Civilization balance with so many civs is no easy task, and introducing many large changes would only make this more difficult. There are many potential tweaks that have come to mind over the years, but at this time I’d like to narrow it down to one in particular, one that is for a civilization which on the “Statistics” page [https://www.ageofempires.com/stats/ageiide/] is currently less frequently used and has the lowest win rate…
Losing Halberdier was huge, what about a compromise that makes their Pikeman attack less sad in the Imperial Age? My thought is if you changed their Imperial tech, “Farimba”, to also now include +2 attack for Spearman-line (making for a normal attack strength when fully upgraded). Perhaps the tech could then be called something like “Farimba Craft”, “Farimba Craftsmen”, or whatever you like really. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a unique tech had more than one application, take the Briton’s “Yeomen” for example.
And some other practical side notes that come up due to the newly added civs…
What if the Cuman’s special “Steppe Husbandry” tech were to apply to the Steppe Lancer and their Kipchak? After all, Steppe Husbandry reads: “Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers trained 80% faster”, with the Steppe Lancer description saying it is a “Light cavalry unit”, and the Kipchak saying it is a “cavalry archer”. For one, I think this would stand to make the Steppe Lancer of the Cumans and the Tatars a little more differentiated from each other. If it required that the cost of Steppe Husbandry go up, or even if the resulting creation speed had to be toned down, I think this could definitely stand to give the Cumans a desirable niche that is balanced (to feel like, yeah so the Steppe Lancer and Kipchak required a nerf… but now they at least produce these weaker units more quickly).
Also, I question if the uniqueness of being the only one that can build a 2nd TC and a Siege Workshop in the Feudal Age is too much for any one civ… maybe these should be distributed among civs as other bonuses have over the years, perhaps something like: the Goths trade out their hunting bonus for the Cuman’s 2nd TC bonus?
In like manner to the Steppe Husbandry concept, what if the Tatar’s special “Silk Armor” tech were to also apply to their Steppe Lancers? Again, not too much of a stretch, where Silk Armor reads as: “Light Cavalry and Cavalry Archers receive +1P armor”. The end result for the Elite Steppe Lancer would then essentially be the stats of a fully upgraded Elite Magyar Huszar, but with 1 range, 5 less hit points, and a notable gold cost.
Another balance thought for the new civs pertains to the Lithuanians. I like the civ, but I feel that losing the relic bonus entirely for the Light Cavalry line is a bummer. Granted, it was too much fun when Hussars could receive +5 attack! What about restoring the Light Cavalry line to eligibility for this cool bonus, but capping them out at +2 attack? With some Scenario Editor testing, I find this could ultimately make them more on par with the Bulgarians and the Malians fully upgraded Light Cavalry lines, with “Stirrups” and “Farimba” respectively. The Lithuanian bonus after the balance change reads: “Each garrisoned relic gives +1 attack to Knights and Leitis (maximum +4)”, so it might then read something like: “Each garrisoned relic gives +1 attack to cavalry (maximum +4, Light Cavalry +2)”
Many thanks to the developers who have worked so hard to keep the game functioning and balanced!