Slinger talk

So I come from alot of RTS games, mainly from the SC2 scene.

Played everything from Total war, over SC, Company of Heroes and AoE.
I really have to say, from a competitive perspective, this is by far the worst.
It seems like slingers, especially the slinger upgrade, criples the pacing/flow of this game so ■■■■ much.
You have a rock/paper/scissors layout on everything with racks>stables>archery while walls are timebuyers.
Everything of this mechanic is completely getting steamrolled by the slinger unit.
It has bonus damage with good attackspeed on walls, has dmg/range increase paired with fast attackspeed for kyting, and doesn’t get cripled by pathfinding like any meele unit that are supposed to counter them.
They simply counter everything and every 1v1 I play becomes “who gets the most amount of slingers first”.
Mind you, I am only barely over 1800+ in the old client and I am by far not the best, but I feel early game is a dead end here.
It feels like slingers are way too strong and one should look into it.
It’s by far not an aggressive opener or an all in with pros and cons anymore, it’s a “one thing does it all” tool right in the beginning of the match which just frustrates the heck out of me.

Any feedback or other opinions?

3 Likes

This topic has been spoken thousands of times.
Personally, I think the slinger is fine, in fact it is a unit that is seen very little in multiplayer games, and loses power in Bronze.
While the Slinger in Tool is a threat, the best thing we can do is rush Bronze.
But they could also improve the tool balance to make it more interesting.

I suggest two solutions: The first thing would be to move the Stone Mining (market improvement) to Bronze, and for the Slinger to receive the bonuses in that age, it would no longer be a threat.
The second solution would be that the improvement of Stone Mining does not provide attack, and that it only improves the range. The Slinger has 2 basic attack, and also does not benefit from armor, so even the villagers can block their way and kill them.

Another thing that could change the Slingers, is the bonus they have against towers and walls. Then a village with towers would mean a problem for Slingers.

1 Like

I think they should fit a certain role of beeing unique in anti-tower wise so I don’t think they should be weaker against buildings in general.

Maybe take the +1 attack from the upgrade, give them something like 1 more range and 1 more bonus damage against archer units to underline their anti-archer layout even in midgame against stuff like chariot archers?

I don’t know, those are complete blindshots.
Again, I am not the best player but I feel like it’s really bad to get into this game in higher levels, because this unit seems to be just the ultimate tool in every case, especially when you hit critical mass with them and bronce rush-> cav doesn’t even help to release you from their pressure.

1 Like

I agree. Slinger is too srong. I think it should remove the bonus from market upgrade (+1 attack and +1 rage). They would still be very strong. At moment it just kills everything once its massed.

2 Likes

In 1v1, this game is like playing with 2 ages only : stone and tool because after tooling it’s all about who pump the most amount of slingers win. So plz, nerf slingers because I want to play bronze and iron like many others players

In the last year I played AoE DE almost daily, and even if i’m not an expert I think I am doing better. At the beginning I also thought that slingers were too strong.
After a while I learned some points that I will share as an opinion:

  • They are not completely useless in Bronze as they can be still pretty decent if you keep pumping them to destroy buildings, I mean if you are still in Tool and the others are in Bronze. The problem is when you get rushed by cavalry they become useless.
  • Something to consider is that slingers can be produced only in Tool age, and they cost stone. If a player starts making clubmen while tooling and focuses food, he could have 8-10 axemen by the time you start making slingers. And unless you can really make a lot of slingers before he kills your vills, or unless you wall urself in time, then I think you are dead.
  • Slingers cost stone, this means you will need to remove 1-2 vills from food and put them on stone.
  • Yes they are pretty dangerous when you get attacked by them. Of course it depends a lot on the game. If you don’t know your opponent, going slingers is not always effective, because if your opponent goes clubs/axes before you make slingers, or if he rushes bronze while walling and manages to make cavalry, your slingers become almost useless.

Maybe the only change that I could suggest is this: Since you start with 150 stone in a normal Random Map, and slingers cost 10, this means you can make 15 without gathering stone. Maybe increase the initial cost to 15 Stone would mean you can spam less slingers. Also consider that the first Stone upgrade in the market costs 50 stone. So you are almost forced to put 1-2 vills on stone.
But even like this, if someone focuses food and spams Axemen, they are not less powerful than slingers, often. Every tool rush is dangerous if you don’t know how to defend.

