I feel that AOE-3 is a great game and although it is not the most popular, ironically it is designed to adapt to different tastes and styles of play due to its great diversity of mechanics. That’s why I think the next Age of Empires sequel should be inspired by AOE-3.
AOE-3 touched on so many new concepts that it’s a shame AOE-4 didn’t consider any of the many things that AOE-3 considered and implemented:
Alliances with local populations.
Mercenaries and outlaws that you can hire.
Treasures spice up exploration and give slight advantages when you get them.
Maps with a lot of details (Although all AOE have it, including AOE-O, but I don’t know why in AOE-4 there are no flying birds or crocodiles). I mean Gaia in general where the details do count.
Very unique civilizations with very unique units.
Metroploli and experience mechanics, which in short are supplies and/or support with technologies or politics from the capital.
‘Leader’ or ‘Hero’ type units that can scout or give Bonuses to your troops, and have different abilities.
Surely I have things to comment on, but I think the contributions of AOE-3 should not be discarded, which in turn is based a bit on AOM.
I also think that these mechanics would apply to any period of setting and not only to the era in which AOE-3 is set (Since the discovery of America, until almost the 20th century). It could for example apply to classical antiquity.
I think MS should seriously consider starting a new series in the vein of AOE3 but called something else to keep the AOE2 stans off our backs. Bruce Shelley had the right idea when he suggested it back in the day. I love the name “Age of Empires” but on the whole I think it would be the right move.
I’m good with AoE3DE continuing support for as long as possible rather than looking forward to a new game. AoEIV has left a sour taste in my mouth that isn’t going away any time soon. I don’t have much faith in the next iteration of the franchise if there is one.
Adam Isgreen was shocked when people suggested a card system for AoEIV which speaks volumes. I highly doubt we’ll ever see an AoE3-inspired game again. This is it. Lets ride the wave and hope it lasts.
Considering AoE3DE feels more modern than AoE4 - I see no reason to make another version of AoE3 with less content. The game that could really use a sequel is Age of Mythology. I would love to see someone have the guts to make an AOM2 with lots of AOE3 features (and maybe even some innovation!)
I was hyped for months for AoE4 and precisely for that reason I ended up hating AoE4 so much that it pains me even now to think of it. The basic expectations were that AoE4 would include features from all its predecessors and have something for someone from every age game. Instead, we got an AoE2 wannabe that feels incomplete. The worst part is… I don’t think it’s incomplete - the game you got on October 28 2021 is pretty much the game they had in mind. Just a few numbers and stats changed here and there and that’s it. AoE4 was designed to be a simple RTS that would be easy for newcomers to get into. In the process, all the AoE fans were disappointed.
I don’t think anything they’ll make will ever stop trying to please the AoE2 crowd. So if there’s ever an AoE5, it will be an AoE2-3, just for commercial reasons. And ironically AoE2 will still be more popular.
However, if the main devs of AoE5 (if it’s ever released) is Forgotten Empires, I’ll still give it a shot, because the FE devs are great.
To be sure, I speak of the RTS mechanics and gameplay of AOE3 as opposed to its themes and setting (as much as I love those). To this day, I think that Ensemble Studios absolutely knocked it out of the park and into the stratosphere in regards to gameplay. Sandy Petersen and friends elevated themselves into the great pantheon of game developers that includes the dudes who first brought chess to the world.
AOE3’s popularity has suffered since 2005 for a plethora of unfortunate reasons but none of that was really based on a rational rejection of the games’ fundamental mechanics and rules by the gaming populace. A huge amount of people were turned off because of trivial asinine reasons such as the game not being a copy of AOE2. Many people never played it in the first place because their computers couldn’t run it back in 2005. My point being that AOE3, or at least its essence, has never really had its true and due meaningful opportunity to connect with the people of planet Earth.
However, at this point I think the AOE3 name has acquired an irreversible taint that prevents the game from ever seeing the level of appreciation and recognition it deserves. A new series that acts as a spiritual successor to AOE3 might be the way to go.
I think AOE3 is much more interesting than it’s predecessors including AOE4. That said I think RTS can only really be viable again to a larger market when they mix RTS with something like Chivalry. In MP you could split the roles or alternate and so fourth.
Rise and Fall did it, the game itself was rather flawed but the idea played out pretty well.
Would be even easier with shooty weapons I figure.
I think I would rather make a game set in the AoM or AoE1 timelines, but heavily inspires on AoE3 mechanics because this game is already awesome as is, and I fear they would start trying to curb down support for it in order to push this community to play their new release instead ( I am actually surprised they didn’t do that with AoE4, and mad respect to them for not doing so, btw).
Yeah, eventually I would like them to revisit this era in a new game, but not now, not yet. This game needs no replacing yet.
If they had managed to make AoE3 favorable for a good competitive scene, it would have been successful. That didn’t happen.
If a game of the franchise was successful and popular (AoE2), the fact of changing it too much is a very high risk that usually leads to failure and more so when the AoE2 players of the time had a detriment with the servers closed.
I want the game to be popular, not a “highly innovative” game played by 3 people.
While I understand that it is definitely nice to have a game that is played by many, I still prefer an interesting game over a popular one.
Even though more people play AoE4 than AoE3, I find AoE4 mind numbingly boring. I cannot say the same about AoE2 or AoE3. I find AoE4 pro games interesting to watch, but I hate playing the game myself and would rather play AoE2/3.
Maybe its just me who likes some complexity in their RTS.
The problem with AoE4 is that it literally has nothing new to offer.
The new things it does have (such as stealth forests, walls) are not used as much.
They played it too safe.
Good that it has a competitive scene. But I’m tapping out because there isn’t much for me. My friends didn’t even buy the game and don’t plan to in the future. The focus on the 1v1 competitive scene and abject neglect for casual players (not balanced for team games, no good AI, campaign missions too few and straightforward) have pushed me away.
The game came out without Rankeds and without Mods. There are tools that lack and still affect competitive play. That they focus more on E-Sports, because of the money that other companies have put into tournaments, is very relative.
I do hope there will be more content in the future. I hope that this year the numbers come back.