RIP China, Dead Civ

Reviewing the public test notes are extremely disheartening. For a civ with a 45% win rate, it is incredible how many further nerfs relic feels it needs. The civ identity for china is, apparently, jack of all trades but terrible at everything.

A few of the changes below:

Buffs-
Imperial spies now track traders and ships
Granary, Pagoda, and village available one age earlier

Nerfs-
Granary bonus reduced to 10% from 15%
Pagoda resource generation 150/min instead of 300/min
village cost from 100 wood to 125 wood
imperial officials cost 50g 100f instead of 150f
imperial officials 50% less effective in supervision
Imperial officials train in 30 seconds instead of 20 seconds

Taking the pagoda as an example: why would anyone pay 1200f/600g to get to castle age, then pay another 1200f/600g to get to Yuan dynasty, then pay 150w to build the pagoda, then hunt relics, all to generate 150 resources per minute… At that rate, even if you get 2 or 3 relics, it will take 10 mins+ to pay off. Alternatively, pick HRE and get 600g/min for 2 relics and pay off your castle age within 3 mins.

We have the LOWEST win rate civ across every game mode, and every ELO getting overall nerfs. To me, the obvious result will be either a) nobody plays china at all why would you or b) the only viable strategy is barbican rushing every game and praying you get to bombards after because you can’t pick any other civ, all of which are clearly superior

China can’t boom like Abbasid
China can’t pressure like England/France/Mongols
China can’t tech rush like HRE

The only thing China IS good at is playing single player civilization and building a pretty city under no pressure. The civ needs a game plan that is actually viable and threatening to other civs the way royal knights, or longbows, or HRE booms are a threat. Currently, that is not the case at all, and China can only be dangerous when left alone for 30 mins+ in huge team maps… and even then is STILL inferior to Abbasid under those conditions.

I switched off of china with the first nerfs, and definitely will not be coming back from playing the mongols now. Why would I ever do that?

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I think you have to be honest with the message that is given in the forums and not be blinded by the fanaticism of a civilization.

Dynasty Landmarks are paid for the dynasty (which gives you a bonus) and for the Landmark. Unlocking buildings and units is an extra bonus.

You comment on the nerfs and you don’t comment that when you unlock dynasties, units from previous dynasties will no longer be locked or that you have exclusive buildings with previous dynasties.

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China currently is one of the highest WR Civs in the ongoing Tourney with the best players after the last patch.
Idk, but all the people crying should maybe look at their playstyle first.
Even in some reviews already it seems this is a China improvement.
Having buildings/units no longer locked after switching Dynasties and having buildings earlier even though lower/changed values is not a “doom” nerf.

For example the Village:

You can build the village earlier for an extra 25 Wood. You see the extra 25 wood. What you completly ignore is that you dont need to build 2 or more houses(50 wood each) since you have the Village earlier.

Same for the Granary: You say its worse because of the 5%. But now you get 10% in feudal.
With Chinese staying long in feudal this is already good for them being able to use the 10% from there on.
Saying this makes the Civ unplayable is so exaggerated.

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This is incorrect. China was the least picked civ at the tournament, only playable on Altai by this logic. In practice, this isn’t even true: china has a losing win rate on Altai overall.

If not for the ability to ban certain maps and a requirement to pick different civs, china probably would not have been played at all. It has a losing win rate in EVERY ELO, from <1k elo to pros, and for EVERY GAME MODE from 1v1 to 4v4.

Lets look at the granary: you get an extra 10% gather rate, and all I have to do is pay 100w, get to the song dyansty for 400f/200g… or I could pick england and get a better bonus from every single mill I build starting in the dark age.

Locking units when you’re in your 2nd/3rd dynasty is a non existent problem. I never once had a 50 min game where I was hitting Ming or Yuan and saying “jeez if only I could build more Zhuge Nu right now things would be different”

Some of the changes are buffs to your point - moving these items up in age is a good thing. It does not remotely outweigh china already being underpowered comparatively, and the other clear nerfs they are having to eat beyond the building specific ones. Making officials cost gold, and build slower as one huge example - compare them to the utility delhi gets out of scholars or HRE out of prelates and its obvious IOs are just nakedly inferior.

