after what feels like an eternity I finally managed to play a few games of AoE on the latest patch.
I will first come to my evaluation of the patch changes, before I explain my desired changes for the future.
I had already mentioned my ideas for this future several times in longer posts, but since the devs said to keep making suggestions, I’ll do so again. Whether these were read at all by the devs or still will, one will probably never know. The impression is rather that unfortunately great changes or innovations will never be added to the game and the huge potential will forever fall by the wayside.
First about the patch:
In general, I’m positive about the patch.
I already had the impression that the wayfinding is a tad smoother (really putting it gently). Also, I couldn’t notice any units getting stuck in each other. However, I mainly played Chosons and Minoans, so I can’t say anything about elephants. But with legions or mounted archers I had no problems there, in contrast to before.
The nerve of the legions I felt as not so bad. Yes, you notice it a bit, of course, but I think it’s okay. The increase in the price of the technologies of longsword fighters and legions is also okay. I think the developers wanted to put the dominance of the academy units more in the foreground here and take some wind out of the sails of blunt spamming. That doesn’t mean that longsword fighters/legions are bad now.
In the course of this, the unlocks of armor technologies for Babylonians make sense. Babylonians are very inflexible when it comes to offensive warfare anyway. It would have been helpful even before if they were equipped to the maximum in their core units, i.e. the barracks units.
Shang now also have ballistics. I think every civ should have this technology.
Let’s get to the negative, from my point of view.
I don’t know about you guys, but I found Helepolis op before this patch.
In itself, I think it’s fine that the simple ballista got a buff. Because it was really bad. But it should have been adjusted so that the Helepolis in the shooting rate afterwards comes back to the old value. That was high enough in my opinion. Note that the damage was also increased.
“Attention! Attention! To all the players who like to spam Helepolis (and I count myself among them) - this is your time. To make it easier for you, we’ve also lowered the development cost.”
Even as a fan of Helepolis, this is too strong for me.
The question is why they did that. My guess:
"Age of Empires" is still “Age of Elephants”.
On the positive side, the costs have finally been raised at least a bit (for the elephant shooters). Because still the status quo, especially online, is simply as fast as possible in the last time, the main thing is food, food, food and then the elephants are spammed out until there is no more tomorrow. Developments are felt secondary, the main thing you manage to spam faster and more elephants than the opponents. The HP alone is high enough. I think a telenovela offers more variety and sophistication.
However, for the increased cost, the damage is increased, which I personally consider total nonsense. As I said - the elephant shooters were already strong enough before. Especially since this is also hard to understand in the development logic that the game offers. For the composite archer, who now even has one attack point less, you have to develop 2 technologies and for the elephant archer nothing. With which bow sits such a shooter then on the elephant?
So my personal opinion for elephant archers is as follows:
As a preliminary stage, you have to develop the composite bow. This would have to be much more expensive, because then more civs would have the composite archer available.
The damage is again 5.
In addition, the HP of all elephants is reduced to 400 (550 for Carthaginians) and the cost is increased to 170F, 70G. This would still be strong enough in my opinion, but reduced some impact.
Look at AoE2. Even though it’s moronic that there are elephants there at all, they are much better balanced.
What’s not moronic in the 2nd part is being able to buy and sell globally. It is not really clear to me why this function was still not integrated. Starting from bronze age it would be nevertheless perfectly in order. Just as a market cart, which, analogous to the merchant ship, can trade gold. Then you wouldn’t have such a big problem with civs that don’t have chariots available.
A flare function - already mentioned a thousand times, still not there.
If you (MS) want players from the second part to also play the first, these things are absolutely crucial.
Also that with the unit formations. Let’s be clear - I personally don’t care about the formations at all. I even think it has its own flair when troops are messed up in battle. Partly I also find it too lame in part 2, when horsemen, for example, operate strictly in formation on the battlefield. There it goes off nevertheless already substantially more here.
In addition, it looks quite strange if clubbers would run in formation.
But 99% of the players want that and assume it for a modern game. And that should not be ignored.
@SlenderBadger98 ad the excellent idea that formations but the Bronze Age are available with the construction of the government building. > Should devs implement unit formations since Bronze Age? (POLL)
I can only subscribe to that.
I build the government building and then have the choice of “no formation” and all formations from part 2.
Another tiresome topic is gates. Also for me - I don’t need it, but almost everyone wants them.
However, both things should be mentioned - as long as path finding is as miserable as it is now, it’s questionable whether gates and formations would work at all.
Also, it would generally be nice to have a replay function like in the 2nd part and be able to save games in multiplayer.
OTHER UNIT CHANGES:
Stone throwers/catapults/heavy catapults now have the following range: 9/11/12. For comparison: A normal Catapult-Trireme has only 9.
Composite Archers now have a standard damage of 6.
Why? These units cost gold. Wagon archers do not. Wagon shooters have more lives, are faster, more resistant to conversions and have the same range as composite shooters. One less point of attack. Why should I build composite archers? With 2 more damage compared to wagon archer, I think the gold is justified.
Triremes now cost 140W/25G.
Catapult ships/heavy warships now cost 140W/50G.
Technology “technics” is too cheap in my eyes. It should cost 300F/100G.
Even though I wrote above that in my opinion there is no need for new units, I have 2 suggestions.
The first problem has in my opinion civs, who can’t build chariots. That means - no gold = lost. That’s why I propose an elite axe fighter, which can be developed from the Iron Age on, does not cost gold, but costs more food than the normal axe fighter (100?) and is about as strong as a broadsword fighter. In addition, it deals 20 percent more damage against mounted units.
Then I think there should be an elite camel rider.
The axeman should be developed immediately in the Tool Age.
The harbour building should be as large as a village centre.
Seleukiden, Parther, Celts.
I think that’s enough text. Thanks to everyone who read it
what I forgot - it would be super nice to have an explorer in the Tool Age, like in the 2nd part. Not on a horse, of course. But it could be someone who can see further, run faster and is not attacked by wild animals.