Firelancer's nerf

I feel this game is going to the same dying way as SC2. Game designers start to adjust game balance according to casual player’s complains.

Is Firelancer really OP?
For its landmark snipeing, you could easily stop this strategy by building stone walls.
For its AOE charging, you could stop it by your micros. (just press C, or put couple unit infront to take the dmg)
For its counter, it’s the cheapest and most basic unit in the game. spearman.
For its timing, it needs Yuan Dynasty which cost 2400 more resourse.

Strategy, Micro, Counter, Timing, did casual team players really care about all these factors? No, most of them just build a 30mins deathballs and press A. This is the main reason made Firelancer OP. If designer team keep getting balance ideas from casual team players, we will lose all the shineing pieces of this game.


This is not a game of ultra micro. It’s a design choice. We don’t even have the possibility to select specific units directly from the UI. And I like it because medieval warfare were not controlled by sweaty tryhards.

Besides, to expect that everyone will be able to have “strategy, micro, counter, timing” and other skills actually creates elitism, and that lead to two problems: 1- the playerbase will, in general, not have fun. I don’t want to sweat my heart out to play this, specially if all this APM heavy stuff outshines other RTS abilities, like creativity, army composition building, eco management, and so on and so forth and; 2- people will not play the game if they aren’t having fun, and won’t watch events and nothing like that. This is a game, which the first priority is for people to have fun. Some want to be tryhards, and there’s already a LOT of room for that in the game. The 2k players of today will be the 1,5k players in 3-4 years time. All the other people want to, mainly, have fun.

And, I gotta mention, SC2 is “dying” after years and years in the esports scene. And it’s pro scene it’s still there, mind you. So I don’t really think that it’s problem is due to balance changes. I honestly believe is that the consumers profile for games is less and less leaning to RTS games, where you don’t have a constant rush of hormones through your veins due to being in a constant firefight or something.

  • What about some civs without stone walls?

Spearman aren’t really a good counter. Why? Because a player can send 3 firelancers in front and then group 2 firelancers and repeat after the front row. That way all spearmen die like paper (Sorry this is a pro player tip to someone who is casual) xD


It’s too early to make that statement. I don’t agree with Arkhelos9557’s take on sc2’s multiplayer, but I don’t agree with yours for AoE4 either. I agree as far as that the choice to nerf them was the worst choice out of all the good choices they had, but it was still a good decision in the short term. Here’s why I believe that;

You say ‘did casual team players really care about all these factors? No, most of them just build a 30mins deathballs and press A.’ Did top tier competitive players ever make fire lancers? Sometimes, but like you point out they have a lot of problems. Fire lancers are a design nightmare as they currently are which are only balanced/not good in competitive games due to their cost and timing. They’re a cheesy unit which is disproportionally strong in casual and team games. The recent patch was a quick patch to fix outstanding issues.

I agree in that I hope that they rebalance fire lancers (and/or chinese dynasty/unit unlocks) to unlock more strategy and fun. But their decision was a net positive change. Competitive play is largely unaffected because they barely make fire lancers. Casual play benefits. Neutral-Positive = positive.

That doesn’t mean their nerf was the best choice, the best choice would be a rebalance of some sort. But because of this above logic I do not fee like the devs are pandering to casual players.

A player who mains China complaining about the nerf to a unit from his civilization.

Respect the most popular game of all RTS. SC2 was (and is, more popular than AoE2 currently) at the top for quite a few years.

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I don’t believe AOE4 will die as SC2 due to nerf firelancer.
But I sure AOE4 will die as SC2 if dev don’t nerf fire lancer.


of cuz the game won’t die because nerf of firelancer. what i mean is the game will die by balancing in this way which killing all the diversity and fun part of the game by listening casual players. it would just finaly turns out boring and same content for every match. also possibly made every game a hourly game.

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Riot has done this since the beginning. They’re one of the top companies in content, quality, player happiness, IP expansion into every major genre, Lore growth and now having one of the best Netflix originals, ever, and still gets millions of views in pro tournament with hundreds of thousands of viewers in twitch, daily.

Yeah, pros min-max better, casuals will always be the solid foundation on how successful a game can be. Same with SC2 and AoE123.

