Balance proposal January 2023 AoE4

Posted by Cyril Walle

Last edit

Balance proposal January 2023

Walls and Rams

I don't like the recent nerf to wood walls cost and construction time. Because it does not address the real problem with walls.

The real problem with walls

The real problem with walls is that it takes significantly less actions to build than to destroy a wall.

To build a wall you need 4 actions: Select villager, build wall, build gate (optional) return to gather.

To destroy a wall you need 9 actions: Move army, see wall, build blacksmith, research siege engineering, select army, build ram, attack wall with ram, move army to let ram move, shift click all the wall segment.

This is from a bronze-platinum perspective. Of course sometimes it takes more or less actions but the first sentence remains true for the most part. 5 actions more on average is huge, it means lost idling, lost time making traders, fishing boats, villager army productions etc. Especially in lower leagues.

The biggest problem with walls in lower leagues

After an army is given an attack or move command it will calculate the shortest path to the destination based on all terrain, unseen and seen walls. What this means in practice is that for example and army might be given an attack move command to the enemy base and instead of going towards it, it will go back to the corner of the map, then go along side the edge because there is an unseen wall in the middle of the map. It can triple the time it takes an army to reach its destination.

Once again to correct this behaviour the attacking player has to use a lot more actions than the one who built the wall by repeatedly clicking move commands. It is very punishing in low elo games where the APM and decision making are the biggest handicaps of the players.

Proposed solution for walls

  • Units calculate the path to move based on seen objects only
  • Rams automatically attack enemy buildings in a 5 tile radius, with a lower, non-zero priority on walls.
  • Deployed trebuchet automatically attack walls with a lower priority.
  • Friendly units will stop shooting to let a ram move if the friendly units are blocking the way

Villager with bow

Confusing times

Villager shoot with bow but not always, and this was very confusing for me and other beginner, for no real benefits to the gameplay. English villager shoot with a bow to attack enemy units and deer, but not to attack melee boar and wolves. The rest shoots only the deer with a bow.

This becomes even more confusing as beginner will usually try English and then a few other Civilisations.

Proposed solution for villagers

  • English villager always use the bow
  • Non English villager never use the bow
  • Deer are not running away from villager

Attacking a base

Probably, just a thought but probably, the number one reason attacks fail in low elo games is because 20 archers are shooting at a lumber camp at some point.

Again it takes way more APM to attack effectively a base than to defend it. The defending player has to attack move and will then be able to focus fire appropriately. The attack player, as he gets deeper into the base has to babysit every unit for it to not attack buildings at the inappropriate moment, especially ranged units who do very low amount of damage to structures.

Proposed solution for attacking a base

  • Units that are not made for anti-structure will prioritizes units over buildings more, and increase the unit scanning range (range to decide what to attack next)
  • Drop off buildings health reduces by 30%
  • Farms lose range armour
  • Mongols moving buildings also take 50% more damage and are slowed by 50% when attacked


So I play a lot of FFA and 4v4 and from what I see in those games is that the sheer amount of time to move from one point of the map to the other makes wonders too strong. In addition to that a wonder in 4v4 is effectively 4 times cheaper as it potentially eliminates 4 players at once.

Proposed solution for wonders

  • Base cost stays 24000 in teams of 1
  • Base cost increased to 28000 in teams of 2
  • Base cost increased to 32000 in teams of 3
  • Base cost increased to 36000 in teams of 4
  • Time to win multiplied by 1.2 in medium maps (6 players)
  • Time to win multiplied by 1.4 in large maps (8 players)
  • Time to win multiplied by 1.6 in gigantic maps (8 players custom)

Springalds and Handcanoneers in late game

Springalds feel very bad in late game. It takes 3 supply and has lower dps than a single crossbow against armoured units. It gets one shot from Culverin.

Handcanoneers are in my opinion a bit too much all around good with very little counter play and create a shadow to the crossbowmen and even the archer if ressources are not an issue. The fact that deal more damage against anything and have more health is making them amassable without consequences.

Proposed changes springalds

Very slight increase in non-siege dps and more supply effective in the late game against other siege.

  • Base damage increased from 30 + 70 vs siege to 35 + 5 vs armored + 65 vs siege
  • Supply cost reduced form 3 to 2
  • Benefits from incendiary arrow ?

Proposed changes Handcanoneers

Keep their dps high but make them counterable by archers and crossbowmen. Reduce cost to still be relevant.

  • Cost reduced from 120/120 to 50/120
  • Health reduced from 130 to 85
  • Mele armour from 0 to 1


Trading is too strong in team games, and not risky enough in some maps.

Proposed changes to trading

  • Neutral market bonus goes from +20% to +50%
  • Reduce base value of trade so that neutral trading gives the same amount.
  • Neutral markets are always in the middle of both teams.
  • Remove the skip 1 trip hack

This will punish safe trading with allied market by making it less effective. And create a new zone of conflict to defend the neutral market route in the middle of the map.


  • Transport ship supply cost from 2 to 1

Make it less punishing to move around the map

Armoured units

  • Men at arms and Knights get -1 armour

Dark age extended gameplay

Most builds are based on the idea to get to feudal age as soon as possible. This is because the age up cost is low and there is nothing else to do.

The following are available in dark age

  • Market
  • Forum
  • Forge and Siege Engineering

Age up increase to 500/250. Maybe too big of a nerf for china?