Recently I’ve had a conversation with various people on Discord regarding this: unit movement formation. We all know the line formation and other options which may come in handy at times. However: one seems to be missing and I noticed the degree of desire for this functionality is highly dispersed in the player base. The split for this? AoE players versus non AoE RTS players, it seems.
Myself, amongst many others, coming from Warcraft 3 we all have learned a crucial lesson: unit formation ON equals hell. It is the end of you. The triangle of the illumanati that will promise nothing but your end.
In warcraft 3, but AoE IV alike, units tend to align in neat formations. Partially this looks aesthetically pleasing and it aligns sturdy melee in front of more fragile glass canon archers or longer ranged siege weapons. There is a very notably downside to this: movement speed. To remain this formation, all units will walk in the pace of their slowest peer in the group.
This occurs in AoE IV as well. Many landsknecht have died attempting to ‘run’ from the battle field, making the way back just in front of a prelate or culverin. In turn, their brothers have missed the entire battle while escorting a culverin to the frontline on the other side of the map.
I’ve understood that many AoE players simply spam a rally point and basically drag a box to select these units in fight, or might use hotkeys to select specific unit types. Great. I do that too, but only on the battle field where my screen is focussed and I need detailed micro. The issue however in larger, more chaos games, is that all army is selected and spammed to a specific location when needs be. This also groups rallied units, causing formations and making fast units arrive very late at the front line of battle. This is a feature that is likely not to affect those born in AoE mechanics, but is highly likely to affect for example Warcraft 3 players, and other RTS players, alike.
Although one can argue it is part of the game, it is much easier to argue why there simply isn’t a button to turn this on, or off. I know it has been in Reign of Chaos, got turned off by everyone to be never turned back on again, and many non AoE OGs will have a hard time unlearning how to cope with this.
So my wish list is simple: add a little button to turn this on or off. Safe my landsknecht, let my cavalry rush, let my prelate fend for his own if it can save the lives of many others.
For simplicity a poll so you can easily reflect on the formation toggle idea above. Good idea?
- Yes, would be a nice addition for players!
- No, would overall hurt the game!
This was summarized in another idea thread here: Modifications to game please (Idea and vote) - #62 by KiezelSteentjeh Frankly I find it a quality of life functie of which I can’t argue why it should not be there. I hope this is a shared feeling and function we can see in the future.