AoE1DE should become an AoE2DE Expansion

I think that AoE1DE should become an Expansion for AoE2DE because:

  • AoE2DE has better performance
  • AoE2DE has much better path finding
  • AoE2DE generally has better support and it better understood by the developers
  • AoE2DE has many additional features like triggers for scenarios
  • AoE2DE has a much better AI
  • AoE2DE has a lot more terrain types and Gaia objects.
  • Being integrated into AoE2DE would make it a lot easier for the huge AoE2DE playerbase to try out the game.
  • Perfect chance to add new content and features to AoE1DE
  • Possibility to make Late Antiquity scenarios mixing AoE1 and AoE2 civilisations.

How I would do it

Playing AoE1 mode in AoE2DE would be a toggle in the lobby. AoE1 mode would have it’s own quick play to.
For fun there would be the option to allow both AoE1 and AoE2 civs but it would be totally unbalances similar to the all technology mode. But it might be fun for people that play Coop.

I would make AoE1DE a little more like AoE2. That means making it balances a little more like AoE2 to make it more compatible with AoE2DE content.
So trees, animals and mines have the same amount of resources as in AoE2DE because they are the same.

I would rebalance some aspects of AoE1 like how much upgrades improve units.
For example AoE1 armour and weapon upgrades usually give +2 while AoE2 ones only give +1.
AoE1 buildings have a lot less HP compared to AoE2. Making them more closer to AoE2 building in size and HP but giving some units like catapults or elephants bonus damage against buildings to make up for that.
With those changes AoE1 civs would overall be weaker then AoE2 ones. Which can be used a form of handicap in casual play or Coop.

I would add some AoE2 features like gates and garrison. Garrison would need some rebalancing like maybe adding a small stone cost the the TC like AoE2 did in it’s first Expansion. The trading system could also be changed to work like in AoE2 and potentially also land trade.

Some units could get new upgrades. Like the Tool Age units could be made more relevant in late game by getting some Iron Age upgrades. This way there would be other options then Chariot spam when the Gold runs out.
Also applies to the Archer line or the Camel Riders. Both could use an Iron Age upgrade.

This chance could also be used to add some counter units to AoE1. I’m thinking about a Skirmisher (that makes a lot more sense in an ancient setting) or a Spearman (cheap anti cavalry in contrast to the heavy Hoplite line).

I’m not sure if new features like unique technologies or even unique units should be added and if so where they should be added. Castles should definitely not be added.

Possible future additions

New civilisations like Europeans (Celts, Germanics) Central Asian (Scythians) or Americans (Omec, Maya)

New units. I already mentioned it earlier but maybe new units should be saved for future content. New civlisations might also need new units.

New technologies and mechanics. Charged attacks, early access to units (Bronze Age Cavalry Archers for Scythians) etc.

New campaigns. This could also utilise some AoE2 content like Celts, Huns or Gothes.

Unique units and technologies as well as new civilisation bonuses.

Summery

I think adding AoE1 as an Expansion to AoE2DE would solve a lot of issues and limitations that the game has while it would also attract AoE2 players that were hesitant to try AoE1DE or got scared away but the issues it has.
AoE2DE is running out of new things to add. This would massively increase the scope of the game for the future.

The DLC would cost as much as AoE1DE and everyone who bought both AoE1DE and AoE2DE on the same platform would get the DLC for free.

This would also not take away development resources from AoE1DE because there are none.

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Disclaimer:
My idea wouldn’t remove AoE1DE from existence. It would still be there, playable and purchasable.
The game gets very little support right now anyway so nothing will change for the original AoE1DE.

Some thoughts about the balance

I don’t want the AoE1 civs to be fully balanced against the AoE2 civs. That would require a lot of changes, it would take a lot of that away what makes AoE1 good and it would be extremely difficult.
But I want them to be somewhat balanced. So it is somewhat feasible in casual lobby to mix AoE1 with AoE2 for example for coop. 2 AoE1 civs vs 2 AoE2 AIs for example.
Also to make scenarios more playable. A Roman Legion shouldn’t completely obliterate Gothic infantry while being half population and costing less resources.

Units

AoE1 units start of at similar strengths then AoE2 units but end up a lot stronger in late Iron Age,
I’m ignoring range and speed here because they are not directly comparable.
Rate of Fire also is relatively different between the game. Most AoE1 units are at 1.5 while AoE2 ones are at 2.0.

Villagers have the same stats in both games:

  • 50 Food
  • 25 HP
  • 3 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Loom makes AoE2 villagers a lot stronger though:

  • 40 HP
  • 1/2 armour

Infantry

Let’s compare the Axe+Sword lines from AoE1 (let’s pretend it’s one unit line instead of 2) with the Militia line from AoE2.

