Dev at Relic should look at this topic : The biggest issues that AOE IV got

The RTS type of Game is not a trendy kind of game nowadays most of the kids prefer fps games or Moba style games . They want things which are straighforward and simple.

So to say the RTS genra has a niche community of players which likes complexity and diverse mechanics. those kind of players usually like games like city builders, Civilization games, total war and classical RTS.

When you try to blend the new average fps/moba player and the rts player what you are going to get is the FPS/moba player saying : Yes it is nice but it is not going the kind of game i’ll pay everyday because it’s not my style but it was worth a try. Or some will simply say i played it when i was young and i’ll buy it to play the campaign and against the ai and when they will finish the game they will barely touch it anymore.

Then the classical rts players will be like : Why did they simplify everything, why did they make the game silly and simple ?

What will happen is that you’ll have the first communty which will buy it to play occasionally and the classical rts players will be disappointed. The issue is that it is the second community which will last longer and which you will be able to milk with expansions. That’s the community which will make the game alive with e-sports.

Let’s dive into the issues that the game currently has :

Gameplay :

  • no custom hotkeys.

  • Arrows and projectiles having 100% accuracy. Making 100% accuracy destroys skilled counterplay and the pleasure of displaying your skill at micro.

  • No friendly fire for siege, the fact that siege could friendly fire was an interesting mechanic that made funny things happen but not only it made you learn how to use siege properly with a skill cap.

  • The game is extremely slow. I saw the time it took for a cavalry unit to make an auto to kill a villager. Well the animation took so long that the villager was killed 5 tiles away from the knight…

  • You can’t wall with buildings anymore. well this one is a little bit controversial.

  • There aren’t enough general core units for the factions. I mean there are too many unique units (i won’t be against 3-4 unique units but more seems a little but too much). There should be a common pattern of units for every civ even if they look different. There is one but it seems too much randomized and not unified.

  • some unit types seem to have disappeared : No skirmishers ? how do you expect us to counter mongols which shooting while moving cav archers kite and destroy everything ?

Graphically :

  • we’re in 2021 there seems to be like no textures on units more like blank modelling with colors added on the moddels.

  • The modern ghost light features while making a building or while cliquing on the map or interactions with rays of light doesn’t seem to fit in a medieval historical accurate game. It’s not harry potter, Lotr, warcraft, or the world of narnja.

  • Towers and castles make gunpowder smoke from shooting arrows.

  • Too much smoke on siege weapons we can’t even see what is hapenning.

  • It is almost impossible to see the projectiles of certain siege units like canonballs and rocks from trebs. Make projectiles slower or bigger. make them visible sometimes we can’t even see what is hitting units.

  • Zoom is terrible.

  • The palette of colors seems to be too bright and “joyfull” for a medieval game focusing on war and conflict.

  • no blood and decaying for corpse.

  • no arrows on the ground (it’s a battlefield you know some arrows finish on the ground).

I really hope that if relic will continue to dev the series that they will consider those things above if they decide to go into a new ancient times AOE.


Game is perfect has it is.

No change needed.

What you buy is what you get.


In other words is your problem with AoE4 is that it is not like AoE2 ?


No but Age of Empires is age of empires because it has certain mechanics. Like the arrrows missing, like the siege which can friendly fire. those are unique attributes of age of empires and which define the game series : they are unique indicators of identity. Age of empires 1, age of empires 2 age of mythology had those mechanics because thats what made age of empires signature. Plus no skirmishers/slingers which is a core unit of age of empires.

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we have been adressing those issues and more from a year ago, dont think they will fix them sorry.


Some of the above listed are neither issues that need to be fixed (n)or features that make the game simpler .

I’m sure player will find how to deal with them once the meta develops . Perhaps maybe they already did ( I didn’t watch AoE4 streams ) .

AoE3 didn’t have friendly fire so this isn’t something the franchise has never seen before .

We are playing AoE4 , not AoE2DE² . Some new things can be introduced such as the Xbow Archer diffrence instead of skirms . Meanwhile we have people complaining that this game is too similar to previous age games and feels more like a reboot than a new game .

I don’t see how this makes the game simpler . It gives civs more flavour and feel more diffrent which is what the devs been emphasizing (a little too much) since X019 .
Moreover this game has significantly less diversity in military units that AoE3 or AoM so I don’t see what’s the problem .


This game is a new game.

It is NOT AoE2.

It has flaws. But not being like AoE2 is not one of those flaws.

House Walling, quick Walling are both unrealistic and shouldn’t be there in the first place. We don’t need skirmishers - it’s a new game. And it’s great that factions have many unique units. I would have wanted more unique units actually.

