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An Open Letter to AoM Managers/Developers on How to Save Competitive AoM


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How to save competitive (1v1 high-ranked Supremacy) AoM

 

 

 

A topic so hot you literally get:

5.jpg.0c5897a96265af5275bc8ec7e8b7dc60.jpg    8.jpg.55532ee553a37a76ee0e3907baf7f3e7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

  • Definitions
    • i Common definitions
    • ii Critical definitions

 

  • How to save competitive AoM
    •  
    • 1 Remove AoT
      • 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
        • Free Myth Units
        • Shooting Docks
        • High-hunt maps
        • Titans
        • Atlanteans
        • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
        • 2TC's
      • 1.1 Ending Note #1
    •  
    • 2 Tweaks
      • 2.0 God Powers tweaking introduction
        • 2.0a Idea 1: Weaker GP's
        • 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
      • 2.1 Favor tweaking
      • 2.2 Free units tweaking
      • 2.3 Water tweaking
      • 2.4 Wall tweaking
      • 2.5 Telegraphing tweaking
      • 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
      •  
    • 3 DLC's
      • 3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)
      • 3.1 New "civilizations" (tech-trees) alternative
      • 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future
      • 3.3 Miscellaneous ideas

 

  • Ending Note #2

 

  • FAQ #1

 

  • Edit History

 

  • Sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitions

 

 

  • i Common definitions
    • Spoiler

       

      • Title definitions
        •  
        • AoM: Age of Mythology
        • Vanilla: Original game (Age of Mythology, not The Titans expansion pack)
        •  
        • AoT: Age of Mythology: The Titans (expansion pack)
        • TT: The Titans (expansion pack)
        •  
        • AoMEE: Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
        • EE: Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
        • TotD: Tale of the Dragon (expansion pack)
        •  
        • AoE2: Age of Empires II
        • SC2: Starcraft II

       

      • Common definitions
        • 2TC: The feature to contruct Town Centers on Settlements in the second Age (AoT) instead of the third (Vanilla)
        • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue: The feature to repeatedly create the selected units from a building
        • BO: Build Order (a list (outside the game) of units to queue to achieve a particular goal)
        • Boom: To aggressively pursue economic progression
        • Casual: Those who chronically play any of the following:
          • Team games
          • Unranked games (any level)
          • Mid-to-low ranked 1v1 Supremacy games
          • Mods
          • Single-Player
        • Cheese:
          1. The solid mass of fermented milk
          2. Gaming: A distasteful tactic/strategy, like the odor of certain cheeses, bordering unsportsmanlike conduct in that the player on the receiving end cannot properly respond to them within their logistics comfort-zone
          3. Gaming: A tactic/strategy disapproved by an opponent, typically used in the early game
        • DLC: Downloadable Content (or Expansion Packs)
        • Entropy: "Randomness"
        • Fog of War: The map blackness/shadow covering areas unscouted/scouted by the Player
        • GP: God Power
        • HP: Hitpoints/health
        • Kite: To purposefully retreat, baiting the opponent's units into following
        • Lame:
          1. Crippled
          2. Gaming (verb): To over-rely on a game-mechanic/strategy/tactic, like a crutch, making for...
          3. Gaming (adjective): ... boring/uninteresting/dull (gameplay/matches), like a stationary cripple
          4. Gaming: A tactic/strategy disapproved by an opponent, typically used in the late game
        • LOS: Line of sight (area of vision of a unit/building)
        • Main: The player's best/original Major God
        • MOBA: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (a game genre)
        • MU: Myth Unit
        • OP: Overpowered
        • Redzoning: The inability to build Walls around a particular Resource as indicated by the red shade on the Wall-icon cursor
        • RTS: Real-Time Strategy (a game genre)
        • Rush: To attack early and quickly, typically untelegraphed, especially in the early game (and without researching Hunting Dogs (original/early definition))
        • Smurf: A player playing under an alias
        • TC: Town Center
        • Vanilla: Original game (Age of Mythology, not The Titans expansion pack)

       

 

 

  • ii Critical definitions
    •  
    • APM: Actions (keypresses, mouse clicks) per minute (often misused as "micro-management")
    •  
    • Micro-: "The smaller" (often misused as "micro-management")
    • Macro-: "The bigger" (often misused as "macro-management")
    •  
    • Micro-management: To (verb) or how (noun) one manages their units or buildings (often misused as "APM")
    • Macro-management: To (verb) or how (noun) one maintains their map-control/military/economy/production/upgrades/repairs/etc.
    •  
    • Meta:
      1. "Outside the box"
      2. Gaming: The current tactics or strategies most effective at winning the game, can be separated into:
        • Micro-meta: The tangible meta that can be used in a game (often misinterpreted as "micro-management meta")
          • "Against Heimdall, it's better to Sphinx/Axe instead of Fast Heroic or 2TC..."
          • "3v3? You two rush Blue while I (middle) Fast Heroic..."
        • Macro-meta: The general conclusion based from the context of the overall micro-meta (often misinterpreted as "macro-management meta")
          • "Loki beats Gaia..."
          • "There is only one way to play this game..."
    •  
    • micro-meta.png
    •  
    •  
    • macro-meta.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Remove AoT

  • 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • Free Myth Units
    • Shooting Docks
    • High-hunt maps
    • Titans
    • Atlanteans
    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
    • 2TC's
  • 1.1 Ending Note #1

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

 

1.0a Remove everything of AoT

 

 

 

When people use the term, "Age of Mythology", they are not referring to Age of Mythology, but its expansion pack.

 

 

The new features introduced in the expansion pack forever devastated the core gameplay of AoM by:

  • Automating the game
  • Locking the macro-meta
  • Rewarding unprepared/casual/lazy/auto-pilot/boomy playstyles
  • Downplaying scouting

 

While reading, the reader should consider:

Quote
  • Was AoT truly an expansion pack?
  • How did the features released in AoT differ from AoE's expansion packs?
  • To who and what playstyle (and therefore "Civilizations" (tech-trees)) were the features introduced in AoT catered towards?
  • What is a macro-meta?

(From Post #2 - Section Responses).

 

(And regarding why Ensemble Studios included these features, see Post #2 - Section FAQ #2 - "Why can't you see that games must evolve to attract new players?").
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Myth Units:

  •  
  • Punish players with cheese.
    • Spoiler
  •  
  • Punish players who do not have access to a "water" Minor God on Water Maps.
  •  
  • Reward players for simply Advancing, with:
    • Undeserved and inflated defense/offense:
      • Fast MU's that:
        • Raid enemy hunt or Gold Mines
        • Scout the entire map for free
      • Slow or ranged MU's that functions as mobile towers
  •  
  • Lock the macro-meta - players have more diversity in units and tactics, but not gameplay/strategies.
  •  

 

What free MU's does: It places an undeserved variable into (early) phases of match development, denying/enabling strategies, forever locking the macro-meta.

Spoiler

Consider:

  • Without free MU's:
    • How much map-control would have been taken/defended?
    • How much of the map would have been scouted?
  •  
  • How many Hoplites are equal to a MU? And its Special attack?
  •  
  • How much does a Myth Unit cost?
    • How long would it take for Villagers to gather those resources?
      • How many of those resources could be used to build military units/buildings?

 

E.g.: Settlement-claiming for 2TC's.
E.g.: Roc, Pestucho, and Locust Swarm.
E.g.: Wadjet and Shifting Sands.
E.g.: Minotaur and Restoration.
E.g.: Valkyrie and Forest Fire.
E.g.: Centaur raiding.

 

An egregious example being Hathor, spawning both a flying Transport (15-unit carry) and a ranged unit that could kill a villager in two shots! What should have amounted to a grand total of 350 Gold and 30 Favor and 34 seconds of training time was instead a blank check. Two free Myth Units!

 

No wonder certain playstyles and philosophies thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting Docks (garrisoned Docks can fire arrows)

 

Against a lone arrow ship or a few, defenders can:

  • Tuck away their fishing ships and deal damage for the meantime, protecting their Dock HP and fishing pools.
  • Queue a military ship at their convenience.

 

So, unless the aggressor commits to investing in a larger fleet, Shooting Docks punish:

  • Water:
    • Early aggression
    • Small raids (any time)
  • Land: Aggressive strategies (locking the macro-meta to a "Water or land" rock-paper-scissors-guessing game)

 

And by the time the Boomer/Defender Advances to Classical Age, they should have an extra Villager or 2, thereby solidifying Water dominance from their extra lumber production.

 

Whatever happened to "first come, first served"? The game basically plays by itself: You snooze, They lose!

 

 

 

 

 

High-hunt maps* punish the defender who was denied of hunt (e.g.: Norse aggression, Shifting Sands onto hunters, Athena Rush).

 

The winner of map-control have "unlimited" hunt - no need to gather herdables/berries or chop Wood for Farms!

Consider:

Spoiler
  • How many Farms are equivalent to a pack of Deer?
    • How much longer would it take for Villagers to Farm them?
    • How many Wood is required to build those Farms?
      • How long would it take Villagers to gather the Wood?
        • How many offensive military units would be created if half of the Villagers switched to cutting Wood?
        • How would the player's map-control consequently fare?

(Now, apply this to double TC's).

 

By this point, the game already plays by itself; the aggressor can either:

  • Amass "infinite" hunt-based military to steamroll.
  • Advance to the next Age quicker with a free God Power (and free MU's and 2TC's) to dominate (e.g.: Flaming Weapons on Migdols, Ancestors, Underworld).

 

 

 

 

 

Titans* punish late-game players by enabling the undeserving player to soft-reset the winning player's progress through trashing their bases and efforts they've put into establishing map control.

 

So, instead of:

  • Strategically placing towers on the map
  • Establishing a decent trade route
  • Opting for a Wonder

They get a get-out-of-jail-free card.

 

 

 

 

* Assuming both players were of equal skill.

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanteans:

  • Atlantean players have more than "twice" the amount of time than Vanilla civilizations to focus on their micro-management, as their Citizens:
    • Are equal to rougly 2.3 Villagers.
    • Do not need drop-off buildings/units (e.g.: Granaries/Ox-Carts).
  •  
  • On Water Maps:
    • They have access to offensive Water MU's in Classical Age.
    • Atlanteans can comfortably Advance to 4:30 (or earlier). (Shooting Docks are of little issue to them when most civilizations are still struggling to Advance to 4:30 - 5:00).
    • Their Arrow Ships are extremely fast (7.25 speed), allowing them to kite from arrows and perform unprecedented guerilla attacks.
    • Their Hammer Ships have range.
  •  
  • Myth Unit philosophy:
    • Regarding Heka Gigantes: There was a reason why Ensemble Studios made Heroes immune to MU active Special-attacks, unlike Human units.
    • Regarding Carnivora, Nereid, Servant: There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had offensive Water MU's in Heroic Age, not Classical Age.
    • Regarding Stymphalian Birds: There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had offensive flying MU's in Mythic Age, not Heroic Age.
  •  
  • Turmas:
    • There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had raiding (fast) ranged-units in Heroic Age, not Classical Age.
    • They are quite literally Egyptian Chariot Archers (~90 HP and 5.00 speed) in Classical Age and deal bonus damage to counter-infantry and counter-archers!
  •  
  • More than one free GP granted per Age: There was a reason why Ensembl - Age of Free Insurance™!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue

 

Table of contents:

1. Bullet points
2. Designed around attention
3. RTS's core gameplay
4. Locking the macro-meta
5. Thesis
6. AQ Dump #1

 

 

1. Bullet points

 

AQ "standardizes" logistics, lowering:

  • Match entropy.
  • The burden of execution.
  • Windows of opportunities to exploit a Player's inattention.
  • (Logical) In-game choices for Players to invest their attention into.
  • Prioritization of decisions. (The spirit of RTS).

(Thereby locking the macro-meta - cue: Balance™ patches. And when the micro-metas finally run out, cue: Redesign mods (Section 3.2)).

...

 

"With AQ, lower-APM players can outsmart faster players; removing it will dumb down the game".

  • Reality: AQ dumbs down the game by reducing prioritization between "micro" and "macro" management, inflating Player APM.

 

"AQ allows me to strategize more; I don't need to spam 'H' and 'V' every 14 seconds".

  • Reality: AQ allows players more time to execute tactics. (Of the "same" strategies).

...

 

2. Designed around attention

 

 

"And how is the automation from auto-queue any different from Villager auto-gathering or military auto-attacking?"

 

 

It is possible to create a fun (and competitive) RTS without unit auto-gathering/auto-attacking.

One will just need to: Lower the screen-size, cut down the amount of units, increase rates, etc. (features quite familiar to console/mobile RTS).

 

Because, there is only so much one can do in their attention, in tandem with their bodily limitations and hardware apparatuses.

Spoiler

For example: Starcraft 2 failed to capture the charm of its predecessor by implementing "quality of life" features for a more "modern" experience despite Starcraft 1's "outdated" core gameplay was designed around its screen size and unit stats (speed, attack, gathering rates, etc.).

 

Apr 22, 2024 - New game studios are making RTS for casuals - Grubby

 

43:47

David Kim

Multi-building selection, unlimited unit selection... made that macro[-management] part a lot easier in Starcraft 2. So, in order to combat that... we brought in... macro[-management] mechanics.

For the Terran, you have to constantly like drop these Mules on the...

 

44:06

Grubby

By providing new UI and UX and quality-of-life improvements... multiple unit-selection, the macro[-management] part became too shallow, too uninteresting....

By removing the part of the game that they thought [was] tedious and difficult and daunting, they ended up with a shallower experience that they then tried to artificially make complicated again.

 

 

 

 Feb 10, 2017 - The Gamer Motivation Profile: Model and Findings - Nick Yee, GDC

 

20:04

[Dilemma of choices design]

If I make a game... that's incredibly strategically-complex, there's a lot of information to process through - I have to give you the time to make those decisions.

In fact, I have to let you be able to pause the game, otherwise, you wouldn't be able to make those decisions in time - and it becomes incredibly frustrating to play the game.

[Dilemma of pacing design]

On the other hand, the faster and more fast-paced a game is, the game is more based on reactions.

There's strategy, but not the kind of strategy where I'm giving you 30 pieces of information and asking you to make a complex decision.

[Dilemma of attention design]

So, there's kind of a trade-off, right, between the amount of cognitive resources I can take....

I can either take them from you, by strategic complexity or reaction time, but not both, because, it wouldn't be fun.

 

20:53

But, you know, games that are right near that edge or slightly beyond that edge may be really good as Esports candidates....

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If AQ allowed Players more time to make decisions, wouldn't it increase strategic gameplay?"

Spoiler

 

Quote

"With AQ, lower-APM players can outsmart faster players; removing it will dumb down the game".

  • Reality: AQ dumbs down the game by reducing prioritization between "micro" and "macro" management, inflating Player APM.

 

"AQ allows me to strategize more; I don't need to spam 'H' and 'V' every 14 seconds".

  • Reality: AQ allows players more time to execute tactics. (Of the "same" strategies).

Source: 1. Bullet points.

 

 

Quote

But with AQ, it is almost guaranteed the Player can make and execute the optimal decision from their surplus time and attention.

 

Especially in a small sandbox (map size, unit stats/prices - Section Ending Note #2)!

chess.PNG.9410e5b0e8e72bcea39ce3949c4a8d47.PNG

 

That is why Players say....

Souce: 4. Locking the macro-meta.

 


 

Instead of using wordplay to justify game-breaking mechanics, AQ defenders need to understand: Age of Mythology was already designed around a particular attention-set, based off of mathematics and visuals, not context-less opinions/wordplay/theories.

 

 

Too often are Players using their past experience with (or interpretation of) Blizzard's RTS's* to redefine this game and especially the RTS genre.

Spoiler

 

Death of an RTS - flowchart:

  • Casuals/outsiders/modders: "RTS games are too hard".
  • Publisher makes the game easier.*
  • Pro Players play even better because everything is simplified.*
  • "Still too hard"/"Sweaty Esports"/"Toxic".*
  • Publisher makes the game even easier.
  • Middle-class Players leave for more challenging experiences.
  • Casuals play their weekend city-builder-sim and finally leave.
  • (Modders stay to continue the dumpster-fire of a game (and be hired as "developers")).
  • Also, Casuals: "Why is the game/RTS dead?"
  • Proceed to migrate to another traditional - populated - RTS to destroy it and to complain about their experiences with Blizzard-RTS's core-gameplay*.

 

Deviating from RTS's core-gameplay to appease non-committed players will inevitably end up with Steps 3* and 4*.

 

The ironies.

 

* Games of hyper-reaction, muscle-memory, and perfectionism due to: Symmetrical maps, revealed maps, and a simplified macro-management.

Spoiler

gladiator2.jpg  awe you not sthatisfied

                                         ____ ________ ______________________________                                                             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wME43TfZiFA

...

 

3. RTS's core gameplay

 

Nov 16, 2023 - Real-Time Strategy is incredible and you should play it - CloudCuckooCountry

 

19:30

You might notice there's a lot of waiting for things in Real-Time Strategy....

 

19:40

[Because] you have to juggle all of these simple tasks at the same time; these games aren't simply "build your base, then recruit your army, then start fighting each other".

 

20:02

This is why there's so much waiting in between you giving an order and the thing you wanted happening; the game isn't slow to waste your time - the game is slow to give you the breathing room to split your attention.

You're not actually supposed to be staring at your building going up or watching your units slowly pop out of a building one-at-a-time - that's about as fun as watching paint dry.

 

21:43

The best analogy for playing an RTS skillfully is juggling.

 

22:07

After a ball is thrown, it will remain airborne for a short time-window, which gives the juggler the opportunity to catch and throw the other balls.

 

22:19

Real-Time-Strategy is very similar - you have several different tasks that require your attention.

Once you get one task going, there's a short time-window before you have to pay attention to it again, and that lets you give your attention to another task.

 

1:10:06

When RTS is at its best, it becomes this elaborate free-form dance between you and your opponent, where the value of your options - the structure and pace of a match - and even the specific objectives you're both fighting over - are completely dynamic and determined by the both of you, organically.

 

...

 

Spoiler

...

 

4. Locking the macro-meta

 

Spoiler

On prioritization

 

Part 1/4 - Basics

Spoiler

 

Image definitions:

  • Attention is the Player's awareness of their focus.
    • It is represented in the images as a yellow circle.
  •  
  • Focus is the intensity of the Player's applied control.
    • If it was shown in the images, it would be represented in darker/lighter shades of control.
  •  
  • Control is the Player's surface area of "potential energy".
    • If it was shown in the images, it may cover the entire image.

 

 

In Age of Mythology, the Player's attention would be flying all over the map. It is represented in yellow.

attention1.gif.eed93a51db998ddb6b7fd8ac6af1b313.gif

 

 

But, fortunately/unfortunately for Players, attention is not always fixed as it can be affected by a variety of factors:

  • Unhappy day at work
  • Itch
  • Blood sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Morale
  • Temperament

attention2.gif.72785c9ce46b01cbfbcf178cff27dfdf.gif

 

Also, the size of a Player's attention is relative to the amount of decisions they make.

 

E.g.: The more time a Player invests into multiple tasks, the smaller their attention could be.

 

 

In Age of Mythology, there are many variables for the Player to invest their attention into. This is represented in orange.

map1.png.6039081f6b6b3a342091a55ae8fdfb94.png

(Units are produced from buildings in intervals).

 

 

Part 2/4 - Inefficiency

Spoiler

 

But since Players have finite resources, they generally could only afford one unit per building.

And, if they want more of those units, Players must remember to call or revisit their buildings at those intervals.

map2.png.f9aa4c815ef8e858ee860e85566a0604.png

Notice this costs the Player's attention. This is represented in red as used time.

 

 

Macro-managing in a RTS game is like driving through a street with many cars and stoplights:

stoplight1.thumb.jpg.e13bd35320f570bcf8c689505cc73ddc.jpg

Spoiler
  1. Cars must decelerate before red lights.
  2. Cars must wait during red lights.
  3. Cars must accelerate at green lights.
  4. The constant acceleration/deceleration causes a domino-effect of delay, resulting in traffic.
  5. Waiting in traffic wastes time and gasoline.

Translated into AoM:

  1. Players must "abandon" microing their current task every time they create units.
  2. Their "abandoned" tasks are vulnerable to an opponent's attention.
  3. Players must immediately return to microing their "abandoned" task and re-organize the situation.
  4. Especially in a time-pressed situation, routine unit-production may cause decision-execution to lag behind.
  5. Constant back-and-forth interruptions between tasks shrink Player attention and draw upon their "mental energy".

 

However:

  • The Player can always choose not to produce units in favor of microing their current situation.
  • Drivers can always choose not to stop at a red light so to arrive at their destination quicker.

 

But, as a consequence:

  • The Driver's car/life may be imperiled.
  • The Player's economy/military production may suffer.

 

 

Part 3/4 - Solution

Spoiler

 

The Titans ("AoT" - AoM's expansion pack), introduced a new feature which auto-produces units: Autoqueue (AQ).

 

 

Notice the increase of player-attention from the extra time allowed by AQ.

map4.png.98704c8af8f2896fab3ac719abbbfb14.png

 

 

With this quality-of-life feature, playing AoT games is like driving through streets with infinite green lights:

stoplight2.jpg

Spoiler
  1. No red lights
  2. No traffic
  3. Quicker arrival to their destination

Translated into AoM:

  1. Players do not need to call or revisit their buildings at every interval(s).
  2. Player attention is not congested with interruptions.
  3. Players can accomplish their tasks faster.

 

And:

  • The Player's economy/military production is streamlined.
  • The Driver's car/life is safe from opposing traffic.

 

Players, then, are able to execute new tactics and explore different strategies at a rate than they never could have before with AQ.

 

And, if the Player's tactics/strategies are the best for its time/league/playerbase, it is a meta.

 

Therefore, AQ is good for the meta:

  • It accelerates the discovery of new metas.
  • Players can easily reproduce and refine on existing metas.

 

 

 

Part 4/4 - Legacy

 

AoT Players may liken games without AQ to this video:

 

 

The analogy:

  • Unit-production: Staying on the treadmill.
  • Unit micro-managing: The tasks.

 

 

 

 

The irony of the analogy: The treadmill runs at a constant.

 

But AoM Players are not locked by the "treadmill" - since their games are not "standardized", they define the speed, not the "belt".

In other words, if they want more time, they either "make" more or "steal" it from their opponents. (Respectively: Adaptation/prioritization and aggression/"creativity").

 

Their games do not run at a constant.

 

Also, a hypothetical look into an AoM Player's mindset:

  • "Why doesn't Daniel iron over the controls? Toss the ironing board away (or at the other runner)".
  • "If Daniel gets injured while changing the lightbulb, there's always another Daniel".
  • "Sitting on a treadmill? Turn the chair over sideways".

This is adaptation.

 

And finally, the elephant in the room: Had Daniel simply gotten off the treadmill, he could have efficiently completed his tasks.

This is prioritization.

 

AoM Players are free.

 

 

But AoT Players are not free; they are like indentured servants working in sweatshops.

Because they do not use the treadmill ("unit-production") - because of their extra time - and because Boss AQ has standardized all timings for the workforce: They are competing against the clock, not against other Players, but against a constant.

 

Spoiler

 

So, instead of engaging in the intricacies of RTS: (Information) Feinting, sabotage, subterfuge (of Player attention)...

... AoT Players must cram as many tasks between production cycles because AQ demands more APM.

So much for "casual" play.

 

It is therefore not "strategies" Players under AQ are executing, but tactics.

So much for touted "strategies".

 

Who is the Boss of your games: You or AQ?

Spoiler

sweatshop2.jpg.2329af62e002198398623a395274c4ad.jpg

"Our Core Values at Meta™ Sewing Ltd. include: InnovationUniquenessCreativity..."

 

sweatshop10.gif.1f5f535521b59f1778b77d9a73368f0d.gif

Look at her strategies. Can you see them? Look closer...

 

 

 

 

 

But, did you know you could already play without AQ?

 

Consider this situation: You woke up this morning, late for your job interview - should you: Catch the bus or filter coffee?

 

Now, assume the same situation, but this time, with: Toothbrushes, clothes, dishes....

The goal was always the same: To not miss the bus.

 

But some Players just want it all.

