Starting today, you’ll be able to install Update 8324 and enjoy the latest features, balance updates, and fixes Age of Empires IV has to offer! If you’ve seen the Age of Empires IV Community Roadmap, then you might be surprised to hear that Winter 2021 was coming early this year (for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres). What can we say? We were really excited to get the Winter 2021 update into your hands!
With this update, we’re bringing a few key feature additions and changes based on your early feedback, along with bug fixes and exploits referenced on various Age channels. Update 8324 also introduces a substantial number of balance updates. Many of these updates (more than 100!) are in response to callouts you’ve made, and will promote challenging and exciting opportunities regardless of which civilization you’re playing as or against.
Read on for a detailed view of the changes you’ll be able to try out starting today! You can also navigate to specific sections using the menu on the right.
Before You Update: Please note that upon updating to build version 8324, you will no longer be able to utilize replays or saves from previous builds. Campaign progression will not be impacted.
Edit: We’ve added a few missing items below (including the Prelates no longer being grumpy if bumped), clarified the spearmen bonus damage, and have added to the Known Issues. We’ve clarified the scenario in which the post-match map screen is currently available and you can read about more changes planned for this feature in Spring 2022 in the Known Issues here.
We look forward to continue hearing your feedback. You can post in our Age IV forums with your thoughts at any time.
—The Age of Empires Team
Still having trouble? Visit our support site!
Before we dive into the good stuff, there were a few terminology questions we wanted to address.
Q: What’s the difference between a Patch and an Update?
A: We’re defining an Update as anything with a larger number of changes, including multiple new features and updates that take place across the various areas of Age of Empires IV. Updates will be guided by player feedback and are oftentimes in the works for longer periods of time.
Patches are important, too. If an update is something laden with bigger features, updates and fixes, a patch allows us additional flexibility to introduce more focused changes.
Q: What do the numbers in Patch 7989 and Update 8324 signify?
A: The numbers signify a build version number. Each update includes a build version number that’s visible to you – you can find this information in the in-game settings, and this is a good way to confirm that you’ve taken the most recent update. For example, if you’re still on Patch 7989, you’ll see that number in the top right of the screen like this:
We’ll be adapting our naming conventions for updates in the future – you’ve already seen us reference them in broader terms (Winter 2021 and Spring 2022) – but for now we’re also making sure to pair them with the build version number.
We’d like to give a huge thanks to your feedback for helping guide many of these changes, tweaks and additions! As mentioned in our Community Roadmap, our plan is to continue listening to what you have to say with each update so that we can continue to build a great Age of Empires IV experience together.
- Based on community feedback, we’ve made the decision to implement the ability to enable in-game player 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 today, you’ll be able to enable in-game player score on a match-by-match basis for custom lobby multiplayer and skirmish matches.
- FAQ: How to enable in-game player scores HERE.
- 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. With this latest update, you’ll be able to pan across the map and get a better view of player strategies if you’re eliminated from an ongoing team-based multiplayer match.
- Please note that after pressing the “Continue” button, you’ll be taken to the post-game statistics screen and will no longer be able to switch back to the map. We’ll be providing options that allow you to easily switch back and forth between the completed map view and post-game stats in Spring 2022.
- We’ve heard feedback that the mini-map can be difficult to follow at a glance. We’ve made several adjustments to ensure better readability, including the changes detailed below. As always, we’re interested in hearing from you once you’ve spent some time with these updates:
- Icon sizes are noticeably reduced
- New wonder icon matches the HUD objectives icon
- Primary Town Center is now noticeably larger than Landmarks
- Deer icon appears smaller and is not obscuring other resource points even when camera and map are rotated
- Small gold deposit icons match large gold deposit icons but can be told apart from one another on the mini-map
- Relic icons are now gold in color
- Fish icons are now slightly blue in color
- Fish icons no longer appear in shallow streams but remain in deep water
- Maps such as Ancient Spires, Danube River, Confluence, and Mongolian Heights have no Fish icons present on the mini map with fish present in river
- Maps with larger bodies of water retain Fish icons in deep water areas
- 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, nearer to the location where you make other selections.
- Garrison behavior has seen adjustments to better put you in charge of the decision-making, while also ensuring your economy stays as efficient as possible. You can turn off 1-click Garrison, meaning your villagers will no longer automatically load into a hold when right-clicking and will instead need to be summoned to safety using the command card icon. As well, when you ungarrison villagers, they’ll respond to rally points and immediately get back to work.
