Please keep a 30% trade bonus for French land and water trading. Free land traders aren’t a good trade-off for losing the 30% bonus to overall trade (especially for water trading since free ships aren’t produced per economic upgrade, only land traders). Free land traders can provide an econ boom early in the game, however, the long-term ROI on traders just isn’t as good (I’d rather have a longer-term 30% bonus on all trading, than just one-time free land traders).
Continental: Make continental like AOE2 where several randomly shaped continents are formed with inland rivers/waterways connecting to the outer sea. Add more varied mountain ranges. The current version of continental is just one large island with 4 tiny islands in the corners. It shouldn’t be called continental and just called the large island or something, until a true continental map is added.
Tribute - add tech upgrades at markets to reduce tribute tax to 0% like AOE2
AI - I agree with many others to add a higher difficulty like an extreme setting rather than replace the hardest. Create lobby setting Economy 100% to 300% to AI. (for a greater challenge, see the advanced games setting mod as it also offers a 100% to 300% military strength bonus, which I believe increases hitpoint an enemy has).
Wishlist for this and future PUPs/updates:
Please note, most of these would be Lobby Settings Only, so players can choose not to use them for ranked matches. I will refer back to this sentence if I get reply bombed, with others saying that the below recommendations will change the meta. They will just add more interesting gameplay options, especially in private custom matches:
Lobby setting - pop cap increase up to 500
Lobby setting - starting villager amount (can add more than 3)
Lobby setting - start with an empowered king (see advanced game settings)
Lobby setting - starting castle
Lobby setting - add an auto scout button for scouts (like AOE2). I recommend this being a lobby setting as some players might not prefer this option in ranked
Add a guard button for units - this will allow units guard traders and caravans
Add an additional Slow Patrol button for infantry, archers, and cavalry. This will make the units ‘walk’ on patrol rather than run. I’ve thought many times this would not only look better for patrols on walls and through cities, but slower archer patrols on walls would be useful gameplay-wise. The walk patrol could be seen in the first trailer for AOE4 with calvary slowly riding outside the walls. Of course, keep the normal ‘run’ patrol option too.
For formations, when villagers are in formations, make sure they stay behind the formation so they do not run out ahead.
Create lobby setting for seige on walls (mainly gunpowder units that cannot shoot over walls).
Create lobby setting to add new larger round wall section called Bastions to add to walls so more seige/ranged units can mount on top. These could be far more expensive and have higher hitpoints than normal wall sections.
Allow Allie’s walls to connect. This can be done in AOE 2 and is a huge benefit for team games.
Allow walls to connect to Castles.
Add lobby setting for random guarded treasures to generate throughout the map (like AOE3).
Add lobby setting for ceasefire 5 to 60 mins
Add lobby-setting diplomacy. Expand diplomacy to allow switching between ally, neutral, and enemy. Make AI set terms that you have to pay them x resource before they will ally with you. Expand diplomacy later to include auto tribute (give selected allies an ongoing percentage of gold, stone, food, or wood). Auto-tribute could help support allies who are on the front line while reducing the micro-management of tributes.
Add lobby setting to increase resource values of gold, stone, food, and wood for longer matches.
Fix rivers so that they don’t just go from one off-map point to another off-map point. I understand they are created with splines, but this design is very limiting for map making and future official maps. make it so they naturally connect to larger bodies of water like lakes and oceans. If you are going to add future DLC civs like Norse, Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese, it seems like adding more inland waterways to new maps could create more interesting gameplay and offer more options for potential water-based civ bonuses.
Add lobby setting - Allow allies villagers to build ally structures
Other Future Recommendations:
Capture the King game mode - Each player has a king that is stationary in a special keep. Once another player destroys the special keep, they capture the king and have to take them back to their special keep as a prisoner. once the king reaches their keep, a countdown timer begins. Obviously, this would be for longer custom matches. Add a subsetting to this which allows you to hold the king for ransom or kill the captured king whenever you choose, so as to subjugate another player for economic advantage (this is where auto- tribute comes in handy, as you could set the terms of what ongoing resource percentage the other other players has to pay you).
Lobby setting Weapons Dealer - add an option to convert your units to another player. this would allow you to supply an ally with military on the front line, while not having to worry about micro. also, you could sell special units to other players for resources, which would make diplomacy more interesting. Perhaps at the market, there is a black market/weapons dealer option, that allows you to sell tech or convert units to another player. This would be for longer custom games where there are changing alliances and proxy wars.
Please look closely at the advanced game settings mod. There are so many settings in this mod that can be added to the official game.