Players always construct the same landmarks - let's fix it

You know how it goes in 90% of matches:

English: Council Hall → King’s Palace → Berkshire
French: School of Cavalry → Guild Hall → Red Palace
HRE: Aachen Chapel → Regnitz → Palace of Swabia
China: Some initial variation but then always → Clocktower → Spirit Way
Rus: Golden Gate → Abbey of the Trinity → High Armory
Mongols: Deer Stones → Steppe Redoubt → ? (they always win before imp, lol)
Delhi: Besides Dome of the Faith, I do see some variation here.
Abbasid: Mostly economic wing → Culture → Military

Here’s an idea I’ve been toying with:

Instead of nerfing OP landmarks (e.g. Regnitz) or buffing crappy ones (e.g. Abbey of Kings), force ALL landmarks to have some kind of drawback. If you make the wrong landmark choice, you’re toast. Right now, at worst landmarks just sit there doing nothing (e.g. an empty Regnitz).

So let’s say you choose the Council Hall to mass-produce longbows like 99% of English players, that means you’re focusing on ranged units, so building that landmark causes you to lose the Elite Knight tech, or the last melee armor/attack blacksmith upgrades.

Another example: You go heavy on a strong economy as French or Rus (Chamber of Commerce, Golden Gate, Guild Hall, etc.). For having OP economy you forgo access to strong late units, instead having to mass-produce weaker, cheaper units.

Delhi’s Dome of the Faith produces Scholars 50% cheaper, but slightly increases villager production time.

You have superpowered siege as a Chinese with the Clocktower, but you don’t have springalds (your extra-ranged bombards have to compensate).

Etc… There’s a ton of creativity to be applied here, but I hope you see the idea: choosing a specific landmark should force you to make better strategic choices that can really come back to bite you if you didn’t scout properly or your enemy chooses a way to counteract.

The fact that all civs have access to basically the full tech tree no matter what is a terribly dumb choice (and a stark contrast to AoE2), plus in almost all matches you are guaranteed to know what landmarks your enemy is going to build. This too could be a good way balance Mongols and other OP civs without applying a civ-wide nerf. It would also completely change the team games dynamic since your teammate can compensate for a unit you’re missing while you can help support their economy.

As a closing comment, some landmarks still need some sort of buff of course.


I lile the spinoff and the idea, but for example, chinees without springyalds… That’s game over right away.
I play chinees main, and almost everyone prepares for the buffed bombards.

All i meet in the field is 5+ springyalds, it even changed my play. The first unit i create in castle is a springyald, and then another one to be ready. Without knowing if the enemy’s have siege. (They always have)

This is needed. Without counterplay avelabilities you will turn this game in a poker game.
I do understand the idea, but you can’t remove units.

As an example, again the chinees, they are missing the mangonel. Instead they have the NOB, which is suppoost to be better, but is bugged out a.t.m.

When i play against HRE, i know i’m screwed if they play meta, quick Castle age. They spam MAA with mangonals, mangonals i can counter with springyalds, MAA i can’t counter.

They castle way faster than china, before i get mass crossbows out, they have 30+ MAA knocking at the gates.

With this example i try to explain how things look like if you remove a counter unit… (Me sitting on my knies now and praying for a patched NOB on the next update)

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Council Hall: Reduces range of longbows by 50%
School of Cavalry: Moves Knights to Age 3 instead
Clocktower: Reduces movement speed of siege by 50%
Golden Gate: Every ticker makes researches more and more expensive
Deer Stones: Cannot harvest deer to get food
Palace of Swabia: Villagers die after 2 minutes
Abbey of the Trinity: Relics consume gold instead
Steppe Redoubt: Cannot make knights
Guild Hall: Causes current resources to reduce if not used
High Armory: Causes all units to become high, very high

All civilizations have a complete tech tree is not a bad design. It makes game more complex and variable. The problem of AOE4 is it’s still not that different. In AOE3, all civilizations have many unique technologies and a (nearly) complete tech tree, and that’s really good designs. Civilizations varies on villages trained with wood or gold, or population building provides free village, resources or weapon. Those great difference proves it doesn’t need a lack of anything to make game better. Relic should provide more and more radical differences of each civilizations, not move back and return to AOE2’s model of lack.


So let’s say you choose the Council Hall to mass-produce longbows like 99% of English players, that means you’re focusing on ranged units, so building that landmark causes you to lose the Elite Knight tech, or the last melee armor/attack blacksmith upgrades.

and at age 3 all longbows are worthless against MAA and now? Sorry but this is no solution for me.
we need more options, so buff the landmarks like abbey and dont restrict units, this would be really terrible.


I rrally don’t like that approach as it just limits the players options rather thanimproving them. It’s much better to buff or tweak some landmarks that are not used and nerf the ones that are too strong rn.

Tu idea no es totalmente errónea, pero, esta parte…hermano, por favor no digas eso. Es una locura. Delhi ya tiene problemas para mantener un buen número de aldeanos en los juegos de equipo contra la dura presión temprana.

Prefiero que se refuercen los puntos débiles.

I beg to disagree. I still think access to the full tech tree for all civs is wrong.

I hate comparing this game to AoE2 just as the next guy, but the best civs and the most interesting ones to play in AoE2 always have a big compromise somewhere, like the Mesoamerican civs completely lacking cavalry.

Civs with access to almost all techs like Spain and the Byzantines don’t fare too well in stats.

I think the biggest issue is that in general AoE4 is seriously lacking in unit diversity compared to previous titles, so I understand getting defensive about “removing” the few units we do have.

You still have knights, just not the last elite upgrade (if you played AoE2 think of it as having Cavaliers but not Paladins). Non-elite knights with all blacksmith upgrades are still a formidable foe. You also have stronger MAA of or your own, plus crossbows. In fact there could be a tech to buff up English crossbows a bit during the late game to compensate for the lack of elite knights.

I dont understand it. You write 90% build the Council Hall
and now you wanna make other units weaker, so what do you think will happen? No one will build this weaker units and a few weeks later you start a thread, oh every engaldn player build only unit xy.
Buff the weak landmarks, so you have a 2nd choice, this makes the game better.


Regnitz Cathedral: Decreases prelate speed by 50%

I think this accurately identifies a problem, which is that it is very rare to see deviations from a specific landmark path, given that a number of the landmarks are just clearly superior to others. Giving drawbacks to each landmark is an interesting notion, but what I prefer is reworking a number of the landmarks such that they benefit a particular strategic route.

The English currently have the excellent Council Hall for feudal age aggression, and then the extremely bad Abbey of Kings, which also seems geared around feudal age aggression (healing military units), but is just much worse at it. If Abbey of Kings was a landmark geared around economic benefit instead, English players would have a choice between an early economic boom or a strong feudal rush, instead of a choice between a bad feudal military landmark and a good one.

Or if England is conceived of as a civilization that has to have a strong feudal military presence, Abbey of Kings could instead provide some bonus to horsemen or spears, for if you are anticipating an opponent having a strong archer or horseman presence.

Best way to nerf/buff landmarks is the same way they are doing it with wonders: scaling.

If you scale the ingame cost of landmarks with how often they are built by players in a similar ELO range, then the problem will solve itself.

e.g. Meinwork palace is built in 30% of games in the current patch in the ELO 1300-1400 range, then it gets some amount (5-10%) cheaper than the base price, while the other landmark Aachen Chapel gets 5-10% more expensive.

id rather the landmarks cost the same amount of resources but have equally useful/viable benefits, but thats just me. i don’t want to feel like i got the cheaper landmark then regret it later when my economy is booming