Lack of Civilizations

I think it’s an interesting route to take with only 4 civs, but give them wildly asymmetric playstyles. In my experience, this leads to a very specific meta that will dominate everything. Do you guys think something as asymmetric as packing up your whole empire when your run out of stone can be balanced with conventional gameplay?

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Word on the street is that there will be 8 civs.


I heard it going to 8 civs, but we don’t know for sure yet


8 Civs have been confirmed

I think your question is far too open ended to formulate any constructive thoughts on the matter, ultimately its far too early to understand if there is a unbalanced meta at this point in time - we haven’t even got hands on the game yet.

I am sure the devs have thought of ways to balance the economic disadvantage of having to pack up your base to find more resources on the map, as to what they are - who knows Let’s see what broken metas the pros come up with in closed beta :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, we don’t have much info, but it’s still fun to speculate. The broken metas are what I’m concerned about – metas arise from things being oh-so-slightly imbalanced. Like, the meta in AoE2 is to attack as fast as possible because there are very few viable defense options. I think it would be cool to see a more back and forth offense/defense game.

I’m also excited to see how a nomadic civilization fares in a RTS like AoE

Edit: And thanks @MarZhill7801 @AgeOfAwesomenes and @AssertiveWall20 for the answer to the 4 civs thing.


I don’t see asymmetry as an issue, rather it’s one of the things I’m most excited for. I mainly play AoE3 and the asymmetry and uniqueness of the civs is one of the best things about it. I’m really excited to see they are going even more asymmetrical in AoE4!


Oh, I love the asymmetric warfare aspect of it as well. I often said that I wished they leaned more into it in AoE 2. I’m excited to see how a nomadic civilization plays out and the strategies people come up with. My original concern was poor balance and only 1 or 2 civs becoming the only viable choices if you want to compete at all.

I think there is more at play here than just saying 1 civilization is more viable than another, there are other factors to consider.

Timing - Certain civs are going to power spike at certain times throughout the duration of a game as a result of their unique techs/ economic advantages - take the English for example, they get the man at arms 1 age earlier than other civs, or the mongols who get cavalry from age 1:

Here are where I think the civs will hit their power spikes:
Early to Mid game - Mongols (Early cavalry pressure)
Mid to late Game - English (Strong defenses/ Strong infantry for defense)
Late Game - Chinese/ Delhi Sultanate (Chinese are economic Boomers and Delhi Sultanante have free technology but they need scholars to speed boost research)

Map - As random map generation will be a returning feature in AOE4 the placement of resources, bottle necks etc are going to be very important and weigh differently on defensive/ aggressive civilizations.

Team Bonuses (Speculation) - If this returns as a feature for AoE4 this could change the tiering of civs between 1vs1 and Team Vs Team, there could be some awesome synergy to be hand in this case.


Pretty much this. If you play as the Mongols you’d need to contain your opponent and overwhelm them before they become more powerful. As the English you want the opposite.

Balancing will really come down to the start of the game to stop a particularly dominant civ being able to cheese a win way too early and way too frequently.

@MarZhill7801 You made a good point with defensive vs aggressive civs/playstyles. I guess a step toward what I’m thinking would be making defending against an onslaught possible. In AoE2 there were just too few resources and too little time to build any kind of defenses (online, at least, in SP you can do whatever.) I’d like to see stalemates or defenders winning because of walls and fortifications more. I think the archers on top of the walls will do a lot to help move this way.

In the gameplay preview of we saw the English walling and towering in Dark Age. So it makes sense.

Agreed, this is where balance comes into play. Mongols who are seen as a more aggressive civ due to having cavalry available in the Dark age to initiate early aggression through mobility and speed but and counter weighted by not being able to build walls against early aggression. I think this is the kind of balancing we can expect, aggressive civs will be balanced by not having as may defensive options and vice versa. I do like the idea of being able to man your walls with units, and happy to see that it is only stone walls where you can do this.

I’m not too worried about imbalanced civilizations, since this issue will inevitably come up and be corrected over time. However, I do have two related concerns.

1. Balance within each age. If the developers buff or nerf civilizations based solely on their win rates, they might achieve one measure of balance, but I think there’s something else they should keep in mind. Civilizations should all be competitive within each age. One of the problems with the late game in AOE2, from my perspective, was that the tech tree of your civilization could strongly affect the outcome of the game. I think it’s fine if civilizations are relatively stronger at different times in AOE4, but it should never be a decisive advantage. Ideally, the game would be just as dynamic and exciting in imperial age as in the earlier stages, and if I’m playing as Mongols vs. English, I don’t want to feel like the result is a foregone conclusion simply because we’ve reached the imperial age.

2. Engaging Mirror Matchups. Along similar lines, I don’t want the power spikes of civilizations to be too restrictive in terms of how they are played and when they choose to engage with their opponents. If the English really only have strong options in the later ages, then I could see English vs. English games being boring and passive. Even though, generally speaking, the English might be relatively stronger in a defensive role, they should still have viable options for early aggression that are rewarding. Otherwise, a lot of the defensive vs. defensive matchups could feel tedious to play. Given that three out of the four announced civilizations are described as strong defensively, these matchups will likely be fairly common, so it’s important that they be engaging. So far, the fights we’ve seen in the dark age between the English and the Delhi Sultanate looked promising, but we’ll have to wait and see how the competitive strategies develop.