More Asymmetry Between Civilizations Is A Must

AoE4 should focus on civilizations being more asymmetrical, having more of their unique units, technology, strengths, and weaknesses that is accurate to their history.

You should never be able to use the same civilization in every situation. You should have to pick your civ based on the map environment, your opponents, and your allies. Civilizations should be weak vs some, strong vs some, equal vs some. It should be a rock vs scissors game. If they make it a rock vs rock vs rock game like Starcraft, it will totally bomb.

AoE4 should focus on competitive balancing AFTER focusing on making every civilization more unique than they were in past games. After all, this is not an esports RTS. This is slower paced game that offers more than just a couple ways to play the game.

More asymmetry between civilizations will make every matchup feel like a new experience. You will be changing your build order and your focus every match. Adapting, changing, taking advantage of the opponent civ’s unique weaknesses, playing to your ally’s unique strength. Every team of civs being a whole new combination offering all new strategies.

So balance can’t be perfect. There will be regular patches that change up the strengths and weaknesses. To me, that sounds more like a feature than a bad thing. Not only will this make competitive play exciting, fun, and relaxed, I think it would bring a whole new level of skill to the game.


No thank you. That sounds absolutely terrible and the opposite of what every RTS aims for in balancing factions. Inevitably balance will not be perfect and some factions will have slight advantages on certain maps or vs certain other civs but ultimately most players (at least in MP) want skill to be the deciding factor in the game and to have multiple options of civs to choose from.

Also, SC2 is not “rock vs rock vs rock” - they’re completely asymmetrical from each other, what you’re asking for basically. They just have different strengths and weaknesses and mechanics.


Good one. Though AoE IV will be providing unique experience as compared to AoE III, just like AoE II previously.

I think games has an ok semi asymmetry in economy and buildings but when it comes to units is is poor, of course they need to let room for expansions ( hopefully and not stupid DLC), since they always add more unit roster for each race, I played HRE and the lack of unique units is disappointing.


I guess everyone has different ideas of what they mean by and want for “unique units”. HRE has unique research for units so they can move faster, unique upgrades for their MAA, they have the Landsknecht and the Prelate. Then for example, Abassid have 2 camel units, a unique research for the spearmen, etc. So there are truly unique units, then there are also unique techs that make base units perform differently. Too much asymmetry can lead to difficulty with balance and considering there are 8 factions, it seems in a good place to me. I’d love to see more UU come later, as long as they actually find a proper niche in their role and don’t make other units redundant.


My problem is how cavalry is the core of every civ’s army all throughout the game, and how unique units aren’t as prevalent / important as in AoE2. So if you watch the battles, each players seems to have the same army composition, and it’s mostly cavalry with some support. The only instance when you notice some asymetry is when you look at their bases, or in the odd instances where a unique unit is employed.


You would save some words just saying do it asymmetrical like AoE 3 lol but yeah I also want it but they wont change that at this point. Just hope they do in the upcoming games of the saga. But yeah it gets boring when you dont face that challenging feature of using a cov depending on the circunstances. In AoE 3 I love to switch between civds depending the circunstances. yes I love strategy more than just micro managing.

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I agree very much. It will make the game more fresh and energetic.

Age of Empires 3 DE has a lot of very unique civilisations (and 9+1 generic European ones) and it still manages to balance them very well for most matchups.
Most civilisations are viable on land and water maps.
Most are viable in 1v1 and team.
Most are viable in supremacy and treaty.

That’s why I hope that future civilisations will be more unique, like in AoE3.
Balancing 8 very unique civilisations at once is really hard.
Balancing 2-3 new unique civilisations is a lot easer.
So my hope is that future civilisations will be less like the template and not have to have the core 3+3 (+ hand cannons if you want to count them) units with very slight variations.

I even think AoE3 overdid it with uniqueness in some of the Expansions.


Oh hell no!!
They found the perfect balance between aoe2 and aoe3 civs asymmetry. They made civs different enough without enabling too many cheesy and lame tactics on this game and thanks to that there is room to add plenty more civs without running the balance and the competitiveness of the game.
The last thing we need is another balance trainwreck like what is happening with aoe3 where any new civ just causes more and more problems because of power creeping and people abusing lame and cheesy builds to gain elo.
And civs should definitely not counter other civs, this is absolutely terrible design.
They found a good middle ground with every civ having the same core mechanic while still being unique in many areas and I hope future civs will be the same


I think so far it’s very close to the release version of AoE3.
AoE3 had a bit more variety in units (besides cannons) than AoE4 but AoE4 has a lot of unique civilisation mechanics.

A lot of popular civilisations that are missing from AoE4 are ones that probably need to be a lot more unique to work right like for example the Aztecs or Danes(Vikings).
I’m not sure if they will directly add very unique Civilisations in the first DLCs or if they’ll try to be more conservative and bring something like the Byzantines and Ottomans/Turks.
Other Civilisations like the Japanese shouldn’t have Crossbows or Lancer/Knights in my opinion. So they would need to have a more unique army composition as well.

Doesn’t the same happen to AoE2DE after every DLC?
Look at how much they changed for the Burgundians and Sicilians since they were released.

But I feel like that’s what people also say to any weapon/hero/spell whatever added to basically any game ever.

You bring good points. I am excited to see what they could bring on new civs but I hope they stick to the formula of keeping the same core mechanics and units while adding more things or bonuses that will make them unique.
With the existing civs they could buff unique units like landskenetch a bit more so ppl actually use them

I think with aoe2 they added something different to what ppl are used to to encourage ppl to try the civs but their core gameplay elements at least on early game seem to be somewhat kept.
Aoe4 has room to make more civs and make them unique without the need to go too far with civ asymmetry. Aoe 3 issue right now for example is that we are now having units that are way stronger than their counterparts from other civs and new civs are too well rounded that can do really well on all stages of the game while others can’t.

