Smart selection- In Rise of Nations if workers and military units are both selected in the same lasso the game will simply not select the workers, where if a lasso is dragged around only workers then the workers will be selected. Contrast to AoE4 where if you try to change this in the options you will no longer be able to lasso workers at all.
Patrol and Follow - Another feature present in many many RTS games already.
Choosing Color in MP - Literally present in just about every game
Melee Unit Pathfinding - When given an attack move order melee units will constantly get stuck on each other trying to path through to the nearest enemy, a problem that SC2 had largely solved with zerglings where they would immediatey being to circle around looking for a spot instead of getting stuck in their allies.
Auto Repair- In Warcraft 3 you could right click on the repair icon and workers would automatically repair.
Random Civilization- in just about every RTS game ever you could choose to go a random civilization.
Zooming out- In Rise of Nations you could zoom the camera out to almost 3x the level you can in this game.
Shift Click Orders from current task - In almost every RTS game ever made, if while a worker is doing a task, and you hold down shift and give them an order they will stop farming/gathering wood/ mining gold/ and go and do that task. In AoE4 if you issue an order while holding shift, the worker won’t stop what they’re doing, because of the stupid way shift click works in AoE4 they will finish mining all the gold or chopping all the wood, or farming forever, before doing the next task. So every time you issue an order you have to first have to click them off of the task and then hold down shift.
Idle worker shift click- In Rise of Nations, WC3, SC2, and many other RTS games if you hold shift while clicking on the idle worker button you will select ALL idle workers. In AoE 4 this doesn’t work, you have to like a freaking octopus hold down shift AND period to select all idle workers. You could also select all idle workers by double tapping period in RoN. Another feature that is missing
Assigning Hotkeys- A feature present in just about every other RTS game made after 1994.
Defensive Stance- In almost every other RTS game ever made you could set units to defensive stance, AoE4 only has hold ground which is lost upon giving a move order.
Walling off with buildings- Every single building in the game will always automatically make enough space for units to move between them, so it’s impossible to use buildings to help create wall offs like in other games.
Decorative Roads from caravans- A nice touch in Rise of Nations was that the path a trader took would create a little road to give you the feeling of it being a civilization.
Infinite Build- Rise of Nations had the ability to right click on a unit in the production building, so that it would continue to build as resources allowed.
Shift Click pick up and Drop off - In Warcraft 3 if you shift click orders to a hero to pick up an item, move somewhere and then give it to another hero, he will be capable of doing that, in AoE4 if you tell a scout or priest to move somewhere, pick up a relic or deer and then drop it off somewhere, they won’t actually drop it off because they’re not holding the object when you give the drop off order, they’ll just stand next to the monastery or TC holding their deer and relics like big dumb morons.
Attack Move Heal- In Freaking Starcraft 1, medics would heal any injured units on the way point to an attack move order, priests and prelates when given an attack move order will walk to the location given, and only after they’ve finished moving will they begin to heal usually meaning they just get slaughtered on the walk over. This one of the least excusable things b/c freaking Starcraft 1 a 20 year old game managed to not ■■■■ this up.
Town Center targeting- In literally every major RTS game where you could have a main base that could attack, like the city in Rise of Nations or the Necropolis in WC3 you could choose to target what it attacks. The fact that the game asks you for so much micro for so many piddly things but this is where it decides to automate things for you is peak laziness and sloppiness.
Town Bell/One Click Garrison. - Every age game and Rise of Nations and Warcraft 3 had a bell you could ring to either make villagers seek shelter, or in WC3’s case take up arms as militia. In AoE4 you have to click on villagers individually, or doubleclick to select all on screen and then press G so they’ll seek shelter. In age of mythology there was an option for one click garrison, I can’t tell you how many times I have lost villagers by right clicking and telling them to go to the TC only to watch in horror as they start repairing it and getting murdered.
Flags at target location- in Age of Mythology when you give a unit a movement order a small flag will appear at the target location when you have that unit selected to let you know that is the unit’s target destination, AoE4 has no marker. A little gold thing pops up and disappears.
Aggro Leashes- In every game from AoM to WC3 if you aggro’d neutral entities they would leave you alone after you went far enough away. In AoE4 wolves will chase you literally forever, which is annoying if you don’t see them,and just means the game has more tedium where you want to aggro wolves with scouts and lead them to your TC so they’ll die and won’t bother you instead of them guarding locations that you want to clear out with a soldier.
Auto Explore- In Rise of Nations if you so chose you had the option of having scouts explore automatically.
Game Pause- In MP if you disconnect the game doesn’t pause, when you reconnect it just speeds up to catch up to where you are, also if you need to do anything for a moment you can’t pause. Every online MP game has this.
Advanced Siege Formations- In Rise of Nations if you held down Alt while you had a siege unit with a group of units, they would form a box around the siege units and hold ground while the siege units attack, compare to AoE4 where the hold ground command resets after giving a movement order, and formations are wonky at best and scouts or other cavalry always are able to run through and just burn down your siege units.
Upgrading wooden walls to stone walls- In age of mythology you could upgrade wooden walls into stone walls, compare to AoE 4 where you have to manually delete any wooden wall sections that are in the way of your stone wall and then rebuild the entire stone wall. It’s incredibly finnicky and intuitive on top of how buggy and finnicky stone walls already are.
Currently AoE 4 sits at a rating of 81 on Metacritic, which is a B-, and it is quite frankly a rating it deserves, AoE 4 is lucky it is the only big name RTS game in town, because it fails to even be the same quality as games more than a decade old in the same genre despite having the financial backing of one of the richest companies to have ever existed in earth’s history. They could not even beat the critical acclaim of AoE 3 from 2005 despite having 2 decades of experience to fall back on. What an absolute sham that they ask 60 dollars for this game.