Siege friendly fire

There’s been a few posts about nerfing siege and really would like to see devs introduce friendly fire and maybe making siege less accurate when shooting at military units.

I feel like this will make players use siege in a more strategic way and create more realistic battles rather than having masses of siege fighting against each other especially in late game.

Curious to see people’s thoughts on this?


I was going to ask about something related to this. Am I right in thinking that the nest of bees does cause friendly fire damage, but mangonels don’t? I know I could test this in the game, but I figured you’d know. I’ve been doing the Chinese masteries and nest of bees seemed to be causing friendly fire damage.

In the notes for the last patch, they say: “Developer Note: In many cases the nest of bees would fire less shots than intended, making it inferior to the Mangonel. Civ unique units should not feel like a liability, but instead an exciting perk!”

Now, nest of bees causing friendly fire damage seems to me like a major weakness compared to mangonels not causing friendly fire damage, if that is indeed the case. I feel like they should be the same, whether that is both causing, or both not causing, friendly fire damage.

Overall I think it’s very unrealistic to have mangonels not causing friendly fire damage, but I can see why they’d choose that approach for their “low micro” “feel like a general” philosophy for the game. I’m not sure which I’d prefer. For low skill players, not causing friendly fire makes them much more usable, but it lowers the skill ceiling for high skill players. I’d say ranked should probably have friendly fire damage, but it could maybe be a setting to turn it off for single player and custom unranked lobbies.

Correctly if I’m wrong, but rarely had I seen a RTS game overhauling its base physics mechanics. So I doubt if that will ever happen.


Personally I prefer it without friendly fire. Siege need to nerfed by drastically slowing their movement and packing speeds

Assuming you’re referring to friendly fire and accuracy, those kinds of things are tweaked for balance all the time. Splash radius, armour penetration, whatever the game engine supports (and Relic’s Essence engine has a ton of this kind of detail).

I don’t think it’s an unrealistic request. I’m not for or against it so much myself, but I agree it should at least be consistent across different types of siege unit.

Changing aoe from 1 to 2 and changing friendly fire from 0 to 100% are vastly different and the latter could have much greater impact on the gameplay.

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Not disagreeing at all. I was talking about RTS games in general. Of course, as this is Age of Empires, maybe they won’t make major changes outside of a new game in the series.

I disagree with implementing friendly fire for siege. It would make siege super unfriendly to casual players, while having a lesser impact on the higher elos. Friendly fire is a toxic mechanic that demands egregious amounts of micro from players and punishes them for making their own units.

If siege needs another nerf (and I’m not convinced it does), nerf its pack/unpack speed, or its hp, or its damage. All of those would be less toxic than friendly fire


AOE 1 and 2 had a friendly fire and it improved the gameplay to the next level.
It demands more skill and changes the usage of sieges dramatically.
Current siege engines are so broken and not very satisfying at all, as players can use them when their own units are on the targeted area and would not receive any penalty. It also balances grenadiers as they would be used more carefully and would not drop nades under their feet and live.

In simple words, current sieges don’t need any skill, just click and attack. No need to calculate and take care of your own units as it does not have any penalty.

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LOL, so micro is not part of a strategy?
What is strategy?

Strategy is a long-term goal that consists of many tactical approaches.
All successful tactical approaches lead to a strategic goal.
Without tactics, there is no strategic goal.

Tactics are every action and approach that is done in a short term to achieve the long-term goal.

AOE4 is advertised and promised to deliver competitive gameplay but delivered casual gameplay. And here you are complaining that it needs to be a casual game… Then why do we need tournaments?

Oooh, and also I almost forgot, it is bcse you main Chinese as your main lol
So you don’t want to see any siege nerfs or mechanics added in AOE4…

You need to control your BIAS.

Yeah to be honest, having friendly fire from my own support units in that intense chaos and micro management of units is a bit too much for casual players. I would 100% struggle with it and maybe even renounce making siege altogether to avoid that extra stress.

Trebuchets barely hit moving targets as it is, Mangonels also are more effective against a mass of enemies and shooting at one spot. Most rocks thrown from siege can be dodged and most sieges now can be countered if they are too slow to position where you need them. I’ve seen countless units of mine and of enemy’s dodging projectiles and using formations for a better approach.

You’ve already got to manage the troop’s formation, how are the rows arranged, who they focus, how they split themselves to fight enemies, moving them according to enemy movement, toggling them back from bad attack-move command- you get the point. It’s already hard as it is. One tiny mistake and bad positioning are fatal in a fight. All the while, manage the base, make sure wood villagers don’t scatter too much, upgrades have to be done in time, scout the enemy base, think what he’s trying to do to counter it or make a strategy to make it move how you wish, remember all faction’s best ages, with their ups and downs-to put it short, it’s really a lot of things to take into consideration. Being always alert and keeping it pro is what this game endorses most, casual gameplay is kind of neglected.

The game is extremely competitive so far, most people rush, you can’t take your time at all even in team games where pressure is higher because we also have the problem of a huge imbalance in terms of civs and maps.

Because of all this I am honestly against adding friendly fire to siege units.

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The game is not close to the term competitive.
It is like playing against the game at the moment.
Not against the player.

You can watch the viper’s March 2nd AOE4 FB stream. He will tell you why the game is for casual gamers and not competitive.

I’m not watching a 7 hour stream to find a point, you have to provide it to the table, but that is not the problem, rather that the players play the game, the game is made in a certain way, therefore if they do anything to win using the game’s mechanics as fast as possible in the majority of the games, it makes it a competitive game. How competitive depends on how determined the players are to just win the game and nothing else matters. Sure there are some who use tactics but have no experience, but they also add to the problem when looking from a perception where every player encountered plays like the pros teach them to play.

