Let the AoE IV be the best game of the series, you will need

First of all,
Choose an interesting topic (period of history) which fits the style of gameplay mechanics already implemented in previous game.

Going to next military advancement will lead us to WW 1 or 2. This will add new gameplay mechanic such as planes (I could not imagine a game without them) and might increase the size of the level. Even though It might be possible to make it good, my heart is always in ancient times such as Roman Empire or Medieval. This is why I started playing AoE at all.

My suggestion of period:

Make a game where player has to choose continents, then regions and after 2 ages, he could choose a more specific country or empire which emerged in that time and region. This would let players experience periods of all previous AoE games in just one game. Times from 1000 B.C. till ~1860. This would UNITE ALL AGE OF EMPRIES FANS TO ONE GAME. But of course, it would bring some challenges, such as making a smooth transition and balance all the countries at different periods. I suggest making some strong at one age, while others at next ones (similarly as in AoE 3). Later on, leave options for players to lock and choose which age they want to start from. This would let aggressive players to play for their favourite civilizations (if developers still want to keep the game fast paced).

A more in-depth explanation:

First, pick up the continent:
Europe, Asia, America (natives) and perhaps Africa.
After that, pick empires which existed in a certain period of time, for example, in the starting period, let players choose between Roman Empire, Greeks (just for Sparta ;D), Ottoman Empire, Egpyt, Mongols and more.
Let them play for 2 ages, after that, let them choose specific empires or countries which existed in later times but in the same territory or close to it.
So if someone picked Baltics, they could go for Lithuania (which was the largest country in a certain period of time in Europe). If they picked Roman Empire, they could go for Germany, France and others.
Once they go to age V and VI, they could choose more modern civilizations, such as featured in AoE III.
The transition from empire to a country could be done before the match. I suggest doing it real-time to make the game more dynamic and less predictable. Usage of cards (if still kept) could be simplified slightly as it would already be quite complicated. Which deck to choose might be decided real time as well.

Make more visual options and shaders. Stronger anti-aliasing, more options to zoom out, more intuitive controls.

But most importantly, gameplay options:

We need more advanced A.I. with more options for players to choose from. Make difficulty scale not in 4 (easy, normal, hard, expert) steps but 10. For me personally, expert bot is too difficult while hard is too easy. There is no middle ground for my skill.
In the very least, give option for players to choose enemy’s playstyle, such as aggressive (rushing very early), medium (hybrid, growing economy but still keeping pressure) and passive (focusing on defences and doing attacks later (turtle or boom)).
PLEASE FIX A.I. ESPECIALLY IN NAVY BATTLES. It’s utterly broken in AoE 3. It’s not even challenging.

Improve map editor (if not, at least charge me 2-5 dollars to unlock it. I would pay that JUST TO GET A HIGH QUALITY MAP CREATOR), so making maps would be more efficient and easier. Giving community at least majority of tools used by developers. Give option to add custom textures, models. Making exporting the levels and sharing it with others an easy task.

Let players host different servers with different game modes and rules.

Add MATCHMAKING with teams (+ voice chat) or solo and ranking system (similarly seen in CS:GO or other competitive games) which could be determined in the start by 3 games against a bot. Bot difficulty would be chosen by the player himself. After 3 games against bots, he would need to play against 5 other players to confirm his ranking and elo points. This would make the community more engaged and multiplayer gaming more fair.

Obviously, try to make civilizations balanced. Listen to player’s feedback, perhaps give them to fill some surveys in-game or just integrate to the engine itself statistic gathering algorithms to let you know what is being abused. There is no fun if one civilization is OP.

Additional categorization of Units: similarly to AoE 2. Make them march in a square, line, spread them out, group them together and etc. Make more possibilities for stances and attack targets.
Add macro keys to build specific troops automatically from barracks, ships and etc. and another key bind to place the location where to send those troops.
Give option to separate speeds for troops, so if one type of units are faster, let them go to the same point but don’t slow others down.

Rewinding of recorded games more easier to watch. So you could choose a specific time / age / moment through timeline and go see it. Skip or speed up more (more than twice) specified parts.

Ability to coop – two players either in lan or multiplayer play as one. It would be much easier to control military and economics in the same time, especially once player reached over 100 pop.

