Problem with cohesion with all the new DLCs and mechanics

Ok first of all, I downloaded and played the new DLC last night, and to be clear I really liked it. I generally like new things being added to the game, and I think it keeps things fresh and generally makes things more interesting. Its part of the reason I’ve been playing this game for so long.

Having said that something that doesn’t sit well with me is that with all these new civ specific mechanics and unique things that are being added to the game I sense a growing divide between how the old civs play and how the new ones play. Almost to the point where they feel like they are from different games and it really ruins the cohesion of the game.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind these things being added, I actually find it impressive that things we thought were impossible to do in this engine are being added. I just wish that we would get adjustments to the old civs so they keep up at least aesthetically.

So with that, here are some suggestions for somethings we could add to the older civs and the game in general to make things more cohesive. I know most of these probably won’t get added but whatever, here goes:

Each civ to get unique castle
ok so it has now been a trend for the past few DLCs that all the new civs are getting their own castles. Ideally I would love each civ to have its own architecture but I am not holding my breath on that, but can we at least be consistant and make a new unique castle for each civ?

other civ specific unique buildings
Feitoria, Fulwark, Krepost, Harbour, Donjon and now Caravansarai. It would be cool to give the older civs each a unique building. There is so many potential things and people can add their own ideas but some things that come to mind would be:

  • Mongolian yurt instead of houses. Could just be a visual upgrade. Maybe its built faster than the normal house.
  • A sacrifice altar for the Incas. The incas used human sacrifice as a way to subjugate the people they ruled. Maybe we can have something like the ability to “sacrifice” a villager by garrisoning it in the building and permenantly losing it, but giving a small boost in villager work rate or something to all villagers working nearby. Obviously would need to be balanced properly but I am just riffing here…
    -Palace for Persians. Persian architecture has been iconic and influential throughout their history, specially their very ornate Palaces and gardens. Not sure exactly what the purpose of this could be. Maybe gives some sort of boost to military units fighting within its radius of influence?
  • British Inns. The Britons could build Inns. A cheap building that could be a drop off site for food but also can heal garrisoned units. The healing could be done at a faster rate than healing inside a castle or tower for example, but with the trade off that garrisoned units do not fire arrows from the building, so its purely a civilian structure.
  • Library for Saracens. A building that can speed up research time for techs at the university.
  • Courthouse for the Franks. The Franks are already a pretty powerful civ, so not really sure what to give them without making them completely OP. Maybe something that’s not too crazy like, monks recovering their faith quicker within the building’s radius. Or monks being able to garrison inside to recover their faith quicker after a conversion and being automatically ejected when their faith recovers. (so they can’t just camp in there to avoid enemy units)
  • Imperial Court for the Japanese. Military units within its radius cannot be converted. Or they are killed when converted.
  • The Knight’s Hall. A building that makes military units take 10% less population space. Effect doesn’t stack with aditional buildings. Essentially meaning every 10 military units counts as 9.
  • Toopkhane for Turks. A kind of fortified castle which shoots cannons balls instead of arrows. Needs to be very expensive for balance purposes. Basicaly a bombard tower on steroids.
  • Boathouse for Vikings. A building that replaces the docks. Has all the normal dock functions but also allows warships to garrison and repair over time. Must be slower to repair than a villager repairing but have no cost. Also please give Vikings a unique architecture set they deserve it.

Anyway they are just some ideas for buildings, I am not saying they are all good, but hopefully something to work with.

More unique abilities for old units

Now it seems with every new DLC there is always a unit that does something different. The Serjant that builds buildings, units with charge mechanics, units that change their attacks, mounted units that fight after their horse dies and so on…

We can expand on this by giving some older civs similar unique abilities. Again this isn’t an exhaustive list but somethings that come to mind are:

