Hello there Spartans! As promised in our previous Developer Update Blog, we finally have the biggest Champion Mode overhaul of Age of Empires Online history. This update will change how PvP is played completely, making new strategies possible and breathing a breath of fresh air in the game. You will find more details about the patch below but in short, the patch will give players more time to scout and react and slow things down a little bit, making it the perfect time for new players to start playing PvP!
But before we talk about the actual patch notes, let's talk about the upcoming PvP Mini-Event: Great Emperor Ashoka's Challenge:
Great Emperor Ashoka's ChallengeTo celebrate this change, Emperor Ashoka of India is challenging warriors of all skill levels to prove their might in the Sparta PvP battlegrounds, giving additional Coin and XP while playing in Ranked Sparta PvP matches (both 1v1 and 2v2).
If you're new to PvP and Age of Empires Online in general, this is the perfect time to start playing PvP, especially because you can also get additional experience, helping you level up even faster than before.
This passive bonus is active throughout the day, and resets at 00:01UTC every day. You can find more details about the mini-event, as well as its cooldown timer by hovering over the icon below your city shield in the Capital City UI (as shown on the graphic above)
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
We have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for match-fixing and win-trading on the Sparta PvP ladder. Doing so will result in an immediate ban on your account. If you find people breaking these rules on the ladder, please report them to one of our moderators on Discord. Thank you for helping us keep the community a healthy and competitive place for everyone!
For further information, please refer to the "RULES" section of the Sparta PvP user interface. (on the bottom-left)
Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about what the overhaul actually is, right?
Champion Mode Overhaul HighlightsWhile the exact details of the patch are mentioned in the section below this one, here are the most important changes of this overhaul.
== Gather Rates ==
- Developer Comment: Age of Empires Online is (by far) the fastest game in the entire Age franchise. This also makes it more difficult than other Age games to get into, particularly when it comes to playing competitive PvP. One of the main reasons the game is so much faster than the others is the incredibly high gather rates of Villagers compared to other Age games. While this is less noticeable in the earlier stages of the game, it becomes progressively faster and faster and by the endgame, players often find themselves having a massive surplus of resources, resulting in slugfests in the endgame where both players have a near-infinite amount of resources available, constantly training units and throwing them at each other. This change aims to slow down the early game, giving players more time to scout and react, but also significantly reduces the scaling of gather rates into the lategame, addressing the mentioned issue.
- This change also affects Fishing Boats and Indian Gatherer Elephants (when they are here!)== Building Costs and Build Time ==
- Developer Comment: These changes are aimed to make decisions players make during the game more important and impactful.
- By increasing the cost of Forts and Town Centers, players will have to think twice before building them. This is particularly important for fast-Town-Center strategies that are very popular currently. Now, players can choose to either opt for a risky, greedy strategy of building an early Town Center, or they can choose to punish their opponent for doing so by building military units early on and attacking them.
- By reducing the build time of military and tech buildings, players will be able to react to what they scout from their opponent easier, especially when coupled with the reduced gather rates, making the early game progress slower than before, giving players more time to scout and prepare.
- Armories are incredibly important buildings and can single-handedly change the outcome of matches. Making them more expensive and slower to build makes building them a more impactful decision for players, but also makes destroying enemy Armories significantly more rewarding for players who are on-point with their raiding.
- (Not mentioned in the graphics above) Farms are also becoming faster to build but also weaker. This is to encourage actively destroying the opponent's Farms, while also not making it too damaging to the defending player's economy, rewarding quick reactions and rebuilding Farms when they are destroyed.== Archer Ball Strength ==
- Developer Comment: Bowman-type units have always been a powerhouse in Age of Empires Online. Sometimes, however, while having a large enough group of bowmen, players were able to beat army compositions that they were not supposed to be able to beat, due to the sheer DPS output of these units. We are tuning down their overall DPS output, while making them a little more effective against the units they are supposed to counter.Age Up Cost and Research Time
- Developer Comment: The original balance team reduced the cost of Aging Up to the Silver and Golden Ages. We are reverting that, but also increasing the time it takes to get to these Ages. Advancing to the next Age is a significant decision and must not be made lightly, so we are making sure that this is the case.
- We are aware that this will change the dynamic of certain matchups (Persia vs Celts, for instance) more than others and will be keeping an eye on it, and will make further adjustments based on the feedback we get.
- Celtic Age Up costs are adjusted accordingly, since they have a unique resource cost.
- Egyptian Temples of Set and Ptah Build Times have been adjusted accordingly, since they have a unique Build Time.== Palintonons vs non-Buildings ==
- Developer Comment: Palintonons have always been an absolute powerhouse, and while they have been tuned towards more specialization against Buildings, we still feel that they are still too good against non-Buildings, so we are pushing them more into that direction.