They woke up late.
They want their coffee.
They want to scroll through their phones.
They do not want to prioritize the essentials.
They do not want to sacrifice choices.

 

 

 

 

AoT Players playing without AQ often find themselves frustrated.

Because they are attempting to swallow an elephant.

 

"To lift [a strand of] hair is no sign of great strength; to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear."

- Sun Tzu The Art of War

 

It is one thing to know optimal timings ("strategy"), but it is another to adaptively execute the knowing in a time-pressured situation.

 

map9.png

 

That is why players PRIORITIZE. (Or else, "steal" attention from their opponents).

Because you can't have it all.

 

And that's the beauty of it: Everything is a choice.

 

Add in more units and buildings, and do you see how complex this can get?

By the time the Player gets into the late-game, their attention should be smaller. And even more if they don't use control-groups!

 

map6.1.png.7951f56637d8b9f8f70d3c591af9a399.png

 

But, with AQ, it is almost guaranteed the Player can make and execute the optimal decision from their surplus time and attention.

 

map7.png.80c56ccc9c78e963101e27344b06e96c.png

 

Especially in a small sandbox (map size, unit stats/prices - Section Ending Note #2)!

chess.PNG.9410e5b0e8e72bcea39ce3949c4a8d47.PNG

 

 

That is why Players say:

  • "There is only one way to play the game".
  • "AQ dumbs down the game".
  • "The game plays by itself".

 

This is the macro-meta (not "macro-management").

It is the "greater/larger meta".

 

production.png

macro-meta.png

Larger image (updated): https://meta-plays.com/uploads/monthly_2024_05/macro-meta.thumb.png.6a27235cddbec2eb464fbe61cad25a05.png

 

 

AQ locks the macro-meta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are still thinking:

  • Cluster 1
    • "Quality-of-life"
    • "Repetition"
    • "APM"
    • "Clicking/mashing"
    • "Hotkeys"
    • "'Strategy'"
  • Cluster 2 ("It's about")
    • "Competition"
    • "Skill(-ceiling)"
    • "Elitism"/"'Git gud'"
    • "Gatekeeping"

 

You have completely missed the point.*

 

* Unless, you were referring to a dumbed-down game (of perfectionism) with a simplified economy and revealed and/or symmetrical maps, like: MOBA's, Blizzard's RTS's, [insert no-name RTS], AoT (Post #2 - Section FAQ #2 - "Why don't you go back to AoE2 or SC2?").

 

 

 

 

The fight against AQ was always about the preservation of the Players' true "light" (their "unscripted" attention).

 

It is a celebration of the macro-meta, by which the Players themselves define.

Age of Mythology is among the few games in the world that allows for such expression of Player decision-making.

 

The black map is the canvas and we are its artists.

 

 

 ...

 

5. Thesis

 

Spoiler

 

AQ does allow the player to micro-manage more. It is good for the micro-meta (please read Section Definitions' ii Critical Definitions).

However, many players fail to realize that it establishes and locks the macro-meta (please read Section Definitions' ii Critical Definitions).

It simply streamlines production, thereby removing the burden of prioritization, creating the illusion that the match was won by sheer skill and "strategy", when in reality, it only serves to inflate both players' APM to executing the same macro-meta gameplay of near-perfect logistical management, turning AoT akin to a 20-minute "repetitive testing simulator" instead of a RTS game.

 

Real-Time Strategy is a game genre in which players execute multiple real-time decisions in response to their opponents' moves across a large map, all the while restricted by their screen size and mouse/keyboard input; it is a game of immediate wits, the "'Strategy'" in RTS.

Having the insight to prioritize on the available options does not equate to tedious meticulousness, a flawed argument disgruntled Casuals commonly use, "If you remove AQ, you must also remove all hotkeys".

AQ basically masks "low intelligence" and steals the glory from worthy players by robbing them of the opportunity to fully utilize and show off their skill (APM, attentiveness, prioritization, intuition) and simultaneously robbing viewers of an interesting game because nearly all of AoT's "meta" (macro-meta) is a byproduct of AQ'ing from 2TC's.

 

AQ does not belong in PC RTS and is better suited as a quality-of-life improvement for platforms with even less input or screen size, such as the console or smartphone. (Sub-section: 2. Designed around attention).

...

 

6. AQ dump #1

 

Spoiler

frogurt1.jpg.d1054c1371683b972b69ac80a19cb370.jpg

frogurt2.1.png.9edbf68f8bf951d82c6e49a830e8e034.png

...

 

 More information in Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous - AQ dump #2 

...

 

AQ is bad for the macro-meta; it excessively rewards the following...:

  • The short-term (casual/social/weekend/holiday matches)
  • Unprepared playstyles
  • (2TC) Boomy gameplay

 

... and punishes their inverses.

...

 

(Game: Five Nights at Freddy's).

Spoiler

Consider the indie horror game: Five Nights at Freddy's.

2.gif

 

The Player assumes the role of a midnight technician in a rundown children's party building and must survive the night from Animatronics that seemed to have gained sentience - but not through digital means.

 

The Player's available controls:

  • Closing either doors (to barricade themself from Animatronics)
  • Flashing lights in either hallways (to soft-reset nearby Animatronics)
  • Monitoring each camera, full-screen (to know the Animatronics' whereabouts)
  • Winding the Music Box
  • Wearing a Fazbear Entertainment™ mask (to masquerade as an Animatronic)

 

But, each action is not without consequence:

  • The doors, lights, and laptop use power (which the Player has a limited supply of)
  • The Player can only monitor one room at a time (including their room)
  • Winding the Music Box occupies Player time
  • Wearing the mask occupies Player time

fnaf2.png

 

But: What if a FNAF game has all the cameras in one screen, equipped with motion-detecting sensors?

 

Now, all the Player has to do left is to react appropriately to each type of Animatronic:

fnaf3.jpg

 

Playing an RTS with AQ is similar to playing FNAF without jumpscares.

...

 

exorcist1.jpg.bb68e0e5ba9970bee95052966f0e9fca.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2TC's (Town Centers can be built in the second/Classical Age):

 

Ensemble Studios designed AoM matches to be shorter and aggressive than AoE2's. (Greg Street quote*).

 

2TC's redefines this by allowing a Third Age feature to be available in the Second Age.

  • This made AoM's maps even smaller.
  • Maps were further "standardized" to suit boomy play. (Scouting be damned).
  • This turned AoM into AoE2 - a game of boomy longplay with players sitting in the corner of the map.
  • This allowed for civilizations whose tech-trees were designed to excel in the Third Age to excel in the Second Age.**
  • Players now play the late-game earlier. (Not designed for the sandbox* nor the core gameplay**).

 

* Section Ending Note #2
** Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous - The kernel

 

A common (Casual) misconception: "You can only choose one: Classical Age fighting or 2TC's."

 

Other than a few exceptions, what is undeniable: The majority of matches result in 2TC's.

...

 

2tcs.jpg

A confused boy.

The macro-meta: AQ is simply an extension of 2TC's.

 

2tc2.png

 

With 2TC's taking a chunk of map area,

With 2TC's increasing Population,

With 2TC'S doubling Villagers -

 

The late-game potentials have been unlocked early on, which is why AoT players don't mind:

  • "Symmetrical" maps
  • Larger maps
  • Higher population
  • Longer games
  • Redesigning:
    • The core gameplay*
    • An entire civilization*
    • Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous - The kernel
  • Transforming AoM into AoE (Section 3.2)

 

No wonder why AoT players are so sensitive to fog of war and especially (Vanilla) map randomization!

2tc4.png.79470583902cd4c4c0ba9286e0f6f654.png

 

AoM's sandbox was not meant to hold 2TC's.

 

See Section Ending Note #2 - regarding AoM's sandbox design.
See Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous - The Kernel - regarding AoM's core gameplay.

 

 

Spoiler

 exorcist2.thumb.png.047dc886b520faa27636753599fdb9d3.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.1 Ending Note #1

 

 

All of these features were intentionally implemented by Ensemble Studios with express purpose...:

  • Randomized maps (pre-patch)
  • Civilization asymmetry
  • Relics
  • No AQ
  • No 2TC's
  • No free MU's
  • No: Shooting Docks, Titans, Atlanteans...

 

... to diversify matches by acting as barriers to the locking (standardization) of metas.

 

 

 

Yet, players still create:

  • Patches - to reset the micro-metas (caused by AQ) - in the name of balance™.
  • Mods - when patches can no longer patch (Section 3.2).
  • Nearly-symmetrical maps - for 2TC's that "shrink" an already-small sandbox.

 

Because AoT Players don't want to adapt.

They don't want to change.

 

They want to be hoarders of the 2TC-meta/AQ-meta, executing the same macro-meta strategies on "random" maps of near-symmetry.

And after climbing to the top, they get bored, then demand for more mods, modes, and maps to refresh their dead gamestyle of "strategery" .

 

 

"Well, there was more than one way* out of that scenario; you were just not playing the game correctly**".

* I.e.: The micro-meta.
** I.e.: The macro-meta.

 

feedback1.thumb.jpg.db63f532b4c21f973d2db311392afe2a.jpg

feedback2.jpg

feedback3.thumb.jpg.15702d60b2dc177ec9078314e1211c80.jpg

 

carrot2.jpg.e4afd689b9ff6c30a27f89cd75164b80.jpg

feedback5.png

 

feedback6.jpg

 

 

 

 

Bobby Fischer (American chess grandmaster, 11th World Chess Champion) explaining chess' macro-meta.

Me and Bobby Fischer (2009)

Spoiler

 

Exchange these terms:

  • "Fischer Random" with AoM
  • "'Old' chess" with:
    • AoT
    • And/or: Balance™ patches
    • And/or: Game-redesign mods
  •  
  • "Creativity" with adaptation/prioritization
  • "Theory" with:
    • AQ
    • And/or: Macro-meta strategies
  •  
  • "Pre-arrangement" with:
    • Macro-meta strategies
    • And/or: 2TC's
    • And/or: Random" maps of near-symmetry
    • And/or: Seasonal map rotations
  •  
  • "Memorization" with:
    • Macro-meta tactics
    • And/or: Familiarity of:
      • The 2TC meta
      • The AQ meta
      • Attack/Advance timings
  •  
  • "Learn" with:
    • "Solving"/discovering the macro-meta

 

 

Extended interview portion:

Spoiler

 

0:37

Chess is all about... memorization. It's all about pre-arrangement.

Creativity... is lower down on the list.

 

0:52

"Old" Chess is: You're banging your head against the wall with this theory... trying to find some little improvement....

It's ridiculous; it gets harder and harder... you need more and more computers - you need more and more people working for you.

 

1:56

If you analyze chess... objectively, it's been a lousy game.

 

2:24

Why do you wanna get involved with something that is mainly rote and pre-arrangement?

Obviously, it's not all... that, but, creativity is... maybe number 3 on the list, the first: Pre-arrangement and the memorization....

 

2:54

Now, let me explain something about Fischer Random: I've never made any claims that this is the greatest thing... perfect, or... much better than the "old" chess.

But the point about Fischer Random is it's basically the same as the "old" chess, except, you get rid of the theory....

 

4:33

There are a lot of games that you can come up with that have practical defects... not creative defects... in terms of discouraging people to "learn" them... that's my point about Fischer Random.

 

5:20

People think I'm anti-chess - no, I'm not anti-chess, I'm pro-chess; I'm trying to keep it alive!

 

6:23

I don't say, "I have more talent than...."

I just know much more theory....

So, when you say, "I'm better than -" doesn't mean anything because of all this theory....

But, now, if you were to say, "Am I the most talented player?" That's something else.

 

bobbyon2.PNG

 

 

2:33

In the "old" chess - I have only one interest... to expose the pre-arrangement.

["Old" chess Players] are living in a dream world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote

I don't say, "I have more talent than...."

I just know much more theory....

So, when you say, "I'm better than -" doesn't mean anything because of all this theory....

But, now, if you were to say, "Am I the most talented player?" That's something else.

                                                                                                                                                            - Bobby Fischer

 

 

 

It is no longer you who is playing, but AQ (and 2TC's, free MU's, and free GP's).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tweaks

  • 2.0 God Powers tweaking introduction
    • 2.0a Idea 1: Weaker GP's
    • 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
  • 2.1 Favor tweaking
  • 2.2 Free units tweaking
  • 2.3 Water tweaking
  • 2.4 Wall tweaking
  • 2.5 Telegraphing tweaking
  • 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

2.0 God Powers tweaking introduction

 

 

A recurring theme in AoT and AoM: the player didn't earn it, but they get it for free.

 

That is why players would often hear complaints, like:

  • "Nerf SS"
  • "Nerf Zeus"
  • "Nerf Ragnarok"
  • "A/E OP"

 

Power spikes are powerful because of the timing at which they were used.


Consider: Why does Deathmatch restrict players from using God Powers after Advancing?
Consider: Why do MU's cost resources?

 

 

(Streamer: Grubby: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/2056953986?t=5h49m41s).

(Streamer: johnarbiter117: https://www.twitch.tv/johnarbiter117/clip/BlitheFineLyrebirdPJSugar-X1vcXT8THHWQ89Hf).

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.0a Idea 1: Weaker GP's

 

Alternatively, if free God Powers are to be kept....

 

Spoiler

 

1. Revert all GP balance™ changes to TT Patch 1.03.

 

2. And...

 

 

Greek GreekIcon.png.11fc5044012f1a5668c2dc6597bd20a6.png Archaic Age ArchaicAge.png.ea3e124075939cdcbf03860c4b1d30d5.png GP's:

  • Bolt:
    • Deals 80% ratio-damage:*
      • Ox Carts*
      • Rocs*
      • Transport ships*
      • Ulfsarks*
      • Villagers*
    • Deals 100% ratio-damage: Everything else*
    • * For example: If a Roc has 10 HP left, Bolt would deal only 8 damage (80% ratio damage). 
  • Lure (1,000 Food): 250 Food

Greek GreekIcon.png.11fc5044012f1a5668c2dc6597bd20a6.png Classical Age ClassicalAge.png.1e2b9ad2eb782971ae0ca4b08b6874ad.png GP's:

  • Ceasefire (60 seconds): 15 seconds
  • Pestilence (45 seconds): 20 seconds
  • Restoration (8 seconds): 1 second

Greek GreekIcon.png.11fc5044012f1a5668c2dc6597bd20a6.png Heroic Age HeroicAge.png.56d34f7d5c7807a5090f8b923c115e78.png GP's:

  • Bronze (90 seconds): 15 seconds
  • Curse (800 HP): 450 HP
  • Underworld (1,800 HP): 25% HP (450 HP)

Greek GreekIcon.png.11fc5044012f1a5668c2dc6597bd20a6.png Mythic Age MythicAge.png.f275632515b6aa9dcb1138e506f78c21.png GP's:

  • Earthquake (12 seconds): 2 seconds
  • Lightning Storm (15 seconds): 7 seconds
  • Plenty Vault (3 resources/second): 0.75 resources/second

 


Egytian EgyptianIcon.png.40c685cd4ad734ec40aa5b8c99d1c95e.png Archaic Age ArchaicAge.png.ea3e124075939cdcbf03860c4b1d30d5.png GP's:

  • Prosperity (50 seconds): 20 seconds
  • Rain (60 seconds): 15 seconds
  • Vision (20 seconds): 5 seconds

Egytian EgyptianIcon.png.40c685cd4ad734ec40aa5b8c99d1c95e.png Classical Age ClassicalAge.png.1e2b9ad2eb782971ae0ca4b08b6874ad.png GP's:

  • Eclipse (65 seconds): 15 seconds
  • Shifting Sands (4,000 HP of friendly units):
    • Can transport 450 HP of friendly units
    • Cannot transport:
      • Enemy units
      • Mother Nature units

Egytian EgyptianIcon.png.40c685cd4ad734ec40aa5b8c99d1c95e.png Heroic Age HeroicAge.png.56d34f7d5c7807a5090f8b923c115e78.png GP's:

  • Ancestors (60 seconds): 20 seconds
  • Citadel (10 population): No population
  • Locust Swarm (20 Hack, 27 seconds):
    • 1 Hack
    • 10 seconds

Egytian EgyptianIcon.png.40c685cd4ad734ec40aa5b8c99d1c95e.png Mythic Age MythicAge.png.f275632515b6aa9dcb1138e506f78c21.png GP's:

  • Meteor (15 seconds): 10 seconds
  • Son of Osiris (420 HP): 25% HP (105 HP)
  • Tornado (20 seconds): 3 seconds

 

 

Norse NorseIcon.png.73cc7e37d26a1814bbc9447ae9f2d884.png Archaic Age ArchaicAge.png.ea3e124075939cdcbf03860c4b1d30d5.png GP's:

  • Dwarven Mine (500, 1,000, 3,000, 6,000 Gold): 200, 400, 1,200, 2,400 Gold
  • Great Hunt (750 Food): 200 Food
  • Spy (27 LOS): 6 LOS

Norse NorseIcon.png.73cc7e37d26a1814bbc9447ae9f2d884.png Classical Age ClassicalAge.png.1e2b9ad2eb782971ae0ca4b08b6874ad.png GP's:

  • Forest Fire: 5 seconds
  • Undermine:
    • Cannot automatically destroy Walls or Towers
    • 25% potential max damage ("potential max damage" is 100% damage if Undermine was Invoked directly on a building (instead of it traveling))

Norse NorseIcon.png.73cc7e37d26a1814bbc9447ae9f2d884.png Heroic Age HeroicAge.png.56d34f7d5c7807a5090f8b923c115e78.png GP's:

  • Flaming Weapons (60 seconds): 15 seconds
  • Frost (50 seconds): 15 seconds

Norse NorseIcon.png.73cc7e37d26a1814bbc9447ae9f2d884.png Mythic Age MythicAge.png.f275632515b6aa9dcb1138e506f78c21.png GP's:

  • Nidhogg (2,000 HP)25% HP (500 HP)
  • Ragnarok:
    • Either:
      • 20% Villagers (Gatherers and Dwarves)
      • 100% Dwarves?

 

 

 

 

 

2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)

 

Spoiler

 

 

Requirement 1:

God Powers (single-use only) can only be researched in Town Center TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png.

 

Explanation:

  •  
  •  
  • The purpose of researchable God Powers (single-use only) is to:
    • Prevent undeserved power spikes
    • Free the players' playstyles, undenied by "GP chess"
  •  ... by allowing players to trade their economy (Villager production AoM_Villager_Greek_Icon.png.5142934a0b10ed1376f9a087d12a702f.png) for a powerful, game-changing "spell".
  •  
  •  
  • Bad ideas:
    • If God Powers (single-use only) could be researched in:
      • The toolbar, it would still create an undeserved power spike because it is a simply a time bomb after the player Advances.
      • Temples, it would still create an undeserved power spike because the player's economy is unaffected, and it would also punish Norse players who queue Hersirs from Temples.

 

 

 

Requirement 2:

God Powers (single-use only) cost time and Favor to research.

 

Ideally, each God Powers should have their own research time and resource costs (as with MU's).

 

But, as for simplicity (for the Developers):

  • Archaic Age ArchaicAge.png.ea3e124075939cdcbf03860c4b1d30d5.png GP's cost: 30 seconds, 0 Favor
  • Classical Age ClassicalAge.png.1e2b9ad2eb782971ae0ca4b08b6874ad.png GP's cost: 75 seconds, 15 Favor
  • Heroic Age HeroicAge.png.56d34f7d5c7807a5090f8b923c115e78.png GP's cost: 75 seconds, 25 Favor
  • Mythic Age MythicAge.png.f275632515b6aa9dcb1138e506f78c21.png GP's cost: 75 seconds, 30 Favor

For example: Bolt (Archaic Age GP) will always cost 30 seconds and 0 Favor even if the player is in Mythic Age.

 

Explanation:

  •  
  •  
  •  
  • This would also allow for interesting games where players could target enemy Favor buildings (Temples/Monuments) to hinder their researching a (single-use only) God Power.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Regarding time:
    •  
    • Archaic Age GP's 30 seconds is based off of Zeus' Bolt BoltIcon2.png.4747eeed5cd451dea85ad9ba6ec8e894.png and the Villager AoM_Villager_Greek_Icon.png.5142934a0b10ed1376f9a087d12a702f.png Training Time (14 seconds).
      • If Bolt costs 15 seconds (~1 Villager) to Invoke, it would still be beneficial for Zeus to Invoke it early on (for example, Bolting a Villager/Ulfsark building a Dock/Temple), a 1:1 loss.
      • But if Bolt costs 30 seconds (~2 Villagers) to Invoke, the Zeus player would, at the very least, be more disadvantaged for Invoking it, a 2:1 loss.
      • Spoiler
        • For reference: Early matches may have less undeserved power spikes, as these Major Gods are less likely to:
          • Zeus: Bolt builders
          • Poseidon: Steal huntables (imbalanced on low hunt maps)
          • Set: Steal huntables, teleport onto hunters (imbalanced on low hunt maps)
          • Odin: Have extra hunt (imbalanced on low hunt maps)
          • Loki: Free espionage
    •  
    • Classical/Heroic/Mythic Age GP's: 75 seconds - for reference:
      • Spoiler
        • Ceasefire CeasefireIcon.png.654e2eab288e901f72d36393de96c1a4.png: Denying rushes
        • Pestilence PestilenceIcon.png.29e5eeda67e62370f345dcb262973364.png: Denying military for 45 seconds
          • Greek Villager BarracksLonghouse_icon.png.e49c28ca9e8ddce78887fbf8a3ae109d.png/Archery-RangeArcheryRangeAOMIcon.png.c47cd65e3fe6ce3afe5b526f5461abbf.png/StablesStableaom.jpg.abaac0d34c2352420e499e0b688c1337.jpg building time: ~23 seconds
            • Training times: Hoplite (14s), Toxote (15s), Hippikon (20s/15s)
          • Egyptian Villager Barracks Longhouse_icon.png.e49c28ca9e8ddce78887fbf8a3ae109d.png building time: ~43 seconds
            • Empowered Egyptian Villager Barracks Longhouse_icon.png.e49c28ca9e8ddce78887fbf8a3ae109d.png building time: ~25 seconds
            • Training times: Spearmen (9s), Axemen (10s), Slinger (14s)
          • Norse Barracks Longhouse_icon.png.e49c28ca9e8ddce78887fbf8a3ae109d.png building time: ~28 seconds
            • Ulfsark Temple TempleAOMIcon.png.c097c20d6dceda7d02da0357ba094066.png building time: ~37 seconds
            • Training times: Ulfsark (9s/8.1s) , Throwing Axeman (16s/14.4s), Raiding Cavalry (18s/16.2s), Hersir (23s/20.7s)
        • Shifting Sands ShiftingSandsIcon.png.290eb84a13901aac9f10e9e513815375.png: Teleporting onto hunters, stealing herdables, or shifting Villagers
        • Forest Fire ForestFireIcon.png.c6028e4a0c01442cc6d594af0d9f5176.png: Disrupting Wood economy, massacring Villagers
        • Undermine UndermineIcon.png.a42ce5aff0670b3abc30523f8a54165a.png: Destroying Towers or Walls
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Regarding Favor:
    •  
    • Archaic Age GP's Favor cost is 0, otherwise, certain playstyles would be limited, and Zeus would also have an unfair advantage.
    •  
    • Classical/Heroic/Mythic Age Favor cost - for reference:
      • Spoiler
        • 15 Favor: Scylla, Anubite, Wadjet, Petsuchos, Roc, Einherjar, Troll, Fenris Wolf Brood, Jormangund
        • 25 Favor: Manticore, Colossus, Mummy, Kraken
        • Medusa: 32 Favor
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Bad ideas:
    •  
    • If there was an announcement:
      • Any time someone begins researching a God Power (single-use only):
        • It will remove the element of surprise.
        • The announcement can be spammed (E.g.: cancel research, research, cancel research...).
        • See Section 2.5's "Remove the announcement for:".
      • Whenever a God Power (single-use only) is fully researched:
        • It will remove the element of surprise.
        • Since God Powers are player-exclusive, game-changing power spikes, they should be telegraphed.
        • See Section 2.5's "Remove the announcement for:".
    •  
    • If previous Age God Powers:
      • Are free after Advancing, it would still create an undeserved power spike; it's like getting free MU's from the previous Ages; the player didn't earn for it!
      • Have lowered costs, it would still create an undeserved power spike; it's like lowering the prices of previous Age MU's!
    •  
    • If God Powers only cost:
      • Time, it would still create an undeserved power spike because it is simply a time bomb whenever the player Advances.
      • Favor, it would still create an undeserved power spike as it does not give the opponent sufficient time to react to it.