- We’ve introduced new options to the Campaign mode that’ll allow you to easily jump back into the game and test a new strategy. From the Mission “Fail Screen,” you’ll now be able to select “Load Saved Game” rather pathing back to the Main Menu to select a save game file.
- Some selection improvements have been made in this build. With this update, you should find trees, animal corpses, sheep, partially depleted deep fish swarms, and Relics easier to select. We’d welcome your ongoing feedback surrounding these improvements and general selection.
- The population panel has been updated to display depleted and remaining population space, rather than unit count. This change should allow you to better account for siege and Naval units that count as multiple units.
As we mentioned above, we’re excited to introduce a hefty number of balance updates today! Age of Empires IV’s Balance Lead, Eric Wrobel, describes the intention behind these changes as follows:
“In Age of Empires IV, our goal is to provide high impact unit counters and ensure that most powerful and successful armies include a diverse mix of units. This encourages players to constantly scout one another’s towns to get updated information on the kinds of units their opponent(s) are creating and unleash devastating counters! Our balance updates center around ensuring the core unit roster as well as unique units and technologies are working properly to fit this vision.”
The dev team is also keeping a close eye on the ever-evolving meta, and are aware of a certain, specific siege unit out-performing its counterparts (Springalds, for those searching for this specific topic). The team is looking to make sure it’s reminded of its role as an anti-siege specialist and will be working with the workshop to deploy it in the future.
- Spearman (all ranks) bonus damage vs Cavalry class increased from 3x to 3.5x
- Rank I Spearman bonus damage 12 to 15
- Rank II Spearman bonus damage 16 to 20
- Rank III Spearman bonus damage 18 to 23
- Rank IV Spearman bonus damage 22 to 28
- Crossbowman bonus damage vs Heavy class increased from 6 to 9
- Elite Crossbowman bonus damage vs Heavy class increased from 8 to 11
- Horseman (all ranks) ranged armor increased from 0 to 1
- Early Horseman health reduced from 125 to 100
- Horseman health reduced from 155 to 125
- Veteran Horseman health reduced from 190 to 155
- Elite Horseman health reduced from 225 to 180
- Handcannon damage reduced from 42 to 35
- Battering Ram movement speed reduced from 3.5 to 3
- Battering Ram health reduced from 900 to 700
- Battering Ram population cost reduced from 3 to 1
- Battering Ram ranged armor increased from 15 to 30
- Mangonel weapon reload time reduced from 8.75 to 6.75 seconds
- Mangonel weapon area-of-effect shape changed from 180 to 360 degrees
- Ribauldequin fire armor increased from 0 to 10
- Ribauldequin ranged armor reduced from 2 to 0
- Fishing Boat wood cost increased from 60 to 75
- Arrow Ship bonus damage vs Incendiary class increased from 0 to 2x
Core Buildings and Upgrades
- Outpost Arrowslit Emplacement now also increases garrison arrow weapon range from 6 to 8
- Elite Army Tactics tech’s health and damage bonuses increased from 10% to 20%
- All units’ Elite Rank technology research time reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
- Phalanx technology moved from the House of Wisdom to the Barracks
- Composite Bow technology moved from the House of Wisdom to the Archery Range
- Camel Handling technology moved from the House of Wisdom to the Blacksmith
- Official’s Tax Collection ability cooldown reduced from 30 to 15 seconds
- Zhuge Nu (all ranks) food cost reduced from 60 to 20
- Zhuge Nu health reduced from 90 to 70
- Veteran Zhuge Nu health reduced from 110 to 80
- Elite Zhuge Nu health reduced from 130 to 95
- Zhuge Nu (all ranks) training time reduced from 22 to 15 seconds
- Nest of Bees movement speed increased from 2.5 to 3.75
- Nest of Bees weapon minimum range increased from 2.5 to 3
- Nest of Bees health reduced from 240 to 200
- Nest of Bees training time reduced from 45 to 40 seconds
- Nest of Bees damage increased from 8 to 10
- Pyrotechnics technology moved from the Siege Workshop to the University
- Sanctity technology Age requirement increased from Dark to Feudal
- Scholar Research system has been adjusted to correlate with the civ’s viable opportunities to produce scholars; early technology research times have been reduced; later ones, increased:
- Dark Age technologies’ research time multiplier reduced from 5x to 3x
- Feudal Age technologies’ research time multiplier reduced from 5x to 3.5x
- Castle Age technologies’ research times remain unchanged at 5x
- Imperial Age technologies’ research time multiplier increased from 5x to 15x
- Longbowman’s Setup Camp ability will now deactivate if the Longbowman enter combat
- Reduced armor of French Hulk from 6 to 2
Holy Roman Empire
- Emergency Repair influence ability cooldown increased from 45 to 60 seconds
- Landmarks are now able to Pack and Unpack while at maximum population
- Raid Bounty’s food and gold plunder reduced from 100 to 75
- Improved Raid Bounty’s food and gold plunder reduced from 125 to 100
- Khan’s Attack Speed Arrow ability no longer affects Siege class units
- Boyars Fortitude technology moved from the Stables to the Blacksmith
- Lodya ships that activate a role switch will now incur a 50% movement speed penalty until the switch is complete
- Lodya Fishing Boat role switch wood costs increased by 25 (per role)
Map Specific Changes
- On larger map sizes, player spawn locations have been moved closer to the center to account for the longer unit travel times.