Age I

Clubman

  • 50 Food
  • 40 HP
  • 3 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Milita

  • 60 Food 20 Gold
  • 40 HP
  • 4 attack
  • 0/1 armour

AoE1 has the slight edge in this case because the clubman is 30 resources cheaper and only has 1 less attack.

Age II

Axeman

  • 50 Food
  • 50 HP
  • 5 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Man-at-Arms

  • 60 Food 20 Gold
  • 45 HP
  • 6 attack
  • 0/1 amour

Axemen have the edge on paper because of their lower cost. The higher attack of the Man-at-Arms is worth more then the more HP of the Axeman though.
But now technologies start playing a role.
Man-at-Arms get +1 attack, +1/+1 armour and -15 Food cost while Axemen get +2 attack and +2/+0 armour.

With upgrades a Man-at-Arms will lose a 1v1 against an Axeman but they are a lot better against archers thanks to their 2 piercing armour.

Age III

Now the comparison starts getting complicated because the AoE1 line is a new unit line and it already has 2 versions in Bronze Age. I will take the second unit for comparison in this case.

Broad Swordsman

  • 35 Food 15 Gold
  • 80 HP
  • 9 attack
  • 1/0 armour

Long Swordsman

  • 60 Food 20 Gold
  • 60 HP
  • 9 attack
  • 1/1 armour

Now the AoE1 unit is not only stronger but also cheaper.
With upgrades the difference gets even bigger.
You get +4 attack and +4/+1 armour in AoE1 while only getting +2 attack and +2/+2 armour in AoE2.
AoE1 units are a lot weaker against archers though.

Age IV

Now the difference gets massive

Legion

  • 35 Food 15 Gold
  • 140 HP
  • 13 attack
  • 2/0 armour

Champion

  • 60 Food 20 Gold
  • 70 HP
  • 13 attack
  • 1/1 armour

Including upgrades the gap widens.
AoE1 gets +7 attack and +6/+3 armour and even -0.5 population cost.
AoE2 gets +4 attack and +3/+4 armour.
That means that the AoE1 unit has 2 less ranged armour but all other stats are a lot better.

Archer

This comparison is a little harder because the main archer line of AoE1 starts and ends in Bronze Age.
Therefore I will compare the Composite Bow with both the Crossbow and Arbalester.

Composite Bowman

  • 40 Food 20 Gold
  • 45 HP
  • 5 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Crossbowman

  • 25 Wood 45 Gold
  • 35 HP
  • 5 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Arbalester

  • 25 Wood 45 Gold
  • 40 HP
  • 6 attack
  • 0/0 armour

Upgrades are kind of the opposite as for infantry in this case.
AoE1 archers only get +1 attack and +6/+0 armour while AoE2 archers get +4 attack and +3/+4 armour.
In a direct competition AoE2 archers would destroy AoE1 archers because of the ranged armour.

Cavalry

Age III

Cavalry

  • 70 Food 80 Gold
  • 150 HP
  • 8 attack
  • 0/1 armour

Knight

  • 60 Food 75 Gold
  • 100 HP
  • 10 attack
  • 2/2 armour

Knights look stronger then Cavalry considering the cost difference.
With upgrades it’s get more complicated. Knights get +20 HP for example. The other upgrades are similar to the Infantry ones.
Notably the AoE1 cavalry gets no ranged armour from any technology.
Also the AoE1 cavalry has an attack bonus against all infantry but the Hoplite line.

Age IV

Cataphract

  • 70 Food 80 Gold
  • 240 HP
  • 12 attack
  • 5/3 armour

Paladin

  • 60 Food 75 Gold
  • 160 HP
  • 14 attack
  • 2/3 armour

Paladins hold up a lot better against their AoE1 counter part compared to infantry.
Cataphracts have an attack bonus against Infantry (excluding Hoplite line) though.

Conclusion

AoE1 is balanced around units having a lot less ranged armour and a lot more melee armour.
At the end +7 attack and +6 armour is the same as +4 attack and +3 armour.
But on the ranged side it’s a little different. Only infantry get ranged armour in AoE1 while ranged units only get +1 damage overall. But cavalry gets 3 base ranged armour.

Piercing damage is worth a lot more in AoE1 compared to AoE2 where both meele and ranged damage are worth the same.

AoE1 Iron Age units generally have more HP then AoE2 Imperial Age units while the attack is more comparable.

Upgrades are worth a lot more in AoE1 compared to AoE2. Units start of with similar stats but get a lot stronger in the last Age.

Buildings

AoE1 Buildings only receive 20% of the damage (ignore 80%) this makes their HP worth 5x as much.
This also applies to bonus damage. Therefore I will add a 5x to all building HP here.

