When Will We Stop Nerfing and Start Buffing?

The forums lately are full of topics asking for nerfs to civs and units yet from my perspective the balance of the game in gneral is very good. With so many civs it is difficult to perfectly balance yet despite that for the first time in a while I don’t see any civs that are ‘OP’. China and Sweden were far better than most civs for a very long time but that seems to have been solved.

There are 4 civs with significantly lower win rates for several patches now, those being brit, dutch, ethiopia and malta.

For brit it seems to me to be an easy fix, just give them the 5v #### back, if that is not enough then also revert manors to 135w.

Dutch is hard to balance because just improving the gold rate 5% makes them OP, I don’t play dutch a lot but if changing the gather rate of gold causes issues then don’t do that and adjust starting crates or bank xp or something.

Malta needs the age 4 sentinel card increasing in both stats and cost to increase late game population efficiency, in addition to that revert the 2% xp penalty on shipments and buff the age 3 fixed gun shipment as malta is famously weak to strong FF’s like that of otto/spain etc. Currently the age 3 fixed gun wagon is worth a measly 700 resources, way below that of a typical age 3 shipment, give them a tower wagon with it as well or something to at least bring it closer in value to a regular age 3 shipment.

Ethiopia has sucked for awhile now and gets picked less than half as much as hausa and 30% less than haud. It is currently the least popular civ in the game.
I suggest reducing the population of abuns to 1 and changing the tech that increases their build limit back to how it was previously so they can still gather.
Increase speed of shotels from 6 to 6.25, they are so painfully slow and impossible to raid with.
Increase 4 villager to 5v.


Never nerf. Only buff. Buff every unit until stats are so inflated that a musk has 3k hp and 200 damage.


Evil tongues say that “Brits have too many vills in too short a time” for that to happen.

In fact, Dutch is fine, I think it has a low win because most Dutch make the mistake of making the market ahead (I don’t know why they always do it ahead, if clearly it should go behind!)

Ummm I don’t know about this eh, Malta is strange, but speaking of the fixed weapon, this one has too much range, too much HP, it has a building tag and on top of that it can be disassembled, I think it is justified that the shipment is only that. The only change I would make to Malta would be for Steel Bolts to also reduce the rof to 2.75 or improve its attack animation for the xbow.

I agree with the buff to the shotel and the return of 5 vills, but not the buff to the abun, the African outlaws are OP.

Yeah I too don’t really understand its poor win rate, they got a lot of small buffs like irish brigadier shipment in age 2 which you can easily send if pressured even with all vills idled and the ruyters got buffed with extra range once they get guard.

It’s range got nerfed and its HP got nerfed. Building tag is good in that the fixed gun benefits from cards like team building hp and extensive fortifications but bad in that culvs and mortars get an extra multiplier vs it as it is not just artillery but both artillery and building.

The abuns are worth a little more than 1v, so late game 2 pop makes them worse than just 2 villagers. Only 1 abun can heal a mortar at a time now so making more of them doesn’t really provide much benefit once they can no longer gather, especially at 2 pop each. They’re considerably worse than griots imo as they not only heal but also have a lot of combat value.
I’ve not tried the outlaws for a long time, I assumed they’d been nerfed into irrelevance.

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the real problem with dutch I think is that its too predictable, kinda the same problem russia now has.

You know its going to be either 4 banks or 5 banks and trying to go age 3.

That means you can kinda do whatever you want. FF timing, FI, rush or map control it doesnt matter.

It used to be “good” because if you boom well then you have a good eco and can grind the opponent down with skirm goon but everyone can defend well now and eco isnt really a problem on these rich maps

Irish brigadier is good if you are being rushed, but doesnt matter in the other scenarios.

They are just safe and dont have a lot of options


Well all it’s relative. If we say that each patch fixes a thing but breaks others, the easiest thing would be not to do anything at all.

However I agree with OP, we should ask for other civs to reach A-S tier, not the other way around. For example lol, yasuo the champion is broken. If it’s nerfed doesn’t work if it’s “normal” it’s broken, so unfortunatly there is no middle ground sometimes, for many patches its been juggling around that but the root problem is not fixed that way.

