Lessons to Learn


I know there is a ton of excitement brewing for the AoE4 release, but I did feel the need to post my opinion.

While the success of any launch is hard to predict, it ultimately does feel to me that an incomplete product is being shipped on October 28. This doesn’t mean that it will be dead-on-arrival per se, but I do think that a lot of us long-time AoE fans (1997 was a good year!) have to prepare for some pretty brutal reviews of this game.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy the game – it’s ultimately up to you to vote with your money; however, just spending a few minutes on this forum makes it evident that this game is more of an alpha at this stage rather than a refined standard-bearer for the RTS genre that absolutely wows the gaming world.

So, with sincerity, I am hoping that this game revitalizes a wonderful RTS community. With that said, no one should be shocked if this game goes out with a whimper shortly after launch.

If the latter does happen, let’s take away some lessons from this, namely:

  • Never pre-order games.
  • Never accept that releasing an incomplete/unpolished game should be the norm.

Let’s be honest, this game was announced 4(!) years ago by Microsoft.
Remember, Microsoft is a company which can shake a budget out of their sleeve that other publishers can’t even DREAM of.
And I wanna repeat, it was announced FOUR years ago.
Most likely they had plans for it long before.

Going from there, all you should expect is pure perfection and a polishing ON RELEASE that the RTS scene hasn’t seen before.
Not to mention that the Devs got tons of constructive feedback for years and the need for specific crucial fixes has been pointed out for years now.

If the game will be released anywhere off GENREBREAKING, then that’s a bad joke.

They are expecting millions of sold copies, each around 60€/$ or even more in some regions.
They better deliver top notch quality.

To sum up:
I agree, don’t preorder!
Buy the game on release, if it’s amazing, write a positive review, recommend it to friends etc.
If it’s disappointing, make the hell sure to refund it ASAP before you won’t be able to anymore and give it a fair but devastating review on steam.
The game industry has to learn that the fans won’t eat poop anymore and we expect quality on release.


Four years of development is average for games, it’s nothing super crazy or long. Unless we’re talking CoD, they make a game every year it seems like.

I do agree though, don’t preorder. I really liked the beta, but it’s still a trap to fall into. Preorders don’t really do anything at all.


Yeah I am not racing out to get this one… I wish it success but its not made for fans but it looks really rushed and or lazily/ cheaply made. Consider Steam only gave me like 1 or 2 hours of game time before my right for a refund on AOE3 DE expired that is only 1-2 games of AOE4 before one knows it it was worth it… I wanted to like AOE3 DE, I tried giving it a few chances with different setting but nothing worked right. And that has been my favorite most played game of all time… ten dollar disappointment is ok, but I am not ready for $60 or more buyers remorse.


No crew on siege? (someone to fire it, not just reload)
Modern basic UI? (poor tech images)
Little focus on terrain bonus?
Terrible building and unit scaling?
No native alliance post?
No mercenary units?
Weird counter system where units are just either heavy or light armored?
How does anyone understand the unit stats?
Golden phantom vills and crew? and so much other golden and light effects
Really bad water texture
Lack of innovation in just about everything.
Machine gun arrows?
ehh… lack of snare?
I will miss the explorer duels for treasures in age 1.

I will look forward to the hype and watch some streamers and that will be fun but I can already see AOE3 legacy is still the better game overall.


I feel like they took the worst from AoE 2 and AoE 3, all the cool features form them are missing…

AoE 2,

wheres all the cool architecture design?
Where is 500 population?
Where is the cool UI design according to the civ
Where is ballistics?

Instead they implemented:
no crew on siege
No global quee
No unlimited farms
buildings to carry resources

AoE 3
Where are the treasures? it was so cool and fun to play more when the enemy is close to you looking to steal it
Where are cities customization?
Where are the amazing siege animations, shootings and crew…
Where are the epic detailed naval fights?
Where are the infinite resources and the innovation by not carrying them? (its pretty annoying to keep putting buildings next to the resources when AoE 3 already got rid of it.
Where is the melee attack once ranged units get to close to attack.
Where are all the epic physics?
Where are native and mercenary units?

