Concerning Feitorias - an analysis and a suggestion

I have also posted this on Reddit:

DISCLAIMER: I do not take credit for coming up with all of the analysis or the suggested mechanics, much of what I write here is inspired from posts online; SOTL’s analysis which I greatly recommend you watch; and gameplay by TheViper (creator of the greatest Feitoria mastapieces) and others. I have decided to write this post because I could not help myself and in the hope it proves useful to try to pinpoint the Feitoria’s place in the current game balance and in trying they are an entertaining and deep gameplay mechanic. I am more of a backseat or single-player oriented player so please be considerate and feel free to correct me if I misjudged some of my assertions on this post; this is another reason for which I wanted to open these ideas for a discussion on the community first before doing anything else.

The analysis

Feitoria are a unique building the Portuguese can access once they reach the Imperial Age that costs 20 population space, 250 stone and 250 gold and generates a fixed amount of each resource every second, regardless of the amount of resources left in the map. Fairly simple, right?

Well, experience suggests it does not seem like it… the infamous Portuguese Feitorias prove to be nightmarish to balance: let’s explore why this is the case.

What is a Feitoria’s purpose and utility? It is a long-term economic investment into gathering resources, arguably easily defensible when deep inside the player’s base, which will gather in any stage of the game with any amount of resources left on the map.

On a first glance, the most similar units and buildings to Feitorias seem to be villagers and fishing ships, as they are also intended to be a long term investment into gathering resources (altough villagers build and thus Feitorias cannot entirely replace them). However, there are some key differences: mainly speed of access, gathering rate, safety, and usefulness on each stage of the game.

Being a very high HP building, that can be built deep inside the player’s base, I would argue Feitorias are more defensible than villagers or fishing traps in many situations, expecially considering that fishing boats and villagers often collect resources on the edge of the player’s base and closer to the enemy player’s army. Besides, being a building means it has more HP and more time is needed to take it down - altough it is immobile and it represents a greater share of the player’s economy than a single villager or fishing ship so losing it means losing a larger portion of resource production and population.

However, the superior defensibility of Feitorias is clearly reflected by the fact that they produce substantially less resources than villagers for each population spent. In previous patches, it could be a difference as stark as a Feitoria providing resources at the rate 5 villagers would gather them, not nearly as much as 20 villagers would produce. If the resources generated by a Feitoria were too high, then the player would choose to turtle and defend in his base rather than push for map control for resources and be forced to take risks. For example, the Feitoria’s stone generation was reduced to prevent a strategy involving a defensive bombard tower spam which encouraged turtling and was quite difficult to stop. In short, the Feitoria seems a less punishing investment than villagers or fishing ships in the long run so then its rewards are made to be lower in a population efficiency consideration.

Another reason for this difference in production rate can be explained by the fact it takes less time to build a Feitoria, provided the player is in the Imperial Age and has the resources necessary to build it, than to recruit 20 villagers or fishing ships under normal game circumstances. Then, if the Feitoria’s gathering rates were too high, the Portuguese would get an explosive advantage in resource generation speed against which no other civilisation would be able to compete by building many of them in quick succession.
This is why on current balance the Feitoria’s use is quite situational: it is only useful on 1vs.1 games, because trade is generally most effective for team games, and even then it is only useful in the extreme late game as its gathering rates per population prove no match to active villagers or fishing ships and population efficiency is prioritised.

I would like to argue that Feitorias have a fatal, essential, flaw: fixed resource generation rates at the cost of population space, which makes their worth too dependent on a population efficiency comparison to villagers, and makes them typically have little depth as a game mechanic (excepting the potentially infinite resource generation). My point is that previous balance patches have just tweaked the amount of resources generated, and on the one hand if they prove viable compared to villager gathering rates this has resulted in making the Feitorias an excellent asset for turtling and dragging games out (which few people enjoy playing against), while on the other hand when the comparison is not favorable has made them fade into irrelevance (which I find a shame, as I really enjoyed the building’s concept and flair and would love to see it in play). If this policy were to be continued in the future, despite the devs’ best efforts
I fear there would not be a radical change in this dynamic and even worse I fear Feitorias will normally be irrelevant and stay unused in most games.

Considering that the objective of the game balance has been to push for a balanced, fair and entertaining game, and that as many members of the community I too identify an issue with the Feitoria’s place in the game balance, I would like to argue that Feitorias could use a rework, and open some ideas I was thinking about to debate.

