Improving AOE3

here are some suggestions to improving the game, fixing broken or unideal mechanics, improving usability, removing jank, and helping units/civs that do not see a lot of use.

I would like to talk about eso, but I addressed most of the points in my aoe 4 suggestions here: Age of Empires 4 Suggestions - Age of Empires IV - Age of Empires Forum. Things like being able to view if friends are online, censorship toggles, pr system for casuals, separate tabs for messages, reconnect button and more that is missing in the de version from legacy should be reinstated. The definitive edition should move the multiplayer portion of the game forwards, not backwards.


Healers are now all 0 pop, including Priestess, and have a set unit limit. all healing effects are now both % hp based as well as a flat amount, and auto upgrades as you age up, which includes docks and field hospitals. healers now heal during combat at a reduced rate, and they all have their melee attack removed to avoid going into the frontline when attacking. instead, when attacking or using attack move healers will wait at the back and heal the closest most injured units in range, prioritizing high base hp(tank) units first. heal rate is now shown in the ui. healing auras function the same way, including reduced in combat healing and high base hp priority.

British consulate surgeons and cards like Japanese missionaries now let you retrain those healers at the monastery, giving Asian civs reliable access to civilian healers. Aztecs and Inca now have access to regular native healers as well. Aztec warrior priests now have a default healing stance as well as a melee attack stance, and priestess also have a default healing stance as well as a convert stance. when used in a group with other units(such as attack move) they will act according to their set stance, attacking or converting the highest value unit in range, otherwise their use is contextual depending on if targeted unit is friendly or hostile.

Spc units and heroes in campaigns now regenerate at 2.5% base with a 2 second lockout, waiting game in campaigns isn’t fun. mercs now also regenerate at 2.5% base with 2 second lockout. spahis used to have 2% with just a 2 second lockout, now they and urumi also regen at 2.5% base. Regen is now easily modified through triggers.

healers now only cost food instead of gold or wood, and train faster. they now auto upgrade their hp and have 20% ranged resistance, but no longer receive bonus hp from Mission Fervor and have reduced base hp as well, making them weaker tanks overall until much later in the game. mission fervor now just increases their move speed by 1.0 for a cost of 200 food.

Healers no longer run upon taking damage if they are acting or moving towards a unit that needs healing. Unction Missionaries now default to a new heal and stand your ground stance that disables running away altogether.
Chinese heal power now heals for 20% max hp a second for 10 seconds, now has a 120 second cd.

petards now also lose their melee attack and can only target buildings, allowing them to be more easily used by both players and the ai. petards now also have a priority system when attack moving, targeting high value buildings such as wonders and factories over walls and manors.


beneficial auras now affect the unit giving the aura, such as Aztec xp aura, however auras no longer stack. auras that used to stack such as unction, dukkha and enlightenment have their range and power increased to compensate.

Lakota aura now defaults to an attack aura. the age 4 card command skill now gives a 1.0 move speed aura as well as further improving the attack aura. Lakota tepee aura range increased.

haud secret society tech now gives the war chief a powerful healing aura instead of him directly healing units.

Aztec xp aura now also reduces the death bounty of himself and nearby allied units by 25%, increased to 50% upon upgrade at the plaza.

                                Native Settlements

native cards revamped to be competitive in a 1v1 setting. native upgrades now have a pure food cost. all native units now also only cost food to make. the number of units trainable is roughly 2.5k food per native posts. native units in general are now stronger but cost a greater amount of food.

native unit upgrades now follow the normal 20%, 30%, 50% path and upgrade cost. legendary natives are now available in industrial if you have revolted through a dedicated card.

in team games, you can now research upgrades at allied native trade posts rather than having to juggle them.

                  Church, mercenary contractor and Renegade cards

church units such as the blue guard, bashkir ponies and rogers’ rangers are now consulate versions which auto upgrade. Unique church unit shipments now grant xp equivalent to the resource value.

renegade shipments such as lancers and gendarme for native civs are now also consulate versions, and a small amount can be retrained at the mercenary camp.

unique church card now ships a church wagon. unique church upgrades can now be unlocked in age 4 for a 1k food cost at the church if you did not send the card. most unique church upgrades and units now have a pure food cost, except for the Dutch which still maintain a gold cost for church units. church unit costs are now standardized at either 75% or 60% of base value of the units.

fortress mercenary contractor now also ships the unlocked units. age 5 mercenary contractor instead reduces cost of mercenaries and research for free the new 50% mercenary upgrade available to all civs. privateer age up now allows you to train a privateer flagship.

