I don’t like these mass Balance Change Threads where there is almost no explanation why and what the intention of the changes is. Now I will try to make a Thread with only a few changes, but with way more text than usual, trying to explain my reasonings behind it.
A) General Balance Changes:
A1) Castle Age takes 20 seconds longer to research. For longer time we already had the discussion about open maps are too slow, too wallable or whatever. The main Reason for this is that feudal agression usually didn’t had enough time to pay off. With just adding a bit more time to the Castle Age powerspike we can solve that issue elegantly without destroying important tools and parts of the strategic balance.
A2) Both scout lines get -25 % damage (about) and +1 range instead. I thought a lot about the pros and cons about this. But I think it is important to have a unit that works as counter against “late walling”. If drush/maa is the counterplay to early walls, scouts can work as counter against walling that begins when clicked up to the next age already. This would also allow for some atm untypical drush into scout play. Normally you would then see archers as followup but with scouts having extra range there would be great symbiotic potential between the two lines.
I know this change will be controversial. But I am very sure it would make scout openers much more viable as it wouldn’t be as easy to just wall them out - if you want to wall them out you would need to start walling very early (which would allow for drush, maa/archer or fast castle counterplay.
B) Map Balance Changes
B1) Return Arabia to the state it was all the time, a versatile map that allowed for the high strategic dicersity we loved. Keep Runestones as the quite agressive Map in the pool, so the “agressive minded” people have their map. I don’t understand why Arabia need to be changed only because a part of the community wasn’t happy with it. You will always have people that aren’t happy and cry for changes. But that doesn’t mean the community as a whole wants these changes aswell. Arabia was the most played map for the reason most people liked it the way it was. Not because they wanted a change to this map. That doesn’t make any sense, people don’t play a map all the time because they want it to be changed. If they don’t like a map and how it is played they just don’t play that map.
C) Civilisation Balance Changes
C1) Portuguese: Get Access to 1 Feitoria in Castle age as proposed here:
Portuguese are a good closed map civ, but not so good on open maps. Adding the feitoria to castle age would allow for some very unique plays for open maps. The design of the feitoria as described would allow for way less eco investment plays allowing fimp or castle-age all ins with more eco than other civs can. But the way it is designed it isn’t a good play on closed maps at this stage of the game, cause TCs give more long-term payoff. Also on Water Maps the 1 Feitoria design wouldn’t allow Portuguese to just stall out and win with unlimited ressources as they use to right now.
C2) Saracens: Market fee is reduced to 5% starting on Castle age. Killing enemy units gives you 20 % of their gold cost. UT Change: Madrasah: Each successfull conversion gives 20 gold.
The Saracens Market abuse is meme, but it is actually way too special and leads to the behaviour that only Pros can really play that civ to its “full potential” but with a very, very specific and one-dimentional strategy. I would like to change this and open more potential strats for the civ. IMO the civ offers a lot of diversity so I decided the best way to give them the opportunity to make use of their diverse tools was to give a quite unspecific bnus that revards the saracens player for killing the high value opponent units.
To somewhat keep the Monk specification alive, I also decided to give Madrasah the same theme, but revarding all conversions - not only conversions of high value units.
C3) Chinese: Chinese start with 2 extra vills, but -120 food and -50 wood. Making it just a little bit easier to keep up the vill production but at the same time reducing the eco potential of the civ a bit. Hopefully making the civ a bit better on low elos but also less dominating on high elo. Maybe only the first step iof balancing this civ.
C4) Mayans: Mayans don’t get an extra vill for 50 food anymore. Just another balance change. The civ has just too many neat bonusses and this one is actually the most usable cause the uncommon start is way less “confusing” for higher elos than lower elos. And as the civ shines on higher elos it just makes sense to remove that bonus that may even be a slight disadvantage for lower elos as they may not know how to use it to their advantage. IMO an easy change there.
C5) Malay: Faster uptime bonus changed to: “Advancing to the next age is 20 % faster. Villagers gather ressources 20 % faster while aging up.”
The Malay faster up bonus sometimes can be a curse cause you then have way less ressources to spent. With the faster gathering vills you don’t have that problem anymore. When you reache the new age you have the same amount of ressources as you would have normally. Ofc for this the timing advantage needed to be tuned down significantly, but it is still there - you can reach feudal almost 1 vill earlier with that civ then. (It would also allow very specific tactical games like going up for imp, but having the option to cancel it without losing as much ressources as normally as the vills work faster, but that’s very situational if even useful then)
C6) Burmese: UT order swapped. Already proposed from several different people among various threads. Read them for reasoning.
C7) Italians: Pavise also affecting skirms again. EGC upgrade also increses Range by 1. EGC upgrade cost reduced by about 20 %. (E)GC gets +2 (+3) bonus damage vs eagles.
Italians are kinda slow civ. But they also don’t have such a great mid- and lategame that it would compensate completely for that. They are quite weak in comparison to the other archer civs. Also the -1 range of the egc makes them a bit weird to mix in the arb balls. With the low creation speed, bonus damage but comparable stats egc are clearly designed as an add-on unit rather than a standalone archer UU like rattans or plumes. Giving them the same range as arbs could make it just more natural to mix arbs and gc with them.
With these changes italians would get one of the best pop efficient archery plays in the game, that compensates for the bad eco and missing on other parts of the unit roster.