IMO these 2 techs are not operating at their best potential, for opposite reasons, Wheelbarrow is always picked almost at the same time and Professional Scouts is almost never picked. I had some ideias to open a discussion about them, the numbers suggested below are not the focus and i consider the devs would do the proper math if changes like these were made.
WB is an eco tech that should help Villagers’ management of resources, therefore it shouldn’t affect their standard movement speed. Currently villagers start with 1,13 T/s and then to 1,25 T/s speed after research. Just start them already with 1,25 but only when they aren’t holding resources, decreasing to 1T/s when loaded. With this you change some mechanics of the eco aspect without messing with the actual speed balance for other purposes like tower rushes, walling, map navigation and so on. So the suggestion is that researching WB makes villagers move at the full speed of 1,25 T/s also when carrying resources, besides the current increase to carry capacity.
People argue that WB has a strategic component in the timing of the research, but this is almost irrelevant atm. The cost is too low considering the great general buff of the carry capacity, it should be increased maybe to 75W/225G (more 25W and 75G), but with a faster research time of 60s (30s less). As a general tech it could be researched at any drop-off building, freeing the mill for other tech choices.
Some situations, besides the eco boost, that this tech can payoff its value:
- Faster garrisoning loaded villagers on raids;
- Changing the villagers’ tasks is more straightforward;
- Sloppy drop-off building planning and management is less harmful.
If the game scenario and the players’ management allows it, the research could be delayed until its cost becomes relatively cheap and when high number of villagers and events makes management harder. On the other hand a player can sacrifice early game resources to boost the economy and defensive agility for a later payoff.
Regarding Professional Scouts, the nerf to their movespeed when carrying animals wasn’t followed by something like a decrease in cost, i think 75W/225G (50 less gold) is good and paired with WB cost, but I would make them available from the start with a longer research time of 90s (30s more), so the player can plan a costly and high-risk strategy of producing scouts and researching the tech to get the food while the other player have time to counterplay, besides having the option to do the same.