Today Microsoft revealed the development roadmap for the real-time strategy game Age of Empires IV over the next few months.
We get a glimpse at updates coming in wither 2021 and spring 2022, on top of a tease of what the developers plan beyond that.
Below you can check out an infographic and a detailed description.
On Monday, November 15, we launched Patch 7989 to introduce fixes to Xbox Account linking, an issue with Mongol Town Center behavior, performance impacts when panning the camera and some other tweaks. While this patch was smaller and more pointed, we’re happy to share that we’re putting the finishing touches on a larger patch we’ll look to share soon.
In Winter 2021, we’ll be introducing hundreds of balance changes (literally!), a variety of helpful bug fixes and a few key features we’ve seen requested by players. Our team has been hard at work preparing this update, and we’re appreciative to the community for lending your voice to the conversation.
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the goodness we’re queuing up for Winter 2021:
- Make the choice to turn on and view in-game player scores! Based on community feedback, we’ve made the decision to implement in-game scores for those who wish to have them. We know that using this feature can change the way you choose to play the game, and so we want to empower you to make the choice for yourself – starting with our Winter 2021 update, you’ll be able to enable in-game player score on a case-by-case basis for custom lobby multiplayer and skirmish matches.
- We’ve moved the Chinese Dynasty button and user interface to a less prominent position on the screen. You’ll now find it in the lower left-hand corner.
- The ability to view the map post-match is something you’ve asked for, and we’ve begun to make changes to allow you to do just that. Starting with the Winter 2021 update, you’ll be able to pan across the map of a completed match after finishing up your game – we’ll be looking to fold in additional options to allow you to easily switch back and forth between the completed map view and post-game stats in Spring 2022.
- Refinements made to the in-game mini-map to improve readability are also coming in Winter 2021. Improvements include reducing the size of icons, ensuring the Wonder icon on the mini-map matches the icon displayed in the HUD, increasing the size of the Primary Town Center in comparison to other Landmarks, and adjusting the color of certain resources.
For balance and bug fixing, we’ve got loads of changes to share with you in our release notes when this update lands, but here are a handful of adjustments our balance team is particularly excited about:
- French Hulk ship tweaked to no longer rule the high seas.
- Crossbowmen, Spearman and Elite Crossbowmen will pose a greater threat to Cavalry.
- Significantly reducing the cost of the Chinese civilization’s Repeater crossbow.
- Fix to HRE Prelate unit to allow them to continue inspiring after being pushed.
- Mongol “Superior Mobility” adjusted to ensure the speed modifier is appropriately applied. Thanks to the community for calling this out!
- Fix issued for the Rus civilization to eliminate infinite Relic duplication.
Age of Empires IV, like other titles within this globally beloved franchise, offers many ways to engage — whether you’re a history buff, fan of building out sprawling empires and taking on the AI, or more competitive in nature. Coming in Spring 2022, we’ll be adding two new ways to enjoy Age of Empires IV.
- User Generated Content and tools allow you to bring your ideas to life. Not a mod maker yourself? No worries, you’ll still be able to enjoy the work of others — sampling their vision for unique maps, modes, and more. This will provide just another way to truly make history your story in Age of Empires IV.
- Spring 2022 will also see the start of Ranked Seasons. Ranked Seasons will span 12 weeks, allow players to compete head-to-head, climb the ranked ladder, and earn exclusive in-game rewards based on performance. We look forward to sharing more about Seasons in 2022, and if you’re looking to get some practices in ahead of time, we’d encourage you to brush up on your knowledge with the Art of War challenges, Campaign or play against AI and other players!
We’ll also be finalizing some minor improvements to the post-game map in Spring 2022, introducing the Patrol move you’ve been asking for, as well as exploring the inclusion of other features and fixes based on player feedback.
While we’re committed to bringing about the features and changes highlighted above, we’re also spending time with what our players are saying they want to see in Age of Empires IV in the future.
Your feedback will help us as we continue to plan for Spring 2022 and beyond. We’re actively looking into the feedback below:
- Global Build Queue – We know this is a feature many of you have enjoyed in previous Age titles and would like to see in Age of Empires IV.
- Improvements to the Unit Stat card – Based on your feedback, we’re looking into how we can better serve up the most meaningful stats at a glance.
- Hotkey Improvements – We recognize that hotkeys are a big component in competitive play and are a topic our community cares a great deal about. This is a bigger change, and something we’re investigating from a few different angles, including a movement away from the grid system as well as implementing a few other options via hotkey selections.
- Taunts and Cheats – Part of the Age Legacy, we’re exploring what these elements would look (and sound!) like in Age of Empires IV.
- AI Difficulty – We’ve heard from you that AI difficulty could use some tuning, specifically making the Easy AI less aggressive and boosting the challenge of the Hard AI.
- Waypoint Indicators – Another quality of life feature from previous Age titles, we know this is something many of you want to see returned to Age of Empires IV.
Age of Empires IV is currently available exclusively on PC