AoE 4 vs more work on AoE 2 - who else feels this way?

I feel like there is so much more that could be done to improve AoE 2, and at the same time I think AoE 4 will be a huge flop. AoE 3 DE hasn’t made AoE 3 popular, and I find it hard to see why AoE 4 would be any different. People hate the AoE 3 graphics, but the footage I’ve seen of AoE 4 shows it having the same unpopular graphics, so I can’t see anyone wanting to play it.

So I feel like all the work being done on AoE 4 could be so much better spent on giving AoE 2 a much more major overhaul. A few examples of things I’d like to see done to AoE 2:

  • an overhaul of the AI API to give much better control over it, both to allow the official AI to play better, and to allow users to easily make the AI do things such as follow specific build orders so they can try out strategies against each other with the same quality of execution.
  • an overhaul of the graphics engine to use modern 3D rendering but without making it look any different to how it currently looks. This would allow rotation of the view, for example, for those awkward times when things are currently hidden behind objects.
  • an overhaul of the game engine to stop rendering on one player’s PC in multiplayer from affecting rendering on other players’ PCs.
  • fix all the bugs

Obviously I expect everyone here to be biased in favour of AoE 2, so am I right in thinking that most people would prefer the effort to be put into AoE 2 rather than AoE 4?


AoE2 is already the best game in the franchise, and AoE4 will have too many modern RTS elements in it to be a timeless classic.

For example: the Mongols will not be able to advance to the last Age, and this makes me think they will go for full asymmetric balance, which has historically proven to be an awful idea, and generate a lot of balance complaints, aswell as ful community desertion once rthe game is no longer supported, and balance changes cease to be expected.

This will also likely mean Mongols will be a full Rush civ that will either absolutely annihilate all other civs before they can advance to the Last Age, or be a lame duck that demands hyper-micro and constant aggression to avoid just outright losing to civs that will inevitably overtech them.


Imo its a wee bit late to suddenly abandon 4 to pump money into a game that already exists?

Do you seriously think your recommendation will up sales/interest from non aoe2 players enough to warrant the loss of income from selling an entirely new game? Seriously now.

Im not an aoe2 or aoe4 devotee either. I have far more hours in total war, company of heroes and starcraft

But because lelic is making 4 I’m hopeful they won’t pull a dawn of war 3 on us…


Lelic will make an awful job at balance, like all their RTS games.

They focus on showmanship, rather than actual content.

AoE 2 is a timeless classic, but this shouldn’t stop the development of new RTS. The RTS genre has been almost completely dead (aside few notable exception) during the last 10 years, just recently it started getting better. A new, modern engine could achieve so much more than what AoE 2 is capable…if the developers are able to use it properly, that is.

That aside, I think setting AoE 4 in the middle-ages was a big mistake. You are immediately pitting AoE 4 against AoE 2, which is extremely hard to beat admittedly. Moreover, the middle-ages setting has been overused. I think it would have been much more interesting to set AoE 4 in antiquity, acting thus as a proper reboot of the AoE franchise. There’s so much potential in AoE 1 which could not achieved due to engine and game design limitations (remember that it was developed in the early years of RTS). And the comparison between AoE 4 and AoE 1 will be for sure far more lenient than vs AoE 2.


And they keep telling the world “we are making a game that is almost the same as AOE2, with only liiiiiiiiiittle but acceptable changes” XD.

Man I have such a mixed feeling for AoE4.
On one hand, I hope it would be a big failure for sticking to the “safest” setting, keeping persuading people it is almost the same as the TIMELESS CLASSIC, and being extremely careful when introducing anything new.
On the other hand, considering even the slightest deviation from the TIMELESS CLASSIC would enrage quite a lot of people, I also hope it could be a big success.

There’s a reason for this…

Total war tried going archaic with Troy, but its just too boring. You have so many more options (and interest from the population) going medieval or ww2(if we disregard fantasy) and that’s why those eras are so over done

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Total war rome (especially 1) were extremely popular though

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That is because we Romaboos are a powerful and highly disciplined consumer force!

Really, if you are a southern european, you LOVE Rome, more often than not.
Strictly the best empire in History. You could even say the whole West still is Rome, just under different names and fragmented.

Time to change that!



It’s no different to the business case for releasing all the DE versions of 1 to 3 before releasing AoE 4. AoE 2 DE seems to have been quite successful, so why wouldn’t a similar additional leap for, let’s call it AoE 2 DE 2022, also be capable of being a commercial success? I’m far from convinced AoE 4 will even bring in enough revenue to cover the development costs. Doing more work on 2 should be cheaper than developing 4, but would bring in more revenue IMO.

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because aoe3 was not popular to begin with. aoe4 on the other hand has people who are following it eagerly.


