Proposed China Changes: Ways to Enjoy Dynasties, Gunpowder, & Taxes

Many believe China as the weakest civ currently. Provided is a screenshot at >1200 ELO showing the civ at a 46.5% winrate. This scenario isn’t uncommon, with China being at bottom or bottom three in every single ELO range. I don’t have a problem with China being the lowest on the civ totem pole per say. As the civ is difficult to master and learn. However what I do have a problem with is that many of China’s unique gameplay mechanics are either unusable or become useless as a typical game progresses.

Therefore the buffs I suggest to make for China seek to improve upon their strengths in order to utilize what they have to offer a player. To make their core gameplay mechanics and what sets them apart from other civs more likely to occur in game, viable and fun. My suggestions aim to make the natural progression that I feel the devs intended for China (micromanaging economy through IO and going through the Dynasties) to feel more seamless and offer more incentives to go through that path.

  1. Dynasties Dynasty Landmarks costs are reduced by 10% stacking with each dynasty previously achieved

The dynasty mechanic, along with the Imperial Official (IO), and tax are the three gameplay mechanics which set China apart from the other civs and make it one of the most unique civs to play in the game. However the current costs of going into a dynasty, especially the later dynasties like Yuan & Ming are far too great to be considered ‘worth it’ in most games.
This stacked cost reduction lines up with the actual amounts of resources needed to go through each of the Dynasties. Song for instance is fairly easy to achieve due to the 400 Food & 200 Gold whereas Yuan with 1200 Food & 600 Gold is much harder to justify in a match. This stacking effect would encourage players to go through all the dynasties while also making them easier to achieve as the resource requirement gets higher. Keep in mind the stacking modifier only applies to making the second landmark in an age. I’m not advocating for a reduced age up for China.

  1. Age 3 Landmark Buff Imperial Palace offers vision to military units as well

No one uses the Imperial Palace(IP), everyone makes jokes about how useless it is. Only seeing economic units compared to having higher HP siege is not much of a choice. Seeing only economic units by spending 1800 resources is simply not worth the cost. As simply by scouting and map awareness a player would be able to know where enemy vils are at. Allowing the IP to see military as well would offer much more strategic value in allowing China to react to what their opponent is building/fielding. This also plays into China’s already established identity as a flexible and reactive civ that can switch gears depending on their opponents moves. In compensation for this new ability I believe the IP time cooldown should be increased.

  1. Ming Dynasty Taxes can now be dropped off at Outposts & Keeps

As of the latest China changes the Ming Dynasty bonuses are just 10% HP boost to military units and the Grenadier unique unit. This is not enough of a justification for dropping 2400 Food & 1200 Gold. Especially given that each dynasty originally offered three new things (a unit, a building, and a bonus). The Ming Dynasty should be a decision made when the game has gone very late, past the 30-40 minute mark. At that stage of the game Chinese tax is near useless due to tax only being able to be deposited at Town Centers (TC) and the Imperial Academy (IA). When the game has gone late your vils are being sent to far away woodlines and gold/stone deposits with all that tax being unable to effectively be collected. Allowing Ming outposts & Keeps to accept tax deposits would keep the Tax mechanic relevant throughout the whole game cycle. This also lines up with the Ming Dynasties extensive government bureaucracy and frontier defense (most of the ‘Great Wall’ we see today was built by the Ming). I don’t expect a new building to be created from scratch to follow the previous format, therefore giving outposts and keeps this ability would make tax viable in the late game and going into Ming more desirable beyond Grenadier Spam. Speaking of Grenadier Spam, they need a nerf. I’m not sure what kind of nerf they should receive but I think introducing a minimum range requirement would be an interesting and logical (no one would lob grenades 1 m away from themselves) nerf for the unit.

  1. Imperial Official Limit Each Dynasty achieved increases Imperial Official limit by 1

This is another incentive to go through each of the Dynasties and given the recent nerfs to the IO is well deserved. It allows China to make up for lost time & resources spent going to a dynasty. This also scales well as the China base gets bigger the IO becomes less efficient as scaling becomes more important as the game progresses. By late game supervising production is the only task of worth for China. The extra IO would allow for greater flexibility and give China greater strength pre-Imperial Age. Delhi and HRE both have economic support units which have no limit to their production. China should be able to make more and tying it to the Dynasty mechanic would be a fun and balanced way to implement this.

  1. Imperial Academy The Imperial Academy now trains Imperial Officials

I’m surprised this change hasn’t already been made. Delhi can train scholars from other buildings, so can the HRE with their prelates. Those two civs can have an unlimited number of scholars/prelates yet China can only make four and can only make them from their TC. Thus losing out of villager production when China’s economy is supposed to be one of their greatest strengths. Not to mention that the IA landmark’s usefulness only extends to about the 15 min mark. For by that time your base has grown beyond the influence of the IA and you flat out don’t receive any benefit from it. English and French can always produce military out of their age 2 no matter the game time. Delhi can train scholars out of theirs, HRE can research reduced tech costs for blacksmith, and so on. Having the IA train Imperial Officials for one just makes sense (it’s the Imperial Academy…where else would Imperial Officials logically come from?) it also gives the landmark a longer usage as the game progresses.

Conclusion:

Overall my hopes for these changes would be to preserve China’s unique playstyle while also making those mechanics more achievable in an actual match. I wish to make going through all dynasties in a game actually possible and viable while also making it more fun. Going through the dynasties with these changes would also solve all the various “bottlenecks” and challenges a Chinese player would face as the game progresses. While also offering a few select ways for China to play and win a game beyond just turtling to age 4. I understand the difficulties in balancing China as it has immense potential. I’m also aware of China’s better performance in team games which also needs to be considered. I solely play China and it’s been a really fun time. I hope some of these changes can be considered to make the civ even more fun to play and therefore give some people who’ve never tried or quit playing it to give.

11 Likes

I suggested that Taxes should be dropped off at keeps many months ago already. It should be a baseline feature for Chinese, because you are currently unable to collect Tax from mining camps/lumber camps and production buildings in the middle of the map, far away from your starting TC’s.

Relic has no problem allowing Rus to gain gold from anywhere on the map by building hunting cabins but for Chinese its impossible. This is simply poor design and a huge oversight and should have been corrected months ago when I suggested it.

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Very good ideas o balance china

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Great ideas !
I also think grenadier should nerf , you have given it a great solution.
And maybe MIng’s hand cannoneer can get some buff by some Tech ?

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Your changes does NOT address the issue China mainly facing which is EARLY GAME! China, just like HRE THRIVES if he stabilizes into the late castle + time (25+ min games). Again check the Win rate over game length across ALL the elo/ranks and you’ll see the CLEAR same trend!

IMO a 10% discount on dynasty isn’t gonna impact your early game progression (that’s only 60 resources…) and you’d only feel this discount at 5-6min into the game? Not at all impactful. China needs something that gets it going into feudal SOONER!

Lower the Village cost down from 125 wood to 50-75 wood. The idea of being able to build a village FIRST and not delay your age up macro would be HUGELY impactful in TIMING, DEFENSIVE POSITION, and WOOD SAVED! AND!! You could use the village as a cheap pseudo tower on hunts and use your scout for LOS, or spend an additional 100 wood for a tower and have a 15 villager retreat for ONLY 150-175 wood (hmm who else has something similar like this??).

I got many more points but just this last one. Being able to drop taxes off at outpost/keeps would be functional but not THAT functional. The whole issue you’re trying to address is when you’re WAAAAAAY out of town collecting resources like stone/gold and you’re using a substantial amount of villagers to do the gathering? So you generate all this saved up tax 400-600 tax when its all said and done, and you want to be able to collect it! Well having an outpost/keep nearby would require you to micro the IO while the tax is building up and potentially LOSING in net gold dropping said tax! OR you wait until the vein is depleted but then you have an IO going idle for some 2-3 MINUTES to collect all that tax??? IMO a better idea is to have an AUTO TAX COLLECT function associated with the Ming dynasty that slowly collects taxes from ALL buildings, something like 20-30 tax/min. When you consider you’ll have AT LEAST 15? production + drop-off buildings that’s a steady 300- 450 gold/min. This would also go hand and hand with the fact that most ppl have their IO’s on supervision with usually 1 roaming collecting taxes.

