Medical Corps is a very niche tech since 20 HP/minute health regeneration for their elephants is pretty weak when compared with Herbal Medicine, Maghrebi Camels, Berserkergang, etc. While the tech is cheap, it doesn’t help a whole lot since it takes over 10 minutes for an Elite Elephant Archer to regenerate from 1 HP back to full health. It honestly feels like it could be a civ bonus instead.
But if we were to change Medical Corps to be a baseline civ bonus, what could replace the tech? I had the following idea: Convert the Food cost of Elephant Archers into Wood.
Dravidians have a pretty underwhelming Castle Age on land maps, having no Knights, weak Light Cavalry (which don’t yet have the benefit of Wootz Steel), generic Crossbows, generic Mangonels, etc. Against Knight civs, they easily struggle due to their lack of mobility. Going for their faster-firing Elephant Archers might sound like a good idea, but that puts an enormous strain on Food, which you need for Villagers, Pikes, Skirms, techs, etc. But if the Dravidians could change the Food cost on their Elephant Archers to Wood, that’d be extremely helpful for pumping them out since you wouldn’t need as many Farms.
You’d still need to build a Castle and research this tech first, but changing the resources needed to pump out their machinegun Elephant Archers could be really helpful for the Dravidians on land maps.
I absolutely agree that Medical Corps has so little of an effect that it should be a civ bonus and I also like the idea of making their army composition a little bit less food heavy.
However, my idea would be the following:
New Castle Age UT: Archery Ranges work 40% faster
It’s basically Chivalry for Ranges. It helps their FU Arbs plus it strenghtens their identity with Skirm and Elephant Archer play. Ele Archery would benefit the most since their training time and their upgrade time takes the most time.
This discussion has been done to death. Giving 20 hp/min for a unit slower than pikeman which deal 25+/3sec damage is just poor knowledge of mathematics.
This should have been done for all elephant archers when they made it an archery range unit. The food cost was a legacy of old Indians. For that cost, somewhat toned down ballista elephants make sense. But not Elephant archers. The old Indian Elephant archer itself was a meme for this very reason.
I agree with the first paragraph in letter and spirit. But elephants can never be that unit since change their stats like speed, DPS will make them OP in team games due to high HP. Dravidians need a better unit which is mobile and able to counter Knights as replacement. Currently Dravidian elephant archers are the only ones that counter Knights 1 vs 1 and Devs were like “My genius idea of a Dravidian Knight replacement unit. Lets not give them Knights, bloodlines and husbandry making their stable very very very unique”. The capabilities and costs certainly don’t justify it.
I agree Battle elephants with their long spear weilding gentemen should work like step-lancers and I would like to put a pikeman on top of Armored elephants too. But they will be too easily countered by monks at range and pikes at close range. If you make mangonels for support, they will just do redemption with their monk army. Then Draviidian player has to build up a monk army and do atonement. However enemy will do the same just as easily. Dravidians are still better off going archers in castle age and not elephant archers which do the same damage for a far higher cost. Even with +1 range, Elephant archers have the same range as croww-bows. So rather than building a caste to research an unique tech which gives elephant archers which I can barely afford in numbers the same range. I’m better off doing cross-bow upgrade.
What if the Dravidians’ Medical Corps was baseline? What would you replace it with?
I’ll remove that baseline and play them like an infantry-archer civ. Replace ‘medical corps’ with an infantry unique tech called “Strike Corps”.
Strike Corps: The effect of researched barrack technologies is doubled. Supplies, Squires and arson will have double the effect on their military units. It will make Militia line cheaper(30 food) and faster(1.08 tps), Pikes(1.2 tps) and Urumis faster(1.26) as well. The building attack bonus for all infantry(+2) helps against lack of siege engineers. This mobile infantry army is a good replacement for missing knights. With this change, Dravidians could overcome the absence of Knights and cavalry upgrades.
