Ok I have been reading a lot about the various ideas on the forums about what to do with the Persians to make them a bit more interesting, and I wanted to take my favourite ideas and put them in one place and present a sort of comprehensive redesign idea for the civ. I am not expecting this to be taken up by the devs, so its mostly here for my own amusement but hey I didn’t expect some of the other ideas I had regarding other civs (Poles and Bohemians) to make it into the game either and somehow they did so one can hope…
Anyway, here goes:
- Unique tech change: Get rid of Mahouts
Pretty much everyone who has commented on this seems to agree that mahouts is such an underwhelming tech and that War Elephants without it are kinda useless. And it feels like a ripoff that Persians have to pay for all these techs on top of an already expensive unit before they can even get something usable out the door. Not to mention the whole idea of elephants being slow in the AOE universe itself is very strange. Since elephants can definitely run faster than people… but I digress… so yes get rid of mahouts, and just make the war elephant faster from the get go. If that is too offensive a change for some people, give it a staggered effect, maybe give half the effect to the War Elephant, and the other half after unlocking the Elite War Elephant upgrade.
- New Stable unit: Steppe Lancer
The Persians are a natural candidate for receiving fully upgraded Steppe Lancers both for historical reasons and also for civ-identity/gameplay reasons. When AOK first came out, the Persians were the only civ that were intended to have access to all the fully upgraded stable units which at the time was the light cavalry line, the knight line and the camel line. That was part of their CIV IDENTITY and one of the attractive features of the civilisation. However as time went on we had more stable units added to the game and this arguably indirectly nerfed the Persian stable and also took away one of the defining features of the civ, which was having access to all the stable units. While I think giving them battle elephants would be overkill and would overlap with their War Elephant UU, they should still be given the fully upgraded Steppe Lancer which would once again make them have access to the full range of melee cavalry units if you consider the War Elephant as a substitute for the Battle Elephant. So they get light cavalry, knight line, steppe lancer line, camel line and their own unique version of the elephant line. Also they deserve to have them for historic reasons as they employed lancers from Turkic and other backgrounds in their armies so that could be represented by giving them access to the unit.
- New unique unit: Royal Cav Archer
So this would be something like the Vietnamese’s Imperial Skirmisher or the Hindustani’s Imperial Camel Rider, basically an additional upgrade to the Heavy Cav Archer unit in the Imperial Age. I am not 100% sure about the numbers but something like costing 1100 food and 650 gold. It would give the unit +10 HP, +1 attack, +1 melee armor, while keeping the range the same. This would allow the Persians to have decent late game Cav Archers whithout giving them bracer to buff their skirmishers and trashbows as well. Also they still lack the +1 range that bracer would give them so they still have some potential weakness against longer ranged units. The upgrade is also fairly expensive as I think it would have to be so that they can’t just have access to all these tanky units like Paladin, Royal Cav Archers, and Elephants etc… This basically just gives them another choice to tech into if they don’t want to go Paladin which is basically currently their only ideal late game option.
- New unique unit: Qizilbash
I imagine this unit as a sort of fast and cheap shock troop infantry swordman that is available in Imperial Age at the barracks but you can only train 10 at a time and then they go on a timer and you can’t train them again for another 2 or 3 minutes or something. They have average HP but very high attack. They cost only food to represent the fact that the real Qizilbash were given land instead of payment from state treasury. Also they do not get any upgrades from the blacksmith so their base stats are basically “good enough” straight out the door. In real life they were tribal mercenary recruits who reneged their allegiance to their tribes and pledged allegiance to the Safavid Shahs instead and this could be represented by them not taking up any population space (but you can only have 10 on the field at any given moment).
- New Imperial Age unique building: Shrine
So this is a bit of an experimental idea that I had. What if the Persians had a new unique building that cost gold and stone and wood to make (maybe 100 of each?), called Shrine which is a reference to the many holy shrines that existed in Persia/Iran in the Medieval period. These are often sources of revenue with people visiting them for pilgrimages. The in game effect of this could be somthing like this: for every villager that is working within a certain radius of the building the player would earn a small trickle of gold. This would have to be balanced properly obviously but it only works while the villagers are working and not idle, and only within the building’s range which should be fairly limited as well. This could help in the super late game to allow the Persian player to stay competitive in the late game with so many of their units being really expensive to tech into and to field.
Also I think there should be a limit of how many of these you can build but I am not sure how many, someone smarter than me can do the math and work out something appropriate. Also you would be able to house relics in this building as well but not produce monks from it. The advantage could be that this building could have some additional hitpoints making it harder to eject relics when it comes under attack.
- Kamandaran Unique Tech
Move this tech to the Imperial Age instead of castle age where I think it will get more utility. If you are making knights and villagers in the castle age you are rarely ever going to have the food and gold spare for this tech and you will have more use for a trashbow unit when all gold runs out on the map.
- New Castle Age Unique Tech: Avicennian Medicine
This tech would give monks the ability to heal all units within a small radius of their position rather than heal one unit at a time as is currently the case. This would be a representation of the many great physicians that existed in Persia during the Medieval period. The healing speed and radius would obviously have to be adjusted so that it isn’t too crazy but in practice this should help with keeping the expensive units that the Persians need to field alive.
Also not exactly gameplay related but for the love of god give them the Central Asian architecture which is exactly what Persian Medieval architecture looks like.
That’s pretty much it, I tried to introduce some new ideas instead of just adding stats to existing units and moving existing techs around. You may not like all these ideas and some of them might be a bit out there but happy to hear everyone’s thoughts and suggestions.