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And all that according to…?

You should stop for a second, cool your head, read what you just wrote and then think twice when hitting the upload button. The amount of non-sense you just put on the OP and acting like you’re totally spot on is… questionable, to say the least.

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I love AoE3, but many here still do not accept that they lost the battle against AoE2 a long time ago. The game has almost no competitive scene and should never be an example for the future. AoE4’s season system will make it an E-Sport game if you want to survive the test of time.

AoE4 should embrace the best of the most successful competitive RTS, I don’t think there is much debate about it.


I think they’ve struck a pretty good balance too. Although I have to say, they were most daring with the Mongols and I’d like to see more of that


Yep, the design of the Mongols were really good to be fair.

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I heavily disagree. I think trying to be an esport game will completely ruin what makes the game special. It’s not worth it. The amount of fun I get from this game is so much more than I get from playing Starcraft where every single match is exactly the same every single time. That’s the problem with esports rts games. They focus so much on balancing that it’s not even interesting anymore. Every game looks the same. What makes AoE so special is that there are so many possible match ups. Add that with AoE4 maps being randomly generated, and you have a totally different match ever single time.

To turn AoE into an esport is to remove everything that makes AoE fun and it will die immediately because not even the esport people will want to play it because of how boring it will be. It is the wrong decision. And the franchise will never see another release again. If you have ever heard the term “silent majority”, you’ll understand. The majority of AoE players like AoE because of the fact that it isn’t another esports rts. It doesn’t matter to them if the game isn’t perfectly balanced. What matters is having fun gameplay. And, believe it or not, most people don’t think having to sweat and try as hard as possible in every single match is fun.

They need to, instead, capitalize on what makes the game special and keep adding civilizations with unique units, techs, functions, and cosmetics based on their real life history. They should double down, not give in.

The fact is that your opinion is a small minority.

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Starcraft races are definitely rock vs rock vs rock. Every unit has an equivilent unit in each race. You place rock paper scissors with the units. Every unit composition has an obvious counter. And watching games between pros is incredibly boring because each match, no matter what the match up is, is exactly the same. It’s so boring. And I think it’s quite obvious that the majority of AoE players don’t want to have to sweat and try as hard as they can in every single match. They just want to have fun.

It makes complete sense to have civs be good in some situations and bad in others. Some civs should be excellent in naval combat, some civs should have a semi viable navy, and some should avoid water and draw their opponents onto land and strategize to avoid the other player’s navy to dominate on land.

And with civs having their strengths and weaknesses based on landscape, and AoE4 having randomly generated maps based on a specific template, I think it would be amazing if the ranked match setup would be randomized civs and randomized template. For one, this is the best way to measure skill at the game if that’s what ranked play is for. Secondly, this would stop people from always playing their favorite civ, and this is good because if you’re only good at one civ, then you shouldn’t be on ranked. Because this is a game of civilizations, having a random civilization would result in the most intense ranked matches. I also think ranked matches should always select a template that has some amount of water on it, i think the least amount of water on a map should be the one with the Y shaped river. However there will be a ton more templates to come so theres gonna be large map pool either way. And I think this because if you get a civ that has really good ability on water, you should be able to use it. This makes sense because even on maps with mostly water, civs that arent so good on water can still be really good by easily extending quickly to the other islands, and can outplay the other player’s navy with micro to get units on their land.

Having all the civs be equal in every single situation like other RTS games makes for some very uneventful gameplay. Having it the way I described would make for some really inventive strategies and would really highlight player skill while still being really fun.

The key here is for the game to be fun, that is the most important factor because it is a video game. And the majority of AoE players like AoE how it is, and don’t want it turn into another bland esports game. The reason esports games are so bland is because they have to be for balancing. They can paint it all pretty, but essentially it’s the same thing every time. I think that’s why AoE is so popular, all the people who love the RTS genre but get sick of esports direction the others are taking because it’s boring as hell.

Regardless of how AoE4 develops, it cannot turn into any sort of esports game. If you are a fan of AoE, you should be against that idea because it will destroy the franchise. It can never be a perfect esports game like the others so it wouldn’t bring in ANY new esports players; however, it would drive away most of the playerbase. Probably the whole playerbase because I don’t think even you would enjoy what AoE would become if it tried to be in the esports scene.

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This is totally wrong. It just wrecks balance and creates a more frustrating mechanic.
Civs don’t have to be identical but people should be able to pick their favourite civ on any maps and have a fair chance to win, and this specially applies to naval maps. One of the most frustrating was having to deal with civs like Portuguese on water maps on aoe3 because water maps would be an autowin for them on most match ups.
Obviously some civs will do better in certain maps but I do like the approach aoe4 took where all civs share certain mechanics making them viable on most maps.


That’s why E-Sports games are played by millions of people …

Balancing civilizations and making the game fun is not incompatible.

An RTS genre game, in these times, does not last a year if they do not care about favoring a good competitive scene, it has always been that way and it will be.

Starcraft bores you, perfect is your opinion, many have not only loved it, but also cared about balancing civilizations and that is why it has been a reference in the RTS for years.

P.S: By the way, nobody forces you to watch E-sport games, you can have fun using a scenario editor, setting up custom games with maps made with mods or playing Farming Simulator. Every man for himself.

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