Gameplay Feedback, I am afraid it's again is out of touché with RTS or E-Sports, also Casual Audience

Gameplay Feedback, I am afraid it’s again is out of touché with RTS or E-Sports, also Casual Audience.

Worst evil, comes with best intentions. I see right now my worst expectations to come true again.
I understand Warcraft3 gameplay was a great game 20 years ago, but its does not good transit into others. Problem is, you try mix mechanics from games people like, but to a point where the game starts to lack core mechanics.

AoE4 is once again in same situation as AoE Online, RA3, RoL and DoW3. Without the core mechanics, like fluent base build, its simply not fun to play. And put in new tactic’s mechanics, don’t always benefit the game. Each audience has own needs, by trying to please everybody, you create a game for nobody.

We see once again by AoE4 many bad habits that did plague the genre for last 10 years.

1Starting in year 2021 with just 3 workers and 1 scout unit?

Its something very fundamental. I understand there are people who believe they can better rush with those staring conditions or have a better late game if they make early more workers.

But its Outdated, I understand you try to please here “old” AoE and E-Sports Audience, but that going in result in complete opposite. As E-Sports Audience is used to 12 workers at start like by Star craft 2. And its simply not a pleasant experience to be stuck in an early game with repetitive mechanics, which is going to turn of RTS and Casual Audience.

2 Too Small Maps.

Maybe it was designed just for show purpose, but still it looks like base is taking 1/4 of the map.
You kind of need room, a lot actually if you play RTS in general. Ok, its more easy to rush on such map, but an RTS should offer variety how its played.

Again RTS is about variety of gameplay, those gameplay elements just over buff the rush play, that other get not valuable in PvP, and sadly instead to buff other play styles, we see developers rather nerf rush, so in the end games get lame. A fundamental problem for the genre for over 10 years by like any team.

3 Near Blind units.

I understand you try to make here some kind of a tactical/scouting thing, the problem is for lot of people it simply looks bad. Where shadows do hide units right in front of you, so you have to be careful how units are moving and not simply blind to blob units. But it’s extremely annoying as you start to have just put 1 scout horse unit in front of your blob.
And it’s not handy to use ability like the Warcraft3 owl scout ability, I mean Eagle. Its more handy to use a unit, that does simply see far. It does not look fresh or original if you borrow a common known 18 year old mechanic from Warcraft3, which derivates from Wc2 Eye of Kilrogg.

I understand it works in Company of Heroes, but it’s very annoying to experience in a base build RTS.
You kind of do expect there to have a clean and clear battlefield.

4 Economy that does run out, and does run out fast

What does concern me in general how fast you do run out here of resource deposits.

Age of Empires is build upon an economy that does run out and you transit into late game economy.
E-Sports is build upon an economy that does run and forces you fight very early over expansions.
2 factors that are legit, but very commonly done wrong. A lot of teams in last decade did simply mess up the economy, so you did run out of good before you could finish the match.

I had to observe, people do get stuck a lot with those mechanics, if you don’t play Starcraft where units are able to very fast destroy all objects, or C&C where tanks are a common unit and very good vs buildings, so you can with handful of units fast clear maps.

Normal average units by similar player skill simply get gridded down, till you run out resources to replace them.

We see here that after harvesting 4 stone the mine did collapse. So how much stone was it? Apparently that circle with stone symbol does show either how fast you harvest or how much is left.
Ok lets say a gold deposit is 1000, a unit costs 50 gold, that means 20 units burned later , you are such stuck situation. For a game 2021, I think it’s very important to have an option to regulate this.

5 Rudimentary and simplified base build.

My main concern is, for faction diversity, faction depth could not get developed or even worse get simplified. As we can see, the tech is not much, especialy for age 3 with 3 buildings and for age 4 with 1 building.

So in short, there should be

-option to regulate how many units/workers you have at start.
-option to disable fog of war
-option to regulate resource density

Map design is an art in itself. So there should be a variety how they are made, and clearly bigger ones should be there. And you should by sequels in general have access to more units and technologies.


i believe this only would be for the english as their design were to be a very aoe2 civs and it make aoe2 player transition into aoe4 a bit more comfortable, however we don’t about other civs starts so it might be different starts for other civs


OK lets say your enemy has instead of 1 scout 2 workers, so altogether 5.

