[Minor Natives topic] Post here your ideas for every single minor natives so the devs can look at

The Mongols had been ruled by and served the Qing Dynasty. They were a part of Qing. You can already see the steppe riders and Keshiks in Chinese regular units, so I don’t support to make them a minor civ.

Perhaps, Mongolian Horseman can be introduced as a new powerful cavalry archer mercenary unit to replace the Manchu. Then Manchu can be the strong regular unit only for Chinese, similar to Sipahi for Ottomans, or can be a unit for the potential Chinese Isolation at the consulate.

In the game, it can be noticed that the unofficial or irregular armies, rebels and opposing forces are usually suitable to be the mercenary or outlaws, such like Maratha and Iron Troop. The Chahar Mongols had rebel the Qing once, similar to the Iron Troop who had opposed Qing too, so the idea about Mongolian Horseman as mercenary is nice in my opinion.

Btw, the Manchus were the nobles and ruling class of the Qing Dynasty, and it would be weird to turn them into mercenaries and even be hired by other civs to fight against the Chinese civ based on the Qing Dynasty.


I’m kinda averse to adding more natives atm. Maybe if more maps were added expanding into Southern Africa or Arabia you’d have to add ones like the Zulu or the Bedouins, but outside of that I don’t see the necessity. From the players pov, most don’t pay enough attention to natives as is so adding even more would do nothing but increase that barrier. And from the devs pov, design space for natives is getting increasingly limited especially after they went all out for Africa.

If you really wanna see more natives added, I suggest petitioning the devs to polish the unused or underused minor civs already in the game (Aztec, Haude, Lakota, & Lenape) so they might be used beyond custom maps. Although, I am hesitant because I worry that such changes might negatively impact the campaign experience, as already happened when the devs made changes to minor Aztecs in the Mexico update.

Moreover, such discussions seem kinda off topic for this thread. This is supposed to be for discussing possible changes to already existing natives, adding new ones is for another thread (one which already exists iirc). I know I’ve already said my piece on this, but I think small targeted changes at individual techs and units is the better approach rather than broad reimaginings. And after so many months and posts that feeling has only solidified. Not only do I think it’s for the best in my lay opinion, it seems those kinds of changes are what the devs would be most likely to implement, as the changes to natives over the course of DE’s development and update cycle have been mostly small and targeted.

And frankly, most of my suggestions in this thread are probably too much to even meet that standard! My boldest stance is probably adding Aztec, Haude, and Lakota back in. Haude and Lakota are fully functional, as can be seen in the campaigns or scenario editor, and but for a name change and minor tweaks to techs overlapping with Huron and Cheyenne could be added back in right now (and on a map like Unknown, even that much isn’t necessary). Aztec was the same way before the Mexico patch threw a wrench into it. Now, they’re copy pasted versions of the major Aztec units, the main problem being they’re locked to age 3 which makes them virtually unusable in the context of a native rush. Nevermind my own quibbles about overwriting their old stats and bonuses as removing from the design space and straying from the original dev’s vision. Unlike the others, Lenape would need some serious work if they were to be added to standard maps. I believe the need new visual and audio assets, as they borrow wholesale from the Cherokee and Cree respectively.

Beyond that, I think I’ve outlined an overhaul for Nootka (which you honestly wouldn’t need to fully implement), suggested new techs for Maya and Seminole (2 techs really feels strange post-Africa), the adding back of the Maya Spearmen (alongside the new Javaliner) or at least letting the Maya hp tech affect their own unit, suggested that the Seminole siege tech also slightly improve all archers (only 1.5x-2x, the Sharktooth should stay 4x), gave changes for Comanche and Navajo techs to bring them in line with the Cree’s improved infantry and cav hp tech (maybe throw Bhakti’s attack tech in there for good measure), and ask for Zapotec Lightning Warriors to have their speed slightly increased (5-5.5 is fine, I know they’ll never be 6 speed again, 4.5 just feels so slow). I don’t expect most of these changes to be made, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if none of them are. But I read through what else has been put forward and, while it’s fun idle speculation and somewhat informative, I don’t see it as being realistically workable. Aside from concerns of balance and respect for the original vision of the game, it doesn’t seem to be in line with the vision of the current devs or the purpose they have in mind for natives.