Now we could argue that playing casual means just doing Sim City as I have seen others accusing some before, but the reality is that the casual wants to get all ages, establish an economy and improve its combat skills and tactics by having fun and getting a feel of the game and of what it has to offer in civs, and aesthetics. The game is not fun and you don’t learn anything when your options are limited and you get destroyed due to handicap inflicted by mechanics. Therefore as you said, you play against the game by that point but the game is played by the player thus why so many struggle to be the best when they know the game has balance issues and create a competitive perspective to casuals like me? If it’s really the option of the day to play the game that’s broken, why struggle so much? Why learn if there isn’t a ranked even? For tournaments? Sure but not like tournaments will bring the balance back. That is the problem. The player lacks the common sense to enjoy itself while playing.

Now one may argue that fun comes in different tastes but I would challenge that idea by saying that fun is not an equivalent of won games but of feeling the game, making memories, seeing the passion of childhood reborn. You want to remember AOE IV as ‘‘that game I once played that brought me great times’’.

Taking both perspectives into account to what conclusion did we arrive? Should casuals retire to AI games and leave quickplay and future ranked to this type of behavior just because they can’t compete with someone obsessed with proving themselves to a world that probably doesn’t care about such achievements because each looks for glory in its own way?

This is why the game is not fun to play. So if we take both your perspective and mine, both looking seemingly not pleased with this situation, how are we to discuss the balance of a possible siege friendly fire update? When the game cannot hold it without dropping on casuals because it doesn’t provide with the necessary aspects for it to be a casual game while it doesn’t meet the standards of others like you?

It’s a very sensitive ground and I don’t believe it’s necessary for such mechanic to exist YET if that’s the case, because the game needs more to be able to hold something like this for both types of players to be happy. Maybe in some years when most of it will be finally finished, we may be able to talk about siege friendly fire. Until then I believe other things are a priority in terms of changes.

AOE4 got so many issues that cannot be controlled by the player.
For example, map generation, UI, bugs, unit differentiation, limited Horkey accessibility, limited zoom, poor mini-map readability, lack of features and mechanics such as 100% projectile accuracy, and more.

Real-time projectile velocity and accuracy mechanic gives the player more control and allow the enemy player to react instead of a 100% hit rate guarantee.

At that point, many players feel that they are playing against the game, not the player.

The time of the stream when he talks a bit about the issue is 2:48:00 hrs/min/sec.


Not all of them, but bombards and manganels probably yes.

The problem with mangonels right now is that they crush both front line and back line. The front line tend to cram into a small space where they get massacred by mangonel shelling. I think we can decrease the effectiveness of mangos by changing their damage mechanics. Instead of dealing damage to all units in an area, we can set a maximum number of units that will receive the damage (e.g. 6). This is a work around assuming we don’t get friendly fire.

Did you not see me call for nerfs to siege’s hp, damage, or pack/unpack speed at the end of my post (if necessary)? Again, I’m not convinced that siege still needs a nerf - perhaps that part is my bias - but I am open to more siege nerfs, just not implementing friendly fire.

What friendly fire would do is raise the skill floor of the game to be much more inaccessible to casuals. Will it also raise the skill ceiling a bit (and benefit competitive players)? Yeah, probably. But the effect of raising the skill floor will no doubt hasten the decline of this game. Ideally this game would be accessible to casuals while maintaining a high skill ceiling for the pros. Punishing players for making their own units makes a game more inaccessible, not accessible

And I agree that this game isn’t the best for competitive players either - but that’s not due to a lack of friendly fire. There are much better ways they could make the game competitive. Many of them you bought up - better map generation, UI, fully customizable hotkeys, smoother unit control, etc. Hell, I think making Mangonel/Bees lose their tracking ability would be great for improving gameplay and increasing the skill ceiling. But not friendly fire. And I don’t see Viper (or any other pros for that matter) calling for friendly fire either.

Friendly fire will limit the usage of sieges. Players will no longer spam sieges as they will become situational siege units.

Devs can change siege hp, damage, movement speed, pack/unpack speed, etc, but it will not stop siege spam. Without friendly fire, players just spam sieges and use it brainlessly as it does not have much risk, but only rewards.

This is why friendly fire is necessary to make the siege units more of situational units.

This part is clearly untrue. Just as a thought experiement, imagine if they gave Mangonels 1 HP. And had them only do 1 damage. And had them take 5 minutes to pack/unpack. Obviously, no one would build mangonels in this situation. Thus, there would be no more mangonel spam, but we have still have no friendly fire.

This means that there is some point between where we are now, and that extreme hypothetical above, where Siege becomes not (or less) spammable. They can make further adjustments to siege as necessary to find that point, while avoiding the toxic effects of friendly fire.

And one last thing - you talk about competitive play, but I’ve seen, in high-elo streams and pro games, cav used to much greater effect to counter siege ever since they made that change. Most of the pros have the macro/micro/multitasking capacity to flank and dive siege with cav ,or sometimes even infantry, while sniping with spingalds. So I would argue siege is perfectly balanced at the higher levels, and that it’s only the lower levels, where players don’t play aggressive, don’t spend their money, and amove in one direction, where siege spam is an issue.

Thus, if you want to weaken siege further, you want a change that helps the casuals more, not the competitive players, lest you render siege useless at the higher levels. And friendly fire is not that change