I’m going to start this on a negative note by pointing out that the developers don’t really communicate with us about development, and that I rather feel they are content in treating us like plants that need the bare minimum of water and sunlight to be satisfied. So if you’re wondering about my expectations; they mostly stem from this impression.
I’m not a fan of it. It feels like there is no community managers here, which makes it feel like no one who cares. They don’t ask what we expect of them, and likely go off cold statistics to produce the bare minimum before going off to another project. Meaning, there is no space for us to interject on what maybe we consider to be a bad idea. Anyway, we are soon approaching a new content cycle and I figured I would inquire the community about their expectations prior to the teasers, trailers, roadmaps and launch.
What do you expect for the future of AoE4’s development, and do you think they will be met?
Here are mine.
My take on DLC depends on whether it is paid or not. If this is free content, I’m fine with 2 civilizations. I do think a third would make sense, as well as releasing them independently throughout the year. Make them line up with seasonal events and suddenly you’ve made the content draught feel a lot less dry. If they however opt to do paid DLC, I very much expect new campaigns on top of at least a third civilization per DLC. The Ottoman and Malian release just isn’t enough to be paid–though this of course depends on price.
Another thing I expect the game to do, is probably some kind of graphical overhaul. From another readjustment of colour/light values, more fauna, different walls for each civilization, weather, to different looking and better performing water.
I also hope the game would eventually bring a scenario editor to life much like this games predecesors.
Civilization and Unit design philosophy
And lastly, I kind of hope for a change in civilization and unit design. The game’s balance has taken a few turns since launch, and I very much feel they’ve neutered too many fundamentally interesting things about the civilizations for the sake of “balance”. IMO, the game is a game, and should be fun, and I very much hope they take some pages from the other AoE games as to make Unique Units and unique civilization bonuses more interesting. To be more specific here, I personally feel AoE4 hinges too much on the rock-paper-scissor element of Age games, leaving the experience between civilizations feel too similar despite their asymmetrical design.