               Royal Guard, Imperial Textures and Arsenal Revamp:

Royal Guard upgrades no longer cost more than normal guard upgrades, and their tooltip now clearly explains it is 30% normal plus an additional 10% increase to hp and damage.

All royal guard units now have a unique texture for both industrial and imperial. guard artillery change textures with upgrades, like Gatling guns. all units now have a unique imperial texture as well, including ships.

Advanced Arsenal upgrades can be unlocked for 1k food in the industrial if the card isn’t sent. advanced arsenal now additionally reduces cost and research speeds of upgrades.

all unit hp/damage upgrades at the arsenal are now a flat 10% increase except for bayonets. there is now both a damage and hp counterpart for each unit class. archaic infantry now gains the archaic weapon upgrade that increases their damage by 10%, while heavy cavalry gains the similar 10% damage cold steel upgrade. heated shot in general now increases artillery damage by 10% as well. military drummers now increase infantry move speed by a flat 0.5. pillage no longer increases cavalry siege damage, instead adds a bonus vs civilian unit. Germans and Dutch gain access to bayonets again.

all Asian civs have access to the arsenal as default, Dutch consulate now gives a bakery (food bank) instead. golden pavilion acts as an advanced arsenal, and native civs can gain access to the arsenal through a tech in the plaza called captured arsenal, which unlocks the building for them. haud and Lakota new ways card unlocks it earlier and functions as an advanced arsenal card.


for ai usage, native and Asian civs that were missing buildable walls in the protoy now have them added. the ai should also learn how and when to build walls. bastions is now a treaty only industrial upgrade that maintains current wall functionality. instead in supremacy there is a new upgrade in industrial that increases wall hp by just 100% to 3000 hp. Walls now buildable over trade routes, when dragged over auto turns into gate.

long run I hope my suggestions in my other thread here are taken instead, but saving the fun I have in supremacy right now is an urgent matter Walls, Two Suggestions - Age of Empires III: DE / III - Discussion - Age of Empires Forum.


we finally have tags that should have been there from the beginning, such as rifle infantry and foot archer tags, these where surely needed. but there is still more work to be done on this front. we desperately need a simple light infantry tag to remove these crowded and confusing multipliers of bonus vs infantry + malus vs heavy infantry of Asian cav, as well as allowing us to simply call light infantry again accurately to refer to this unit class. light infantry in general should also have simplified bonuses/maluses against cavalry, with a dedicated .75x vs heavy cavalry and a 1.5x vs light cavalry, rather than the confusing and counterintuitive .75x all cavalry and 2x light cavalry we have now. heavy cavalry need a dedicated icon rather than using the all cavalry icon.

removing the shock infantry and eagle runner tags entirely and replacing them with cavalry tags would go such a long way to improving the game. giving affected units such as coyote runners compensation such as 200 hp + 20% ranged resist and an 18*1.5 vs light infantry attack, while changing their costs to 80 food 40 gold would go a long way to compensate for the increased damage they take from their counters. in the end hidden and confusing multipliers are terrible for the game and should be corrected wherever they are found.


There are now more natural resources in campaigns. Campaigns with slow uneventful starts now grant additional villagers and resources and quicker access to scenario objectives when you feel ready. Those with uneventful mid games/timers now have increased ai threats, events, and interactivity, with additional increase to player resources and units. Goal is to reduce downtime and increase engagement rather than just waiting for things to happen or running out of natural resources while building up at your own pace. It can be dull at times rather than tense and exciting, padding them out with emptiness is the wrong approach. Early tutorial campaigns now also reinforce continuously building villagers as well as hotkey, shift key, and attack move usage.

Aoe3 potential as a story telling medium and historical entertainment was never realized, partially due to the focus on the fantastical journeys of the morgan black family(which I still had fun with). Lets see what we can do with proper historical campaigns and scenarios.

New character-focused and story driven campaigns with cutscenes, special units and missions, and massive maps, for both new and old civs. New scenarios that also push into both ends of the timeline, such as meiji restoration, Mexico-American/civil war, the mahdi/zulu resistance, and the sino-japense-russian conflict, to the siege of Constantinople, the fall the Aztec capitol, the Italian habsurg wars and the 30-year war/ Hussite rebellions. These types of multi mission, multi civ campaign packs would be an amazing addition to the game. This is what single players want just as much as new civs, so why not cater to them?

Perhaps even more ambitious ww1 scenarios featuring events such as the battle of the somme and Gallipoli, testing the limits of the engine and its story telling capabilities.

                       Scenario Editor, modding and Game Settings

You can now choose the pop and build limit of the game, such as +50% build limit increase and 400 pop, or even no limits on both. There is now a tech flag that removes build limits for modders to mess around with. Pop limits are no longer hard coded, and the default scenario maximum is increased from 250 to 100k. online mod warning pop up should only happen once, and mod names should be visible in map name from lobby.

Scenario editor is fixed and functional, bugs removed. Random map debugger and ai debugger now easily accessible through tools menu and have better support/features to make modding easy. Allow ai debugger to work in normal singleplayer mode if enabled in tools menu, when enabled allow observer only game settings and allow user to switch between ai players ingame to follow, observe and intervene on the ai in realtime. Allow xml files to be read again, allow game to reread xml files for quick testing of files such as protoy/techtreey when restarting a singleplayer game/campaign. Make stringtables and ui mods more easily accessible. Work with modding community to find useful hardcoded variables that can be unhardcoded.

Allow players with custom ai through mod manager to play with others without the mod and allow others to join comp stomp without having to download it, like in legacy and current de functionality without mod manager. allow players with custom ai through mod manager or otherwise to play in ranked just like in legacy or if you install ai mod without mod manager. There is now a set civ function in the scenario editor that sets and fixes the civ per player, otherwise players choose their civ. Make it easier to set cards in scenario editor, allow ai to use decks in campaign and scenarios.
You can now set default vision settings, such as explored, no team share or all visible.


The ai is still not in the best place. Please continue to invest in it, as it sometimes does strange things that ruin the experience, such as not using resources or navy.

                        UI Train Time Improvements

All units, upgrades and buildings now show train/research time by cost, have a clock icon, like in starcraft. researching, building, and training now gives seconds left directly on the icon. Age upgrades now also show seconds left in the ui bar.

                       Attack Move, Stances and Priority

Attack Move and priority much improved like in starcraft, units prioritize best target in range when scanning for targets. That means if a hussar is in melee range of a skirmisher, a cannon, and a dragoon, it will target the cannon first.

Projectiles such are arrows are now much faster. Arrows have improved tracking. Cannons no longer fire blanks.

Artillery now always prioritizes units over buildings and are smarter on when to limber/unlimber.
Lock limber mode and lock unlimber mode stance are now available through hotkeys by right clicking the limber/unlimber buttons. Art of war updated to teach this hotkey.

Cover mode stance shows added resistances.

New patrol mode stance added, can shift click to create multi front patrol.

Fixed attack move and pathing, especially around buildings and walls. Groups of units no longer dance back and forth when moving into narrow openings.

Trample no longer causes feedback damage or reduces rof, reduces damage and movespeed by 50% in exchange for +2 aoe. Cav units with built in aoe like elephants and cuirs gain 1 extra aoe for 25% reduction in damage. Coyote and other dismounted cav units gain a whirlwind stance that has the same effect. New arsenal tech reduces damage dropoff of trample mode for non aoe cav to 25%.

                   Location of Hotkey and Idle Banners

Like in starcraft, Hotkeys and idle banners are now placed near the bottom middle of the ui, either by the minimap or unit cards. There is 0 reason for anything ingame ui related to be near the top of the screen. Can be changed in settings.

Game starts with town center binded to hotkey 1 as default behavior, with new town centers also added to it, can be changed in settings. New art of war dedicated to hotkey management; all art of wars updated with a focus on hotkeys and shift clicking.

Hotkeys on unit icons shown by default.

Select/move all idle military button replaces select all military button by default, can be changed in settings. Dedicated hotkey added for select all idle military.

