I love team games, especially in AoE3 and especially 3v3, but I didn’t realise it was possible to develop a furious urge to punch an AI in the face until now.
I just played 3v3 on Hard (which is my “relaxation” difficulty, I go for Hardest if I want to sweat), and it was essentially 1v2. Two enemies (US and Chinese) who barely attacked, and though I had decent success, trying to defeat them both as Lakota late game was just bashing my head into a wall repeatedly.
Whereas those two utter morons (my allies, Mexico and Ethiopia) either stood with a massive army in their base, or usually it seemed like they were about to attack, THEN STARTED WITHDRAWING HALFWAY FOR NO CLEAR REASON, which is where the urge to punch them in the face grew increasingly. They pretty much always declined commands to attack anything or anyone. Oh, and on the other hand, they “fought” 2v1 against Spain, usually having some dumb skirmish in the middle of the map, then withdrawing whether they won or lost.
I really think the AI is good overall (especially compared to the travesty that is AoE2:DE AI, dear god), but this is infuriating. I love 3v3 team games, but due to how AoE3 is designed, if your AI allies are dumb and passive, then no matter what you do, you just can’t win with 200-250 population (if you stretch it as hard as possible) against 400+ or 600+ alone.
…unless you pick Trade Monopoly as a possible victory, but then it becomes way too easy which is a separate can of worms for another time.
tl;dr: AI is good and as someone who spent ages ranting about AoE2:DE AI, I genuinely enjoy it. But please make it react to commands, and Hard AI should be 50% more aggressive, and Hardest a little less. Thank you.