House

AoE1

  • 30 wood
  • 4 population
  • 375(75) HP

AoE2

  • 25 Wood
  • 5 population
  • 500/750/900/900 HP

AoE2 houses are more 2x as durable while costing less and providing more population.

Town Centre

AoE1

  • 200 Wood
  • 3000(600) HP
  • 0 garrison

AoE2

  • 275 Wood 100 Stone
  • 2400 HP
  • 15 garrison

AoE1 TC are more durable then AoE2 TC but they are missing the garrison feature.
AoE2 TC even cost Stone making them a lot more expensive.

Generic Building

AoE1

  • 125-200 Wood
  • 1750(350) HP

AoE2

  • 175-200 Wood
  • 1200/1500/1800/2100 HP

Most buildings have a little HP in AoE2 compared to AoE1 in the late game.

Tower

Guard Tower

  • 150 Stone
  • 1200(240) HP
  • 6 attack

Ballista Towers are harder to compare.

Keep

  • 50 Wood 125 Stone
  • 2250 HP
  • 8 attack
  • 5 Garrison

Here it’s 1,875x the HP for AoE2 which is relatively much. Price is comparable.
AoE1 ranaged attack is worth more so I’ll say they are even on that.
The Garrison makes the AoE2 towers more useful though.
AoE1 towers don’t receive bonus damage from anti building attacks which makes them a lot more durable against siege.

Wall

Fortified Wall

  • 5 Stone
  • 2000(400) HP
  • 0/5 armour

Fortified Wall

  • 5 Stone
  • 3000 HP
  • 12/12 armour

AoE2 walls have 1.5x as much HP and a lot more armour and the best walls are available an Age earlier.

Siege

Here AoE1 only has the catapult as a real siege unit that also functions as an AoE anti archer unit. So it combines Onager and Terbuchet/Bombard Cannon.
I’m ignoring the range here. Just assuming it can outrange a building.

Heavy Catapult

  • 180 Wood 80 Gold
  • 60 +140 attack (+50 vs. towers)

Siege Onager

  • 160 Wood 135 Gold
  • 75 +60 damage

Bombard Cannon

  • 225 Wood 225 Gold
  • 40 +200 attack (+40 stone defence)

Trebuchet

  • 200 Wood 200 Gold
  • 200 +250 attack

The Heavy Catapult has quit a lot of damage considering that AoE1 buildings usually have less HP. The Bombard Cannon has barely more damage then it while costing considerably more.
Every civilisation has access to the Trebuchet in AoE2 while in AoE1 they only have access to the Stone Thrower (that only has 10 attack less then a Heavy Catapult but is very fragile and has very low AoE damage)

AoE1 doesn’t have rams but it has Elephants. AoE2 has Siege Elephants now so let’s compare.

Armoured Elephant

  • 170 Food 40 Gold
  • 600 HP
  • 18 +35 attack (+35 vs. Towers)
  • 2/1 armour

Siege Elephant

  • 135 Food 95 Gold
  • 250 HP
  • 4 +105 attack
  • -2/150 armour

AoE2 Siege Elephants (that only fill that one role) only have 2x he attack vs. Buildings. Siege Elephants are nearly immune to arrows though.

My ideas

Units

Speed, Range and RoF

Movement speed, frame delays and Rate of Fire are changed to be closer to AoE2.
Means most units go from 1.5 to 2.0.
All other units are changed accordingly. So they all take 1/3 longer to attack again.
Archers have more range in AoE1 compared to AoE2, this should also be corrected by reducing the range off all archers by 2.

Hitpoints

The highest Iron Age upgrades of all units should get reduced to nearly 1/2 of the HP while Stone Age units stay the same.
Because the Rate of Fire of all units got reduced that means that units will die similarly quickly compared to normal AoE1.

Tool Age

Axeman 50 → 45 HP
Bowman 35 → 30 HP
Scout 60 → 50 HP (Maybe +1 attack to make up for that)

So 10-15% less HP.

Bronze Age.

Short Swordsman 60 → 50
Broad Swordsman 80 → 55

Improved Bowman 40 → 30
Composite Bowman 45 → 35

Cavalry 150 → 100

Iron Age

Long Swordsman 100 → 60
Legion 140 → 80

Heavy Cavalry 150 → 100
Cataphract 240 → 150

Elephants (War/Armoured/Archer) 600 → 300

Armour/Weapon upgrades

Meele armour upgrades are changed from +2+2+2 to +1+1+1 like in AoE2.
The armour upgrades now also include +1+1+1 ranged armour.
Shield upgrades for Infantry should probably be kept.

