You won’t be able to see them in Steam if you don’t own Age of Empires IV. So here’s the patchnotes:
Release Notes - PUP June 2022
Welcome to a Public Update Preview for Age of Empires IV!
We’re excited for you to take a first look at changes on their way to Age of Empires IV for the upcoming Season Two Update. Before diving into details about these changes, please take a quick read through our Welcome Post to learn more about the dates of the preview, our goals, how to provide feedback, how to participate, and more, as well as any updates about the Public Update Preview (PUP).
Below is a list of New Features, Known Issues, Bug Fixes & Balance Updates from within the PUP Build. Please be aware that this is NOT a comprehensive list of changes and is subject to further change before the official release of the Season Two Update.
Player Color Picker
Players can choose a color or have a color randomly assigned at the start of the match. To see the chosen color in game requires the Player Colors option to be set to Unique (Settings > Game > Player Colors).
Added the ability for players to choose their color in the following game modes:
- Single Player Skirmish
- Multiplayer Custom Match
- Unranked Automatch
- Ranked Automatch
Based on your feedback, we’ve continued to refine hotkeys to ensure you’re able to customize and play as you wish.
Reorganization of hotkey menus.
- Global Key remapping menus have been updated and consolidated to make finding hotkeys easier…
New Fully Remappable hotkey layout
- When switching into Fully Remappable mode for the first time, the default keys will be set to align with the default Grid Key layout.
- Once in the Fully Remappable layout you can now independently reassign any hotkey binding.
Changes to how hotkey conflicts work
- Previously, when a new hotkey conflict was created, any existing keys with the same binding would be unbound. As of this update, hotkey conflicts are allowed and creating a new conflict will provide you with an alert that lists all of the currently conflicting keys.
- Pressing “Continue” on this alert will assign the conflicting keys, while “Cancel” will revert the newly assigned key to its previous state.
"Warn Conflicts" Toggle
- Should you wish to disable the conflict alerts, a new toggle has been added called “Warn Conflicts”, which will prevent any new alerts from appearing when disabled.
Map Preference System
For some time, we have heard community requests for a way to give players a say over the maps they play in Quick Play and Ranked multiplayer matches. With this update, we are adding our first version of a Map Preference System that will give you influence over the maps that you will encounter in ladder play. You can learn more about the system here.
Other New Features
- Introducing a brand new map: The Pit!
- All missions of the four single-player campaigns are now unlocked from the start, ensuring you can experience history your way!
- A new “Panoramic” camera option in settings allows for even greater zoom distance than before!
- For the purposes of the PUP, we’ve set the camera to “Panoramic” automatically and will be looking to hear more from you about whether this should be the default setting in-game or be offered as an option alongside the current default instead! We’ll have a survey available later where you can tell us what you think!
Landmark Victories Require Destroying the Landmarks of Players who Crashed, Surrendered, or Quit
- When playing a multiplayer team game, if a player quits, crashes, or surrenders, their Landmarks become neutral but must still be destroyed for a team to claim Landmark Victory. This is considered an exploit with the new adjustments to Landmark Victory conditions in Team Games and will be addressed shortly.
Black Forest Map has Issues with Spawn when on 1v1 Micro Size
- We are aware that when playing a 1v1 match on Black Forest with map size set to micro, there are a number of issues that occur with spawn including but not limited to the Town Center spawning underwater as well as gold veins and stone out croppings not spawning near player start. We suggest avoiding playing on this map with these settings.
(ABB/RUS) Mounted Archers’ Attack Animation Interruption
- We are aware of an issue with Camel Archers (ABB) and Horse Archers (RUS) where their attack animation can be interrupted while chasing enemy units, greatly reducing their effectiveness. We are already working on a solution to this and do not need any additional reports at this time.
(SUL) Elite Archers Technology Has Longer Research Time Than Intended
- In the balance changes for this preview, Delhi Sultanate research times in the Imperial Age have been reduced, however the Elite Archers technology is using the old research time. We are aware of this issue and working on correcting it.
Monastery Incorrectly Set to Military Buildings Hotkeys
- Monastery buildings, including the Regnitz Cathedral Landmark and Abbey of the Trinity Landmark, are currently selectable using the Military Buildings hotkeys instead of the Technology Buildings hotkeys. This is in the process of being corrected.
UX / UI
Danube River Map Misnamed in Some Menus
- We are aware that the Daube River map is misnamed as “Rolling Rivers” or “The Riverlands” in some menus. We do not require any further reports.
Map Filter Buttons Not Fully Localized
- We are aware that the new Map Filter buttons are not fully localized into every supported language at this time.
Blue Icon Missing from “High Resource” Category in Map Preference Menu
- In the new Map Preference system, categories with downvoted maps appear with a blue icon next to them. However, this icon does not appear when there are downvoted maps in the High Resource category. We do not require any further reports of this issue.
(CHI) Ming Dynasty Notification Triggers After Every Unit Production
- We are aware that while playing as the Chinese and having entered the Ming Dynasty (by having both Age IV Landmarks built) a notification about having entered the Ming Dynasty will occur after every unit is produced. We are working on this issue and do not require any additional reports.
(CHI) Spirit’s Way Enhancement Information Missing from Affected Units’ UI
- As part of the new balance changes, the Chinese Spirit’s Way Landmark now provides an enhancement to units that are near another unit when they die. This enhancement is applying to units properly, however the UI does not display that the unit is receiving any enhancements. We are aware of this visual error and do not require any further reports.
Bug Fixes & Balance Updates
Shortcuts & Remappable Keys
- Council Hall Landmark can now be selected with Archery Range shortcuts.
- The White Tower Landmark can now be selected with Keep shortcuts.
- Berkshire Palace Landmark can now be selected with Keep shortcuts.
- Red Palace Landmark can now be selected with Keep shortcuts.
- Spasskaya Tower Landmark can now be selected with Keep shortcuts.
- Elzbach Palace Landmark can now be selected with Keep shortcuts.
- House of Learning Landmark can now be selected with technology building shortcuts.
- Palace of the Sultan Landmark changed from a Religious to Military Landmark and can now be selected with military shortcuts.
- Astronomical Clocktower Landmark can now be selected with Siege Workshops shortcuts.
- Royal Institute Landmark can now be selected with technology shortcuts.
- College of Artillery Landmark can now be selected with Siege Workshop shortcuts.
- Abbey of the Trinity Landmark is now included with Military building shortcuts.
- High Armory Landmark changed from Military to Technology Landmark and can now be accessed with technology building shortcuts.
- Steppe Redoubt Landmark can now be selected with economy building shortcuts.
- Select all military units, Select all idle military units, and Cycle through idle military units, hotkeys will no longer include Monks, Delhi Sultanate Fishing Ships or Mongol Packed Buildings.
- Using the Select all Barracks hotkey will no longer select Docks.
- Select all Hunting Cabins hotkey is now merged with Select all Mills.
- Select all Wooden Fortresses hotkey is now merged with Select all Outposts.
- Select all Mosques hotkey is now merged with Select all Monasteries and Prayer Tents.
- Select all Madrassas hotkey is now merged with Select all Universities.
- Monasteries will no longer be selected with military building shortcuts.
- Developer Note: Rus Monasteries and Abbey of the Trinity Landmark will still be selected in this way due to the Warrior Monk.
Event Queue & Notifications
Developer Note: When there are too many alerts on the map they can become meaningless noise. We trimmed out redundant and not useful information so you can focus on critical events.
- Reduced number of map pings when multiple attacks occur next to each other.
- Increased notification re-trigger time when buildings are attacked from 0 to 15 seconds.
- Removed map ping on upgrade complete.
- Ally under attack ping changed from red to blue.
