Here’s one more topic with balance suggestions. Almost every change is accompanied with commentary on why I think the change is necessary. For some civs I’ve added their 1v1 winrate for the context.
Main priorities of my approach:
- slightly adjust balance without substantially changing how civs are played
- make some of the least used unique units better, although not necessarily to a degree that they are viable in a typical game
- avoid drastically reworking anything unless necessary
Units don’t stutter for the entire attack interval if orders are issued during attack animation. Comments: I’m not sure if this behavior is a bug or a feature, but it’s really annoying to cope with, so I hope devs will change this. This change indirectly buffs units with low rate of fire (Hand Cannoneers, Organ Guns etc.) as well as Cavalry Archers (because it’s very easy to accidentally cancel their really slow animation).
Hand Cannoneer +5 hp (35 -> 40), +5% accuracy (65% -> 70%), +2 more damage against rams (+2->+4). Comments: In my opinion, they are unreasonably squishy and somewhat ineffective at maximum range. I didn’t buff them too much because they are already better than archers against high pierce armor targets like paladins, eagles and skirmishers. Giving them too many buffs would result in them becoming chu-ko-nu level strong, except with no need for expensive upgrades and produced from archery ranges. And don’t forget that with more buffs Fast Imp with Turks on Arena might become OP.
Steppe Lancers. Cost reworked from 70 food 45 gold to 80 food 30 gold. Comments: Steppe Lancers, in my opinion, are an example of poor unit designed. Whatever you do with their stats, they are either inferior knights or superior knight. Even if devs find a point of balance and make them equal to knights in terms of strength, we will end up with “another knight unit with adjusted stats”. The only way to make Steppe Lancers stand out is to either make them better against specific units (but we will inevitably end up with a variation of an already existing unit), or to rework their cost. I chose the latter, and made them semi-trash heavy cavalry. I doubt I managed to strike the balance with this, but it may be a steppe in the right direction. Now they need a completely different approach than knights and become a distinct unit.
Supplies also affects unique infantry units, but to a lesser extent (-10 food cost instead of -15), similarly to how Parthian Tactics treats unique units differently from regular ones. Cost of some unique infantry units has been adjusted (berserks, karambit etc.). Full list of affected infantry unique units: Berserk (cost adjusted), Condottiero (cost adjusted), Gbeto, Huskarl (don’t get Supplies, so it usually doesn’t matter), Jaguar Warrior, Kamayuk, Karambit Warrior (cost adjusted), Shotel Warrior, Samurai, Teutonic Knight, Throwing Axeman (cost adjusted), Woad Raider (cost adjusted). Comments: I feel like after the introduction of Supplies most infantry UU became obsolete, especially since many of them were suboptimal in the first place. This happened for two reasons: first, it became easy for your opponent to answer your UU with Champions (with Supplies generic Champion is reasonably cost-effective against most infantry UU), second, your own Champions tend to perform better than UU.
Battle elephants – reverted splash damage to be 50% instead of 25%. Khmer battle elephants receive additional changes (read further). Comments: most Battle Elephants are not tremendously effective because of the long list of counters (mass onagers, scorpions, halbs, camels etc.). Since only Khmer elephants cause issues, I address them specifically, there is no need to nerf all of them.
Herbal medicine decreased cost from 350 gold to 250 gold, research time decreased 35 seconds to 20 seconds. Comments: I think that this tech has great potential, but is never used because it’s completely forgotten. In theory it can save a lot of resources if you garrison a group of wounded arbalesters or unique units in your castle, but in practice one forgets that this tech exists even if an appropriate situation arises. I would even consider lowering its price to about 100 gold and then reverting it back to 250 in case it becomes OP.
Herbal medicine removed from the tech tree.
Comments: Jaguar Warrior becomes somewhat more viable with Supplies. It’s not a huge buff, since the unit is rarely used successfully. To partially offset that, I removed Herbal Medicine to make their monks slightly weaker in late game. Additionally, many other civs received buffs, which indirectly nerfs Aztec.
New bonus: siege units (including trebuchets) cost 50% less resources to repair.
Comments : Judging by winrates, Bulgarians are somewhat weak at high level, so I decided to add a feature that, I think, is more useful at higher levels.
