Full home made patch documentation - How to make AOE4 the best!

*My name is Liran and I’m a very passionate and innovative 31 years old gamer, *
I love all kind of games and pretty confident about my skills of taking games I love to their max potential.
For a living I work as a software developer at a known company in the industry.

Today I’ll share my opinions about how to take this game to the next level, I think the devs made pretty good game and usually I’m much more critic towards games, but as for AOE4 I think it’s in a pretty good place considering how new the game is, but there is still some very important things to improve / fix.

I hope someone from the product managers will see this thread and maybe implement some of my ideas in the future, but even if it doesn’t happen it’s still fun to write this down and get your feedback :slight_smile:
I’ll take bugs outside of the scope in this thread, because it’s not interesting and pretty obvious.

I wrote it down like this was an actual real patch to make it sound interesting, and to take your imagination to the point of thinking how would the game be if a patch like that would actually exists, sorry for unprofessional English writing skills.

So lets start:

PATCH NOTES - April 2022

We are proud to present to you the patch details that is coming in the next month!
This is a game changer patch that introduces some big Micro changing and new combat features, and focusing of improving your combat experience drastically, we’ve created a new unit order customization feature that allows to reorder units in your formation by types, as well as many quality of life changes that will make your economy managing experience much more smoother, efficient and fun!

We can’t wait to hear your feedback and watch you experience all of this new stuff live, so lets start with the patch details:


We have added totally new microing features and redesigned some of the existing ones to make them more efficient and to allow you to get the most out of your units during combat. With the upgraded combat system your units will kill more efficiently, and you will have a new option to protect the most important units in your army and prevent losing them too early on the fight.

New combat feature - Attack group of units of same type using the attack move button:

Attack move on a specific unit - Before the patch attack move on a specific target behaved exactly like right clicking a target, what it did was focus all the fire on that specific target and sometimes overhitting it after the target was already eliminated, we thought that two different attack functions that do the same are a waste, and redesigned attack move on a specific unit type to target all the units of the same type.

Example: before the patch right clicking a spearman while controlling longbows would command all the longbows to kill that spearman, the same goes for preforming an attack move on that spearman.
Now - preforming an attack move on a spearman will make all your longbows attack only spearmen.
If you want to do focus fire you can just right click the unit just as before.

You will no longer need to manually select and kill all the springalds one by one, you can now save this important time during a fight and just perform an attack move on a single springald and your army will attack them all one by one with maximum efficiency.

New combat features - added Protect / Block button to the attack options
Block - By selecting an enemy unit or group of units with ‘Block’ attack option, your army will surround this targeted units and block their way of escaping to kill as many as possible.
For example: using block while controlling an army of longbows targeting a group of villagers will make the longbows interfere in the way that the villagers will try to escape to make them slower, the longbows will try to surround them in a way that they can’t escape to kill the most of them, same blocking technique can be used on springalds, cannons and more…

Protect - By selecting a friendly unit or group of units with ‘Protect’ option, your controlled army will surround the friendly unit/s and make sure they are protected from attacks from all directions possible.
The protected units will still be able to move around freely, while the protectors will follow them around and make sure they are well protected, the protectors will never push unless their protected units are threatened.

For example: performing a ‘Protect’ move on a group of springalds while controlling spearmen, will make the spearmen surround the springalds, making sure your enemy will have to first kill the spearmen and only then will be able to hurt your siege, also your siege can move around the battlefield while staying protected all the time, the spearmen will follow.

Attack move algorithm redesign in order to be more efficient killing enemies:

Before patch attack move on ground would simply attack the closest target to your units, if no target was found an enemy’s building will be targeted instead.

We have found that targeting the closest unit is not efficient some of the time since it’s ignoring the target amount of HP left, we redesigned attack move to kill as much units as possible, by performing the minimum amount of attacks needed in order to kill units, while avoid attacking a unit more than needed in order to kill.
In addition units with low HP left will be targeted first in order to take them out fast.

