[Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

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[Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by DNLgibraltar »

Inspired by a comment made by Len3a about popularity and one comment I read here, in the Redbull post. According to one of the orginal developers, fans were not so fond of some of the 66% new stuff so:
If you could go back in time with the knowledge you have now (had the budget and green light from Microsoft) as well as being an original dev or D.E dev (before the release) what changes you'd have made to AOE3:DE so it were sucessful /more popular? No one would remember the current AOE3. What would you erase and replace for good?

1) Remove any ressemblance of mmporg while keeping the core (mostly) intact.
-> Many people hated the XP/cards mechanics because it made the game more complicated, drifted apart from the old school AOE2 and I can sympathize with that.
Removing any wording that ressembled MMORPG would be priority: XP, level, decks, cards... I'd replace the names/visuals with things more "lore-friendly": "XP" would be "bounty" (in the likes of "influence" or "export"), card/decks would be named "assets" or anything else...anything that would push back RTS players.

I see the game as if you were sent to colonize a place and the more sucessful you are on that (kill enemies, uncover area, build stuff) your Home City trusts you with more assets to help with the colonization. D.E stomped the acceleration pedal for this "XP" stuff and embrace it and although the reception has been mostly positive, I still think HC cards should "complement" and not "suplement" your strategy because you always end up with a small pool of useful cards depending on the mode you play.

2) Historical campaigns and not a series about a fictional USA family.
-> I've played every single AOE2 and AOM campaign and I've never touched AOE3 campaigns. I think they are by far the worst campaigns in the whole franchise and I have nothing against fictional families...but tying the colonization of the whole America into a single "USA" family was rather pretentious.

There were plenty of people, wars, historical records and opportunites to make civilizations/ explorers/ families campaign. There could be one regarding Portugal colonizing Brazil, allying and fighting Tupi, fighting off Spain and other countries. In north America, we could use "Morgan Black" for a campaign about British settlers. "Spaniards" had plenty of places and times. Dutch Brazil/New Holland existed for 25 years, France had a long influence in North America...and all could use fictional characters. I think that we missed a huge opportunity because some people loved and just played the AOE/AOM campaigns. Even the fictional AOM/AOT campaign felt it came from a real tale.

3) Musketeer was a mistake/ Dual Armor.
A very controversial opinion but the most common complaint about AOE3 I heard is that it has too much "gunpowder" and not a lot of "hand combat". Well... I have no solution for that because the game was created to have gunpowder. What I can speak is that the rock-paper-scissor system in AOE3 fails a lot because of Musketeer and because it took 15 years to implement dual armor.

-> So yeah: even AOE2, with a much more simple counter system than AOE3, was aware that ranged damage can be overwhelming and gave most units 1 pierce armor naturally, which was essential for vills, cavalry and infantry. Actually AOE3 is the only game with no dual armor and with almost all units doing dual attack. Even AOM/AOT had dual armor... I wouldn't give dual armor to most units but AOE3's hand infantry deserved a 5% or 10% ranged resistance (applied to slow units like Samurai and Halberdier andn ot pikes). Obvioulsy that fails a lot nowadays with fast training mechanics, Skull Knights spam, D.E.'s Magic the Gathering cards, tons of 4.5-5.0 speed infantry and...

-> Musketeer. Perhaps it deserves a sole topic but, imo, the way Musketeer evolved in the meta was not healthy to the game overall: it breaks the rock-paper-scissor system, it creates a distortion in the "heavy infantry" tag and makes hand infantry irrelevant to siege and to counter cavalry. I'm not saying he should have been deleted at all but I really question the "heavy infantry" tag on it nowadays. Perhaps having its own tag or different ranged damage, siege or specific multipliers could make sense...but Musks went from "Melee infantry that will attack at range until the enemy gets close" to a "Heavy infantry that attacks at range".

