Why I will switch to Age of Empires 4

I have played SC2 for 10 years and consider the game a masterpiece. I know some players consider switching to Age of Empires 4 so I will give my perspective.

I have played in both the beta and the stress test for Age of Empires 4. I am aware of the things that needs to be improved in AOE4 and have written lengthy posts about them. Even so, I have decided to switch games as soon as AOE4 comes out.

  1. Age of Empires 4 is the future of RTS. It will take many years until Frost Giant comes out with a game and I cannot seem myself dealing with Protoss any more or I will have no hair left.

  2. The underlying gameplay is great with a lot of fun and depth. It has the macro depth of AOE2 without the slow start that drives you insane if you are used to faster RTS games.

  3. The macro part of the game is much deeper and more varied than SC2. The micro side is probably worse, but the tactical side seems equal, maybe even better. The civilizations while not as distinct as SC2 are more distinct than AOE2. Switching between civs will be much easier compared to SC2.

  4. Age of Empires games are better supported compared to the current level of support for SC2. The games receive lots of patches and will be improved upon over time. Not abandoned like SC2. I rather invest my time into something that will continue to get better and better over time rather than something that will just stagnate.

  5. No more losing the entire game because you reacted half a second to late. Games are decided by all the moves you make, not instantly lost from being hit by disruptor shot.

  6. Playing is fun and not stressful like SC2. You need to be fast but not insanely fast. Even losing feels ok in AOE4, not infuriating like in SC2.

  7. Team gameplay is so much better than SC2 that you can not even compare the games. I am primarily a 1v1 player but I actually had fun playing team games, something that never happened in SC2.

  8. There are no armies that once you get it will result in automatic win. No more a-moving 15 Carriers across the screen while drinking coffee. The game has an underlying fairness that SC2 lacks.

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Are you being sarcastic? I honestly can’t tell.

Yes, SC players who are still complaining about balance issues after 20 years of balance patches are finally going to find exactly what they have been looking for in a game that’s coming out with 8 different factions and randomized map generation.

No, it will take you about 10 minutes to start crying about the English (or whoever) being OP. Just give it 2-3 weeks for the meta to settle and 6 out of the 8 civs to be considered unviable for competitive play. As soon as that happens you with the rest of the SC2 players who are dreaming they found the game to switch to will be running back to SC2 begging to be deathballed by the Protoss.

(I just want to note I am not a filthy Protoss player. Zerg4lyfe)

"ABANDONED". rofl. Combine all the Age of Empires games together, heck, combine all RTS games together while you are at it, and you won’t reach the level of support and additions SC2 received over the past 10 years. No offense but you people are genuinely living in a fantasy world.

You do understand that AoE2 was originally supported for like 2 years and then completely ignored for ~10 years until the HD edition came out right? You want THAT as opposed to what you got for SC2 in the past 10 years? really? Who knows, maybe in 10 years Activision will hire someone to do SC2HD and 10 years after that they will hire someone to do SC2DE and that will finally make you happy.

Blizzard probably put more money and effort into a single SC2 event than Microsoft has given AoE3 through it’s entire existence.

Anyone with reasonable expectations will be thanking sweet Jesus if by some miracle Microsoft decides it’s worth it to support this game for more than a year, let alone anywhere near what Blizzard put into SC2.

This isn’t all to say “SC good, AoE4 bad”, just that could we please maintain a sane level of expectations?

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Well said! The truth is what your have wrote. Keep it up!

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While Blizzard was still Blizzard the game was well supported. But now everyone that knew RTS has left and the game is not patched anymore.

It could be ok if the game was left in a good state, but the current meta is awful where Protoss dominate anyone that is if not in the top 0.01%. Not worth playing anymore.

If AOE4 will still receive support 5 year from now I do not know but for the next 2 years at least SC2 will decline while AOE4 will get better and better.

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Big agree here , couldn’t have said it better :+1:

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OK, but you assume the people responsible for AoE4 are better than the people responsible for SC2, why?

Please, just go over to the AoE3 forums and hear what they think about the new African civs and how much of a chance anyone playing another civ has to not be dominated by them, even in the top 0.01%.

Brace yourself if you think a development team that isn’t even half as dedicated to Esports
as the one at Blizzard is going to magically provide you with a better balanced game.

SC2 has been refined for 10 years to the level where even you agree it’s a masterpiece. You are basically saying it’s better to play a game that’s going to be released in an extremely rough state (as all games are) and maybe gets improved upon over the next 2 years to the level that it’s not even half as refined as SC2 than actually playing the refined game.