We decided to remove the automatic building attacks from the attacking move algorithm, since it’s often resulting in false attacks when the player’s intentions were to attack opponent’s army and not the buildings.
For now attack move will make your units move until they see an army in range, building will be ignored and can be focused fire instead as before.

Auto attacking move:
Auto attacking move will now be an option to trigger manually, by default it will be turned off (you will be able to turn it on for all units in settings) or manually for group of units.
We have watched community games and came to the conclusion that people are abusing auto attacking to lure the enemies army into a death trap while their opponent is not paying attention, this can be frustrating and for now the army will attack back but won’t follow the enemy all across the map, for example horsemen attacked by longbows will try to attack them back but will not follow them everywhere, while melee vs melee will attack only when they are attacked and will not auto push into their deaths.

Military formation order feature:
When selecting an army builds up from different types of units, now you will be able to customize and choose which unit type will be standing before another rather than using our default order.
for example you will be easily able to make spearmen walk as frontline and have the knights stand right behind them while the archers will stay on the back as the last line.
All you have to do is click on the new button we added near formation types and drag a unit type back and forth to the position you want them to be in the formation.
Note that for a sub select of units from the larger group, the order will remain as you picked before, as long as those units belongs to a group with a custom order.


  • Shift select a villager gathering a specific resource will now select all the villagers on the screen that gathering this type of resource (food types will also matter, shift select dear will select all the dear gatherers on screen)

  • Idle villagers will now trigger a small sound cue and a message on screen similar to ‘out of capacity’ current behavior.

  • Villagers production queue will always appear on the screen to prevent players for consistently be in the need to switch for their TCs all the time in order to make sure they keep creating vills (this can be turned off in settings but will be turned on by default)
    Military production queues will stay the same and will be placed above new vill production queue.

  • You will now be able to see the exact time you and your opponent aged up near your names, we made this change to make you more aware of your opponent’s progress, before the patch you had a message for opponent’s aging up, so this is not a new information for players rather than just write it down on the screen so players will not have to remember the exact time their opponent aged up.

  • Double click on units icon sub selection from a group of different units will focus screen on that unit type.

  • On every point on the map, when trying to build a wall - using shift click will create the shortest wall possible that blocks the nearest passage or bridge, for example wall shift click on a bridge will make the shortest wall line that blocks the bridge’s passage, same with trees, no need to aim with mouse.

  • Vill total count and military total count numbers will be added to UI screen right above the idle vills count.

  • Clicking on vill count will select all your vills, clicking on military count will select all your army.


I appreciate the effort of this post!
Some great suggestions.

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You liked the ideas, you didn’t like them?
Come on guys, I’ve worked hard on that one, give me some feedback :slight_smile:

O yeah it was good. Many have been addressed to the devs… but its good u brought it up again. And a few of the things were worded well, even though it seems english may not be the only language u speak? Responses dont always come fast, so be patient :+1:

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What do you mean by many already addressed to the devs? I don’t talk about bugs here, rather giving fully new stuff to be added to the game as special features or quality of life improvements, actually I didn’t see my QOL improvement suggested here before, but it could be that I missed it.

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Yeah… not talking about bug page…and people talk in discussions while addressing it” or hoping the devs will see it. and other then how you worded it” like i said a few” have been thought of before.:laughing: but again i like how you worded a few of them to make it clear… specifically the whole attack move topic

I entered the thread thinking they were the real notes of the next patch and they are just another fanmade and wishfull thinking ideas. Very disappointing. Change thread title.

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Sorry for creating false hopes, I said clearly in the text it’s fake and you probably didn’t read any of the introduction.
I did change the title I hope no one will fall to false hopes again.

Ill try to go through it later when I have more time!

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Like seriously why isnt this the norm?? Why would i want my horseman to charge their front line before i send the infantry… its soo stupid the way it is rn

People here should hop on such a discussion… that is exactly the “positive and constructive feedback” everybody wants.
I personally think you shouldn’t try to do the Dev’s job. Since we paid them to come up with such things.
But it’s still fun theory-crafting, and you took the time, so here my 2 cents:

That was the behaviour in all previous age games and it is really annoying to have units prioritize buildings over units. I’m not sure at this point if that is even intended or just a bug…not that anyone would tell us. Units clearly should act as you describe it.

