1. The current situation of the game The mod is excellent but strongly unbalanced: - Some factions are much more powerful than others: Infernals, Khazads and Luchurips. Others are largely underpowered: the Balseraphs, the Elohims or the Doviellos for example. - Some spellcasters are extremely powerful (I am thinking in particular of the Ritualists and their zone spell) and make the invasion almost impossible due to the fact that the superiority of the defensive means is extreme compared to the offensive means. This situation means that competitive players (Tasunke, Dogan and me) tend to play only the powerful factions, because they are viables, almost never play the non-powerful factions. I think targeted but accurate adjustments can change this situation. The action of a modder (Tasunke?) is necessary to apply these adjustments. 2. My way of thinking the problems of disbalance - I try to buff the weak factions rather than to nerf the strong factions. I don't want to remove the strenght of the actual strong factions, but to add things to weak factions. - I tend to think of early game buffs rather than late game buffs, because the early game is the most important part of the game. - I tend to think of buffs that are compatibles with the background of the faction. - I have no technical skill to do any mod myself. But I have a solid experience of the game in multiplayer and I know what I say. Current faction faction situation from most powerful to weakest are : 3. Khazads - Their Vault bonus increases +40% the production of your cities and gives +3 of happiness. Getting 250 gold per city is not difficult. This productivity bonus combines naturally with many mines and the Arete diet of Kilmorph religion. - The Khazads also have access to trebuchets, which are more powerful catapults for the same price. With their enormous productivity, they can quickly set up a warrior / paramandor / trebuchet army that can destroy any stack and take any city in early-mid game. Changes: Despite their huge production bonus, I do not think it's wise to touch the Khazads. They are clearly overpowered, but I prefer to aim to buffer other races. 4. Luchuirp - The clay golems do not block the growth of your cities, and are incredibly fast at working. - Barnaxus can against barbarians or against AI, be quickly leveled up to level 5 and have the promotion Combat V. This will increase by +50% the strenght of all your golems. In my opinion this bonus is not normal. This is an equivalent to giving combat promotion 2 (or 2.5) (so level 2 or 3) to all your units on the map, free of charge, without risk. This is an impossible thing to do for units of other races, as you can rarely go beyond level 3 when you create a unit. - With the Alduralia Chamber, acquired with Sorcery technology, all your combat Golems (even Wood ones) made in this city will be able to launch a fireball per turn. The fireballs destroy the fortifications or make collateral damage. This is equivalent to turning all your golems into mages, since fireballs are normally reserved for mages ... Changes: - Barnaxus only works on the golems in the stack of which it is a part. OR (I prefer this second choice) - The power bonus is decreased by -50%, reducing the maximum bonus to + 25% instead of + 50%. - A golem who launched a fireball cannot attack the same turn (to make defense against fireball damage slightly more easy, if you can heal one turn). - Possible change: Wood Golems can not create more fireballs. But I think the guys from Erebus on the Balance have already integrated it into the update. In addition it is really not logical golems made of wood can generate fireballs without igniting themselves. ^^ 5. Infernals There is a lot to say about the benefits of Infernals. I will try to be brief. - Infernals are very powerful. They can teleport between their cities, they have access to very powerful units like Agarest Beast, they do not need food etc. but these faculties are rather normal for this magic and supernatural faction. - In my opinion what is wrong with the Infernals, it is especially the fact that they can arrive early in the game. A player skilled at producing science can summon them before turn 75 ! But at this point, it is very likely that neither the AI nor the players can defend. Even without catapults and their collateral damages, an infernal player can start taking a city with his starting stack, earning XP and earning Males if he is lucky enough to attack a neutral or evil race. With these manes directly sent to his capital (Dis), the Infernal can quickly saturate his city, and get a huge production just with one city. So just one or two cities are taken for a quick loop infernal snaps -> City destroy = mannes = more units and science = cities destroyed etc. He must of course use Hyborem's