It’s an undisputable fact in PvE that Caravans are immensely powerful. While the exact details aren’t known to many players on just how much stronger Caravans are in comparision to Villagers, their rough gold generation - Solo, mind you - is between 2.1-2.5 gold per second on average in most PvE maps - Higher on smaller maps, lower on larger maps. Factoring in the co-op bonus for sending caravans to an allied town center (Or on quests with a tradeable AI town center), and Caravans have between 3-4 gold generation before considering gear and advisors. At these levels of gold generation, Caravans are not only the most efficient way to acquire gold, but also the most efficient way to acquire stone, wood, and even food for most civs, even factoring in most advisors! This has lead to a “meta” playstyle of quickly building multiple markets - Higher skilled players will build over 10 - in order to get out as many caravans as quickly as possible on maps where caravans are allowed. Nannus and other market/caravan related advisors are in immensely high demand, whereas most other eco advisors are considered weak or, at best, off-meta, despite numerous buffs and changes to them. This has also lead to the ability to have extremely long games in PvP with equally skilled players - Unlike in other Age of Empire games in which, while markets help to extend you, you do suffer significantly reduced resource efficiency, Caravans in PvP provide enough resource generation, despite numerous changes to both reduce the reliance and power of caravans, such as changes to their movement speed, training time, and trade rate, they still preform as well as villagers, except being generally safer (Caravans tend to be placed as far away from the frontlines as possible) and infinite (You never run out of resources with caravans). And given the ease of replacing lost caravans, it’s more prudent to attack and destroy markets to stop gold generation then it is to attack and kill caravans - To the extent that Markets have a technology to significantly increase their durability, and making multiple markets is not just prudent but crucial. I propose a change to Caravans themselves more extreme then what has been done in PvP - Making a maximum limit of Caravans to just 10, giving them a significant Garden-type increase in cost for each one being train and existing caravan in addition to train time increase, and finally increasing their trade factor AND carry capacity by a very large multiplier, in the range of 5-10x. First, by giving Caravans an absolute limit of 10 units, you greatly increase the impact of killing even a single caravan - With 20-30 caravans, killing a single caravan only reduces gold generation by 3-5%. In PvE, if the AI manages to get past my frontline and starts attacking caravans, I do not even attempt to send troops to defend them. Instead I merely queue up an extra 10-20 caravans and simply wait for the AI to reach the town center while killing caravans, at which point they die, and I have suffered almost no noticeable loss in resource generation. However, with a maximum limit of 10 caravans, losing a single caravan not only results in a loss of 10% resource generation, but also the delay of a significant amount of gold - You don’t notice a loss of 150 gold when you have 9k coming in the next minute, but you do notice a loss of 1500. This creates both a long-term impact on losing caravans as well as a near-immediate impact - You’ll want to micro a bit more and macro in static defenses to prevent future caravan losses, otherwise you lose significant portions of your eco. The second change, giving Caravans both a large increasing cost per caravan, as well as increased train time per caravan, is mainly to further increase the impact of losing caravans - If you could replace those 10 caravans in merely 15 seconds for a low, low cost of 500 f/w makes replacing them minimal. Thus, for each Caravan out/in training, I suggest adding an extra 15 seconds of train time (Maximum 150 seconds), as well as an additional 50 f/w (maximum 500 f/w). Losing the 10th Caravan means that you’ll be running with 9 for quite some time. However, if you lose all 10, providing you manage to somehow recover you can quickly get back up several caravans to restart your eco. The final change is, of course, the boost to make up for a hard limit to caravans, depending on how much gold generation the devs feel that PvE/PvP caravans need. I personally suggest a 10x increase to trade factor and carry capacity as the current “meta” is to boom up to a huge number of caravans, generally at or over 100. However, it can also be used to nerf the overall resource generation available throughout the game by setting it to a lower number if the devs feel that caravans generate too much resources as is. Finally, here is a list of other balancing issues that have occured to me due to this change. 1: Immense amounts of additional population. By giving 10 caravans the value of 100 caravans, essentially 90 pop worth of military is freed up. Given that Crassus has a similar value and has been nerfed, this may be a PvE design problem. 2: Impact to the value of several advisors. With the need to only create 10 caravans max, the value of Nannus significantly falls, becoming valuable only on water maps. With the increase to trade factor and training time, the value of Zeno rises. 3: Relative devalueing of Merchant Transports. Currently, Merchant Transports are stronger then Caravans on maps with a water trade route due to having a higher carry capacity. In PvP, Merchant Transports are further superior due to having greatly increased speed, safety, and somewhat increased trade factor (I do not know the trade factor for Caravans in PvP, but I assume that it’s somewhere around 1.5x). With Caravans now having significantly higher trade values then Merchant Transports, using them to generate gold would be highly inefficient on maps in which you can have both caravans and merchant transports. Personally I would suggest also giving the same build limit and similar increase to trade factor and carry capacity, but without the increase to training time and cost, making them remain a superior option to Caravans in terms of pop and cost efficiency like they currently are. 4: Giving AIs more resources. Unlike players, the AI will only have a few caravans trading. They also don’t often put the market in the best nor most efficient spot for resource generation - I have seen the AI place a market so close to the town center that it literally did nothing. However, with a gargantuan increase to trade factor, this would cause the AI to generate significant amounts of resource - Caravans that previously made only 6 or 18 gold per trip now make 60 or 180 gold per trip. Given that the AI’s unit production tends to drop sharply after they run out of gold deposits in their base, this means that players which previously relied on “outlasting” the AI no longer can do so. Of course, more experienced players would likely simply say “get gud” to such complaining. That’s roughly it for issues that I can forsee. Thoughts, comments?