If you favor defense more, the games would be more static and slower. If you properly scout an enemy base and see an all-in or early attack coming, there are several ways to defend with outposts, strategic palisades, and a correct combo of units.
It’s easier to complain about everything in the forum, but very rarely do you see a thread looking for tips to play better.
I’ve been waiting for substantive changes since the Beta, and watching the scene closely. Broadly, I would like the game to have a more ‘serious’ feel, either tactical depth-wise or presentation-wise. Currently it has some solid core RTS mechanics but does not stand out enough on its own.
I believe there are still many of us that will buy and play the game (with current gameplay) if the graphics are a bit more mature - colors a bit sharper and animations more realistic. Adding blood will also help with realism. Currently the units seem a bit pastel-y and stiff. So any concrete updates about graphics overhaul / new assets or animations will definitely keep me tuned in, and I’ll be happy to buy with these changes alone.
Aside from visuals - More unit abilities, or unique units with abilities. Esp, if different unit abilities can be combined to better effect eg hammer-anvil. This could be a major dimension in which AOE4 takes off on its own beyond 2 & 3. I’d like to see it leveraged more.
Perhaps a stretch for AOE, but relic’s bread and butter - a more tactically engaging terrain would also be interesting - forest defense buff, shallow water debuff, perhaps add marshes with speed and defense debuff, or low vegetation with speed debuff and armor buff. Fire mechanics with siege / archers/ grenadiers could be interesting. This would bring together engaging elements from other RTS into AOE’s historical setting, and existing AOE players would also find something completely different from 2&3. I suspect the devs already had similar ideas given the minimal mechanics already in place like hiding in trees.
This situation reminds me of other release flops. Recent ones that come to mind are Warcraft 3 Reforged, Cyberpunk, Battlefield 2042. The release is everything. If you release a bare-bones game with basic features missing, people get furious. No one wants to invest time playing a game that is going to be dead soon, it’s a gamble to stick around for the game to maybe be finished in time. Why gamble when there are so many solid games out there to play with more active development? Why pay $60 to beta test some companies game when many games these days are actually free to play?
Salvaging to me would be giving everyone a refund who bought the game and making it a closed beta for another 1-2 years until they’re ready. The unfinished presentation at a triple A price is really greedy.
That’s what I mean though, when it’s playable is when the beta should start. All the hilarious bugs that have arisen should have been ironed out before release. Or if it’s going to be released as soon as it’s minimally playable it could have been f2p; people would be a lot more patient for development. But it’s like they ran out of time or money and only finished the very minimal. Things like colors and campaign flesh were designated as secondary priorities but that’s what people expect for $60.
I think the community content tools have huge potential for revitalizing the game by adding a ton of variety and new content, if a lively content-creation scene develops and some really interesting/wacky mods get released that get covered by some gaming news outlets. So I really appreciate that the devs are seemingly prioritizing releasing the content tools. I think it’s a very reasonable strategy.
I’m unreasonably bummed that picking-your-own-color is put off until season 2, but I guess it’s better than it not being acknowledged at all. I hope there doesn’t end up being any “gotcha” like “you’re the only one who sees the color you picked”, although I don’t know what solution I’d recommend for situations where two people want the same color. (Previous games made it so picking the same color meant you’d literally control the same civ, I think? And I’m not saying that feature should come back, although I wouldn’t mind, but if it adds any significant amount of development time then maybe it shouldn’t come back.)
…This is kind of an out-there idea, but maybe there should be an options panel where you set your color preference from highest to lowest preference, and in cases where two players want the same color, it gets automatically decided by coinflip and the loser is given their second-favorite color.
The game feels ‘unfair’ to a noob like me with just 30 games since beta. It doesn’t give me any way to rebuild or recover against cheesy strats.
To me, losing in the beginning 1v2 and then rebuilding is fun. I’ve played tons of GA and Oasis games in aoe2 and over 10.000 games in aoe3 but aoe4 just frustrates me because I can’t micro anything it seems.
Right now, if you have 3 knights vs. 4 you lose.
3 hussars vs. 4 hussars you could actually win, i’ve done it many times. 10 musketeers would melt against 4 skirms stopping early rush but they would all die against 1 hussar.
I miss that kind of pwning skill. Right now, it’s the one with the relics and cheese that would win. How much fun would it be to have HRE as goth huskarls run into Celt siege and destroying all of it. Or 2 horsemen killing 10 lb +ram?
One thing I don’t see mentioned much is how poor the AI is. I played AoE2 to DEATH back in the day online (Microsoft Game Zone). But I’m in my 50’s now and don’t have the reaction time to really play competitively online.
When the HD edition of AoE2 came out, my friends and I ‘got the band back together’ and played it quite a bit but just teaming up vs the AI. There were several good AI mods that kept it fresh and interesting and we could have fun playing together without the baggage of online play vs randoms. When AoK:DE came out, we again all bought it and played the heck out of it vs the AI (as it released with some very good AIs and it was continuously improved over time).
In AoE4, we tried it out and after the first handful of learning games, we were trashing the AI on the hardest settings. We aren’t world-beater players by any means but the AI is terrible. It just raids and skirmishes a bit but once you mass an army, it’s over. They have no capacity to fight vs massed units.
I’m still playing a game here and there vs the AI debating whether I want to dip into MP (and deal with all of the baggage) but all of my friends dropped it after the first few patches where there was not even a mention of AI improvements.
I’m hoping with the release of the modding tools that some folks will work on AI mods to save the game for us old farts who are too crotchety to want to get online and deal with randoms anymore. Does anyone know if the modding tools enable people to much around with the AIs or are we doomed to wait until Relic prioritizes it somewhere in the future?
Biggest complain for me is graphics and visual effects, 3.0/10. Projectile trajectory, destruction animation, death animation, siege animation, no blood & corpses need fixing. Come on, it’s a war game not The Sims.
@FerengiQuark your point about communication is important. Hearing the details, warts and all, about how the update process works would go along way. I think the community wants to help. Maybe shorter versions of the relatively-polished dev vids would help.
This. I’m looking forward to this.
I hope the player base will grow, because the excitement of playing the game at launch was how many games there were to choose from, everyone trying new things, and generally favorable interactions with other players.
I know it’s hard to compare a fantasy SCI-FI vs Historical RTS, but look at all the details they have in there: the projectile fired, the trajectory, the smoke, the flash, the fire, the blood, the lighting, the destruction, the death animation etc…
I’d say we AOE IV fans deserve this level of visual details, do you agree?
As you pointed out, even if users could ever see these visuals from these angles in game (which they can’t), they are definitely not what I would call good or impressive by any means, especially for a game released in 2021. I’m not actually critiquing the art style (not my fave, but they chose it), but your screenshots (to me) show how pixelated, bland, repetitive, uninspired these visuals are. Take the deer for example – they all look identical (having multiple assets for the same animal isn’t crazy) and generally look lifeless, as do the grass textures. Let’s not even go into the clouds
As a counterpoint, here is a game Relic made in 2013 and one where users could zoom and change the orientation of the camera to their hearts content: