So, I really want Age of Empires 4 to succeed. SC2 has needed some competition for a while now in the RTS space (maybe not so much as e-sport) and Blizzard dropped the ball hard with Reforged, and are continuing to get their comeuppance for so much hubris.
With that said, I just can’t find myself enjoying AoE4. The aesthetics are just so much like a mobile game you see an annoying ad for on a Youtube video. The scale is still off for me, and the UI is quite honestly awful, even if it is a tiny bit more functional. AoE3 may have had a somewhat clunky UI with the giant icons but the DE I believe did great in solving that. So I really do hope that you guys continue to give small bits of content for AoE2 here and there. Even something as simple as selling more unique architecture packs (like differentiating Aztec and Incan architecture a la AOE3 or making more nomadic buildings for Mongols/Huns https://preview.redd.it/s6u8d2exxj541.png?width=1596&format=png&auto=webp&s=586682c9d0e96b0c02107836d62a2776b187911a ) although civs of course would be preferable. Point is, you don’t have to make AoE4 the full focus of income when many of us would like to see AoE2 DE continuing to thrive, plus it’s a smart financial move too.
I would rest easy, AoE2DE isn’t going anywhere and the devs will continue to support it, it’s still basically a brand new game that was only released 2 years ago.
However, I don’t get the “mobile game” criticisms that AoE4 constantly gets from this playerbase, I am not sure why people think it looks like a mobile game just for having 3D graphics that aren’t hyper-realistic, many games are like this and they aren’t mobile games, it’s called having an aesthetic.
The UI seems perfectly good and aside from it not being exactly the same as AoE2 I don’t see any major problems, the main menu navigation is FAR superior to what we have in AoE2, I wish the AoE4 devs would give AoE2 the same treatment.
The build menu UI is a bit clunky at first (but after a few games I vastly prefer it), and some of the upgrade icons are hard to recognize, but I probably would have similar issues with AoE2’s icons if I had only been playing the game for 3 days instead of, you know, 20 years.
That’s fine, you’re allowed to dislike it, I just don’t know where the “mobile game” comments come from because I’ve literally never seen a mobile game that looks like this.
Calling it a “mobile game” look is just deflecting because you don’t know how to actually describe what’s wrong with it other than “it’s not AoE2”. Ironically enough it was AoE2 assets that kept getting stolen for crappy mobile game ads
It’s probably going to be the opposite, AoE2 will overshadow AoE4 in 1-2 years. Let’s take bets.
AoE2 is a game that is very hard to dethone. It is visually beautiful, can be played both casually and competitively (MP, AI, campaigns, scenarios), it has unique and pleasing gameplay mechanics (micro, mangonels shots, etc.), and it’s one of these very rare instances of “childhood games” that still have a large playerbase. People who are playing AoE2 right now have probably been here for a decade, they have found one specific mode or playstyle that they enjoy, and they are probably not finding it stale, otherwise they would have left long time ago.
To take AoE2’s playerbase, AoE4 would have to be much better than AoE2. But so far, it looks like we’re very far from it, in fact I hardly even see AoE4 beating AoE2 numbers at all. AoE4 seems to be very mediocre on all aspects. Graphics especially are quite bad, the fact that some people like it and some dislike is a very bad sign, not just a matter of taste, there are games which everyone agrees are beautiful, when Aoe2:DE was out and remastered the graphics, I don’t think many people complained about the new 3d models, so why is it constantly the case in AoE4?
While I do agree that AoE2 will never go anywhere and will remain a classic, AoE4 solves A LOT of the issues that has riddled AoE2 for a while. At the end of the day, it’s still a 20 year old engine. It has many legacy mechanics (such as sending villagers to the corner and holding the game hostage) that are less than ideal today.
For example, just scouting and gathering sheep alone is so much more seamless and fun in AoE4 than it is in AoE2, where competitive players HAVE to scout with some of their sheep, or you run into the TC of your opponent and start the game in a disadvantage.
What makes you think AoE4 doesn’t? AOE4’s Feudal Age is SIGNIFICANTLY more hectic than AoE2’s, where the only thing you do is either go full scouts or go archers for some damage than back up to wait for Castle to be upgraded to Xbow. AoE2’s Dark and Feudal age are extremely stale, especially at the non-pro level. That’s why you get a lot of complaints that most games are “wall-up FC”, and that’s why the Devs made a rather horrible change to Arabia with basically awful woodlines to discourage walling. AoE4’s Feudal Age plays almost like AoE2’s Castle, and significantly moreso if you play the Mongols or Rus or something.
Look, I’m an Age of Empires 2 player who’s spent thousands of hours in this game. I made tons of content for it on my channel as well. But saying that AoE4 will have to be much better than AoE2 for people to switch is just not correct. Barring the ultra pursists, most people who will give the game a try will immediately feel the breath of fresh air. It’s familiar, but fresh, and won’t have many of the legacy issues of 2DE.
