1.0c is really broken for competition and just unfair in general. As a result, it's quite dead online and less fun to play. Right now we have very few viable civs per map (usually just 1) resulting in very few viable tactics. This tries to make that closer to 18 viable civs for any rush maps.
It does make the game more fair, and by opening up a lot of civilizations it makes it more varied and interesting.
It isn't going to fix stuff like black forest or other maps where booming to post-imp is easy. That would require turning existing civs into something completely different.
People pretend AoE2 is balanced because there are tournaments where everyone plays mirror civ. This isn't balance. This is just people doing copy cat tactics and build orders where the victor is often determined by luck of the map. Strategy rarely matters. Player speed and build orders are sufficient.
People also pretend that being good at different maps and game stages makes civilizations balanced. Multiple unbalanced matchups doesn't equate to a balanced game. Naval strength doesn't help you on arabia. Land strength doesn't help you on islands. Awesome imperial units don't help you in the feudal age.
A real competitive game lets the winner be the one who plays better, not the one who gets lucky. For a game to be a good RTS (that means real time strategy) players have to play strategically. Limiting the viable matchups, limits the possible strategy.
Combining these balance changes with things like stragegic maps creates a much better RTS game.
Are the changes perfect? Probably not. 14% or 16% might be better than 15%. But these type of changes are the only way to give civs a close to equal chance at performing all the tactics that different maps require.
boar +50 attack vs cavalry/eagle ( no more winning by lucky scouting and stealing boars. get some skill )
CA/heavy cost -8g
eskirm upgrade -50w -60g (200w 100g). research time same as xbow
xbow upgrade +75f +25g (200f 100g) . arbalest -75f -25g
camel/heavy +2 base attack. camel +3 attack bonus vs cavalry (+13 instead of +10). heavy camel +2 attack bonus (+20 instead of +18). note: this is still way lower than pikes/halb
bloodlines effects & cost & research time split in half (one in feudal. one in imp)
eew get 2 pierce armor (instead of 4). separate tech for +2 (cost 200f 200g)
longsword upgrade costs -120f. two handed sword up costs +120f
trade cart / trade cog 2x population, 2x cost, 2x HP (cog 3x work rate, cart 2x work rate. land trade is still better). ( the game's pathfinding is really stupid. other than water trade rate, this should have no effect on gameplay while making up for some of the idiocy of our units )
hunters carry +5 ( 3 hunters will be stupid enough to make a whole round trip to collect 2 food apiece from a leftover deer. let's make up for that stupidity )
fast fireship move 5% faster. fast fireship & heavy demo ship dont require war galley upgrade
monks recharge rate -75%. heresy cost reduced 33% and all civs get it. faith cost reduced 50% and moved to castle age. all civs get the teuton conversion resistance ( i cannot change the programming to make monks less luck-oriented and actually counterable in lag, so this is quite necessary for balance )
House -400 HP . TC -800 HP
walls/gates cost double
free cartography ( the reality is that not everyone speaks the same language. we need more people playing so we can get more games, not limit them to wait hours and hours for a team they can talk to. there isn't any other way to make things fair. communication will still help a lot, and you'll need it to play at top levels, but it shouldn't be the massively huge advantage that it is right now )
tribute fee 40%. coinage -10%. banking -25%. imp age -5%. ( related more towards communication than to limit slinging, but even if everyone spoke the same language and could notify that someone is slinging it's not a bad change )
squires to feudal age . costs half
transport boat available from dark age ( water is probably the most broken thing in aoc, and when the game is about just making 1 unit, 18 civs aren't going to be balanced. With build order grush, even slight imbalances will surface. this change is to make it less likely to beat better players just because of civ luck, while adding a layer of strategic depth to pure water maps which are so bad in their current form )
TC work rate -5%
Team bonus: trade units cost 15% less wood
lose military creation time bonus
all ages 15% cheaper (instead of imp 33%)
trash bonus is -12.5% (instead of -25%)
get cannon galleons
yeomen unlocks thumb ring
wood chopping bonus reduced to 13% (from 15%)
galleon upgrade -200f -200w
furor celtica boosts hp by 25% (instead of 50%)
TC +10 los (only in dark age)
farm team bonus reduced to +20. other +25 is self bonus
can farm without mill
docks created 50% faster
not part of the patch, but any real map that can be taken seriously for competition should not be about sheep luck. this will help China
