Should Outposts be Buffed?

I was recently watching a casted game on Aussie Drongo’s YouTube channel in which one of the players basically bottled his rival with outposts while he boomed all over the map with Ports. Despite a massive initial lead, once they reached the Fortress Age the surrounded player managed to easily break free from the contain and overran the Portuguese player.

There were many reasons for the sudden turn in tides in that game, but I can’t help but feel that one of the key factors was that the Port player invested heavily in building and upgrading outposts instead of building up a bigger mass of units. The truth is that in the current meta outposts largely just serve as forward arrival points for home city shipments and little else. Outpost upgrades are rarely used, and for a good reason. Outside naval maps, they offer little return on investment, and only really serve to zone out an enemy during Age 2 (and even then not that convincingly).

Which brings me to the main point of the thread, should outposts and their upgrades be made more attractive to players by reducing their cost a little? The current cost of the outpost is 250 wood (which is the slowest gathering resource in the map and thus the most valuable as well) and the upgrade to Frontier outpost will set you back 400 wood and 200 coin, and another 800 wood and 400 coin if you want to go all the way up to fortified outposts. I haven’t done the math in villager seconds, but I am sure the DPS in fighting units you can purchase for that many resources exceeds by far the benefits you can reap from even the whole lineup of seven outposts (because honestly, who sends the card to increase to nine outposts?).

What do you guys think?

  • Buff them by decreasing the cost of their upgrades a little.
  • Buff them by slightly decreasing the cost of building each outpost.
  • Buff them by decreasing both their building cost and the upgrades.
  • Why change them? I only need a forward rally point. Defenses are for noobs.
  • I’m actually leaning towards nerfing them. Let rushes reign supreme!

0 voters

4 Likes

IMO there’s a few problems with outposts but the big one is that they aren’t a meaningful deterrent. Most of the time they are ignored by a raiding army and just don’t actually control much land unless built in massive numbers. I watched that game too and knew what was going to happen and to be fair the opponent didn’t play accurately. If they went Grenadiers or went around the towers to their base, it’d have been over extremely quickly, but too many players are used to their mid map confrontation every game, they don’t think about how to play against something new.

It takes 5 shots to kill an age 2 musket at three shots per second, that’s really bad. Compare that to how deadly towers can be in aoe2. Granted that’s if garrisoned but it’s still a meaningful deterrent early in the game.

Outposts are of course insanely cost efficient at the cost of no mobility but that’s only if the enemy attacks the building. If they can afford to ignore it, it’s basically only useful as a drop off.

If you want outposts to get used more, I think it should be tried to nerf the HP but increase the attack. However war huts and blockhouses should remain as is.

The age 3 and 4 upgrade should be cheaper too but the age 3 should increase the HP/attack to the level it’s at now since currently it only increases the attack. You are paying more to upgrade a thing you can only have 7 of unless you invest more cards.

6 Likes

They could up the attack for each garrisoned villager like Town Centers. That would at least make them a little more useful for keeping villagers safe around a forward mine or hunt.

6 Likes

so, why is he making outpost then?
on your options to answer the nerf or remain same options should not have aditional comentaries.
outpost are not for defending, are for having an option to garrison and to see more map.
Defending with outpost is useless if the army is big

OP can be pretty suppressive in treaty, buffing them likely would lead to issues with factions like the US which are already pretty good.

im a not sure if this would count as a buff, but after the final upgrade outposts and similar buildings have 2 attacks, one bombard and one range. Its set to only use the bombard, but could be fun if it can do both.

3 Likes

That is exactly the problem I see with them. They cost the same as a barracks, but garrisoned units cannot attack from it, and they have no area of effect attack, making them a puny defense and a useless sinkhole of wood. Towers have been an important defensive territorial control unit in the franchise since the start, except in AoE3, which seems a bit out of place.

I definitely don’t advocate for the grueling tower rushes and turtling strategies of AoE2, but at least something that would make this building attractive to use for its original historical defensive purpose instead of just as a dropoff point.

