The new auto-scouting option is very interesting. While I don’t feel much use for it in particular, I see how it can help new players get into the game with one less task on their minds as they struggle with build orders and reacting to opponents’ strategies. Learning to play AoE is much like piano lessons - you start with one hand and then slowly introduce your other hand to handle part of the melody etc. You expand your tasks over time, which is why I always suggest to my friends to start off with Huns as you dont have to build houses. In this sense -the auto-scouting seems like a nice safety net for beginners!
That being said, I have been thinking a lot about other safety wheel features that could improve gameplay.
One thing that came to mind, and I think is worth to discuss here - is a “scatter units into groups” option. What I mean by this is say you have 4 units selected. if you execute the command (or hotkey- let’s say button “Q” for convenience) - you’ll end up with unit groups 1,2,3,4 filled with the 4 units previously selected together.
Similarly, if you were to have 10 units selected and you hit “Q” -> you’ll end up with groups 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0 each having precisely one unit from the previous group attributed to it.
This could come in handy for those micro-intense situations if you would want to scatter units for whatever reason - or quickly divide an army of onangers to make every single one have a different target.
But most importantly - it is a feature that would make monks far more usable and viable in games. you could quickly task up to 10 monks to different units and we’d potentially see the birth of new strategies focused on conversions.
Do you think this would be OP? not really useful? let me know as I’m really curious to hear what people think. To me it sounds like an interesting feature that could deepen the gameplay and diversify the meta even further.
Jesus christ please don’t add this
Monks are already viable enough(and in general typically underused), and the skilfulness of actually splitting a group of monks into groups is a good thing
Please, for the love of god, don’t add any mechanic that would make monks easier to wield
that’s my point exactly - they’re underused. While I appreciate the skill needed to master monks, I would like to see them more used and see this as a potential solution. The elite players who are already top 15% or whatever who can use them effectively are at an advantage as opposed to someone mid-rank who could potentially turn games in their favor via conversions - if it were slightly easier to do.
Sidenote, I am not in favor of plenty “safetywheel” features in AoE and agree that we don’t need to dumb the game down. However I see this as something that has a clear entry skill requirement, and would make games dynamic. It’s not a “press button to mass convert units”. you would still need to be fast and efficient in your conversions !
I always assign individual monks to groups, comes in handy for conversions and relics, so adding this specially for monks does not do that much imo since it’s already possible. I think the group scattering is a bit of a strange niche feature that not many people would use. It has a lot of non-intuitiveness coming with it, like: what happens when performing it on 21 or more units selected; shouldn’t it assign each type of unit to a different group; should it skip numbers that are already assigned to something or not.
And we already have an upgrade for taking a group of monks and quickly convert one unit after the other while only one monk needs to regenerate faith.
making monks more useful sounds miserable. if anything, they should be nerfed so that there’s a reason to make things like swordsmen/knights or do anything that’s more interesting than raiding with archers while booming behind walls
So you know it is underused in most of situations. I don’t think the balance based on very specific restrictions is a good design.
I think the devs need to look into this unit and make a bit change, find a way to make it and the relative technologies more viable for avarage players, but also not make them too powerful. Like how they fix the militia line. No one ask for it but actually we need it.
And I think Scorpion need some care too. I haven’t see this unit for a very long time…
Monks are already very viable. They are the go to unit on Arena, with some extremely deadly monk rushes for certain civs. On open maps adding monks is an excellent deterrent against knights/camels and can win fights with only a couple conversions.
The momentum switch of just 2 conversion can’t be stated enough. Using monks is very much meta and is used in variety of situations. Monks are already an extremely good unit. One that requires a lot of attention, but it is well worth the cost.
If monks are underused at lower levels well I’m sorry but that’s a case of lower level players not knowing how to use them, not a case of the unit being underpowered.
The truth is monk is indeed one of the most underused units for the average people. I rarely see them on the battlefield. They are indeed powerful against knights in the early Castle age when the scale of armies are relatively small. Otherwise they are useless. The monk techs in age 4 are useless too.
Maybe the level of players like me just suck and can’t use it well… but even in the videos of the best pros’ matches, they are not the first units to be considered. A group of monks can’t counter more than 10 knights. Even the best pros can barely control 5~6 monks at the same time. How can you expect average players can utilize it well?
And I am not saying the monk need buff. I am saying it could be a bit easier to control. Maybe we can find a way to make it easier to use, and also nerf it without making it too powerful. So it can be viable to players of all level range.
If you want to better micro them, you just can assign control 1, 2, 3, etc to each monk and micro them. If they implement an easier way to control monks, that can destroy some maps like arena for example.
In voobly there was a guy who developed a monk macro that allowed to re-target all monks leaving only one monk converting the previous targeted unit and that resulted in a super boost so they could even convert groups of LC and hussars (natural monks counters).
Monks are back up units, they are not intended to be the main line of army except if you are performing an all in monk rush. And in that situation, they are OK as they are.
Monks being underused by beginners is kinda unavoidable I think. Monks are good when army numbers are small, and beginners tend to play passive and only fight with large armies so then converting units is just not worth it. But even then, they still play a role for picking up relics and then heal armies with it, which is something I assume quite some lower level players might try too.
I agree with the statement that monks don’t need a buff, aside from optionally making them slightly easier to micro or something. In my opinion no change is needed to monks. But suppose for the sake of argument that they would implement auto-conversion on the nearest unit. A group of monks then would usually convert the same unit, and even after researching theocracy, converting one unit at a time with a group is less efficient than converting a different unit with each monk. And it can still be gebaited by sending a few light cavalry in first. And monks are still slow, expensive and easy to lose, so I think it wouldn’t be quite as OP as you might think. (But I’m still against it)
Assigning 3 monks to control groups: 1,2,3 and microing each one individually is how it SHOULD be. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in how i phrased this in the original post;
I think that a “scatter units into groups” option would help speed up the process of microing monks enough but not be game-breaking.
you wouldn’t have to do this:
click on monk 1 out of 10 monks
press ctrl 1
click on monk 2 out of 10 monks
press ctrl 2
click on monk 3…
instead you press “ctrl+shift” or whatever: and you automatically assign 10 units to 10 different unit groups.
This can help because target-clicking in off itself is tedious especially with how weirdly it sometimes clicks the wrong thing at the moment…so you can often fail at assigning monks to groups in the very start. It doesn’t feel natural in my opinion.
By pressing ctrl+shift you can immediately control 10 monks individually and can start to micro them, instead of having to spend time into preparing for micro
Additionally: this would allow larger armies of monks: 20 or 30 monks to be utilized. If you were to select 20 monks in my hypothetical feature - and press ctrl+shift, the first 10 monks would be assigned to unit groups. you can move them away a bit, micro them, and quickly return to the 10 remaining monks, scatter them as well, and micro them.
The cost of this feature would be that:
you would lose previously assigned unit groups like armies, buildings and whatnot.
it would be easy to mix up larger groups of monks (20-30 monk units) and ruin your micro.
So there is a clear drawback, making this a slight improvement/qoa feature rather than an all-out buff to monk-based strategies.
Again, I might be wrong in suggesting this but wanted to clear things out further as I don’t believe people understood my initial point!