Changing the meta

In one of the discussion forums about nerfing the OP civs like Franks, Mayans, Chinese, Britons, someone pointed out how the tech tree, walling situation might be causing that.

There are many civs with good bonuses for feudal age like Magyars, Bulgarians, Cumans which are great for long feudal age play. These civs might be able to punish the greedy castle age timing with the current meta civs if prolonged feudal age aggression was slightly more rewarding.

EDIT: Changed some of the times, as people felt it was too aggressive
My proposal -
Palisade walls build time 10 seconds dark age, 8 seconds feudal age, 7 seconds castle age onwards (currently its 7 seconds flat)

Archer-line costs 30w, 50g, Crossbow training time 27 → 30 seconds
Archer-line attack delay 0.35 → 0.5 (Just for reference to people who claim it will render them useless, attack delay of Mangudai, Plumed archer is 0.5, rattan archer’s is 0.7)
Crossbow upgrade 200 food, 100 gold. Arbalest upgrade 450 food, 400 gold.

Range and Stable production team bonuses staggered through the ages instead of flat 20%. So for Britons - ranges 10% faster in feudal, 15% in castle, 20% in imp. Likewise for Huns.

Squires - Infantry move 15% faster (up from 10%. Celt bonus increased to 20% and speed of some fast infantry like eagles re-adjusted accordingly. )

The walling meta Changes I -
Palisade walls have 0/3 armor in dark, 1/4 in feudal, 2/5 from castle age onwards (current stats 2/5) or Palisade walls cost 4 wood

Houses have 450 hp dark age, 500 hp feudal, 700 hp castle, 900 in imp (550, 750, 900, 900 currently)

Militia line have +1 attack vs walls and houses from feudal age onwards.

EDIT: Removed the alternatives as people disliked the idea of a siege tower like unit that can transport through woods

Please share your thoughts regarding this:

Sounds like reign of the Eagle Warrior with worse walls and +15% movement speed.

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I think youvd just absolutely destroyed walling and defensive play and this absolutely isnt needed.


This proposal actually would only leads into more arabia meta play xD
But it’s a really bad trend I witnessed in the last months that we see more and more of this kind of threads that claim something is meta which isn’t. Or eyewash, especially about walling. Yes people wall. But it’s not that they wall in minute 3 and it’s not cause they turtle. They do it cause it’s an integral part of several strategies. When you move out with your army there is a high probability that the opponent deosn’t want to fight you face-off. So you need walls, cause then he can’t just immediately raid you to death whilst you try to push him.
Yes we see a lot of archer play in feudal, but it’s normal cause Archers are supposed to be the best overall feudal unit. Like knights are in catle age. And the truth is most arabia games are dominated by knight play. NOT XBOWS.
But nobody talks about that Knights and TIMINGs are super-meta currently. Instead they talk about walls and xbows. Yes in current meta play timings become more and more important.

At least one thing in this thread is somewhat right in it’s sense that the autor seems to have understood that the castle age powerspike is too big which causes a lot of the current meta being so established. I think tuning down xbow and knight powerspikes early castle could do a lot for opening more variety in when you try to get up to the castle age.

But with the removal of the attack move micro archer play in general has become way, way weaker on arabia. If anything archers overall actually need a buff compared to knights. This assesment ofc doesn’t apples to the powerspikes of xbow and arb which are insanely strong. The powerspikes need to be tuned down and the overall strength tuned up a bit.


Those walling nerfs are so overdone, you’re basically making small/quick walls mandatory at this point. Or people are just going to use houses only. Also stone walls deserve exactly 0 nerfs because they are already very expensive for feudal and castle age.

The idea to nerf the archer training time and their frame delay is quite bad because you just overbuffed m@a with the wall nerf, and why are you nerfing an imperial age unit when the thread is supposed to be about feudal and castle age?

The TB nerf is contradictory as well, you want more extended feudal ages yet nerf a bunch of feudal bonuses?

And no, siege tower that goes through trees is not a good idea wtf, especially not if it’s given to every civ.


Suppose we instead reverted the cost of walling, by changing the build time to 5-6 seconds and the price to 2 wood again. You could remove the melee armor from Palisades, so melee units aren’t as easily repelled.

Generic Scouts would break Feudal Palisades (250 HP) without armor as fast as the current Dark Age (150 HP) ones with 2 melee armor (50 hits instead of 84).

Archers would remain the same, or arguably worse, as having longer, further out walls instead of small quick walls would prevent them from getting the damage in as easily.