Like, here’s all I am saying -Age of Empires 4 looks like its going to be great fun. Everyone should give it a try and enjoy it, Starcraft 2 players will also try it and find a lot to enjoy about it. But it’s not going to be because Microsoft provides better support or balance in their games, anyone who cares about those things specifically is going to be gone in a month.

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I don’t quite like this take as it really makes a lot of assumptions about what these players want.

Its not that hard to accept that some people just think they enjoy Aoe IV. And there are a myriad of reasons a person could come to that conclusion. But it is their conclusion to make.

Let’s not pretend that we know what their opinions will be in the future.

Yeah ok this is more reasonable.
Its really hard to tell how good the balance will be even after launch.
And we should all think of it as a point we will have to negotiate with the devs constantly.
So yes, any decision made based on balance is mere speculation.

But we do know what they want and you got a prefect example right here. They got 10 years of continued support and an unmatched level of investment from Blizzard and they feel balance is complete â– â– â– â–  and that they got abandoned.

What do you think these players are going to be like when they discover the random map generator gave their opponent an easier access to a relic in a ranked match and that its sort of the point of the game to have these unique matchups?

It’s extremely hard to tell how good the balance is but considering no developer in history managed to balance even 3 asymmetric factions, even when trying to do so over 20 years, we know it’s not happening in AoE4 with 8 asymmetric civs and a random map generator.

Also, these people have been negotiating with Blizzard for 20 years and they still pretend the only reason they got beat by a Protoss player is that they are not as good as Boxer. You really think Forgotten Empires (or whoever will end up balancing AoE4 is) is actually going to satisfy them?

It will be interesting to see how the first tournament shakes out. I am willing to bet most of the civs are not going to be represented in the final stages (if at any stage) and that the finals will be a mirror match unless enforced otherwise.

I do generally take balance arguments with a grain of salt as usually it has to do with player skill rather than the game’s balance. However on the topic of SC2 players feeling “abandoned” i’d assume it has something to do with this announcement:

I will note that Blizzard hasn’t ruled out balance patches so i’d be confused if people think that was going to be a problem.
However it does mean there probably won’t be any new content for the game going forward. And I can understand some people choosing to move on because of that.

There are some major problems with random map generation which made it funny when they said “we removed uphill bonuses to compensate for that”. Why not just stick to prebuilt competitive maps?
However major things like resource deposits and relics should be looked at by the balance team.
I’ve seen a bunch of treads already discussing this issue, we shall see if the devs listen.

Yeah I will not participate in the balance debate, I don’t think Relic or Forgotten Empires are better than Blizzard in that department. My main point was that balance is something that will obviously be worked on throughout the game’s lifespan and saying “balance is good in this game” is a massive assumption.

It’s obvious where it’s coming from and at least you, unlike them, is honest enough to also mention that they were only talking about for-purchase content, which after 10 years is reasonable.

We’re going to continue supporting StarCraft II in the same manner as we have with our previous longstanding games, such as Brood War, focusing primarily on what our core and competitive communities care about most. What this means is that we’re not going to be producing additional for-purchase content, such as Commanders and War Chests, but we will continue doing season rolls and necessary balance fixes moving forward.

Can we agree that it’s absurd to say that Age of Empires games are better supported? No Age of Empires game was better supported, no RTS game was better supported.

And like I said - I can certainly see a “casual” SC2 player dipping his toes into AoE4 and having a blast, why the hell not? The hardcores who have been complaining but still playing it for 10 consecutive years? They’ll be running back screaming after a week.

It’s the whole “switching” myth people keep tossing around that I remain unconvinced of. People who have played SC2 for a year or two and will now play AoE4 for a few months are not “switching”. Content creators that have been creating content for SC2 and will now create content for AoE4 for a week are not “switching”. RTS players play all kinds of RTS games. The bulk of hardcore SC2 players will remain where they are and that’s fine.

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dont forget that relic broke so many things in coh2 campaigns with their patches, you would have to pirate the american campaign DLC if you want to properly make use of the content you paid for.
that issue remains unfixed since more than 2 years now, and relic refuses to allow community members with experience to fix it.

Would’t expect too much from patches tbh

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Yeah Idk about this idea of “switching”, though some people may legitimately do it.
I personally play both games so I don’t see this as a binary choice. I do however think it is a good indicator that some RTS players besides Aoe players are interested in Aoe IV. Though I think it is unlikely they would completely abandon Starcraft 2; Ideally they’d play a bit of both.

Actually I think that there are plenty of SC2 player that want to abandon SC2.It is just that it has been years since a good classic RTS game was published so there was nothing new to switch to.

