Only a few, very specific, balance Changes

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.

I’m not going to go through the list right now, but the scout change. What?!? No! Scouts are not meant to have range. That kind of denies some of the purpose for archers, as well as looking totally unrealistic, preventing walling in most ways, and stepping on the Steppe Lancer’s role. I also disagree with changing Castle age research time. Although I do play mostly Arabia, there are other maps, and changing this isn’t a great idea. You want to make Arabia more strategically versatile, yet want to change a tech that will have significant impact on anything Fast Castle, or just anything that needs Castle Age. That doesn’t quite seem logical.

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Just make feitorias half as good and costing half as much, pop and resources wise. Enable them in castle or feudal, there is no need for a limitation. If it’s still too good at half the res gen for those ages, make it a quarter of what it is, and carrack doubles it (or so).
Saracen proposal is interesting, but don’t remove the 5% market fee in feudal. It’s what defines the civ in 90% of the games and would be bad design to remove it now.

The chinese and mayans changes I don’t agree with. Removing those will remove their uniqueness. Nerf chinese in other ways, with their tech discount and perhaps some other penalty, like starting with -75 wood instead of -50. (Can afford a house and a LC)

Mayans- remove the extra resources. There’s no need for that, and that’s what makes them OP in the powerspikes they have- easy FC, late farm transition, no need for horse collar, and the fast imp with the extra gold from the main pile.

Malay change is… interesting, but will be UP probably. Ideally they would get another straight up eco bonus, or generic military bonus. You can go for that, but also make it “Military units produce 20% faster and villagers gather 20% faster while aging up”.

Burmese big agree.

Italians- EGC will never have 8 range, and they shouldn’t. Probably give them more armor and damage and they will be fine.

Oh I forgot the scout thing- no. Just no.


Eh, no matter there are explanations or not, they can be the good suggestions if they able to be the hints and inspire the dev and community a way to solute the current problems.

Quite no necessary. People can train the bow archer and that is one of the strategies the high-level players anti the walling. On the other hand, it would make the hussars and elite eagles unbalance.

No, it is the main eco bonus of the Saracens. That would change too much.
If you wanna to change the situation, you can nerf the discount of markets and make the fee 15%/10%/5% in the feudal/castle/imperial age.

Super weird. It is similar to the feature of keshiks. You are robbing their identity. On the other hand, it is overpower. More importantly, is there any historical or cultural reason letting you make this decision?

Miss the point. I think the three monk UTs have to gain the second effect that not influence monks but the eco or other units. To be frankly, their current effects are already good, just no spare resources for constructing a castle when player uses monks. If they are able to influence the eco or other units, the player may be willing to try them in the imperial age.

Why? The Mayans have 1 more villager and no any punishment. Why should having just 1 more than the Mayans receive such a heavy punishment? The current beginning of the Chinese has never been the point of the balance problem. Unbalance and no necessary.

The current bonus is awesome. Some people may feel difficult but that is what they have to learn to overcome if they wanna master this civ, similar to the Chinese above. We don’t need the change on here.

I think they actually good, or not bad in the late game.
The full hussars and skirmishers there. Only lack the halberdiers but that is okay.

The change that needs to happen to EGC is faster firing

It doesn’t make any sense because they wield a pavise shield, and recharging the weapon was a hard task.

Scout change makes no sense. Sure +1 range might help but it’s not that reliable to hit through palissades anyway and since you’re doing pitiful damage it’s not like whatever you’re hitting cares. Actually it’s mostly a laming buff, since that one range lets the scout take less damage.

Saracens would be dead with this change, as they would basically have no relevant eco bonus in feudal age anymore.

For Chinese I never know whether making them starting with less villagers and more food is a buff or not. On good days they can keep a +2 vill advantage, so making them able to not idle at all and start with +2 vill anyway might mean they will be buffed.

Malay change can make sense ig, but then isn’t it just the Italian bonus with extra steps?

Last thing EGC needs is more range, unless you want the Italian late game to be even more of a civ win against some cav civs, damage against eagles isn’t needed either as Italians can make a barracks like everyone else.

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I knew that this is a controversial proposal. But I am more pragmatical. As we all seen in KOTD more open/less wallable maps with a lot of feudal agression doesn’t makes Scout play more viable. Actually quite the opposite.
The reasoning behind this is quite complicated. One is that scouts need a lot of food. So it’s really hard to spam them like you can spam archers. Then the scout line also doesn’t has a natural accompagnion, a unit it synergizes with. Archers synergize very well with maa as maa can destroy walls archers have problems with breaking. Scouts don’t have this kind of natural synergy. Lastly scouts are very annoying when they get in the eco, but if you can keep them out with… let’s say walls… they only give you vision and map control basically.
My conclusion to this is to just give scouts this one little tweak so they can herass wallers if the opponent is a bit late to walling (as it is currently meta, walling late to don’t delay the rush). This would make scout play more viable and for each “wall timing” there would be a possible agressive counterplay on open maps. But you would then need to scout the opponent to make the right decision in game.
But before people state that scouts would then stop all walling attempts, this is clearly not the case. It’s just so that then the defender would need to add more spears to fear away the scouts instead of just quickwalling his vills.
Imo scouts just can’t compete with the sheer power of Archers in feudal and we don’t do us any favor in pretending so. Better just give the scouts that specific utility so it can snipe and herass exposed villagers a bit more and allow for a better transition to castle age and knights or cav archers (depending on the specialisation of the civ).
Feudal is more of a skirmish setting up the roles of the players in the game, so I would like to have some kind of “rock, paper, scissors” system there. Drush/Maa>Scout>Archer>Drush/Maa but with different time windows when they work best, especially against walling and setting up for different castle age timings because of the different amount of investments you want to make with these openers (drush/maa least, scout mediocre and archers high investment in feudal). I kow this sounds a bit convoluted but there is a lot of experience involved in this assessment. I thought a lot of “how the openers can be balanced” and this was the conclusion I came up with. Because of the way the economy, structure and military is designed with it’s limited tools in feudal I came to the conclusion that there is no way of balancing the openers “equally” there. They all must have specific roles, be in this kind of rock/paper scissor system and set up for different followups and timings.
As it is designed currently we will always have very strong opening metas depending on the map designs as we don’t have a balancing element like “rock/paper/scissors”. So we will always have a “dominating” opener strat. Especially in the current very agressive arabia design we see a lot of drush into archers play. And I think we all agree that this is a bit too stale and would like to see some deviation. And scouts with extra range would actually be a quite good counterplay to this (if feudal was a bit shorter). As it would hit right in the transition and walling timing of this opener. (Because of the comparably long Feudal the drush into archer play might come on top in the long run but that’s only cause the current arabia is way too agressive and needs to be tuned down a bit regardless)

