Return of Rome is already different enough from AOE 1 DE they might as well make it more complex so that there is more strategies. I also think there are some cosmetic changes that need to be made as well. Here is a list of some things I think should be implemented/changed. Please let me know if you agree and any additional ideas you guys have.
1: Castles. They can be called forts or whatever but some kind of castle.
2: Rams. They used rams in antiquity why not have them in Return of Rome?
3: Town bell should be called war horn or something with horn. They didn’t even have metal yet in the stone age why is there a town bell? They probably used like an ibex horn or something.
4: Each civ should get their own unique wonder. (Would just be really cool)
With the new Western Roman Empire respectively the Late Romans they have already the Colosseum as a Wonder for Age of Empires 2.
But of course yes, for the other civs of Age of Empires 1 in this Return of Rome DLC bringing in a miracle for each civ would be an enrichment. That would be a doable job, as it are just cosmetic adjustments. This thing would bring then Age of Empires 1 closer to Age of Empires 2.
If there was a Castle like building it would only be available in Bronze or even just Iron Age anyway.
There is a reason why the D3 game mode exists but I agree that some things should be redesigned, but not necessarily by copying AoE2.
Just look at AoE2 Town Centres, they aren’t actually real buildings, they are more like a public plaza.
I think Towers should be buffed but with a mechanic that makes them not too strong offensively.
Maybe Town Centres buff nearby (relatively large range) Towers in some ways.
Make them faster to construct and buff their combat power maybe increased rate for fire.
Maybe generally make construction faster around TC.
All buildings take 25% longer to construct.
Buildings close to the TC need 40% less time to construct (75% of original speed)
Towers close to the TC shoot 50% faster (33% faster reload) except Ballista Towers.
In aoe2de, the mechanism that makes towers not too strong offensively but worth to be used defensively, is that garrisoned villagers (and archers) buff their attack significantly. They also have minimum range tho.
I think that towers currently in RoR (given attack, garrison space, no minimum range), maybe succeed as defensive structure (to deter enemy military to get close). Maybe their range is kind of limited compared to ranged military. Also, you can’t have more than 1 tower without putting villagers to stone mining; and that hurts the progress of your economy. And you must use that stone to small wall yourself.
Those things help but they were not enough so they had to change the Tower starts in Feudal Age.
Which also makes them bad defensively.
How many people actually use towers for anything but a tower rush?
As soon as you get the Castle basically no one builds a Tower unless it’s a Bombard Tower.
Maybe Koreans or Japanese might build a Tower here or there but that’s it.
The problem with having no difference between a Tower build directly in your base and on the other side of the map is that Towers are either useless in early defence or they are to strong in offence.
I know that you can counter Tower rushes but most people don’t enjoy having to deal with that strategy every second match. It’s not fun.
It’s a also very unrealistic. No army goes to war by building defensive structures inside of the enemy town.
I like the idea of Town Centres providing the infrastructure and logistic to build things faster compared to somewhere far away from your town.
I don’t like the AoE3 solution where you just can’t build close to the enemies first TC ever.
Alternatively make enemy buildings construct slower close to your TC.
Giving you more time to respond to a Tower rush or force the enemy to commit more villagers.
Add Stone Age tower with 0 attack. Only attacks when villager are garrisoned.
Tool Age tech upgrades it so it gets an attack without garrison.
In aoe2, feudal age defensive tower is a regular procedure in case of exposed resource (gold or woodline). It’s common and absolutely effective. Since the main strength of tower is its amplified damage when garrisoned, next to a resource there are always workers available to garrison it.
Defenders just use the starting stone to build one tower, they will not mine additional stone.
The other use is to stop an enemy tower rush as you mentioned.
The question is, whether the commonly used in aoe2 defensive tower, can be a thing in aoe1 too. Currently in aoe1, the best way to spend the starting stone is to small wall your area, while in aoe2 you do this by spending wood (palisade walls, houses), and you keep your stone for other uses.
This hurts the forward building placement (not towers necessarily) which is the most common and advanced way to attack someone.
Btw, are offensive tower rushes a thing in aoe1? I guess not much.
Unique wonders per civ yes, I made a thread about which wonder would fit each civ.
Castles, no, in the ancient era it was mainly fortified cities so wall and towers, castles mainly became popular in Europe to counter viking raids.
The town bell, why not.
Rams would change the meta quite a bit (notably offering an arrow sponge), it would trigger some balance domino effect. If we want to be historical siege towers would also have their place but given how insignificant they are in AOE2, good luck to balance that while making them useful…
I think the reason why tower rushes are not a thing is because TCs can’t shoot.
You tower rush in AoE2 so you can equal the odds in some way.
In AoE1 you can just attack the enemy villagers and the enemy can only run or train their own units.
Also towers are weaker in AoE1, if they are made stronger they might be used in that way.
How large the range of the aura is and what units are included to what degree is up for debate and for testing.
AoE1 is very aggressive in Tool Age for multiple reasons. Discouraging offensive buildings might help with that.
Also the aura could be early game only. Maybe the effect is ignored once you are in Bronze or Imperial Age.
Maybe there is a Government Centre tech for that.
I don’t want to completely remove Tower Rushes from the game.
Tower Rushes should be a valid tactic but they should not be one of the most common tactics while using Towers defensively should be more common.
AoE4 has an interesting solution.
Towers cost wood but have no attack unless you garrison villagers. You need to invest stone and gold to make them attack.
That makes them pretty useful to defend mines while making them bad in an offence.
So call it a fortified city then. I’m just saying a building which acts functionally like a castle in AOE 2. Don’t get hung up on the name. The castle in aoe2 is basically just a giant tower that acts as a way to fortify a large amount of space, similar to how a castle protects a large area. A fortified city or hill fort would do the same thing in antiquity. You can have a functionally similar building just call it fortified city, or hill fort. The architecture can have a style fitting to that era.
The Meta is already changed as soon as they added all of the new changes: army control, town center garrison, new techs, etc. We should embrace more. We can make rams strong yet balanced not like how they are in aoe 2 normal mode.
I like the idea of also adding siege towers that would be cool