I’m not one to say if the new update has good or bad or balanced changes. What I want to draw attention to is the way that every update so far has added more and more arcane, unique, and complicated naming schemes to every civ, which makes the game more confusing and harder to learn for new players.
In the old game, cards and units were already confusing enough, so the designers, tried, I think, to standardize things. Cards had names like “Cavalry combat”, which tells you exactly what the card does, and which is shared across many civs, so you can recognize it if you see it. Units were pretty standard except for 1 or 2 unique units that each civ got.
Fast-forward to today-- Dutch settlers are now renamed merchants. Ottoman settlers are renamed Yoruks. New cards from the last few updates have fanciful names like “Coffee” and 'Marvelous Year", and “Hamiltonian Economics”, which don’t tell you anything about what the card actually does. Ottomans have just been reworked to have a unit that is a Hussar but is named something else, and a unit that is a grenadier that is named something else. Every civ now seems to have 5 to 6 to 10 different unique units, and the trend is toward going back and giving all the old civs unique units too, like the new Landwehr unit for the Germans.
Here’s another example, a card that used to be self-explanatory-- Janissary Combat, has now been renamed something that is completely unrelated to its purpose: Enderun School.
The result of this trend is to make the game ever more complicated for new players to learn. It sets the bar higher and higher, for a game which is already known to be complicated and have a steep learning curve. If this trend continues, how do the people in charge expect AoE3 to add to its playerbase? Doesn’t this pose a problem for increasing the playerbase in the long-term?
I can tell you, I have personal experience with trying to get friends to play this game and the major complaint is, “it’s too much to learn”. Continuing to make ever more complicated features is going to increase this bar even more.
These unique and complicated new units and cards don’t add strategic diversity, because they all ultimately function the same. They just take longer to learn and recognize, especially for a new player. Like, what is the point of having different names for settlers for different civs? They all function the same, but to new players, the many different names mean that you can’t be sure of that. Good design would mean that things that function the same, are named the same. Personally I am in favor of more standardization of units and card names. Strategic diversity is the result of overall civ design and feel, not the result of having hundreds of unique units.