Flare button is now separated into 2 buttons, attack flare and warning flare.

                      Multi-Unit Multi-Building queuing

When selecting multiple villagers and queuing multiple buildings, default behavior now splits a villager towards the newly queued building. If more buildings are queued then there are villagers, will automatically que the villagers to the additional buildings when they finish building the earliest queued buildings, rather than re task all villagers to the most newly queued building. Can be changed back in the settings menu.

When multiple buildings selected to que a unit, now adds units to the que evenly between buildings based on train time like in age of empires 2, StarCraft and pretty much all modern rts rather than prioritizing first selected building, with a focus on the train block closest to being finished. Shift queuing now fills the train block that is closest to being finished before going to the next fastest, only when there are no more empty blocks does shift clicking start a new block.

If selecting more villagers than the valid number of builders, the remaining villagers will wait for a valid command. Buildings like the plaza which can task multiple villagers have their maximum builders increased to match. When tasking more villagers than the maximum to a farm equivalent, and there is an unfilled farm within the area, villagers will attempt to fill out the nearby farms rather than idle.

                          Post-game Improvements

Now shows Tribute received as well as sent. There is now a resource effectiveness score, resources spent vs resources destroyed in military tab. You can now investigate a player’s military more in-depth rather than just the most popular units. Unit type with most kills/damage dealt also shown.
Can now see match history and view post game stats without having to enter replays through your profile tab in multiplayer menu. Info such as patch notes and civ win rates now also viewable in multiplayer menu.

total accumulated score is now differentiated from end game score and used to calculate highest score. Rather than based on the resources you ended up with, it is now the resources you accumulated. In game score is still just current/endgame score. Killing units of surrendered players no longer increases kill count.


units can only trigger the formation catchup system (max run velocity and the like) for up to 3 seconds per rolling 30 seconds of game time.

like vanilla, heavy infantry now stand in front of light infantry rather than the broken mix in the expansions. Spread stance no longer collapses units together instead in large groups.

                          Land Ability Rof

Most land non aoe abilities with a rof greater than .5 seconds reduced to .5 or 0 seconds. aoe abilities instead have a 1 second rof. This is not the cooldown, only the delay between button press and the ability firing. Stealthing while out of enemy vision is now instant and no longer interrupts current commands.

                       Turn Rates and Combat stance responsiveness

Most land non artillery turn rates improved from 18 to 36, making units more responsive. There is no longer a delay or freeze when units switch stances, such melee into ranged. Units instead change behaviors immediately and shoot/melee instantly when switching stances if the attack is ready. Switching stances no longer interrupts commands or causes units to freeze up.

                           Attack Delay

remove attack delay from units and buildings. they are all over the place, sometimes change with upgrades and stances, and gets in the way of micro. it makes the game feel janky, unresponsive, and slow. This would especially help melee units, who often spend more time completing animation rather than chasing units that get out of range. Currently the delay can interfere with control of units and micro, such as causing shots to fail when units enter fog of war, despite giving an attack command while the unit was in range and ready to fire. This also helps in reducing overkill, makes stutter stepping easier and quicker to input, and helps when kiting treasures, as well as just making the game easier to control.

                                 Art Of War

3 new arts of war focused on pvp that combine multiple previous arts of war. dedicated to perfecting build orders, hotkeys, shift clicking, and unit stances. First is a german semi ff, second a huad’ water boom with age 2 aggression, the third a barebones sepoy rush utilizing sepoy/sowar cards and consulate support. Narration and ingame vfx and arrows show optimal choices to make. Mills, estates, outposts, walls and Ui buttons are disabled, and hotkeys are explained and reinforced. Has a time limit to overpower the ai. Ai opponents raid with hussars and harass with musketeers, giving opportunities to teach how to garrison villagers and respond correctly to harass in more depth than the previous art of war.

1 new art of war dedicated to treaty based on the Dutch /Spanish, teaching new players how to play treaty at a decent level against other players. Another one focused on brit livestock play.
Previous arts of war now updated to introduce and reinforce hotkeys and queuing tasks with shift clicks.

