Since this discussion has come up, and I don’t want to get off track too much, perhaps we could start a conversation here about why Age of Empires 2 is so widely played vs Age of Mythology.
I have to be honest, I have a soft spot for Age of Mythology, so it pains me to admit that Age of Empires 2 is the more popular game, and might be the better one.
So, a couple of items that have come up, in order that I think is important.
Age of Mythology is and was a faster game then Age of Empires 2. You moved faster between the ages, you had an easier time scouting and finding the opponent, and you could boom in the second age, instead of waiting for the third. I think the faster times was a net negative to me. Although I find Dark Age in AoE a but boring (boating luring is not for me), I find the Feudal Age exciting and I think that AoM loses a lot by being able to skip through it.
Age of Mythology had more unique factions. With 5 different civilizations, each with 3 gods, it felt like each civ was a lot more unique then in Age of Empires. The 3 gods per civ felt a lot like the individual Civilization of Age of Empires, providing unique units and tech on a standard template. I think, overall, this was a net plus, but it did make the rock/paper/scissors aspects of AoM harder 5o grasp. Especially with the Chinese and Atlantians. So, a net positive in my mind, over Age of Empires, but not as much as you might think.
The Age of System of Age of Mythology was a lot of interesting though. No longer were you just Aging up, but you had to make a decision about which set of unique set of techs and abilities. So, a huge plus for Age of Mythology.
God powers are not something I liked at all. RTS games are about strategy and planing, and having a one time use power changed a lot when it came to the resources of the game. It was a new limited resource in a game that already had a lot. I would have prefer power to have a faith cost instead as the limiting factor. Or a build timer. This was a negative for me, but I am sure others disagree.
Atlantians, I think deserve their own spot. One of the main draws of Age of Empires is the need to set up economies. It’s not enough to send miners to stone or gold, but you need to set up a mining camp and defend it. You have to invest in it. Atlantians, unlike the rest of Age of Mythology, broke this rule, and it annoys me. It annoys me in Age of Empires 3 (which has a lot of good qualities, like Trade carts, and cool ships) and it annoys me in Age of Mythology. Coupe that with the ability reuse God abilities, and it you have a recipe for annoyance.
Hate on the Chinese civ all you like, but the Atlantians are just the worst.
Blocky Early 3d tech. Let’s fact it, Age of Empires 2, with 2d graphics has aged a lot better then AoM. Those early 3rd graphics only looked good on Space Ships like Homeworld, not on Mythological creatures. 3rd got better, but early 2000 was a rough time, as computers just could handle what is needed to make 3rd graphics look good.
Balance - between Mismatched units, mismatched God powers, mismatched factions, boring water battles, and no idea of balance, the game was a joke to play online. Its probably the biggest fault of Age of Mythology compared to Age of Empires 2 is the lack of balance.
Finally, the big one. Auto Queueing. Yes, Age of Mythology had it and Age of Empires doesn’t. Along with infinite farms, trade carts that did need to trade with an ally, and buildings that provided infinite resources, AQ was a change that happened. But, looking at the above incomplete list of difference, I would think AQ was probably the smallest difference between Age of Empires and Age of Mythology.
Anyway, I thought it was important to pull this out. How do you see Age of Mythology differ from Age of Empires 2. Do any of you prefer AoM as well, despite knowing it really isn’t the better game?