Arambai training time increased from 21 seconds to 25 seconds
Elite Arambai training time reduced from 21 seconds to 20 seconds
Elite Arambai pierce armor increased from 2 to 3
Comments : Arambai are too powerful in Castle Age, especially on Arena, but at the same time, they are fairly weak in Imperial Age against archers.
Greek fire grants +2 range to Fire Ship instead of +1
Comments: this tech is a bit too expensive for how little it does especially considering that ideally one doesn’t want to invest heavily into Fire Ships. This change is not going to make Byzantines great, but they are not all that weak to begin with.
Woad Raiders cost increased from 65 food 25 gold to 70 food 25 gold to compensate for supplies affecting unique units.
Cuman Mercenaries now enables creation of Kipchak/Elite Kipchak for your allies (in Castle/Imperial Age) instead of providing them with free 10 units. The Cuman player still enjoys 10 free Elite Kipchaks. Allied Kipchak require 30 seconds to train instead of 20 seconds.
Comments: In the current state Cuman Mercenaries doesn’t serve any purpose. If your allies have full upgrades on their CA, they make their own CA (which is much more convenient then having to mix an army of Kipchaks with CA). If your allies lack upgrades, they won’t get much use out of 10 Kipchaks. Also, I find one-time bonuses unsuitable for this game, so at least there will be a lingering benefit in team games.
Throwing axemen cost increased from 55 food 25 gold to 65 food 25 gold to adjust for Supplies affecting infantry unique units.
Chivalry now only affects Stable unit production rate, not overall work rate (i.e. does not speed up Cavalier and Paladin research).
Comments: it’s a minor nerf to Franks who seem to dominate rated games in terms of both popularity and winrate. They also perform well in tournaments. Chivalry change prevents power spike in team games with early paladins.
Sultans now only affects gold mining, but gives +15% gold instead of +10%
Shatagni cost reduced from 500 food 300 gold to 300 food 300 gold
Comments : changes are intended to make Indians slightly worse in team games without affecting their 1v1 potential too much.
Italians 47% 1v1 winrate
Dock technologies discount reduced from 50% to 35%
Age up discount increased from 15% to 20%
Pavise no longer affects Condotieri.
Condotieri +1 base pierce armor to match that of most swordsmen.
Condotieri cost increased from 50 food 35 gold to 50 food 40 gold to compensate for supplies affecting unique units.
Genoese Crossbowmen training time decreased from 22/19 seconds to 18/15 seconds.
Comments: Pavise is a crossbowmen shield. What next, Greek Fire improves Galleons? Maghrabi Camels affects Hussars? Overall, Condotierri remain roughly in the same place (don’t forget that they are affected by Supplies in this patchnote), and buffed Genoese Crossbowmen, as well as extra discount on aging up makes Italians somewhat more viable on land maps. Such a harsh reduction to the Dock discount is intended to make them slightly worse on water maps. In my opinion, they are still alright because of other buffs.
“Battle elephants +15% movement speed” is replaced with “All elephants +5/10% movement speed in Castle/Imperial Age”. This includes Ballista Elephants.
Comments: Nerf to very powerful khmer battle elephants. I think their speed makes them too deadly. On the other hand, their unique unit is rarely used, so I decided to mix in a slight buff to them.
Koreans 44% 1v1 winrate
Wood discount now also affects siege units.
Arrowslits technology is now free as it is a tower upgrade.
Comments: since Koreans are decent on water maps, I don’t think they need major buffs.
Bonus damage from relics is calculated based on the total number of relics your team possesses.
Comments: It’s a great improvement in terms of convenience, since you don’t have to unnecessarily communicate with your team about obvious things.
Karambit warriors food cost increased from 25 to 35 to adjust for Supplies affecting infantry unique units. Elite upgrade cost reduced from 900 food 600 gold to 800 food 500 gold.
No longer have undocumented farm rate penalty (about 2-5% depending on upgrades)
Two-Man Saw removed from the tech tree.
El Dorado cost increased from 750 food 450 gold to 900 food 450 gold
Plumed Archer Elite upgrade cost increased from 700 food 1000 wood to 800 food 1000 wood.
Comments: undocumented penalties are a bad practice in my opinion, so I suggest removing them. All nerfs are there to make up for this removal. There is a chance that I missed something and farming penalty for Mayans is no longer a thing, in which case no changes are needed.
