If you do AOM:DE (or AOM2), and are looking for community input, please look to Boit and ChronoJJ

With AOE4 out, and remembering old promises of getting to AOM after it, it seems perhaps the right time to say this. There were a lot of issues with the last attempt at updating AOM (Extended Edition AND Tale of the Dragon), and this is not an attempt to rehash any of that. This is an attempt to prevent something like that from happening again. The AOM community is very different from the AOE2 community. What might make for a great update/remaster/expansion/remake for AOE is just as likely to flop with AOM fans. What AOM players love about their game is often very different from what AOE players do, so I do think community input is very important here.

The first thing I feel like needs to be said is that the AOM is, in many ways, a tale of two communities. The more hardcore competitive community migrated to Voobly a long time ago, and has lived there, more or less in isolation, since. However, there is also a huge more casual community out there for this game that never made that transition, and a significant portion of which likely don’t even know Voobly exists. There was a long time when I and the people I would play with fell into that category.

As a result, we have two, very divergent communities, which don’t even really talk to each other, but both really invested in this game. The best competitive players may be found at the top of the Voobly ladder, but the things that are important to them about the game are often very different from the things that are important to the larger casual community. And unlike other games where the casual community might follow the lead of the top players because of the cultural connection created by streaming, in AOM there really is much more of a disconnect between the top players and the rank and file. They have been living in different worlds, playing significantly differently balanced versions of the game, for a very long time.

And this is where Boit comes in. He, more than anyone else I have seen, understands that casual community and what matters to them in this game. I think that is in part because he kind of started out as one of them – an old single player guy who made his way to caster and higher level player. I also think it is because a lot of his viewership is people being brought in from the casual community to a more competitive play style. But at the same time, he is also tuned into the competitive community as much as anyone. He is the bridge that links the two is many ways. He has his foot in both worlds. And if you are looking for someone with insight about what matters to the community in this game. He is on the top of the list of people I think you should talk to.

To be clear, I am not just some Boit fanboy, and I don’t agree with everything he has suggested (e.g. weaker more numerous god powers). But I want to see what comes next for this game turn out right. And I think he is someone who can help make that happen.

Secondly, I mention ChronoJJ because he has been deeply tied into the Voobly community for a long time, but has since taken a step back for the hardcore competitive side to it. At least to me, it seems that the Voobly players are often very invested in protecting their particular play-style from changes. And I think the insularity there has created a very competitive (and what many would also call toxic) environment. ChronoJJ very much seems to have checked out of that mindset. He was literally on the balance team for quite some time, and has played a huge role in the Voobly community. But he is also detached enough to give reasoned and unbiased input.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. I know it’s long. But I think it was worth saying.

2 Likes

What do you mean under the last attempt?
A, 2015-16 Patch 2.0 and Tale of the Dragon - the competitive community from Voobly created the balance design, they tested the game and when they finished, the majority went back to Voobly.

B, 2019-2020 Patch 2.7&8 - the competitive community from EE created the balance design, it was a complete redesign, they changed everything expect of hardcoded stuff and then they moved to Voobly like it happend 5 years ago.

Do you know that the Tale of the Dragon was created by Voobly players? Just watch the balance design and QA support:
https://www.forgottenempires.net/age-of-mythology-tale-of-the-dragon/credits

Boit is Ok, but Chrono JJ doesn’t play EE at all and DE will be upgraded from EE.

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Yes I am aware that the Voobly community had a lot of input in the balance decisions made. Balance tweaks made before release were never the real problem with EE. At least in my opinion. But like I said I’m not looking to rehash, or point fingers, or argue what happened with the prior releases.

I don’t believe there is anything inherently incompatible between what the Voobly community would be willing to accept in a DE or AOM2 and what the rest of the community would want out the game. I just think the two sides don’t really understand (or maybe even care about) what the other side wants. I also don’t think the devs completely “get” the AOM community and how it is different from the AOE community. And what I think we need is them listening to reasonable, objective, open minded people who understand both sides of the AOM community when making creative or balance decision. Not just going off of what the people at the top of the ladder say, or whoever makes the biggest ruckus on the forums (which most of the would-be players likely don’t even know about).

I can think of no one better for that than Boit and ChronoJJ. There is no perfect answer, but I think these two would give us the best shot at something we could all be happy with.

For me, the best person to balance the game and suggest changes to the EE is Chickenland1936 nobody knows this game as well as he does much better than Boit and cronojj together

Boit is a cool dude - but the titel is missleading you mean input wise focusing on gameplay stuff. not like new creative ideas which i was expecting first before i read those two names.