AOE 3: DE recently had its first birthday and i would like to use this opportunity to take a quick look back at how far AOE3: DE has come.
First of all: Thanks to the Developers for all the patches and the gameplay improvement the game has experienced.
Lets start with the good (incomplete list, feel free to add) New Features and QOL Improvements:
UI has a lot more information now
DM now more balanced and got some love
removing useless cards
Balancing gets better with every patch, where no new broken civ is introduced
Shift command with TPs now works properly
Game runs a lot more stable and uses a little less resources. It also doesn’t delete your hard drive anymore
Units get a lot less stuck in other stuff (especially mines / TP sockets)
Wishlist and open bugs:
Now there are still a lot of things, which could be improved (naturally). So these are the most glaring issues i currently have in the game and also some thoughts from veteran AOE 3 players of ESOC.
Replays still “slower than usual” - So the game is notable slower than the gameplay, when watched in replay
Game still needs to be restarted so the performance is consistent. Bad performance in “big” team games, especially at the “start” of the action
Unit AI still not good - Especially the attack move, the Melee unit AI and the canon AI (give us a permanent limber stance please, so they don’t start randomly unpacking)
Multiplayer disconnection issues still present for a notable part of the player base
Multiplayer API not here. So no advanced game stats like in AOE 2 possible (https://aoe2.net/)
Multiplayer experience still not on the same lvl as old Eso. No real ranks (Milestone) BTW: ESO was ahead of its time, now all games do have a similar system like the military ranks (Ranks in CSGO / LOL / DOTA etc). A single number is not really encouraging and doesn’t feel “good” to climb, while it is fun to climb the military ladder (for example). Casual ranks not useful and do not really help balancing games. Clan/ Friendlist etc barely functional. No browsing/ Deckbuilding while searching. No Chatting while Searching game etc… No looking at decks of other people pre game
Lobbys sometimes buggy. Sometimes it is impossible for players to join.
Blitz Treaty (Who did ask for empire wars ? :/)
Scenario Editor still not good and barely useable (broken Scripts, many options not there, looks old)
Scenarios tend to delete your Homecities when you play Multiplayer
ESOC suggested bugs / Gameplay improvements:
Input delay regarding ctrl groups, same as with chat functionality
Show elo on load screen.
In lobbies, default server should be ‘‘all regions’’, not ‘‘closest region’’.
Showing map list of map pools.
Show the game’s winner in the “recorded game playback finished” screen
Ability to re-order decks.
Creating/Researching/Building times showed, same as cost or population.
Toggle button for villager auto attack, so that when villagers stop gathering food they go idle not half way through the map to find the hunt.
People with slightly lower graphic card specs still can’t use obscure unit alpha and see through trees, even though they said they had worked on this months ago.
Live spectating games has a timeline bug that sometimes won’t allow you to watch the game for longer than 10 seconds.
Stop hunts from going to the edge of the map, which makes it hard to herd them in correctly.
This might be a bit off the usual track, but I would like some improvements to the alert system. Currently, I feel that one of the biggest issues that new players might face is the requirement of high situational awareness of a lot of portions of the map. For instance, it is easy to miss raids in your base if you are currently engaged in a fight in the middle of the map or under the enemy TC. If they could incorporate distinct sounds for different types of engagements, it would help a lot w/ situational awareness.
I’d like to see a bit of effort put into balancing civs for team games. Namely, tuning up civs that don’t have insane eco booms since that’s what’s kind of dominated team games in all of DE’s time, probably via some new or rebuffed TEAM shipments.
Thanks for your time and let me know what you would like to see done in the game!
Yeah a good marketing is a must, to get more purchases= more money for future content.
Unfortunately, sp content offering compared to like 2DE is pretty weak. I’m afraid they would have to get funding from MS first for a brand new campaign, PvE mode or something, to justify any bigger marketing effort.
And with IV released- I doubt MS would want to detract attention to older games more than they have to.
But even without some huge new campaign- marketing can be improved. Game is in much better shape than it was around release and deserves more spotlight.
With all new civs, customization, maps (and related stuff like upcoming improved, visual map selection) it’s shaping to be an incredibly strong RTS game that can exist on par with 2DE and IV for at least a few more years (in terms of active Dev support).
It’s hard to point to other RTS games, outside of AoE brand, that presents a comparable level of quality and content.
I’d prefere them to save the upcoming civ (Kingdom of Italy?) for a paid expansion with a brand new campaign that can be marketed with a well-made trailer and beautiful screenshots.
About that first year: I’m extremely impressed how much they’ve managed to improve and expand the game.
That’s very true. I’ve seen in multiple places where people comment the dlcs as “not worth the price because there are only 3 new missions (or no mission for the USA)”
Even though us, who have been playing the game for more than a decade and actively watching its updates, could understand the amount of work put into designing a new civ or adding customizations (which may be larger than one entire AOE2 dlc), many “newcoming” players would regard the amount of single player contents, or more accurately estimated amount at the first glance, as an important factor of evaluation. “3 missions+2 civs (with entirely new designs and a lot of customizations+new maps with new fauna)” just feels lacking at the first glance compared to “4 full-length campaigns+2 civs (with a few new units)”.
AOE4 has a similar problem. Many people see “8 civs and 4 campaigns” and their first reaction would be “not as much content as AOE2DE”.
When it comes to production value Age of Kings - 2DE missions are rather simplistic and cheap. Some voicover, some boxes with texts, a lot of triggers, but… that’s enough. And considerign tools they were using- missions are very varied in interesting. Everything from commanding small groups of units, through full skirmish-like base building to being thrown into deep water and commanding huge armies from the start.
I’d be totally happy with missions like that in 3DE. But I guess Devs wouldn’t want new campaigns to stand out too much, compared to the very cinematic coating of OG AoE III content, with all these cutscenes, narrators etc.
Actual value for money in 2DE is crazy. I don’t even know how long it takes to complete all missions with gold medal, discover all secrets, do all achievements… 60hrs? 100hrs?
Age of Kings; style is great - atmospheric black and white drawings on paper with hand-painted background frame, and a good narrator! And ofc good writing and knowledge about history to make the whole thing
Instead of a classic pencil-charcoal drawing, they could go for a watercolor painting style.
We need a Napoleonic campaign! That was the next step after Asian dynasties. A campaign focused on a European theme with 2 or 3 new European civilizations and at least 20-25 missions that reflect at least 48 hours of gameplay, a possible fourth resource for Europeans and many new things.
Everything that has been implemented so far has been excellent, but we want something much bigger.
The campaigns of the ‘Black’ family were not based on real events, but they were very entertaining and with a good atmosphere, good synematics and good plot and narration. We want that again!