I will now come to some specific concerns of influencing further gameplay:

I don’t think so. It would make them better raiders in low numbers, but actually way less effective in bigger groups. A key part of big unit groups is that they can dish out damage faster, but with the reduction of damage of units that already have quite low damage output, they actually will be way less effective on large scale endgame battles with that proposed change.
And that’s exactly what I want for them. Imo these units are mainly for raiding and that they currently pose also a realistic threat to army also is a bit of a flaw in their design. Making them too strong overall. Better they are clearly designed for raiding but less effective on combat, that way they are would even be better balanced than currently. (With -25 % damage I also mean the bonus damages of these units btw)

It’s still much more than archers do. And it’s also not necessarily to kill a lot of vills, but more to be more herassing. Not being able to quickwall your vills against scouts is a huge difference there. As I said above: Scouts just can’t compete with the sheer archer numbers in feudal anyways, so the herassing is what they can and should cause. It also just fits into their design of being a quite weak but mobile unit.

Lastly I will write my own biggest concern about that possible change and this is from civ balance perspective:
Lith and Mongols can have insane scrush timings that possibly can counter a lot of early walling attempts aswell. But imo this is no prob as the opponents knowing this also just could go for direct spear play and walling just after fighting off the first scout wave. But ofc there could be a potential of overpowering these civs scrushes with the proposed scout changes.

Archers and skirms to kill spears

That would be true if this didn’t lose to just more archers.

Ok I don’t understand this one, if they are late to walling then they are open and having a scout that can actually beat a villager one on one is better than +1 range. It might mean you can hit some smallwalling villagers, but it won’t achieve much as they can either villfight you or use houses instead.

I guess all the people who established that scouts+archers is the most ideal extended feudal army comp are wrong.

Guess what: they are not only raiding units. They are also here to kill skirms, snipe siege, kill monks (which you want to nerf their bonus damage for some reason) and once in a while they work against cav archers (because they run faster than them so they can’t get hit and run). Speaking of cav archers, do you really want to use as a meatshield a melee unit that has lower base damage than a man at arm?
You also ignore the fact not every civ has FU hussar, those are getting screwed over for no reason. But not as much as Turks or Indians would be ig.

It’s even worse for eagles, they are supposed to make up for the lack of both light cav and knights. I mean look at the 3 eagle UT and tell me such huge stat increases are only here for the sake of boosting raiding.

Nerfed scouts would have 4 damage against the vill’s 1 melee armour = 3
Fletching archers would deal the same damage.

A2- Completely OP attacking through walls at this point and would make Dark Age a race to feudal into scouts.

C1- No opinion, i’ve never built a Feitoria when i play PT xD

C2 → the gold given for killing units is completely crazy.

C3 → Chinese is not a noob civ, leave it alone!

C4 → Again changing for the sake of lower elos doesn’t make sense. about the extra res, you have to remember that this civ has no access to horses whatsoever, so they need something extra.

C5 → Again, the player has to take this into account when they play Malay. you go up so fast that you won’t have res if you follow a normal build order, that’s a part of the civ ID and is a calculated risk the player has to take into account, either to delay clicking up by 2 vils or to click as soon as possible and attack early.

C6- no opinion.

C7- They are an anti-cavalry unit. I think it would make more sense to give them 1/2 melee armor and more hp for the elite version. Giving them the same range as arbs wouldn’t make much sense in my opinion, since they are weak to arbs and are not meant to be used for their range. As it stands they are still too weak vs cavalry so they could use a bit of melee armor.

Just my 2 cents. :slight_smile:

It just add unnecessary step for the game. More Feudal war can be achieved by buffing Feudal military. Like Arson introduced in Feudal with lower cost, reducing cost of Fletching, Forging etc. Or more drastic approach like Feudal Ram for All civ or Feudal monks you suggested.

Range scout make no sense and take out only unique feature of Steppe Lancer

Ok for that.

Saracens are not really good civ and Market abuse strategy is quite unique and it is only reason for pros picking them. Why take out their identity? The only thing they need change is giving back Cavarly archer building bonus damage they kept form Aoe2 original version and take out by no reason.

All meso civ need dark age bonus because their Feudal war is underwhelming due to the lack of scout.

I am agree with EGC buff. But it is better to keep their 7 range with bad against other ranged unit. Giving +1 attack, +2 more bonus damage against Cavarly and +2 Melee armor fits more their identity.
And why italians need them against Eagle? Cheaper HC and Condos are much more effective against eagle.

Okay with Chinese, Burmese change, Malay change of gathering resource faster while aging up is bit weird and confusing.