“In previous Age games, all civs shared common tech, building, and unit trees, but no one civ could access every node on those trees – the Britons in Age 2 got every archery unit, but their cavalry tree stopped just short of the top tier, for instance. Each civ also got a unique unit and a set of bonuses (e.g. the Goths got a higher population cap and cheaper infantry), and that would be the extent of their differences.”
I’m not sure who is writing this stuff, but it’s really uninformed and discouraging.
This completely ignores AoM, AoE3, and AoEO. I’m not sure whether they don’t know enough about other Age games or they don’t care. And I don’t know which is worse.
I’m not ready to lay blame and freak out. But if they are trying to project an atmosphere of developing a new flagship Age game that will unite the many different Age sub communities, they aren’t doing much to assuage anyone but AoE2 loyalists. I remain optimistic though. But I’m going to point this out until I feel welcome in my own darn community.
The community team has done a great job standing behind the different segments of the Age community and the recent statement and articles don’t seem to reinforce that stance. With the articles in particular, I feel that the journalists may not have as firm a grasp on the entirety of the franchise and much as you or me.
The quoted section is broadly accurate, and there hasn’t been a new/original main Age title released since 2005. There have been expansions and various forms of remaster since then, but no mainline Age game.
The quoted section literally only applies to AoE2. I don’t know who wrote it, and I suspect that author. So I don’t attribute it to the Devs. But in the context of interviews and other media, such as the bit about no Age game in 13 years (which is classic No True Scotsman phrasing), it is so far difficult to find anything indicating that the Devs are making a concerted effort to draw from all Age games. Again, I remain optimistic, but the elephant is in the room, so we might as well acknowledge it.
In many areas, I will defend this franchise and these Devs to my own death. But that’s because I sincerely back them in those areas. Likewise, when I disagree, I will remain sincere in my criticism.
Oh I see what you mean, you’re concerned that AoE II will be the focus and subsequent games will have been overlooked in terms of ideas and concepts? Gotcha.
Well, that may well be the case - bear in mind AoE II is essentially the flagship title of the franchise and the one most people have played and could tell you something about from memory. AoE III is a fun game (though I never liked the expansions and the civs they added) but it doesn’t have the lasting appeal II did and it wasn’t considered as successful.
I’ve said here before many times that you should be very, very wary of AoE IV if Relic is designing it.
I am not personally familiar with Relic’s other work, but I’ve looked into it a bit. To the extent they are willing to study and master the Age franchise and do their level best to lean on their own expertise to bring this franchise into the future in a way that feels natural for this community, I will continue to appreciate them and champion their efforts. I know they are a talented group of people and passionate. I trust them. But, yes, Relic must become an Age of Empires developer. Age of Empires must not become a Relic game.