Maps - Are they stale?

IV is the first AoE I’ve really got into so idk how it’s supposed to work. I came here from Civ 6.

I was kind of disappointed to learn that the maps are so predictable. I’m at the point now where I can guess the map name just by looking at the arrangement of spawn points on the minimap when the game starts. I’m getting very accurate at remembering where the bridges, markets, sites, spawns, everything will be. Even the pattern of resource generation being within certain radius of the spawns. Always two berry patches except on black forest, for example.

It’s one of the first things I noticed as a beginner separating me from other players was that they had the maps memorized and strategies pre-formed. Is that fun?

I know there’s some randomness to it, but I feel like it has far less replay value compared to a true random map generator. One of my favorite things about Civ 6 was starting another game to see a new map. You feel lucky when it randomizes in your favor, or challenged to overcome novel situations. Scouting and exploration are very exciting in that game. I don’t get that feeling of “what’s in the fog?” at all with AoE. Oh, another stone outcrop that looks just like the others. Another forest that looks just like the others. Everything’s wallpaper. The most excitement is when an additional pass generates on Mountain Pass.

I understand the importance of balanced maps for ranked play, but I feel like some random map generation would be an interesting option. Minecraft map generation is another good example of a system that keeps on giving. I think even Warcraft 2 had low-medium-high sliders for map features and resources.

In a few weeks come out a new patch that includes a lot of new stuff like the new mod Megarandom. It’s what you are looking for. Just wait.
If you bought on steam you can already try it on Public update Preview till tomorrow

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Ok that’s good news. When does it go live?

There isn’t a date for now, I believe in the first third of April

The unfortunate thing is that there are still plenty of people who complain about getting a ‘bad map’…ie, their forest or gold or hunt was forward while their opponent’s was behind them etc. This is especially true amongst the high elo/tournament players where minor differences like that can spell the difference between winning and losing.

One of the things that drew me to AoE in the first place (going back to AoE1) was the random maps. I played SC back in the late 90s and climbed pretty high on the rankings at that time. But I only played ONE MAP (this was long before there was any enforcement of random map selection). I knew that map inside and out and I know I had a tremendous advantage over a player who didn’t know the map the way I did. Conversely, if I ever played on another map, I was at a distinct disadvantage.

AoE removed all that and adapting to the differing maps was part of the appeal. Sure, you could get ‘map screwed’ but for the VAST majority of us, there is no money on the line so you resign if you lose and move on. Over time, AoE2, then AoE3 and now AoE4 have gradually reduced the randomization in favor of more ‘fair’ maps. The irony is that even with AoE4 maps being ‘boring’ and ‘predictable’, there are still complaints of map screw at the higher levels. :wink:

For AoE2, my crowd moved exclusively to The Unknown and never looked back. AoE3 had SOOOO many map types that for casual players, it was largely impossible to memorize them. I’m looking forward to Mega-Random for AoE4 but slightly less excited because it’s unlikely to be an option for Quick-match games. If anyone knows to the contrary, please let me know.

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actually pup got extended .

you cant make everyone happy… either we go your way and make competitive games stuffed up or we kind of keep it the way it is to promote balanced play or we make it even more like starcraft… (lest you forget its still the most popular RTS)

that being said aoe4, does arguably have the worst map gen of all the series. in my case i detest the forests, since they’re almost all just round balls.

fortunately for you, there will be a megarandom map coming, but even then aoe2 had a couple pretty random maps in the ranked pool, like generation called nomad which is more like you are looking for, although not as whacky as megarandom

Yea I guess most RTS maps are pretty rigid but there must be a compromise. Different spawn possibilities or something. Maybe on Danube 50% of the time the spawns are ridge vs island instead of opposing sides of the river. Then you’d have to at least consider two scenarios before the game loads. A variety of metas to load into instead of knowing exactly how the game will go.

Or maybe there’s a hidden pool of 10 different iterations of Danube River, each with dramatically different but balanced, mirrored designs. Then you can’t as easily predict what you’ll see.

Or maybe maps with unique spawn options for each civ. Like mongols spawn in the hills with more sheep around, one civ near the river, one in the plains or something. At high levels of play, people know only 1-2 civs are actually viable on each map. That’s broken lol. If the outcome of a match comes down to whether your deer spawn forward or back, I’d say that game’s balance system is pretty fragile.

But also, whoever blames their loss on something minor like that needs to suck it up. The luck of your spawn averages out over time. I’d rather get lucky 50% of the time and unlucky 50% of the time than no luck whatsoever.