An open letter to Relic

To the hard working development team at relic entertainment and those concerned.

I’m sure you were aware of the undertaking you’ve set to achieve in making a new installment in a series that’s been around before I myself was alive. You knew the criticism and struggles for this effort and thus far and wanted to thank you.

I want to see this installment in a fantastic franchise succeed. Being a fan for upwards of twelve years. My father’s copy of Age of Empires was my first video game. Sadly the days of CDs are a thing of the past. Choosing a more teared development approach a method relying on data and feedback to adjust player experience. This has many pitfalls this early on in development with the lack of communication and major mechanical rework to a major civ this game feels unpolished and unready.

Scrolling through the past few days post update has been a whirlwind of frustration and anger. Upon consideration much of the feedback demonstrates two important things aside from the critical issues. First and foremost you’re making civs that people are truly enjoying. That is quite an accomplishment and nothing to scoff at. Second we all have ideas of what the future holds but I know I am not alone in wanting this game to succeed. With the right direction you can shift this frustration to avid support.

But there are some important factors that need to be at play moving forward. If you see to have a loyal fan base and success in the future.

Communication is critical. We’ve seen road maps and that’s a fantastic step in the right direction but we need to ground changes and the reason for them. I think the backlash is not unwarranted yet it’s far too critical. A breakdown of major changes and why they have happened would better make your case for a major nerf to a unit,fractions and so on. I heard talk of a developer twitch cast but I believe it should somehow be made more available to the player base.

Respect the rules you have established. It is a major factor of a game no matter what medium. To tweak your projects not destroy overall ideas. The major changes to the Deli demonstrated two things: firstly you give the impression you the makers don’t know where you are taking your civs in the overall scheme of things and in turn make the game feel like it is a faze of beta testing not a full blown release. This is what I believe is what’s killing the modern RTS genre as a whole. We are no longer in an era of gaming that has to give a finished product out of the gate. Major overhauls in the RTS of old didn’t happen like this.

Make a good game. What I mean is quite simple. Make a game for the average player first and foremost. The game has been riddled with bugs and exploits even through this last major update. All we want as a player base first and foremost is a game without these issues ruining gameplay. If you need more time to roll out a patch; so it goes well. Please do so. Without a stable foundation to build on you’re going to fight an uphill battle. Core out of the box gameplay should be priority not fundamental changes for a functioning civ. It’s in your benefit not just ours. These haphazard development techniques are hurting you and your potential future customers. We want something polished and ready.

In summation you have great potential and the homage to the games past has been wonderfully executed. This letter is asking for more in depth communication in respect to balances and game philosophy and a game without bugs.

Sincerely your average AOE fan.


Wall of text all to state the obvious

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I might agree but neither of us have to Is deal with being a subsidiary of Microsoft. There’s probably a lot of things behind the scenes that make simple things more difficult.