Age of Empires IV: Forward in the past

As a huge fan of Age of Empires I, II and III (Mythology included), I would love to see a new game based on the previous timelines. Don’t get me wrong, but transcending into the future into WWI and WWII just doesn’t feel right to me. The ‘Empires’ that fought in the World Wars are paired with advanced technology such as airplanes, gas, snipers and tanks. Although I think Empire Earth did a fine job implementing those aspects of that age, I just don’t feel Age of Empire should follow that path.

That leads me to the following idea that’s still floating in my head. I think Age of Empires could incorporate the eras into a new game. Prehistoric age to the Napoleonic age, skipping the future ages.

I can already read the comments saying that it is just a polished version of the previous games, but that is NOT what I mean. I do not want to see a remastered version of the games but a total new game putting the emphasis on new buildings, new tech and diplomacy.

With the knowledge of today it may be great to explore the idea of the separate civilizations in the prehistoric content transcending into the other ages. What I mean is the following: just like in Age of Empires III when you can choose your leader when aging, in Age of Empires 4 you can choose to be Germanic, then after aging, zou can either choose age into the civ of Prussia or German Empire. The same goes for other civs. In the beginning you can choose to be the Assyrian Empire and through aging you can decide to flow into other Empires, just like the people of Assyria did. Wars were fought and Assyria evolved into the Mongol Empire, the Ottoman Empire, The Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and Babylon, from there you can evolve you civ into other empires that fit with their Era. In that way you stay close to the historic way of things; that civilizations evolve into other civilizations due to technological advances, wars and religious choices.
It also bans the idea that the babylon empire can fight against modern day Netherlands when both are in the same era. Each choice you make can lead to the Empires that exist during the Napoleonic era.

Evolve to be equal
That leads me to the next thing evening out the playfield. Because some civs can be overpowered, the idea of evolving your civ could work against overpowered civs. Just like civs in the history, some did get conquered because of various reasons, like being behind with technological advancement, so you evolve into the Empire that conquered your Empire. If you guys know what I mean. It means that if you choose to be the Persians, you get to evolve into East Roman/Byzantine and then Into Ottoman or Greece for example. Weak civs will just evolve into the civs that overtook them, making them equal to the civs of their time.

Another thing that may be incorporated is diplomacy. I am not saying that the level of diplomacy control should be equal to that of the Civilizations franchise, but it can use an upgrade at least. In that way resources could be transfered with less tax and trade could be enhanced, canceling out import tax for example (Sorry Trump). This could be an advancement of the idea of consulates that were built into Age of Empires III. Every civilization had (in their own way) some form of diplomacy with other civs. The consulate can be build for all civs, not just the Asian like in Age of Empire III.

Not one Era
The idea of making Age of Empires take place in medieval times is great, but I am looking for a more comprehensive game. Making Age of Empires IV take place in the three Era’s, you can really dive into the development of your civ and making choices that resembles the historical downfal and rise of multiple Empires.

To make things even complicated, types of buildings should be extended and should evolve too. Let’s say that you are the Ancient Greek, you will later turn into (east) Roman, the buildings can be (just like it happened in real life) a mix between Greek and Roman style until you transform into Ottoman Empire or the Greece. Since Greece got independent after a while. Ancient Egypts can have Egyptian buildings and after the occupation of the Ottoman Empire mixed with Ottoman building influences and later French influence (Napoleon occupation in Egypt).

I know it’s a weird idea, but I think it could work well. Not remastering but incorporating Age of Empires I and II together with the modern day graphics, gameplay, music and sound effects can really uplift the new game altogether. Keeping the essentials within the game, but taking the next step into making it close to reality. More techs, more cards, more development in civs and more diplomacy (not too much) can make Age of Empires IV in my eyes perfect. I know people aren’t really excited about more eras in one game, but cutting the crap from WWI and WW2 and Space age in Empire Earth, taking some elements from diplomacy from the Civilization Franchise can maybe be the trick to make it work.

Thanks for reading my crap.
Don’t murder me with harsh comments, but you can leave your opinion or ideas.


Now this is what I call an interesting concept! I see where you’re coming from here, and I really like the “upgrade/evolve your civilisation” idea. It has been suggested to have a multi-era Age of Empires game multiple times on this forum. I even asked some people what they thought about it. What people are craving is the traditional Age of Empires feel. While the multi-era idea could work, personally I don’t really see it fitting into the series. But these are my opinions, so take these with a pinch of salt :salt: (not to scale)

Please Microsoft, dont make it a modern-era RTS with microtransactions… PLEASE!!!

In my opinion they should be making AOM2, but then with much more units on the battlefield and more freedom to build wherever you want. The reason why is simple: more room for different unit styles, Like flying units, spellcasters, invisible units, heroes etc. Enough ways to make creative strategies.

Now it is going to be the same old boring and predictable rock paper scissors style i’m affraid. Also because aoe2 is still considered to be the best, even though it is as boring as it gets compared to aoe3 or aoeo even.

