To the Devs: Please take a look at the following ideas to strengthen the game, improve gameplay, QoL and give it some love it needs

Hi all, hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

I wrote some points that I accumulated over time playing this game. These ones stood out the most. There are a total of 6 points. I would appreciate constructive opinions, and no die-hard defensive trolls (most of their arguments from last year aged like raw milk - especially the ones who adamantly defended the blue-gold UI when the game first came out).

Here are my points:

  1. The User Interface (UI). It is only blue and gold. While initially voted heavily in-favour by the community mid-last year, almost everyone is over it because it has no visual appeal. It is cold and uninviting. Compare that with the vibrant AOE 2 DE user interface, not to mention its constant artwork updates and the opening screen. I sometimes open the game JUST to see the new goodies that are added (from events, festivals, important cultural calendar dates etc etc) on by the developer teams. While AOE 4 reigns superior to AOE 2 in terms of game mechanics and has so much more to offer technologically, the bad UI almost kills it.

I am the only person out of 10 of my friends who plays this game. And the only thing getting me going for the game is I want this game to stay alive. It is too good to wither away. It just needs some revision.

  1. By extention of the UI from my 1st point, the unit icons, unit card, tech icons, and everything else is plain gold and very hard to discern. I cannot memorise any of the techs (visual memory) because they all look the same. So I have to go step by step, or just memorise their relative positions on the panel. That is horrible.

  2. Units do not have a “Defensive Stance” option. They only have stand ground, which is instantly disabled when you move them. You cannot keep control of your army, ESPECIALLY when you are besieging and enemy and you are inching your way through their base. Your men love to run to enemy units and buildings in their base while being shot at from town centres, keeps and fully upgraded outposts which pack a really good punch. To deal with this, you select your units, bring them all back, and click on the “Stand Ground” option.
    All is good until your units get attacked by the enemy and dont do anything to engage them (only the unit being attacked turns around to fight. All his comrades stand beside and watch.) If you manually order your units to engage, well now the command is disabled and your units go back to running into their buildings, losiing large amounts of units.

If your units can have the classic “Defensive Stance” option from AOE 2, they will only follow the enemy for a short distance and then will return back, without following the enemy into their deaths. This is even more important when you have multiple unit combinations such as melee, ranged and cavalry units with monks backing them up to heal. I utilise monks, and it increases the survivability of your men significantly, well if only they can stand where they are!

  1. Heres a medium-level importance point. The Minimap. To better observe the minimap, the user should be able to SCALE the minimap just like he/she would scale an image in paint. An arrow on the top, sides or corner of the minimap should appear when you mouse-over, and you can click and scale it linearly (keeping ratio intact) as much as you like, without conforming to pre-set sizes!. Also, SEPARATE buttons for economy, resources, military, or (insert cool idea here) should be available so we can select the options separately without having to cycle through them like AOE2DE.

  2. Units are clustered into numbers. On AOE2DE they are always expanded. While it is a good idea to save space on the panel, we should be able to click on the icon of the cluster so it can expand into the individual units, especially for villagers. This is the reason. On AOE2DE, when I have selected an amount of lets say, 20 villagers, I can order that group to build a Castle. Then I press ctrl and click on some of the villager icons to remove them from my selection, and then put another building foundation. Then I press ctrl and click on a few more villager icons and remove some more, and send them to a resource, or to the battlefield to repair siege or whatever I want. This will save soooo much time instead of going back and forth, highlighting villagers two by two, three by three and individually ordering them.

I can do this with millitary units. Lets say I selected a large group of knights. I can task them two at a time to all relics on the map, while working off the same unit icon panel.

AOE 4 should implement this, but with a tweak. ALL types of units should be able to be expanded without the main selection changing. Lets say I have 20 knights, 20 pikemen and 20 villagers. I select them all. I give the initial order for them to march forward out of the base. This initiates their move. While selected, they show as THREE icons with the numbers 20, on each icon. Nice. I select the first icon which has knights, the unit icon expands out, and I can task them off in groups, pressing CTRL and clicking off knights every few orders, and when they are done, I do the same with my pikemen. But when I select the pikemen, I still want the villagers to show up on my unit selection panel too, because I will order them next. This will go on for every unit type or group I have selected, especially if I want to send 5 knights, 5 spearmen and 5 villagers in groups to a numbers of points on the map.That way, I dont need to go back and forth selecting individual units and groups. This feature would be cancelled once you left-click away into an empty part of the map, etc.