Meele attack upgrades are changed from +2+2+3 to +1+1+2.
New Ranged damage upgrades are introduced providing +1+1+1 damage.

The overall balance wouldn’t change. With the same amount of upgrades the units till make the same relative damage.

Armour changes

Cavalry and Elephant units get more base ranged armour or their armour upgrades are changed to include more ranged armour.

Buildings and Siege

Building HP can mostly stay the same.
The footprint of most buildings should be increased though.

Towers should be rebalanced and be classified as normal buildings + stone defence.

Stone Throwers have the same range (10) as fully upgraded Age 3 defence but get outranged by 1 by fully upgraded Age 4 defence.
All civilisations but Choson that don’t have access to Catapults (that have 12 range) have access to the Engineering technology in Age 4 which gives them +2 range.

Garrison

The ability to garrison units and letting them shoot (villagers and archers) makes TC and towers a lot more valuable in AoE2. They don’t only help protecting weak units but also give them the opportunity to attack from safety.

Towers are relatively weak in AoE1 so adding garrison to them wouldn’t change the game all that much. Especially when given the generic building tag that gives catapults a bonus damage against them.

For Town Centres that’s a different story. They are already cheaper and more durable then their AoE2 counterpart.

I would change the HP to 2000(400) increase the cost by 50 Stone and add 5 garrison to the building.
This way the Town Centre wouldn’t be as defensive as in AoE2. With less HP and only being able to garrison 5 units. It would still be cheaper, costing less Wood and half as much Stone.

Gates

Just add them. Easy. I don’t think that would be an issue.

New Units

AoE1 leaks counter units. Most units don’t have any damage modifiers.
Therefore I would introduce a few counter units that allow to be more flexible.

(Elite) Spearman

  • Same stats as AoE2 Spearman and Pikeman.
  • Available in Bronze and Iron Age (not Tool Age).
  • No Equivalent to Halbardier.
  • New visuals

(Elite) Skirmisher

  • Same stats as the AoE2 version.
  • Available in Bronze and Iron Age (not Tool Age).
  • New visuals

New Upgrades

Heavy Axeman

  • 50 HP (+5)
  • 9 attack (+4)
  • Available in Iron Age

Axillary Archer

  • 35 HP (+5)
  • 4 attack (+1)
  • No range increase
  • Available in Iron Age

Light Cavalry

  • 60 HP (+10)
  • 7 attack (+4)
  • Available in Iron Age

Those 3 units should give civilisations a chance that don’t have access to Chariots to compete in trash wars.

Heavy Camel Rider

  • +1 attack +10 bonus against cavalry
  • +20 HP
  • Available in Iron Age

Elite Composite Bowman (can’t think of a better name)

  • 40 HP (+5)
  • 6 attack (+1)
  • Available in Iron Age

Those upgrades are there to make those units viable in Iron Age without making them very strong.

Economy

I haven’t calculated the numbers so it’s hard to tell how much should be changed.
The resources on the map will be changed to the default AoE2DE ones including sheep and everything.
Trees, mines, huntables, fish, etc. will all have as much food as they do in AoE2DE.

Cost of some technologies and Age ups might have to be adjusted.
Resource collection rates, carry capacities and the impact of technologies are very hard to judge.
And we haven’t talked about the Wheel yet.

I might revisit this later after doing some testing ingame.

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I had this ideia some years ago, and it’s good to see it been considered again. It’s a great one actually, as many of the new content dreamed for years by the community to be implemented in the game could be, theoretically, easily added this way.

Unfortunatelly, I can’t see how it could be implemented any time soon by the devs. :unamused: :melting_face:

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The reason why I bring that up now is because of the new AoE2DE roadmap.

We’re inviting some ancient friends to hang out!

This could hint on them planning something like that. That’s why I posted my ideas here. And also discussed the differences between the two games.

I also made a thread about it in the AoE2 forums
Ancient Friends

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omg thats so sad to see… the AI path finding has a ton of issue, as well as multiplayer performance but im guessing first game is worse eh

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I actually would like to have gates, formations and female villagers, plus the upgraded pathfinding.

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Thank you very much from bringing this on, I haven’t seen this chart!

I hope you are right, but “inviting some ancient friends” could mean that, perhaps, they are inviting old veterans from Ensemble Studios to take a seat at the devs table? Well, on the other hand, they chose the word “ancient”, not “old”, so… yeah, it gives me hope :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yes, it is worse, unfortunately. You would feel grateful for Age II pathfinding in comparison with Age I lol

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That popped up in a different thread too.
You wouldn’t ever call someone an ancient friend that’s not something you would ever do in the English language unless we talk about time travel.
If there were people that only worked on games with ancient settings then maybe but the old devs also made AoE2 and AoE3 (as well as AoM) so no, very unlikely.

