Hey all, with AoF becoming an official part of the AoE2 franchise later this year, it's a good time to see how balance can be improved further First of all: things that are said in this topic are part of a discussion, and no guarantee whatsoever that they will be implemented! And also important: let's try to make it an open discussions where people can openly brainstorm about options. Shooting down new ideas right from the start does not lead to a constructive result. Instead, try to point out the flaws, but give advice on how his/her suggestion could work out instead. Flaming etc will be deleted as usual.
I'll start off with some ideas/issues that could use some discussion:
Koreans - Early game
Do they need a boost in early game and if so, what? Some sort of military boost? An economical bonus, one that lasts through the ages or not? Maybe a technological bonus? The same can be said for Saracens and other early-impaired civs, but Koreans are of course, the neediest ones.
Koreans - Team Bonus
The other topic had a good discussion about this, and while the +1 range was really a nice TB, it was a bit strong in some situations. Post-imp most notably, with Celtic and Korean siege being pretty much invincible. So either we go for an alternative, or we toss in another way to not make these post-imp SOs so out of whack =)
Base Infantry - Use during the castle age
The champion line and UU infantry units are just not used during the castle age, except in rare occasions and when playing around with Huskarls. I believe it would be nice if longsword men had a use besides "a stage to upgrade towards champions". However, keep in mind that due to their nature (slow speed melee & vulnerable to archers), their use will always be more situational than widespread.
Water maps variation - Dark Age Transport Ships
This one I've been toying around with for a while, water maps are very straightforward in AoC. You either play galleys or you're taking a risk, usually dying, trying to be a hero with a different strategy :P I believe Dark Age transport ships could open up things a bit here. There's an option for the not-so-strong early economies to launch a surprise attack without being confined to water. It won't however, be a silver bullet, since you still need to take into consideration: go aggressive early on with a transport, or spend that wood on fishing ships?
Dark Age Laming - Boar Stealing
Okay, controversial one here :D First of all: the stealing of a boar requires skill. For the life of me, I can't steal a boar properly, while some guys can do the tour de France with a boar chasing them. However, the placement of the boar is all about luck. If you have 2 boars in the back, it's very hard to steal them, but if you have 2 boars in the front, it's pretty much a present for your enemy. So all factors together, it still boils down to luck, which isn't fun in a strategy game :P In AoFE, boars currently have a higher attack vs scouts, which helps a bit, but it's not the perfect solution. Would disabling boar stealing all together be an option or not? (in the same way scouts can't kill deer (this was possible in AoK but disabled in AoC for laming reasons).)
There's more to discuss and please feel free to discuss more items, I'll add them to the list in the main post if they have enough buzz.