I don’t know how well developed the map editor is at this point, but I hope the devs can make free scenarios (not full-fledged campaigns) for existing civs as well as future civs. Inexpensive and periodic free DLCs do a few things:
- Cause for promotional content, to be shared on social media pages
- Let players who put down the game a reason to come back for a bit, thereby giving Steamcharts a population uptick, which causes the perception of sustained/increased active playerbase.
With the total failure of the new Total War historical title, I’m assuming that there are those who are itching for historical scenarios and more “what ifs” in RTS games, and maybe this game fill some of the void.
This can also cure the disappointing lack of a campaign from the Byzantine/Ottoman point of view. Adding in multiple missions on the Siege of Constantinople with cheap 2D introduction + voice over will add to the experience. By “multiple” I mean playing as both across separate missions. The first mission could be playing as Byzantines, holding an area with a 30 min timer until the supply ships arrive. Another could be the players playing as Ottomans, the win condition being able to break through the walls of Constantinople within 40 minutes, measured in decreasing the “political will,” highlighting how the siege was not politically unanimous among the Ottoman courtiers.
The possibility is numerous. Japanese defending against Mongols, HRE at Siege of Vienna (1529, to keep with timeframe), the little-known Chinese campaign of Talas, facing off against Abbasids, etc.
One thing good about AoE2 is that you get to play as a civ in a single player setting, and, if the scenario is relatively well-designed, you are forced to learn and to use the strengths of the civ in your favor. Agincourt, for instance, teaches you to focus fire using Longbows and to use the range advantage, if you didn’t already know how to do it. But some scenarios are haphazardly put together, and quality is needed.
A well-designed scenario would have players use every ounce of micro to pull off a defense against AI forces, or execute an immaculate macro to take a defensive position on higher difficulties. A 30 to 40 min scenario that is both fun and challenging could really boost the single player experience.