I agree.

Thats quite an extreme buff to be honest. I would do it a little different:

  • Village cost reduced from 125 wood to 100 wood
  • Granary cost reduced from 250 wood to 75 wood
  • The Imperial Academy (Tax collection Landmark) can build Imperial Officials (thats + 3 villagers since Chinese always builds 1 IO in Dark Age)
  • Revert the nerf on IO supervision back to 200% instead of 150%.
  • Bugfix Pagodas: Make them generate 200 gold + the normal amount of other ressources instead of only 100. The tooltip says it grants bonus gold, but it does not.
  • Make Tithe Barns work with Pagodas

Overall the nerfs to Supervision, Granaries and Pagodas are not justified.

English gets a whopping +50 starting wood but meanwhile Chinese got supervision nerfed? That doesn’t make any sense. Just look at how English is dominating the scene now while Chinese was among the least picked civilisation before the recent patch and yet they got nerfed again and again and again.

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I think on top of that the stacking approach should be reworked as well. We know that maps are smaller now, getting the best set up is becoming more difficult. It’s ridiculous that this paid bonus is indirectly linked to map generation which players have no control upon.

I would reduce the cost of the Chinese imperial somewhat

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75 wood granaries?? Would mean even less map control needed than 50-75 wood villages??? The cheaper village would jump start your age up and timings. A disgustingly cheap granary would change to meta to just be another english/mongol boring base turtling gameplay.

The pagoda is NOT bugged for the 18th thousand time. NOthing about the relic description says the relic SHOULD generate the standard 100 gpm in a pagoda on top of the listed resources the pagoda generates…

The nerf to the granary for moving it down to feudal is justified; but the cost IMO should be reduced. As I posted in another thread a 42 vil + 3 IO’s triple granary with just wheelbarrow… reviles an Imperial English 48 villager mill farms with just wheelbarrow?? HOwever the setup time takes a billion years; and if your suggested 75 wood granary cost was implemented… the setup would be immediate.

That just shows how awful granaries are. Those 42 vills + IO are 45 economic pop. You don’t ever need more than 40 pops on food. Especially in the lategame once you get up to about 120 villagers (maybe a few more).

So you’re telling me by employing 3/4 of my IO I can have food output similar to that of English? Who cares? Meanwhile English is getting infinite gold from their farms. And I can’t use 3/4 IOs to gain 20% more gold from gold veins, I can’t gain 20% more wood from trees, I can’t speed up production/research and I can’t collect tax.

Food is unlimited in the lategame. You should really watch pro players play this game. They always end up with thousands of food in the lategame. Food is not an issue at all in the lategame and if you allocate IO’s and 42 villagers to it then you are making a massive mistake.

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You lost… clearly I was comparing APPLES TO APPLES how 45 effective FEUDAL AGE Chinese villagers on granaries equates to 48 english imperial villagers on farms??? Standard granary setup is only 36 villagers… so you don’t need 42, again it was a comparison that no other civ can come closer to English in food production with so few workers.

Also if u had 3 IO’s on granaries and one left to boost your gold that’s all you’d need…b/c late game IO’s on a woodline that’s ever moving is INEFFICEINT to have one lumber camp and the IO’s supervision DOES NOT make up for that INEFFICIENCY…so no IO’s on woodline after you’ve moved too far away for 1 lumber camp to cover all your workers within 1-2 tiles.

Your argument about having 42 villagers on food is not fit for comparison. No one has 42 villagers in feudal on farms and 3 granaries. That would be 3900 wood required. 750 wood for 3 Granaries and 42 farms.

You don’t want to be building farms and granaries early on. You are better off building mills + outposts next to deer and berries and boar if you can. Use your IO to prolong food income instead of spending wood on farms and granaries.

