I thought this was actually going to be a dev appreciation thread as the subject line indicates, which I looked forward to as a breath of fresh air, but then I read the OP
I understand your and others’ wish for them, but their exclusion is likely a gameplay decision and not a “Hmm, I wonder how we make siege operator units and animations in the year 2021” thing.
There are several things AoE4 does that games 15 years ago didn’t do, but just because games 15 years ago did something it doesn’t mean a game 15 years later must do it. I’m personally glad no siege operators are there to slow siege units down more for turns, firings, packs, and unpacks, and create clunky movements like I feel they did in AoE3. Moving siege units around and attacking with them in AoE3 is just ‘ugh’, imo. So, by not having to constrain siege units to operators, siege gameplay feels tighter and less arbitrarily cumbersome to myself and probably many others.
And that’s not to mention the additional visual clutter brought to the screen from operators possibly misleading you when you try to select actual units, and the additional CPU/GPU processing that’d probably be needed to keep track of 1, 2, 3, or 4 operators per siege unit and all their animations, etc.
- It’s evident they’re trying to keep performance manageable, otherwise why are the graphics textures/clarity a constant concern by the community.
- I’d imagine (but could be wrong) that adding 1-4 operators per siege just makes it harder to have other cool stuff going on for the rest of the game, including (but not limited to) pathing and AI algorithms which are a load on your system, too.
- If operators are added, what are you okay with excluding from the game to compensate? Even lower pop caps? Less detailed textures? Fewer polygons on-screen? Less FX? Worse pathing? Even smaller maps? Siege units that take up 5 pop instead of 2 or whatever they do now? Lessened input or chat responsiveness? Etc. Since we’re not devs on the game, it’s hard to know what rationale they had, but these are certainly possibilities.
- And sometimes it’s just a matter of taste. Maybe the majority of the studio(s) working on the game, combined with the Community Council, just decided their preference is to not have siege operators. At some point, a game just needs to be made; and it’s impossible to please everyone unless you make a mile-long list of toggleable options in the game menu, which never happens. I really don’t like the battle horn/alarm sounds of AoE2, AoE3, and AoE4, but I don’t see any toggleable options for me to change their sound, volume, or repetition frequency yet… yet I still play AoE2.
If siege operators are added and their animations look funny because they’re trying to keep up with the movement of the siege units’ current speeds for turning, firing, moving, etc., are you sure the community wouldn’t then demand that the siege units, themselves, be slowed down so that the operators aren’t jumping pixels, sliding, and going in hyper-motion sometimes? I tend to think that to make the operator anims look smooth and cool, some in the community would ask for siege units to be retrofitted to the operator anims because ‘immersion’ is lost.
Either way you look at it, their inclusion or exclusion is likely a can of worms no matter whichever side you’re on. There are pros and cons for each way
As a ‘dev appreciation thread,’ I don’t see how bluntly calling them out like this is appreciating them? Bugs happen for probably every game and piece of software ever released. We even witness bugs in major AAA games that have been out for 5+ years. It’s common, it’s unfortunate, but it happens and seems inevitable that no piece of software is ever perfect, is it?
Are you really not sure what the ghosts are doing, or are you just saying that? If you’re not sure, well, the game hasn’t come out yet. They may provide a description in a tutorial, mouseover tooltip somewhere, or a Help file/documentation for the game that players can view/read. Let’s wait to see what the released game has
I think the vast majority consensus of the community, though, is that the ghosts show accelerated time; a bit like time-lapse photography. They represent the passage of time as the building is constructed, or as the siege unit is packed or unpacked. This was done, probably, because people complained in earlier AoE titles that it wasn’t realistic to have one or two villagers build a building or castle over the course of 30 or 90 real-world seconds. Apparently, like self-propelled and self-firing siege units, some felt it was unrealistic and not immersive. Ghosts is a nice solution to that ‘issue,’ imo. With ghosts, you don’t need to show 200 units working on a building for a month or 12 months in real-world time. You can instead just show time-lapsed workers to give a representation of what’s going on for 30-90 seconds.
If ghosts are removed, then those who think it looked bad to construct buildings with one villager in 60 seconds will just say how unrealistic and non-immersive it is, and that the game is, therefore, unplayable. It’s just another example of, “You can’t please everyone,” it seems.
Personally, I think it’d be nice to have options to adjust their opacity and color. If I’m playing as Green, I’d want my ghosts to be a green hue of some sort… maybe slightly brighter and bit toward lime green… and their opacity knocked down to like 5% or 10%. If I’m Blue, I’d similarly want them to be blue, etc. Or maybe there are times where I wouldn’t want them at all, so an ability to turn them off would be great. Maybe that will be possible in the final game? We just don’t know.
For ghosts, they wanted to innovate and do something that wasn’t done 15 years ago which solves an issue the community raised, and now you say it’s a design mistake or not implemented well. How would you have solved the community complaint about buildings being made in 30 seconds by two villagers? If you have a better idea, maybe they will take a liking and implement it someday
Statistically, there are quite a few likes (over 100) to this post, too. I’m not aware of very many threads in the forum here that get over 100 likes: