Devs respond to zoom request from beta

An article came out on PCgames, featuring some comments on the beta from one of the developers.
Not confirming I was or was not in the beta, but it sounds like from these comments that the zoom may have been the main issue for a number of players in the beta?

The devs response was
“They want to zoom out more. But that’s every RTS game I’ve ever made. People are literally like, ‘I want to zoom the camera out more’, and we’re like, ‘you can’t play the game like that’!”

I’m not exactly sure why that may be the case as age 4 doesnt seem that graphically intensive from the trailers, and supreme commander and rome total war, both of which came out nearly or more than a decade ago have massive zoom outs with hundreds of units on screen.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?


Not a big fan of his comment there.

I just want to at least be able to zoom out far enough where a unit (such as a trebuchet) or building can be in the center of the screen and it’s entire range can be seen on the screen at once.

EDIT: I would like to see the full context and tone of his comment. It’s hard to tell exactly what was intended or if it was partly in jest. In a vacuum it doesn’t sound great though. Guess we’ll see if they do give us some more zoom or not.


It is not entirely correct to compare TW and AoE.
I have not personally experienced any problems with camera scaling, but if someone considers this to be a problem, let the developers add a little more zoom capabilities, at least 10-15%, it is not difficult. I do not quite understand what the developer meant by the words “It is impossible to play”, maybe there are some gameplay or game design nuances that we do not know about, in the end we demand any changes without imagining how it will look in the game and will does it work well. Maybe you should trust the developers, maybe not. It’s hard to say, but I don’t understand such a harsh reaction, maybe it is connected with something.


Yes, the “nuance” is that they cannot be bothered to design something thats actually easy to identify from a camera distance that would make sense in a modern RTS.

‘I want to zoom the camera out more’, and we’re like, ‘you can’t play the game like that’!
So yeah, he is kinda right…not with those visuals. It’s already hard to identify stuff this up close, so zooming out further would clearly be a useless way of playing the game. Top notch logic there, Adam :joy:


He has to try out Supreme Commander.
You can zoom out so far that you can see the entire map without any lag.
The game essentially doesn’t even need a minimap because you can just zoom out instead.

Yes it’s a bit harder to implement because you need to switch out models with low detail models as you zoom out and than even just icons at some point. Something that wouldn’t necessary work for AoE.

But the zoom in the beta was way way to close.
Like playing AoE1/2 on an old CRT monitor back than.

And if you can zoom out that means that you can also zoom in.
Every point against the ability too zoom out a lot is invalid because it’s a choice. Even if it makes your game lag a lot and become unplayable, you are not forced to do it.


I get it is a joking comment but they still need to address the issue. For example in aoe2DE my default response when I opened the game for the first time was to zoom in a bit which is IMO ideal. Not speaking specifically to AOE4 here but if my default response when I open a game is to zoom out, see I have reached the max zoom, and then open the settings menu to look for a way to zoom out more I would consider the field of view to be poorly designed. I understand there can be a number of reasons to make zoom capped like small click-boxes, performance, and unit clarity but if players feel confined by the zoom level the design of these elements is lacking.


I don’t underestimate peoples ability to zoom out more than recommended by the developer and then complain about performance, unit clarity, and hit box size.

A similar situation is the 200 unit pop cap in aoe1 I saw in an interview that they had set the default to 75 because they were aware unit pathing started to break when there were a lot of units running around. Everyone ignored the default, played with 200 pop and then complained that unit pathing was bad. I realize this is inherently different than zoom level though because zoom level can be changed on the fly. so yeah, give use more choice when it comes to zoom


Total war is notoriously laggy at times and most people without a really good rig will run into problems.
Or they will have to decrease settings significantly (such as making units significantly smaller in number or making the terrain look like mashed potatoes)

Its less laziness and more game designer bias. They have trouble listening to everyone because they are more connected to the development than we are. So they think they know more than the fans on this which is wrong IMO. Especially when it comes from a usability/quality of life standpoint. (you want user feedback on that because they are the people that will literally be using your system). It’d be like making a chair that users said was uncomfortable but ignoring them because they don’t know your “big brain designer” reasons. I still think its just wrong for them to ignore such an overwhelming opinion about usability. But it isn’t laziness.


Yeah, I was mocking that kind of “developing within your bubble”, not implying lazyness.
Often happens these days that game designers come up with concepts that look like they designed it with ZERO prior market research. Not learning by other people’s mistakes/successes, but instead proudfully presenting their square wheel inventions :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah it comes off as super arrogant. But we shall see. Beta testers will have submitted their feedback not long ago.


I can understand the developper point of view,and it is like the view of pro gamers.