EDIT: A lot of players will most likely still wait for the game to be polished though. I don’t think 1 month is enough to polish the game, so mid year next year or the end of 2022 will probably be a good time for hesitant people to do the switch, assuming the game’s meta and bugs are ironed out by then.
This is probably the most misleading description I could find of AoE2’s feudal age… there’s never “only one thing to do” in AoE2, very far from it. If you go for scouts you have to avoid spearmen and TC, while managing your vil production at home, houses, farms, probably getting rushed at the same time as well. That’s what makes the game interesting. The rush itself would be extremely easy and boring if you didn’t have to manage your eco behind.
These complaints are mostly from top-level pros who would like the game to be faster not casual players who think FC is too strong. Even at casual level wall-up to FC is a weak strat beat by flush with much lower effort, and that has always been the case, flush beats FC, even on previous Arabia. The typical turtling BO is to start with a drush THEN go FC IF you have slowed down your opponent enough, otherwise you must stay in feudal as well. The only case where I’d agree with you it’s mostly a wall+FC fest is if you’re pocket in 3v3 / 4v4, and even there it’s viable to go for scouts instead like the pros do, and even when you’re going for this BO you still have to decide small things, what pop to go up, whether to wall or not, whether to scout more or push deer, each decision will have impact on the game later. I could understand that you find the game stale after 1000 hours of playing it, but I’d argue if you think the feudal age specifically is stale it’s because both you and the opponent chose to go for a FC from the start and neither of you punished the other for it, but ultimately it’s your choice to play like this.
Fresh game means a lot of people will play on release, but it does not mean they will stay. Typically people play new games for 1 year then get bored if it’s not deep enough, which is why I bet on 1-2 years until AoE2 becomes king again in number of players.
What I’m saying is that AoE4 is all of that and x3. There are many, many more unit types to train in AoE4, not to mention that there are Feudal specific Civs in AoE4 as well, whereas Feudal is almost identical for all Civs in AoE2.
I’m not here to argue about specific strategies with you. I’m just arguing against “A large part of what makes AoE2 fun is that you have a lot of things to do at the same time.”
AoE4 so far seems less focused on micro and more on macro compared to AoE2, but the game is much more balanced in terms of Ages. Dark and Feudal in AoE2 is extremely stale, and rarely do you see Feudal all-ins that take a long time. It’s a race to Castle and the game opens up then to what you can really do.
In short, the simplification of scouting in AoE4 doesn’t mean there’s less things to do in AoE4. You get militarized and jump into the action much quicker. So, “having a lot of things to do at the same time” starts much quicker in AoE4 than it does in AoE2 on average.
There’s no point in debating something we have no idea about. The game may succeed. The game may fail. I think the former and you think the latter in terms of playercount. We’ll just wait and see what will happen.
In my opinion, I think AoE2 has a lot to learn from the new kid in town, AoE4
It would be great if the developers focused on what the AoE4 has to offer that the AoE2 can adapt in its gameplay
Both games seem fun to play, and they are different enough without overshadowing each other, more or less as AoE2 and AoE3 are now @Oestrichh great content from your YT channel, big fan
What I meant to say is that the game can learn what is being done well in AoE4, for example the menus, the spectator filters, the sound design, the upcoming seasons, etc.
I wasn’t talking about the mechanics or the bonuses, the games are different enough in this regard
You must not have been around back then, both this forum and reddit were filled with threads of people complaining that the new unit graphics were muddy and hard to differentiate and “blurry” compared to the original AoC graphics.
It turned out that people just had to get used to it, and now I’m willing to bet most people can’t go back. I think the same applies to AoE4.
I wouldn’t necessarily count that argument out just yet. While I do agree that the game is playable, can they still improve on unit clarity? Absolutely. If you haven’t already, check out the Camel Archer and Camel Ride once Camel Barding is researched. Here’s a screenshot from one of my videos. They’re almost indistinguishable from one another. Mind you, this is SUPER zoomed in and upscaled for clarity - when you’re zoomed out to a normal playing level, this distinction is even worse.
There are examples like this where clarity is lacking that I’m sure should get better over time if the devs are paying attention. Apart from these fringe cases, I agree that the units overall are okay. I hope clarity is a top of mind for the devs though - things can always be improved.
EDIT: Here’s what I mean. Can you easily differentiate between these units?
I think in those screenshots that the oversized weapon is supposed to be the tell that differentiates the units, but you’re right, they’re very busy units graphically so it’s not the best.
I’m not saying they can’t be improved, but I’m also saying that I think people should hold back on the doomsaying until they’ve had more than a weekend with the game. Again, people said the same exact things about AoE2DE shortly after it’s release and proclaimed the game was doomed to failure because of it, I want to get my hands on AoE4 and spend a lot more time with it before making judgments like that.