"Mexico is the most strategically diverse civ yet"-- why making all strategic options viable is bad civ design

I agree that its diverse in design, but a lot of that diversity is in card effects that may or may not pan out, in which case those effects are kinda niche or relegated to cheese

To me the swede and inca comparison is telling, cause those civs also have a lot of weird cards that do a lot of weird thing, but both I think for the most part ended up having a clear-ish identity, swede being a sort of super musk huss civ and inca being the current monster that it is now with bolas siege pressure.

African civs is a lot more mixed but I think Hausa has a clear-ish idenity as an FF skirm goon kind of civ.

If you are saying they are making civ able playable in more circumstances (tp maps, native maps, water etc), then I sort of agree but those aren’t really options in the sense that you can just choose to do whatever you want each game and it becomes a matter of scouting and reading the game.

What I think is that a set of builds will come up for mexico that will be sort of the standard for most maps and while mexico “technically” can be played with many options, most of the time people will just stick to those.

Like so far I am finding the FF really underwhelming. feels really like an age 2 to age 4 jump civ. Especially with the revolt thing

fully agree with squamiger here, the new civs do not have their own identity,
for example: lakota: raid, mobility aggression, cav
dutch: eco civ, turtle
Ports: turtle, eco civ, water, trading post
in comparaison ethiopia ??? or Hausa ??? or Usa ??? or Mexico ??? these civs can do whatever you want

And also the dev looks A LOT too much for the complication tbh like Mexico is a good exemple, all these revo things are just too complicated and destroy everythings on this civ ( btw the revolt is a real strat not a way to age up more quickly )
the civ get haciendas, the concept of the building is ok but you put a limit of the building at 6 with a card that allows you to have 3 vill per haciendas, did you see what our base looks like afterwards ? ( just put limit of 1 or 2 haciendas and allow mills and plantation really plz lol ) This building is supposed to be a plantation and a mill at the same time, it’s ok but why you put a shipment point on this building it’s completely random and stupid and too strong
I can still say a lot of things like its, the dev is looking too much for the complication and the civ has too much random things

Look at the original civs, why do players love these civs? because they are not random, these civ have a very precise identity and at the same time they are rather simple to understand but not necessarily easy to play
I admit regard to the military unit the civ is rather well done, what bothers me is haciendas and the revo which makes an age up for some reason, it makes no sense really, i tested the civ without playing haciendas ( just one ) and revo and god the civ is so much pleasant to play sincerly and much more balanced really


I really hope they are not repeating the same mistake as the card progression system in original aoe3.
You thought having to grind through cards to get a playable civ would make players stick around longer. No. There are people who love the idea but it scares a lot more people away in the first place.

Thankfully this is addressed in DE.
Now, I don’t really think overly-complex civs would encourage most players to spend longer times with them as expected. No. They scare people away.
When Africans came out they were everywhere due to very simple and straightforward rushes not the overwhelming amount of options. Now that these are nerfed people go back to their original civs.
And I can see the effort put into them. It’s not that there is not enough time or resources. But if they scare people away, that is a huge waste of efforts.
And now that aoe4 is out, we no longer have streamers like aussie drongo who kept collecting and releasing new build orders or strategies like they did with US. Those overly complex civs are even less favored in this case.

If the devs think simpler civs do not have enough contents for a dlc, make some more civs or even campaigns. I feel that is a more efficient use of resources.
I’d sincerely suggest going for simpler civs for later releases. As for Mexico, give it a major rework if possible.

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i kind of disagree here.

i dont understand why the US gets sharpshooters, they already have 2 units that essentially perform the same task and scream US far more than the sharpshooters. like honestly why waste the concept on them?

why does México of all places get a unique grenadier/musk hybrid, something i can name at least 4 European nations having a lot more basis in.

there is also just the fact that almost all the units are upgradeable. take sweden, sweden is clearly meant to be an artillery faction with their 6 upgrade cards, 2 and a half of which improves training speed. but not only do they have what amounts to the best artillery in the game, they also have:

the most upgradeable hussars (at launch i think they got up to 60% health buff, Britain for example only get 40%)

caroleans (which at launch competed with skirmishers in gun fights due to high hp and ranged resist)

mercenaries on top, including infinite mameluke shipment with each mame getting far above 2000 HP with 40% range resist.

like by the end of the day their 2 weaknesses where lagging skirmishers and dragoons but it was offset by the superior art, and mercenaries in the form of black riders and jagers replacing them essentially 1 to 1.

obviously i know this is my “treaty” brain saying this, but i hope its understandable why a faction that can produce pretty much any unit might be a bit of an issue. british for example lagged both skirms and training cards for art and all you get in return is a strong eco, which is fine but it looks kinda silly when sweden did the same and more.

