With Age of Empires IV’s first ever ranked season ending in a few short days on June 30th, we thought it was just about time to celebrate! So we come bearing the gift of news – including an update on Season Two, first mentioned in our post here, as well as a quick overview of what we’ve heard from you in the past few months and how we plan to action on what we’ve heard in Season Three, tentatively planned for the October/November timeframe!
Before we get started on that, however, we wanted to say a big thank you to each and every one of our players who participated in Season One: Festival of Ages over the past few months. Whether you’ve been battling your way to Conqueror in the ranked ladder, collecting rewards with our Seasonal Events, or crafting mods for yourself and others to enjoy.
Not only has our modding community published more than one thousand mods since the Season One update was released on April 7th, but we’ve also had more than 42,000 competitors make their mark on the ranked season one leaderboard. Keep it up – we appreciate your passion and will continue listening to your feedback on how to further improve the Age IV experience!
Season Two: Just on the Horizon
We shared a little bit about Season Two back in March, and we’re here today to say that features like the Map Preference System, Fully Remappable Inputs, and Player Color Picker are on their way in July… along with a few other exciting changes!
Those of you who participated in our recent Public Update Preview may have already had the chance to test some of these features out (and thanks for the feedback, by the way!). Here’s an overview of some of what you can expect:
- Introducing the Player Color Picker! You requested it, and it’s almost here. With this new setting, players can choose a color or have a color randomly assigned at the start a match that will surface in-game and on the mini-map in single-player skirmish, multiplayer custom matches, quick matches and ranked matches.
- Based on your feedback, we’ve continued to refine hotkeysto ensure you’re able to customize and play as you wish. In Season Two, we’ll be introducing the new Fully Remappable Hotkey layout, along with making changes to how hotkey conflicts work and reorganizing remapping menus so hotkeys are easier to find.
- For some time, we have heard community requests for a way to give players a say over the maps they play in Quick Play and Ranked multiplayer matches. With this update, we are adding our first version of a Map Preference System that will give you influence over the maps that you will encounter in ladder play. When the Season Two update releases, we’ll be sharing FAQs and other details further outlining how the system works!
- Speaking of maps, we’ll be introducing a brand new map in Season Two, called The Pit! This map has a competitive focus with a mostly open layout.
We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks, including significant balance changes, new Seasonal Event rewards and our Season Two theme!
With all this and more coming to Age of Empires IV very soon, it’s the perfect time to join in on the fun! Age IV is featured in the Steam Summer Sale starting today, June 23rd, and also available with PC Game Pass or Ultimate.
Season Three: What’s Still to Come
At the start of Season One, we sent out a player survey asking a lot of questions about how our players felt about the update and requesting guidance on our next steps. In some cases, your responses validated some work we already had underway (such as the Map Preference System), and in other cases, your responses helped us change our priorities.
One thing we learned is we have a lot of players who like ranked in theory but would prefer to enjoy with others. As a result of that feedback, we made it a priority to introduce our first iteration of Team Ranked in Season Three. We’ll explore some other meaningful changes to Ranked based on other learnings resulting from the survey, and we’ve also started early discussions on what we can do to provide more opportunities to allow players to enjoy Age IV in more social and less competitive ways.
We’ll also be looking to introduce two features you’ve been asking after for a while: Taunts and Cheats! While our starting point with Taunts and Cheats is heavily inspired by what you’ve seen and experienced in previous Age titles, we’ll be looking to expand upon this space as we go. When it comes to Cheats, we’ll be offering up some of what you’ve seen in the past, as well as some new things – both functional and playful. When it comes to unique units, we expect we’ll be asking you for your input once our first offering of Cheats releases so we can continue to entertain.
And of course, it goes without saying that this is just a small peek at what’s to come. There’s a lot more we expect to share with you as we get closer to Season Three.
Tell Us How We’re Doing
We’ve been asking for your feedback consistently since before the launch of Age of Empires IV, and we don’t plan on stopping yet! Here’s a quick reminder on how you can help shape our direction:
- In the short-term, share your thoughts in our official Age forums!
- Our Season Two Public Update Preview (PUP) ended recently, but we’re planning for even more of these! Become an Age Insider to stay up-to-date on when the next PUP is coming.
- If you liked the sound of the Season One survey, don’t worry: We did, too! We found this to be a powerful tool for hearing from all of you; we learned a lot from your feedback and are continuing to make plans based on what you said, beyond what we’ve covered in this post. To ensure we continue hearing from you all, we’ll be sending out another survey shortly after the release of the Season Two update. Make sure you tell us how you feel about the new features and content and what you’d like to see more of in the future.