What can be done to salvage AoE4?

Another great video by Age of Noob just dropped about (AoE4 and N4C) and it’s clear that this game needs a jolt.

I’ve made my views about the game abundantly clear from the moment I tried the beta, but there’s no going back in time, so I wanted to start a slightly more forward-looking thread: In your opinion, what needs to happen immediately for this game to at least have a chance of recovering?

PS: If you love playing the game and are having a great time, that’s fine and more power to you; however, don’t pollute this thread with comments about how everything is great, when that is just categorically incorrect at this point.

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To start, I think these are the top 3 objectives that the devs need to have at this point:

  • Ranked Gameplay – Launch ranked gameplay as quickly as possible. Yes, launching a competitive RTS without ranked mode was a huge mistake but let’s not dwell on it – this need to launch asap.
  • Cosmetics and Challenges – I think providing users the ability to unblock unique cosmetic elements the more they play and creating unique achievements they unlock is a great way to keep them coming back. Sure, AoE4 has some of this right now, but it’s almost kinda sad how little of this there is. Unique building skins, unique unit skins, menu skins, all kinds of portrait and account flair, customs sounds, town-center and building flags, wall skins, maybe even custom UIs and icons – there should be thousands of these items to unlock. This would also have the added affect of buying the devs some time to launch new features / civs / fixes without the player count bleeding.
  • Communication – Be blunt with your fanbase. A joint statement from Relic / World’s Edge / Microsoft about how the game has gone awry and that they are actively trying to course-correct. A part of that course-correction should include transparency about resource constraints they are facing, weekly or even daily communication with players, job listings, etc.
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Well, I will start by saying that I really do enjoy the game, play nearly every day, follow the competitve scene, and am a little saddened, though understanding, at how the player numbers have continued to decrease.

In all honesty, I think what the devs have in the pipeline for the Spring Update and beyond - ranked, hotkey customization, full modding support, better balance - is exactly what the game needs right now to recover. It just needs to happen fast enough that we can get some of that momentum back and stop bleeding players away. After they implement what they have annouced so far, I think the next big thing thing we need is a DLC with 2-3 new civs, and/or a campagin DLC (I would love a China campaign on the overthrow of the Yuan by the Ming) hopefully paired with a sizable sale on the base game.

If the devs can get that done fast enough while maintaining a quality at least as good as their recent patches and what we see in the PUP, I think this game has the potential to surpass AOE2 numbers, and maybe even SC2 numbers.I really do see the potential for this game be the next biggest RTS.

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if they fix half of the stuff in this video: Can Age of Empires 4 Dethrone Starcraft 2 & AOE2? (Multiplayer Review) - YouTube we would be in a much better spot.
I also think they need to speed up hotfixes for bugs, bugs should not take months to fix. there patching has been way too slow and it is what I think is what is killing the game.
also no map veto system having to have them remove maps and dodge maps is hurting the game.

the biggest huddle they are going to have to get over is that they released a early access game for $60 and were slow to patch and fix problems that were damaging the overall heath of the game.

How they over come that is by being transparent with lots of communication and speeding up patches.

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To be fair, I think they’ve fixed most of the bugs from release at this point? As far as I know, the only (mutiplayer-affecting) bugs left are the Tower of Victory and the Hisar Academy Bugs.

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I think it’s a stretch to say that the issue here is bugs. All games have bugs; however, a competitive RTS should have, I don’t know, a ranked match system to start? The problem is clearly content and even basic features.

The question of this thread is what should be done to course-correct and try to stop the bleeding.

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Oh yes, I was replying to @Zesbeer who was talking about the bugfix process. I do agree that any future bugs need to be fixed faster, but I’m not sure how much of that blame can be attributed to Relic and how much that can be attributed to Microsoft’s QA pipeline

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Oh got it, sorry I missed that! Yeah, don’t know enough about their process, but critical bugs should obviously be fixed in days to ~1 week, not via a quarterly patch. With that said, bug fixes can only go so far. Even if the game didn’t have a single bug, how do get the 73,000+ players that tried it to come back?

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I think it is Bomjus1 comments on Advanced Delhi Sultanate Guide and Tips is still a bug and it was in at release. They had animation canceling in the game for at least a month.

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Yes, see my comment above, right below your first two posts

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For me to return to the game would be the trinity hotkeys+zoom+ranked. But I would like to see too better proportions of units, siege crew, more visual details and effects. I don’t know if these things are accomplishable with the mod tools but would be nice to see them and I believe not only for me but for many people.

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Modding… Modding…Modding.

Make it far more easy to mod. So, we can things like The Lord of the Rings mod or something. And also ludikris map size for cool scenarios that need lots of space. Such as map of Middle Earth, or Europe. Think of Europe Diplomacy, or something like Middle Earth Diplomacy.

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That’s a direct message for me hahaha :rofl: .

Well nice , I let you guys continue . There are good things about the game but there are also some problems with balance .

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Modding is pretty easy , and for us , mod makers this content editor is heaven . We are even changing the UI . Possibilities are endless .

BUT I DO AGREE ON SOMETHING . Terrain tools are really disappointing , yes the terrain layout tool is really good but I would like to deform the terrain like in others age games , same goes with trees to place them in mass .

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Fully keybinds are already possible I think . And ranked is coming with season 1 .

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As I said in another post, mine are more ideas to make a more interesting and various game.

Unfortunately, the game itself pushes very quickly through the eras and and evolution in order to make as many soldiers as soon as you can.

Would be interesting to confront other aspects of the middle age period such as espionage, city life, intrigues, faith and others. Always keeping the simplicity and dynamics that have been marked AoE through the years.

Market system improved
A better city animation
A stronger defensive system such as Castles and fortified walls, that makes you feel safe for a while(As in reality). A breach in fortified wall should be a rare event made by a good attacker
Castles shouldn’t be attacked by “normal” units with swords and arrows.
Spy units which infiltrated in enemy cities could allow you to open the enemy gate at the right moment, if you can’t break through walls(those should be much resistant)
Units able to camouflage in forests
a better strategy on the field( formations, terrains variety, ecc)
Big building collapse makes damage to units around it( so you are pushed to use siege weapons)
and others…

All of this keeping the same easy game that it is.Otherwise I would play another game

VIVA AoE!!

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I’ll share the same opinion I shared on Nili’s youtube and on reddit:

The tourney just came at a bad timing where Aoe4 lost momentum, we are just before a big patch and nothing really exciting happened for the game in the past few months to get the players interest. I think aoe4 is now at its worst state in terms of numbers which affected n4c despite n4c being an amazing tournament.

it should only grow from here. Partially thanks to N4C. Big tourney and big update just around the corner, we are getting seasons, mods, more frequent updates and ranked play. I think numbers will look better in the future.

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I think the game already favors defense quite a bit by designing multiple civilizations. I expect stone walls to be more expensive and stone towers can only be used from castles.

Many players like me don’t want a slower game.

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For me the game punishs defensive play style very much. If you aren’t the first who rush or makes pressure you lose almost every time.

In my opinion, it should be also a good tactic to defend well with walls, keeps and units, so that the attacker incurs greater losses than gains and the defender wins with a later big attack. Defensive players who don’t rush would also be happier in this regard. Better defense possibilities would also be helpful for players who are not very competitive.

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The game need more quicker patch, more functions, the game need more completly.
But will Relic really focus on Microsoft’s AoE4? You know, they already have their CoH3.

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