The dissonance between Abbasid design and the current House of Wisdom

During and after the stress test, I’ve spent some time thinking about the Abbasid Dynasty and it’s current design, and wanted to bring out some thoughts about how I found the House of Wisdom to pan out in relation to how the Abbasid Dynasty is being described and marketed by the devs:

“The Abbasid Dynasty is an adaptive civilization due to their ability to research unique upgrades at the House of Wisdom. These upgrades impact and alter core game elements and mechanics, providing a unique way to build your empire.”

In essence, the Abbasid Dynasty is being portrayed as a versatile tech civ which focuses on unique, game altering technologies that offer concrete choices on how to age up. However, this was the exact opposite of how the stress test seemed to pan out. The stark differences between the usability and benefit of the different HoW segments for each age was pretty rigid, which left me strategic choices right up until I spent about a minute doing some preliminary calculations and finding that aside from deciding whether I wanted the military wing in age 3 or 4, there was very little choice that couldn’t be summed down to calculating the return of investment from the rest of the technologies. My options were clear.

The House of Wisdom sections themselves, except for the military wing offering the cool aura tech for camel units, seemed to also be underwhelming in terms of their impact, especially as they’ve been marketed as impacting and altering core game elements and mechanics. In essence, when playing other factions and going through their tech trees, most landmarks seemed to offer significantly more impactful and core game altering elements, and many of the late game technologies other factions had seemed to dwarf the ones presented as the penultimate technology factions impactful late game power technologies. Also, considering the fact that just about all unique techs where in the House of Wisdom, the comparable number of unique techs (especially game altering ones) were not that much more in number than with the other civs, making the tech focus design of the Abbasids even more blurry and unnoticeable in actual game play. Ironically one of the most impacful tech there was the spearman tech in the base landmark.

What I’d do is move some of the technologies from the current House of Wisdom sections to the base landmark and add new, more pronounced technologies in their respective slots. This would both supplement the current design flavor with both a numerical and a qualitative increase, with there being more techs and better techs to research as the technology civ of the game. This would also allow the House of Wisdom to reflect what the intended and marketed design is, with less impactful technologies being baselined to the House of Wisdom and being replaced by “core game altering elements” as the devs would want.

As I am no expert and we’re still away from launch I don’t think trying to figure out an exhaustive list of changes would be productive, so I’m going to give out some examples to start with. For instance, the military wings first technology, although good, doesn’t really let you make any more pronounced military plays by choosing it in age II. I’d baseline it, and add in new tech that feels proportionally powerful enough to make choosing that section on that age up as warranted and actually “providing a unique way to build you empire” through military means.

As another example I’d also baseline the technology cost tech, maybe rebalancing its cost to compensate at the same time. At the moment it’s hard to get a reasonable return of investment on it on age II, seeing as just taking the economy wing will both yield you more resources with you needing to invest less at the same time. Add in something that would actually warrant it as a meaningful choice in age II, and along with the aforementioned military tech changes, we could actually have more choices to make that would “impact and alter core game elements.”

What do you guys think?


I haven’t played the Abbasids much, so maybe I’m not the best person to talk about it, but I also found the House of Wisdom upgrades pretty rigid and clear in how they should be prioritized (most of the time at least), given the discrepancies in return and usefulness between different wings in different ages.

And a quick question, since I don’t quite remember how it worked exactly: are you able to research HoW upgrades while advancing to the next age (simultaneously)?
Because if you’re not (and at first I assumed so and didn’t even try it, so that’s why I’m not sure), depending on how a match is developing - if it’s faster paced - you’re going to have to choose between missing important upgrades or getting behind in up times, which isn’t ideal, especially for a supposedly versatile civ. Again, I might be wrong on this.

Nope you cant research while upping. Going up is a research in its own and queues in with the other updates.

For Abassid i found it rather hard to put sufficient feudal pressure on. Most of the time i found myself doing something like Eco Wing, Camel Archers harrasment into Military Wing adding Man at Arms and Mangos on the front line. Was quiet efficient.

Another build i was thinking would be going Archers early and then add some camel riders in castle.
For imping i most of the time went trade wing.

I generally found it an interesting and well designed Civ though to be honest.

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Yep, the civ has many nice concepts and I’m definitely not calling for a complete redesign. My focus is just on the House of Wisdom at it’s current state.