- This also affects Stone Throwers and Log Throwers, but to a lesser extent. See the patch notes below for more details.== Ships vs Land Units ==
- Developer Comment: While winning the water needs to be rewarding, we currently feel like Ships are overperforming against Land units, making it particularly difficult on maps such as Oasis and Coastal where the water plays a very important role in map control, letting a handful of Ships massacre large groups of Land units. This change makes Ships less effective against Land units, while not changing any interactions between Ships themselves.== Passive Wonder Bonuses ==
- Developer Comment: Wonders are the single most significant and visually impressive Building for all civilizations, yet they play such a minor role in PvP currently, and are only used in rare cases where players have a large amount of resources stockpiled or when they want to break a long stalemate (which is also being addressed by the gather rate changes, as mentioned previously). We want Wonders to feel way more important and flavorful than they are now, so we are granting them passive bonuses.
- These bonuses are active as long as the Wonder itself is fully built and not destroyed. Once the Wonder is destroyed, the bonuses will be gone until another Wonder is finished.Champion Mode Patch NotesHere are the full patch notes!
- Champion Mode Changes:
- Ashlar Masonry: Building Health increase reduced to +25%, from 35%. Now also grants +10% Melee-Infantry and +10% Melee-Cavalry Armor.
- Axeman: DPS increased to 9 from 8.5.
- Axeman Champion: No longer grants +5% Damage.
- Elephant Archer: Cost reduced to 225w/75g, from 225w/100g. Now has 0.90 Snare.
- Elephant Archer Champion: No longer grants +25% Crush Armor. Bonus vs Ranged increased to +50%, from +25%. Cost reduced to 800g, from 1000g.
- Stone Thrower: Attack Range reduced to 44, from 46. DPS reduced to 49, from 58. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 3.75x, from 2.50x. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 3.25x, from 2.75x.
- Paid Labor: Now changes Villagers' cost to 10f/40g, from 15f/35g.
- Clinicus: Healing Rate reduced to 24, from 30. Cost reduced to 110g, from 125g.
- Herbal Medicine: Now reduces Clinicus' Healing Rate by 25%, from 40%.
- Villager: Training Time increased to 16s, from 15.5.
- Ox Cart: Training Time reduced to 8s, from 10.
- Garden: Cost scaling per constructed Garden increased to +15w/+15g, from +10w/10g.
- Throwing Axeman: Bonus vs Infantry increased to 3.5x, from 3.25x. Bonus vs Ranged reduced to 1.75x, from 2.25x.
- Berserker: Cost changed to 75f/125g, from 85f/115g.
- Skirmisher: Bonus vs Ranged increased to 3.75x, from 3.5x.
- Chief: Hitpoints reduced to 900, from 1000. Cost increased to 250f/250g, from 200f/200g.
- Log Thrower: Attack Range reduced to 44, from 46. DPS reduced to 49, from 58. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 3.75x, from 2.50x. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 3.25x, from 2.75x.
- Bowman Champion: Now grants +20% Bonus vs Infantry, from +25%.
- Villager: Gather Rates reduced for all resources by ~20%.
- Berry Bushes: 0.75, from 0.9.
- Huntables: 1.05, from 1.3.
- Herdables: 0.8, from 1.0
- Farms: 0.75, from 0.9.
- Wood: 0.8, from 1.0.
- Gold: 0.8, from 1.0.
- Stone: 0.8, from 1.0.
- Fish: 0.8, from 1.0.
- Fishing Boat: Base Gather Rate reduced to 1.3, from 1.6.
- Palintonon: Cost reduced to 300w/200g from 350w/250g. DPS reduced to 31, from 58. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 7.5x, from 4.0x.
- Silver Age: Now costs 400f/400w/400g, from 300f/300w/300g. (500f/500g for Celts, from 400f/400g.) Research Time increased to 80s, from 60. (Egyptian Temple of Set Build Time increased to 120s, from 100s.)
- Golden Age: Now costs 1200f/1200w/1200g/800s, from 1000f/1000w/1000g/600s. (1500f/1500g/800s for Celts, from 1200f/1200g/600s). Research Time increased to 100s, from 75. (Egyptian Temple of Ptah Build Time increased to 250s, from 200.)
- Walls: Hitpoints reduced to 1600, from 2000. (1000, from 1250 for Babylonian Clay Walls). Now also has baseline 0.20 Melee-Infantry and 0.20 Melee-Cavalry Armor. Pierce Armor increased to 0.85, from 0.8.
- Farm: Hitpoints reduced to 225, from 375. Build Time reduced to 15s, from 20s.
- Healing Ointment: Now costs 25f/25w, from 25f/25g.
- All Military Production Buildings now take 35s to build, from 50. (Barracks, Archery Range, Stables, Siege Workshop, Immortal Camp, Castellum, Auxilia Camp, Praetorium)
- All Technology and Religious Buildings (with the exception of Ziggurats and Egyptian Temples) now take 25s to build, from 30. (Greek Academy and Temple, Persian War Academy, Celtic Sacred Grove and Bard Hall, Roman Forum and Templum, Norse Great Hall)
- Armory: Build Time increased to 60s, from 50. Cost increased to 250w, from 200w.
