Let’s talk about it, i will use the order posted in news post.
I have played over 10.000+ age of empires 1 games over the years.
Original AoE 1 back in 1997 had a pop 50 limit (higher pop only came later), so many of original game balance was done to work with pop 50.
Patch 1.0a, 1.0b and 1.0c as well as Rise of Rome made the game a lot more balanced back in time.
In AoE DE game is even more civ balanced. Now after 2 years+ of it release and a few patches here and there, expert players had time to test what units-civs are op or not. The balance changes will try to make the game even more balanced. Of course its always hard to make perfect balance any Age of Empires games with so many races, even AoM with just a few is very hard. Hopefully devs will still listen to the players in future and adjust any op-weak civ-unit.
Also we need get in mind that some civs are played very diferent from one to other, some civs are nice to rush ( like persian ), some other civs are stronger in iron ( like Macedonian ), some civs are good to defend ( like Babylonian ) etc. That’s one of the best part of Age of games. Its not only about fast clicking and building order, strategy matters a lot.
1) * New unit stances are available—similar to those in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition .
*** Aggressive (Default)**
*** Stand Ground**
*** No Attack**
I think its a nice addition without change the core game, players will have better control of military units. Curious how top players will use it.
2) A new Mirror Civilization option is available in multiplayer lobbies
Great addition, specially for 1x1 games, at moment some times civs are very uneven, like if you play random map and random civ and civ match is minoan vs palmy. Its optional as well.
3) Added a new Solid Farms (Legacy) setting. When enabled, farms act as solid buildings (like the original game) that block movement until the farm is destroyed.
Its optional as well.
DE players and players from Age 2 are used to walkable farms so i dont think they will make any use of it.
But i know why devs added this option. Currently there are more than 100.000 active AoE 1 players in Vietnam and China. They still play the classic version with 1 specific setting. So it makes sense to attract those players to DE.
4) * New hotkeys have been added to support the following actions:
*** Select all buildings of the same type (Ctrl + Shift + key)**
*** Select all idle villagers [Ctrl + Shift + .]**
*** Select all military units [Ctrl + Shift + ,]**
*** Delete all selected units [Shift + Delete]**
*** Reset zoom to default level (100%) [Ctrl + Alt + 0]**
The more the hotkeys the better. Personally i think it will affect more the DM players, good for them.
5) Multiplayer changes
All changes were nice. Only 2 ladders now ( 1x1 and Team Game). Hopefully the changes and bug fixes will correct the rating system and rated games. It will make teams more fair and help players from noobs to experts to find other players from same level. Loved the new chat shortcuts.
Spectators can now see player resources and the global queue for each player by using the number keys (1-8). - nice improvement from current version. Still hope some day in future it will be possibile to spectate 4x4 games. Im not sure if it will be possible to spectate rated games, hopefully it will.
6) Units will no longer be created from blocked buildings that have no valid space for the unit to spawn.
Now its possible to wall up enemy buildings safely.
7) Military units will no longer lose their collision boxes or stack/merge together when grouped closely or forced into a tight space.
it will be a nerf for ranged units against melee units but i think it will help archers against catapults. I think DM players will like it.
8) Increased the maximum zoom threshold in multiplayer to match that of single player.
As zoom is optional, i think its nice. Players will adjust the zoom the way they want to. I hope devs can add an option to pick zoom % level in game setting, so players dont need to adjust it every game.
9) Villagers now move 10% faster in the Tool Age. The Wheel technology now grants a +50% speed boost (was +60%) to maintain the same maximum speed.
Personally i like it, as we cant garrison units in aoe 1, its very hard to run from tool units, i think it will make players play more strategicly.
10) Warships and Slingers no longer deal a minimum of 1 damage to buildings. This reduces the damage dealt by Slingers against normal buildings and by Scout Ships against walls and towers.
i will just copy aoe_scout (game dev) from discord, it explains perfectly.
“This change doesn’t affect any bonuses and there were no actual hidden bonuses, it’s all about minimum damage. All buildings (including walls and towers) reduce all attacks against them 5 times (they have something like special building armor, attack/5). But in the game, melee units are set to always have at least 1 damage against buildings. That’s why even the Clubman (with 3 attack) deals exactly 1 damage (instead of 0,6 damage). Ranged units are the exception, they can deal less than one damage per hit, like what Bowmen do. Slingers and warships were not added to these exceptions for ranged units, so they still dealt 1 damage like melee units, which is more than the intended. Scout Ship has 5 attack, so exactly 1 damage against normal buildings - this is fine (unaffected/unchanged). But towers and walls have additional pierce armor (unlike other buildings), this means Scout Ship should deal less than 1 damage against them because of the pierce armor. That was not the case - Scout Ships still dealt 1 damage and this is fixed in the patch. The Slinger bonus damage vs walls and towers is something separate, that was also changed in the patch, but that’s a different matter (see the list of changes). This change is about Slinger damage vs normal buildings, which is now 0.4 (2/5) or 0.6 with Stone Mining (3/5), which should have been the case from the beginning. So Slingers vs normal buildings and Scout Ships vs walls/towers are affected by this change.”
11) Cataphract: Now have +20 hp , +1 armor, and +2 attack vs. infantry (for a total of 7).
Cataphract is one of the less used units in iron age, so of course it needed a buff. I just hope it will not be too op now, lol .
12) Helepolis: Increased the fire rate by 5% (still slower than that in the original game).
Yes, i think Helepolis needed a small buff, for some civs its the only counter for macedonian centurions. DM games will be more affected.
