I have been a fan of AoE3 since 2005, and have been on the forums since the launch of DE. I am a very casual player, and my skills are limited to beating the Extreme AI on DE. I derive most pleasure from playing team games against AI with friends and other AI. Needless to say, I suck at ranked, and have only played about 20 ranked games in my whole life (with disappointing results lol).
I never followed any AoE3 content creators because the very little time I have for the game, I would rather spend playing than watching. I loved playing this game in all the noobish ways possible, just for the sake of fun.
With the Creator Preview for the KotM DLC, I started watching streams of actual online games and I must say I enjoyed the Italy and Malta showcases a lot - as I was extremely stoked for new maps, Italy, Malta… what not. It is here that I saw with my own eyes for teh first time, that most games in pro level AoE3 are actually very short - I compared with some pro level AoE2 games and I realized something (late realization I guess, but still).
Competitive games barely use all the interesting cards that a civ can get. Some cool cards are never sent and instead you just send 700w 700c 6 units 1000w etc… Most of the time your card choices will lead to the creation of a huge army by 8 minutes and then shortly after, the game gets decided. The unit and crates are so decisive that there are rarely any comeback potentials. The amount of back and forth in this game is very short, and I felt that this makes AoE3 a complex and beautiful game, but one that is not very exciting to watch 1v1’s. Which is a shame because this game is truly a gem and deserves much more than what it gets.
If players used more diverse cards in 1v1, I feel like the 1v1 viewing experience would be much much better. Commentary would probably feel exciting too. I think unit and crate cards are just “too optimal” for the strategy and many of the long fun games I have had were because my decks were filled with “gimmicky” cards that were a lot of fun to play!
I am in no way asking for anything to be changed. I know it is what it is. And I understand my place as a very very very casual player. I was just thinking about what would make this game more fun to watch since I realized optimal builds in AoE2 (and even AoE4, the heartbreaker) are fun to watch since they don’t involve spikes of 700 wood in your stockpile or spikes of 2 falconets in your army.
Thanks for reading and happy KoTM!
I don’t know man, all the reasons you have listed are exactly the reasons aoe3 players find it an exciting game to play and watch.
Aoe3 is supposed to be a quick and fast paced game. When official support stopped in the leagacy game, competitive fanpatch patched and balanced the game around age III. Age IV was for very late games, and age V was like a tie breaker age, whoever reached there first was most likely to already have won the game.
DE has changed the game a little bit, where going age IV is becoming more common, but it is still a fast paced game. One bad fight, one bad positioning, one good shipment can turn the game. All units in the game are hard counters, so it never feels like you can just run around the map. For ex, I see aoe4 players running around the map with bows with no anticav, and even with enemy cav on top of them, they can retreat with a large enough army of bows still remaining. That feels like more boring to watch imo.
Been a long time player , still not a fan of 1v1 plays, though they are more attention grabbing etc, but the real fun of exploring all the possibilities and exploiting the uniqueness of the cards/civs lies in Team/Late/treaty game. So I prefer to play those , rather than 1v1 (which is played by wayyy less people).
Its just my personal way of categorizing, what’s fun in the game. I find creating civ cambos etc with my friends way more exciting than a 1v1. But to make the game more watchable/popular, some emphasis can be given on more played styles of the game.
Yes I do see that very quick suddenly decided games can be fun.
My only complaint with these games is that they don’t really utilize the unique units and upgrade cards of each civ. Like the really fun ones that devs have been adding in DE.
For instance they added this really fun card where Spain gets 2 Haciendas to get Soldados from. Most of you will probably dismiss it as a “Noob trap”, and it will never see any use in a competitive game.
Competitive players will always find a meta that’s inevitable.
But I do support adding more options especially for old civs. Competitive players will still find their meta but for other players more options > fewer options.
There is the new Empire Wars mode which tries to launch the players in a later game.
But I find it does too much, there are so many construction wagons during the game. I would have preferred something simpler like in AoE2, which just changes the beginning of the game but not the rest.
In this patycular case I´ve seen some good videos like this one: NUEVOS SOLDADOS ESPAÑOLES en AGE OF EMPIRES 3: Estrategia ÉPICA con Haciendas - YouTube
It is truth, that they mainly use the same cards, but it differs a bit in function of the Civ, for example I enjoy a lot the mercenary strat with the germans on ranked
As mostly a casual player myself who rarely plays any ranked games, I wholeheartedly agree with the spirit of this post. Pro matches are ridiculously limited and lacking in diversity. It is just unit shipments, carts of resources, and tightly timed build orders. They are over super fast, and they are usually cookie cutter replays of each other. Mayorcete in his channel is the exception, but let’s be real, he is more into getting diversity and trying out all the stuff than going for fast wins and topping the rankings.
In the case of Spain, my main civ, I have never seen a pro gamer use unction, soldados, or often even Spanish Gold (and I mean even before the card got nerfed into oblivion) during a competitive match, which is crazy from the standpoint of someone who loves the uniqueness of each civ.
On the other hand, the fact that the ecosystem allows for the coexistence of competitive pro play based on tight repetitive efficiency AND purists who want to savor the whole range of possibilities in the game is a testament to a really well designed game. For contrast, go look at AoE4, which has a thriving pro scene, but a collapsing base of casual players.
I really enjoy watching professionals or high ELO players play AOE-3. Micromanagement and planning strategies are very well planned and worked.
Unlike casual games, high level players are always scouting and seeing what the enemy is up to, and many times the game depends on it. In this I think it is similar to SC where there must be a continuous exploration of the map and the enemy.
I also like to see that pros know very well which battles are unfavorable and run away just before they are melee attacked, as we all know that this is a feature that makes attacked units slow down and makes AOE-3 very unique. I would have liked this in AOE-4. I think this is the most marked difference from other AOE in terms of competitive games. The Snare Mechanic is the unsung hero of aoe3
It is both the unsung hero and the bane of the game. People who love AoE3 embrace it and understand its importance and potential. People from outside the game swear it is a bug. I even saw a video by Spirit of the Law lambasting on the mechanic and arguing why it was one of the factors for the failure of the game. I wholeheartedly disagreed with his position, but it i illustrative of how outsiders view the game.
A spirit of the law le falto que un jugador que sabia del juego bastante le contara eso
…And to think that SC-2 has this mechanic. Why didn’t SC-2 fail?
I think all opinions about AOE-3 are largely ignorant.
Also AOE-3 was not a failure to begin with, just less successful which is not the same thing.
Speaking of King of the Hill, it will need to be moved to the Game Mode list from the Game Rules list because King of the Hill makes more sense to be on the Game Mode list as it is in fact, a game mode.