Very creative idea! Personally, I would prefer them keeping the game to one “era”, but this is a cool concept.

My problem with having multiple eras is that the game would probably be a mile long but just a foot deep in terms of Civ detail. In contrast, a single-era game can focus on the details that made AoE II a great game.


Even if we agreed that a game that spans all of recorded history would fit into the AoE brand, it would still be a massive undertaking to create perhaps 4-8 times as many units, buildings, techs, and other assets and make balancing the game a complete headache.

I think a single era with 4 ages is in tune with the franchise and would make for a far safer move for an outsider like Relic to attempt.


It’s not just balancing, but quality in general, and I think everyone agrees with the quality over quantity thing.

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The problem with “quality over quantity” (which I completely agree with) is that unfortunately vocal feedback often aligns with a numbers game. “X factions is better than X - 1 factions”, “Y units is better than Y - 1 units”, and so on.

It’s a tricky thing to solve, and not necessarily one that can be done purely with development time. It’ll need accompanying marketing, showcasing the depth on the display, at the same time. Though I guess people who want to explain away depth will do so regardless, hah.

Very interesting thread premise. Can’t say I agree fully, but that’s just because I’m a sucker for modern and future units. I love how they’re being brought into games like Civilisation while still keeping that franchise grounded in “the past” (as it were). If AoE IV is shaping up like the OP thinks it should, I’d have absolutely no problem with that either.

The way that this can be averted is that Age of Empires could come with expansions containing a new era. This makes sure that there aren’t a shitloads of era’s and that new era’s can be designed individually guaranteeing the quality.

Start with prehistoric era Bronze, Roman. Then adding Medieval, Dark and Renaissance. End with Colonial, Industrial and Napoleonic.

All making sure it corporates well with the prescribed civ-systems/transitions and diplomatic features.

I just hope the last age has planes and tanks.

I really hope not. An eagle as scout and/or doves for bringing the chat message to your allies at most. :wink:

Rise of Nation DE would be a nice addition though. Then you can get your planes and tanks.


I like this idea. I don’t know how practical it would be to accomplish this as it would require a lot of time on the developers’ end to cover so many ages and nations, but if it can be done while keeping a focus on quality, I feel like it would make for an amazing game. Every AoE game has been a pretty big jump from the previous game so I think this concept is not as far fetched as it may first appear. Also, I agree that it would be disappointing if they advanced it past World War 1. I feel like at that point it becomes a Rise of Nations game and not an Age of Empires game (not that there is anything wrong with Rise of Nations, it just doesn’t fit the theme). Lastly, I just want to say that I feel like it’s going to be important to try and accept whatever the developers choose to do. There seem to be some very split opinions as to what people want from this game and no matter what happens, a fraction of the users will get upset. I think it’s important that we don’t get too angry at the developers as they are clearly trying to listen to the community and furthermore, a good response to this game could mean more future RTS games!


From a historical point of view without WW1 there would not have been the need of WW2 and for god’s sake let’s hope we are able to prevent a full scale third one. Because imho for some people in certain countries it must feel like that already as all major post WW1-2 powers are involved. Also if you would enter that era with the AOE franchise we are not talking about an age of empires ago anymore. This will make it hard for any designer to create sensible campaigns. For that reason AOE III was limited to the use of guns and canons too. The era that lead up to WW1 with Harrison’s rail road monopoly, the rise of the first industrial monopolists.


What about the revolution war through the civil war
Both American history and other countries in that timeframe

Although not specifically the American civil war itself, AOE 3 covered that time period.

Of course, all in all, I feel like the biggest distinction to make for any AOE game is that it should not, in its entirety, be about any one particular war, so much as an era of technological and civic advancement.

AOE 1 featured the Greek empires, but it was not about Xerxe’s conquest, nor was it specifically about Rome’s history.

AOE 2 featured the European kingdoms and the Saracens, but it was not -about- the Crusades.

AOE 3 featured the Americas, the native tribes, and some of the eastern nations, but it was not about the Revolutionary war or the East India Company taking over anywhere.

Similarly… AOE 4 could feature the visual motifs, technology and militaries of the early 20th century without being -about- WW 2 itself.

This is all, of course, notwithstanding campaigns, which are another matter entirely, for one key reason; the games themselves were rarely restricting themselves around their campaigns. Rather, the campaigns seemed to be scenarios and stories built using the games features and art. So if AOE 4 were to go into WW1 or 2 as they were, then by all means, the campaign could cover it, but that doesn’t mean the underlying game itself cannot look beyond the scope of those wars.


Ok, I haven’t played Aoe3 yet. Only the first 2 and their expansions.

no thank you. I want a single era, not a RoN clone.


That’s feasible although, like Andy said, it would still be a huge effort. The expansion would be like a whole new game.

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I agree so much, please do not transend into future wars like WWI or futher.