The buggy river crossing - French vs Chinese showmatch

The recent showmatch between French and Chinese showed a lot of problems around and related to rivers. The overall situation around 19:30 made me cringe so hard I had to take a break from watching: Showmatch French vs Chinese (official Age Of Empires yt)
It’s a blobby battle of visual sadness:

  • You can build on the shallow water of a river crossing. Silly but intended?

  • No impact effects for the nest-of-bees’ attacks against the blue vils. Huh?

  • Nest-of-bees (and all siege) still create ugly dirt patches underneath them no matter if they are near land or the river. Why?

  • The demo ship can drive through the unfinished castle and explode from within. I guess they didn’t plan on avoiding buildings for water-unit pathing : P
    EDIT → Actually ignores scaffolding and follows the building foundation like every other unit.

  • Demo ship explosion has barely any visual effect and the units caught in the blast despawn instantly upon death. (Also: No friendly fire on castle or builders…intended?)

  • Spearmen keep throwing up dirt while moving through water. No water ripples or splashes for the units when moving. No interaction of dead units with water.

  • The water looks horrible with that one repeating texture (white foam?) and the generally flat look. No definition of any river banks. How did we drop from AOE3 to this?
    Just watch this scene from AOE3DE. That is water! AOE3DE - Art of War Naval Battle - (SergiuHellDragoonHQ)

  • Not even the fishermen (professionals!) are sure where the water begins and keep throwing their nets out into the ground (5:18)

  • There is no reaction to building nearby water (mill, barbican) or in the shallow water (castle).
    Why not use the building-eye-candy system to put some rocks around the buildings foundation where they touch water? You already know on which tiles the building stands and where the river is located in relation. That would give the illusion of them sitting on natural or raised rock. Instead the castle has the same bushes and dirt around as it would anywhere else on the map, just underwater -.-
    Why invest into a dynamic eye candy system when it ignores such obvious landscape changes?

  • Same goes for walling a river crossing (e.g. shorty visible to the left around 21:06). Just add a special wall piece (or eye-candy clutter) to mark it ending against a river (or forest/cliff for that matter). That would make it clear that an area is walled and there is no gap. As they currently are, the visuals don’t give you such important information.


Yes, it was a new map design so a good opportunity to catch some of these situations. I do hope the devs paid attention to that battle - I mean, it would be hard not to. I think it was a good chance to catch some unintended (?) aspects of how units and structures act on water vs land. It was obvious that the game had no animation for unit deaths while in water and that partially completed structures in water didn’t block units.
I thought the water effects and banks with the different levels of stones look much better than that AOEIII video, but it’s the usual graphics and personal taste thing.

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Totally agree.

To those aoe4 defenders:

The game is a disaster, admin it please!


The game looks great, just need some fixes. Take a look to cyberpunk game, that is a disaster.


Dude, there are bugs in the alpha/beta, the game MUST be a disaster… -.-

We have only seen beta builds of the game. I respect the fact that you may not be interested, but please keep in mind that not everyone thinks the same way. I think this game will be great in its own way, the same as how the other games in the franchise have been great in their own ways as well. :smiley:


Also since nest of bees got nerfed so it fired fewer missiles its firing animation is no longer in sync, it is pretty noticeable as you keep seeing the barrels flash and smoke even though nothing is coming out.

I think it affects gameplay too as the NOB cannot move while in that firing animation.

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I liked the showmatch overall. But yes, the game needs polish - I don’t think anyone is denying this. Expect to see these quirks happen for at least a few months after launch… it’s the new way of releasing software and isn’t AoE specific. Just look at the latest iOS or Windows 11 release. :slight_smile:


On this note, the demo cannot go through the foundation - it paths around the keep as much as the soldier do, the difference is the scaffolding eye candy is not the collision border of the foundation. (All buildings have pathable edges) This is simply a consequence of that, and I believe is working as intended.

Other than that all your points are fair - although I don’t think the river bank/ connection looks bad. That shore fish is really right on the edge.

That god awful foam texture though.

The dynamic eye candy system for buildings/walls would benefit greatly with water or near water variations like you say. They have this somewhat already for docks, they could even get away with reusing those dock foundation assets.


You’re right, rewatched it and it follows the foundation ignoring the scaffolding, just like every other unit.

The mill was the issue. It enforced the texture changes along the river bank (underwater) where the shorefish node sits, breaking the illusion.

Yeah, the match itself was great.

Are we browsing the same forum?^^

Y’all keep hoping for sudden miracle changes around release, I keep adding to my red-flag forest with the info we got so far ¯\(ツ)


Anyone reasonable. There are very clear and evident bugs in the game - just like any other game on the planet ever made. It’s normal.

