Concept to make Walls less attractive for pro/competitive games

First I don’t claim I do have the “solution” for that. But I try to give as many insight of my thoughts as possible.

Walls are actually already kind of expensive for their HP. But hey provide one big advantage that especially the best players can use to their advantage. They hinder the raiding units from directly going into the eco. So you have actually time to react.
That is why the current wall design is somewhat flawed as walls go down rather quickly but are still “affordable” at early stages of the game. Usually it’s currently meta to start walling while going up to feudal. And you often are already partially walled when hitting it.
The Idea is to make walls more expensive in both cost and constructing time, but give them more HP in the exchange. This makes them more usable for slower players (which also are more likely to go for walls regardless of “how strong” they are). But for pros it’s then a real decision to take cause if you want to wall you have to delay your feudal timing. The idea isn’t new, someone else already posted it (sorry, i forgot who).

Unfortunately this isn’t enough. We need to talk about the trash counter units aswell.

Spears are too slow currently and can’t catch up with the scouts even if you position them properly. They also go down too fast to archery. In the lategame it is fine they receive that much bonus damage but in the early game it really hurts their viability.
I would increase spearman line speed and reduce archer, xbow and skirm bonus damage vs them. Not arbalest and not eskirm.

Skirms are too dependent on their armor. They rarely “actively” counter the archers but instead work mostly as arrow sponges. I would reduce the armor of skirms + eskirms, give them a slightly better rof and a bit more bonus damage vs archers + ca. But reduce the bonus damage vs spears of the normal skirm as described above.
I would potentially actually reduce the speed of skirms slightly so they can’t chase archers anymore and in the exchange give skirms and eskirms a little bit of archer armor, so they don’t counter themselves anymore - if you want to counter skirms you can make cavalry and not “more skirms”.
Edit: The speed decrease of Skirms doesn’t work cause of britons extra range, they would be useless against britons archery with the proposed changes. I will probably later add a compensation for the archer armor. One idea is to just reduce the anti-archer atk by 1 again, but I’m not fully convinced this is the right call.

Spearman line

Speed: 1 => 1.1
Archer bonus damage: 3 => 1
Xbow bonus damage: 3 => 2


Pierce armor: 3 => 2
ROF: 3 => 2.5
Atk v Archers: 3 => 5
Atk v CA: 0 => 2
Atk v Spears: 3 => 1
Speed: .96 => .96
Archer armor: 0 => 3

Elite Skirmisher

Pierce armor: 4 => 3
ROF: 3 => 2.5
Atk v Archers: 4 => 7
Atk v CA: 2 => 4
Atk v Spears: 3 => 2
Speed: .96 => .96
Archer armor: 0 => 4

Imperial Skirmisher

Pierce armor: 5 => 4
ROF: 3 => 2.5
Atk v Archers: 5 => 8
Atk v CA: 3 => 5
Atk v Spears: 3 => 2
Speed: .96 => .96
Archer armor: 0 => 5

Palisade Wall

Cost: 3 W => 5 W
Construction time: 7 s => 10 s
HP (dark): 150 => 300
HP (feudal): 250 => 500

Stone Wall

Cost: 5 S => 7 S
Construction time: 10 s => 15 s
HP (feudal): 900 => 1800
HP (castle): 1800 => 3000

Fortified Wall

Cost: 5 S => 7 S
Construction time: 10 s => 15 s
HP: 3000 => 4500

I think this changes would fit our current skill progression way better, allowing slower players at lower elos to play “more safe” even if they will most likely lose some elo, but I don’t think elo gain is their main concern. Whilst at higher level of play you would need to use the counters more and you can as the counters would just “work better” in the situations they currently struggle.

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Walls are fine they been nerfed enough already. If anything walls should be significantly buffed.

Is it really annoying to scratch at walls? You should just boom yourself and capture all the resources. Relics and stuff.

If Walls continue to get NERF only the Mayans will be a playable civilization everyone else will suck. Defensive player is part of the game whether you like it or not.


It’s just that the current wall-heavy meta ruins games at competitive level cause everybody does it.
It’s to give a real “choice” whether you want to wall or try to defend with the intended counters again, cause it isn’t a choice anymore. You just can’t play open with the counters cause people have become too good in unit control. You just get raided to death.
Unfortunately walls have shown to be sufficient enough to “do the job” so even if we now make the counters more viable and don’t change anything about walls they would stay meta, so we need to make a proper adjustment to walls that mosty really “affects” the competitive ranked.

I tried to make it so it doesn’t affects low elo ranked too much cause we all know that there are a lot of people loving their walls and it’s fine cause if you want to become better with your agression you need to learn how to play against walls aswell.
The thing is, that with the current wall design it’s actually the other way around, walling becomes stronger the higher your elo is cause you are just faster in reaction. My proposal is to reverse that a bit, make walls more attractive for low elo players who don’t have the reaction time and knowledge and less attractive the higher your elo is.

