Pillarless Walls, Pull Tricking, etc

I’ve played AoE3 for years, though never competitively enough to pierce the top 500 player ranks. That said, I wasn’t aware of the below tactics until recently. In my mind, these seem almost like exploits (not hot keys or groups, but more so the walls, pull tricking, etc.), so why aren’t they patched? Or do the devs feel these manual actions you can take to exploit intentional mechanics is a form of micro and therefore should be permitted?


the pull trick would be really challenging to address considering all the pathing issues that are present as is, and most players like that there exists extra micro options to reward higher levels of unit control. So that one is probably here to stay.

I could see wall pillar mechanics changing, but that seems unlikely too, simply because many players like it, and it’s not a deal-breaker for players who don’t like it. Considering the fact that there is a very real time and effort cost associated with constructing pillarless walls, it does serve to raise the skill ceiling. Even at the top level, past the 10 minute mark many players don’t bother with it simply because it’s not worth mismanaging your army or your economy to save a few hundred wood. If they had twice their APM, they would probably keep deleting pillars the entire game, but most of them don’t. So it’s not really a problem in my opinion.


These things have been in the game since 2005. All mid-high level players (basically anyone who has experience with this game) considers them more so mechanics than exploits. If you were to remove any of these now, you would alienate all of the legacy player-base.


I’ve never liked nonsense like this in games. There are a few cases where ‘bug becomes feature’ is enjoyable, but in this case? I’m not convinced. Still, its been in there too long now to remove without causing… problems.

The compromise would be to make it a feature that works without the extra steps. Easier for pillarless walls then pull tricking but meh, won’t happen either way.

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pull trick aside, pillarless walls make the game worse. it breaks a core design element of walls in this game, that damage is shared between wall sections, and does so in a hidden and counterintuitive way, deleting parts of your own walls.

not to mention all it adds is incredibly repetitive and uninteresting gameplay of repeatedly selecting the same unit and deleting it, as well as the risks of frustration when you delete a different unit.

there is nothing redeeming about this exploit other than that it can be said to raise skill ceiling, like manually reseeding farms or having to individually click each building to build a unit rather than multi building queing in past aoe games, or needing to destroy walls and rebuild them in aoe1 as there are no gates. the question becomes if the trade off of raising the skill cap worth the harm to gameplay and user experience. in the case of pillars removing them and making it clear if walls are supposed to share damage or not would lead to a better game.

pull trick is an exploit like alt-d, machine gun fire, boxes and other formation/animation glitches and bugs. rather than a from of skill expression, its exploiting a clear breakdown of the formation/animation system to gain an advantage that other players could not have found out from in game tutorials and guides and only benefits those with knowledge of these exploits.

no more beloved than boxes and alt-d, pull tricking was the least interesting and not as widely utilized as the others. it still an exploit of bugs within the game that aren’t intuitive and require hidden knowledge. I for one found machine gun hilarious and as much a mechanic as the others. to say I’m alienated or surprised it was removed would be an exaggeration at best.

removing these exploits will lead to a better game full stop. they break the game in unintended ways and give older players with insider knowledge unfair advantages. why you have decided this particular exploit is legitimate and not alt-d and cav boxes isn’t clear(or maybe you do consider them legitimate, idk), but the effects of leaving it in the game is. it is not worth keeping.


just wanted to make clear what differentiates exploits from actual micro. things like hopping vills in tc to save walk time, splitting vills on crates, pulling targeted hussars, spreading snare while chasing, using vill melee to kill off lone uhlans/win explorer duels, shift clicking minimap to set up scouting/attack path, control grouping abus to one shot and deny overkill, and splitting cannon shots to maximize damage are examples of real micro.

its not using hidden bugs to gain an unfair advantage, it is using in game systems as intended to their fullest potential. any of these actions are observable to a new player or explained in the games tutorial, but taking full advantage of them through skillful use to get ahead of the opponent is what should separate players, not their knowledge of obscure exploits.


It really doesn’t make sense to consider vills teleporting through TC normal, while at the same time claiming pull trick is an exploit. “Pull trick” is simply how AoE3 formation system fundamentally functions; it’s quite literally impossible to never pull trick your units, because that’s how the game works! More experienced players are just able to better utilize this behavior than less experienced players. There is no bug to be seen here, so you would have to fundamentally change how unit formations work in order to “fix” this.

As for pillarless walls, @Dolphincup already explained perfectly why they’re not much of a problem either.

I definitely think the devs should not waste time looking into these and instead focus on critical issues such as TP pathing or players spawning monstertrucks in ranked games.


villagers garrisoning in the town center is a core part of the game, one that every new player is taught. rallying and ungarrisoning are also explained in game and are actual core mechanics, ones that can be chained together in a way that follows the games logic and makes sense.

pull trick meanwhile exploits the formation catchup mechanic in a way that was never intended, and rather than fundamentally changing anything putting a distance/time limit would make it work as intended. it wasn’t intended to give your units massive speed boosts to cross large areas of the map, just like how defensive formation was never intended to clump your units in a small box to maximize siege damage, or revive your heroes no matter their hp.

rocket boosting a quarter of the map by manipulating the catchup mechanic is never explained and isn’t fundamental to the game, just like machine gun and alt-d weren’t, despite being part of how the system worked.

raising the skill ceiling for worse gameplay isn’t a good tradeoff, just like manual farm seeding. it is repetitive and can be frustrating, its not explained in game and it breaks a core design of walls by the original developers. if wall damage isn’t meant to be spread to segments then it should be made the default way that walls function. and if walls are balanced around and meant to be cheaper then reduce their price directly.

its not a competition. fixing one thing doesn’t mean something else should be ignored. all bugs, hacks and exploits should be fixed. I haven’t played ranked since the monster truck rallies began and I would love to have it fixed as much as anyone else, that doesn’t mean I should ignore everything else broken with the game.


