Idea to nerf quick walling

Love it or hate it, everyone who plays this game knows that one of the most unrealistic features of AoE2 is quick walling. How many times have we seen a wolf attacking a villager, to then stop after recognising the authority of 4 palisades foundations appearing around its prey. During the last years, we grew used to scenes like this, but new viewers are still puzzled about the speed of the villager to place buildings and the helplessness of a wolf that can’t walk over a newly opened building site.

The above is even more absurd when considering raidings: an army of scouts stopped while running towards an enemy woodline as a villager realises that maybe a house is something that could have some use in life (of course just as a wall!)

Now, I do think that quick walling can be exciting and that it would be hard to program a game where units can walk over foundations. However I do believe that the lack of lag these days is making this feature (which was unintentional in the original game) a little bit too overpowered and making this game ‘worse’.

Walling is about being preventive and recognising which sides of your base are vulnerable. Quick walling on the other hand is about being fast and reactive: allowing to minimise losses (if any) in a couple seconds after a mistake, and maybe even trapping the enemy army (adding insult to injury).
Right now there is no balance between quick walling and walling: against melee units quick walling is always the right choice. I believe the devs noticed what i mean when they decided to remove the armor from uncompleted gates.

My suggestion would be the following: having each builder take a break in front of the foundations before starting to actually build. This would mean that the villager would walk right to the foundations, wait there for a couple seconds (duration of the pause can be discussed of course) and then starting to build AFTER the pause. I believe this solution is not unreasonable for 3 main reasons:
1- It emulates the lag that existed previously before Definitive Edition, therefore players would not feel it as something completely unnatural
2- It does not remove quick walling from the game, but makes thought process and preventive thinking much more important (it would still be possible to quick wall a drush if scouted properly)
3- A similar feature already exists in the game (probably a bug but anyways…): when asking a villager to construct a building over the square he/she was standing in, the villager first walks out, and waits a moment (probably praying the Lord to give him/her the strength) before starting to slam that hammer to the ground.

I would love to know what you guys think about quick walling in general and about my “fix/balance” idea. It would be also great to know what the opinions of pros about it, so if you are aware of any please let me know.
Feel free to disagree with me, but please let me know why and give arguments (if you give arguments by the likes of “Wololo” you might change my mind) :slight_smile:

11 Likes

changing a 20 year game feature of a 20 year old game (basically an original feature) is not the best idea

16 Likes

I would generally agree, but is quick walling really a 20 years old feature?
While it was probably possible to do it in single player, it was impossible to perform it online due to lag. Also, if you think about the pro scene it is only relatively recently that players started going crazy with it (I recall hidden cup 1, where only viper was comfortable attempting them, then others started learning from him).
Lastly, the only original feature that I know WAS changed is the above mentioned removal of armor for uncompleted gates.
It would almost seem that gates and walls weren’t designed to be built last second…

3 Likes

Personally I am not a big fan of a “forced pause” before constructing walls. Imagine you have ordered a villager to build walls and you quickly scroll through your base. You could easily mistake him for an idle vill which could result in the wall not being constructed at all (also imagine all the complains about villagers being unresponsive).
I think a good solution would be a similar approach that worked with gates: remove the armor during construction so your feudal army can still break through. The question is if this should also apply for houses, markets etc since they are a popular way of quick walling too.

9 Likes

You wanna tell me 24/7 working villagers is realistic?

Let’s just end it here

9 Likes

I agree with the gist of your post. Quickwalling is exciting, but games might well be better without it. It seems a fair point that quickwalling is actually a ‘new’ feature.

However, having a pause before construction starts sounds really frustrating.

I think there might be a better solution out there which doesn’t try to emulate lag.

7 Likes

Quickwalls have a good place in the meta.

Walling has a super high skill cap.
Microing against quick walls has a super high skill cap.

People who watch the game love it!
The chat on Viper and Hera goes CRAZY when a new gate trap comes in!!

Consider this point carefully, a lot of AOE2 traffic and succes is due to viewers.

Removing it or nerfing seems like a very bad idea at this point.

What I could envision is making counter-quickwalling stronger. Some ideas: Rams in Feudal; upgrade for MAA for more dmg vs buildings; more tower damage vs walls.

7 Likes

If you re too bored to address the other points of my post, you might as well not answer.
Of course this game does not try to be 100% realistic; but I have also gave other reasons against it.
I love contrasting opinions, but ARGUE!

2 Likes

You can prevent Quick walling by placing a farm foundation there… it has 1 HP so if your opponent attacks it with anything its gone so you want to delete it immediatly after your scouts or maa went in.
For your suggestion. I dont know what elo you are but quickwalling is a core feature of the game. Period.

1 Like

I also thought about the problem of walling, and I agree that it might take too much time for a vill to complete a normal wall.
A possible solution could be that the pause would apply only to the first foundation out of a series of adjacent buildings.
In this case, if you had to construct 4 lines of walls long 10 tiles each, you would lose 4 pauses worth of time rather than 40.

Concerning the idle problem, I honestly don’t believe the pause should be so long as to have the player classify the « almost builder » as an idle. I don’t want the pause to be too long, as I said, the real objective would be to emulate a little lag.

Quick walling can prevent the game from ending too early. It is also a tactic to fight against early aggressive civs that often perform drush/ feudal rush. Perhaps I have bias as I use to play civs that shine in Castle/Imperial age. Changing quick walling is influential to balance.

I agree it is an element of the game.
My objective is not to remove it, but to nerf it!
Isn’t it ironic that Hera complains about the ability of players to quickwall in his scout rush rant video?

As you probably can imagine, a little pause would still allow to, for example, wall in a wood line if you use enough villagers and you SCOUT your enemy army.

The length of the pause, again, would need to be tested and determined.

1 Like

If those are your concerns, then you really have nothing to worry about! Drushes would still be able to be quickwalled, you would just need to start the walls a little earlier by scouting the enemy militia (which btw you are probably already doing)

It is true, viewers are essential to the game, and quick walling can definitely be one of the most exciting parts of the game.

However, I am not really sure that nerfing quick walls would make games in general less interesting.
At the state where we are, we are realizing that most pro standard games are way more passive than they used to, a pro can get away with producing very little army, if any, in Feudal.
In particular, I kinda hate when they make a mistake and manage to fix it with LAST SECOND quick walling.
In my opinion, if your enemy snuck his army in your woodline and you realize it while he is just arriving, you deserve your villagers to die (or to be hit at least).

Also, take note that traps would still be available, but there would be more chance for the opponent to realize them and run away.
Again, I don’t think this should play against viewers enjoyment. I see many pros that sometimes avoid getting in certain places for fear of the army being trapped. With my nerf, it could be worth to be more aggressive.

Thank you for the other proposal you wrote, which I all find reasonable, but they seem to be counters to full walls rather than quick walling.

3 Likes

I’m not playing AOE2 much, but Starcraft 2 also has a somewhat similar feature that worker often take one second break before dropping building foundation as Terran, start morphing as Zerg, or dropping energy ball as Protoss. I personally think AOE 2 team can open some sort of balance test mod thing and implement theses experimental ideas and see how it goes. Maybe Microsoft can add a balance test mod and players can play with it.

Well, this sounds like opening a new thread, but this suggestion just reminds me a similar mechanism in Starcraft 2.

2 Likes

You are adding tons of complexity to the game. Say when you are simply rebuilding a wall broken by enemy 1min ago, should you be punished by the extra wait? Or when you are about to finish walling the base, you let in some sneaky men-at-arms or archers, due to this stupid extra wait. Is this something you think acceptable?

Quickwalling is not free. It is very micro-intense. That’s its price. Before you rant here about nerfing it, consider doing multipronged attacks to punish the quickwaller.

3 Likes

I think emulating lag to nerf quick walling is a bad idea. Personally I don’t like the idea of nerfing it at all… but if the devs feel its neccessary I’d advocate for allowing foundations to be traversed up to a certain completion percentage as the fix.

10 Likes

Let me answer each of your points in order:

  • Yes, my idea would increase the complexity of the game. However how significant would be the change? I am not sure as I am not programming the game, but I am pretty sure it would not be something drastic.
  • Waiting a couple sec to close a single tile of walls does not look crazy to me. 2 seconds (which would represent a long pause even in my opinion) are worth less than 1 unit of resources. The “punishment” you talk about is insignificant.
  • Walling is a problem which has already been brought up and to which I gave an answer, saying that I would opt for the wait to be applied only on the first tile of a line. Hence, in the sneaky army scenario, you would just need to plan your walls 2 seconds earlier.
  • Quickwalling indeed comes at a cost, but a cost I believe is too low. Say you want to save a villager, by building 4 palisades around him. The price would be less than:
    8 units of wood + 0.5* (seconds needed to quickwall) units of any resource.
    (0.5 is the maximum unit/second gathering rate in the game)

To conclude, yes, I do believe my solution is not unreasonable but of course it is open to discussion as you can see.
It is counterproductive for you to call my idea stupid while presenting examples which would only be slightly changed in case of a nerf. Maybe you can try using more convincing arguments which I did not think about already.

Quick walling was only doable in voobly in europe games with 60 ping, viper playing vs any chinese or south american player he wasn’t able to perform any quick walling, but in DE quick walling is something anyone can do, the fornite thingy is laughable, vills trapping knights, vills making insta cages vs drush or sc, that has nothing to with a RTS game, specs and viewers loves it but it shouldn’t be a thing.

Negative armor to unfinished walls is the answer.

7 Likes

yet majority of player base is completely single player