What do Dravidians get?

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.

As of now NOTHING.

One of the four ways to do this imo

  1. Barrack techs ALSO produce 2x the intended effect - Long swords spam can start much earlier in castle age.
  2. Supplies changes to gold infantry costing -15 food in general with some other civ units’ costs re-adjusted and Barrack techs impact all military units except monks and siege. So archers will be very good after squires, elephants will benefit from supplies and be cheaper, urumi swordsmen might be a little less niche.
  3. A larger mid game bonus - either trickle of one type of resources from another like wood from farms or food from lumberjacks or something else creative. Like a building that boosts work rate within its range. This would keep them a fast paced civ like Vikings that can age up much earlier and the risks of falling apart before getting to the infantry/arbalesters point is low.
  4. The very obvious option but the one a lot of people won’t like because it changes the civ design - make a slightly weaker version of Shrivamsha riders a regional unit for these 3 civs. Similar to Battle elephants for ROR civs where each civ gets a special bonus on them, Gurjaras could have their current version which is stronger than the new generic, Bengali ones could maybe attack faster or take less bonus damage, Dravidian ones could be generic but get benefitted from both of their UT.

Post 21 and the first mention of the Urumi…

Some people said once they were OP.

Maybe their age up bonus should be improved.
From 200 Wood flat to:
200 → 400 → 600 Wood in Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
That would help them a little in early Castle where they now just get 200 more Wood.
The additional 400 Wood in Imperial Age shouldn’t make that much of a difference anymore though.

That is actually a pretty good idea. 50% faster Barracks techs would mean they have better timings in multiple stages of the game.

So -30 Food from supplies, +4 attack against buildings from Arson and +20% speed from Squires?
This would make Celts look bad that “only” get 15% faster Infantry.

They are very very powerful. It’s just the civilisation behind them is very weak.

Best answer by far yet not a single proposal
Balance is tough

Just inflates their power further on water while not being much impactful on land. At a bare glance 400 extra wood in castle age might seem like a crazy strong bonus but its still a power spike for a civ with no proper military units on land. A long lasting mid game bonus is the right way to push them ahead.

Knights, husbandry, 20% faster shooting siege and a much better eco, fast moving unique unit. And yet you can still argue for a minor buff to Celts because they are a weak civ on most open maps as well.

I don’t know who said that but obviously they’re wrong. And I don’t understand how could anyone consider a 0 p.armor, not so fast, super expensive melee unit as even strong.

Make any ranged units and they’ll melt. Its not tanky, its not fast, its not cheap, it has no utility whatsoever compared to a very cheap and easy alternative in champions or halberdiers for Dravidians. Every “good” unique unit offers a special property that makes them worth the extra effort and investment into castles.

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What, there were a couple - from changing Medical Corps with some suggestions, even faster firing Skirms/EAs, and/or having Barracks techs research 50% faster on top of being cheaper as well.

Their problem is simply that you need a Castle, so they don’t come into play when Dravidians are at their weakest. Dravidians have no problems late-game, IMO.

Are you kidding? They’re fast enough for a melee UU (as fast as Berserks), it costs 65 food 20 gold so I don’t get where your ‘super expensive’ is coming from (you don’t need Wootz Steel with them, but it will help a lot), with the AoE attack that has them win all melee fights. Their only problem is that they’re squishy to ranged fire. And you have great Skirmishers to back them up.

Yes you are correct. Dravidians need a long lasting bonus!

Fishing bonus is only for water maps

1 time Wood bonus becomes negligible after castle age also it is not considered as a permanent

50% barracks techs also is not permanent.

Only bonus that helps them is faster firing skrimishers and Elephant archers. In this bonus also only Skrimishers are used maximum no of times.

So long lasting Economy bonus or cheaper version of any unit bonus is needed.

What’s next? Lumberjacks that generate food?

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May be, Trees gives us food so it is possible.

But it is a wonderful idea!

Lumberjacks generate 10%,15%,20%,25% food in dark, feudal,castle and Imperial age would be good bonus for Dravidians since they are dependent on food heavy army.

Siege Elephants, Elephant archer, Infantry, Skrimishers all cost food so it might be a great addition.

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I think that bonus is very nice but it should be reserved for a different Civilisations.
It would probably work perfectly with some North American civilisation.
Had this in mind as the primary bonus for the Haudenosaunee in my North American concepts.

I have a better idea (copied from AoE3):
Elephants trickle wood.
Just passively.
Since they cost a lot you won’t actually make them to get wood but as long as you have some in your army you will have a small passive income.
Elephants were used in the Wood industry so it makes sense thematically.

It would become their Castle Age UT while the HP generation becomes a Civilisation Bonus.