whispering power to take direct control of any Veil city on the map. It will immediately have a second great city in turn 1. In addition it is easy to cheat when playing Hyborem: the player who invoked can destroy all his units at the moment just one lap before he invokes, ensuring a very easy conquest later. He can even give his own cities to Hyborem just before he is given the ability That's why in less than twenty turns, an infernal starting with only one city, can compete with a living empire or even ALL living empires combined ... Changes: - A stupid and incredibly overpowering change has been introduced to favor Infernals in a recent Erebus in the Balance patch : Any new city starts with a population of 6! And they start with two settlers, and two manes (so +2 pop). They can make settlers to put other cities with 6 of them. This choice is completely stupid because all the principle of the Infernals is their difficulty to grow their population. Their "people" are damned souls that they recover from living civilizations. The fact that an infernal settler can land his city with a starting population of 6 makes no sense, and this is obviously a big disbalance factor. - I propose that the infernal cities start with a population of 1. The player starting with two manes, he can have three of population. And he can especially fly without a fight a city of the Veil of his choice. Which is a huge advantage. - From a certain point of view, it is not normal that the Infernals can capture the living population and incorporate it as "demonic citizens". Only Trapped Souls (Manes) should be "Demonic Citizens". But no matter, it will be a complex technical change to make. - This slight change is not going to kill the Hyborem war machine, it will simply make his takeoff slower. The arrival of Hyborem will continue to be a disruption in the game that will incite players to ally against these invaders so powerful. - I propose another change: Infernals should not be able to have trades international roads. I find that absurd. Infernal lords do not trade, do not have trading desks with mortals. 6. Calabims - The Calabims have a unique building that increases by 20% the food preserved after growth. It adds up to basic buildings that add 20 and 20. A total of 60% of the food is retained after growth, giving the Calabims an advantage to use slavery. - They have the Governor Mannor, which gives +1 production for each discontented citizen present in town (knowing that each citizen adds a point of "discontented citizen", this bonus roughly means that they will have an industrial bonus corresponding to the size of their population. - They have the Vampire. A unit that can reach very high levels by feeding on the Calabim population, giving it a great power and elite promotions (like Guardmans, which against assassins). - Before version 6 of the EMM, the Calabims were in the top of the powerful factions, with Khazads and Luchuirp. But they were nerve. The Governor Mannor now requires Mathematics rather than the Code of Laws. This decision makes sense if one compares Calabim's productivity with weak factions, but it makes no sense when compared with Khazads or Luchuirp. I mean, you nerve the Calabims but you do not nerve the Khazads who are even more powerful. It seems to me insane. Moreover, I do not like the idea that the solution to a problem is to postpone the problem to a later date: obtaining mathematics requiring an advanced technological level. Changes: - Governor Mannor get back to Code of Laws. 7. Clans of Amber (Orcs) - I really like how this faction was designated. They are among the top of the powerful factions, their faculties correspond well to their background, but they also have their weaknesses. In particular, they have difficulties in science. The poor, they can not read! ^^ - Warrens: This building doubles all your land and living units (workers and settlers) built in the city. An obvious advantage to build a horde of units and colonize land faster. - Wolf Rider: A very fast cavalry unit, with three of movement, capable of plundering or taking cities by surprise. - Ogre: A single unit more powerful than the champion, which he replaces. Changes: - No. 8. Sheaims - Their strengths are known. The Zombie Pyro is notoriously a plague that does so much collateral damage that you can do without a siege weapon. He is particularly effective in defense, quickly damaging the entire invading stack. - The Sheaims problem comes from the fact that their main advantage (the plannar gate) requires to increase the armagedon counter to begin to be effective. The armageddon counter is augmented mainly by the fact of razing cities and spreading the religion of the Veil. A sheim must be ready to raze cities rather than keep them conquered. Even if economically