For those of you like me who track Steam player numbers and want this game to succeed, how concerned are you about the sharp drop in player numbers since release?
Right after release, the game was on track to perhaps break the top 10 Steam charts with it hitting almost 73k players at one point; however, the number has been steadily dropping since, usually hovering in the low 20k range now.
How concerning is this drop off to you? Do you think that this is just temporary and will pick up again over the holidays or do you think that people simply aren’t sticking with the game?
If it’s the latter, do you think that some of the as of yet unaddressed game breaking bugs or balance issues are to blame?
Almost no game will retain the amount of players they had at launch after a week and there’s also people playing on gamepass but we can’t see how many. Having said that I would say at least a small portion of people have stopped playing due to the stale French/Rus meta (mostly French). It’s quite boring having only two viable civs if you just want to win.
Pretty common for a new game to drop in popularity, I personally don’t think it is a big deal since the Starcraft community is observing its progress closely on the side-lines; only time will tell.
Personally I already made the transition just because I have finally been fully burnt-out on dealing with Blizzard, however there are those who still have much love for SC and those who want to play both games.
Lots of bugs even game breaking ones. Needs proper rank queue with pick and ban for maps. Meta is entirely feudal knight civs rus/french. Water maps autolose if not french against french. Only 2-3 civs viable. Delhi china are unplayable from feudal weakness. HRE/Mongols are predictable. AD is meme rams or fast castle only. Games generally feel unrewarding because of all of the above so people often salty quit at first sign of pressure or not peak optimal play so no gg no wp just unfulfilling match
There is a lot that is lacking in the player experience.
It’s a pretty game with a polished look and feel, but there’s too little content. TOOOO LITTLE.
The asymmetry in the civs isn’t enough to keep players hooked for too long unless you want to climb the ladder. The majority of players is probably not interested in climbing the ladder and plays Single Player content. What are they to do after the campaigns are done? Not much. They aren’t interested in an early knight meta. They just want new content.
In AoE2, the number of campaigns is enormous! In AoE3, each civ is very wildly different, AND there are so many cards and ways to diversify even more. So neither AoE2 nor AoE3 are very boring games from the Single Player perspective. In that regard, AOE4 is MASSIVE yawn. NO replayability at lower skill levels. Masteries? No thanks! Too much work for some weird thing called XP that is good for nothing.
It’s not “usually” hovering in the low 20K range though. The 30 day avg is just under 40K. The peak period today was 37K. Right now is the lowest period of activity at 18K, due to the fact that most people outside Pacific time are sleeping.
I think that the drop from the all-time peak is fairly normal for a new game after 2 weeks. As long as a patch comes by December, I think numbers will pick up again as well.
I just completed an archivement, win vs hard IA 5% of players completed the objective… Some people just completed the camapign on easy and moved on, the game is pretty simple, like reviews pointes out, flawed UI, short camapign, few inovations, boring and clunckly water fights etc
The game can improve more and attract.more players but it requires a total overhaul of the stupid UI, this UI doesn’t not feel like an age of empires UI, the massive amount of bugs, more maps,.more game modes, more deep mechanics, remember that RTS go strong with it’s exampansion, it has been always that way.
30 day avg is meaningless right now since the game hasn’t been out for 30 days yet
Obviously time of day affects player numbers, no arguments there
A drop from all time peak is normal, but we’re seeing something like a 50%-60%+ decline after less than 2 weeks
I think it’s also not a great sign that the corresponding drop in AoE2 DE players seems to correlate deeply to the AoE4 player numbers at any given time of the day. In other words, a lot of AoE2 DE players have moved to AoE4, but there doesn’t seem to be a ton of new players that are getting into this game.
I think you could look at previous AOE game releases to get an idea of what to expect in terms of player numbers. I don’t think they will be able to ‘fix’ the game enough to actually attract additional players, likely it will only go down from here. That said its possible to play AOM EE (2k players average) or AOE 3 DE (3k players average) with people of similar skill, and AOE IV will probably never drop lower than that so not much to worry about.
if they dont fixed the things in short, and complete the game as a proper RTS game. (this is definitely an unfinished one)
They wont be holding up the existing player.
And if this game doesnt be come a popular competitive multiplayer game in the market, there will be no new joiner.
It’s very simple, those people who have big interests in RTS has already put in the money, if they want any new players to buy the game, they need to make this real popular.
However, according the nearly zero reactions from the dev here and progress about the first patch update.
I am pretty sure this game will be dead quickly.
Pretty sure the update will hit after the genesis tournament. Balance fixes before the pro players have 2-3 weeks to figure out the meta seems a bit early.
And tbh balance is really decent if you are not playing a water map (french hulks 11) for a freshly released game.
French, Rus, Mongols, English, Abbasid all did fairly well in genesis so far. Yes ofc French need a nerf, but balance isn’t as bad as people make it. French are just super straight forward with 0 mechanics and a lot of passive eco bonusses.
I think there are many casual players, who buy the game because of nostalgia and only play campaign & a few single player matches. Some of them could be disappointed by graphics, missing scenario editor or missing ranked ladder. Especially scenario editor is important for fanmade content.
And of course the other problems + missing features. The only chance Relic can keep Aoe4 being superior to Aoe2 DE is to patch all those things in the next weeks and months.
I love all who exaggerating on how bad this game is, stop with that. Balancing issues any game has and apart from a few things like further customization to hot keys there isn’t many game breaking issues.
There are things to fix yes but people need to learn the words they are using to describe something that simply isn’t true. For a newly release it’s one of the best smooth launches I have seen in a long time in modern gaming history.
People just need to have patience and a patch will come, it takes time to do it good. They have a great solid ground to build further upon, its there they just need to focus on that now and it will become better later down the road.
Edit: I agree that something has to be done about the France civilization in particular, they are the dominant civilization most of the time and that’s boring to see.
Personally the absolute baseline for buying for me is patching in absolute basic features like some skirmish customizability options, player colours, optimizing engine that would allow extended camera range, map editor…
AFAIK campaigns are not a 100hr effort like in the current 2DE, and so for solo players, there’s not that much to do.
At least in OG III you had civ progression and unlocking home city cards and customization.
After doing Art of War and campaigns I guess people just move on. Especially people that are not achievement hunters.
Most people stick mostly to single-player and maybe coop, co it’s natural they move on couple weeks after purchase. Especially these days with all free games, F2P games, giveaways, free weekends, game passes etc.