Both ML and Beasty, the top 2 players in the game have weighed in on how Map balance could really shake things up. Beasty especially has a youtube video that goes into his opinions on what makes certain maps like Dry Arabia god tier vs something supbar like High View. It’s good content IMO, go watch it.
I however wanted to reiterate something NOT mentioned in beasty’s video and I don’t think ML said? Beasty/ML are worried about STALEMATES and LONG DRAWN OUT GAMES. What I want to add is EARLY RISK FACTOR! Most map seed generations, even on the GOOD maps like Dry Arabia do NOT generate enough EARLY RISK.
What is EARLY RISK FACTOR?
Early risk factor is when your major resources are NOT under the protection of your Main TC and CANNOT be mutually covered by 1 Tower/Mongol TC. This would mean your 2 main wood lines, your stone and your gold would have to ALWAYS spawn juxtaposed to one another like the corners of a box AND each NOT be safely under TC fire. Let the orientation of the four corners be randomized BUT make it so they NEVER spawn next to each other AND always unsafe (not under the main TC).
Now I do know who is lead on map design nowadays but back in the day the DEVs DID SAY: they wanted the maps to add more early risk?? I wonder did this idea get nicked? Or is our current state of affairs deemed “risky”??
Examples of NON-early risk:
Kremlin covering a whole wood line and stone/gold (some rare times all 3…wood, gold, stone).
Mongol TC doing the exact same thing as above. But if the 4 major resource points were opposite of each other both the Mongol TC and Kremlin would have to CHOOSE ONE (at best 1 and a half) what they want protected and DEFEND the rest <-----THIS is the definition of RTS IMO. Not this BS where you blindly go for all the boonty on the map, Kremlin 2+ resources and instant 2nd TC, GG…
We need more fauna!! Ppl like fauna. Overall same mechanics just a different appeal.
Try HIGH GRASS as stealth forest (same mechanic different look)
copy aoe3 wild life instead of deer and boar always (same total food)
bamboo wood, palm trees instead of oak trees? always
Deep water and shoreline water fish open changing to shark and whale and other fish life
The look and feel is a BIG DEAL; there are at least 20 threads on fauna topic alone. You can balance the map seed and update the biome and really really revitalize this game; IMO.
EARLY RISK is good, but you need to make it fare for all civs, you will have english, french and couple more civs having to much early advantage. Its not to fun spending the first 10mins defending and if you make a few mistakes lose the game. Its fare when all civs can do it.
I disagree on changing the civs on this matter; Each civ has its bonus. Currently English and mongol are the only 2 civs can optimally go for dark age rush and NOT lose the game EVEN if all they got done is a bit of harassments. Pushing the resources out and apart like I said would naturally allow more civs to harass early. But early doesnt have to be Dark age exclusive; being able to rush feudal and making 1-2 units to harass resources will also work at delaying opponent from expanding. Look at Abbasid Military Wing that gives it 4 units at the 4min ish time; those 4 units are already OP imagine them in this scenario i’m describing?! Maybe english can push those 4 units away but everyone else has to deal with it!
A bit off topic; But imagine a scared site like zone in the DEAD CENTER; and never surrounded by tree or other structures; but capturing the site gives all your units 20% extra LOS for the duration of having the site captured. Instead of capturing it with monks you have to stand in it for 60s with 10+ units of any type; and it can be captured from the start of the game.
Well, we have to consider that unlike Aoe3, and also Aoe2, in Aoe4 there are “yet” no official maps that have a defined environment and unique effects.
In Aoe3, because the maps are based on real locations, and a rough variety of flora and fauna, as well as enemies guarding the treasures, it feels good to play them and try all the mechanics.
In Aoe4, the ramdom scenarios have a problem: Although, to a certain extent, they are very “customizable”, that you can even control “the biome” of them, they lack unique fauna (it is the same in all biomes) or special effect, another than the location of resources.
On the other hand, since there are no special bonuses in any area of the map… such as taking over Gaia Mills for food, or defeating bandits to steal their loot, there is no competition with the enemy player for resources or areas that are not They are the usual basics and push the game to one side or the other. While holy sites and relics count, they are not enough.
This would be fixed if at some point they decide to release specific maps of certain real or inspired areas of the world, and that only have one or two biomes, something like “Arabian Desert”, that only have a desert biome and that Sand currents damage your units if they move away from the base or get blinded.
Or a winter river scenario, where there’s a frozen river that thaws mid-game and refreezes every 30 minutes. Things like that are exciting.