Can you tell me what china is actually good at? In which situation is it optimal to be playing china vs any other civ other than single player city building?

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It is too early to tell exactly what China’s position in the current patch is. The tax buff and NOB bug fix are not negligible, and it is true that their winrate at N4C is relatively high. But relying on a single tournament with only 8 players for winrate data is folly, because individual player skill, player matchups, and quirks with the civ/map ban system will distort winrates. Instead, we should primarily rely on aoe4world’s winrate data after at least two weeks have passed since the patch.

That being said, I largely agree with the overall sentiment of the OP. The nerfs are too much to compensate for the buffs, especially as China is a civ that needed to be buffed overall. Were 100 wood villages really that strong when available from the beginning? Most players get Song anyway, so this doesn’t really result in any overall wood savings, just slightly earlier. I am surprised that the devs in testing felt that villages were too strong at 100 wood.

The Granary and Pagoda nerfs are slightly more understandable. Granaries after all would be the equivalent of another farming upgrade, and Pagodas would have been better Regnitz. It is disingenous to pretend that the only value from Yuan will come from the Pagoda; the movespeed buff also improves both your economy and military. Back on the granary, I would have preferred for the initial 15% to remain, and only nerf if it did become too strong in general play. 250 wood is a lot, after all, in the feudal/early castle age.

But the Imperial official changes are the worst. The supervision nerf was expected at least, but I was expecting a larger buff to accompany it. (Note: the supervision nerf is from +200% to +150%, so a 25% nerf in effectiveness, not 50%) But the cost change … and the production time nerf? Do the devs play China? Part of China’s standard opening’s, IO first, strength is its ability to get to feudal with no gold mining. The fact that the opening now requires gold is essentially a 50 wood tax on China, as you have to build a mining camp in dark now. And the buildspeed change means that the IO no longer can supervise the first food dropoff - essentially removing 12 food from China’s current start. These changes are completely unnecessary.

Please devs, if you see this post, do not implement the IO cost or buildspeed change. They will massively slow down China’s opening, which is already a weak part of the civ. And reconsider the granary and village nerfs - are they really necessary? Finally, please consider a discount (25%) on the second landmark per age, so that China can access its dynasties more easily. A Grenadier nerf might need to happen if that discount is there too.

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What is with everyone crying that China is bad and underpowered. They always do well in the games I have played

Before the most recent patch, China had the lowest winrate and pickrate of all the civs, both in the low elo ranges and the high elo ranges. For example, at >1600 elo, the winrate was around 40%, and the pickrate was less than 5%. This is the lowest a civ winrate or pickrate have been since the game’s release. Because the most recent patch was so soon, we do not have sufficient data to tell how much the buffs helped China’s winrate. In two weeks, we will have that data. But the consensus seems to be, especially by the pros, that China is still relatively weak and needs more buffs.

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Agreed on Pagodas. I am not saying that the ONLY reason to go Yuan is Pagodas, it is true you get other bonuses and are incentivized to got Yuan anyway. My point was more that they are way worse than the comparable option for HRE as an example.

For granaries I disagree whole heartedly - comparing Granaries to the English Mill shows what a weak tradeoff it is. They cost more, and the mill bonus exceeds the granary bonus.

That seems to be the overall theme with china - locking bonuses behind very expensive paywalls that are still worse than what other civs get natively.

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Can’t agree more. Many Chinese main tend to go to Age II without mining gold. Nerfing IO would definitely slow their pace.

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Where can we read the beta notes for ourselves? Also everything is subject to change so?

