Get this mod banned from ranked games? (buildings range indicator)

I don’t play AOE2 DE that much, and only actively play during season events (some rewards looks tempting to me). I do play a lot of Starcraft 2 so I’d like to speak from that perspective.

In Starcraft 2, all defensive buildings in the game has range indicator, yet the building is based on grid system, very similar to AOE2. I am not so sure how the mod is made or how it affects ladder gameplay, but just for the range indicator itself, it’s kinda big when playing certain cheese strategies (Protoss Cannon Rush for example). For Protoss Pylon, players often need to check Pylon range to make sure key buildings can be placed within that rage.

Since I am personally accustomed to this, I do not see why indicating tower range brings any disadvantage or advantage to the player. Quite frankly, it is nice to see where you want to build the tower for a bit of better coverage of enemy wood line or gold mine, which can theoretically help both Tower rushing or covering key areas of your own base by building towers at a more optimal spot.

It could be possible for Microsoft to review certain mods commonly used by community and determine which mod is allowed in ranked play and which one does not, and ban all mods that are not allowed during ranked play. Better yet, just like grid feature, bake it into a setting that player can enable, so the game is easier for players and potentially improve competitive play.

That is not to say that “Then you want to see the firing range of all combat units for more info on the field”. The thing is, units can move, and will generally attack whatever enemy that is in range. The game that does allow players to see unit attack range is Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, and I just keep that setting off because there are too many circles on the field. Range indicator works great for defensive buildings (Castles, Towers, Krepost, Harbour), not so much for units.

I hope Microsoft can bake this into the game as a setting that can be enabled, and I will be happy if this mod can be used for online play.

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I think it is clear what can be used for ranked games:

Visual mods: Yes.
Data mods: No.

If you want other graphics? That is fine.
If you want to mod the strength of an unit? That is not fine.

Any mods that display range should be forbidden from ranked. They could even escalate it and display range of units.

The main difference is that other visual mods help you to have a slightly more efficient eco, while this mod helps you to avoid enemy damage. It helps you to place perfect countertowers (reducing skill curve).

It gives a clear benefit and could force the competitive community to use it over time. Which is also problematic because of how ugly and intrusive it is. Do we really want our game to look like that? It’s really unlike any other.

It reminds me of “all healthbars on”, I don’t see how this positively impacts the game. If everyone uses it then nothing became easier. The game just became A LOT uglier and less skill needed (No more healthbar micro).

I think there is a clear difference between such examples and pussywood or idle villager pointer.
Pussywood is simply needed to play this game competitively, it fixes a mistake in early gamedesign. Idle villager pointer only appears on idle villagers (not intrusive). Both examples don’t directly help you to avoid enemy damage.


I still don’t see the difference. Pussywood/small trees helps you to see holes in walls and wood lines, so it helps you keep the enemy out and avoid enemy’s damage. Idle villager pointer helps you to avoid economical damage. Why should something that avoids military damage be forbidden and something that avoids economical damage allowed?

Furthermore, I don’t know of any mod that is more intrusive than small trees! (Well, maybe the grid mod…) Trees are everywhere and the mod completely destroys the beauty of the game graphics. In comparison, towers are pretty rarely seen, as long as none of the player trushes. And in the case of a trush with multiple towers, the visual pollution of tower range mods can be more of a nuisance than a help. These “mandalas” are not of the meditative kind. :wink:

I also doubt that you “have to” use the Mandala mod to not have a disadvantage in ranked game. The more you play, the more of a feeling of the tower range you get, so at higher level, Mandala is not that useful. At least, I am not aware of any pro player using it.

So there are some mods, that are very intrusive and heavily change the game graphics (grid, small trees, …). But most players still agree that we should use them to play competetively, because of the great benefits they provide. It is completely unintelligible to me, why we are now discussing about banning a mod, that is - at least in my opinion - much less intrusive and much less useful!


I don’t think small trees or grid mods are intrusive at all. It’s just a size reduction or an outline to the already existing underlying grid. In my case I have a very light grid (Smoothie terrains).

