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https://forums.ageofempires.com/t/sacred-sites/173977/4 I think that is the idea that I liked the most about the design of AoE IV. " you capture them and if you keep all of them long enough you win". In AoE IV mechanic clear, the developers have explicitly said that one victory condition they've experimented with is sacred site victory where a player must control all sacred sites to win. At various points in the fan event footage you can see control of the sacred sites listed as a victory condition, and here you can see that controlling all sacred sites starts a ~5 minute timer. Weirdly in that shot there's only one sacred site to control. In this footage from the most recent event you can see that there's 3 sacred sites in the middle of the map shown -- their icon is a circle with a cross in the middle. The minimap isn't fully explored so there could be more. Its plausible that they have some additional purpose beyond being a victory condition but we don't have any hints of that being the case. In 0 A.D. in our game they could be places of natural as well as cultural worship.
I think the game should have a Deathmatch mode. I'm just not sure if it should be reminiscent of the Age series Deathmatch or something "unique." I honestly think it should be mostly based on the Age series model with a couple unique flairs. So, I think once you choose Deathmatch you should then be able to choose which Phase everyone starts at. The most popular would probably be "Post-City Phase" with everything auto-researched already. The only difference would be that any paired techs would not be auto-researched yet, the player having to choose which one they want. Since it's Deathmatch, they cost no resources or research time, the player just has to choose. And then resources-wise every player starts out with 40000 of every resource. The name of the game is building up and expanding as fast as possible while pumping out tons of troops for massive battles early on.