New Video saying that AoE4


We have been waiting so long for AoE4 and now we get a game with destruction animations that looks like Lego blocks and they expect me to pay R850? For a game that looks like a AAA developer made it …using Microsoft Paint?

There is no way I will be buying this half arsed cash grab.


Hey Heinrich! I am not criticizing the graphical style of the game at all - just the technical element. In the first part of the video, I give examples, such as Sea of Thieves, which are made to have cartoonish graphics - but it looks amazing. The lighting and the art is fantastic in that game.

If we contrast that to Age of Empires IV, I personally would’ve liked a grittier look because I prefer a darker environment myself. That said, I’m okay with the art style they’ve gone for, but I’m just not convinced with the animations and visual fidelity of the game overall. There are cartoonish looking games that look good, and there are that look bad. AoEIV sits in the middle in my opinion. Sitting in the middle or being mediocre is not good for a $60 game - that’s the argument.

The reason why I made these videos (and more to come), is to help push the narrative for the developers to work on these very issues. I already pre-ordered, but I’d be more than happy as a regular customer to pay the full $60 if they address the polish problems in the game.


To be honest, looking at your video and after some further thoughts, I decided to refund my preorder for AOE4 and wait for the first reviews. I stopped being excited for AOE4 to be honest the moment they announced the civ line up. My excitment wasn’t already very high considering that they decided to revisit the Medieval era instead of adventuring to the 19th-20th century which I hoped as setting for AOE4.


Graphics and gameplay are not mutually exclusive. I want both to be amazing.


I will be (and other content creators of course) covering the game when it releases, so you can judge whether to buy or not based on the game’s state. :slight_smile: Pre-ordering has always been a tricky (and mostly underwhelming) experience for gamers unfortunately…


I certainly agree with you that pricing directly affects the playerbase. I also agree with you that the stakes are high – I am a refugee of Age of Empires Online’s failed business model and am well aware that a poorly chosen business model is often a fatal disease.

I just do not believe that I am in any position to form an opinion about what pricing model is most likely to most positively affect the playerbase, whether that is measured by maximizing total players, length of post-release content development, or even maximize profits.

I am familiar with the free-to-play model with purchasable vanity you describe. That appears to work fantastically for a number of games, though I am not sure that kind of vanity emphasis would translate easily to Age of Empires. Certainly it is possible, though I would be surprised that AoE players around here have the stomach to inject vanity enough gear/decorations into the game to fund the game.


In order to push 60$ price tag you must bargain something. So far I’m seeing nothing to justify that price cost. Campaign might be the reason to push 40$ since according to gamedevs they went to real life location. Otherwise just 8 civs and 4 campaigns for what? No new game mode introduced even. It’s stuck in 8 player AOE2 style gameplay. I won’t be buying this if devs doesn’t do anything with it. It seems they are just trying to get some money out of old AOE2 playerbase. I guess how far the game will go with that role model.


Yeah that’s a fair point - none of us are insiders and don’t have a clue of what their plans really are. I’m just trying to make the most educated guess based on previous games’ success/failure and what we’ve been shown so far. I could be very off for sure.

Certainly it is possible, though I would be surprised that AoE players around here have the stomach to inject vanity enough gear/decorations into the game to fund the game.

I originally thought of this too, especially since the playerbase is mostly middle-aged people, but I also then remembered Dota’s playerbase. Dota is the older uncle of League of Legends, and both of their playerbases have aged. Dota’s significantly. In fact, that’s one of Dota’s biggest problems now - getting more younger players like LOL is doing. However, middle-aged people in Dota still splash out hundreds of millions of dollars into cosmetics, and that’s despite Valve’s increasingly poor handle on the game since its inception. The folks are just passionate about the game. I’m going to wager that the same would be very much so possible in Age of Empires as well at a much lower scale, but still significantly higher than what they’d make from $60 sales.

As I understand the video, he means AoE4 turns into a complete obscurity.

There is a big difference between a game that would cost 60 Dollars, to the game Relic made and wanted to make with AoE4.

A 60 Dollars game would require clearly more effort into the animations to be AAA.

If Microsoft wants a “E-Sport game” , ask there 60 Dollars is ground up a bad idea, as such title has to be free2play.


I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I get a very strong sense from this community that there is an extremely grouchy segment who despises any hint of imaginary fun in Age games. Personally, their entire perspective is lost on me and feels totally divorced from the wololo and Rogan goofiness of Age that hooked me all those years ago. But regardless, in any capacity of giving advice to the Developers (who themselves are relatively new around here compared to us old heads), I could never advise them to swim upstream against that current and double down on unit vanity and that kind of novelty.

They would swarm the developers and execute them in the middle of town all on the pretense of saving the brand from cartoony graphics.

So ruling out goofy vanity, that really limits the options. Even allowing people to toggle off their ability to see other player’s vanity would be super clunky. (AoEO has such a button, but you’d never know it if you asked this crowd of pitchforks.)

