Patch 11963 is releasing later this week, and we’re here to provide a preview of what’s to come for Age of Empires IV!
For Patch 11963, we’re continuing to hone in on tighter win rates across the range of possible civilization match-ups and making changes to complement some of the updates introduced earlier in the month. With every new patch, we make sure to observe the reaction and response to the changes made – including how they impact critical data like selection and win rates, and how our community responds to them in our social channels!
What we noticed after our last patch is that the changes made to siege may have overly impacted the Chinese, as a result we’re making some changes this time around to provide the Chinese new strategic options. Additionally, we’re looking to slow down the early game of the Mongols and Delhi Sultanate by tuning starting resources, research bonuses and more. We believe these changes will increase your arsenal of gameplay choices moving forward.
You can find details on these changes and more below!
NOTE: Upon updating to this patch, you will no longer be able to utilize replays from previous updates. At times, saves will also be impacted, though we’ve taken additional steps to ensure your campaign saves are not impacted by this particular update. Skirmish saves from the previous patch are impacted and will no longer be accessible after you update.
Editor’s Note: The Patch is now live! See below to how to update your client on either the Microsoft Store or Steam.
- Wonder cost increased from 3000 per resource to 6000. Additional increases made to Mongol Wonder costs, seen below
- Stone wall build time increased from 8 seconds to 16 seconds. Additional adjustments made to Delhi Sultanate-specific stone wall build time, seen below
- Made improvements to a bug where Elephant attack animation cooldowns could be bypassed, resulting in much higher damage than intended. We’re continuing to monitor feedback surrounding animation cancelling to introduce more fixes in the future
- Fixed a crash that could occur when observing the game at 8x speed
Developer Note: Wonders are meant to be a rare yet exciting stalemate breaker. We’ve found the current costs are too low in larger multiplayer games when allies can all tribute a single player. An increased cost solves this issue, but puts Wonder victories further out of reach for 1v1 and 2v2 matches. In a future update, we plan to implement a scaling cost so it’s a valid option regardless of player count.
Developer Note: Stone walls are very powerful as they completely stop infantry and cavalry armies. We want the effort level of building walls to match their power level and allow more response time to their construction. Longer build times also make it more difficult for the enemy to immediately re-wall a section that has been destroyed. This is our first step in the direction of allowing more counterplay options to stone walls.
Maps & Quick Match
- Removed Boulder Bay, Confluence, and Black Forest from the 1v1 Quick Match map pool. Please note that these maps can still be selected for a Custom Game, as well as for team-based Quick Matches
Developer Note: This change is based on feedback we’ve heard from you, as well as data we’ve referenced that show the maps that appear to be most enjoyed in the Quick Match context. We plan to re-introduce some of these maps to the Quick Match map pool once Ranked is introduced; in the Spring Update, we also have some changes coming for Confluence, as well as significant changes planned for 1v1 map balance across the board related to resource and relic spawn and notable changes to fishing. As always, we appreciate your feedback, and we’d love to hear more from you in the forums regarding what sorts of maps you find most interesting to use in Quick Match, and why.
Civilization Specific Changes
- Fixed a bug where the Nest of Bees would stop firing once its initial target died
- Imperial Official & Tax Changes
- Tax cooldown on buildings increased from 15s to 20s.
- Fixed a bug that allowed Capital Town Center to receive taxes after being destroyed
- Imperial Official
- Supervise bonus increased from 150% back to the original 200%. Thanks to everyone who called out this change after our last patch!
- Tax carry capacity increased from 20 to 40 Gold
Developer Note: The Supervise reduction was not intended for our previous update and has been reverted. We have plans for this change to return in the future, but only alongside other buffs we plan to introduce to the Chinese.
- Imperial Academy
- Imperial Examinations technology bonus to Tax carry capacity increased from 40 to 80 Gold
- Now a Tax drop off location for the Imperial Official
Developer Note: In many cases the nest of bees would fire less shots than intended, making it inferior to the Mangonel. Civ unique units should not feel like a liability, but instead an exciting perk!
Developer Note: We want to encourage more active use of the Imperial Official. Taxes were previously too difficult to collect and we’ve observed that some players would avoid collecting their surplus taxes. We want players to be able to deplete their taxes so that Imperial Officials can get right back to Supervising.
- Delhi Sultanate Infantry stone wall gate build time increased from 30 seconds to 60 seconds
- Starting Wood reduced from 250 to 200
- Sanctity bonus Gold reduced from 100% to 50%
Developer Note: We intentionally gave the Delhi Sultanate extra Wood, but we’ve found that this took too much away from decision making and trade-offs between opening strategies. This change encourages the Delhi Sultanate to consider their Wood and technology timings more carefully in the opening parts of the game.
Developer Note: Sanctity Gold generation bonuses allowed for the Delhi Sultanate to snowball towards Castle Age or a Sacred victory with too little Villager investment on Gold veins.
- Mongol Wonder cost increased from 4000 per resource to 8000
- Mongol Ovoo stone generation is no longer a flat 105/minute. It now automatically scales 80/100/120/150 stone per minute by Age
- Damage of Castle Age Khan reduced from 12 to 8
- Yam and Yam Network movement speed bonus time reduced from 20 to 10 seconds
Developer Note: Mongol high stone production early game provided a snowballing map control advantage. It also provided a huge percentage boost to their economy at the start of the game. We wanted to spread out the effectiveness of this building so it’s not quite as impactful early and is better later when Mongols struggle with a lack of walls.
Developer Note: The Mongol Khan is intended to be a strong group support unit. His health and armor scale up significantly in the Castle Age so it doesn’t get focused fired too quickly in large battles. However, we are seeing the unit perform too well individually due to his high range and damage. To help move the Mongol Khan unit back to the group support role as intended, we’ve reduced his damage per attack.
Developer Note: Yam movement benefits offered too great of a lingering bonus which allowed for Mongol players to setup raids and retreat too easily for little Wood commitment. Enemies of Mongols should find it less punishing for retreating if caught near a Yam-boosted area.
We’ll have more to share with you regarding our Spring Update line-up and its upcoming Public Update Preview very soon. In the meantime, our Balance Team wanted to share some major changes they have brewing for the Abbasid Dynasty, Chinese, and Holy Roman Empire.
- Abbasid Dynasty: The unique units of a civilization should stand out among its production roster and be especially exciting to build! While camels can be useful in some situations, they feel too limited in where they shine. To help camels pop we are making them less specialized at fighting a single class of units and more useful across the board. The goal is not to make exclusively camel armies, but for it to be more effective to mix a few into your composition. Also, every wing at the House of Wisdom should be a strategically viable choice in every age. We like the initial impact created by the economic wing in Feudal Age, but the other choices aren’t there yet. We’ve adjusted the power level of techs, moved them to different tiers, and reduced costs.
- Chinese: The Chinese Dynasty system offers a unique and fun way to advance the civilization! There are some frustrating parts we’d like to adjust while increasing the overall relevancy of its various unlocks. The special units and buildings unlocked by the Dynasty will always be buildable once they are unlocked. In addition, we’ve moved all of the Dynasty buildings up one age so they become available at the phase in the game when they are most needed.
- Holy Roman Empire: We’d like civilizations to have multiple strategic paths to choose from throughout the course of an entire match. Currently there’s too much power in the late-game landmarks for the HRE, leading to repetitive gameplay. We are creating more interesting decision-making among the Landmark choices for the HRE and giving them stronger options for distinctive play in the early game.
Please note that this list is subject to change and should not be considered a comprehensive list of all the known issues we’re tracking. The above is to inform you of the team’s current priorities, which will change as other issues arise or take precedence.
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