Win by Wonder, should the default mechanic be revisited or extended?

Building a Wonder of the World demonstrates the superiority of your civilization. Constructing a Wonder that stands for a certain period of time is one way to win the game.

So far, the wonder is in AoE4 nerfed into oblivion, too overpriced to be valuable during a match.
So the main “feedback was” it does grand instant win, which is odd if the other team dominates the game.

So maybe it could have some kind of redesign? Instead of instant win some Perks and Buffes?
Like the Nukes in C&C or Summoning Powers like in Battle for Middle Earth ?
Be cheaper and therefore be a valuable asset for the end game, and each wonder have some kind of own unique thing?

Example the cost is reduced to 1000/1000/1000.
First Build wonder blocks the others from functioning till it is destroyed.
Not an instant win, but would greatly boost the player’s ability to win the game.

Mongols: Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue. After 5 min. Map gets revealed.
After 10 min. Unlimited unit limit. Get access to additional units, a horde of Timurid 100 horse riders with 10 War Elephants with cannons joins the battle, each other 3 min another horde of 100 units does appear.
Each other 5 min another 10 War Elephants with cannons

Rus: Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
After 5 min map gets a snow storm like in Company of Heroes 2, adds attrition.

Rus units are not affected.
Only enemy units are affected by extreme freezing. Where they slowly lose health if they are too far away from own buildings. Enemy food resource production does slow down till 90%. Rus is getting partisans with torches that randomly spawn next to enemy buildings.

English: Canterbury Cathedral.
After 10 min, 30% of enemies warrior units and workers does get converted.
After each next 2 min +10%

Malians: Great Mosque of Djenné
After 10 min, you can build anything for free, units don’t cost gold

French: Notre Dame Cathedral. After 10 min 30% of enemy buildings does get catch fire and burns down.
After each next 2 min +20% more.

Chinese: The Forbidden Palace.
After 10 min. Unlimited unit limit. Doubled unit production.
100 soldiers spawns. Each 2 min 10% more does spawn. like after 12 min 120. after 14 min 140.

So instead of instant win, you get a massive boost, but still might have a chance to take you down if they try very hard.

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Age of empires for over 2 decades has always been a war based real time strategy game. Winning the war involves strategy and cunning and most of all…fighting.

Never in history or reality has there ever been two armies battling and then suddenly someone says, “Stop fighting! The war is over. The other nation has constructed a building fifteen minutes ago. We can all go home. They win the war.”

The wonder is a tacky gimmick. There is a reason the pro circuit in aoe2 rarely revolves around wonder victories. It should be a minor game mode. It should be removed from the ‘standard victory’ conditions entirely. It should be nothing more than a cosmetic building like in aoe2. What will fans think watching an aoe4 match, and the announcer says, “The Viper built a wonder! Now lets wait for the game to end!” Booooooooooring.

If we keep the wonder, whether for over powered buffs or for time limit induced victory…then we are encouraging players to simply turtle and build a Wonder for the win. This is blatantly exasperated in team games. It’s fun once in a while, but its lazy design for an RTS that thrives on thrilling wars.

Wonders ruin age of empires 4. Scrap it.

It is actually part of the standard victory conditions in AoE 2, it’s just that “everyone” uses conquest rather than standard.

As someone who mostly plays co-op against AI, I don’t mind wonder victories, as games can last quite a long time after the point that it’s clear the AI team has lost. 15 minutes is too long, it’s rare for games to not be won with a landmark victory during the time after someone has built a wonder, wonders would be more useful if a wonder victory was reduced to 10 minutes, and maybe sacred sites to 5 minutes.

Game time isn’t real world time, though, a building standing for 15 minutes is equivalent to centuries.

The decrease in Stone on maps wasn’t followed by a proper fix in Wonder cost.

But this isn’t the only problem, because this victory condition should be a real strategic option on 1v1, different from the agression focused on Landmark destruction ou map control focused on Sacred Sites retention. Economic superiority and solid defense are the marks of it.

I humbly propose that Wonders should follow this cost pattern for aging up, but a particularly expensive kind of “super age up” followed by a 12 minute timer (with 8 for Sacred Sites victory):

  • 7000 Food;

  • 5000 Gold;

  • 3000 Wood;

  • 1000 Stone;

With this we have:

  • Not only a third victory option, but actually see the Wonders in game;

  • Better use of the late-game excess Food, instead of trash unit spamming;

  • Stone cost balancing;

  • Avoid very long, stale and aimless games, remember this is a post-imperial strategy;

  • Wonder vs Sacred Site victory runs;

  • Retain the conceptual role of Food and Gold symbolizing the abundance and diversity of resources that allow the enhancement of a civilization.

