Post to collect opinions about the future of AoE 3 DE, possible DLC, exact timeframe and possible chronological successor of AoE 3 DE (There are some polls)

Hello everyone, this topic has dealt with some subjects of interest for AoE 3 DE, although it has deviated from the original topic, I consider it necessary to create a topic to deal with certain elements of interest for AoE 3, such as the year of completion of its timeframe, the possibility of creating a DLC set in a future timeframe and how it could be a chronological successor to AoE DE.

I could only give my opinion on these matters, but to tell the truth, many opinions of other users that I read in this topic seemed very interesting to me, so I will try as much as possible to do a series of surveys to collect their opinions.

  1. What should be the final year of AoE 3 DE?
  • 1850
  • 1870
  • 1876
  • 1899
  • Other (specify if possible)

0 voters

  1. How many additional DLC would you like to see released for AoE 3? (last current DLC is Knights of the Mediterranean)
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • +4

0 voters

  1. Based on the AoE 2 DE “Return of Rome” DLC, will it be possible to make an AoE 3 DE DLC in a future timeframe of the current game?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • Yes, but I wouldn’t buy it
  • No, but I like the concept

0 voters

  1. It will be possible to use the graphics engine of the current AoE 3 DE for a different game (like the case of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds)
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • No, out of respect for AoE 3

0 voters

  1. Should the devs give an official answer on the end year of the AoE 3 timeframe?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

0 voters

  1. Will the current AoE 3 DE graphics engine be able to port dogfights?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes, but with a poor result

0 voters

  1. Do you think AoE4 should have been the chronological successor to AoE 3?
  • Yes
  • No
  • I do not care

0 voters

  1. Do you like the current AoE 4 as the fourth game in the AoE saga?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe it can improve with future DLC

0 voters

  1. Should there be an AoE chronological successor to AoE 3?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • I do not care

0 voters

  1. If there was an AoE chronological successor to AoE 3, what timeframe should it span?
  • 1820-1920
  • 1870-1945
  • 1870-1969
  • 1900-2000
  • Other (Specify if possible)

0 voters

  1. Should the current development of AoE 3 DE focus more on historical accuracy or should some fictional elements be added?
  • Priority to historical fidelity
  • Fictional elements that are present in the collective imagination can be added
  • There could be a balance between historical fidelity and fictional elements
  • I do not care

0 voters

As a final comment, I recommend this post that I particularly like and I have already given some of my opinions there.
I hope to know your opinions too :grin:


Thanks for this interesting topic!


Interesting to see what people have to say. I knew I wasn’t alone in not caring about too strict of a limit on the time line. Historical periods are imgained categories after the fact anyway. Cowboys and Renaissance knights seem to mesh a lot better than Cowboys and Fighter jets even though technically the latter pairing is a lot closer chronologically. The turn of the century always seemed like a perfectly fine cut off point to me and I’m honestly okay with the game flirting with the very early 1900s as long as there are no tanks or airplanes.

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I personally don’t think the historical limit should be set in time, but more on technology. A dlc could introduce a new unit whose uniform was created let’s say in 1881 and I wouldn’t have a problem. Give this unit a ak-47 and now that’s a problem.


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:

  1. 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.

  2. More Africans! Gimme Shona and Kongolese, maybe also Moroccans.

  3. 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.

  4. More natives. Preferably Five Civilized Tribes, Iron Confederacy, Mapuche, and Guarani.

  5. 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.


1899 is really late, like i dont think people realize just how much technology moved in those 23 years, the car was invented, electricity started to be common, the machine-gun was invented, the Radio was invented, ships went from relatively small ironclads to battleships, guns went from a few experimental repeater rifles to it becoming standard issue.

i could go on but i think you get the point, things moved fast at that time. urbanisation also accelerated significantly, just as an example Copenhagen went from about a 130k in 1850 to 450k in 1901, the same is true for other cities and towns. 1900 was unrecognizable to someone from 1876, the same way our lifestyle is to someone from the 1970s.


This may be controversial but I want AoE5 to be an AoE3 killer. Set it in the same timeframe as AoE3 but start fresh without all the baggage that AoE3 brings.

Some of this game’s greatest strengths are also the source of its unpopularity.

For example sending shipments makes the game extremely dynamic and gives massive strategic variation and replayability. But at the same time, the deck building meta game can be tedious, confusing, and exploitable.

In a new game you could integrate the “cards” into the game as techs that cost experience/prestige/etc. Cards could be unlocked by different age ups and buildings. So your 3 Villagers card is a Town Center tech, and your resource cards are Market techs. You could have branching upgrade paths, so maybe once you send one resource crate, the other options are locked out or diminished.

You could also start fresh with unit classes and such. It’s kinda weird that Hussars are called heavy cavalry in this game when in reality they were light cavalry.

Civs could have completely new designs and unique attributes. For example, the Ottoman free Villagers probably makes more sense for a civ with a massive population like Mughals or China.

You could mess with things like the population limit, and design it to be balanced for 300 pop or even more. Maybe bring back old features like drop off points but with the ability to also move carcasses and felled trees so it’s not as tedious as other games. You could even add new resource sources like gathering fur from dens and wild animals to get coin or quarrying for building materials on treeless maps.

By starting over you could make a worthy AoE3 successor that actually brings in AoE2 and AoE4 players as well.


But you need to consider that those things you mention were highly experimental and uncommon at that time, being relegated to the big metropolises and having little to do with the colonies.

I think the devs can add certain elements up to the year 1899, as long as they fit into the overall mechanics that make up the game.

