Researched upgrades not applicable for existing units only for the units afterwards

In Age of Empires II, when you create a unit like for example a couple of swordsmen, they have certain attack and armor properties. But these properties of the existing units you’ve created will improve when you research attack and armor in blacksmith. Even if you upgrade the unit in the barrack to twohanded swordsmen, the existing ones will immediately see this effect.

However, I think it would give the game more depth and decision take if the researched unit upgrades were not applicable for the existing units, but only for the units you’ve created afterwards. That way you could make a decision to create a unit before the upgrades or wait until the upgrade is done and then create your army. For your opponent this would be a task to find out if you have created an army already or if you are planning to upgrade first. That way he can anticipate that to either create an army immediately so he can have an advantage and a good opportunity to beat you right away or to upgrade too to not fall behind in the late game.

Also I like the way that in Starcraft 2 you can see wether your opponent is upgrading or not by just looking at the building if it is shining. That way you can directly change your strategy in order to anticipate the next move. I’d like to see these kind of features too in AoE4.

What do you think?

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You know this mechanic was done in at least on RTS I played, Earth 2150. It didn’t work well at all. It removed good complexity from the game, rather than adding it. Or better said, it just makes everything rather chaotic.

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Of Course it would make more sense that way but that isn’t always the point. The existing system allows powerspikes and makes the game more dynamic

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AoE1 kinda had this already.
No of the Tool Age units get a Bronze Age upgrade.
Half of the Bronze Age Units replace a Tool Age unit and have stats that make them as strong as a Bronze Age version of those Tool Age units would have been.
Or also in AoE3 where archaic units like the Corssbow are practically replaced by units like the Skirmisher in Fortress Age.

This could be done in AoE4 to some degree. Like Arquebusier has the same role as Crossbow but it’s not an upgrade for that unit but a new one.