Too many limits on Chinese Imperial Official Tax mechanic?

I feel like there are too many limitations on the Chinese Imperial Official unit for that mechanic to be really viable. The buff they get for supervising drop offs points is really nice, but the tax collection mechanic falls short, imo and I don’t think it really offers the decisive element of “should I task this Official to a drop off point or have them collect taxes?” That question is a no brainer to me: always supervise.

Tax collectors are limited in the following ways:
-You can only have 4 at a time.
-They can only carry 20 gold at a time.
-Every building has a global cool-down on when taxes can be collected, regardless of how many.

These three limitations combined results in lots of gold accumulated in buildings that…is just sitting there. Officials that you task to collect tasking idling at the TC waiting for the cool down on the buildings to fall off, before walking the 20 gold back to the TC and idling. On top of these factors, Resource drop off points with standard saturation (8 vills on a mill, 2 -3 on gold in Dark/Feudal Age) generate more taxes that Officials can keep up with on collection. By the end, once you’re 80 vills deep on resources, you have hundreds, if not thousands of tax gold just sitting in these buildings.

To me, this trade off just isn’t worth it when I can just task that same Official on a Resource point and get 20% free resource.

In my opinion, for this mechanic to be viable, either their carry capacity needs to be uncapped or the global cool-down needs to be removed. If the carry capacity is uncapped, then this mechanic would work similar to the French Guild Hall, where you can let all the taxes build up over time, before cashing in for a big pay off at a critical moment or task your Officials to collect intermittently for smaller amount. Alternatively, have the individual Official cool down, rather than a global cool down that affects every Official, so that the amount of taxes you can collect at once from a building scales with the number of Officials you have.

I dunno. This is just my thoughts on it and I’m interested to hear of others feel the same. As is, I cannot think of a single reason why you would ever have an Official collecting taxes, rather than just having them supervise a gold mine and generating far more gold from the extra resources it generates.


I agree, the whole tax mechanic doesn’t work well, and I’m tired of clicking through idle villagers just to see my tax officials doing nothing. I say just remove the tax mechanism and let us have 5 officials to oversee production, and maybe let them upgrade into a general of sorts to buff the army.


The tax collection isn’t necessarily a bad mechanic it’s just badly implemented. If it was removed and replaced by an army buff feature they would just turn into prelates basically.

Just removing the cooldown would help a lot.

Than maybe the tax collector would sometimes just walk to collect 1 Gold but still better then them doing nothing.

Also them suddenly not working anymore is annoying too. Same with prelates.


I agree on that as well.
Though you can have an upgrade so they can collect up to 40 gold from buildings.
However, a more troubling limitation you haven’t mentioned is their range.
They only collect from buildings near the main town center landmark. Going further away they have to be manually ordered to collect, as well as manually ordered to bring back the collected gold. And just for 40 gold I do not feel like it’s worth the effort to do so, since traders from markets bring much more without the need of manual interaction.
At this point an option to let them move further away then their standard range would be a nice workaround, giving the option to stay in save zones or letting them go further away outside the main town.


Can’t wait for that patch, lol


Can officials buff markets?

Oh yeah. I love the idea of the mechanic. It’s a very interesting mechanic! It’s just…literally not worth it, unless they change it. There just needs to be a meaningful choice in how you use them. Currently, there isn’t a logical reason to use them as a tax collector over a supervisor, because that 20% resource and ability to double the work rate of any production building (effectively making ANY production building two English Council Halls) is far more valuable.

They cannot. They can only buff production buildings (Archery Range, Barracks, etc.) by 200% and Resource drop off points to basically give a free 20% in resources on top of whatever the villager drops off. Which, honestly…is fantastic all around, but it effectively makes the tax collection an obsolete mechanic in it’s current state, because you will never get the same value out of taxes as you do from using either of those buffs. Not even close.

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I feel like some slight changes to the Tax Collector could turn China from a bottom tier to a top Tier civilisation.

For example combine Tax Collector with the Dynasty system:
Song: Tax Collectors can supervise Town Centres for Villager Production (shouldn’t as strong as the military one)
Yuan: Tax Collectors can supervise Markets for trader production and maybe even more trade revenue
Ming: Tax Collectors can carry 40 gold and cooldown on buildings is halved. Also Tax Collectors move faster and collect from buildings that are farther away from the first TC.