I’ve been encouraging building vanity for years, and it sounds like the Devs have picked up on that at least in some small part with the Town Center Monuments they recently announced – so perhaps there may be some way to purchase cool statues, decorations, etc. Though ofc that would be in addition to the $60 price, which you are suggesting is inferior to some other pricing model.

I just don’t really see what pricing model would work here, though.


Pretty much my point. I really wonder what Microsoft really wants. For e-sports model they could’ve gone other route.

I think there is a huge difference in cosmetics between MOBA/FPSs and an RTS and that largely comes down to readability.
In a typical MOBA, you will have 10 characters on the field and therefore up to 10 possible custom character skins. Beyond that, if you have maybe 3 - 6 skins for creeps and fewer than 10 for boss-like and mini-boss like creatures. RTSs have far more diversity and often have characters clumped in more densely packed spaces. Relic already have the challenge of creating an unknown but large number (AoE 2 has over 100) of different unit models that are easily and clearly distinguishable. If you add in skins the problem of readability only becomes increasingly more challenging. You can imagine an 8 player game with all 8 factions, each of which with a unique suite of skins: it would make the battlefield hard to read.
You could resolve this by making skins client-side, but no one wants to buy client-side skins.
The other option is you could stick to subtle things like profile pictures and town center / landmarks skins, but I doubt these would be popular (maybe landmarks would do well).


All fair points here - but what gave me initial hope is the Deluxe Edition. You pay $20 to “look cooler” to use Adam’s words. That’s exactly the model for cosmetics. And yes, the Snow-man-at-arms or Golden Bombards etc - instead of making those free, make them paid cosmetics. Since those events were well received (to the best of my knowledge) for AoE2DE, and the very existence of “make your own house banner” in AoE4, I really think they could double-down on this and make it possible. $5 to make your own banner from 1 million players is worth more in the long run than selling $60 games to the hundreds of thousands. And that’s just one cosmetic. I understand this is the unknown and could fail, but I think Microsoft is a 2T behemoth that could take the hit and continue if it ever wants a player in the eSports scene. This is their chance. :slight_smile:


I acknowledge your concern here, but I have to disagree here - Team Fights in Mobas are absolutely chaotic, infinitely more so than any engagement you’d take in any RTS game. The number of animations and particles that explode on screen on a typical 5v5 teamfight is insane - and if people can read that with cosmetics, I’m sure they’ll be just fine with RTS. :slight_smile:


AoEO’s units can be equipped with varied vanity – usually three different items on each unit (helmet/armor, various equipement, shield, etc.). It solves the readability issues because units often have different body types/sizes/postures, often which depend on their roles. AoEO gets away with this becaus of its art style.

I would not encourage AoE4 move its art style in that direction, though. But I could see this working in a more fanciful and relaxed Age game, perhaps like AoM2.

Well I am all for it. I rather enjoy my Celtic Woad Raiders who run around with fish instead of axes. Here are my guys:

Again, I would not advise AoE4 go this route, even though I rather enjoy it.

A price requires the needs of the consumer.
Considering what they have done, no pricing model can work there.

1 Why dont you try the game by yourself? Get the Project Celeste.

2 I am a person who likes 2D RTS games. And I still do play something like this Warlords Battlecry III from year 2004.


My personal impression of AoE Online was, it did lack basic accessibility time setting options. You can not change the speed of the game or activate tactical pause.
You see people who play Strategy games, have different skill, and it can go from people who don’t know how to manage 10 units, till people who lead into battles thousands of units. And thats where games have to, need to be adjustable to their needs. You can change the speed of the game in Dawn of War 1, but not in Dawn of War 3. You can change the speed in Red Alert 2, but not in Red Alert 3. You can change the speed in AoE2, but not in AoE Online.

Problem of those games, the impression is simply game was made lazy and there was put no effort.


That’s an interesting point. I can’t say I recall ever once anyone pointing out that AoEO has just one game speed. I suppose that is a difference from AoE2. AoEO moves much faster so I guess I’ve just never had to look for that button. :smiley:

You can pause the game, though I don’t know that’s what you mean by tactical pause.

AOE Online. After 3 years if I remember correctly the project stopped. Microtransactions killed it. Now the community continues it and removed microtransaction future.

I don’t see how this could work with AOE 4. A much cheaper production game didn’t survived more than 3 years and this youtuber suggest the same recipe to AOE 4. No comment.

I also like AOE O. But I can’t imagine AOE 4 as a free to play game where you can buy skins and users will have different design for same units and people who likes the game a lot, will finally pay much more money than the 60 euros.

Finally and most important: These games needs online future always on. So he suggested practically that we will not be able to play AOE 4 without internet connection…

If you think AoE players would spend money on cosmetics, think again after seeing the results of this survey (question 23 to be exact):

taken from:

Expansions/DLCs is the way to go for an RTS like AoE. This is not a MOBA, it’s entirely different audiences and gameplay styles. They (World’s Edge) havent said - “The idea of microtransactions in a real-time strategy game isn’t a thing. DLC, expansions – all of that is things that we’re going to be exploring for Age 4.” - for nothing, obviously they have studied the market and know what’s the best way to go forward about it.