The Vipers suggestions for balancing

The Viper just posted a compilation on Twitter about his ideas of balancing:

  1. Allow units to be spawned from any angle of the production building to remove advantage/disadvantage based on where you spawn on the map.
  2. Yam Network too effective. Even leaving aura you keep the bonus for a while, so: Lower the speed bonus and lower the time you keep the bonus outside of the aura.
  3. Mongols Double production too effective. Cost increased to 1,5 for 2 instead of 1 for 2.
  4. Make Mongols Dock cost more, I think 50 would be a good start. They save so much wood on no houses, double production and no need to make lumber camps early on. Combination leads to them completely dominating hybrid maps. Fishing Ship cost increase just pushes Mongols more.
  5. Mongols Steppe Redoubt gold dropped off give 25% extra instead of 50%.
  6. Mongols White Stupa Landmark produce 200 stone per minute instead of 240.
  7. Khan range lowered by 1 in Age 1 & 2.
  8. Abbasid Fresh Foodstuffs technology nerfed. Currently giving 50% discount on Villagers. A -15 food cost alone would still be an incredibly strong upgrade.
  9. Abbey of Kings (English Feudal Landmark) change. Not sure what, but currently never used.
  10. Chinese Imperial Official Supervision is too strong imo. Lower the speed boost by 50%.
  11. Chinese second dynasty building in the same age get a 50% discount.
  12. Make Textiles available in the Dark Age.
  13. Astronomical Clocktower give 20% HP extra instead of 50%.
  14. Chinese Pyrotechnics Tech gives gunpowder 10% extra range instead of 20%.
  15. French faster vill and scout production removed or just given to scouts.
  16. French Economic techs 20% cheaper instead of 30%.
  17. French Resource Drop-off buildings cost 35w instead of 25w.
  18. French Guild Hall receiving a cap on resource storage to make it a little skillful to utilize. Cap at 1000, instead of suddenly having 30k extra res at a random point in late game.
  19. French Chamber of Commerce trade return +20% res to markets/docks instead of +30%.
  20. HRE Regnitz Cathedral can hold 5 relics, but they give 100% extra gold instead of 200%.
  21. HRE Palace of Swabia Produce Villagers 50% cheaper but 75% faster, instead of 75% cheaper and faster.
  22. HRE Landsknecht buffed somehow. Probably give armor.
  23. HRE Barracks within influence work 20% faster.
  24. HRE Marching Drills cost from 100f 250g to 75f 150g.
  25. Rus Golden Gate favorable rate from 1,5x to 1,25x
  26. Rus High Armory reduce cost of siege engines nearby by 10% instead of 20%.
  27. Rus High Armory Banded Arms tech give springalds +1 range instead of +1,5. Open to changing it to a slight HP or Attack boost instead of range.
  28. Rus High Armory tech Fine Tuned Guns reduce reload of Bombards by 15% instead of 25%.
  29. Rus Mounted Precision give Horse Archers +1 Range instead of +2.
  30. Delhi Sanctity upgrade avaiable in Dark Age.(To research, but cannot take Sacred Sites until Feudal Age).
  31. Delhi Technology buildings (Blacksmith and University 33% cheaper. (Not sure)
  32. Delhi Tech upgrades 10x instead of 15x in Imperial. Maybe even lower.
  33. Delhi Tower of Victory Landmark give a permanent attack speed of +10% to melee and ranged infantry produced from a building within the Delhi influence.
  34. Delhi Palace of Sultan Landmark, allow player to choose between Tower Elephant or War Elephant.
  35. Delhi Lower the dmg a little from Fishing Ships equipped with Archers.
  36. Stone Walls less HP and take way longer to build. Palaside walls just take longer to build.
  37. Springald dmg changed to 20+60 instead of 60+20 (the + is bonus dmg vs Siege) - or 30+50.
  38. Siege weapons created in the field by infantry(except rams) take longer to build.
  39. Give horsemen back some HP.
  40. Professional Scouts allow scouts to pick up deer, but add a 2-3 second pick-up time, and a 20-30% speed reduction while carrying the deer to allow for counter-play.
  41. Speed reduction of 20-30% for monks carrying relics as well.
    I feel like Siege is extremely dominant in the game from Castle Age and onwards, and walls are becoming increasingly popular and just contribute to the Siege meta. Let me know if there are any changes you disagree with or would add. Not excited to queue up right now…
  • A lot of other things that can be improved, hotkeys, map generation, dock placement, walling placement, demolition ships range and the list goes on and on, but some of those wouldn’t change too much about how the game plays out. *
  • I also didn’t talk much about Water balance as I have limited game time on water maps.*

