AOE2 VS AOE3 (Again....)

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aoe2 is hands down the better game by far.


As someone who likes AOE3 a lot I agree TBH

He forgot to mention the limitations AOE3 applies. (Building limit, Fort and Factory only buildable via a wagon home city package and they are very limited)

I despised that idea, it made no sense. I want to spam forts and spend resources to build them.
The same for factories…

I get it that 10 factories will make the eco too strong, but they could balance it like they did a Feitoria

There are lots of more issues imo, but to make this short, the unit pop was another one.

When a unit can have 14 pop, either lower the pop or increase the max pop by a huge number.

The fact that there’s no unit in AOE3 (not native ones, those are not that great anyways) that has 1 pop (not talking about villagers) speaks for itself

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I do agree with SOTL here, but maybe he could have gone more in depth with the clunkyness of the UI, especially for upgrades.

I find that in fine, aoe3 has to be taken as a different game. The way the economy and the combat works just isn’t the same, there is less focus on melee infantry, vils bring res directly to the bank so managing your eco is much easier, naval combat is a thing of its own honestly…
I just feel that it doesn’t have the same feeling to it. When talking to aoe3 players, I found that some have similar strong feelings against aoe2 and find aoe3 the superior game.

So yeah…I prefer Aoe2, and I think Aoe3 speaks to a slightly different audience, which IMO wasn’t a great move since you want a sequel to attract the players from the earlier titles.

Most of the basic infantry units cost 1 pop (musketeer-type, skirms, archaic units like pikes and crossbows)
Units that cost more pop are usually arty, cav and mercenaries/“elite” infantry.
(not to disagree with the opinion that a reduced pop limit due to higher pop costs is annoying, but there definitely a lot of powerful units that only have 1 pop requirement)


Right, I was mistaken

Correct, but some of them require insane pop to build (4-14 for cannons)

yes… yes you were in deed…

besides that, multi pop allows balancing on another axis. aoe2 is ■■■■ blocked by not allowing balancing around pop as well. you end up with units that are imba for either 1v1 or TGs… thus the multipop mechanic was invented.

those incredibly high pop units are purposely high pop to prevent people like you from spamming them and opposing civs not being able to handle the spamming of extremely high efficiency units…

they have modified the pops of some units besides previous techs which lowered the pop of certain things (like eles)

its a different game meant to be played differently. by putting limits on factories and forts they could keep those buildings very strong and impactful without making them OP.

not that it really matters, but in AOE3DE you can now spam forts, besides russians being able to build them, other civs can now literally spam forts(without it being broken)

i mean it would be completely predictable that an AOE2 forum would have people that prefer AOE2 to AOE3 right? :joy:


Not just me who feels that way. Aoe2 sold 2 million copies in 3 months. Aoe3 took a few years

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:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: what? no ways… i didnt know that at all… wow you have enlightened me greatly…


Which is called limitation

The game should be balanced so if I massed cannons, there is a counter that will destroy them

Haven’t played it for a while, you forget some stuff

In AOE3, that’s the French cav.

You shouldn’t have mentioned it tho dude

That’s not such a great way to handle an opinion tho

The playerbase of AOE3 is significantly lower, judging by the numbers of players in each platform and YouTubers who stream and play the game

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If we don’t consider aoe 2 DE then I would say that aoe 3 is by far much better game for casuals, whereas aoe 2 is more rewarding if you want to spend 500+ hours on it. When I first played aoe 3 all civs felt very distinct and memorable, and it was rewarding to upgrade your home city and build decks. On the other hand, in aoe 2 almost all civs (except for meso and maybe some others) felt exactly the same until imperial age to such an extent that I used to forget what civ I was playing several times a match. And the AI was absolutely terrible as well, sending sporadic streams of every single unit in its tech tree and microing every single one of them individually. This ruined my first experience with campaigns and with the game in general, along with heavily outdated UI and severe lack of quality-of-life features. Now with DE it’s not the case anymore.

