4 General Balance suggestions

Just 4 suggestions to improve the general balance, independent of each other. A single poll is at the end, please do not vote for more than one option per suggestion.

1. Reduce starting stone to 150.
Since the release of DE, there has been a slight trend towards more defensive play. On serious pro games, you rarely see the players go for an extended Feudal Age or Castle Age. There are various reasons for this; Defensive civs being more viable, quickwalling nerfing early aggression, stacking problems leading to more archers being played, pro players having really good defensive capabilities etc. The biggest problem with this is that the military gameplay in Feudal and Castle Age is more sophisticated than in Imperial Age because it’s not that much about Unit spam. Also, it feels a bit like the early and midgame doesn’t matter that much, even when playing ladder because the game will go to the lategame either way and every early advantage will even out by then.

Giving each player 200 starting stone simply means that each player will go for a 3 tc approach almost every game which plays out very defensive. It means that the stone cost for TCs is irrelevant because palisades and buildings do the job stone walls do just fine and you can’t go for a Tower + 2nd tc. The 3 tc approach is the best use of your starting ressources.
Reducing the starting stone to 150 would make the 2 tc approach the standard, this would give the following benefits:

  • more options as it would mean the aggressive 1 tc approach, the flexible 2 tc approach and the boomy 3 tc approach all have their place in the game
  • because of the flexible nature of the now meta 2 tc approach, players have more freedom on how they want to play the midgame which means more strategic decisions and more diversity in strategy
  • more Stone Walls and Outposts because building a single one of these no longer means you can build 1 tc less

2. Remove the "archer stacking"
It is no secret that melee Units, while being very strong before the release of the Definitive Edition, have been superseeded by the archer line. The biggest reason for that has been the pathing, which has been improved in the last patches, but there are 2 more differences in how archers and melee units interact in DE. Luckily, these difference should be easy to fix (from a technical perspective). One is that units stack much more, you can have 20 units in the same small spot. This helps archers over anything else and it also brings the problem that it gives false information when there are more units in one spot than it looks like. We know from the Steppe Lancers nerfs that this is easy to fix, so please fix it for all the units.

3. Let military Units block vills. Let Cavalry push through archers.
We know that in AoE2, each unit gets an ID when created and the units that have been created first will block units being created later and can’t be blocked by later created units. This is very unintuitive and inconsistent from a gameplay perspective. My suggestion is to change how the ID is given to let military Units block vills all the time. This just makes sense, why should a woodcutter force himself through heavily armored swordsman or a group of archers. Then Cavalry should logically force their way through other units except pikes. They can do this in the older versions of the game, I don’t know how it works there technically but that doesn’t matter. Maybe also let Infantry force their way through Archers.

4. Increase CA accuracy and decrease their frame delay a bit
Cavalry Archers are a generic unit that we don’t see to often, even when a civ has all the upgrades for them. The reason is that they need so many upgrades to even begin being useful. They need Thumb Ring because their base accuracy is horrible and when you get Thumb Ring you normally need to get Ballistics too. They need Husbandry to outrun Knights and Bloodlines is another essential upgrade for them. They are bad in low numbers because of their frame delay. Increasing their base accuracy would mean Thumb Ring and Ballistics isn’t as important for them as it is right now thus making it easier to go for them and decreasing their frame delay would only make them minimaly better post-imp while making them useful in lower numbers.

  • Reduce the starting stone to 150
  • Keep the starting stone at 200
  • Increase the collision box of all military units
  • Do not do that for all the military units
  • Let military units push through Villagers and Cavalry through other non-pike military
  • Keep Unit-ID generation as it is
  • Only do that for some unit groups but not for all the unit groups suggested
  • Increase CA accuracy and reduce frame delay
  • Reduce CA frame delay OR increase their accuracy
  • Keep CA as they are

0 voters

3 Likes

then how you gonna defend from tower rushes, sure trush will get nerfed but if the enemy goes for trushing, you’ll have to mine stone along with him to place counter tower.
And I’ve advocated for cav archer frame delay buff in the past but got shot down, so I don’t know how to feel about it, maybe scale it down a few points but not quite mangudai or foot archer level?

2 Likes

You could restore the old frame delay 0 for mangudais.

And put 5 to CAs and rattans.

