Today I discovered why it's claimed that everyone always wants to zoom out more in RTSs

This is Age of Empires, why you talking about other games?
Compare it to other Age of Empires. It’s the most restrictive closest zoom by far.


What I don’t get is… why defend the current zoom level when it doesn’t affect you if you want to zoom close as you like to.
It’s about having the option, for who needs it.

The current zoom level made people quit, me, and quite a few I know.
You think fixing it will result in people asking to make it restrictive again? You think people would quit because of something they can choose not to do?


well, after playing Supreme Commander FA for some years, or more recently Divinity Original Sin 2 with the Improved Camera mod that lets you zoom in and out of the game as much as you want, while most RTSs are playable, I can’t conceive a RTS without that level of zoom.

For people having those issues you mention they could leave it optional.

This 40 seconds video shows the zoom of the original Supreme Commander (not FA).

Supreme Commander Map Zoom & Nuke - YouTube

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I addressed your point directly, your argument is that by allowing the OPTION to zoom out more the game is worse off because it may become harder to read easier at too far a zoom.

I have directly addressed this by stating that this should be a level that players decide for themselves, and me and many others are saying that the current max level is NOT our preferred level to play at.


it’s not really a heated topic, it keeps being brought up, the vast majority of people agree, and then there are one or two people who feel the need to tell the rest of us that the developers shouldn’t add this OPTION that we are all asking for.

Then everyone responds to that person because their argument is so easily refuted that no one can resist responding.
The usual suspects are:
“you will never be satisfied!” - no, we will be satisfied when it is fixed.
The game can’t handle it! - yes it can, it’s 2022 our computers can handle more zoom, and hacks prove it.
Only a minority want it! It’s a waste of time - demonstrably false, and a completely subjective opinion.


I actually asked that question on the 3 DE forum. Nobody demanded that it be made more restrictive.


No, the game doesn’t need a change of the zoom level.

The units are barely recognizable at the current zoom level, and they will become one big mess if zoomed out more.

Supporting a new zoom level would require serious changes to the visual and UX side of the game, which requires a lot of time and resource investment and doesn’t bring comparable improvements to the gameplay.

The entire game is designed around even more zoomed in level than we currently have right now.

It is fine as it is.

People that play Aoe2 DE would be in shock if they had to play the HD version and its close zoom

In Aoe4 what bothers me more is the silhouette of the units and pathfinding. In the previous games you could easily see details on units while moving them every angle possible. Aoe4 units is like dolls with colors

I actually decided to go back to the OG AoE1 yesterday and play it without any patches or tweaks using the original 800 x 600 and it was a struggle at first, but thanks to how horrible the pathfinding was and how few units you have to deal with the pop limit at 50, it worked alright.

Going from that to Rise of Rome in HD and patched is a shock, and from that to AoE4 rattles the mind. It is a lot less to do with the zoom level than with visibility and weird responses from units.

I want at least to be able to zoom out enough to select all of my army without accidentally moving the screen.


imagine we used to play in 10801024 resolution, before HD
Imagine, they keep original resolution 11
yes, let’s making excuses, like we stopped in 2001 forever, with 1080
1024 res and network latency in 1s


Every other 3D rts you can name since 2000s could keep at least acceptable visuals when zoomed out. Are you implying that’s beyond the capability of a 2020s dev team?

Ironically those who support the current state of the game like to accuse the critics for “hating” and “insulting” the devs, but they also like to keep implying the devs just cannot do something that have been done without any problem for more than 10 years (which is probably the biggest insult ever).

BTW you should first have a debate with the “if people can zoom out they will always use maximum zoom” guy because if the graphics is so horrible, people will not always use the maximum zoom.


Who said they can’t do it?

I mean, sure, there could be technical arguments against it, but all I’m seeing is a group of people who want more, and a group of people who are fine with it as it is. Neither are wrong.

Personally, I don’t mind either way (even though I think the zoom is intentional regardless of how previous Age games did it), but I’d prefer them to focus on the roadmap as-is. Particularly modding tools. I don’t want the tools pushed back at all, for anything, if at all possible.

It’d be nice if this could be debated without people lobbing accusations at each other, but I guess that’s just how it is.

If the game cannot provide us with recognizable units and buildings simultaneously to providing us with necessary zoom levels to comfortably navigate and see, then the game is a failure of design heretofore never before suffered by this franchise.

It is not the job of the players to choose between two evils.


He said it. The units are already not recognizable at the current zoom and will be a total mess if zoomed out, and the context is it has been done with no problem for 20 years in other games.
Ask him.

BTW the argument here has been around either “they cannot make the game run properly with more zoom” or “the game is designed with the current zoom level and we all know you cannot enjoy the game with different zoom so it’s good for you”.

So if you are fine with either I do not know what is the purpose of your essay.

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I agree that it is remedially frustrating to continuously ask for features that have existed in Age of Empires for 25 years and be told our expectations are radical.


AoE3 has a much higher zoom out (and zoom in) max than AoE4 and it was released in 2005.


I mean, that’s their opinion on how readable the units might be. It’s not “the developers can’t do this”. It’s why they shouldn’t, in their opinion. Not the same thing at all.

But I get it. It’s easier to make enemies of different opinions than try to understand them. I’m not being snide - it genuinely is. But that’s not a good discussion.

Radical? Not at all.

Though it is surprising that there doesn’t seem to be any consideration that the limits are intentional. Endless posts on how “no RTS games limit you this much” when every RTS game Relic have made as far back as Impossible Creatures is comparable.

I understand that previous Age games come with different expectations. But is that it? It should be done because it was done before? Is that good enough to void any possible reason why it exists as it does right now?

That’s what I don’t see much of. Genuine, good faith discussion on why it might be as it is. Of course, we’re all guessing given that only Relic can give us the answer. But at least discussing possible reasons is fun! We all mostly know where each of us stand, no? That bit’s been done to death. I’m just trying to push the needle a bit.

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Things like “you can’t play the game like this”

Looking they made a game most to please themselves than the playerbase. Spending too much working in a title that they got used and stagnated since then…

Taking the any unit from Aoe2 and even 20 years ago you could see details on the back of a longbowman or mangudai. And now with zoom its still good (if not better with all QoL included).

You take a spearman from Aoe2 or any unit from Aoe 1 or 3 with a generic name and the unit has its charm. We take any unit on this game with generic name and the details enhance the bad impressions on this, no potential even for meme (can we imagine someone taking a unit from here and making a meme channel with such unit and then getting bigger with analysis).


Zoom is an issue but not one of the most problematic