So what? In aoe 2 some units are only produced from castles, which is a limitation. Some units cost more to upgrade, which is a limitation. Some units are very expensive to produce, which is a limitaion. Castles cost stone - a limited resource, thus, there is a limit on how many castles you can build. Limitations are present in both games, but are handled differently with aoe 3 preferring strict limits, whereas aoe 2 employs soft limits.

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But you are not restricted to 3 castles
And you can build them using villagers

Yeah, you have no clue what I meant by limitation, did you?

They didn’t feel the same at all

Some are infantry civs

Some are archer civs

You can easily tell the difference

Ladies and gentlemen, we got him

Age3 AI is super predictable

You kill the fort wagon for the AI and it’s dead. I tried this on hard

Stone is a limited resource in aoe 2, gold is a limited resource in aoe 2 (if we talking realistic 1v1 games). Thus the game prevents me from building many castles, and prevents me from training many gold intensive units. Does it not sound like a limitation? When it comes to aoe 2 it’s called “balance”, but in aoe 3 for some reason it’s called “limitation” instead.

Yeah, that crucial advantage of having 10% discount on a unit. Yes, after investing thousands of hours into watching aoe 2 videos and 500+ hours of playing it, I feel the difference between the strength of mayan archers and the strength of slav archers. But for a newer player (like myself a few years ago) those typical 10-20% bonuses in feudal/castle age don’t mean much, it feels the same until imp, where bonuses become more extreme, and some civs lack crucial techs.
In aoe 3 civ differences are flashed out much better. With maybe some exceptions that I can’t recall, all civs felt distinct since the first minute, or at least in the colonial age.

Good thing it’s not the case in aoe 2 where AI can be easily tricked into training 40 skirmishers in response to your 5 archers.

So what? Prior to DE, you go fast feudal and train 4 archers, and the hardest AI is dead (and the same works for earlier versions of DE). Doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone. The AI in aoe 2 is unfun to play against because of its 10 unit types army composition and 9k apm. Fortunately, it’s braindead, so extreme AI can be beaten with relative ease.


Limitation in the sense that you have the resources but you can’t mass a unit. That’s what I meant. Stop twisting points please

What’s the difference between a British Musketeer and Portuguese one for a beginner?

Same thing in AOE3

AOE2 was 20 years old, AOE3 was in the era of more modern games, it could be less predictable

Also, people wrote decent AIs for AOE2 before DE came out

Then again, AOE2 is 20 years old. It was in an era that the games were starting to become decent.

2005 is when most games were decent

When you are strong enough, sure

Not for a new player tho

Ai of the base aoe 3 nilla game was somewhat better than in expansions.

Expansion civs were porely designed in my opinion,eycepr maybe iroquese.

They were too drastically different,while the vanilla game followed the aoe principle of similar baseline units.

Also the card effects got more extreme in the expansion like the Spanish dmagae arua for monks. Auras don’t fit into aoe. In the base game it didn’t exists.

Japanese daimos training units in 10 stacks, it only got worse.

I have played more aoe 3 vanilla on game ranger than aoe 2.

I loved the game and am sad to see it die since it evolved the wrong way (similar to my relationship to wow vanilla and how raising the lvl cap and making old cotnern obsolete ruined everything in 2007 and now once more in classic soon)

Sotl argument that counter are unitivite feels wrong to me. Atleaat aoe 3 clearly display the bonuses. In aoe 2 it is hard to find inside the game and you need to go to wiki or get some mod for these Infos.

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Funny to see this video pops up in literally every aoe-related forum I’m in and then read the same old arguments repeating as if 10 years ago.

I can see several points he made on how transitioning from aoe2 to aoe3 is difficult for some old aoe2 players (though I don’t feel that). However the arguments about the counter system are completely biased. Javelins outranging bows/crossbows and dealing damage only to archers (mounted or on foot) make no sense. Huskarl looks like just another regular swordsman at first sight. Light cav seems to be just a cheaper alternative of knights with overall lower stats. And all these are not even explicitly stated in the game.

A veteran aoe2 player may found these natrual and intuitive of course. If so I wonder how some guns countering other guns would be counter-intuitive.


So basically pop limit, which is present in both games.