Instead they implemented:
Machine gun arrows, never miss

I am sure the list is larger and I can keep doing mention of many other features they missed instead of implementing them, and thats why a great side of the AoE community are complaining to much.


I think the game on its beta phase was in a better states than many games when released.
I havent experienced any crashes or memory leaks during the stress test, gameplay was smooth and units responded well, pathing was really good. There are definitely things to fix such as adding more hotkey options and so on, but they are not gamebreaking problems.
AoE3 DE at launch even though it was very fun to play and a huge improvement over the original had several crashes, memory leaks and bugs that took some time to fix, and cavalry pathing is still horrendous. My friends and I had to constantly restart the game every 3 or 4 matches otherwise the game would start to lag a lot during our games.


I’m waiting on reviews.

I very much want to see how close what we’ve seen is to the release version.

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I’m criticizing aoe4 all time. But I have ordered deluxe edition long ago and won’t cancel.

Some people say if you don’t like you don’t buy. It is true for CoD, UB’s games which you can get a new one every year but not for AoE. I have been waiting for a new AoE so long and I will buy and play even if the game is really bad. At least I will finish all campaigns.

I will probably give a bad review if there is no drastic improvement from the open beta. I won’t recommend anyone new to AoE to aoe4 but I will still play it.


Love the game so far. Most stuff seem really cool with an interesting game design. I watch games every day on YouTube and can’t wait to play. Many things that are not perfect can be fixed (ui, colors) and with others (animations, ballistics) we have to accept that rts is a nishe genre and won’t drop any COD-jaws.
I am pretty sure I will have fun and the stress test convinced me 100% even thou not everything is perfect. But when is that the case anyway.


I feel this game have not soul…


I would say the Devs are not playing AoE2&3. They don’t inherit the good designs and they are just liking developing a brand new game.

When you say anything bad about aoe4 defenders can always come up with one or two examples from other AoE games to counter you saying it is not a big thing. But the points is why aoe4 have so many holes?


If the no crew on siege is the main complain… This game is awesome go far. All I hear is nostalgia. You want a combination of all the AoE and not anything new.


Please spend five minutes on the forum before being so optimistic.


Age fans are from no fewer than five communities and none of those communities can agree on everything. So there will never be one main complaint.

There is no pleasing everyone. But that’s a meaningless platitude and does not prove that AoE4 is as good as it should be. It is not.

The moment someone at World’s Edge or Relic gives up on trying to please all of us who don’t immediately want to play AoE4, all is lost. Even if my complaints will never be fully addressed in AoE4, there will be another game.


Yeah. I ve seen many people crying about minor details.


Absolutely agree. To me, it’s clear that this is not the game that ushers in a new era of RTS, which is such a bummer – it had every opportunity to be that game.


That’s what you’re choosing to focus on to dismiss complaints about the game in your dismissive tone, but:

  1. A truly great game would actually deeply care about minor details
  2. The complaints that I and others have raised are much more foundational than these so-called minor details.

Complains about minor details.
Mecanics nostalgia.
Crazy expectations on realease about reviving the RTS genre and such.

I dont want to have a rough tone but that’s what I’m seeing.

Yeah. You “gameplay” guys can play with the mini map alone. All you need is a big mini map. Everything else is just minor detail.

I suggest you to play Go, a game with great gameplay and no unnecessary minor details at all!


I have no doubt that that is what you are seeing, but it’s hard to see the forest when narrowly staring at a tree.

What you are not seeing is:

  • Complaints about foundational mechanics and design choices.
  • The lack of advanced mechanics that have existed in titles that are often nearly a decade old (could go on and on, but CoH is probably a fair comparison point with explicit cover modifiers, terrain modifiers, weather modifiers, direction modifiers, randomness/chance modifiers, etc.).
  • I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Every major AoE title has achieved that which you now call “crazy expectations” – a combination of groundbreaking visuals and gameplay that literally wow’d people. Why is it a “crazy expectation” to assume that the newest title would follow in those footsteps? If you did not have high or extremely high expectations for this game, then I don’t think you understand what the AoE series represents.