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I like your analysis. I proposed a time ago to reduce -1 the Crossbow base attack and knight PA -1. This way powerspikes are reduced. Crossbows are less deadly (arbalest should gain +1 attack with the upgrade) and knights are weaker against defenses (Chavalier should gain +1 PA with the upgrade)
Think that archers in Castle age recibe +2 attack and +2 range (Upgrade+blacksmith) while you can train them from Feudal.
Knights imo compete too much with light cav in terms of riding. Is no logical that take the same training time too.
I would add to these knight and crossbow tweaks -5 secs to Light Cav TT (25 sec is good for a trash unit)

On topic: I would like to se palisades taking a little more time to build.

We dont like the wall meta on arabia!
Devs- Ok, we will nerf walls
That wasnt enough!
Devs- Ok, we will give you a wasteland arabia
Uh, this version of Arabia sucks, I want the KotD one!
Devs- Ok we will give you that
This is boring…
Devs- Ok, we will give you an slightly more open original arabia
We dont like the wall meta on arabia!

Not saying that the devs didnt make any mistake in the way here, but this is getting pretty tiring


Palisade walls already got nerfed so foundations are much easier to break through when the enemy quick walls and they also nerfed the building speed so it takes a lot longer to wall now than when DE first came out. The walling is already sacrificing a lot of wood and villager building time.

Your proposal is just going to turn every map into a giant unwallable Socotra. Just spam scouts into their base with 18 pop Mongols. Horsies running round in circles weeeeeee easy game GG. Just play empire wars or DM if you want instant action games.


I’ve explicitly mentioned base speed of fast infantry like eagle warriors re-adjusted accordingly

All the walling stats restore to the current values in castle age. The whole idea is to make pro-longed feudal aggression feasible. Would you rather prefer having the castle age knight-crossbow or eagle-crossbow meta with Franks/Britons/Chinese/Mayans as S Tier forever.

Obviously they don’t wall in 3 minutes but definitely they wall in late dark age and early feudal. Several times before you hit them with your first 3 scouts or man-at-arms they’ll be walled.
People wall because its so much more rewarding than not to wall. Walls cost 3 wood, but for feudal military it takes at least 30 seconds (except for Saracen archers) to break the wall and enter. And its very easy to build something behind and rewall.

Have you considered that this is the reason why archer play is the ultimate meta. The cavalry player can’t do any damage and is forced to engage your army. And have you also read the post fully where I haven’t mentioned anywhere that walls will be completely removed or any drastic changes that will render them completely useless.

Its definitely xbows in early-mid castle age. Knights dominate when opponent has already made a lot of skirms in feudal age or in late castle age to raid. And the cost of archers is too low for the value they provide.

Training time of Arbalests stay the same at 30 seconds. That of archers has been increased.

Only the archer production time. If you have seen any of the classic games, feudal age play had all sorts of units. Today its just a couple of spears, a bunch of archers, wall and castle age. For this current meta of pseudo feudal, the changes proposed might seem like nerf. But for extended feudal play - Scouts with all upgrades, a big chunk of spear + skirms + towers to block woodlines, its quite a buff.

It has unit limitations and can’t continuously transport units. Needs a recharge time. Anyways that was one set of changes.

I’m all up for nerfing archers, but this is WAY overkill. Way to turn a unit from strongest in the game to never-used.

way to kill a legitimate strat in fast Imp Arbalest play. Sounds like, with this change, mass Knights is good in Castle age and OP in Imperial, don’t need to be worried about Archer civs timings like ever, it will always be 3-4 TC boom vs 3-4 TC boom with Knight player entering Imperial with the stronger eco AND stronger army especially when they get +4 armor. Archer civ like Ethiopians is kill in Imperial vs cav civ and in Castle Age with the nerfs you propose above they wouldn’t be able to do any significant damage, already now, getting damage vs skilled player as Archer civ can be very hard.

this is just incredibly dumb.

Overall this would kill whole playstyles, I think right now walling isn’t incredibly easy, the only nerf I would make to the game is Crossbows +5g OR +5w and maybe slightly longer training time OR slightly higher upgrade cost.

Walls are in a good spot and vs good player it’s hard to wall on Arabia these days.

Mangonels could use slight buff also, like +10% projectile speed buff. Not sure tho how this would impact Mango vs Mango micro wars and it’s possible that at that point Archer civs would need some help vs full Knight play in Castle age, for example cheaper Pikeman upgrade.

A reasonable nerf to walls could be that unfinished buildings take extra damage, rewarding pre-emptive walling and not last-minute quickwalls. Then again, quickwalls take skill, so I’m not sure if this is warranted, either.

Right now on Arabia it’s like this:

big walls → easy to punish
small walls → easy to punish if you mix in archers

No not really. 250 hp is still a lot for scouts. At max you can hit a wall with 3 scouts. Even with 0 armor it will do 15 damage and destroy after 17 hits, which is more than 30 seconds. A villager will casually walk from the nearest resource site, repair the wall if you don’t have archers behind or make a house behind if you have a few.

The other day I happened to catch a game Vivi vs Baborum, Vivi was Bulgarians, did man-at-arms. Baborum Poles, just walled, made a couple of defensive towers and both hit castle age. The man-at-arms auto upgraded to long swordsmen and Vivi had forging. 3 longswords with forging couldn’t break the damn palisade wall with just 1 villager repairing it from behind for a long long time. By then 3-4 knights were out.

Devs have tried nerfing walls. Players responded by walling earlier and smaller. Then they gave us KOTD4 Arabia and people still complained. You cannot satisfy everyone by further nerfing walls.

Instead of discouraging closed play, why not try encouraging open play? In this AoE4 video, people want to play open because they want to take the boar which has a lot more food than AoE2 boars. I am not suggesting buffing the existing boars in AoE2, but we do have an Iron Boar unit used in the Atilla campaign. We can give it a lot of food, say 2000, and keep it some where away from both players’ bases. Then, players will want to go scouts to find the boar and take it safely. The food from the boar will compensate the cost of scouts and the hunt gather rate can help keep up with full wall FC players.

i see everyone is fixating on your wall changes.

but i think there’s too many changes that are too big, no one has this savant level foresight to determine if this stuff will work

at best you’ll end up with something of a beta version or a prototype to be tested in the PUP because a lot of these things (while in the correct direction) are simply too much all at once

this is already huge, never mind all the other changes, and all of this together is arguably more than enough to change the meta. change knight line to 35sec, cavalier+ can reduce tt

for example 40s for a knight is >33% nerf, thats huge

walls need to be better against archers and worse against melee units. changing cost and all of that is not going to change the archer meta that much without hurting something else

which is better than it currently is. at least force the waller to pay even if you cant break through, especially if its a full wall and you attack different sides of the base. it also means just a couple ranged units can force vils off long enough to let the MAA or scouts break through

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That’s because you don’t want Arabia with pond-woodlines and huge hills around you to balance out the fundamental problem - WALLS.
The only change they did so far to walls is increase the build time by 1 second and cost by 1 wood. It takes like 100 wood and 4-5 mins of villager work time to finish the walls and once done it can almost never be broken by the early game units. Just 3 militia costs more resources than whatever the waller invested in terms of wood and idle time. If you somehow did manage to break, there will be another 2 layers of wall behind. And then the waller will have a few ranged units with fletching to chase your army away. This is why on Arabia, there’s no point in investing much into feudal army.

You mean the 1 second

Did you know that your civ also has horsies and you can also do the same? Did you also know that horsies die to spears? Did you also know that you can delay too early up times by drushing?

Its the same attack delay as super strong units like Mangudai, Plumed archer (apparently they have a shorter delay than those units currently)

I feel that strat is quite abused and should come with some tradeoffs. So if you fast imp into Arbalests, then maybe it should take more time to get Bracer or Chemistry or Ring armor or capped ram. And if you have a good eco civ but weaker late game units like Vikings then you should still be able to afford this. Its just 150 food, 100 gold above the current value.

All this is castle age stuff while I was proposing changes to encourage longer feudal play. The biggest of the changes is dark age walling.

when did you last see someone do more than 5 man-at-arms in feudal age. Investing 60 or 80 resources into infantry units is a huge risk as they’ll get killed in no time if enemy has archers. Something like this will increase the chances of getting rewarded when opponent is playing greedy.

In castle age if someone stone walled to boom with a few army, you have means to punish that by forward castle drop or breaking in with siege. For feudal age there’s no such thing. This makes civs with feudal age bonuses quite mediocre and the castle age civs are the stronger ones.