I think the game would've been much more well rounded and simple with melee infantry on the table. The D.E devs decided to work that out by speeding up Halbs and Jaguar Knights and nowadays nearly all D.E infantry arrives with more than 4.0 speed. I think this will be horrible to the game eventually. Those Mexican pikes already have 5.5 speed...
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by InaLeto »

1) Remove any ressemblance of mmporg while keeping the core (mostly) intact.
Interesting and yes, rename the xp mechanics to bounty, hiding the deck and thus the cards more in the game level would have deterred "opponents" of these mechanics less. There's something about that. From today's perspective, that would certainly not have harmed the arrival in the existing community at that time. [From a gamer's point of view, however, I can also understand the use of the classic terms, so their meaning is quickly grasped and easier to understand.]
2) Historical campaigns and not a series about a fictional USA family.
Complete agreement. I loved the AoE2 campaigns and was thrilled to hear anecdotes and history like this when I was young. The AoE3 campaign never got me excited because of its completely made-up story. Here the developers at the time should have dared to approach historically. [But we also know why they may have decided against it.]
3) Musketeer was a mistake/ Dual Armor.
Mhh, I don't like this dual armor at all. Far too complicated. The basis is just the HP and the armor then increases the effective HP against a damage type. This gives the various units defensive strengths against certain enemy damage types. Coupled with the offensive bonuses in the form of multipliers, this results in the game's counter system. This should have been made clear when the game was released, for example through a tutorial or a better HUD from the start. For me, musketeers were not a mistake either. They were spot on and there's nothing more fun than going into melee combat with them and taking advantage of the slowdown mechanic! :)
The offensive bonuses in scissors/rock/paper format could have been in the explanatory booklet of his time. For example like this:
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by Vladimatt »

I agree with most of your points. The game was created at a time where the devs wanted to compete with World of Warcraft which was popping off, so there were alot of these MMORPG mechanics and they wanted you to treat your civs like their own "characters". The single player experience for this was fun, but from a competitive standpoint it felt horrible. They should've made it so that when you log on ESO all of your civs are maxed, but keep progression for the single player people. This is something that even DE hasn't solved, as alot of people that only play skirmish/singleplayer actually miss leveling up their civs and being able to choose new cards to unlock.

As for the campaigns yeah I think they were a bit too ambitious, they really wanted us to become attached to these characters but in the end they all sort of just fell flat, each one was pretty much just a stereotype/cliche of different types of people of the era and it kind of just fell flat. I think a historically driven singleplayer would've been so much cooler, or even a map of north america, total war/mount and blade style where you fight with other territories/nations over area on a map and capture territory, like you're conquering the new world. that type of singleplayer would have been extremely fitting for the time and would have worked well with the civ leveling system.

As for the musketeer point I respectfully disagree, the musketeer singlehandedly forces an infantry meta instead of a cavalry meta. Look at aoe2 and aoe4, cavalry metas are not fun at all because cav can basically pick their own fights and commit only when it's optimal for them, there's no risk, and it's less engaging to play against. The unit is perfectly executed imo - They have high base stats but can be countered extremely easily, they're basically like Garen from league of legends, easy to create and use but their potential is limited. They represent the era historically well also, a generalist unit that is the bulk of your force that are also armed to fight off cav charges. It just got a little confusing for the average consumer because its like "this gun loses to this other gun(skirmisher)" but if you're historically familiar with the difference between a smoothbore musket and a rifle it actually makes alot of sense. One thing I will agree on though is that melee units will always be garbage, maybe on purpose for design but I think they deserve better. I've always felt that a pikeman should at least match the melee damage OR hp of a musk just by design but ig they felt that was too strong. Musks will always make other melee only heavy infantry look inferior but I think thats because melee units should be stronger, not because the musk should be weaker.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

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Post by Mitoe »

I guess this is more balance related than anything else, but for a few years now I've wondered what the game would look like if you tried to reduce the snowball effect of single fights. Basically to accomplish this I would do this:

1) Decrease the cost of Mills/Plantations/Rice Paddies/etc. further. ~300w for a Mill, 400-450w for a Plantation. This would give a bit more comeback potential if you get forced off of the map. Obviously you'll still be severely behind, but the game won't just end.

2) Reduce the effect of snare. I think snare is a great mechanic in AoE3, though I understand the complaints from people who have played other RTS games. It simply makes it too hard to retreat from a poor fight or position, and sometimes it can lead to unfun situations (enemy exploring snaring yours and chasing you all the way home). I think if this were reduced players would be able to take more risks with their army, save more units from a lost position, and ultimately get to fight more battles each game.