I like the flexibility, what makes me walk away is when every game ends up playing the same. They are selling a product that should stand out when they sell new civs, and limiting its appeal to a even further subset of AOE3 players is counterproductive to selling enough to make it worth it. In 2021 they are trying to convince people to get excited about a game from 2005 - they have to change some things up. They do risk alienating some people, and I definitely think they do take that into account.

These days im admittedly casual, a lapsed PVP’er in all age games - and I feel like I was the target audience of AOE3:DE along with most of its DLC in that i’m kind of looking for a further evolution of the game.

I understand the theory that some like to think of the AOE3 as a kind of discrete, orderly set of civilizations where they all kind of have this zero sum balance and adhere to the vision of the original developers - and I have a lot of sympathy for that and its a good thing to shoot for. But I feel that starting with the original release and especially Warchiefs, AOE3 design has always been taking chances and trying new things, in comparison to AOE2 which is ultra conservative. As a matter of fact the original AOE3 devs felt that they went too far from the AOE1/2 formula, and doing all this crazy stuff was a big part of what they think made it go wrong.

Fortunately for most of us, those that gravitated towards AOE3, those that are still around and those that make it their primary Age game found something that appealed to them in spite of what the original developers ultimately felt, even after now the 3rd major upheaval with the release of DE and the new civs. I think its the chances the game takes that makes it stand out compared to other age games and each expansion really kind of shakes things up pretty big.

I agree that the new civs are far more complex than the older civs, and far less limited, but I actually think that the solution lies more in making the older civs more flexible while keeping their core identity (add cards, adjust revolutions etc.). The same way I think AOE2 is stuck in 1998 design world I think there is an appeal to keep additions to the game constrained by 2005 design rules, or 2006 (warchiefs), or 2007 (TAD). But in reality the gulf between designs in those 3 games is huge, when I came back from hiatus and played TAD for the first time it was a lot to take in, but It was part of the evolution.

Just my opinion on this, different strokes for different folks.


Well said. I love all the new civs they’ve added whether that be inca or mexico and I almost exclusively play the newly added civs over the originals and I’ve been playing since release, each new civ is so refreshing to such an old game.

I like the new Civs, and thought i wanted more content, but Mexico has made me feel like its to much of a good thing. Its all pudding. At this point i would rather that some of the features of the new civs were removed, I want trade offs. strengths and weaknesses and cards that balance or enhance them. If Mexico is to have all these new options perhaps they could be limited with other options. No advanced trading post or arsenal, no land grab, no improved buildings, no 700 coin, etc

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I think the prevailing issue here is three different studios have had their hand in AoEIII and all three have different visions for civ design. I suspect FE are having a blast designing civs for AoEIII as it’s in stark contrast to the cookie cutter type civs in AoEII. Consequently you have these complex, harder to learn type civs that require more time to figure out than the original 8.

Some may find these new civs frustrating and I get that but at the same time there’s also a segment of people who have really enjoyed these civs and I’d say those people outnumber those here on the forums and elsewhere. People play these games to have fun, not to nitpick every single unit stat and strategy. I find these civs to be quite fun. All civs are fun to play for me.

You also have two very distinct kinds of players you’re trying to please in singleplayers and competitive players where balance is more important. There a ton a of moving parts going on here.

I enjoy playing Mexico and think they’re a good addition to in the game but I definitely understand the issues people have expressed, and I agree with many of them. Mexico is not even a week old, let’s give the devs some time to tinker with things before writing it off. It’s not like launching these master of all trades civs is the norm when accounting for the US civ.

My advice to FE is just tone down the creativity a notch for future civs. We appreciate the amount of work you’ve put into this game and the support has exceeded all our expectations. Keep it up! We can all agree in some form or another we’re eager for more content!


