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Age of Empires IV roadmap has major balance updates, modding support, and more

Age of Empires IV screenshot

The developers behind Age of Empires IV, World’s Edge and Relic Entertainment, today detailed what their plans are for the real-time strategy game going forward. While no exact release dates were shared, massive balance tweaks, Ranked Seasons, and more are coming in the Winter and Spring updates for the title.

A small hotfix went live for Age of Empires IV on November 15, primarily aimed at fixing a performance issue with panning and a Mongol Town Center change to stop a specific abuse mechanic. The incoming big ones will have way more changes under their hoods.

The Winter update is slated to land with "hundreds of balance changes", bug fixes, and a plethora of user-requested features. Some highlights from it include the ability to enable player scores in custom lobbies and skirmishes, changing the Chinese Dynasty button position, viewing the post-match map, and minimap readability improvements.

Here's some of the balance and bug fixes that will also be included in it:

  • 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 roadmap for winter and spring

Spring 2022 is when the previously announced modding tools and ways to browse custom created content easily land. This update will also carry Ranked Seasons. Each season will last for 12 weeks, letting players climb the 1v1 ranked ladder and earn rewards at the same time. Patrol move, more post-game map improvements, and more features are planned for this update as well.

Lastly, the studio is looking into implementing these highly requested features in future updates too:

  • 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 available on Steam and Microsoft Store for Windows PCs. Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers have access to the game for no extra charge as well. Read our review of Age of Empires IV here, where it received a 9/10 verdict.

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