Double down on heroes

Esquire Devs (and forum users),

Jeanne d’Arc Variant doesn’t really fit in the game right now, she’s an oddball. That’s what everybody 's saying and they are right. Some may accept the addition, some may not, it’s up to the ones.

BUTT the concept is not to be scrapped, because it has potential. My proposal would be to double down but compartmentate (separate).

  • Make a new game mode, called maybe Hero Wars (à la Empire Wars). Hero Variants (like Jeanne d’Arc) can be selected there and only there.

  • Add a Hero Variant for every Civ. 12 Civs, 12 historical Heroes to choose from.

  • Pit Hero Variants against each other!

So, 3 things potentially solved:

  1. Consistency: This would give classification and gameplay consistency to the game, inside the game modes. You get Hero Variants in the list of Hero Variants and Civilizations in the list of Civilizations.

  2. Experiential separation: you wanna play the OG game & civs while hatin’ on those silly heroes? Usual modes fer ya, play Civ vs Civ, no hero ever gonna trouble ye ('csept the KK brothers, King & Khan).
    Wanna play them glorious Heroes (Hero Variants) instead? We got you covered with the Hero Wars mode!

  3. Appeal: you could cater to those who like that kind o’ stuff. Without bothering the botherables. Maybe. :laughing:

  4. Money € £ $: that’s a DLC you could sell. You can (and should) also add more later on.

Take your time now, no need to hurry…

On Heroes in the AoE franchise

Always been present, this would just be a more playful and deep (gameplay wise) iteration. So, along with Empires we had historical Heroes in the campaign that gave us further immersion. It wouldn’t be so odd to have playable historical figures as units outside the campaigns. Playing as a certain Hero in AoE IV can belong to the spirit of the franchise. It’s a take on history, you can get immersed if it’s your cup of tea.


There could also be a mode or a option in QM matchmaking to possibly include Hero Variants in the match (if you’re playing standard mode). Analogously, the same option in Hero Wars would possibly include normal Civs in the match. More freedom is always welcome.


I’ve edited multiple times to make the post clearer.


I have already expressed a similar idea in my poll about heroes. Then 31% of respondents chose the option of a separate mode with heroes.

Your concept better reveals this particular idea. And I totally agree with it.
The only thing I would like to add is not limited to narrative differences. I think a separate game mode with heroes could be it is focused on Xbox players. Devs can make the gameplay around heroes, reduce the limit of units, change the control. Instead of adapting the main mode to the gamepad, it would be better to create an adapted mode for gamepads. And devs could use heroes in it.


Oh! I missed the second poll! I only voted in the first…

I was imagining something with the normal controls and core gameplay, so it’s easy to switch between the modes, regardless of the platform

Of course, there should be modes for all platforms. But they can be made for a different target group. Classic civ mode for hardcore players. Hero mode for casual players.

You can make your own poll in this topic about the Hero game mode.


You want to make matchmaking even worse by splitting the player pool by half?
That would make the experience for everyone a lot worse.
What would likely happen is that the less popular of both game modes would just die out very quickly.

I think you overestimate the importance of Jeanne d’Arc, it’s not like she can throw fireballs or something like that she is mostly just a support unit that buffs normal units, not that different from the Khan.

She is fundamentally different from Khan. Khan does not pretend to be a civilization. When the Khan dies, a new one appears, and the old one is not reborn. He is not an immortal hero who lives through the ages.
Khan is a unit. Jeanne is a character.

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No, she is only different on the surface.
A name is just a name, it’s most surface level thing.

If the Man at Arms would be renamed to Swordsman tomorrow nothing would change about the gameplay.

It will be the easiest to make a mod that just renames her. Even different localisations of the game will already have different names for her.

Holly shit pls no. Let’s not turn AOE4 into WC3. One is enough for diversity. Maybe another one or two in the future. But 12 is way too much.

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If heroes are generic like the khan or the king (even with the depth level of joan) then I could live with it, but not all of the civs shouldvhave it.

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It can be like AoE 3 heroes, that are not so broken…

Hmm, So… I could rename my entire unit rooster to…

Spearman - Joe
Archer - Greg
Horseman - Raynard and Speedy (gotta name the horse to)

Jokes aside, I’m not fan of “Heroes”. Because I do not like the focus on a single character, yes there were many cool historical characters out there, aka Heroes. Such as Jeanna d’Arc, but for me it feels nothing more than people fangasm over thier favorite Anime character or Pop-artist. Which in return overshadows the people who really did the heavy lifting.
All the supportive characters around the anime character, the sound-team behind the pop-artist.

While I wouldn’t mind every Civ getting something that Equivalents the Khan, The Khan dosn’t take the centerstage of the mongols.
And the name is neutral, and it could be any awesome mongol leader through its history,
from Chenggis himself to Chagatai to Khutulun. None of them are elevated above the other.
The Focus is on the Civilization itself.

