[Vote] Next patch Buffs and Nerfs - DLC 2023

I used to play AOK and then sparingly whenever a new interesting civ was released. Got to play AOE2 quite a lot last year after dynasties of India released. The game has aged pretty well. However the game seems to be diverging quite a lot from being the simpler strategy game it used to be. There are too many cavalry civs. I used to play water maps for hours together. Then the same civs could play just as good on land. But I feel that is not the case anymore. Civs are becoming too niche according to maps. This will discourage new people from taking up the game since they would want to play their favorite civ on all maps. The best USP of AOE2 is that it keeps history nerds hooked by offering a similar playstyle across different civs for such a complex game.

I am a software developer much like @FloosWorld , So I can understand the pressure to reuse code and take back sunk cost on development of other civs. But that should not happen at the cost of good civ design. I see a lot of cut paste work of tech trees on new civs which don’t help their win condition. Some bonuses like Poles stone giving gold and Portuguese berry bonus are ludicrous. Though I would not consider myself the authority on game balance, I would like to share my views on what considerations I would like civs to be designed around. I would also put down some buff and nerf ideas for the current civs I find hard to use. There are bunch of civs which have not had much tweaking in a long time despite the massive patch this month.

  • Poor design should not be justified as intended design and dated design must be upgraded to reflect new balance.

  • Civ bonus like free food, wood, gold on age up should not exceed 100 for a single resource any instance.

  • Civ bonus which gives free bonus resource trickle should be capped at 20%.

  • One of either Castle age or imperial age military based ‘Unique technologies’ should help more than just 1 unit. This allows flexibility and makes play harder to predict.

  • Every civ should get atleast 2 eco civ bonuses applicable on all popular maps like Arabia, Arena and islands. Both should not be for the same resource.

  • Every civ should get 1 unit that can raid.

Saracens :

* [Modify "Zealotry" 20+ HP] camel units and fast fire ship +20 HP.

* [Modify] Markets and TCs cost -75 wood.

* [REMOVE] Transport Ships have double HP and +5 carry capacity.
  [REPLACE] Start the game with a Camel Scout.

Saracens have very old bonuses. They don’t match the power spikes of the new civs. The new civs power spikes need to be nerfed. But Saracens bonus on a standalone basis is also poor.

* [CHANGE] - Loom, Town watch and Town patrol are researched instantly.

Goth lack of stone walls is still a problem. Having Town watch and Town patrol will mitigate the problem of having no stone walls. This change can enable that.

* [CHANGE "Howdah"] - Battle Elephants, Arambai and scout line +1/+1 armor.

Burmese don’t seem to get power spikes in castle age anymore with Arambai. Burmese Howdah affecting Arambai and scouts should make gameplay more interesting and unique for Burmese.


* Cav archers and Skirms are created 25% faster.

* Every maket transaction gives back +20% gold as profit

The bonus gives Persians +20% gold on the total amount of resource the player received per transaction. Historically, persians had very good cav archers, persians are a gold resource heavy cavalry civilization, the gold bonus should help create knights and cav archers quickly before Kamandaran is needed.


* Barrack technologies that affect Spearmen line upgrades are 50% cheaper and available an age earlier.

* [REMOVE Team Bonus]  replace with "Villagers have +2 Line of Sight."

* Imperial age - "Shinkichon" - Mangonel and galley line +1 range

Spear bonus helps koreans guard against cavalry which seems to be their weakness recently. The galley line range increase is in-line with history. They had better naval guns than japanese which helped Yi Shun Shin destroy the japanese fleet on the high seas.


* [NERF] Reduce carry back from 15% to 10% 

This civ bonus is unbalanced. Malins now get 2 gold per 10 gold collected which is 20%. This makes the bonus better than turks. So a nerf to 10% is ideal.


* [REMOVE Berry bonus] Replacement: Town center technologies excluding age up 50% cheaper

The bonus was lazy way to boost Portuguese early game. Portugese are an excellent late game civ. They seem to have lost that identify with the berry bonus. This change can help fix that.


* [Buff] Aging up from 15% to 15/20/25% discount for feudal/castle and Imp respectively.

Italians seem to be lagging on win rate after recent patches which nerfed their university and dock discounts. This buff will make them better on land maps.

