Why Wootz Steel will not be OP

Hi there,

I did some thinking about an impressive sounding new unique tech and want to share my thought why you.

Wootz Steel - Infantry and cavalry attacks ignore armor (Imperial Age unique tech of Dravidians)

This comes with full Backsmith upgrades for Barracks and Stable units and has caught quite some attention. Leitis are the only unit so far with this mechanic and they’re pretty strong and have needed nerfs in the past. Isn’t making this avaliable to such a broad amount of units a terrible idea?

I don’t think so and I think rewording what it does will help a lot. All base units in the game have 0-2 melee armor and can increase that by up to 3 via Blacksmith. There are some exceptions (Teutonic Knights, Boyars, Serjeants, Hauberk-Cavalier), but also units which are regularly used and dont even get to 3 melee armor (Mongol Hussar, Siege units, Monks, Vills, quite some more). So I think it’s fair to say 3-5 melee armor is to be expected.
Therefore we can reword this tech to: “Infantry and cavalry deal +3-5 damage” and can get a pretty good idea of what it will be doing.

By doing that we can also realize that there are already techs avaliable with a similiar effect, like Farimba or Garland Wars.

With this thinking I think we can easily get to the conclusion that the Stable side of Wootz Steel will actually still be underwhelming. Elephants without Elite and the last Armour upgrade (Bloodlines is missing as well, but not extremely important for elephant units) will be useless, even with some damage increase. Light cav has on average even slightly more damage than Farimba Light Cav, but is A LOT weaker when it comes to defense.
It’s actually up for discussion if Farimba Light cav or FU Hussar (and there are quite some better Hussar units out there…) is better, so having a unit worse than Farimba Light Cav will be upsolutely no problem for balancing. At the best they will be an okay’ish food dump, at worst they will also be completely useless, just like the elephants.

First conclusion: Stable will be underwheling, even with this tech

Now let’s go to the Barracks (which by the way comes with 50% cheaper upgrades as well).
Here we have Garland Wars (+4 Attack for infantry) as a comparison and Aztecs also have access to FU Champions, just like Dravidians do.
Aztecs are not exactly known for their oppressive Champions though. Useable for sure, but not even the normal go to unit. So taking that and improving it a tiny bit more (cheaper to tech to Champions mainly, damage output should be the same on average) for an infantry civ is nothing concerning. They will have good Champions for sure, but probably not even be considered to have the very best Champions. Japanese, Slavs, Vikings and quite some more should be at least on the same power level and they’re all not oppressively strong, just a good option. So Dravidins should line up there quite nicely.

Aztecs don’t have access to Halberdiers though, while Dravidinas do (and actually 50% cheaper to tech to as well) - and that’s where I think the biggest pwer of Wootz Steel will lie. Halbs deal a lot less damage than Champiosn, so +3-5 of it is a very good increase in damage output vs non cav units.
Again we can compare though: Burmese Halbs do have all upgrades and get a +3 Damage bonus on top if it. That’s not too far away from what Dravidians are going to be. Again we can see: It will be strong, but not oppressive and probably Japanese Halbs will still be considered the best Halbs. A lot better vs cav, possibly a bit worse vs counter units like Champions.

So my second conclusion: Barracks will be quite strong and on a similiar level as other top Barracks civilizations, but not more than that.

There’s also the unique units, which we don’t know any stats about though and I’m sure it will be balanced around having that tech avaliable.

So overall I think it will be a good (probably expensive) tech to get and Barracks play will be viable with this civ, but it won’t need any nerfs (except for possibly the UU, because we don’t know enough about them) and will fit in quite nicely with other civs powerlevel.

Additional thoughts are welcome :slight_smile:


Didn’t read, but agree with the tldr.

Also I think they were the civ with only Light Cav and non-elite Battle Elephants, no bloodlines or husbandry too.