So back at the point, I believe as stated above instead of trying to nerf x, y, z to make civs be B or lower tier. We should be aiming for all civs to have almost the same tier, so player skill is what really determines the outcome of matches rather than having an stronger civ vs a weaker one.

because in fact dutch is like malta, just both bad QS civ but great civ,

maybe but i play ethiopia quite a bit and they are strong for me, just not picked or idk
i defo feel like this is a strong civ for me, it’s more like the civ is difficult to play imo



My issue with ethopia isnt its power. Super goon if opening ports/shewa riders. Nefeynya. Early macro for 2 MMs and boosting eco. Conqs or FF options. Shotels and gascenya doable off big benny timings. I am able to butt heads vs players 200 elo higher with this civ. More I play the stronger and more consistent I get into anything. Bigfest issue is when to transition between inf/eco boosting and spamming units. Very strange game pace for aoe3 civ imho.

Yet for me the biggest issue? The damned granary game. Blocks vills. Constant idles. 1 shot they run off so constant babysitting. Make a house 1 tile too close no field space. Betwen them and livestock cows ive both blocked enemy raids and more often doomed vills to stand helpless between cows sheep and other vills. Makes me appreciate lakota herding tbh. Just my preference.


Sure it has a lot of options as does hausa and also mexico for example but in the case of mexico and especially ethiopia that doesn’t necessarily translate to wins. It is like how malta on paper looks great but they still are by far the worst civ.
Ethiopia now is 1 of the few civs with no standard light infantry in age 2, they also are almost unable to raid due to a 6 speed shotel, you don’t need to make a few pikes or musk because there’s zero danger of being raided. All of the age 2 timings are also considerably worse due to nerfs to all the natives and nerfs to age up res.

The granary is a lot better now since it got changed to effect 2 rows of fields, still a bit annoying with the hunts but I’d rather have them than not.

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Yeah its weird kind of like malta where you need to stay age2 but cant brawl vs age3 stuff often so have to greed a bit, survive age3 push, and then get back into the map with superior eco or army

Feels like if you get running its so strong. Its tricky as hell

Its not easy all the time and feels like peoples unfamiliarity with ethopia allows me time often.
But man, man when running say ports into jesuits 3tc boom its nasty. Or a semi ff off sudan for conqs to cause a ruckus into ports for wood to boom off of or get unit ups.

So maybe its not consitently strong but man the options and scaling of its eco and units is intense. Guess thats again a malta similiarity lol. Sad lol but lol

thats kinda of the japan problem isnt it

you know they are strong, you cant let them live.

tbh I think in terms of power levels, the civs are fine. Now the problems are that the current option pools are very limited, in terms of maps and res.

Russia is arguably weak because where they thrive, low res map where your opponent dont have resources in base, are basically none existent. Port is considered weak because where they are near busted, water maps are ###### ##### would be very strong on low gold maps but those arent a thing. Malta performs very well on the maps with lots of choke points, but there are like 2 of those.

the reverse is also true, every map has tps and every native tps give xp, so otto have basically near infinite options

The ladder however is a terrible place for these map specific civs since its stacked with res heavy maps and if there were more diversity people would also hate it since it would make a lot of matchups very one-sided. You landed on a low hunt map and your opponent is russia? good luck.


The problem is that is scales dramatically if not pressured (like in treaty), but you generally have to sacrifice most of those benefits to survive in supremacy.

  • In age 2 you have huge gaps in your roster (no light infantry or cavalry capable of raiding), but once you get to get to age 3 you get uber versions of both.

  • You don’t get cow shipments like Hausa, so either you cash them in once or make a risky long term investment. Even Big Benny has a massive long term advantage if you save it until after you research Cow Loans.

  • Cards like Loyal Warriors make all your auxiliary units 15% more cost effective if you can wait until age 3 before you start making natives and mercs. Other cards like Cartridge Currency further boost your late game economy.

  • Techs like Church Organs have a dramatically better payoff if you can wait until you have more Monasteries.

  • There are a ton of individually mediocre cards and alliance techs that add up to a solid set of buffs once you send them all.

  • You can only get one Sebastopol in age 3 and its stats are brutal at that age (and still not good in later ages).

