I know this topic will soon be played out and its easy to get lost in complexity of such opinionated issues. As such I have one request, keep your responses as specific as can be reasonably done to the statement/sentiment portrayed by the dev in this article…
Firstly it’s my opinion that the devs are doing a wonderful job because based off of my experience with the beta, in the words of other before me “I like the game”. With that said it’s onto the meat. Should we trust the devs when it comes to the level of zoom? There are certainly times where the devs know better. They are the ones creating the games that players love and there’s undeniably a reason that their games are widely enjoyed and successful. They are great at what they do and they probably deserve more praise for what they are able to accomplish. I would even go so far as to agree with some of the responses I’ve read on other forums, that players are sometimes unaware of how their wants may negatively impact their enjoyment. However it is essential that we are able to determine when the devs need to be given space to create and when it is of the upmost importance for them to do what they can to implement valuable feedback. I think it’s possible to determine which case we are dealing with here and I think in this case its the latter.
Not Taking Feedback
If you’ve read the article it makes it clear that they aren’t even considering the valuable feedback they have gotten from beta testers in regards to zoom. He’s so high-up on his high horse that his high horse has a high horse. But jokes aside, there is a real issue here. Not only is the lack of consideration ridiculous but it’s made worse by his justification for why it’s not being taken into account. It’s because when it comes to players wanting a more tactical view the justification “that’s every rts game I’ve ever made” is all it takes for him to shutdown good feedback without so much as a second thought. Don’t worry he’s heard this before, so I guess despite the massive community feedback he cant possibly be wrong.
Consult an Expert
This is the crux of the problem… this isn’t some random rts without great predecessors (all the age games thus far) or expectations, where the beta testers think it would be cool if you could zoom out so far you could view the entire solar system in all its splendor. Nor is this a one off suggestion by a random player who’s never played an rts before in their life besides the age 4 beta. This is an entire community, steeped in a collective millions of hours of age of empires gameplay and culture. These are fans of AOE 1,2, 3 and myth. Fans of ranked multiplayer, custom games, campaigns, pve, pvp, 2v2, team games and scenario editor shenanigan’s (not that AOE shenanigans are limited to just the scenario editor ) that are coming together and saying the zoom level wont work for them. Some veteran players base this feedback off the screenshot (bottom of my post) and other veterans base this off of their time with the beta. This game has massive expectations! Its important, I’d even argue essential, that they do their best to meet the expectations that have been forged by the experiences and expertise of the fans of the previous titles. We all want to love this game and were willing hold your hand and drag you in the right direction if that’s what it takes. When you have this many experts, veterans, sommelier’s if you will, telling you what their taste for aoe is like and that you aren’t hitting the right notes in the current batch so to speak , you’d be foolish not to take that into consideration.
Always differs from Usually
Sure the dev’s may often be right and yes they are doing one hell of a great job, but there is a massive difference between being right 100% of the time and being right most of the time. People cant just justify what’s happened in this article by pointing out that on average the devs are usually right and site that as the reason they support them on this issue. That’s a gross over-simplification of this specific situation and this situation needs to be addressed as just that, a specific situation.
Think of the Community Reaction
We’ve seen how these sorts of scenarios play out, especially in regards to player/fan sentiment. Its belittling to have someone tell you you aren’t right about what you know you want and when a game is this close to release it needs to be building hype not tearing rifts by looking at controversial issues with dogmatic certainty. At the very least the dev should have cited his concerns regarding the issue of increasing zoom so that the community could understand why the decision was being made and so that the community would have a chance to share whether they felt the devs perception of issues for the player base would indeed be seen as an issue by them because I know for a fact I am more than willing to “…play the game like that” assuming they let me.
Not to Worry
I just want to close by saying I don’t have the magic answer for how much further we should be able to zoom, but that I trust with a bit of cooperation, the community and especially the devs, will be able to determine the appropriate level of zoom. I just hope its a little further out than it currently is.
TLDR- Dev’s you’ve been doing great but please remember that expert feedback is invaluable.