"Classic" Game mode

AoE3DE is less popular then AoE2DE or AoE4 so many people naturally ask the question What do you think would bring more players to age of empires 3 de? and for many the answer is “Make it more like AoE2/4”.

So maybe having a game mode that removes some of the aspects AoE3 has to make it more like a “traditional” RTS could attract new players.
This game mode should not be targeted at AoE2/4 players. AoE2/4 players already bought a game for the same company so there is little financial incentive to move them over to AoE3DE.
The game mode should target other RTS fans or just not yet AoE fans in general.
So it should not replace AoE3DE features with AoE2/4 features.

Home Cities

Home Cities are the best and the worst thing about AoE3DE.
They give each civilisation a lot of flexibility and allow for many interesting strategies.
But they are also hard to learn and make it harder to get into the game, especially now that players instantly get all cards. It feels like a lot to learn upfront.

Having a second game mode that doesn’t have Home Cities would give us the best of both worlds. The normal game mode with all it’s complexity and “classic” game mode that is easier to pick up for new players and less complicated for casual players.


The is already a building with that name that is unique to the Hausa so maybe there is a better name for that.
This new building would be available in the second Age and give you access to some of the home city cards as technologies.
Those technologies cost resources like normal technologies.

None of the technologies there send units. They are just technologies.
That also means there are a lot less technologies then there used to be Home City Cards in one deck.
Maybe even less then 10 Technologies.

Civilisation specific problems

How are German and Indian Home City bonuses handled?
Shipping Uhlans or Villagers for each technology you research would be strange.
Also conflicts with the Italian bonus.

Spanish get cheaper Home City shipments, so they would need to get something that makes up for that too.

Mexico and the US get new Home City cards on Age up, those would have to be turned into technologies.

Italian Basilica also would have to be reworked. No shipments also means no shipments from a Basilica.

Maltese would also lose their 1% Hitpoint bonus.

Forts and Factories

Since there are no shipments anymore those buildings would need to be build able somehow.

Age Ups

Age Ups should not ship units either. We want to be consistent.
Age Ups could be choosing between two (or more) Technologies that used to be Home City cards.


What to do with XP? It’s basically a 4th resource.
There are a lot of things in the game that give you XP as a resource like Trade Posts, Mosque or the Sacred Field.

Just making things randomly cost XP would be strange.

Unit stats

Should stay exactly the same. There should be no change to anything outside of Home Cities, shipments in general and the new Technology building.
It should not be too hard to switch from one game mode to the other.
I hate that the AoE4 campaign units have completely different stats from the Multiplayer. That just confuses new players and makes it feel wrong to play campaigns after you already played Skirmisher or Multiplayer.

AoE3 has a simpler counter system then AoE2 so there is definitely no need to simplify it.
There is also no need to purposely ruin it because one YouTubeer doesn’t get the difference between a Skirmisher and a Musketeer as if all AoE2 counters were intuitive.

Features that should not be removed

  • Minor Civilisations (natives)
  • Trade Routes
  • Villagers directly depositing to the stockpile
  • Building and unit limits
  • Estates (infinite Coin source)
  • Batch training
  • All units and their counters

Features that should not be added

  • Anything from AoE2/4 basically
  • Features that are specific to some other popular RTS like WC3, SC2 and definitely not Total War.


The balancing would mostly done by the new Technology building and it’s available technologies.
Some civilisation bonuses need adjustment though since they rely on home cities.
Also the starting resources likely need adjustment to keep early game balance without Age 1 shipments.

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If you don’t like aoe3, you can play aoe2, or aoe4, there is no need to change aoe3 to aoe2, or aoe4. Your suggestion doesn’t make any sense.Ask a loyal player of aoe3, “Will you play with the card system added to aoe2?” The answer is obviously not to play


I am all in favor of this. I am a hardcore AoE3 fan and I would definitely play this mode from time to time. I think experience as a resource is still fine.

