Stockyards, Fulling Mills and Ranching Should Be Researchable

The Africans already do it well. He produces while he gets fat.

In a hypothetical case where the cattle generate a trickle of some resource it would be completely feasible. For example, on a map where you capture cows, goats or water buffalo, the Japanese and Africans have an immediate benefit, while the Europeans must wait many minutes for them to be fully fattened. It would be fair that all civilizations have a similar benefit.

The ‘paradox’ games also do this all the time. They rework mechanics, work on old DLC and the base game constantly. If AOE-3 had done this over the years, this conversation would not exist. You have to review everything that is considered useless or unfeasible, such as the politician who awards a balloon, or the British logistician. For example. there are many things to work on apart from the cattle.

Alright, let me try and make sense of some of the suggestions here. Here we will try to break down myths from facts.

Are you ready kids? (Aye, aye Captain)
I can’t hear you (aye, aye Captain)
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Okay, so we’re going to totally ignore the treaty community’s balance? Hmm, interesting.
Let me explain to you how treaty decks are, what cards they consist of, or decks in general.

  • all eco cards possible*
  • all military upgrade cards possible*

Why possible* you may ask? Well, essentially because every deck as you know takes 25 cards. Sometimes when you’re versing other civs, you want to be able to focus entirely on upgrading one or two units to the hilt while not so the other ones since you’ll be spamming the former. Just take a look at Japan or Germany’s deck, sometimes they leave out certain cards depending on their civ matchups and their plan. This doesn’t mean that the same thing happens every game, and some cards have niche builds. eg, Solingen Steel. This also doesn’t mean that the cards left are useless or in need of “change”.

Now, coming to the three milling cards, that’s a guaranteed 3 spot on the deck of 25. Or is your goal to reduce deck size to 22 now that you want them standardised across the board? Why is this a problem?


  • Reducing the opportunity to encourage strategic deck setting, and therefore any strategic gameplay to come from it. The whole point of a deck isn’t to fit every single card onto it, and it adds to the element of customisation of personalised gameplay to what suits your playstyle.
  • So you want these cards across the board and researchable even? right. Let’s take a look at Germany for example. Germany already has one of the strongest economies in the treaty game. Add these cards, and you will allow the German player to spam cav batch after cav batch into a horde of sepoys and still carry on to win the game because of your never-ending cav spam which your infinite eco allows for.

So what then does the rational mind want to do? Reduce the gathering rate bonus of settler wagon and make them on par with other civ’s settlers?
And to that, I’d say, “No way, Jose”.

Moving on,

Invariably, you want to dumb down the game by decreasing its skill ceiling?
Isn’t that what empire wars is for if I’m not mistaken?
Sorry, but this is a strict no IMO, I want to be able to grind to the top and not be deprived of the joy only a proper livestock boom would entice. Booming is a skill and requires higher APM. I don’t have it, but heck I’d want to someday.
What’s the difference between a good boomer and an okay one then?

Balance changes and QoL improvements have been in the works since they started work on EP years ago.
Want to know why RE was doomed from the start. Well, there were many reasons, but one among them was the atrocious balance of the game and the map balance that encouraged rush-only civs to have the upper hand. EP proceeded to fix that, something the MS and the dev team totally abandoned very early on into the game. Here, have a look.
Want to know why the game is in the best state it has been since its inception? Thank the balance team at EP. In fact, if there were still in charge even now (they haven’t since helping hand over TAD balance notes to devs), you’d have much better balance across the board than you have now. Broken Sweden, Inca, Ports with the unnecessary gather rate buff, the broken logistician was all DE devs doing.

Solution: Hire a group of top players as balance consultants, who also take into consideration the queries and suggestions of players of all skill levels, because good ideas can strike from anywhere. However, the final call should be theirs. I believe this is in everyone’s best interests.

What number are we at now? 4? Uff, okay.

700w is useless in treaty games, but god sent in supremacy. So what’s it going to be, remove treaty or supremacy cards?
Also blanket banning or blanket approval of a mechanic isn’t something we do here.

