Let me try to give my answers in depth. They are probably not good or popular answers, but whatever. I’ll put them down anyways.
“One: What should be the final year of Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition’s timeframe?/Five: Should the developers state an official end year of the AoE3: DE timeframe?”
I chose to combine these two because they essentially ask two parts of the same question, with Question 5 really working better as the antecedent for Question 1. I selected “Other” for 1 and “Yes” for 5. Going on the presence of elements like South Africa, the Boxer Rebellion, and turn-of-century German colonial uniforms, 1901 would be a decent end point. Sure, it’s mostly cosmetic stuff, but gameplay aesthetics and references in HCCs have never obeyed timeframes anyways dating back to legacy. A concrete timeline at least gives fans a clear point of reference for what’s okay to put in the game–on the other hand, though, anything that falls out of that will produce much more kvetching and more pointed kvetching than if the developers simply kept things ambiguous.
“Two: How many additional DLC packages would you like to see released for AoE 3: DE?”
At least five. I’d like the following:
A full roster of eight Federal civs, one each corresponding to an original European civs. In other gaming genres, this phenomenon might be called “echo fighters”. I’d like for national guard unit selections and available units to be changed around a bit on existing Federal civs to further enforce the parallel.
For example, remove the State Militia’s NG upgrade, and, say, give the United States “Fighting Eagle Regulars” and “Butterfly Hussars” as available improvements in the Industrial Age.
Give Mexicans Rodeleros (the leather soldiers carried a Rodela), maybe with a National Guard “Tropa Ligera” upgrade? Keep the Charros though.
The French can maybe be mirrored by Federal Vietnamese, with the Kinh Tuong Mahout Lancer mirroring the Cuirassier, and, perhaps the Lính Tập as a unique skirmisher that gets a “Tonkinois” NG Upgrade.
The Germans are a toss up IMO between Colombia or Argentina, take your pick.
The Portuguese, obviously, FINALLY get their Brazil full civilization. Bring back the Jinete as NG for Brazil’s Dragoon, and just lift the Encourado from WoL for the Musketeer’s NG Upgrade
The Dutch echo fighter should be the Indonesians because it’d be polarizing and hilarious. I know nothing about Indonesia, though.
The Russian Federal successor would be the Greeks. Spicy, right? Yeah. For the National Guard upgrades, though, we COULD get all Byzantine with their names because that’s kinda anachronistic and still cool–no idea if Greeks get Grenadiers, so why not lift the Chorofylax from WoL, give it a charged grenade attack, make it like a weaker, 1-population Soldado, and name it the “Skoutatos” when it gets its NG upgrade. Whatever the Greek ranged cavalry unit is can upgrade into “Mavros” (lit. “Black Horse/Rider”) or “Vardariot”.
It may be kind of controversial for the Ottoman Federal mirror civ to be the Arabs, but whatever. No clue what the NG upgrades might look like.
More Africans! Gimme Shona and Kongolese, maybe also Moroccans.
FINALLY BRING THE PERSIANS AND KOREANS IN. Jesus Christ. I have been crafting a Korean civ for a long time now. I have wonders, unit roster, some cards, some code, and unique buildings hammered out. Might tweak civ bonuses though. We’ll see if either of these civs ever comes and if they meet expectations.
More natives. Preferably Five Civilized Tribes, Iron Confederacy, Mapuche, and Guarani.
Hawaiians. And maybe other Polynesians. I seriously want Hawaiians. I literally bought a book on the military history of Hawaii, in paper back, to help me brainstorm civ ideas. I am begging you FE, I am on my knees, give us the Kanaka Maoli…
“Three: Based on the ‘Return of Rome’ DLC, will it be possible to make an anachronistic DLC for AoE 3: DE?”
Maybe. I don’t even know what such an anachronistic DLC would entail. World War 1 units? The balance on those would be horrendous. You’d see extremely powerful ranged infantry units that combine high base damage with high rates of fire, and decent movement speed. Good range and LoS as well. Cavalry, except for raiding units, now sport the ranged armor of artillery. Artillery fire farther and hit with more AoE. AIRPLANES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Maybe a medieval DLC with popular factions like Mayans, Byzantines, Mongols would be the one. Unfortunately, you’d have to see comically inflated base stats because none of those guys have guns.
“Four: Will a different game, besides Age of Mythology’s remake, be able to use the graphics engine of AoE 3: DE?”
I don’t see why not. Assuming Forgotten Empires has the resources to make such games. If DE is using a proprietary engine, loaning it out to other studios could result in tons of snags. Legally and time-wise.
“Six: Will the graphics engine be able to support aerial combat?”
No. Please God, do not even summon that spectre. The game is beautiful, but it relies heavily on top down views of the action, and having to not only micro infantry, cavalry, and artillery, but airplanes as well that you might have trouble clicking in the heat of an engagement? Disgustingly difficult to all but the top pros, who will invest so heavily in nothing but fighter planes and AA guns that everything else becomes pointless.
“Seven through Ten: Timelines of future installments in the Age of Empires Series?”
Really, these four questions should have been combined and then asked in the order of 8 > 7 > 9 > 10. (Disregard the error in numbering.) I am ambivalent about AoE4 as a new game, finding it somewhat redundant with AoE 2: DE, though the graphics are so much better that they look sufficiently like different games. Game feels a bit threadbare though. I do believe that chronologically, it should have been the successor to AoE3. There should still be a successor, with the balance of previous installments thrown out the window because of how 20th and 21st century warfare works. As for a specific timeline, give me between the outbreak of WWI and the Korean War or Cuban Missile Crisis.
“Eleven: how much should the developers prioritize historical accuracy?”
Give it priority. Absolutely. Don’t sacrifice gameplay or fun too much, but if making something accurate does not warp game balance in a particularly noticeable way, go historical every time. However, if something is fictional or somewhat anachronistic but integral to a given civ’s cultural mythos, give it that element, even if it’s just a reference in cards, techs, or skins.