This way the dynasties would be a lot more interesting options and it would make you consider if you really want to switch dynasties.
The Yuan trade bonus would be really nice in late game but the Ming bonus makes Tax Collection actually worth it.


They should just get rid of the cooldown all together, but add a collection time, so that they’d function like good old villagers, “mining” gold from buildings. It’s much more straightforward that way.


Well I’d make their buff more useful than the prelate, as the HRE army is already better imo. But I get what you’re saying in regards to the cool down being removed. That alone would indeed fix the issue.

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Absolutely agree with you.

I’m a big fan of the tax mechanic, and the Chinese are easily my most played civ, so I’ll weigh in.

I think that while it should be kept, a few things should change, referring to the fundamental tax mechanic (we all agree idle officials shouldn’t be counted as villagers). I don’t think there should be any advantages to saving tax like OP suggested, since then it would be a wrestling match between you tasking your officials away from buildings you want to save the tax that would just be frustrating.

  1. The tax cooldown should be reduced/removed. That way you are seeing more gold come in for the Chinese, who seem to be on the weaker end of the civs. And by reducing the cooldown, it means less idle time for the officials.
  2. The Imperial Academy should have a slightly larger influence and should act as a tax drop off point. That way you can stack more buildings around it to get the tax benefit. And if it is a tax dropoff point, then that would solve my problem of building it near my wood line (which easily generates the most tax) but having to manually task the officials there. If you build a town centre, the lumberjacks drop it off at that, thus losing any tax, but if you don’t, the officials never go there. Furthermore, I think the Imperial Academy should have more utility and technologies to research (I have no idea what kind of stuff, but perhaps improvements to officials speed, universal increased tax bonuses, even more gold upgrades for officials, that kind of stuff), because after a while it just becomes dead weight as your woodline gets further and further away and your Blacksmiths and Universities run out of techs, so you shove production buildings around it and just get the tiny amount of gold that comes from producing units. By spreading out more techs through the ages, the building can continue to remain useful long after your woodline is gone.
  3. Officials should have a longer tax collecting range. I’m not saying infinite, because that would be absolutely awful, but they should have a slightly longer range. Not sure how much, but they should have a slightly longer range.
  4. Tax for producing units at buildings should be increased slightly. Pretty self explanatory, just a small bonus. I actually can’t even remember if producing units even creates a tax, because it’s so damn minor. Not too much, but an increase.
  5. Town centres should generate tax. When resources are dropped off, town centres should generate a very slight amount of tax that can be collected and instantly deposited by officials, that way as they idle around your TC they might have something to do. Not too much, but just a very slight amount.
  6. New town centres should support the creation of new officials. I’d say, 1 for each town centre beyond the first. Because I mostly play Black Forest, I build my markets at the extremities of the map to generate maximum gold. Because of this, later in the game I often have to send an official away to just sit and collect trade tax, because it’s a lot of gold. So I solve this by building a town centre at the base and leaving that one to do its thing. It means less tax in the rest of my base, but I can’t miss out on the incredibly tax from markets. If each town centre supported 1 extra official, that way we’d have more officials collecting tax, and wouldn’t have to send one to a corner to babysit some markets.

These are just a few rough suggestions. Anyone is free to suggest others or criticise mine. I’m by no means a super good player, but the Chinese are my favourite civ so I definitely think I am qualified to speak on my perceived issues.


To be clear, what I suggested in the OP was an either/or situation where they either remove the cooldown or remove the cap on how much gold officials can carry. But, I don’t think it would be all that frustrating, personally. The tax gold would just naturally build up, as you use your officials to supervise buildings to boost production (either military or eco). When you are ready to cash in on tax, you just send them to collect all the tax gold that had accumulated (since there is, theoretically no cap on what they can carry) and send them back to supervision. You would be able to control your pay out, just like you can with the Guild Hall. You could either A.) Keep officials actively collecting taxes for a small gold trickle over the course of the whole game or B.) Use all your officials to supervise in the early game and let taxes build up over time for a big payout in the mid-late game.

It wouldn’t require any more or less micro than they already require. It would just mean the difference of choosing how they function for your play style. Above all, what this means is that you directly control how the tax game works for you. Small Trickle vs. Large Payout. But, I’m not particularly married to either. Just that something needs to be done with that system to make it more worthwhile, because as it stands, tasking an official to collect taxes in any scenario does not have nearly the same amount of benefit as using their supervise mechanic.