All that’s to say is it’s fine to dream big I guess, but if you want to see actual changes for the better I think the best method is take baby steps.

Anyway, I’m still quite satisfied with my prior suggestions for new techs for Seminole and Maya. Giving the Seminole an eco tech would give players a new reason to ally with them (especially ones without archers), and a bonus for +15% gather rate for all natural food sources (hunts, livestock, berries, and fish [and maybe cherry orchards?]) is not only untapped design space but also synergizes well with the maps Seminole appear on (Florida, Carolina, Bayou) as they have a wide variety of food types.

For Maya, I still like the idea of incorporating one of their AoE 2 bonuses. It’s an easy way to find inspiration while giving a nice reference to long time fans. I like +5% or +10% gather yield for all natural res the most, and there’s already something similar with a USA card (one of Kentucky’s iirc) so it’s clearly an improvement the devs are comfortable with but not one known to native techs yet. Some alternate suggestions: a 10% cost reduction for all archers (a similar discount for hand infantry is available from Somali); Obsidian Arrows, even though this tech was removed from AoE 2 a while ago, could be a way to grant archers bonus damage vs buildings if the devs weren’t amenable to expanding the effect of the Seminole’s Guerilla Warfare to all archers.


The point of this forum is to make ancient natives at least comparable to native Africans.

The reason why they are not used can be for 2 reasons:

They remained stagnant and were never polished over the years. So they became obsolete and practically useless, therefore almost nobody uses most of them. Not only the natives, many more things that I have already talked about endlessly (priests, cattle, etc).

Few civilizations have viable options to use them. The African, US and Inca civilizations can make good alliances with the natives.

Do you mean that if the old minor civilizations are updated the game will no longer have any more creative potential? That’s exactly why I like RTS and especially AOE-3. It is an open game that still has a long way to go to be considered complete, so the ideas are far from over.

Developers should take a lot of the suggestions posted in these forums because players’ intent is to refine the product they are willing to pay for.


I don’t have a problem with people making whatever suggestions they may, my perspective on what needs to be changed and how simply differs in scope, and my read of the developers is they’d prefer not to make sweeping changes to legacy natives. I wouldn’t expect devs to uncritically implement changes suggested by randos, including myself, therefore if you want to see change in a given direction I recommend making suggestions the devs are likely to implement.

And I still maintain, while there are legitimate barriers in game design for native usability, the single biggest factor in their underuse is ignorance among the playerbase. It turns them from an option you would expect a minority of the time to a near zero chance of ever seeing.

Furthermore, while I don’t think there’s any immediate danger, I’d hate for the opposite problem: that natives are so overbuffed they are required in every game else the player loses. I’d like to avoid that kind of destruction of player choice. Even though African natives still come across as almost silly to me, they proved that we’re a ways off from that happening.

I swear, there is some kind of telephatic connection sometimes… :sweat_smile: OperaticShip and Mozzila sometimes also have basically the same ideas as I do (which were not posted).

Just yesterday I thought EXACTLY the same thing and I regretted not adding such a tech for Maya (El Dorado: Mines last 35% longer. Your villagers gather coin from mines 5% slower./ I compare it to the SIlversmith card) A shame I can’t edit old posts because I feel the ideas and feedback from other users have matured most comments from the community. I wish I could edit several posts.

Me too. It’s not that I don’t want more native ever (actually I’m down for more asian and south american natives) but what’s the point of having the time and trouble of adding more natives if no one even uses them?
I don’t feel that adding content for the sake of adding content (I mean content with “shape” but no core to the game): We have +8 new different native sites on those maps…so what? They still there and you are still not touching them. Before adding more natives, the old ones must be taken in consideration.