- Ally under attack ping triggers less frequently when multiple units are fighting near each other
Melee v Siege Rework
Developer Note: We wanted to add more strategic considerations to army positioning around siege weapons while increasing realism in the interaction between siege and non-siege units. To accomplish this, we’ve made all units (except villagers) use their normal weapons vs siege units. This means the knight charge will be a powerful option vs siege if there aren’t any nearby spearman to brace. Units not using torches means they will have to get closer to their targets so it’s easier to block them and protect the siege. Of course, we still want there to be multiple counter play options to siege weapons. To get the balance correct with this feature we’ve done a large rebalancing pass to reduce the health of siege weapons and make some units like horsemen remain strong counters by giving their melee attacks bonus damage vs siege weapons.
- Units that attack with melee weapons no longer switch to torches when targeting siege units
- Villagers continue to use torches against siege units and gain +2 damage vs siege
- Horseman melee weapons gain +10 bonus damage to siege
- Other torches no longer deal bonus damage vs siege
- Villager repair rate of Siege units reduced from 20 health/s to 5 health/s
- Developer Note: Part of the reason this was such a dramatic change is that siege weapons now have less health and will take damage slower from infantry armies… and also it was really good before.
- Ranged armor increased to 20 for all siege weapons
- Bombards and Cannons have 30 ranged armor
- Siege Works armor bonus increased from 3 to 10. Mongols’ improved version increased from 4 to 15
- Developer Note: Increasing the armor scaling on Siege Works helps reinforce the resilience of siege to late game ranged attacks such as the Handcannon.
- Reduced the height of Trebuchet and defensive cannon projectile trajectories to make them easier to read
The following changes have also been made to specific siege units:
- Ram health reduced from 700 to 420
- Mangonel health reduced from 240 to 140
- Mangonel ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Springald health reduced from 200 to 125
- Springald ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Springald bonus damage reduced from 90 to 50
- Clocktower Springald health reduced from 300 to 190
- Clocktower Springald ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Ribauldequin health reduced from 480 to 350
- Ribauldequin fire armor reduced from 10 to 0
- Ribauldequin melee armor increased from 0 to 10
- Royal Ribauldequin health reduced from 480 to 350
- Royal Ribauldequin fire armor reduced from 10 to 0
- Royal Ribauldequin melee armor increased from 0 to 10
- Culverin health reduced from 400 to 220
- Culverin ranged armor increased from 12 to 20
- Culverin damage increased from 75 to 85
- Culverin bonus damage reduced from 200 to 100
- Royal Culverin bonus damage vs. siege reduced from 204 to 120
- Royal Culverin bonus damage vs. naval increased from 204 to 240
- Royal Culverin health reduced from 400 to 220
- Royal Culverin ranged armor increased from 12 to 20
- Bombard health reduced from 400 to 240
- Bombard ranged armored increased from 12 to 30
- Bombard damage reduced from 170 to 100
- Bombard bonus damage vs. naval & buildings increased from 340 to 410
- Cannon health reduced from 320 to 190
- Cannon ranged armor increased from 12 to 30
- Cannon damage reduced from 200 to 100
- Cannon bonus damage vs. naval & buildings increased from 400 to 500
- Royal Cannon health reduced from 320 to 190
- Royal Cannon ranged armor increased from 12 to 30
- Royal Cannon damage reduced from 240 to 120
- Royal Cannon bonus damage vs. naval & buildings increased from 480 to 600
- Traction Trebuchet health reduced from 320 to 190
- Traction Trebuchet ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Traction Trebuchet damage reduced from 100 to 50
- Traction Trebuchet bonus damage increased from 200 to 250
- Counterweight Trebuchet health reduced from 400 to 210
- Counterweight Trebuchet ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Counterweight Trebuchet damage reduced from 100 to 50
- Counterweight Trebuchet bonus damage increased from 450 to 500
- Clocktower Counterweight Trebuchet health reduced from 600 to 300
- Clocktower Counterweight Trebuchet ranged armor increase from 8 to 20
Nest of Bees
- Nest of Bees health reduced from 200 to 140
- Nest of Bees ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
- Clocktower Nest of Bees health reduced from 300 to 210
- Clocktower Nest of Bees ranged armor increased from 8 to 20
Changes - All Civilizations
Villager & Economy Changes
- Deer and Sheep which are blocking a building foundation now move out of the area much, much, much faster. Remember the Mongol TC rush? It’s faster than that.