Ahhh yeah, I think I misunderstood what you were suggesting. I thought you were suggesting some kind of advantage for holding the tax longer such as interest, which I definitely think is a bad idea and would be rather frustrating. Personally, I’m not in favour of removing the cap, but it should probably be increased.

Maybe I’m just bad, but I generally allow them to collect tax, especially in the early game where gold is more valuable. But I think the best option is one I suggested in my first post, more town centres enabling you to support more officials, that way, you can do both.

Its pretty strong, I did some testing and biggest two factors are tax generation rate and walking time. A single imperial official can collect a huge amount of tax from a box of production buildings a single tile away from a TC but people aren’t accustom to laying out their bases like this yet.

The upgrade that let’s officials carry 40 tax is 100% essential once you can afford song dynasty easily.

Yes there are too many limitations and some oversights. I gave a ton of feedback in the stress test already and since release, hopefully the devs learned something from it and we see some improvements in the next patch.

  • The cooldown when collecting from a building is a problem

You can never collect all tax from your mills for example. Its not uncommon to have a mill with 400 tax accumulated but you can never gather it all because of the cooldown.
Instead, your Officials run around your base to gather 4 or 8 tax from each production building and put everything on cooldown for another 30 seconds.

  • Having to build additional ressources drop-off buildings just to collect tax is a problem and makes Chinese waste more wood than all other civs.

So why do the devs not just take the feature from French and apply it to the Chinese?
Reduce the cost of their mills, wood and stone camps by 50% because Chinese need to build these buildings to gather tax in the first place. French is already overloaded with economy bonuses as is.

  • You can never collect tax from your stone camps near gold mines and stone outcroppings in the middle of the map, because they are too far away from your Town Centers.

Aussie_Drongo suggested to make supervise automatically add all collected tax as gold to your ressources.
And I agree with him, this is a great idea. Because you want to supervise these ressource spots. Often times you have 20 to 30 villagers gathering from a gold mine in the middle of the map. There is no way to get any tax from it. With this change you would be able to get this tax.
It would also be fine if this was an ugprade, for example in Age III.

  • Players do not build Town Centers in the middle of the map, they build Keeps to secure a location. Officials should be able to return tax to Keeps just like Town Centers

I suggested this one several weeks ago. And together with Aussie_Drongos suggestion, these two changes would single-handedly solve one of the biggest tax collection issue: Being unable to gather tax from your production buildings and ressource camps at the frontline, far away from your Town Centers.


I suggested this during the stress test aswell. Having to waste 50 wood just to generate tax is a huge penalty. Especially when you start the game. You have to start and build a mill immediately and send your sheep there to gather tax from it. And this goes for all newly build town centers aswell. Of course everyone builds Town Centers directly next to ressources like deer, forests or gold. But the Chinese have to waste 50 wood on every ressource to gather tax.

This never happened to me. They only idle when all nearby buildings are on cooldown, they don’t have any accumultated tax, or when they’ve ventured too far and there’s no TC nearby to bring back the tax. I like how Officials are atm, the fact that it’s not just a passive buff, and it requires some multitasking and decision making to get more out of them. That’s in line with China being a complex civ. If I want passive buffs, I can always play HRE. My only gripe with China is tools to be able to defend early all-ins from stronger civs. Either a stronger economy so I can match civs with early unique units, or some more defensive options.

Also, people complaining about the Official randomly becoming idle don’t know how to play Chinese enough to understand how they work. Officials don’t have a global range on tax collection. You need to optimize your building placement and have buildings clustered near TCs as much as possible. If your Official goes 1 screen away to collect 5 gold tax, then goes even further away to collect another 15 from another building, then don’t wonder why it doesn’t return to a TC that’s 2 screens away. It’s not a problem with the IO, it’s a problem with how you play.

I don’t think the argument is having to micro officials. The problem is that leaving an Official to collect taxes is just not worth it at all. It’s a pointless mechanic that doesn’t have any viability, in its current state, because you will ALWAYS get more benefit and optimization out of setting an Official to supervise than you will get out of tax collection. Even with only looking at gold collection, you get more gold generation from setting an Official to supervise a gold mine than you would from tax collection…so, it’s literally just not worth it to set an Official to collect taxes. They need to either optimize the mechanic so that it is at least on par with the efficiency and benefit you get from the supervise mechanic…or remove tax collection altogether. Otherwise, there is very little reason to ever use that mechanic over Supervise, with a very limited number of Officials.

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