Feedback from top aoe3 player

Little QoL things as these: I don’t usually wall, but when I do, I wall like a madman. And it’s beyond aggravating that AoE3 and AoM have a much better walling system that can connect to buildings. For a civ like Abbasid, not only is detrimental because the golden age bonus can’t be connected over stonewalls, and as far as the rest of the civs, there are plenty of gaps that should easily be covered but the game doesn’t allow it.


-Wonders do NOT count as landmarks, yet they’re labeled as one and they should count as such. I was in a 4v4 in Boulder Bay, the game was 1:30:00 min long ++ and at the end, I built a wonder on the side island. Eventually they destroyed all of my team mates landmarks, and mine as well, but the game was over as a defeat because the Wonder didn’t count as a landmark which makes no sense. It’s a 12k investment, it should count as a landmark.

-Siege is NOT fun
The game trailer before it was released looked awesome. Trebuchets, units fighting on walls, THAT should be the focus of the game. That, and unit vs unit. Not siege vs unit.
A real life mangonel wouldn’t be able to hit 10 dudes 100 yards away because they’d see it coming. And to me as a historian gamer, the historical innacuracies are beyond aggravating. Springalds if anything should be the infantry counter, not mangonels. There needs to be more ram/siege tower play. And even bombards, shouldn’t be able to blast thru walls in 5 shots. Historically speaking, when the Ottomans besieged Constantinople and brought a bunch of guns including 3 massive bombards, each bombard was only able to get off around 3 shots A DAY. And it took weeks to months before a tiny little hole was made so infantry could push in. Not to mentioned the miner work.

The game can’t be fully historically accurate, but as gamers, we’d have way more fun if game was fully unit combat and siege engines actually doing what they actually did, which was anti structure jobs. I’m fully fine with a bombard steamrolling a house. Not a wall. And there’s plenty of historical records of how gruesome, taxing, and almost impossible it was to blast thru a well built wall. If anything, trebs should just counter keeps/castles (not walls, because a treb in real life won’t make a dent on a stone structure) as they did in real life (by tossing disease and poisoned corpses over walls and force people to surrender. And bombards, sure they can now blast thru stuff, but it should be significantly much more difficult.

-The maps for 3v3 and 4v4 are too large.
In 1v1 and 2v2 I prefer to have very early combat. And on a 4v4 map, facing x4 china, by the time my French knight for instance is out right at 4:42-4:45, it’s 7 min by the time he’s made it all the way halfway across Africa to the enemy side of the map. Therefore, 4v4 games become fully boomer and turtle games. This seriously needs to get addressed. I’d say, compile the same amounts of resources of a 4v4 map, and make players spawn much closer together. Like the 2v2 and 3v3 map could easily house a 4v4 match, if resources are compiled. There’s soooo much open space like, with nothing around just plain space. Please make the maps smaller.

And just tossing it out there, this is coming from a top 100 aoe3 player. I’m reaaaly trying to get into aoe4 but these little things plus the historical inaccuracies and mechanics, and above all map size, to me I rather just play idk, Northgard for goodness sake. And on a Thurs night having only 3500 players online, for a game with the promotion it had, is not a good look :confused:

Also, CANNONS ON WALLS!!! why aren’t we able to place our culverins on walls? is such a well recorded historical fact, you PUT CANNONS ON WALLS. not outside the walls where they’re vulnerable. why cant i place my culverins on walls to DEFEND my city, it’s almost like what caught us gamers’ eyes was the whole castle/city defense gameplay, but the game is stirring away from it. i really hope u guys stir this back into the massive potential this game has, which is epic castle/wall defense, unit vs unit gameplay.
NOT siege vs unit, siege dominating units, and trebs which throw rocks, magically blast thru a wall. Siege units should all take idk, 10-20 seconds to setup. when siege, is because the player has chosen a strategic spot and NEEDS to defend that spot with UNITS. so that the siege units can do their work. the fact trebs springalds and bombards set up at the same speed in which an archer reloads, lmao. u see the prob right?

Imagine if instead, it was all unit vs unit, and if u bring a treb or bombard, it takes 20 sec for that siege engine to the build. so now, it’s about controlling the siege and defensive spot. that would be more fun. And again, walls should be able to take 20+ cannon hits before they break, and quite frankly, nearly immune to trebs. trebs should be a counter to castle, or such. I really wish in age 2 and 3, it was all ram and siege tower push. adn the siege tower, should LOCK to the wall, creating a newpathway for foot units to move in and out. not as a transport unit. just my thoughts man

i actually read a lot, but here’s some easy to understand videos by experts:

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not just connecting walls to buildings, but also allied player walls, that one arguably sucks more to deal with, while being perfectly fixable, ye siege problems are pretty well documented yet only partially adressed, improved since launch, but its not there yet, could go on but simply can’t bother repeating the exact same thing 15th time in a row

The gameplay is above historically accurate. If you are an AoE3 player (which I know you have been for a long time), there are also many inaccuracies, but the important thing is fun gameplay, the story is secondary.

The walls connected to the allied walls I see it well and necessary, to buildings it is not necessary, this is not AoE2 and it is curious that you do not talk about the historically accurate here.

The maps have been reduced in 3vs3 and 4vs4, but what should be rewarded (as you say), is to favor a more powerful aggression in Feudal.

Greetings.

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i have been playing aoe 3 for 16 years at this point (i’m not old but just started real early), on historical accuracy, it does matter to me, but i’m aware of gameplay related tradeoffs (admittedly i hoped for siege to be what you already described it should have been, support role to take on buildings, with springalds taking on units), also in 3 just placing wall close enough to a building blocks units passing

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in all honesty, my biggest problem with 4 to this day is how mechanically braindead it is, so many useful functions on UI/UX side being absent, homing projectiles making micro less engaging (not asking for aoe2 system but rather like in 3 a range limit on projectiles, rn there’s none), zoom took until now to get a reasonable improvement, etc.

ps: its best i don’t even mention spectator UI, that one is just terrible
example of poor UX, there’s no function outside of spamming idle vil hotkey to filter out idle vills only among the vills on screen (in aoe3 since 2005, you probably know about this, holding ctrl and double clicking on a unit selects all units on screen with the same status, best use ofc being to only select all the idles)

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on the bright side tho, its worth bringing up aoe4 uses blizzard like ctrl click behaviour, and camera location binds, which can be useful at times

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Ah here we go again "it has to be historically accurate and “insert AOE game did it better and has better balance” yadadadada.

Let me tell you something. No AOE game is historically accurate not even AOE3. If you like AOE3 so much why don’t you play AOE3 then? AOE4 is called AOE4 for a reason and trying to make it AOE2, AOE3 or AOEM is stupid.

Now what comes to historically accurate argument. So why do we have boiling oil tech? Ppl didn’t use boiling oil xD Why would they boil oil to throw it away ?!!??! Same thing can be done with water and yet alone its easier to just throw rocks over the walls.

A real life mangonel would kill multiple ppl in army of thousands. Your point? Any siege from middle ages would insta kill any person if it hit them. Sure they might have been inaccurate but when you’re shooting towards fortresses or even huge junk of ppl at least some of the shots are going to land.

Then here is another problem for you. If spearman are supposed to counter cavalry charge but cavalry only gets stunned? If spear went through horse then that horse would be dead and rider would fall down.

Also I doubt that anyone from medieval times started running towards canon and started smashing it with sword and after a bit it would just break.

Then to AOE3. You wouldn’t see single person rolling a cannon alone. It would be group of ppl operating single cannon from reloading, adjusting the aim and so on. So how is it historically accurate that single person does everything?

So dude really stop nitpicking over visual stuff. It wont matter if bird controls the siege or not.

AOE4 has already moved heavily away from siege compensations and thus made big mistakes with the changes making either siege too easy to kill or too hard to kill and alone the fact that something like bombard costs 1k resources and 3 pop but losses to 1 single knight is bad design for balance.

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if you actually played aoe3 you’d know that all artiliery pieces have at least a horse pulling the cannon and operator aiming it and reloading, so better redo your research, and if there’s no horse, there’s multiple operators, anyway

that one is true to an extent, game is still siege heavy, especially lategame, but i agree it costs too much, while on 3 pop, which should stay for now, maybe even get bumped to 5 at most but what really needs to change is instant packing and unpacking

the only problem in this statement is arguably the if it hits part, ofc homing missile level accuracy is a problem for something that should be dodgeable if you pay attention.