- Trade Ships no longer return additional Gold, instead they return +100% of the trade value as Wood. Effectively meaning they get the same amount of Gold and Wood.
- Shore Fish and River Fish occupy a smaller impasse, reducing the likelihood of unintended stomping when placing Docks.
- Villagers will now prefer Deer over Berry Bushes after building a new Mill or Ger.
- Reduced the travel distance Villagers will scan for new resources after exhausting a Stone Outcropping, Gold Vein, or forest.
- Developer Note: This reduces the instances of villagers traveling very long distances to gather resources when it’s much better to go idle and alert the player that they need to build a new resource drop-off building.
- Units will be able to attack Stone Wall Gates which are under construction. Once construction is completed, they will no longer be able to.
- Developer Note: This is already the case for Stone Walls, we are just standardizing the behavior
- Building emplacement bonus damage vs boats now applies to demolition ships and non-combat ships.
- Arrow slit emplacements bonus range decreased from +2 to +1
- Developer Note: All emplacements are overperforming. We’re seeing players build towers near the enemy base just to get emplacements for extra fire power. The biggest beneficiary of the arrow slit emplacements has been offensive towers, so we’re reducing the range bonus to give players extra breathing room.
- Springald emplacement damage decreased from 60 to 40. Attack speed decreased from 6.25 to 4.5
- Developer Note: The high range and burst damage on Springald towers makes them extremely powerful. Their low cost makes them spammable. Note that these changes in combination with the increased armor on siege weapons means Springald Emplacements are now less cost effective.
- Additional Note: While this is the intended change to Springald emplacements, this change is not currently implemented in the PUP Build.
- Cannon emplacement damage decreased from 85 to 70
- Developer Note: Cannon emplacements deal 100% of their damage in AoE around the initial target. We wanted to retain this cool feature while making them less effective vs single targets like Bombards.
- Buildings that cost exclusively Stone (Keeps, Stone Wall Towers, Stone Walls, and Stone Wall Gates) now cost Stone to repair instead of Wood.
- Developer Note: Repair rate is still 1 resource per second. All other buildings cost Wood to repair. Keep style Landmarks continue to cost Wood to repair. We wanted a clean and easy-to-understand rule that didn’t restrict repairing of a victory condition to a rare resource.
- Relic limit on all Monasteries and Landmarks that act as Monasteries set to 3
- Developer Note: This adds an additional cost to players who get more than 3 Relics and want to keep garrisoning them for extra gold. It also makes the HRE power of garrisoning into keeps/towers more valuable
- Keep Landmarks now correctly activate a new weapon for each of their garrison slots.
- All Town Centers now correctly activate a new weapon for each of their garrison slots.
- Food deposit buildings can now be placed closer to Fish resources in shallow water.
- Stone Wall health when construction begins reduced from 10% to 1%
- Developer Note: Our intention is that an enemy army would be able to tear down a stone wall that is constructed right under it’s nose. This change is a step in the right direction but we’ve got future plans to ensure stone walling is a pro-active strategy and not reactive.
- Units with activated abilities will now be able to activate their ability from within a mixed multi-selection
- Normalized all Naval units to have the same target priority
- Developer Note: Naval units will no longer prefer to hit buildings like docks when they are still enemy boats in their range.
- Spearmen perform the Spearwall animation faster and do not trigger their Spearwall until charging cavalry is closer
- Developer Note: This reduces the instances where spearmen would Spearwall behind friendly troops, makes the Spearwall feel more responsive, and gives you more time to move your units as they spend less time in the Spearwall animation.
- Grenadier damage decreased from 15 to 13. Weapon range decreased from 4 to 3. AoE Falloff damage reduced from 100%/75%/50% to 100%/66%/33%
- Developer Note: In addition to having no unit counter from the core unit roster Grenadiers also deal great damage to buildings. These stat tweaks make them a bit less cost effective and create a bigger risk when damaging buildings.
