The patch time is three times wrong imo with the sepoy change. they are wrong in claiming that "India being primarily an “early pressure” civ is the symptom" that needs to be treated. Even if they were right about that, they're wrong in the analysis that India is one dimensional at all. Neither in terms of strategies being used, or in terms of army compositions is india one dimensional (I've gone into details a few times already, which you've all conveniently ignored). And even if they were also right about India being one dimensional, yjr proposed change doesn't fix things and limits them even more, and probably just ruins the civ. This is what this change feels likr to me: The patch team likes eco games, likes being greedy, so wants to change all civs that can't be played like that. Sioux had to get rid of their bow riders, Otto was supposed to go Abus Cav archer in age 3, Spain needs an eco option in age 3 so they play eco instead of the standard FF, Russia needed to be buffed in fortress (20 strelets PogChamp), Iro had to become a fortress civ, TPs cannot ever be nerfed and now india is not allowed to rush anymore.
Let me start out by the first error in thought: Early pressure civs are not a bad thing. I've already written a big post
about why it's not bad to have a civ that is primarily an early pressure civ. To expand on it, there is nothing more beautiful, in my opinion at least, to have a match up that has a clear aggressor vs a clear defender. Theres already very few aggressive civs (honestly just india, russia, otto and aztec at the moment) so the few civs that can be aggressive should be cherished, or you lose a big part of the game. On the other hand, theres many civs that want to play in the midgame and scale like France, Germany, Japan, China, Dutch, Portuguese and British and some civs that tend to go along in the midgame play like Sioux and Iro. Why is it ever right to decide rushing is bad for the game while scaling is good? The beauty is the variety of match ups, and like I already said, india fills a core role in the current meta. Slow sepoy rush and consulate rush are strategies that no other civ can perform, those styles are some of the most unique styles of play in this game. Why does this need to be removed? There are endless match ups where you can play towards the midgame and then try to have the bigger army in the one deciding fight. Theres only a handful of match ups where you can play against a musketeer based rush that deals well with town center fire. Let me rephrase that, theres only about 10 match ups in the entire game where this style is a thing, and those are 10 of india's 14 match ups (imo, some more match ups might actually not even be that sepoy rush based but that'll be discussed in the next paragraph). We already frequently hear complaints, and rightfully so in my opinion, that the esoc patch with the lovely maps has a meta heavily tilted towards setting up yourself for the midgame, basically playing no rush 10. You're proposing to worsen that problem, to actually limit the diversity in the game. And yes, maybe a civ is a bit boring if it's extremely one dimensional, but removing a very unique style of play entirely (and please dont tell me you can slow sepoy rush with 180 hp sepoys because that is utter bullshit) is just limiting the meta. Aoe3 does not have extremely diverse civs, and it doesn't need to have those because it has a lot of civs. Ideally all 196 match ups are somewhat unique, and in any case India as it is right now greatly contributes towards the diversity in these 196 match ups. Don't change that, don't ruin the game because you don't like rush civs.
And then, like I said, even if a civ being an early pressure civ, a somewhat one dimensional civ is a symptom that needs to be treated, the team is entirely wrong in labeling india this at all. The primary argument for calling india one dimensional was that all tournament games that the team remembered involved india sepoy rushing. WickedCossack has done a great job in showing that this argument is utter bullshit and should simply be discarded, labeled as incorrect. I've also written a pretty elaborate post
and also this post
explaining why india is not one dimensional at all. Just look at all the match ups I mentioned where india is not a one dimensional sepoy rushing civ at all. As I said the first part where this analysis is wrong is that India's rushes are actually really varied, split up in 3 entirely different build orders which is already a lot of variety for an average aoe civ (compare this to germany, france, aztec, russia, spain or ports for example). Like I already said in the post I linked, a slow sepoy rush is close to an eco build order really, it's hardly a rush, it's just making a few sepoy to harass the opponent and keep him from being greedy, to then go into woodtrickle/600w/300e yourself. For example, against british a sepoy rush into a boom is quite commonly considered to be the best option for india, where india ends up actually defending against a big push from the british player. In the german match up, I think it's the norm to sepoy rush, then mass up a bit and then try to hit a timing when germany goes for the age up with some sowars. Against dutch I think going for a slow sepoy rush followed up by 4 sowar, or honestly even going for a 10/10 might be the best way about it, and I do feel anything less aggressive or a consulate rush is much less efficient. Thats just the slow sepoy rush variety, there also is the consulate rush, which is a go for the throat rush, a very hard timing push, an entirely different beast altogether. And then we're actually not even mentioning that they have 4 match ups where sepoy rushes are not even a thing in aztec, otto, russia and the mirror. So I think it can be stated as a fact that India is much more than a rush only civ, and this is backed up by the way they have been played in tournament games. So I think you're forced to discard this opinion.
