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Netherlands Mr_Bramboy
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14 Sep 2021, 21:56

Hi everyone,

On behalf of the tournament administration, I am creating this post to inform tournament participants and viewers of our decision to bar the two newly introduced civilizations in the African Royals DLC from the ESOC Premier League Season 3. This is not a decision that was taken lightly, which is why I would like to take this opportunity to explain our thoughts and to elaborate on our decision.

The introduction of the Hausa and the Ethiopians can be regarded as a catastrophe for competitive gameplay. These civilizations have an extremely large power creep that has made any other civilization in the game virtually helpless against the African civilizations without adapting their strategy to the extent where their only hope relies on blind countering the opponent's choice of strategy. Not only can the African civilizations perform the strongest rush in the game, but it also arrives the earliest in the opponent's base out of all the rushes in this game. Moreover, the African civilizations have great economic options as well, which means that they are not forced into a rush. The versatility of the Livestock Market allows the civilizations to choose from a diverse set of strategies and to very quickly and effortlessly change their strategy to react to the opponent. This versatility and strength are unmatched in any other economic bonus within the game. If that wasn't enough, the individual units of the African civilizations are too strong when compared to their foreign counterparts as summed up very well by Kévin.

The result is two civilizations that can execute the strongest rush in the game by far and can fall back on economic options if it somehow fails, or can forego the rush altogether and capitalize on the opponent's overinvestment into defense. This strength is unprecedented in recent history. While the developers have been taking minor steps to nerf certain aspects of the African civs, it is disappointing to see that the mentioned issues were not handled sooner and better and that ESOC's cooperation in regards to civilization balance has been anything but fruitful. In the setting of the ESOC Premier League, our fear is that the African civilizations will become a mandatory pick in every series, decreasing the civilization diversity and the viewer experience. We realize that a civilization ban - let alone two - is unprecedented since the early ESOC tournaments, but we feel that it is absolutely vital that we take this decision to safeguard the quality of the third iteration of ESOC's biggest event.

One important caveat is that these civilizations are banned indefinitely, meaning they may be unbanned in the later stages of the event in cooperation with the EPL team managers. The Public Update Preview of September brought a list of nerfs to the African civilizations, but it is too soon to say if these changes will be enough to stop the dominance of the African civilizations. In the future, we hope to reverse this decision when adequate steps have been taken by the AoE3:DE developers.

On an additional note, as a part of this ban the Yoruba technology that is present in some African native trading posts is also indefinitely banned. This technology is extremely strong to the point where one could call researching it an exploit. The same caveat from the previous paragraph applies.

The tournament administration.
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Korea South Vinyanyérë
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14 Sep 2021, 21:59

Will the administration consider reducing the ban length if Hausa and/or Ethiopians show remorse and apologize?
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Canada Mitoe
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14 Sep 2021, 22:03

This seems a bit premature considering the patch just came out, and the event has not even started yet.

I understand this may be changed later, but surely it would have made sense to give it a couple of days at least, rather than immediately disincentivize players from playing and experimenting with the balance updates at all.
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United States of America Cometk
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14 Sep 2021, 22:04

Mitoe wrote:This seems a bit premature considering the patch just came out, and the event has not even started yet

better safe than sorry tbh ngl
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No Flag fightinfrenchman
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14 Sep 2021, 22:08

I always knew this day would come
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Canada Mitoe
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14 Sep 2021, 22:14

On an additional note, as a part of this ban the Yoruba technology that is present in some African native trading posts is also indefinitely banned. This technology is extremely strong to the point where one could call researching it an exploit. The same caveat from the previous paragraph applies.