In comparison, towers are pretty rarely seen, as long as none of the player trushes.

It works on Tc’s, castles, towers. Perhaps units in the future…

So there are some mods, that are very intrusive and heavily change the game graphics (grid, small trees, …). But most players still agree that we should use them to play competetively, because of the great benefits they provide.

There are big differences between the two. The game is simply too annoying to play without small trees, in hindsight it was a mistake made 20 years ago. A grid does not clash with the existing shapes and doesn’t indicate a specific thing, it has many uses in different areas of the game.

However range mods are very intrusive (A mess of circles that clash with the existing grid) with a limited application. It directly helps you with avoiding enemy buildings, or placing towers at ideal distance.

This cannot be compared to a grid mod wich can only indirectly help you avoid damage by seeing a hole, help you count distance to enemy tc (you still need to know the range) ect.

I think the overall impact and cost/reward is very different, somewhere we need to put the line. This doesn’t mean we need to ban all visual mods.


I am really sorry, I still don’t get your point. Do you want range mods to be forbidden, because they are too intrusive or because they give too much advantage?

As we two have shown, intrusiveness is highly subjective. And of course, it is only intrusive for the player, who uses it, so if you don’t like the look of it (which I could understand very well!) then you don’t need to use it.
On the other hand, the amount of advantage, a mod gives, might also be hard to estimate. I personally would much rather do without Mandala than without grid mod, and from what you have written so far, I think you agree. Therefore the usefulness of grid mod seems to be much higher, doesn’t it?

I can also understand this, as well, but once more it is just a subjective opinion. For other people it might me too annoying to run into tower or tc fire all the time. The game is completely playable without small trees (especially in DE, where the object, you hover the mouse over, can be highlighted), but it is nonetheless a great quality of life feature that you seem to enjoy very much. So why would you want to disrupt the quality of life of the people, who enjoy to use Mandala?

That is indeed true, although I doubt that anyone would use unit range mods competetively. Just imagine a bulk of crossbowmen with 40 circles around them! It would be completely unplayable. Even the few circles of the Mandala mod can be very irritating, so I don’t think that a lot of players will like them. But those who can live with mandalas on the screen, why shouldn’t they be allowed to use it?


Thank you for making this topic. I always thought that such a range mod must exist, But I didn’t know the name. This will become one of my essentials together with idle pointer and small trees.


Yeah, knowing the exact range of buildings is a massive game changer. It can win you a game in battles near Castles, or by knowing when you can sneak in Feudal past a TC.

But it looks very ugly though, especially to make it an official part of the game. Are there any prettier versions of the circles?
Perhaps it could be a feature, but only by clicking towers and buildings explicitly.


my plan is to make the line better in the future. creating a toggle should be possible but then you would need a data mod to create the “toggle tech”.

meanwhile, someone made a mangonel range mod :slight_smile:


This is the kind of thing I was afraid of. We must make small trees an in-game option and forbid mods for ranked play before it becomes “part of the game”


I totally agree on that, in the past u count tiles to put a perfect tower

now this mod gives such and edge on certain situations. The solution is implement it and give the same tools to everyone, otherwise is a low level of cheating.

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Unless an ugly not becomes mandatory at the high level, I don’t see a problem.

If you don’t like playing with a particular graphics mod, even if it would give +200 ELO (not likely) just play without it. We’re all here to have fun.
There really is no point raging because your opponent ‘isn’t as good as you’ in some ‘intrinsic’ sense.
You’re matched with your opponent because you play at the same level, and you have fun being challenged but still having a chance to win. Unless your opponents’ mod Is somehow making the game less fun for you, don’t worry about it.

PS: how do you get the multiple lines? I have the mod but I only have 1 line around towers and castle, at their minimum range


Yeah mods like these are unfair in ranked play under the current system of anarchy. If we keep allowing mods like these in ranked play, I bet you there’s going to be a mod in the future that will highlight overlapping fog of war so that you can maneuver your units outside your opponent’s LOS at all times. After that will be in-game trainers, with a full HUD telling you your build order and live prompts that constantly tell you what you should be doing. It’s sooo easy to abuse since all non-data mods are allowed in ranked play.