Also. You dont need friendly fire to make the game interesting.


Did aoe3 have mangonel?
Stones can distinguish units in the middle of the fight and kill only enemies.
Anyway, this one actually for balance purpose. For now with current zoom and visibility of project tiles - u cant have friendly fire. Players dont understand where and when mangonel will fire…to complicated.

But agree that removing features which were present in previous parts of aoe / it’s the favorite part for devs. Let’s remove everything and it will be fine.

I feel like depth of the game goes away, but may be assymetric balance can compensate it.

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Well no , but it does have falconets whose cannonballs somehow don’t blow away your own (or allied) units away

number one point from here

  • zoom is terrrible



Most aoe3 artillery have direct firing so if there is friendly fire they’re definitely going to hit whoever stands in front. So they were treated similarly to the aoe2 scorpions. Otherwise you’ll be forced to place them in the front line (which is somewhat historically accurate though) but does not work in an RTS where fragile long range units are typically put in the back.
I think indirect firing weapons with aoe damage should have friendly fire though, because that is less predictable and requires skills.

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aoe2 have scorps and aoe4 has scorps which dont friendly fire but do full dmg for all enemy units in the line. So Next example pls.

It’s much more complicated than “an example of unit which did not do FF damage”.

For me it’s like autoarrows. It’s looks a little bit dumb. I understand why it’s done…but a little disappointed cause the simplest way(no FF) were chosen by devs.

Giving an example was the point as I wanted to convey that not having friendly fire is not something new to the franchise .

For me personally , it’s relief that I don’t have to fear my own artillery.

This is personal preference. For me I’d prefer a strategy game of which results will be decided by who has better strategy not who has the quicker fingers.

It’s better and more realistic that way

Many people are complaining that there needs to be more unique units and less common ones, it’s interesting that you seem to be the only one complaining the opposite.

Archer is the first one coming to my mind when countering horse archers. Kiting has no effect on foot archers because they has longer range and don’t care if you’re running while shooting, and they’re cheaper too. Nevertheless, you can’t complain about balancing when the game is not even released. Even if the game is not balanced on release (which all other games are), they can still rebalance it later. And even if the game is not balanced, it’s not the reason you bring up a specific unit from a previous game as if it was obvious that unit has to be included, and as if it was the only one that can counter horse archers.


To the OP, very nice post, you obviously spent a fair amount of time on it.

My biggest concern, personally, is lack of ability to hot-key to buildings.

The units now are almost same characteristics with only different skin I can’t see how unique they are.

I won’t want to play a game that has only mirror units to fight by different civs.

The classic list of points, yeah. Agreed.

The AAA gaming industry overall seems to think that “accessibility” (read: selling max number of copies) is equal to making a game playable by any sentient life form on earth.

The Archer has effectively become the new skirmisher: Its fast, costs no gold and counters “light armor” which light cav, cav archers, crossbows and spears are part of.
They also outrange the mongol cav rcher (which can autofire while kiting) but not the rus one after upgrades which also can NOT fire on the move. Seems kinda balanced so far… time will tell.

God, please have mercy on our souls.

In medieval era, every building could be part of the wall.

Some building where inside the wall, other where build beside de wall and house where build whit no space between them to narrow enemy who is in city.

It is not realistic to not wall whit buildings.

Also, homing arrow is not realistic and arrow spawning from inside units is not realistic.

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It shifts microing your troops to macroing producing more troops (since you cannot prevent casualties by maneuvering). I fail to see how macroing production queues in base is more engaging gameplay than microing on the battlefield.
Combined with the missing elevation bonus, you will also have no chance to overcome a stronger force by better tactics (movement, positioning). So if your army is weaker, the only “strategy” is to fall back and produce more or produce different units (counters).

You can use buildings as choke points in AoE IV

Yes it’s “physically” unrealistic. But in reality where the arrows can miss, people don’t just aim at the exact current position of the enemies, they can aim to where they predict enemies would go. Secondly, in reality, if the arrow miss it can still hit another unit which is not its original target. For example if you fires a lot of arrows into a bunch of horsemen, in reality, although you can’t hit all the targets with 100% accuracy but you can still hit someone statistically. But in the game, if arrows can miss, you’ll hit 0 targets, how is that realistic?

It is still a personal preference, I understand that someone might like it, someone might not. But in the end, arrows should be dodgeable or not should be decided by the question “Will it make gameplay better?”, not “Is it realistic?”.

I agree that the lack of elevation bonus is bad though.

Edit: Btw micro-ing units to dodge arrows doesn’t count as “strategy” IMO, it’s just skill and reflex

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