When I watched some information in youtube, I’m worried that AoE 4 will become the AoE 2+2.
1. Economic drop-off buildings (drop site) are back.
When I was playing AoE 1 and 2, I didn’t notice any problem about drop sites. However, when I was playing AoM and AoE3, I found some problems there.
Drop sites were improved in AoM. The economic system of the Greeks is more like AoE2, but Storehouse combines the function of Mining Camp and Lumber Camp. The Egyptians have cost-free drop sites. The Norse have Ox Carts (1 pop) which serve as portable drop points for resources. The Chinese have only one drop site, Peasants, instead of multiple drop sites. The Atlantean Villagers, Citizens, don’t need to return to a building to drop off resources.
Villagers in AoE3 don’t need to return to a building to drop off resources and they are just like the Atlantean Citizens in AoM.
In AoE3, we don’t need to spend any resources and time to build drop sites and can focus on producing or controlling the army.
Simplifying the process of gathering resources can speed up the civilization’s growing and decrease average time in one game.
Especially for old fans, we don’t have much time to play a game with more than 30 or 40 mins. (we can play a game for a long time occasionally but not often.)
2. Armor system
When I watched the overview in youtube to introduce the House of Wisdom, I found the one of the techs described to increase the armor of the Camel by 3.
OMG! Is the armor system like AoE2? It will make some situations unbalanced.
For instance, the damage of the Chu Ko Nu is 5*3 (15 total) in AoE3 (In AoE2, the damage of the first arrow is higher than the others)
If Chu Ko Nu hits a unit with 3 armors, the damage will be (5-3) *3 =6.
If the damage of the Archer is 15, the damage will be 12 in the same condition.
We should consider that the diversity of units in AoE4 is more complicated than AoE2, which means AoE4 is more difficult to balance than AoE2.
In AoM or AoE3, the damage is calculated by percentage. If the armor system in AoE4 is like AoM, we can ignore the above situation to balance it.
E.g. Hitting a unit with 20% armors.
Chu Ko Nu: 530.8 = 12
Archer: 15*0.8 = 12
My friend also told me if the armor system is like AoE2, he won’t buy AoE4.
3. Bonus Damage system
Because of the armor system, I’m afraid the bonus damage system is like AoE2 by additive increase.
In AoE2, the units are given too many attack bonuses to deal with different units and the bonus damage system is completely unsystematic.
This will make too much trouble when you balance it.
Multipliers are factors used to determine bonus damage against other units in AoM and AoE3.
In AoM, the bonus damage system is easy to understand.
Infantry against Cavalry. Cavalry against Archer. Archer against Infantry.
Some special counter-units have huge multipliers against atypical type of units.
E.g. Huskarl (infantry) have multipliers against archer by x2.
In AoE3, the system is more complicated than AoM but easier than AoE2.
Archer/Skirmisher (Infantry tag) usually have multipliers against Heavy Infantry and Light Cavalry.
Musketeer/Melee Infantry (Infantry and Heavy Infantry tags) usually have a multiplier against Cavalry.
Ranged Cavalry (Cavalry and Light Cavalry tags) usually have multipliers against Heavy Cavalry and Artillery.
Melee Cavalry (Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry tags) usually have multipliers or high melee damage against Artillery and Archer/Skirmisher.
Artillery (Artillery tag) usually have multipliers against Infantry and Building.
You can find that each type of units can usually fight against two types of units.
If you construct a good bonus damage system in the beginning, you will save a lot of time to adjust and balance the system.
It’s not big problem when the era of AoE4 is the Middle Ages, but this game is AoE4 not AoE2+2.
Therefore, AoE4 should learn the strengths in AoE series but don’t imitate the weaknesses in AoE series.
AoE4 is an RTS game. We should always consider how to easily balance this game.
When the RTS game is more balanced, the player will enjoy it more.
I gave a lot of negative feedback, but I also like some designs in AoE4.
For example, the Mongols have the ability to move their bases because they are a nomadic civilization. It’s the first nomadic civilization which can move their building to other location in AoE series.
This ability is like the bonus of Kronos who can time shift buildings to any location within own LOS in AoM.
It will be interesting when we play the Mongols.
The English speak Old English in the Dark Age and evolving to Early Modern English by the Imperial Age. It’s very good detail for a historical game.
I have an advice, but this is not necessary. When I read some Chinese history, I found that the official language in Tang and Song Dynasty is Middle Chinese that is more like the Sinitic languages in South China, especially the languages of Yue, Minnan and Hakka. Because the people who speak these languages are refugees or immigrants from the north where are often invaded by northern nomads. The official language in Yuan and Ming Dynasty is Early Modern Chinese that is like the Sinitic languages in North China. (The Yuan Dynasty was ruled by the Mongols, so the official language is not only Sinitic languages but also Mongolian)
Anyway, it’s just the detail for fun but not necessary for an RTS game.
I’m looking forward to AoE4.