To cap it all off, its bold of you to say someone is nitpicking when listed things shouldn’t have been the problem to begin with, is saying UI needs improvements, lots of them, a nitpick? well, if anything its a major thing to patch up sooner rather than later

the mapsize in aoe3 was to small!

aoe4 do it way better. but they should give the tiny-fun-lovers option to play on those lil-battlegrounds. but at all - we also need the gigantic maps from aom and aoe2de!

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You should probably do your research. Cannons from middle ages weighted any where from hundreds of kilos to tons. So one horse pulling cannon isn’t really realistic. Sure 1 could do the lighter ones,but not bigger ones.

Then the fact that not single person could operate cannon in same way as its presented in AOE3. It takes multiple ppl to use the cannon. Sure one person could eventually reload and fire the cannon but it would take ridiculous amount of time from getting cannon ball to stuffing gunpowder to cannon and readjusting aim. So its not historically accurate at all.

And what comes down to multiple ppl moving the cannon sure its plausible to move lighter cannons with ppl, but it would take considerable amount of effort and I doubt any battlefield the cannons were moved same way as they’re in AOE3 even if there is multiple ppl. Try go and push a car or even motorcycle and I doubt that you get far. (I have pushed motorbike for 20kms and I can tell you rn even with the 150-200kg it was pain in the ■■■ and took hours)

But its not instant? There is considerable amount of delay and they can’t move away from units that get close to them. Sure 3pop is fine but if one 240 resource unit can completely shutdown 1k resource unit then there is massive imbalance. Heck even horseman is fast enough to get sieges range and kill it.

You’re not going to start dodging mangonel shots if you were in formation of hundreds of soldiers. Ofc if you stood around in field alone and saw that mangonel shot you might get away but once there is thousands of ppl and fighting going on you just hoped it didnt hit you. Also magonel shots can be dodged, but it requires timing. Dodging NoB is much easier than mangonel thats why I prefer mangonel over Nob

Whats wrong with UI? Its not AOE3 UI? Like dude really. UI is fine there is nothing wrong with you’re being sentimental and want everything to be same as in AOE3

I haven’t really been able to set myself in to AoE3. Maybe one day I will, but few times I’ve tried it, it just didn’t fit right with me.

Now I’m all for adding historical… RELEVANCY as I would like to call it.
Because callings things Historical Accurate will just create a Rabbithole turning into a debate scaled with infinity.

But Historical Relevancy, such as Cannon on walls and having things to their intended roles is always a great flavor.
I always have thought to myself that quite often, if you want to look for game-balance, one doesn’t have to look further than into real-life warfare. What countered what etc. And one doesn’t always need to make it fantastical in order to achieve balance.

But there are some elements I disagree with your arguments.

Walls.
Now Realistically it should be a big B to take down a wall, if not at all.
We actually had this in the early game with China, their walls was immensely difficult to take down with construction material support buff from towers, a few workers and the great wall landmark.

But also regular walls in itself are hard enough to deal with.

If you make walls as strong as you’d like them to be, It would be almost nion-impossible to win against a Turtler.
Especially with Wonder/Sacred site victory and a pop cap of 200.
You are limited how fast you can rush through walls in order to get to the otherside to stop the timer.
I can see games just ending up becoming whoever turtles hardest and booms into wonder first, wins.

And that’s a gameplay I don’t think anyone would enjoy.

I find walls at the current state actually just in the right place.

now wall-play, using walls for your troops and siege towers atm are just a meme.
While archers and cannoneers are very good on walls, siege towers are a joke.

I would love to see more wall-play, make siege towers actually viable and in my opinion.
Up the defensive buffs for troops on walls even more, so that attacking a breached wall becomes a risk upon itself.
Being able to get culverings/Springalds on walls to counter siege, but get insta-rekt when wall gets destroyed would add a interesting dynamic to it, and perhaps make Battering Rams and siege towers even more relevant.
(if they give them bonus resistance towards anti-siege weapons).

Say you line up cannons / trebs in order to take down wall. But they keep countering your siege with culverin/springalds on wall.

You’d have to resort to use Siege towers and Battering rams to get close and dirty.

Making Gatehouses-capturable from ontop of wall position would also make things more interesting, as it becomes even more important for the defender to man the walls and perhaps not build a million flood gates to allow unit spam pouring through.

at least that’s my few cent on the topic.