Why don’t u just learn how to do it?

I mean pulling these moves off doesn’t come by for free…it’s at the expense of ur apm that could be better served at managing ur units or eco.

Also there is that big risk that u can accidentally delete something else.

An exploit is different to me. It’s when u know a loop hole in the game and requires little to no effort to abuse it.

Try building pillarlesss or pull tricking while ur in the heat of a battle or when ur trying to juggle ur eco while defending a rush or a raid. Then u will appreciate that it takes a lot of skill

Btw if u are losing to a player who are doing these things…it’s NOT because if they are doing those 2 things…it’s because they probably have a lot more experience and better control of the game if they can pull those things off.

I mean if a player can use those tricks effectively while u strugle…I would assume there micro and macro would be better than urs also

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People are obscuring the point by telling you to just learn the trick and use it too. In fact, the trick isn’t that hard way, but the important thing is that you don’t do it, anyone can do it.

The buggy play, called the wall trick, forces the game of supremacy into a treaty. Of course, the wall should be a structure that protects against absurd defeat due to early all-in and gives a brief time to a civilization that is weak in the early stage, but if your opponent decides to use an annoying tactic called ‘turtle’, you will be at that moment. From now on, you are forced to play the treaty.

It doesn’t matter if you like both mods, but most supremacy players don’t like treaty mode very much. But walls force the game into a treaty. The boring and boring wall-building competition continues, and if you lose, you lose interest in the game even faster.


I have suggested a solution to this problem in the past. Probably with this proposal, if the wall is in the field with HP1 as soon as the construction is performed, unlike other buildings, this behavior is expected to be a little reduced.

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Out of 10 games u play…how many players really abuse walls? 1 out of 10, 2 out of 10?

Turtling is part of RTS mechanic…maybe u need to adjust ur game than just doing all in rush.

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Fewer people abusing doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Besides, I also know that the playstyles are completely different from region to region. Perhaps you are playing in Europe or America. If you have a chance, try playing games with Asians in the early morning hours. They don’t hesitate to use any tactics to win.


The problem of turtling on AOE3 is that AOE3 has the infinite resources mechanic, so in theory, a guy can turtle forever(that’s very different from AOE2 or SC2 for example where the resources will end eventually and the ‘turtler’ will have to come out). Turtling on AOE3 is especially obnoxious due to that.

Walls really should be nerfed in every way, since all they do is promoting an extremely annoying and slow(even potentially infinite) game, it’s not even a balance issue(it is too TBF) just a gameplay/design one(which IMO is WAY more important) if the way to nerf it comes from removing pillarless walls from the game, so be it, the change will get my whole support at least.

Also to the guys saying that it requires a lot of skill to pull this trick off…you guys are serious? It takes 3 clicks and 5 seconds MAX.

Yes, the controversy over Turtling and the walls all stemmed from that. However, some players are unaware of the problem at all and just tell you to use that strategy too.

It is a competition for the attention of developers. They have limited time and we should put forward the most burning issues that make the game unplayable (cheats, gamebreaking bugs, balance issues), and only afterwards discuss issues like these where there is some very real debate on what should or should not be changed. You say broken, I say not, as I see these things as mechanics.

If you want to get a higher quality discussion, though, I would suggest making separate topics for each of the discussed so called “broken” mechanics, as I have different opinion on each of these, and I bet others’ opinions also vary point by point.


No, after all, game design changes are also related to balance, and numerous wall constructions break the game. If your opponent starts building a dock with countless walls, maybe we can guess that this will be a long and boring fight.

You’re playing supremacy to play a short and fast game, not to break and smash countless walls. Anyone who is thrilled to break a lot of walls in the first place is probably already playing a treaty.

It’s not wrong to ues it because it hasn’t been revised for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not broken. If you enjoy seeing the long and boring walls, you might think you don’t need to change them, but I don’t think so and most people probably perceive the walls as very annoying.

I’ve started a discussion focused on pull trick and other exploits of bugs in the game mechanics here: Why exploits like Pull Trick are bad for the game - Age of Empires III: DE / III - Discussion - Age of Empires Forum

as for walls, I started a discussion on this exact topic here a while ago:
Walls, Two Suggestions - Age of Empires III: DE / III - Discussion - Age of Empires Forum

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You can set up a shortcut to select all of a type an thus selecting only the pillars all at once, this makes pillarless walls easy to make, even for newcomers.
Check my video: https://youtu.be/9Br6h0ynvqI

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