What is, or should be the approach to balance the game?

Was there a comment on how they plan to balance the game overall? All current bugs and obvious things like Mongols aside, given alone the complexity of random maps, asymmetric civs, team games vs 1v1, macro and micro, it feels really challenging to have one rule set for everything. But introducing different rule sets for example 1vs1 and TGs introduce a discontinuity, that might confuse more than it helps. Focusing on only one type of game type, 1v1 or TGs, you leave the other half of players (assuming it is 50:50) probably a very unsatisfying state of the game.

For example, FL seem to be more of an issue in team games, as the predominant timestamp of encounters is mid-late game. In 1v1, it’s more of early to mid-game, deciding most games before massing FLs is an interesting option.

Do they want to keep it that way? Having good TG civs and good 1vs1 civs? This would be fine for all-rounders, but introducing asymmetric civs also asks people to master their favourite civs, gating them from certain maps and modes. Making every civ viable in any scenario will pretty much flatten them out to a point where they all have the same strengths and weaknesses, where the point of asymmetric features will become gimmicky. A strong early game civ will always be better in 1v1 than in TGs as siege will always be more important in TGs.

Right now, I feel going by nerfing and buffing the worst offenders will always bite them in the back. I really don’t want to be in the shoes of the balance team.

Also, it would be interesting from a player perspective. Is the design fine with having flat out bad matchups, where picking and banning are most important or should the civ be my tool to adapt, with a relative flat effort/reward ratio, only marginally affected by maps, modes and matchups?

I didn’t play much MP in other AoE games and can see this working for a setup like SC2, with only 3 races. How did WC3 handle it (even though it seems to have barely any macro going on if you ask grubby)? Because, from my current perspective, this “a bit of everything” setup, where you have macro and micro, randomness and static parts, asymmetry as much as symmetry and water and land, seems like a nightmare to get it to a stable base, which is also kinda needed for the esport scene.

why u make that conclusion?
If 1vs1 is balanced for TGs it’s Ok. Mainly because AOE is economic strategy.

people so narrowed their views in top1000
But believe me if one low elo legend will mass FL, it will also dominate meta.
The “problem” wont be noticed because simultaneously that will boost his ELO, and he will loose to more faster players and experienced players.

So he played no rush into FL → won → boosted ELO → loose to ram push.
And no one notice because “who cares about noobs”

In sc2 it failed mainly because simple eco and more microing attention…game too fast for TGs (imho)

D-epends on map. Arabia will never favor siege.
Rushes - yes, TG build orders always slow down the game. But if game balanced on T3 & T4 for 1vs1 it will be good to play in castle age and imp age in TGs.

Okay, simply: 1vs1 and TG can coexist.

All melee units need to have +50% more bonus damage against sieges.

Grenadiers (nerf range), Fire Lancers, Mangonels, Trebuchets need to have friendly fire.

Arrows need to miss, not a sniper with 100% accuracy.

Siege units need to have slower unpack/packing time, movement speed and attack speed but with high damage against buildings and its intended targets.

Fire Lancers need some bonus removals such as +ranged unit bonus damage, torch damage to normal, and make the fire lances affect only a single target. That way the price of the unit is fine.

Fixing lots of bugs would balance most units such as the Rus Horse archer (but it still needs a nerf to its price).

Many landmarks are useless or offer not equivalent bonuses compare to the other age landmark. Therefore, it needs a big change as many don’t even have to think, they just know which is obviously the better one.

Scouts carrying carcasses need to have slow movement speed.
Rus hunting cabin needs a big nerf as it generates gold too kindly at the moment and at the same time it can be used as a food dropout and scout training center.

Mangudais is one of the most useless units in the game as it has a shorter range than the grenadiers and is too expensive to train for what they offer on the battlefield. This unit needs constant control to micro every second due to too short range and basically useless against any ranged unit.

Knights/Lancers need to have bonus damage against Man-at-Arms. Currently, the only counter MAA’s are mangonels and crossbowmen (Cannons counter almost everything (Chinese do counter everything).

Horsemen needs more piercing armour to be effective against ranged units if the devs want them not as tanky unit on the battlefield.

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Agree with most of what you said…what about horseman as a counter to siege (with bonus dmg against them and a bit more durability in Imperial age), instead of people making mass scouts, which is a bit silly …

SCOUT hp should be nerfed and all armor needs to be removed from scouts and a decrease in torch damage or increase in price would do the trick. For horsemen, a slight increase of HP up to 270 would do nicely with all upgrades.

Devs please don’t change the meta frequently like dota. I gave up that game because of that. I can play video games 3-4 hours a week, I can’t follow the changes in meta.

Current seasonal update system is good :+1:

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A valid point…though shifting Meta is part of the MOBA business model since the game has less strategic choices. Hoping aoe4 stabilizes in a state that allows for various strategies to be valid on most maps.

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The core balance philosophy should always be around high level 1v1. Watching pros is how players learn and get excited. A vibrant pro scene keeps multiplayer RTS scene alive.

Balancing team games is impossible for RTS. There’s no anchor point in team games to balance things around. Should it be balanced for 2v2? 3v3? 4v4? Should defense be balanced around fighting 1:2 or 1:3 battles while waiting for reinforcements?

AOE4 encourages mastering a specific civ, but the civs aren’t that different to a point where time commitment to mastering one would make mastering another impossible. This isn’t Starcraft. The logic behind unit management is similar enough that you can master 2 or 3.

Having said that, 1v1 faction balance should be on a spectrum of advantages:

Meele <---------------------------> Ranged
Early + Offense <---------------------------> Late + Defense

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each faction, layers should be given the chance to pick one based on the map, as the game does already. The game by design discourages going for 1 civ for each game.

Does the map have a lot of open spaces? Pick meele-heavy civ. Ranged units will have easier time getting surrounded. Many chokepoints? Maybe you want to pick a defensive late game civ, since chokepoints give a lots of options for defense. Island map? You are insane to not pick French.