We should have a whitelist of limited mods that are allowed on ranked play. They could just implement the range indicator as part of the game (just like the grid). The devs also need to decide on whether these types of mods should be allowed in ranked. It can’t be left up to the community to enforce it cause there will always be at least one person who will use all the tools at their disposal to gain a competitive edge (don’t forget people use actual cheats).


You probably use the beta mod. After some thought I decided to split the mod into buildings and added lines for base, fletching, bodkin and bracer.

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You really dont understand it, do you?
If AOE2 would have only the mods You allow the player base would be much smaller, maybe more purist try-hard-die-hard people. This makes the gap between new but good player and old but bad players much higher. Which I think has to affects the game hase a smaller player base and game is not about competition of stragety and speed but how played the game for longer. Why should you have an advantage just because you know the flaws of the game? this would be a game new players wouldnt be able to catch up and enjoy.
With mods like these the intrinsic skill gets lower while it increase actual desicion making for new players. And decision making is when you get a sense of you playing the game and not feeling like a potato. The feeling and economic setback of placing a tower which does nothing is so tilting but with this tool you get feedback and can learn from it.

So in the end its about game philosophy and this mods are well in line with what the developers encourage.


Optimally for all ranged unit and buildings the range should be indicicazed but only when they are selected.


You seem to heavily overestimate the possibilities of visual modding. You can put a circle with the base line of sight around a unit. But since line of sight is dependent on multiple factors (age, techs, civ, …), these circles woudn’t provide any useful information and would only obscure the vision.

In terms of build order live prompts, this is completely impossible with visual mods. There exist such scenarios to train the build orders, which is completely fine. But as you get more experienced, you know your build orders without having to think. So even if there would be such things, it wouldn’t affect competetive play and would only help beginners.
Also in a competitive game, you have to adapt a lot to the circumstances. Oftentimes, it is not clear at all, what the right decision might be. So, relying on an AI that tells you what to do wouldn’t deliver great results; at least not on a decent level.

Many people here seem to have a lot of fears about the future of our game. However, most of the things you fear are not possible without data mods or some additional software (which would indeed be cheating).

Restricting modding is in general very unlikely a good idea in any game. Also remember that Forgotten Empires has started as a mod! So without mods, there wouldn’t have been any DLCs and the Definitive Edition would probably have never been developed.
As long as there isn’t a significant reason, I would shy away from such things as a “white list”. Why would a modder invest dozens of hours, if he can’t be sure that his mod makes it on that list? And what would be the criteria for a mod to get on the list? Not to mention all the bureaucracy to inspect hundreds of mods (including the many local mods) and possible arbitrariness of the poor guy, who has to decide this! All this trouble, just to achieve - to achieve what exactly?


I had no idea that this visual mod existed.
Thank you SorcerousBoat7 for posting this.

I will try it out, form an opinion - and report back with my findings :stuck_out_tongue:

@ johannes4468 Just curious, how much time did it take you to create the mod? Do you happen to know which group of people use the mod (mostly new players or a mixed bag)?


It took my about 2weeks to have the beta version of it. I started playing the game in February and had no prior expirience in either modding or older versions of the game. For the creation of the files I luckily know engough programming to automate everything but a few clicks.

I only know the downloads, which i dont understand myself 11 what happens when i update a mod does everyone download it again? For players I see small streamers of all elos use it. Most popular streams dont want to use it since it is very intrusive/distracting.With 55.000 active team game players 1500 downloads is just a small fraction of people might having it :slight_smile:


lolz that sounds like a whole lot of subjective arguing… “only the things i think are illegal should be illegal, and only the things i think are intrusive are intrusive”

i prefer bigger trees and i prefer the look of the game without the grid, i also dont like the to see a permanent circle around my shooty mcshooty buildings… BUT i will use all those mods since it makes playing easier…