What do Dravidians get?

These are the below civs with bad cavalry/no knight/no cavalry but has compensation.

Koreans - Has War Wagon

Bengalis - Has Ratha

Gurjaras- Has Srivamsha Rider and one of the best camel, Cheap Hussar

Hindustanis - Has hussar and camel with bonus damage and has Imperial camel

Malay - Has Cheap elephants which makes it only viable elephant making civ in castle

Aztecs - Has Eagle Warrior

Mayans - Has Eagle Warrior, Plumed Archer

Incas - Has Eagle Warrior

Bohemians - Has Faster gun powder units as compensation and gets husbandry atleast

Celts - Seen as a week cavalry civ but gets hussar and paladin, has faster infantry

Japanese - Also seen as week cavalry civ, but gets full upgraded stable in castle age and has fully upgraded cavalry archer

Vikings - they atleast have Cavalier, and knights are viable due to their economy as said by spirit of the law and in late game all their infantry gets bonus damage vs infantry, but they need some little bit love

Dravidians - What do they get for mobility? need a special unit or special speed bonus to help them in castle age

Please suggest what can Dravidians get to compensate their weakness?

I hope Dravidians will get some love in Return of Rome patch.

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However something like Ghulam

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Yes, Infantry or even a regional cavalry unit, Since Dravidians had a significant amount of cavalry in their army historically.

Why armoured elephant have the siege armor class in first place?

I like the idea of giving them something like an Eagle Warrior or Ghulam.
It would fit well into their play style.

The Ratha is very bad against Skirmishers so maybe they could use the same unit.

Maybe model it based on the Tiger Claw from AoE3, because that unit looks cool.

They have Elephant Archers, one of the best
I’ll give them some reduction cost somehow to their Elephants

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But they are overshadowed by Bengali elephant archers which resist conversion, bonus damage and have access to parathian tactics which can tank more than 50 arrows extra than Dravidians Elephant Archer in many situations.

So people now a days pick Bengalis for Elephant archer.

Dravidians should get a additional bonus or tweak to medical corps to become top tier

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Did they? I’ve heard the opposite actually. What empire(s) exactly?

I’d like dravidians to get a very light armoured elephants with high speed. Maybe limit to only first cav armour and give them the same speed as a husbandry knight.

This would give them an answer to mangonel pushes and also fun game mechanic without significantly affecting balance (no imp upgrade so useless outside castle age). Elephants are damn fast in real life so wouldn’t be too bad for realism, but might be bad for historical accuracy though!

They have Wootz Steel Light Cavalry.

That’s better than some other Light Cavalry other civs get, to be honest…

How is that a compensation ?

How is that weak ? The problem of cavalry should mostly be castle age. In imperial, you should go to your main options.
Why would cav archers replace cavalry ? Just for raiding ? They have the same counters as Arbalesters. Do you expect 2v2 team game to go Arbalests + HCA instead of Arbalests + cavaliers ?

How is that a problem ? You could also say that Celts cavalry get overshadowed by Cumans cavalry as well…

Why should they be top tier ?

The problem should be in castle age. It doesnt make sense with the current balance state to look for melee cavalry option in imperial.

I fully agree that the balance is strongly against civs with poor cavalry in open maps at imperial age. While cavalry civs always get HCA, HC or Hscorpions to do something.

I dont know what can be done, but I heavily disagree with your statement that it is only the problem of Dravidians.

A problem of Dravidians is that they are fine for pros, so devs may not buff them further, which is a shame when compared to chinese, who are also undererforming at low level, but are great all rounders at high level…

The Cholas, Vijayanagara, Pandya,Chera, Rastrakutas and many more

They used Indian horses + Arabian Horses

Also many Chariots were used in the army called Ratham.

Since Arabian horses were considered best in the world, they did put significant amount of money in purchasing those horses.

Also Chola had one of the biggest Elephant Army ever - around 60000, but they lack Elite Battle elephant in Aoe2.

They had Seperate Cavalry unit containing thousands of horses.

Infantry is their best since they had almost 2 million standing army (ofcourse due to indian population).

Note: Dravidians do have Medical Corps since they had thousands of Doctors for Elephant army (considering the large amount) and they also treat horses.

I’ve been saying this for almost a year. Dravidians suck.

That’s a little too fast.