I actually don’t. I’m fine if the same build of the Stress Test releases. Would it be great if they polished the game more? Yes, for sure. Is the game enjoyable even in its current state? Absolutely.

The problem will be for folks who are on the fence/aren’t a fan of AoE or RTS. These might be too much for them to be patient with the game.


No, I don’t think that the game is in a state where it will take a miracle to make it a fun experience for me when it comes out.

I’m also very aware of how game development works and polish items are going to be the last things that get fixed, so they’re the things you’re going to see closest to launch.


It’s safe to say that the game still need work, and to keep polishing the game but it’s nowhere near a disaster of a game like some people write on these forums.

You can also see some improvements over the open beta in those developer matches which is a good sign, and I don’t think any reasonable person would expect everything that needs fixing to be fixed by launch in less than 10 days.

However, they have shown that they are listening to some of the feedback by the community and who knows what else they have made yet to tell us or that will be addressed later down the road.

People need to understand that making a game from scratch takes a lot of time and effort and as much as we would love to have a perfect game at launch it’s not the reality we live in and expecting that is just setting up for disappointment for the people who do that.

Do I believe that the developers can do this? Absolutely because they have shown that they listen to the community and also quite frankly after played both the closed beta and open beta I was surprised how well the game played despite the small bugs here and there.

The beta build was more stable than some games are at launch and that to me gives me high hopes that the developers are capable of addressing the remaining issues with this game.



AOE3 looks so much better… the water is so 2D flat… so many lazy short cuts. They should have just made this game out of a modded AOE3, it would have been a cheaper and better product.

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Why do you want beautiful water and realistic physics? the game is already fun. and since its already fun, there is no further need of improvement.

so what if the units have dirt throwing when they walk on water or they vanish after dying? It’s an RTS, not FPS or RPG, here gameplay is the king, details don’t matter. Isn’t it enough that we have butterflies on berry bushes? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

People wanted a new strategy game in 2021 and we got it. and not just any game, its AOE. so no matter how unpolished it is, we have to love it. :joy: :sweat_smile:


Sorry but I won’t stop liking a game just because you don’t like it.

Was it even a disaster?
They sold a lot of copies and as far as I know they made much more money than what they invested in development and marketing.
The game might be nearly unplayable on the old consoles but when it runs people do like it.

It’s very unlikely that they will fix most of the things before release.

But it’s not like AoE1-3 had no bugs on release, especially minor cosmetic bugs.

Not that shallow water ever looked that good in any AoE or worked that logically.

In AoE3 it’s pretty much like here. If units can walk there you can also build buildings.
Units also don’t have different animations in water or behave any different.
No problems leading your musket while it’s literally half underwater.

Lol, Just to remind you that aoe3 DE optimized like ■■■■. And uses 6gb VRAM with low graphics. Beautiful graphics with horrible performance ends up with a cheaper product that the Aoe3 OG collection , LITERALLY I’m sorry to say this and it hurts me a LOT . My first and favorite game of the franchise is aoe3 Og and seeing what they have done to my game in terms of performance is honestly hearth breaking.

So instead complaining about the visuals of the game why don’t you see the shity things about your game (aoe 3 de)


The game itself is not a disaster. But the dev process and the missed opportunities are a historical disaster. If you want the game to be handled in isolation to the genre and it’s predecessors, than I suggest not putting “AOE” and “4” in the title. This is a problem they knowlingly created themselves.

I hate to be “that old guy” over and over, but again: Devs have made finished games long before online distribution was a thing. Design the game, code the game, print the cd’s and sell the game. Sure they also had to cut corners back then when close to launch, but there were a lot more hurdles for post launch fixes, making a fully working and polished game mandatory.
Showing off vanishing animations half a month before launch is one of the many signs for how lax they are handling such issues these days. There seems to be no pressure left to go the extra mile. Just 80% everything, tick the boxes and call it a day.

4 Years are also not in the CoD ballpark of punishing yearly releases. There is no need to have brutal crunchtime when you have full 4 years to develop a sequel (a timeline I highly doubt, btw). All that on top of an existing engine and by an established studio… others made an in-house engine and a game in the same time period.
I am a programmer myself, but I can only imagine the corpo hoops to jump through in a big company with M$ breathing down your neck. I cannot consider that as a consumer though, since in the end of the day, they give product, I give money. No need to bring motherly feelings into that simple relationship.

It’s also highly hypocritical to ask the consumer base to accept the “modern standard” of unfinished releases, while at the same time ignoring much more fitting “modern distribution options” (ftp, game as a service, early access, base game price reduction combined with a road-map of the planned, priced DLC) and instead go for the classic, hard cash, day one, full “AAA” pricing.

Today the industry has spread enough propaganda to make fellow gamers and consumers tell me that I should be thankful for a half finished product for full price and the mere promise of improvement.
Crazy times.