There is of course some counterplay by dropping back the snared units or trying to melee the unit that's snaring you at just the right frame before turning to run, but if you're not a top 20 player you are not going to be able to execute this consistently. Hell, even top players can't execute this consistently all the time.

There's a few different ways to improve this: reduce the effect of snare by 5-10%, reduce the duration of snare, provide players with an easier way to drop snared units from the formation, etc. and would probably need some testing to see what works the best without breaking the game, and some of the slower melee units may need some stat buffs to compensate.

3) Reduce the value of shipments slightly, or reduce the amount of XP granted by battles.

I'm a bit torn on what the best approach is here. Reducing kill XP would mean that winning battles snowballs into a victory less frequently, but would also mean that if you win a fight in a losing position or are defending some kind of all-in push that you are also given less XP to get yourself back into the game. On the other side, shipments are one of the big selling points of the game--and one of the most fun aspects of it--but reducing them would be beneficial in some ways:

- Winning a battle and being rewarded with 200-300xp doesn't net you a game ending shipment advantage as frequently.
- A Commerce Age shipment is more than twice as valuable as an Exploration Age shipment. Compared to Fortress and Industrial Age, this is a massive jump and incentivizes and rewards aging up as quickly as possible too much, as well as makes Exploration Age shipments pretty weak. If Commerce Age shipments were reduced in value from ~600-700 resources to ~500-600 resources, it would make food treasures less swingy and potentially open up longer age 1 strategies where you can invest into other age 1 cards more frequently.

The problem is that then you start getting some weird numbers sometimes. Do you reduce 5 villagers to 4 villagers? Is that even fun when you have a 3 villager shipment in age 1 already? Are upgrades suddenly way too impactful compared to before?

Maybe the better way to approach this would be to improve a lot of the age 1 shipments from ~300 resource value to ~400, but then you lose half of the point of reducing the value of shipments later in the game to prevent snowballing :biggrin:

Basically I don't know how you would reduce the snowball effect when it comes to kill XP and shipment value, but I think it would be an important piece of the puzzle.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by Miyawaki Sakura »

Create campaigns such as 80 Years War, 30 Years War, Seven Years' War, Napoleonic War, and Imjin War, Crimean War, ece

Delete jap,swe,inca,ethiopia,dutch

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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

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Post by Squamiger »

@Mitoe one of the main things I remember daut and and viper saying when they were experimenting with DE at launch was just how "swingy" the whole game felt compared to what they were used to, with shipments and high damage units and snare. I think that really captures the difference between aoe2 and 3, which is that 2 has much more of a civ builder, long-game style, while 3 is strongly based around mechanics that swing a game dramatically and snowball hard. i think all the things you suggest changing would basically reduce this effect and make 3 more like 2. that might have made the game more popular, since the basic market for the age of empires series is people who want to literally build an empire-- it's people interested in civ-builder style games, not fast-paced small-scale rts.

But also conversely, I wonder if the opposite might be true. if aoe3 were more similar to aoe2, maybe it would be similar today to how aoe1 is? a nostalgic game with no real multiplayer base, since it's just a good but slightly less enjoyable version of the game that that specific fanbase wants to play. It might be the case that aoe3's unique identity as this weird, highly swingy, micro intensive game is actually what saved it, and produced the modest community that exists today, by capturing a completely different market base from the people who enjoy aoe2's slow-burn game style. I know for one that I am one of those people-- I've tried aoe1, 2, and 4, and I just don't really enjoy any of them, specifically because they don't have that swingy / tempo-y / high punishment / snowballing feel of 3.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by AndiAOE »

I think a big issue for AOE 3 always was and is that you need pretty high specs to run it. And you still do, since with DE the optimization just got worse and you need way higher hardware than the graphics really justify.

I think ESO in general was great and way ahead of its time in a lot of aspects. Clans were good, medals were encouraging, ranks were signifcant... People would still now say "oh i used to be major". Just very thought trough and motivational. So i dont know why they got rid of all the good stuff, we really just wanted dedicated servers...
Focusing on politcal correctness also alienated a good part of the community, which immediatly killed hype (not good) (i am not saying that political correctness is bad or anything, just observing what happened).

Game wise i would make all civilsations a lot more "easy", while trying to give more options. For me there is no reason why for example lakota and haudeno have different archers, which have similar stats and fill the same role. So i would get rid of a lot of "special" units and replace them with common units, give more common cards (if you look at haudeno and lakota have significant less cards than other civs, meaning less strategic variety). This would also mean that a "unique" unit would really be unique, so there it would just not be a variant of a hussar for example. I would also use existing mechanics for new civilisations, so for me introducing influence is completely pointless. I would ve rather used the existing export mechanic and improved it for all export civilisations (adding new cards, ways to get it, spend it, balance some stuff out etc.)

A big complaint is also the shitty AI, which just does a lot of stupid stuff (killing its explorer, suiciding vills etc.) (Why can i beat 7 extreme AI? - should never be possible in a strategy game). Adding historic campaigns would ve also increased popularity. For example with DE's release you had the chance to include a historic campaign of the 30 years war from gustav adolphus perspective. I know these points are not very appealing to the highly competetive community like esoc, but it is something a lot of casual people would ve liked.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by andrewgs »

This video, The Next Major RTS Will Fail. This Is Why.
, is pretty relevant to this thread.

The demographics section is interesting, describing why focusing on the single player is so important - That's where you get new players, and have an audience much much larger than just RTS players.
The chart at 7:47 reinforces the sentiment of avoiding MMORPG and catering to civ-builder style games.


Fantasy historical campaigns are out of place in a historical game. This was such a blunder. Like April says there were plenty of historical campaigns they could play through; They could have stayed in Europe for vanilla instead of going to America. In some interviews they say how it's not fun to play as the bad guys of history, the slave owners, colonists etc, which led to the fantasy campaigns.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by JKProwler »

I think having too much asymmetric civs was a blessing and a curse. Works for starcraft, but having 8+ unique civs is a bit too much time investment for some ppl.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by Mitoe »

Squamiger wrote:
11 May 2022, 06:54
@Mitoe one of the main things I remember daut and and viper saying when they were experimenting with DE at launch was just how "swingy" the whole game felt compared to what they were used to, with shipments and high damage units and snare. I think that really captures the difference between aoe2 and 3, which is that 2 has much more of a civ builder, long-game style, while 3 is strongly based around mechanics that swing a game dramatically and snowball hard. i think all the things you suggest changing would basically reduce this effect and make 3 more like 2. that might have made the game more popular, since the basic market for the age of empires series is people who want to literally build an empire-- it's people interested in civ-builder style games, not fast-paced small-scale rts.
It's interesting that they quoted "high damage" units as a major part of the swingy-ness. I guess it's true that AoE3 has the potential for really high damage units compared to AoE2 (Hackapells), but generally damage makes sense consider that units also have much higher hitpoints.

In general I think one of the best things about AoE3 compared to other RTS games is that it uses a % armour system, which doesn't limit your unit design nearly as much as a flat armour system. With flat armour, you have to keep all of your stats low, and the only way to improve damage past a certain point without completely breaking the game is to improve attack speed, which can only go so far.
But also conversely, I wonder if the opposite might be true. if aoe3 were more similar to aoe2, maybe it would be similar today to how aoe1 is? a nostalgic game with no real multiplayer base, since it's just a good but slightly less enjoyable version of the game that that specific fanbase wants to play. It might be the case that aoe3's unique identity as this weird, highly swingy, micro intensive game is actually what saved it, and produced the modest community that exists today, by capturing a completely different market base from the people who enjoy aoe2's slow-burn game style. I know for one that I am one of those people-- I've tried aoe1, 2, and 4, and I just don't really enjoy any of them, specifically because they don't have that swingy / tempo-y / high punishment / snowballing feel of 3.
Yeah, the goal wouldn't be to remove that aspect of AoE3, just to make it less potent. I don't think the game would feel all that different, but there would be more opportunities for comebacks.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

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Post by Mitoe »

andrewgs wrote:
11 May 2022, 12:11
This video, The Next Major RTS Will Fail. This Is Why.
, is pretty relevant to this thread.