  • Giving the swordsman line the ability to parry melee attacks from other infantry units. This could be a chance thing determined by RNG.
  • Giving all heavy cavalry the ability to charge as mentioned above. It just feels odd that there is one unique cavalry unit that knows how to “charge” into battle and somehow none of the other cavalry units learnt to do this in cavalry school? Can we at least make the heavy cavalry line in all the civs have this charge mechanic? Obviously will need to be balanced properly but I’ll leave that to the devs.
  • Giving foot archers the ability to change weapons when they are forced into melee fight. The new chariot archer unit now has dual attack mode. Fantastic. Can we at least give some other ranged units this option as well? Historically even dedicated archers would have had something to defend themselves with if they were forced into melee combat. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy but just something that targets melee armour instead of pierce armor would be great.
  • Giving all villagers the ability to garrison in houses. Because why not? Did none of the other civs realise they could hide in their houses?
  • Giving new animation to units attacking buildings vs units attacking other units. All the later Age games have this alrady with melee units using torches to attack buildings. For a long time we assumed this was impossible to implement in this game, it appears that it isn’t, so why not implement it?

Again not an exhaustive list but something to consider…


There should a civ that can make sea walls, sea towers; another that can make fortified towers; one that can use mercenaries; one that could possibly have trade carts/trade cog that defend themselves and maybe a civ that produce herdable.

Fully agree with this. It feels like a different game.

And thaz is also why I strongly disagree with changing the old civs too. I don’t want to play a different game. I played this game for 20 years Because it didn’t have strange micro abilities and mechankcs. Adding all these unique stuff ruins it for me.

See what they did to old aoe 3 civs. Swolx changing the game beyond recognision.

I call for more conservatism


Yea but that boat has already left the harbour so to speak. These features are now in the game and they are not going to get taken away. So the only way forward is too give the old civs something as well, unless we forever want to have this jarring feeling of having 2 different games in the skin of 1.


I do agree with your base principle.
I also hope the devs give a thought to spicing up the old civs, but I’m not very hopeful.

Giving every civ a unique castle would be nice. Most of the other specific changes you propose I’m not a fan of.

Yes, more UBs could be fun. However, I’m not a fan of buildings with an AOE. I guess giving an old civ a building that you can garrison units in to heal them over time could be an improvement, but it seems a little uninspired.

As for the ‘unique’ abilities, I think they should remain restricted to UUs. They make gameplay too complicated, micro too valuable. If it’s just a little spice it’s fun, but if every civ had access to unit abilities it wouldn’t be.
Samurai, Tarkans and WE could probably benefit from a rework that gives them some kind of unique ability, though I don’t have any good ideas wrt specifics.


Yea the specifics of what I suggested is not the point, I was just thinking of them on the fly as I was writing the post. They are just some ideas that could possibly trigger some other ideas and just to show that there is still room in the game for better change. TBH I can’t think of any other game across all of the games in all the different genres where development has continued for this long and where things have been added and/or changed so much since the initial inception of the game which gives me hope that the devs are open to the idea of continuing to change things and add things and are not as purist as some of the fans on here.

Yea I agree its not mindblowing, but its just that I didn’t want to propose something way out there that could be seen as OP or throw balance off in some massive way, so I tried to make my suggestions fairly uncontrovertial.

Samurai could maybe be given the chance to parry arrows with their sword or something… although that might be a bit too fantastical. Tarkans could maybe burn buildings so that they contine to lose health after being attacked unless they are repaired. War Elephants are good, I think they just need to get their 30% speed boost from the get go because without it they are useless.

I think the Caraval is actually the perfect candidate for this tbh, and it was kinda what it really was in the real world, a ship that was used by the Portugese to force themselves onto new markets.

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It’s extremely amusing to me that you begin with complaining the new civs are too new and break the games “cohesion”

And then suggest UBs for every AoK civ (for no reason at all) that fundamentally shake up those civs, as well as basic rule sets (unit population balance, monk conversion rules) for the game.


Some people are easily amused, what can I do?


Set buildings on fire? damage over time with a limited timer that doesn’t stack. Elite upgrade increases the damage / duration

I think that “cohesion” in this case can be understood in two distinct ways: aesthetics and game play. If we’re talking aesthetics (as in the first suggestion), I agree completely! There’s been a lot of buzz on discussion board about how further aesthetic developments can be brought into the game. New unique castles for all the civilizations are a big one (and I think a must in the long-term). More regional skins for buildings and units are other options that could be a lot of fun! Personally, I’m in the “more-the-merrier” camp, though I sympathize with those who want to prioritize the readability of the game - that will be very important to preserve, too.