free bloodlines (instead of knight bonus). knights/cavalier/paladin +5% hp
galley line +15% HP
ranges cost -50 w
infantry cost bonus reduced to flat -20% (instead of -35% after feudal)
free bit axe
get japans fish gather bonus
no more +10 pop in imp
CA cost -10% castle / -20% imp
age advances take 25s longer
no heavy plow
tarkans move 10% faster
no more fishboat gather rate bonus
villagers cost 10% less
warships created 20% faster
free padded archer armor
knights cost -5f / -5g
team bonus reduced to -25% (so net amount saved is same)
el dorado gives +25 HP (instead of +40)
no heavy plow / crop rotation
archers cost -5%/-10%/-15% (instead of -10/-20/-30)
hunting bonus to +33% (instead of +50%)
e. mangudai upgrade costs +400f, +325g
mangudai and e. mang cost +5w/+5g
wheel / handcart cost 50% less food
archers / skirm / CA +2 los
sc/LC/Hussar cost -10%
barracks costs 50% less
villagers constructed 1 sec faster
get aztec military production bonus
fishboats cost 10% less
houses cost -10 wood
foragers work 15% faster
trade bonus down to +15% (from +33%)
regular conq -1 pierce armor. -2 attack
regular and e. conq. cost +5f/+5g
galley line 15% cheaper. no shipwright
team bonus replaced with buildings +2 LoS
houses / docks provide +5 population support (so houses provide 10)
janissaries/elite cost +10f
start with -50w
cheaper docks only apply to self
remove cheaper warship bonus
team bonus: fishing boat / transport ship +4 LoS. sheep +2 LoS
longboats move 15% faster. cost -10gold (100w/40g)
get +10 pop in imp
CUSTOM NOMAD MAPS (these won't apply on maps that don't place special building 866)
persia -50 wood
maya -25 wood
hun +50 wood
Installation: You need to replace the dat file in the age of empires II folder. I suggest copying the entire folder so that you effectively have 2 AoC installations. You can use version switchers like Voobly as well
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I do feel, looking at that list, that you have nerfed the so called 'stronger' civilizations and made the 'weaker' ones too strong.
Also, many players will not be happy about the fact that monk rushes are now pretty much completely useless, as well as counters for a lot of things.
An example of this being, you are Britons against Goths, against their Elite Huskarls you have no chance with loads of arrows, so you train monks! But instead of converting them it takes twice as long (even without faith) and they die instead because heresy (and faith) are so much cheaper. If you train knights, then they kill you because of champions/halbs.
Also, having British archers with 100% accuracy and faster firing is ridiculous.
I can see what you've tried to do, but you need to take into accounts the views of a whole community if you want this to be taken on and used in games. It's not necessarily that the other civs are weaker (although I concede that some are), it's more towards the fact that many players just take the easiest option (e.g. Huns because they can't be bothered to build houses).
I don't expect it to be adopted by the community. This is more for real strategy gamers to have a fun way to play the game without it being either dull, repetitive, or unfair. The balance issues are enormous. You shouldn't have to choose between a fair game and an interesting game. Same-civ wars (and not just in AoC) tend to be more about having a good map and perfect execution of build orders rather than making strategic decisions about where to spend your resources.
I just got too good at AoC for it to stay fun. While I still know how to play the game, I decided to fix what I saw as the biggest problems with it (the maps via making custom map scripts and the civ balance). With this patch, late-game is hopefully a little bit more balanced, but the focus was on adding a lot of strategy and variety to rush maps.
[Edited on 04/07/12 @ 02:06 PM]
Very good! I waited for something like this for a long time.
[Edited on 04/11/12 @ 02:55 PM]
Blueway, please only post reviews if you plan on giving feedback. If not the review will be turned into a comment. Thanks!
To say 1.0c is "dead online" is incorrect. Maybe half the games on GR and all the games on Voobly are 1.0c. While AoC's balance isn't perfect (no game's is) on the whole it's very good. By changing so many different variables, you could easily be damaging balance rather than helping it; although from what I can see, you seem to know what you're doing.
I think what you need to do now (if you haven't already done so) is get some good players from somewhere like AOCzone on board to play a few games and report back what they think needs fixing.
[Edited on 04/12/12 @ 06:41 PM]
lol, 1 word - Terrible.
You should have nerfed the teutonic knights armor against melee attacks and increased their speed. And in some civilizations you don't do anything helpful, only unbalanced. Sorry.