Don’t twist points. We are talking about civ difference, not about specific unit difference for some civs. Civs in aoe 3:

  1. each civ has at least 2 unique units, usually more (expansion civs even have entirely new sets of units, which I’m not a fan of, but that’s a separate discussion), and they are typically both accessible and viable.
  2. tend to have unique and impactful eco bonuses (which sometimes go as far as being eco “rework”), which jump out at you at 1st minute, even if said bonuses are weak when deduced to numbers.
    Same can be said for maybe 5 civs in aoe 2.

Pure strength of the AI isn’t that relevant, in the worst case scenario in AOE 3 you can always adjust difficulty via handicap. What matters is that in that in AOE 3 I get fairly ok AI, which masses army and sends it to battle like a real inexperienced person would do. In AOE 2 I get brainless obnoxious microgod that always has at least one monk alive, just to annoy me.

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Pop for each unit
And the limitation on building even houses
Like you say:

This was a part of your point.

For the civ difference, AOE2 has unique civ bonuses (trashbows, Khmer farms, Teuton farms, etc)

Which heavily relies on the shipments, and the shipments are level-restricted for the most part

AI is supposed to be used as a practice field

You want inexperienced people you join noob lobbies, just saying

AI is supposed to be challenging

Also, still, before DE, the AI got different better variations

So what’s your complaint? You find it neccessary for the gameplay to be able to build 100 houses instead of 20? Most of what you listed is such a non-problem. If you have res for infinite falconets, you can build falconets until you are popcapped, which is the same as in aoe2, where if you have resources you can produce onagers… until you reach the pop cap. So far I havn’t heard a single reason why it’s bad other than “I want 60 falconets”. It’s just a part of balance, just like Feitoria taking 20 pop space instead of 1. In AOE 3 you cannot build more than 7 towers because it’s unfun to play against turtling players. You cannot build more than 4-10 banks to keep Dutch eco bonus balanced. Native Americans don’t take pop space (which is a cool feature, if you ask me), but have their own limit to keep the game balanced. And so on.

Trashbows are only relevant in imp, which proves my point. Teuton farm discount is just a generic “something costs less”. Only a small portion of civs get something unique. If your starting civ is replaced with another civ without changing architecture, you probably won’t notice any difference until castle age, and maybe not even until imp. Maybe at some point you’ll notice that your archer has 36 hp or maybe that your vills cost 45 food insted of 50.

Not at all. Dutch vils cost gold instead of food, Ottoman vils are produced automatically, Brittish vils can be created by building houses and so on, for almost every civ. In the entirety of aoe 2 only huns, cumans and maybe khmer can even come close to having something this unique. Playing any civ in AOE 3 is unlike playing any other civ from the very beginning. Playing most civ in AOE 2 from dark age to castle age is the same as playing ~10 other civs with the same specialty and fairly similar to playing the remaining 25. That is until one reads guides, watches videos and plays ranked games for a while. Then they will be able to tell everybody how 20% gold discount on archers for Portuguese is vastly different from mayan 10/20% archer discount in feudal/castle. And I can talk about this as well, but my point is about new player’s perspective.

Which is why AI is better in AOE 3. Playing against AOE 2 AI doesn’t teach you anything apart from build orders (which you can learn playing alone), because it plays nothing like a real person. It builds bases not like a human. It microes not like a human. It has instant reaction time on higher difficulties as soon as you appear out of fog of war. It’s also inhumanly retarded. At least in AOE 3 it resembles a noob-ish player that can press buttons.

Which is covered in AOE 3. You can chose expert difficulty, which cheats with resources, and let it cheat even more by enabling handicaps. And it would leave you with an experience as close to a real game as AOE 2 DE extreme difficulty, which cheats with its 1k apm. Except playing against 50% extra resources is more fun than against typical “improved AI” army of 20 skirmishers attacking houses. It’s a bit of a shame though that the AI in DLCs for AOE 3 became worse.

Mods can twist any argument into any direction. I’m talking exclusively about official versions. When I buy a game, I expect full package, not something that I need to spend time trying to improve.