I wouldnt mind the English King.
The Ottoman Vizier,
The HRE Emperor,
The Abbasid Caliph,
The Malian Mansa,
The French Maiden/Noble,
The Chinese Administrator,
The Japanese Daimyo,
The Byzantine Saint,
The Rus Boyar,
The Dheli Sultan,

Alongside the Mongol Khan.

Each of them could have their own repetoir of abilities.

But this does however mean that the Mongol Civ itself needs to be elevated, because the Civ itself is balanced a bit around the Khan and its abilities. (This does not mean the Civ = the Khan)
But at least the Khan isn’t what Makes or Break the Mongol Civ itself.

Jeanna d’Arc however seems to heavily imply so. Loosing jeanne will cause a significant setback to the player who plays this Civ.
I don’t mind one civ being like this, but I would rather see the civ be more ambigious rather than solely focusing on 1 historical character, there were many Frankish Heroes, who impacted the french history.
Keeping it ambigious, such as the Mongol Khan, means the hero you are using could be anyone,

For me the whole Jeanna d’Arc feels like trying to bait the Faith/Stay-Knight fanbase. lol.

Also this is kinda funny, because I had myself a tiny little pet side project where I’ve been drafting the idea of turning AOE4 into a Fighting Game. (Street fighter 2 style)

Every civ having their own “character” represented. usually by their unique unit.


Abbasid - Ghulam
Rus - Warrior Nun
English - King
French - Royal Man at Arms
China - Beaurocrat
Mali - Musofadi Warrior


Why would it split in half? You can’t say that 50% of the players will only play Hero Wars and the other 50% only play the standard mode. I predict more than half of the current player base would stick with the standard game mode, anyway, considering what the general consensus is.

Also, we don’t have an option for Empire Wars in the matchmaking yet. It’s gonna come someday and affect the matchmaking in the same way.

Matchmaking is not really an issue, especially because I never meant this to be ranked.

Oh you wish, she’s much more than that! By the previews she’s gonna have a big big impact on how you play and she’s also much more deep than the Khan. She’s so impactful that you may never play the French ever again…

I feel potential misunderstanding, so let me be clear.

I’m proposing to segregate hero variants in their own game mode because I want a way to completely exclude hero variants from my online games.

That can’t be done when the only hero variant is JdA, so more have to be added. This would also give the player options, variety, they would get bored immediately playing only JdA mirrors. The French got a hero variant, so could all the other civs at that point.

So it’s not about “turning AoE4 into WC3”, I may concede that it’s about “having a WC3 mode inside of AoE4” but the rest of AoE4 stays the same. It’s formulated that way so you and whoever else can completely ignore that mode, if you want to.

But at the same time I’m not vetoing anything. I’m not saying that nobody should be able play hero variants because I don’t want them, I’m not demanding the deletion of JdA, and, on the opposite, I’m surely not asking to turn AoE4 in WC3 by replacing civs with heroes.

I think the hero variant idea is great, could be lots of fun, but I don’t want it to contaminate the usual AoE experience, unless i feel like it. Hence, a dedicated game mode.

Yes, there is no need to return to AoE 4 in Dota or LoL…

I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean. Could you be clearer?

That you don’t have to put so many heroes in order not to return to AoE 4 in Dota or LoL (that is, in a MOBA) but to continue maintaining your RTS bases…

The part that I don’t understand is this.

But I think I got the general meaning.

Soooo yeah, the Hero Wars mode could attract players from MOBAs, why not, but in the end the game is still an RTS. You have the core AoE gameplay, the economy, the units, tactics, build orders and so on so forth.
A newcomer that approaches the game playing Hero Wars will learn the basic gameplay and could easily switch to the standard game mode where you have to play civs. So BAM! a new AoE player is made!

Of course, you need options, so you need more heroes to choose from in Hero Wars, this is why you could add one for every civ. You get choice and can learn every civ.

That’s even worse. Splitting the playerbase between lots of different gamemods is never a good idea. Especially with not that big of a playerbase. And we already have useless empire wars and somewhat fun nomad, which hardly helps the game as just a split gamemode for customs.

It’s going to be fine, people overreact as if we going to run around with only Jeanne and kill everything.

You still need a base, an economy and an army to support Jeanne, so don’t overlook things. That being said I can accept having one or maybe 2 civs like this but I dont want all 12 to get the same treatment because then its not unique nor special anymore.

Quality over quantity.

Of course, that’s what I mean… if you want you can put a heroes mode in AoE 4 (appealing to the MOBA public) (that is, a 4vs4 team game with heroes and with minions/soldiers attacking towers)… Soldiers automatically leave the barracks and the team that destroys the towers and the enemy keep wins while maintaining normal gameplay in the rest of the game…