- Sacred Sites spawns have been updated. Ancient Spires now spawns 2 Sacred Sites along the central east-west axis. The sites are set to spawn one half-map width apart along this central line.
We have seen cases of players spawning on islands without some starting resources (Mongol island players, we hear you!), and we have determined this to be linked to players spawning too close to coastlines, which severely limits our distribution system’s ability to find a spot for the set of standard resource deposits.
- We have now added in a step to our spawn algorithm that re-calculates island real-estate after each player is placed to find the central island point, and place the player there. This helps to ensure that the most space we can give is available for the distribution system, and it solves the problem of some players having their capital TC placed in a vulnerable position.
- As an added measure, we have bumped up the spawn priority on starting stone deposits to help ensure that all resource types are available as expected.
- We balanced the number of fish in starting lakes to be identical across the map. Each lake should have 5 shore fish and 3 deep water fish.
- We added a large number of single trees in each player’s starting area to both provide close, short-term wood for gathering and make the map feel more “forest-y”.
- We adjusted trade post spawn locations for multi-team (>2) games. Previously, the map would try to find a location on the map that was far away from average team locations. However, this could result in a trade post spawning behind some teams in certain configurations. The Black Forest trade post will now always spawn roughly in the center of the map, giving all teams roughly equal access.
- We removed the Sacred Sites and replaced them with large gold deposits. We found through playtesting that the map plays more to the gameplay intention of Black Forest without the Sacred Sites victory condition, and the gold income that was provided by the sites was bolstered by the additional large deposits that replaced them. Note: enabling only Sacred Victory on this map will now behave as if all victory conditions are turned off, and the match will end with Annihilation. We are working on ways to make this more obvious in the match setup screen, but felt that the gameplay impact was substantial enough to get in as early as we could. Please give us your feedback on this change!
- Starting resources have been adjusted to be less than full naval maps, but still higher than standard land maps to further push its identity as a hybrid land/water map.
- Spawn placements have been tuned to place players further away from the coastlines to cut down on unbalanced naval danger.
- Spawn positions in larger, multiteam games have been improved so as to not spawn members of opposite teams in the middle of the same quadrant in common cases.
- We improved the reliability of crossing spawning.
We felt that the version of the map that shipped resulted in a high number of unbalanced spawns, where players and teams could spawn on a smaller chunk of map or have difficult access to resources and Sacred Sites.
- We have done an overhaul of this map layout to have much more consistent and balanced generation parameters.
- The map layout image in the lobby has been updated to reflect the new layout as well.
- The new Danube River features a U-shaped river that spawns with stealth forests, one of the Sacred Sites and a trade post, making it an important area to contest. The second Sacred Site will spawn atop a cliff on the west side of the map.
- We’d love your feedback on this new layout! Please let us know your thoughts on the forums.
- We reduced the erosion multiplier to eliminate instances of impasse trenches running through the central valley, which could reduce build space and cause unnecessary map clutter.
Hill and Dale
- Trade posts (2) now spawn along the map edge exactly opposite one another. So, if one spawns along the north-east edge, the second will spawn in the south-west.
