UI afterthought for people who chose not to buy the DLC

I decided not to buy the DLC because the game didn’t become what I wanted it to be (a very personal opinion, if you like it, then great). I would have expected my overall experience as a player to remain the same, but oh no… You gotta have it clear that you’re a cheap bastard and that you’re missing out on content that’s behind a paywall.

Ok, so I want to play Ottom… Jesus! What is this scrolling mess?

Alright then, so I’ll select a biome:

Sigh… a map perhaps?

“But don’t be unreasonable OP! Every game with paid DLCs does the same thing”

Let’s check MSFS that has had several paid DLCs (plus the game coming in 3 different pay tiers from the get go).

Am I missing any airports? Nothing that I can see:

Perhaps planes I didn’t buy will show up with a padlock? Nope:

I’m sure challenges and activities are locked then:

I really don’t understand how Relic expects the AoE 4 UI to work if there comes a point where there are more paid civs than free ones, or biomes, or maps. Games should NOT rub on your face the fact that you are missing content. I don’t care if some games do it (hello EA), it should not be accepted. If you opt out of a DLC then that content should NOT be there as a grayed out option. That reeks of desperation and milking the player base.


I think they should just put the DLC options at the END of the dropdown. When you dont have it.

Im curious, do they match you against DLC civs ?

ye they do, and its by design too even tho no one likes that outside of casual matches

The only UI that isn’t alphabetic is the civ dropdown, so I’m not sure there’s some nefarious purpose behind the map and biome selection list.

That said, moving all unowned content to the bottom of every list is very reasonable, assuming the devs can get it past marketing (as there’s no reason for the civ list order beyond that).

They’re also going to need a new UI solution eventually as more civs are added to the game regardless. Would be good to kill two birds with one stone there.

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The other AoE games and other games with DLCs work like that

just ignore that

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I would expect it is intentionally done like this because they may periodically unlock content for a limited time, like they did with the Sultans Ascend maps. Also, the majority of people wanted variants to be explicitly labeled as subfactions of their civs, and that’s what they did. So I think complaining about this is pretty much a dead end.

It’s really a sad time for gamers when we, collectively, accept these things as non-issues.

Did you shell out for the paid DLC? Yeah, here’s your new content.
Did you not? The game remains exactly the way it was.

At least some devs have their minds in the right place (thanks, Asobo).


There are not any issues with that…

It seems, that You just have a problem to ignore it, although you are not interested in DLC

It is good, that some people can see it directly, and decide, if they want to buy it or not

My experience is significantly degraded by having greyed out options everywhere. The UI is not optimized for that. I call that an issue and I do have a problem ignoring it, of course I do.

If I choose not to buy any more DLCs and the disabled choices keep piling up, what’s going to happen then? Will I have more disabled civs than available ones? Maps? Biomes?

It’s crazy. The Civilization franchise, known for their myriad of paid DLCs for each iteration, don’t do this at all. You only see what you paid for, which is the right way.

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Well, this is just your problem, not anyone else’s.

Look at this

I do not have Indian DLC in AoE2 DE, and the geme shows me the lacking civs and campaigns from DLC…

And tt is absolutely okay, same as in Your case with AoE4 and Sultan DLC

And I do not do “drama”

Thank you, those examples actually help my point. AoE2 has a significantly better UI (locked civs are last and using tiles instead of a scrollable drop down) and the paid DLC campaigns are not seen unless you are looking for them. That’s why I didn’t mention the AoE 4 paid campaigns in my first post. That’s the only situation where they don’t interfere with normal gameplay.

But the civs, the maps and the biomes are there mixed with the rest and that is a poor design choice, purely for marketing purposes: “hey look! you’re missing content! LOOOK!!”

I will die on my “drama” hill, thanks.


I will admit in the OP, having to scroll down past locked civs to find the civ you want to play is pretty annoying/feelsbad. I think it was more of not creating 2 different layouts for the dropdown for people that own DLCs rather than trying some subliminal messaging or something.

It is good feedback, especially once their are more civs and the scrolling gets to be a lot.


This is something the Civilisation games have had to iterate on (and marketing still makes itself felt there). Of course, their concurrent players are in the tens of thousands. It’s easier to do the “right” thing with that kind of ROI.

The people you want to convince don’t read the forums, and likely never will. You’ve already made one of the strongest moves you can (not purchasing), and you’ve left explicit feedback.

All of that is great, but as someone who knows Civ extremely well, raising that game is a whole different, well, ballgame. The devs there have a lot of different challenges, and longstanding community gripes who can’t understand why the game has problems others seemingly don’t.

I think having options grayed out is fine, but they should be at the END of the dropdown so you don’t have to scroll through then.

In your Aoe2 screenshot the ones grayed out are at the end.