My thoughts on Age of Empires

I first played Age of Empires more than 20 years ago and it is still the best game I know of, nothing else even comes close in my book and even though I had a few years off after doing everything I could with three, I was super excited to get onto IV when it was released.

I have loved AofE IV so far but I’m a bit in awe of some of the comments here which are clearly WAY more knowledgeable about the game than I think I will ever be. I saw a bunch of comments about India but these confused me as I easily beat India (as England) in a one-to-one AI skirmish in the Black Forest (Wonder victory). My tactic, basically, was to advance as quickly as possible by walling myself in, capturing the market, scooping up relics and building the wonder before they could get too many elephants on my case. Whenever elephants arrived I got them with mangonels from the other side of my walls and also had my longbows on top of the walls using the new enhanced fire power.

I have also started building towers on the other side of walls as this stops siege weapons and elephants bashing down wall towers before they can destroy them. Of course the English has strong defence and you can argue Black Forest is an easy map, but I’m wondering what I’m missing about India as I was also unable to complete my English Mastery (vs a single hard AI) with either an Indian or Chinese opponent. Do I need to open out all the victory possibilities to destroy landmarks, capture sacred sites OR a wonder victory, as I have been limiting it to wonder victory so far?

If I have one gripe it is probably the masteries are not always clear to figure out and I don’t see where all the rewards appear. I have found the banner but what benefit does falconry confer, for example, I expected to have extra visibility like the Khan in Mongols? I think my stone harvesting has got better, however, since winning that level.

I also miss the ability to ring a bell in the town centre which garrisons all villagers at the same time, that was a good feature with one of the earlier game releases. I also found that some of the earlier games were more epic and I’d find myself in 8 hour sessions, but I can’t remember now what kept it all going so long - I think that was the Age of Conquerors Expansion pack, which was a really great release.

One thing which probably makes life easier is that religious units can’t do conversions - probably a good thing I’m guessing or it would be too easy to win with a bunch of prelates. I don’t quite understand how the garrison function works with India if anyone can explain that?

And I also don’t understand what people have been saying about fishing as I’m just not at a high enough gaming level yet. All I do is build boats, protect with a keep and hope for the best, what more is there?!

Overall I am super happy with the game and love playing it - I can’t wait to see how it develops and I’m looking forward to more civilisations appearing in future.


Most of the complains are from people who enjoy playing a faction in a certain way or from people who take their time to remember and master things to become better, therefore they see balance differently. There’s the players who want something to be their way and others who genuinely seek to balance factors that are outright broken even in terms of fun. This is why perspectives are cut in 3 sides. There’s a lot of whining and repetitive threads as I have seen even tho the problems have been addressed several times already.

As for the game it misses a ton of features and there’s lots of bugs. It feels like it’s still during test period because there’s clear lack of balance on a higher scale than normal, it’s not just the detail of it that’s the problem-it’s the big picture too. This creates big discontent because:

► Fishing issue, I don’t personally care about it, resources are put to be used for expansion and their impact comes from the way they are delivered to the player as much as the player takes from it and how much (if they decide). However this is also impacting gameplay due to it being based on resources so even if it’s an unimportant detail for casuals, it’s an important aspect for the balancing of high level play where every tiny detail matters. The main thing about it is…that gathering food from fish is faster but it comes at a cost, which means that the cost of that strategy may come as a disadvantage depending on how it is balanced.

► China issue comes from its ability to play in 1V1s with a specific strategy that worked best for it and now players feel like almost nothing may work and there’s other things to take into consideration. Things which may not work because it takes more time to make and that means the civilization is weaker and that triggers its drop in winrate. Again, casuals don’t care about what goes where in terms of tiny details for balancing each faction because they want to enjoy the game as it is with all ages, epic battles and fun times.

As for your questions:

:diamonds: Mastery rewards are visible first as hints of what you’ll earn, right after you select the mastery, underneath there are rewards such as lore, banners or profile pictures. After you complete the mastery they are added automatically to each section in your profile menu.

Note: If you want to complete masteries faster, go SkirmishCreate gameSet Black Forest Max 2 Players, Max Resources, Age IV and start with 2 homes, create 5 more settlers and spam barracks or stable. (You can even complete them without having an opponent in the game.)

Victory conditions are obviously how you prefer to win. Landmarks means destroying the enemy town center and age up buildings. Sacred is capture and hold the points with priests and wonder victory is victory by holding a wonder for 14-15 minutes.