The first and lasting impression is still going to be that early game is outdated and lame, by standards of 2021. It should be something like 6 workers and 2 scouts, 10 workers and slightly faster resource gathering compared to the game, people did play over 20 years.

A short look at the main competition just does show it fast. In Starcraft 2 you have 12 workers at start.

Command and Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath, you have a build crane to build in same time 2 buildings.

And both examples are meanwhile over 10 years old.

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Trying make symplistic graphics because of eSports readability, like said Zach scghlappi is horribe idea, you need some balance, otherwise you get unreadable mess of symplistic choices like this

I mean dow 3 has same philosophy in art direction, make colorful units, and fx that easy to read but it turn complete mess because they don’t know any measures in it
I’m afarid same ■■■■ may happen with aoe 4, especially with this giant spears!

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They are using true sight from coh2, which is awesome in my opinion the problem here is that army has almost no vision, for age of empires this is a big issue… Good point another fail

Age games have always had 3 workers at the start, why change it now?


I for one love the slower pace of AOE games. I’ve played C&C and Starcraft a lot and while fun for a while, they get tiresome quickly. You can’t enjoy smaller details because you have the enemy rushing in no time.

AOE should feel at least partially like a city building game with a live and breathing world. Do you remember the sense of wonder the first time you saw a lion killing a deer in AOE I? I spent hours “designing” realistic looking cities in AOE I and II. Advancing through the ages must feel like an accomplishment, unlocking better techs and units should be a consequence of your progress and success, not a goal.

AOE won’t replace and shouldn’t complete with more established eSports franchises. It has its niche and should remain there. Innovation should happen elsewhere such as better physics and realistic strategy mechanics (context-specific unit formations, etc.). If AOEIV indeed has smaller maps, less resources, simplified city building, and other artificial means designed to force faster matches (with no way of tweaking all of it), then I’ll definitely be out. There are better options if that’s what I’m looking for.


Oh boy what am I looking at here! This image… !

I did not like at the preview when they started shooting with gunpowder and units got covered in white/yellow explosions. You could not see if the unit was still alive or dead, until the animation disappeared. But the image you linked is atrocious.

The point is, they aim at so many diverse groups, it will be hard to please them all.

There is a good tale what happens if you listen to everybody.
“The Old Man, the Boy, and the Donkey”
They were on the way and did listen to people, till they decided to carry the donkey.

And why add the Eagle ability? And that’s are good examples, one of the mechanics that we get is older than AoE, the other is meanwhile updated in many games. How are those decisions made? Shouldn’t we rather get a mechanic from Starcraft2, than from Warcraft?

Exactly here is the problem, E-Sport would require from ground on a completely different game.
And because a game is more casual friendly, doesn’t mean its more fun to play.

Here just as example. Tetris with (Only I pieces)
Sure it’s more accessible and easier to play, there are many memes and jokes about such version, but even as casual you would fast loose interest and simply play real Tetris instead.

because starcraft 2 and age of empire are very different games plays very differently, sc2 start is very boring you only have 2 resources at the start next to each other and the maps are not random so there is nothing new to do in every new game on the same map.

in other hand aoe2 has more thing to do at the early game, you have to first find all your resources, starting from sheeps, berries, boars and deers, and then you have to find your gold, stone, woods, and to explore your surrounding (also the maps are random compared to starcraft 2 so you won’t find anything at the same place and they already stated that aoe4 will have random maps.) and you have to build your house and manage your villagers production and your villagers on 7 early game resources (sheeps, boars, deers, berries, gold, wood, stone) and those choice of resources depend on your build order, oh and top of that you have to scout your enemy and reads what build order they are going for depend on their distribution of villagers on resources or depend on how many villagers they have.

and people who was invited to play the game back then were saying this game plays faster then aoe2, and scouts in this can also hunt deers so this add more thing to early games, and yet you can have military units aside from the militia in early game too, so no your logic of it being “outdated” and “lame” is very subjective and they can make the game goes faster even with 2 villagers at the start, however more villagers at the start should be unique to other civs like how the chinese in aoe2 have 6 villagers at the start.

