Thoughts about the state of the game and moving forward

I agree with your points :slight_smile:
I am mostly pleased with the game, although I am really waiting for couple of improvements to the game, especially increased unit selection limit and possibility to disable AI kiting + projectile avoidance.

There have been a lot of good suggestions to the game both during and after beta. I hope, that developers have not forget about them. Maybe developers should even do polls about what improvements does community want the most? Otherwise it might be difficult to prioritize improvements in most appropriate order.

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I am glad to be not the only one, seeing that water needs another redesign after adding fire galleys to end the times of vikings mirror and galley micro in feudal. However, seeing full fire galley feudal and only two civs on full water maps regularly while there are a lot of civs with similar full water tech tree is a mess tbh. Age up times are just too critical so the civ with best age up accompanied with pretty huge dock bonuses => Italians dominate the meta. Vikings are only played because their Unique Ship allows for comebacks, but every other civ has very narrow possibilities to make a comeback if they have lost water or are some seconds behind in age up.

Also flavourwise water is a bit messy since some well-known water-civs have not even the theoretical chance to be seen like Britons or have almost the worst water tech tree in the game like Teutons. And then you have like shipwright for American Civs or Goths whose tech tree and lack of super water bonuses makes it impossible to be played anyhow. On the other hand civs with a clear water focus gather around the lowest tiers on land maps. Partially due to the fact that Unique techs with water focus are only a waste of ressources on land maps.

I have might shown that I made some, in fact many, thoughts about how to redesign water, and I am still not done with it and I am aware that all my ideas cannot be implemented into the general game, but as a starting point that can be implemented into the game without huge extra workload would be:

Removing the effect of bracer from Galleons and inventing a new tech like cannon smith (propably in the University then if we stuck with the current buildings) that gives galleons +1atk/+1range.

Lacking bracer due to land balance reasons regarding their archers will hurt the same civ on water that much, that they are immediately trash tier there. And this entanglement is honestly spoken too large. It narrows down the freedom to balance civs on water and land seperately. And having bracer affecting Galleons doesnt make sense in a flavour aspect anyhow since Galleons (even War Galleys) dont shoot arrows. This would also make the transition into Imperial Age somewhat interesting since now a civ with bracer might have their upgrade on their War Galleys earlier than the civ that doesnt have it and needs to go Galleon and the new tech first to have same range again.

I know that its not perfect to have the upgrades of the last evolution of a unit-line different from those below, thats why I have seperated in my design the bolt-shooting ship lines i.e. galley-type ships that shoot arrows from the Galleon-type ships that shoot scorpion bolts (in fact they are in two different buildings there). But I dont know how far you can go realisitically with the official game.

It is comparable with the seperation of the Light Cavalry-Line and the Heavy Cavalry-Line in stables. Being able to upgrade Scouts into Knights would create the same mess on land we have on water right now. Because the one with the advantage in feudal will automatically win the game because he can simply upgrade his current army into a much better army when being Castle age faster due to some damage he has dealt in Feudal Age. But no, knights are designed as comeback unit, that can even in smaller numbers defeat a larger army of scouts or Light Cavalry.

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I’m trying to keep ir short here.

Desing: game is beautiful. What it should be.

Balance: agree. Still need some work, specially on water, but Balance is almost on point.

BUGS, CHEATS AND PATHFINFING : 1/10. I don’t understand how each month something new is broken. At this point the devs should focus all their attention in this issue. Since is the most important of the game, and, sadlyz the one that is in worst state

QoL and changes to the original: I like pretty muc every (slash autoscout). I love the mao pool, except I’m still waiting for a function that allows me to avoid civ-pickers and play only randoms civs

If they add the aforementioned functionality, and solve cheats, bugs and pathfinfing, it would be indeed a definitive éditions

Naval warfare was always an issue in the AOE franchise. I hope they’ll make water battles more interesting in AOE4.

Moving forward, I’d like to see some love for the singleplayer community.

I know this is a controversial opinion but honestly, I’d like them to continue what they did with HD with the Definitive Edition in terms of regular new content packs aka expansions. I wouldn’t mind buying new expansions for the Definitive Edition because from a single player/casual multiplayer perspective, the Definitive Edition offers exactly what I wanted and I’d be happy to continue to support them.

New civs with new campaigns are exciting and it somehow bothers me that there are so few campaigns set in America/Africa compared to Europe or Asia.

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There are hints that AoE II DE becomes more the SP-focused game after AoE IV has drawn over all MP from DE. So there might be campaign expansions on the way somewhen.

And I also find it bothering that some civs dont have a campaign at all. And there are some campaigns with a clear Naval focus missing like a British Campaign starring Francis Drake’s Adventures and the Battle between the Royal Navy and the Spanish Armada as the stepstone for the British global Empire.

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This is an euphemism, at best.

I agree that this game brought many nice additions at a reasonable price, it is full of good content — some even being brand new — and honestly getting used to DE makes going back to other AoE2 iterations almost painful given how better the game plays on DE…

…when it works. And for a considerable amount of the time this game won’t work.

The launch was disastrous, the game came infested with bugs broadly reported by beta testers, and performance issues were so impactful that it was virtually unplayable on most PC setups.

Then it took at least 2 more months for them to make the game actually playable for setups that met the advertised minimum requirements.

By January performance was considerably increased, but the introduction of the kill counter bug spoiled the fun of campaign and custom scenarios players. Many of these got unplayable and the bug took a whole month to be patched.

Early February the language filter appeared. It came out of nowhere, with not mention of its implementation by the staff and messed heavily chat communication within the game. The filter is not as much of a problem today, but remains a annoyance. Still unknown to this day what’s the purpose of its existence and if it was even work of the devs originally. They didn’t spoke a word about the issue until the arrival of the major update on the month’s end.

In the February Update they took two steps backwards and several performance instabilities were introduced again, specially regarding custom scenarios. Booting scenarios and using the editor caused continuous crashes, along with many lobby bugs and file tranfering errors. From there on custom scenarios became unplayable.

I don’t really have much to say about March aside from the fact that the game was still pretty unstable performance-wise.

The April Update had some advancement regarding performance. Some undocumented changes on how UI components work were done, this broke many GUI mods and made it unreasonably more difficult to make them possible. Also introduced the infamous Malay bug and the 256x tech cheat code that plagued ranked matchmaking with exploiters of a bug related to the code. A bug that made chatting impossible while playing custom scenarios also appeared. With the exception of the UI mods issue that still around, all of these also took a whole month to be patched.

Now, in the May Update, custom scenarios are finally working again, but ranked games became unplayable. I wonder how long it will take them to adress it.

Not to mention here inumerous pathfinding, AI beahvior, menus, interfaces, connection issues that plagued the game through all its living.

The arrival of a new major update is almost considered a joke already. We’re always uncertain if current bugs will be patched and we’re always terrified of the new dreadful bugs that will be introduced. They simply have awful quality assurance for this game.

And all of that with very poor communication to the community. Game breaking issues, staying for at least a month, with no word in regarding it by them. I honestly think that the greatest reason for frustration with this game is how bad the staff communicates with the playerbase and how little transparent they are. This is a demand we have since the game launched, it is consistently brought up ever since and still very little have been done to improve on this side. I can’t understand why.

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Well ofc, that is the most important, that the game is actually playable :smiley: It is just a place for some fantasy wishes I think :smiley:

I do agree with this, and if you ask around those who have discussed stuff with me, you would know i have said quite a few times that i don’t think monthly balance patches are a good thing.

And i absolutely agree they should spend more time focusing on the bugs, and they absolutely should have a balance test map, similar to what SC2 does. where they focus on testing changes.

I honestly should have included this up, as i’ve stated before, but i was running on about 4 hours of sleep in the past 2 days at the time.

Honestly, I think it is pretty much impossible to get the water balance interesting with the current galley / fire galley gameplay. You can only change the cost / stats for those 2 units … and it does not make sense to do that for all Civs…

The only thing that could really shake up the water balance is if each civ gets a unique ship (like Vikings, Koreans, Portuguese…).
However that would be a lot of work and a nightmare to balance. Therefore I do not think we ever see an interesting and balanced water meta in AoE2.
The best we can hope for is to maybe have 5-7 strong water civs instead of 2 to have at least some variety in Pro matches…

Why though?

Bracer is good as it is

You expect I answer on that response after I wrote a whole essay on it :smiley: Comon put at least some effort into it, so we can discuss.

11111

Ok, fair enough.

Thing is, not all civs are archer/cav archer civs.

I agree that Bracers can be important for Defensive structures, but that’s all there is to it.

They are an upgrade of a unit that shoots arrows though.

There are only melee and pierce attack. I mean, canon should be a different one, but the game doesn’t want to be too complicated.

Different, since Scout has another purpose than a knight

Well does Bracer upgrade all units dealing pierce damage ? No.

I argued why it would be cleanest way to seperate the ship lines into a light navy shooting arrows and a medium navy shooting scorpion bolts where the former is upgraded via BS upgrades and the latter with own upgrades.

That is why I dont want all civs to have bracer, but erase entanglement of their performance with archers on land with the performance on water. It is so severe you can have full water tech tree but missing bracer because of land-idenitity will throw the civ to trash tier. And then its a total waste of having all the water techs.

You can change that with archer armors and thumb ring

Take thumb ring and the last two armor upgrades from a water and non-archer civ and you are good to go.

Except for Siege, Yes.

That would make the game more complicated than what it already is though
But decent idea nonetheless.

The game is a mess. Full of bugs and cheaters.

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This would be really appreciated

Sure, but for instance just seeing the steppe lancer as to-go cavalry unit for the civs having it would be great!
Minor changes may help some underused units, but this is not a priority.

I find the land game very well balanced. Just few civs (Koreans, Italians, Portuguese) need small adjustments to be more enjoyable on land, but I trust devs as they did with Vietnamese. Turks are the only civ in a bad spot imo.

Actually water play is much better than the old Viking war. At least we have two civs (100% more) with very different water strengths. However, I do not think that water game is unbalanced, it is just pure water. On hybrid maps, Persians, Japanese, Malay… they are probably better than Italians/Vikings. Pure water is a very specific setting, where just water bonuses matter. It is very difficult having several civs. In high hunt maps (valley), mongols dominate, in graveyard, where there are several relics, everyone goes Aztecs. In empire wars, Chinese are so strong that they were banned in the corresponding tournament. I mean, if the settings are very specific, it is obvious that one or two civs can be much better than the others. In my opinion, these maps (valley, graveyard, islands, and empire war setting) should not stay too much in the map poll, because you basically force players to pick that specific civ.

That doesn’t take a whole lot, but put it this way. since the Age of Kings days we’ve nearly tripled the number of civs, but only added 1 extra water civ on pure water. my thoughts is that there should definiely be more diversity there.

but those are hybrid maps.

I completely disagree with your point on “Bugs and Fixes”. Each patch introduces a significant bug that should be addressed immediately, yet is not. And no this is not part and parcel for games. Let me explain.

The core of the player base wants to play team games. Team games currently CANNOT BE PLAYED. Simply due to one player (sometimes two) randomly disconnecting within the first 5 minutes of the game. This issue has been brought to the attention of the devs yet we have heard nothing in 5 days since the patch was released. This means people have been unable to play for 5 days without any info.

I thought waiting 30 days for a fix to the Malay bug was unusual, but the current state goes beyond that and has started to alienate a lot of the core base which is really sad because I want the game to succeed.

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Got a source to back up this statement?

My point was that it is very difficult having a lot of civs good in a very specific setting. I do not think that it is a big issue if Aztecs are OP in graveyard. Islands is the less played map, so it is aceptable if there are two civs… numbers get much better moving towards hybrid maps.

I would like to see Portuguese and Koreans more involved in water, but let us see. These two civs should receive a small buff for land, maybe if it is an eco buff they will become competitive on pure water also.

Balancing is more important in 1v1 Arabia, which is the reference. Here I would say that we are very close to perfection, with small tunes to Portuguese/Koreans/Italians. Plus Turk fix. After these changes we may have also the water variety improved.