One of the most possible solution to end the forum wars between the players who want new civs and those who don’t is to actually have a separate Co-op mode similar to SC2 Co-op Missions. I know this is quite a lengthy post but please kindly read to get the idea for this suggestion and vote accordingly.
- What is SC2 co-op?
As you have seen the video, Co-op Mission is a collaborative game mode that offers a progressive gameplay for all type of players whether you’re new to the game or a veteran. It is the perfect haven for players who finished the campaigns and wants an alternative besides the multiplayer.
Why is Co-op more popular than multiplayer in SC2? Imagine that in AoE 2 DE, this will bring more casual players further leads to a larger audience for both AoE 2 casual and esports community.
- How will this Co-op mode work for AoE 2 DE?
Just like Starcraft 2, AoE 2 DE is one of the most beloved RTS game that caters to different types of players whether be they campaign completionists or competitive ranked player. With the advent of Battle Royale, there is a need for another game mode. One that focuses purely on the collaboration of 2 players against A.I in various mission types. This game mode is intended to promote cooperation and team work for players working on shared objectives.
Suggested placeholder name for the Co-op Mission in AoE 2 DE is the Theater of War. This is due to two players acting as the “actors” for their respective missions with war as the stage of conflict.
- Overview of some of the features in the Theater of War
A co-op mode similar to SC2 or something similar to provide monthly fresh content for players who like playing against the A.I (Not the coop vs A.I. in a multiplayer map) besides the monthly events. I’m referring to official co-op campaigns style/historical scenarios with quality of life features.
- You can invite a friend or queue with a random stranger then play some tactical missions against A.I. campaign like missions.
- Gameplay may last up to 30 mins depending on difficulty and mission type.
- This game mode is meant for new and casual players who finished the campaigns and historical scenarios but don’t want to stress themselves in multiplayer.
- A way to add more civilizations without affecting multiplayer balance.
- Mission type may include tower defense, escort the payload etc.
- May have their own profile levels and leaderboards like speed runs, etc.
- Exclusive rewards like Civ banners, Heroic Icons, Titles, Unique Unit Skins etc.
- What are some of the mission types/scenarios to be found in the Theater of War?
- Majestic Towers - A tower defense mission.
- Survival of the Fittest - Endless waves of enemy barbarians assault your base.
- Escort the King - Make sure the king reach the checkpoint while surviving any threats.
- Save the Queen - Assault the enemy and safely bring back the queen to your base
- Hold the Line - Survive until reinforcement comes.
It is up to the imagination and creativity of our beloved AoE 2 Devs to implement new mission types/scenarios and community voting like the current map voting.
- That is too easy! I want some more challenge? Behold the Parallel Universe, these modifications affect missions in the most adrenaline and wackiest style. (Similar to mutations in SC2)
Credit goes to Among the Hidden, creator of the video.
- How are the civs for the Theater of War different from the 36 current civs in the multiplayer?
Basically for this mode you still have the same 36 civs currently in-game with the possibility of adding new ones to the game. There will also be a third unique tech and having atleast 2 unique units for each of the civs. Civs like Tatars with 2 unique units will remain the same while Britons who only have 1 unique unit will have an additional unique unit.
This won’t affect any balance changes at all in ranked since it is separated from the multiplayer and have its own leaderboards (for speed runs).
Some civs that might be added are Zulu, Siam, Georgians, Polynesians, etc. up to community voting. Also besides the umbrella civs like Indians and Chinese, there will be a separate sub-faction feature to include Tamils, etc playable as separate civs.
- What are the benefits of a Co-op Mode/Theater of War for Aoe 2 DE and its community?
The benefits of this suggested game mode are;
This game mode can serve as the next steps for new players after the Art of War and Campaigns before heading into multiplayer. Below is the flow of a new player to ranked games;
Learn to Play (William Wallace Campaign) -> Art of War -> Campaigns & Historical Scenarios -> Theater of War -> Quick Play (Unranked) -> Ranked Multiplayer
Lower toxicity and promotes teamwork since it allows 2 players vs A.I in campaign like missions without ladder anxiety. May have mission types that caters to 3 and 4 players in the future.
Since the enemy is A.I., the A.I. in the missions can be further improved and may help in resolving bugs.
One of the possible ways to add new civs into the game without affecting balance in the multiplayer.
Increases the game’s replayability further and rewards players meaningfully.
Create new content creators and further market the game to more communities.
- What is the drawback of this suggestion?
Most likely this new game mode will be an expansion level DLC for the devs to invest resources and time. This mode will also support the game longevity and replayability while even bringing in more of the “casual” players.
I firmly believe there is a lot of potential here in AoE 2 DE to have its own co-op community perhaps if successful the same mode can be transferred to the other Age of Empires games like Age of Mythology.
P.S. These are just draft ideas for a new game mode which I plan to add more in detail in a later date. Every suggested ideas here are tentative. Bookmark this for updates. I also look forward to your ideas and feedback.