Other than that, I don’t mind AoE4, I think its a fun game and current state is quite playable, I come from the AoE2/CoH/TWshogun sphere.
I mean, I’ve clocked 434 hours already with this game, already beating my time in COH2 and more importantly, my gametime in CIV5, where I have manage to fall asleep behind the computer while playing the game more than a few times!!
Almost beating 500 hours I have in TW:Shogun.

I think that speaks for itself how playable this game actually is.

I don’t want to white knight it hard, But I believe people freak out to much on the player count.

While it’s certainly NOT GOOD to loose so many players that it had! Its average number now days is about as average numbers you get from RTS games, or at least “mainstream” rts games today.
TW:Warhammer and CoH2 has about these numbers.

And Now days, its quite common to overhype a game, oversell it, and see massive player drop from the launch.
One dosn’t have to look further to most games being released the last few years!
Good example being Amazon’s New World and Lost Ark, Latest BF game, just to mention a few that has suffered massive pop-drop compared to release.
Yet those games aren’t dead and still being developed and added new content to, but were far more buggy and horrendous at release compared to AoE4!

I think as long as they keep adding more and more content and fixes over time, which they most likely will.
The game will slowly start growing. and I think Microsoft/Relic is playing the long game with this, Which is why we see a slow but steady stream of updates being added to the game!

Also we need to see AoE as a “Franchise” not a single game.
As long as the AoE franchise is doing great, it dosn’t matter how low player numbers for this game will have.
AoE3 has a rather small player number, yet new content and DE was made for the game of such a “small player base”
Why? Because its a Age of Empire game.
The goal of AoE4 is not to “compete” with AoE3 or AoE2. but to add more numbers in total.

If you look ont he player numbers on AoE3 and AoE2, you barely see them shifting after the release of AoE4.

What you do see though, is around 8-10k more players, playing an Age of Empire games.

So say AoE2 had around 22k on average on steam.
AoE3 has had around 3k players on average.
That was 25k Players playing “age of empires”.

After release of AoE4, we now have 35k players on average.

And the massive sale number this game had in release, CONSIDER THE IMMENSLY STIFF PRICE OF BLOODY 60 EUROS/USD.

I can not avoid but seeing it from the stock-holders perspective: A big success.
Many of these have probably not refunded the game, so the chance of them returning is always there as long as they keep “fixing” the game over time as they have been doing so far.

Might be at a snails pace.

Think thats a good way to look at it. More players who buy one of the aoe games could be a future buyer of the other ones.

They could end up buying all the games and decide which one they like best or could play abit of each one.

Havings sales of any of the games could help the other games.

Hope all of them increase in numbers next couple years

the UI lacks a ton of basic things still, and no it doesn’t have to be precisely the same in everything as aoe3, but at least it should do the basics properly (since you seem so intelligent, tell me where you see how many units are garrisoned in a building, are anti unit multipliers disclosed or not, minimap filters?, no villager population count, what else do i need to mention from a game from 2005 for gods sake(all of the above are from before DE))

also, if you name it aoe4, i expect you to get all of the above on day 1, based on how series developed till 3, if anything, you are part of the problem for accepting the bare minimum (in terms of hotkeys even less based on what i’ve seen), if aoe4 is the first game for you, then good for you, you probably notice none of the things listed above, but don’t lecture someone who played multiple games in the series for over a decade on what UI should have or not, as you probably don’t truly understand why some people like those functions, playing older games prior is as much a gift as it is a curse, it pushes expectations up for anything new, with added pressure from DEs, aoe4 was for better or worse the first time we experienced what i can only describe as a backflip (1 step back is not harsh enough term to describe this) in terms of evolution for the series, the fact that global queue alone took months is just absurd (i get there’s high likelyhood of a tight deadline involved, but this game was in development since late 2016 early 2017, it had 4-5 years, aoe2 only had 2 years, and 3 had only 3 years, so why is this game the first to fail at basic UI/UX, given how much time they had, with much larger dev team than ensemble ever was)

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If you hate historical inaccuracy, why do you play AOE3. Almost nothing about that game’s unit and battle system is historically accurate. LMAO Aztecs get a magical archer that somehow destroys buildings and siege.

It sounds to me like the gameplay you want is un-counterable walls to turtle behind until you grow old and die. Sorry to say but nobody else wants that.

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