AOE2 already did it this way. I recommend SOTL’s analysis of that system.

It’s always balance act to not cut too deep into what little in-battle micro is left for the player. The game already reduced that a lot by removing ballistics and friendly fire… not sure if preventing overkill wouldn’t make it even more dull.

This sounds really awkward to implement and use… like how easy would it be to predict when to pursue the target and when to finally stop and start attacking? Or is the only goal of units with this order to body-block? Doesn’t sound that practical. Also sounds like something that can and should be done by player micro (sending in a few units to walk infront and body block while others attack).

This was already possible in AOE2 by using square formation… especially in combination with (actually mostly working as intended) defense and hold-ground stances. I’d rather see the stances and formations reintroduced/fixed, than adding a new command.

So basically you want the defensive stance from AOE2 back? (The unit doesn’t pursue forever and returns to where it was when triggered).

This sounds awesome…and clunky as hell ^^
If you can come up with a quick to use system for this, maybe viable. But even then, having intelligent automatic formation balancing (weak units in the back, high HP/Armor ones up front, that kind of stuff) is much more practical in my opinion (basically what every Age game since AOE2 already does).

The only RTS game I remember using (Age-style) single units and having a fully customizable formation system, where you can save multiple “blueprints”, was Theocracy. Here the formation editor (it allows drag and drop of individual units):

Neat. Wouldn’t CTRL or ALT make more sense for this kind of behaviour? (if Relic decides to free ALT from it’s camera-shackles at some point)

Wouldn’t that play repeatedly while moving vils without giving them a task? Whenever they reached where I sent them, it would play the cue. Maybe only play it when finishing an eco task and going idle (no trees/mine/animals left around).

The current system is nonsense and needs replacement, not an add-on. The global queue should be 1:1 what AOE2 had… that includes tech, military and vils.
Would be nice though to have some user-adjustability so everybody can display what they want to know the way they want to see it. That goes for a lot of the UI.

Not a fan… that would further reduce the bit of user interaction we have left in the building-system. Manually placing walls is a chance for improving a skill (effective wall placement) and for introducing errors the enemy can capitalize on (e.g. forgetting to close a gap or overextending when trying to wall in resources).


I really appreciate your comment, I wrote this thread for people like you that give this kind of feedback, so we can actually discuss the changes that need to be made.

For almost everything I wrote you said it was in AOE2, to be honest I’ve never played AOE2, so it basically saying how necessary my ideas are, if they were implemented on previous games, to bad AOE4 sounds like a step backwards after reading your comment.

I disagree about that, if you want to attack only springalds you will be too busy and can’t do anything else in the meanwhile, also you can’t do it as efficient like attack move, because you will overhitting, I suggested a way to kill all the springalds using only one click of your mouse, I think the game will be better that way, it’s not deleting all the micro abilities rather give the player more time to do other micros instead of manually targeting 10 springalds one by one.

As a programmer myself it’s not that hard to implement trust me, maybe my explanation wasn’t accurate, but when you hit a villager and your opponent gives him an order to walk back to TC, the code knows the direction the vill is moving and can order your army to block it, then if you have enough army you just need to surround those vills in a circle and kill them using melee or bows, it’s not that hard to do.

If it was in AOE2 so yes, we need this back!

You didn’t understand how it would be, it’s super easy and intuitive, imagine you have the icons of your group of army selected like you have now right? Now imagine you can ‘drag’ and ‘drop’ these icons from left to right.
Left would be the frontline army, right would be back line, and everything else will be in the order you dragged it to be.
This can take 2 seconds to do, even on large groups of armys.
So if you select now army of 3 types, the icons will no longer be ordered by the selection order, rather by the formation order, and to change it all you have to do is drag those icons around.

it will play this sound cue only when you go from zero idle villagers to more than zero.

what is 1:1 AOE2 had?
I keep forgetting my vill queue all the time, and I always behind.