Have walls only have 1 hp. Make the Mayans bonus 90% cheaper archers.

But on a serious note. Revert all the Nerf that have been done to walls and they be fine.

Have you witnessed the meta evolution of the last few months? 11

The wall nerfs were just badly targeted, not unjustified. And devs seemingly don’t understand that the wall meta came mostly because of the counters not working properly anymore.
The problem is if such a meta has already evolved you won’t get rid of it without also making tweaks to walls. Ant that’s exactly what I propose here. The higher HP on walls will help them staying viable for low elo.

My proposal isn’t directly a “nerf” but rather a tweak to help diversifying high elo meta whilst not interfering too much with low elo strategy choices.

(btw with these changes the mayan wall bonus needs to be adjusted ofc)

Another concept that could work would be the other way around. Reduce the HP of palisades but make stone walls available from dark age (but much longer to construct).

Then palisades would only be usable by pros cause the reaction time is way shorter and stone walls would be too expensive at this stage of the game. But this would lead to a weird big gap between the very best pros who could siill use palisades effecitvely and the low elo legends which would stone wall from the very beginning. And all the people in the middle struggling. I don’t think this concept is more feasible than the one I made first.

This is other idea to not tweak too much the units.

I don’t think we can get away with not tweaking the counters at this stage.
The game has evolved and it showed the counters don’t worka anymore as they were intended to. It’s just a umcofortable truth we need to accept at this point. The counters need to be tweaked at some point. I see no other option.
The much I like to play with (mostly archer ;)) gold units, I see that there is currently a discrepancy that needs a very careful tweak for the counters to work again as they are supposed to.

The issue with (further) increasing wall build time by even a small amount is that it greatly increases the likelihood that players won’t finish their stretch of walls before enemy units arrive, making the whole effort useless. This even happens to pros sometimes, who at least generally have the micro and damage mitigation skills to deal with this, where slower players don’t.

I don’t have a problem with walls overall, and I definitely don’t think they’re too strong, especially on even semi-open maps. They have their uses, and their counters. Sure, they’re seen fairly often in pro games (depending on the map), but at the highest level the meta is very streamlined anyway, such that certain strategies/openings/compositions are extremely predictable given a particular civ and map, but the game is usually won by whoever has the superior execution. Even so, there are still plenty of pro games where players wall too greedily and/or don’t defend their walls enough and get punished.

Eh, on the whole I’d be wary of thinking I know what’s good for overall balance better than the devs (I don’t think I do.) Yeah, they have a few obvious shortcomings that are widely recognized (e.g. the Steppe Lancer nerf), but overall I’m satisfied with how the game plays out and with the basic functions of units/buildings. My main balance related gripes have to do with certain civs being too weak (like Dravidians on land maps), but I expect that some kind of fix for that is in the works.

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I’m not sure what everyone’s obsession with walls is. Walls are walls for a reason. They exist in real life for a reason. They exist in a strategy game for a reason. Walls have been brought to a great place. I watch way too much pro play and casted games, walls are never ruining anything for me. Sometimes games and maps turn into boom fests and sometimes they’re full feudal warfare. I see no reason to change anything. I’m tired of people trying to fix a game we’ve all loved for 20+ years. If it was such a problem we wouldn’t be here.

If we want to fix something, let’s fix pathing, unit collision, and things that are actually problematic. Walls are fine. If you want to see aggression every map watch atacama and socotra games. Realize that some people like the booms and late game battles, I don’t need every game to be scouts and archers. That would get boring too, and we have plenty of it already.


Is full walling really still meta for pros?!?? Isn’t it highly map dependent? If anything reduce melee armour on palisades and have it increase by age.

You don’t need to change cost or anything else. The game already heavily favours archer play because full walling is already so expensive (vil time as well) so you primarily just small or quick wall(the actual issue with walls)

I don’t know what vids you’ve seen, but the ones I’ve seen most pros I watch rely primarily on front wall made from buildings and on quick walling. Slowly adding side walls over time. Which is NOT a problem. Walls should have a purpose.

And for example people like survivalist explain why full walling is so expensive, so even if someone does full wall he explains how much Res (vil time) they lose.

And on top of that fletching archers can almost always reach wood cutters.

The problem is melee units are so incredibly handicapped by spending the bare minimum on quick walls that can then be deleted

Could make them cheaper, but take longer to build. That way, you spend less upfront, but more in terms of vil time spent. Then, by having them take longer to build, you can give unbuilt walls even less melee armor. Consequently, quick walls become less effective, and if you want to wall, you now need to start earlier in order to complete them fully, but you can afford to start earlier cost wise of the walls themselves, but at the cost of resources you would otherwise have. That’s just one idea of mine.


