Regarding the game being "free"

I remember launch day and a few days or weeks after i bought the game at full price. I don’t wanna be that “guy” but. I feel like something was taken from me. I wish the devs could find a way to thank the players who bought the actual game when it was marketed as a AAA game at its appropriate price.

Maybe a unique custom Explorer skin or a Ship skin would be really nice. I am thankful for giving AOE3 a chance to expand its playerbase but what about the guys who were here and readied their wallets for the game. Thank you for reading and i hope this reaches anyone concerned.

Like, thanking the players with one of the biggest free update ever made ? :slight_smile:


its a heavily stripped down “free” version though.

its only 3 civs, 1 campaign, 1 historical battle and access to lobbies

its more like a trial


A trial with fully playable civs and access to 3 acts of campaign? Bro. I payed full price.

I like this game. Is it bad that i ask for like a some kind of badge that signifies I am one of the dudes who payed for it before this plan or update came into place and you can argue that this game has 3 civs allowed for free players but the content of each civ is way more insane than Starcraft,warcraft or any other RTS combined in terms of variety and tactics. I celebrate that. But i think we the people who supported the game in its early days should be given a small reward of sorts or badge.

It’s only 1 act of campaign, if you payed full price you’ve gotten your moneys worth in the time the games been out. People pay more money for the same rehashed game every 12 months like fifa/cod etc.

You already have stuff that those players won’t have like all the dlc, explorer skins, profile pics etc.


You only get the morgan missions, not the full aoe 3 vanilla campaigh

You have also have to it play for much longer, and 3 civs is hardly anything to write home about its barely enough to know anything about them.

If you think that the thing you have paid for has not been worth it then better to just try and refund or sell it off and get the F2P ver yourself then

I mean if that is what you want then show off your paywalled civs to the f2p players and dominate them, then get called p2w, more then enough showing off


Its not p2w issue. What i mean is like Pay to own. back then. And im not saying its not worth it and that i want to refund the game. You twist my words.

I did not expect the F2P to happen nor did i want it and before the announcement was made. There may have been people who actually bought the game before the AOE3 sale. Who only had it for like what? 2 months and suddenly its value changed up and marketing strat altered? I’m not saying its a bad thing but some surprises don’t always please. I hope you get what i mean. Not trying to antagonize anyone.

The demo has three rotating civs, one historical battle and one campaign. In what world is that equivalent to the full game you paid?

Also, I paid for Starcraft I and II and many years after they became free. I was glad that people got to experience that awesome game for free.


I not trying to antagonise you but to me you are describing buyer’s remorse, thats why i commented about the refund. Like the same can be said if you buy the game at full price and then it suddenly goes on sale or take a price cut.

You have paid one price and now you there is a different value proposition and you think you should be compensated for this other choice you think could have taken. To me that just means that you dont think you should have paid the initial value.

This happens, people miss sales time and prices change, you take the L and move on.


Well, personally, I like that it’s free. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but was afraid to commit to paying full price. This gives me a chance to try it before I purchase it.


for Dev roaming this thread. i am not fully agree with op. but there are actually few benefit of having a redeeming portal style or such.

  1. it can get one like op stop ranting
  2. it helps player to identify trial players, which is mostly noobs, and to make lobbies accordingly.
  3. it is an extra visual initiative for the trial player to get in the cooler full game

my suggestion is a 3 tiers icon for trial, full game, and old player.

I dont think this is a good idea, people already just kick players with low city level or low or no elo information as it is. A tag that identifies the free players is just a kick me sign and if they are good they have no way to prove it since they cant do ranked to show their ELO

It invites discrimination that makes the new player experience worse and the existing players will just be entrenched


yes but i would say getting racked as a new player is a bad player experience, if not worse, too.

yeah but that can happen whether you are a free player or not, so I dont think there is a need to differentiate between the two.

What is needed is a better system to rank players that isnt the ladder since the free players cant access that.

The stripe system is an attempt but its too visually complicated to understand


In a funny twist, there has actually been a free demo version of this game since 2005. You never had to pay OP, you could have just been playing that this whole time.


Yeah that’s exactly what would happen.

This update actually wiped all my profile data so all my home cities are back to level 1, I’d be getting kicked from every lobby game I joined if I didn’t only play ranked 1v1 these days.

really? didnt happen to me might be a bug you want to report since the home city data should be able to be backed up and restore

Already made a report to aoe support unfortunately they just send you an automated email with some steps and if that doesn’t work they don’t reply anymore lol

By buying the game on release you had 3 years of fun that people that get it now didn’t have.
The game was already on sale for 75% off which is close to being free.

1/9 campaigns plus 3 civilisations for Skirmish are only a fraction of the content anyway. It’s the amount of content that you’d expect of a demo.


Nothing was taken from you. All they did was moving the full base game to a DLC and making the game a trial version. Also, this is exclusive to Steam. On the Windows Store, this trial does not exist.

If you want the full AoE 3 experience, you still have to buy the game as normal.