it would have been better to keep them for him. Changes: - No. 9. Ljosalfar (Elves) - The advantages of the elves are high, but there is one crucial point which limits their development: their workers are not very fast, and especially, to build in forest requires more time than to build elsewhere. As a result, their economic take-off is slow to take place. Despite their huge happiness bonus, the huge ones are dominated by the savings and production of Khazads and Luchuirps. Changes: - Elven workers lose their penalty of -20% in work rate. And besides, why are the elves bad workers? The orcs I want, but the elves, this superior race and immortal? ... - The bonus of happiness in forest in ancestral forest is nerfed +1 per forest at +0.5. It is not normal that a simple forest has the effect of a festival, or a luxury resort. It is extremely powerful. In addition the ancestral forests already give a bonus of 1 in food. These benefits are disproportionate. A decrease of -50% will always make the Leaves' religion attractive to Elves and other races. 10. Svartalfar (Dark Elves) - This breed is very close to the elves. Changes: - Same changes proposed as on normal Elves. 11. Sidars - With luck to probabilities, this faction can be very overpowered. Their strategy is to declare war on all AIs encountered, so that they send troops that will be attacked later. It is better to make inexpensive units in mass, than one will be willing to sacrifice, than expensive units like the Sidar Hunters. The reason is that if you try to fight odds of less than 20, and you win (on your own territory, with the Isolationnism political regime) your unit will be able to go directly to level 5 and become a wane. - Basically, this civilization is in fact based on the abuse of AI. Without AI, hunting barbarians and animals would not be interesting at all. Changes: - We can not really change the mechanics of this faction. On the other hand, there is something really difficult, it is their ability to teleport anywhere to the enemy. It's something that can not be countered, which is not fun. As a result, I propose that it is impossible to teleport a unit if the divided soul is in a territory that is not yours. This to avoid the massive and instant arrival of 10 hunters in the back of the front, ready to annihilate 4 cities in the blink of an eye ... 12. Lanun - The Lanuns have good productivity with their pirate ports and their superior food yield at sea. They do not need to buff. Changes: - No. 13. Mercurians - A strong faction. For me the Mercurians are perfectly balanced. The mechanic of the reincarnated angels is really good. The only problem is their angel of death, which is ridiculously too powerful because invisible and therefore totally undetectable. But we'll talk about another time. Weaks races, which requires significant buffs 14. Bannor - The problem with Bannors is that their bonuses, which are important, occur too late in the game. Fanaticism technology is far away. And having some town, the last stage of development of cottages, is difficult. If they could have access to their demagogues spanw sooner, they would be much more viable. What the Khazads have because of their productivity and their mines, the Bannors should be able to have it in mid game with their cities that would spawn units. Changes: - The Crusade Regime is accessible with Philosophy technology (and no longer fanaticism). - Crusade no longer blocks the construction of non-military things (such as buildings). It's way too penalizing. On the other hand it is still not possible to make peace with a race with whom have at war. - Crusade increases the growth of cottages by +50%. This last bonus is maybe too strong, it is possible that it will allows the Bannors to generate too many Crusaders. It's just an idea, a test. 15. Armurites - The armurites are supposed to be mediocre in production, mediocre economically, but to have exceptional magic units, the children of Kylorins. We do not see it much at stake ... I try to think of a creative and technically easy solution to achieve. I have three ideas to help them. Changes: Armurites have a new unit, the Children of Kylorins. These are not the direct children of Kylorins, but their bloodline is close to his lineage. They are magicians (Adept of higher level) but the cost of production of a follower. They require Ether Knowledge technology. They can build any magic knot, without needing the required technology (eg Necromancy). By cons you can only have four of them at the same time. I hope to give the Armories a lot of flexibility. - In the same vein, I would like the Armorites to have archimages faster on the battlefield. These units are extremely late game, and very complicated to produce (requires a level 4 mage). So, I propose that from Witchcraft Technology (the technology that normally gives wizards), they can produce Heirs of Kylorins, for the cost of producing a magician. They are exactly like Archmages, for the cost of a Magicien. They can have 3 Heirs of Kylorins at maximum on the map. - Last Military Advantage I think: I propose that the Ancestry Cavern give +1 XP for each mana resource to which the city has access to ALL land-based military units produced in the city, and not only to magic units. It remains a modest bonus. If you have 5 knots of magic that makes you +5 XP. Armurite units are more trained, more disciplined than others (it's in their background). 