I have absolutely no idea why I have to repetitively remind myself of checking if each town center and each barrack is producing units non-stop in a modern game published in 2021. I believe the charm of RTS gameplay shines in macro resource management strategy and micro combat tactics, NOT in having to constantly paying attention to something that could and should have been dealt with by an easily implemented Auto Queue feature. I’m against it not because it’s hard, but because it’s a tedious and boring experience.
There probably are players who disagree with me and dislike auto queue feature, and this is not a problem. There’s always an option to make this feature optional in the game setting before matchmaking, allowing players who like it and who hate it to match with ones holding the same opinion, so that both groups can be satisfied.
Some buildings already have auto queue feature like the delhi landmark palace of the sultan. Although it makes tower elephants for free but the tech is there. So it shouldn’t be difficult for them to add it to all unit producing buildings. It will defenitly make players focus more on the strategy rather than the micro and apm.
APM is part of the skill though. The longer you play and more you focus on build orders and watch videos the more you get used to multi tasking and doing more at once quicker. I say this as a bad player (Just under 1000 elo most of time) but I’ve seen my own improvement since the game released. Multi tasking, queuing the correct units at the right time and maintaining production in all buildings IS part of the skill of the game and the joy of playing an RTS and improving over time.
I am strongly against this kind of autoplay setting in any competitive/standard setting area of the game.
There are many features that need to be added to the game that should (and are) being prioritised against such autoplay and other wishlist features. Although if mods or dev resources are available down the line to add such an option, it should only be added in custom/skirmish games like how the score has been implemented.
This kind of real time strategy focuses on being able to manage micro and macro in the moment with tension on your decision making but also the speed at which you can accurately undertake these actions. The actions taken by your opponent(s) and vice versa can literally attack a players’ multi-tasking. It is a battle of effective actions per minute and wits in real time and automating villager or unit production destroys this relationship and what is great about the game for the competitive scene.
Arguably it is the primary core feature of the game present in all of the best and most popular RTS. It just won’t change unless there was an uprising from most of the playerbase and I doubt that will ever happen.
I’m with Op in this:
APM requirements are a skill, true. But this particular APM requirement does not help to fulfill an engaging task. He already performed the engaging task when he decided to pump a certain number of certain units from X buildings (the joy of making a useful macro decision). That’s it. Brain has done it’s job, from now on it’s just remembering to do the jump between buildings to re-queue units (not too many, mind you, since that occupies resources and is what noobs do…so you basically manually perform what an auto-queue feature would do).
The free APM would also be re-invested into other stuff (actually playing the game by expanding your eco or fighting battles for example). It would not reduce the overall skill-cap of the game, just shift it to more engaging tasks.
They already removed a similar APM intensive action: Reseeding farms. It follows the same principle: You decide to build and maintain 10 farms. That’s it. Reseeding them is not fun and you will have to do it a lot. First they added queuing reseeds like units (AOE2 TC) and finally deleted the reseeding requirement (AOM, AOE3, AOE4) or added auto-queue (AOE2HD/DE).
Would you argue that this should be reversed? Farms were definitely going barren when players were occupied at the front so it would fit your argument. But was it an engaging experience for both sides? It’s not like the enemy can parade through your barren fields and idle military buildings at that moment and say: “I did this, haha. Look at this low APM pleb!” In that moment it’s just a one-sided experience of frustration, completely undermining an otherwise solid gameplan and macro setup (the ACTUALLY strategic elements).
The focus should be on automation of villagers and units which would arguably change the game more substantially than reseeded farms. Depends where the APM will be spent and whether that is more attractive than what we have at present.
Like some dude asked the other day, villagers should automatically hide when attacks come in. Good luck with that.
Automation has been debated extensively and has not changed as proposed in OP in the most popular competitive RTS games not just age of empires. If it did change I personally wouldn’t play those iterations.
Question is how much automation will change the game to where it is no longer the successful formula it is today?
Sure some people might not like how it is but I’m not seeing enough people popping their heads out of the ground to demand such a fundamental change.
You need to click fast and make good decisions whether on the offensive or defensive. Clearly many people love it like this and it is not considered boring or frustrating in a really bad way.
Example: You are being raided from multi pronged attacks and are being pulled apart by your opponent as you can no longer keep up with managing your army. You forget to or simply can’t build villagers and units and lose the game. A higher skilled player can manage this scenario unless the other player is faster again rewarding a higher skill ceiling.
Suddenly automated villagers and units remove this element of the game. And now you just have to click on your units and no longer make these kind of decisions at all meaning the game is much easier to play. That sounds extremely boring to me knowing how the game is currently played and why the best players/competitive scenes attract large audiences.
This compeletely undermines the foundation of the game. Unless I am missing something?
You are completely overshooting the goal… nobody wants fully automated eco. Identifying senseless tasks and automate them partially on the other hand would be a nice step of modernization (instead they removed depth and think it makes the game easier, lol).
