If you could add anything gameplay-related to AoE3 what would it be?

A broad topic, but I’d be interested to hear what people would add as gameplay features/elements that they may have considered a missed opportunity or something that could be added a significant but welcome 'refresh.

These may have been things which were more like the previous games, or techtrees, particular unit lines, something about the resources, etc. Just no Civilisations suggestions!

For me:

Exploration Age Combat
We have 5 ages in this game, though I always have felt that the first, representing (initially at least) the 16th century - the start of the Early Modern Age is possibly the most interesting out of all the Early Modern Eras depicted in the AoEIII timeline. Armies were at the crossing point medieval and early modern - full plat armour knights versus pike and arquebus, nations were starting to grow national armies/navies, and many countries were pursuring colonies and trade internationally.

Whilst this wishlist change would be an absolutely massive change, I’d love to see the Exploration Age to have (like in almost all other AoEs) an early military presence allowed. It’s always strange to see all the archaic units and ‘modern’ units suddenly available in Age II which traditional is the 1600s.

Having crossbow, longbowmen, pikes and musketeers available in the first age could be off-set by:

  1. The exploration via your hero still being a focus - someone who is grabbing all the treasures will still be doing better than someone who is ploughing all their very sparse resources into military
  2. Still no military shipments in Age I - you can only train units during this age, no shipping any, which kind reflects the reality where nations really didn’t have the resource to be sending out lots of military support ‘early on’
  3. There could always be an Exploration Age penalty to military unit training times as a balance measure

Unit changes:
Crossbow/Archers - As normal (this is their age!)
Pikemen - As normal (though you could be mean and give the British ‘Billmen’ as their starting Pikemen which were archaic polearm units they’d use with Longbows in this age - they were a little backward in the 1500s)
Matchlock Musketeers - The earliest in the musketeer line. As the first proper muskets, they were much heavier than its successors (and were also see as 'Heavy Arquebuses) and required a forked stand to rest on. Ingame this translates as a slower rate of fire along with the unit itself putting the musket on its stand to fire. They wear a lovely helmet too. This change could be applied to most non-Euro civ musket infantry.
New unit - Arquebusier - Almost all civs should have access to an archaic gunpowder skirmisher which can be upgraded later to Skirms (if that civ has access to them).
Dutch - Calivermen - Dutch get a headstart with Calivermen. Calivers were standardised arquebuses and kind of were the middle ground of the aforementioned and muskets. Ingame this means they’re slightly better units in terms of rate of fire/movement speed than the standard Arquebusier.

If stables could be built earlier:
Light Horses - Before everyone adopted fancy the Hungarian Hussar style, most nations had some form of Light Horse - whether the Huguenot, Soldado de cuera, Border Reavers, etc. Upgrades to Hussars
Mounted Arquebusiers - The archaic precursor to Dragoons


War Orchestra:Allows to create military musician (drummer and flute bugle)of the age1 cards
Advanced War Orchestra:Allows to create flag bearer and mounted musician (drummer flute and bugle) of the age1 card
Military command: Allows to create officer and general Models that can replace explorers of the age1 card

图片so,this is developer has like be Worth reference American conquest and Cossacks 3 is games


Maybe some stance swithing for heavy infantry to hold the line a little better.
I just can’t see musketeers or any other “heavy” infantry being shred by light ones without ANY good defense.

Ok, i get it, it’s supposed to be a counter, but even Heavy Cavalry got trouble sometimes to close the gap. Light infantry is always with some light cav too, but Heavy units in general always lack a good purpose late on.

Only the Haiti bucanner (with cards) and the Nizam Fuzillier (stance) seems to REALLY act light a HEAVY infantry, since they can at least make the light counterpart work a little more to make full use, usually being costly to beat them. 20 range really matters.


  • What do you guys think about a “fantasy” faction at this point in AOE 3?
  • Outposts attacking faster with someone in.
  • All native factions should get some ROF bonus with vills inside, since they don’t get AoE in builds.
  • Build the pillars (walls) instantly, and for free. Just hate having to make a perfect wall and delete the pillar to spare some wood.
  • As always, not losing my vills in revolutions. (classic)

Yes - I’d love to see military musicians other than the native drummer and Griots!

Any Command-style units would be and were intrinsic to the time AoE3 occupies.


Absolutely - agree. There should be an incentive for say ‘Stand Ground’ - if your Musketeers are in that stance, after a short time they activate a slight boost to their range and power as long as they remain in that one position. An old game, ‘Cossacks: European Wars’ used to have a similar ability for shooting units in formation when you gained defensive bonuses for standing ground, which represents ‘digging in’ and getting read to defend.

I agree strongly with this one too - I think that would be great to bolster your defenses with your own units.


I would have miltiaman instead of losing hp being a toggle option to have your settler be armed with a musket. they can fight off any raid but are unable to gather resources until they are toggled back to settler. They would also take bonus tc damage making it impossible to use them as age 1 trash units for a quick win they would also still be vulnerable to anti settler units.


I would have to age1 Allows to create officer to The mechanism to command formation, attack and retreat of all units has been added in all maps while the officers can automatically use the skin of Age 2 (17th century), Age 3 (18th century)Age 4(early 19th century) Age5(late 19th century) Moreover, the mechanism of getting on and off the horse and the random weapons (such as pistols, spontoon, halberd sabres and swords) It should refer to the mechanism in the series of America of conquest and Cossacks series

Tesoros Moviles: que “bandas de forajidos” vayan con caravanas con recursos o objetos robados por cualquier lugar del mapa y que incluso puedan huir, debido a que dan recompensas más grandes seran de un numero más grande.