Mahouts technology now also increases conversion resistance of War Elephants by 2, increases maximum CI and minimum CI by 1.
Portuguese 43% 1v1 winrate
In addition to their current function, Feitorias can be used as drop-off points. Villagers can be garrisoned in Feitorias to provide the same firepower as town centers. Feitoria resource generation rate changed from 1.6 food 1.0 wood 0.7 gold 0.3 stone per second to 2.0 food 0.8 wood 0.7 gold 0.3 stone per second.
New bonus: Barracks, Archery Ranges and Stables are 30% cheaper.
Comments : Making Feitorias a bit more multi-purpose will hopefully make them more viable in 1v1 land maps, especially combined with bonus to Hand Cannoneers. This probably has little to no effect on water maps where in late imp villagers no longer matter after chopping all available wood. Although I don’t think that these changes will make Portuguese great Arabia civ, I doubt they need to be. They already have decent tools for water maps. The proposed bonus for military production buildings is unlikely to hinder the water balance, however, it might be enough of an early game bonus to matter on land maps.
S aracens 46% 1v1 winrate
+1/2/3 bonus against standard buildings now applies to skirmishers and hand cannoneers, together with archers and cavalry archers (all listed as “archery range units”)
Madrasah – monks return 50 gold when killed instead of 33. Cost increased from 200 food 100 gold to 200 food 150 gold.
Elite Mameluke no longer deals +1 damage against Mameluke, since this bonus is redundant.
Mameluke frame delay reduced from 24 to 12 (same as Elite Mameluke).
Comments: I don’t believe Saracens are all that weak, so I didn’t do anything crazy with them. The first change is more for the sake of convenience rather than for buffing the civ. The mameluke buff will possibly make fast Castle into Mamelukes somewhat viable.
Tatars 45% 1v1 winrate
New bonus: units don’t suffer from damage penalty when fighting uphill.
Keshik cost increased from 50 food 40 gold to 50 food 50 gold. Gold generation rate is increased from 22 per minute of fighting to 50.
Comments: Bonus on the hill feels too inconsistent in its value and does not help when you are getting pushed from uphill. One significant thing to remember is that cliffs do not offer any protection for units, so this new addition only affects hills.
Regarding Keshik, I just wanted to make their unique ability, you know… to have some effect on gameplay. Currently they generate about 5-10 gold during their lifetime, which is laughably low considering that the income arrives long after you train your units. In terms of strength, they are probably ever so slightly weaker after this change, mainly because they pay off only after they are created.
Janissary Elite upgrade and Artillery are now considered as gunpowder technologies and thus are cheaper. The base cost is slightly adjusted to prevent odd numbers. As the result, Janissary Elite upgrade cost reduced from 850 food 750 gold to 400 food 400 gold. Artillery cost reduced from 500 gold 450 stone to 250 gold 300 stone.
Elite Janissary bonus damage against rams increased from +3 to +4.
Elite Janissary accuracy increased from 50% to 60% accuracy.
Comments : Janissaries are underwhelming in Imperial Age with quite a pricy upgrade (especially with an option to produce Hand Cannons). So, reducing their upgrade cost accordingly seems like a logical solution, especially since it is justified by their civ bonus. Elite Janissaries still remain weak, but at least the transition is much easier in case one needs it. Artillery feels too expensive for buffing only 2 inessential units and Bombard Towers. Especially since they lack siege engineers, so their BBC are not much better then generic ones. Buff that I propose are relatively minor, but the civ isn’t the worst either.
Vietnamese 46% 1v1 winrate
Get access to Hussar.
Get access to Gold Shaft Mining, but lose Stone Shaft Mining
Comments : two moderately useful buffs, the first one is aimed at making them better in 1v1, whereas the second one is a general buff.
Berserk cost increased from 65 food 25 gold to 75 food 25 gold to adjust for Supplies affecting infantry unique units.
Berserkergang cost reduced from 850 food 400 gold to 700 food 400 gold.
Longboat training time increased from 25 seconds to 30 seconds. Elite Longboat training time is unchanged.
Comments : first two changes are intended to address the Supplies adjustments. The last change will hopefully stop Vikings from being OP on water by preventing their power spike in Castle Age. I decided to not interfere with their late game potential because they are supposed to be good on water.