Why I think Age of Wonders will not be a great competitive game.

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Nerdfish

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Jul 11, 2007
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After every DLC there is a spade of posts about something is broken in multiplayer.
This got me thinking about why AOW isn't a great multiplayer game and it comes down to why we play games.
The first principle behind the design of the game, from the tomes and the genius transformation system,
is about giving players as much freedom as possible.
Wanting to be free is why a lot of us play games. We can do things in games that would be either physically impossible
(like shooting fire from your hands), or would quickly land you in jail (like assassinating the emperor).
The second point however, is true everywhere, being around other people reduces your freedom,
because one person's freedom necessarily interfere with the other's.
People who compete do so to assert their dominance on the other players,
Which incidentally means that, they don't mind other people asserting dominance over them occasionally.
For someone playing the game for the freedom, this is precisely opposite of their reason to play.
Therefore not only there is little overlap between sandbox players and competitors, their interests are opposed.
That's why I think only a few percent of people ever bothered to launch MP in AOW3, according to steam achievements,
and there is maybe 500 active MP player in AOW4, a game that sold millions.
It's not impossible that AOW4 will become a good competitive game, it just has more potential to be a great coop or survival game first.
In conclusion, competition requires control, and sandbox prohibits it. One game cannot be both.
 
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It's a very slow game, so playing mp means committing to multiple hours of playing with people you don't know, probably over multiple days.
I've tried doing that a bit with people in EU3/4 and it was a disaster every time. People get angry about pacts people make outside the game. People have problems showing up (on time). People just quit half way through because they have more important stuff to do, or just can't be bothered anymore. And these are just a few of the issues. It might be a bit better with AoW4, but I still haven't worked up the courage to click mp and I'm not sure I want to due to the time commitment involved.
 
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It's a slow turn-based 4x. Alright, we're done explaining why it won't be a good competitive game.
 
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This is why I would like to see a quick battle mode, where you can do just a single tactical battle. Setting could let you choose how many combat spells/enchantments/transformations you have and what your army composition is. Then you just duke it out and last one standing wins.

Max game time would probably be 30 min. People would definitely be more willing to commit to a multiplayer game of that length.
 
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This is why I would like to see a quick battle mode, where you can do just a single tactical battle. Setting could let you choose how many combat spells/enchantments/transformations you have and what your army composition is. Then you just duke it out and last one standing wins.

Max game time would probably be 30 min. People would definitely be more willing to commit to a multiplayer game of that length.
That's called Skirmish Mod: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2974831427
 
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"Slow game" - that's not the reason at all.
Players needed map creator.
We can create: duel maps, specific for fast games, 2/2, mini story and mach more

For example: just look at Heroes 3 hotA and the lobby.
Maps: jebus outcast / jebus cross and ect

 
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It's a slow turn-based 4x. Alright, we're done explaining why it won't be a good competitive game.

True. It's a problem, a problem has solutions.
It's theoretically possible to have playable MP. If a player can manage their empire while other players are in combat, ETC.
The player demographic conflict is a dilemma, and dilemma is worse than problems because all the solutions are bad.
It may be possible to have good coop, or even a online survival mode like Pubg, but unlikely to ever make a good competitive MP game.
 
The implication in the OP, whether intended or otherwise, that competitive play is something every game with a multiplayer functionality should strive to enable, is one I emphatically disagree with.

At least certainly a lot of people discussing this subject tend to either imply or explicitly state that some mode for competitive play is anything between "to be desired" to "required for a game to be enjoyable".

I do agree with the stated reasoning that competitive play is antithetical to the core design philosophy of AoW4. I also agree that the 4X genre of games generally do not make for good competitive games.

It's a problem, a problem has solutions.
I disagree with the notion that this is a problem that requires a solution.
 
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Warcraft 3 classic battlenet had an amazing selection of custom maps and modes to choose from, and it extended the game's lifespan tremendously.

Last stand from Dawn of war 2 allowed heroes to use acquired gear to outlast wave after wave of enemies, and was a tremendous source of fun.

Everyone wants to use their custom factions and rulers in different maps in different ways. Showing off our custom rulers in custom maps and scenarios would be an amazing boost to the multiplayer scene. I dont know what the game can allow, but custom map settings and game modes would be interesting expansions to current multiplayer.
 
The implication in the OP, whether intended or otherwise, that competitive play is something every game with a multiplayer functionality should strive to enable, is one I emphatically disagree with.

At least certainly a lot of people discussing this subject tend to either imply or explicitly state that some mode for competitive play is anything between "to be desired" to "required for a game to be enjoyable".

I do agree with the stated reasoning that competitive play is antithetical to the core design philosophy of AoW4. I also agree that the 4X genre of games generally do not make for good competitive games.


I disagree with the notion that this is a problem that requires a solution.
Sorry if I wasn't clear, my views are identical to yours. I personally think competitive MP is completely pointless for a game like this.