 

 

 

 

Idea 2 Continued...

Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only) tweaks:

Spoiler

 

1. Revert all GP balance™ changes to TT Patch 1.03

2. God Powers (single-use only) can only be researched in Town Center

3. God Powers (single-use only) cost time and Favor to research

4. And...

 

GreekPortrait.png.549b87c501e191066308040cbac88bcd.png

Bolt BoltIcon2.png.4747eeed5cd451dea85ad9ba6ec8e894.png:

  • Deals ratio damage:
    • 50%:*
      • Nidhogg NidhoggIcon.png.61f592d11df082340e46a1709e72c45b.png*
      • Son of Osiris SonOfOsirisIcon.png.db7501133c9009af3f1ce754a898574b.png*
    • 80%:*
      • Ox Carts Ox_cart.png.d2abfd2caeb72da601b765fec5838739.png*
      • Rocs RocIcon.png.862170b7c74dd106e4f217b7eff28264.png*
      • Transport Ships Transportgreekicon.jpg.36f895590c8001dd2fb3f603170f6003.jpg*
    • 100%: Everything else*
  • * For example: If Nidhogg NidhoggIcon.png.61f592d11df082340e46a1709e72c45b.png has 2 HP left, Bolt BoltIcon2.png.4747eeed5cd451dea85ad9ba6ec8e894.png would deal only 1 HP (50% ratio damage).

Explanation:

  • Regarding Nidhogg and SoO: As Mythic Age GP's, to be killed by a mere Archaic GP is quite anti-climatic as it denies the purpose of researching the GP (single-use only).
  • Regarding Ox Carts: Ox Carts are slow; the Norse player may have lost a considerable amount of resources by the time a replacement arrived to the resource site.
  • Regarding non-offensive transport units: If non-offensive transport units were Bolted, the player may lose more than just one unit.
  • See Section 2.0b regarding Archaic Age's GP cost philosophy.

 

Ceasefire CeasefireIcon.png.654e2eab288e901f72d36393de96c1a4.png:

  • Town Centers cannot be built during Ceasefire.

Explanation:

  • AoM's theme and balance: Arrow buildings cannot be built during Ceasefire.
    • Settlements are placeholders for TC's; they are not buildings, but Resources.

 

Lure LureIcon.png.c184ac177d1cde730ded08f515fe5074.png:

  • Food drawn (1,000): 1,500

 

Sentinel SentinelIcon.png.8e90e1f4fc82f4b85c7cd54cfb6e3ad2.png:

  • Sentinels (4): 8

 

Pestilence PestilenceIcon.png.29e5eeda67e62370f345dcb262973364.png:

  • Length (45s): 60s

 

Bronze BronzeIcon.png.7f35992c572a11cc4ba1200ef39246b3.png:

  • Length (90s)60s
  • Hack/Pierce vulnerability (30%): 45%

 

Curse CurseIcon.png.3603d96829cedbd23f5c43f6a1700eb4.png:

  • HP (800)1,200 HP

 

Earthquake EarthquakeIcon.png.31fabf808fc70182134b718516ea5536.png:

  • Deals full damage to friendly units/buildings (see Section 2.5)

 

Lightning Storm Lightning_StormIcon.png.05d639e8baa03e61c457061d8cc439c8.png:

  • Length (15s)20s
  • Deals full damage to friendly units/buildings (see Section 2.5)

 

EgyptianPortrait.png.4008f9a1a14c345128f46bf68e805dc8.png

Prosperity ProsperityIcon.png.4b75787c85b1ffe1048df13fe67742b4.png:

  • Gold gather rate (1.8x): 1.9x
  • Length (50s)60s

 

Rain RainIcon.png.cbb4bb4eb8a1ef962f718656ddf82d07.png:

  • The Player's Rain Farm AomFarmIcon.png.2bcffdf4cc9c97b433fb2cb319044ed2.png gather rate (3x): 3.75x
  • Every other players' Rain Farm AomFarmIcon.png.2bcffdf4cc9c97b433fb2cb319044ed2.png gather rate (2x): 2.5x

Explanation:

  • Although Rain is a worldwide GP, Ra especially sends more rain onto the Invoker's fields. (Vanilla).

 

Vision VisionIcon.png.2a6bcdace1b916685844a38dacd1e41f.png:

  • Line of sight (60): 75

 

Eclipse EclipseIcon.png.8415bcfc58965a2aeb316eab73c18c38.png:

  • Affects every players':
    • MU's
    • Monuments MonumentVillagersIcon.png.2d5be493466fd9970f885130ce2587a9.png
  • MU-Special cooldown (-50%)-55%
  • Monument MonumentVillagersIcon.png.2d5be493466fd9970f885130ce2587a9.png Favor rate (1.3x)6.0x (six)
  • Length (65s)60s

Explanation:

  • Eclipse is a worldwide GP.

 

Serpents PlagueOfSerpentsIcon.png.3b20e0183d5a0eacf511d50d5695efd7.png:

  • Snakes (9): 13
  • No debuffs against:
    • Villagers AoM_Villager_Greek_Icon.png.5142934a0b10ed1376f9a087d12a702f.png
    • Fishing Ships Fishingshipgreekicon.jpg.3bb98068d04c7cb871601a40994dcf30.jpg
  • Villagers AoM_Villager_Greek_Icon.png.5142934a0b10ed1376f9a087d12a702f.png deal no bonus damage against Serpents PlagueOfSerpentsIcon.png.3b20e0183d5a0eacf511d50d5695efd7.png
  • Increased guard area.

 

Shifting Sands ShiftingSandsIcon.png.290eb84a13901aac9f10e9e513815375.png:

  • Friendlies transport (800 HP)Unlimited
  • Halved Transport area

 

Ancestors AncestorsIcon.png.c9ccf4c0ac91d8f2149dad3c3d87affc.png:

  • Minions (13): 18

 

Locust Swarm LocustSwarmIcon.png.a3e769fe2ea346f560c730e74853a26d.png:

  • Hack (20): 25
  • Deals full damage to friendly Villagers (see Section 2.5)

 

Meteor MeteorIcon.png.36084601a441b74f34fe2efbba493a30.png:

  • Adjust Crush damage so 1 Meteorite deals 95% damage to a full HP Town Center TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png (140 HP left)
  • Adjust Hack damage so 1 Meteorite deals 100% damage to a full HP War Elephant Aomwarelephanticon.jpg.f1c5e17c100402a30ac956f1bf2b8617.jpg (0 HP left)
  • Deals full damage to friendly units/buildings (see Section 2.5)

Explanation:

  • The original Meteor hits "randomly".

 

Tornado TornadoIcon.png.c53ebbccbbfdbfbd97e3cb4a57e15f46.png:

  • Deals full damage to friendly units/buildings (see Section 2.5)

 

NorsePortrait.png.b862c44c3c188118427c5726d0b1db3d.png

Dwarven Mine DwarvenMineIcon.png.bbca735e4551505cf0c9d932f7978690.png:

  • Gold (500, 1,000, 3,000, 6,000): 625, 1,250, 3,750, 7,500)

 

Great Hunt GreatHuntIcon.png.a3c8883608efcd9cd07048cb2e126d23.png:

  • Food bonus (750): 900

 

Forest Fire ForestFireIcon.png.c6028e4a0c01442cc6d594af0d9f5176.png:

  • Length limited to 60s
  • Larger animation to compensate for increased:
    • Pierce
    • Crush
    • Range
  • Deals full damage to friendly units/buildings (see Section 2.5)

 

Healing Spring HealingSpringIcon.png.801bf917992c4d9dcffe5e1817638e86.png:

  • Heals (3 HP/s): 3.5 HP/s

 

Undermine UndermineIcon.png.a42ce5aff0670b3abc30523f8a54165a.png:

  • Wider area-of-effect
  • TC TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png potential max damage (630)1050
  • Fortresses Fortress.png.ebfad014783fdfcf282a1f8d40ae0c09.png potential max damage (1330)1550
  • Deals full damage to friendly buildings (see Section 2.5)

Explanation:

  • "Potential max damage" is 100% damage if Undermine was Invoked directly on a building (instead of it traveling). (Vanilla).

 

Frost FrostIcon.png.dfd04a6998041a88fc7a6f7bab13056a.png:

  • Length (50s)60s

 

Walking Woods WalkingWoodsIcon.png.824806d1f7a3b41481184c631d0c03f8.png:

  • Controllable
  • Speed (3.50)2.20

Explanation:

  • If they are not controllable, the AI can be baited away by a single unit.
  • 2.20 speed compensates for their original Hack and Crush damage values.
    • For reference:
      • 2.20 speed: Caribou, Deer, Elk, Gazelle, Giraffe, Zebra
      • 2.40 speed: Petrobolos, Catapult, Ballista
      • 2.90 speed: Helepolis, War Elephant, Siege Tower, Ox Cart
      • 3.25 speed: Portable Ram

 

Fimbulwinter FimbulwinterIcon.png.868a714442bc37eefbea6969bc4c6901.png:

  • Wolves (9)15
  • Controllable
  • No Crush damage
  • Spawns at (4):
    • Every enemy Settlements TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png
    • Every Mother Nature Settlements TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png

Explanation:

  • If they are not controllable, the AI can be baited away by a single unit.
  • Without Crush damage, Fimbul Wolves fulfill their roles as raiding (fast) units instead of raiding (fast) siege units.
  • By spawning at every enemy and unbuilt Settlements, the GP remains logically consistent as a worldwide GP.

 

Ragnarok RagnarokIcon.png.0a49f8d044a068c5a47e8111cec02977.png:

  • Idea 1: Villager-based
    • Speed (4.80): 3.80
  • Idea 2: Ulfsark-based
    • Unit type (Hero): Human
    • Name (Hero of Ragnarok): Warrior of Ragnarok
    • HP (120): 80
    • Damage (11): 9
    • Pierce armor (30)10
    • Population (3)2

Explanation:

  • Idea 1: Villager-based
    • The lowered speed allows opponents to:
      • "Base trade".
      • Kite/chase/snare Heroes of Ragnarok with anti-infantry/ranged units.
    • For reference:
      • 3.80 speed: Villagers, Caravans, Gastraphetes
      • 4.00 speed: Myrmidons, Toxotes, Pharaoh #1, Slingers, Throwing Axemen
      • 4.20 speed: Hoplites, Hypaspists, Axemen
      • 4.80 speed: Hetairoi, Ulfsarks, Jarls
      • 5.00 speed: Chariot Archers, Spearmen
      • 5.50 speed: Hippikons
      • 6.00 speed: Camelry, Raiding Cavalry
  • Idea 2: Ulfsark-based
    • Regarding Human status: So Myth Units can be a viable response.
    • Regarding 80 HP: With a third of their original health removed, players may better deal with the waves of Ragnarok.
    • Regarding lowered Damage and Pierce Armor: In the Mythic Age, the Invoker should have already invested in some Armory upgrades.
    • Regarding 2 Population: Because they are no longer Hero units.
  • Spoiler

    skinner3.jpg

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Wouldn't Thor ThorIcon.png.7526ae98582f7db585e19896e4b40430.png be restricted if Dwarven Mine DwarvenMineIcon.png.bbca735e4551505cf0c9d932f7978690.png (single-use onlyis researchable?"

Explanation:

  • The Thor player will survive; Pig Sticker PigSticker.png.68119518b4037d99f8918af38a2756eb.png will just be researched later.
  • For reference, Thor Dwarves' Dwarficon.jpg.59af99fe0928dd2086dbdfb9c355af88.jpg Food gathering rates:
    • Hunt Deer_icon.png.79f6e401a95987b5ca7fd2c9ccfbfdd3.png is the same as Gatherers Gatherericon.jpg.445235cac844d2921fb8ae659702cf7b.jpg
    • Berry/herdable CowAOM.png.387b03f7b1fd30ca1ee52e53190d7ba4.png is 0.01 slower than Gatherers Gatherericon.jpg.445235cac844d2921fb8ae659702cf7b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Instead of letting free God Powers decide/"automate" the game, let the players' skill (attention to detail, micro-management, macro-management) dictate their victories and losses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1 Favor tweaking

 

 

Advancing requires Favor:

  • Classical Age ClassicalAge.png.1e2b9ad2eb782971ae0ca4b08b6874ad.png Favor costs: 0
  • Heroic Age HeroicAge.png.56d34f7d5c7807a5090f8b923c115e78.png Favor costs: 25
  • Mythic Age MythicAge.png.f275632515b6aa9dcb1138e506f78c21.png Favor costs: 50

Explanation:

  • Classical Age costs 0 Favor so to not deny certain playstyles, and also because Zeus has 10 free Favor.
  • Players in Heroic Age often have excess resources to "skip" to Mythic Age (due to 2TC's).
  • This would also create for interesting games where players can target enemy Temples or Monuments to hinder their Advancing.

 

 

Remove Favor costs from Wonders AomWonderIcon.png.fdd03fe6b76715437a78ecc2244d46f6.png and Fortresses Fortress.png.ebfad014783fdfcf282a1f8d40ae0c09.png

Explanation:

  • Fortresses and Wonders have nothing to do with MU's or GP's.
  •  
  • Wonders can be rebuilt, unrestricted by Favor.
  • Wonder Favor cost is already paid by Mythic Age's cost.
  •  
  • Fortress Favor cost is "reallocated" to the TC.

 

TC's TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png include a 5 Favor cost

Explanation:

  • TC's:
    • Are where GP's are researched (see Section 2.0b)
    • Are mini-fortresses for map control
    • Give extra Population
    • Produce Villagers

 

 

Favor bounty

  • Serpents PlagueOfSerpentsIcon.png.3b20e0183d5a0eacf511d50d5695efd7.png have 0.48 Favor bounty
  • Walking woods WalkingWoodsIcon.png.824806d1f7a3b41481184c631d0c03f8.png have 2.16 Favor bounty
  • Walls Stonewall_icon.png.8a9a6857d2e2448a48592143b5e15d93.png have 2.16 Favor bounty

Explanation:

  • GP MU's are still MU's.
  • Walls have high HP and Hack armor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2 Free units tweaking

 

 

Regarding free huntables

 

Set SetIcon.png.10bac31fe645fdb62c266e002f2ac866.png  does not receive free animals after Advancing

Explanation:

  • Free huntables are imbalanced, especially on low-hunt maps.
  • Free animals are like free MU's.

 

 

Regarding free scouting

 

Poseidon's PoseidonIcon.png.5206a9721a2758ac440ea49986755cd7.png Hippocampus HippocampusIcon.png.7878a1a922a3f6334f106079f76ab892.png

Idea 1: Hippocampus do not respawn, and, last 30 seconds.

Or

Idea 2: The first Hippocampus will spawn in Classical Age, and subsequent spawns cost:

  • Limit 1 (total Hippocampi)
  • 50 Food
  • 2 Favor
  • 1 Population

Explanation:

Without this tweak, Poseidon players do not need to scout with a Villager/Fishing-Ship, saving them Advancing time and resources.

Without this tweak, the free LOS enables Poseidon players on:

  • Anatolia-styled maps: To adjust their BO/strategy early for a full-scale Water fight if they discovered an opponent's dock on their Hippocampus spawn side.
  • Mediterranean-/Midgard-styled maps: To know if their opponent is commited to Water or land fighting.

Or

Idea 3: No changes (see Section 2.3).

 

Odin's OdinIcon.png.5403117357315c19921f49cdb7cca69c.png Ravens RavenIcon.png.7da65a30b496ee3918742c3d7695a414.png

Idea 1: Archaic Age Ravens do not respawn, and, last 30 seconds.

Or

Idea 2: Vanilla spawns (2 Classical Age Ravens), but, subsequent spawns cost:

  • Limit 2 (total Ravens)
  • 25 Food
  • 1 Favor
  • 1 Population

Explanation:

  • There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had Archaic flying Scouts cost resources.
  • The balance™ patch gives Odin 60+ seconds of extra scouting than any other Major Gods in the very early game - when micro-management burden has not yet peaked!
  • Consider: What if maps have Fog of War removed? That is what Archaic Age Ravens do!
  • Archaic Age Ravens are arguably as good as Loki's Spy GP or even better.
  • For reference:
    • Raven RavenIcon.png.7da65a30b496ee3918742c3d7695a414.png
      • 20 LOS
      • 4.00 speed
      • 0 Food, 0 Favor, 0 Population, 0 seconds training time
      • Available in Archaic Age (balance™ patch); Classical Age (Vanilla)
    • Pegasus PegasusIcon.png.e7ad01d2f97db1e85da0d69f69cb611d.png
      • 18 LOS
      • 5.00 speed
      • 50 Food, 2 Favor, 2 Population, 6 seconds training time
      • Available in Archaic Age
    • Winged Messenger WingedMessenger.png.2a07d4efad99d08988ab633f01064d58.png
      • Pegasi have extra LOS, halved training time, and do not cost Food
      • 50 Gold and 10 Favor
      • Available in Classical Age
  • Like 2 pegasi - Age of Free Insurance™!

 

 

Regarding free military

 

Poseidon's PoseidonIcon.png.5206a9721a2758ac440ea49986755cd7.png Militia MilitiaIcon.png.bad5d7da3cd78fea5148fbc9ae6ae643.png:

  • Cost 0 Population
  • Last 10 seconds

Explanation:

  • Militia punish opponents, especially their siege units, for destroying Poseidon's buildings.
  • The tweak allows Militia to function like defensive Mercenaries.
  • As an unintended bonus for the time limit, Militia thematically serve as temporary minutemen.

 

Hades' HadesIcon.png.3fa2aa877ec83471b04774c4130696d7.png Shades ShadeIcon.png.8f82e7df2b1e1b82c2cc5bd19d66c75e.png:

  • Cost 0 Population
  • Last 20 seconds (as they deal MU damage, see Section 2.6)
  • Do not receive Armory upgrades (undo the balance™ change)

Explanation:

  • Shades punish opponents for killing Hades units.
  • The tweak allows Shades to function like defensive Mercenaries.
  • No Armory upgrades because Myth Units are not Human Units.
  • As an unintended bonus for the time limit, Shades thematically serve as wrathful spirits of the fallen, roaming the surface once more, after striking a shady deal with the god of the Underworld.

 

Loki's LokiIcon.png.1da3ad429cd19e77fabb20ee66502529.png MU-spawns:

  • Last 45 - 60 seconds, randomly
  • Private features (visible only to the player and allies):
    • Title: [Myth Unit] of Loki
    • Duration
    • Set Animal's black effect

Explanation:

  • Mu-spawns punish opponents for fighting against Loki's Hersirs.
  • No 0 Population: Since Loki is the only Norse Major God to not have any hunting bonuses, Ensemble Studios gave him free MU spawns (and faster Longhouse training times). Although Loki's Hersirs are rather limited in the late-game (especially so at full Population, unable to spawn free MU's; and dealing with counter-infantry), hunt should be depleted by then.
  • 45 - 60 seconds (randomly): The tweak buffers Loki's random power spikes, allowing his MU spawns to function like Mercenaries, while lasting long enough to discourage opponents from retreating in battles on the basis of waiting for MU spawns to expire.
  • Private features: So the opponent cannot tell which enemy Loki MU is a spawn, allowing for player guerilla/sacrificial tactics in the midst of chaotic situations.
  • As an unintended bonus for the time limit, Loki's MU-spawns thematically serve as deceived/coerced units fighting on behalf of the trickster god.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3 Water tweaking

 

 

AoM's Water balance was a rushed development.

 

The current Water (i.e.: symmetrical) maps require serious revamping or else should be discarded from Ranked play.

 

Consider:

  • Which "civilizations" (tech-trees) tend to enjoy playing on Water (i.e.: symmetrical) maps? (And what are Water Myth Units?)
  • Why does a portion of the playerbase, across different skill sets and "civilizations" (tech-trees), instant-Resign/-Save on Water (i.e.: symmetrical) maps?
  • Why were land-map-only mods created?

 

 

The listed Water tweaks will not solve AoM's outrageous Water macro-meta:

Spoiler

 

// The listed Water tweaks will not solve AoM's outrageous Water macro-meta. //

 

Make military ship Kebeniticon.jpg.61b9b7b5bdbe3011538b3b0ff5d92ed6.jpg stats the same for all civilizations
Explanation:

  • May the player with the best micro-management win Water fights!
  • Because Greek ships have extra range: they shoot further and kite better.
  • Because Norse ships are slower: they receive more arrows while kiting (and their (meager) extra damage is negligible when their wood economy can't even pump out ships as well as the Greeks/Egyptians!).

 

Egyptians:

  • Fishing Ships Fishingshipgreekicon.jpg.3bb98068d04c7cb871601a40994dcf30.jpg do not build
  • First Dock DockAOMIcon.png.d15863427231a7401007e204c0539dd1.png costs 50 Gold GoldAOM.png.10a2dc1b3b463667145d09aa37233031.png, and subsequent Docks cost 75 Gold GoldAOM.png.10a2dc1b3b463667145d09aa37233031.png

Explanation:

  • Egyptians build "infinite" Docks. By the time 1 Dock is down, 2 more spring out of nowhere! Consider how different Water meta would be if Greeks and Norse could build 50-Wood Docks with their fishing ships as well!
  • Dock Cost:
    • (Building animations were not calculated).
    • Greek Dock Wood cost (100) ÷ Greek/Norse Wood gathering rate (1.08) = 92.5 seconds per Greek Dock
    • 92.5 seconds per Greek Dock × Egyptian Gold gathering rate (0.82) = 75.85 Gold
    • (As with Norse, building time not included (otherwise: Egyptian Docks should cost 65 Gold; and Norse Docks (movement speed included) 85 Wood).

 

Shooting Docks as a researchable Tech in Heroic Age?

Explanation:

  • This frees the playstyles of those who who optimized their Build Orders on Water Maps (instead of opting for the standard™ 3-Docks booming meta):
    • As a Technology: Costing resources and time to research.
    • Researchable in Heroic Age: Allowing sufficient time for Classical Age naval warfare.

 

Classical Age Hammer Ramminggalleyicon.jpg.ea87d048dd71b114f459be299105f00a.jpg and Siege AoMDragonshipIcon.png.b3d877caa5194cb89f36f571a176ae29.png ships?

Explanation:

  • For naval warfare variety?

 

Add Water Myth Units to every Minor God without one?

Explanation:

  • For naval warfare variety?

 

Remove Water Myth Units from every Minor God?

Explanation:

  • For naval warfare balance?

 

Slower ship turning

Explanation:

  • For naval warfare variety?

 

// The listed Water tweaks will not solve AoM's outrageous Water macro-meta. //

 

 

 

 

Water's macro-meta alternative:

 

  • Remove large-body-of-water Water (i.e.: symmetrical) maps from Ranked map lists. (E.g.: Anatolia, Mediterranean, Midgard).

