Hello everybody! First of all, I want to praise! After that there will be some spanking and in the end there will be cake. So let's go! This game is already very good You made it happen. I've read about 0 A.D. like 10 years ago, as it was in early Alpha stages, and for now and then I had a look on it to see where it goes. Now, 10 years later, the game content seems nearly complete. Everybody can feel that you put a lot of effort in everything (the accurate historical setting, the gorgous environment, the great music theme to name a few). That is quite an achievement, especially for an open source game. You made it happen, respect! \o/ Still.. On the forums I've read a rather harsh complain: "the game is not fun". What does that mean? Is this the end? No, that is not the end. Contrarywise, I'm very happy to disclose that you can fix that. This is your lucky day, as I will even precisely suggest how to fix that. 'Oh dear..' I can imagine what you think. "Oh dear, another smartarse trying to tell us what to do." You are right on this. And I will try to address this by reducing unrealistic demands ("fix pathfinding!!11") to the minimum. I made a new account here just for this post <3 'Wait! Let this man speak, this could be relevant!' – 'How is that?' I can provide you with an exterior view on 0 A.D., because I am not bound to this community in any way and I really don't know the game very well (one could say what you get is the outsider's view). You all know the mantra "Easy to learn, hard to master". It means that there are little to no barriers for new players while there is enough depth and challenges for experienced players. I do not dare to rate the "hard to master"-part of 0 A.D., but what I can provide is the view of a new player. As new players are very important for any game (old ones will leave, so new players need to stream in), so this can be very relevant for 0 A.D. How you can improve the game (without taking too much hassle) Disclaimer: I will only express the things that should change, which is kind of wicked as there are so many good things in the game. But we're talking about improvements, right? List goes from most significant to least significant. I will try to be as concrete and practical as possible. Reduce the scale of the game by reducing the pop cap range. Don't give players the option the choose a unit limit of 300. Even in Singleplayer, 1on1 vs AI, the game begins to lack horribly as soon as both players have reached the lategame. One could plead the some players have strong hardware components to handle this, but firstly that is not a valid point for multiplayer and secondly this leads to very disappointing game experience for new players who don't know that their hardware cant handle it. They see the game lacking, leave and probably will never come back. Following the scale reduction by reducing the pop cap, reduce the maximum camera distance. I've read about the complaint that there "is chaos on the screen and that I don't even care about my units". That is better as I could have expressed it. The reason for this is that the distance between the player and his units is too far. The players (especially new ones!) cannot distinguish their own units from each other. New players cannot even distinguish their own units from their enemies' units! One could counter that nobody *has* to zoom out. But honestly, who of you have ever played an RTS game without zooming out to the maximum? Following the camera distance reduction, change the camera angle to that of Age of Empires 3/AoE3 (it is more top-down). The problem with the current angle is that units at the top area of the screen are standing very far away and thus are way too small. I caught myself trying to control units from the far distance, not realizing why it became so difficult to select them. This is especially a problem on older (19") TFTs which have an aspect ratio of 5:4. This one is tricky: Change the way player colours are represented on unit meshes. It is difficult to identify a unit's faction, especially when it comes to fights. Again a view on AoE3 (which has a similar engine I guess) shows how to solve it: the player colours are way more dominant in AoE3, they even seem to glow a bit. This makes is easy to distinguish units even in chaotic fights. One could say "Meh, but that is not historically accurate!!" I say: You are right, but this is not reality, this is an RTS game. Precise measures to acquire this from quick and dirty to bigger efforts are: Increase saturation of player colours on unit meshes. Retexture unit shields with player colours. Retexture siege engines. Now lets step deeper into the game mechanics. If I recall it correctly, by the time you guys started this gorgeous project of creating an own game engine for an own historical RTS game, your point of reference was Age of Empires 2. It is absolutely understandable and refreshing that you developed own ideas and experimented with them to see how things work out. Though experiments are good for innovation, if it turns out that a good idea does not lead to a good player experience, one must desert it. A good idea of that kind is the player zone system. We all know this worked pretty well in Rise of Nations. But Rise of Nations was a RTS of a completely different kind than 0 A.D. (or the Age of Empires series) is. The idea of zones just does not fit very well in 0 A.D. It slows down the game, it reduces the players' strategical options, and it is not very consistent. Beyond that it obstructs player immersion: who made that blue line on the ground? Why is it there? Why does it hinder me from advancing? All in all, it just feels wrong for this type of game. Discard it and advance in happiness! Let's have a look at the units. Having played just a few games I cannot say if there is something like a working unit counter scheme, probably there is one. The issue is that the counter scheme is not communicated in any visible way to the (new) player, with the only exception being the Spearman/Hoplit-type of units which clearly communicate a bonus vs cavalry. After a few games my impression of the counter scheme is that it is very incomplete, but I may err. Following the "desert your beloved idea"-conclusion mentioning the zone system there is another darling you should kill: that all unmounted units serve as workers. This is a quirky one. I assume that the reasoning behind this is that all workers are female and that the male fighters shall not laze around all day. Joke aside, this mechanic does not turn out very well. Firstly it is a very atypical mechanic, but that does not necessarily mean it is bad. I cannot judge the overall consequences for the meta game either, although I think it promotes early cheap unit spamming. The issue is that player have to allocate fighters and workers alike to work, and as soon as they get attacked, they have to separate fighters from workers. Furthermore, when fight is over, they have to reallocate them to work again. This back and forth is kind of annoying, and games should be fun, not annoyance. Somewhat related to that is the fact that military units can construct buildings. This is by itself a good idea if one considers the important role especially the Roman military played in establishing new settlements all over Europe. I myself live in a city that was founded by Roman legionnaires 2000 years ago. The issue is not the feature itself but it's implementation. Currently the military can build most if not all of the available buildings, while the workers can only build basic buildings. This is very unusual, but that does not necessarily mean it does any harm. That said, I see three issues here: The smallest one is that it is very unclear to the player which buildings belongs to which category (worker, fighters, or both?) and on which logic this is based on. You could fix that by just allowing the military units to raise military buildings and keep the overlap of building options to a minimum. Second thing is that players currently can order a military unit's building from all over the map with a single military unit and actually raise that building with workers. Why then even bother separating them? Third issue: if you have to use a military unit to build basic military buildings, this means that if you ran out of fighters (probably because you have sent them attacking and they died) it will be very inconvenient to build any military buildings at home. This will be even worse if you fix the second issue, but that's just how it is. If you want to keep the feature you should take a look on Company of Heroes, which has a similar approach but a different implementation. Company of Heroes' military infantry can raise defensive structures only. This makes a lot of sense, as those structures often need to be constructed at the forefront, where weak workers would be very susceptible to attacks. In addition, new players can easily recognize those structures as one of a type and would get the overall idea behind it.Now what? Wow this was a lengthy wall of text, sorry! Thank you for reading. Let's discuss all this! First two answers get a cake.