Moving The Franchise Forward While Staying True to Its Roots

From Age of Empires to Age of Empires Online, Ensemble Studios, Robot Entertainment and Gas Powered Games moved the franchise forward. Below are a few of the features I would like to see explored further for Age of Empires IV because they have been implemented in some manner with the previous Age of Empires games.

  1. Customizable civilizations. Age of Empires III had card decks and city levels. Age of Empires Online had city levels, gear and capital cities.

  2. Unique civilizations. Age of Empires had civ bonuses. Age of Empires II had civ bonuses and one unique unit per civilization. Age of Empires III had civ bonuses and several unique units. Age of Empires Online had civ bonuses, several unique units, unique technologies, unique building sets, etc.

  3. Daily, weekly and monthly challenges. Age of Empires III had a web-based leaderboard. Age of Empires Online had Alliance Wars and Sparta PvP leaderboards.

  4. Multiple game modes. Age of Empires through Age of Empires III had skirmish and multiplayer. Age of Empires Online had skirmish, multiplayer, Defense of Crete (tower defense) and Northern Invasion (with MOBA inspired hero unit).

  5. Optional objectives. Age of Empires had relics and ruins. Age of Empires II had relics. Age of Empires III had trading posts and treasures. Age of Mythology had relics which gave special bonuses. Age of Empires Online had treasures.

Do you have any other ideas on how to move the franchise forward while staying true to its roots? Share them below!

Speed adjustment in single player mode.

Two things in particular:

  • observer mode;

  • modding tools.

And please don’t be an esport type game. I want my slower, older AOE game which Ensemble gave me.

include an editor this time. dont make people pay for scenarios like defense of crete in AoE:O which anyone could make(in less than a hour lol) in the reused aom/aoe3 engine they used for aoeo. People want to make their own scenarios and maps and host them online. thats a big reason why AoE has stayed alive for so long. And it keeps the casuals happy(plus its fun even for pros)

editor should include, all options aom and aoe3 had with the triggers, making cliffs, rivers, different tiles for ground, weather effects, map size. generating seeds supremacy maps, making your own cinematics etc.

I posted about this just now in “WHY RELIC?” topic, it’s important to remove the RPGish (profit oriented - broaden the RTS players base greedy move that was made, not innovation and that has become a standard ever since 2006 when AOE3 was released for many games that today are released with mixed style and storngly RPG ish often not connected with the game character\type).

Innovation in RTS direction can be made. I posted 1 year ago on STEAM the GAME AND INDUSTRY changing option allowing players to play NEVER ENDING games just by introducing a “AVATAR switch technology”.
So that one can switch between teams or in a team to control the civ and this can be made also from outside the game if the players agree on doing this.

This would also help to balance games as in a 2 v 2 one players can be better then the other so one can help control its civ and switch again and this can make people progress faster.

This technology \ game design would allow also to make MEga (chess) 1 Human vs many AI type of games or many Humans vs powerful AI type of games, just by making AOE that allows to join a game and makes people control per sector a civ so that they can “improve” the rate of control of a sector and be more accurate in the stragegy, talk to each other and make a CROWDSOURCED type of game.

This would bring the whole genre and GAMING industry beyond RTS to a new level…

I doubt as today finance (bad finance) is sucking out everything from gaming industry, someone will design a game in these times of greed…

I called it Switchable Avatar technology\game design.

This is a 1000 nights\gold and industry revolution idea… if you get it you understand.

AOE3 wasnt an RPG - RTS game that was made for profit only lol. Have you even played AOE3? I doubt you have.
The only problem with AOE3 was the leveling homecities mechanic that turned off many players. The homecity system together with the decks was amazing. You had to choose what you want to do vs what your opponent did (you can see this by scouting. protip: scouting is a skill that many players lack )Its called strategy for a reason.

I didn’t like using decks and toggling out of the game and back to the home city. There were other problems, too. This is weird, but the circular maps annoyed the heck out of me.

@TheBritish said:
AOE3 wasnt an RPG - RTS game that was made for profit only lol. Have you even played AOE3? I doubt you have.
The only problem with AOE3 was the leveling homecities mechanic that turned off many players. The homecity system together with the decks was amazing. You had to choose what you want to do vs what your opponent did (you can see this by scouting. protip: scouting is a skill that many players lack )Its called strategy for a reason.

Agreed I have maybe 10 thousands of hours on the game (and yet I never been too strong MSTR sgt max). Nor won more than 11 games in a row nor lost more than 11 games in a row.
check underscoreTOMAHAWKunderscore in elorating.
I already told you in another topic btw.

I agree it was good but anyway I already answered and I prefer that DEPTH to be inserted in the upgrades of units not using CARD strategies. I got owned by a guy that just invented their Ottoman special cavalry shipment mono army. I ve beaten him in first game and he could not believe it but in the smae time I did not know he was about, all about, a tactic… well if that is the game, just invent your strategy with cards (which is of course fun) well I feel that is not really a great game, but ■■■■ that was surely a difficult innovation and experimentation that I would have accepted WELL if it was not totally killed by the left out balancing of units of the more than 10 civs… if they did that they would have been respected for what they did.

But they did not created a Cards+ units balance.
If you call that a videogame, polished and working you are way far outside from talking coherently.

I give you that, it was a good idea but just superficially left alone not corroborated by the rest (the basics of the RTS were flawed!)