  • There aren’t a lot of good unit shipments. And those that are good cost a huge amount of influence.

  • Most of your upgrades are very cost effective, but have a huge upfront cost that is hard to come up with in supremacy.

In supremacy, you just have to give up on most of those advantages since you’ll have to cash in all your cows and spend all your influence to create an overwhelming mass of units to actually win. If the game drags on the advantages start to pile up, but generally you have to claw back from a deficit if your timing push fails. Usually, the point where you should start to take off is about the time all your Monastaries run dry and safe hunts are used up, so your economy is in shambles when your units become good.

Overall, they just aren’t very fun because your are super restricted in what you can do in age 2 due to unit limitations, and in age 3, their finicky economy falls apart shortly after you start getting your strong units and cards. You basically have to do an early age 3 timing push or grind it out until the very late game.


I’d add to this that influence generation is also quite irritating as ethiopia, if you’re hausa you can sell cows as and when needed and those you sell are replaced by another with your next shipment. Hit age 3 and send the cow card and your cows alone produce a decent sum of influence especially if transhumance tech is researched.
As ethiopia most if not all of your cows are gone by fortress age and in most games will never be replaced. MM provides a lot of influence when tasking abuns/vills but at the cost of less coin production, universities meanwhile produce influence with no micromanagement needed. Once your starting mines are gone so has all influence production as you likely have no cows. The only way to avoid this is to send the age 1 card that gives each MM 900 coin but even then you have to constantly destroy and rebuild MM in order to be able to get influence. This could be solved easily by allowing you to buy another 900 coin to mine at the mountain monastery at the cost of 150 wood rather than having to rebuild.
It really feels like your on the clock in terms of influence while hausa can double batch magaidi with 2 universities and a few cows.

MM themselves are worth like a vill each which is a nice little bonus but again once your starting mines run out they stop gathering unless you age up with habesha and pay 2k influence for a tech or continue with destroying and rebuilding MM constantly.

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Yes, I should have mentioned that you’re also out of cows at the same time all your other resources run out.

Giving Ethiopia a tech like Argan Tree Planting from Hausa’s Morocco alliance could be a possible fix. The Indian alliance could have a tech that gives a cow with each shipment, and/or the Oromo alliance could have a tech that gives a goat with each shipment. It wouldn’t even have to be a new tech, Goa Followership and Irreechaa could just have their cost increased and also provide the bonus livestock.

Hausa is far less tedious and more streamlined in basically everything. You don’t have to micro influence generation, you have a viable unit composition from the start, and livestock is just given to you.

When it comes to MM, there’s are many potential changes that could make them a lot less tedious:

  • Change the bonus from boosting gather rate by 10%, to boosting yield by 15% or 20%
    • Would make them last almost 30% longer and postpone the headache when they run out
    • Less immediate benefit, but it could moderate some of the more oppressive Ethiopian strategies
    • Abuns could have their gather rate boosted slightly to compensate for the 10% reduction
  • Add a refill option
    • It could cost ~160 influence to give a strategic choice of whether or not you want to rebuild for 150 wood (+ build time and lost gather time) instead
    • The card Heywat Philosophy would be buffed since it would discount the refil
  • Give a trade off to the Tabot card by increasing the coin added but also the cost of MM
    • Up the cost and coin added by 2.5 from 150w +900c to 375w +2250c (with refill adjusted accordingly)
    • This would be an early buff since you could construct the MM first and you get wagons with age ups
    • It would jive with the Habesha Kingdom Builders since they would now be getting reasonable value when building MM
    • Would be a nerf to the Timkat tech since building them on the front lines would become more costly
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All great suggestions, if only the devs would implement them. They can’t think ethiopia is fine when they are the least picked civ and second worst performing after malta. Still they have been in that state for awhile and devs continued to nerf them continuosly.

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The only thing I think ethiopia might want a change in tbh is to maybe, maybe revert that very old change where jesuit influence was an age 1 card iirc

Ethiopia is a boom civ like japan that requires setup time but also getting to age 3 as well, which most boom civs dont want to do.

they need tempo either speed up their age up or to gain enough eco power for age 2 push and just getting the influence shipment earlier for age 2 native and techs is more then enough.