Maybe radio and car, but not repeating single shot rifles. Between 1860 and 1870 most countries changed front loading muskeets for breech loading rifles

Thanks for the correction @pwaopwao


Units that use these types of weapons already exist in the game (Prussian Needle Gunners, Carbine Cavalry, etc.), it’s up to the devs to better reflect that technology (change unit animations, etc.). Most of the rifles used by the 19th century infantry were single shot, because that was the military doctrine of the time (they are cheaper, bullets are saved, etc.)


the needlegun was invented in the 1840s.

there are some repeaters in the game, most notably the spencer repeating rifle invented in 1860 but it was a rare weapon and it still took a bit of time for the average foodsoldier to be equipped as such.

there are many reasons repeaters didn’t take off:

they are complicated, both to make and maintain, keep in mind standardisation was still a relatively new concept.

they typically weren’t as powerful or accurate as rifled muskets, this goes for the needlegun as well.

but its not because bullets where saved they didnt make them, if armies could they would have preffered less men with better weapons since the logistics of feeding and housing men is far worse than feeding ammo to guns.


The only unit with a single shot rifle is the Prussian Rifleman, which according to the new skins is confirmed to be armed with the Dreyse needle gun which has been in service since 1840 in very limited numbers having great use in guerrilla warfare. The Prussian Rifleman is the only unit that warrants carrying the weapon in the AoE 3 timeframe if the final year is 1870.

In the mid-1860s, the powers had changed muskets (the last in this category were the Minié) for Single-shot rifles, and not only that, other technologies developed during the second industrial revolution were also implemented.

I don’t want to dwell on this topic (for now), but I just want to remind you that the uniforms worn in the 1870s are very similar to those worn during WW1, you can see this example of the Eight-Nation Alliance during the Boxer Rebellion.

*An Italian soldier can be seen wearing a Bersagliere uniform, interestingly the Bersagliere is also a skirmisher in AoE 3 available at age 4.

And about the colonial uniforms in Africa… they are the same as those used during WW1 and have no relation to the uniforms shown in the European civilizations in AoE 3…

Edit: Also the Neftenya has a breech-loading rifle, but the Neftenya were the riflemen of the Ethiopian Empire Army started to modernize around the 1850s.


I don’t see why you are so dead set on gatekeeping the game to an earlier era. Most of the technological developments of the late 1800s are already in the game and the inclusion of USA and Mexico is extremely tenuous even if you push the timeline to the extreme.

If you include all of the 19th century they you get content from the Zulu war, Boer war, Mahdist war, Conquest of the Desert, North-West Rebellion, second Afghan War, etc. Why give up on all that for an arbitrary early cutoff?

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why are you so dead set on attacking me for my position?

the point of this game is the line infantry, the story of the brave soldiers fighting in lines, its not the story of trench warfare etc.

also all these things are powercreep and scopecreep on the game, this wasn’t an issue in TAD.

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Because there’s a MAJOR difference between this rate of fire

and this rate of fire

so you either nerf the single-shot rifles, in which case, why mass include them, or buff muskeets, in which case, why adding single-shot anyways.

Having hand infantry after the 16th century feels weird enough. Let’s not add muskeets and single-shot firing at the same speed to this mix

MAAAAYBE if you have an Imperial age upgrade that transforms every hand infantry and muskeet to single shot, I could see it not being weird

Edit: for people who want dogfights, these are examples of air combat in current RTS
Starcraft 2

Empire Earth

I’m not attacking you position. I’d love it if the game was restricted to a sensible timeline. It would be great if they cut out the anachronistic Aztecs, Mexicans, and Americans and made the timeframe something like 1525-1875.

But it’s too late for that. Even in TAD the timeline went right up to 1899, and that’s just been repeatedly doubled down on with TAR and the post-colonial civs. It’s just wishful thinking to say the timeline stops at the 1876 Warchiefs cutoff.

His cutoff is 1876. Your 1871 example falls within that so it the major difference is already there even in the more restrictive date.

I also think their cutoff is too extensive. I would end it the year Gatling guns were deployed.

While I think any time between 1876 (soft cutoff date) and 1899 (hard cutoff date) are good, the big deciding question should be “when did closed-formation fighting become infeasible”? Ultimately, once battles become mainly open-formation (small squad tactics with individual soldiers having high degree of initiative), the AOE3 timeframe should end. Otherwise:

  • it would be quite silly to have troops march in formation when a single artillery round or machine gun burst can wipe out a good section of a company.
  • It would be hard micromanage troops when battles place heavy emphasis on spreading out, taking cover, camouflage (terrain), fire suppression, shock tactics (morale). Terrain and morale are never really the strong suit of AOE series.

That being said, if each unit is a squad, and a good terrain and morale system can be implemented, I can see a potential AOE4 (AOE5?) working. For reference, Rise of Nations already have some of the systems (buildings, airplane operations) working.

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Wouldn’t that be during the Franco-Prussian war? At least not too many years after the end of the US Civil war.

Remember, single-shot shot like 6 times farther thah a muskeet. In game, that would be like a range of 72. Also, they would need a RoF of 4.5

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It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I still like the AOE-3 better. I don’t find in AOE-4 a reason to abandon AOE-3.

However, I like AOE-4 mechanics that are good for the saga. I am not a blind person who does not admit that this game has good things.

If the same AOE-3 question were asked to other AOE players, I’m pretty sure AOE-3 would be one of the least liked. Only we can understand how AOE-3 is really superior to other games.