Wootz steel won’t be OP. Not sure whoever came to that conclusion. 11.
Dravidians will be played as an archer civ most likely, with more affordable halb upgrade. 200 wood bonus means guaranteed free range or wood for 8 archers. Light cav without last armor, husbandry and bloodlines is just poop, same goes for BE.
I bet nobody will ever research wootz steel for 1v1. Also, their BE is so weak it dies in 4 halb hits (even without Blast furnace!) 11.

Actually, Wootz Steel will be researched in 1v1. Its basicly Chieftans against Heavy Cav, so can be worth for Drav Halbs for extra punch.
So I think Dravidans would lose Halbs. Simply because how similar Wootz Steel is to Garland Wars and Chieftans, or polish Obuch/Pike combined effect. And all those Civs dont have Halbs.

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In 1v1 discounted upgrade halbs are more than enough to deal with cavaliers. Paladins are rare. And being imp UT it might cost a lot.

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I think this will be a kind tech - if you are researching it then either you have tons of resources so already winning the game or you are throwing everything you have to pull back a lost game. For 1v1. Team games it might actually be useful to end a stalemate.

However I think we need to consider they get fully archery and full Barack no stable and mediocre siege. So archery and barracks is all that they have. Need to test it if it is too strong.

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Take forever to tech into with a huge Res float. Almost negating the point of infantry.

Maybe wootz will be in a similar boat?

I’m not saying it will be OP.

But you are cherry picking though. Jap halbs are the best Vs cav . Burmese halbs are the best Vs everything else. Drav will be even better Vs even more. And possibly even better Vs specially armoured cav

The difference in your comparison being that drav gets all of these all together affected by one tech, with an arguably decent eco

Unlike Aztecs missing fast LC, and halb. Doing BETTER than Burmese, which are already incredibly good Vs melee civs, drav also using a UU that benefits from this. and unlike Japanese that have a weaker eco, and won’t have the Uber skirms supporting them.

Don’t forget the better fishing bonus actually helps on Arabia, on top of the wood bonus.

I don’t think it’ll be OP, but I do think there will be a number of polarising matchups in the right conditions, I’m thinking any melee civ that doesn’t have BBC, iaw things like Slavs and teutons, and maybe even civs like Sicilians.

I’m interested to see someone run the stats on drav skirms Vs xbow or arbs without TR/last PA (siclians/aztecs).

Drav halbs do 10 dmg, while Japs do 6. not possibly. Definitely.

Just a question…
What if woots steal also ignores building armor?..

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That’s a good point

And just as importantly, what about siege elephants? I’m excited to see how these guys work, especially with the minor hp regen.

And technically aren’t elephant archers also cavalry? The ambiguity of this game :rofl:

Imo chieftain can give more bonus atk for Vikings pike.

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I think the tech won’t ignore building armour as it will probably be implemented just like the leitis attack.

I have two feelings for this UT.

It seems reusing the idea of ignoring/reduce armor. Leitis already do the job. And obuch also make the target naked in slightly different way. It seems quite redundant.

My 2nd feeling is RIP teutonic knight.

This was my thout as well. This would explain why they have all those techs missing, but doesnt matter. They would be broken regardless.

@AbuzzJam4677680 Viking Pike actually is better then generic Halb.

not in team games when facing elephant/paladin

But against anything else. And lets be real, Vikings are not suited for TG, except water.

I also just saw the SotL-video - well, he came to a similiar conclusion :smiley:

I think you’re doing that a lot more than me :wink:

They (asuming you’re talking about Halbs) still suck vs melee, just not as much as regular Halbs - “incredibly good” is certainly not appropriate here.

Talking about cherry picking… :smiley:

They do 6, but attack faster. You’re still right in that they’re better, but not by a lot.

Wootz Steel will be OP at low ELO’s, where I’m sure most lowbies will play Dravidians as a spammy newbie bashing civ similar to the Goths. Half-off Barracks techs and 3 free Farms per age up ought to make Wootz Steel surprisingly affordable.