* [REMOVE "+200 wood bonus"] 
  [Replace] "All Economy techs researched instantly"

* [REMOVE "+15 fish carry"] 
  [Replace] "Age up cost -20% food"

* [OPTIONAL REMOVE "33% Siege wood discount"] 
  [Replace] "Blacksmith and University upgrades for Galley line 50% cheaper"

* [REMOVE "Block Printing"] Replacement: "Redemption"

* [REMOVE "Medical Corps"] 
  [Replace "Strike Corps"] - Elephants and Castle units move +20% faster. 
           Cost 300 food and 300 gold.

Dravidians are too different to play as a typical aoe2 civ. They feel like a AOE2.5 fishing wars civ. They get a huge wood bonus when feudal is reached. That’s good for a killer blow on water. But its nominal on land. They have no strong answer to Knight raids in castle age except monks. But Monk tech tree is very poor due to lacking redemption and fervor. So that is a lot of resources for one time use in castle age. In water as well, they don’t get any meaningful advantages after early feudal age. The fish carry capacity makes villagers force drop every once in a while which is too demanding and does not result in the 23% faster collection as per design. In contrast, Japanese get faster working fishing ships which are far tanky. So this bonus maybe a Team bonus. But not a civ bonus. They have no reason to construct a stable. Their raiding potential is non-existent. They need a better design of the urumi.
There is a post below which details the changes.


* [REMOVE "Chatras" 100+ HP] Replacement: Castle Units and Galley line 25% cheaper.

* [NEW] Battle Elephants, Rams and Siege Towers +50 HP.

* [REMOVE] Economic upgrades cost no wood.
  [REPLACE] Military unit creation buildings cost -20% rescources

[REMOVE "Team Bonus" ] REPLACEMENT team bonus: Fishermen and Fishing ship carry +10.

[BUFF] Imperial Skirmisher is made a regional unit of 'Rise of the Rajas' civs

I believe the problem with the Vietnamese is too few resources at early stage and no recurring bonuses as the game progresses. They don’t need imperial skirmishers since their normal foot archers are just as good as equivalent skirms in anti-archer role. These changes along with free conscription should help really well to push this civ up a notch.

I would like to have feedback from my friends here @Pulikesi25 @filtercoffee488 @vigunsta @Zelley00 @SirWiedreich @AlphaCreator727 @LinedJoker18896 @casusincorrabil @HeBroGaming

  • Which civs do you want BUFFed/NERFd next patch?
  • Persians
  • Koreans
  • Malians
  • Portugese
  • Italians
  • Dravidians
  • Vietnamese

0 voters

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Just to rule out any misunderstanding: I’m not a dev, I’m a moderator.


Why buff their water? And infantry changes to a non-infantry civ seems random too. I’d prefer if they got their old bonus of towers being built faster or some other bonus related to getting extra stone instead of stone miners being faster. Like a trickle of stone from wood or something. Something like that could benefit their war-wagon castle drop or tower mangonel play.

Too early to call. Effectively till mid castle age its similar to their old bonus of mining upgrade being free and they weren’t broken back then. Need to wait for 3 months to see if this is actually too strong.

Interesting set of changes, particularly the new UT. Redemption is also a great way to balance their awful mid game and prevent their push from getting destroyed by just mangonels.

Not opposed to the new UT but spear and galley line changes seem random. The other changes to the civ are awesome. Imperial skirms for Khmer might be too strong, fine for other civs.


I don’t think civ design is really limited by the idea that old code supposedly needs to be re-used. It has more to do with keeping civs intuitive and comprehensible by re-using known mechanics. I think some of the issues are actually caused by an over-eagerness to introduce new unnecessary mechanics, which is the opposite of what you’re saying.

I don’t think there is anything wrong specifically with some bonuses, such as Dravidian docks granting +5 pop space and Viking docks costing -15%. It’s not exactly the same thing. The bonuses are similar, yet different. And I like it this way. It’s okay for some overlap to exist.

I also think we shouldn’t keep changing civ identities all the time. Balance changes are fine, but let’s not mess with existing civs too much.

If you haven’t really played the game properly until recently, and aren’t playing at a high level, why are you trying to make so many balance changes that don’t actually improve the game? These aren’t balanced, or necessary.


A lot of these changes doesn’t even make sense and some are truly game breaking, 30% cheaper aging up for Dravidians is just broken with cheaper military buidlings, and some are cpypastas from existing bonuses.


I wanted “Shinkichon” to become a clear win condition for Koreans to play towards on water. Their lack of demo raft means the galley line needs a boost against fire ships. Koreans need some bonus to counter cavalry raids despite their defensive bonuses. Spear line is a completely defense unit till imp. So it fits the defensive identity.

