Do you think the devs have dumbed down the game alot?

  • You can’t change the hotkeys, the devs decide what’s the best layout for you.
  • You can’t zoom out as much as you want, the devs know what’s best for you
  • There is no friendly fire on the siege so you don’t have to carefully micro the siege.
  • Archer micro is now a thing of the past. I know many people are happy that it’s gone but it was extremely satisfying to pull off and win a fight with lesser numbers or against siege (Remember Viper taking on 5 mangos with a few archers).
  • There are no unit stances, formations, patrol.
    The micro has been dumbed down a lot to appease newcomers but good micro had the ability to win you games, to come back from the dead, it was enthralling to watch.
    In AoE4 the unit response and the animations are very slow, the movement looks weird (Like the units have no grip and are running on a slippery floor). The battles also feel less satisfying, maybe because of a lack of blood and bodies.
    I am sure that the game is fun to play but it doesn’t offer the spectacle that aoe2 offered. It may be good for casuals or for campaigns but it’s not very fun to watch in competitive settings. Especially after watching the level of games in the RB wololo 5, I think AoE4 has to undergo some changes before it become a fun esport to watch.

Is that arrowhead formation good for anything? Does it favor the cavalry charge?

If they don’t change the current idea of zooming and key mapping, it’s going to be a big disappointment.

  1. I think it’s more it wasn’t a priority of theirs (which I think is a mistake). I hope fully customized hotkeys come soon and I hope it comes shortly after release. I don’t believe it will be in release.
  2. The new Zoom I am okay with. I did not like the original zoom, but the new one seems fine. More options here doesn’t hurt though.
  3. Yeah I hope this changes. Siege should do friendly damage and I think it’s silly it doesn’t. Praying this gets changed in the future but I am not hopeful on that.
  4. I’m okay without the archer micro. Far as I know, only AOE2 has this feature. most other RTS’s don’t have that kind of issues, at least none that I can recall. Maybe AOE1 had that feature? I don’t think any other age of games did but I could be remembering wrong. It has been almost 20 years since I played AoM.
  5. There are formations, though I am surprised there is no patrol. I don’t use it in aoe2 (I prefer attack move) but it’s something that should be in the game regardless. Hopefully this gets added.

Some things are dumbed down for sure. Any new RTS is going to do this and I don’t think there’s any escaping that. Long as there is still skill, which imo there is. The game is easy to play, especially for casuals and we’ll see about how competitive it is at the top. Game hasn’t been played enough for me to say if the game is hard to master or not we shall see. I am hoping you can see skills at the high level that aren’t “easy” to do but we shall see.


Confirmed to come already.

They already know, but it’s not bad to make it more aware.

Honestly, yeah I wish that was there. Would make it more interesting.

There are actually some units that can be countered like that. A decent amount, but unfortunately not arrows. If only.

No patrol, but there are formations/stances.


They’ve mentioned they will be adding them. This isn’t the permanent state of the game.

They tried changing already based on feedback. For a lot of people it wasn’t enough so they might change it again. Personally, im fine as i’ve played SC2.

You can still micro. You just can’t dodge arrows.
Dodging mangonel shots is perfectly viable.

There are unit formations. There just aren’t enough atm.
RN you can only choose line formation and spread formation.
As for patrol etc, yes they should add them.

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Colleague, where did you see this information about hotkey changes?

Adam isgreen interview.

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I think making the game more accessible to new players is a good idea as RTS has been on a long decline and needs fresh blood. Whether this means it’s “dumbed down” is another question. “Easy to learn, hard to master” should be the goal imo.

  • hotkey changes should be coming post launch - I seem to remember that from a dev interview but could be wrong - I don’t think this has anything to do with the game complexity but it would be a welcome addition to edit them
  • the zoom is fine for me personally now - I think it’s more entertaining to see the action a little closer for stream views - I find watching AOE zoom level a little boring as everything looks tiny. Again, nothing to do with game complexity.
  • They’d have to re-balance the game around archer projectiles missing and I don’t mind that it’s not there - the micro can be used elsewhere. I also wouldn’t mind if there was at least some chance to miss - especially for cavalry at max range.
  • There are unit formations (3 options). Patrol is just a matter of shift clicking - but yes would be nice to have more options and unit stances, like defensive, but then again that would reduce micro as you wouldn’t need to worry about your units aggroing and could focus elsewhere.
  • I think for anyone not currently into watching the AOE2 scene, AOE IV will be much more entertaining and enjoyable to watch - so again, from a new viewer or player perspective.
  • There’s still plenty of micro/outplay opportunities, just different ones - there are more active abilities on units in the game for example.

micro dumbs down the strategy

it turns into a clicking contest for energy drink companies instead of a battle of wits for strategists

source: i’m an actual player, not a spectator


Micro doesn’t dumb down strategy - it just plays a small part in executing your strategy - it’s more just tactics in battle. AOE IV seems mostly a macro game so far. In terms of the OP, there’s a lot of complexity and depth to the city building and influence systems and different faction mechanics. I really like the pace of the game and the balance of micro and macro it has so far.

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I think this is a side effect of unit models being too big.

Sorry, was busy at the time. Someone already answered for me, thanks

There are way more instances where they have dumbed down the gameplay:

  • You can still train one round of units while supply blocked.
  • No quick walling.
  • No building walling (can’t optimize building placement to get an advantage).
  • TC fires arrows without garrison.
  • No skill required in managing herdables and huntables. Also boar luring removed. Rotting removed.
  • Villagers are built much slower.
  • Houses give 10 population instead of 5.
  • Mangonel shots are anemic and forgiving.

