What we saw about Age of Empires IV is too short sadly for us, but at the same time is enough to make some asumptions about what can be improved.
So here are some ideas and thoughts i have, for what can be done for Age IV, let’s get started.
AESTHETICS AND EMBELLISHMENT
This is a big deal for me. For what we could see Age IV looks a very detailed Game, but yet, there are a few things that can be done to make it even better.
People on buildings:
To increase the level of realism and visual joy, add some people inside the buildings. It would be awesome watching the blacksmith forging things, archers training in the Archery Range, soldiers making patrol around the Barracks or even training and so on. I have seen this before in games like “Battle for Middle Earth”. Buildings has actually people on it and when you produce some archers for example, people appeared training inside it, and the building itself evolved gaining veterancy while producing soldiers. It would be awesome having a detailed feature like this in Age IV. The Battle for Middle Earth game today is almost 15 years old so it shouldn’t be so big deal and hard to do for Age IV, isn’t it?
People managing siege units:
Same as before. Catapults trebuchets and siege towers aren’t automated weapons so add some soldiers who actually drive them!
Phisics implementation & Environment destruction
I don’t know how phisics works in Age IV but it would be great to see some soldier rolling around the map while being hit by a catapult projectyle. Just like AoE III with canons against infantry units. That level of realism would be awesome. Same for the environment destruction during sieges and battles. War leaves a big scar in the earth that last for ages.
Units celebration after battle
As in Age of Empires III, after winning a battle, all soldiers celebrated for a brief moment and to be honest, that was pretty cool! It would be nice to keep that feature aswell.
REAL TIME WEATHER
Here is another fantastic thing that can be done/add (if it is not already done). Rainy, Snowy and Windy days on different maps would be awesome, but what if we can experience them in the same map?
Weather chance per map:
Each map has his own design and identity. We all love playing RTS games in different types of environments, such as Woods, Snowy mountains or even the long Desert itself. But what if each one has a small chance to be in a random and different type of weather? It would make the game a different experience everytine you play.
Let’s say for example the Woods map of the trailer, it could have the following chances of weather:
So everytime you play the “Woods” map is never the same. And every map would have different percentages aswell.
Also having in game weather transitions would be fantastic. Starting a match with a great sunny day and then ending it with a great storm.
Gameplay weather impact
To add some realism and mechanics to the game, weather should impact in the game such a reducing movent speed by 30% in Snowy days or the Line of Sight also for Rainy/Stormy days. Yet keep it simple as that, without making it too much complex. As Isegreen said, it’s the balance between too complex for veterans and too easy for newcomers. AoE never had a feature like this before so there is no need to go full in depth neither.
Day / Night cycle:
Will just affect the line of sight like for example:
It would make the game both, beautiful and with new strategies and mechanics to apply.
ARMORY TECHNOLOGIES APPLYED IN GAME
Age of Mythology had this feature and i went crazy and fall in love with it. Every time you reaserch something in the armory you could see that upgrade applyed to your units, like the Hoplites from the Greeks for example and their shields how they change every time you reaserch a new type in the armory. I would love to see this feature again!
UNIQUE ABILITY PER CLASS OF UNIT
Here is something i had been considering, about the formations that you can use, what about adding an unique “tactical ability” ? I know this is not proper of an AoE game but it is something new. For example:
Infantry - Wall of Shields (only if applies, pikeman of the trailer clearly doesn’t since they don’t wear any shield ):
Increase armor by 40% - reduce movement speed by 30% - Last for 15 seconds.
Cavalry - Charge (applyes to all types of cavalry units)
Increase movement Speed by 35% and knocks out every infantry unit un their path - Last 10 seconds (doesn’t work against pike units)
Archers - Volley of Arrows
Focus all the Arrows in an small area increasing the damage done by 60%
CHOOSES BETWEEN AGES
Use Age of Empires III system. In order to advance to a new Age, you have to choose between different characters which each one provided different bonuses (those ones updates acording to the Age that you are moving into). This will provide strategic diversity. Would you choose at early stage the polítician who provides you with loads of resources for an economy strategy or would you save him for late game because of the bonuses and unique units he provides in last ages?
Well this is all for now, i have way a lot more ideas that i will be updating this post later, and in the future when more details about Age IV be revealed.