Arena is an Age of Empires 2 multiplayer map. All players start with pre-built stone walls around their starting Town Center. This setup leads often to longer games as early rush strategies are less effective. It is the classic map when it comes to so-called closed maps, that is why this map has always been in the ranked mappool for AoE II DE next to Arabia.
- Every player starts with a base surrounded by stone-walls.
- Extensive woodlines around the edges of the map.
- No hills to avoid camping on hills benefitting the player on top with hill bonus.
The latter two features distinguishes Arena heavily from the other well-known map Fortress, where you also start with a stone-walled base.
The layout of the map leads to a general delay of any aggression into Castle Age due to having a safe starting base and safe access to ressources. Therefore, a Fast Castle-strategy is seen the most frequently. Here specifically, the players try to get to Castle Age as fast as possible to gain access to Castles, Siege Weapons and Monks to acquire map control and breach the opponent's walls. A Siege-Monk rush shortened Smush or a Castle-drop strategy can be usually seen after having reached the Castle Age. The fight for Relics is an important aspect of Arena-games, because their possession and gold income can be decisive in the Ultra-late game if the mineral ressources have run out.
Additionally, the center of the map is rather open but narrow due to the thick surrounding woodlines, which explains the name Arena. This makes the map rather one-dimensional and narrows down the possible angles of attack. With that, one or two well-placed castles can save your base entirely and also grant control over ressources in the center of map, which can benefit civilizations with good defensive possibilities. To generally raze those castles, Imperial Age siege units, i.e. Trebuchets, Bombard Cannons or Siege Rams are needed. In particular, the access to strong Late-game options such as Bombard Cannons specifically can be crucial at that stage of the game, since those cannot only destroy buildings, but also defeat other siege weapons.
With the above, one can deduce which Civilizations are generally good on Arena. A good Arena civilzation combines the following:
- A good economy to reach Castle Age as fast as possible and in addition to have a great economy-boom afterwards to afford expensive mid and late game army and technologies.
- Thriving Siege weapons, as they can deal with defensive structures and also with huge masses of army.
- A broad Monastery tech-tree allowing for good Monks. Especially, the access to the Redemption-technology which allows the conversion of siege weapons can be an important tool for victory.
- Exceptional defensive options.
- General Late-game abilities and fully upgraded units like Paladins.
- Good non-gold units (called Trash units) to close the game when your access to gold has run out.
- Arina: similar map with reduced Feudal Age wall HP before Feudal Age wall HP were halved in the game data
- VAS version
- Clown Arena (created 2021): smaller area between the two bases, more space in the back and more wood (example: Showmatch JorDan vs TheViper)
- Vintage Arena: first appearance at Arena Classic; offers more randomness than the current Arena (04/2022) but also more fairness than the old AoC Arena; description by JonSlow on discord: "This map offers the variety and excitement of the classic Arena scripts without the imbalances and unfair resource distributions. Starting food resources may or may not spawn outside, but are always in or out for both players. Relics still spawn in the middle terrain. Players can start far apart, but often find themselves very near their opponent’s walls. Stone walls are set to 1800HP".
- DemEyesRed Arena Cup (DERAC): map information (Voobly)
|2022-09-25||20:00 UTC||Ellie4k Showmatch - FreakinAndy vs Running||1v1||Running||FreakinAndy|
|2022-09-20||13:30 UTC||Chilean Cup 2022: Qualifier||1v1||Porro||marcelo.marambio7|
|2022-09-17||USA Cup 3||1v1||Daniel||TheBloodless|
|2022-09-14||01:00 UTC||Chilean Cup 2022: Qualifier||1v1||shukiloa||Pinkman|
|2022-09-13||16:00 UTC||USA Cup 3||1v1||TheBloodless||Spring|
- Arena-only players (like JonSlow, DracKeN or Modri) are often called "clowns" or "Arena clowns" since 8th wonder's legendary forum post on AoEZone.
- This also is an explanation for the Clown Legion team name.
- There are dedicated tournaments that are only played on Arena, like the Clown Cup series, Gladiators of the Arena, the DemEyesRed Arena Cup, the Masters of Arena series, or Lords of the Arena.
- 2021-05-14 | Dracken by
- 2021-04-16 | TheViper by
- 2020-08-30 | OrnLu
- 2020-06-23 | OrnLu by
- 2020-07-22 | Hera by
- 2020-06-22 | JonSlow by
- 2020-05-06 | JonSlow (Playlist) by
- 2019-06-24 | DemEyesRed by
- 2019-03-09 | DemEyesRed by
- 2019-03-01 | DemEyesRed by
- 8th wonder,"i love how always when the master of arena is accounced all these so-called arena pros are so excited and dream about winning and then comes good old RM players who play arena once in a while and kick their clown asses. bunch of clowns on clown map. its like ln or bf, they are good/high rate cause its clown map and no one good actually play that map regularly but when they do, they kick those clowns back to HD. :lol:", AoEZone forums, January 12, 2018. Retrieved 2020-07-07.