and i don’t get your logic of it not being an e-sport friendly, when there is tournaments and pros around it playing the game in aoe2 for so long and it have the supposed outdated and lame thing you talked about oh and guess what this game is also played by casual players since they option to play the game the way they want, want a peaceful game where build from the ground up and start fight at late games? sure go ahead host servers and play treaty, wanna play fast imperial game with all units upgraded? sure go ahead play deathmatch, wanna play anything you want? sure go ahead you have lobbies and many option to statfiy your needs, so no you can always statfiy everyone if you have done it right.


Lol. The reason they added extra starting workers to SC2 is because in SC2 there was literally nothing to do in the beginning. It was super boring. Even scouting in SC2 is just watching your worker slowly crawl across the map and encountering nothing of interest until you hit the opponent.

AoE is the precise opposite. Between finding your resources, microing your sheep, making good calls on woodlines and formulating a defensive and economic strategy based on random terrain, and scouting your opponent, and buildings houses every 5 pop with faster production than in SC, and luring the boar, maybe some deer micro for good measure, and dealing with random stuff like lames or wolves or whatever, etc etc; there is arguably too much to do in AoE’s early game.


That’s why I hate esports that want to copy sc… I’m company of heroes a 1v1 game can take even more than one hour and it is ■■■■■■■ awesome, in age 2 I remember the same, but they want to make games more “watchable” we play video games because they are fun, sc esports is good but we don’t need to copy it, competitive in coh2 is fun as well because it has its own identity but Idon’t see the same with age IV, they are focusing so much in what pros think of the game before making a good and fun game as it should be…

@GepardenKalle @Ziad5241 @TabletopLamp523

Look guys, how by this most basic and very first step already completely different opinions do exist.

I am quite aware of the early game metha mechanics by MS RTS, from catching elephants instead of boar for meat in AoE1, use scout unit to find blue timonium crystals in Rise of Legends, collect the protected resource crates in AoE3, or collect blue and yellow containers in Halo Wars 2.

And Here just as reference, the massive discussion by Starcraft2 about the worker increase.

Let me quote their arguments, for something AoE Player does see as not relevant and trivial, but for SC-Esport player is em end of the world or something, and average player has no idea what’s going on.

Blockquote 1
That 12 worker start was the biggest mistake in starcraft 2. Its been a few years since LotV was released and its been frustrating ever since. It led to a series of balance updates hotfixes and unit reworks and boring and predictable META pro play. It led to batlecruiser rush into macro, mass infestors and mass warpins in my main baise.
Pro play was on another level back then when the races had 6 workers at the start of the game. I miss those games where the pro`s were microing and outsmarting each other from start to finish. Building an economy and making use of every unit as their army compositions were evolving and getting better after every engagement by replacing the more expendable units with better late game options. And that is what stacraft should be about. Thats why broodwar is more popular in Korea and it is a much better option for a pro player. The early game is even more slower leading to much more intensive early game, where every decision and every move matters.

Blockquote 2
Honestly I don’t get it. More than half of this game is economy and army production. How can it be that suddenly they realized the game they designed and worked on for so many years was actually better off with an entirely different economy. I mean it’s such a huge change, it’s so much bigger than introducing a new unit here, removing an old unit there. I think the results of this change speak for themselves, we were better off with the old economy. The game feels so tiny now compared to how big it felt before.

Blockquote 3
*Shortened early game
*Resource ratio at the start
*Faster worker saturation
*Lower opportunity cost of strategic decisions
*Less discriminating early game choices
*Shallower strategic interactions

The big issue is, for the majority of players those things are not relevant and valuable, all they see is an outdated mechanic, they are bored with and don’t want to pay and play. By a workers based RTS it simply feels old, if you have not many workers at start.

As those are 2 very contradicting statements,
relevant & valuable early game vs boring and repetitive early game.

So what are game developers and designers supposed to make out of it?
Not an easy job isn’t it. And exactly there they do big mistakes.