And I had proposed the building that acts like a home city (but for techs only) long back. The techs at this building cost XP.

So as for Indians, Spanish and Germans, here are my suggestions. I don’t know about balance at this point. But here goes:

Indians can have their villager cost reduced.
Germans can research their university techs cheaper per age. While Spanish can receive more techs per age.

I think it would very fun to play games where it is not necessary to send units and crates to win. And while I know it is not for every AoE3 player, a new optional game mode hurts no one.

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If you want more players, I suggest adding new campaigns instead. More true to the actual game and could attract the large community of rts campaign players.
Many people don’t play aoe3 because the campaign offering is very lacking.


Did you read my post?
It’s not about AoE2/4 it’s about RTS in general.
I did clearly write that I do not want to add AoE2/4 features.

Why not both?
Campaigns are a lot of work that goes into very little play time.
You need both. High quality but low quantity content but then also lower quality but higher quantity content.

Historical Maps are the perfect bridge between both sides of the game but that’s a different topic.

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If you want a simpler game mode, why not just make one where everyone gets a simpler predetermined deck? No need for new buildings and mechanics that way and its still aoe3.

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That would be an easy approach to have such a “classic” mode, just make HC a unique building.

There is no room in the settler’s build menu for another building. The Dutch all ready have to build the embassy using the envoy because they have another building with the bank.

I dont think changing the core gameplay of aoe3 is a good way to get new players in the game. It just makes them more confused when they move on into the regular game when suddenly their civs work different.
The shipment system is pretty simple at its core anyway. Flag lights up and click bonus.

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Changing the Villager UI is the smallest problem.

The new building could also be merged with the Capitol for Europeans.

I think it’s not that confusing.
It’s two different game modes with a simple and clear difference.
One is with and the other without a Home City.

what i mean is… just regard HC as a building. nothing need to be changed, only the deck is fixed.
all armies and techs (cards) cost XP, which is a resource gain from building your economy and millitary. and the card costs increase as you keep sending cards. see, HC is only a tech building with special mechanics.

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This is a very expensive affair and while we all want campaigns, I don’t think they give AoE3 the funds for more campaigns.

Voice actors are expensive.

But what would exactly be the point of this huge resource investment. To create another version of aoe3 to attract new players? But would they even later go to the actual aoe3 game or stay in this weird mixed mode?
Besides, most people that regularly play multiplayer usually stick to their favourite and they rarely move to a different game.
I think the focus should be on the campaign people and those who play against AI with friends, which is something that both aoe2 and Starcraft 2 understood (see how co-op for that game was such a surprise hit, probably even rivaling multiplayer).
I think that approach is better than making a parallel multiplayer without some mechanics.
Besides, this doesn’t even matter as long as they don’t give more public attention to the game. The past 25 anniversary event was an embarrassment, from the redbull exclusion to the cannon galleons from that video.


I know it is expensive. But I at least see some potential for return of investment. I am afraid this new hybrid mode would be a huge investment for nothing.
If you ask me, this should be their priorities:

  1. more publicity
  2. more content (civs, maps, etc.)
  3. new modes (like the Starcraft 2 coop)
  4. new campaigns
  5. experiments like this that involve removing some game mechanics

I am strongly against removing any game mechanics.

This would be a new game mode and nothing else. And I’d like this mode even as an AoE3 player. It’s more fun than tycoon mode.

Now, without publicity, none of it will work. So of course the most important thing to do is to advertise and publicize.

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I got a headache with the recent trend of self-denial.

If you make an entire new game mode (BTW a very expensive one) just to attract new players, very likely old players are not interested. Then “a game releases a mode which removes its core mechanics” sounds like a joke to the public and creates a worse first impression. Those who know the game and have bashed the system for years would laugh harder instead of giving it a try.