14. Balseraph - In the background, it is a chaotic faction, depraved, and strongly linked to the magic, by their leader Perpentach, who is a great magician specialized in the illusion and the spirit. This one lost his mind after a magic battle against Kylorin, the Armurite great archmage. - In practice, it is a very weak faction: weak units and no economic advantage. It is more than necessary to buffer this faction! - Mirror gallery building is currently a total crap buiding. One random unit in the world of enemies in your city. - Loki is a weak and expansive unit. Changes: - Mirror gallery stay a cool small defensive building and small happyness buff building. Changes I suggest are: it creates an illusion of one random enemy within 2 tiles (not 1 tile). As it is now, long illusion last 3 turns. This building only requires 80 hammer, not 180 (same price as a Festival), it still gives +1 in happyness. And this building simply need Festivals (no longer Alteration). This building will be a help against a hostile scout, or simply barbarians. But it does not worth 180 hammer! And it will not really help you to doom stack (one illusion per turn on two radius tiles you will have two illusions maximum three to defend the city ...). - Balseraph Bard Specialist produces one hammer (and the +2 science and +4 culture). Great Bard produce +2 more hammer than normal Great Bard. - Each point of culture increase by + 1% the speed of military, naval and civil unit production. So a big cultural city with 50 culture produced per turn will produce any units +50 % faster ! - Loki now 80 hammer cost (and not 180). He starts as a mage and he wins 1 XP per turn. It will give him early access to the Chaos level 2 spell (Mutatation, not very usefull) and Mind level 2 (Charm, which is usefull to prevent a stack to rush). From the moment you have access to a mana node, he can use the spell, like offensive spell (fireball for example). Making him a powerfull unkillable unit you can use offensively. Loki features are a bit broken and useless. It should be changed by others, or fixed. - As Balseraph are natural slavers, all of them have a natural bonus of 25% chance of transforming an enemy unit into slave. It will help them make their early happiness buildings. - I find their arene building broken. You risk the XP Points. I suggest that this buiding does not work anymore like that: now you can slavic sacrifice in Arena fight. It will give 5 XP to a random unit stationed in the city. This feature can help especially if you want to XP adept into mages, because it's hard to XP adept. 15. Doviello - Another weak race. Almost never played at a competitive level. They have many special units, but of these units, only one is distinguished by a special ability, the Warmaster, which has a +50 strength bonus if it is fighting on a Tundra hex. - Their starting hero, Lucian, is uninteresting. He does not have hero promotion. He does not earn XP every turn. He has an attacking strength of a simple warrior, and he has no special ability. - Their +1 food bonus in tundra is useful. For them, the tundra is as productive as a grassland. - According to their background, they are almost nomadic barbarians, men of the great north hard able to move in the manner of a Mongol horde of the Middle Ages. They are very related to wild beasts. As a result, here are the exchanges I propose: Changes: - The Doviellos can transfer their population points from city to city. By means of a button, a Doviello unit can invoke (as many times as desired) a population point of the city. This point of population is materialized by a special unit the "Doviello Tribesman". This unit has two movement. Brought to a city, you can consume it to add a population point to the city. Advantage? You make a city very productive of food (farms) and saturate your new and unproductive cities with food. It is a great advantage if used well. - Best Tundra. Doviellos units move twice as fast on the Tundra (as the dwarves on the hills, or the elves in the forest). Tundra is rare on the map, and can not be artificially created. So it's not a really important benefit, but it makes sense. - Lucian Buffed: Lucian must not be a hero, because as he is obtained from round 1, he will quickly become extremely powerful. But it's still a horde leader, he must be useful. I propose that he convert the barbaric units killed with 50% success rate. If this effect can only affect barbarian units, while it also affects other units, it does not matter. Well used, it will build a small friendly army for rusher. Their civilization has the potential for long-term economic bonuses, but providing them with a good chance can give them a considerable long-term bonus. - Lower cost of army maintenance: Doviellos units are used to fend for themselves. I propose to reduce by 50% the maintenance cost of the Doviello units (0.5 gold per unit rather than 1 gold, if I am not mistaken). - Ensauvage of the world: the Doviellos do not like civilization. They see the end of the ice age as a plague and a weakness for man. That's why they like to shave the other cities: They earn double gold to conquer cities. And each shaved city gives them +3 of happiness for 10 turns (in speed of the fast game), on all the empire. This effect is cumulative with possible new cities shaved. 16. Illians - The abilities of the Illians are interesting. It is normal that they do not dominate economically or militarily. They are not Khazads or Bannors. - Illians do not have access to religions, which can give great bonuses and units. And they do not have a special economic bonus. You have to compensate for that with a bonus. And they do not have a special economic bonus. But the clergy of Mulcarn have magical powers to know how to exploit the ice and get food. Therefore, I start with the rather obvious idea that it is a civilization endowed with divine magic. - It is an anti-civilization: their strategic goal should be to survive long enough to activate their rituals, until the ascension of Auric in new God, and the return of the ice age. My suggestions are to improve the power of their rituals, as well as their ability to defend their frozen territories Changes: - The Illians have a new special political regime, much like the Sidars have Isolationism. It's Self-Suffciency. This system is automatically available to them. This scheme offers the following bonuses: +50% experience in fight inside the borders. No trade road with others nations. Internal Trade Road give +100% food and +100% industry. Which means that in addition to the bonus of gold brought by the trade routes, they have a bonus in food and production. This bonus should not be high, since they can not trade internationally. The reason for this choice is that the Illians are a civilization hated by all the others, since no civilization wants to return to the ice age. The Illians are therefore organized in autarkic economy. - Illian units are stealthy from the moment they start their turn on an ice box. The Illians are ice specialists and know how to hide in the snow. - Strengthening the beneficial effect of Illian rituals (in addition to basic effects of course): Samheim: Gives two settlers in the capital in addition to other effects. The White Hand: Makes the priests of Mulcarn constructible as much as you want (for 80 hammer I think). Free the construction of a new unit: the ice giant. The ice giant has the characteristics and production cost of a champion. He has immunity to the magic of cold, but -50% fire resistance. But he especially has +25% of strength when he fights on ice land. By cons, out of the ice, it has -50% power. The Draw: +1 increase production on all ice boxes. Free the direct build of wizards (rather than followers). This ritual is in late game, and expensive. By restoring some of their power, the Illians can directly train magi. Last proposal: -25% decrease in the cost of all rituals. Because they are very expensive to build. Moreover, it will be good that the terraforming in ice made by the Temple of the Hand, be reversible. Otherwise, the lands are sterile to conquer, which is painful and unfair. It will be good that when an Illian city is taken, this building is automatically destroyed, and therefore, that the huts around the city become either Plains or Tundra (50/50). May not be meadows either, because the effect on the nature still had a strong footprint. I guess it's technically very complicated to do. But hey, I propose the idea anyway. 