What happened to buildings? detail nerf from 2019?

Hello folks. I just wanted to share my opinion regarding buildings. This is not a graphics rant, I like the style and graphics, but I noticed they missed many things more related to texture details and innovation than graphics.

One of the biggest chracteristics of all AoE games is the amount of details on buildings, because architecture was so important and relevant by the early years… So AoE always made architecture and Gaia one of its biggest features.

Unfortunately I feel like AoE 4 has a lack of detail on buildings, and the silluette of them is so confusing and hard to difference from others.

I want to share some examples.

I know proportions has been a topic already, but still not fixed at all. Elephant is bigger than houses and millhouse and other buildings for example…

Well we know its a real problem but lets move to the lack of details. in CoH 3 we have a lot of details in buildings.

You can see the roof details, different colour tones, dirty and different materials that make it looks more realistic. Lets see an AoE 2 example too:

Capture 3

Here you can also see those little but beautiful details that makes the game get a good appealing.

Now lets see the same bulding in AoE 4:


A complete lack on detailes.

Other noticeable problem I have found is the simetry in buildings. They are all squares, with no asimetry in position neither shape. They definetely need to work in the siluette of the buildings…

Lets take a look and notice how they look so symmetrical and square shape, like if it was a lego game:

Now lets see what AoE 2 did. They firstable worked the silhouette of the building (who ever that studied art like in my case knows how relevant is the silhouette as in characters as in architecture). You can notice a big difference between all buildings but still keep the architecture style according the culture. Also notice the flora growing on buildings, the dirty walls and the amount of details used in the textures. Notice how a castle is bigger than the church and so on. And last but not least, I like the asymmetry more in the position of the buildings, notice how they are like in 3/4 located regarding the camera, giving a more interesting view side (hope in gameplay camera is postioned in a way we get that view angle)

Something really badly executed and I hope they fix is the ´´magic arrows´´. In CoH 1 you can garrison units, it looks reallistic and makes the game feel alive. That would be nice if instead of magic arrows we get an unit firing those arrows from the inside of the building or at least see a ballista firing them. But units in towers and castles even ships would make it more battle realistic and definitely that would be a funnier experience, instead of the ´´magic arrows´´ as showed in this picture:

To conclude I want to try to understand why there are many people upset on this game. I think it is due to the 2019 trailer. When I first saw it my first thoughts were: what an amazing game its going to be! its just pre alpha and it is looking stunning! For some reason that I still do not understand, the game mostly buildings) is looking way to different 2 years after.

2019 preview:

2021 footage:

2019 preview:

2021 battle:

What happened to those building details, colors and good contrast? Were not those the right proportions?

What do you guys think? I hope devs can see this and take notes and I hope this helps the game to look better and bring better results. My comments are far from spreading hate, I just want to contribute to the improvement of the game to have a succes of a game.

I also shared some thoughts in cool things they can still add to the game, you can check it out here:


No offence , but when you are comparing 2 different civilizations buildings , you are not that smart.I was playing beta version of Age4 , and I can say this.All these new trailers look really bad , and unprofessional.I dont know why are they doing this , but all these new trailers look really bad , compare to beta version of AGE4 , that I was playing.
This game while you playing , looks much better , and feels much better.It looks like the first trailer from 2019 was made by different director , and since then , they have changed to a new director.Now we see a very bad trailers , that even I dont like it.So bad, so sad.I love AGE4 beta version.


There is something that I want to state , you are using fan preview fottage , that is really old , I don’t know if you have played the beta but from what I can say is that fan preview looks really really old , I would like to you to instead of using fan preview material , use E3 material or gamescom material.

Also is it obvious that they nerf the graphics in comparison at X019 but when playing is almost like it

I would like to reply both comments but I cant due to NDA. But I can share my opinion and it is I did not like the game and I did not feel the same you already said.

And about the buildings it is seen in all civs anyways, it does not matter if I am using a specific one for the example.

I think the buildings are all square because of the roads that pop between buildings. The game still uses a grid after all.

Imo the game looked pretty good with max settings.

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thing I like by the way, those roads should be more visible but the idea is great. What I dont like and its more an art critisiscm is that all those buildings are to symetrical, we need the assymetry rom AoE 2 and AoE 3.

It’s no were near the X019.
The graphics and animations are dated, the scale of building vs units is completely out of proportion.
It almost seems the devs are focussing on a 6 - 12 yo age group.

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What did I say?

And scale too , but? I mean aoe3 has the same or even worse scale than aoe4 .

Oh and , have you played the beta with all in max settings ?

Because with everything in max it looks like in X019 , despite the scale of course.

No, It doesn’t seem X019: that version was much more detailed. Played beta with 4k on max setting (rtx 3080)


Ah sorry. Yes. Incl textures on High. :slight_smile: They are still pretty bad for a 2021 release. Especially, taking into account this is an AAA game and the Devs used the same engine for CoH 3, which is looking amazing.

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20 characters xd :slight_smile:

I didn’t think it was critical, but now seeing these images, I realize that the adjustment in the game’s zoom is something fundamental to fix.

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Bro you’re showing different civilizations :expressionless: , you also showed CoH as a sort of “good example” but if you look at CoH… stuff is visually unreadable, that’s a terrible art style for an RTS.

And lastly, the main difference in yesterdays trailer was the lightning in some of what I assume are more modern builds, which in my opinion looks better as it’s not very bright all the time

The 2019 trailer was so promising and looked really good not just graphics but the scale of everything was PERFECT


Think exactly the same, and most of us are 20 to 50 years old lol

Indeed, the tones, the saturation, everything looked great and only complaint was the no detailed textures on units. Why did they change the game in the wrong path, and if you count the latest posts and and many other abd decision you can easily realize that they dont really know the community, our taste, our expectations, etc. Unfortunately that always happen when a diferent studio works in a sequel…

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I just want to mention that this CoH 3 screenshot that’s doing the rounds a lot is a promotional image. Among other places (I can’t remember the first place I saw it), you can see it on IGN’s article here.

People need to stop comparing promotional shots to actual ingame footage.

No, the gameplay Is much Better.

I would understand World’s Edge focus on creating a future long term stream of income. But even Age II ESO did not do it this poorly. My personal take on this, being ignorant of all the behind the scenes inner workings between Relic, World’s Edge and The Community is no one got what they wanted to do and after several years of compromises this is the result of all those middle grounds.

We are neither here nor there. It just feels no one got their way and we are now stuck with these graphics.

Those look great! I didn’t know people had actually taken some at that level of detail.

I guess I should’ve added a disclaimer “comparing a game with one set of requirements to another game with another set of requirements is also silly”. But people want to compare games, I get that.

They should start with screenshots like the ones you provided though, instead of promotional images. Because then we can talk about where the detail differs, why that likely is, and what actual graphics options have been tested with any available version of Age IV.