More unit ideas

Hoplite line

In AoE1 the Hoplite line is not tagged as Infantry but Heavy Infantry and therefor don’t take bonus damage from Cavalry.
In AoE2 that tag doesn’t exist. So I would give them the normal Infantry tag but give them some bonus damage against cavalry to make up for that.

The AoE2 equivalent to the Hoplite is the Teutonic Knight. The Teutonic Knight was rebalanced a lot since it’s introduction and is now nearly as fast as normal Infantry (0.65 → 0.7 → 0.8 compared to Milita Line with 0.9).
I would keep the slow speed of the Hoplite Line but don’t reduce their HP as much as other units.

Hopilte 120 → 90 HP
Phalanx 120 → 90 HP
Centurion 160 → 120 HP

Hopilte, Phalanx and Centurion +10 attack vs. Cavalry

Centurions are already monsters that destroy everything they touch with their 30 attack so giving them the same bonus damage as the Hopilites that “only” have 17 attack should be more then enough.

Horse Archer

The Horse Archer has the same base stats as the Heavy Cavalry Archer from AoE2 but costs more resources (70 instead of 60 Gold).
The heavy Horse Archer is even stronger.
But the Cavalry Archers from AoE2 benefit from the Bloodlines and Parthian Tactics technologies making up for that difference.

I would only add some smaller changes like adding the Cavalry Archer tag and maybe the +2 attack vs. Spearman.

Chariots

I don’t like how the Chariots are in AoE1 because it’s absolutely stupid that they are trash units when in reality they were so expensive they nearly bankrupted Empires.
AoE2 now actually introduced a Chariot unit so we can also take a look at that for comparison.

Trash Chariots

Chariot Archer

Like the Cavalry Archer this unit could stay pretty much the same. Just add the Cavalry Archer tag and +2 attack against Spearman.

Chariot 100 → 65 HP
Scythe Chariot 120 → 80 HP

They cost more then the Light Cavalry line from AoE2 and they also cost 2 different resources making them harder to mass and they are slower but they also have a little more attack.
Giving them a little more HP should make them a bit more comparable.

Gold Chariots

What if Chariots would be changed into Gold heavy units because newly added trash units can take over their role.

Chariot Archer

  • 70 Wood 60 Gold
  • 100 HP
  • 5 attack +2 vs. Spearman
  • 1/1 armour
    Comparable to a Ratha but can’t switch between modes.
    More durable then a Cavalry Archer but also a little less attack

Chariot

  • 60 Wood 60 Gold
  • 100 HP
  • 10 attack
  • 1/1 armour
    Same HP and attack as a knight but lower armour and speed
    More attack then AoE1 Cavalry but no bonus against Infantry and slower speed but still generally better considering the lower price.

Scythen Chariot

  • 60 Wood 60 Gold
  • 120 HP
  • 12 attack with 0.5 AoE
  • 1/1 armour

Same HP and attack as Cavalier but less armour and speed.
More HP and attack then Heavy Cavalry but less armour less speed and no bonus damage against infantry.
Less HP and attack compared to either Paladin or Cataphract.
Only Palmyrans and Shang can build both Scythe Chariots and Heavy Cavalry and only Shang can also build Cataphracts.

Ballista and Helepolis

I think those can stay pretty much the same.
They should get 0 melee damage so they can get the bonus damage against Rams.
Potentially they could get some piercing armour.

Slinger

This unit is similar to the Skirmisher from AoE2. They are already very dominant in Tool Age and if the HP of Bowman and Axeman get reduced they’ll be even more effective.
Maybe their base damage should be reduced by 1 and they anti archer damage increased by 1.
They could also get a +3 against Speerman.

Ships

Ships are very different in AoE1 the main ship line doesn’t cost gold and there are no other ship lines until Iron Age.
Also ships generally have more HP but that’s the same for all units in AoE1.
AoE2 ships have a bunch of bonus damage against different unit types and also have a lot of pierce armour.

Solution 1: AoE1 style

Costs are unchanged.
HP are reduced, pierce armour increased and some anti ship damage added.

Scout Ship 120 → 100 HP
War Galley 160 → 120 HP
Trireme 200 → 150 HP

Scout Ship 0/4 armour
War Galley 0/6 armour
Trireme 0/8 armour

Scout Ship +4 vs. ships
War Galley +6 vs. ships
Trireme +8 vs. ships

The amount of piercing armour is the same as the new anti ship damage so they are effectively just stronger against archers.

Catapult Trireme 135 → 100 HP
Juggernaught 200 → 150 HP

Catapult Trireme 0/8 armour
Juggernaught 0/8 armour

They don’t need their HP reduced as much. Also the damage type should be changed to meele like most siege units.
They also get the piercing armour to keep the balance.