It doesn't seem to have made it into the patch notes, but this also seems to have been nerfed. It was previously 500 :food: 500 :wood:, and is now 750 :wood: 750 :coin:

Edit: It seems that the Eso Rider build limit has also been reduced from 6 to 5
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Kiribati princeofcarthage
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14 Sep 2021, 23:20

Could limit games to 1+2 Europeans including Sweden, 1+1 Americas including usa and Inca 1+1 for asians and 0+1 for africa for a bo5 where +X is the optional no. Of civs from that culture while Y+ is the minimum to actually have diversity.
Fine line to something great is a strange change.
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Sweden Zutazuta
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15 Sep 2021, 02:48

I don't think you should outright ban civs from the game. It's not good for the longevity of the fan base. People watch events to see new/exciting content from high level players. Build rules to encourage civ diversity, but don't ever constrain yourself to a limited civ roster.
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China fei123456
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15 Sep 2021, 02:50

What about "player can only use African civs once in a series"?
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United States of America kaister
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15 Sep 2021, 03:15

Correct decision made
Kiribati callentournies
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15 Sep 2021, 03:16

good decision
jus a bish
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Canada dansil92
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15 Sep 2021, 03:19

look this isnt 100% the thread for this but honestly my opinion is thus:
if-
1. african outlaws were tuned to asian outlaw power levels per population (see: wokou horsemen, wokou pirates, and dacoit), which can be accomplished by nerfing the unit OR increasing the population - both are good options!
2. The livestock market had more limitations and was somehow scoutable (you can literally have map hacks and have no freaking idea what your opponent is doing)
3. -1 unit to a few of the unit shipments, especially the raiders,
4. probably nerf gascenya to 12 range (throws javelins further than muskets without an atlatl to asist. feelsbad)
5. slow down abun train time

i think they'll be fine. they're really well designed civs in a lot of ways, interesting ways and really fun to play. i agree with the above decision, even if it is a bit sad
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15 Sep 2021, 04:44

Mitoe wrote:This seems a bit premature considering the patch just came out, and the event has not even started yet.

I understand this may be changed later, but surely it would have made sense to give it a couple of days at least, rather than immediately disincentivize players from playing and experimenting with the balance updates at all.

Disagree 100%
First, it would be even tougher to ban it just before EPL when a lot of people have pracced it. Also, the best playera would start hiding OP strats just so it does not get nerfed.

Second, africa are so massive power creep that my intuition saya they are still going to be overpowered. People who grind them might be totally unbeatable and it takes time until beginning of EPL to realize this when mid-tourney ban is impossible.

Thirdly, this would force people to buy this ultimate crap, aka pay-to-win. And atleast I greatly refuse to any money to people who start designing new civs without any consideration if the old (dlc) civs are even half balanced.

Good call from admins.
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15 Sep 2021, 05:24

dansil92 wrote:look this isnt 100% the thread for this but honestly my opinion is thus:
if-
2. The livestock market had more limitations and was somehow scoutable (you can literally have map hacks and have no freaking idea what your opponent is doing)

i think they'll be fine. they're really well designed civs in a lot of ways, interesting ways and really fun to play. i agree with the above decision, even if it is a bit sad


Could be interesting if the selling cows at the livestock market affects the prices at the market as a whole, would allow you to scout out the oppoent's actions and potentially take advantage of it as well. Since its effectively selling food for other resources, it could just make the food exchange rate much cheaper
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Latvia harcha
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15 Sep 2021, 05:27

@helln00 but couldn't africa use that themselves?
princeofcarthage wrote:remember Prince warned about it years ago
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15 Sep 2021, 05:35

harcha wrote:@helln00 but couldn't africa use that themselves?


I am thinking that it would effectively cancel out/be slightly worse if the African player were to like sell a cow for coin and then use set coin to buy back the food. That should always be worse and they just tanked their livestock exchange value.