As for cohesion via unique gameplay, that’s a bit tougher. Adding new mechanics and features can (and indeed should, if its worth its salt!) transform the strategies, options, and viability of the affected civs. Balance is a very delicate beast in AoE2. Plus, something we can’t overlook (as we might be prone to as AoE fanatics) is that it’s important to have simple, straightforward “beginner” civs like the Britons and the Franks - so the devs would have to be careful about messing with the beginner-friendly nature of certain civs. And I haven’t even broached the subject of however important “legacy” should be in guiding their decisions. Is there such a thing as going too far from the 1990s roots?

Having said that, I for one am in favor of making these sorts of changes too! I came up with my own list of off the wall ideas here. But I’ve got to say that I think the FE devs are doing this perfectly by moving slowly and piecemeal through the old civs, rather than taking an “all at once” approach. It started with balance updates, of course. Then more attributes were introduced to civs, like the Teutons additional melee armor. Then regional units were introduced and added to the Lithuanians. And now we have a total rework and renaming in the Indians/Hindustanis. They’ve been slowly introducing these kinds of changes to ease people into the notion and garner feedback, and that feedback has been positive I think. I think it makes sense to continue spreading out these sorts of changes rather than take an all-at-once approach to, say, regional units or unique buildings. Either way, I’m really excited to see what they’ve got planned for the future of the game!


They have a lot of assets from the scenario editor which many might’ve never seen which I would hope could an official mod. An official skin mod would better than fan because it’ll be updated any time there’s new civilization or region and the aesthetic would be the same. Lastly just wanted to say I noticed they changed the Savar to a basic unit rather than hero so that would be cool if that was the Persian knight line.

Oh really? Nice find! I bloody hope you are correct!

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I hope we get new stuff for all civs, and some unique skins for units and buildings. New mechanics, Aoe2 is a awesome game and could get better.


It’s the bottom right cavalry without glow

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There should a civ that can make sea walls, sea towers

I seem to recall reading that during the development of Age of Kings, all civilizations were able to build sea walls. But what happened was that instead of using them defensively as intended, players would use them offensively to trap in their enemies, and that really messed with naval battles especially in earlier ages.

Unless the devs radically change how sea walls work, I think they’re definitely off the table.

I like this idea. Not too resource intensive, nor game-changing in any way, but it would at least make each civ feel more distinctive.

I like the idea of updating some of the old civs with a couple fancy new mechanics or buildings, but I don’t think every civ needs them. Just because one (or a few) civ(s) have something doesn’t mean that every other civ should have their own version of it. This either leads to infinite power creep, or some civs get useless buildings “just to have them,” like the Mongol Yurt suggestion. It would be cool to spice up some of the old civs a little, but this should be done judiciously.

No. This is arguably already represented by their having armor and HP such that they can survive several strikes by deadly weapons. Also, adding fancy new abilities to generic units is generally not a good idea IMO.

This is arguably already represented by their ability to point-blank attack a unit that is attacking them, which doesn’t really work with a bow. The only other unit I would want to have a bow/sword toggle option is the Samurai, as that was the original intention, and it would help it to actually counter some UUs much better than it does.

I actually agree with this, and would even expand this to include garrisoning infantry/archers in houses. It would make for some interesting possible ambush dynamics and could be a slight buff to defensive play.

Eh, this seems like something that would take a lot of time/resources to implement, and while it would be somewhat cool, nobody is going to be raving about how cool this is compared to almost any other comparable level of new content or improved QoL features.


I’d give Samurai the weapon toggle ability. Possibly a charge attack for war elephants, although balance could be an issue.

Yeah, definitely mixed messages in his post. IMO he made the “cohesion” argument poorly, but made more of the argument that “some old civs feel left behind,” which I tend to agree with.

A simple fix is make the builder ship only available in the imperial age.


Not gonna lie, it would be funny to see people get sea walled in early games.

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I am just surprised the devs thought seawalling people was an issue and they fixed it but never thought that castle dropping right in the middle of someone’s town was something they needed to address.