The growing problem of "Mechanics Creep", and why it's bad in the long term

I do agree pikes should ideally have +1 range.

One could even differentiate civs by having some of them have the current spear line, and others proper (+1 range) pikes.

It’s very silly that the only regular unit with long range is a cavalry unit.


It means it is better to be history accurate but I can compromise a little bit to avoid balance issue.

This is not wrong, however not all spearmen are well trained that can handle super long lance which stand for extra range. Should a trash unit deserve such an advantage ? obviously not.

I don’t care. I don’t have issue with this opinion, however, the pop space is another thing

This is irrational. First of all, attack range is a standard stats that can’t be removed. You can suggest to nerf kamayuks but it is irrelevant to the discussion.
Charged attack is an ability , not a standard game stats, this is why we can remove it if it cant be put in the right spot.
I don’t know much about Ghulams honestly. It works like an eagle warrior as an archer killer currently and I don’t know why you want to rework on it.

As I said, the devs and players already agreed to not give knightline such an ability, so there is no point to bring it back , it is awkward as f

that would make it damn strong against cavalry, and too strong against elephant.

source: mod and tested it.

as an upgrade would make sense, but I would not have halbs with 1 range so maybe at most weaker pike and certainly not for all civs


The way they are now, absolutely. You’d have to reduce their bonus damage to balance it out. But that’s the point I was making. That other chap wanted to buff heavy cavalry by giving them charged attack. That would be such a strong buff that you’d have to give Spears something else to balance it out.

Whether it is trash or has nothing to do with whether it deserves that mechanic or not.
What matters is whether it is required to balance the game or not. Coustillier is already unbalanced imo (and Hera’s opinion). That’s because you can attack with them, run away, recharge, and come back. You can wipe out pikes, archers, and vils this way. Urumis are way more balanced because they have an enormous weakness in archers.

I would absolutely consider extended range for melee attacks as a distinct mechanic. I don’t see how it is not.

Hey, then we agree. No point in arguing this further.


Yea I have mentioned this before. It currently essentially feels like the civs are from 2 different games. New civs with all their fancy new mechanics and old civs with no such mechanics. In my opinion the problem isn’t that new mechanics are introduced the problem is that a lot of those mechanics shouldn’t have been made unique to 1 civ and rather given to all civs.

A charging mechanic should be given to all knights.

All vilagers should be able to garrison in houses. Like why wouldn’t they?

All sowrdmen infantry should be able to build fortifications, repair seige etc…

All foot archers should get a secondary melee attack when they are forced to fight within melee range

You could argue that all mounted units could dismount after “death” and continue fighting.

And so on and so on…

Gameplay aside, the poor association between unit/civ lores and their traits is another thing that bothers me. Feels like a lot of unique traits are forced just because we need to make it unique.

Well it never was good tbh, like huskarl being an archer counter or samurai countering all unique units. But with fewer cases and less fancy mechanics, it didn’t feel so “forced” back then.

Now with more “realistic” mechanics, it worsens:
Why does a certain cavalry have protoss shield?
Why can a certain cavalry dismount?
Why can a certain cavalry charge?
Why can a certain cavalry switch between melee and ranged?
I cannot infer any of these from their names, appearance or historical background. And these are pretty intuitive and straightforward mechanics that could apply to most similar units. It has been like this for a lot of more modern strategy games: most cavalry can charge/dismount, separate melee/range mode is normal, and “shield with its own hp” would be universally applied if there is such mechanic.
It feels like a random combination of an appearance + a name + a unique trait we have not added.
That’s a thing for a lot of additions in all DEs.

There are also good designs that balances both gameplay and the historical lore. Longbowman is good obviously. Teutonic knight looks like a tough infantry and functions like a tough infantry (though not fitting so much with their real life roles). For chu ko nu I can learn from the historical description that it is a repeating crossbow and it is indeed a repeating crossbow. It would be better to try to follow such design principles, though it’s difficult.


Notice that mechanics being historial is not quite aligning with the topics. A mechanics can be either new or not new, and historical and ahistorical - they are not mutually exclusive.

Side note: while I agree that Poles instant farming are not the most historial, so is Khmer instant teleporting farms, halbs with 0 range, horses that causes the same as infantry etc. I dont think it is a too outliner.

At the end, like I said, I think the problem is simply we have too many civs, and the space for creating new, interesting civs are not that huge imo.

As @filtercoffee488 already said, such a pike line (with +1 range) would have reduced stats. I thought that was obvious enough that it didn’t need to be said. (But apparently I misjudged.)

I don’t know how far you’d have to reduce the stats, but I think it would end up somewhere between the +0 range spear and pike stats. (And between +0 range pikes and halbs for the imperial version.)


I agree with you.

There was very little mechanics creep when the forgotten empires was released… just a trash unit as a unique unit… and this was an expansion pack that was released 10+ years later. It was only after this that it started,

African kingdoms : Feitoria (infinite res and a trickle)
Rise of the Rajas : Malay fishtraps (infinite but nerfed later), Malay docks being turned into harbours, Kerambit warriors taking only 0.5 population, two handed trashman (enough said - extra trash unit)

Khmer unique unit being able to cut through trees (while in Castle age)

Even till this moment, it isn’t too bad

DE is where is gets ridiculous and stops feeling like the old aoe2 we once knew.