 

  • Add new Water (i.e.: symmetrical) maps in which bodies-of-water (any size) must not extend past 1/3 of the map's length or width.

water2.thumb.jpg.0adc31acdb7b40b83de67f2297973bba.jpg

Spoiler

wateranatolia.thumb.jpg.dcdfeb794f60cf7d723ad09b03378729.jpg      watermidgard.thumb.jpg.77d9c159fd810d47a8dffbe83f0db3e6.jpg      watersquare1.thumb.jpg.3157443c0d432bc1efff38f8cfa78a1d.jpg      watersquare2.thumb.jpg.04ee84ab5dc8259ad2b5bf144fd5c462.jpg

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Explanation:

  • Civilizations retain their identities (strengths and weaknesses).
  • This allows for tighter matches instead of the standard™ 3-Docks boomy longplay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4 Wall tweaking

 

 

Add 1 Wall-connector redzoning to these buildings:

  • Docks DockAOMIcon.png.d15863427231a7401007e204c0539dd1.png
  • Fortresses Fortress.png.ebfad014783fdfcf282a1f8d40ae0c09.png
  • Towers SentryTowerIcon.png.a724bf9e378e7d2836b04d92538db31e.png
  • Wonders AomWonderIcon.png.fdd03fe6b76715437a78ecc2244d46f6.png

Explanation:

  • Wall-connectors are the endpoints of Walls.
  • Wall-segments are structures automatically-generated between Wall-connectors, but weaker and longer.
  •  
  • By building a Wall on "itself", players:
    • Save Gold
    • Inflate the defense of the protected building, rendering them "immortal" against non-ranged units, punishing:
      • Early aggression
      • Small raids
      • Norse units
  •  
  • But due to unpaid/undeserved perks (Age of Free Insurance™), Wall-connectors are a staple in a Free GP, Free MU meta.
  •  
  • Regarding Fortresses, Towers, and Wonders:
    • But, by removing Age of Free Insurance™, undeserved power spikes should lessen, therefore, such defenses should not be as necessary, as:
      • Fortresses rapidly fire 3 arrows.
      • Towers have very little surface area (smaller than a House!).
      • Wonders are 10-minute winning-conditions. They are usually defended heavily.
  •  
  • Regarding Docks:
    • Half of its building is in the water, already reducing its surface area for land units to attack.
    • Those who do not plan, micro, or protect their Dock builders well should be punished.
      • Players are entitled to equal opportunities to building Docks, not equal results.
      • This is Age of Mythology, not Age of Dock Spam™ Passive Aggression Edition.

 

 

Reduce the redzoning of these Resources to 1 Wall-connector:

  • Gold Mines DwarvenMineIcon.png.bbca735e4551505cf0c9d932f7978690.png
  • Settlements TownCenterAOMGreek.png.d84387012c2003216186281311dbd2b2.png

Explanation: By default, Gold Mines and Settlements have 2 - 3 Wall-connector redzoning, which prevents:

  • Defenders from walling-off invaders effectively.
  • Aggressors from walling-off resources effectively.

 

 

Reduce Wall's Stonewall_icon.png.8a9a6857d2e2448a48592143b5e15d93.png Line of Sight

Explanation: So players cannot remotely-scout resource statuses (e.g.: Gold Mines, Settlements, hunt) with Wall LOS.

 

 

Idea: Remove Wall Stonewall_icon.png.8a9a6857d2e2448a48592143b5e15d93.png "shared" damage?

Explanation: Absurdity.

For example:

  • Adjacent Walls: A, B, C.
  • Wall B has 1 HP left, whereas Walls A and C have 600 HP.
  • If Wall A/C was attacked, their HP (600) would become 1 HP.

 

 

Bad ideas:

Spoiler

Bad idea 1: Walls are built per standard/longest segment; they can no longer be built via click-and-drag.

Explanation:

  • To prevent Wall-connector spam.
  • To prevent multiple Wall spam on chokepoints.

Problem:

  • Walling may be tedious and restricted as players would need to:
    • Rotate each Wall-segment
    • Align each thin Wall-segment correctly
    • Spend more Gold

 

Bad idea 2: Wall-connectors and Short Wall-segments are always 55 HP, regardless of upgrades.

Explanation:

  • To mitigate Wall-connector spamming's potential.
  •  
  • Prior to the discovery of Wall-connectors, players would protect their Towers with Houses.
  • To equalize Wall-connector HP to House HP:
    • For reference:
      • House: 450 HP, 30% Hack Armor
      • Wooden Wall: 600 HP, 65% Hack Armor
    • Finding true HP:
      • 450 House HP / 0.7 = 643 true House HP
      • 600 Wall HP / 0.35 = 1714 true Wall HP
    • Finding multiplier:
      • 1714 true Wall HP / 643 true House HP = 2.67
    • Finding equalized HP:
      • 600 Wall HP / 2.67 multiplier = 225 Wall-connector HP equalized to House HP
    • Finding HP equalized to surface area (Wall-connectors are about 1/4 the surface area of  Houses):
      • 225 equalized Wall HP / 4 = 56.3 HP

Problem:

  • Due to how AoM handles Wall HP, if Wall-connectors are 55 HP, then every Wall adjacent to Wall-connectors are "55 HP".

 

 

 

 

 

 


2.5 Telegraphing tweaking

 

Remove F4 (Scores)

Explanation:

  • Player actions are telegraphed.
    • One example: A dip in the player's Score would notify attentive opponents that one is Advancing due to a significant "loss" in the player's resources.

 

Edit F7 to not show unused God Powers

Explanation:

  • This hides the player's:
    • Age status
    • Choice of Minor God
  • This rewards those who scout.
  • This allows for new tactics/strategies due to the element of surprise.

 

Lower non-ranged buildings' Line of Sight

Explanation:

  • So players cannot remotely-scout enemy building-decor to determine their Age status.
  • This rewards those who scout.
  • This allows for new tactics/strategies due to the element of surprise.

 

Completed Town Centers should not be updated in Fog of War

Explanation:

  • This rewards those who scout.

 

Remove the announcement for:

  • Completed Advancings
  • Completed Town Centers
  • Researched God Powers
  • Garrisoned Relics

Explanation:

  • This rewards those who scout.
  • This allows for new tactics/strategies due to the element of surprise.
  • Researched God-Power announcements punish players since GP's require time and Favor to be researched (see Section 2.0b); (free) announcements are better suited for free God Powers.
  • Players can always F7 to scout:
    • Age statuses through:
      • Used God Powers
  •  
  • Do not remove annoucements for:
    • Relics: They telegraph to opponents that an "imbalanced" perk is in the player's hands.
    • Completed Advancings: They telegraph to opponents that a God Power may be in the process of being researched.
    • Researched God Powers: They are player-exclusive, game-changing power spikes.

 

Cancelled GP's receive a cooldown penalty

God Power cancellations are announced

  • Two minutes penalty?

Explanation:

  • Researched God-Power announcements punish players since GP's require time and Favor to be researched (see Section 2.0b).
  • This prevents:
    • Announcement spamming
    • Repetitive mind-games/"abuse"
  • This allows for the following tactics:
    • Element of surprise
    • Exploiting an inattentive/neurotic player
  • An example: Cancelling Ragnarok at 95% research to bait an opponent into amassing counter-infantry units.

 

Hp-damaging area-of-effect GP's deal full damage to friendly units'/buildings' HP

  • Forest Fire ForestFireIcon.png.c6028e4a0c01442cc6d594af0d9f5176.png
  • Undermine (buildingsUndermineIcon.png.a42ce5aff0670b3abc30523f8a54165a.png
  • Locust Swarm (VillagersLocustSwarmIcon.png.a3e769fe2ea346f560c730e74853a26d.png
  • Meteor Shower MeteorIcon.png.36084601a441b74f34fe2efbba493a30.png
  • Tornado TornadoIcon.png.c53ebbccbbfdbfbd97e3cb4a57e15f46.png
  • Earthquake EarthquakeIcon.png.31fabf808fc70182134b718516ea5536.png
  • Lightning Storm Lightning_StormIcon.png.05d639e8baa03e61c457061d8cc439c8.png

Explanation:

  • This would punish players since GP's require time and Favor to be researched (see Section 2.0b).

  • This buffers: cheesy "abuse"/plays, power spikes, and inflated offense.
    • For example:
      • Spoiler
        • Forest Fire: Villagers trapped between raiders and trees.
        • Undermine: Walls constructed during Ceasefire.
        • Locust Swarm: Villagers catfighting over a Gold Mine.
        • Meteor Shower, Tornado, Earthquake, Lightning Storm: An invading army.
  • Regarding the effects of non-HP-damaging area-of-effect GP's, the gods can discriminate on which units/buildings to target (e.g.: Restoration, Curse, Frost) so to avoid friendly-fire, whereas destructive GP effects are clearly indiscriminative.
    • Consider:
      • Spoiler
        • Forest Fire: Can Freyja protect lungs from ash and smoke?
        • Undermine: There is clearly something going on in the subterranean, billowing blue smoke all the way down its line.
        • Locust Swarm: Unlike Plague of Serpents or Minions, Locust Swarm does not produce in-game units.
        • Meteor Shower: How would Set spare your army from meteorites raining at speeds of 1500 kilometers per hour?
        • Tornado: Likewise, with winds up to 500 kilometers per hour?
        • Earthquake: If the ground beneath your army opened up and swallowed your enemies, would not the same laws of physics apply to your army too or would they levitate instead?
        • Lightning Storm: This isn't one of Zeus' Bolts. And lightning typically strikes the tallest objects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking

 

 

 

Revert most balance™ changes to AoM Patch 1.10

Explanation:

  • There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had Technologies cost their prices and training times. Players are not entitled to a Minor God's Techs simply by booming/Advancing; this is Age of Mythology, not Age of Co-Pay Insurance™; players must earn the resources to research the technology. Since Minor God Technologies are player-exclusive, by tweaking them to become more potent, along with cheaper prices, the balances™ effectively turn them into "Armory"/"Granary" upgrades (cheap, accessible), giving the player many undeserved advantages.
  • Most mythological balance™ changes are unnecessary if there were no free MU's or GP's (please read Sections 1.0, 2.0a, 2.0b).
  •  
  • Although AoM Patch 1.10 is imbalanced, it can serve as a starting reference (from where Ensemble Studios left off) for future balancers™ to tweak the game without automation and Age of Free Insurance™.
    • Spoiler
      Quote
      • AoM used to be a savage landscape of Classical Age fighting, players vying for extra: Population, Villagers, and map-control/mini-fortresses for Heroic Age.
      • It used to be a battle of immediate wits:
      Quote

      In Vanilla:

      • Egyptian Barracks units used to be stronger.
      • Norse Barracks used to cost 120 Wood (instead of 110 Wood). (This kills modern, effective Build Orders (Section "How did the expansion packs harm Norse in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy?")).
      • Maps used to be "randomized".

      Source: Post #2's - Section Miscellaneous' - The kernel

 

 

 

 

Undo map balance™

Explanation:

  • Resolving map screws is not the same thing as balancing™ maps.
  • Nearly-symmetrical maps undo the purpose of Random Maps and furthers the auto-pilot, booming playstyle by saving the player the effort to scout thoroughly.

 

Fine-tune "The Unknown" (map) and introduce it into ranked matches

Explanation:

  • To add "infinite" variety to ranked matches.
  •  
  • BoIt - 1:27:13 (January 5, 2022):
    • "I think the idea of adding The Unknown.... If it was a competitive map, it would be so fun, every single game would be different, you'd have no idea of what you're launching into, you'd have to actually scout to like figure it out, you'd have to like adapt your builds, everything is unique in that way and just like have a new experience every time you play the game."

    • Spoiler

 

 

 

 

Cavalry Garrisoning

Either:

  • Can Garrison into any arrow building
  • Cannot Garrison at all

Explanation:

  • Argument for Garrison: Inconsistency.
    • "If Cavalry can Garrison in Fortresses, why not Town Centers and Towers?"
  • Argument against Garrison: Ludicrousness.
    • E.g.: 5 War Elephants squeezing into a Tower is absurd.

 

Transport units are larger

Explanation: To avoid absurdity (e.g.: 15 War Elephants in a Roc).

 

Garrison/transport limit is Population-based instead of unit-count-based

For example:

  • Barracks can only rally-garrison 2 Ulfsarks instead of 5.
  • Rocs can only transport 5 Catapults instead of 15.
  • Town Centers can only garrison 7 Toxotes instead of 15.

 

Bad ideas:

Spoiler

Bad idea 1Every building is Garrisonable.

Problem: AoM's design:

  • Only Garrisoned buildings can shoot arrows.
  • To reward raiding/aggression.

 

Bad idea 2Every unit can Garrison.

Problem: Absurdity.

  • E.g.: A Helepolis can fit into a Tower.

 

Bad idea 3Only Villagers, infantry, and archers can be Transported.

Explanation: Following the Garrison theme.

Problem: Goes against Ensemble Studio's gameplay design and expectations regarding Transport units.

 

 

 

 

Hall of Thanes Hall_of_Thanes.png.d452d541b97e7ce0c9bb7c8c2663fc4e.png Speed

  • Hall of Thanes give Hersirs 1.15x Speed instead of +1.10.

Explanation:

  • Absurdity: Infantry should not run as fast as Cavalry.
  • For reference:
    • Thor:
      • Base Speed: 4.2
      • +1.10 Speed: 5.3
      • x1.15 Speed: 4.83 (near Ulfsark)
    • Loki:
      • Base Speed: 4.62
      • +1.10 Speed: 5.72 (faster than a Hippikon!)
      • x1.15 Speed: 5.313
    • Infantry:
      • Hoplite: 4.20
      • Spearman: 5.00
      • Ulfsark: 4.80
    • Cavalry:
      • Hippikon: 5.50
      • Camelry: 6.00
      • Raiding Cavalry: 6.00

Alternative:

  • Hall of Thanes Hersirs have a Fenris Wolf Brood perk (allowing them to move faster the more there is in a groupwith a +1.10 Speed threshold.
    • Regarding technical limitations, unupgraded Hersirs should have a Fenris Wolf Brood perk of 1.15x Speed only if Hall of Thanes cannot be applied to units without the perk.

 

 

 

 

Dwarf Ulfsark Ulfsarkicon.jpg.97e1b18cd9b1c423af1d7883470b1626.jpg models

Female Ulfsark Ulfsarkicon.jpg.97e1b18cd9b1c423af1d7883470b1626.jpg models

 

Priests AoM_Priest_Icon.png.983c7da8a466c8d1aec353b65ef05542.png can pick up Relics

Explanation:

  • They are Hero units.
  • Spoiler
    • They are slow (3.60 Speed).
      • For reference:
        • Greek Heroes: Classical Age versions (4.30)
        • Egyptian Heroes: Priests (3.60), Pharaoh #1 (4.00)
        • Norse Heroes: Hersirs (4.20)
        • Other 3.60 Speed units: Son of Osiris, Petsuchos, Phoenixes, Trolls
    • Civilizational themes and balance:
      • They are the "oldest civilization". ("Advanced" means more Relics).
      • They hold treasures worth raiding for. (Stereotypically in pyramids/tombs).
      • Egyptians are generally reserved (defensive-oriented) in Classical Age for combat and scouting.
      • See Section 3.0's "Because Ensemble Studios had centered its version of..." regarding "Relics".

 

Set SetIcon.png.8836b0033f25cc57ba0666060fffb27d.png animals deal MU damage

Explanation: They are Myth Units.

 

Shades ShadeIcon.png.8f82e7df2b1e1b82c2cc5bd19d66c75e.png deal MU damage

Explanation: They are Myth Units (and last 20 seconds; see Section 2.2).

 

 

 

 

Temples TempleAOMIcon.png.7c1e5a47ee20e1bdf29a44f6f9fd4d47.png have lowered HP and space

  • Greek/Egyptian (1200): 800 HP
  • Norse (960): 640 HP
  • 70% of original surface-area

Explanation:

  • HP: So Garrisoned Relics could be captured more easily by enemy players.
    • For reference - common-buildings with HP lower than 1200:
      • Farm: 200
      • Drop-site: 400
      • House: 450
      • Tower: 550
  • Space: Following the logic: Larger buildings have higher HP.

 

 

 

 

Herdable Goatunheim.png.76cdee00c866bf0896c763944dab834f.png Line of Sight

Herdable LoS (3)1

Explanation: So players will actually scout the map with scout units instead of using the same Build Orders on randomized maps in a small sandbox.

 

 

 

 

Free Egyptian EgyptianIcon.png.38156dd191c3b7cf806bce01d30e06e1.png buildings cost 5 to 15 Gold

Explanation:

  • "Walling" should not be free.
  • Example: Building 3 half-finished Houses adjacent to a Dock to protect the Laborer from harrassment.

 

 

 

 

Relics Aomrelicskull.jpg.791019d07f4be0eab5b440ec66789da2.jpg

Spoiler

 

UNITS

"Armor"

Armor of Achilles (+5%): +15% Infantry Hack "Armor".

Catoblepas Scales (+20% MU Crush "Armor"): ... and +10% Hack and Pierce "Armor".

  • Explanation: This is not "Alpha" AoM, as:
    • Siege Units' Crush damage now barely harm units.
    • MU's are now smaller in size.

Heras Thundercloud Shawl (+5%): +10% Human Pierce "Armor".

Constitution

Girdle of Hippolyta (+5% Toxote HP): ... and +10% for Chariot-Archer/Throwing-Axemen HP.

Pygmalions Statue (+40%): +5% Villager HP.

  • Explanation: Villagers have an extra "1 hit" instead of "5".

Tusk of the Iron Boar (+10%)+5% Cavalry HP, +10% Chariot Archer HP and +5% for Ra's cavalry and Chariot Archers.

Damage

Eye of Ornlu (+5% counter-infantry damage): ... and +10% for Greek and +15% for Norse.

Odins Spear (+5%)+10% Hoplite/Spearman and +15% Ulfsark damage.

Toothed Arrows (+5%): +10% Pierce damage for Archer-class/Ballista and +5% for Hades.

Khopesh of Horus (2x): ... and 1.85x damage for Priest/Pharaoh and 1.1x for Son of Osiris and 1.35x for Norse Heroes and Jarls.

Scarab Pendant (2x): 1.35x Helepolis/Siege-Tower/Portable-Ram Crush damage.

Reed of Nekhebet (2x): 1.5x Water MU damage.

Free

Golden Bridle of Pegasus (1 free, respawnable Pegasus).

Monkey Head (3):

  • 5 free, respawnable monkeys.
  • Line of Sight (16): 8.

Golden lions (2):

  • 3 free, respawnable lions.
  • Line of Sight (18): 8.

Line of Sight

Harter's Folly (+2): +6 Kataskopos/Greek-Heroes/Priests/Pharaohs/Set-Animals/Ulfsarks/Hersirs and +3 for Pegasi/Hippocampus/Ravens Line of Sight.

  • Explanation:
    • Regarding flying units: Because they could surveil, undeterred, unless picked by ranged attacks.
    • Regarding Hippocampus: Because Water surface area is small.

Pelt of Argus (+6): +3 Line of Sight for all units.

Speed

Kitahra of Apollo (+10% Villager speed).

Boots of Kick Everything (+10% Hero speed): ... and +5% for Loki's Hersirs.

Mithril Horseshoes (+10%): +5% Cavalry speed.

Training time

Canopic Jar of Imsety (15%): 10% quicker Infantry training time and +5% for Loki.

Pandoras Box (25% quicker MU training time): ... and 20% for Norse MU's.

Prices

Wedjat Eye (excluding Favor, MU's are 10% cheaper).

Bow of Artemis (15%; 20%): 10% cheaper Wood/Gold for archers, 5% for Chariot Archers10% for Centaurs, and 5% for Trolls.

Dwarfen Calipers (20%): 10% cheaper Siege for Greek and Egyptian, and 5% for Norse.

Sistrum of Bast (10% cheaper Villagers): ... and +5% for Dwarves.

Miscellaneous

Trios Bow (+2 Archer-class/Ballista Range and Line of Sight).

Tail of Cerberus (25% faster MU Special-attack cooldown).

Fetters of Fenrir (Villagers can one-shot huntables): ... and +15% Villager HP.

  • Explanation:
    • Because Vanilla maps are mainly low-hunt.
    • In theme with the Relic's purpose (Villager preservation).
      • HP based off of Crocodile's Hack damage (14):
        • 14 Crocodile Hack damage * 0.75 (after Villager Hack Armor) = 10.5 damage.
        • 65 Villager HP / 10.5 Crocodile "true" damage = 7 bites.
        • 74.75 Villager HP from Relic bonus / 10.5 Crocodile "true" damage = 8 bites.

Osberg Wagon (25%; +15%): Caravans are 10% cheaper and have +10% speed.


Buildings

Damage

Arrows of the Alfar (+20%): +25% Building Pierce damage and +5% for Hades.

Tower of Sestus (+30%; +10%): +40% Tower Pierce damage and +20% for Hades, +15% Tower Melee damage.

Constitution

Shingles of Steel (3x): 2x House and storage building HP and 1.65x for Hades.

Trojan Gate Hinge (+20%): +25% Wall HP and +5% for Hades.

Nose of the Sphinx (+10%): ... and +5% for Hades.

Miscellaneous

Blanket of Empress Zoe (+5%): +10% Crush "Armor" and +5% Hack "Armor".

Buhen Flagstone (25%)50% cheaper Walls.

  • Explanation:
    • Regarding the early-game, the price is "balanced" because Players would still have to scout for it and send a Hero to pick it up.
    • Regarding the late-game, Players are going to Wall anyway (using Gold generated from trade routes).

Eye of Horus (+2 Population per TC): ... and +1 for Isis.

Head of Orpheus (+8): +5 building Line of Sight.

 

Gathering rates

Free

Ankh of Ra (2.4 Favor/minute).

Ring of the Nibelung (18): 50 Gold/minute.

  • Explanation: Based off of 1 unempowered Egyptian miner.

Ship of Fingernails (24)35 Food/minute.

  • Explanation: Based off of 1 unempowered Egyptian farmer.

Villagers

Harmonia's Necklace (+10% Gold gathering rate).

Black Lotus (+10%)+15% Farming rate.

Shard of Blue Crystal (+5%)+10% Wood/Gold gathering rate.

Staff of Dionysus (+20 Food carry): ... and +5% herdable gathering rate and +15% for Chickens/Berries.

  • Explanation:
    • 5% for herdable gathering rate because Husbandry (herdable tech) already exists.

 

Miscellaenous

Wand of Gambantein (n/a).

Anvil of Hephaestus (10%): Armory upgrades are 15% cheaper and 5% for Thor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 DLC's

  • 3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)
  • 3.1 New "civilizations" (tech-trees) alternative
  • 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future
  • 3.3 Miscellaneous ideas

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)

 

 

 

 

All attempts at creating a new tech-tree ("civilization") have ended up as pseudo copies of existing ones:

Spoiler

 

  • AoT: Atlanteans are simply an Egyptian-based tech-tree ("civilization") with Norse undertones.
    •  
    • Egyptian-based:
      • Scouting (walking Obelisks)
      • Human military: 
        • Norse > Atlanteans > Greek
          • (In certain scenarios, the order is reversed in Heroic+ Ages: Greek-based (types) units).
        • Specialized hard-counter units
      • Favor*: Egyptian-based (trickle: Town Center)
      • Wall*: Egyptian-based (Iron Wall, Orichalkos Wall)
    •  
    • Norse-based:
      • Siege (point-blank Destroyers, minimum-range Fire Siphons)
      • Economy (no drop-off location (e.g.: Norse's Ox Carts), strong early-game economy (e.g.: Norse's hunting bonuses and Dwarves))
      • Aggression*: Norse-like (fast Advance capability)
      • "Odd" (non-AoE-standard) unit composition*: Norse-based
    •  
    • Rushed development (or uncreative) - features shared in both expansion packs:
      • Fortress*: Greek-based (siege facility; Helepolis-inspired Fire Siphons; Myrmidon-inspired Fanatics)
      • Human unit variety*: Greek-based

 

 

  • TotD: Chinese are simply a Greek-based tech-tree ("civilization") with Egyptian undertones.
    •  
    • Greek-based:
      • Scouting (lesser Greek Scouts)
      • Human military:
        • Egyptian > Chinese > Norse
          • (In certain scenarios, the order is reversed in Heroic+ Ages: Norse-based (odd-unit composition) units).
        • Jason/Odysseus hybrid Heroes
        • Hoplite-clone Halberdiers
        • Toxote-clone Chu Ko Nus
        • Gastraphetes-clone Fire Lances
      • Fortress*: Greek-based (siege facility; Gastraphetes-clone Fire Lances)
      • Human unit variety*: Greek-based
    •  
    • Egyptian-based:
      • Siege (Catapult-clone Sitting Tigers)
      • Economy (GP's, Major God perks, Gardens, 4-Villager-start ("Pharaoh"), lowered gathering rates)
      • Favor*: Egyptian-based (trickle: Garden)
      • Wall*: Egyptian-based (Great Wall)
    •  
    • Rushed development (or uncreative) - features shared in both expansion packs:
      • Aggression*: Norse-like (fast Advance capability)
      • "Odd" (non-AoE-standard) unit composition*: Norse-based

 

 

  • Coming soon™: Aztecs are simply a Norse-based tech-tree ("civilization") with Egyptian undertones?

 

 

 

 

And why is that?


Because Ensemble Studios had centered its version of balance across a rough rock-paper-scissors formula and civilizational themes:

Spoiler

mu.png.63d658cf1900487da18fa23b705f653b.png Military counters: Myth Units > Humans > Heroes > Myth Units...

human.png.1cf1089e10b9444716794a410d5b9f5c.pngHuman military counters: Infantry > Cavalry > Archers > Infantry...

water.png.e95960ae832f2dfb5dd44c75eee17540.pngWater military counters: Arrow > Hammer > Siege > Arrow...

stance.png.06919e1a87b954ab00b3e0648db08243.png 

  • Speed: Egyptian > Norse > Greek
  • Range*: Greek > Egyptian > Norse
  • Cost-efficiency*: Norse > Greek > Egyptian
  • Price*/HP*/damage*/Armor: Greek > Norse > Egyptian
  •  
  • Barracks-focused*: Norse > Greek > Egyptian
  • Fortress-focused*: Egyptian > Norse > Greek
  • Specialization-focused (Academy/Range/Stables/Fortress): Greek > Egyptian > Norse
  •  
  • Build Order complexity: Norse > Egyptian > Greek
  • Strategic flexibility: Greek > Egyptian > Norse
  •  
  • Hero range: Egyptian > Greek > Norse
  • Hero melee: Norse > Greek > Egyptian
  •  
  • Scouting*: Norse (double/triple... Ulfsarks) > Greek (Pegasi) > Egyptian (Obelisks)
  • Relics*: Egyptian > Greek > Norse
  •  
  • Age: Classical Age (Norse), Heroic Age (Egyptian), Mythic Age (Greek)
    • Spoiler

      voobly.PNG.b54353d43248742123d1142009992283.PNG    2023 Season 3 Champions League - Voobly tournament statistics win-rate percentages

      Ensemble Studios' maths in-the-field (enhanced by AQ, and, despite balance™ patches) - each civilization's late-game status in their respective order.

  • Combat: Aggressive (Norse), Defensive (Egyptian), Mixed (Greek)
  • Counters/damage: Greek (Pierce) > Norse (Hack) > Egyptian (Crush) > Greek (Pierce)...
    • (In certain scenarios, the order is reversed due to the unlocked, varied units in Heroic+ Ages).
  •  
  • * The order is reversed, ideally, later in the game.

resource.png.b14b8409ae24f20a443e8316ae9bd1c9.png

  • Greek valued resources: Wood, Food, Gold
    • Islands have plenty of ore, but fewer trees than larger land masses. The ocean provides much seafood.
  • Egyptian valued resources: Gold, Wood, Food
    • The Nile River allows for high yields of crops and animals, but the scarcity of trees and other resources in the desert meant trading is paramount to survival.
  • Norse valued resources: Food, Gold, Wood
    • Scandinavia has many trees, but the cold requires more effort for food output. Dwarves are legendary miners.

 

 

 

 

 

But new titles never learn.

 

That was why Vanilla players eventually dropped the game after TT was released.

That was why even AoT players rated TotD negatively on Steam. (Consider: What if TT had a Steam page in 2003?)

And that is why Aztecs and etc. will make the same mistakes.

 

 

History repeats itself.

 

 

The core gameplay was already mathematically determined.

For starters, try calculating every civilization's Villager gathering-rates-to-training-times ratio.

 

Ippert's Encyclopedia (Excel spreadsheets):

https://aom.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=11472

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2151972324

 

 

 

By creating a new "civilization" (tech-tree), Developers must come face-to-face with the maths Ensemble Studios have based AoM's balance upon.

 

RTS games are not MOBA's (controllable single-character game genre).

Tech-trees ("civilizations") are not like "Champions"/"Heroes" that can be added every season, regardless of extensive planning and testing.

 

 

Even Blizzard had few tech-trees for their RTS games: Starcraft (3 factions) and Warcraft (4 races).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you explain, without delving into numbers: What makes Byzantines unique?

  • Access to exclusive units?
  • Boosted stats of core units?
  • Denial of core upgrades/buildings/units?

 

 

But in AoM, "civilization" design is not merely determined by uniqueness alone.

 

There is a synergestic and thematic design/contrast for each asymmetrical feature.

 

 

           aoe3.png.874a7a60189ee8f7438678b8099561e8.png

 

 

There is a give-and-take relationship, not simply: Add, add, remove, add....

 

Short examples:

Spoiler

Egyptian:

  • Theme: "Slave" labor.
    • Laborers gather/build slower.
    • "Master" Pharaoh "empowers" disgruntled workers.
    • A "slow" civilization cannot expect to compete with faster ones early on, and therefore should focus on defense first and economy later.
  • Theme: Lack of wood in a desert.
    • Most buildings are free or cost Gold.
      • Stronger buildings - ties in with the:
        • Nile River theme
        • Defensive theme
  • Theme: Nile River in food production.
    • Cheaper and expendable units, but, cannot siege.
      • Ties in with the defensive theme.
    • Ties in with the raidable theme: The envy of (inferior) neighboring civilizations.
  • Theme: Ancient/advanced/early.
    • Starts with a Hero unit (for Relics)
      • Ties in with the raidable theme: "Pyramids" and tombs.
    • Obelisks (scouting building)
    • Ties in with the Defensive theme.
    • Ties in with the theme of "hubris": Why conquer when you have it all?
  • Etc.

Norse:

  • Theme: Unsophisticated "barbarians".
    • Melee-focused (no archery units except for lobbing axes).
    • Aggression-focused (ties in with the underdefended base theme).
    • Only infantry can build (ties in with the underdefended base theme).
    • Hunter/gatherer society (accelerated hunt rate).
    • Ties in with the Wonder dilemma (their villagers cannot build).
  • Theme: "Vikings".
    • The men are out fighting:
      • Peaceful village/home-base:
        • Underdefended base (ripe for invasion by other "vikings")
        • Villagers cannot build Walls (because they don't "need to" as they are not the ones getting raided; also isolated in the North).
    • Forward building (unit production at the enemy's doorstep) potential.
      • Weaker buildings as a result:
        • Makeshift buildings quickly assembled on enemy ground.
        • Ties in with the "unsophisticated 'barbarians'" theme.
  • Etc.

 

(Bullet points do this a complete disfavor).

And compare them to the civilizations of AoE's 1 - 4 and AoMEE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AoM has 3 asymmetrical tech-trees called "civilizations"/"cultures", unlike AoE2/AoE4, which only has "1" tech-tree, but many "civilizations".

 

Stop conflating these with each other:

  • AoE2: 1 base tech-tree with pruned and grafted branches
  • AoE4: 1 base tech-tree with pruned and deviantly-longer, grafted branches
  • AoM: 3 asymmetrical tech-trees
  • AoT: 4 asymmetrical tech-trees
  • AoMEE: "4.5" asymmetrical tech-trees

 

AoM's "civilizations" are literal tech-trees.

AoE's "civilizations" are variations of 1 tech-tree.

 

 

 

 

 

However, regarding the "civilization" variations of AoE, the possibilities for new "civilizations" are endless.

 

 

But, are AoM Managers/Developers aware that civilization variations of Age of Empires' already exist in AoM?

 

 

 

3.1 New "civilizations" (tech-trees) alternative

 

tech-tree2.png.11de3fe22b6b3522f82dacdbb63fbdad.png

 

 

Idea, part 1: Create new Major and/or Minor Gods for the existing 3 tech-trees:

  • Greeks GreekIcon.png.11fc5044012f1a5668c2dc6597bd20a6.png can use nymphs, or, reuse Atlantean Major/Minor Gods AtlanteanIcon.png.0040c5c852dcde2d08f31f2a02083afc.png (because their MU's were based off of Greek mythology!)
  • Egyptians EgyptianIcon.png.40c685cd4ad734ec40aa5b8c99d1c95e.png can use some cat
  • Norse NorseIcon.png.73cc7e37d26a1814bbc9447ae9f2d884.png can use a giant

 

Explanation:

  • Developers can always create new content, and:
    • Casuals receive new content.
    • Competitive players need not worry about balance™ because there would still be the same 3 tech-trees.

 

For reference:

 

 

 

Idea, part 2: And they do not need to be lore accurate.

 

Explanation:

  • Many of AoM's gods do not have GP's, MU's, Techs, or Perks that reflect them.
    • For example, Bragi (Norse god of poetry) has nothing to do with:
      • Ulfsarks
      • Flaming Weapons
      • Battle Boars (which was crafted by dwarves!)
  •  
  • Being lore accurate may restrict:
    • Development creativity*
    • Gameplay variety*
  • * Source: "Tale of the Dragon" expansion pack (AoMEE)

 

 

Sample template:

  • Major God: Hodr (the blind Aesir, tricked by Loki to accidentally kill Baldr)
    • GP: 
    • Tech: 
    • Perk: 
  •  New Classical Age Minor God: Aegir (sea giant)
    • GP: 
    • MU: 
    • Tech 1: 
    • Tech 2: 
  • New Heroic Age Minor God: Ran (Aegir's wife)
    • GP: 
    • MU: 
    • Tech 1: 
    • Tech 2: 
  • New Mythic Age Minor God: Alvaldi (giant)
    • GP: 
    • MU: 
    • Tech 1: 
    • Tech 2: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future

 

When "patches" have exceeded their capacity to mend the tears of 2TC/AQ, do "patches" begin to extend beyond balancing™.

 

They will not even be within the leagues of nominal "patching"/"balancing".

 

But instead: Some third-rate errand, dished out for fanboys (paid/"free labor") to screw around with: Mods.

 

 

Breaking unspoken standards regarding game design

 

 

I. Just because something is underutilized does not mean it should be buffed/cheaper/better.

If it is not broken, don't fix it.

 

 

Unpopular Major/Minor Gods

An example: Voobly buffed Heimdall's Undermine GP, making it even stronger than Kronos' Deconstruct by affecting any and even incompleted buildings - no refunds!

"Underpowered" is an overrated term tossed around by players utilizing a "standardized" system (AQ).

But if AQ was removed, an influx of in-game choices would be available for players to manipulate with.

And in those situations, in the right hands, "underpowered" features can be used quite effectively.

Underused does not mean "useless".

 

 

Myth Units

For a game about mythology, MU's are disappointingly not prevalent in multiplayer matches.

But this was not an oversight, the reason: They are imbalanced.

Yet, they are also countered by Heroes ("rock paper scissors" formula).

Therefore: Although Myth Units are mythically powerful ("unrivaled"), they are also mythically available ("scarce").

Respectively, and, in accordance to AoM's: Theme and balance.

That was why Ensemble Studios locked them with their prices.

Just because it has a similar word in the game title does not mean it should be easily accessible.

 

 

Buffed/"super" Relics

Some of the Relics are weak enough that they do not completely tilt the game in the owner's favor. (And those that do should be debuffed; Section 2.6).

But having very increased perks turns them into undeserved, passive "power spikes" for the duration of its garrison.

So, as the match progresses, buffed/"super" Relics may prove to be even powerful than a multitude of free GP's/MU's.

Although Relics promote match entropy/diversity, they are not Major God perks.

Buffed/"super" Relics:

  • Lock the macro-meta to "RNG"/"randomization" instead of player efforts.
  • Severely punish players denied of the exclusive benefits.
  • Are like free GP's/MU's: Players exert little effort and are rewarded with massive, exclusive bonuses.
  • Cause the early-game to become a ratrace for players to snag exclusive perks instead of establishing map-control/aggression (contrary to expectations), securing extra time for players to (2TC) boom as a consequence.

 

 

Health regeneration

There was a reason why Ensemble Studios had the healing of units relegated to specific god paths.

Health regeneration has a considerable effect, especially in small sandboxes like AoM's (fewer units than AoE2, but, "stronger").

Although Greek (strongest civilization by unit stats) and Norse (most aggressive/raiding civilization) have access to healing, their usage is restricted by accessibility and/or availability to time and/or location (E.g.: Single-use, slow/inefficient, and/or at specifc areas).

The only "universal" healing is found through Egyptian's Heroes. And the offset: They are a defensive civilization with generally "cheap"/"weak" units, and, slow builders/gatherers.

For a unit/building/Relic to have regeneration, it must adhere to the recurring theme: The less exclusive its accessibility/availability, the more penalized the source/Invoker should be.

E.g.: If Ox Carts (Norse's drop-sites, mobile) were to receive regeneration, their total HP should be halved.

 

 

Odin's Ravens

See Section 2.2.

 

 

[Insert other grievances/ideas]

 

 

 

II. "Ludicrousness"/suspension-of-disbelief

 

Although AoM is a game, certain levels of realism should not be dismissed.

 

Infantry should not run as fast as Cavalry

Explanation:

  • AoMEE's Khopesh (5.8 speed)
    • Removes Egyptian's civilizational identity:
      • Egyptian Classical Age units are:
        • "Slow"
        • Locked to Infantry and Slingers
  • (Vanilla) Hersirs with Hall of Thanes upgrade (Loki: 5.72 speed, Thor: 5.3)
    • Bad idea that affects Norse's civilizational identity: HoT Hersirs become Cavalry units.
    • Alternative:
      • Hersirs are animated to run like Ulfsarks: Sprinting and leaning forward.
      • Hall of Thanes give 1.15x boost in speed (instead of +1.1 speed).

 

Wall HP should not be affected by adjacent Walls

Explanation:

  • Absurdity: In AoM, attacked Walls (do not gain HP and will) drop to the lowest HP of any adjacent Wall.

 

Garrison/transport capacity should not be determined by unit-count

Explanation:

  • Ludicrous example: Unit-based: Rocs can carry 15 War Elephants (75 Population) or Villagers (15 Population).
  • Alternative example: Population-based: Rocs can carry 3 War Elephants or 15 Villagers.

 

Flying units should not be frozen mid-air

Explanation:

  • Frost Giants are melee, not ranged units.
  • Flying units should fall down if frozen.
  • AoM is not a:
    • MOBA
    • Children's smartphone game
    • Cartoon game (AoEO)
    • Mod

 

[Insert other grievances/ideas]

 

If "ludicrousness" is to be implemented, it must be supplemented with the appropriate animations, new models, and renaming of texts.

But then it would no longer be Ensemble Studios' AoM, but a corporate mishmashing to generate sales....

 

 

Remaking the game (for sales and boomers/Casuals)

 

I. ... with the first step being to "equalize" gathering rates.

 

The purpose is to undermine civilizational identities in preparation for the introduction of new "civilizations" (tech-trees) to fulfill the trend of NOMINAL "civilizations" established in AoE. (And to meet sales quotas).

 

While not understanding:

  • The "civilizations" in AoE are merely deviated variations of 1 base tech-tree....
  • AoM's civilizations are literally asymmetrical, like the factions of Starcraft, Warcraft, Red Alert, Grey Goo, etc....
  • Why most RTS studios average to 3 asymmetrical tech-trees: Balance....

 

I.e.: Nobody read Section 3.0.

 

 

 

II. "Equalizing" starts.

 

Spoiler

Equalized starting/map resources

Consequences:

  • Downplays scouting in an already-small sandbox.
  • Rewards 2TC gameplay.
  • Standardization of Build Orders
    • Standardization of matches
      • Standardizing....

 

Villagers have 100% accuracy for hunting

Consequences:

  • A stepping stone to potentially removing/editing AoM's projectile system ("if hunters can shoot perfectly, why couldn't buildings, archers, ships...?") in the name of balance™ (2TC/AQ player buzzword for "standardization"), taking AoM one step closer to AoE.
  •  
  • Rewards time and attention to those who do not micro-manage their hunters.
  • Downplays Ensemble Studios' theme of hostile huntables.
  • Standardizes beginnings.

 

Huntables cannot be attacked by non-Villagers in Archaic Age

Archaic Age aggression debuffed/non-existent

The purpose: To give "breathing room" for players to establish early-game starts/buildings without fear of harrassment.

Consequences:

  • This rewards unprepared/Casual/boomy (2TC's) play by:
    • Removing a portion of the early game for savvy players. (Boomers' definition: Cheese).
    • Standardizing games. (Equal results in favor over equal opportunities).

 

 

I.e.: Nobody read Section 1.1 regarding "barriers".

 

 

 

III. Equalizing miscellaneous.

 

Spoiler

Increased range via upgrades

E.g.: Marching arbalests (AoE) instead of the slow, low-firing-rate, and "inaccurate" ranged-units (AoM).

 

"1 base" tech-tree

E.g.:

  • Norse Gatherers/Dwarves can build
  • Norse Pierce units/Heroes
  • Throwing axemen receive extra range and accuracy
  •  
  • Egyptian gathering-rate/Favor buffs
  • Egyptian Mercenary removal
  •  
  • AoMEE units

Consequences: Civilizations lose their identities.

Explanation of civilizational identities:

  • Although Norse infantry can (forward-)build, their:
    • Villagers cannot
    • Buildings are weaker
    • Bases are underdefended
  •  
  • Although Norse can Advance quicker, gather hunt and Gold quicker, they are limited to Hack damage and limited range.
    • Consider how dreadful Norse would be with Classical Age archers.
    • This is also why Throwing Axemen have lower range and accuracy, fitting to Norse's theme ("throwing axes") and balance (i.e., they're already "archers").
  • AoT players want Reigenleif (Campaign Norse Hero Archer) just to play against Stymphalian Birds (Atlantean offensive flying MU's available in the third Age (antagonistic to Ensemble Studios' MU philosophy)).
  •  
  •  
  • Although Egyptian Villagers are slow to:
    • Build, their buildings are free/cheaper and stronger.
    • Gather, they have a Pharaoh.
  •  
  • Egyptian Mercenaries
    • Author's note: If you are losing to mercs, you are doing something wrong. Mercenaries are a liability. If you do not know how to (lead an eggy to) exploit them (and study your recorded games), you were just playing a (2TC) boom fest (in denial) and justably deserve the loss for allowing the slowest civilization in the game to prosper.
  •  
  •  
  • AoMEE supplemented each Civilization with a unit to undo their intended weaknesses (civilizational identity).
    • Greeks: A Hero to heal the strongest Civilization in the game.
    • Egyptians: A counter-Villager raider-infantry unit that runs almost as fast as cavalry (5.8).
    • Norse: An archer available in Heroic Age.

 

I.e.:

  • Nobody learned the lesson from AoMEE.
  • Nobody read Section 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are asking AoT Pros for feedback, you'll only get pro-AoT opinions.

 

AoT players are using their standardized gameplay experience (2TC-meta/AQ-meta/no-(active-)scouting-metato justify the "AoE'fication" and "standardization" of this game.

 

They are the first responders to say maps must be standardized™/symmetrical and civilizations need™ more™ balancing™, but on the issues of free MU's or 2TC's, they are silent.

And no wonder, because those offer variety to their macro-meta playstyles and Mains: Boomier civilizations.

 

I.e.: Nobody read Sections 1.0 and 1.1. (And Post #2 "How did the expansion packs harm Norse in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy?" and "The kernel").

Spoiler

gatekeeper.PNG

* "Big": Norse-hater/Vanilla-hater/AoE2-lover/Boomer
** Erased
*** Standardized/Lame
**** For boomy, non-(active-)scouting playstyles

Spoiler

skinner1.jpg

skinner3.jpg.1a4de04e0dec28099cb541c912fa90a6.jpg

skinner7.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3 Miscellaneous ideas

 

 

Idea: New Campaign scenarios do not need to include Arkantos and the gang; they can be separate stories like "The Golden Gift" Campaign.

 

 

Idea: Introduce an expansion pack titled, "Enemies"?

  • The Campaign is about the resurrection of enemies of the Major Gods.
  • Introduce new antagonistic Major/Minor Gods to the existing 3 civilizations.

 

 

Idea: Add quasi-asymmetrical land maps, featuring small pools of water with fish with "river monsters" (MU's) in them?

  • Mainly melee Water MU's?
  • Ranged Water MU's (e.g.: Jormund Elvers) near contested areas of interest (e.g.: Gold mines)?
  • Explanation:
    • River monsters (Mu's) buffer boomy gameplay; players will need to fight/work for their:
      • Optional source of infinite Food (fish)
      • Optional crossing over to the other side

 

 

Idea: Create a new map with telegraphed and localized Tornados/Lightning-Storms on contested Gold Mines?

 

 

Idea: Cursed Relics (map-specific?)?

  • Certain Relics have buffed/"super" perks, but carry a randomized, non-descriptive uber-debuff (or more).

 

 

Idea: Add a DLC themed around Underworld, Duat, and Hel?

  • Maps with:
    • Control over "tombstones" for Campaign Shades?
    • Map-exclusive:
      • GP's?
      • Relics?
      • Undead MU's?
      • Naval warfare?
  • (Use Scenarios 9 and 10 ("Revelation" and "Strangers") from the original Campaign as inspiration for the addition of new features?).

 

 

Idea: Release mini DLC's for a fraction of standard DLC prices?

 

 

Idea: Free-to-play?

  •  
  • Paid players get the base game (Campaign, Multiplayer, old music)
  •  
  • Free players:
    • Get a randomized God per day, per user.
    • Are restricted - either:
      • Cannot build Walls or Towers
      • Or cannot use Favor
    • See ads* in:
      • Main menu
      • Post-match
        • Winning players see more.
  •  
  • In-game currency can be used to rent or purchase:
    • Music (old/new)
    • Single-player
    • Campaign (old/new)
    • Editor
    • Major God
    • Civilization
    • Skins
    • Taunts
    •  
    • Monthly tournament wins shall be awarded in-game currency
    • Daily/Weekly tasks (e.g.: Kill 10 Villagers with Locust Swarm)
    •  
    • Gifting F2P friends
    • Removing F2P ads* from main menu and post-match menu
  •  
  • * Why do players tolerate ads (and questionable/pirated executables) on third-party multiplayer platforms (operated by strangers), but not the idea for the official release?
  •  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ending Note #2

Spoiler

 

 

 

AoM is like "Bloodborne" of the "Age of" series.

 

 

In Age of Mythology, Ensemble Studios intended for matches to be even aggressive* and quicker* than AoE2's as evident with:

  • Lowered Population cap
  • Fewer tech-tree ("civilization") units
  • Three main resources
  • Settlements
  • Redesigned Walls
  • Smaller maps

 

Explanation:

  •  
  • Lowered Population cap* meant:
    • These were scaled for the sandbox:
      • Resource-gathering rates
      • Unit stats and prices: Units are worth more in stats (one reason why Villagers could fend off military units); they are not as expendable as AoE2 units and "last longer".
      • Building stats and prices: Buildings cannot be "spammed" like in AoE2; they are fewer and must be placed wisely.
    • Fewer units and buildings to control than AoE2's.
    • Players must balance their Villager-military ratio.
    • Infinite Food sources post-hunt (Farms and fishing pools).
    • Smaller maps(and their implications).
    • Settlements (and their implications).
    • Fewer tech-tree units (and their implications).
    • In context, AoM's population cap was not a result of hardware limitations, but its sandbox design!
  •  
  • Fewer tech-tree units* meant unit-composition and fights are simpler to form/counter.
  •  
  • Three general resources* meant more focus on micro-management.
  •  
  • Settlements* meant Population and Villager production had to be earned (fought over); players cannot sit comfortably within city Walls and outboom their opponent like in AoE2 or with 2TC's.
  •  
  • Redesigned Walls* meant AoM players cannot wall like AoE2 players do because AoM Walls are:
    • Weaker
    • Slower to build
    • More expensive
    • Affected by the remaining HP of adjacent Walls
  •  
  • Smaller maps* meant:
    • Scouting/line-of-sight has a more prominent role.
    • Tighter matches instead of the standard boomy longplay of AoE2.
    • Quasi-asymmetrical design.

                rm.thumb.png.3a50fdf3c72f629c565597dd3ce548fb.png

                                                                              Ensemble Studios designer, Greg Street (IGN - September 27, 2002)

 

* Meant for Classical Age Fighting, not 2TC/AoE2 boomplay.

 

 

 

All of which run contrary to what Casuals desire: https://forums.ageofempires.com/t/what-would-you-like-to-see-in-myth-retold/217173

 

Casuals want:

  • New tech-trees ("civilizations")
  • Removal of Settlements
  • Rechargeable God Powers
  • Stone
  • Maps to become:
    • Larger
    • Symmetrical
    • Revealed
  • Increased/unlimited:
    • Fortress allowance
    • Tower allowance
    • Population
    • Villagers

 

 

 

Why cater the game to an inflated majority who'd never touch the game again? Maybe during the weekends or the holidays?

https://www.reddit.com/r/AgeofMythology/comments/ye4rda/do_you_want_to_have_autoqueue_in_age_of_mythology/

 

The same Casuals who'd show up at every showcasing of re-releases, gobbling content from social media, only to hibernate until the next game's re-re-release or sequels?

https://steamcharts.com/app/266840

  • AoMEE released on May, 2014
  • TotD released on January, 2016
  • COVID lockdowns: 2020 - 2023
  • AoM Retold announced on October, 2022
  • Occasional Steam sales

 

 

Even if AoM Retold were to release without:

  • Free GP's
  • New "civilizations" (tech-trees)
  • AoT (AQ, 2TC's free MU's, Shooting Docks...)

The threats to boycotting AoM Retold will not happen because Casuals will continue to consume.

 

Developers and Managers must know there will always be Casuals in any game. Refer to AoE2's population (nearly 10 times of AoM):

Are all 25k players like Viper? Yet, 10,000 AoE2 Casuals did not find it difficult to memorize "Ctrl & 1" for grouping or "Q" for Hoplites!

 

 

The reason why AoM is filled with Casuals is not because it is a Casual's game. It is because The Titans Expansion Pack and free God Powers punish you for your:

  • Efforts (practicing, BO crafting)
  • Risk-taking/creativity (microing outside of the established macro-meta set by free GP's and AoT)
  • Aggressive play

 

And reward you for picking the few, right choices:

  1. Pick any one top Major Gods (of the current macro-meta)1.03pantheon3.thumb.PNG.c8cfdbdfecbd5445c28f4942a984312b.PNG                                                           TheMista interview (2015).
  2. 2TC     1000738127_boomraid.PNG.3a4f7b30c2d02575a26fc9b7c0f634eb.PNG  TheMista interview (2015).
  3. Advance to Heroic age
  4. Lame
  5. Win
  6. Repeat!

 

 

Those who have played enough high-ranked 1v1 Supremacy games know there is a glass ceiling.

The diversity of choices is an illusion for 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy games.
There is only one way to play this game. And AoT Pros know it.
Though they deny it, it is evident by their silent retirements or taking a break from the game (indefinitely).
Why? Because there is no one else to play with besides the same abuser smurfs!

 

 

 

With free GP's/MU's setting the tone of the game,

  With 2TC's acting like mini-fortresses for map control,

    With Villagers streamlining from 2TC's like a factory,

      With AQ automating all individual tasks,

 

Of course, "The game plays by itself"™!

 


In other words, what got boomy Casuals to become AoT Pros in the first place is the same reason why they stopped playing the game! (Regardless of new maps, mods, or balance™ patches!)


mor.thumb.PNG.3a6886734da08d8bab98da177512f116.PNG

Burnout? No, burned out of players.

 

History repeats itself!

Is it any wonder why high-ranked 1v1 Supremacy dwindled following the release of the expansion pack after catering to Casuals first, then boomier civilizations? Why AoT is saturated with Casuals and boomy Mains - with mods and team games?

 

 

You can spend hours crafting the perfect BO or practicing against Titan Attacker AI, but the reality of the "meta" (macro-meta) is this:

The game simply does not reward effort (practicing, time spent on creating a BO) or skill.

 

 

 

There is only one way to play this game.

1000738127_boomraid.PNG.3a4f7b30c2d02575a26fc9b7c0f634eb.PNG

TheMista interview (2015).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any fresh or open-minded players see these grievances very clearly; they are the middle-class players, not bound by low standards (Casuals) or nostalgia (AoT Pros (2TC boomy Mains)).

They clearly see, that no matter how much effort they put into the game, they will not be rewarded.

No wonder why AoT fails to maintain a healthy high-ranked 1v1 Supremacy population!

 

 

What could have been interesting plays and innovative breakthroughs were all used to be determined by how fast a player could respond to and prioritize each scenario, making for exquisite matchups and interesting replays. Now? Everything is automated, the same games at the top level.

 

 

 

 

 

But, if Managers/Developers were to remove free GP's, free MU's, 2TC's, AQ, Shooting Docks, high-hunt maps, Atlanteans, and Titansthen those middle-class players would see that the more effort they put into the game, the more improvement they will gain.

 

Because, they can improve their APM; they can try different strategies (risk taking); they can play, knowing they wouldn't be denied by some cheap GP or 2TC machine automation; they can create unique Build Orders; THEY CAN LEARN HOW TO USE HOTKEYS.

 

 

 

 

Free the players!

Let the players work for their matches!

Let their micro-management be the determining factor of their winning or losing!

It will create for genuine and unique games, not cookie-cutter "choose your counter-civ, God Power chess, and press AQ 2TC auto-pilot outboom" banality!

 

Allow "Real-Time" back into RTS for AoM.

 

 

 

Spoiler

7.thumb.PNG.209d1d0d28b6439c77e50a5cf8827d80.PNG

TheMista interview (2015).

 

2.thumb.PNG.1f0170e540a37803b3787425835986fd.PNG

3.thumb.PNG.6aa4a76c672d908d4abe76c129aa61b6.PNG

TheMista interview (2010).

 

10.2.thumb.png.4bb30dea8ebba3920d77dad2c7e71a51.png

11.2.thumb.PNG.ce2416750e6b23ae1777df3536428d54.PNG

12.3.thumb.PNG.274a29ea787009dc0c01e511057d9900.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ #1

 

FAQ #1 - Table of Contents

  • "How many Age of Mythology games are there?"
  • "How many multiplayer platforms are there?"/"Is the Open Letter outdated?"

 

Spoiler

 

 

"How many Age of Mythology games are there?"

 

PC:

 

Ensemble Studios:

  • 2002: Age of Mythology
    • Introduced imbalanced mechanics: Free GP's
  • 2003: Age of Mythology: The Titans (expansion pack)
    • Introduced imbalanced mechanics: Free MU's, 2TC's, AQ, Shooting Docks, Titans
    • Introduced a new "civilization" (tech-tree): Atlanteans

 

Skybox Labs:

  • 2014: Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
    • Although built on The Titans, it introduced:
      • A new unit to each civilization to balance their intended weakness (civilization identity)
      • Laggy Multiplayer (because of either Steam's dedicated-servers or P2P per regional matchup)
        • Spoiler
          • Steam Settings 👉 In-Game 👉 Steam Networking:
            • "Default" (do not select if laggy)Automatic switching between "Always" and "Never"
            • "Always": Always connect to Steam's dedicated-servers
            • "Never": Never connect to Steam's dedicated-servers

                    https://help.steampowered.com/en/faqs/view/1433-AD20-F11D-B71E

          • I.e.: While some players may benefit with one setting, others may need to switch settings every few games, depending on their (opponent's) region.
      • Regressed textures overhaul (water, landscape, trees, etc.)
      • Bloated graphical features; degraded performance (even when disabled)
      • Broken AI (easier to fight against)
        • Broken Campaign (easier to complete)

 

Skybox Labs, and Forgotten Empires:

  • 2015: Age of Mythology EX: Tale of the Dragon (expansion pack)
    • Introduced a new "civilization" (tech-tree): Chinese

 

 

Board game:

Eagle Games:

  • 2003: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame

 

Nintendo DS:

Griptonite Games:

  • 2008: Age of Empires: Mythologies

 

 

 

 

 

"How many multiplayer platforms are there?"/"Is the Open Letter outdated?"

 

 

There are three main platforms for AoT multiplayer after Microsoft shut down AoM's ESO (Ensemble Studios Online) servers in 2010:

 

  • Gameranger:
    •  
    • Balance™ maintained by: None (The Titans Patch 1.03)
      • The epitome of imbalance from the core mechanics introduced by The Titans expansion pack.
        • Consequences:
          • The game plays by itself (macro-meta).
          •  
          • There is only one way to play the game (micro-meta and macro-meta).
    •  
    • Demographics: Casual > competitive
      • Few 1v1's, mainly team games, mainly mods
      • Population: 100 - 300 online during peak hours?
    •  
    • Lobby system (peer-to-peer connection)
    •  
    • Requirements:
      • Gameranger client
      • The Titans Patch 1.03
      • AoT

 

  • Voobly:
    •  
    • Balance™ maintained by: Dedicated balance™ team https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/Age-Of-Mythology/showtopic=242441
      • Seeking balance from TT 1.03 by: Moderately equalizing all "civilizations" (tech-trees) and liberally buffing unpopular gods.
        • Consequences:
          • The game still plays by itself (macro-meta).
            • Susceptibility to (rotational) balance™ patches (which creates the illusion that the game is "unsolved"/"balanced™" with the variety of new tactics made available by adjusted stats (for the current playerbase) - micro-meta - masking the imbalances of the macro-meta (of the core mechanics of The Titans)).
          •  
          • (Official, fan-made) "Random" maps of near-symmetry.
          •  
          • Unpopular Major/Minor Gods of The Titans Patch 1.03 receive unnecessarily powerful GP's and perks (which made other Major/Minor Gods unpopular).
    •  
    • Demographics: Competitive > casual
    •  
    • Lobby system (peer-to-peer connection)
    • Ratings system
    •  
    • Requirements:
      • Voobly client
      • AoT

 

  • Steam:
    •  
    • Balance™ maintained by: The current maintainers of AoMEE (undedicated) https://meta-plays.com/forums/topic/1426-ee-patch-28-most-complete-and-correct-changelog/
      • Seeking balance from TT 1.03 by: Liberally equalizing all "civilizations" (tech-trees) and moderately buffing unpopular gods.
        • Consequences:
          • The game still plays by itself (macro-meta).
            • Susceptibility to (rotational) balance™ patches (which creates the illusion that the game is "unsolved"/"balanced™" with the variety of new tactics made available by adjusted stats (for the current playerbase) - micro-meta - masking the imbalances of the macro-meta (of the core mechanics of The Titans)).
          •  
          • Resource-equity "random" maps.
          •  
          • "Civilizations" (tech-trees) lose a part of their identity with the introduction of units designed to supplement their intended weakness.
    •  
    • Demographics: Casual > competitive
    •  
    • Based off of ESO (dedicated Steam servers or peer-to-peer connection):
      • (Poor) Lobby system
      • Ratings system
      • Matchmaking system
    •  
    • Requirements:
      • Steam client
      • AoMEE (DLC is not required to play with DLC players)

 

Spoiler

Obsolete since early 2023 due to Voobly's new ratings system.

The conversion of real-ratings between Steam and Voobly is variable as Steam's deflate during the weekends or holidays (excluding high-ranked rr).

https://imgur.com/a/V21HOVb

https://www.reddit.com/r/AgeofMythology/comments/bb2n78/converting_ratings_between_platforms/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edit History

 

History of major edits

1.01 (1/14/23) Removal: original title: An Open Letter to AoM Managers and Developers Regarding 1v1 High-Ranked Competitive Aom | Explanation: new title: An Open Letter to AoM Managers/Developers on How to Save Competitive AoM

1.02 (1/15/23) Removal: "Funny" things | Explanation: Brevity

1.03 (1/19/23) Section 2.0a Idea 1: Weaker GP's

1.04 (3/4/23) Section 1.0 - AQ: further explanained

December 2023 Removal: | Explanation: Brevity

January 2024 portions moved to Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous

1.05 (3/15/23) Section 1.0's ending note

December 2023 Removal: | Explanation: Brevity

1.06 (3/26/23) Section 2.2 - Free units tweaks: additions

1.07 (3/30/23) Section FAQ: additions

1.08 (4/29/23) Section 1.0 - AQ's "strategy" explanation

December 2023 Removal: | Explanation: Brevity

January 2024 portions moved to Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous

1.09 (5/7/23)

Section 1.0 - AQ's ending note

7/7/23 Removal: Section 1.0 - AQ's ending note | Explanation: Brevity

Removal: Norse Tweaking (originally Section 2.4) | Explanation: Tech-trees ("civilizations") must have their identities

1.10 (5/24/23) Removal: Age of Empires Forums introduction | Explanation: Brevity

1.11 (6/14/23) Section 1.0's Norse explanations moved to Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous

Author's note: This was not a reaction to Voobly tournament statistics.

1.12 (8/6/23) Section 2.3 - Water tweaking: Water's macro-meta alternative

1.13 (8/11/23)

Section FAQ #1

Post #2 - Section FAQ #2

1.14 (9/4/23) Section 1.0 - AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue: Condensed version (beginning)

12/26/23 Removal: Explanation: Brevity

1.15 (10/8/23) Post #2 - Section FAQ #2 - "Can't there be a compromise?": additions

Author's note: Otherwise, there is no point in following these suggestions.

1.16 (11/19/23) Chess introduction moved to Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous

Author's note: This was not a reaction to Voobly tournament statistics.

January 2023 Removal Explanation: The image could be interpreted as antagonistic to AoM's asymmetrical design.

1.17 (12/26/23) Section 1.0 - AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue - 4. Locking the macro-meta - Prioritization explanation

1.18 (12/28/23)

Table of Contents re-arranged

1/3/2024 Reverted

2/25/2024

3/23/2024

4/24/2024

5/11/2024

5/12/2024

Section 1.1 On Feedback renamed and re-edited: Section Ending Note #1

Section Conclusion renamed: Section Ending Note #2

1.19 (12/30/23)

Section 3.2 Miscellaneous ideas renamed: Section 3.3 Miscellaneous ideas

Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future

1.20 (1/16/24)

Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking:

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
  • Re-sectioned:
    • Section 2.4 Wall tweaking
    • Section 2.5 Telegraphing tweaking

1.21 (2/17/24) Section 1.0 - 2TC's - The kernel

Author's note: This is your legacy. This is AoM.

February 25, 2024 Moved to Post #2 - Section Miscellaneous

February 27, 2024 Additions in Section 1.0's 2TC's section

1.22 (5/10/24) Section 1.0 - AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue - 2. Designed around attention

 

 

 

History of some additions since February 2024

Spoiler

5/23/2024

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ
      • 2. Designed around attention
        • Too often are Players using their past experiences or understanding of Blizzard's RTS's* to redefine this game and especially the RTS genre.

 

  • Section Ending Note #2
    • Lowered population cap
      • * Meant for Classical Age fighting, not 2TC AoE2 play.

 

5/22/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • 2TC's
      • Adding 2TC's to AoM is like adding sprinting to First-Person Shooters designed without it...

 

5/18/2024

 

  • Section Definitions
    • ii Critical definitions
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ
      • 1. Bullet points
        • Adding AQ to RTS's is like adding auto-aiming to First-Person Shooters...

 

5/13/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Set animals deal MU damage

 

5/6/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Completed Town Centers should not be updated in Fog of War

 

5/5/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ
      • Quantic Foundry's video on cognitive threshold

 

5/4/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ:
      • CloudCuckooCountry's video on prioritization
      • brownbear's video on AQ

 

  • Re-edited sections

 

4/29/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Free Egyptian buildings cost 5 Gold

 

4/16/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Shifting Sands halved Transport area

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Temples have smaller surface-area

 

3/16/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Relics re-edited

 

2/27/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • Free MU's
      • Locks the macro-meta
      • Consider:
    • 2TC's
      • Re-edited with the "kernel"

 

 

 History of some additions since November 2023

Spoiler

2/17/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Temples have lowered HP

 

2/16/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Hall of Thanes Speed
    • Herdable Line of Sight

 

2/15/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Serpents
    • Minions (13)19
    • Fimbulwinter
      • Wolves (9): 16

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Relics

 

  • Section 3.3 Miscellaneous ideas:
    • Idea: Cursed Relics?

 

2/14/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Fimbulwinter
      • Wolves (9): 17

 

2/9/2024

 

  • Section 3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)
    • But in AoM, "civilization" design is not merely determined by uniqueness alone.

 

2/8/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT:
    • 2TC's:
      • 2TC's unlock economy and map control for the second Age.

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Ragnarok
      • Idea 1: Villager-based
      • Idea 2: Ulfsark-based

 

  • Section 2.2 Free tweaking
    • Hades Shades
      • Last 20 seconds

 

  • Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future:
    • Wall HP should not be affected by adjacent Walls

 

2/7/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT:
    • 2TC's:
      • Punish aggressors.

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Ragnarok
      • HP (120)65
      • Population (3): 2

 

  • Section 2.4 Wall tweaking
    • Idea: Remove Wall's shared damage?

 

  • Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future
    • Infantry should not run as fast as Cavalry
      • Hall of Thanes give 1.15x boost in speed (instead of +1.1 speed).

 

2/4/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Ragnarok
      • HP (120)80
      • Damage (11)8
      • Speed (4.80): 4.60

 

2/1/2024

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Transport units are larger

 

  • Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future
    • Garrison/transport capacity determined by unit-count

 

1/29/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Ceasefire
      • Town Centers cannot be built during Ceasefire.

 

1/24/2024

 

  • Section Ending Note #2 re-arranged

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Cavalry Garrisoning

 

1/21/2024

 

  • Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future:
    • Health regeneration
    • Buffed Relics

 

1/16/2024

 

  • Section 2.5 Telegraphing tweaking
    • Edit F7 to not show unused God Powers
    • Lower non-ranged buildings' Line of Sight

 

  • Section 2.6 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Priests can pick up Relics
      • Further explanation

 

1/15/2024

 

  • Section 3.3 Miscellaneous ideas:
    • Idea: Add a DLC themed around Erebus, Underworld, and Hel?

 

1/14/2024

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT:
    • While reading, the reader should consider:
    • And regarding why Ensemble Studios included these features,
    • Section 1.1 Ending Note #1 (higher-ranked):
      • Bobby Fischer (American chess grandmaster, 11th World Chess Champion) explaining chess' macro-meta.

 

1/10/2024

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Ragnarok
      • Unit type (Hero): Human
      • Name (Hero of Ragnarok): Warrior of Ragnarok

 

1/3/2024

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "What separates AoM from AoE?"

 

1/1/2024

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "Why should Managers/Developers alienate the core community?"

 

12/30/2023

 

  • Section 3.2 Balancing and the future
    • When "patches" have exceeded their capacity to mend the tears of AQ/2TC, do "patches" begin to extend beyond balancing™.

 

12/29/2023

 

  • Section 3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)
    • But: Are AoM Managers/Developers aware that a "civilization"/variations system like Age of Empires' already exists in AoM?

 

12/28/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT:
    • 2TC'S
      • That is why AoT players are so sensitive to fog of war and especially (Vanilla) map randomization.
    • Section 1.1 Ending Note #1
      • All of these features were intentionally implemented by Ensemble Studios with express purpose...:

 

12/26/2023

 

  • Section Definitions
    • Micro-meta and macro-meta image definitions

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT:
    • AQ
      • Bullet points
      • Prioritization

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "Can't there be a compromise?"
      • Other bad ideas:
        • Bad idea: AQ production-speed is scaled to a Player's rank.
        • Bad idea: Free-queuing (Soft-AQ: Players can queue a unit without paying its cost).

 

12/4/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "We don't need to remove free GP's, free MU's, 2TC's, AQ, Shooting Docks, Atlanteans, Titans, or maps - the game is already balanced - haven't you seen the statistics?"

 

11/30/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • 2TC'S
      • With map control and streaming resources, the potential has been unlocked - that is why AoT players don't mind:

 

11/29/2023

 

  • Section Conclusion
    • Lowered Population cap meant:
      • In context, AoM's population cap was not a result of hardware limitations, but its sandbox design!
    • Fewer "civilization" (tech-tree) units meant unit-composition and fights are simpler to form/counter.

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "Can't there be a compromise?"
      • Other bad ideas:
        • Bad idea: Units created under AQ are produced slower.

 

 

 History of some additions since September 2023

Spoiler

11/27/2023

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Wall redzoning alternative - idea:
      • Moved to section Bad Ideas
    • Hp-damaging area-of-effect GP's deal full damage to friendly units'/buildings' HP
      • This would punish players since GP's require time and Favor to be researched (see Section 2.0b).

 

11/19/2023

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Lure: 1,500

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Wall redzoning alternative - idea:
      • Wall-connectors and Short Wall-segments are always 50 HP, regardless of upgrades.
    • Remove the announcement for
      • This allows for new tactics due to...
      • God-Power announcements punish players since GP's require time and Favor to be researched...
      • Players can always F7 to scout. (Re-added)

 

10/21/2023

 

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Researching God Powers are announced and cancelled GP's have a cooldown penalty

 

  • Section 3.2 Miscellaneous ideas
    • Idea: Create an epic campaign, highlighting the imbalances of AoT's epic core mechanics.
    • Idea: Make a new Campaign as a Multiplayer tutorial for high-ranked 1v1 Supremacy without Age of Free Insurance™:

 

10/15/2023

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Wall redzoning alternative - idea:
      • Walls shorter than the standard/longest Wall-segment have significantly lower HP.

 

  • Section 3.2 Miscellaneous ideas
    • Idea: Free-to-play?
      • * Why do players tolerate ads (and piracy) on third-party multiplayer platforms, but not for the official servers?

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "Can't there be a compromise?"
      • Other bad ideas:
        • Bad idea: Atlanteans, Chinese, and new "civilizations" (tech-trees) are locked behind ratings.

 

10/8/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "Can't there be a compromise?"
      • Regarding the addition of AQ to any non-ranked matches...

 

  • Section Conclusion
    • AoM players cannot wall like AoE2 players do because AoM Walls are:
      • Affected by the remaining HP of adjacent Walls

 

10/7/2023

 

  • Section 2.1 Free units tweaking
    • Regarding free military
      • Loki's Mu-spawns
        • Duration (re-added)

 

  • Section Conclusion
    • Lowered Population cap meant:
      • Population becomes a "resource":...
      • Prices of buildings/units were also scaled for this sandbox.
      • Smaller maps (and their implications).

 

9/20/2023

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Lure: 2,100
    • Great Hunt: 900

 

9/18/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • 2TC'S
      • "Retards match micro-meta, as players can..."
      • "Hastens match macro-meta, allowing players to..."
    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • Third section
        • "By 'standardizing' unit production timings, AQ also allows build orders to be copied..."

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Lure: 2,750
    • Prosperity: 1.9x

 

9/12/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT

    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • First section
        • Re-edited

 

9/10/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT

    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • First section
        • Re-edited

 

9/9/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT

    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Add 1 Wall-connector distance redzoning to these buildings
      • Explained

 

9/8/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT

    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 2.4
    • Remove announcement for:
      • Remove the announcement for:

        • Completed Advancings
        • Completed God Power research
        • Completed Town Centers
        • Garrisoned Relics

 

9/7/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #1
    • "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ/Autoqueue/Auto-queue
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 2.1 Free units tweaking
    • Regarding free military
      • "As an unintended bonus for the time limit..." (re-added)
      • Loki's Mu-spawns
        • Private features (re-added)

 

  • Section 2.3 Water tweaking
    • Spoiler section: The listed Water tweaks will not solve AoM's outrageous Water macro-meta.
      • Water's macro-meta alternative
        • Explanation

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Add 1 Wall-connector distance redzoning to these buildings
      • Re-edited

 

9/6/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #1
    • "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
      • "Due to the increased requirements of..."

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • AQ section
      • Spoiler section (re-edited)
      • "If 2TC's turned AoT into a 'spiritual successor' of AoE2..."

 

  • Section Conclusion
    • Smaller maps
      • Line-of-Sight/scouting has more prominence

 

  • Section FAQ #2
    • "What if nobody buys this game because Managers/Developers applied this letter's suggestions?"

 

9/5/2023

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
    • 2TC
      • Re-edited
    • AQ section
      • Spoiler section (re-edited)

 

9/4/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #1
    • "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
      • "Consider: What if Microsoft introduced those features into AoE2?"
      • "Gameplay-wise, free God Powers and 'The Titans'' core mechanics..."

 

  • Section 1.0 Remove everything of AoT
  • AQ section
    • Spoiler section (first)

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Nidhogg
      • Removed

 

  • Section 2.3 Water tweaking
    • Spoiler section: The listed Water tweaks will not solve AoM's outrageous Water macro-meta.
      • Add Water Myth Units for every Minor God?
      • Remove Water Myth Units from every Minor God?

 

  • Section 3.2 Miscellaneous ideas
    • Free players see ads post-match and in the main menu
    • In-game currency can be spent to remove ads from post-match and the main menu

 

9/2/2023

 

  • Section FAQ #1
    • "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
      • Re-edited

 

  • Section 2.0b Idea 2: Stronger GP's, but researchable (single-use only)
    • Bolt
      • Ox Carts and transport units re-added

 

  • Section 2.2 Free units tweaking
    • Regarding free scouting
      • Hippocampus
        • Idea 3: No changes

 

  • Section 2.3 Water tweaking
    • Shooting Docks as a researchable Tech in Heroic Age?

 

  • Section 2.4 Miscellaneous tweaking
    • Remove announcement for:
      • Garrisoned Relics
      • God Power Invocations
    • Remove F4

 

  • Section 3.0 On new "civilizations" (tech-trees)
    • Reorganized

 

  • Section 3.1 New "civilizations" (tech-trees) alternative
    • Reorganized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

Spoiler

 

Maps of Mythology (2002)
https://www.ign.com/articles/2002/09/27/maps-of-mythology

INTERVIEW WITH SOUP (2009)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/index.php?s=428ee2657f29a7d44998c1336814849f&portal=AOM&showtopic=128850

Interview with mG_TheMista (2010)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/index.php?s=428ee2657f29a7d44998c1336814849f&portal=AOM&showtopic=186108

 

CENSORED SINCE JANUARY 9, 2023

Spoiler

AQ Removal Yes/No (2013)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/The-Titans/showtopic=226742

Registration required to view since January 9, 2023. (Topic created by: TheMista).

 

6.jpg.c1e5d541bcaad98dbfa42d9e0334a4e8.jpg

Which studio (now) owns RTS-Sanctuary? Which studio also works on AoM Retold?

 

Why is AOE2 more popular than AOM? (2014)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/The-Titans/showtopic=231170

Interview with TheMista (2015)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/Age-Of-Mythology/showtopic=235604

GAMER MOTIVATION PROFILE (2016)
quanticfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Gamer-Motivation-Profile-GDC-2016-Slides.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDvaBpfsl1A&t=1195s

Time for new balance patch? (2022)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/RTS-Sanctuary/showtopic=250020

Should I retire? (2022)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/RTS-Sanctuary/showtopic=250066

 

AOE FORMUS THREAD LOCKED SINCE OCTOBER 17, 2023

Spoiler

An Open Letter to AoM Managers/Developers on How to Save Competitive AoM (2023)

https://forums.ageofempires.com/t/an-open-letter-to-aom-managers-developers-on-how-to-save-competitive-aom

The latest replies were also deleted, while other, repetitive topics/replies (from the same users) of "relative" weight/value were tolerated.

 

9.jpg.b7746425ddc9bdb0e74a3a323367cf59.jpg

 

Usage Rate CL Season 3 (2023)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EJoCPcl41PIjG5Co8GbUeTCYM8TQpb92kuMT25dNcUc/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The features introduced in AoT essentially removed player effort from the game.

 

AQ simply highlights the imbalances of The Titans expansion pack.

It only "mines" the meta.

 

And for that, I am grateful Ensemble Studios had included AQ into AoT, because the macro-meta is clearly undeniable.

 

The reader can:

  • Follow their gatekeepers and let the game rot from the same, core ideas plaguing the playerbase (AoT).
  • Or allow for a game that rests solely on the player to make the best, prioritized decisions on a small, randomized map - an organic RTS.

 

 

 

AoT players: We've been waiting for "Age of Mythology" for over [0] years!

AoM players: We've been waiting for Age of Mythology for over 2 decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 January 13, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by IAmNotIronMaiden
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Reserved 1

 

Post #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"How did the expansion packs harm Norse in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy?"

Spoiler

 

Norse is the most difficult civilization to play in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy because of:

  • Build Order complexity
  • 2-Villager start
  • Acute map dependency
  • Hack-only
  • Odd unit composition

 

 

Each of the 3 Norse Major Gods have different perks, meaning their BO's are not interchangeable amongst each other as with the Greeks or Egyptians!

Try consistently creating sub-4:30 Norse BO's on-the-go; unlike the Greeks or Egyptians, Norse cannot change Dwarves/Villagers/Ox-Carts/Ulfsarks midway and still achieve the same timing.

And although every high-ranked player can make a sub-4:30 Norse BO, the question is: Is it effective - can that BO produce units from 3 military buildings on AQ, non-stop, after the infantry built them immediately reaching Classical Age?

Norse BO's are harder to standardize because of Random Maps.hunt.thumb.PNG.1c47d8f41ceabd0127f695f76f4d7c6e.PNG

TheMista interview (2015).

That is why BO crafting is critical to any competitive Norse Mains.

 

 

On low hunt maps, Norse is at a severe disadvantage because their hunting bonuses are neglible!

 

 

On Water Maps:

  • Norse has 2 Villagers to begin with, unlike the Greeks (3 Villagers) or Egyptians (2 Villagers and a Pharaoh). Dwarves do not cut wood faster than Gatherers!
  • Their Arrow Ships:
    • Have the slowest speed, meaning they receive extra damage when retreating.
    • Their (meager) extra damage is "useless" if their lumber output cannot keep up with the Greeks or Egyptians.

 

That is why, for all of their disadvantages, complexities, and customizability, if the player could win as Norse, they deserved it. Because they had the skill (APM, micro, intuition) and/or preparation (excellent BO's).

 

Spoiler

 

Regarding Shooting Docks* for Norse, Norse already struggles to compete on water with their 2-Villager starts. Greeks have 3 Villagers and Egyptians have 2 Villagers Empowered by a Pharaoh. Norse has dwarves, but they do not cut wood any faster than a Gatherer!

 

Regarding free MU's* for Norse:

  • Against a fast MU, a Norse rusher has to remove 2 Hersirs from combat to defend both hunt and gold. Especially in the early game, every hersir counts towards their rushing!
  • Against a slow or ranged MU, Norse has to trade/sacrifice a few Hersirs or else lose their free MU and human military to it over time!
  • That is why Norse rushing is not (macro-meta) "meta"!

 

Regarding Titans* for Norse, Norse is already at a severe disadvantage because their Villagers cannot build it. They have to either Ragnarok or REap SIGNificant losses. In other words, with or without Ragnarok, Norse's infantry will still have to build or counter it, thereby removing their offensive ability and map control! Also, Norse Titans are disadvantaged because of their attack animation.

 

Regarding high-hunt maps (of The Titans expansion pack) for Norse, it creates the macro-meta illusion that Norse is overpowered because of their hunting bonus. However, on Vanilla maps, the truth (less hunt) clearly reveals itself.

 

Regarding Atlanteans for Norse:

  • Regarding civilization roles, Atlanteans "replaced" Norse in the competitive scene:
    • By becoming the new early-game aggressor ("stolen valor")
    • With cost-effective, odd units (like Norse's non-standard-AoE units)
    • With simpler early-game macro (more time to micro) with:
      • ~2.3-Villager Citzens (e.g.: How Norse queue Dwarves to Gold)
      • No drop-off buildings/units ("Ox Carts")

1.03pantheon2.thumb.PNG.6003aaa167c85c8da98b5497cb650d59.PNG

TheMista interview (2015).

  • Regarding Stymphalian Birds, there was a reason why Ensemble Studios had offensive flying MU's only available in Mythic Age, not Heroic Age. And since Norse has no archers (an intended weakness Ensemble Studios gave to Norse as part of their civilization identity), the Axe of Muspell was simply a reaction Tech hastily given for Norse to research... in Heroic Age?! In Classical Age, Massed Throwing Axemen are needed to defeat one Bird, which are easy pickings to Turmas as they deal bonus damage to anti-infantry!

 

Regarding 2TC's* for Norse, although Norse can albeit boom, Ensemble Studios designed them to aggress instead, as evident by:

  • Buildings are weaker (made of makeshift materials, temporary lodgings quickly assembled on enemy ground)
  • Infantry can only build (forward building; offensive playstyle)
    • Wonders cannot be built by Villagers (offensive playstyle)
    • Villagers cannot build Walls (offensive playstyle; under-defended base)
  • Heroes cannot be queued in Town Centers (offensive playstyle, under-defended base)
  • Hack-only ("unsophisticated barbarians")
  • Limited ranged attacks until Mythic Age ("unsophisticated barbarians")
  • Odd unit composition ("unsophisticated barbarians")


Regarding AQ* for Norse, it gives the defender even more time to micro against a Norse rush; AQ's benefits for a rusher are negligible compared to a defender's - Age of Free Insurance™!

 

* Assuming both players were of equal skill...

 

 

 

 

It is no surprise why most AoT players do not Main Norse.

 

4.PNG.6cbfd0294d88e209c5f44454586cd3a7.PNG

Time for new balance patch? (2022)
https://www.rts-sanctuary.com/RTS-Sanctuary/showtopic=250020

 

2024voobly.png.5d959e4244e9e5003dc75be5786ad849.png

Voobly DataBase Winrate/Pickrate from top 100 players 23/03/2024 (credit: oMoradin)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1inpPHbWB4sa0KtRc19DBhGIkiWN9877mHZJitQyxGJw/edit#gid=1030323291

 

 

 

 

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

 

 

The kernel

Spoiler

 

  • AoM used to be a savage landscape of Classical Age fighting, players vying for extra: Population, Villagers, and map-control/mini-fortresses for Heroic Age.
  •  
  • It used to be a battle of immediate wits:
    • The (unedited) randomized maps had players actively scouting...
    • ... on low-hunt maps, which forced players to frequently breach contact as they competed for a rapidly-diminishing source of "fast" Food...
    • ... in the small-map design, which enabled them to easily feign under the cloak of Fog of War.
    • It was raw. It was aggressive.
  •  
  • There was no hand-holding, no locking of the macro-meta; the match rested on player decision-making, not pre-determined factors:
    • There was no secondary economy (2x villager production) or building (Settlement) to fall back on if players overspent Food on military in Vanilla standard: Low-hunt maps.
    • There were no free Myth Units to help scout the small maps.

 

...

 

  • In Vanilla:
    • Egyptian Barracks units used to be stronger.
    • Norse Barracks used to cost 120 Wood (instead of 110 Wood). (This kills modern, effective Build Orders (Sub-section "How did the expansion packs harm Norse in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy?")).
    • Maps used to be "randomized".

...

 

  • Author's note: We all know how boomy team games and Water maps are.
    • Consider: Which Major Gods dominate those modes?
      • This is AoT.

...

 

In Vanilla, players would have to scavange for whatever remaining hunt is left on the map.

 

And if hunt ran out, they would utilize herdables/berries before transitioning to Farms, to either:

  • Advance to Heroic Age for 2TC's and better units
  • Continue struggling for map control

 

 

 

But, 2TC's unlock more economy and map-control for the second Age.

 

That is why boomier civilizations (non-Norse) thrive, as those features were originally intended for the third Age - the time when also Norse begins to fall out from their "odd" (Hack-only) units/tech(Post #1 - Section 3.0 - regarding civilization design).

 

With 2TC's, Norse/aggressors would have to fight against an inflated playstyle and/or "terrain/map" formerly locked behind an entire Age.*

 

Whereas Norse has these for their Classical Age advantage...:

  • Hunting bonuses**
  • Dwarves
  • Cost-efficient military

... other Civilizations' "hunting bonuses", "Dwarves", and cost-efficient military were derived from 2TC's, later, in Heroic Age.

** Designed for Vanilla maps (low-hunt).

 

 

 

 

This is why Norse players take advantage of their hunting bonus to act upon the diminishing windows-of-opportunities to fight first, before settling down to raiding or Advancing.

 

Because, if Norse cannot get much out of the encounter with their early-game stats, they would have to face the wrath from their more sophisticated counterparts in Heroic Age - until the Mythic Age for one final push through Ragnarok ("Good": Baldr; "evil": Hel; "Neutral": Tyr). (Post # 1 - Section 3.0 - regarding civilization identities).

Whereas Norse is the aggressor in Classical Age, the tables are turned in Heroic Age - it is Greek's/Egyptian's turn to "rush"/raid Norse, who now has to "defend".

 

 

This was why high-hunt maps were not implemented.

So that Norse cannot continue terrorizing after their initial power spike.

So players in Heroic Age cannot continue to take advantage of hunt, with 2TC's, not having to expend Villagers onto Wood for Farming, saving them much time, and exponentially solidifying their map dominance.

Regarding hunt on maps:

Spoiler

1 of the 5 Vanilla land maps is high-hunt, but its vast natural obstacles allow defenders to secure a portion of the map and hunt for themselves from aggressors.
1 of the 5 Vanilla land maps is medium-hunt. Although Norse accelerates with higher hunt, the open space means their base and villagers are not exempt from raiders (fueled also by adequate game).
3 of the 5 Vanilla land maps are low-hunt. Norse players would have to either raid (instead of attacking) or Advance to Heroic Age for 2TC's.

This may also be the reason why AoT players "cannot" play with the rest of the non-competitive RM maps without making them nearly-symmetrical and/or heavily editing them.

Re-read from this sentence: "But, 2TC's unlock more economy and map-control"....

 

 

 

 

Legacy

 

AoM was clearly designed with Norse and low-hunt maps in mind, which the gatekeepers conveniently sweep under the rug (along with Ensemble Studios' other design philosophies) in favor of their:

  • New civilizations
  • Boomy playstyles
  • "Balance™" (standardization or redesign) "patches"

 

 

They would rob us of the core gameplay for their macro-meta strategies.

And then they wonder why the game plays by itself.

 

 

The problem is not Norse's design.

It is high-hunt maps, 2TC's, etc. THE TITANS EXPANSION PACK.

Spoiler

gatekeeper.PNG

* "Big": Norse-hater/Vanilla-hater/AoE2-lover/Boomer
** Erased
*** Standardized/Lame
**** For boomy, non-(active-)scouting playstyles

 

AoT players can either continue to deny the macro-meta reality, or, gatekeep for their same, lame, dead gameplay.

Spoiler

skinner1.jpg

skinner3.jpg.1a4de04e0dec28099cb541c912fa90a6.jpg

skinner7.jpg

band.gif

arkantos2.jpg

 

 

 

 

❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓

❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓2️⃣❓

 

 

FAQ #2

 

Table of contents

  • "We don't need to remove free GP's, free MU's, 2TC's, AQ, Shooting Docks, Atlanteans, Titans, or maps - the game is already balanced - haven't you seen the statistics?"
  • "Can't there be a compromise?"
  • "Why should Casuals have to suffer for competitive players' sake?"
  • "Why don't you go back to AoE2 or SC2?"
  • "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
  •  
  • 1. "Why can't you see that only old players would play this game?"
  • 2. "Why can't you see that games must evolve to attract new players?"
  • 3. "Why should Managers/Developers alienate the core community?"
  •  
  • "Aren't maps just maps?"
  • "Wasn't the 2002 AoM competitive scene not good?"
  • "What separates AoM from AoE?"
  • "What if your suggestions create even more imbalances?"

 

Spoiler

 

 

 "We don't need to remove free GP's, free MU's, 2TC's, AQ, Shooting Docks, Atlanteans, Titans, or maps - the game is already balanced - haven't you seen the statistics?"

 

AoT is balanced™ around AQ.

Remove AQ and see if the winrate per Major God will remain the same; see if players can retain the same, steady flow of units at all times.

The next time you see an AoT video/stream/replay/statistic, remember: The entire game revolves around a single mechanic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Can't there be a compromise?"

 

Regarding the addition of AQ to any non-ranked matchesit will surely foster a destructive path similar to what AoT had sown.

History will repeat itself.

There will be no "split" community, only the illusion of two, separate populations:

  • One, of automated/inorganic gameplay, the gargantuan of the two, and also serves as a gatekeeper to enslave new players to an automated/"dead"/"same" macro-meta.

 

Other bad ideas:

  • Bad idea: AQ is removed from ranked matches upon reaching a mid-low rating.
    • Explanation:
      • This may backfire as removing the crutch (AQ) may result in a tsunami of match-losses/decision-anxiety for lower-rating players, eventually leading them to quit or complain on pushing the AQ bar higher.
      • This also sets new players up for failure because they have not developed familiarity of controls, like toddlers given strollers instead of the autonomy to fall/stand.
  •  
  •  
  • Bad idea: Units created under AQ are produced slower.
    • Explanation:
      • The game will still play by itself, especially in mid-to-late games or Deathmatch (as either have more buildings to manage).
  •  
  •  
  • Bad idea: AQ production-speed is scaled to a Player's rank.
    • Explanation:
      • Consider: At what rank will AQ be removed?
      • Read the above explanations.
  •  
  •  
  • Bad idea: Free-queuing/Soft-AQ: Unit queues can be reserved without paying their costs.
    • Explanation:
      • free-queuing.png
  •  
  •  
  • Bad idea: Atlanteans, Chinese, and new civilizations are unlockable upon reaching a higher rating.
    • Explanation:
      • Please read Post #1 - Section 3.0 regarding new "civilizations" (tech-trees).

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Why should Casuals have to suffer for competitive players' sake?"

 

Why is there even a ratings system?

How can 10,000 AoE2 Casuals learn hotkeys, but not AoT's Casuals?  https://steamcharts.com/app/813780  https://steamcharts.com/app/266840

Why should those who practice the game have to suffer for AoT Casuals' sake?

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Why don't you go back to AoE2 or SC2?"

 

No.

 

You are the ones turning AoM into:

  •  
  •  
  • Age of Empires 2:
    •  
    • Boomy longplay macro-meta:
      • 2TC-AQ meta
      • Larger maps
    •  
    • Boomer Defense Simulator:
      • Wall-connectors for Docks/Fortresses/Towers/Wonders because of:
        • Free GP's
        • Free MU's
    •  
    • "One tech-tree" balance:
      • "Civilizations" (tech-trees) lose their identities:
        • Voobly: E.g.: Throwing Axemen's Range via Infantry-line uprades.
        • AoMEE: A new unit to each civilization to balance their intended weakness.
  •  
  •  
  • Starcraft 2:
    •  
    • Cheese BO's:
      • Free GP's
      • Free MU's
    •  
    • (")Revealed(") maps:
      • Free MU's.
    •  
    • (")Symmetrical(") maps:
      • Voobly's official fan-mod maps.
      • AoMEE's resource-equity maps.
    •  
    • Gameplay of intensive microing due to a simplified macro-management:
      • Atlanteans
      • AQ

 

 

Refer to Post #1 - Section Ending Note #2 regarding AoE2.
Refer to Section FAQ #2's "Aren't maps just maps?" regarding SC2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"

 

The low retention-rate of new players is not because, "AoM is unpopular... because AoM is unpopular".


Middle-class players (non-Casuals, non-Pros) are not stupid.

It is no enigma to them, after many hours of online gameplay experience, that the game is not organic:

  • AQ: Robs the player of many windows-of-opportunities to exploit their opponent's inattention.
  • 2TC's made:
    • Maps "smaller"
    • Matches constricted to macro-meta strategies.
  • Age of Free Insurance™ (Free GP's, Free MU's, Shooting Docks, Titans...) either:
    • Safeguards the Boomer/Casual by buffering enemy aggression.
    • Fosters a fiesta-mode gameplay, denying meaningful competition by introducing chaotic elements (undeserved/unpaid perks) to "'equal' starts".

 

Consider: What if Microsoft/Blizzard introduced those features into AoE2/SC2?

 

Even with the rise of smartphones and Battle Royale games, there were periods of player influxes to AoMEE, clearly showing that RTS games are not obsolete.

 

The population can still grow (so long as automation and Age of Free Insurance™ are removed).

  • AoMEE released on May, 2014
  • TotD released on January, 2016
  • COVID lockdowns: 2020 - 2023
  • AoM Retold announced on October, 2022
  • Occasional Steam sales

https://steamdb.info/app/266840/graphs

https://steamcharts.com/app/266840

 

But due to the increased requirements of:

  1. The adherance-to/familiarity-of the "meta" (macro-meta)2TC-meta/AQ-meta
  2. Time spent per match: Boomy longplay
  3. Maximizing Age of Free Insurance™: Cheese/abuse

Why would most gamers want to play this game?

 

Gameplay-wise, free God Powers and "The Titans'" core-mechanics are the sole reasons for AoM's cult status instead of a recognized brand.

Spoiler

arkantos2.thumb.jpg.b57a808e2083149dd3f443d0a66bfdd1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. "Why can't you see that only old players would play this game?"
2. "Why can't you see that games must evolve to attract new players?"
3. "Why should Managers/Developers alienate the core community?"

 

Part 1/3

 

RTS games are not dead.

Games are "dead" because they do not make enough money for publishers.

https://www.techspot.com/news/100833-former-blizzard-worker-reveals-celestial-steed-microtransaction-wow.html

Spoiler

Age of Mythology is not dead.

Age of Mythology is "dead" because it does not make enough money for Microsoft.

 

Consider: Why were SC2 (in the 2010's), DOTA, League of Legends, Fortnite, Apex, Valorant, Genshin, etc. populated?

  • Themes:
    • Free to Play
    • Aggressive marketing
    • Word of mouth
    • Micro-transactions

 

You and your friends' Steam sale bulk-purchases won't even pay for 1 second of advertisment on YouTube.

That is why AoM is long overdue for:

  • Game Passes*
  • Micro-transactions*
  • Advertisements for Free-to-Play users**

You don't have to buy them.
** Why the double standard for Microsoft?

 

Microsoft is a business first and foremost.

Because: The alternative is to dumb down the game to reach (not "retain") a broader audience, forever damning the core gameplay.

 

Part 2/3

 

"But, removing this feature will cause others to..."
"But, others will not buy the game if..."

And those are exactly the types of players who would not even bother to learn the simplest of tasks, like, control-grouping (Ctrl + 1).

They are the types who would dip their toes in the campaign and team games before going back to their other games.

They would not even form the core of the community.***

 

Part 3/3

 

https://old.reddit.com/r/aoe4/comments/17bd6c8/unpopular_opinion_autoqueue_is_good_for_the_game/

Polls:
https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe4/comments/16dkz4c/would_you_like_villager_autoqueue_in_aoe4_pc/
https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe4/comments/xuwjao/autoqueue_units_yes_or_no/
https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe2/comments/rs0vx8/enable_auto_vill_production_to_focus_more_one/
https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe4/comments/1aqrapq/poll_are_you_in_favor_of_auto_queue_villagers_on/

 

Who is the core community again?

 

The reason behind AoT's heavy sentiments is because its current (leftover) population is consisted of those spoiled by its mechanics (Casuals) and those who enjoy their status-quo (2TC boomy mains).

 

AoT was never the core community.

They are the leftover dregs of the AoM exodus.

 

They are the byproduct of a failed experiment of Ensemble Studios, who dumbed down a quality game with Casual mechanics to please sales quotas AND TO REACH A BROADER AUDIENCE.

History repeats itself.

 

 

Refer to Post #1 - Section 1.0 regarding the legacy from AoT's mechanics.
Refer to Post #1 - Section 3.0 regarding alternatives to "civilization" (tech-tree) models for monetization purposes.

 

 ***

Spoiler

 

You would damn the core players, those who actually practice the game, so that the game could "evolve"/"modernize"/"adapt"/"innovate" for the sake of a few who would linger off sooner or later?

While labeling the former as "elitists"...?

 

If you cannot even comprehend the brilliance behind that notion, allow me to explain:

You are an unwitting (corporate) dog for publishers who have long mismanaged their franchises (with third-rate developers and fan modders)* for the sake of profits.

* While using the resumé hoppers as shields for the flak.

 

 

Quote

The threats to boycotting AoM Retold will not happen because Casuals will continue to consume.

Developers and Managers must know there will always be Casuals in any game. Refer to AoE2's population (nearly 10 times of AoM):

(From Post #1 - Section Ending Note #2).

 

Quote

That is why AoM is long overdue for:

  • Game Passes
  • Micro-transactions
  • Advertisements for Free-to-Play users
Quote

Because: The alternative is to dumb down the game to reach (not "retain") a broader audience, forever damning the core gameplay.

 

feedback6.thumb.jpg.16762f7b1f5b4f4e5327885f60b9d700.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Aren't maps just maps?"

 

Ensemble Studios didn't intend for AoM to be some muscle-memory game with the same map, like StarCraft, a game of perfectionism. That was why they created randomized maps so players could scout the map and use everything to their advantage. May the person with the best reflexes and intuition win! Random Maps and Relics (and no AQ) mix things up.

But, no, you have players who just want to do their usual 2TC. They already know the point of the game. If someone else has an extra Gold Mine, they cry. They don't want to scout. They don't want to use the terrain. Everything must be standardized™ like chess pieces on the board. Because they don't want to put in the extra effort to Classical fight (that is, to create a new BO). Right. Because 2TC's and free MU's basically rewards the Boomer - Age of Free Insurance™, not Age of Mythology!

Do you know who always complains about map balance™? Boomy players. Because all they do is the same thing over and over again: 2TC, AQ, raid, lame, 2TC, AQ, RAID, LAME!

Pro recs are a joke for scouting: they always miss 1 or 2 Gold Mines or hunt. That's why they always complain about map balance™. Because they never put in the effort to scout thoroughly (in an already-small sandbox).

Resolving map screws is not the same thing as standardizing™ maps.

Having nearly-symmetrical maps actually favor boomy civilizations!

 

 

Refer to Post #1 - Section 1.1 regarding "macro-meta" and "chess".

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Wasn't the 2002 AoM competitive scene not good?"

 

They only had less than a year to flesh out their macro-meta before the wrecking ball that was AoT came in.


They simply didn't have enough time or AQ.


623913596_suppeaom.thumb.PNG.2331a076d15aec140914ca17588f53fb.PNG

Suppe/Love_soup interview (2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What separates AoM from AoE?"

 

  • Smaller sandbox:
    • Population determined by map control (Settlements)
    • Shorter matches
    • Fewer units to control (and "stronger")
    • Fewer buildings to place
    • See Post #1 - Section Ending Note #2 - for more details
  • Asymmetrical tech-trees (instead of variations of 1 tech-tree)
  • Freedom of the grid-system ("unlocked" building-placement, unit-movement flexibility)
  • Initial acceleration (slow to "normal") in unit speed (noticeable in formations)
  • Unit-snaring (attacked units move slower)
  • Projectile-tracking "probability"
  • Randomized Relics with perks
  • God powers (unfortunately free)
  • Myth Units (balanced by availability: Prices and Heroes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What if your suggestions create even more imbalances?"

 

Then balance™ (not "redesign") the unit/GP/micro-meta imbalances.

Just get rid of the automation (2TC's, AQ) and Age of Free Insurance™ (free GP's, free MU's, Shooting Docks, Titans) which lock the macro-meta in 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy matches.

 

 

 

 

♒🥟♒🥟♒🥟♒🥟

♒🥟♒🥟♒🥟♒🥟

 

 

AQ dump #2

Spoiler

 

Thanks to AoT, the age of mindlessly spamming hotkeys are over. Now with AQ, AoT Players now have more time to tediously spam mouse buttons instead.

...

 

By diminishing the role of prioritization, AQ turns AoT into a "spiritual successor" of Starcraft, a game of intense microing due to its "simplified" macro-management.

 

AQ absolves the buffers of the meta (player reaction and prioritization), turning the game into an auto-battler.

 

By "standardizing" unit-production timings, AQ also allows Build Orders to be easily copied/executed, further "standardizing" games. (And inevitably raising questions regarding Vanilla Random Maps' generation/seeds).

...

 

AQ rewards time and attention to those who do not prepare.

  • A curated BO enables the Player to queue units in situations when resources are low and Player attention is in high demand. (Usually the entire match).
    • For example:
      • Without AQ: During an intense microing session, the unprepared Player misses their chance to queue units because of the 2 - 3 seconds of delayed resources, causing a net delay of several seconds. (And repeat).
      • With AQ: Even with an inefficient BO, AQ will honor its duty.
  • Although a few seconds (of repeated delays/surpluses) may seem inconsequential, it has a butterfly-effect in matches between Players of similar skill-levels.

 

AQ Punishes aggressors by rewarding boomers/defenders, who already have home-base advantage, with:

  • Streamlined reinforcements (economic/military).
  • Increased time/attention to react.

...

 

People often forget that player-attention is a "resource"; attention is split via multi-tasking, in order of decisions (whether planned or unplanned)prioritization.

 

But AQ alleviates prioritization between "macro" and "micro" management. Therefore, players have more attention (and APM) to spend on executing new tactics and exploring different strategies, because:

  • Units are streamlined.
  • Timings are "standardized".

This is the micro-meta (which is not "micro", not "micro-management", not "micro meta").

 

Eventually, players will discover the optimal way to play:

  • People have "fewer" choices to make.
  • Matches have "less" entropy.
  • The game plays by itself.

This is the macro-meta (which is not "macro", not "macro-management", not "macro meta").

 

Cue: Balance™ patches.

Repeat.

...

 

Hotkeys are simply placeholders of thoughts/ideas which RTS Players execute in their game of "debate".

 

Prioritization (Casuals' definition: Repetitiveness) is akin to knowing when to "argue", choosing the best hotkeys to form decisions/"sentences" with their limited "breath"/time.

...

 

Strategy (military), like BO crafting, is generally done prior to the match. It is simply preparation.

That is why recorded games exist, so Players can review their matches and avoid making the same mistakes by adjusting their strategies next time.

 

If "strategy" (military) could be described as long-term, abstract, planning, and "tactics" (military) as short-term, concrete, performing, then "Real-Time Tactics" is a more suitable title for the genre of RTS.

 

 

 

 

❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔

❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔3️⃣❔

 

 

FAQ #3

 

Table of Contents

  • "What is this 'Age of Free Insurance™'?"
  • "Where is evidence of this 'macro-meta', if it even exists?"
  • "What is this '™'?"

 

Spoiler

 

 

"What is this 'Age of Free Insurance™'?"

 

See: Terms and Conditions may apply.

 

Although "Age of Mythology" does not have "Empires" in its title, it retained a core concept from the series, namely, the Advancing system:

  • A considerable amount of resources was spent to Advance
  • During Advancing, the researching Town Center could not produce Villagers for a minute

 

In other words, what could have been used to build one's military/economy and securing map control for 60 seconds was instead spent as a long-term investment for better: Techs, MU's, GP's, Population (2TC's), and economy (2TC Villagers). 

As you progress through the Ages, can your Empire withstand the "barbarians" during and after that time of vulnerability?

 

Instead, upon Advancing, you get:

  • Free God Powers
  • Free Myth Units
  • 2TC's (Classical Age)
  • Titan Gates (Mythic Age)

 

In other words, the game rewards you for your efforts of simply DOING NOTHING OTHER THAN BOOMING/ADVANCING.

 

Terms and Conditions:

Spoiler

Free for boomy civilizations and AoFI™ abusers, at the expense of: Norse players, creative risk takers, and aggressive playstyles.

 

In AoFI™:

  • Your APM does not matter.
  • Your Build Orders do not matter.
  • The Norse playstyle Ensemble Studios envisioned for AoM does not matter.
  • The "meta" (micro-meta) is an illusion.
  • There is only one way to play the game.

1000738127_boomraid.PNG.3a4f7b30c2d02575a26fc9b7c0f634eb.PNG

TheMista Interview (2015).

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Where is evidence of this 'macro-meta', if it even exists?"

 

Players nowadays are ever constantly seeking for new experiences.

 

Casuals get high on anything that brings about a semblance of "new" gameplay, be it maps, modes, or mods. Balance be damned.

Team games hinge on power spikes and on abusing the "meta". Balance™ be damned.

 

Why are so many players defaulting to team games or mods?

Because they are seeking for entropy, for randomness. BALANCE™ BE DAMNED!

 

Locked by AoT's core mechanics, players have little space to flesh out their creativity and true ("unscripted") micro-management.

Team games and mods are the last resort for AoT players as those give temporary bouts of "fresh" air to the stale, cramped playstyles of the stinking auto-pilot 2TC/AQ/free-GP "meta".

No wonder why the majority do not touch high-ranked competitive 1v1 Supremacy. It smells.

 

Many have attempted to solve the problem, but they only see the micro-meta, never the macro-meta!

The only version of "balance" the balance™ team ever do is maintaining the well-oiled machine that is the 2TC-AQ meta!

Micro-meta is downstream macro-meta, downstream AoT.

 

Cue: Redesign mods (Post #1 - Section 3.2).

 

 

Quote

If you are asking AoT Pros for feedback, you'll only get pro-AoT opinions.

 

AoT players are using their standardized gameplay experience (2TC-meta/AQ-meta/no-(active-)scouting-metato justify the "AoE'fication" and "standardization" of this game.

 

They are the first responders to say maps must be standardized™/symmetrical and civilizations need™ more™ balancing™, but on the issues of free MU's or 2TC's, they are silent.

And no wonder, because those offer variety to their macro-meta playstyles and Mains: Boomier civilizations.

(Post #1 - Section 3.2 - "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future).

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What is this '™'?"

 

The majority of balancing™ only address the surface-level symptoms, not the original problem (Age of Free Insurance™).

The forum-admins are composed of those excelled in the "meta" (macro-meta), established by Age of Free Insurance™. (Can the reader guess what their Mains are)?

 

7.1.jpg.94f1ec543b9429233c9b94c4aad7902d.jpg

Which studio (now) owns RTS-Sanctuary? Which studio also works on AoM Retold?

 

Spoiler

gatekeeper.PNG

* "Big": Norse-hater/Vanilla-hater/AoE2-lover/Boomer
** Erased
*** Standardized/Lame
**** For boomy, non-(active-)scouting playstyles

 

skinner1.jpg

skinner3.jpg.1a4de04e0dec28099cb541c912fa90a6.jpg

skinner7.jpg

 

 

 

 

🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿

🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿🤿

 

 

On smurfing

Spoiler

 

Definitions:

  • Main: The user's original/best account.
  • Smurf: To play (verb) under an alias (noun).
  • Extra-smurf: A separate account the user creates to smurf.
  • Intra-smurf: A randomly-generated, temporary username given to the player in the game, without needing to create an extra-smurf.

 

Reasons for smurfing:

  • Rank-preservation from:
    • Rust: Decomposition of a player's skill (intellectually/physically) due to a lack of practice.
    • Inadequate warming up prior to matches.
    • Experimentation: Trying out different strategies/tactics.
  •  
  • "Fun":
    • Playing casually instead of competitively.
    • "Abusing"/"griefing" lower-ranked players.
    • Impersonation.

 

Consequences of extra-smurfing:

  • Given:
    • Multiplayer RTS can be:
      • A time-sink
      • Stressful
    • Players have limited recreational time.
  •  
  • Lower-ranked players are punished as the extra-smurfer climbs up the ladder, cannibalizing the playerbase of their hard-earned ratings and valuable time (from earning the ratings and playing the imbalanced matchup).
  •  
  • To be squashed by someone clearly above their league may cause fledgling players to:
    • Lose confidence in the match-making system.
    • Feel discouraged and too frustrated to play/experiment.
    • Lose their enthusiasm for the game.
    • Eventually quit.
  •  
  • It ultimately harms the game's population.

 

Propositions for intra-smurfing:

Purpose:

  • To mitigate the consequences and to address the reasons of extra-smurfing from:
    • Warming up
    • Experimentation
  • Not addressing: Rust or fun.

Given:

  • Trophy-accounts/point-hoarding is not addressed as it is of a different topic: Rank decay.
  • Fingerprinting and banning are of a different topic: Disciplinary actions.

Propositions:

  • Each civilization (Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Random - not Major Gods) have their own ratings.
    • Explanation: This allows players to try out different civilizations without harming their ratings.
  •  
  • Intra-smurfs can only play against other players with near/higher ratings as their main account.
    • Example: A 2000-rated intra-smurfer cannot play against 1800-rated players.
  • Although intra-smurfs cannot lose ratings, points are still given to the opponent.
    • Explanation:
      • This addresses the motivations of rank-preservation.
      • In comparison to noob cannibalizing, the inflation of points to higher-ranked victors is the lesser of two evils.
  •  
  • If intra-smurf usage exceeds a few games and/or a few hours and/or a rating threshold relative to their main account:*
    • The ratings will be applied to the main account.
    • Intra-smurf usage is unvailable for several hours.
  • Otherwise, after several hours:*
    • Ratings will reset to the Main account's.
    • Intra-smurf usage-limit is reset.
  • * Explanation:
    • Regarding match/time threshold: For transparency; to prevent the game from being a "smurfs" game.
    • Regarding relative-ratings threshold: If they have reached it, it meant they have improved/"warmed up" and/or their experiment proved valid, and therefore, they do not need to intra-smurf for the relative time-being.
  •  
  • Additional intra-smurf usage/profiles can be purchased through a subscription (E.g.: Game Pass or micro-transactions)(Post #1 - Section 3.3 on monetization ideas).

 

(Inspired by brownbear: https://brownbear.substack.com/p/rts-games-should-add-native-support)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESPONSES

 

 

 

 

On 4/1/2023 at 2:52 PM, simtom said:

I don't know why you think a Loki Heimdall is an auto win

(Last edited: August 4, 2023)

 

Spoiler

 

 

Assuming both players were of equal skill, Loki wins against Thor on the open battlefield because of free™ Mu spawns (Age of Free Insurance™), leading to....

 

On 4/1/2023 at 2:52 PM, simtom said:

Thor can go Forseti - Hersir + TA + trolls and Loki can't get in

 

So, why then would the Loki player want to invade?

  • The Loki player gets map control: hunt and Gold, and Spy.
  • The Loki player can also Advance to Bragi quicker.

 

 

 

Also, an experienced Loki player wouldn't have forward built nor Advanced with 14 villagers or less.
Instead, he would have been pumping military from 3 buildings (immediately built once reaching Classical Age) on AQ non-stop.

Which leads back to the beginning of this section.

 

Finally, the Loki player will steamroll with infinite hunt, 2TC's, Einherjars, and Undermine/FW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 4/1/2023 at 2:52 PM, simtom said:

even Freja can work because Loki will need to keep a Hersir back to defend vs Valk raid

 

Against the free™ Valkyrie, an experienced Loki player would have already kept two Hersirs behind (one for hunt, one for Gold).

Against multiple Valkyries, the experienced Loki player rejoices as the Thor player cannibalized their Advance food (herdables) for mere scouting (useless raiding).

Against 1 Valkyrie + 1 Ulfsark + 1 TA raids, the Loki player can always respond.

 

 

 

 

 


In Norse wars, Loki has all the lockdown perks: His philosophy is to react accordingly to the Spied unit, gain map control, then overwhelm with free™ MU's (and Einherjars).

 

"Show me rec".
"1v1 me".

Did you read anything?

 

Consider - assuming both players were of equal skill:

  • Who would win on the open battlefield?
  • Why should players (especially Norse) fight under TC/tower fire?
  • Do Heimdall players have to Advance with 14 villagers?
  • Do Heimdall players have to forward build?
  • Do Heimdall players have to attack early?
  • Why should Heimdall players attack at half population?
  • Are Hersirs the only choice for Loki?

 

No wonder Norse players have such a poor reputation (and playerbase).

 

 

 

 

 

☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️

☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️

 

 

 

On 1/11/2024 at 2:04 AM, XLightningStormL said:

All due respect, but Ensemble actually

(Last edited: February 1, 2024)

 

The following response is one of courtesy; posts/questions/accusations of like shallowness, from anybody, might not receieve such attention in the future.

Spoiler

 

 

 

 

On 1/11/2024 at 2:04 AM, XLightningStormL said:

ESports communities

On 1/11/2024 at 2:04 AM, XLightningStormL said:

but ESports

 

And in what way was the Open Letter about Esports?

 

Any who did read the piece would come to the conclusion it was never about supposed "git gud" or competition.

 

Instead of pasting entire sections - those who feel the same way as @XLightningStormLshould re-read the following Sections, starting with these sentences:

  • Post #1 - Section Ending Note #1

    • All of these features were intentionally implemented by Ensemble Studios with express purpose...:

  •  
  • Post #1 - Section Ending Note #2
    • It is because The Titans Expansion Pack and free God Powers punish you for your:
  •  
  • Post #1 - Section 3.2 "Balancing" (redesigning) and the future
    • If you are asking AoT Pros for feedback,
  •  
  • Section FAQ #2's "Nobody plays this game? Nobody cares?"
    • Middle-class players (non-Casuals, non-Pros) are not stupid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 1/11/2024 at 2:04 AM, XLightningStormL said:

they wanted the whole game; including multiplayer to be fun.

 

Also re-read from the sentence:

  • From Post #1 - Section 1 Remove everything of AoT:
    • But AoT Players are not free;

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 1/11/2024 at 2:04 AM, XLightningStormL said:

There's a reason why ES crippled the competitive scene in The Titans

 

 

See: Section FAQ #2's "Why can't you see that only old players would play this game?"

...

 

feedback6.thumb.jpg.16762f7b1f5b4f4e5327885f60b9d700.jpg

Image from Post #1 - Section 1.1 Ending Note #1.

...

 

Also consider:

  • Why did Ensemble Studios leave the Medium Archer upgrade on the Turma?
    • Especially for a fast, ranged, Classical Age unit?
    • Why the elementary mistake?
  •  
  • Why were free MU's implemented despite the clear effects it would have on:
    • Water maps
    • Certain civilizations (E.g.: Roc + Petsuchos)
  •  
  • How many other such "oversights" were also left in AoT Patch 1.03?

 

What was quite clear: Ensemble Studios designed AoM around 1v1 Supremacy (not team games, not scenarios/mods, not the Campaign).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a game boasting:

  • Small maps (sandbox)*
  • One of the lowest APM**
  • Civilizations that barely need Build Orders***

It would seem gamers like @XLightningStormL would rather simplify an already "simplified" game**** with mechanics***** so innovative they were never introduced back into Ensemble Studios' future titles.

 

* Post #1 - Section Ending Note #2
** AQ (if familiarized with the macro-meta)
*** Most notably: Atlanteans
**** Section FAQ #2 - "What separates AoM from AoE?"
***** Post #1 - Section 1.0 - Remove everything of AoT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider: With a free™, fast, healing unit (Valkyrie) - what would you do with it?

  • A) Have it as a stationary healer in your base?
  • B) Scout the entire map and pick off straggler Villagers while Invoking Forest Fire?

 

Therefore, scouting has been cheapened. And offense/defense exponentially buffed.

 

 

 

Consider: With Shooting Docks - what would you do with them?

  • A) Garrison your Fishing Ships when attacked?
  • B) Kite your Fishing Ships with 300 APM for a 200-IQ move?

 

Therefore, those first to arrive (prepared) are punished. Why bother with BO's?

 

 

 

Consider: With a Titan - what would you do with it?

  • A) Stomp your opponent's buildings?
  • B) Be a stationary defender for your Wonder?

 

Therefore, those who have established map control are punished.

 

 

 

Consider: With high hunt maps - what would you do with them?

  • A) Hunt?
  • B) Gather Berries?

 

Therefore, those who have established map control have accelerated capacity towards aggression or Advancing, punishing the player who was denied of game.

 

 

 

Consider: With Atlanteans:

  • A) Eat popcorn?
  • B) Watch FIFA?

 

Therefore, early matches belong to Atlanteans, punishing lower-ranked players on the ladder. But, no, the reason why AoT is unpopulated is because no-AQ players with 500 APM are killing all the beginners.

 

 

 

Consider: With AQ:

  • A) AQ?
  • B) No AQ?

 

Therefore, the only matches playable under AQ are the short-term (weekend/casual) or boomy playstyles.

Therefore, unit production is standardized, standardizing attack/Advance timings, standardizing metas, standardizing balance™....

 

 

 

Consider: With 2TC's (assuming Classical Age fighting is not an option):

  • A) 2TC?
  • B) Fast Heroic?

 

... therefore standardizing maps, standardizing BO's, standardizing matches, standardizing....

And therefore, the maps in AoM (small) become smaller (ideal for macro-meta strategies; "plays like chess").

 

 

 

Consider: With a free Restoration - what would you do with it?

  • A) Heal your surrounded, injured army?
  • B) Place self-imposed restrictions on yourself in the name of "honor" (despite using all of the above in-game)(E.g.: No Rag, no Mercs, AQ only on TC, etc.?)

 

 

 

The game plays by itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, somehow, questioning certain game-design decisions is akin to being an elitist gatekeeper?

It would seem certain players (2TC-AQ boomy mains) are sour upon seeing the sleaze behind their skill/"strategies"/status-quo unveiled... who, then, are the actual gatekeepers (under the guise of "Casuals" and "fun")?

 

Consider:

  • Which came first: AoM or AoT?
  • Was AoT truly an expansion pack?
  • How did the features released in AoT differ from AoE's expansion packs?
  • To who and what playstyle (and therefore "Civilizations" (tech-trees)) were the features introduced in AoT catered towards?
  • What is a macro-meta?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by IAmNotIronMaiden
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  • IAmNotIronMaiden changed the title to An Open Letter to AoM Managers/Developers on How to Save Competitive AoM

Well, as well written and formatted as this is, I don't know if they would need to change the game so drastically to achieve what you are seemingly after. They could first of all try changing some of the stat values of units/buildings, and see if that can encourage a more aggressive playstyle. Likewise they could simply add a 'Vanilla' gamemode alongside Deathmatch/Lightning. 

Edited by Leinadarcher
Me wording bad
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In a 1v1 high-ranked Supremacy match, assuming both players are of equal skill (one move per turn):

  • Thor loses to Heimdall HeimdallIcon.png.67484efceb8a9770a20ed2658ad17179.png, regardless of which Classical Age god he chooses to Advance under.
  • If the Loki player Advances under Forsetti ForsetiIcon.png.e4cb719e651c02ed950e4e7ad7a6ab6e.png, Thor Hersirs still lose to Loki Hersirs.
  • If the Thor player manages to Advance under Skadi SkadiIcon.png.f309b2030fa7011ffe7600e4af6ebdcc.png, a wise Loki player would have already Advanced under Bragi BragiIcon.png.9328b4d2f5f89c045cf1dcfec7512576.png and sat on the Thor player's second gold mine with several units to bait Frost.

But even if the Thor player is slightly more skilled (black goes first), his choices are limited against a Loki player who has a good BO and "strategy" (Semi Heroic).

 

That's just not true.  I think of Thor vs Loki like this, if Thor survives to ragnarok he wins.  So Loki has to kill or do a lot of damage and, when both players know that, a good Thor will make it very difficult for Loki.  I don't know why you think a Loki Heimdall is an auto win; Thor can go Forseti - Hersir + TA + trolls and Loki can't get in; you can also do an early ulf flood, remember Thor has stronger eco and fighting close to your base is an advantage.. even Freja can work because Loki will need to keep a Hersir back to defend vs Valk raid.

 

In general rushing Thor with Loki is not that viable.  I wouldn't do it in a serious game because it's too risky.  But playing Forseti is tricky too because if you're not far ahead by heroic age you'll lose to Ragnarok.

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All due respect, but Ensemble actually despised a lot of the ESports communities for their games. There's a reason why ES crippled the competitive scene in The Titans (and the post-Titans patches) by adding a lot of those changes: they wanted the whole game; including multiplayer to be fun.

This isn't to say that ES were totally against an active, dedicated multiplayer community that had tournaments and changing ranks (ELO scoring) they just weren't interested in sweaty Starcraft "high skill" gatekeeping gamerz bitching and moaning on the forums (causing all the casuals and MP noobs that just want to have fun; I.E the majority of the playerbase) that "x deliberate design choice is arbitrary and OP and must be replaced so Red Ballsack can organize a tourney advertising their dumb drink" (aka backseat balancing) I'm sorry to say this but ESports only actually benefits the few players that involve themselves within that scene, and companies that sponser those players; rather than the actual company that made the game or majority of said game's playerbase.

If you want professional sports, grab a football and go touch grass.

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