My Proposed Balance Changes

So with the month of October bringing a new wave of balance changes I have been accumulating a list of proposed changes.

I’m basing my changes based on recent tournaments, Ladder play, and personal subjective opinion.
Not all of these ideas are originally mine, but seemed to be a good fit, credit to the original owners
All changes are aimed at land based play and Changes will be updated as time goes on, and as changes are discussed.

Bolded words break changes up into Categories
Italicized words are my thoughts on why the change is needed.

General Unit/Tech Changes
Supplies - Cost reduced to 100 food and 75 gold
Longsword - Upgrade Cost reduced to 150 food and 50 gold. Increase Speed to 0.95.
THS/Champion - Movement Speed Increased to 1.0.
Also considering adding a new armor type of scouts, spears, and skirms, all of which would take bonus damage from LS/THS/Champion only (Militia and M@A unchanged), though right now its something i would like feedback on.
These changes are all oriented at making the Militia line more efficient and cheaper at forcing engagements

Foot Archers (Unique Units included) - Stacking of these units has been reduced slightly.
the stacking potential of these units is easy to abuse, making it even more powerful against melee units in particular

Cavalry Archer/Heavy Cavalry Archer - Based on This Thread, reduce the Frame Delay from 36/35 down to 24 and 20 respectively.
the Cavalry Archer doesn’t see much use lately, and for a unit that is supposed to be all about micro to have such a large frame delay is absurd.

Hand Cannoneer - Base Accuracy increased to 70%. Projectile Speed increased, Rate of Fire increased to 3.0.
all aimed at making the HC more appealing.

Steppe Lancer - cost reduced to 60 food and 40 gold. ESL upgrade cost reduced to 600 food and 500 gold.
Civilization Changes

Starting Gold bonus removed
Aztecs are far and away one of, if not the strongest civ in the game today. by removing the gold bonus, the early game of the civilization is nerfed

Blacksmith, Barracks, Stable, and Archery Range reduced to 100 wood
Bulgarians are one of the weaker civs in the game and these two bonuses synergize well with the civilization

Howdah - Effect increased to 2/1.
looking for other recommendations on how to buff this civ

Byzantines Free Town Patrol

Forager Bonus reduced to 15%
These changes work to slow down the power of the Frankish early game, without impacting their late game strength.

GC - training time reduced to 18/16 seconds. Elite upgrade cost reduced to 600/400
Age up Bonus increased to 20%
Small boost to early game potential, GC brought in line with other UU

Battle Elephants move 5% (Castle)/10% (Imp) faster, Bonus extended to UU
Do i need to elaborate on this?

wood bonus extended to siege, SW reduced to 100 wood
Koreans continue to under-perform despite repeated buffs, this is a big jump.
Starting Food bonus reduced to 100 or Skirms and Spears move only 5% faster.
Lithuanians, while having balanced winrates, are a very popular civ and this nerf is more to encourage diversity then anything.
resources last 10% longer
Mayans, along with Aztecs are arguably the two best civs in the game

Carrack Renamed and Affects gunpowder units as well as ships
Organ Gun ROF changed to 3.0. Elite reduced to 800/600
Arquebus fixed to not be bugged
Team Bonus changed to something else. unsure what
Portuguese are arguably one of the weakest civs in the game and their UT doesn’t even work correctly if feedback is to be believed.

Economic Upgrades cost 50% less food
Silk Armor modified to +1/+1
This upgrade synergizes well due to them having other food eco bonuses

Gold lasts 20% longer (on top of being mined faster)
Gain elite skirm


Cool stuff, only thing I dislike is that these are too many changes at once + you don’t take account of water balance (for example italian buff on water???). I like this introduction very much though.

I think some of these changes are currently unneeded because the effect of too many balance changes at once cannot really be calculated, it might bring a worse meta.

This is a really huge change, it should be brought alone or with very few other balance changes.

I don’t think these changes are important:

The changes I’d consider with little modification:

Definitely agree with a small frame delay decrease

This is a huge topic so I wouldn’t like to name exact changes I’d like but I definitely agree with some kind of buff

Balance discussion on the steppe lancer
Big buff are needed fpr the steppe lancer for sure

Forager bonus down to 20% is more than fine for a nerf imo

GC can actually be pretty strong if you can mass them. I would ony decrease the training time, no other nerfs.
Age up bonus: well good for land but their water game should be nerfed heavily… (like the dock discount down to -25% or maximum -33%)

10% faster in all ages is a good middleground imo

Not sure if this would do enough, and I disagree with a WW buff, they are insane in the late game on closed maps like BF
How about free archer armor upgardes? (Fits korean theme)

Portuguese are a very unortodox civ and I’m not that experienced playing it but they sure need a buff

Would definitely help bulgarians, I agree with these ones, even with the values

Let them gain pikes and e skirms and see what will happen

Also, the swordsman line is again a very big topic, I wouldn’t say my exact opinions on that topic yet, but some buffs are needed


water is not a niche i am worried about

i’m not nerfing it hard, just a little bit. 20 units on a tile is a problem.

not really, saw them recently in a few pro games. they don’t need insane buffs, just a small reduction would help greatly.

not concerned with water balance here.

i thought about that, but they still get husbandry, and seeing as it applies to UU as well, i decided to gate it a little bit

44% winrate on a map that sees a 5% playrate.