The demographics section is interesting, describing why focusing on the single player is so important - That's where you get new players, and have an audience much much larger than just RTS players.
The chart at 7:47 reinforces the sentiment of avoiding MMORPG and catering to civ-builder style games.


Fantasy historical campaigns are out of place in a historical game. This was such a blunder. Like April says there were plenty of historical campaigns they could play through; They could have stayed in Europe for vanilla instead of going to America. In some interviews they say how it's not fun to play as the bad guys of history, the slave owners, colonists etc, which led to the fantasy campaigns.
I think something that isn't mentioned in this video that's particularly important to the multiplayer scene is that RTS games focus way too heavily on 1v1. In my opinion 1v1 is just too intense and non-social for most modern gamers; it also seems to be a lot less popular than team games. It would be interested to see an RTS game released where the only game mode is 3v3, and everything is balanced around that. It would focus the playerbase into 1 queue, which would reduce queue times and make ranks more accurate, and people would have more incentive to encourage friends to try out the game.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by Kaiserklein »

I'd try to fix the fucking game and stop adding bullshit. But I guess MS just won't let them focus on that, plus the devs are bad
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

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Post by WickedCossack »

Any developer support from 2009 to 2019 would have been great. If I recall the only thing that happened in these 10 years was taking down the servers for an hour every Tuesday. The fact that it survived aswell as it did with no dev support is remarkable and a testament to what a great game aoe3 is/was.

Obviously the 'support' available now is heavily geared towards cashing in, which makes sense. I can't really blame them for priortising dlc over fixing bugs, the game is reaching the end of it's life cycle. I do blame MS for ignoring aoe3 when it needed support the most though! 14 years of crossing your fingers you even start the game with a hunt within town center LOS on RE was absurd. :uglylol:
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by gibson »

Mitoe wrote:
11 May 2022, 15:01
andrewgs wrote:
11 May 2022, 12:11
This video, The Next Major RTS Will Fail. This Is Why.
, is pretty relevant to this thread.

The demographics section is interesting, describing why focusing on the single player is so important - That's where you get new players, and have an audience much much larger than just RTS players.
The chart at 7:47 reinforces the sentiment of avoiding MMORPG and catering to civ-builder style games.


Fantasy historical campaigns are out of place in a historical game. This was such a blunder. Like April says there were plenty of historical campaigns they could play through; They could have stayed in Europe for vanilla instead of going to America. In some interviews they say how it's not fun to play as the bad guys of history, the slave owners, colonists etc, which led to the fantasy campaigns.
I think something that isn't mentioned in this video that's particularly important to the multiplayer scene is that RTS games focus way too heavily on 1v1. In my opinion 1v1 is just too intense and non-social for most modern gamers; it also seems to be a lot less popular than team games. It would be interested to see an RTS game released where the only game mode is 3v3, and everything is balanced around that. It would focus the playerbase into 1 queue, which would reduce queue times and make ranks more accurate, and people would have more incentive to encourage friends to try out the game.
Agreed, solo player focused multiplayer games simply aren't very popular. Even games which do have single player often incorporate some sort of social aspect. Rust has an all text chat across any server you're in, pubg has proximity voice chat, and warzone turns on the mic of someone who dies for like 5 seconds so the person who killed them can hear their reaction. These all add more to the various games then it seems, at least for me.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by callentournies »

Faced with the option of playing aoe3 tad de or bloons tower defens i chose tower defens, coincidence? No. I get the best parts of aoe3 tad de (bloon) and play a fun game (tower defens).
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by ShinkuroYukinari »

Remove Deccan from the ranked map pool.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by Dolan »

Idk why people hated the HC and cards. It's similar to how in LoL you go to a shop and buy items once you have enough gold. It's an intuitive idea that you boost your unit's stats by getting items (in this case, cards).