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yeah that map was awful for these reasons… it was just a negative experience all round too often

i would also increase the time on the tech though, thats a big killer because the powerspikes hit so soon, compared to alternate options

currently it takes the same time to tech xbow and bodking (both 35 sec) as it does to train 1 knight (30sec), even though archers have been massed an entire age earlier, LC in comparison take 45 sec to tech and are a much much worse tech, and chain barding takes double the time of xbow tech (60sec) for a vastly inferior tech

ya that is true. I was thinking about what are the thinks that could incentivize feudal play without making the archer meta stronger in tg and make it more feasible to punish greedy walls castle age with a small namesake feudal army. One of the things was the ability to make a few knights and clean up all the feudal army. And the other thing is trying to avoid knight play getting overpowered because of nerfed crossbow training time. So I ended up making a lot of changes to the current meta units. I’ll remove some of the changes.

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i know i criticised you, but similar to the person who made the post about the war wagon being OP, i acknowledge that sometimes its better to throw everything out there and let people discern which are the more important/impactful/balanced answers

like i realise your post generates more talking points than simply saying “xbow 40sec, knight 40sec” (extreme example)

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the tradeoff is that if you fail to find damage, or your push is denied by walls/towers/castles which Arbalest cannot deal with very well, you are stuck with the inferior eco, and the inferior gold unit in a fully-boomed scenario. Hope you know that in a fully boomed scenario, FU Cavalier > FU Arbalest, Knight civ has always the advantage late game (also due to Hussar available very often).

no it shouldn’t, I think you should understand the notion of “power spikes”, I mean if you think fast Imp (here btw fast Imp is meant in the sense of ~30 min, not the 40-pop classic build one) is not fair, then let’s nerf Knights in late Castle age, clearly too strong unit, Archer civs have no hope of beating 30+ Knight train in late Castle age.

Feudal is already in a good spot, you enter Feudal at 10 min and most games people hit Castle at 21 min, with the exception on the low end being 16-18 and on the high end (full Scouts, tower wars…) being 25+. I think 11 min of Feudal wars is enough? This isn’t time you develop eco only, you constantly make Archers, Skirmishers, Spears and Scouts and try to idle enemy eco. Idk what more you expect, 21 pop MAA or pre mill Drush already hit reasonably hard on Arabia.

… I don’t see what the point here is, when is the last time you saw someone do more than 10 Scouts in Feudal age. Since we are throwing around random numbers…

3 MAA is a popular opening and strongest opening in the game, not sure why you want people to make 5 for no reason, the main reason you don’t make more MAA is not walls, but the fact that TC is such a strong building in Feudal and 1 archer is enough to kite basically infinite # of MAA to TC, unless you fix this interaction I’m not sure why you expect people to make MAA. The reason you see 3, and not less, is that this is the right number to put pressure on, say, berry vills and get few kills, and also quite cheap for Feudal eco
You don’t see more because there is no point in making more, the timing for MAA is early Feudal, after you need a follow up to counter small walls and ar her opening, so likely your own archers/skirms.

last few days I watched like 40 Hera games, maybe in 3 he full walled into full Feudal eco boom. It was always heavy aggression with MAA, Archers, Scouts every game. Not sure how much more aggression you expect, like I said, TC is so strong in Feudal that aggression is limited, short of giving civs Feudal Mangonels I am not sure what you expect…

I think Feudal bonuses are quite strong actually and it’s very common to do damage in Feudal assuming you know what you are doing. You also need to realize that 1 villager kill in Feudal is worth more than 3 villager kills in late Castle age. If your Feudal push gives 2-3 villager kills, and opponent kills 0, that’s considered a huge lead. You can calculate the resources lost within next 20 min due to those vills dying, it’s in the hundreds.

Like the only thing I will agree on is that CASTLE AGE aggression is stale as it’s always Crossbow vs Crossbow and likely full boom. Knights aren’t very viable early Castle age and the fix for that is up the Crossbow upgrade, possibly a +5w for making Crossbows also and maybe a longer training time.

Feudal is in a good spot, and Imperial age Archer vs Cavalry civ windows of opportunity are reasonable also, archer player has the advantage in early Castle and early Imp, and disadvantage in late Castle and late Imp.

So many people get the arithmetic so wrong on this it’s hilarious.

Archers and xbow timings get more powerful when you nerf walls, not less (duh). The 2 militia drush works because you force resource walls, after which the player can’t afford to go for full walls within a reasonable time and you hit the isolated vills with your archers because you have free reign to move out and about.

Do you genuinely think people will stop walling if you make it expensive enough? You’ll only have more people resource wall than before.

The game requires you to be full walled by the time castle age begins, otherwise you’re just gonna die to more mobile civs, who can afford to just throw away knights into your TCs and force your entire economy to be idle. Game just becomes an APM check of how many places can you distract and attack and defend at the same time (like AoE4)

People who suggest this should try playing without walls and see how quickly they die to random suicide raids.