- Town Center: Cost increased to 450w/450s, from 300w/300s. Hitpoints increased to 5500, from 4500.
- Fortress: Cost increased to 450w/550s (450w/550s for Egypt/Norse). Hitpoints increased to 7250, from 6750 (6750, from 5625 for Egypt).
- All Ships now have 50% of their original Health and deal 50% of their original Damage. (with the exception of Siege Ships). Friendly Fire removed.
- Fishing Boat: Hitpoints reduced to 150, from 300. DPS reduced to 4, from 8.
- Merchant Transport: Hitpoints reduced to 250, from 500. DPS reduced to 10, from 20.
- Greek/Egyptian Trireme: Hitpoints reduced to 375, from 750. DPS reduced to 25, from 50.
- Greek/Egyptian/Norse Fire Ship: Hitpoints reduced to 340, from 680. DPS reduced to 20, from 40. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 2.0x, from 1.0x
- Celtic Swanship: Hitpoints reduced to 400, from 800. DPS reduced to 30, from 60.
- Persian Galley: Hitpoints reduced to 300, from 600. DPS reduced to 25, from 50.
- Persian/Babylonian Ram Ship: Hitpoints reduced to 450, from 900. DPS reduced to 15, from 30. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 5.0x, from 2.50x.
- Roman Liburnian: Hitpoints reduced to 300, from 600. DPS reduced to 23, from 45.
- Roman Enneris: Hitpoints reduced to 350, from 700. DPS reduced to 10, from 20. Bonus vs Buildings increased to 5.0x, from 2.5x.
- Babylonian Bireme: Hitpoints reduced to 300, from 600. DPS reduced to 23, from 45.
- Norse Longship: Hitpoints reduced to 375, from 750. DPS reduced to 25, from 50.
- All Siege Ships now have ~50% of their original Health.
- Greek Ballista Trireme: Hitpoints reduced to 310, from 610.
- Egyptian Catapult Trireme: Hitpoints reduced to 310, from 610.
- Persian Mangonel Galley: Hitpoints reduced to 310, from 610.
- All Bowman-type units now deal 25% less damage and deal ~33% more damage vs Infantry.
- Greek Toxotes: DPS reduced to 8, from 10.5. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 2.75x, from 2.0x.
- Persian Bowman: DPS reduced to 7, from 9. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 2.25x, from 1.75x.
- Celtic Bowman: DPS reduced to 8, from 11. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 1.50x, from 1.25x.
- Roman Cretan Bowman: DPS reduced to 8.5, from 11.5. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 2.25x, from 1.75x.
- Babylonian Bowman: DPS reduced to 6.5, from 9. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 3.25, from 2.25x.
- Norse Bowman: DPS reduced to 7.5, from 10. Bonus vs Infantry increased to 2.75x, from 2.0x.
- All Chariot-Archer-type units now attack 25% slower but deal 33% more damage per hit (no change in effective DPS - affects Egyptian Chariot Archer and Babylonian Chariot Archer)
- All Wonders now grant a passive bonus for as long as they are alive; Cost increased to 1500w/1500g/1500s, from 1000w/1000g/1000s. Build Time increased to 750s, from 600s.
- Greeks - Statue of Zeus:
- +20% Damage for all Military units
- +20% Maximum Range for all Ranged and Siege units
- +30% Fortress Health
- Egyptians - Great Pyramid:
- +20 Maximum Population Cap (provided by the Wonder itself)
- +30% Movement Speed for all Barracks units
- +2.5 Health Regen. for all Barracks units
- Celts - Tree of Life:
- -15% Training time for all Military units
- +10% Movement Speed for all Military units
- +10% Damage for all Military units
- +25% Bonus Damage vs Buildings for all Military units
- Persians - Gate of All Nations:
- +25% Movement Speed for all Military units
- +25% Movement Speed for Villagers and Caravans
- +25.0 Gold Trickle
- Romans - Colosseum:
- +25% Damage for all Siege units
- +50% Damage vs Buildings for all Military units except Siege units
- -1 Population Count for all Praetorium units
- Babylonians - Hanging Gardens:
- +10.0 Food and Wood Trickle
- -15% Train/Research Rate
- +50% Villager Build/Repair Rate
- Norse - Dragonship:
- +15% Bonus Damage Protection for all Military units
- +30% Attack Rate for all Infantry units
- +50% Building Construction Speed for all Infantry units
- +1 Chief Build Limit
Important Note: These changes also affect Champion Mode quests, but our point of reference for balancing Champion Mode is specifically 1v1 PvP matches, so further adjustments for those quests will be done on the quests themselves if necessary.
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to reading your thoughts and questions below!
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Project Celeste Development Team
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By PF2K on Jul 4, 2022 at 10:52 AM
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