Weather systems such as rain, snowing, sea storms, black fog (everything is dark unless it’s in unit’s vision), sandstroms and etc. Make an option for players to select weather while playing against bots or in multiplayer matches.

Ability to Customize the U.I. and HUD with at least different colours, sizes.

And finally, perhaps increase max population size, especially in the last age. 250 would be a decent number. Make improvements somehow visible on units. Add a lot of playable maps with different setting and mix of land and sea, some extremely balanced (for very competitive players) while others more dynamic.

PLEASE FOCUS ON QUALITY. Don’t rush. If needed, add less DLC but do higher start prize. We will buy the game if it’s good. Please do not follow steps of EA, Bethesda or other money milking studios. We are not interested in paid skins, we want gameplay to be top notch. It would be EXTREMELY nice, if you added a demo version of the game with multiplayer included.

!!!Please consider this survey!!! to help with what players need and expect. Good luck developers, I hope you will make a new bomb in RTS games and the best title from AoE. :wink:


Basically Empire Earth, RoN.

I never heard of Empire Earth or Rise of Nations but their gameplay would be still heavily different. Especially if we lock the period before modern times such as WW 1.

What @Lionkanzentai said is pretty much spot on. You’re essentially describing Empire Earth 1 and 2, and Rise of Nations, both of which let you cap off the age from anywhere between the Stone Age to the (sci-fi) synthetic age (in the case of EE). They were fun, but… they still never matched the laser refinement that could be found in any Age game. A lot of it was feature clutter in the case of EE, and RON simply had shallow combat.

The age range going up to involve mainly gun based warfare has also yet to be effectively executed, mainly because it fails to reflect the change in troop groupings and the like. This is mainly a problem in RON and EE, where you have no real reason to be using smaller groups of infantry in WW 2 and up rather than the ten thousand strong legions of the medieval period, which is a bit odd… (i’m talking about a per-battle scene, not an over-all army size).

Thanks for more in-depth explanation.

What is your opinion on which period of history should they make the AoE 4?

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@Trajanas Tough question! I’m honestly a bit torn.

My favorite Age game is by far Age of Empires 2 (+expansions). AOE 2 HD if we’re being super specific, mostly because the increased resolution makes it easier to look at it. Anyhow, I generally like the medieval period as a theme, so I honestly would not mind if they revisited it.

With that said, given how Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition is still in the pipeline, a revisit of the medieval world might be redundant, so I can see why they might go for something else. At the same time… Age of Empires 3 really didn’t do anything for me. I couldn’t get into the era much, and I really did not like how much smaller the scale of both its cities and its battles were. Plus, the game always framed my city as a tiny outpost, not THE kingdom of XYZ nation. I don’t want my city in an Age game to feel like some mere forward base for someone else. I’m the ■■■■ king, not an invisible and annoyingly written NPC…

Which brings us to the post-1800’s world, ala WW1/ WW2 era. The thing is, I think the pre-modern world could be an interesting time period, especially since in a sense, that was the final age of empires in the real world. Empire Earth and Empires: Dawn of the MOdern World showed it can be done too (albeit in need of improvement), and Relic has a track record of doing WW2 games (plus, with Dawn of War, handling the divide between melee and ranged well, which is a feature of combat in WW1 to minor extent). As long as this era did not relegate your city to just being a forward military base, as long as we can actually build cities and establish trade routes/ build monuments/ etc (and do so freely) in addition to creating and using awesome armies, I’ll be happy. Also, again, if the game goes up from the late 1800’s to the pre-modern world, I really hope that they can somehow show the shift in military doctrine, with its focus on increasingly smaller unit groups over massive , formation marching legions. This would be difficult to do in a single game, granted, but it would be pretty awesome to watch that change unfold.

TL;DR: would really depend on the kind of game being made. I’m a sucker for knights, would be curious to see the end of Empires (late 1800-1900), I do not care for the Age of Exploration.

I agree with most of your points here, especially having bigger, more diverse maps with variable weather and an easier map editor. It would be great to be able to design your own random map types! Naval combat needs fixing. It was always an after thought in all three games it seems like.

