@Huge5000RTSFan Your final concerns, while not invalid, are a little close to overthinking.
Well big problem is Microsoft does under-fund games and Relic are not good at negotiate content.
Both did by last games make pretty bad design choices.
Regardless of how much content there is in a game, there is always the chance that people wont like it
Indeed Age of Empires Online and Dawn of War 3 are horrible games.
And more content might not have saved them,
simply because the art style “AoE-Online” or gameplay design “DoW3” were bad to the core.
-First of the game has to look good, but Age of Empires Online art style looks like Bob the builder.
-the gameplay itself has to be strategical. And here is a point why I do think Relic will massively struggle as developer. Since 2006 Company of Heroes they were making tactical games where it’s important to place the units right, or DoW3 is a game about smashing buttons on the key board and moving fast units.
AOE in general isn’t for everyone, and it’s certainly always been aimed at a different group than what StarCraft/ WarCraft are (which is why I’m always puzzled by people bringing up those Blizzard games here…)
StarCraft 2 is the game any RTS has to compete with and make game for everyone should be the priority.
I think the big mistake the gaming market does do here, is to copy StarCraft 2.
What is absolutely wrong, but they all don’t understand it. Like we did see by recent DoW3.
If first reaction is to go back to the old game or to Starcraft 2,
than the job was really badly done, but they did’t understand it.
I do agree about the game modes part though. AOE has historically had a lot to offer right out the gate, and one of my issues with AOE 3 was the reduced amount of options in setting up a game (can’t add more than one civ of a particular type in AI matches, seemingly fewer set up options). Personally, I’m not so much in the camp of “I WANT ALL MODES” (because annihilation is really my bread and butter), but I like having tweak options for the match.
Just tweak might be not up to date.
In Starcraft2 you have for example a lot of total conversations mods.
So what ever they come up with for AoE4
-new game mode ?
-Classic game mode is a must have. Should be years later achievable to play AoE2 on AoE4 Graphics.
-a pretty famous game mode is Desert Strike in SC2, where you simply send waves out units.
-Tower defence/survival game mode like They Are Billions sounds reasonable to implement,
you start in middle of the map and do fight waves of attackers
But would be 4 game modes at launch enough ?