Adjustments could be made for more players, but i think this could work if properly countered.


I am speaking about pvp matchmaking forcing everyone to play standard victory conditions. If you play against ai, then you can easily set your victory conditions to allow wonder victory since you are basically making casual non-pvp custom games at that point anyway.

Also, I recommend trying pvp, as ai matches are predictable and once you beat them, you probably already experienced all the strategy they have to offer, lol.

If the game is running too long, then the overall design needs to be changed…whether through resource scarcity, cost of military units going up with appreciating value over time, or diminishing building health returns after repairs, etc.

No need to make wonders the go to laming as a shortcut in failed rts design.

You’re kind of missing the point. Wonders aren’t “laming”. They aren’t even an “alternative” victory condition.

They are literally one of the 3 main ways to win. There are 3 victory conditions.

And yet, standard victory conditions could be sacred sites or landmarks, with a rework in designing how to make the game end sooner without wonders. You saying its one of the victory conditions doesnt really make a valid point about whether or not its proper for the game function as a whole.

Wonder win mode is fine. It represents precisely what it is like for a powerful empire to resist the siege of its cities waiting for the reinforcement of allies or more troops from other countries; or vice versa, that a powerful enemy tries to destroy the enemy’s architectural wonder, or capture it to completely destroy his kingdom.

Historically: the Papal States were many times in danger from foreign forces, but they managed to defend Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, waiting for reinforcements from France, which did arrive and for this Charlemagne is famous. Also the desire to reconquer Jerusalem from the Pope, the same one that led the Crusaders in their battles for the Middle East, to recover “the wonder of the city”. Moscu was also destroyed many times, but the Rus managed to rebuild the city every time, and then they even managed to build arquitectural wonders that lasted for centuries to this day.

Same case, of cities that were destroyed to the point that only ruins remain, like the legendary Mongol capital of Karakorum, which was reduced to ashes by the Chinese, in revenge for the control that the Mongols had over them for 100 years. Practically many of Mongolian landmarks represent some of the architectural wonders of this capital.

En Español:

El modo de victoria por maravilla esta bien. Representa justamente lo que es que un imperio poderoso resista el asedio a sus ciudades esperando el refuerzo de aliados o más tropas de otros países; o al revés, que un enemigo poderoso intente destruir la maravilla arquitectónica enemiga, o capturarla para destruir por completo su reino.

Históricamente: los Estados Papales estuvieron muchas veces en peligro de fuerzas extranjeras, pero lograron defender la Basílica de San Pedro en el Vaticano, esperando refuerzos de Francia, que si llegaron y por ello Carlomagno es celebre. También el deseo de reconquistar Jerusalen del Papa, mismo que encamino a los cruzados en sus batallas por Oriente Medio, para recuperar “la maravilla de ciudad”. Moscú también fue destruida varias veces, pero los rus lograron reconstruirla siempre, y esta vez lograr construir maravillas arquitectónicas que duraron siglos y hasta nuestros días.

Mismo caso, de ciudades con maravillas arquitectónicas que fueron destruidas al punto que solo quedan ruinas, como la legendaria capital mongola de Karakorum, que fue reducida a cenizas por los Chinos, en venganza por el control que los mongoles tuvieron de ellos por 100 años. Prácticamente la mayoría de Landmark mongoles representan alguna de las maravillas arquitectónicas de esta capital.

Okay so if a separate game mode was Invader vs. Defender Siege Victory — then a wonder might fit in…

But in a standard matchmaking round, what if both teams build a wonder and one team built theirs 1 second earlier than the other team. How does that make sense?

It’s the same exact thing if landmarks get destroyed 1 second apart, or 1 second apart from a sacred site victory.

I don’t think you realize your mindset that wonders are somehow lesser or not standard is just arbitrary. Probably mostly influenced by AoE2 (where initially they actually were standard, they have just never been viable).

Someone could feel the same way about any victory condition.

woah woah woah…i wouldn’t call it “the same exact thing” when a landmark victory functions more akin to a conquest victory where the people of the nation say, “dang they dun destroyed our entire city, we should surrender before we all die.”

while the wonder victory still is subject to some arbitrary timer where as Wabbee put it…they say,

Gotta agree with Wabbee on this one, because landmarks aren’t subject to some weird timer.

Landmarks can literally get destroyed at almost the same time and the winner will be the one who’s landmark died half a second later.

The game will end with all landmarks destroyed.

How is this any less weird than the wonder situation?

Or a landmark can be destroyed a split second after a sacred site victory, same thing.

rhetorical much? i have the same response to you lol —

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Huh? What are you talking about?

My teory about Wonders and Landmarks’ victory condition:

  • Technically, in AoE4 you represent the mayor, general, leader or chief of your town and possibly a future empire. Let’s say that the people of your town, regardless of whether you want to continue the war against the enemy, see that all your landmarks have been destroyed. So both your army and your people see you as a bad leader, and decide to surrender to the enemy. No matter what you want to continue, no one pays attention to you.

  • Psychological warfare is also a strong type of warfare. It is assumed that in the game you are looking to defeat the enemy people, but what if they not only have the audacity to build a wonder but also keep it for several minutes (which in theory would be years, decades or centuries in the game)? Then your people consider that continuing the siege is useless: they surrender and will not support you, and your army also turns its back on you. That is why the defeated units remain gray and frozen in the field, they lost any intention to fight.

  • Similar to the process of units changing sides by beholding a holy relic held by a monk and possibly having some religious premonition.

But what about when you have a wonder of your own? 1 second or “year” after their wonder is built? Would not your people feel pride to defend it as well?

Whether it’s 15 or 20 minutes is just a gameplay mechanic, in future patches it could even go down.

On the other hand, one does not decide if people appreciate you more for being about to finish a monument or not, and the timing of a supposed victory is relative. In fact, if everything goes wrong they can abandon the project halfway, and thus the White Elephants are born.

Macchu Picchu of the Incas, for example, was possibly abandoned due to the civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa, and since Atahualpa killed all his brothers and nephews, who apparently owned that area (it’s a theory), the resort was left uninhabited. for more than 450 years. Meanwhile the Inca empire fell due to the Spanish conquest and the majority of curacas decided to give the kingdom to the King of Spain in exchange for retaining various titles of nobility.

Thus one can destroy an empire by killing its leaders, gaining the appreciation of local sub-leaders and leaving their wonder intact or abandoned. In fact, the Incas had the custom that each conquered town was made to leave the capital city as a ghost town, and they were sent to live in remote areas of the empire as 3rd class citizens, below the Cuzqueña ethnic group and the Cuzqueño nobles.
Look at Chan Chan/Chimor, such a beautiful architectural wonder, was abandoned and even forgotten to the point that only 50 years later, when the Spaniards arrived, the Chimu no longer existed as a culture and did not participate even as troops allied to the Spanish or Incas… because they were no longer Chimus, only mitimaes… But their wonder continues there, until now.

So you’re saying they surrendered with a wonder intact? I’m not sure if that means you’re for or against wonder victory condition in aoe4 lol?

OH! no, I think there has been a misunderstanding:

  • I was only defending the wonder victory mode in its historical concept, but about its in-game mechanics, the amount of minutes or if the time should be equal to the victory by relics, or if the wonder should be counted as a landmark. … yes, that is debatable.

In theory, “Wonder Victory” makes more sense on “Large” or giant 3vs3 or 4vs4 maps; where getting from one end of the map to the other can really be quite a feat. But in ranked 1vs1 arabia, (combats that I hate because I’m more into random or casual group play), I guess it’s hard to win by wonder, especially with the limited resources of the map.

Personally, I enjoy AoE4 for these 3 types of victory for the “common” mode (sacred places, wonder and landmarks), especially the destruction of landmarks, than those of AoE2 where in normal victory you had to kill every damn villager on the map, find all the relics like looking for needles in a haystack (You know somebody who win in a relic victory in age2? somebody?), and worse of all in AoE2DE where the AI was so broken, that if you left a single villager alive, 2 things could happens: the enemy escape and came back somewhere on the map, insufferably lengthening the game by 10 or 15 minutes, or two, the worst of both: they randomly surrendered before you destroyed their city, leaving you with a bad taste of mouth. For that reason, in AoE2 I preferred play regicide mode vs the AI.

In fact I enjoyed that in AoE3: WoL (Wars of Liberty) the heavy cannons and infantry with torchs dropped everything and left very nice ruins, and if you wanted to completely obliterated your opponent because he gave you a fight or gave up too easy you could finish him off completely.

If we’re not willing to separate wonder from the standard victory conditions, which I prefer aoe2 conquest style over aoe4 triple threat oddity that currently exists. Then I would rather have op’s idea come to fruition…

Instead of wonder outright winning the game, it could grant the civ a unique game ending bonus like gold units no longer cost gold or monk’s get a special meteor ability or camel’s debuff applies to all enemy units or siege weapons fire 2x faster or cavalry get 2x ranged armor or wynguard palace spawn time reduced to 30 seconds or gunpowder units get aoe damage incendiary bullets etc.

As OP suggested, game ender mechanics can be more exciting than some lame time limit victory rubbish.