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But its Outdated, I understand you try to please here “old” AoE and E-Sports Audience, but that going in result in complete opposite.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.