Please them, and you’ll find yourself in a good place. Crap on them, and get the dev team cut into a skeleton crew and have one patch per year.

Pick your poison, carefully.

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Yes, no one says it’s not right. But you could please your solid foundation by multiple ways. more campaign contents, new game mode, or a dotahero mode RPG by controling just one spearman, whatever just not the balance. coz casual players don’t care about the balance to be honest, some players just want to complain their lost and find a excuse for their lacking skills.


Another stone wall excuse for the fire lamcer, you got the most unkillable OP clocktower bombard, bring one, the stone wall is gone. One gap is enough for losing a game, you happy now Chinese players lameboys?

The spears? Where is your clocktower Nest of Bees?

I could still landmark snipe pre patch a French player flooded his base with Elite Royal Knight and even Red Palace, those Fire Lancer were too fast with Yuen global yam network buff. You want stand ground on your landmarks? Fine I nuke all your other base buildings, you still lose anyway. Chinese economy can definitely support 20+ stables bumping out the Fire lancers non-stop with the clocktower sieges, and they trained really really fast.

Before you play the “casual noobs team games” card, I am basing on 1v1/2v2 which ELO > 1300.

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Nerfing the firelancer isn’t some sign that the designers are catering to casuals. The firelancer was a poorly designed unit and even the pros acknowledged it was overtuned and potentially toxic in team games. It provided a cheap spammable unit that in numbers beat all others in the game aside from spears (which cannot catch it and are weak to most other units in game), camel riders, or mangudai. Is extremely fast, and was also the best seige unit for anything not a stone wall. The only reason is not more popular in 1v1 is the high cost to unlock and fully mass which are far less of an issue in team games, even at high level.

Regarding stone walls of your landmarks - You still lose in less than 2 minutes if your opponent breaches a wall anywhere, which is not hard. But even if you separate your landmarks across different bases and individually stone wall them, the firelancers can easily do crippling damage to the rest of your eco and infrastructure. Usually they don’t have to because at least one player or your team has likely forgetten to properly prepare in random games.

Stopping their AOE isn’t just a matter of micro, because your opponent is able to micro as well. They can eat the free units you leave in front and back off, or stagger their own charge. High level play doesn’t nullify their combat effectiveness.

Spearman are a bad counter to them. Sure they will win if you charge into them. But Spearman and countered by every non-calvary unit in the game. And ranged cavalry too. If you force your opponent into spearmen that is often a win itself. And since since they are so much slower your opponent you are forced to leave a massive chunk of army supply stuck in your base or potentially instant lose the game. Firelancer’s are supposed to be raiders, not beating knights and men at arms in a straight up fight.

Its high cost and timing is not in issue on massive maps and large team games where allies can defend for you, funnel resources, and sheer distance is an issue.

No firelancers are not an automatic win. There are ways to try to play around them. But just because they don’t physically guarantee a win every time doesn’t mean they didn’t deserve a nerf.


Very well stated. I was a proponent of leaving them be But the change the devs made was very reasonable

nice troll bro. It’s broken it was nerf and that was a good nerf.


nah the nerf was deserved and long overdue.


sry, i can’t agree. firelancer only good at number around 10-20s. mass amount of firelancer only good at snipeing building, and that’s it. In the battle, not every firelancer has space to be able to do the charge dmg, which makes them really bad with mass numbers in battle.


Well perhaps you can consider looking at this youtube video which did thorough testing and showed them winning equal cost battles pretty much across the board.

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the youtube video showed the number around 10-20s what exactly i said. and it didn’t put any factors in like micro, timing. Most of tests are base on sucessful charge and A moves.

That is still a 3 rank deep charge with 25. Can you show me an example of a larger even cost battle where they lose? And they did test micro. They specifically mentioned in the knight comparison sending out individual units in front. It gave a very modest boost and he mentioned the options to counterplay it.

And again. What is this unit’s role supposed to be? Per its tooltip and description it is supposed to be good at siege, raiding, and WEAK in melee combat. Why is this unit beating heavy cavalry and men at arms in any numbers?

No, they are not. the video you showed here. knight wins most situations. man at arms they are countered by the firelancer, that’s why.