Not sure I’m attracted to watching the pro’s for their spastic jumping between barracks…but hey, everybody their own fetish x]
Hmmm. Would you agree that the game should remove Production Queue completely, so that players have to manually order the next unit to be produced every time a unit is finished? Should the game remove Shift-Tasking too, so that players’ multi-tasking skill is more emphasized? These two mechanics seem to serve the exact same purpose as an auto queue function, that is, to reduce the number of no-brainer actions for players, so that they can focus more on something more meaningful.
I completely agree that competitive RTS is and should be a battle of effective APM, but a good game design should challenge the players to more meaningful, deliberate, high-quality action taking in more creative ways, like adding more types of damage, resistances, units and resources, opening up more possible strategies and more interesting tactics that require micro management. If the RTS game is unable to emphasize action taking intensity without forcing players to frequently take actions of such low quality as repeating unit production, well, this is, in my opinion, incompetence - of the game designers.
Yes, this is a competitive game. But, it’s a GAME before it’s a competitive game, which means, competitiveness goes second - FUN goes first. Micro managing units to dodge a mangonel attack is FUN, while repeating unit production is not. This is the point I’m trying to make here.
Its a pretty basic feature and still something you need to decide when to use. Remember when AOE2 HD added the ability to queue up multiple techs? Nothing really happend it was just a nice feature and was accepted. If they put it to the community first there would probably be an outcry of appeasing the dreaded casuals. Instead they just added it and turns out it was fine just like when AOE2 DE also let you mix techs and units in a queue!
Guy from the Age of Mythology Community here (>500 hours played). I absolutely miss the AQ button.
But what could the reasoning for seemingly “dumbing down” an RTS in this way be?
Well, to quote Boit (the champion of our community): an RTS should be about decision making. I will give an example in AOE IV with the corresponding AOM strategy in () if applicable.
When do I age up? Which Landmark (minor God) do I choose? Do I go for gold starve, holy sites (towncenters) or a timing push? Do I go for raids and save up on expensive units to use the ressources for something else? Or do I build an offensive castle (fortress) in the late game, do I invest in units? Etc. pp.
To me, an AQ button would take nothing away of the intriguing process of decision making.
Of course I see that it is an additional challenge to mikro your supply of units, but in the end you are more prone to mistakes because of mental overload, which would make a game more chaotic. Perhaps you could compare it with chess vs speed chess.
And in the end, if I, as a player oder viewer on twitch want to see RTS with insane APS, I will switch to Starcraft 2 any time of the day.
In conclusion, I desperately hope that an AQ button will be added. I personally know friends that hold back on jumping to AOE IV just because it misses that feature, and in think that there are many more in the AOM community like them.
A good compromise was named above: just make it an “opt in” in custom games, so nobody that doesn’t want this feature has to use it.
I would consider this a good example why this should never become part of Age of Empires, because there are enough who consider the auto-queue function a reason why rise of nations was never a competitive success. Auto-building military encourages to not rethink the army composition over and over and that is the core of RTS games.
The actual spending of resources should be made by the player.
That’s also why all the comparisons to where players actively queue up whatever are not good comparisons. The player makes the decision to create 10 units, to queue up certain techs, et cetera. It’s an active decision.
The new popcap-system is already troubling enough because when at popcap I don’t have a good control anymore which ready-built unit comes out if I queued up different units in different buildings. Don’t make this even worse with introducing auto-queuing.
Auto-queueing is mod-territory—or something to activate with a cheat code in custom games in 2025.
Publishing date and being a modern game has nothing to do with this, it’s a gameplay choice. Training myself to keep building economy and build good counters in a faster way than my opponent is a big part of the game for me. I love that there are some buildings that do auto-produce, but that (I assume) is calculated to make you pay for that free time in a certain way. Like paying a lot of resources for that building, like a landmark.
Drawing from my aforementioned AOM experience: if you don’t constantly adjust WHICH units you produce, you will get steamrolled by any enemy (ab)using the counterunit system (which is arguably even more punishing in AOM than AOE IV). It’s just that you decide WHICH unit to build and not WHEN. Also, in AOE IV, you can only queue up as much units as you have resources, which severly limits your options. With AQ, you only have to pay for one unit at a time.
Ultimately you still make the same decisions (just with less stress), which is why I think the “core of RTS” argumentation doen’t hold water.
I remember one major reason on this forum supporting 100% accurate arrows (which is also in AOM) is “Great. It reduces micro requirements so that the game would be more accessible”.
I wonder why this sudden 180 degree turn to favor greater APM requirement is coming from.
I haven’t seen that but personally I hate that the big trend last years is that all games have to be easier and more accessible (I usually read this as a desire for a younger audience). I understand why companies want this (bigger audience, more money) but I don’t understand why the more adult people that like good competitive games would support this trend.
But the stress is part of it too . Like harassing the opponent early is not just to kill a villager or 2 but also make him stress out and maybe forget to produce villagers for a minute, while I stay focussed and keep producing. Of course this doesn’t count for the top but for lower ranked play.