So I am a big age of empires 2 player. I tried age 3, I couldn’t force myself to like it. So, here are my gripes with age 2, and I am hoping (fingers crossed) that age 4 is a continuation of age 2 and that they forget the whole thing that is age 3.
Politics and morale, and the AI. The Age 2 HD AI is a pain to fight against. It will rush you all the time. There are only two states. At war… and not at war. Keeping the AI out is an impossible chore. This is even moreso in team games with the AI where the AI player does not build palisades, and it becomes a game of who can rush who first. Its frustrating to say the least. Sire, the enemy is in my town! Oh… right their army comp is 100% knights, and towers are nonexistent (not that towers would do anything anyways) and these guys with swords on horseback are going to hack your stone towncenter apart. UGH!
So, a couple of things. First, arrows, men with pikes swords or what have you should not be able to break walls. End of story. Not even palisades. And they shouldn’t be able to destroy town centers. They SHOULD be able to raid and cause havoc to unprotected villagers but too much power is given where none is deserved here.
Second, castles shouldn’t fall as easily as they do now. They should also not be built as easily as they are now. Castle drops should not be a thing. Castles should be a slow long labor of love.
Third, and this is important. POLITICS. Politics is everything. The AI that is not on a team should start neutral to other players. And there needs to be diplomats, and diplomatic missions. A player should be able to train diplomats or envoys from town centers starting in the feudal age, send them to neutral towns, and the diplomats should be able to do things. Like for example, a diplomat could be ordered to target an enemy town center, and while a diplomat is active, then the AI player won’t turn on you. Oh, and with diplomats and envoys come assassins. Units that can stealth, or blend in, but can get up close to a diplomat and kill them. And what about agents provocateur? The agent can target of the same player that is targeting a town center to mimic their unit color. Then, they can attack other players to manipulate two neutral civilizations into conflict.
Right now, there is none of this in age2. No fog of war in the interactions, everything is cut and dry friend or foe. See an enemy? Send a mass rush of cavalry. Oh, and you can forget about hiding your base. No camo. Sigh… we need camouflaged bases with assassins and diplomats…