Map Generation Balance Issues

As you can see here, this was a match where the three sacred sites in a 3v3 were placed closer to one team than the other. I was on the losing side and they won via sacred site victory condition.

The map info is above.

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This map was already quite unfair in the public stress test but i believe the issues got worse based on two games on it, one a 1vs1 and another a 4vs4.

Neutral markets and sacred sites spawn far closer to one side of the map.
At least relic distribution seens fair.

Two games already that I had no stone on my islands, I tried find two more islands, still having no stone, while my opponents spam his islands with keep.

Sorry, what the hell?

The siege cannon ship seems not high range enough for those keep spammer.
I tried to getting some units on his home islands, even shipping cannon into there, but there is simply not enough space to get a holding ground.

That’s indeed very strange and it hasn’t happen to me (yet). Either you must have been very unlucky or it was a bug for that specific game.


Just had a pretty intense 4v4 game where I ran outa gold really fast and struggled to secure a safe gold after my starting 2. Post game I check the replay to see enemy team had quite a sizeable back patch of gold while our team’s side is barren in comparison.

I like the idea of random map generation, but this game I definitely felt like the other team had an advantage right out of the gate.

I just got a very broken map on Mountain Pass (Quick Play).
The map seed is 03a5691e

Basically only 1/2 is playable, the other half is just mountains.
Enemy and I spawned TCs almost next to each other.

I posed the vid of the map on reddit here:


Thanks @WereCatMeow!

You weren’t aware that Age of Empires IV takes place on mars? I could have sworn that was in the release trailer…

(Seen, and logged! Thank you!)


I’ve seen and played a lot of matches were map generation is overall unfair, however this map has to be the worst offender. Danube River constantly mangles up generation either for 1v1 or team games.

I won this game only because blue was not aware of all the advantage he had during feudal/castle age. I had to quickly sneak out the 4 relics on his side of the map, to have any income of my own. I got the 500 bounty to sell food at the market. Had I not played Rus I would have probably lost this match. Only with an imperial army could I break into his base with the little gold I had.

Crazy advantages:

  • Both neutral trade posts on his side of the river
  • 4/5 Relics on his side of the river
  • 2 big golds and an extra small gold
  • 3/3 Sacred sites on his side of the river
  • 2/2 Sheep trios on his side of the map

Minor advantages:

  • Most of the stealth forests were on his side of the map, at the forward side just at the end of bridges.
  • His boar had shorefish by the side
  • Corner resources

When I scouted this I lauged a bit. Map seed is 41596081.

41596081 bad seed


Only mean that you need to be on the offense.

Build tower around enemy base, to cut off his resourcess.

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given equal skill of players, this is not a viable option.

You can flip the argument and say that the player with an advantage can “just be on the offense” so that he can aggressively protect his advantage.


Mapcreation for a competitive 1v1 should be as equal as possible. Yes your starting resources might be in your back or front, there might be small differences and minor imbalances in minor regards, but overall it should be evenly distributed.

To Danube River in general, i thought it is supposed to have a river fork, 2 sides and 1 additional free space? Hence the three holy sites.

I think i also had a seed once where both players where on the same side of the river iirc.

Sory, but i do not see my self having fun for long, on a symetrical mirored map.

You explore you haf side and you already know all the map configuration.

You do not need to think to find the enemy villager and do maximum damage.

I love when land is rendum and that you need to take time to explore unknown land and set strategy has you discover stuff, or get a fall back by something not predictable.

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The way you describe it is a Starcraft non random map creation.

What we are saying here is, there should be Minor differences in the random map creation.

You know a Gold will be somewhere close to his TC, but you do not know where it is exactly, will you be able to attack it.
You know he has a Stone, a patch of deers, some sheepos, a gold and berries close to his TC, and you to yours, you dont know where exactly though and it will not be “symetrical mirrored”

And then there should be “neutral” resources which should be distributed randomly, but evenly distributed on the map in relation to the players starting positions. Which is clearly not the case in OPs screenshot and in that specific case it is simply giving the blue player massive advantage.

Afaik in some AoE2 Tournaments there even is for those kinda cases an Adminrematch possibility or even a in some cases players can call a restart once in a series in the first 3 minutes. - allthough that might only be in cases where Gold is locked away behind a treeline in example.

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The map should at least give both players fairly equal access to resources. This is clearly not the case. You can’t play a competitive 1v1 fairly if one player is heavily disadvantaged by the resource spawns. If you want to play an asymmetrical game so the stronger player needs to work harder due to his map position, there should be a custom game for that.


It seems like the map draws the separating lime between the two players in a different place than the river. Like in this map if a line was drawn through the middle from the top left side to the bottom right side the resource, market, and holy site distribution looks a lot better.

Knowing this doesn’t really help though.

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To visualise,

Yeah somewhat like this it seems. Well might help a Dev to fix it up :slight_smile:

Edit: Also curoius that there is 3 additional small golds on a map with 2 Sides, and 3 Holy sites.
I go back to my earlier statement and say the whole generation for Danube River is broken in all.
And iirc the “Map Icon” in the lobby shows the map as a river with a fork. Cause this is kinda more or less the same as Mongolian Heights - just without the extra cliffs you have in Mongolian Heights.


Yea, there seems to be a few maps where the diagonal does not follow the terrain. :upside_down_face:

I have to agree that Danube River not forking on 1v1 sours the idea of the map. That tiny island could be interesting for the mid game. Right now it’s just an open Mongolian heights with less sheep, just like you said.

@Spyken1 I honestly agree with you that mirror maps don’t belong in the AoE franchise. It’s a much slower game than SC2 and a bit faster than WC3 or AoE2. Mirrors would just stale gameplay for most competitive maps, without introducing significant balance. Tiny differences in resource layout, therefore, make the matches interesting. Forward gold enables raids, berries often define the expand direction of the Arab civilizations, and the location of the closest tree line would match the sheep around an HRE TC to maximize prelate buffs.

Then again, in this case the possibilities for the red player are reduced. Red’s gameplay/strategy becomes predictable. Blue on the other hand can do a few things.
Limiting the scope to Abassid vs Rus:

  1. First properly get all the forward sheep with a better scout patter, wall all 4 bridges with ~150w (protecting your hunts), get a second TC starting with economic wing, trade if the Rus is failing at being aggro.
  2. Build stone walls, spearmen and camels if the Rus is getting aggro or get a third TC if he gets a second one. By Castle Age there’s a clear gold income difference. Even if Rus clicked up first (you have more villagers, even if no trade is up for you).
    3 a. Rus being forced off cavalry and getting rams to get to your side, you can get crossbows and man at arms, a catapult and a trebuchet. At ~15mins the game should be over. A gold-starved Rus might go for economic landmarks instead of Kremlin or Abbey. Again his win condition is Streltsy/Springald vs Abbassid.
    3 b. Go full camels and start chipping at the Rus Economy, (get his gold, boar and hunting cabins). While you get relics with a single imam and set up trade at the same time if you don’t have any. Close the game by clicking up to imperial upgrades.
    3 c. Because you have the villager lead/trade gold, you are getting most upgrades and can build two Imam’s from 2 different Mosques (both capture sacred sites and a returning relic). Get the sacred victory. Take it to imperial for defense with the culture wing. Early ~15min to win by ~23min mark. Force Rus to trade unfavorably.

Rus vs Abassid is a though matchup for the Rus if they can’t maximize map control to get a lead in feudal. That’s the Abassid win condition IMO if going macro. Survive feudal. This map in particular just hands the blue player all the cards on a silver plater and a won match as soon as Castle Age hits. My opponent just went for a feudal raid which lost him his army and map control (also no walls).

Here, that is how Danube more or less should look:


Seed : 6b584504

Its still a little imbalanced, but better. Both big additional Golds on neutral side. Probably both boars should be there also and 2 neutral stones should be there. 1 Neutral Holdy Site. He has way more wood and relics still though.
Edit: also my second small stone is on the neutral side

Optimal would be that i guess:

Paintskills deluxe, i know

White beeing bridges.


Yeaaaahhh… I prefer the symmetrical maps of starcraft2. I hope they fix their generation. A competitive game should give both sides as equal to an advantage starting out as possible. Hence why Mongol TC rush is a bit broken, even looking at scores, Mongols always have a lead due to not needing to make houses.

Hehe, on the screenshot of the map that was a Mongol TC rush against me. I won :-X

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