I think that in general RTS games look off-putting to the general public due to how complicated they seem. It seems like a big time investment to start with just a few units and have to slowly and gradually grow that into a bigger bunch that you have to keep multitasking to manage. Can't think of a mass-popular game in which you control tens of units. Games that require heavy multitasking don't seem among the most popular ones. They appeal to very particular types of players.
So there are reasons why RTS games in general are not so popular with the general public and then there are different kinds of reasons why within this niche of RTS players AOE3 is not among the popular ones either.
These reasons can range from "I tried the game but it lacks feature X that I liked in other games and it has feature Y that seems annoying to me" to "the AI was too overpowered on the Moderate level".
The game got lukewarm reviews at best when it came out and it was dropped by most casual players who bought it and played it in Singleplayer a few times.
It's a game that requires a lot of patience just to get into, so it only retained some very specific profile of players.

What could you change to make such a game more appealing to both RTS players in general and some segments of the general public? In the year of 2022 Microsoft still does not organise tournaments and does not hype them on Twitch, like Riot does. Hype brings new players. From that moment on, it'd be a question of player retention by making sure the game has enough engaging content and is mostly free of bugs. But since there's so little investment in AOE3 and no official events to hype it, it continues to exist as a tiny niche in the overall small RTS niche. Only accessible to a very particular type of RTS players who like historically themed games and have the patience (or even hardheadedness) to put up with the games' mechanics and flaws.
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by JKProwler »

Mitoe wrote:
11 May 2022, 15:01
andrewgs wrote:
11 May 2022, 12:11
This video, The Next Major RTS Will Fail. This Is Why.
, is pretty relevant to this thread.

The demographics section is interesting, describing why focusing on the single player is so important - That's where you get new players, and have an audience much much larger than just RTS players.
The chart at 7:47 reinforces the sentiment of avoiding MMORPG and catering to civ-builder style games.


Fantasy historical campaigns are out of place in a historical game. This was such a blunder. Like April says there were plenty of historical campaigns they could play through; They could have stayed in Europe for vanilla instead of going to America. In some interviews they say how it's not fun to play as the bad guys of history, the slave owners, colonists etc, which led to the fantasy campaigns.
I think something that isn't mentioned in this video that's particularly important to the multiplayer scene is that RTS games focus way too heavily on 1v1. In my opinion 1v1 is just too intense and non-social for most modern gamers; it also seems to be a lot less popular than team games. It would be interested to see an RTS game released where the only game mode is 3v3, and everything is balanced around that. It would focus the playerbase into 1 queue, which would reduce queue times and make ranks more accurate, and people would have more incentive to encourage friends to try out the game.
100% this. Only reason why I stayed playing aoe3 was team games. Played that shit for hours in nilla and tad.

Now in DE i queau for a couple of games for 1v1 and then I'm done...just doesn't motivate me as much.

Also the rank and the jp community url was hugh...being able to analyse previous games and other players
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Brazil DNLgibraltar
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Re: [Multiverse of AOE3]If you were a dev what would you have changed to make D.E. more popular??

Post by DNLgibraltar »

Dolan wrote:
12 May 2022, 07:56
Idk why people hated the HC and cards. It's similar to how in LoL you go to a shop and buy items once you have enough gold. It's an intuitive idea that you boost your unit's stats by getting items (in this case, cards).
Not really man. Not really. It looks easy for us who are playing over a decade.
Imagine a person playing villagers farming food, building your siege workshop, training infantry and archers and knights with your mangonels...then comes 8 civs, human units have dual attack modes, a specific hand infantry can attack at range and they are extremely good at it, melee units are rather overshadowed and a bunch of units have guns. To top it off your civs now have a "deck" with cards that you must create beforehand- all the while you have to not only fight and manage your eco but "earn xp" to pull a "card" and the more xp you gain, more you can gain, which leads to a steamroll. It's overwhelming.

Twitch has been recommending me a lot of AOT/AOM streamers and I tell you something: watching AOM is so chill...you can track and understand everything. I feel that AOM is closer to AOE2 than AOE3 in my opinion (if you ignore the god powers).


I know lots of people disagree with me but Musketeer shouldn't have been as good or better than equivalent heavy (melee) infantry or so good at range, but it's too late now. Or at least they should have had different tag/multipliers. Rajput, Halb, Samurai and a bunch of others will always be overshadowed and there are only a handful of dangerous ways to help them (boosting speed or boosting HP).

On paper we have the counter system, in practice Musks crunch more than they should.

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