. I don’t think any civ would be straight up broken or unusable if the upgrade costs and effects are swapped between culture groups, or there is one civ that really fits extremely well with its unit upgrade methods.