16. Elohims - A very weak civilization. Their economic bonuses are nonexistent, their military bonus too. They are in great need of help. In the background, it is supposed to be a people of exceptional moral purity, of a very high kindness and wisdom. Let's try to propose radical changes to help them. Changes: - Each single development controlled in Elohim territory increases by 25% the production of unique character and the fighting power of the monks. - Elohims settlers are stealthy and have four moves. Reason background: The Elohims have the goal of controlling and securing the unique amenities of the world, to secure the future of the world. They asked for the help of an archangel to help them in this mission. This one has accepted and protects their settlers. Another reason background? Your mouth, it's magic. Reason gameplay: The Elohims must try to colonize near unique amenities. If they do not have a fast and safe settler to do it, they will not be able to do it. This is the only non-aggressive way I have found. - Any new founded city Elohim receives a Monk who is spawned directly on the city. Their new cities need an immediate defense. - The Elohims are a defensive civilization. Their special building gives defensive to units produced at 100% (and no longer at 20% probability). - Elohims have Magic Resistance ability for all units. Their defensive and spiritual nature gives them the ability to resist the evils of witchcraft. - The removal of their cities makes impossible their defense by a single stack. There are not thirty-six ways to defend several cities at the same time. One of the simplest ways is the Teleport (the faculty that the Infernals naturally have). I therefore propose that under a different background, the Elohim have this faculty. They need a way to defend them. I propose that the Elohims naturally own the Obsidian Portals building. This building must not be captured by a conquering civilization. 17. Grigoris - The Grigoris have three main advantages: they generate +40% faster the famous characters (with the effect of their palace + of the Neutrality regime), their unique power to reset the counter of unique characters, which allows them to have lots of them during a game. And their adventurers, who are heroes that you can turn into any unit. As they reach high levels, they can become ultra-powerful units very difficult to destroy. Nevertheless, the Grigoris lack power. I propose a slight change to help them. Changes : - Dragonslayers have the Guardmans skill (defense against assassins). The killers are a plague, especially for injured heroes. - The Luonnatar unit is available with Witchcraft technology, rather than Willpower (which is very late game). 18. Hippus Changes: - The penalty for enrollment of units lasts half as long as for other civilizations (ie three turns in high game speed). The Hippus people are used to being mobilized. - Hippus devotees and mages are mounted and not on foot (requires the creation of two new units, technically may be unachievable). This will greatly help the use of these units to track the bulk of Hippus troops on horseback. The Hippus are a people of horsemen, I do not see why their adepts could not use them. - The cost of stables is halved for the Hippus. Or better : each Hippys city has automatiquely stables built inside. - The looting gives them XP for the looter unit. 4 XP each - The looting gives them +50% gold. 18. Kuriotates Changes: - Each owned luxury resources increase by +1% the production of their cities. - As Kuriotate are a confederation of free people, there is no resistance in the cities they conquer. Turn of resistance: zero. Kuriotates can not have more than 3-4 real cities. - The penalty for enrollment of units lasts half as long as for other civilizations (ie three laps in high game speed). The Kuriotate people are ready to defend their freedom with their blood. 19. Malakim - Another very weak civilization almost without any bonuses. They need a clear improvement. It would be necessary to create new units but it is technically difficult to do so I focus on improvements made elsewhere. I rely on angelic protection and affinity with the desert. Changes: - The Light Citadel building is a small defense building. It creates a fireball if an enemy enters the radius of two hexes of the city. Not enough to change the course of things. It is currently expensive for the effect it does. I propose that it costs 80 hammer rather than 160, that it is buildable from Ether Knowledge (rather than Sorcery) and that it adds +2 to the happiness of the city. - The Desert Schrine building is bad. He replaces the Pagan Temple without improving it. I propose that it has the following effect: Open one slot for Merchant or Sage specialist, and + 100% food per commercial route (which means that for every gold earned, one point of food is also earned. develop cities without investing heavily in farms). - Desert give +2 gold (from +1) and you can build cottage in desert. - Each desert Oasis give one free specialist (I guess you can create oasis by using the water spell in a desert, right or wrong?). - Malakim cities are always connected by trade roads even if you do not have roads (They know how to use a caravan in any circunstance, no need roads).