  1. Please give users the option to have the hotkey layout which has the “A” key to queue villagers from the town centre, instead of “Q”. I tried to manually change it, but then it threw off all of my other key-presses because it is all dependent on the grid layout.

those of aoe2 claim that aoe4 does not have a micro, adding “defensive stance” that you propose, only reduces the few micro that the game already has

how adding a new action can reduce any any set of actions?
It’s like claiming, that introduction of patrol was wrong cause before patrol action a player has to check every 5/10 seconds the area and move units for scouting.
Yes, let introduce super-micro. Let’s drop off resources manually, why not. Amazing micro game. Select vil → drop off resource. Micro? micro.

you probably ment to say, that noobs will be happy to use this feature to reduce stress and missplays, while their army can run away?

i get it

oh… so controversial to say smth against noobs…so let’s blame aeo2 players LOL.

OP said nothing new. 10000 times these topics were raised.

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you’re just resentful, because other threads, arguments like that have been used to defend autoqueue. Better do a survey on reddit and by the way attach: arrows without aim, friend damage… etc, good luck!

In the Empire Earth game you can enable an option so that a unit only attacks a single type of unit, that would make things easier since spearmen could attack horsemen and archers could attack spearmen, everything would be very easy. I’m going to propose it in your forum so that the condescending community of aoe2 welcomes me with open arms, wish me good luck!

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Eh, what? If true then I don’t trust people.

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AoE4 has plenty of micro. The one micro aspect it doesn’t have that AoE2 does is dodging archers.

Having stances would not meaningfully lower the micro in the game.

While they’re at it they could fix stand ground to actually behave in a logical fashion.

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take a poll on reddit, good luck :wink:

I don’t see how that is a valid point. There is no fun in constantly having to pull your troops back every two seconds. We are not the impetuous French knights during the crusades, the hundred years war, or the French cavalry during napoleon etc etc.

That being said, the French knights can have that feature as a gimmick, with a charge bonus ablility, at the cost of attacking without orders haha.

But in all seriousness, please. “Defensive Stance” is a must here. It will not hurt the game at all. In fact, it will make it playable.


Well, in the same way I will say that, the option of each unit attacking a single type of unit is essential for the game, it will not harm the game at all, in fact it will make it easier, support my proposal for aoe2, thanks :wink:

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There is only one free space left in the Mangudai and it is better to take advantage of it, the position that it would incorporate is No Attack, so that the ranged units are stealthy and do not reveal themselves attacking. Better, I’ll make a thread about it

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If the UI of aoe4 is this bad, it really needs to be updated. The current UI aoe2 is already in need of an upgrade, because it is a terrible mess. It cant be much worse. But you describes aoe4 as even worse…


I agree with your point about the soulless AOEIV UI.

Yep, most players criticized it a lot, yet nothing changed.


A good point!

Nah, AOE4 is a macro game, you just boom faster and try to produce more appropriate units.
Only micro is charging, running forward and backward xD
some monks etc and nothing xD
That is one reason why the game gets boring really fast too.

Mangudais are useless now
They shoot sponges and don’t deal any damage, they are just a distraction now.

AOE4 UI is away from history!
It does not include any historical weaponry, images, technologies, etc.
AOE2 did have it all. It would show how the armor would improve, and it would have its correct image, name, etc. So much better!
Really satisfying and would learn a lot about medieval weaponry and armor etc.
In AOE4 you don’t see any of that Medieval armor and weapons in the UI.
It is totally lackluster.

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I dont own aoe4, but the UI of aoe4 much be really, really terrible if it is bad compared aoe2. Seems like the devs dont really have a good UI strategy, so all the UIs are terrible. They really should work in that in all games.

