[Suggestion] Easy balance fix for Deathmatch games

There is not a single civilization lacking treadmill crane that’s competitive in DM games, with perhaps some exceptions on certain maps.

20 years ago when I was ranked #1 on the MSN gaming zone for AoE II (MaJoR_Eloff) I recommended giving all civilizations treadmill crane in Deathmatch game modes. Or make the tech have no effect in DM. Or anything else that levels the playing field. Surviving the first few minutes of a DM game is very hard, and while it’s not impossible with a non-treadmill crane civilization - it would put you at such a disadvantage that you will almost certainly lose map control and the game against an opponent of similar skill.

DM games would have more available civilization choices with this one, relatively simple, balance change.

Goths and Huns, both universally considered top 2 DM civs : “Are we a joke to you ?”

About Goths and Huns, I may have been too hasty to say all civilizations without treadmill crane are noncompetitive - but both of those civilizations have very strong alternate speed bonuses which apply at the start. Goth barracks work 100% + 20% faster, and Huns don’t need houses and their stables work 20% faster. So those two exceptions prove my point rather neatly.

An alternate concern is if the treadmill crane field is leveled, then Huns ad Goths get comparatively stronger in DM games. For Goths, this is great because they’re not a Tier 1 civ, and maybe they could be after the change. For Huns they weren’t the top civ, but they were already Tier 1, so this change could make them a top civ or even the top civ. They’re fun to play in DM so that’s not the end of the world, they were one of the best historically and that played out well. At any rate that could always be addressed in a later balance change if necessary.

There’s also Persians, Spanish, and Chinese that don’t have treadmill crane and are respectable. Persians get faster working TCs, Chinese more villagers, and Spanish even faster build speed.

However, every other civilization is not competitive except in very specific, non-standard circumstances. This is a little less true in team games where you can count on an ally for a bit of help.

I’d like to see Britons, Mongols, Malay, Bulgarians, Indians, Ethiopians, etc have a chance in a 1v1. People almost never pick these civs now (and when they do, they’re asking for a loss.)

How about changing starting vils to 5 and removing the starting scout (replaced by a horse)