The guy with that “CARD STRATEGY” example was a cohabitation of the competitive gamer and the RPGish for fun player\strategist. That was a good thing but if it was totally rewarding him because he \she cracked the system by finding out a way to be stronger and “faster” with Cards not with in game strategy actions… like the one I was using and my “card strategy” was obsolete…** so… a kind of very steep learning curve rewarding those that invented things out of their magic trick hat… that sound to me as a very Rpgish or even worse mock up of a game not a real RTS game.**

Plus gamers could see the Decks before playing, that is CRAZY! they should be covered up when one is in the same room, accessible only after or before entering a room so one doesn’t know opponent deck or in game… I mean… a lot of stuff was just superficial.

@rhrmn said:
From Age of Empires to Age of Empires Online, Ensemble Studios, Robot Entertainment and Gas Powered Games moved the franchise forward. Below are a few of the features I would like to see explored further for Age of Empires IV because they have been implemented in some manner with the previous Age of Empires games.

  1. Customizable civilizations. Age of Empires III had card decks and city levels. Age of Empires Online had city levels, gear and capital cities.

  2. Unique civilizations. Age of Empires had civ bonuses. Age of Empires II had civ bonuses and one unique unit per civilization. Age of Empires III had civ bonuses and several unique units. Age of Empires Online had civ bonuses, several unique units, unique technologies, unique building sets, etc.

  3. Daily, weekly and monthly challenges. Age of Empires III had a web-based leaderboard. Age of Empires Online had Alliance Wars and Sparta PvP leaderboards.

  4. Multiple game modes. Age of Empires through Age of Empires III had skirmish and multiplayer. Age of Empires Online had skirmish, multiplayer, Defense of Crete (tower defense) and Northern Invasion (with MOBA inspired hero unit).

  5. Optional objectives. Age of Empires had relics and ruins. Age of Empires II had relics. Age of Empires III had trading posts and treasures. Age of Mythology had relics which gave special bonuses. Age of Empires Online had treasures.

Do you have any other ideas on how to move the franchise forward while staying true to its roots? Share them below!

Age of Empires had artifacts (not relics). But totally agree with all-five points, plus modding tools

Focus a lot on real history and relics, like real aoe

You are missing on a point when coming up with AOE3 and AOE Online: They weren’t good games, especially AOE Online.

So they flopped for the same reasons some of you guys are mentioning here as examples how the series should go forward…

If anything, AOE Online is a solid example HOW NOT to make an Age game.

Both AoE3 and AoEO took the series in different directions and are favorite games of significant amounts of the AoE population.

Have you played AoEO before? If so, did you ever play it after, say, the spring of 2012? Lots of the problems the game is known for were totally eliminated by that point. It’s pvp and six unique civs, for instance, is far better than any of the other games.

@“Andy P” said:
Both AoE3 and AoEO took the series in different directions and are favorite games of significant amounts of the AoE population.

Have you played AoEO before? If so, did you ever play it after, say, the spring of 2012? Lots of the problems the game is known for were totally eliminated by that point. It’s pvp and six unique civs, for instance, is far better than any of the other games.

I think a lot of people struggle to get past the looks of AoE:O. I will take your word for it that the gameplay turned into something really good, but for me at least the game looks horrible. I honestly find standard AoE more appealing in terms of art design and animations, despite there being 14 or so years between their releases. It takes quite some effort on dev’s part to alienate me away from game just on visuals also.

You are not alone. It didn’t bug me because, hey, new AoE can’t bug me. Then it kinda grew on me. Now that it’s such a culty dark horse, it’s kinda perfect for it to be so weird.

@KrOjah said:

@“Andy P” said:
Both AoE3 and AoEO took the series in different directions and are favorite games of significant amounts of the AoE population.

Have you played AoEO before? If so, did you ever play it after, say, the spring of 2012? Lots of the problems the game is known for were totally eliminated by that point. It’s pvp and six unique civs, for instance, is far better than any of the other games.

I think a lot of people struggle to get past the looks of AoE:O. I will take your word for it that the gameplay turned into something really good, but for me at least the game looks horrible. I honestly find standard AoE more appealing in terms of art design and animations, despite there being 14 or so years between their releases. It takes quite some effort on dev’s part to alienate me away from game just on visuals also.

It may have been cartoony, but it was realistic cartoony. It wasn’t stick figures or anything weird. It still portrayed a great amount of history like the other AoE games while having the fun graphics that created a new feel to the game.

The civs are very intelligently designed, both from a gameplay and balance side and from a historical side. They are amazing.

No, the main flaw of AOE Online and main reason for its quick death was the fact it had a progression system. Add the cartoony graphics and you have a mobile game. It was a freemium model game with progression system. No matter how you tweak it, progression systems have no place in an RTS like AOE. They deserve all the criticism out there when coming with stuff like this.

Yeah. Leveling up was the worst. So unnecessary. It was great once each civ finished that charade. But a terrible thing to force players to do right off the bat.

@IamDalv said:
No, the main flaw of AOE Online and main reason for its quick death was the fact it had a progression system. Add the cartoony graphics and you have a mobile game. It was a freemium model game with progression system. No matter how you tweak it, progression systems have no place in an RTS like AOE. They deserve all the criticism out there when coming with stuff like this.

Leveling up makes 2 types of players:
Those who like it:
It makes you want to stick to a game. If there’s no reward system for what you do in game, its easy to just see it as a very repetitive game that has no feeling of purpose. It gives that feeling of success and progress that many players need so that the game doesn’t just become a dull repetition.

Those who don’t:
They want a simple game to enjoy and not worry about the consequences of losing… if you lose, it just means you’re not as good as the other player and you practice and get better and that’s it. Simple, easy.

I believe AoE3 did a great job of balancing these while AoE2 was too 2nd type player and AoEo was too first type player…

AoE3 had a progression system but it wasn’t complex at all to where players could just ignore it and still win against a player who does focus on it.