Cumans: Siege workshop, battering ram available in feudal age (Things being available an age sooner)
Lithuanians: Relics give extra attack to Knights, Leiti (and even hussars initially)… upto 5 (now 4).
Bulgarians: Unique defensive building that makes Unique unit (Seen later with the Sicilians), Unique unit that gets up and continues fighting
Tatars: Extra hill bonus but not too whacky, unique unit generates gold when fighting

Steppe lancers… kinda similar to Kamayuks being able to attack from range

Persians get Kamandaran : trashbowman

Dawn of the Dukes:
Poles… reduced gold cost on knights, folwark
Bohemians: Trash monks, Chemistry and hand cannoneer available in the Castle age… unique unit that absorbs damage that would otherwise go to units behind it

Lords of the west:
Burgundians: farmers generate gold (trickle), Cavalier available in the castle age, economy upgrades available an age sooner, Coustilier has charge attack, flemish militia

Sicilians: Donjon, serjeants… which can build donjons… Civ bonus that resists attack bonuses (seen later in Bengalis)

Dynasties of India : Ratha, Shrivamsha rider, Urumi swordsman, Ghulam, Camel Scout, Caravanserai… all mechanics creep when you think about it.

All of them… but to a lesser extent, Hindustanis.

An elephant-Ram that can basically be healed by monks but can’t garrison

Bengali ships healing

Extra bonus damage as a civ bonus, fishing ships being able to garrison in docks, livestock being able to garrison in mills

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Most of those are not technically new mechanics, just new stuff. Units being created from alternative buildings, techs and units beign available ages earlier, military buildings being able to build. They break some standard, but are nothing the game wasn’t able to do before.

Hussite wagon blocking arrows, charge attack, folwark, caravanserai, and Celts’ castles auras… those are new mechanics. The auras (even more so the new Centurion) are the worst offenders to the traditions of the game.
As an ultraconservative, I’ve grown to like the charge attacks. They should be understood as a gameplay feature only, not representing a cavalr charge or any real life interpretation like that.


Rams and mangonel can block arrows from defensive buildings since 1999. So this is not a new mechanic either.

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Wait, what??? That’s a thing?

Yes. Check it here.

I thought that was just due to the rams having large hitboxes and naturally obscuring small units behind them.

I’m aware of that, and yes, the lines of code that allowed a unit to block arrows were there. But the rams blocking arrows is a specific niche situation where it could be understood in a complete different way, as Apocalypso pointed out

It could even be interpreted as a bug turned into a feature, give how marginal its uses were.
Hussite wagons takes the mechanic to a different level, tho, and turns it into an element that goes against the core design of the game. The mechanic actively and artificially tries to make you arrange your army on a certain way, expecting you to maximize its used based on how good you can exploit said mechanic. It’s the complete opposite of the concepts of meatshield, kiting, path-blocking, etc: Mechanics that emerge out of simple rules interacting with one another without actively intending to give shape to any particular playstyle.


Longbows with insane range, Cataphracts with anti-cavalry armor, Plumed archers with OP speed, TK with crazy armor and conversion resistance, Tarkans that destroy buildings like paper, infantry UU with range, CA and cavalry UU with bonus anti-siege
You are right, too much mechanics creep in the game. Let’s complain with the original devs, what were they thinking

I get you but you do remember that units and techs being available one age sooner was unheard of before DE, right?

Charge attacks are not too bad… even monks had to charge their ‘attacks’ (conversion)… I kinda interpret them as cavalry charges but whatever.

The Centurion aura makes a lot of sense.
Legionaries are more disciplined when their commander is nearby which makes them march and fight more efficiently which is represented by more movement and attack speed.
No magical extra armour, attack or HP.

All those examples fall directly under standard mechanics I’ve explained in the post. Did you read the post? Seriously, I want you to answer that. Or, did you read the title, got emotional, and wrote out this nonsensical comment?

You cannot analyse the game this way without your analysis falling apart immediately. This is a game where units just spawn out of barracks, villagers are created from town centers, and a unit currently fighting at your enemy’s base is magically transformed when your research at your home is done.

But let’s ignore all that, here’s another question. Why does only Romans have military commanders then? Even if this makes sense for romans, it makes zero sense that no other civilization in the world has commanders who perform a similar function.

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I like the idea of having command units as a general unit, but it’s hard to add them afterwords.
The Romans had a better and more efficient command structure then most other armies at the time, even though that advantage was probably gone at the late stages of the empire.

This question also applies to other features:
Why can only Viking Infantry pillage resourced?
Why can only one unit dodge arrows?
Why can only Hindustanies build supply buildings for their merchants?
Why can only the Huns need no houses but all the other nomadic civilisations do?

A lot of Unique Units are units that were used by multiple different civilisations in real life, and that issue is not limited to AoE2, it also appears in AoE3/4 too.

I do think the feature should be added to most campaign heroes in some way.