I understand that sling rush seems like an unfair move but I also think there are ways to counter them, it just requires time to learn how to. At the moment I am not that good to counter them but I am learning. I think the players saying that slingers should be nerfed just can’t find the way to counter them. The best ways I found so far are to rush before getting rushed (or at least at the same time), try to get control over enemy’s stone, try to wall up and bronze to make cavalry and/or long-range archers (expecially on water maps where you can produce more food quickly).

1 Like

They are not completely useless in Bronze as they can be still pretty decent if you keep pumping them to destroy buildings, I mean if you are still in Tool and the others are in Bronze. The problem is when you get rushed by cavalry they become useless.

The point of the slinger game I critizise is that fast bronce, if even possible cause they force a big stop it now before they get critical mass situation, is close to impossible and even if reached, the critical mass of slinger handily take out bronce age units with minor losses, except if they get close to be evened out with units.
This situation is not realistic tho, since the whole point of this “age-rush” is to unlock tech without having much eco behind it.
So even if you reach it, somebody that is spamming 3 racks slingers since reaching toolage is going to roll over you.

.
.

Something to consider is that slingers can be produced only in Tool age, and they cost stone. If a player starts making clubmen while tooling and focuses food, he could have 8-10 axemen by the time you start making slingers. And unless you can really make a lot of slingers before he kills your vills, or unless you wall urself in time, then I think you are dead.

This only supports my point right?
Different unit opening variations become not viable anymore.
Everything you do is a 9 men clubmen all-in while aging up to toolage now, nothing else viable, only for having a timeframe of about a minute to deal damage to the oponents villager line until the oponent gets the upper hand with mass slingers again?

One major differentiation in this again, which is underlining my point again:
Compared to axemen slingers:

  • Have no trouble against wall ins
  • Can snipe repairing wall ins
  • Can kyte-chase single units down by running after on distance
  • Scale better with numbers
  • Aren’t effected by bad pathfinding fights

Kyting and walling while axemen chase you is no big deal, slingers can just roll over everything you do.

.
.

Slingers cost stone, this means you will need to remove 1-2 vills from food and put them on stone.

They cost 50 ressources and are build from a stone age building, giving them insanely early timings and making even slight trades against them with scouts (80 per unit / 100 for attackupgrade) or axemen (50 per unit, 200 for attack+axes), which trade bad against them in numbers anyway until a point of beeing not able to trade anymore at all, not efficient.
They are the perfect performance and costefficiency unit that stands above everything right now in my opinion.

.
.

Yes they are pretty dangerous when you get attacked by them. Of course it depends a lot on the game. If you don’t know your opponent, going slingers is not always effective, because if your opponent goes clubs/axes before you make slingers, or if he rushes bronze while walling and manages to make cavalry, your slingers become almost useless.

Watch everything I have written above.

I still always come to the same conclusion:
Slingers are too strong right now.
There are reasons why you don’t go bowmen all in which don’t need the upgrade for damage to have the unit performance of a slinger, while armour up.
Delay in timing cause of archery building after getting toolage and having low damage vs walls while struggling with towers.
This kind of slinger mechanic levers out the gameflow and breaks it down to toolage all ins.
The game isn’t getting decided by anything right now, as far as I can tell, but what kind of play one makes at the timing of reaching toolage.

In any case if slingers were the best unit to use, then everybody would use them. It depends a lot on the match of course. They are also not so easy to use because if you have 20 slingers and you encouter 15 axemen you have to know how to use ur slingers to win the battle.

Also, as I said, depends a lot on your opponent. If you don’t know him, maybe you plan to sling rush him, but if he rushes you with clubs/axes soon, by the time you have enough slingers he might have killed you already.

Maybe now we are considering mostly 1v1, but in many cases slingers are fine how they are. Let’s say you have a 3v3 and you decide to tool rush with axes. Then the enemy team goes bronze before your team and pumps chariots archers. Those units cost a lot but they are pretty dangerous also, expecially if your civ doesn’t have chariots or composite bowmen (greeks are missing both). One thing you can do is to wall up and make slingers+towers because they are very effective against chariots, so I would think twice before changing slingers.