As they try to please 2 very different groups with same game.
And please none of them, as they usually make the entire gameplay very trivial.

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I agree that AoE4 should keep the slower pace. It’s different than SC2, like it was already mentioned, because you are busy with other things like scouting the randomly generated map which is always different, finding resources, microing vills etc. In SC2 nothing was happening at the beginning until you had a specific amount of resources, just watching the workers gather resources while the maps are always static.
AoE is much more complex than that at the beginning at requires way more micro and thinking at that early stage, contrary to what some people think. it’s part of its charm.
So please stop with the “it’s 2021 and still 3 vills” stuff, you dont really understand the game.


In AoE you are supposed to build an empire from the ground up. Changing outdated things is good but dont change the core identity of a franchise. Your villagers also get more important in early game if you have less, so killing/losing one is more rewarding/punishing.

I like how they built upon the current fog of war(compared to AoE2) and make it more interesting by putting some spots where its more important to be aware of ambushes. I thought that this is like a really good addition. Also the blindness of these units is a bit overemphasized to showcase how the stealth/hiding mechanic works and what the advantages are.

I hope that they dont put in the endless but slower generating resources from AoE3(e.g. plantation). Having limited resources forces map control and fighting over them which leads to a much more enjoyable experience.

You are forgetting about the age up buildings. Thats (atleast) 6 unique buildings and maybe the choice can unlock different buildings? Remember that the english are a very basic civilisation and that the most new innovative stuff will be put into other civs.

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We should not forget each group has an own perspective.

For an Starcraft E-Sports player nothing relevant happens in AoE early game, just put things together that can be skipped, while by start with 5 workers in Starcraft he can somehow skill together very different play styles in early game.

Its not like people are doing that on purpose, there are very lot people who dont see early game relevance and we end up with very horrible designed games. That what we should be very aware off, and fix as soon as possible.

But still the 4rth age should have more than new 1 building. And split tech doesn’t sound good, if there is not so much at all. Problem I see, RTS kind of try with 10-20 units for each faction to make deep gameplay, but you kind of need more. Especially for a classic designed RTS.

Then the starcraft player should stick to starcraft? This game is made for the aoe-community in mind and aoe games have a slower start in general. I have seen dozens of franchises ruined that tried to please other audiences too much and lost focus of their fanbase. The good thing about multiple different franchises is that every person will find some games that they enjoy more than others. Nobody needs to like every game.

Then the game is simply not made for them. There are players that will never play a RTS, a FPS, etc. so should game companies keep them in their considerations of gamedesign aswell in order to please them? Why bother with people that are not liking the core gameplay identity of the franchise? Change for the sake of change is not what we need.


You are forgetting 1 little thing, we aren’t the target audience for this game.
The game isn’t made for us.

I know this fact sounds harsh, but they are trying to get people that are not liking the core gameplay identity of the franchise, because some people assume by this way to earn 1 dollar more.

Therefore, they won’t listen to feedback, no matter how bad their plan is.
Because that’s technically what they have done by DoW3 and AoE Online,
and the history right now is simply repeating itself.

That’s how the majority of the gaming community in general does see the entire AoE4 development right now. I doubt in near future the perception is going to improve. They still seem not to understand how their actions do rather turn people away, in a big scale.

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As a player of both SC2 and AoE I find this baffling. SC2’s start is soo much slower it’s not even comparable. In AoE the insane multitasking and decition making begins immediately, while in SC2 you slowly wait for resources to trickle in while not much is happening ( even scouting is just watching your worker crawl across a already revealed map).

Sure, you generally start interacting with your opponent earlier in SC2, but in terms of mechanical pace AoE2 is so much more intense from the get go.


there are already 2 different developers making big-budget starcraft clones for esports. it’s fine if aoe doesn’t do that

you are probably correct that aoe4 will not really attract the people who worship starcraft, but microsoft would be unlikely to succeed at doing so, even if they tried to

have you seen the disastrous state of online play with the other “Age of” remastered games? microsoft just isn’t equipped to handle this RTS stuff. AoE has a better future if it tries to do its own thing