A suggestion

AOE2 Feitorias are inspired on historical Portuguese Feitorias which I understand were commercial buildings they used to trade resources through their empire. I would propose moving the in-game Feitorias a little bit in that direction, removing the fixed income generation at the cost of a fixed investment and replacing it with a more demanding and greedy long term resource investment approach.

The first idea to introduce is that it will all be easier if the Portuguese are allowed to build just one Feitoria at any stage of the game (provided they are in the Imperial or even possibly the Castle Age). In the current game balance the player can build as many Feitorias as they see fit as long as they have the population space available, and this makes them harder to balance, as they can have a huge impact in a Portuguese player’s economy (sometimes consisting of almost all of it). When the Portuguese are limited only to one, the impact of this building on the economy is smaller, clearer and more limited and thus can be specifically tailored in such a way that it is a fair mechanic but cannot spiral out of control easily. I like the simplicity of being just limited by resources and population space but I would not be against this restriction when it results on a more meaningful building. Besides, it could remove or reduce the building’s population space cost which is an important reason to its normal lack of appearances on games.

Feitorias, as has previously been stated, can currently be regarded as a safer and more defensible long term investment resource generator than villagers or fishing ships, mainly because of the fact they are a building and they generate resources despite the amount left on the map (shoo Malay, it’s not time for you to ruin my point). Both of these properties, however, being a building and potentially infinite resource generation I regard as essential properties of the Feitoria and I would love to preserve them. Then, the challenge and the problem can be issued as follows: how to make it a balanced investment when considering its safety and defensiveness?

I find people more knowledgeable in the game’s mechanics than I am to talk about the game consisting of an intricate balance between greedy long term play for economy, army quality and upgrades and a aggressive short term play for resource control, map and space control and army numbers. This would indicate that Feitorias, being an inherently greedy long term economy investment, should work as a greedy play rather than a safe one. Thus, the second idea to introduce is the concept of a resource investment-dependent resource generation. Feitorias would stay being a building with its inherent advantages and disadvantages and keep the potentially infinite resource generation… at a real greedy more punishing short-term resource cost for the player when they desire to use it. This would in turn permit to reward the players more when their gambit is successful and move the limiting factor in the Feitoria’s use from the notably not loved population space use to the, in my opinion better limiter, fact that the risk you lose the game has to be taken into account and considered first.

Esentially, the building may provide a small or nonexistant influx of resources when no resources are being invested, but increase its production as the player dedicates more resources to the Feitoria’s oputput. I have in mind mainly two ways in which this could be implemented:

  1. The Feitoria works as a bond, giving interest on a player’s resource investment. The interest recieved by resource invested per type of resource can be regulated by game balance, as well as the maximum amount of investments which can be made (per Feitoria even, if it is decided more than one can be built). Furthermore, the size of investments or the possibility of requesting the investment (or part of it, perhaps with a penalty) to be refunded immediatly can be further regulated to balance the building. For example, if currently 250 stone is deposited in the Feitoria it will generate an extra 0.25 stone per second (obviously, numbers subject to proper testing and balancing). For an in-game interface, I imagine it similar to a market’s interface, with buttons to add to the investment of each resouce and, of permitted, take away from the investment of each resource, plus some indicator of the current amount of resource investment of each type.

  2. The Feitoria permits to buy for a fixed amount of resources an influx of said resource over a fixed period of time which will eventually surpass the amount invested. For example, at the cost of 200 stone the player would recieve 240 stone at a fixed rate of 2.4 stone per second for the next 100 seconds. Obviously, numbers should be subject to testing and actual balancing, especially size of the investment to be made, resources to be gained, and the investment’s return time. The Feitoria’s interface could consist of four buttons to buy such trades for each resource, and to reduce the micro-intensiveness some extra buttons could be added to automatically purchase the trade for each specific resource when resources are available similarly to how farm reseeding works.

