"Auto-Economy" for PC

MbL was right, “auto everything” is here 11

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Genuine question: What does this feature on xbox even do? In this thread it sounds as if this would change the competitive scene but unless there is new features that doesn’t exist for the pc AI no half decent is gonna use that crap.

There is a reason the ai is very bad and even new players can beat it pretty fast. I mean just watch the ai execute a BO. So what does auto eco do? Aito adding farms? Placing new mining camps? Or just distributing new vils to res?

Also according to what criteria does it make decisions? Players will have a strat in mind, how do they tell the ai to distribute vils according to that plan?

In short, not a fan of these auto features but at the same time I don’t think it’ll matter too much. People might use it to learn the game but once you know the basics there isn’t any point in using features like that.

when can we expect a release date for a tentative, beta auto-micro patch?

Hot take:
There should be “Auto Everything”
You should be able to chose to let an AI do everything and then disable some features on the fly if you want to manually manage some thing.
Not available in ranked and quick play of course.
Basically the same way you chose which AI the AI players use you could choose different AI assists for every player as the host of a lobby (and in single player too of course).

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I think it could be added to ranked games too as long as make them work worst than manual management.
Autoqueue vils for example, could take 35 sec per vil instead of 25. The actual 25 TT + 10 cooldown.
This mean, each TC, in 10 min you will stay 7 vils behind.

I think this way the game could become more enjoyable for relaxed players and those who really want to play full competitive remains the same game because will prefer always manual management.

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I do not know if you have watched some YT videos of people playing the game with the controller
The Eco-setup is really bad for a competitive perspective, it keeps your villagers working but if you don’t pay attention you will end with a bunch of lumberjack and very few farms (you need to build either mills or TC in order to auto create farms around them)
For a low Elo player that only creates like 35 to 45 villagers this feature is amazing, I even think that they need to auto-create villager up to half population in order to make the game better for them
If somehow you manage to create some eco-balance set up it could create some weird advantages in ranked games but that would happen in some very specific matchups

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Auto economy was introduced to mitigate controller limitations.

If auto economy is ever introduced to PCs then the only reasonable solution is to add it together with PC controller support.

IMO it should be only a controller-specific thing. This is why we have cross-Input settings in online lobbies.

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Hot take:
The game doesn’t need to be overburdened with features to cater to low-effort players.

In theory, I’m fine with people having all kinds of add-ons or AI-enhancement features for single or (maybe) unranked play. In practice, implementing these may involve significant investment from the devs, and it’s effort that IMO would be much better spent in half a dozen other areas - bug fixes, AI Improvements, New Civs, Regional Skins, etc. And they’ll add overhead as another moving part/stress point in a game that already has more than its share of bugs. Far from being all butterflies and daisies, the console port broke a lot of things for standard players, and they remain unfixed.

I also think that the efforts towards Noob Outreach, while commendable, have gone far enough.
IMO AoE2 having an above-average barrier to entry is a good thing.

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I agree.
I still think it’s a good feature, but I don’t think it should be prioritised.
If it’s easy to add for the devs they should do it.

Games should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. A lot of games have a “narrative” difficulty setting that removes any options to fail/die from the game, for people that purely want to play it for the story.

Maybe you (and many others here) are more of the type of person that gets motivation from improving them selves.
But there are people that don’t really care about that. They just want to see some nice battles.

And think about people that want to play with their friends that have 0 to no AoE experience.
I remember LAN parties (do people still do them?) that I did with my friends and we obviously played a lot of AoE (mostly 2), but there were always a few friends that hated it because they never play RTS. Those friends would sit there in Feudal Age while the more skilled players where already fighting each other in Imperial. They never felt like they had an impact.
Yes I was worse them them in CSS but it was never on the same level of unevenness.

AoE2 is on Game Pass, it is easier then ever to get friends to try out the game but they will likely feel like they can do little to contribute to the game because you as a skilled player are better. Thankfully we have the handicap system now, that mitigates a lot of those problems.
But it’s hard to judge how much handicap a given player should get. An AI that assists them with economy would be a natural way to help them.
Also both systems would work together perfectly.
Auto Economy and +20% Handicap would probably get a new player to keep up with an average player.

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Is not always an effort issue. There is some physical conditions that could private from a good game experience. This is an rts, not a shooter, so strategy and learning should be the entry barrier, not hands skills…

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Sure. If the overhead/effort required to implement and maintain something like this is low, I’m not going to crusade against it, even though it doesn’t interest me personally. The bigger point is that any kind of add-on has a cost, so it’s worth prioritizing those that are most broadly appealing and least likely to break things.

I can appreciate both. I’ve played competitively a lot (mainly Pre-DE), more casually in the last year or so, but also have made a lot of Scenario content for myself and friends over the years. So I care about Multiplayer and Civ Balance as well as custom Singleplayer content, and am wary of things that potentially introduce bugs into both domains.