- Horseman armor scaling increased from 1/2/2/2 to 1/2/3/4
- Developer Note: This increases the late game scaling of the unit when there are more buildings blocking pathing and there is less surface area to fight vs large masses of ranged units.
- Monk train time reduced from 45 to 30 seconds.
- Developer Note: These changes are aimed at getting more religious units out on the battlefield and involved in combat.
- Fixed an issue where units using attack move wouldn’t prioritize defensive landmarks.
- Transport Ship help text updated to highlight that the ship will use the line of sight of units inside its garrison.
- Landmark Victory condition in Team Games updated so that players will only be eliminated when all allied Landmarks are destroyed
- Developer Note: We found it too easy and frustrating for players to get knocked out of team games when they still had plenty of units and buildings remaining. This change allows for more comeback potential and keeps everyone in the game and having fun the whole time.
- Slowed down projectile speed of Cannons, Culverin, and Handcannon slits so the projectiles can be seen with the human eye
- Herbal Medicine technology cost reduced from 350 Gold to 275 Gold and research time from 60 to 45 seconds
- Delhi Sultanate version research time increased from 180 to 225
- Siege Engineering technology research time reduced from 60 to 45 seconds
- Developer Note: As the path to utilize this technology is long in the early game (Blacksmith, technology research, create infantry to make Ram) in some cases the window of opportunity was closed before Rams could be utilized. We’ve sped this up a touch to give more aggressive options early on.
- Professional Scouts Drop Carcass command can now be queued before holding a carcass.
- Fixed an issue where units using attack move wouldn’t prioritize defensive Landmarks
Changes - Civilization Specific
Please note that some changes related to siege which are civilization-specific have already been covered in the siege section above and are only referenced below for ease of reading.
- Mill influence range increased +1 tile to allow for easy connections to the House of Wisdom’s influence.
- Camel Barding has been renamed to Camel Rider Barding.
- Spice Roads technology now correctly increases Trade Ship gold income by 30%.
- Traders and Trade Ships will now correctly return 25% secondary resources after researching Grand Bazaar.
- Preservation of Knowledge technology no longer applies twice to techs researched in the House of Wisdom.
- Field constructed Mangonels and Springalds now have the correct hotkeys in the construction menu.
- Camel Archers can now be selected with select military hotkeys.
- Incendiary Arrow visual is no longer lost when Composite Bows is upgraded.
- Fire Lancer move speed increased from 6 to 6.5
- Developer Note: We’ve got more plans for the Fire Lancer in the future. This was an easy win to help fit it into its intended raiding role.
- Fire Lancer time between attacks reduced from 1.75 to 1.62
- Developer Note: We made some backend changes to attack speeds which resulted in some units attacking slightly slower. This change helps set the unit back to its original strength.
- Pyrotechnics only affects Handcannoneers instead of all gunpowder units. Weapon range bonus changed from +20% to +1.5 tiles. Total cost reduced from 1000 to 500 resources.
- Developer Note: Chinese were stacking bonuses onto their gunpowder units, creating super units like the Clocktower Bombard that is too good in too many roles. Focusing Pyrotechnics just on the Handcannoneers allows it to stand out more from other Handcannoneers and lets us buff some of the other unique gunpowder technologies like Reload Drills.
- Reload Drills attack speed increased from 25% to 33%
- Developer Note: Power level increased to help offset the loss of Pyrotechnics. Tooltip is slightly incorrect here as it still refers to reload speed instead of attack speed.
- The Nest of Bees and all Clocktower siege units are included in the Melee v Siege Rework (see above)
- Granary cost reduced from 250 Wood to 150 Wood
- Developer Note: 250 is a very high cost to ask when farm transitions are being made. This lower cost is also more commensurate with the 10% increase to gathering rates this building provides.
- Barbican of the Sun Landmark changes
- Now has the ability to purchase the Springald and Cannon Emplacements
- Developer Note: These changes give the landmark better late game scaling potential as enemy army sizes get much bigger.
