Just minutes ago I discovered Microsoft Studio’s announcement about AOE DE. This is exciting news.
Although I haven’t played the classics for a few years I do miss playing with friends and family.
I hope to see;
. Definitive Edition to be functionally very similar to AOE III (Gold Edition).
(underlying math, timing, unit grouping visuals, pretty much most of it)
. Better unit graphics with options for screen resolution locks/release for fair play in multiplayer games
Those with more screen resolution and therefore less fog of war would have a distinct unfair advantage. However I am not particular to a “one-play-resolution-only for all time” thing.
. Greater zoom-in/zoom-out variance than in the classic version. Limits set only on multiplayer servers for, again, fairness.
. More single-player scenarios. How about multiplayer scenarios?
. More cultural/military/discovery history content, being mindful of cultural sensitivities. I love games that teach history with the ability to represent cause-and-affect", strategy and tactics based on capabilities (The discovery of war machines mattered). These additions would only be content additions which would not affect the original classic game balance or cultural/unit capabilities.
. Keep the end-game metrics/charts. I loved those.
. Improve custom scenario creation. I would prefer it be in the form of a simple script format as opposed to XML which is popular. External GUI tools are fine except they often limit creativity and become outdated and require more support. Customer based created tools promotes market-share, like Minecraft did. I like Python syntax or Dwarf Fortress-like configuration files due to limited punctuation. The Dwarf Fortress-like configuration files are basically nested INI files with C-like “#include” statement mechanics with little punctuation. I personally like tab-indentation for namespaces/nested-structures but this is a controversial syntax at times.
. One big issue with playing AOE III back in the day was setting up a personal “server” for others to join. Connection issues on overstressed player computers took much time and enthusiasm from the game. Classic Minecraft server websites solved this nicely. I would not likely pay for a “Realms” version of AOE DE as I find “one server” per player license restrictive. This point is made because I -might- like to see my beefy computer offer more then one “AOE DE” game at a time. This implies running a game “server” without a GUI.
. Consider setting up the “settings” or “options” screen into a tabbed-notebook. Where the first notebook tab/page is a classic settings setup, and each tab/page represents a different “patch or update or revision” set-of-options. This allows external players to join a AOE DE server based on version. Nothing more annoying when trying to start a game and a player can not join or the game can not start because that person has a setting on that doesn’t exist on the “version” of the AOE server.
. Please allow the AOE DE launcher accept multiple accounts. I have kids and I do not like them using my personal game account. Younger kids often do not have their own OS login.
. Twitter and facebook and such; I am a Microsoft guy. I used Myspace, Hotmail, live, etc. I do not like or trust non-Microsoft social-media. I trust Microsoft to release Microsoft software that will not mess up my OS with unverifiable issues, like changing my privacy settings. Using other social media to offer beta testing to its loyal customers is something I dislike. I am all over the Microsoft namespace from business to games. So much so that new stuff from you is overwhelming. The AOE DE notice was a nice simple find, for the most part but the AOE DE survey I missed. While I shy away from beta-testing now, Microsoft closed beta-testing offers are something I find attractive.
. Steam. I like Steam. I hate steam. I have little faith in Steam doing anything other then what most businesses do over time, change ownership, accessibility, or they merge with others. This is when consumers get old application access snickered from them. I have at least a hundred games from the Windows XP era (And a PC with XP running on it). And at times to play an old game I would have to repurchase it from a portal like Steam. I would like to see Microsoft applications always accessible from the Microsoft Store. For me this is a more trusted provider.
. I have tried the various iterations of AOE-like products released over the years from Microsoft (Studios). But the classic AOE III was the bomb. I implore, keep the mechanics similar to the classic and give it a facelift and add underlying capabilities to use multi-core, multi-threaded, multi-monitor, multi-instance setups (and possibly multi-desktop, i.e.“task view”) with user-selectable memory limitations (for those that use other apps simultaneously like webcasting. I am aware that the beta is a NDA; this for release webcasting or such.
A loyal customer for many years.