:diamonds: The garrison for India works like this: the more mosques are garrisoned with scholars, the faster the research speed as they have a big penalty when it comes to upgrades. Madrassas is the building symbolized by the book, there can fit 20 scholars and replaces unnecessary spam of mosques. There is a limit however to how fast you can research so 2 madrassas fully garrisoned are considered more than enough .

Hope this answers your questions.

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I want to add something to this. Fun is something that depends heavily on person and there is nothing wrong giving feedback about “its not fun to fight against heavy siege comp”, but what they shouldn’t be doing (i mean low elo players) say if something is broken or needs nerf and simple reason for this is because those level players are not losing games because of balance. They lose because they’re making mistakes and lack enough knowledge to play game well enough to justify argument if something should be nerffed or not.

This is only reason why China been nerffed 2 times now. Both times china wasn’t top tier civ in overall rankings and only good in closed maps with bad early and mid game but strong late game.

Even tho there were civ who rivaled them which still is HRE. And I don’t see ppl complaining HRE? Hardly anyone bothers mentioning HRE needing nerf or its not fun to play against infinite train of MAA running at your base and simple reason is that low elo players do not see the economic power that HRE can have and they just see mass of MAA and losing to it.

Many more civs uses one dimensional unit comps for example I see lot more french players spamming pure knights or english longbows and even abbasid pure camels. But no one is complaining about this? But China having 5-10 bombards was and is huge issue.

And developers made massive mistake twice now even taking those complaints into consideration and didn’t listen otherside of arguments and made poor decisions.

FL = could’ve been reworked like they did but in return they needed to be cheaper to access. No one is going to invest 1800 resources to unlock raiding unit when horsemen / lancers do same thing and are cheaper

Current nerfs = Again nothing was taken into consideration and civ was completely butchered and killed to worst civ in whole game.


I agree with what you have added as I’ve seen myself most of this being applied. One’s own knowledge of the game affect the outcome and on higher level play, as I explained, it’s better that balance relies on more experienced players. It’s why I don’t involve myself in detailed talk about what a civ needs. I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to add anything more than what is already on the table.

There’s more civs that use one or two specifical units to win a game and that’s because they were created to work around it. Which again, adds to your point that China was nerfed under no good pretext. Mongols are a bigger problem, so are the French, HRE and I believe Delhi too in some ways. The game is mostly cavalry and siege so they nerfed siege to let cavalry bring more devastation as the heaviest and most OP units that limit the game to 3-10 minutes. There’s no build-up for a late game, everything relies heavily on intense play in early age with a tiny window for expansion into the late.

Like I said in other threads, China doesn’t give me the panic attack Mongols or French do when I see them in the enemy team and are also the most picked for a reason. (at least on my side of the game)


Love your calm collected rhetoric


Well you know, nothing’s getting solved if you throw rocks at each-other. It’s better to stay calm and discuss.


Thank you for your replies and advice, I definitely have no problem with other players commenting on intricacies of the game, I find it really interesting and I know that I need to get a handle on these things if I’m ever going to be able to win against actually people and not just the AI!

As I said, I did notice that one of the China siege weapons that previously was amazing and rained down fire very quickly, seemed to have gone, but I assumed it was just me who couldn’t find it anymore. Mongols make me stressed, both playing with them or against them, although I did get to the point where I could finally win with them as long as I had an ally watching my back with defence. I love the fact you get millions of horses without doing anything!

I’ve also done Sacred Victory wins, that is quite straight forward, I tend to build castles over them as soon as I can, but I’ve not gone for a landmark victory yet.

Good tip about the masteries, although I have seen where the rewards appear in the masteries section, I just hadn’t been able to figure out if those rewards all translate to improvements in the game itself (eg better harvesting or whatever).

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Oh, no sadly mastery rewards don’t add any buff, they are just for aesthetics, nothing more. Masteries also give a ton of XP, I jumped from level 20 to 90 after done most of them. That’s because the experience points stack instead of resetting at each level to reach a new XP target like you usually meet in other modern online games.


I see, thank you - bit of a shame there are no buffs but the XP is handy for sure!

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No problem, have fun there. :v:

I was serious, a compliment is deserved for well made posts/ well thought out arguments, whether I agree with them or not

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Ye, I understood that, don’t worry, I like your way of thinking about this. It’s a healthy way of dealing with information even on a day to day basis.