<Mercenaries and minor factions> Mechanics that should not be discarded. The best of AOE-3 for me!

These two mechanics are brilliant, and they shouldn’t get buried, as in addition to bringing new units to the game, it provides greater strategic depth.

For those who do not know well what it is about, it is basically to acquire soldiers or technologies that are not typical of your civilization, in exchange for establishing an alliance in the case of minor factions, or paying coins in the case of mercenaries and outlaws.

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Totally agree: there are many nations and cities that could be included as factions and even mercenaries.

Picture this: In the middle of the map there is a Burgundian fort, it starts as neutral and it’s protected by some soldiers (6 Men at Arm and 6 Crowssbows) and two outpost tower. If you defeat them, you can build a new outpost tower and you will gain control of that fort, also enabling you to build crossbows at a lower cost in it.

The best part? You get to include small civilizations/nations that would not qualify as a playable civilization (because they never were an empire) but they could appear as factions in this way, just like natives in AoE3

This would open interesting strategies: Should you go for Castle age and try to capture the outpost to get them as ally? Or it would be wiser to do a feudal rush to your opponent, and while keeping some pressure, capturing the fort? Or wait for him to try to capture, and then attack him from the rear?

I am not familiar on how maps are generated in AoE4, but my guess is that hey took a lot of stuff from AoE3, so doing something like this doesn’t sounds too crazy for me.

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id rather them add spain

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But it would be a complete fraction. This would be independent tribes, clans or ethnic groups that would help you progress and control the map.

Minor faction settlements could give passive bonuses like AOE-3 consulates. They could also be areas where you cannot build and you need to ally with them to enable building on the influenced area.

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Totally agree, it really adds to the diversity of the game. Even in AOE3 these minor factions and mercs were not overly used, but it when they were, would send the meta off its hinges for more interesting games. Right now it seems pretty predicable what people will do, even as a casual viewer it all seems the same,

TO me this is a huge loss, not to have minor factions to include on the map.

I like the castle idea, but…
they could be all sorts of things too,
such as a Inn/ tavern on the map, that gives a huge population bonus/ increase the cap 10%
or a water mill, that if you build farms around it, would increase farm gather rates significantly
or a cobbler, that if you held it would increase unit speed
going along this route can make things varied, and help push the snowball winner out of these hour long stale mate games.

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I do kinda like some of these ideas, I was thinking about something like the Warcraft 3, mercenary camps. That allow you to get some extra units and those are different depending on the map.

They create instantly but you can only get a few of them at a time, as they get a cooldown.

But interesting ideas that also promote map control etc.

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It is a clever way to add more content without rocking the game balance boat too hard .
Tragic that they are absent in AoE4

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It is a reflection of the underestimation of AOE-3.

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Mercs that are available to everyone make the civs too samey and less unique, because now they have access to more of the same units. No thanks.

Mercs are much more expensive than regular units so you only tend to use a merc if it complements your civ’s military .

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AOE-3 has this function and all of its features still feel very unique.