13) * Scout: Increased cost from 80 to 90 food . This is still lower than the 100 food cost in the original game.
*** Scout: Reduced line of sight by 1 .**
I think it will be scout more balanced, specially now that slinger was nerfed.
14) * Scythe Chariot: Reduced armor from 2 to 1 .
*** Scythe Chariot: Increased the upgrade cost from 1200 wood, 800 gold to 1400 wood, 1000 gold .**
*** Scythe Chariot: Increased the time to research the unit from 150 to 200 seconds .**
In fact, scythe was too strong for a non gold unit. Still not sure if the nerf was too much. I think it will be still very strong, maybe not in very early iron like now, but in mid iron games.]
15) * Chariot units no longer deal bonus damage to Priests.
*** Reduced the conversion resistance of all Chariot units from 8x to 2x that of normal units.**
Priests are expensive, slow and have weak HP. So i think the chariot attack bonus was unfair. I think the x2 resistence and no gold cost will still make them a natural counter to priests.
16) Siegecraft: Reduced the attack bonus granted to Villagers vs. towers and walls by ~50%.
A direct buff to towers, specially with the increased tower hp, ive not seen many players using villagers to kill towers and walls in DE anyways. Overall we will see more towers in games.
17) * Slinger: Increased the training time from 28 to 35 seconds .
*** Slinger: Reduced damage dealt to walls and towers by ~50%.**
I loved it. Currently slinger is too good and limit the number of strategies, specially in 1x1 games. I hope we will see more tool units variations, axe, bowman, scouts, slinger, towers.
18) Bowman: Increased the training time from 26 to 30 seconds .
As all tool units but axes were nerfed, axes had an indirect buff. I think axe rush will become more popular, followed by bm defense and then mixed with slinger.
19) Coinage: Increased the amount of bonus gold yielded from nodes from +10% to +25% .
As some civs are almost useles without gold, it will buff those civs. Map control will be even more important. It will help defensive players in early game but will favor agressive players in mid-late game.
20) Camel Rider: Reduced training time from 32 to 30 seconds .
A small buff to camel riders, maybe we will see more camels in early bronze, unlike chariot units, they dont need wheel to be produced.
21) Elephant Archer: Reduced attack damage from 6 to 5 .
I think its the most controversial balance change of this patch. Before AoE DE, it was rare to produce ele archers, unless you were phoenician or persian. Im not sure if it will nerf ele archer too much. Maybe a HP nerf would work better ?
*** New Civilization Bonus! Market technologies are 30% cheaper to research.**
*** Decreased the bonus hp of walls and towers from +75% to +60% hp .**
Cheaper farm upgrades, wheel, woodcut etc will fit well baby defensive-slow boom style.
*** New Civilization Bonus! Carthaginians now start the game with +50 of each resource.**
Currently carth is one of the weakest civs in early game. Its a BIG buff to carth! It will make them an unique civ in early game, a new building order.
*** New Civilization Bonus! Storage Pit technologies are 40% cheaper to research.**
Choson is an ultra strong iron age civ. It will make a direct buff to sword man and make cho stronger in earlier ages.
*** New Civilization Bonus! Farms are 20% cheaper to build; they now cost 60 wood instead of 75 wood .**
Scythe nerf and Ele archer nerf were big nerfs to Egyptian. Farm bonus will make egy one of the strongest bronze age civs.
*** New Civilization Bonus! Town Centers work 10% faster stating in the Tool Age. This affects both Villager creation and aging up.**
*** Now have access to the Fire Galley naval unit.**
Just like choson, greek is an iron age civ. Very strong in iron but not so strong in tool and bronze. The 10% TC bonus will help a lot.
About Fire galley, i think if they are added to greek, they shouldnt get the faster ships bonus, it will be impossible to outmicro.
*** Rather than having +3 range at all times, Hittite warships now have +2 range in the Tool Age and +3 range in the Bronze and Iron Age.**
Fair fix. +3 range is too much for tool age.
*** Rather than having +2 pierce armor at all times, Macedonian Academy units now have +1 pierce armor in the Bronze Age and +2 pierce armor in the Iron Age.**
Macedonians are ok in tool age because of extra LOS to vills and infantary. They also very strong in iron. I liked this change, hoplites were too strong.
*** Increased the civilization starting food bonus from +50 to +75 food .**
*** Now have access to the Plow technology.**
a small buff, but will help a lot Palmy early game.
*** Increased the movement speed of Persian Elephant units from +20% to + 25% that of other elephants.**
*** Now have access to the Plow technology.**
The -1 ele archer attack was an indirect nerf to Persian. I hope this buff will mitigate the nerf for persian. Cataphract will also be a viable choice for Persian.
*** Reduced the civilization discount to Tower costs from -50% to -40% .**
I think its ok because towers had a decent HP buff.
*** Reduced the civilization bonus to Wall hp from +75% to +60% hp .**
*** Reduced the civilization discount to Cavalry unit costs from -20% to -15% .**
*** Reduced the civilization bonus to Ship hp from +25% to +20% hp .**
Still a very strong civ in all ages. I think they reduced cavalary cost bonus because of Cataphract buff ( an indirect buff to yamato).
34) Maps now guarantee that one straggler tree spawns near the Town Center of each player on all maps. Additional straggler trees are random, as before.
I love how random aoe maps are, but some times it can be very unfair. Some times you have a map with no TC tree and it makes some maps very unfair. I like the guaranteed 1 tree, i still think 2 trees would be better
35) Maps changes:
I agree with all changes made in Conti, Island and Oasis. I wish we had team island in DE.