Even just building 1 granary is a waste of ressources. You should be researching the level 1 economy upgrade instead and save your ressources for Age 3 or invest into a TC instead.

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Hmm you seem to quote the parts of what I say that are convenient for your false arguments?? The POINT wasn’t to say you’d go in feudal straight into granaries b/c it’s strong as English farms generating food, BUT that IFF the price of granaries were reduced to 75 wood!!! You would ABSOLUTELY go into granaries as soon as your near food was depleted .

I think China should get Palace Guard in Feudal also, to make early game less one dimensional. Also, the 20% move speed boost (at the cost of -1/-1 armor no less) and +30hp (which comes so late) is underwhelming compared to +2/+2 armor on English which you can get in Castle, let alone Honed Blades.

In general, for Palace Guard I propose to at least:

  • Early Palace Guard available in Feudal
  • Move Battle Hardened technology to Castle Age

But personally, I would like to go a bit further to make it more unique and fitting. I think Palace Guard should either cost less food than normal MAA and stay the about same (or slight nerf) or have a higher gold cost than normal MAA for slightly better stats. Because trading away armor and for a bit of extra speed is not all that great when compared to HRE getting extra speed with no armor loss, and crazy attack bonuses.
So basically, Palace Guard becomes either a more zergy MAA (quantity over quality) or a higher cost MAA (quality over quantity).

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I like the proposed Battle Hardened technology to Castle Age, but I think ZGN is all a Chinese player needs in feudal age. It would be very hard to balance if they get PG as well.

The biggest threats to Chinese feudal age army are Knights and MAAs. A hard counter for the former is available (spearmen), but no proper counter to the later (ZGN can resist, but needs critical mass and lots of micro). Therefore, a Longbow + MAA combo would invalidates the whole Chinese feudal age army, and the additional 600 resources gone into Song makes things worse.

Thus making Song less expensive and cheaper granary is more practical, so there are more ZGNs coming earlier to defend their base while allowing them to boom.

I also think there should be an upgrade/dynasty bonus that adds 1 more arrow to ZGN (or +2 dmg, or bleeding damage) to save them in late game as they are usually trash by then. It doesn’t make sense that you put a ton of investment into unlocking, upgrading, buffing with landmark bonus just for it to be a trashy choice late game.

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The issue with the zhuge late game isnt its dps its the RANGE!! LONGBOWS on the other hand are always useful in every age even though they have less dps than zhuge nu? Bc longbows can fire from range with impunity!!! I argue give zhuge a caslte or imperial range upgrade similar to Rus.

And feudal maa is the most busted concept in this game… especially ones as strongvas english maa when you consider networks of castles.

IMP full upgraded LB has 14 attack, 7 range and 1.12s attack speed (network of castles +); meanwhile IMP fully upgraded ZGN has 11 attack, 4.5 range, 1.25s attack speed, 3 burst attacks;

That means even versus an 8 range armor unit the ZGN STILL dishes out more DPS than the LB?! So if they allow the ZGN to at least have a 5 range they’ll spend more time firing instead of moving every 2 shots to retarget, I dare say give them a 5.5 range!!

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How about change tax collection to automatic and make IO supervise only?

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Imo that would be too strong UNLESS thry gave us this function late game like a ming dynasty tech/perk

UM… china isn’t getting any major changes… ppl are “figuring them out” and the win rates are actually at 49% and in some cases 50%+ in the gold+; sigh

I still hope they cheapen a few things and what not…

So let’s be reasonable…

villages will cost 100 wood instead of 125 wood
granaries will cost 175 wood instead of 250 wood
New Imperial upgrade will allow IO’s to carry 160 tax and give IO’s a 15% walk speed boost. IO’s AI will be tweaked to NOT send IO’s into hostile territories…
New Imperial upgrade will allow zhuge nu to have + 0.5 range for a max of 5 tile range

I consider the Chinese imperial expensive, and unlike a Delhi scholar, the Chinese imperial does not stay in the building so it is susceptible to attack

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