Here:

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The pagoda nerf wasn’t huge. It went from 400 res/min to 250 res/min. Also in proper persepctive pagoda went from utterly unattainable at competitive level of play to now a MAYBE. Yes you’re not gonna fast yuan dynasty for pagoda play but with a lot of maps adding more relics and that everyone should always get relics as soon as safely possible; the pagoda will be a nice steady boost if you have a multitude of reasons to go yuan.

The huge nerf is to the Imperial official!! My goodness gracious!!! Now currently IO are extremely powerful and 150 food cost makes it extremely flexible. The change in cost to 1000 food 50 gold i believe was done to change the way china players age up by NOT making a gold mining camp and potentially to reduce how quickly china can offered upgrades (gold wise). The 30s que time now means an IO has to displace 1.5 villagers when NOT in song dynasty…

Laslty the granary? Hmmmm… i get it whenever you reach the point where wood is plentiful and abundantly in your stockpike a 250 “mill” is cheap and getting 3 to get as much as 30% fater gather rates is nice…however since they said they wanted these techs to count when it matters??? A 250 wood mill is expensive especially if it only gives 10% to just farms…now male that granary buff ALL FOOD SOURCES??? Then that would be a great change.

I see they really try to do away with stone tower rushes…

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The price of the Granary was so expensive that it was difficult to use it in the Song Dynasty

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BBQ rush is still viable; stone tower rush isn’t as strong but doable; tower rush is still good; Opening is technically weaker since you can’t open mill/lumber camp and hit a 3:24 resources for feudal. Also (like i said before) the IO is a significant nerf … you canNOT pop your first IO out before your villagers do their first resource drop; so time to go back to single villager building mill as its a flat gathering seconds lost otherwise.

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Developer and MS hate China.

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have you guys played the PUP? I have a feeling yall just reading notes and emoting? There are 2 things that actually make a noticeable difference in Tower Rush or def; the BBQ has full tower range UPGRADED!!

And if you’re going for a defensive boom the village being available at the start of the game, will cost an initial investment, but scales very well!!

So, I’m not stating that I know everything by now - no way. But my first impressions after trying out ~20 different build orders:
The vision buff for BBQ (only vision - not attack range) is nice, but the village really doesn’t make sense in dark age - it delays too much if you build it (and collect the wood for it) and you can’t utilize the +40 food early anyways.
Since Song Dynasty is a must, the village change doesn’t help. Same for Granary by the way - the additional 10% gathering rate doesn’t justify 250 wood (which you’d just invest in 3 more farms).

Unfortunatley I have the game on Xbox, not Steam, so I don’t have access to the beta. I would def be playing the beta otherwise.

Also, the BBQ only has the increased vision range, no? Weapon range hasn’t increased at all. So that’s a nice minor defensive buff, but it shouldn’t affect forward Barbican at all (I personally think forward Barbican is a stupid gimmicky strat and would prefer if China doesn’t need to depend on that as a crutch)

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Personally, I’m most afraid of the triple nerfs to Imperial Officials, especially the cost change and buildspeed nerf. How do you feel your build changed due to those nerfs?

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IMO and in watching high level China players; live build:

You never go ming dynasty (period…but if u did) b/c u wanted pagodas??? The mere fact pagoda was move to castle dynasty that makes the pagoda infinite more impactful during a mid-long game as oppose to the current build.

Also it has been a huge reason NOT to go yuan dynasty (in current build) if it meant you couldn’t rebuild your villages if they were destroyed and repeater crossbows are relevant mid-late game (matchup dependent). IMO the granary should be cheaper, instead of 250w make it 175 wood. At 175 wood it would exceptional late feudal farm switching, since building the 12 farms around the granary equates to building 1.5 mill (75 wood). So it becomes efficient over mills because you save the build time (of half a mill) and get 10% farm buff.

I get why they made it 250 woood b/c of how wide the aura is but to keep the efficiency of mills while using the granary you can only build immediately next to it; as soon as you build 2 tiles away you start to lose villager seconds walking. If they want they can reduce the aura in order to justify the cost reduction I’m suggesting