Evolve or die: AoE should copy Forza to grow

Sadly Aoe4 is at risk of flopping, if it hasn’t already. That the game has balance issues alongside major bugs doesn’t help. But this isn’t the primary issue; the reality is RTS is a niche genre and will always struggle to maintain a player base of any significance.

Racing games are also a niche genre with a relatively small but committed fanbase, much like RTS. However the team that develops Forza Motorsport took a game series with a modest player base and turned it into a giant by creating Forza Horizon. For those unfamiliar with Forza Horizon, when you play the game you are loaded up into a large landscape, based loosely on a location (e.g. Mexico). You pick a car and go exploring and participate in the many available activities. All of the race tracks are designed based on the roads and other landscapes.

To me it would make so much sense to do something similar with Age of Empires. Here’s what I envision:

  1. The medieval festival comes to Age of Empires 4!
  2. As you load up the game you are placed straight into a large environment which is created by combining all of the playing maps. Dispersed around the region are sights to see and activities to participate in.
  3. There is an extensive list of characters to unlock for roaming the lands. Go for an expedition as Joan of Arc! Trot around as Genghis Khan! Meet other players as you venture and participate together.
  4. Earn customisations for your characters to put your own personal flavour on them. Want to attire William Wallace with the dress of a Rus peasant? Go for it!
  5. Start with a simple, customisable home base. Unlock more buildings and features as you play the game to build your own private kingdom (to appeal to the Sim City type of users). Invite your friends to show off what you’ve created!
  6. Most importantly, and just like Forza, for the hardcore RTS fans that just want to get straight into proper games, everything is accessible by the menu. All of the core features of Age of Empires remain, including the campaigns and the multiplayer quick matches and custom games.

What do you think? Any other FH fans out here that know how good it is and see how much sense it would make for Age of Empires? Or am I barking mad?

Of course I’m a realist - I don’t for a second thing this will actually ever happen. What we already have is a partially incomplete game; if this is what Relic can manage right now, there’s no way they’ll ever be able to create such an extensive new component to the game. But let me ask any business-minded people at Relic this: how much more money do you think the game will return if you increase the user base by 8 million people? Because that’s what Forza Horizon has done when compared to Forza Motorsport. (That’s a loose figure based on this source: List of best-selling Xbox One video games - Wikipedia).

Or am I barking mad?

sounds like that to me


Please don’t give them ideas for micro transactions.

I opened this post thing “ok, what’s going on here”

Overall this idea is… Uh…

Yeah I mean maybe as a new game? This goes pretty far off of what age of empires traditionally is.

Like I get where you’re coming from and you’ve got some cool ideas, but that doesn’t sound like age.


Heh whoops! Hopefully those that are especially greedy business-minded types don’t get bad ideas about micro-transactions. Of course AoE4 already includes customisations, none of which require paying more. One would hope it would remain like that in the future.

And you’re right, what I describe is nothing like AoE. In my defense, I did say “Evolve” in the title :slight_smile:

Although you reminded me that I forgot to make it clear that I don’t mean to replace what we currently have, but to add to it. I have amended the OP to clarify that.

Oh no, I saw

I just fear that these suggestions would basically take an entire rework of the basic framework of the game, engine, etc, and would basically be adding essentially a world map crusader kings style.

Again, cool idea, too late in development to actually do it. Maybe for age 5

Basically you wanna add an rpg/fps element to an overhead strategy game, I’m not even sure if the current engine could facilitate that tbh.

Edit: I meant to reference mount and blade earlier, not crusader kings, whoops.

Speaking of m&b if you haven’t played mount and blade bannerlord I highly suggest you check it out, based on your suggestion I think you’d enjoy it.

Not really interested in AoE turning into a game that you level up and have to customize everything.


Not to be that guy but, is it not already?

I don’t think he was suggesting anything necessarily required other than just like cosmetics/character unlocks which he was pretty clear could still be bypassed.

And also basically he was proposing something similar to the age of empires 3 home city bit, but without the cards and I’m assuming in a more first person interactive environment.

Honestly the more I type it out the more it all sounds like bannerlord.

definitely barking mad, my dude.

you are asking Relic to put tons of resources into a game that didn’t sell well and couldn’t retain players after only 2 months. why would they do that?

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I dont think aoe4 potential failure is because it’s an RTS.

Why people stop playing this game?

