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I am very against this. It already existed as a mod but is now being added to the base game. Go and right click the game in your library, go to properties then beta and select the April patch beta. You can see this setting has been added to game options. I tested it out against AI. It allows you to see a circle indicating defensive buildings’ (castles,town centres, towers) attack range. You see it on your ones and enemy ones.
A lot of people considered this mod to be cheating or against the spirit of the game and I understand why. It should be down to experience/intuition to know whether or not your units are in range of enemy buildings. Aside from this, the uncertainty is just part of the game. This takes away part of the risk and charm from the game in my opinion. Not everything should be known 100% in numbers or UI you should have to feel some things. I hope the developers change their mind about introducing this feature. I am sure some others feel the same way?
Imagine if in future we also had it for units like archers and mangonels. A mod for mangonel range already exists (not sure if one for archers does). In AOE 3 they put it for ranged units.
This would completely destroy part of the micro skill in the game. All of these changes remove skill and unpredictability from the game and thus limit the amount of possibilities for how games play out. I feel these are against the spirit of the game.
Some argue that because they already exist as mods they should be put in the base game. By this logic any existing mod that gives a gameplay advantage should be added even if it is detrimental to the health of the game? I don’t believe the character of the game should be dictated by what is and isn’t possible for modders.
I believe it would be better to limit certain mods that give gameplay advantages/ change how the game plays but that is a slightly different issue.
Malkop from this thread gives a great point:
“I am firmly against this. Even at high levels, tower placement isn’t perfect in rushes because there’s so many things to manage - checking range and counting tiles is a conscious decision you make. “Do I take the time to do this or rely on intuition?” It leads to more dynamic gameplay.
Funny thing, if we had this feature from the beginning I wouldn’t care in the slightest, but I’ve seen the games that develop from this firsthand in casted/streamed pro games and it’s definitely more fun without an indicator like this when games are developing. The intuition makes it fun, and interesting.”
Edit: It’s now in the game.
Adding some early impressions from people:
I agree with Viper that it takes some skill away (instantly knowing where to place an archer to be out of range of tower was his example) from the game. I also agree with him it should not be used in tournaments. Nili also didn’t seem overly keen. We will see what happens.