But sure someone will complain that mongols/huns and other CA civs do not need buffs

2 Likes

I agree starting with precisely 200 stone is a strong push in favour of 3 tcs and 0 other stone expenditure, and that this isn’t a good thing. It’s too neat. Extra benefit of reducing the starting stone is that it creates a niche for a nice civ bonus: 1 civ could start with more stone and it would actually matter.
Starting with less stone would make UU strats more difficult too though…

I don’t think extra large hit boxes would nerf archers. It would affect the units trying to run into the archers much more than the archers themselves. (No testing done, willing to change my mind if there’s evidence.) The reason it affected Step Lancers is that 1 << 5, and you still patrol step lancers into other units, and they have to move to get in range. Archers can tight-patrol…

It would make a lot of sense if spear pushing power > cav pushing power > all other pushing power. But TBH I don’t experience pushing power in my games (as something which has effects)

3 Likes

Thats not balance tho, 5 is good enough for mangudais, idk why rattans have more FD but cav archers I think shouldn’t be as low as 5 because they’re created from ranges and pretty cheap

1 Like

I don’t get it, you can place exactly one tower with your starting stone then, same as before.
According to https://ageofempires.fandom.com/wiki/Frame_delay CA frame delay is 1.02 (1.00 for HCA), for Mangudai it is 0.5, for Archer line it is 0.35 and for Camel Archers it is 0.63. A delay of 0.75-0.85 for CA sounds reasonable to me.

5 Likes

I think they’re all great ideas. I haven’t seen so many 3 tc booms in aggressive maps though… But wouldn’t mind seeing how 150 stone can stir things up… Bulgarians, Koreans and anyone with stone advantages would have a bit more of an edge in some cases which i think is good

CA do need a kiting buff for sure so frame delay is my vote, accuracy will help as well. But think frame delay is the more important one atm. Too bad if OP mangudai will then have the same frame delay. They have amazing stats in every other field and mongols can train fast firing normal CA if its really such an issue. They’re an S tier faction with insane siege, LC and CA, is it really so bad if their UU isn’t as OP compared to vanilla CA?

I really hate the melee vs ranged situation atm. Not sure if the collision box will help as others pointed out charging melee units could have similar issues… But it is SUPER DUMB that 30 archers can fill the space of 1 unit, it’s complete gaming abuse. If anything they could possibly let melee units hit every unit that is filling the same space to force opponents to stop abusing the system.

3 Likes

The amount of times my opponent has moved 20 archers onto 1 tile in a corner so my Knights can only engage 1 at a time is insane and completely irrational

6 Likes

I totally agree to nerf ranged units stacking. Especially the archer line. A group with 20 units can stack in literally ONE single tile (if you go to a corner and click patrol) and then win a fight against lots of knights.

I also agree to buff CA’s frame delay a little bit. Not sure about the accuracy though.
(The difference between Mangudai and normal Cavalry Archers frame delay is too much imo, doesn’t make sense.)

4 Likes

I agree with reducing frame delay of CA and reducing ranged units stacking.

However I don’t think defensive plays are due to 200 stone. Defensive play are due to how easy it is to wall with building and also to how quickwalling became a commong practice.

I think building foundations should take way more damage for units. Right now a vill can simply surpass the damage a bunch of man at arms or knights do simply by continuing to build the foundations of some building.

3 Likes

I’d like to see rams be able to push aside all units as well. They are so hampered by the fact than any tiny unit can make them re-path and they end up being useless.

5 Likes

I’m dumb, I thought -150 stone or something

4 Likes

haha dont worry it happens to all of us

3 Likes

Just wanna add… Last night i managed to stack 14 siege onagers into one tile by accident. Which makes me think any unit is stackable thanks to these crazy collision boxes? That’s nuts!

1 Like

I think, that units should be allowed to stack, because it helps to maneuver them around. For example select a bunch of military units moving in one direction and order them to move into opposite direction. Observe, that units walk over each other (stack) in order for this maneuver to happen as fluidly as possible.

To fix abuse of stacking mechanic for increasing combat efficiency of ranged units I suggest that if units are stacked, then only those units are allowed to attack, which would be able to do so in unstacked form. So if player stacks 20 archers into one tile, then only couple of them could attack.

It seems realistic, that if ranged units are packed so tightly, that enemy melee units can’t attack them, then they can’t attack themselves.

1 Like

yeah thats a great idea as well, due to the nature of the confined spaces and large armies, it might not be suitbale to simply emulate the most popular rts and just prevent stacking… (starcraft handled this stupid issue decades ago)

3 Likes