I was thinking about AOE 4 today and I typed up some ideas I thought it would be cool if the game was built around. I wrote a whole document outlining my ideas… but here’s the short version:
I’d like to see the game encourage players to build walled in cities, so I’d like to see looting/raiding functions where certain buildings if undefended would give your attacker resources, so you need to protect them behind walls. But I also want the game not to be too rewarding of defensive play style. So I’m proposing that you be able to besiege cities and cut off their resources, thus making it beneficial to move your army out of the city and fight on the open field. in other words you’re rewarded for being aggressive, but you also reward your enemy if you don’t have a protected base at home. With line of sight in a 3D game, I’d like walled in enemy cities to be shadowed by fog of war to mask troop movements, such as sallying out of a side gate to attack a weaker portion of a besieging army.
I’d also like to see battles include more tactics and more micro. Including charge bonuses, defensive positioning etc, would really enhance this I think.
I’d like to see large scale battles, but with a cost. I’m proposing trash units can’t be trained, but rather converted from your villager population. So in late post imp, or if you’re besieged, you can levy an army in defense, but you’ll need to find the balance of how much of your eco to idle to try and win a battle.
Of course eco management should still be a large part of the game, with 4 resources as in AOE2. If you feel like reading all my thoughts and balances for how to make these concepts work, be my guest: