My actual preference is to remove autoqueue completely, however, I realize that this is an unpopular opinion with many current players. Therefore, I think that we could compromise! Remove autoqueue from ranked games , so any casual or non-ranked (community) games can include autoqueue.
Hear me out: (the following are my main points)
Autoqueue does not exist in other notable RTS games (including other "Age of " games) - it only exists in one or two other small games. If we want to attract more players, I think that autoqueue would be more of a detriment than a benefit.
Multitasking is a skill that should be rewarded in competitive play. Handling army, economy, defense, and offense all at the same time is a LOT easier when you don't need to focus on creating units.
I think that autoqueue is too similar to "the game playing itself". I don't think that it is simply automating repetitious actions.
AoM has a good balance of manual mechanics and "ease of life" mechanics. For example, with building groups and hotkeys, you can easily queue up many units at one time with 2 keyboard strokes. A bad example of manual mechanics is AoE1 & [original] AoE2 -> farms had a limited amount of food, so the player was required to rebuild a farm when the food expired. Farms are a non-issue in AoM, but I think that this is a bad example of manual mechanics - later in the game, you would be required to rebuild 30-60 farms again and again and again. A good example of manual mechanics is the necessity to create which units you want to use.
- Compare AoM to chess. Many top chess players become bored with chess because chess engines can play almost perfectly. This leads to human players memorizing engine-generated moves instead of using their own brain power and creativity. I think that autoqueue is a little bit like this - it adds in a technological aspect that, in a way, removes the humanity and human creativity from the game. This thought again relates to the idea of "the game playing itself". Humans make mistakes, and that makes the game more dynamic and impressive when you see a top-level player who truly plays the game so incredibly well.
Ultimately, I want AoM to be as popular as AoE2! I want to see tournaments and mods and scenarios and YouTube videos and sponsorships and everything! I think that to do this, we need to assess what would make the game more enticing to both casual and competitive players. I think that keeping autoqueue is a detriment, but we could compromise and only remove autoqueue from ranked games.
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