Maybe for units is pretty obvious in some (like the Pre nerf Steppe Lancers or Konniks) but in others like the surprise Kipchak nerf and Gbeto buff is tricky and for civilizations is a bit harder to recognize.
Kipchak frame delay nerf was just for the attack animation. Sin e it was compeltely bugged with arrows coming out of horse heads before the bow is even drawn.
This was a bigger issue than some minor balance.
This is very simple:
overpowered —> overused
underpowered —> underused
Uh what? I’m pretty sure balance > some random quirky graphics you probs only notice when looking at the unit closely.
Things can also be overrated/underrated so the popularity criteria is kinda simplistic.
That’s also why the question of the OP is difficult to answer, misconceptions or new trends can change what people prefer to use, so it’s hard to know whether something is thought good or bad because of the meta or the civs/units themselves.
Arambai are broken.
Saracens xbows are as well (at least for me)
Underused bc useless:
Both elephants UU,and Cuman SL
Pick rate is in general a good indication. Have just some online matches and you will see the same civs quite often.
More importantly, you will never see some civs, like Malay and Italians, since none wants to play them.
Pick rate in tournaments is also a pretty good indicator
I would say that pick and win rates in tournaments are the most reliable indicators. Low elo games, not so much because goths
Pick rate, since these cheating civ pickers are doing anything, literally anything to win games…Just keep nerfing the civs with the most playrate and these cheaters will slowly lose power
At my level, an easy test is how I do against Extreme AI. If I easily beat Extreme AI every time with a specific map+civ+strat, it’s broken. I know this translates to ranked play because I mentioned to someone a particular map+civ+strat that I can consistently easily beat the Extreme AI with, and he also wins almost every time with it at 1400 ELO, despite that being his correct ELO based on games when he doesn’t use that map+civ+strat.
How is doing something allowed by the game cheating? And even if it was, then the answer would be to force random, not keep nerfing civs because they are popular, because spoiler alert, if you nerf the best then the second best becomes the most popular and so on.
palissade rush OP pls nerf
More seriously, there are a handful of strats the AI is very weak to, especially those that strike in dark age. It’s also not very smart with its army when it comes to raid or to choose its fights. If your buddy think the strats you use against the AI are OP in ranked it must be a coincidence.
Okay, so caveat, yes, I’m talking about strats where there isn’t anything obviously dumb the AI is doing. I can beat it every time with a trush on hideout by building houses in front of its gates because it doesn’t delete a bit of wall to attack me, but I’m not suggesting that’s OP against humans. So I should modify what I said to “At my level, an easy test is how I do against Extreme AI. If I easily beat Extreme AI every time with a specific map+civ+strat that doesn’t rely on any AI specific weaknesses, it’s broken”.
OK I was being a bit trolley by mentioning exploits, but I don’t think the AI is similar enough to a real person to be a good measurement of a strategy’s strenght. Can it even be given an ELO?
At my level it’s a good test. At the level of someone better who can out-execute the AI, it’s not. E.g. Hera can beat Extreme AI with straight archers, but he wins by better execution, not because it’s a better strat. Even if the AI makes mass skirms, he out-executes it to such an extent that he can still win by making nothing but archers. If I try that, then my execution is sufficiently slower than his, in terms of where I am at any given game time, that I lose if the AI makes mass skirms, but I can win on some occasions if I get there early enough and can shut its eco down so it can never make enough skirms. It’s all about the military strength that a strategy provides you with by minute x, vs what the opponent can have at the same time. If there is any game time where your military strength is stronger than the enemy’s to a big enough extent, you can attack and win. For better players, the AI doesn’t let them test that, because they can execute pretty much any strat well enough to beat it, but my execution is bad enough that the AI is a good test of whether a strategy achieves that or not.
A good player could possibly get the same result by giving the AI a head start. I lose maybe 1 minute every 7 minutes compared to a top player. Hera wins with straight archers at 28:45, first attack around 13:50, so if he did nothing for the first 3 mins of the game, he’d experience it more like I do, though he’d probably still be ahead of me from around 21 mins onwards, but he’d also probably be a bit behind me when he first attacks. But there will be some size of headstart that would be more revealing of the difference between strats, as it would no longer be possible to achieve an execution win every time no matter what the strat. And remember I’m talking about beating it easily every time, not just once, as the AI is quite variable in what it does.
Can you detail what your level is and what are the strats you think are OP based on your AI matches? Ig that would help clarify.