For a more complete and concrete picture, let’s consider the first approach, where at most only one Feitoria could be made. The initial cost of the Feitoria could stay at 250 stone and 250 gold and 10 population. Initial resource production could total resources per second equivalent to the rate 5 working post imp vils produce per second (for example, 2 farmers, 1.5 lumberjacks, 1 gold miner and 0.5 stone miners) – much less than what the same pop space in villagers would achieve. But investments could be added in chunks of what a post-imp villager would produce in 2.5 minutes of resource gathering, and for each of them the returns could be those same resources over 5 minutes (effectively adding half a villager to the economy). For balance purposes, the max amount of resources per second a Feitoria would be able to produce could be set to those equivalent to 8 farmers, 6 lumberjacks, 4 gold miners and two stone miners (20 post-imp villagers). Investments made could be requested back but at a penalty of losing 1/3 of the investment in chunks of the same size. In the end, this design for the Feitoria would allow the Portuguese an extra 10 pop space in economy similar to the Goth’s 10 extra pop space in Imp, keep the potentially infinite resource generation and allow for a part of the player’s economy to be easily defensible.

If the devs were to allow for more Feitorias than one to be made, then everything could stay the same except the maximum resource output for each Feitoria could be capped at what 8, 9, 10, 11 or even 12 post-imp villagers would produce instead (if following the same distribution as before then 3.2 to 4.8 farmers, 2.4 to 3.6 lumberjacks, 1.6 to 2.4 gold miners and 0.8 to 1.2 stone miners), thus reducing their max population efficiency per each building. However, I see how this could be similar to the current state of the building and prefer something on the lines of what I first described for easier balance.

I would like to argue that this change would make Feitorias a deep and meaningful game mechanic. When building a Feitoria, a player has to consider not only the fixed resource investment on the building itself, but the fact that to make it especially worth it he will have to do a greedy long-term gambit in investing even more resources for further resource generation. For example, if you were playing as the Portuguese you would have to choose between having the possibility of building a castle or a bombard tower now or possibly recieving a free one some time later into the game, and, considering stone is limited, you might not have that possibility of investing later on… Furthermore, these changes could make Feitorias viable both on 1vs.1 games as well as team games as stone generation could be particulary useful, or as wood and food or even gold are gathered in excess it could be used to provide an additional advantage. The main drawback I find for this approach is that it would require lots of work for a single game mechanic affecting a single civ and thus the devs will not find it worth their time.

Finally, I would like to consider some other ideas for reworking Feitorias that I have come to know about. It has been suggested to rework the Feitoria’s resource generation rate to make it dependent on market prices. I understand this could make the Feitoria shine where it should when there is low resource availability and it would connect it with its historical commercial self, but I do not find it as appealing as I feel it will not change its dynamic much from what the Feitoria’s current dynamic is. However, I see its reasoning and it could be a lot less work-intensive for the developers to implement. It has also been suggested that Feitorias should be made to generate more resources as villagers are garrisoned inside of them. I find this one quite an interesting possibility, and one that would clearly provide the Feitorias with a meaningful purpose: it would guarantee the villagers more safety while gathering resources, would intuitively make sense, would be easier to balance as a boom would still be required and the amount generated per villager could be tweaked accordingly and the population space cost could be removed or at least reduced. I would find this approach to be especially good in combination with a limited number of Feitorias for ease of balance, as in such case it could be made to give the Portuguese a worthwile bonus that is not overpowered as resources on the map dwindle or safe places to gather them do. And while I feel that it would result in less depth for the game mechanic, it may also be easier to implement for the devs which is always something worth taking into account.

If you have read this far, congratulations, and thank you! I hope you found it worth your while. What do you think of the current Feitoria balance? Would you change anything? Why? What do you think of the ideas proposed? Wololo… did I convert (convince) you? Feel free to comment below.

Furthermore, if some ideas seem worth the try and there were a way to get the best ideas discussed here to the devs or to people who influence how the game’s balance is each patch I would find it amazing to see it done.

TL;DR: The Feitoria could be reworked onto a more short-term punishing but clearly worth it long-term investment by making it a resource investment-dependent resource generator while preserving what I regard as its essential features. Furthermore, when playing as the Portuguese (or any other civ if it is converted) you can be limited to having at most one Feitoria at each stage of the game; this would make it easier to balance. I propose these changes because I feel it would result in Feitorias being a deep, meaningful and original gameplay mechanic.


I think the investing resources idea to earn interest and gather more in the future but withdrawing early gives a penalty is a really cool idea. However it seems like it would be something that a slower paced strategy game would have. I’m not sure how much attention people would give to figuring all this out while still balancing army, eco, and micromanaging. I think it’s just too complex for a game where if you spend a minute in game focusing on something your army could be gone or eco could be a wreck and there’s no way back.


