Don't be afraid to make future civs more assymmetrical

It has been 15+ years.


The competitive AOE-3 was in an alternate branch controlled by fans, the ESOC patch and its respective community. The current game continues to be polished, and I hope it continues that way.

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It was, but 90% of the balance changes from DE came from the esoc patch and the devs improved from there, which they did a good job but still the game is far from being balanced, and it’s a really tough job for them. If you balance one match up you risk umbalancing 2 or 3 other match ups and so on.

I consider myself both a competitive and a casual player. In the sense that I really enjoy the ranked ladder and actively try to come up with efficient plays to outperform and beat my opponent while extracting a good amount of satisfaction from that. However I do not invest too much into it and really appreciate other kinds of things and details as well.

I enjoy opening up the game and just play a couple of campaign missions, messing around with friends, savoring the graphics and animations, the historical framework and the overall atmosphere than competing for the ELO.
Co-op quests were one of my favorite things ever introduced in the series with AoEO.

The best things come in small packages they say, well, in a similar sense I’d say that the best things of AoE are also in its small details that makes it so special. Deep, detailed and compelling civ design is of paramount importance for that. An X amount of shared generic units and samey civ bonuses/mechanics where you can learn everything by heart in 3 days like you said isn’t.

That being said, I don’t think I would ever care to engage in the competitive scene were I not also able to enjoy the same things that lure a casual gamer into the game in the first place. I’m not a pro and I do not play for money or views (like most here I guess) so this dichotomy between competitive/casuals doesn’t make a lot of sense.
I keep hearing competitive people from my circle as well as from around here saying this game is not good for competitives and casuals saying this game is not designed for casuals. I don’t know what to believe anymore and to whom this game is targeted at. All? None?

Civs in AoEO have unique mechanics that many players will play 6 months before working them into their games. It’s really neat how layered and nuances they feel.

Celts can sacrifice deer for buffs and build unique goldmines. Both are totally unnecessary to use but expand strategy in cool ways. Similarly the Norse can scout with ravens and the Roman engineers can do cool things with millariums and siege. There’s a handful of these in each civ. Details, man. Details.


Starcraft only has 3 races and the pairings could be better controlled.

A non-competitive RTS game is a dead game. AoE4 will include new DLCs and civilizations, so you have to know how to handle the concept of asymmetry well.

P.S: And it is quite difficult for an RTS to make civilizations so complex. The Build Orders that are taken from each civilization will not be learned in 3 days, I already told you.


I understand that this is a double-edged sword. But as I said, this should not be a limit to creativity.
It’s tough, but it’s something we pay for.

Also, competitive is not the only game mode and it is not what makes a new game attractive. Usually new players start campaigns either by playing with known friends, or against the AI.

We must be aware that the AOE title generates expectations of the highest caliber. To justify its price of 60 dollars.

people really didn’t play AOEO, infact AOEO has the most fun mechanics in entire AOE franchise.


This Topic is very similar to mine:

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Could you explain more, please? i never played AOEO

AoEO is probably the best game in term of pure RTS gameplay (of all aoe serie). It was the worst in term of marketing and, tbh, cartoonish graphic is a big no.

I think at this point, i really want a sort of AoEM2 with like 4 very asymetric civ(lets call them, Germano-Pagan, Greco-Rome, China and Meso-Am, maybe India), and done by dev who know what asymetric mean (like those who have laid SC2 or WarCr3).
You have a way more possibility and you care less about historical constraint, also, mythology is shared by many different civilization s you don’t care if england but not scotteland is in the game ^^


They’re not afraid of making them more assymetrical, they just want new civs to be easy to design and balance.

For me, if they make all new civs as unique as Chinese, I’m fine with it. The other civs are not unique enough, and most of the uniqueness is in unseen changes, such as macro bonuses and unique techs. I understand these are easier to design than units and buildings, but don’t find them different enough, and a lot of times it’s hard to tell what civ is playing on a stream because they both use the same units.

Another point is that fully unique units means a higher barrier to entry for new players, and they’ll need to implement less civs as a result, which I’m sure it’s not what they intend to do.


In AOEO each civs is very unique and they have a unique mechanic associated with them.

