Should the cost of the first Landmark be increased?

I am not sure if aging up in 5 minutes is desirable, especially when there are civs that get units early that will not come into play since dark age is essentially skipped.

What do you think?


I think that just remove Dark Age MAA is better as you won’t be able to have a strong economy to support them in Dark Age anyway

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Yeah, the dev should try to balance the dark age more. Right now there is almost no reason to delay your age up which makes it pointless.
Increase the cost could be one thing but if that only delay the dark age then it does not provide good gameplay. There need to be incentive to stay in the dark age a bit longer.


The main problem with any potential Dark age pushes is not that you cant get overwhelming unit counts. As long as its not the English villagers even 2 Maa could permanent idle any open ressource from the opponent.

The problem is that in the first 5 minutes the opponent will collect food from the sheep which are directly under his TownCenter, he will collect exactly 100 gold and then abandon the exposed gold spot. He will start a lumber mill, but if he sees your Maa, he can still chop the 2 or 3 (150 wood each) trees around his TownCenter. And Maa in Dark age dont have the overwhelming ranged armor yet, to tank TownCenter fire for long enough to effectively idle villagers or get kills.

The strength of Harassment and raids scales directly with the number of exposed villagers the opponent has, which are close to 0 in the dark age.

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I don’t see a reason to incentivise combat in dark age.

Form my perspective, dark age is meant to scout and set your initial gathering spots without caring about your opponent attacking you.

In that sense, it’s great that it ends quickly, so the real action can start in feudal.

One of the aspects of AoE2 that I dislike the most is the fact that dark age is too long (and I think it’s super boring).


In AOE2 you have to execute your build order like a robot, and there is little to do aside from that.
Not the problem in AOE4 which wants to give you more options in general.
If you could build weak rams in dark age for example, action could already start in the dark ages instead of feudal. It is weird that 1/4 of the available ages is essentially skipped.

On the other side, having 5 minutes to explore and think about your strategy is maybe not so bad after all.

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No. The fast era transition was one of the developers’ best choices. The first era is the most boring, it needs to end soon.


I am used to a relatively short Dark/Discovery age, however in AoEIII there’s no combat or military training during that age so there are no units that can fall in disuse.
I’m not sure how to feel about AoEIV’s dark age, considering that it is shorter than AoEII’s but also gives you the liberty to train military for a potential fight. Do fights with militias happen often in AoEII’s dark age?
In AoM you just have your hero except I think from the Norse who can also train the Ulfsark. In AoEIII however, you may not get units but the map is filled with treasures that you have to hunt down and neutral enemies to fight, vills or natives to rescue or convert, on top of the enemy explorer prowling around. So there is something little going on and you don’t get bored while some civs like the Japanese or Aztecs can do more.

Well, first of all, if the purpose of dark age is to skip it then they should skip it completely, make it feudal age from the get go would be better.
Also you do not need to drag out the dark age, just gave player reason to delay the dark age if they want some tactically advantage. Like economic boom vs military rush vs technology rush. Risk and reward. Instead of automatically tried to skip out the gameplay.
That being said, the dark age in AOE4 is quite enjoyable, but it is sad that you have access to so many technologies like be able to build scout in the dark age, be able to upgrade professional scout but it delay the age up so much there are no reason to do so.

A dark age is also literal. The maps in this game are randomly generated. You need to scout your resources, see the lay of the land, and size up the weaknesses of your opponents base (exposed gold, vulnerable wood etc). You have 3-4 minutes before you make a landmark according to the game plan you formulate. I definitely think the dark age is important to the game.

I think the dark age goes by a little fast. I’m not sure if its possible to do enough valuable damage in the dark age without some considerable luck.

Nah, the costs are fine the way they are right now. Dark age fighting doesn’t sound fun. You should be making strategic choices rather than fight.

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I agree.
Also some strategies require you to stay on dark age for a bit longer.
You have the option to not chop any wood and just split vills to food and gold, since you already start with 150w and quickly move up to feudal.
But then there are certain builds that you may wanna stay in dark age a bit longer as it enables you to get a second tc very early in the game or maybe do a fast castle strategy.

In aoe2 the first age lasted almost 10min before hitting the button and any mistake or mistake meant almost defeat. Also in those minutes you had to visualize whether to put a wall, decide the type of feudal rush or check if you could opt for a fast castle if your gold point is close and easily defensible. In addition to exploring, attracting wolves to the rival, luckily kill a villager or hunt sheep without losing the horse in front of the TC. It never got boring and it kept the tension, at least for competitive players. For a casual game … yes, it sure could be boring. But it’s not a useless age or phase

Yep, aoe2 is a great game, I am mainly an aoe3 player but after the closed beta finished my friends and I decided to try aoe2 and we all loved it, it takes a lot of time to learn how to play the dark age properly though, but it still fun once you get the hang of it and I totally get what you mean.
However think the approach they took to the dark age on aoe4 is fine too, it may be different from what you guys are used to, but it is a good middle ground between how age1 was played on aoe3 and in aoe2. Its much more beginner friendly in one way and the mechanics are easier to learn. Also it speeds the pacing of the game without overdoing it. Maybe they could give all civs a 4 vill start instead of 6 like on the closed beta.

I agree that vanguard MAA are in a wierd place rn.

What’s the point of using this “unique unit” if it gets obsolete 5 minutes into the game?

I also think it’s the only unique unit that gets replaced by later upgrades.

I’d much prefer just a general civ bonus to MAA at that point.

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Mongols got early lancers in feudal, stable in dark age and early horseman in dark age also. So its not 100% exclusive to the english to have some sort of dark age units.

Generally though i think dark age and uptime is in a good spot. As said by preposters, darkage is to scout, set up your build order - feudal agression, fast tc, fast castleage.

Imho here also comes eventual early aggression into the play. Scouting somebody on stone at minute 3? only reason to do that is for fast 2nd tc. Might be able to harass with MAA / Early agression and delay. One or two vill kills in darkage and you are ahead already, to follow up with even more agression.

In closed beta i remember a match as english against a mongol, he came in dark age with 5 horses, just to torch a house - and came back in feudal with 20 horseys which quickly became 40. I think the early dark age units are more usefull to start a snowball.

Also i experimented around with MAA and build a forwad abbey of kings into more MAA + Rams. Worked surprisingly well. Very all inny of course.

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That sounds like an interesting build. I gotta try it when the full game comes out