The timing of AOE4 could not have been better - the current lack of SC2 patches and the game being stuck in Protoss Air meta make the switch much more tempting.

Will AOE4 become an e-sport? I have no idea. But as long there are plenty of ladder opponent and the game gets patched regularly I will play it.

Just being able to switch between civs without having to start from scratch will be a huge advantage. I have 15.000+ games played as Terran but less than 20 as Zerg or Protoss. In SC2 if there is a balance problem you can not just switch races since you lose a large portion of the skill you acquired. You have to spend several months just to get back the level you were before if you switched.

In AOE4 if a civ is OP you can just switch to it without having to re-learn everything. It will probably just take a couple of days until you have adapted to the new civ.

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Agree completely. I won’t switch to AOE4 either. Now that i know the gameplay, I am aware that its just an average game. Nothing extraordinary or spectacular. Its just 20 min matches without any wow moments. and it can never replace the fun of AOE2 and 3 and AOM. I always instantly connect with the games I like, I feel in sync with the devs, here, I couldn’t establish that old feeling of familiarity. This game feels like a stranger to me.

As I read somewhere here, the excitement and hype we see here is just novelty. It’s an AOE game coming after many years, that’s all. That’s why they can’t wait. but It doesn’t have enough substance to hold players for a long time. I already have many FPS and RPG games still pending to be played. No need for me to rush to purchase this one. I will wait for a year to see what changes they make, and then maybe buy it if the price drops and improvements are done. Hoping it’s a success only for AOM2 and Age 5.

An excellent post that conveys the mood of a fairly large part of the SC2 community.
Unfortunately SC2 is a dying RTS, its support has been discontinued, and Blizzard does not have enough strength to support even new projects, and SC2 players will have to look for a new RTS (those who are not tired of the genre), and AoE 4 is an excellent choice in my opinion.

PS
The post is certainly interesting, but you be ready for a brown storm from the SC2 fans, who are sure that the game is in order and it can live.

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It’s not about whether it can live. It’s about whether it can be replaced by a game that even the developers are not pretending they want to replace.

The answer is simple - no.

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Interesting post!

Point 5 and 6 sound more emotional. I guess you are just finished with SC2. You played it for too long and now you are done with it.

I have no doubt that over time these same frustrations will also be experienced while playing AoE4:
“Oh damn… another Chinese castle-landmark-thing rush!”, “Another camel archer spamming Abassid. Boooh!”, etc.

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I think he just likes the benefit of buying himself into a new game with no meta developed yet and guaranteed support for a while.

This is nonsens ofc.
It gets better support than SC2 has for a while now for sure yeah but please… SC2 got more support than all age games combined.

The meta is really stale for around 2 years now in SC and Toss was never really great in a hardcore competitive sense.
Airtoss is only a thing for around a year now since the +1 HT range from 4.12 update finally gets used back and forth vs viper micro.

Sounds like the classic gold-diamond terran flamers from the forum that flame toss even tho toss basically got nerfed since its’ existence while terrans got overall buffed since existence.

If you want to talk about the game here go for it, but extracting balance flames from SC2 forums into this here to hype the game is embarassing.
SC2 is really fairly balance, Toss falls short on the extreme competitive site.
Perfect balance doesn’t exist, even in chess one gets free momentum, but they are damn close and only cause you can’t find a way to improve your play rn or you don’t like how to play with certain tools that is there to handle certain stuff, doesn’t mean it’s imbalanced or sht.

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Yeah maybe. But in AOE4 there are clear counters. In SC2 there are things that only have a counter if you detect it immediately and respond correctly immediate.

Build the turret 2 second too late against DT? Game over. Scouted the air transition 20 seconds too late? Game over. Reacted half a second too late against a mine drop? Game over. Basically the unforgiveness of SC2 is absurd. It may be good for e-sports but it is bad for normal players.

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You are of course right. Overall, SC2 got more support than the Age franchise. But, and I think this is important, SC2 is now on maintence for quite a while and Blizzard won’t return to support the game as it did, besides some smaller balance tweaks. Meanwhile, AoE 2 DE gets DLC after DLC with tournaments after tournaments. And now with AoE 4 on the horizon, there might even be more supporting coming in terms of tournaments and game updates. And I think this is all that is important: How are those games supported right now and in my opinion, the Age franchise is winning in that category right now. We’ll see if the support continues if AoE 4 isn’t the success MS wants it to. Support for the franchise as a whole might fade away then. We’ll see. Right now AoE 4 seems to be the best chance for RTS players of every coloure to find a new game with a bright future ahead of it, support and tournamentwise.

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