Do you expect it to immediately build up a huge pvp player base? More likely a few come and have a try, and leave because there aren’t many players to play against. That’s the case for every new pvp game mode. Even for AOE2 the empire wars (which requires only a few tweaks at the start) is quickly abandoned by the pvp players. And we’re talking about a much more expensive mode that might take a whole year to develop.

Just give up that esports pvp mentality entirely. Esports has died for RTS. It’s not going to revive in the near future. Even if it does, there’s nothing to do with an old niche game. As esports as Starcraft 2 needed a good co-op mode to keep the players in its final years. Give the game richer contents and better guidance that encourages people to learn first and think of making expensive overhauls that appeals to no one much much later.

Also the best thing of the deck system is it allows a huge larger number of historical reference as a historical RTS. I’m disappointed no one here thinks that way. How do you represent the different US/Mexican states or the huge variety of mercenaries that nations employed in actual history? You can’t give people a huge panel of technologies. That just complicates things further.


But what would this new mode bring to the game? It’s just a simplified version of something we already have.

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Also there is another factor that you may overlook: the card system enforces a very different pacing than the same amount of techs that you can research as long as you have the resource.
It’s far more intricate than just choosing some cards and change them into technologies. Basically you are overhauling everything besides the models. Unit stats also need to be tweaked. Some units have weak or cost-ineffective base stats and rely on bonus cards. You would need to choose between those cards and immediate resources or units. It’s different than a tech. You can get the tech right after you gather enough resource. But with cards/xp you’ll still need to venture out to get those effects.
There was only one right time to regret the design and that is before the game releases. Then the playstyle of the game was stabilized by the players (most of which beyond the developers’ initial thoughts) and everything added afterwards synchronizes with it.

It’s a whole new game worth of design work, requiring far far more efforts than new civs ans campaigns, and better be spent for actual new games. I’d rather not having the developers spend a whole year on that.

This is like “some people do not like yugioh so let’s make a new mode with movement costs like magic the gathering or hearthstone, and adjust the effects of all cards for it”. Makes no sense.


I think this new mode would cost a lot less resources then a new campaign.

Also this mode would help people to get their friends with Game Pass to try out the game.
Like right now when you want to a friend to try out the game you gotta go set up a Home City with them before they can even start playing, or you have to have them play with the premade ones that are bad.
If there was a mode without home cities it would be a lot easier.

Also some people that already play AoE3 said that they sometimes would prefer playing a little simpler mode without a home city, that is therefor also slower, since you can’t get units out as quickly.

This mode would not be targeted at PvP players.
Mostly for casual players and private lobbies.

The balance of this mode would therefor also not be as important.

Empire Wars is a good way for people to casually play AoE2 with friends that have varying skill levels because it gives you a more even start. There is a lot of mistakes for new players to make in Dark Age.

I’m well aware of this.
Removing the Home City would slow down the game.
But I think that is a good thing for this mode. It is there to get new players in so having a slower pace makes it easier to learn.

This mode is supposed to be a more casual mode after all.

I´d rather keep aoe3 as it is.
Its the game i love, and i dont want it to be ruined by people that want it to be like aoe2 / 4.
Its a colonial game, and not medival, its pretty obvious that there is a homecity and assistance from that.


So you’re proposing a “casual pvp” mode for those who are not familiar with the game. I’d say co-op scenarios with pre-built deck might serve that purpose better.

BTW it’s far beyond simply “slowing down”. It affects a lot more things.
If some card becomes a tech, you get it right after you gather the required resources. This is actually “speeding up”.
But as a card, you’ll need to put up a fight, or wait longer if you don’t have enough xp.
Some bonuses would be straight up op if directly accessible as techs.

Also for example Indian villagers cost wood and can be gained for free from cards. That’s far different than them costing less wood, because wood is a slow resource to gather and spent on very different aspects.

The same with German uhlans. You get them not only for free but also with a somewhat fixed pace, with some additional cost. Any other mechanism disrupts it entirely.