I get it, but I think people are underappreciating the existing options. Growing up, I would usually be able to 1v2 my brothers, so we would level the field by throwing an AI ally on their team (or giving me 1 and them 2), or create a custom scenario where they started with improved defenses. Point is, the game has other awesome features to accommodate skill gaps before we have to resort to auto-auto-everything™ But again, if it could be added with low investment, I don’t have a problem with it.

I just don’t see why this needs particular accommodation beyond the elo system. Like if you have low APM for whatever reason, the people you’ll be matched up against will tend to be in a similar boat, so you can still enjoy a competitive experience.

Yes I agree. This is the main reason why there are not many new players joinning this game. I think the priority should be stablitiy of server, queue, lobby > game balance > reduce the entry barrier.

I think the auto scout function is a very good start that it do not use by pro player and the new players can use it and it is so bad so that new player still need to learn how to scout.

Therefore I think the Auto-Economy is a really good feature like auto scout: bad for pro player which no pro player will use this. New player can use it and since this function is so bad that the new player will soon still need to learn and pick up the skill of mannual economy.

Not only new player in console is encountering this problem so I really think that Auto Economy for PC is really a must for new player in PC

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For those who are curious and don’t know about it, you can kind-of see what some ‘auto-economy’ could look like (or shouldn’t look like) by setting all players in a skirmish to an AI, and then using Ctrl + Shift + F1 to control an AI’s units. Ctrl + Shift + F2 for player 2, etc.

From the few videos I’ve seen, the console’s AI assistance is a dumbed down AI in that it doesn’t automatically build drop-off sites, amongst many other things. This is likely done for balance reasons and to prevent players from having to fight with their AI assistance. If you try playing with the above all-AI settings, you’ll notice that the AI (the Extreme AI anyways) will periodically re-issue commands to units that you’ve controlled and told to do something else, which can be frustrating; even if the AI was actually making better decisions than the player. Also, one of the AI’s strengths is economy management, in that it’s able to avoid having unused resources. However this can cause problems. If players are trying to build up an army, the ‘auto-economy’ might run their economy too efficiently and prevent the player from having enough resources to do so.

A bunch of UI, settings, etc. could be created to allow players to try and control all of this, but that would take up a lot of development time and would also mean players would have to learn how to manage all of that.

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Yep. And at that point, that would be (player) effort better put towards just learning the game - practicing BOs and eco management. Auto-eco has potential downsides even for people who might want it, by making them overly reliant on a crutch mechanic, and potentially having to un-learn some bad habits when they decide to fly solo. I get that there’s a bit of a learning curve, but there are also plenty of “professors” ready to help you with it, and plenty of modes/elos/handicap or boost options for players who aren’t interested or cut out for higher level competitive play. And obviously if the automated aspects become too good, it’s basically P.E.Ds for gameplay.

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The issue whit those kind of things is that they are a lot less fun for the less experienced players. They feel like they are only worth half as much as the good player.
I played Empire Earth (similar game to AoE) alone against 3 of my friends and won (at last one of them is better in AoE2 then me). It was a lot of fun for me but not as much for them and they didn’t want to play it again.

That’s something I love doing too, especially for AoE3. But that removes spontaneity. If I have a 3 player scenario set up but we suddenly find a 4th friend to want to play with us we can’t use it. Also not that much replay value.

Handicap is probably the best feature for that but I feel like a lot of people feel bad for using it. Not sure. Never did a LAN party since the feature was introduced to AoE2DE. It probably combines very well with Empire Wars because then you already have a base to work off of.

Can you even use the Handicap in the coop campaigns? I mean they would probably be the best thing to get people into AoE2 but that doesn’t work when the experienced player basically does the whole mission on it’s own.

I should try that out. It’s probably cursed because the AI will take away the units I want to control all the time.

Two things need to be improved in the controller configuration: Control groups and Shift-queue

it is unfair to the better players because you lower and cap the difficulty ceiling on what they can achieve with their skills and the game. with your logic, why not cap the game so that everyone is only allowed to play with mouse and not keyboard so that even the disability can compete at even level?

enough game sequel has done this dumbing down and we definitely don’t need to have this in AOE2.

people watch competitive play for the skills in micro, macro, apm, consistency and strategy involving managing all of them at the same time, we certainly dont need to “only” see military fights.

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What a terrible argument to allow auto economy. RTS game have no need for that.

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before I saw the implementation I would have said it’s a bad idea.

But having seen it… I kinda like it and it’d be interesting to see it come to PC.

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I feel that this isn’t something should be an option for PC player simply because of the fact that keyboard and mouse combo can do so much more than a controller ever can.

I worry that having a choice for this would later break player group, we already dont have enough players as it is compare to bigger titles and dev giving too many option can sometimes do more harm than good.

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