1 pick, 0 bans, 0 plays. out of 132 maps played so far in KotD3.

already covered those, I’m fine with them filling the role they fill, i think they just need to be a little bit easier to get too. they even won a game in KotD3.

I would add this effect to the current bonus: outposts dont cost stone (or other outpost related bonus, like building speed)

Useful for early and late game, also useful in 1v1, and not game breaking


I’d greatly enjoy if you would add the original tech/unit cost e.g

Longsword - Upgrade Cost reduced 200 food 65 gold to 150 food and 50 gold. Increase Speed to 0.95.

Also I’m really not sure about the 1.0 movementspeed for 2HS and Champions. I have tested this in the editor and the late game potential is immense. Would like to see how this would perform in a real game.

Bulgarians don’t need a late game buff, especially not one that saves 2275f 750g and 550w.
Personally I’d reduce the Barracks cost to 100w in addition to the Blacksmith. This would allow them to build two extra farms and start aggression early. This could even extend to the Stable and Archery Range, to make up for the lousy early game options.

I like the idea for Koreans for a cheaper SW, earlier siege would allow for better defense and possibly offense. Fully upgraded SO with two bonuses and a discount sounds kinda broken to me though.

Turks buff looks nice, but bad trash is their identity and shouldn’t be changed in my opinion. :slight_smile:

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As general comment… very good proposals! I will take some time to comment them specifically, but all the reasoning is pretty consistent!


I still think, as often mentioned giving them pikes and elite skirms is taken away their identity. Its like Meso civs, that dont get cavalry, and have no access to the scout line. Turks dont have access to the arguably less impactful pikeman and elite skirm. Despite being bad in trash fights as a result, this should be rather compensated with other bonusses.
20% faster gold mining and longer lasting gold should be enough for that.
Especially if you buff, both hand cannons and janis.
They still will have a problem against archer, but I would rather suggest giving them onager instead.

Reduced cost for Siege for Koreans also seems a bit strong. I would suggest to first only add the reduced cost of the Siege Workshop, and then see from there.

Aztec monks without sanctity would completely take away the monk bonus of aztecs. They would in turn be worse than any other monks. They only get 5hp per tech.
The only other techs you would research in castle age are atonement, fervor and redemption.
You need those 20hp if you want to convert mangonels, so suddenly you have to spend and additional 500 gold and 90 second research time before you can convert mangos. I think thats pretty bad.

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I feel like a lot of these suggestions are too extreme.

For instance Koreans saving 20% wood on siege will be really unfun to play against.
Or why would tatars save so much food in early game for eco upgrades. You have seen how much vietnamese jumped after getting wood saved on eco upgrades and the amount of food they will save here is equal somewhat but food is much more valuable with a little farming eco.

Turks with pikes and eskirms are uncounterable, on top with longer lasting gold and janis buff there is no other civ you ever wanna play.
GC costing less than XBows and having half the train time, is also too much. 20% cheaper age up is bonkers.

The nerf on Aztecs and Franks is total demolition. Cutting the foraging bonus in half and forcing them to play without bloodlines at all in feudal age feels like removing three of their 4 hoves. Removing sanctity is just soo huge, they would need to pay 800 gold in castle age to get it back and be not worse than any other monk. Sanctity is so crucial for monks.

Khmer and Bulgarians change is ok.


i find this information to be unnecessary.

why? it helps it fulfill its job of fighting trash and eagles. late game is exactly when those units should shine and right now they are rarely seen.

this is something to consider.

honestly that “identity” has held them back for so long its absurd

and how has buffing them around that identity worked for them? still a terrible civ that rarely sees use at the highest level.

i’d be willing to start with this and then if that still isn’t enough go for adding trash.

and yet the civ is arguably the strongest civ in the game - how would you make a meaningful nerf to the civ?

Currently Portuguese save 20% GOLD on siege. Slavs save 15% off both gold and wood. but a civ as bad as Koreans saving 20% wood is going to break the game?

yeah they are currently sitting at 47%. better then before, but hardly a top tier civ.

i’m willing to back off on pikes and eskirms for now, but if other buffs can’t fix them, they should absolutely get them.

they also have less range then arbs, require a castle to make, etc. and its not half the training time, its 2/3. 18 seconds vs 27 seconds. and 20% age up isn’t bonkers, they would save an extra 115 food and 26 gold over what they do now. over the course of advancing to imperial.

it’s not being cut in half. it goes from 25 to 15. but nice try. also keep in mind this is currently the best performing civ both on ladder and in the KotD3 tournament.

then tell me, how would you nerf the most banned civ in the game, in a way that has a meaningful impact, without just making their bonuses laughable?