Maybe you are right, but I don’t find those ‘holes’ on my wall satisfying, but rather an issue with the game that doesn’t let you know you have a hole, so either fix that or make a command so it will be automatic.

Thank you for you comment!

Sounds nice and interesting but I am a little sceptical if such things will ever make it into the game. Patrol-move will probably almost take 6 months to be implemented after first mentioned as a missing feature. So maybe change the patch notes to 2025. :smiley:

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I think everything here except block / protect is in the range of 2-3 months of developing.
I speak as a developer myself, no feature I said here is more than a week of work including QA.

Pretty much. Also AOE3, AOM and RoN in some ways. I recommend watching some multiplayer matches (or just play them all ^^).
It wouldn’t be such a step backwards if it offered something new instead. But currently it just left gaps in UI/UX and people want to burn you at the stake for mentioning the “old games” although those already solved the problems : /

This goes both ways… the enemy springalds will also become more effective by distributing their shots perfectly instead of focus firing (and overkilling). It just makes the automated blob fights even more automated was my point. If that is your goal, then sure, preventing overkilling would help with that.

That sounds good…no sub menus of any kind. The UI has enough space for such additions.
Combined with individual unit info (currently missing) you could even move individual low HP units further back.

[quote=“liran1234567, post:12, topic:185395”]

That was my point. Moving a vil from A to B (without giving it a task, just a move order) creates an idle vil at the end. Would be annoying to get the sound cue for that. For villagers working on resources this would be useful though.

Watch some AOE2 live gameplay. Global queue in the upper left for all production (including vils, tech, military). No need to select a building to see it’s queue like in AOE4.

With the current system of not needing the TC to age up, I’d like to see an infinite production option for vils. It’s not an engaging task to constantly jump back and queue up another vil. If i decide that I can keep up production from 2 TCs, it would be nice to just set them both to infinite production. But that would probably get me lynched by the purists around here :sweat_smile:

I really hope Relic gets better with every patch they make and especially get faster. They mentioned this in the dev-stream and we all just can hope that their implementing procedure improves further and further. BUT so far there is a huge list of bugs and missing features as well as game breaking bugs known since closed beta and technical stresstest which are still in the game. And I am talking about months since knowledge of those issues. So I am afraid that it will take a long time for actual features to get implemented.
Patrol for example is a feature requested from the very beginning and they plan on implementing it in the spring 2022 update. Thats more than 6 months for such a “small feature” which at least goes in the direction of what you suggested.

I really like some of your ideas but just dont get your hopes too high in regard of IF and WHEN such things will be implemented. And I agree - dev feedback would be amazing but seen rarely in this section of the forums and in general.

Big companies like Amazon (Relic) are lazy and take their times in development, trust me that if they really wanted, all of my ideas could be implemented by April, and the devs would come to their home every day and have a great time with their wife and kids even during those tasks.

It’s all about the requirements of the managers, everything is possible.

I believe this would decrease player interaction, leaving battles very automatic, these small player errors are what shift the balance in the middle of battle.

I think that the option to block, goes in the same direction in automating the game, I don’t like that, the mistakes and successes of movement is what makes a good player.

But the option to protect is a good idea, it increases the game strategy.

That would be interesting, it would have an increase of strategies in the game.

This question enters into the player’s skill, the more attentive player, who can multitask, is a better player, automating this would be a nerf in multitasking players.

This needs to be implemented urgently.

as i said before, this increases game automation, decreasing user interaction, player error in building their walls should be to my advantage.

A tip: to avoid this error, close your gates and send a unit outside the walls, if there is any opening, the unit will use it to get out, the game always finds a free way to reach the objective.

I guess we should just all be happy relic is the one making the changes

If you mean all my ideas sucks this is just a rude comment.
you could just do like the others and point up what you didn’t like and why.