Camera need to be close, to select units individualy fast and use actif ability (to activate special ability that conter units).

You normaly use intensively keyboard to move around and to literaly jump on one side of the map, to the other side of the map.

But, there is a other group of casual player, that never use the keyboard, what so ever, and only use the mice.

They love zoom in and out, to go one side of the map, to the other side of the map, by clicking on it

They hate to activate ability of individual units and prefer to having pasive upgrade. ( that auto-activate when a event is reach.)

For example, the archer ability to use pike:

The active ability would be to activate pike manualy, when ever you want.

The passive ability would be that after reseach, you archer would use pike at the incoming cavalery.


I don’t know why are they so reacid to make changes. If at Relic they like to play zoomed in, fine. Give us more zoom out range and let the people play the game like they bloody want.

I really like Adam, seems such a cool guy, but lately the responses that Age IV Team is giving to the community are really a shame.

“You can’t play the game like that”

Are You really serious? We are talking just about of a little bit more of zoom out jesus.


Uh yeah… we aint playing AoE4 like Supreme Commander Levels of Zoom Out xD
@InRagnaroK - Unforunately it isn’t as simple as… well , just give the players the ability.
There are many other variables to be considered, if they were to just let it almost limitless.
-How would this effect competitive play… this would be gross if players felt FORCED to play majorly zoomed out to be just as competitive as opponent who doesn’t care about the view and just wants to win?

  • More zoom out, means more stuff happening and perhaps greater stress-load on the computer. Once again, in line with the new engine, this could affect ‘performance’. Once again, unfair to those whose computer can’t handle and unfair advantage to those who have a stronger PC.
    -While everyone keeps complain on graphics, they really aren’t that bad. But of course can’t appreciate them if zoom out too much.
    There’s lots of variables that I can’t even think of as well, why they may not want to go down a path of just let everything limitless to the players freedom. Sometimes doesn’t work in the interest of the gamers… as a WHOLE (100k or millions of players), not just you and 2 other people.

let’s zoom in, see only one unit and dont have “performance” issues.
Really, who the hell speak about performance issues? just Optimize game. The “performance” answer is super popular in this forum.(for some graphic thread - ppl saying, but the performance) But the game did no even close to bottleneck. How other games handle the performance issue? they solve the issue, not zooming in, to “forget about issue”

they removed micro for units, but force to stay zoom in.

Anyway, if everyone playing on 100% zoom, why do u even implement zoom? is not it a setting?
units too small - zoom in, want to see the map - zoom out.
But if 100% selected max zoom - is not it the sign?
they did “fancy” roads between buildings, but dont allow u to zoom out? why?

trebuchets has larger attack range than u can see. wtf. not even only trebs


The comment is arrogant. If your playerbase tells you they want something, then you give it to them. Or you take a risk assuming you know better than they do, but good luck with that in terms of making the game popular or selling many copies.

Or the comment was made because they have no choice. I have a pretty powerful rig by today’s standards (5600X + 6800), and given the graphics aren’t incredibly by 2021 standards, I should be able to get 144FPS on max settings at 1440P. My system hovered around 60-80 on the beta. If the zoom was pushed further out, the game may become more taxing performance wise, and maybe they’re struggling to optimize it.

I’m really disappointed and canceling my preorder.


I played a lot of supreme commander and I love such big zoom. It has some downsides though, as my friends usually mocked me and said I’m playing “dots” because units and icons were so small and it was like dots fighting each other.

Fine. It’s aoe, not supcom, so it’s fine if it’s zoomed in, but as far as I understand, me and most people just want to zoom out A LITTLE BIT more. If they go against people’s overwhelming feedback at least give them a good reason, like pcs wont be able to handle it or they are afraid people will struggle if its too zoomed out or whatever. Answer “you can’t have it because you can’t have it and we know better” is a bit insulting

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I agree with you, but I would also take the interview with a grain of salt. We have another beta coming up and we may be able to see what changes they have implemented. Things aren’t finalized necessarily.


Maybe have 3 layer of zoom?

Normal 3d play

Strategic view, that is a 2d of the game.

Minimap, that is maximum zoom out.

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I didn’t really experience lack of zoom, but that it was non-directional in a orthographic 3D engine did surprise me the most. I want to zoom to my mouse pointer and out vice versa, so it not always zoom to the center but to the position my mouse cursor would be at. The amount it would focus and move the camera position can be discussed of course, but it would overall give a better playing experience imho as there is a new way to move around without a lot of map scrolling.

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In custom games sure option for big a ss zoom doesn’t bother me but please let the zoom as it is for ranked I don’t wont to be forced to play with coloured peas instead of units.

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