- The number of central large resource deposits has been slightly reduced (approximately 2 per map size were removed).
King of the Hill
- We added 3 individual trees that were missing around the starting TCs.
- On larger map sizes, player spawn locations have been moved closer to the center to account for the longer unit travel times.
- We fixed a rare issue where players playing with the Random Positions option could be spawned too close to the river, potentially stomping out trade post and Sacred Site spawn locations.
- We increased the number and improved distribution of river fish.
- We adjusted spawns of groups of contested sheep to spread them out and place them closer to the center of the map.
- We adjusted the spawning of the mountain opening, making it slightly larger and more consistent. This should eliminate instances of the opening being too small for siege, having the opening blocked by trees, or in rare cases not being open at all and leaving the map half covered in impasse.
- We increased the overall amount of fish on the map to reduce cases of unbalanced fish distribution.
- We adjusted tree and lake spawning to make sure central lake shores are no longer clogged up with trees that block dock placement.
In addition to updating balance for specific units, we know it’s just as important that units, buildings, techs and tooltips behave as you’d expect.
- Stability fixes introduced for specific crash types
- You can no longer cancel unbuilt Stone Wall intersections to refund for additional rocks
- Mongol-packed Landmarks that were destroyed in transit can now be unpacked and repaired
- Rus civilization can no longer produce infinite Relics
- Some fixes have been made to Hardest AI difficulty, such as response to Scout attacks
- Tweaks made to building placement to allow for construction closer to impassable areas of hills, mountains and map borders
- Naval and siege units better mind the “Stop” command
- Greatly improved long pauses encountered when auto-saving in campaign after having created a large number of save files
- Fixes have been made to a number of Landmarks which did not require wood to repair
- Spearmen will now brace while attack-moving against charging Cavalry
- The Warship production button has been moved so that it does not cover the ungarrison button in the Dock
The Tower War Elephant has been renamed to Tower Elephant(this was not changed in Update 8324)
- Siege Engineering field unit construction icons now have the correct background color
- Dock Technologies have been rearranged to accurately match the Age in which they are available to research
- Dock technology buttons have been rearranged to be consistent across civilizations
- Warships now correctly fire with all cannons while attack-moving or acquiring targets while idle
- Warship Cannons will now correctly damage ships when shooting directly at their front
- Crossbowmen no longer gain +1 range after gaining the Incendiary Arrows Technology
- Stone walls now have the correct health value when being placed
- Land Traders are now correctly treated as Cavalry
- Landmarks which act as Town Centers now have the Textiles Technology available
- The Market trade exploit has been fixed by preventing multi-selected markets from issuing multiple buy/sell commands in a single click
- Berry Bushes should no longer be stomped by buildings
- We have replaced stone bridges with fords on river maps while we investigate an issue where AI would not properly pathfind across bridges; this does not affect player units, but it does impact matches played in Coop vs AI or Skirmish
- Various tooltip changes have been made to better match in-game behavior
- Camel Barding now correctly provides armor to Camels
- We have removed the Scout from displaying under the Abbasid Siege Workshop in the Tech Tree
- Imams with the Faith technology can no longer convert enemy Religious Units
- Trade ships now correctly generate bonus resources
- Tier 3 Golden Age now correctly reduces the production time of all units and not just the first tier of each unit type
- Elite Army Tactics and Boot Camp upgrades will now correctly stack with each other
- House of Wisdom Technologies now display the unique indicator
- Camel unit base armor has been properly applied
- The icon background color of the Abbasid Military Wing has been updated
- Armored Caravans no longer provides Siege armor and correctly provides Ranged armor instead
- Boot Camp upgrade no longer increases the attack speed of Archers
- Improved Processing no longer provides a +100% bonus to stone collection
- Fixed a bug where Reload Drills Technology was granting more attack speed than intended
- Officials can now supervise Keeps, Universities, and Blacksmiths
- Battle Hardened Technology has been moved to correctly align with the Man-at-Arms icon
- Towers with the Extra Materials technology will no longer repair enemy walls
- Pyrotechnics Technology moved from the Siege Workshop to the University
- Zhuge Nu now has its wood cost reduced when trained from a building within the Aura of the Spirit Way
- Battle-hardened technology moved from the Spearman column to Man-at-Arms column in the Barracks
- Reload Drills technology moved to the Bombard column in the Siege Workshop
- The Delhi Sultanate tech tree will now correctly display the base research time of every technology
- Keep Emplacements took longer for the Delhi Sultanate. We’ve fixed this bug so they now take the same time as other civilizations.