My idea:
Give them Husbandry.
Make the 20 HP/Minute regeneration a civilisation bonus. (that’s the same as a Berserker without UT has and that has a lot less HP)
Give them a new UT that makes Battle Elephants 20% faster.
Then they would end up at 1.105 speed. Not very fast but they could barely run away from a Pikeman with Squires that moves at 1.1 speed.

They would still not get Elite Battle Elephant but with the 20% movement speed and Wootz Steel it might still have some uses in Imperial Age.
Effectively Wootz Steel gives you at last +3 attack against most units from most civilisations. Elite Battle Elephant only gives +2.

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If they get 20% speed bonus then they are equal to Khmer who gets free speed bonus

Wootz steel generally gives +3 to +5 attack ,but basically Khmer gets +3 attack with Tusk swords.

So Khmer has 14+7 attack = 21
Dravidians will have 12+4+3 or 5 = 19-21

Which is the same but Dravidians have to pay extra and also will have less hp,less armour.

Your point of view is correct that they might need speed bonus, but it must in a different way which does not involve unique tech to counter siege and helps them with mobility.

Khmer only get +10%.

If Dravidians get Husbandry and the 20% tech on top they will have the fastest ones.

Yes, and? Khmer are allowed to have better Battle Elephants.

Dravidians don’t have to pay for the Elite Upgrade nor the Tusk Swords.
And Wootz Steel is something you will pick up anyway for all your other units.

I prefer giving them a unique Eagle Warrior like Infantry unit in Castle Age. It doesn’t even really need an Elite Upgrade in Imperial because Wootz Steel is already very powerful.

What makes them really tricky is when buffing them it should not make them much more op in nomad or water maps.

So only i think it is taking lot of time for Dravidians to get a suitable buff.

Okay, a bit more of a serious answer now.

The civ getting some random cavalry bonus is completely against the civ design and should also not be a blueprint for any future civ designs. A civ is allowed to have weaknesses, or we’re going to get situations like Hindustanis and Gurjaras who have very few weaknesses (if any).

Nevermind that several of the ‘compensations’ listed aren’t really ‘mobile compensations’. Ratha and War Wagon definitely aren’t mobile as they’re very clunky. Koreans also have Hussar, but is not listed. What’s the criteria for having something be considered compensation here?

Having a stationary civ is fine, and that has been the design of several civs already. Koreans, Bengalis, Bohemians are all designed around having a deathball that rolls over, not something that is very fast and can raid in several places.

Instead, we should look for ways to help Dravidians either defend themselves better, or have means to get to their deathball. Bengalis getting the +3/+3 armor on Monks catapulted them to one of the best civs on closed maps.

Personally, I think Dravidians should just get a better Castle UT. Medical Corps is laughable. The problem comes from finding a good alternative, as buffing their elephants could feel too much of a copy of a different civ, even though similar precedents have already been set by cavalry civs. Maybe it could just reduce the cost of Elephant units by X%? After all, that has typically been the design for a weak part in the tech tree.

That, or the strong parts in the tech tree are given military bonuses (e.g. how Turks get additional PA on Scout-line). Faster firing Elephant Archers is great, but you need time to get to it. Faster firing Skirms however is not good enough, unless they can fire even faster. The barracks bonus is also nice, but Infantry is simply not in the meta as much as Hussars would be. Perhaps the techs could research faster on top of being cheaper, so teching into Champions could be a viable alternative in terms of timings?

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I don’t know the native/imported horses ratio, but if it leans to higher proportion of imported arabian horses, then that’s a nod to history on dravidians having bad cavalry.

I’ve made an investigation attempt on the topic and the only thing repeating again and again everywhere was basically “Chola army had cavalry”. The only furtherly detailed description I’ve found is from a Quora answer from a historian : " The cavalry was known for its speed and agility and was used for reconnaissance, raiding, and pursuit". Not precisely what heavy cavalry is supposed to do. So it doesn’t seem unproper.

If I’m not wrong, heavy armor was rather uncommon in South India. I would expect the same going on for horses. It doesn’t feel that much “unhistorical”.
They have usable light cavalry with wootz steel, a unit you can spam almost endlessly. It can be understood as the deployment of a significant amount of cavalry, as you say.

https://forums.ageofempires.com/t/what-if-the-dravidians-medical-corps-was-baseline-what-would-you-replace-it-with/222961/11?u=flexedpigeon206

In a different link we totally endorsed an idea of making their elephants the most mobile of any civ while leaving non-elephant cavalry untouched for identity.

Other civs with low mobility all have something niche to compensate like the OP says.