We now have several civs that can go above the normal pop cap; Goths, of course, are the classic, and the new addition of Bengalis with Mahayana (Villagers and Monks take 10% less population space).
Why not try a civ with the opposite? A civ with powerful bonuses, but reduced pop cap to compensate? I’ll just throw in some historic names for fun.
Naval and Cavalry Civilization
Start with +50 Stone, +50 Wood Houses provide 4 population space instead of 5. Pop Cap of 160 instead of 200.
Cavalry Upgrades provide double benefits.(IE, Hussar gives +30HP instead of +15).
Demolition Ships have double splash radius.
Relics provide stone as well as gold.
Team Bonus: Demolition Ships move 10% faster.
Unique Unit: Hungry Falcon Cart
Unique Bonus: Takes 2 population space.
Serves as a combination Battering Ram and Siege Tower, allowing garrisoned units to jump walls. In addition, deals splash damage to all surrounding units when it attacks.
You made this thread in the past so I’m just going to assume you are trolling. People have already went back and forth with you and you refuse to change your opinion. Even if pointed out how clearly flawed it is.
I would compare it to civs that have, say, 60% cheaper gold knights, but lack the Paladin upgrade. They have a big negative, but an even bigger positive. Clearly, having a big downside is not a gamebreaker.
And it could be a fun way to explore new civ possibilities!
A more simple way to do this is the make the uus have double population,then you have the option to either train uu and loos pop count or not train uu and go for the generic units and normal population.
You’d never survive til the late game with such a population disadvantage. In order to afford Paladin and a decent number of them with upgrades, you need to be pop capped or close enough to pop capped with 200 pop. So you won’t have enough resources to afford all of that with only 160 pop. Meanwhile your opponent would have +20 villagers advantage and +20 army. So your only chance would be castle age when your opponent is at an equal population, in which case you’d only have knights with double armour, which would be pretty much the same as Burgundians with castle age cavalier.
This could be interesting, but I don’t think this is good, just on principle. AoE2 doesn’t have a single negative bonus in the game. There are no civs which have worse units/buildings except through missing techs. This is a whole new mechanic which isn’t necessary right now, imo.
I know ranked games usually use standardized options, but when designing a civ you should take into account that not everyone uses the same ruleset when designing a civ, and word things accordingly. Pop cap can go for 25 to 500, so I guess the malus would be -20% pop because a rigid -40 would be unplayable even with a 75 pop cap. That being said, even a percentage will make it harder to play with smaller pop caps, while at 500 you would barely see a difference outside of the house malus.
Also also, I find it ironic that you picked a civ with a historically insanely high population dansity fir your demonstration. Modern day Java alone is more populated than Russia.
On the flipside, with such powerful units, you’d need less of them to be worth getting the upgrade! You’d probably start with mostly light cavalry with 9 attack and 75 hp, which would be powerful enough to be pretty dangerous early on.
Plus, you could use monks to repel them and get a stone trickle to help stay alive until later in the game.
Honestly, that’s kinda why I thought of it; the opportunities for new civs is getting somewhat limited at this point. But if you start working in negatives, you can explore a whole lot of new possibilities!
To be fair, the goths pop bonus also has disproportionately strong benefits at low pops, and weak benefits at high pops, so it’s not really a new problem. At least this way it would be a percentage difference rather than just getting +50% cap on 20 pop maps!
Funny point about Java though. I honestly just threw a dart at a wall, but yeah, probably a better civ could be right for this.
I’ve considered the idea of “anti-bonuses”. I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with them from a balance standpoint. I think the problem would be more psychological. No one wants to play the civ with an EXPLICIT nerf.
If you wanted some “lower pop cap” thing I think you’d have to go with some UU that used more than a pop space. Basically the anti karambit warrior. IDK what could be so powerful to justify two pop space since War elephants use only one, but I think people wouldn’t balk as much about that.