I am very happy that AOE2 dev team is continuously giving us new contents and updates. I watched the Debut Tournament from start to finish, between several steamers, and a few issues are apparent:
Civs are all balanced around random maps mode. BR bypassed all early game and eco building, and make balancing between civilisations very difficult.
Balance of resources
BR workshops trickles food, wood and gold evenly, and players uses this income to create units. Having food, wood, and gold and eco management is core to the standard AOE2, but definitely not needed for BR. Using a market to balance resources is also clunky.
Suggestion to fix:
Remove civilisation differentiations. essential let BR be all-tech.
Simplify resources. All units in BR cost just gold. Say one knight costs 10 gold, a crossbowman costs 5 gold.
Simplify production system. Turn barrack/range/stable/siege workshop/dock/castle, into barrack/siege/dock, and make barrack + stable + range + castle units all producible from 1 type of barrack. or something like that.
Have resources to come in at regular timed interval instead of trickled in. Say every workshop generates 20 gold every minute. So if a player holds 2 workshops at a given minute mark, they will get 40 gold.
Make buildings either indestructible by players, or more destructible. So make resources/barrack denying not a thing, or a viable strategy
They could give civs a resource-trickle-modifier to balance out the civ strengths.
That would still leave issues with navy (which is important on only some of the BR maps) and castles (which are very hard to get on some of the maps) but it would be less uninteresting than all-tech mode.
This simplification of the game economy for a different game mode like custom scenario is everywhere. For instance, instead of wood or gold as resources, players were given trade carts/kings as currency to buy stuff in shops. so the kings/trade carts are the single resource currency.
I think it’s okay to have different civs in BR. The only thing that I believe should be changed is the random civ pool, it should be specific for each map. In the two water maps (The malay and the teuton maps) bad water civs should be out, only civs with usable water bonuses, and civs with full/almost full dock units and techs. The same with the desert map (the one with the walls), only civs with good and decent siege. The mayan and the mediterranean map seem Ok for all civs.
Of course, the most ideal setup would be with different civs, each balanced specifically for this new game mode. The issue is we have 35 civs and this requires so much effort from the dev team that it’s neither feasible or worthwhile. The next best available option is to remove the civ differences.
There are so many scenarios that do not rely on civ differences and are perfectly fun.
I would personally prefer removing the contracting map mechanics and add more camps, and make it a “Take over the map” type of game. But I do realise this is too big a fundamental change to the game mode and makes i not even “Battle Royale” any more.