Creativity is great. Balancing can be eventually achieved. The only thing that frustrates me is seeing so many contents that could make all civs more interesting, and generally improve many underused aspects of the game (livestock, healing, mercs, grenadiers, revolutions, etc), are all stuffed into one civ.
Sweden is already somewhat 1.5x of a vanilla European civ. US and Africans are like 2x Sweden. Now Mexico feels like a 2x US. This is not simply a creep. It is an exponential creep.
What to expect next? It’s not that the game has unlimited potentials. If every new release has to go down the path of stacking number of uniqueness, soon there will be no more room for creativity left at all.

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Agreed. I definitely think they got a bit too overzealous here. You don’t need to show everyone your cards (pun not intended ) with one civ.

You can’t criticize the devs for not changing too much of the old civs and keeping it mostly for new civs because firstly they want to sell dlc which benefits everyone because then support for the game will continue and secondly if they did make a lot of drastic changes many old time players would be up in arms so they can’t win.
What they’re doing currently to old civs is perfect imo, each patch they’re changing 1 or 2 old civs, giving them a few little buffs, a few new cards etc, not enough to upset old players but just refurbing them a little and they’ve done a great job with inca and aztec so far and I think the changes they’ll make to haud and lakota in the next patch will be great too.

After 15 years of the same set of civs and playing them to the point where you know every build order and every matchup, im not surprised people get overwhelmed from a MP standpoint when they release 4 civs in 6 months. Its under active development for the first time in a very long time so the long term players are going from over a decade of stable meta devlopment to everything changing almost on a monthly basis.

Like anything, what seems overwhelming after a week will probably seem old news a month from now, and imagine if we went another 15 years with the current civs - the meta would probably be a lot more apparent and the core identity of the civs which isnt immediately apparent a week in will probably be well understood just like TAD. The issue is when new civs get added it changes things up, and learning things like timing pushes and counters is meta-fragile, definitely frustrating when things are changing so often and you have to learn the new units to counter.

I dont want them to hold back on creativity, I think its a blessing we are getting all this new content - and Id rather play aoe3 than aoe4 for partly that reason. I want them to be conscientious about spreading their creativity among different aspects of the game and maintaining the balance and identity of the civs - so feedback like this thread is important, but also represents one group of committed players that are seeing a lot of change in a short period of time, for the first time in a very long time.

There is a disparity in complexity between Mexico and the original civilizations, but there was also a huge disparity between say Japanese and the original civs on release and that was also by different developers than the original devs.

If the price of one of my favorite games being in active development after all these years is too much of a good thing - with the alternative being that they cant justify it and fund its development anymore so it goes back on the shelf into limbo for a decade until nostalgia kicks in again, I’d rather they have fun with it and flex their creativity so it at least has the chance to create some hype or pull in new players.

Those that say its too complex for new players to play the new civs and its scaring them away, I find it personally hard to imagine many new players stumbling upon AOE3 after 15 years that are drawn in by anything other than new content - especially something that is exciting and complex. So if it gets new people to come to the candy bowl - im sure a percentage may say that the new civ is too complex, most will want to just larp or play skirmish, and those that say its too complex have an opportunity to play British or Spain to learn the ropes. Having resources for new players to learn in a lot of ways is dependent on the community being healthy and growing and there being something to be hyped about - in this particular case it looks like new crazy civs is shaking things up even in the shadow of AOE4.

Once again, just my opinion.


Excellent post.

The fact we’re getting so much support is phenomenal and I eagerly await what 2022 has in store for us! I let the devs know as much as I can we’re all clamoring for new content.

The comment on toning down creativity was poorly worded on my part. I think a legit concern some people have is taking a unique mechanics from other civs like say stealth skirmishers and giving it to these newer civs. I do love the US immigrant cards, though, and they make total sense.

And I wholeheartedly agree with you on complexity. It is that complexity that makes me love this game so much. I love spending time building decks and then adjusting them, the list goes on. While there’s some agreement on people’s concerns I think people have to calm down a bit and realize there are 5,258 active players according to steam db as I type this. These knee jerk reactions don’t help. Before the US civ came out people were having a conniption of what they perceived to be a OP civ and it was anything but. Some even went on to say the addition of the US destroyed the game. But they’re still here. Passion is one thing but fickleness is another.

Sometimes I wonder if people spend more time discussing the game than actually playing it.