What will this mean for the game. Multitasking will be much more rewarded than in previous entries. We will have multiple battles all over the place, and the player who can keep up with all of them will come out on top. Tournament games will be a mess, with casters striving to keep up with the skirmishes, because top players have so much free apm. It will be quite hard for them to single out great plays. Amazing macro players won’t be a thing either, as the differences will be very subtle at top level, as a result of oversimplified macro. Hopefully the game will have the potential to provide enough variables for creative strategies to emerge, otherwise there’s not much going for it. Definitely the most casual in the series.


It doesn’t come out. You have to have supply to get that unit. This is such a minor change.

You have to micro your scout around the map to collect sheep.
Moving around some sheep at a crawling speed isn’t exactly “fun gameplay” or even “high skill”

How are these “dumbing down” ?
I agree mangonels should be buffed a bit but im not jumping to the conclusion the game is now less complex because of some balance issues.


I agree with some of these points, but there’s a couple I’d like to offer an alternative viewpoint on:

No quick walling & building walling - yes the removal of quick walling reduces your ability to micro yourself out of problems. Instead you have to plan for how to defend your vils, and without the ability to use buildings for walls, you have to make difficult decisions about whether to invest in walls and other defences. It’s different, but doesn’t necessarily make the game simpler.

Additionally, the point on not being able to optimize building placement to get an advantage clearly misses that many civs bonuses require exactly this. You might argue that putting buildings near each other to gain an advantage is hardly hard… but neither is building them in a line to create a wall. It’s just a different placement and a different advantage.

If you can’t lure the boar, then players with superior map control gain an advantage. Players at 1000 elo and many below in aoe2 can lure boar successfully - is this really a big factor in who wins? Not unless you’re playing very far down ratings. There are small benefits to be had, granted, from getting the timing right to minimize food decay.

There are definitely other areas where the game has been made easier, but I’m not sure they all mean it is ‘dumbed down’. I don’t feel like having to make houses slightly less often somehow takes away an edge I had against another player. It’s also worth noting out of fairness that there are some other areas where the gameplay has been made more complicated:

  • More unique civs means more unique match ups to understand and develop strategies for
  • More abilities that need to be manually triggered

I’m sure there are others.

On the other hand, I certainly agree that mangonels should be a bit more punishing and should cause damage to your own units. I would also like to see patrol added.


I’ve pretty much decided this will be a game I’ll be playing come Halloween.

Halloween 2022.

This is actually a huge change, as you can build the house after the game tells you you are supply blocked and have units train while building it, effectively removing hard supply blocks. This is on top of having to build half as many houses, so less chances of getting behind.

You basically scout the map anyway, and get sheep in the process, so it’s as simple as it can get except having all the sheep next to your TC from the beginning. I wasn’t talking about sheep scouting, I was talking about managing your sheep to minimize rot in AoE2, and managing herds so they don’t run away from your TC in AoE3. These are all gameplay elements that make a difference between good and bad players.

I think this is pretty self explanatory. You need to make villagers and houses less often, so it’s easier to remember them in this wider time interval, even if you get distracted by something.

Weak mangonel shots are not only a balance problem. It makes microing against them less rewarding, thus a much more skillful player will get a smaller advantage by having this in his skillset.

On their own these may not seem much, but they’ve basically took every mechanic in the series that required the slightest amount of skill and simplified it to a degree. And that’s what I’d call dumbing down the game to appeal to newcomers. It’s the exact opposite of what Blizzard did with Starcraft 2, so we’ll see how it turns out.

That’s just more stuff to learn unfortunately. It rewards experience and time, but not skill.

Anyway sorry if I seem too radical. I just like games where there are lots of small things that add up to make a difference, and I feel they have all been ironed out for this entry. Almost as if at some point in the development of the game the devs had this meeting called “how can we streamline everything to appeal to a wider audience”, but the meeting called “how can we add richness and depth to gameplay, without making it too hard on new players” never happened. It’s alright if you disagree, everyone can have their own opinion, but for me they went a bit too far with simplifying the game. If they add new civs frequently enough they might cover this shortcoming, but not necessarily in the way I’d like.

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I think it’s great that there are less micro tricks required, and economy management is overall more macro and big picture focused. imo, appealing to a wider audience is much more important than most of the ‘dumbing down’ points you are bringing up

But there are lots more (macro) things added to early gameplay that add to strategy and can be optimised more easily
Prelates: when to build more, where should they be stationed? can you build the economy so that they can reach multiple areas?
what landmark to age up with (assuming some balancing)?
managing huntables has been changed to the tech in feudal that lets scouts bring entire hunts to your economy if you make the effort. This is so much nicer than the ‘herding’ in aoe2.

I think removing rotting is part of an overall change in gaming away from ‘penalty’ mechanics to ‘bonus’ ones. Instead of feeling bad that you are ‘losing’ food because of too many animals rotting, instead you can use civ bonuses to gathering or drop-offs to ‘win’ more resources.


You forgot the probably most important one:

  • there is no UI selection box displaying individual units, they are now only diplayed in groups of the same type
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What is dumbed down for sure are blacksmith upgrades and i am not happy about it.

Instead of Armor and Attack for Melee Inf / Ranged / Mounted you currently have Range Attack and Def and Melee Attack and Def upgrades.

Its pretty much a no brainer in what order i upgrade. Also that feels more like a “reactive” picking.
I play against English? No brainer that i first research Range Def upgrade. Then ALL my units have range def.

Same for the University techs and there is not a lot of them. Additionally those techs are so generic, its also a little bit of a nobrainer. There is no specific techs in Barracks/Stable/Archery Range.

Like it or not, just saying objectively it is simplified in comparison to AoE2 , dont know about AoE3 since i only played it a week when it originally came out 15 Years ago…