An idea I had years ago, in addition to my earlier neanderthal Dark Age thoughts, was having Age of Empires be, well, about creating an empire… instead of just a very robust city or small group of cities on a single map.
- To achieve this, my idea was that the map you play on (which is a typical AoE2:DE match) is just a small piece of a larger, connected game world map. (Connected by way of land area; not necessarily by way of Internet ;) )
- As you win each map match, you get control of another area/region/territory of the larger map world you're playing on.
- You can only 'attack' adjacent land areas to the ones you own on the larger map. So, as you win more land, you have more places you can attack
- You achieve ultimate victory once you conquer all the territories in the larger map; thus creating your empire, so to speak.
- As you can see, achieving this ultimate victory will take a number of matches and likely a bit of time.
- This reminds me a bit of an old game called Defender of the Crown (screenshots below); and that game likely served somewhat as an inspiration to the idea.
- In that game, you are a certain color and you try and conqueor all the territories to make them your color and own all of England.
- In an AoE sense, the big chunk of land wouldn't necessarily be England, of course... but, rather, a different random or user-specified region on Earth. It would allow for climate, biome, and civ competition differences in the various matches you play, depending on where each match is located on the wider north, south, east, or west portion of the larger map. Snow vs. desert; tropical vs. forested; etc.
- But I do envision the larger map that I'm talking about for AoE be much like the one in "Defender of the Crown," where after you win (or lose) a match, you're taken to that larger map and its status updated (your blob of color fills into the territory you won), and you can then make your next move.
- To make it easier and not last as long, the big land map could be randomly pre-populated with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+ other civs. Each civ would own a pre-determined number of territories in a pre-assigned matter. And the AI cannot attack you. You do all the attacking; the AI tries to defend its land each time.
- If the AI could attack you (as it is able in "Defender of the Crown") you'd have to do a "defend your land" type of match. But it seems to me this would be too much for most people. Too much work; take too long.
- So, this is why we should probably just focus on attacking their territories to try and win all the territories, to get your 'empire' in the end; rather than have see-saw battles for territory ownership.
- One more quick idea for this might be for each enemy civ to have one 'home' territory that contains their capitol or stronghold, like in "Defender of the Crown." Whereby, if you attack that capitol/stronghold and win that match, you win all of that civ's territories. This stronghold territory would be markedly more difficult than just your typical land-grab match. Perhaps it has a wonder or some other structure that's hard to take down, its military is more powerful, or it gets an economic head-start; since the reward is so high.
- Although, that does sound a bit appealing to me... where you have to defend your land from being conquered.
- I see this probably working better as a single-player mode where you do battles against AI rather than against humans.
- Mainly because conquering all the territories on the larger (regional) map will take a while, and you'll be able to save your progress and continue at your leisure.
- But if it ever catches on, I could see it being against humans, where it becomes a bit of a tournament sort of thing. I have a feeling that vs. Humans would be a tougher pill to swallow, though, so I just propose it as a new single-player mode for now.
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I remember when I first thought of this, I envisioned you playing your typical AoE match on your typical square map. Beyond the border of your match (in the black), though, there would be fights taking place to your N, S, E, and W. (Maybe the HUD would show you who was battling and winning at the moment on your map edges.) After you win your match, you would then challenge/fight the winner of the match that was going on in one of those directions. Eventually, after several wins, you own a lot more land than just your initial starting square; you were, essentially, building your empire. This was the initial impetus for my more evolved “Defender of the Crown”-esque idea outlined above. However, even that initial idea could be an interesting mode; and could lend itself better to human vs. human ranked tournaments. It is a bit of a tournament tree which already exists, but maybe provides a more visual grounding to it where it feels like you’re expanding your empire; as opposed to just winning a bunch of isolated matches.
Defender of the Crown (Screenshots)
In this map, you are light blue. This is how the map starts in DotC…
As the match progresses, different Kings in this game attack and gain control of more land. For AoE, I envision something like this civ/color distribution would probably have to be the starting point (territories pre-assigned to something like this):
And just for fun, here is a different, non-strategical view of the same map:
Screenshots courtesy of gog.com