Well, when I created the topic I had the african natives as baseline: almost all of them, if not all, have some perk. In the other hand, legacy natives were basically normal units with lower damage and with high HP (to compensate their small number).
But then african natives came: they were not only normal units, but had average/competitive stats, reasonable train limit and unique and worth technologies. I personally think african units (major/minor) have far too many perks/are too “special” and could be “normalized” a bit, but it is what is.

My natural question was: “why not put legacy natives in line for what it seems to be the best iteration of minor civs, since they remain as forgetable spaces on maps and are never ever used (for a bunch of reasons). Let’s tackle some of these issues!”

I don’t see it as being realistically workable. Aside from concerns of balance and respect for the original vision of the game, it doesn’t seem to be in line with the vision of the current devs or the purpose they have in mind for natives.

I do believe the original intent was make them useable to adapt your strategy but that barely came to fruition, since they were very powerful at the beginning. I believe adapting them is actually a way to honor the content.

I unwilling agree with you. Although tweaking almost 20 natives sites, creating and coding at least 50 new improvements, researching lore, as well as creating 50+ icons for those techs, is a work of months, specially because they take care of 3 other games…it doesn’t seem to be in line with the devs’ vision as you said, because they are apparently focused on adding brand new content.

The “touch for old content” seems to be, as you had said, “small and targeted” and it’s a shame because there is a lot of old content to be worked. :frowning_face:. OperaticShip743 is much more optimistic than me but it is what it is and I wouldn’t be surprised if this rework never happens.

Yes, it was fun ! I always wanted to post some suggestions but I ended up researching, learning and posting many, many more stuff!
It was nice taking those ideas out of my chest and and reading so many damn good suggestions, feedback and opinions from the community.

I genuinely believe I helped with ideas for several effects since most of them are unique (I even had the care of adding sources) and can easily be adapted into future techs or cards for any other civ.

The best direction in my opinion would’ve been working on 5 minor civilizations per patch, take feedback and use it to balance them and the ones who will come next (they’ve been making 6-10 new cards every month, so it’s literally not a problem), but I’m not a developer XD.

  • [NEW] Siege Archery (IV): “Enables Longbowmen to siege buildings from a long-range with fire arrows, which inflict burning damage over time.” (Note: has 22 range and the same DPS as the ordinary siege attack; additionally, each arrow inflicts 1 burning dmg per second for 10 seconds)

I think the Seminoles could have a similar improvement. His siege range could be the same as his standard attack range, and deal damage over time.

1 Like

Yep! It would’ve been much more reasonable and balanced giving it to Seminole archers (16 range) instead of Longbows.

Siege damage over time on top of ludicrous range is just too good!

1 Like

Alright, I’ve had a look back at TAD, and I’ve got some thoughts on Klamath. I think I’ve given my thoughts before, and they’ve been discussed often in the thread, but I figure I’ll just overview them again quickly.

Klamath Riflemen: 60f 60w. Skirmisher unit high in hp but low in damage and range, and basically the same stat wise as the Cherokee Rifleman. I don’t mind it’s the same unit as Cherokee, since they won’t show up on the same map, and although we could quible about the numbers being too low to make it a viable replacement skirm for most civs whole hog (although I don’t think that’s their purpose anyway) the low range and high hp lets it naturally move into position in front of other ranged units and tank damage. No major changes needed imo

Tech 1: 150w 150c. Receive 100f in crates for every 3 minutes passed up to 30 min. Objectively too weak even for its relatively low cost, esp considering food is the easiest and fastest resource to gather, if the most used. The pay off is too little too late. Two suggestions to buff:
A. Decrease the interval of crates increasing from 3 min to 2 min. This puts it in line from similar tech found with Zapotec, Mapuche, and legacy Aztecs
B. Increase the food crates from 100f to 200f. Still pays off more slowly, but now has much more punch.
Of course, these numbers could be refined more, but you get the general directions of change.

Tech 2: 100f 100w 100c. Increases villager gather rate by 5% across the board. Again, another tech fine in concept but where the numbers are just too low. Three suggestions:
A. reduce the cost of the tech to 50f 50w 50c
B. increase the effect to 8% and keep the cost the same
C. increase the effect to 10% but increase the cost, maybe to 125 or 150 of each resource
While this tech has some overlap with similar Asian market techs, I think it’s fine to leave as is in concept. Just have to play with the numbers some more.