Greeks are you generalist civ, they have strong counter units like Archers and Hoplites (all around very good infantry). This is like you vanilla civ in any RTS.

Egyptians have priests who can ask the gods to bless their buildings to speed up production, they can even age up while producing villagers. They have chariots, Elephants etc.

Celts have low HP , very powerful infantry, they can capture deer and sacrifice them for food or buffs, they also have head hunters and woad raiders which are very powerful.

Persians have gold based economy, but they have toggle tech, like almost instant military production can be toggled but will result in higher cost, so based on your needs and wants you can toggle the technologies to get benefits. The also have standard eco techs. The persian immortal are good against infantry, but they can fight both melee and range. The cataphract can demolish enemy sieges.

Norse are infantry focused civ, they military can construct buildings including all military buildings and long houses of them can provide 20 population. They are aggressive AF, and they have berserkers, axe throwers and seer. The seer can send a raven to scout and they start with 2 scouts.

Romans have infantry and siege, they have a unit called engineer that can build millarums and extremely fast repair. The millarum increases the speed of the army, so it’s like the real Romans how they build roads fort tie troops to march. You sprinkle millarum on the way for very fast movement of the troops.

The Roman army also have auxiliary buildings and Roman citizen buildings. The Citizens form the legions and the Auxiliary brings foreign troops like Gallic horsemen, slingers etc. Its very fun. The Romans also come with extremely expensive officer unit that buffs the normal army. They are expensive. The the leader of the Roman Army the Primus Pilus who rides a chariot, but he has second life, when he is killed, he fights with his fists as a last stand, it’s hilarious. Romans also have standard bearers that increases the attack of units.

Babylonians have ox cart which is a mobile storehouse, then cavalry lancers who can charge, they also have large shield bearers. The Sapper units are humans who can quickly demolish buildings and Babylonians can build gardens to boost their economy and provide unique buffs.

Apart from this you ca have advisors in you home city to provide unique bonuses, like more gathering rate, or unique troops that can be recruited from forts. In AOEO you also get to equip gear on the units like helmet, weapons, shields etc that provide stats. You can also play without gear also.

All in all AOEO is the most smoothest, fun AOE game ever made. It has a lot of personality and new innovative ideas that work really well.

Hope you will give it a try, it’s superb game and the most AOE game out of entire franchise, as it’s deep and the strategy and micro are so much fun. It looks cartoony, but it’s a very high skill, high reward game and has very deep mechanics.


I am always confused when players want to share their ideas about what an updated Age of Empires game with asymmetric civs should feel like but they haven’t played the most recent version, let alone all of the existing games in the series. It’s like showing up to a final exam without having gone to class all semester.


I am always confused when players want to share their ideas about what an updated Age of Empires game with asymmetric civs should feel like but they haven’t played the most recent version, let alone all of the existing games in the series. It’s like showing up to a final exam without having gone to class all semester.

You are referring to Age of Empires Online? Its not really the most accesible game so it is not really surprising that a lot of people have not played it, it was literally unplayable for a significant period of time. In all due respect peoples opinions should not be invalidated because they missed the failed spin off.

I was delighted to see its revival but playing it again reminded me of all the warts I’d forgotten and it was back to AOE3.


Nobody is invalidating anyone. It’s even possible to learn about the game without playing, too.But it can be vexing to hear certain things that a tiny bit of research would dispel.

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That sure hits home!

It’s good that there are also passionate people about it though.
The thing is that if you click “Games” at the site’s top menu, AoEO is not there to be found alongside everyone else. It doesn’t take a lot for anyone to guess that this game is not officially at least treated as part of the franchise anymore. So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the devs didn’t look into it at all while deciding what’s good for AoEIV.

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I think main problem with AOEO is the leveling, if that game can remove leveling but just do quests and all rewards scaled to 40 it will be a great game. I don’t think a progression is needed in a RTS game. maybe make all the gear to just be cosmetic, instead of having stats.


I think they have absolutely made the right decision by putting asymmetry at launch between AoE2 and AoE3.

I also agree though that as they inevitably add civs they should branch out a bit more with asymmetry. That’s what happened with AoE3 and even AoE2 more recently (but to a lesser extent).

Fix: Don’t be afraid to make CURRENT civs more asymmetrical.