[STATISTICS] The Desertification of Arabia

I’ve been going over 7 different versions of Arabia, gathering data about starting woodlines, specifically:
The amount of woodlines (#w)
The distance from the starting Town Center (d)
The amount of trees per woodline (#t)

The findings in chronological order:

Woodlines #w Trees #t Distance d
AOC Original Arabia 2-4 126 11
KOTD 2 Arabia 3-3.5 96 14
HC 3 Arabia 3-4 90 15
RBW 2 Arabia 2 115 8
KOTD 3 Arabia 4 57 15
RBW 3 Arabia 4 61 14
Current Ranked Arabia 3 68 15

**Some versions of Arabia were much more consistent, other required much more data to be gathered due to chaotic consistency like HC 3 and AOC.*Distance is measured by in-game tiles, diagonal tile equals 1.4 normal tile.Woodline is considered belonged to the TC only in 25 tiles radius or less.

The forgone conclusion followed by the findings is the odd deforestation, or shall I say desertification of Arabia that is going on these days. We can roughly estimate the accessible trees for the starting TC by multiplying the number of average woodlines and the average amount of trees in each one of them, here are the results sorted quantitatively:

Overall Amount of Accessible Trees
AOC Original Arabia 378
HC 3 Arabia 315
KOTD 2 Arabia 312
RBW 3 Arabia 244
RBW 2 Arabia 230
KOTD 3 Arabia 228
Current Ranked Arabia 204

This is the least amount of trees since not just DE launching, but the history of AOE 2.What can explain this drastical decline, can it get even lower? Is this part of an attempt of the developers to fight the walling-meta? Have they gone too far?

Arabia has changed, and that’s just the trees we’re talking about, not including the distance of the starting berries and gold mines or elevations from the TC.

Perhaps there should be two maps, Desert and Arabia. The first would be the current version, the latter would be some sort of Voobly/Tournament version of Arabia. The gap is big enough justify two different maps.

Thank you for reading, I’d like to hear more from you guys about your experience with the Current Arabia.


It feels like the pro scene and/or developers are chasing in vain some imaginary Feudal Wars Only Arabia that never existed outside of Hun Wars. Even KotD IV is seeing plenty of less aggressive macro games, in spite of having the weakest walling in AoE II’s history. The only time games end super-fast is when one or both players refuse to use walls at all for some strange reason, willfully leaving their Villagers totally undefended.


Yeah I am already annoyed by the amount of “total domination” games in kotd.
And pro games are already the games that are usually the “closest” as they make the least mistakes.
Ladder games are even more one-sided.

I like when games go back and forth but with the extremely agressive arabia map + expensive walls it’s way too snowbally. It’s too snowbally because the strategic diversity isn’t given anymore. Both players have basically the same win conditions, which leads to one side taking an early advantage and the opponent has no comeback strategy. If players have different strategic attempts to the game there are different “fallback” strategies to chose from if the first skirmishes didn’t went in a favourable way.
That’s what makes games interesting cause even if one gets a small early advantage the other still has ways back. That’s how games thrive. But with the newest arabia heavily favouring agressive play this isn’t given anymore. Games are decided way too early and the remainder is just slowly snowballing that early lead safely. That’s not how it is supposed to be!

That’s the crux of strategical restrictive maps, they are extremely snowbally and repetitive. The same is for Arena aswell, that’s why I don’t like that map. Usually it’s 20 minutes of building up and then one engagement decides the whole game. And the new Arabia is the same, but shorter. Rarely we see games even getting to Imp or imp being the nail in the coffin.

If the devs don’t like walls that’s fine. But then they need to add different tools that replace the important role walls play in the strategic balance of the game. And only if they found these new tools working they can even consider making walls more expensive or whatever. It’s the precondition for this kind of massive changes in the strategic balance only because of subjective preferences.
For these kind of changes the preconditions just need to be met. It’s just way too dangerous to completely destroy the game if you don’t understand fully what consequences for the gameplay your changes have. And I highly doubt you expected that the changes made maa rush even stronger than it was before the change and games so snowbally that often the very first skirmishes already decide the game. But that’s what you have created. Because you ignored the important role walls play in the strategic balance. I also don’t understand it to full extend. But I just say you should be very careful with this kind of changes. Because the risk of destroying more than you “solve” is always there with this kind of “blindfolded” changes.

Please devs, bring Arabia back to the diversity we loved it for!
I don’t care how you want to do it, but if you don’t have a better idea how to replace the important role walls played in the strategic balance you probably should first revert the changes and then try to add replacement tools until you found something working. Then you can again work on trying to nerf walls on more “open” maps. That’s the order to do it responsibly.


Global warming AoE2 DE edition


Thank you very much for this wonderful detailed comment.

You’re invited to check my post regarding this exact “issue”, with a solution suggested.

By deserting Arabia and nerfing walls they basically create a counterproductive effect, people who used to go no-walls like Hera, Viper and even myself, now just wall manadorily. Games lead to mass TC boom OR extremely short one-sided games with no comeback mechanism.
Taking a look over AOC Arabia is the first step towards a balance game.