Tech 3: 200w 150c. Increase the Klamath Rifleman’s ranged attack by 25%. This is the tech that caught my eye while playing TAD. If you don’t know/remember, in legacy the Elite upgrade was also 200w 150c. DE has since put that on sale with a 50% discount, only 100w 75c. Given they’re the same cost in legacy, I think this was meant as a pseudo second elite upgrade, kinda like how Carib have Feast Warriors as a second Champion upgrade/pseudo Legendary upgrade. With that in mind, I think this tech should also be reduced to 100w 75c to match the elite tech’s new price. I’m also willing to concede the additional flavor of the tech should remain the same. So it should remain locked to age 3 (not that I think having it in age 2 would make the unit op, it just keeps the idea that it’s an extra layer to the Elite upgrade). And it should only affect the Klamath Rifleman, tho maybe it should increase damage across the board rather than just ranged attack, assuming DE hasn’t already made that change.

Unrelated to the Klamath summary/write up, some minor observations about TAD nats.

The Seminole archer attack tech used to cost 300w 300c and give 25% attack across the board to all archers, which is kinda nuts. What are the chances that gets reverted, eh? (not that high)

I also prefer Seminole costing 75f 25w, Tupi can have 50f 50w all to themselves. 12 range on the main attack and 6 on the siege attack is kinda a bummer tho, prefer the new 16 and 10.

I noticed as well the TAD Champion upgrade still cost 400w 300c (500w 400c if you have 2 units tho) but gave nats +40%/+40% rather than the new +35%/+35%. I wonder when that was changed… the elite upgrade gave +25%+25%, same then as now.

Maybe I’ll have another look at TAD some other time and give some more thoughts, but that’s it for now.


Nice work ! Careful about +20 resistance though. Incas’ Alpaca wool already increases the resistance of villagers. Having both would get you a 70% mr villager iirc, which is simply OP.
I really like the “consulate effect” idea when you build a TP.

1 Like

Nice observations! As I had said earlier sometimes people have the exact same idea! Probably because we read it carefully and thought about the best outcome. I had posted basically the same thing as you have now.

By the way: the cost reduction for the upgrades was a way to promote the natives, which was a nice idea but it didn’t work as intended because the whole issue was the iniital investment for a random barracks on the map. The cost reduction would’ve been impactful if it was applied to the cost of a native trading post in a much ligher tone instead (200w-> 150w).

Some things like seminole dmg upgrade and TAD cost, are incompatible because the natives have been overlooked: I.e: Cree received an overhaul to their techs just because U.S.A had been reviewed and their alliance was part of a Fortress Age Federal State (but Navajo has the exact same tech and it wasn’t touched at all).

I agree, but I still like the idea of Native Elite upgrades being cheaper. The Champion upgrade was always cheaper, so it’s on theme.

I disagree with splitting the Native Post and Trade Post into separate buildings. Like it or not, they should be the same building. This means they will be balanced for both purposes in mind. Making it cheaper for nats might make trade stronger, etc. Though I will say, they already lowered the cost of TPs once, from 250w in TAD to 200w in DE.

Yes, the devs have taken a slow and steady approach to changing nats, which I’m in favor of. Their attention does seem to focus on whatever is in the periphery of the major update they’re working on, which can be frustrating to see them neglect others. I also agree more could to be done standardizing the degree of effect of techs, while of course trying to maintain their unique flavor.

In fact, I think this should be present for all minor factions. Some kind of passive bonus and/or some income from some resource.


