What is going on with Arabia..?

Ive taken a break from Aoe2, and come back to an absolute abomination of Arabia. What we have should not even be called arabia as it differs from real arabia as much or more than other maps.

Im just wondering what is going on here… Who exactly are they catering to? It feels like they are just making changes for the sake of making changes without any good reason. Is there anywhere that they listen to the community about how they feel of these arabia mods? From pros I watch I have heard nothing but complaints. Ive used the search function and found nothing. I understand that it is a “community made” map, but the community makes crappy maps all the time, that does not mean it represents the ideal version of arabia for the majority of players.

The map being absolutely filled with hills serves no purpose whatsoever. It makes it impossible to place extra TC’s in strategically advantageous positions. The game now chooses where you place your extra TC’s and how your town is arranged. One player may get good RNG and get perfect town center spots while the other gets completely F’ed over, this is a significant advantage now at the whim of RNG. These hills have completely ruined Arabia and Im wondering why? What were they thinking? Is this a trial or is this permanent? Why cant we just have classic Arabia as a standard map, and then mods are different maps? This is not arabia. You literally cannot play arabia on AOE2 DE.


The new Arabia is called “Runestones” now.
There were some people including certain pros claiming that arabia would be an “open” map and therefore needs to be made more open… Which is kinda weird argumentation imo.
One of them is now playing LoL cause devs “didn’t listen” and other weird stuff, so…

I still don’t understand why they did this in this fashion, but at least we have a versatile map in the pool now again. That’s the most important thing.

I still don’t understand how devs could ever believe that the most played and loved map needed to be overhauled. That makes no sense at all. If it was so terrible why everybody played on it?


Along with the release of DE, tower play was heavily nerfed and free tracking meant that lancers could defend better against scouts, indirectly nerfing scout rushes. The map was the same. The game was not. That led to walling early being the standard, which in turn led to mostly boring games without feudal age agression.

That was why arabia was changed.

This first arabia change was totally fine.
But i don’t understand the shennannigans happend the last year.

No, I am not talking about tree line changes. I am totally ok with that. It makes sense, it serves a purpose. Its a good idea.

I am talking about the map being absolutely filled with tiny useless hills. There are only select tiny spots where you can manage to fit a TC, meaning the map dictates how you expand, where you expand to, it takes the entire element of strategic eco advancement out of the game.


Aside from hills, and difficulty of walling (which screws over some civs hard, but let’s admit for a sec that we want aggressive civs to be meta on Arabia). Aside from hills, it’s impossible to get wood because forest distribution is so random. If your 2 “compulsory” close woods are 1 wood and 1 lake-wood, you are basically playing with 1 wood only. Gl winning, at 20-23 min mark the 1st wood runs dry and without anything to protect the next forest you take, if you don’t have army lead you lose.

Extremely boring and cancerous iteration of Arabia.

people were complaining that even on an open map like Arabia, strategies like Drush → FC or 3 Scouts or 3 Archers for map presence and do Feudal upgrades and again rush Castle Age were too easy strats. It was not quite like Arena, but something very close to it. I remember 1 year ago, old iterations of Arabia would have up to 4 forests within 10-15 tiles from the TC, making walling fairly trivial (basically it was like current Runestones but with bigger hills ONLY in the middle). The iteration after introduced hills in “wrong spots”, and basically while Feudal was fun, Imperial Age was very monotonous because whoever captured the key hills would always have the advantage in Treb wars (and hills were always placed in such a way that capturing them would control a lot of the map and of the opponent’s base, for example 20 tiles in front of starting enemy TC.

The problem is that you can’t really prevent people from walling early in Dark Age, even if it costs 150-200 resources in terms of lost mining time, people WILL full wall because 200 resources is nothing if you don’t have to watch every angle and can do only a few counter units and rush Castle Age. At the same time, Palisade Walls can’t become more expensive (2w is already a lot for how weak it is, it dies fast to even 3 Feudal Men at Arms) or weaker (they do their job basically in Feudal of delaying IF you have a villager nearby and melt in Castle Age to any Castle Age unit.

The solution to this conundrum, however, was not to fill the map with hills (that makes walling harder, yes, but for all the wrong reasons!), but encourage Feudal play in some other way. I am not sure how but take a map like Kawasan or Acclivity or that map with the unbuildable terrain that we saw in last Red Bull Wololo a ton (Magyars Chinese etc. were meta on that map). Put some unbuildable tiles, put resources far away, make gold 5-10 tiles farther and always in front. There are solutions that don’t involve making walling hard because clicking on hill tiles is hard. And TC on woodline is a must, the whole point of TC is defending farms and defending woodline, if you can’t place TC on woodline, might as well ALWAYS play 1 TC since the whole point of a TC is unharassed wood access.

