Better tutorial is all you need to "attract new players"

First of all I’m sad that “attract new players” here is almost synonymous with “attract new competitive pvp players”. But if that is what people want, here is what you should do:
Make actually viable prebuilt decks for all civs.
Make good tutorial scenarios that guide the players through the pacing and timing of the prebuilt decks. For example, I would not think any new player (devs back in 2005 included) would ever think of sending 700w + 600w or 5 cossack + 4 cossack because the latter just looks like a weaker compromise if you do not have the former. Some people would not realize that early eco buffs are less cost effective than resources or villagers. It’s hard for new players to have an accurate understanding of the value of cards. This is the real source of difficulty. The “art of war” section for AOE3 resembles more to the tutorial in AOE2, and it does what the tutorials should do (while the true “tutorial” of AOE3 does little). Learning how to use the deck should be the true “art of war” for AOE3.
Update the prebuilt decks (or release new ones) when there is a major content update.

That’s how I got into some (and far more intricate) card games. I don’t really play pvp in RTS that much so this is from the perspective of a “new player”.

And just to mention, there is no chance AOE3 can reach the same level of pvp player number as AOE2 because:
(1) Medieval is the more popular setting in the first place.
(2) AOE3 had a “bad reputation” among other AOE players or RTS in general.
(3) It is a 17 year old game with little advertising. Even with more advertising, “the remake of a 17 year old game” which is not a nostalgic classic does not sound as intriguing as a new game.
So even with all the attempts it is not going to reach the same level of online players. And people need to have a different criteria for how “successful” the changes are.


Yeah, this! Art of war is not enough. Even then, only the dutch have a scenario where the game explains to you how to play them, the one about experience.

This game has a lot of civs, and we rightfully call it the most asymmetric aoe game ever, which it is, but how can one expect a new player to use 20+ civs before choosing a style and start playing seriously?
Se have 5 “cultures” already (European, Native American, Asian, African and Rev Nations), every one with their shared mechanics too, and that is not explained anywhere in game besides playing and figuring out yourself.

There is also not an ingame explanation of snare (which I think should only apply to damaged units even in a selection, to make it more understandable to new players), nor any indication now that natives TPS also give experience, nor a revolution tutorial, nothing. Just a kinda outdated tutorial section.

Sadly, tutorials and art of war are single player content, and it seems the worlds edge or forgotten empires won’t devote resources to any SP content: we are 2 years and several dlcs in and we haven’t got a new campaign not an updated version, unlike aoe2 that change their old campaigns when new civs release; the historical battles haven’t been exploited like many of us wanted them to be (really, 3 USA scenarios but many OG civs don’t even have one?) and we are still using as a tutorial a scenario made in 2005 and 10 new scenarios that only touch the bare minimum and doesn’t even helps with the most misunderstood mechanics from the game. We don’t even have masteries like 4.


In reality what we need to attract new players in general is just new campaigns, most aoe3 players never even go online they just play vs ai or do campaign and historical battles. If we want more multiplayer then a better tutorial would help of course.


There needs to a tutorial to give a general rule of thumb of the opportunity cost of different types of cards.

  • 3 villager card is generally advisable
  • Early on resource shipments can be better than eco upgrades
  • Age 3 falc card is pretty standard
  • Factories are a must

But other than that it’s going to vary a lot and depend heavily on the civ in question and what the current meta and state of balance is.

If there was an in game feature where you could share and post decks and maybe also build order instructions then it could just evolve with what the community is using.

here’s a suggestion, putting learn to play to actual main menu instead of hiding it under tools, and for first time launch just start that tutorial as soon as the game boots, something aoe4 does very well, it won’t solve everything, but at least it will provide the most basic kind of tutorial right of the bat
also the learn section of aoe4 is a good example on how to handle things for someone brand new
i may not like aoe4 but i’m not blind to things that are done well or exceptionally well


You bring up several good suggestions.

I know the topic is about winning over more PvP players here but I’m more of a PvE guy.

If World’s Edge isn’t going to increase 3DE’s budget enough for campaigns then Historical Battles are the best we can do. We need more of them. I wasn’t a fan of the historical maps as they seemed more PvP-focused to me. People have requested Historical Battles pack DLCs in the past, it’s time to revisit it. The era of AoE3 has so many stories to tell but without the proper investment, the game will never reach its true potential.

The budget issues also have played a part in the reason why 3DE hasn’t introduced any Asian civs as of now.

While I’m not a fan of AoE4 I do think masteries could provide players incentive to learn civs. I think they’re pretty cool tbh.


Yes like I said in another post, it is too early to conclude “AOE3 is not popular because of this or that unique feature so let’s remove it”.
A lot of things have not even been tried to exploit the game’s potential, some of which should have been included in 2006 or 2007 with the expansions. It has been only two years since the reboot. I’d say the current number is actually pretty healthy for any game. Even AOE2 HD, the nostalgic game with heavy advertising and the first true update of a decade-abandoned series, didn’t have that many players for the first few years. It took several DLCs before the hype is built up for DE.
3DE is still at 2HD’s (not 2DE’s) position. Imagine what will happen if someone looks at 2HD’s numbers in 2013 and conclude “It’s not successful. Let’s give up the entire remake thing forever”


Agreed. The player numbers are pretty good all things considered. I think people are going a bit stir-crazy while waiting for this touted spring update. It’s rather funny to me that people are talking about increasing the playerbase when it has done just that recently. The game isn’t in dire straits to warrant drastic changes.

3DE hasn’t had enough time post-launch to devote energy to appeal to AoE2/4 players to keep the game afloat. No one expected 4 civs a year after the release and while that clearly slowed down last year I suspect the game plan going forward is less frequent support/DLC but far more substantial. KotM and the anniversary update packed quite a punch.

We will know more about what the future holds when the spring update is out. Allocate more resources for Historical battle packs/cosmetics alongside new civs. Heck, 2DE is no longer receiving monthly updates, and like 3DE got one DLC last year.

AoE3 will never equal AoE2 in single player content if only for the fact it is more labor intensive but KotM was really good value. I just wish people would stop comparing 2DE DLC to 3DE’s.

Proper campaigns would be great but I’m dubious that World’s Edge is going to invest what it would require for reasons beyond 3DE’s budget.

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Let me illustrate your point with the steamchart graphs:

HD is in blue and DE in green

I doubt people in 2013 would have thought aoe2 would reach 40k players ever, or that the average playerbase in 10 years would be more than 10 times higher


In fact there are only 2 (New Orleans and the USS Philadelphia playing with the United States; Queenston Heights is playing with Canada and Hauds in coop against the United States)…after the rest of the civs appear in historical battles, in campaigns or in the Art of War (Holland for example); the only civs that don’t appear anywhere are Incas, Sweden, Italy and Malta (all DE civs)…

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