IntroductionThe following list describes ideas for quality of life features that could improve AoE2 DE gameplay by making certain gameplay mechanics/aspects more smooth,less cumbersome and/or visible without affecting game balance (hopefully). Please comment below if any of these features are already implemented in the game or if there is already a way to achieve the functionality described by the feature. Any helpful comments can then serve as great references for especially new players that might not be familiar with hidden features and/or shortcuts in the game.
1. Smarter constructionVillagers automatically split up to different foundations when commanding construction of multiple buildings using Shift-queuing except villagers that have already started construction on one of the buildings. In principle this should maximize construction efficiency. For clarity sake see the following explanations and examples:
- Commanding a group of 10 villagers to construct 6 barracks by means of Shift queuing (Note there are more villagers than buildings). Consider the example below of how it can play out.
- All 10 villagers were close enough to start construction of the first building before the second foundation was placed. Therefore all villagers first construction of the first building after which the villagers split up in 5 groups (2, 2, 2, 2, 2) to construct the other 5 barracks.
- None of the villagers were close enough to start construction on the first barracks while all other foundations were placed. Therefore the villagers will split into 6 groups (2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1) to build the 6 barracks.
- Some of the villagers (for argument sake 3) already started construction of the first building before the foundation of the second was placed. The "free" villagers immediately split between the buildings as soon as the second foundation is placed in such a way to form 2 groups (5, 5) in total. As soon as another foundation is placed in the queue "free" villagers should split again to form 3 groups (4, 3, 3) in total. If all 6 foundations were placed while 7 of the villagers were still on the way to their respective construction sites and the 3 actively building is still occupied then only the "free" villagers should spilt to form 6 groups (3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1) in total.
- Commanding 4 villagers to construct 6 barracks such that none is close enough to start construction before all 6 foundations are placed. The villagers split into 4 and prioritize constructing the closest 4 barracks before building the other 2 for which the villagers split in 2 groups (2, 2).
- Commanding construction of a wall will automatically split the villagers to different segments of the wall individually (assuming there are more wall foundations than villagers).
2. Auto-farming and wood management[NOTE: It was pointed out in the comments that auto-farming does indeed not work the way it is explained here, but to avoid confusion this section is still kept for reference sake since many comments refer to different features by section number.]
Auto-farming should not use wood reserved for buildings that already has it's foundation placed on the map. This I consider to be a bug fix rather than a new feature. Consider the following scenario which happens often with buildings: Place a TC at some location for which 275 is deducted from your wood stock pile leaving you with <60 wood. A farm expires and needs to refresh before the villagers start building the TC. Since there is not enough wood in the stock pile the TC foundation is automatically cancelled to add 275 to your wood stockpile after which 60 wood is deducted from your wood stock pile to build the new farm leaving you with villagers at the TC site with blank expressions on their faces thinking, "WTF? If only someone 'wood' do their job!" So it "wood" be greatly appreciated if auto-farming can respect the difference between available and reserved wood.
3. Select all units of current selection type(s)This could serve as an alternative to double-click select all units. In principle the idea is to have functionality which allows you to select all units on the screen that correspond to the currently selected unit(s) with the use of a hotkey. This addresses the double-click select all drawback of misclicking due to fast moving units, small hitboxes or unintentionally drag-clicking instead. Additionally allows easier selection of more than one type of unit (which I believe is technically already possible, but in a cumbersome way). The concept also includes this functionality with selecting buildings.
Consider the following usage examples where <dhk> represents the designated hotkey that invokes the select-all-current functionality.
- Select a single archer then press <dhk> to select all archers on the screen.
- Quickly drag-select a group of military units of knights and skirms then press <dhk> to select all knights and skirms on the screen.
- Select a stone wall and a stone gate then press <dhk> to select all stone walls and stone gates on the current screen (obviously useful for the back of your base on Arena maps).
4. Drag select all units of current selection type(s)This is identical to the "select-all-current" feature, however, the selection field is limited to a cursor drag box. Consider to following usage examples where <dkh> represents the designated hot key that invokes drag-select-all-current functionality.
- Select a villager, hold <dhk> and drag a box to add all and only villagers inside the drag box to the current unit selection on release of the mouse cursor.
- Select one palisade wall hold Alt and drag a selection box over an area with a palisade walls. On release all palisade walls within the drag box is added to the current unit selection.
5. Set gather points for incomplete buildingsAllow incomplete buildings to set gather points. It's that simple. It's "incompletely reasonable".
6. Gather point tracersShow a direct trace (trail/line/whatever) from a building to it's gather point. Not to be disrespectful, but I think GL.TheViper would greatly appreciate this when he accidentally sets his TC gather point forward.
7. Auto-retrieve relic commandHow nice would it be to select a monk and right-click a relic and boom, the monk comes back with the relic without you needing to tell him to return to the monastery? I see no reason why the monk would not know automatically that the relic should go to the monastery. It's not like we tell villagers to drop wood at the lumber camp when it gathered a set amount of resources. Villagers do it themselves. Could it be that monks only have wisdom and no common sense? It seems completely reasonable to have such a feature for a single monk retrieving a single relic. With this players would only need to shift click each relic without the need to shift click the monastery as well.
8. Monk conversion tracesHow often do we create a congregation of monks, see the enemy approaching and think to ourselves, "Oh boy! What's yours is mine. It's conversion time!" only to lose track of which monk is converting which unit? Therefore, introducing (inspired by CaptureAge), conversion traces.
Conclusive remarksAll these features would make the game more smooth and fun to play in my opinion. I am aware that some of these features might spark a little controversy as some could argue that some of the features can break game balance. I would invite those to share the problems there might be in the comments.
On the other hand I also have no way of judging whether it is even possible for the developers to implement these features at all; especially the smart construction since it might be quite a hassle to implement in the code.
Lastly I invite all to share other quality of life features they think would be good to have in the game.