I’ve said this before in other topics, but I think pushing AoE beyond the colonial period would be a disaster. For starters, WW1 is legitimately called the end of the age of empires,. By this point, no new cultures or civilizations were forming. The major modern powers were established and imperialism was essentially dead. AoE 1-3 were boosted by historical context that made sense. This wouldn’t.

Second, WW1 saw the end of effective melee units. The core of AoE combat gameplay has always been balancing the use of ranged and non-ranged units (along with siege) in battle.

This isn’t to say that a game similar to AoE couldn’t be made for the 20th century. However, such a game would depart from everything the AoE series has been about and it would be AoE in name only.

I honestly don’t care if the time period is ancient or medieval, both are fun. The latter gives more options for units (i.e. early gunpowder) and civilizations, IMO. Trying to do both is too big of an undertaking for a single game. I’d rather have a mile-deep pond than a foot-deep ocean. Given the mixed reactions to AoE: DE, perhaps they should scrap AoE II: DE and focus on returning to medieval times through AoE IV

I can’t agree with you more. Big problem now is if they go back to medieval only, how will they differentiate from AoE 2?

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Through gameplay mechanisms.

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yeah… gameplay and through the huge graphical changes i’d say. That’s a game of the 20th century.
After all, if it moves on a later period like the colonial times, we still have AoE3 which is also a newer game, and it’s setting not very appealing to many ppl.
If it goes back to antiquity, we’d say that we had the AoEO which is even newer title.
The only recent age game on medieval setting, without counting the hd version of the old game, is castle siege and that can barely be though as an age game.

On the other hand… with all those DEs coming, we will have one renewed title from each of those periods again. So i guess it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if they moved to a new period now.

As the title says “Age of Empires” was and will be a game of Empires battling each other, historicaly accurate and RTS Genre. There are no empires in modern era so you can guess what is going to be, from classic age to AoE3.

Age of empires isn’t historical accurated.

It is pretty accurate and it has always been.

Mayans, Aztecs doesn’t wear metal armors, Mayans doesn’t have Eagle warrior.
Mayans barely had archers.
Huns were more Nomads than settled.
Goths weren’t surviving Dark ages.
Persian and faction before Macedonians doesn’t use catapults or ballista’s, that torsion technology is from Macedonians.
I can be here all day talking about the second and first game.


I think the devs have tried to be accurate where they could be while still keeping the civilizations balanced. If civilization units were kept to historical accuracy there would be major imbalances

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The artistic look is more related with time and cost. All faction have European looking unlike aOM or AoE3.

You can fix this problem by inverting the problem. If you make individual melee units but also make block formation units of the same form you can get massed combat with fewer units on the map and easier AI. Terminology varies badly: prebaked formations, grouped units, etc. A block unit is 10, 12 or 24 of the same unit clustered on a grid in blender with their animations running and then recorded as the 2.5d image from 8,16,32 angles depending on the resolution. Units marching in proper drilled formation. (If its a 3d RTS then you can make the block formation as a single object and remove any of the animation armatures and clipping textures you don’t see in the tight formation.) The block formation is one object in terms of pathing, AI, selection, collision box, and damage with a big health bar. When that heath bar reaches 5% the block unit dies and spawns a few survivors of the same unit type (Runaway boys, run!). This gives you the option of having 1 legionary or a drilled formation of 20 legionary’s [20X the cost, perhaps with a discount]. I can’t remember which game did this a lot back in the day.

Your legionary Zerg is 10 objects not 2000. They deal more damage in attack. You can do block formations for most melee, bow, spear and cavalry units. You can mix spear, shield and bow units with the bowman at the back, etc. You can do cavalry formations like a flying wedge.
There are a few catches with such old tools. If the terrain is not flat one edge of the block can hover while others are clipping into the terrain. There is a fix for that. They can (and should) get stuck on obstacles or at least slowed down. They take extra damage from siege weapons. When they take damage the guy that takes the direct hit does not die. You can’t target more than one target or change the block formation easily.

You can do also sneaky WW1 and WW2 movements pre animated into the block. I.E. Fire and movement. If you have a covering fire mechanic added with WW1 units then that to would help.

It would fix the problem and reduce some AI load.