Personally I think wood should be faster to collect

I do understand your concern. Some people are not really fond of this idea, some others are. But the main point is that a TP on natives sites should be cheaper somehow. I don’t think it is possible coding it with two prices depending on the socket, but since African Royals many things that were not possible suddenly became possible, so who knows. :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t see it as a separate building, I see it as the same building, just like Tambo is a type of Trading Post and any TP card or effect is applied to both TPs and Tambos. Same thing happens to War Academy and Barracks for instance. I had this idea because a Route TP and a Native TP are completely different things accessible throught the same building. It was just an idea to promote natives and maybe give a seed for cards, Politician or techs ( I.e: “Delivers 1 Native Trading Post wagon that awards lots of XP when built”/Delivers 1 Native Trading Post travois and small wood trickle).

But anyway: I’m taking anything that makes native accessible, regardless of what it is.

Randomly thoughts on the Bhakti

Tiger Claw are a solid unit. Good stats for the price, nice large build limit. No complaints, they can stay the same.

The Berry tech is also solid. Niche application, but strong affect for cheap price. Only change I’d consider is making it affect Cherry Orchards. Right now, it only affects Berry bushes and blueberries. Obviously the TAD devs must’ve considered this when balancing them initially, however with the addition of Akan, whose berry tech does affect Cherry Orchards, it seems fair to buff them to match.

The tech that buffs the attack of infantry, cav, and shock inf is also fine. It’s the natural design counterpart of the Cree and Navajo hp techs. My only criticism is that +5% attack for 200f 200c feels a pittance, esp compared with the Cree hp tech. Maybe the TAD devs though increasing attack was more dangerous? In any case, rather than increase the effect, I’d rather reduce the cost to 150f 150c.

Last, the Tiger Claw hp tech is fine. It seems expensive at first, but the effect size is +50%, basically the equivilent of Feast Warriors. No changes needed.

Overall Bhakti, much like the other TAD natives, seems in a good place. While you might not see them every game, they have a solid unit and techs that strike a balance between strong niche options and broad ones.

1 Like

Sadly there is only Caribe. I wish there was an Arawak faction too.
My ancestry is of Caquetio, they are a sub tribe that belong to the big umbrella of Arawak.

From local history books produced by priests and missionaries i can quote:
The white citizen who had mental illness were often send to live with the local natives to heal from their mental illness. And they were always requested to heal the wounded soldiers.

I think it would fit really well to add Arawak as minor civ and add a shaman priest as a stronghealer you can train. Or that you can train a few villagers who can gather food from bushes and farm, and heal (at the same time).
Source: book; ; The folk of the great Manaure, the gigantes-islands’ by R.H. Nooyen.


I kinda like the idea of a purely economic minor native. I feel like it should be a one off, since the design of minor natives is centered around them providing additional warriors for your army, but there’s room for one exception.

I think having them just making native villagers (like Lenape) is fine, although maybe it would be better to have their build limit separated from the main settler build limit (like Cree CDB). There’s already a native Healer in the game you can find at the Maya TP or from treasures on many American maps, so the simplest thing is just to add that as well. Maybe 2 copy/pasted units is a bit much, so the Healer could have a new skin appropriate for Arawak dress plus maybe bump their healing rate from 10/s to 15/s, in line with Surgeons and Warrior Priests.

I won’t pretend to have any knowledge of the Arawak to theme techs appropriately, but from a mechanics perspective I think you’d want 1 eco tech, 1 military tech, and 1 utility tech. No idea about the eco tech, maybe fishing related? You’d have to differentiate them from the Huron tech tho (+15% gather rate for fish and whales). Maybe since they’re an island people their military tech is also ship related? something like +20% warship hp or +5% speed. And the utility tech is totally up in the air, although that could be exchanged for another eco or military tech.

While I like the idea, and find this kind of brainstorming fun, I don’t anticipating the devs adding another American minor native civ anytime soon. Lenape was a fluke, only ever intended as flavor for a historical scenario and not even finished but (to be flippant) still a mismatch of reused assets from Cherokee and Cree.

1 Like

Yes would probably be something related to fishing. I’d love to see stronger blowgunners or another arrow thrower.

1 Like

Time for more random thoughts.