If you know your opponent will sling rush, maybe the best thing to do is to rush him before with axes, I don’t see many other ways. If you don’t know him, you can either rush soon, wall up soon, or rush bronze. You could also scout rush him and try to deny his stone.

The only small changes that come to my mind that could balance a bit the slingers are: (not all together, probably only one the following)

  • Increase Slinger cost +5 stone (+5 food also? maybe… or +10 stone and -5 food, since bowmen cost 40 food and 20 wood.)
  • Allow slinger creation only after researching the first stone upgrade, but then allow Slingers to every civ.

I am with keempf 100% ,

Slingers must be nerfed , they have bonuses against everything early in the game , it doesn’t matter they have very little hp’s or no armor , because once in mass nothing can touch them.

Removing the stone mining attack and range bonus is a must and a good place to start with.

Remove their attack bonus vs towers,walls and buildings …why give them too many bonuses, it’s better for the game to have different rushes and strategies, at least keep tower rushing as an option or a strategy, it was not a common strategy anyway in the original game, variety is better than being one dimensional.

Their bonus should be against archers only imo.

Also , reduce their piercing armor by 1 , and introduce instead a wooden shield that adds +1 pierce armor to all infantry units including slingers, and remove the tower shield in Iron Age or leave it only for elite academy units.

I will start to repeat myself so I am just letting this stand:

-reduce the slinger damage against walls
-> it takes longer to build actual not passable walls than for a slingerblob to tear a hole in it

-take the +1 damage from the upgrade of them
->give them some compensation like +1 bonus damage against archers and/or +1 range

90% of the game is completely absence and not playable since you cannot do anything but slinger blob in competitive game right now.
EVERY single game I play against a player that is actually using his brain is wall in-> axes -> slingerblob.
There is nothing playable in it, it’s just imbalanced.
Do something against it.

1 Like

For me should at least remove the market upgrade bonus (1+attack and 1+range).
At moment, bowman is just useless and massed slingers can destroy anything in tool age: axe, bowman, scout, walls, towers, building and even ships !! It reduces a lot the number of strategies possible in a 1x1 game.

IMO reducing their movespeed to that of the standard hoplite would d the trick

That’s the same movement speed as that of an elephant, sounds too low and this would make them worse vs CA. Not a fan of that hard of a nerf but the idea is good. 1,2 -> 1,1 would be a good start. I’d love to see the same change to bowmen at the same time as well because they suffer from a similar blob problem.

But I still think the +1 attack from the upgrade has to go. With it they’re effectively almost as good massed as bowmen(2,15 vs 2,0 DPS) against everything. And then they simply obliterate archers, towers and walls.

Similarly the bonus vs towers is unnecessary. 3 Axes(150 food vs 150 stone) already tie against a tower without upgrades and with damage upgrade they destroy it with 2 left alive. A few villagers destroy them as well. No need to have a ranged counter on top of that.

The bonus against walls is more complicated and has more variables. If we remove slinger bonus against walls only axes can break walls and they can only break walls if you can protect them from bowmen/slingers inside the walls. This is not a change I’d do without some serious testing. It could make walls untouchable before siege.

That would be awkward as the Hoplite is a heavily armoured unit so the slow speed makes somewhat sense.

I am surprised that nobody in this thread mentioned lowering the Rate of Fire (ROF) as a balance suggestion. It would be a fair nerf without touching its cost. For example they nerfed the Helepolis ROF as well when AoE:DE came out.

Walls should definitely be more resistant to slingers, I’ve seen in the past streams walls going down too fast with several slingers.

Or

Slingers should be unable to fire over walls.

I don’t think we should be doing anything that removes its uses, how about we slow them down to a little faster than hoplites then, and also remove the +1 range from the first stone mining upgrade. It makes sense that they are slow because they carry alot of stones.

This will nerf them against everything equally. They will suffer vs CA and the archer line with this. Nerfing damage leaves their counter role intact(can just increase bonus damage by the same amount normal damage is nerfed.)

1 Like

That makes no sense as archers carry lots of arrows as well.

