AoE4 Naval Trailer Graphics vs AoEO

To say the least and beat a dead horse, I’m disappointed in the graphics we are presented in AoE4, specifically the recent naval trailer (BUT…more to come).

Many fans are disappointed because in the 16 years between AoE3 release and now, our childhood dreams of a super-realistic AoE4 grew and grew, then were crushed with something that looks, in some opinion, the same as AoE3. There was an AoE4 Facebook page of die-hard fans that would post images of what they hope the then non-existent AoE4 would look like; people went wild over what the next game could possibly look like… butttt no. Honestly, I think Company of Heroes is a great standard for a quality graphical rts (good job, Relic).

More specifically towards the naval trailer, most of us expected a naval warfare with much more realistic waves, ship buoyancy, soldiers visible on ships, less massive arrows, ships that don’t just skate across the water, cool weather effects, etc, etc

The specific item that brings me here and warrants a new post imo, is the comparison between AoE4 and AoEO (Age of Empires Online for you noobs, google it). I’m imagining the dev team specifically decided against super-realistic graphics in exchange for a more colorful, cartoony feel, much like AoEO BECAUSE believe it or not, many fans loved that feel and still do. This is how to naval trailer feels to me. Thoughts? I see where the appeal is here as a big AoEO boy, but man, I think it was a poor decision as obviously the fans wanted a Battlefield 2042 graphical quality game.

Secondly, I honestly think the game will look better than is presented in the trailers. I’m not sure why, but Relic has been doing a really poor job at gameplay trailers recently (sorry dude, whoever is in charge of making those). Both AoE4 and CoH3 gameplay trailers presented some pretty un-impressive graphics, with CoH3 looking exactly like CoH2 and AoE4 looking like AoE3. Did they just hit a wall and Tech hasn’t pushed past this level of rts realism yet?

Nevertheless, I really appreciate the continuation of incredible rts franchises.


The gmae has more than good enought graphics in my opinion. I dont need naything better than this graphically…I rather they focus on Civ variety/quality and new and interesting mecanics. Lucky for me, this seems to be what they are doing


The same here! Surely the game will be better in oct, but somethig must be improve about what we have see in this trailer. The boats and water in AOE3 seems to look better then these, outhogh the second is a 15 years old game. i personaly was expecting something more realistic and proporcional like what they are doing with the walls. Civs are great, land, relief and strutctures are amazing, i just think we can improve naval as well.


Yes it should have some water reflections. If you’re comparing it with original age 3 then it’s not entirely true. Aoe3 have good water graphics effects like water reflections, shadows makes it realistic but the models don’t look that great if zoom in. if you are comparing it with AOE3 DE than it’s just a year old game.

Graphics are not that great but maybe it’s not that big issue. There are many people who still plays original AOE2-AOK & Conquerors now. People still love it.

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You’re right, AOE3 DE is not that old, but is this AOE4 naval not quite the same as the original one? I agree, and I’m one of these players that still love the original AOE2 gameplay, but I think somethig should be diferent in this new game, just to igualate with anoter elements of the game that they are tring to turn more realistic. i love all AOE and i’m loving this new too, is just my opinion

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I do agree that water units and the water does not have high quality graphics. Ships looks more cartoonish than other units I think some polish work & improved water reflections will make it better.

If the gameplay is good then people won’t complain that much.


Reposting this in every naval thread to get more feed back… because your right naval looks so bland

here is how I would like to see naval combat.

You have the normal 2 types of firing ships like they have, the fast turning weaker arrow ships, and the position able fortress type cannon ones. Great for some balanced ranged warfare but is missing some elements. Such as boarding, and fire.

Warships get a boarding/man power rating, its like an energy bar that drains as the ships are touching. This is initiated by a grappling ability where instead of shooting, one can choose to grapple and board the ship. the stronger of the 2 ships energy bar then wins, as they slowly drain and a fight animation takes place. once one ship exhaust itself it is left with its remaining HP and converted to the winning player, but the ship splits the remaining boarding power, so basically that ship would have to be sent to the docks to repair and replenish to be useful, (both would since likely ship would take hits while boarding action taking place and will have no more boarding power) if multiple ships get involved to first grapple and immobilize a ship, then others can come into help board as well, and that can really deplete fast and make it an efficient conversion.

as a defense some ships might have a fire weapon that can take down ships faster than boarding can convert. (but still depletes any boarding power, well maybe not for some civs!) or specialized swivel deck cannons for the Portuguese, have a close shot gun like anti inf cannon that damages the ship a little but depletes boarding power a lot.