Not to mention that since Portuguese only get good really late in game chances are you will need your ressources right now because the enemy’s deathball is at your doors. Also, not spending ressources right away is rarely a good idea. Who would risk investing their stone away knowing that at any time the enemy can launch a treb push?


I think you make a very sound point. Do you have any suggestion as to how could that be improved?
I think that if this were to be implemented then the art of when to invest resources into the Feitoria or when to withdraw would be figured out through practice and play. In the end, you still focus into trading at the market, adding villagers to make your economy better, produce army, and get upgrades which require similar micro, and it can all be pulled through. If there were a limit to the number of Feitoria that could be built, it could also help on this regard. However, anything that could be done to lessen the micro burden would be appreciated (that is why I like the bond-like Feitoria better).

Fair enough. In the end, I would compare it with adding extra villagers or fishing ships - you somehow make the sacrifice and manage. The idea of investing in small chunks I think would provide the opportunity to be able to invest slower which might help. Do you still think this idea is totally not worth it? What about garrisoning vils in the Feitoria to increase production?

Welp, the nice part about this is that it would be a nice nod to the original Trade workshop. It might also be a major buff (depending of how it’s implemented of course) because you can just ungarrison villies and get them to do what you need, while currently you have to wait for your TCs to recreate the villies (and the 20 pop slots are still taken!)

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Yes, indeed, it would make some lot of sense. In that case I would surely minimize the population space cost of building a Feitoria since it would be naturally balanced by the quality of the player’s boom and the amount of extra resources produced per villager, which would have to be adjusted.
This approach tends to make the Feitoria a safer investment though, so I would definitely limit the amount that a player could make.

Goodness, I hope your teacher gives you an A on your 10-page history report… :joy:

The idea of “Feitoria as bank” is interesting, but perhaps a little too academic for the rough and tumble of real play, where you need a good return on your investment quickly. Making the mechanic more complicated than it already is, while it might appeal to more hardcore players, will likely be a turnoff to many others who don’t want to have to analyze spreadsheets and do calculus to determine how to best use the Feitoria. In a way, the initial cost of the Feitoria can already be seen as the initial “investment” that takes time to pay off.

As it is, I already found the Feitoria highly useful in certain situations before the buff (especially Island maps and FFA games), and it will obviously become even more so now. The only other change that I would seriously like to see for the Feitoria is also have it function as a TC (e.g. you can train villagers there, research eco techs, and drop off resources).


Yes, it does have niche uses and I have enjoyed some Feitoria mastapieces :upside_down_face:. Time will tell if it needs to be nerfed again.
The point about the initial building cost being the investment cost is a fair one; I still think it has proved to be a nasty mechanic to balance but then again time will tell.

Never thought of that, but it would surely make them see more play. I will keep this in mind…

While true it could give rise to neat strategies and games… but keeping it simple is always a good policy. I do not know if the bank-like mechanic could be made much more simpler than I described it though…

I am personally also underwhelmed by the Feitoria’s implementation - I find it a little anatural to the AoE mechanics. Ultimately, a historic feitoria is a factory where workers operated in a highly efficient labor environment. Consequently, the feitoria should be a building which can “garrison” up to twenty villagers which will then contribute to materializing the production rate (potentially in a decreasing marginal scales fashion). This way it could even be a standard building across civilizations but Portugese factories could be twice as efficient.

Also I think the designers have made a complicating choice by having the feitoria produce all resources. It should just be producing gold as it is a factory producing trade goods - it is not a farm, not a lumber camp or quarry. But the virtue of having gold and markets gets a trading powerhouse such as the Portugese access to anything they want to buy. From a balancing perspective this means simply tweaking the rate of gold production of gold miners in a feitoria building - which would naturally be bounded from the direct gold collection from a gold pile. Hitting the right value will be much easier than dabbling around with 4 parameter values which are arbitrarily adjusted from patch to patch (fluctuations of ~50%).


The less micro-intensive, the better. I would just limit the Portuguese to one Feitoria and completely remove the population cost if this building still proves to be too weak. Mechanics like garrisoning villagers or ressources seem pretty APM intensive without certain return.