That is what devs achieved with the wall nerfs before. They made them so weak in dark age that even pros struggle to keep them up or contain vs feudal pressure, so to play competitive you now need to have a competitive feudal timing - which in reverse means you can’t really start walling early dark age (unless you go for a FC). Cause the cost is too high, you would then delay your feudal timing giving the opponent a window to pressure you heavily in early feudal.
That means there is usually ot enough time to make full walls until the maa or scouts of the opponents arrive. It’s a very cheesy method to force competitive players in “not walling too early” instead of looking into the depth of why people wall in the first place and why it is such a strong thing in the current meta. And ofc it’s complicated, but the short answer of the most important factor is that raiding is too strong in the strategic balance and walling is the best counterplay to raids. Open counterunit play isn’t working anymore.

In all conclusion I say walling isn’t the “illness” but the “symptom”. The idea of this thread is to bring Walling back to a state where it belongs. For the people who want to play safe early despite they know it’s probably not the best strategic choice to full wall that early, but like the feeling of safety. But remove it from the highly competitive meta play it currently is.
With the changes devs made they didn’t tackle the roots why walls had become meta, instead they tried to force less wall play. But with this they actually only established walls in the meta as walls now have become an essential part of the buildorders. It isn’t a real “decision” anymore cause you have no alternative. It’s only you (in the most games) can’t justify to make them too early.
My concept is to actually reverse that in the different way. I want to make walling a strategic decision again.

This thing won’t happen then anymore cause if you want to wall with my proposed changes to walls, you have to start walling in dark age. And ofc you want to make sure to be protected enough when the first opponent units arrive with that amount of investment. Especially as you have to face feudal agression while still in dark age.

The current walling system also heavily favors civs with extraordinary fast uptimes like lith, mongols or gurjaras. Cause they can either start walling earlier and being fully walled when the opponent army arrives or use the fater uptimes to deal even more damage cause the opponent is way less walled, so the walls are even not sufficient enough to restrict the movement against these civs.

So what I tried to do is to make the counters more viable in defending if you play more “open”. Spears move faster so it’s harder to “outmanouver” them with cavalry. Skirms do more bonus damage so the archers have it harder to try kill vills while under skirm fire. Also the skirm change would reduce the Xbow and Arb powerspike a bit as they wouldn’t be as dependent on the armor as they are currently.

Again, it’s about making walling a real strategical choice again. And ofc I’m not perfect and don’t see everyhing. But I at least recognize that the current metarization of walling made many games very repetitive.
The thing is that I prognosed this with the last time we nerfed walls. And I fear now 2 possible outcomes when devs again nerf walls the way they did it before:

a) Walls become completley unusable in ranked and arabia devolves into a full raiding feast
b) The buildorders become even more tight, including miniature walls meta which then leads to only a few civs being “viable” cause they are the only ones that can justify this kind of early investment or have such a high early agression potential they can still do some damage with playing open. It’s a super-meta future where you basically have no strategic variety in early game anymore.

And I can tell you with how the signs are after so many pro casters already complain about walling meta. Changes to walls are incoming. And if we don’t want one of the cases I described to occur we need to talk about a solution. Even if we don’t see everything, we need to share our perspective why this is happening and what would be a better way than just continue nerfing walls as devs did the last times. And if we just say “walls are fine/balanced” I fear that we will get the same kind of shallow wall nerf again.

I want to talk about it before it’s too late. I know I’m not perfect and I don’t know anything, but I at least try to bring as much into the discussion as I can.

I don’t think this works. Cause it is already so that you can’t get the walls up fully with a competitive feudal timing. That’s what the devs achieved. And yes this made scout play more viable again as Hera wanted it to be. But it also lead to including walling into the buildorders as you now can’t justify to begin walling too early anymore. It just made walls more metarized cause you still need the walls but you can’t justify to get them up as early. With your proposed changes it would for the most civs (that don’t have dark age eco bonusses) that they are even less walled when the first enemy rush arrives while potentially some civs with nice dark age bonusses can justify starting walling earlier and get a huge advantage there.

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While i agree with most of everything else you said I don’t agree here.

For example it helps civs with free resources more than it helps civs with faster income. For example celts harvest faster, so having a vil building for longer means they get less out of their eco, than Lith who get a load of free resources, making their vil time mean less.

If anything it for example helps civs like Spanish (because building time is more impactful) while helping civs like Mayans less, because walls are cheaper for everyone, so their discount means less.

