What makes a game exciting to watch and play? (A little about English and overall balance)

Hi all! I’m a regular player in the AoE4, I came here from StarCraft, and I fell in love with this game right after the first match. Biggest question I met on the very beginning of the game was Civ picking. Of course, I chose English due to their infinite farms and straight-forward landmarks. On start English dominated especially well, because many of new players was teaching how to play and game was about strategic genius of two.

After several months, some PUPs and tournaments some kind of meta was established and playing in ranked gave me reasonable question – why English have this strange design in Third age? When French have Arbalatretilaers, Rus their horse archers, HRE their strong infantry, English have… Keeps, which produce units.

You can oppose: this civs do not have gimmick in Feudal. It is right in some cases, but in some not. For French Feudal is biggest power spike, for Rus second age often giving an interesting play around boars and early knights, HRE having fun time defending themselves against all world, and Delhi clicking all their upgrades.

Again, English design provides possibilities of killing your enemy in Feudal, but in time they come with some type of army many Castle-oriented civs are teching and some (Like French or Chinese) can outplay English by they native (like placing BBQ in juice spots, for example, or destroy vills by knights run-by).

Biggest problem of English is map control. If you lose in map controlling, Abbasid will boom faster, Delhi captures sacred sites, HRE and Rus will get relics and logical outmacro with free gold.

It’s not a nagging, and I think English is a good civ in general. It’s simple, powerful – like hammer – and have very few options in game, again, like a hammer. I guess giving English some unique upgrades in Castle, for example, for knights, will make English much more competitive and give a variety of strategies. It also may be a great adjustment for Wynguard, in which every slot will be related to some of the English peculiarity. And, of course, it will be fun if English receive some kind of Dark age feature and will have an option to kill opponent in First age. Some kind of possibility for outposts to heal vills… I guess it may be spice!

So, to conclude, AoE4 is a great game. It provides us so many strategies and doings, countless! What do you think about topic? What do you think about versatility of your favorite civs?

I think a large part of the lack of diversity in many civs’ meta strategies is just due to a lack of experimentation with other landmarks, or landmark imbalance.

You cpuld go Abbey of kings, and have some really strong fuedal/castle horse/knight harrass if you cycled them out for heals, especially if you built the abby out on the map.

And this could be followed by an aggressive white tower do further the attack

Is this better than longbows? Depends, but longbows are less “all in” and so council hall is always the safer/better choice.

This would however create a pretty strong fuedal to castle attack to try and win with, but it’s dumping a lot of eggs in one basket and is objectively worse for the imperial age compared to the “normal” builds

1 Like

makes sense! I guess I will try this build in non-ranked match, and, if you can, of course, can you name me any example of this buildorder on tournaments or player, which plays in this style?

Hahaha. No no. I made that up with just knowing the landmarks and what might work with them. My point was that there are a lot of different options and no one uses them because they ‘meta’ builds are technically more efficient in the current state.

1 Like

Maybe its time to build our own meta :smiley:

I agree. Meta is really only for high level play where mistakes are a minor issue. On the average level, the ‘meta’ is just a good guide, but the focus should be on execution, no matter how efficient it is. Because in the end, that’s the biggest weakness at low to mid levels

I think English are in a good spot right now, they could use some changes to make their castle age more interesting but they are very strong in feudal and imperial.
Also the thing about English is that they are the simple defensive civ, and they have a lot of bonuses for that purpose. As the French are the simple offensive civ which have a lot of bonuses for early aggression and economy bonus to sustain the aggression.

My opinion is that this simple civs should be easier to play and therefore get better results for newer players, but then not outperform “harder” civs in higher level of play. Harder to play civ should logically higly reward playing them correctly.
I don’t mean that english should be a bad civ, but if they were to get substantial offensive bonuses they would be great in attack AND defense and that design would be problematic if they excel at everything.

great at feudal? maybe, but if you play at a higher elo you will never finish your oponent at feudal and most of them can easy defend your attack, so a feudal AI isnt only at low elo a option.
At a higher level you only make some damage and slow the other castle age a little bit.

If you have a big longbow army and your oponent can reach age 3, you have a problem :wink:
If french age up to 3 the knights gets stronger, longbows on the other hand are pretty useless against most ag3 units, like MAA or Knights and thats a huge problem.

1 Like

Great at feudal doesn’t mean winning every match against every civ in feudal, slowing them down or just negating their harrasment is good enough.

The problem you talk about is that you can’t win in age 3 just massing a feudal unit, that sounds reasonable to me, specially against archer counter civs like French or HRE. Maybe you should try using other units too that actually counter heavy armor. That said i acknowledge that giving the English a little something more in age 3 would be fair but making them as good as French offensively while being as good as they are defensively would be unbalanced.

And English don’t even have it that bad against knights unlike other civs.

English are easy so they seem good at lower levels but most tier lists have them as one of the worst civs right now. I mean English are probably the worst castle age civ and in the current meta that pretty much means they aren’t good. Their eco bonus isn’t especially useful in the early game and while their units are strong in feudal they don’t scale up to castle well. They also struggle badly vs castle age armies and their compositions are slow so they can get “stuck” in there base since lack of mobility makes it hard to move out. For whatever reason the core unit of an infantry based civ (longbowmen) move even slower than normal archers. Sure their post imp is great but at the moment many games seem to be determined around the 15-20 minute mark.