I thought you guys might be interested in his ideas. I personally agree with a lot but I think there is even more. Especially some love for Elephants (especially after the spear and xbow-buffs) and Mangudais (too expensive, too low range to be viable especially if the nerfs above would be realised) is missing and some things more. But feel free to share what you think. Maybe posting this on the forums as well.

All credit to him. His twitter:


Take this serious devs, this guy knows what he is talking about :wink:
There might be faster players out there and even better players, but at least in aoe2 almost no one understood the game as much as Viper


I only play chinese so I can’t talk about the others points.
11 : Yeah I kinda agree, 200% is really a lot, especially on the astro clocktower
12 : Yes, I’d love a discount on the second dynasty builing, idk about how much that discount would be but this change would be welcomed or else we would keep the previous dynasies bonuses with a reduction (like 15-20% villager speed prod instead of 35% etc…)
13 : Yeah whatever, idc much about that
14 : I don’t know about this change, 50% is a lot I know but 20% seems so little, at this point the royal artillery from the French just seems better with 20% dmg
15 : Dropping the pyrotechnic from 20 to 10% makes me feel like i’m not gonna prioritize this tech anymore, I would still take it but not right off the bat


37 : Please no, walls are almost useless at this point…
38 : Yup

All in all it appears to be that those changes would “flat out” the civs and make them more comparable (in extreme going to AOE2 style balance). So I personally would focus more on also making the unique characteristics more outstanding. Units, techs and stuff. Also I dont see why a strong bonus in some areas could not go with a strong disadvantage in another.


because its extremely difficult to balance. you end up with extremely bad matchups, favouring one or the other civ

there’s still a ton more diversity than aoe2, its common in competitive games to flatten the differences, but there are still a lot of differences



It might produce a more balanced game - but not really a fan of just nerfing everything vaguely good to push all factions towards a base.


Nah, he is nerfing everything.

The asymmetrical difference of the civs will be removed due to this change since they would have so little bonus and a way to play this game as a different civilisation.

Not a very good balancing recommendation from a pro player. Since most of the players play this game to try campaigns and skirmish or most of the time custom games.

I think we need to get patches and updates separately for ranked and custom (Solo or Team mode) matchmaking.
This way people would get accurate updates depending on their favourite mode.


this is an interesting one…

im sure a lot of people are going to be more than happy to agree with him on a lot of things, but i dont think people realise what he is implying here… that having free BS and Uni techs is actually OP, this is a massive price hike in comparison…

we have a lot of people here crying about delhi being useless etc, but the rest of us saying they have a really good / unstoppable late game in certain matchups, and i think this is further proof of it.

would be really nice, gives them a more aggressive option, especially coupled with the fact all of their training can be at double speed (this is both a saving on building cost, as well as a saving on production fees since you dont need to float as much res)

i like the idea, but the problem here is it nerfs HRE’s unique ability to put relics in defensive buildings…

like why put a relic in a castle(it doesnt add that much as it is), when you need it for the extra gold(which is worth more than the minor stat buffs), at least with the current iteration you slap 3 in the cathedral, and excess go to defensive buildings, with the new iteration you’'ll need 6 relics before that is an option

there’s a lot of stuff here which i think a lot of people reached the same conclusion to simultaneously… what im surprised about is that the devs havent done it already…

like this stone production thing was blatantly too good from day 1, either reduce stone income or increase the cost

like a couple weeks ago the consensus was that walls were useless and you should only build castles, how it has swung…

but then he (and many other aoe2 pros) absolutely hate walls… if aoe2 is any comparison i think we should prepare for walls to become next to useless…


you’re clearly over reacting…

for example chinese buildings will still produce at 250% speed… instead of 300%

mongols will still be able to double produce and augment their tech

delhi will sitll have the majority of their tech free, faster production , elephants, early scholars

and the list goes on…

This reads like our last the patch notes ha.

I certainly can’t speak to all of that for the lack of his breadth of experience with all the different civs at such a high level. The buffs for HRE and Delhi I mostly agree with (with the caveat that elephants need to get more armor to account for spear and xbow buffs). I think he’s right about the direction of change needed for springalds, though devs say they already have a plan there. We’ll see what they come out with. I expect less damage vs non-siege units is the right answer, but will keep an open mind.

I suspect the sum total of his proposed nerfs to some civs are excessive - too much at once. Definitely, definitely need to address Mongols on hybrid maps, so he’s right there. Maybe pick a couple of the nerfs for each civ that he listed several nerfs for, but I wouldn’t do all of them out the gate. Pick a few strong options, implement them, and see where the game goes. We don’t have to get to perfect balance in one move, but there needs to be a move in the right direction (bring the top 2-3 civs down a bit and the bottom 2-3 up a bit, and improve water/hybrid map balance overall).

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Nah, every other civilisation would become identical since the bonuses aren’t significant.

He is cutting 50% of the given bonuses from each civilisation. Which are nuts.

That would make this game more like AOE2. Which is an old game.

We need to discover new ways to find the sweet spot.

Leave the past.


I think Vipers Idea’s are great. Agree with most. His idea’s are very logical, I hate to be negative but unfortunatley Relic probably arn’t really balancing from a competitive point, more team games I assume? The most recent patch’s changes were so out of touch and not really logical at all, I too will not be queing quick match now atleast until the Springalts are changed, they are in every game coupled with men at arms at my bracket (1500 MMR 1v1) and honestly its so boring now I’m not excited to queue up. It’s also so surprising they add no Mongol changes especially that effect Hybrid maps, you basically have to dodge every hybrid map or be forced to play mongols, similar to French on Water maps pre patch if you want to play atall competetivly without auto Mongol.


Competitive RTS are balanced more on the nerf, not the buff and more in the knowledge that there will be more civilizations in the future.

Asymmetry will still be greater than AoE2, but don’t expect a brutal asymmetry when it’s a game where more future civilizations are going to be featured.

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I think there are still a lot unique and strong boni remaining but some of the existing ones are just overtuned. Especially if you focus a little more on unique units and mechanics. But I can see your point in general.

Most of these could be good. This is a bit drastic and heavy handed though, I think they should be a bit more careful than that.

High level players considered walls useless a couple weeks ago, so this seems like a bit of a knee jerk reaction in the other direction.

I hope devs doesn’t listen to him too much. This is basically reworking and rewriting the entire balance dynamic of the game. One month after release when nobody knows what’s truly good or not and how to approach all the maps. Why are people playing chinese for instance, they were demeed completely useless just weeks ago…

While I’m not opposed to large balance changes, it’s way too early to make those kind of changes right now.


If China now play, it is because China was the most benefited in this last patch and the other civilizations have hardly been touched.

You’re talking about the best AoE player, a player who uses all civilizations, plays many games, and understands the meta much better than any of us.

You do not have to agree 100% in everything he says, but commenting that devs should not listen to someone who is able to balance the game better than many people for all their experience shows resentment towards high-level players.


I didn’t say devs “shouldn’t listen to someone”. I said they shouldn’t listen to him too much as in, don’t implement all that at all. I then reasoned why. I’ve followed viper for 8 years so I know who he is. Criticism of someone’s widely sweeping changes is not “showing resentment toward high level players”.

Also China has been played allot last couple of weeks not since yesterday, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, look at Drongo’s youtube videos, pro’s are playing chinese. Looks like you don’t know whatsapp and take any criticism of pro players as some kind of attack.