- Great Wall Gatehouse Landmark changes
- No longer provides damage bonuses to units locally around the Landmark
- No longer provides bonus health to Stone Walls and Gates
- Now comes with a Nest of Bees emplacement that fires a burst of 16 arrows.
- Now provides all your units on Stone Walls with +25% ranged damage.
- Developer Note: The Great Wall Gatehouse lead to a passive style of gameplay that relied on building a huge mass of Stone Walls that took too long to get through. We’ve refocused the gameplay around making the placement of the building impactful and encouraging combat on and around walls.
- Spirit Way Landmark changes
- Spirit Way Landmark no longer reduces the cost of dynasty units in Stables and Archery Ranges around the Landmark.
- Spirit Way Landmark now houses dynasty technologies which can be researched for -50% cost and +100% research speed.
- When a dynasty unit dies nearby units will receive +20% attack speed and +20 health over 10 seconds.
- Developer Note: We wanted the landmark to add more adaptive and dynamic elements to the China gameplan. Previously you committed to 1 building type around the spirit way and were locked into those units. Now you can mix in different forces based on your current dynasty and combat needs.
- Scouts now keep their Tang Dynasty bonus vision when advancing to the next age.
- The Ming Dynasty bonus no longer increases the health of Keeps, Stone Wall Towers, and Outposts.
Delhi Sultanate (SUL)
- Delhi Sultanate Imperial Age tech time multiplier reduced from 15x to 12x
- Developer Note: Delhi free Imperial technologies provide a gigantic amount of Gold. But that doesn’t matter if you die before the research completes. We’ve knocked the values to find a median point between time and savings.
- When toggling the Palace of the Sultan Landmark’s automatic Elephant production off, Elephants in queue will now be correctly cancelled.
- Technology research time adjustments:
- Boiling Oil increased from 300 to 450 seconds
- All Seeing eye increased from 135 to 157
- Swiftness increased from 270 to 450 seconds
- Professional Scouts increased from 210 to 262
- Survival Techniques decreased from 225 to 135
- Herbal Medicine increased from 180 to 225
- The Hisar Academy Landmark no longer generates Food while under construction.
- The Textiles technology now increases food produced by the Hisar Academy.
- Tower Elephant ranged units are now properly affected by all damage upgrades.
- Dome of Faith Landmark changes
- Changed from -50% cost to -40% cost and +50% production speed.
- Developer Note: These changes keep Dome of Faith at the same power level in spite of the new decreases in Scholar train time.
- English Naval civilization bonus and Unique technology swapped.
- Shipwrights renamed to Admiralty.
- Admiralty now provides +1 range to all English combat ships.
- English now has a global discount to Naval units of 10%.
- Developer Note: It was a pretty big tempo loss to spend all the time and resources to get Shipwrights, so we rolled it into the base stats for the civ. This should also help English on water maps as their main economic advantage is extra Food.
- Wynguard Palace Landmark has 2 new production options:
- Wynguard Raiders spawns an army of 3 Knights and 3 Horsemen.
- Wynguard Rangers spawns an army of 3 Handcannoneers and 3 Crossbowmen.
- Abbey of Kings Landmark changes
- Radius increased from 6.25 to 7.5 tiles.
- Developer Note: The increased radius makes it easier to fit an army around this building as well as making it easier to benefit boats when built on the coast.
- Royal institute discount increased from 20% to 30%.
- Developer Note: While we are seeing this landmark in some matchups, we’d like it to be more competitive with the Guild Hall.
- Red Palace default weapons decreased from 3 to 2 Arbalest.
- Developer Note: We want the main power of the Red Palace to come from adding units to activate it’s powerful garrison weapons. This allows for more counterplay if you can kill nearby villagers or attack it when the enemy army is on another part of the map.
- College of Artillery’s Royal siege units are included in the Melee v Siege Rework (see above)
- Chamber of Commerce was giving no bonus to trade value, it now gives the proper +30%. Wow!
- French Trade Ship bonus changed from +20% Gold to +20% all resources on trades.