Yup, but not only that…there are so many interesting (and drastically different!) civilizations during ancient times and I can’t really recall any other game that tried to explore them as much as AoE 1 did…in how many game do you find Sumerians or Minoans or Hittites? That’s what makes the ancient setting so much more appealing (to me at least) for a reboot.

AoE1 had the issue that it abridged way too many epochs, in all honesty, even though I love the game and would buy any expos for it.

Summerians and Minoans on the Iron Age, and Roman Empire campaigns but no Antiquity Age (Iron Age is Alexander’s Macedonia, not Rome or Carthage, really), make the gamew a bit of a mess.

Couple that with introducing Romans, but no Gauls, Iberians, Hebrews, or Scythians, and you notice that Rome has most of it’s traditional enemies left out of it’s own expansion (but they introduced the Palmyrans, a state that rose up and collapsed so quickly, they are a footnote in History).

I wish they would revisit AoE1, but the market speaks loudly, and it constantly asks for Medieval, Medieval Fantasy, WW2 and Sci-Fi setting for RTS, because they honestly are the best settings for the genre.

I would love for a proper Steampunk RTS game (that is not a Tower Defense like They are Billions) to show up, and scratch that Rise of Nations: Rise of Legend itch I have, but te setting is only popular for RPGs and cosplay.

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Only one thing, if AoE4 is not the sufficient good as AoE 2 DE, I personally come back to the 2

I guess AoE 4 will be AoE 2 DE 2.0 and have sense, Microsoft knows that is the better game, when going to realese AoE 4?

  1. The team working on AoE4 is a different team than the one working on AoE2 DE. They might only delay a DLC because they don’t want to release it around the time AoE4 comes out.
  2. They repeated multiple times that they are aware that AoE2 is the fan favourite and they want to capture what made AoE2 so good.
  3. The last big RTS was Starcraft 2 from 11 years ago. What you call “modern” RTS is already outdated.
  4. They didn’t make AoE3. And I don’t think the graphics are the reason why AoE3 isn’t as popular. I think it’s the colonial setting, the home cities and also the time period.
  5. The feedback for the teaser trailer was that it was too colourful or even cartoony. They wouldn’t be the first studio to change that aesthetic of a game because of fan feedback. That’s likely one of reasons why they made a trailer that early.
  6. They said the Mongols will be the most “exotic” civilisation and they said that not all civilisations will follow strict 4 ages. AoE1 and AoE2 kind of already had 5 ages. Having 3 ages doesn’t mean that they cut of Imperial Age and made the late game of the Civilisation worse. Nor did they say that the Mongols only have 3 ages.
  7. AoE2 is not timeless. Having the same units from Japan to Mexico is just wrong. Aztecs researching chain mail armour at the blacksmith makes no sense. (At last they didn’t give them cavalry). That was ok in 1999 where unique units where something new but now.
  8. Because every civilisation will have completely unique units doesn’t mean that the game is very asymmetric. A French, British and Teuton pikeman will be slightly different but they will still work in the same way and fulfil the same role and they also going to be recognizable.

Sorry for me getting slightly annoyed by AoE2 elitism.

I still secretly hope we are going to see the Western Roman Empire in AoE4.


I’m fairly sure that this is one of the biggest strengths of AoE2.


It is, it makes balance much easier to do, and new civs much easier to add.

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Sure, and game much easier to learn

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The game has 35 different civilisations now.
Just because they have nearly identical units in Feudal Age doesn’t mean it’s easy to learn.
It’s likely confusing to new people that despite having the same units as the civilisation they played before they are suddenly not viable anymore.
You not going to build Archers as Spain despite them being technically available in Imperial Age because they are way to weak.
Having Civilisations have units that are absolutely not viable past Feudal Age is a leftover from AoE1.
In AoE1 all Tool Age (Age2) units don’t cost gold and all Bronze Age (Age3) units do (besides chariot) you are not left of with very weak and outdated units that cost gold as much as in AoE2. Why not just completely remove them from the Techtree.
AoE3 (before the expansions) did that well. There were units that were shared between most civilisations and the unique units replaced some of them. The Brits have Longbows instead of Crossbows or the Ottomans have Janissaries instead of Musketeers.
In AoE2 the Brits can train both units despite one of them just straight up being better the same with the Turks.
In AoE2 you have technically more different units available for each Civ but most of them are absolutely not viable because they are much much worse than the same unit of another civilisation.

Having 35 civilisations feels shallow as they are all to similar.
I have the feeling that the civilisations feeling more and more interchangeable as time goes on because there are more and more civilisations trying the same thing while some elements have to be limited to one civilisations from some reason even though they would make sense for multiple.
Of the Mongols, the Huns, the Cumans, the Magyars and the Tatars only one doesn’t have to build houses but they all supposed to feel like hordes.

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