Why are you so keen in keeping them useful for everything? Isn’t the role of the Slinger to be a rock-paper-scissor vs Tool Age units? CA is a Bronze age unit. As soon as people hit Bronze, it turns mostly into CA fest anyway. I have hardly seen players who keep producing Slingers once Bronze Age is happening. It is usually Cavalry or CA.

Edit: From what I see, Axe -> Slinger -> Bowman -> Axe etc. for rock-paper-scissor design. However, we all agree here that this mechanic isn’t working as massed Slingers win over Axe as well. Which shouldn’t be. The goal should be finding fine balance between these three units. CA is not a part of this deal.

I am sorry if I formulated that badly so let me do this again so it can’t be misunderstood:

  1. Slingers should not win against anything else but archers(and vils to an extent)
  2. Slingers should be useful against archers

Reducing RoF accomplishes condition 1 but it does not accomplish condition 2 so it is not a good change to make. Reducing damage accomplishes condition 1 and condition 2 so it is a better change to make.

This is also why reducing speed beyond 1,1(villager speed) is a questionable choice. If they are the same speed both can run away from each other and I think that is a better mechanic.

1 Like

@JoonasTop

  1. Slingers should not win against anything else but archers(and vils to an extent)
  2. Slingers should be useful against archers

There is more that those two things that slingers do well.
Slingers can be used after Axe rush for multiple reasons.

  1. Killing villagers that are walled in. (can be used to kill the repairing villagers)
  2. Scouting (Bigger LOS [Axeman= 4 LOS, Slinger = 7 LOS {with Stone mining}] )

But I still think the +1 attack from the upgrade has to go.

This would make things worse.
The reason why Bowmen are so rarely played is because they can be countered so easily and it costs so little to counter them. Few Slingers with no upgrades can easily trade up versus Bowmen. (25 effective health vs 9 effective health).
The end result of this change would just be Axeman start for everyone (with some Scout plays, if the map allows it and Bowmen only if the enemy is going for Scouts.) and the switch to Slingers would be delayed, but almost no one would still use Bowmen because of how fast it would be to switch from Axemen to Slingers.

**
The other ideas that i have seen (Slower movement speed, Additional shield upgrade)

Slowing movement speed from 1.2 to 1.1 would be good idea. Slingers are so strong versus Axemen because of how easy it is to kite with the Slingers. Even when the Axemen are waiting beside the enemy barracks they can’t kill the Slingers effectively enough.

reducing Slingers pierce armor to 1 and creating an additional shield upgrade would be good for the Slinger/Bowman balance, but having it on Axemen would be too strong.
If the shield upgrade was for the Slingers only it would allow better Bowman usage. Having two upgrades for Slingers would give the Bowman user time to switch out of the Bowmen into some melee units or Slingers.
With 1 pierce armor and no Stone mining Slingers would have effective health of 13 (9 vs Hittite) and Bowmen would have effective health of 9 making it possible to use Bowmen to counter rushes without losing the advantage of Bowmen too fast.

The reasons why bowmen are so rarely massed are simply.

  • later timings than slingers due to archery beeing toolage building
  • getting hardcountered by slingers ON RANGED (linear scaling, no pathfinding/blocking issue like close combat targeting)
  • struggle vs towers, walls and buildings

That’s the reasons why normally when you go bowmen, you pair them up with axes or you let it be.
Fighting performance wise they are better than slingers (+1 atk/range than slingers without upgrades, can reduce close combat damage by armour upgrade, unlocking a required building for bronce age).

Due to the fact that slingers negate all the cons, endless bowmen blobbing has, you will always see mass slinger blobbing.
They must have some fundamental vulnerable trait to them, that makes them counterable in toolage, otherwise they simply work against everything which is overpowered.

Lowering damage, uping range, give them an additional bonus dmg vs archers, take wall damage away, making them slower etc. are all good suggestions that go into the right direction.
The issue is that they simply overperform on any level.
Making them slower or delaying their timing is not directly adressing the issue of beeing too strong in case of not beeing fightable by anything except a bigger slingerball (due to the big paywall of bronceage) and rolling over every building/wall in one builds.

1 Like