Artillery art of war reinforces the idea that culverins, and not cavalry, are the counter to artillery protected by heavy infantry/dragoons. To reinforce this, show a cutscene of cossacks suiciding into falconets protected by melee mode musketeers and cavalry archers, then 2 culverins come and take them out safely.

Block training, exploring by shift clicking minimap, tributing resources and snare are explained more thoroughly in the early of art of wars.

                       Treasures and Shipments

Treasure leash range is now visible when pulling guardians. Guardians now lose 2 range and 1 move speed to ease kiting for newer players. There are less guardians for very high tier treasures, so they become more appealing targets in age 2 rather than being ignored and allow team focus/age 1 explorer cards to have a chance. Team treasures and hero empowering treasures have weaker guardians. Treasure guardians now have correct unit tags to allow unit bonuses to function vs them.
Shipment xp cost no longer increases past the 25th shipment.


Now starts all civs with lots of extra villagers as well as covered, homestead, and military wagons. Water maps now also start with dock wagons and some fishing boats. Now has a 2-minute ceasefire start where no military units can be built. Asian civs start with wonder wagons, Americans can choose cards for skipped ages.

Please give this mode some love.


There is now a voice notification that separately tells you if your villagers, military units, or buildings are under attack with an exclusive cooldown timer for each. 2 different voice options, soothing cheery female, and grim alert male. Can be changed or disabled in settings.
New voice also notifies when floating resources, not building villagers, not enough resources/houses, and idle villagers. Also new voice notifications when approaching monopoly/koh/treaty timers by 2 minutes.

                               Auto Que Units

right clicking unit icons now attempts to auto train such units until right clicked again. Will que up one unit, and when train block is near complete will complete the remaining block if resources and pop allow. Can right click multiple units and will que in the order clicked.
Can also auto que livestock, whenever one is killed or converted new ones are automatically queued.

                             Wonder active cooldowns

Transcendence and Informers now 120(2 minute) second cd. Inspiration and ceasefire now 240(4 minute) second cd. Cooldowns now display seconds left until reuse.

                            Maps, Score, and vision/fog of war

Scores revamped and closer to legacy, 1 point per 100 resources on the field, in production and banked up. military upgrades scores now depend on unit benefiting them, 20% increase in musketeer damage is 10% increase in musketeer points that are on the field/being produced. Ceremonies/auras like attack ceremony also effect score depending on units being benefited. Eco, age and train speed upgrades, trickles, explorers, walls and intangibles like hot air balloon no longer affect score. Smaller more meaningful numbers Is the goal. opponent scores no longer revealed in ranked matches, just you and your teams.

age ups also no longer revealed to opponents. Resources lost or used in upgrades removed from score. Ui no longer shows opponents names near score line nor reveals amount of trade posts taken.
Aging up no longer increases unit line of sight, and only increases building line of sight by 2 per age. Church vision upgrades no available to all civs through plaza/monastery. Ranged unit ai auto attack range now always matches unit los+8, increasing whenever los increases.

Maps are roughly 50% larger with similar increase to resources, however distance between players roughly the same. You no longer start with an outline of the entire map in the minimap, instead the mini map expands as you explore. You no longer receive notifications when treasures are claimed, which gives away where the enemy explorer is at.

You can no longer scan trade posts and claimed treasures, and you no longer have updated vision on treasure guardians, trees and hunts through fog of war. It was never intended for players to receive free scouting through fog of war, and it reduces the importance of having vision on your opponent’s villagers, giving a huge advantage to raiding while minimizing risks of wasting time.

In the words of es paragon:

  1. Can you edit out seeing huntables such as deers dieing through fog of war

A – we really hate this too. The “radar zone” that people use to spot your hunters is just a drag. It’s very hard to stop, but we are looking into it every way possible.

Spies available age 4, no longer reveals unbuilt foundations. When an active players units are garrisoned in a forfeited players buildings and ships, it will convert them until they are ungarrisoned and show in the minimap as their color, they remain disabled while converted. enemy units near the edge of the map or by terrain such as canyons and rivers have larger more brighter dots in the minimap. Starter wagons and travois have only 2 los.


all maps updated with water treasures, no point in keeping this feature only for certain Asian maps. water treasures rebalanced. the amount of food per fish node greatly increased to match herds, with deep water nodes having much larger reserves of food. whale nodes spawn deeper in the water. there are only 2 whale nodes per player, and each contains only 5k gold, but are gathered much faster. There are also more fishing nodes.

