For me its Chinese. With double landmark system and their late game potential they seem to be a civ that snowballs in to long macro games with excessive base building - that’s the opposite of my playstyle. Also tax collecting system is weird and I didn’t really liked it during the beta.
It has to be the English for me. I get that they’re supposed to be a beginner civ, so their mechanics are mostly familiar stuff from previous games, but for me, they’re just way too bland and not fleshed out enough in terms of characteristics. I’d have liked for the English to have more to them than just longbows and castles.
Honestly I can’t really tell. I like all of them and find them interesting. I couldn’t single one of them out for being my least liked.
For me it’s kinda the opposite, for the same reasons. I mean, despite fitting into my playstyle in theory, I’m not a big fan of Chinese either, and I also don’t like the tax collector thing, but it might just be a matter of getting used to it.
That being said, being a really slow and uncoordinated player who’s always relied on macro to make up for the lack of micro (think of a 2.3k+ elo macro who micros at a 1.3k+ level in aoe2), at the moment I have absolutely no interest in the micro intensive mess that the whole nomad mechanic entails for Mongols - which is a pity, since I’ve always liked both cav archers and cavalry play in general, and it’s always my go to civ in any new strategy game I try.
English were fine at first, but I got bored of them a bit quick in the beta (I agree with Einstyle up there: although they do have strong alternatives, I’ve always felt kind of compelled to go for longbows every time anyway).
My favorite so far was Delhi: at first look it seemed like they might be a bit too micro-oriented too, but after just a bit of getting used to, they became rather streamlined in how you play them, while at the same time remaining quite versatile in what you can go for. They also have a strong late game, which I very much enjoy.
The scholar mechanism of Delhi Sultan in the game really doesn’t like it…
Yeah both mentioned systems didn’t click with me. They seem fine on paper but need some adjustments and tweaking.
Tax collecting completely didn’t click with me.
Scholars also a bit, but I think the concept is more interesting and they give a nice control tool that can be adjusted to boost certain parts of our settlement’s development. But for the most part it feels more like managing handicap than distributing some extra power boost. Also I like Delhi a lot more as a civ.
Longbowmen make any civ 10/10. I want my longbowmen as a part of EVERY civ
How to shoot the English Longbow - YouTube
I agree: it needs adjustments/balancing, but I found the scholar mechanic sort of neat once I got used to it. I did find it to be quite strong though. It does start very slow, but if you “manage the handicap”, as you put it, through that early part of the game, it gets stronger and stronger. Everything else being sort of equal, by early/mid-castle I’d say they are already ahead of everyone else on that department - and it only gets better from there. At least that was my experience with them.
Ps.: Without getting into any details because of NDA, back then I did the math to see how much they actually boost (it doesn’t really match the tooltip) and, for most of it, it follows a formula where the rate of improvement for each step over the last is even faster than an exponential. After a while it stops following that formula (I couldn’t find much consistency for a new formula from there on) and further boosts start getting back to lower levels, but by then the relative investment into it is quite cheap (considering your economy should be much more developed), so still worth going for that extra bonus. By the time you make it to the last age, no one else can keep close on raw speed, let alone cost. I think it’s a cool trade off for the slower early stages - though maybe a bit too accentuated.
It is difficult to single out any faction, since they all give their own gameplay, and each has its own specifics.
But if you ask the question differently - What is the most boring faction for you? Then I will answer that England. The fact is that they are too standard, this is a great faction for a beginner, it is balanced and very easy to play, but I wanted to feel different gameplay, not typical for AoE 2, and I got it in other factions, England is the most classic and simple gameplay in AoE style, there are few “zests” in it.