Start with more villager than 6?

The last tournament with the 12 villagers start was very cool to watch ! Game was 3 min faster than usual.

I think it could be cool to start with 12 vill instead of 6 in ladder.
Starcraft 2 did this change in 2016 and today the game is way better to watch and way funnier to play. These kind of change can be good for e-sport on aoe4 (more spectators, coz less boring) , so it can be good for the game.

What do you think about this? :smiley:

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of course not, most players are casual of medium elo

3 min.? What a difference.
Fast game, fast food, fast 6 :rofl:
Is that all what people wish today?


Not an idea that I am a fan of but to be fair, Dark Age remains to be maybe the most uninteresting part of AOE4–not because I don’t like the idea of Dark Age, but because they’ve somewhat compromised it making it a very quick age to get through and thus making it meaningless.

There are of course exceptions, certain civilizations do a lot more during the Dark Age than others. Perhaps the issue is instead that much of the games design is centered around reaching Castle and Imperial ASAP? Feel few civilizations would ever dare to try something in Dark Age.

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DarkAge may be boring for casual players, but skilled players lay the foundations for the rest of the game in DarkAge. That’s why it’s called a “strategy game”. The early decisions can determine the whole further course of the game.
It would be a shame if AoE4 would become a pure tactical combat, where only spamming units and hack&slay counts.


No thank you, I would rather have it Nomad with 3. 6 Villagers start is not boring neither to play nor to watch. Also there are a lot of things to do in the early game even more than I would want to have. Maybe you got 1000 APM and don’t know what to do with them.

Additionally this is a strategy game not a “combat game” where two armies fight, so I don’t get the idea of fast forwarding toward what you call " action". Action already starts too early or maybe the English MAA opening is not action to you but you just want big blobs.

If you enjoy the big action, probably watching SC2 is better for you (I love starcraft btw but I prefer AOE4).

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And what are all those strategic decisions you have to make during dark age? You might scout your opponent for a short time after you have gathered enough sheeps and think about building placements depending on ressources. But apart from that what strategic decisions have to be made in dark age? The way I see it is that due to speeding up dark age those decisions need to be made quicker which generally is harder and therefore has a higher potential of skill ceiling.

I would appreciate speeding up the game but in golden league 2 it mainly looked like 12 villagers resulted in spears chasing spears which is not something I’d support.


What I prefer is Empire War mode like AoE 2, that’d be much better than starting with 12 villagers.

You know what “strategy” means? It is a global plan how to achieve a certain goal. Of course this is depending on map/type and opponent. Means you need first at all a good map exploration: opponent, resources, trade and sacred sites, relics. Catching sheeps is merely a nice side effect. It might be wise to have additional scout(s).
The earlier the better you watch the opponent what and where he builds, so you can adapt your plan. This also helps to delay his progress by some unexpected raids.
Certainly the opponent thinks similar. Build some palisades to protect your vulnerable regions against unexpected raids. And build them well, so they don’t become useless if a few trees are lumbered quickly.
Your nearby resources will go out soon, so you need a forward looking plan to claim and defend further resources.
You will need a “build plan” for future. Just for civs with certain building influences.
And don’t rely too much on web “build orders”. Take them as inspiration, but not as duty.

This is only a very short overview. Experienced players think much more about anticipatory methods. For now take it as “learning by doing”.

Summary: it will not have success if you begin with 20+ villagers. This all will need some time to develop stepwise. Do you want to play or have an immediate massacre?

2x ing the workercount on sc2 effectively killed the early game phase for all scenarios, save cheeses, which arguably became stronger, as you can hit harder with less time for the opponent to react.

I can’t claim that I have any idea of the ramifications a change like this would make to AoE4. It might be good, it might be bad. It would probably require a complete rebalancing of all civs, since some would benefit more than others from the villager increase. Chinese would effectively benefit 20% more, HRE 40% more, but that’s just base cases and on paper only. What permutations of game scenarios this would lead to, we’d need 1000s of hours to make any call on. A second scout would be less of an opportunity cost, and more of a must, since the first scout would need to go to the opponent immediately, since the range of early aggression they could throw at you would be much higher. The level of uncertainty would probably introduce more RNG, as the amount of stuff that can happed would increase more than the opponent’s opportunities to scout for and pre-scout for them.

I fear that we’d see an increase of skill ceiling and an increase of standardisation of openers and responses If we’ll have less time in the earliest stages to analyse the map, the resource node positions etc. Personally, i find just this thinking, scout management and some modest build order optimization to be satisfactory for the earlier game phase.

That wouldn’t happen with 12 villagers, just Dark Age timings should be made faster as an adaptation.

Yea, I know what strategy means. So you basically listed everything what I’ve just listed + trade, sacred sites and relic spots which can also be seen as some sort of ressources since thats what you get from them.

How about having both, action + strategy from the start? It’s not like there’s any less strategic decisions to be made if you start off with a shorter dark age or more villagers. The ceiling might just be higher which makes it easier for skilled players to defeat less skilled players.

I do not even know if more villagers would be the right way to go but I am definately pro having more action and more strategic decisions early on in the game.

What I’m trying to express: additional 6 vills at start don’t accelerate the initial phase massively. A training time of 6 * 20 sec. = 2 min. - that’s not a game changer.
However these 2 min. will give you the needed time to explore and reflect about your further progress.

And if you get even much more vills at start, this will lead very often to deadly villager rushes.

Perhaps in very important tournaments like Red Bull Wololo they could study it for more casual or non-genre viewers.

There is not so many things to do in early game , i mean, i am conq 2 and only rus require a few apm coz 3 scoots.

You speak about strategy game and not “combat game”, but explain me what is the strategy in the 3 first minutes of the game ? At the start, during 3 min, you just choose how split vill for rushing dark age / going fast age 2/ teching economy. I can choose a strat while the game loading , then when game start , instant going on rush without waiting 3 stupid minutes.

I prefer to play aoe4 than sc2, but aoe 4 is too fucking boring to watch.

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Imagine 3 min of loading , that’s very long no ? For me its the same in game, i found it boring at start.

I agree, maybe the problem is that in dark age there is not enought option.

Like always: the more people you ask, the more opinions about preferred play styles you’ll get.
Luckily the modders are quite creative and offer extended modes and styles so one has the choice.
I’ve watched the EGCTV streams with 12 vills start and could not find it more or less interesting or boring than standard. It’s merely something different.
A 12+ vills start is perhaps good for people with an accustomed, repeated build order.
However I think it’s just for rookies the better choice to begin with less vills. That gives more time for fundamental exploration and reflection about the suitable strategy.

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Just as simple as adding a toggle in settings. Want the classic 6 vils? Don’t touch it. Want 12? Toggle the option. Everybody is happy.

The problem with 12 vils as Drongo has correctly stated is that some civs are not properly balanced for that. Take Delhi with their slow research times for example. A lot of techs will move from Dark to Feudal or Feudal to Castle just because of how long they take and how fast you’re aging up with more vils. Similar thing with English MAA rushes if Dark age goes by before you can even get your MAA to the other side of the map.

Split the players on two side coz a toggle in setting is a mistake , community is already not so big …
Ofc that require a new balance, but it is not the question. Somewhere the really question is : “does the community really like the dark age” ?