I’m not familiar with every tech cost and training time such as the GC or Steppe Lancer, and in my opinion this is a great QoL for the reader and allows to see by how much you have changed the cost etc.

I don’t disagree with you here, I just don’t think 2HS and Champion are the bottleneck. LS are. I like your other Infantry suggestions a lot though.

As stated in my original comment it’s not about the wood discount alone, Koreans get two bonuses for the FU Mangonel line and an additional discount could be too strong. Have you tested this in the editor?

The Aztec strength does not come from the Monk HP bonus in Castle Age, but from the strong economy that kicks in from Dark Age onwards in addition to the +50g. A possibility to nerf this would be to keep the +50g (early aggression) but move the +5 carry capacity to the Feudal Age. Then they are just like weaker Goths though.


Yeah so you approve you just want to change something because you want to change something ? thats not what I think you should approach it. Just because a civ is best in a certain setting it doesnt mean you totally need to break it with an axe. Civs of kotd are pretty balanced and current data are somewhat biased since the skill level of players is so uneven the little effect of civs is marginal. I prefer a more round and complete attempt rather than going after a civ with cannon balls to buff it to heaven or put it into the mud.

I will answer then: Not at all. The banrate of Aztecs is just what players feel is best civ to ban and they need to ban something so Aztecs is always a goo call. But if the civ is never played in the settings you dont see how good they are compared to other civs. Currently Aztecs are at 50% Winrate in the few games they were played. Doesnt feel obviously overpowered. Other civs are more oppressive like Khmer being played in 75% (played not picked) of all Round 2 games with a winrate of 58%, if you care a lot about the stats of kotd already. How pro perception can fool them you can see with vikings a very prominent pick and ban in the first round but their performance is not showing much, same for Britons which dont do well on open maps and were picked by mostly weaker players.

Ofc Aztecs are a good civ on open tournament map but why cant they have one map type where they are very good without being pushed under the bus. In clown cup they were alike the most banned civ and then in later stages when they were played they didnt win a single game. Nerfing them more will make them really stuggling on arena I think, just as an example.

For me Aztecs are with the latest nerf one of the most well-rounded civs, just like Franks. They have clear weaknesses and clear strengths with form a well-designed civ together.


imo, weaker civs should be prioritized to buff over nerf civs. I don’t think there is a overpowered civ right now.

This is the only one that I am strongly against. Increasing the projectile speed is ok or affected by ballistics is enough. RoF buff is too much for dps as HC has high base dmg. For compensation for portuguese arquebus, further increase the accuracy for HC is ok.

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and that’s great, but I already spent literally dozens of hours compiling it, i’m not going to show the before and after. if someone wants to see what it is now, its not hard to find, the end result is what matters.

and i made that tech much cheaper to help with that. i also made them faster.

and how has having two bonuses for the mangonel line helped them so far?

if it was just a strong eco, how come they are stronger then the likes of slavs, mayans, and Indians? all who have strong ecos

no, i’m changing stuff that isn’t performing where it should be.

yeah those civs are so balanced 5 haven’t even been picked for anything, and 7 haven’t been played at all. a full 20% of the civs haven’t seen play yet. think about that.

55.5%, nice try.

and i’m nerfing them. but the fact that they are outright banning aztecs, and playing khmer says that they think Aztecs are worse then Khmer. even Viper, when asked months ago, said if he could nerf one civ, Aztecs would be it. and that was AFTER they had just got nerfed.

good thing then arabia is so bloody common right? 60% of all ranked 1v1 games played on arabia, 75% at the highest level.

clearly the pros disagree with you here.

Your proposal is based on kotd3 and you want to nerf Burmese even with 0 pick rate?

Burmese more need a buff than a nerf. And no nerf for double castle Arambai, that’s their Identity!

Some other changes are too radical. Goth spam with fast Champion is not a good idea.


not just kotd3. that’s just the most recent datapoint. i do agree tehy need love elsewhere, which is why i buffed howdah, just not sure how to buff them beyond that.

there champs would still be extremely weak to archers.

i think that burmese nerf even with 0% still comes from their strength in performance in Arena IMO

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accurate, my goal is to buff them elsewhere to make them a more well rounded civilization, i’m just unsure how to do it effectively, they got bonuses tied up in the extra infantry attack.

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i think burmese Champs are underated when it comes to their raw strength with 20 attack and in mass they easily destroy several buildings (struggle on castle tho)

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problem is they still get wrecked by archers so hard the extra attack rarely matters.

Yea but i think a general sense of +0/1 for ls and then foward to champs would make them a bit more secure to it

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