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Not sure where you get “most players” from. Unless you have access to some sort of data the rest of do not, you’re just projecting your own preferences onto the majority, or at best speculating.

Please tell us then which other micro aspects AoE2 has that 4 is lacking other than dodging arrows as I said. Comparison to AoE2 micro is the context in which my statement was made.

therefore, a defensive stance is not welcome, except for the No Attack stance, which at least I found useful in ranged units. Win the Micro Flavius mod, hard level, if you think the game doesn’t have a micro, good luck!

The difference is that aoe4 one can emulate the battles and strategies of Alejandro Magno, martillo and anvil. You will never read that a commander told his units, activate patrol to avoid the arrows xd

illustrate yourself

Sorry but, this is exceptionally basic micro, and there is definitely no actual usage of the Hammer and Anvil unless you really stretch it. Both tried to go for their individual counters and Red just did far worse in that attempt.

I also find it funny that you’re expressing that these strategies are somehow special as if they aren’t also present in AoE2? If anything, AoE2 has more environmental conditions to make battle simulations more interesting.

Castles and Towers that actually do damage. Height advantage and house/building walling. Decision making on the map I feel ends up being far more cerebral, not because AoE2 is better inherently, but it seems that AoE4 chose to prune these mechanics in an attempt to garner a new audience.

In doing that, they’ve removed depth that people appreciated.


I don’t get what you’re trying to say? Like… is it bad that you have the chance to avoid arrows unlike in AoE 4 where the arrow will still try to follow you if you’re fast enough?
AoE isn’t a simulator.


You would do me a great favor if you repeat the same thing to your colleagues who: complain about the proportions of the buildings, demand units in the siege, question the historical realism of some civilizations, be so kind as to tell them: age of empires is not a simulator, thanks
I will return to the forum when I see really transcendental topics, bye

You can read Youtube comments, Reddit, and pro players mentioning it and sharing up their opinions.
People who prefer it do not have any solid examples of why it is better, how it is fun, helpful, historical etc.
They just say it is simple and that is it. And simple things without much effort and detail get really dull and soulless and that is why it is boring.

Other than dodging arrows,

  1. AOE2 players use terrain to gain the advantage of 25% damage, some civs more like the Tatars.

  2. Units have more stances and commands, such as defensive (stance), (escorting commands), (and flanking commands) all these commands are useful at certain terrain and unit types.

  3. Stacking units in the gap to deal more damage against melee units, enemy’s single melee unit would be able to deal damage, while others can’t, but all your ranged units are stacked and since they are ranged, they all can deal damage thus winning the battle in a short time. AOE4 does not have that kind of gaps.

  4. Monks can turn enemies from range, very effective against slow units such as melee Elephants.
    Many monks turn enemies faster. With upgrades, they turn enemy units faster, one unit per monk. Thus creating a possibility to turn the tide of war and is harder than AOE4’s monk.

  5. Building block pathway, thus creating and acting like a wall. It is effective in playing against aggressive civs.

  6. Another advanced micro is using Rams as an arrow catcher. Not arrow dodging.
    As you know archers attack the closes enemy unit, and that is where the rams come.

    It is used to consume arrows as it has high ranged armor, and would only take 1 damage, but Mangudais would annihilate rams easily (they have bonus damage against siege) and this trick wouldn’t be very effective against this unit. But would make the enemy player concentrate more or retreat while I can just keep the Rams in front of my units. This allows me to deal more damage, without taking much damage and micro effort.

  7. Mongols for example can trespass castles, towers, etc without losing many units by garrisoning slow units inside rams. The Mongol Rams are the fastest. and it can be used like a car or cart to speed up units in a defensive vehicle xD

For example, Teutonic Knights are slow, but if you garrison them inside the ram, it will move faster absorbing all the incoming ranged and melee damage, and would bring the units into safety or into the enemy’s vital territory and creating more opportunities.

  1. Unit blocking
    In AOE2, units can block another unit’s path much more effectively, and this creates possibilities to escape losing less valuable units.

and more

Dont really have time to type them all.
But here you go, there are just too many fun and useful micro tricks