Now lets talk about the potential of fire, how it has been used is simply a sustaining HP reduction as long as damage is applied, then neutralized… but what if all a fire ship unit really had to do was start fires on a ship instead of continually pouring fuel onto it, starting out small but as 1 sec goes by goes to 2 alarm fire, 2 sec is three alarm fire that is self sustaining… and then it slowly depletes the HP until would eventually destroy the ship, and possibly spread to other ships if not micro ed away. This would then create ways to put out fires. Such as fire type ships being able to alternately pump water, or actually make a water ship. Each ship could have its own small water pumps that can help put out fires at small range but requires manpower/boarding power rating bar to drop to put it out. Note a 1-2 alarm fire as it grows could be easily put out by a ships own man power if they had sufficient enough of it.

transports. are slower than military units and can get grappled easily if not protected. Unloaded have a very small boarding/man power rating. But as they fill up with units this increases a lot to fully charged possibly the strongest, that would take a few ships to overcome.

Fishing ships, can transport 1 unit.

To help with native balance on water canoes can kind of do it all
canoes, can shoot normally or set fires to ships, they do not have a big cannon attack, but some special ones may have a improvised rock thrower that they stole from EURO designs (think have the Lakota adopted firearms, how these cultures may have adapted had they fought on water)

so basically the strat will be to get close start fires on ships to cause havoc use some to board (their boarding power might not be a draining force, but a punch/ immediate drop. then they start shooting again, if enough ships do this they will overtake the ship like any other) and others in the medium distance to shoot targets. Large ships can grapple and use their man power to quickly overtake canoes but will not send their manpower to fight in them, so native canoes would just sink at that point, and the large ship continues with what it has left.

Docks rejuvenate manpower for free,

Possibly fishing ships can be grappled but have more of a chance to evade, again EURO civs will not fish from native rafts. (helping balance since a large fleet of ships will be stronger, native civs will have to adapt by rushing water and making canoes cheaply to start)

merchant ships actually have a small man power rating to ward off being boarded but can be boarded, however the ship is scuttled and a small prize is awarded the player. They do not get a grapple ability so no worry, merchant ships wont be fighting each other for the lanes.

I feel like mechanics like these would create some really dynamic and interesting tactics, the SEA is a barely touched potential of a secondary type of strategy play. within the same game.

I for one would like to see more agonizing pathing of more realistic turning radius’s, ship momentum,

questions to ask? could boarding power be transferred? say a big battle ensued and more ships are low in HP but have some boarding power, but another ship needs it with HP, so you send that in to tank the front lines with good boarding power, tie up the front lines and the low HP ships provide the range support but are paper to other boarding powers if flanked.


yes, those are interesting ideas and many of them have already been mentioned on several threads around here.
Unfortunately, naval right now looks more like something that they decided to add halfway the development cycle, it looks lazy, ugly and boring. Ramming, boarding, hook grappling, capturing or even taking advantage of currents or the wind are all some of the ideas that can actually add greatly to the naval gameplay and spice things up. And they are not even anything new, we have seen and experienced these things in several RTS games and most people welcomed them and enjoyed them.

Canoes for instance that you mentioned, due to their maneuverability you would be given the chance to outmaneuver a large european ship and board your native warriors on it instead of having to fight it face to face, arrow vs cannon, which some people find it odd.

Then visually, ships should look formidable to communicate their value. They are expensive, take time to make and are powerful weapons, the player wants to see that and take visual satisfaction from building one. aoe3 already did it quite well. They should also reflect the floating physics and the upwards force of the waves to bind everything together and make the overall experience look appealing and not fake. Units moving on invisible railroads looks like a general issue so far, there’s no natural movement of the units inside their environments.

They could have actually made it interesting and bring something new, naval is a field where you should have added new things to upgrade the experience. Especially when you, the developer, have already seen and acknowledged how underused the naval is in your past titles - statistically.
What did you decide to do about it? Throw the barebones in last minute in hopes of what? to say “there you go guys, we made this too” and avoid the outcry? Won’t work. Would have been smarter and preferable imo to substitute a cheap naval field with something amazing on land - if you can’t deliver something just as amazing on the water.


Everybody’s bar is stuck at graphics. Kinda shame.


That’s likely because in large part to there not being much known about gameplay yet. How does one form a coherent opinion about how naval plays (or how any other feature plays) without seeing gameplay?

I’ve seen lots of false statements about how the game is designed by players extrapolating from interviews and articles.


I hope Aoe4 have a good playability and the graphics will be the only ‘‘letdown’’
AoeO naval battle was ok

I agree. But, cmon’ give me a break. There are 100 topics that discuss the same thing. Add your complaints/criticisms/let-downs/disappointments to them…why make another forum post stating the same thing?! A waste of everyone’s energy.


That’s very fair. I don’t know.