Fire Galley

This ship is a little more complicated.
It is available to all civilisations that don’t have Catapult Triremes (besides Choson) and also available to Greeks that are the only ones that have both.

Their attack is quit different compared the the fire Ships from AoE2. they don’t have super fast attack speed but do more direct damage.
Also AoE2 Fire Ships have anti Ship Armour and have a bunch of different damage types.

  • 200 → 150 HP
  • 0/0 → 0/8 armour

This way they would mostly stay like in AoE1.

Solution 2: AoE2 style

Navel combat was quit boring in AoE1 and the fact that the main battle ship is a trash unit just leads to spamming in the late game.
AoE2s navel combat with it’s 3 base ship types starting in Feudal is a lot more interesting but adding more ships would be pretty complicated so we have to live with having 1 ship type until the Iron Age.

Scout Ship

  • 100 Wood 25 Gold
  • 100 HP
  • 5 +4 attack vs. shops
  • 0/4 armour

War Galley

  • 100 Wood 25 Gold
  • 120 HP
  • 8 +6 attack vs. shops
  • 0/6 armour

War Galley

  • 100 Wood 25 Gold
  • 150 HP
  • 12 +8 attack vs. shops
  • 0/8 armour

This would make them still more wood heavy and would still give them more attack damage against none ship units.

Catapult Trireme

Should be like discussed above.

Fire Ship

Changed to be more like the Fast Fire Ship from AoE2.

  • Cost unchanged
  • 150 HP
  • Attack from Fast Fire Ship
  • 0/8 armour and +8 anti Ship Armour

This should make them more balanced.

Summery

I think it is possible to keep the “spirit” of AoE1 but make it semi balanced compared to AoE2 so it is possible to have civilisations or just units from both games fight against each other in scenarios or custom matches.

I can’t even tell if AoE1 civs would be better or worse then AoE2 civs with my changes.
The AoE1 units still often have more attack and usually cost less but AoE2 civs would have much better defensive structures and siege units.
But I haven’t thought about the economy and about the maps yet.
What to do with Relics, Artefacts and Ruins?

And I need to add that I obviously didn’t test the balance. Maybe there is something I’ve overlooked.
I just generally wanted to think about how it could work out.

aoe2 tiles are 1.5x the size of aoe tiles (96x96 vs 64x64)… and whatever aoe:de is (some different size?)

aoe2 formations for ships feels really weird the last time i tried to play aoe1 mod

I knew AoE1(DE) tiles were smaller but good to know it’s exactly 1.5x (technically 2.25x because it’s an area).

But speaking about building size:

AoE1 → AoE2

  • Generic Building: 3x3 → 3x3
  • Town Centre: 3x3 → 4x4
  • Farm: 3x3 → 3x3
  • Resource drop-off: 3x3 → 2x2
  • House: 2x2 → 2x2
  • Tower: 2x2 → 1x1
  • Wall: 1x1 → 1x1
  • Wonder: 5x5 → 5x5

AoE1 has higher resolution assets plus the developers hopefully still have the models so they could render them in even higher resolution if they’d want to.
I think the best solution would be to just convert the tiles 1 to 1. That would make all AoE1 buildings 50% bigger but I think that would look better.
That would mean that towers and resource drop off buildings would be bigger then in AoE2 and TCs would be smaller.

That would still keep the nice AoE1 feature that TC, Granary and Farm have the same size unlike AoE2 where all 3 have a different size.

I mentioned before that a different tile size would also mean the rebalance of unit speed and range.

Economy

Th base work rate of AoE1 villagers is usually higher.

  • Forager 0.45 → 0.31
  • Hunter 0.4725 → 0.41
  • Fisherman 0.6 → 0.43
  • Farmer 0.45 → 0.53 (0.32 effectively)
  • Woodcutter 0.55 → 0.39
  • Stone Miner 0.5175 → 0.36
  • Gold Miner 0.5175 → 0.38

It should be added that AoE1 Hunters and both Miners used to have a rate of 0.45 before the Definitive Edition.
Also sheep don’t exist. Their collection rate is a relatively low 0.33.

Upgrades

AoE1:

Wood: +20% +20% +20% = +60%
Stone: +30% +30% = +60%
Gold: +20% 25%(multiplied) = +50%

AoE2:

Wood: +20% +20% +10% = +50%
Gold and Stone: +15% +15% = +30%

Stone and Gold mining upgrades are a lot better in AoE1 but Wood is similar.
It is also important to add that the AoE1 Wood techs improve Archer range and the Stone techs improve Slinger attack and range.
They also increase carry capacity.