Then you're left with the argument that India makes too many sepoys, that they don't make gurka/zambs/sowars because sepoys are OP, but also this is factually incorrect. There are actually very few match ups where I think you can get away with making only sepoys, and the ones where that would be possible at all are match ups where you actually consulate rush. Think about the match up vs british, that one civ with a weakness to musketeers. Even in that match up india mixes Gurka and Sowars (refer for example to H2O vs BSOP spring finals game 9). Think about India vs Russia, in this match up you are actually supposed to transition into Gurka Zamb. Look at these games: https://youtu.be/l_4YyiCW9GE?t=30m22s
(three varied back to back india games) where in the first India vs Russia I'm staying on sepoy and getting rekt, and then in the second India vs russia get tipped by ryan to go into gurka zamb and end up winning. Consider India vs Germany, where pure sepoy isn't going to cut it anymore once germany gets access to skirmishers. Consider Sommpu playing India vs Mitoe's ports, where he does rush but actually quickly ends up mixing in gurka and shipping sowar. Consider india vs Dutch where you want to add gurkas and sowars after the initial push to deal with their skirmishers efficiently, consider aztec where you shouldn't make many sepoy at all, consider the india mirror that revolves mostly around gurka zamb. It seems like you would need to provide a evidence that india mostly makes sepoys at this point, because my experience, all tournament games I have watched and the opinions of good players on how to play India do not back up the statement that you need to make pure sepoy in a majority of match ups.
And then even if the team is right about both having to nerf rush civs and India being one dimensional, then the change proposed is terrible. The reason why india plays the way they play is apperantly a complete mystery to the team, because it seems to be completely wrong about it. India has to sepoy rush, has to slow down civs because they are unable to compete with fortress age play. Not because they lack punch overall, they're actually the best colonial civ by quite the margin, trumping British and Russia and they have a magnificent defensive boom, imo the best in the game. No, the real reason they can't compete with fortress age play is because their own FF is too slow. You can't do a hussar type semi FF (which is the best way to semi ff clearly, since thats what all civs that can do it prefer to do) because sowars suck in cav vs cav wars and your best age 2 wonder if by far the agra fort (karni mata is very vulnerable and the agra fort map control is one of india's biggest strengths) so you don't actually get a stable. You then age up awefully slowly, to then have to spend a lot of resources on 3! veteran upgrades (and whats sad is that you have to make a barracks beside your agra fort because the agra fort cant upgrade units). After you've done all of that, you're left being completely and utterly outscaled in every regard. Shaving 30 wood of off houses isn't going to make up for this. You're going to save a magnificent ~150 wood with a tiny bit of snowball potential (you need a whopping 30w less in age 1, PogChamp) at the point where you reach age 3. India's eco style right now is in no way capable of dealing with a good semi ff, it's quite honestly not even close. This change is insignificant, at best it's like making gurka auto upgrade. It's a tiny buff to the defensive india boom, but that's already really strong against civs like russia, so that buff is absolutely not needed. India does not actually lack overall punch like I already said. Meanwhile you're nerfing one of the main tools that india has to compete with these semi FFs and greedy civs. The slow sepoy rush is a very interesting and interactive build order. You make only a handful of sepoy to keep your opponent true and then you actually do transition into economic play. It's very common to go 5 sepoy - 600w/large trickle - 300e, probably the most common build order for india. You're removing this style and replacing it with the same but weaker and more passive, less interactive. If theres one thing I agree with, its that it'd be nice for India to have an economic option from time to time. It'd be nice if going age 3 is at least almost viable. But the way to make that happen is to buff that specific part of india. The other aspects of india, slow sepoy rush, consulate rush and defensive boom, are completely fine, they don't need more overall punch, they could use a buff in a specific area. And if you think that's overbuffing india, that india having extra options across the field makes them stronger, I'd agree that it does make them stronger but I think that's not even misplaced. Funnily enough I think your proposed changes do not affect the only true all in india style, the consulate rush, because with the consulate rush you get the british consulate which makes sepoy being 3 shot by the TC again and I think thats one of the tightest build orders in the game where the cheaper houses actually matter a lot. So the proposed changes actually just remove a core style of india, buff a style thats already situationally very strong (defensive boom) and won't do enough to make india better against semi FF play. You'd make india a much more varied civ if you leave sepoy untouched, or at least their hp untouched, and buff something so that they can compete with a semi FF (ranging from karni mata buffs, howdah being a viable auto veteran unit, gurka getting veteran automatically, even zamburaks having an age 2 multiplier against artillery would allow them to stay age 2 and defend the agra fort with those).
And then lastly, I want to critize the idea that sepoy should be nerfed simply because they're abnormally strong. It's ridiculous to look at a unit in a vacuum like that. 3 CDB should be nerfed because its an objectively OP shipment in a vacuum, it's objectively OP that asian civs can make villagers in transition, if considered in a vacuum. 2 SW is a ridiculous shipment that should be nerfed, its, in a vacuum, ridiculously OP that ports get a free TC. And then even look at what somppu posted; their stats are hardly that abnormal.
Overall, I think this change is wrong in every regard. This change would be the most ridiculous change in the patch, it feels like its just the team pushing eco play because they like eco play. The problem is, I don't.
PS: I already posted this but I don't want it to seem like I'm just being negative for the sake of being negative. I'm being negative because I already had a long discussion and to me it feels like my opinion is being ignored. This is the constructive post that you apperantly have to make before you are allowed to voice a negative opinion. If your favorite playstyle and second favorite civ is being destroyed with no solid logic supplied and no answers given when you do challenge the change then it's not weird that you're not going to play this patch, is it?