I noticed Maya Javeliners don’t have a distinct melee attack animation, instead they still use their throwing animation. This should be changed to a proper spear thrust. It’s not like there aren’t plenty to borrow from. This isn’t just a visual issue, it affects gameplay. A ranged unit changing stance and animation when in melee is important to communicate relevant information to both players and is integral in decision making.

Since I’m talking about Maya, I know I’ve talked at length about them before, so I’ll tl;dr it:

  • Make the old Spearman trainable again alongside the new unit. maybe both their build limits would have to be lowered, but I’m ok with that. Failing that, please tag the Javeliner as a hand infantry unit, so they may benefit from Maya’s one of only two techs

  • Add a third tech. Preferably one based on an old Mayan AoE 2 bonus. Namely, +15% gather yield on all natural res

If you want more in depth thoughts I’ve written about them much more before, you’d have to do a bit of scrolling tho.

I’ve also said Minor Aztec, Haude, and Lakota could be reincorporated, especially in light of Minor Inca. I know Zapotec, Huron, and Cheyenne were meant as replacements but still. Kinda thinking twice about it tho, wouldn’t wanna change og campaigns too much. I 100% think they should be on Unknown tho.

Anyway, a while back I said there was an issue where minor Jaguar and Eagle Warriors were locked to age 3. This is because when Mexico came out, the old Jaguar and Eagle stats were replaced with copy/pasted stats from the major JPK and ERK. While I still disagree, that’s here to stay, so I’m glad they at least fixed the age 2 issue.

So while I was looking at them again, I noticed they have a unique extra tech: Zapotec Garland Wars. I didn’t remember it, even tho I played enough of Vanilla I must’ve seen it before. It works the same as Carib Feast Warriors. The tech is locked behind the Champion upgrade, and for 600w 600c it improves Jaguar and Eagle Warrior hp by 30% and changes their prefix from “Champion” to “Garland.”

I wanna say upfront I like this tech, and am more than fine with it staying exactly the same. Even though Garland Wars is more expensive than Feast Warriors and has a smaller effect, that’s justified because it affects 2 different kinds of units (yes Feast Warriors is for both Blowgunners and Ambushers, but even tho they’re distinct they’re statistically identical). I wouldn’t say no to increasing Garland Wars effect to 50% to match, but it’s fine how it is, and idk how that would affect theoretical balance so prob best left alone.

As someone who’s also played a lot of AoE 2, I find it weird Garland Wars increases hp rather than attack. I personally would make that switch, since it feels more intuitive and also makes it more distinct from Feast Warriors. Once again tho, idk if that would be a poor change from a balance perspective, tho it’s not like these guys would be likely to see much play anyway.

And that’s why it’s interesting to me when the devs let Mexico train minor Aztec units, they seeming passed over this upgrade. Did they forget or not know it existed? Was it purposefully left out? Mexico can get all the other minor Aztec techs. It’s just weird once you notice.

From a broader perspective, it’s funny that only Aztec and Caribs have something like this. No other natives get something like this, a bonus upgrade after champion. Don’t get me wrong, natives are exactly the space to experiment with this kind of weirdness and asymmetry. This kind of upgrade is one that should be kept low in number to feel special. I just find it so fascinating. Why these two, and only these two, specifically? Maybe we’ll never know the answer…

It’s nothing special. TAD minor civis ( with exception of Sufi) always have 1 combat tech for their main unit and their names don’t change. I’m sure it was just a random decision from the designers for the sake of lore or cool name. Only Garland War is a proper post-champion anyway. :muscle:

The standard design of most natives, which was solidified in TAD/TAR, was that natives would give you a well rounded amount of tech. 1 economic tech, 1 combat tech and 1 blank tech.

I suppose it’s because they are already far too random to fit your deck/civ/ strategy. Therefore, having a bit of everything (like in TAR) would be the best course of action to make them “not so RNG”.

But it’s not always like that: Sufi is the only TAD native with economic upgrades, so it falls into your wish. Caribbean only have combat techs. Both of them are not so good because of that in my opinion. It’s ok being 50-50, 75-25 or 25-75…but 100-0/0-100 is a bad customization.