The calculation comes out looking like a 20% faster mining bonus which is Turks bonus and the longer lasting is on top of that. So a nerf to 10% is much needed.

The galley was an attempt to make water maps and galley play popular. I love water maps. But the game seems to be making a subset of civs for water like Malay, Dravidians and Koreans pre 81058 patch. It felt like the release a new game ‘AOE2 - the water wars’. Older civs like Vikings and Japanese don’t seem to suffer so badly with their design on land maps.

Maybe remove Bracer or Ring archer armour?

The new mechanics like Shrivamsha shield are pretty good. But civ design of Gujjaras which have 2 food bonus during start has made sure the civ remains broken at 1200+ elo.
You addressed only the team bonus of Dravidians and Vikings. I accept the team bous tweak is acceptable without making the civs too different. But what about Urumi and berserks having the same cost. Urumi don’t have any pierce armour. They should be a trash unit with no gold cost. Their speed should be on par with karambits for such as squishy unit. But their speed is 1.05 which makes the unit unusable in castle age. Their Ship tirisadai fires 3 arrows like longboat. Its like a elephant long boat. The blacksmith is a carbon copy and so is the monk tech tree. However Vikings get free wheelborrow and Handcart. I see no such long lasting bonus for Dravidians. There was no thought process to fix that flaw and give a long lasting eco bonus. This half-baked approach makes the civ unusable on land.

I play pretty well and have played longer than some of the pro players themselves. Some of us can’t make a living by playing video games. But we induge in some binge gaming once in a while. We want to help the community with feedback to bring it back to the interesting game it should be. We want water play to be interesting. All these civs are pretty tough to play and have very low win-rates even on land let alone water. They are all definitely necessary in one form or another.

Dravidians break the water meta by getting 200 wood for free in early feudal. The bonus however is of no use after that either on land or water. The +15 fishing bonus makes the civ playable on very niche maps. If Dravidians have to be played as a rush civ, a faster age up and military building discount is a must. This bonus also scales better than 200 wood per age and +15 fishing. Fishing is not done after early castle because fishing ships are easy prey. The strike corps bonus can help Dravidians overcome that. 200 wood in castle age is negligible and in imperial age is a joke.

Bonuses are easy to implment if they are variations of existing ones. Dravidian age up bonus helps early in the game. Italians helps better later in the game. U saw how hard it was to balance Gujjaras Mill bonus. This is a safe approach for existing civs.


Post your AoE2Insights profile in that case.

You’ve just ruined the civ identity of literally every civ in this list, unbalanced the game, undone 20 years of progress, and overall just regressed really badly. The game is interesting. If you don’t appreciate that now, don’t try and change it for the thousands of other players who don’t feel the same way as you.

Also, nobody cares about water. It needs a total overhaul, not civ based changes.


I applaud your efforts for trying your best to become the flagbearer of AOE DE. However you have not made any valid arguments against my proposals or justified the current design.

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That’s because it’s super hard to evaluate stuff when the civilization identities have been wiped. The frame of reference is partially gone. Also, your formatting for the, change ideas is quite hard to use, as you have to scroll on each change, and the font isn’t easy to read, so you may want to consider changing that.


Its not 20% because even though they drop off +2, they drop off a bit slower to offset it, so its still the intended 15%. And the longer lasting is not that great of a bonus for standard maps. Its one of the reasons why they were average or below average when the gold just lasted 30% longer.
Maybe this nerf is needed but its better to wait longer and observe before nerfing it in one or two months.

Some of them like Koreans getting infantry changes are confusing yes but none of it is game breaking. Dravidians? Broken? He’s not proposing 30% cheaper uptime and cheaper buildings along with the current extra wood. He’s suggesting the removal of extra wood and replacing it with cheaper buildings. When you have no mobility, faster aging up is a pre-requisite to survive. That’s how Malay, Vikings do good. Fast drush/maa into ranged units and faster castle age. And those civs at least have knights but lack upgrades. Dravidians don’t even have that unit line, so must have a much better bonus.


Let me politely point at our Code of Conduct and FAQ and especially at this very point:


  • Treat all forum members with courtesy and respect.

Very solid argument. Agree 100%. But the definition of “Poor design” is subjective. What you may think a poor design, can be a great design by devs.

Very subjective opinions with no further explanation to justify.

Again subjective but more logical imo. I personally don’t have any of such condition/criteria. My conditions of a civ is very few -

  1. Every civ should have an interesting and unique play style.
  2. Every civ should have minimum 45% and maximum 55% W/R in Arabia.
  3. No civ should have higher than 55% W/R in any competitive map.