I wanted to make medical corps a civ bonus as well. But its a futile exercise. Without huge discounts like malay or Gujjaras, you can’t make group of elephants in castle age. If Dravidian player is ahead in feudal age, Dravidian economy can use 200 wood to make forward siege workshop and make a couple of Armoured elephants and push with infantry support. If an opponent skirm+Knight army kills it, its RIP no faling back behind a castle. Even Gujjaras don’t make elephants any stage of the game since they have better mobile units. I ended up re-working the entire civ. Here is the link
Nice idea, but I would convert the food cost of Siege elephants to wood and the gold cost of BE to wood in addition to your suggestion. This would give them the most unique and sustainable elephants in the game as well as requiring a unique economy setup to produce in large numbers.
Idk, changing food cost to wood isn’t very impressive imo, I guess some compositions would be easier, but it’s the kind of tech that can easily backfire and turn into a nerf if not under a specific circumstance (and I think that UTs should give the player a clear advantage, not a potentially negative effect). Personally, I would do something like:
CB = Elephants regenerate 20 HP/min
UT = Elephants regenerate another 40 HP/min (60 HP/min).
In AoE3 the Indians have a card that adds a small Wood trickle to their Elephants (and a Food trickle to their Camels, but the Dravidians don’t have any and a Coin trickle to cows but you can’t train them in AoE2 anyway).
It’s only 0.1/second (6/minute). So it would take more then 13 minutes to return the Wood investment of an Elephant Archer if they would cost Wood instead of Food. (Longer for Battle and Armoured Elephant)
The rate could be a bit higher like 0.15/second or even 0.2/second.
Both still a lot worse then a villager (~0.5/second effectively).
I would replace it with elephant units move 40% faster and replace Persians Imp unit tech with something else (and make +30% speed included as part of elite war elephant upgrade).
Few civs desparately needs a compensated mobility boost than Dravidians.
Specific consequences of this speed boost:
Battle elephant: 0.85 > 1.19 (8% faster than fully upgraded spearman line 1.1)
Elephant archer: 0.9 > 1.26 (between fully upgraded eagle scout 1.21 and closer to eagle warrior 1.265)
This puts their speed on the faster side of the infantries. Would be nice to keep up with the infantry army.
Siege elephant: 0.6 > 0.84 (close to battle elephant without husbandry 0.85; for reference ungarrisoned Mongol siege ram with drill is 0.9).
If the devs would like to encourage the use of elephants, consider making elephants more viable for civs that get them. As the way it is now, HP regeneration is mostly pointless if you can’t run away from bad fights.
I hope the tone down urumi swordsmen a bit and add an extra dimension to the civ. This still keeps their supposed “bad cavalry” identity at the same time making the stables a bit more tempting some times.
Me neither. I made the proposal because the OP wanted to make it a civ bonus, but I personally wouldn’t make a civ bonus. The 60 HP/min regeneration seems completely reasonable in this case because 1) Elephants have like 2 times the HP of heavy cavalry and camels, the HP regeneration should scale accordingly, 2) Dravidians lack armor upgrades and Bloodlines, so they receive more damage compared to other elephants preventing them from out-healing enemies, 3) elephant counters deal that amount of damage in a matter of seconds, counters would still be perfectly fine to deal with them even with fast regeneration.
This is really a good idea. But make this as a civ bonus like Elephants move 30% faster in castle and 40% in imperial.
Change Medical corps effect from 20hp to 40hp and not 60hp to make it balanced in team games to make it not too op.
Dravidians should receive Elite battle elephant atleast, since they had one of the best battle elephants in history. Devs did not give it because of Wootz Steel. But since Elephants are countered by Monks and Halbs very hard, Giving Elite battle elephants won’t affect them anyway since they lack the final armour anyway.
They also should get two handed swordsman in castle age.
The above changes would make Dravidians better without altering their original identity.
Yes the numbers are debatable.
I think if their elephants move fast enough (significantly faster than Khmer), even without elite upgrade they can be interesting enough.
I think their stable overall is still going to be bad, but at least a bit more interesting. Agile but fragile elephant identity. Without giving husbandry, non-elephant cav (which they barely have any) remains bad.
Downside is shifting a bit away from infantry but lots of civs have many dimensions. And a little unsure about whether elephant archer will be too strong.
Speed is just too important in this game. Even some least mobility focused civs have interesting mobility boost (Bohemian gunpowder and villagers), so why not in this case.