Likewise, if they sold the cow for wood, but it only affected the food rate, which means that they would have to sell the wood for coin and then buy back the food. Which is just worse.

they can like gather the coin seperately to buy food after the exchange dropped, but thats just bad and they might as well just eat the cow.
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Latvia harcha
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15 Sep 2021, 06:26

i get what you're saying, that would defeat the purpose. they already have cow trade, no need for market trading anyways
princeofcarthage wrote:remember Prince warned about it years ago
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Howdah
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15 Sep 2021, 07:22

Yeah so while its not good for african civs to abuse both the cow trade and the market, if cow trade affects the normal market then that would act as a signal for the other player as to what they were doing and also the other player might get a nice trade price in the market as well, might even make stuff like advance market worth it( though probably not)
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Netherlands Mr_Bramboy
ESOC Media Team
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ESO: [VOC] Bram
Location: Amsterdam

15 Sep 2021, 07:25

Mitoe wrote:This seems a bit premature considering the patch just came out, and the event has not even started yet.

I understand this may be changed later, but surely it would have made sense to give it a couple of days at least, rather than immediately disincentivize players from playing and experimenting with the balance updates at all.

This is a good point. The decision was made right when the PUP released. Our view is that these balance changes will need to be explored by the players before we can conclusively state that the African civilizations are not overpowered. We also believe that seeing how things go and banning the civilizations regardless after the event has started is a mistake. By banning these civilizations before the event starts, team managers can consider their picks and players can consider their practice schedule with this in mind.

We saw what happened last tournament when one civilization was overwhelmingly dominant and we’d like to get ahead of that. Banning a civilization during a tournament is not an option that we’re considering for competitive purposes.

Team managers will have the option to unban these civilizations if the time comes. Of course, it could be argued that since all good players are playing EPL, no one is practicing the African civilizations and these civilizations will therefore never be unbanned. In our view, this is the lesser evil.
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Great Britain I_HaRRiiSoN_I
ESOC Media Team
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15 Sep 2021, 07:26

I support this decision, it will be impossible to ban a civ mid league / tourney as it would be unfair to those already played with or against the civs. A while back we asked (maybe november/december?) around mid tourney to see if sweden should be banned; but because the tourney had started there were mixed views and so we decided to leave it unbanned, then the sweden every series meta developed harming civ diversity.
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Great Britain I_HaRRiiSoN_I
ESOC Media Team
Posts: 1416
Location: United Kingdom

15 Sep 2021, 07:28

Mitoe wrote:
On an additional note, as a part of this ban the Yoruba technology that is present in some African native trading posts is also indefinitely banned. This technology is extremely strong to the point where one could call researching it an exploit. The same caveat from the previous paragraph applies.

It doesn't seem to have made it into the patch notes, but this also seems to have been nerfed. It was previously 500 :food: 500 :wood:, and is now 750 :wood: 750 :coin:

Edit: It seems that the Eso Rider build limit has also been reduced from 6 to 5


really?? this is highly disappointing from the devs that such a crucial and sizeable change was not even mentioned in the patch notes :/
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Kiribati princeofcarthage
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15 Sep 2021, 08:56

Instead of outright ban you could always limit 1 africa civ per series or both the civs used just once per round per team by any of the player(s). These are more reasonable choices and even lesser evil. Outright banning the latest dlc which viewers are most excited to see?
Fine line to something great is a strange change.
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Latvia harcha
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15 Sep 2021, 09:40

princeofcarthage wrote:Instead of outright ban you could always limit 1 africa civ per series or both the civs used just once per round per team by any of the player(s). These are more reasonable choices and even lesser evil. Outright banning the latest dlc which viewers are most excited to see?

I would agree from a viewer-only perspective. But my guess is that at least half the viewership is from people who also play the game, for whom the approach taken would make more sense.
princeofcarthage wrote:remember Prince warned about it years ago
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Kiribati princeofcarthage
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15 Sep 2021, 09:43

And why would it not make sense from player perspective?
Fine line to something great is a strange change.
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Latvia harcha
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15 Sep 2021, 09:58

because players care about MUs that are playable and have some depth. while playing africa is just forcing the other to play africa
princeofcarthage wrote:remember Prince warned about it years ago

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