My intention was actually not post a request for implementation but rather to comment in general. I agree that we cannot have such drastic changes right now to the mechanics.

Yet the generation rate I am convinced would be easier to be balance if it was just generating gold or if it was pegged to market prices.

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I dont see a reason to completly change feitorias. If you play them correctly, they can still be useful in the right circumstances in early game. If you play eg. an arena 4v4 TG then going for FI feitorias is surprisingly a playable strategy, if you know how. Obviously it’s extremly risky, if someone goes for castle drop, monkrush etc, but beside that it can pay off and be even comparing to a generic 4 tc boom with portoguese. The reason behind this is quite simple, ppl usually only look at the resource generation rates of the feitoria, which currently correspond to 5 vills on food, 3 vills on wood, 2.5 vills on gold and 1 vill on stone. That makes in total 11-12 vills, considering you are losing 20 pop that would be a bad trade, but here comes the deal: if you go for a 30 pop FI into 5 feitorias, you only have to invest 1250 gold and 1250 stone to gain around 55-60 vills. If you would go for a generic 4 tc boom you need to invest waaaaay more res: building 3 additional tcs costs you 1125 res, producing 60 vills costs you 3000 res, during a 4 tc boom you will make at least 40 farms, which makes another 2400 res, vills also need eco ups to be effective, which feitorias dont. The 1st and 2ndfarm up costs together another 400 res, wood ups another 400 res and wheelbarrow/handcart another 725 res. In total this makes over 8k res you are investing into a generic boom, while a FI feitoria start only needs 2.5k res. Thats huge and can make them viable early on.
Beside saving up so many res, the also have other small advantages: usually ppl buy food for booming. since you get up the first feitorias at around 22 min with a decent build, the food price will still be very high, since obviously nobody gonna sell food before 25 min mark, around which ppl start to click to imp. So you can sell the food and gain a nice amount of gold.
Another rather silly advantage of feitorias: it can be used very useful as quickwall, if someone rushes you, due to their huge size and insane HP.

The only thing i would change about feitorias is the wood and gold generation. I would slightly decrease the wood generation (maybe from 1.0 to 0.7 per second) to make them less game deciding on islands/Team islands, pretty much maps that tend to run out of wood before the 1h mark and let them generate slightly more gold (maybe from 0.7 gold to 1.0 gold per second). This would make them more viable in a standard game, where you have a normal eco and just wanna add a few for longterm, since atm they are just slightly better than even with 20 vills on wood/food, if you calculate the gold/stone into wood. (a brief approximation: without guilds 1 gold = 7 wood, makes ruffly 10 vills on wood and 1 stone = 1 gold = 7 wood, which makes ruffly 4 vills on wood. I made this assumption for stone, since many ppl tend to sell major parts of their stone, which decreases the price heavily and you also need like 14 minutes until you get the invested stone back. The stone generation of feitorias is close to neglible. Count these 14 vills on wood now to the other 5 vills on food an 2.5 vills and you get ruffly 21 vills, maybe even a bit more if the stone price is good)

TLDR: feitorias are playable in arena TGs as FI, but its risky. To make them more viable in normal open land games and make them less deciding on islands/team islands they should generate a bit less wood and a bit more gold.


Dunno what to think about this, but I guess there will be someone here to draw conclusions better

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Nice, thank you! I had been looking for games played with Feitorias in the new patch, but did not know about that one. I just had seen these two games TheViper played on his stream so far, the first one rather playfully but the second one more seriously, against Vivi:
I will keep on the lookout to see what the pros think of the change

Great analysis! You are also very right in that you are saving many more res by not going for the traditional boom… maybe you are on to something, we will see how they fare in this new patch.

You need to try that 30 pop FI feitoria, it’s actually really fun to play it :smiley:

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Giving my 2 cents here, feitorias mechanics are fine as they are and I don’t want them to be different, values can be tweaked as they have been before, but that’s all.


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Portuguese are probably the best newbie/casual civ in the game, at least on closed maps, because of the new Feitorias. Fast Imp into 2 Feitorias, add 3 or 4 more Feitorias, and let most of your economy run on auto pilot. It’s like auto scouting for economy.

The only change I would make is a slight buff/numbers adjustments to make the resource generation equal to 10 Villagers, just to make it easier to understand what you’re getting out of 20 population space.