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Musketeers and pikes/halbs holding the line “bracing” against cav charges. Extend poles and bayonets front facing while crouching
Blood and gore toggler
Corpses debris and rubbles decaying way slower than it is
Box formations surrounding artillery
“Scouts” with flags,bugles and other musical/visual enhancements for attack/retreat
Manned battleships
When aging up,buildings upgrading in real-time (with scaffoldings) - still usable for training altough
Punchier and stronger impact sounds and visual representations for bullets/cannonballs
Buildings catching fire and burning down eventually if not attented
When units are trained there should be a visual representation of them coming out from the said buildings (like tiberian sun)
When towers,forts,blockhouses etc fire there should be a cannon or gun actually shooting visually. And said gun should face the direction of the attackers

Most of them are longshots but yeah,wishful thinking


We can dream. I’ve often thought that something reminiscent of how Cossacks handled musicians & officers would be fun for AoE3.

  • Ritterbrüder (Teutonic Knight) Heavy Cavalry unit for Prussians civ.
  • Ritter (Austrian Knight) Heavy Cavalry unit for Austrians civ (currently Germans civ).

Units exclusive for Exploration Age:

  • Swordmen for all European civs.
  • Axeman exclusive for Danes, Prussians and Swedes civs.

That the villagers can fish like in the other AOE.


I would argue that AoE3 is already quite complex in terms of mechanics. I went back recently and started playing through Starcraft 2’s campaigns again recently for fun. What struck me was how simple and streamlined the game play was: two resources, 1 economic unit. Early game, mid-game, and late game units clearly defined and introduced in such a way that they offer clear advantages over the previous tier of units, strong counter system that’s easy to understand. Each unit is distinct and plays a distinct role in the game play. Access to those units is clearly dictated by tech buildings, and each has its specific upgrades. It’s squeaky clean, easy to learn.

AoE3 is complex. I don’t think it benefits from any more mechanics. I think it would benefit from some simplification and streamlining.

My biggest suggestion here is ranching/livestock:

  • It needs to be automated. Task the animal on a livestock pen. The animal should then fatten and harvest as soon as it is ready, like Mexico with the Barbacoa card. This should be baseline. Set it up so that a certain number of villagers is needed to staff the building, if needed for balance reasons. But automate it so I don’t have to micro manage llamas, cows, goats, sheep, and whatever else the game decides to give me. These are unnecessary clicks that distract attention from micromanaging the military which is where the focus should be.

And fish traps or regenerating fish…


The university should be a card building of age 1, with more rich technologies (resource collection, such as agriculture, animal husbandry, Fisheries,mining industry, artillery science, chemistry, physics, mathematics , military science, national science, naval science) and churches(only on European civs)will be transferred to age 1 but and all European civs Capitol will be transferred to age 3

I’d overhaul the whole consulate system.


Maybe it’s stupid but I kind of think having the ability to build “underground mines” on depleted surface mines would be cool, or otherwise having like an Industrial age alternative to plantations.
Also I know it would be extremely hard to implement with the flocking/pathfinding behaviour and would cause balance issues but I would love if musketeer blobs automatically formed little regiments while marching with flag bearers and drummers, and then when fighting if they actually fired in volly (using carolean animations)…

They do so, because the Age of Exploration was in fact exactly that…an explorer arrives on his ship exploring a new area and with it comes a wagon with which to build a colony (1492/1500-1600/1607), you advance from these age to colonial age and there the homecity allows you to send troops with which to defend the colony or attack other enemy native colonies/villages (1607-1648) (here would begin the era of the European war of the 30 years and trade/conquest with the Native Americans…then in fortresses age,the masive european colonial expansion in America an the golden age of piracy (1650-1715),then the industrial age,the liberal revolutions of XVIII c. and the Napoleonic wars (1715-1815) and finally the Imperialism Age/Pax Britannica,the Victorian Era,the Scramble of Africa to finish in the outbreak of WW1 (1815-1914) (I’m sorry that aoe 4 didn’t continue the chronology…let’s see if aoe 5 does)…

  • Unlimited construction of towers, forts, walls, etc.
  • Explorers that are glorified scouts instead, and die for good if they die.
  • A square map
  • Gigantic maps that don’t scale with # of players
  • More and better sound effects

I think military units from the Age of Exploration could be slower and less damaging. When more modern military units appear, they could become useless due to their weakness in relation to, for example, the Musketeers.

I think it could be possible to create a military unit upgrade mechanic for Age of Exploration as it works in AoE 2.

MilitiaDE.png MilitiaManatarms aoe2DE.png Man-at-ArmsLongswordsman aoe2DE.png Long SwordsmanTwohanded aoe2DE.png Two-Handed SwordsmanChampion aoe2DE.png Champion

For example, this could be what it would look like in AoE 3:

Spearman aoe2DE.png SpearmanHalberdier de.png Halberdier or Pikeman aoe3de.png Pikeman
Archer aoe2DE.png ArcherCrossbow aoe3de.png Crossbowman
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE.png Hand CannoneerMusketeer icon aoe3de.png Musketeer or Skirmisher portrait tar updated.png Skirmisher
Lightcavalry aoe2DE.png Light CavalryHussar aoe3de.png Hussar
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Cavalry ArcherDragoon aoe3de.png Dragoon

Additional exclusive units for the Age of Exploration that can be upgraded (They could have been trained and upgraded to a newer unit in later Age’s, but would be too outdated on the battlefield):

Longswordsman aoe2DE.png SwordsmanChampion aoe2DE.png Champion
Cavalier aoe2DE.png KnightPaladin aoe2DE.png Paladin