Wheeeeeel

Wheel increases the villager speed by 50%! And then they get 10% just fore reaching Tool Age too.
AoE2 villagers only get 2x 10% = 20%.

Farms

AoE1

  • 75 Wood
  • 250 → 550 Food

AoE2

  • 60 Wood
  • 175 → 550 Food

AoE2 farms are cheaper and available in the first age instead of only in the second age I think that makes up for them having less food without upgrades.

Fishing Boat

I can’t find data on the AoE1 collection rate I just assume 0.45.
AoE1 fishing boats only cost 50 Wood and Docks only cost 100 Wood so they are very powerful in AoE1.
In AoE2 they cost 75 Wood and docks cost 150 Wood. Their gather rate is 0.49 for deep sea fish.
AoE2 fishing boats can construct Fish Traps making them more useful in lategame though.

Whololo

AoE1
30% chance every 3 seconds after 3 seconds.
But 60% after Astrology.

AoE2
28% chance every second after 3 seconds.
Now speed increase possible.

AoE2 monks are actually better then AoE1 Priests but AoE2 has the technologies Faith, which makes conversion harder and Heresy which killes units instead of letting them convert.
AoE1 has no technologies against conversion and therefor the Priest is practically more efficient.

Summery

Just resizing every building by 1.5 should work pretty well.

AoE1 economy is better then AoE2 economy, especially in late game and especially with wheel.

Not sure how to tackle this issues yet.
I want to change the feeling of AoE1 as little as possible.
But this is really something that can only really be figured out by testing it.

Why change units so much, game doesn’t have to be like AoE2.

3 Likes

Maybe I should talk more about why I want to do it like that.
I feel like some people don’t understand what I want to achieve.

What?

I want all civilisations, buildings and units from Age of Empires 1 to be added to Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition.
I don’t want them to replace anything form AoE2. All AoE2 civilisations, units, buildings and technologies are completely unchanged.

Matchmaking

There is separate matchmaking for AoE1 and AoE2 content.

Singleplayer and Private Lobbies

On default only AoE1 or only AoE2 civilisations are available but you can decide to allow civilisations from both games but they are not really balanced against each other.

Scenario Editor

You can access both all AoE1 and all AoE2 civilisations, unity, buildings and technologies without any limitations (if you have access to all DLCs)

Balance

The AoE2 balance is completely untouched.

The AoE1 civilisations, units, buildings and technologies will be rebalanced to be closer to AoE2 so they comparable enough to make it reasonable to let those civilisations play against each other.

AoE1 civilisations, units, buildings and technologies will be balanced against each other of course.

Why?

Essence of Age of Empires 1

What makes AoE1 so special for me is not the small minor balance details it is the visuals, the sounds, the time period, the iconic units, civilisations and buildings.

The Definitive Edition already changed a lot of “essential” things about AoE1. For example the Long Swordsman used to have half the HP (80) or the Legion (160). That was changed to 100HP and 140HP so now the upgrade increases the HP by just 40%.

Small details like that the Storage Pit upgrades give you +2 instead of the +1 you get from the Blacksmith upgrades is not what makes me enjoy playing AoE1.

I know there are also many people that care about balance details and probably like AoE1 because of those details but for those people the original AoE1DE would still be there. But those people aren’t many because there aren’t many AoE1DE players.
I don’t think the reason why AoE1DE is so much less successful as AoE2DE is the setting.
It has a lot more to do with the technical state of the game.

Performance, Updates and Modability.

AoE2DE has better performance.
The Engine of AoE2DE is much better understood by the team.
AoE2DE actually has mod support unlike AoE1DE.

Scenarios and Campaigns

AoE1 doesn’t have triggers, it only have grass and dirt ground textures, it doesn’t have real hero units, it doesn’t have many scenario editor objects.
All those things would be made available to make much more interesting AoE1 campaigns.

AoE1 vs. AoE2

AoE1 has some Late Antiquity civilisations like the Romans or Yamato while AoE2 also has Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages civilisations like the Huns, Goths or Celts.

The Yamato campaign ends in 740 AD. The Alaric (Goths) campaign from AoE2 end in 410 AD and the Attila (Huns) campaign ends in 434.

So there is enough historic overlap for this matchup to make sense.

Coop and causal matches

A lot of people play Age of Empires as a coop game or just play in private lobbies with their friends that all have different skill levels.
They are not playing the game on a competitive level or have high enough skill to notice small balance changes.
They often play with unbalanced team sizes or use modded/cheating AI for interesting challenges.

For those people having access to a new set of completely different civilisations could make the game so much more interesting.
They could play AoE2 against multiple AoE1 AIs or the other way round. Or mix teams with different AoE1 and AoE2 civilisations.

