A thought on immersion in a competitive environment

The incoming addition of the 4 Variant Civilizations, with the now infamous Jeanne d’Arc amongst them, has caused turmoil between Immersionists.

A passionate, history loving player would probably want to enjoy every little detail possible, let the scenery sink in deep as they visualize medieval Empires struggle for domination or maybe just expand and thrive. This requires control on how the match is setup and on what is happening inside it, the pace of the game. This is effectively only true in custom and skirmish games.

A competitive player would instead focus on strategies, tactics and build orders, not wasting time watching soldiers fight and keeping the APMs high, maybe even playing dirty to get the sweet win. They want to test their abilities up against other similarly minded player, until they find someone more than they can chew. That’s what quick play and, mainly, ranked are for. They get in, see the map, see the opponent’s civilization and just strategize to win the upcoming match.

Immersion and competitiveness are a dichotomy. You can’t be really immersed in the atmosphere if you’re speeding around trying desperately to win the match. All those details, the models, the animations, the speaking, become a blurred contour. That’s how it is for me but I suppose that’s just how humans work, in my experience.

As I stated, there are spaces to suit both approaches the best. Safe havens, let’s say. Obviously there is a middle ground but being there means compromising! Nobody can expect to queue for a random game and get a historically plausible match up, they may get the Malians against the Chinese on Danube River with the Taiga Winter biome.

In AoE there’s always been more than a few occasions when to keep immersed we had to close an eye (or two) and those are part of the tradition or legacy. We will just have to do it again for Jeanne d’Arc, in the end, regardless of the final name. If you want to compete (at any level, ranked or not) you won’t be able to control what civilization the opponent will choose (obviously), so that may mean going up against Jeanne d’Arc; that’s a pill you have to swallow, just like any other unplausible match up. The good news is that you have custom games where you can choose whichever civilization you want, if that’s what you care for the most.
It may not be perfect, but isn’t it good enough?

Now go get the English and burn that witch at the stake! :laughing:

I’d like to read your thoughts, ladies and gents. How do you feel on the subject? What makes you feel immersed and how much is it important to you? How do you cope with the PvP aspect?

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I will only talk about the ideas about the model.

The current weapon models are chaotic (such as the European billhook for spearmen and the European lance for Muslim LANCERs), and for the convenience of player identification, ERA is also forcibly divided based on helmet color.

I understand that different players have different needs, so at this point, the choice should be given to the players themselves.

Developers can add a toggle button to switch models.

Players who pursue ultimate esports can choose to use identical weapons with all CIVS units of the same type.

For players who pursue a sense of immersion in history, they can choose to use weapons and helmet colors that match history for each CIVS unit.

This model selection is only visible to oneself and can meet the visual needs of all players without affecting online access.

Many war online games now have similar settings.

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This could work as a client mod like in AOE 2, so it only affects the player that enabled it, yes, while i have my historial units i don’t mind how other people’s games looks like.

Lmao. Like, remember that time when people had an option to build walls of houses in everybody’s favourite aoe2? Oh wait, it is a core mechanic of the game up to this day

What’s the problem with blocking enemies pass in your base with buildings?
Could you tell me?

No problem with that. But it looks dumb if you treat game as immersive and somewhat accurate

Hmmm so houses can’t be wall to wall because it’s not immersive?
Have you seen what an old part of a city looks like?
Everything is so close and they usually have only a way to go in or out.

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An old town from Rodas, every building is close to each other.

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Yeah right. I guess wall of these sheds looks as impassable as those.

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At least in AOE 2 you have the freedom to place the buildings as you like and not like in AOE 4 with that artificial scattering…

In any case, with this system is nearly impossible to make a beautiful city in the editor, because as i said, it looks artificial, everything is aligned and paralel.

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I agree on that. Would be a cool idea to keep the scattering in early ages and expand houses into actual streets with impassable “walls” in later ages. But it looks like a pain in the ass to implement in game.

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What are you referring to? Both AoE 2 and 4 have a grid-based system.

The auto decoration of AoE 4 buildings makes really cute villages and towns, with gardens, roads and other things.

But the limitations are not the same, you can’t build building too close.

Are you sure?
AOE 4 building style looks like typical USA suburbs, kinda lame for a medieval city.

It is a grid-based system, but aoe4 has some spacing on the edges of the building grid, if you know what I mean. Like building doesn’t occupy entire grid. So units can always pass between two buildings.

Yeah well that’s true, actually the space between buildings make settlements look too regular. Design choices.

But if space them out enough the result is gratifying, at least to me. There’s some randomness in the layout and a lot of little details that enrich the visual. You can’t get some other typical medieval appereances though, in the Imperial Age usually towns don’t look as good as before. The architecture does but the whole doesn’t.

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Maybe they should give bonus for having a good and beautiful base design, and not a factory-base. XD

The issue is that beautiful usually goes against rational, in this game. A nicely designed, pleasant to the eyes town means suboptimal choices as far as defence and gathering efficiency go.

That’s why army-factory like base will be always dominant, even if it’s unpleasant to the eyes :frowning:

The vast majority of players are single players and team players. Competitive players are the far minority (sadly). The game SHOULD first satisfy its base then branch out if it wants to thrive. Hopefully they can achieve this. I’m doubtful of both being achieved.

I think that the general course is still the same. They are indeed branching out, as expected and announced, but those branches don’t have to satisfy those they’re not catering to. It’s not about having a single point of reference right in the middle of immersion/simulation and competition but 2 or maybe more branches catering to different audiences.

To make it simpler, the game should definitely satisfy the fans but it can also offer content intended for others at the same time. So that other content doesn’t have to necessarily satisfy the fans.