In fact, I am very close to banning current Arabia, I play at ~1400 elo and I like open maps but my favorite is Runestones. On Runestones, I feel the game is balanced. Sometimes the Archer player wins and sometimes the Cavalry player wins. It depends on a lot of factors and the games that I lose I recognize what I could have done to win both as the Archer and as the Cavalry player. In the last few days, I played maybe 15 Arabia games and I don’t remember an Archer player winning vs a Cavalry civilization, and in general booming on 2-3 TCs is literally NEVER worth it, I haven’t seen this strat be effective yet, you can do 1 TC into army and THEN if you had a good fight, add TCs (which is counterintuitive because it’s you winning more, typically the booming player is the defender and the aggressive player is the one with fewer TCs). I advise picking a cavalry/camel civ and play 1 TC only, spamming farms in the back of your base and going full Scouts into Knights/Camels is the strongest strat by far (you do camels vs cavalry civs only clearly).

In fact I don’t think you can win with any other strat even, forget pike siege, monks collecting relics, Skirm defense, Monk defense, or full boom, just send all to gold, 20-25 farmers and spam create Knight button.

In fact for 1900 elo full wall into knight / xbow is the only solution, thats why I start to ban Runestone instead, at least I can lame in Arabia.

Honestly, why cannot be the wall be much more expensive while stronger? like 6w with 500hp

Or, just drop Arab

If you face archer opening as drush and you don’t full wall I think your economy will just be dead imo (tbh I feel like drush FC is extremely resource intensive to be competitive with fedual-FC)

I also considered this, but there is one issue with that and that is drush FC.
For drush FC the wall cost doesn’t matter as much as with all other openers as you float a lot of ressources in dark age anyways. You can just use these floating res to make super resistant walls and it only delays your uptime by about 1 vill per 250-300 wood that needs to be spent extra.
And with that drush you could damage the opponent even more if he is forced to make a lot of ressource walling in response.

Imo the best way to get to a state of balance is still giving the scout line less damage but 1 range so they can stop walls from going up.

I feel like the opposite tho - for small walls it is very prone to archer counter attack (which has the issue if you open scout… not sure how to solve that yet), and for big walls it can be really expensive to stay competitive to fedual short military then FC.

Well the current arabia was a reaction to drush FC becoming too strong on the ladder:
More cost for walling and longer walls.

In my opinion this was just the wrong reaction - better they had reduced the castle age powerspike a bit eg with increasing the uptime slighly.

And that might help you understanding, why I come to this conclusion. It’s quite a complicated case but with expensive but more durable walls drush FC would become even more powerful, as these very strong walls would be capable of delaying the opoonent feudal agression way longer.
And as we all know castle age xbows or knights just shred feudal military.

it’s like you’re proud of it xD I hope “GermanAttorney” is just a playful name and not your profession given your dubious morals and willingness to gain an unfair advantage in a (playful) competition…

When I go vs lamers, I leave the game 80% of the time, if laming and winning mean that much to you, enjoy waiting in the lobby forever.

I doubt I would be banned from ranked MM anytime soon(er than you), in fact Viper also lames a lot in games.

Yes i do agree, runestones is too closed , arabia is too open with too many hills, both are annoying to play and do not reflect arabia.

I’ve basically stopped playing the game because of Nu-rabia.

Too many awful maps week to week for my bans now. I’m not wasting an hour on a map I hate.

aside from the fact that this is a flat out lie, Viper almost never lames, not even in tournaments where the prize pool is small, it takes a big prize pool OR going vs MbL for him to lame. You are trying to pass that Viper is your average lamer when he lames only vs people with a cheesy playstyle (basically the only people vs whom he will SOMETIMES lame are Hoang or MbL and vs MbL he generally never lames first).

I like how you use a logic of “he did it first”.

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I like how you assume I always lame - I lame around 10% of the time, in particular when I face civ-pickers / strong civs (Chinese, Franks, Mongols).

Laming is valid (and slightly-op) strategy, not something to be banned - will you ban Viper if he lamed 5% of the game?

Honestly I feel like some people just prefer to play open maps while some people just prefer to play close maps - I start to feel like a single Arabia cannot solve every problems (thats why I start to suggest dropping Arabia from ranked)

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Says the guy who smurfs


maybe that can work but that will be very sad for adaptation and decision making for arabia games :confused:

I know you like to talk about yourself, “attorneys” normally do after all, but here is the thing - I don’t really care about you. You can lame 10% of the time, 90%, for me it’s laming all the same, an inherently unethical action. Trying to justify it, if it makes you feel better, good for you, but from my vantage point it’s despicable and people like you should be banned.