The fourth season of Age of Empires IV launched on Thursday, February 16, introducing a new, unique biome, the Enchanted Grove, and many other changes, including new maps, a new ranked season, and a new game mode – Nomad.
Although likely a move by Microsoft to keep people interested in the game ahead of the Age of Mythology Retold release, AoE IV Season 4 brought many welcomed changes to the game to keep it fresh and exciting for the RTS community.
Enchanted Grove Biome
The new Enchanted Grove biome features colourful, glowing trees and plants and is available for players to explore throughout AoE IV Season 4 Enchanted Grove event. The event will run from February 16 – March 29, offering players a unique gaming experience which brings an atmosphere of wonder and fantasy.
The latest update for Age of Empires IV is here! Season Four: Enchanted Grove brings you three new maps, improved Landmarks, Nomad mode, and more.— Age of Empires (@AgeOfEmpires) February 16, 2023
You can Get in the Grove with the update right now—the first event is live also! 🦌
📜 https://t.co/sju7wcOwxU pic.twitter.com/aw24sgWetr
Throughout the event, players will be able to send units out on a hunt for a white enchanted stag in a multiplayer or skirmish game, which will unlock a new golden stag monument. The Grove will also feature challenges, awarding new portraits, coats of arms, and banners for those who complete it.
Nomad Game Mode Enters AoE IV
Besides the new biome, AoE IV Season 4 will also introduce a new game mode, called Nomad, available in skirmish and custom games. The Nomad game mode, while a new addition to AoE IV, will be familiar to the fans of the franchise.
In the game mode, you start with three villagers scattered around the map and begin your rise through the ages by bringing them together and building a Town Center. You can either scout around to find an optimal spot or rush building your kingdom, but you’ll never exactly know where your opponents are located, so make sure you’re not building next to an unwelcomed neighbour.
The fourth season of AoE IV brings three new maps, Four Lakes, Marshland, and Continental.
- Four Lakes – features a land surrounded by four lakes, which introduces a lot of opportunities for aggression, as you have to take control of both the land and water. The key to victory in the centre is maintaining control of the islands at the edge of the map and the lakes.
- Marshland – an open environment set deep in a jungle, with vast amounts of forest where you can hide and ambush your opponents. Resources are plentiful in the jungle, but so is dangerous wildlife, so keep an eye out as there are many dangers to keep yourself safe from.
- Continental – a well-known map in the AoE community, makes a return from the original Age of Empires series. Offering an extensive island surrounded by oceans, Continental urges players to control the sea and explore the map while keeping their exposed Town Center safe from their foes, who can attack from both land and sea.
The new season also brings a new competitive season, which includes rewards for solo and team players who progressed up the ladder. Moreover, there will be changes to the map pool in season 4.
1v1 ranked map pool: Wetlands, Dry Arabia, Prairie, Lipany, Ancient Spires, Oasis, Altai, Waterholes, and Boulder Bay.
Team ranked map pool: High View, Mountain Clearing, Dry Arabia, Lipany, Hideout, Hill and Dale, Mongolian Heights, Baltic, and Nagari.
There are also changes to Landmarks – except for everyone’s favourite Golden Gate Landmark. As stated, the changes are meant to improve the underperformers, add new strategic options for civilisations, and to introduce more engaging and active strategies, offering unique gameplay between Landmarks.
Lastly, we have to touch on the updates to the mod browser, which will significantly improve the experience for mod enjoyers. Most notably, there will now be an official mod toggle and dynamic search, giving players access to more mods and more relevant search results. Other changes include a pagination system, subscriber count display, and popular search function.
The newest AoE IV season is available to play from Thursday, February 16.