Something that AOE2 had which I would like to see retained is an easy mode whereby computer-controlled players never attack until attacked themselves. This is a great mode for junior members of the family to be introduced to the game without expecting much military strategy from them. They can concentrate on learning the mechanics of resource gathering and use and only deal with enemies when they feel ready to do battle. Then, when they fail in battle, at least they chose to engage and can reflect on what to try next time instead of being caught by surprise, panicking.
An idea for something new along these lines could be to have units turn to the player and make suggestions eg “we need more food so make me a farmer”, or “we should start building a castle so make me a builder” etc.