Too strong for a water bonus since all ships damages come from it. Beside they are not even a water civ.

Trebuchets are included?

This buff them on other types of map where they perform well already.

I’m not sure about this one. I know it’s an UT and by extension require a castle. But since dry dock is a imp tech, it sound really like a hell to catch their ships or to escape them after that on castle age water fights.

For the rest it looks ok.

The idea was to make them useful on more maps like nomad and islands. Vietnamese are pretty unpopular on the most popular maps. So maybe they could be a defensive civ on water. They lack fast fires and Shipwright. So the galley being tankier will help a little bit. Water meta is pretty boring now. Some fringe bonuses might help their play. With AOE1 being ported to AOE2, vietnam player community might take to these changes like ship to water.

Yes, with conscription being free. I’ll help get a treb out early. It may need to be balanced later by removing bombard cannon though.

Italians always had some parity with Portugese. With the berry bonus, Portugese seem to have gotten ahead. Italians got a nerf on their docks to 33%. Perhaps a cheaper age up might help them catch up by going quicker to imperial age.

With the military building bonus, Castles will be cheaper by 20%. It makes sense to use castle as a defensive on shore. So the affordability of castle is resolved.

Dry dock is an expensive tech for what it brings to the table in imperial age. The tech has “Careening” as a pre-requisite. Dravidians don’t have high resource generating bonuses in the first place or any secondary dock tech discounts. For Dry dock, we have to add the cost of careening too. So there is the question of affordability. Dravidans with the changes proposed will lose free 200 wood bonus. Military building discount on barracks, Stables and Siege won’t help on water. So they need a leg up to stand against other water civs like Vikings, Bengalis, Koreans in late castle age. They don’t have Tirisadai before imperial to stand and tank damage. So running away might be a good play. Fishing ships can use this to stay safer during fights. I followed the Viking new unique tech " Bogsveigar" and designed strike corps as a tech that is useful on both land and water. For balance, maybe gillnets could be removed since faster fishing ships will mitigate faster working fishing ships.

When I played the campaigns, I realized they could have done better on “Slaying the Vritra” where faster ship travel and landing could have played a part like what happened in real history. Elephants are costly and Thirisadai is extremely costly. So it made sense to replace “medical corps” and replace it with a new tech which made up for elephants lack of husbandry and costly “Dry dock”. Obviously there is the cost of the castle. But it has some utility in castle age even on water maps. The changes from the tech are well mitigated for the civilization.

popcorn and chair ready drama lez go

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Then i think wood+ stone alongside cheaper uu is already enough to make them viable on nomad since FC castle drop is a popular strat on that map.
For Island there are already several civ with a more empty navy tech tree than Viet. As for lacking fast fire ship, it is not really a big deal since most water fights are just galley vs galley.

They will get feudal and castle quicker aswell. So it’s a huge buff for them on nomad,hybrid map and water map where they already shine, or at least above average.

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I’m trying to find a niche for Vietnamese. Since they are an anti-archer archer civ, they are incentive to go for more wood. But they seem overdone for that role. Now Archer meta has toned down especially with gambersons. So the civ can be repurposed as a archer and navy civ. Their unique tech ‘paper money’ incentivizes wood collection which means more ships. So it makes sense to purpose them as a archer-naval civ. During 11th century, Vietnam fought china’s song dynasty despite being numerically inferior and won. So there is a precedent for the civ to go naval.

They will get to feudal +25 food earlier and castle +40 food earlier than current bonus. So its a mild boost. For imping, its a good boost of +50 food and +40 gold which is almost 100 resources. Its mild buff to check their flagging winrate which has nose-dived recently after last patch across all ELOs.

I just think that the ones that need a buff are the Koreans (desperately), Italians and Vietnamese
Persianas need something to make them popular without turning OP but I don’t think they need a full rework
Portuguese, Incas and Malians may need a tune down on their new bonus but I think we need more time to check the stats


Those graph mainly count their performance on arabia but on others map it’s different. They are average on arena. Above average on hybrid, water map and nomad.
Buffing their age up discount allow them too much powerspike on these map since navy have a long training time on feudal. And galley can kill fishing ships (6 shots if i renember) faster than archers on vill.

Fine if you want them to be a navy civ but a lower percentage is needed because 50% is just too big.
FU galleon have 12 AP for 9 PA and 11 ship bonus dmg so a good part of their damage are being canceled with that UT.