Why TC META

First off WHY NOT?! kekw

The maff is really simple; for most civs a TC cost 700 resources and if u wanna get cute and add the stone mining camp cost and factor in the 2min build time (approx equivalent resources worth); with 8 villagers building the TC you’re looking at a total upfront investment cost of 942 resources worth.

8 villagers will reduce the build time to about 30% (36s) then times that by the gather rate (2/3 res/sec) and that by 8 villager and it equals 192 equivalent resources then add the 50w for mining camp plus the 700 resouces for TC.

Assuming the perfect 0.667 gather rate and constant villager production, how long would it take for that 2nd TC to pay for itself?? Now first off we know all villagers don’t come out of the TC directly onto resources gathering without bumping into stuff with zero idle time; so to make the maffs ez we’ll use an adjust gather rate of 0.5 resources/sec (75% efficiency which is egregiously low…but I’m trying to show you something).

FORMULA:

-50 res x( total_villagers +1) +20_seconds x adjusted_gather_rate x summation of villagers from 1 to total_villagers => 942 resources. Plug that into your math app of choice and you end up needing 20 total villagers which takes 6min 40s. After the payoff since the growth is parabolic that 2nd TC’s value will fly away!! NOW remember I used some extra RUFF gathering rate approximations, if we used something closer to 80% or even 90% efficiency (and research other eco upgrades…) you’re likely reaching payback 1+ minutes sooner!

So now what can you possibly do as an aggressor to punish that 2nd TC before the 6min ish payback ?? Mine you ppl are getting 2nd TC at 5min-6min mark (moments into feudal), so by 13min max your damage better have been done.

This is why TC meta is strong b/c it’s not ez to punish that 2nd TC if it’s properly placed based on the level of enemy aggression.

P.S. let’s not even mention fresh food stuffs…BROKEN

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Leaving out that the battering ram should have a higher effectiveness and TCs do a lot of damage to light units, there is something to keep in mind.

Many are doing 2nd TC on wild boar (0.9f/s), on deer (0.83f/s). This makes that second TC pay much faster.

2TCs meta would be nice if the game, in the first 8-10 minutes, was more dynamic, but there is little action, except in aggressive hybrid maps in tournament

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Simple, before fast castle made sense when the siege had a lot of health and the mangonel had more area damage, now it is more difficult to be aggressive, you must have a correct time in place and precise moment, if the attack is not favorable the difference of villagers with the rival it harms the aggressor

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All that!! I was just showing how on a generic 2nd TC gathering normal resources.

When you consider how defensive 2nd TC can be how villagers can protect it; how it gives decent vision; etc etc, 2nd TC is stronggg!! You are really left with a small window to make something happen if you do NOT also go 2nd TC.

@HasanIchess
You’re right also!! Fast Castle suffered an eco nerf!! relics only give 80gpm and all eco upgrades are much cheaper which means ppl that don’t go fast castle can afford to upgrade several of them; most those upgrades payback in 3-5min so… Feudal is the strongest it’s ever been; IMO they might have to adjust aggression A LIL BIT more

maybe rams should build faster?? or reduce the cost again?? I don’t want ram meta nor TC meta, I would the perfect world of outplayed-meta.

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im sure most players will agree on this

the debate is more about how to balance it

@PlumpDucklin You won’t find a pro player that wont concede that 2nd TC is META for them; heck jump on any of their streams and list to me the ones that DO NOT go 2nd TC???

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I think we need to wait a tad longer. Mongol tower rush was broken, because you could do not much against it. With the nultiple tc, I suspect the moment pros get bored of greeding, they might figure out some punishments. They rely so heavily on expecting a second tc from the opponent as well, there is basically no defense setup and while beasty and co could maybe handle early agression, i’m not sure about most other players ability to handle a sudden ram + a few spears, for example. I just never see such attempts

They are doing 2TC boom in tournament games? Don’t you think they would try their best strats to win?

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I did some testing around this today. Some time ago I made my own spreadsheet to calculate the time to break even on a 2nd TC, and got a similar result to that presented by the OP.

I have two copies of the game for doing testing of scenarios like this, so I set about seeing where I could get to by 12 mins with 1 and 2 TC builds. I had the 2nd TC up at around 6 minutes, playing with Abbasid. What I found was that while we might in theory expect to break even by 12 mins, in practice, you’re still behind with 2 TCs. The major reasons I could identify were:

  1. You reach golden age tier 1 later with 2 TCs.
  2. You start building military production buildings later, so if you make the same number, you end up not having enough production capacity. If you try to compensate by having more production buildings, those are resources you’re down compared to 1 TC.
  3. You start running out of berries and deer near the starting TC earlier with 2 TCs due to the extra food spent on villagers. So you have more villagers, but the time at which you need to start making farms or moving further afield for deer/berries/boar is earlier than with 1 TC.

I made as many spears as I could by 12 mins, and had 57 with 1 TC, and 42 with 2 TCs. That was with additionally getting the ranged armour upgrade for the 1 TC build, as the expectation was for that side to attack the 2 TC side at 12 minutes.

I found that difference was enough to attack the 2nd TC, and the 57 defeated the 42 (even with the 2nd TC fully garrisoned with villagers and fighting under its arrow fire) with enough spears remaining to destroy the 2nd TC.

So after that it would be a question of whether the remaining spears could kill the extra villagers that the 2nd TC had produced. It didn’t seem crazily unbalanced, both sides would need micro - the spears would need microing to chase villagers while staying out of the 1st TC’s fire, the side that had made the 2nd TC would need to micro their villagers to try to hold on to the higher villager numbers.

Another thing I noticed is that for someone at my less than elite skill level, the 2 TC build felt more difficult and busier. Even for someone more skilled, this would reduce the attention they can give to other things.

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Tbh, this might be a unconventional way to look at it.
But i firmly believe that the core reason that 2TC is so strong is due to lack and viability of Drush.

Dark age is sadly and for good reason an ignored content.
Going into feudal age happens way to fast and is way to cheap.

Personally i would love an extended Dark Age.
Up the cost of dark age, and even remove the arrowslit defence, and make it upgradable instead, from the TC allowing you to push harder into the opponents econ.

Ofc garrisoned units will fire arrows.
But this helps to slow down the opponents econ in the dark age.

Now you can pretty much run a safe econ under your TC and they can just ignore the harassmemt in the Dark age and go straight into feudal.

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But if you make the battering ram stronger the meta will just shift to making more battering rams. Why not just make the TC a lil weaker so that a wide variety of units has a chance when entering its range? I’ve always felt that the battering ram is a very weak design element of AoE4. A player that wants to end the game in feudal age pretty much needs to build that one unit and I’ve found it to be extremely dull after doing it for the 20th time. There’s honestly no other options and I think a RTS should always be rich of strategic options at any given time and situation.

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In this certain example,players stick to what works. But I wouldn’t be surprised, if we actually see a counter in ko phases, which players train offstream.

I’m not saying the situation is fine and not against changes, but this feels more of a trend to me. Ironically, the way here was through several nerfs to early agression and I just believe e.g. eng could do a good punish with maa, but no one seems to want postpone their own 2nd tc and take the bet.

All I’m saying is, that I believe that when the competition around the tournament relaxes a bit and players are bored of the meta, we might see some vaible counters.

That’s what I would like to see, more action in dark age and feudal and less in castle/imp.

For me the game loses fun the more advances in age. Dark and feudal age fights are insane, you need to manage your army better, try to hide and use strategy to kill enemy units, you have less eco so losing your army is a huge impact.

While in castle and imp your eco is greater and losing units is not as is in dark or feudal age. Not to mention the castle or unit spam. In most ocasions castle and imperial wars are just about spam the counter of what’s spamming the enemy, or spam a lot of siege then spam a lot of springalds to protect your siege.

Maybe increase the feudal age landmark, and in consecuence increase them all a bit would make sense.

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I enjoy castle and imperial units quite a lot.
But what really kills it for me is the production spam. With the strong econ, i find it absolutely ridiculous seeing 20 vills being pulled to construct 10~40 production buildings in their base to spam out units creating a endless stream of units rallied into the front.

I find it abaolutely ridiculous.

Another thing is the high banking of resources, sometimes it feels like raiding econ have close to no effect because they have so much stacked up.

I would like it better if they cut down the amount of Gold found in the map.
I dont mind spamming of trash units, but when i see a 100man blob of knights i just wanna facepalm.

I agree with the devs that Trade should be pushed earlier.
But nobody going to risk and estabelish traderoutes as long as its an overabundance of gold on the map.

For me, the ideal would be 1~2 small goldveins and 1 rich goldvein max per player.

Heck id enjoy it better if it qas just 3 small goldveins and thats it.

That would encourage people to go for trade much earlier.

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TC town fire got buffed, and rams got nerfed. If you want to punish the 2. TC, your timing is now way more important and it is a much higher risk and more commitment since the defender can lose vills, to a point where he is a little behind the aggressor with 1 TC. as long as he doesn’t lose the 2. tc, it’s all still fine.
Your attacking window became way shorter as well, you cant sit under tc fire that long anymore.

The focus fire rework, where rams get ignored if other units are in shooting range was also a bigger nerf to spear + archer comp, then horsemen spears or cav + archers, since the tc does focus on what is close and not what is the weakest and if a feudal knight is the closest it can soak way more damage then a archer or spearmen.

They could increase the cost of the 2. TC. Buff rams. Nerf TC shooting performance. Nerf villager (repair, torch damage) …
I would go for the offense approach and do changes to the rams.

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TC fire got nerfed both with the total number of units that can garrison your main TC and the rate of fire from all static defensives. But I agree Rams could use some buff; it would be cool if the ram 30% buff wasn’t an IMP tech but an expensive feudal tech like 350 resources upgrade for 30"% more ram

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But the nerf to garrison units of the main TC (it only hurts if you don’t do any more towers) doesn’t make up for the big buff with target automation.

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your right, I was not precise enough, I meant the overall buff of the TC with the target automation.

It’s all because of siege rework man… You could do early fedual All-ins with 1-2 rams before it.

sad english noises

I think it’s because TC doesn’t obey the classic formula: Rush > Boom > Turtle > Rush. The TC’s range protects all nearby resources and melts any army within the first 5 minutes. As it prevents any Rush in the Dark, there is no army in the initial Feudal, where opening a second TC has a relatively short time window (5 minutes) for the opponent to react and punish. For me, the risk is almost always worth it. The TC works, simultaneously, as both a Boom and a Turtle, breaking the formula. I think increasing the TC build time would be good to make this expansion riskier, because the enemy might have more army in response. Even though it is expensive (700-900 resources), this economic expansion is well worth it, because, as I said, it is also Turtle. Almost always the attacker risks his economy more than the one who opens the second TC. Making an analogy with Sc2 (saving the differences), it would be like a Terran expanding his CC and it already comes with a Planetary Fortress automatically.