3 Likes

In my own forum I proposed that they have a further improvement on the imperial age. At this age they are almost completely irrelevant.

In addition, the defensive game should have a little more prominence. All styles of play must be supported.
They should increase their attack when they are garrisoned. I also think they are very easy to knock down; I think that with 200 more resistance points by default it would be fine.

3 Likes

definition of outpost: a small military camp or position at some distance from the main force, used especially as a guard against surprise attack.

Outposts aren’t meant to be massed around your town center, they’re meant to protect villagers who are gathering far away, or to be used as a military shipment point. They do great at what they’re designed to do.

Those are actually good proposals, outposts are actually nearly irrelevant right now as is. It is against all logic that a bunkered settler would do nothing to help repel an assailant that would kill him if he breached the defensive building, but that is exactly what we have right now.

However, even by this definition outposts currently are not really fulfilling their role. When have you ever seen anybody invest in them to protect forward villagers or even to increase their map awareness?

Nobody does that because they suck at that job for their current cost. Outposts cost as much as a barracks, and if you only want map awareness, you could achieve that by just building a house which is much cheaper and about as useful. Nobody uses them to protect vills because their single target attack means that the losses of taking them down will be minimal even without siege units.

It is just unrealistic to believe that settlers hidden in an outpost cuddle in fear and do absolutely nothing to save themselves from the armed adversaries trying to kill them from outside.

Finally, why even bother including upgrades for outposts in the game if there is zero practical reason to invest in them?

3 Likes

To be fair this was the design intent and I don’t entirely disagree. Imperial age should be when the game comes to a close, not be drawn out further.

Honestly with their siege damage they are more relevant in Industrial/Imperial then they are in colonial. They do a lot more damage and can’t be merely ignored. Granted with artillery it’s easier to deal with but counter artillery is incredibly potent. I’ve done some pretty annoying things to people with towers and a bunch of culverins. It’s damn hard to break through. Early in the game though which is the issue towers are basically useless beyond a drop off point,

Keep in mind that the upgrade cards available to buildings are a lot better then they are for units even though there are fewer of them. Improved buildings for example is an age 1 card at 40% hp. No unit card remotely comes close to that and their HP is bigger to being with so the buff is larger.

Defensive play isn’t that bad either in terms of numbers, especially on no trade route maps. United States, Inca, Aztec and obviously Portugal are good at it. The issue is that mills and estates are so poor and require such an upfront investment that losing map control is equal to losing the game in many cases and then there’s stagecoach to contend with too on most maps.

1 Like

In treaty mode it’s just the beginning. Currently the towers are only strong against ships. Against ground units they are ridiculous.

1 Like

Treaty in itself is imbalanced by default. Some nations are good early. Some are good late. Treaty negates this entirely and it’s balance is always going to be worse for this reason alone.

Balancing for it at the cost of supremacy is a mistake. Of course if you can do it with minimal impact I’m not against it, totally get the appeal of treaty but buffing towers in Imperial and giving some players the tools of drawing out the game even more is not going to be popular.

As it stands people hate defensive options which as we’ve discussed aren’t great.

4 Likes

Yes. Many have asked that there be different patches for each game mode, but I do not see it necessary because the cards that are used for the treated mode are usually different for supremacy. Something simple would be more competitive in terms of pre-Columbian cibilizations would be to make only 10 units needed in the plaza instead of 25. An improvement in the imperial era that makes fewer units needed in the plaza to extract its full potential.

this happens all the time in the pro scene. people do often play greedy and send their vills out w/ no protection, but it’s not uncommon for a tower to drop down, especially if they’re feeling pressure.

I think I’ve seen this once at pro level but I’ll be honest, I don’t watch that many games. Still can you site examples?

1 Like

hausa outpost defintevily should be nerf you can see half map with full upgrade outposts,

1 Like

I do like how the devs made outposts more meaningful in the African civs, meaning they are at some level aware that they need a buff to make them attractive.

2 Likes

… Or rather improve those of other civilizations accordingly.

2 Likes

hausa just need a way that farms doesnt take hunders of clicks to build to fulle co

1 Like