It becomes a matter of balancing build time and cost. To change whether faster civs have an advantage. But the end result should hopefully be similar to what we have, with small walling being Weaker, due to melee units having a better chance at breaking through

Absolutely screws melee civs Vs Britons

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Be aware you end up with Lith halbs with a speed of 1.31

Move squires to feudal. Try that instead

Suggested this a while ago. Still think it’s valid. Archers already counter them, they don’t need to do bonus damage as well

It’s an indirect nerf to knights as well. Which is what we need

They could do with buffs in the other stats, but Im sure they need the PA. 100% extra damage from archers removes diverse counter play. We want counter play. We want the player to be forced out of pure archers.

Direct buff to Mayans. If they can pressure with their cheap archers and fast eco it buys them time to full wall into boom much better

3W (50% more than current) for 100% more hp.

Counter proposal:

Cost: 3 W => 3 W
Construction time: 7s => 8s
HP (dark): 150 => 150
HP (feudal): 250 => 250
MA 2 => 0 (dark age) 1 (feudal) 2 (castle age)
(Foundation) MA 0 => -2

Experimental: Reduce base wood gathering of Vils from 0.39 to 0.37
Reduce base gold gathering of Vils from 0.38 to 0.36

agree, yeah this is not a good idea. skirms need to have same speed as archers. brainfuck

This is just another wall nerf… It’s actually exactly this kind of change I warn for. It doesn’t solves anything just enforces walls to be even more metarized in buildorders and also punishing the “weaker” civs whilst the stronger ones get away with the greed.

Only because mayans still have that walling bonus. Mayans is just completely overtuned with various bonusses imo. They need to be nerfed on arabia anyways.

Don’t see why this… Whilst I agree that these are the “most available” ressources in the early game I don’t see a reason to change it Actually right the opposite, by making ressources differently available you have a nice tweaking tool to give certain units certain timeframes to shine.

Actually this is rarely the case currently. At least at competitive / pro level. We have very repetitive “meta” gameplay. And yes walls are a big part of it. Only some players do off-meta strats and these games are usually the most entertaining ones.
This is one of the reasons for this thread The thread shall not ban walls from competitive play, just solve the meta inclination of walling at some point (either aftter clicking up or somewhere in feudal after some agression).
Generally the concept is making walling a general strategic decision again. Either you wall early but then you are behind in timing or eco or try to get value from the earlier uptimes and the agression potential.

I try to fix things I can actually say something about. Idk how pathing works technically so… how can I fix it? I’m sure the devs work on it. At least they seemingly try. But I get tired of complaining about stuff I can’t actually do anything about …

Exactly. But that’s what we currently see as walling has become part of meta strat, independent of the opener. I always supported walling as a strategic decision, but it isn’t anymore.

As I said the current palisade wall design actually scales in utility with elo - which leads to this behavior it is meta at the highest level where most players actually don’t like walls at all cause it makes the games less attractive to watch (for most viewers, not for all ofc). I think it is better to have a wall design that allows slower reacting players to get more sense of security. Players that like to play more “strategical” if this makes sense to you.

IMO, might think of the walls mechanism of AOE4, make it more expensive and stronger and only subject to siege units. It would be great to have the wall graphic connected more smoothly and larger size in aesthetically perspective.

Not a fan, would make feudal aggression non existent

I like the wall building mechanic of aoe2.

I agree that the stronger Walls would make it harder for extensive feudal agression to deal damage. But this comes with the way higher cost of walling. This would allow to make still mediocre feudal agression with only a few units and still having a strong castle age Timing behind it.
Note that the dark age walls have way less HP and with the higher cost to wall it is a higher investment in general and it also offers some extra time of feudal vs dark age for the player without walls.

If you understand a bit about pro gaming and how important timing advantages are there (it alrealdy reflects back to high elo playing) you see that under these conditions (full) walling for open maps would be rarely a good strategic choice, also in the wider context of game progression. (Example: When you wall FC you will have it very hard to expand your eco with extra TCs as the player with a little bit of feudal agression just could hold map control with a few units. You heavily limit your strategic options with that opening.

So if we hit the right cost and HP for walls, walls would shut down most feudal agression, true. But at pro or even high elo level they would be a rare strategic choice cause of the wider strategic context (if the investment is high enough).

(It won’t shut down walling in low to mid elo, cause people who prefer a more “defensive” playstyle would make it regardless. They will be matched with players of their skill level. So wether they lose or win some elo, they will still get their 50 % winrate with their preferred opening strategy.

As I ofc not have total insight/understanding how much investment into walls is “high enough” to make the effect I described above, I would propose to gradually increase the cost and HP until we get to that point.
Ofc I think the “optimal point” is somewhat close to what I proposed here (otherwise I would have proposed other values) - it is ofc very likely that I missed some side effects and the optimum for the desired effect will be a bit different.

Again it’s about making walling a stratgic decision again, not making walls superstrong or unaffordable.

(Sorry if I made the title a bit “clickbaity”, but I think it’s somewhat needed to catch the attention before actually dig deeper into “why” and trying to solve the real issue.)

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