Alright, I posted on the anglosphere forums, but there's no active discussion there, so I'm gonna post my thoughts here. I agree with a lot of you. And Wulfr101 that's a great analysis of the issues with the TS change.
Allow me to say that I'm really not a fan of the way these changes were done. They came out without any discussion, communication, or warning (unless, as usual, it was only done on tournament servers). Suddenly, the whole game is being rebalanced despite any serious complaints about game balance. I think there a bunch of good changes in here, but I think there some seriously game damaging ones as well. Like, we need a serious discussion about some of these and I'd like to see some feedback considered before they are rolled out. Here's my opinion:
Art cooldowns. This shrinks the spend gap (a little bit). I can be a fan of that.
Additional, hidden ranks. As a data lover, this is awesome, and I can't wait to see this.
Philosophy and Commerce. The basic %buff is the wrong way to go about rebalancing these. Philosophy and Commerce were useless compared to Recruitment and Metallurgy because they don't upgrade troops. These two needed a rework in mechanics, just making them a bigger % isn't going to solve the underlying problem.
Alliance bonus costs. Why? They were very well balanced before. You hit 10% in the two that matter around day 150-170 on a normal server. Now people are gonna be pounding them out super early and then they fade away because once players finally have incredible amounts of extra res, everything worthwhile will be maxed out.
Hero resource bonuses. This just will boost the cost of ointments more. Money grabbing move, but fine, I get it. You have to run a business.
The very bad
Trade Office. This is just bad. I don't understand why we would do this. Increase merchant capacity if anything. Or merchant speed. The trade office had it's place before, making it even more important isn't the way to go. The market on it's own is now essentially nothing. Not only that, but on small maps you can now pretty much trade route as much as you want to anywhere on the map. Seriously. With now up to 150% from commerce and 800% for Roman merchants, the max size is now 225000 resources per 20 merchants. This is just stupid.
Brewery. Teutons were already the strongest. Why are we just ham-fisting another 10% tribe-specific boost for literally no reason? At this point, hammers would be stupid not to play Teut.
Tournament Square. No one wants the game to be faster. This is probably my least favorite of the changes. I fail to see any reason this should be done, ESPECIALLY now that we have small maps. If people wanted troops to move twice as fast, they should have gone to a speed server. I've never played a speed before. But now it seems that ALL servers are about to be 2x speed. Thanks for giving us choices TG. It should be noted that this is also a very offense-heavy bonus. Defense usually walks maybe 50 squares while offense walks well over 100. If you have something normal like TS 20 for a hammer and TS 10 for an anvil villa, with a 150 square walk for cats and 50 square walk for def these are the equivalent distances.
Old-> Cats: 63.3 Defense: 35
New-> Cats: 46 Defense: 30
The difference changes from almost 30 fields to 16. Not to mention that ghosts are now indestructible. From 100 squares, a 2x speed EI ghost is now around 1 hour. If you don't have enough defense within 7 squares to stop 40k EI, there's nothing to do. And unless you're an anvil, that's not gonna happen. Even PDs are usually have most of their def over 7 squares. A few timed scouts and you can now guarantee that a ghost will survive a cross-quad plonk.
Huge pointless buff for the already strongest tribe
Defense gets much less time to react.
We are buffing merchants and alliance bonuses in the wrong way.