- Honed Blades Technology no longer adds an extra +1 damage to Man- at-Arms
- Tower Elephants no longer gain the Forced March ability
- Tower Elephant now gains the armor visual upgrade when researching Siege Elephant tech instead of Armored Beasts
- Developer Note: Tower Elephant does not get increased armor from Siege Elephant tech. This is to help visually distinguish the upgrade.
- Palings and Camps can no longer be activated on top of Stone Walls
- Keep production icons for Spearman and Man-at-Arms have been swapped
- Fixed a bug where English Network of Castles wasn’t applying it’s full bonus to some units.
- The range of the French Royal Ribauldequin has been reduced to match the standard version of the unit
- The alignment of Technologies displayed under the French Royal Institute in the Technology Tree has been fixed
- Enlistment Incentives technology no longer incorrectly states that it gives an additional 10% cost reduction. We’ve updated tooltip to correctly display the intended 5% discount.
- Gunpowder technology now applies correctly to the French Galleass
- Royal Cannon now receives the intended +20% bonus damage
Holy Roman Empire
- Buildings constructed within the Influence area of the Palace of Swabia can now use the Emergency Repairs ability
- Garrison weapons have been added to the Palace of Swabia
- The Elzbach Palace can now activate the Emergency Repairs ability while in range of the Holy Roman Empire Influence
- The Elzbach Palace now correctly receives a 33% damage reduction
- The Prelate has been added under the Feudal Age Town Center in the Holy Roman Empire Tech Tree
- The ranged armor of Holy Roman Empire Keeps has been reduced to match other civilizations
- Two-Handed Weapons technology will no longer give Man-At-Arms units +15 health.
- Depositing more than 5 Relics into Holy Roman Empire Docks will no longer increase Naval attack speed past 25%
- Emplacements now have discounted Gold cost
- Units and Technologies listed under the Palace of Swabia in the Technology Tree are now correctly aligned
- Bonus damage provided by the Heavy Maces and Two-Handed Weapons Technologies now stack correctly
- Prelates will no longer stop inspiring if bumped by another unit.
- Superior Mobility will no longer apply the 50% move speed bonus twice
- Improved Wheelbarrow can now be researched in the Dark Age
- The production cost of Double Trader has been corrected
- The alignment of Technologies displayed under the Mongol Steppe Redoubt in the Technology Tree has been fixed
- Mongols’ Additional Torches technology no longer improves Naval units and Emplacements
- The cost to double produce a number of Mongol units has been fixed
- Tithe Barns Technologies are now still available to research after first researching Monastic Shrines as the Mongols
- Piety and Herbal Medicine are properly removed from the Mongol Prayer Tent UI after researching the improved versions
- Relics Garrisoned inside of a Mongol Prayer Tent now correctly generate resources after Tithe Barns is researched
- Khaganate Palace no longer spawns Early Lancers
- Silver Tree trader double production cost has been updated
- The cost of Improved Professional Scouts stone has been fixed
- Rus Scouts’ hunting weapons now benefit from the Professional Scouts bonus
- Lodya Transport Ships and Fishing Ship conversions no longer have the Age 2 requirement
- Horse Archer icon now displays the unique indicator
- The Trader has been removed from under the Rus Golden Gate section of the Technology Tree
- Incendiary Arrows no longer increases the attack speed of Rus Lodya Arrow Ships
- Knight Torch Damage scaling has been adjusted
- Professional Scouts Technology now provides +200% damage to Rus Scouts
- Elite Man-At-Arms now have the correct attack speed
- Lodya Trade Ships now cost an additional 100 wood
- Fixed a bug where spearmen weren’t defending themselves against cavalry charge
You can find key Known Issues HERE at any time.
Additionally, we wanted to call out a few known issues we know you’ve reported and are actively working to fix:
- Certain civilizations are able to collect infinite resources by deleting buildings
- Certain buildings, when combined with an Imperial Age tech, refund too many additional resources
- The Abbasid Dynasty have several technologies that can be researched above and beyond the usual amount.