Because playing vs mongols is NOT FUN

Because Siege units ARE NOT FUN

Because balance of the game IS BAD

Because it lacks KEY FEATURES (Hotkey’s, Mods, Rankeds, Editor etc…)

Because maps are SUPER BAD

There is specific reasons why people dont play the game. The only way to save AOE4 is to adress those specific issues FAST.


I’m an AoE 3 player , yes it does have customizable things like decks, don’t really want a game based around heroes and leveling your town in game, matches. Sounds more like Heroes of Might and Magic, or maybe spell force

Fair enough, as is your right to preference!

That’s why I suggested this is a good idea for a new game, but idk about making these age of empires features.

Sure these features would be fine in another game I just think they would be a bad idea for AoE and wouldn’t fit

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I played FH4 a lot, including setting world records on some of the rivals leaderboards. I’m not saying that to brag, just to convey that I do actually have a clue about the game. I would not want to see AoE copy it. I literally cannot think of one thing I would like to see AoE copy from FH. I think the plans they have in terms of cosmetic rewards similar to Rocket League, for example, are a much better idea.

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The defining feature of FH is that it’s play to win, i.e. racking up playing hours will greatly increase your chances of winning in multiplayer, not due to an increase in skill (though that will of course also happen), but due to an increase in cars available to you. The cars you unlock will affect the outcome of multiplayer races because they perform differently. It’s the equivalent of AoE having 700 civs, which aren’t well balanced, and which you don’t have access to from the start, you have to grind to unlock them, and they’re only available during specific time windows. It’s just not suitable for a competitive e-sport such as AoE.

I mean yeah I’d generally agree but I could see this as another game without a competitive multiplayer element, as this feature would likely only really work well in single player anyways.

Oh yeah I completely forgot AoE3 has those home cities. It was cool that you could customise them a bit, but other than that they were pretty bland. And I definitely didn’t like how it influenced what cards you had access too; I think that was a huge mistake.

I’ll check out bannerlord, thanks for the suggestion.

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It sounds like you’ve misunderstood what I’m trying to suggest. The “play to win” model is a feature of all racing games: you start with a basic car, and you play more to earn money and unlock more cars (or some variation therein, depending on the game). Obviously that model is different to Age of Empires and wouldn’t make sense for an RTS. I am definitely not suggesting we should change AoE into this.

What I was trying to get at with the comparison, and the key with FH compared to other racing games, is it creates a fully immersive environment to interact with and to be enjoyed, separate from the core racing game. Hence why FH appeals to a wide audience of people that aren’t necessarily racing fans. For some people it’s about cruising around, for others it’s about taking photos, for others it’s about buying their dream car and experiencing it in the game without having to fork out real money to buy an obscenely expensive car in the real world.

This is what I’m suggesting for AoE - an entirely separate experience from the core game to appeal to a wider audience. A game which appeals to history buffs who would love the opportunity to role-play as their favourite historical characters. A game for Sim City lovers who want to build an elaborate kingdom that doesn’t immediately get burned to the ground. A game for people who want to hang out with their friends and muck around. And, most importantly, still a game for RTS lovers that want the traditional RTS experience. All of this with the intent to draw new customers into RTS, and keep more casual RTS players hooked in the experience.

This could be a good idea but for an rts game separate from age of empires.
I have seen several great ideas for new mechanics on this forum but most of them have the same issue which is that they don’t fit with the identity and style of the game. However on a separate rts game it could work greatly.
Keeping things simple and being faithful to what the original aoe games were while expanding on existing mechanics and introducing small innovations such as the stealth forests is what made this game appealing for so many people.
This game already has the potential to be amazing, give it a year from now when we have all the features and the major issues are fixed and we will have a totally different game.
All the game needs right now is a bit more speed with patches and updates.

What worries me is that without any innovation to bring in more players, we’re going to be in for another 15 year wait between games. None of us fans want that to happen. I don’t think touching up the game that we currently have, to get it into a fully completed state, is going to be enough to drive the numbers that will keep the series alive.

Or maybe I’m just being too negative.

The game was recieved incredibly well.
The core gameplay and the mechanics are great. The only thing hurting the game right now are the bugs and exploits. Also patches need to be a bit quicker.
Once features are added, ranked comes in and stuff I definitely see players coming back to the game.
There is always new game modes to come, new docs.
This game has limitless potential on what it can do, it all depends on the devs to implement the needed changes but also it depends on us players to give constructive feedback and help the game to get better.