I and my gaming group have played AoE 3 for many years, but we exclusively play against bots, and tended to play team treaty. A few months ago, I got more interested in how to play more effectively, so I searched up some guides. I noticed that, the resounding majority of the time, matches were resolved very quickly, with one player FFing the moment they fail to defend their base from harassment, or vice versa, one player FFing the moment their all-in opening gambit doesn’t work. To I and the rest of my group, the enjoyment of Age games comes from the 1-2 hour epic power struggles, not some cheap 5 minute win. In Age 4, I’ve begun thinking about playing ranked pvp, however, I know almost for a fact that people are going to be doing some silly moment-they-can grunt rush, in hopes if dismantling my economy. While I understand that it may be meta, is it fun?
Conversely, I feel there’s an argument to be made for not FFing the moment you get overrun. The way I see it, and correct me if I’m wrong, players are likely going to optimize their early game grunt rushing as much as possible, with late game being but an after thought. Couldn’t a player with a more balanced skill set be able to still win, in spite of the early game harassment?
In truth, my overall main question to all you grunt rushers out there is, why? The early game is so static that it becomes less about strategy or tactics and more about mindless execution. Is that really fun? For anyone? And is it really fair to yourself or your opponent to surrender if you lose the early game? I may have only played against bots, but I’ve still seen an incredible amount of comebacks. Even outside of Age, in similar games that rely heavily on who can get a resource advantage first, I’ve seen incredible upsets and outplays. The game that readily comes to mind is League of Legends. A lot of players may be convulsed to FF quickly because their team isn’t doing that well, but for as many games as I’ve forfeited, I’ve played just as many where my team (Or the enemy team!) has been able to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat, be it from the enemy messing up, or my team making great strategic and mechanical plays. Age is no different in this regard. It may be seen as a waste of time to continue what’s seen as a lost game, and you’d rather get on to the next game, but if you’re really worried about long games, why’re you playing an RTS? \
My apologies that I don’t have quite the same experience in the RTS genre as many other folks do, but even with the limited knowledge I do have, Age is more macro, aka long term, focused than other RTS games, which tend to be more micro focused. Age and most any RTS still require solid foundations in both, but if Age’s whole thing is a focus on over-arching macro, why do people FF so quickly? Why would you play Age of Empires at that point? I’ll reiterate, my RTS knowledge and experience is limited, but conversely, I have much more experience with nearly every genre under the sun, and that experience is telling me that there’s something fishy with how people play Age. I’m asking all of this not to be rude or attack anyone, but because I’m genuinely curious and confused. Thank you for your time.