Water nodes eventually respawn away from players in deep water. Respawn is based on number of players, game time, and depleted nodes. A minimum of 2 fish nodes and 1 whale node per player are always available and instantly respawn if below this amount.

Fishing boats no longer take pop space and cost only 50 wood. Now a maximum of 5 fishing boats per node, fish, or whale, and only 50 can be built per player.

there are now 4 fishing upgrades, one per age each increasing fishing speed by 25%, greatly rewarding water control and balancing the field between civs with great fish cards and those without, since the base scaling means there is a smaller % difference between them. base fish rates and fishing boat costs adjusted to compensate, schooner like cards no longer reduce fishing ship costs but instead increase hp.

the upgrades at the dock now follow a similar path to land units, with each upgrade increasing unit hp or damage by 20% in fortress, then 30% in industrial which affects all warships. in the capitol there is now an imperial upgrade that increases hp and damage by 50%, instead of just dedicated monitor and frigate upgrades. the card admiralty is now an industrial age upgrade that increases build limits but drastically increases cost per ship built.

there are now 3 upgrades at the dock that reduce train times of war ships by 20% each. cards that previously reduced ship train times either adjusted or moved to age 2 and give several of these upgrades for free.

All warships now move faster depending on their class. Scout ships (galleys, funes, caravels) move even faster and have much more los.

the frigate is now an age 4 unit, the galleon is now an age 3 unit. cards adjusted, and 2 caravels card and its counterparts are now 1 caravel+ fishing boats. these cards had a negative effect in pond maps and diluted the pure combat power of privateer cards, while their power meant that opponents had to invest little to counter a water boom. All civs have access to a privateer equivalent.

all non-monitor ships including galleons now have access to the broadside attack. broadsides now deal their full attack over a .5 second/number of cannons rof. all ships normal rof is now 3 seconds/number of cannons. ship damage, hp and cost adjusted, and all ships now also have a malus vs artillery and siege units.

galleons, monitor and their counterparts are no longer siege units. instead, they have the new assault ship tag and icon, and buildings have new maluses to reflect that. monitors lose their howitzer upgrade, their base range is now 40 for units, 60 for buildings. their long-range monitor strike ability can now only target buildings and has 80 range with a rof of 3. there is now a unique age 3 upgrade at the dock that lets galleons train units 2x as fast as normal.

culverins, and most artillery anti-ship damage reduced to avoid instances of stalemates in certain maps caused by long range artillery 2-3 shotting ships. building anti-ship base damage now greatly increased to compensate, allowing counter play through monitors and water control and an end to stalemates. island maps with majority of trade posts in one island now instead have minor native settlements spread throughout the map, with no single majority in any island.

native civs benefit from these changes as well as their reworked navies. privateers are now trainable by native civs once a mercenary camp is built and an upgrade is researched in the dock. there is also now a new privateer(custom galleon) flagship unit that is sent with each privateer shipment which has an aura and quickly trains mercenary units.

naval unit upgrades and cards revamped. Warships can now patrol. Docks now heal in an area. When selecting the broadside ability with different ship types on a target, they all fire rather than just the selected ship type. Canoes have new volley ability.

in land maps naval politicians disabled, naval unit cards replaced with age equivalent resource crate minus 25%, docks are greyed out and unbuildable. Port consulate now gives alternative effects in land maps, such as enabling spyglass for explorers, granting extra tc and tc wagon, and shipping enabling mortars/culverins.

Assault ships can now train units a little farther away from land, ships that are destroyed while carrying units will now teleport units to nearby land a little bit farther away. Ships sent from home city now search for a wider area around home city shipment point to spawn before deciding to simply disappear.

continues here:
Improving AOE3 part 2 - Age of Empires III: DE / III - Discussion - Age of Empires Forum


Yeah I agree with your walls segment, I would also want pillarless walls to be removed because they make walls very cheap for what they do, I also like the idea of Portugal consulate giving something else on land maps, I think an age 4 one could be a covered wagon for 650 export.


The musketeers who are in front of the infantry with rifles need to return.