Historical accuracy

AoE1 covers a massive time span in its civilisation choices.
Sumerians and Minoans on one hand are pure Bronze Age civilisations. They were completely gone by 1000 BC.
On the other hand there are early Medieval civilisations like Yamato.
Some civilisations are nearly 2000 years apart from each other.

In AoE2 it is less extreme but also massive time difference.
The Huns didn’t exist at 500 AD anymore. While civilisations like the Spanish (technically Castilian), Portuguese, Aztecs, Inca where nearly 1000 years later.

There is not magical time barrier between the Ancient and Medieval times, especially far away from the influence of West Rome.

Why change AoE1 at all?

Some things have to be changed because basic thing like tile size are different in AoE2 so building footprint and there things like range and speed are different.

The second reason is that because of the previous mentioned reasons (Scenarios and casual Coop multiplayer) the civilisations have to be somewhat comparable.
In raw numbers AoE1 units are sometimes 2x as durable when fully upgraded (Legion 140 HP vs. Champion 70 HP) while often being cheaper (Armoured Elephant 40 Gold vs. Elite Battle Elephant 70 Gold) and the base resource gather rates are usually 40% higher.
A fully upgraded Legion would beat a fully upgraded Paladin in battle.

Why not change AoE1 more?

Because I want to keep the look and feel of AoE1.
Giving AoE1 civilisations things like Castles, Town Centres with 15 garrison or any Medieval looking units would change too much about the game.

Turning them into just another new AoE2 civ with the same Technology tree as everyone else with the same units, technologies and buildings but just with one ancient unique unit would be boring and just not feel like AoE1 at all.

Why not make it as a mod?

  1. It’s impossible to mod in things like the function or the Storage Pit from AoE1. That is only something that the developers can do.
  2. The developers have access to the original raw assets they used to create AoE1DE with and aren’t limited to just converting the game files.
  3. This would completely remove the function of having the ability to play with AoE1 civs against AoE2 civs.
  4. Mods can’t offer matchmaking

Economy

Back to my proposed changes.

AoE2 villagers have 70% of the base collection rate of resources for most resources.
If AoE1 villagers would be 30% slower for every resource the balance between the resources would stay the same.

The upgrades for Stone and Gold collection rates might have to be changed but those two resources are more dependent on you securing the deposits then being able to collect them quickly.

For speed. The effect of Wheel has to be reduced. But that’s really hard to get right so that has to be tested.
I still want to keep the massive game changing effect that Wheel has.

Unit Speed

Just rescaling the AoE1 unit speed to the AoE2 tiles. Meaning dividing their speed by 1.5 because the tiles are 50% larger.
Effectively keeping the same speed.

This would make most AoE1 units slightly slower then their AoE2 counterpart.
Besides villagers with Wheel and Heavy Cavalry Archers.

Range

Same here with the difference that we can’t change the upgrades.
The Upgrades give 3x +1 range for archers and +2 for catapults.
Lets also always round up the the next whole number

Composite Archer
7 → 5 (+3) (same as Arbalester)

Heavy Catapult
13 → 9 (+2)

Guard Tower
8 (practically) → 6 (+3) (2 less then AoE2 Towers)

That would mean that AoE1 units can’t outrange fully upgraded AoE2 defence.
That might be something that feels right.

Age Up

Tool Age costs as much Feudal Age
Iron Age costs ad much as Imperial Age

Bronze Age doesn’t cost Gold unlike Castle Age.

AoE1 Age Ups are also always a few seconds shorter, saving exactly 1 Minute overall.

That is less then some civilisation bonuses for speed and cost that exist for AoE2.
Like Malay or Italy for example.

All kinds of timing attacks will not be balanced between AoE1 and AoE2 anyway.
I have no intention to balance this for 1v1 because that would be nearly impossible without destroying the AoE1 identity.

Though many of the stuff on this thread is correct, I want to make some corrections here in regard to comparisons and equivalents between AoE1 and 2 units: the Milita is the AoE2 counterpart to the Axeman. The Men-At-Arms is the AoE2 counterpart to the Short Swordsman. The Long Swordsman (AoE2 version) is the AoE2 counterpart to the Broad Swordsman. The Two-Handed Swordsman is the AoE2 counterpart to the Long Swordsman (AoE1 version). And the Crossbowman is the AoE2 counterpart to the Improved Bowman (Only the Arbalester is the AoE2 counterpart to the Composite Bowman). In regard to the Ballista Tower when it comes to comparisons, that should be compared to the Bombard Tower because both of these towers are the most powerful buildable towers in the respective games (which much explains why both of them are the last Towers to be available).