We have 3-4 different game modes where some cards are preferred over others and vice versa. Certain “mechanics” for certain civs are their civ identity! Spain with the faster xp, india with the wood trickle and cattle XP, France with the faster gathering vills, etc etc.

This is what’s so special about aoe3, the idea that no two civs are similar and each plays to its strengths and weaknesses. Will there be matchups that are harder for some civs than others? Yes! Lokota beats Otto, Otto beats Ports, Ports beats Lakota with walls and on water. The holy trinity of rock-paper-scissors! That’s the beauty of it all.

At this point, I must ask, were we talking about aoe2 since the difference of 1 unit or tech seems more in line with what you’re proposing? Then you’re probably right cos i have absolutely no idea or care for.

Wecome change and don’t know why it wasn’t in there since RE, but sure, chalk that as a win if you want.

Again, isn’t that expected when you get a re-haul and definitive edition of a much older game? The least I’d come to expect is good balance changes, better graphics and lastly, but equally, improved AI? I thought that was a given? But okay.

Lmao okay, this is funny. Starcraft 2 being the only rts here, has only, wait for it, 3 civs. Shocked?! How many do we have 20? With more to come, huh? Yeah. So it makes sense that they have constant “balance changes”. We don’t need it since they release broken new civs every other quarter. Don’t try and compare the depth that aoe3 offers to civ balances wrt to any other game, it’s not even funny anymore.

Also, are we really going to compare FPS games to a niche RTS game? I’ll leave it at that.

Okay, so a lot of you guys have misconceptions as to why aoe3 actually isn’t as successful as aoe2. Anyways, here we go, again:

  • It was not aoe2. Stuck in the mud aoe2 players felt like fish in the water when they tried it.
    Here’s Dolan’s take regarding the same:

Most of the normies who bought AOE3 played vs the AI. They were used to AOE2, so they thought if they build some walls, they can sit behind them for hours and boom.
You know, build some castles, some towers, create a nice fortress in there that is safe from any incoming archers.
But then they noticed the AI aged faster and was coming to harass early in the game with small groups of mercs, pikes, cav.
So normies started walling up, hoping this would keep those enemy units out. But they were so slow, by the time they finished walling up, the AI was already in fortress and was pushing with cannons and even better mercs.
Eventually they couldn’t gather, they were confined in their base and thought they should build some farms, because that’s what they were doing in AOE2 and it worked.
But farms in AOE3 were more expensive and gathering was slow and you needed a lot of them to see any significant income. Also, they needed all the upgrades, which cost some.
And that’s how they ended up losing and disliking AOE3 because it was “too fast-paced”, they didn’t understand how the cards system worked and they were completely confused about what they should do against an AI that used guerilla tactics, sending constant small parties of harassing units, and then attacking in waves.
A few normies understood that you need to wall up fast and age to fortress, get a big force of cannons and post it behind the walls, so you can destroy every enemy push.
But that didn’t make you win, you still had to push out of your base and that was another can of worms, because the AI always seemed to have infinite resources, even if you destroyed all their military buildings, they’d get a new bunch of them up right away.
TLDR Normies whined that the game was too fast-paced, using cards and decks was confusing and cards needed to be unlocked first, and they couldn’t play defensive anymore behind walls like in AOE2. They got filtered hard.
So there goes your biggest market, and without age players supporting aoe3, it was bound to have a smaller player base than expected.

  • You couldn’t run aoe3 on potatoes, unlike aoe2, no more.
  • Home city levelling that had the important cards locked was a nightmare and took far too long for the grind to be worth it all. Not surprisingly, it gave those that stuck to one civ a better chance of using the full strength of the civ. Way to go for asymmetry.
  • DE had the opportunity to make a whole new beginning for us. But thanks to having shipped a beta version of the game that deletes drives and its apathetic condition for all players involved it brought us back to square one. Did you see the number of players that tried it on day 1? figures!
  • No support from the devs in RE to fix the game, its game-breaking bugs and no sustained support really left the game for dead tbh. Must have been a shock to them to see this still thriving almost 2 decades later, lol.
  • Also starcraft and other good games, mainly the fps ones dominated the market, and the release of aoe3 couldn’t have coincided more with the gradual decline in the RTS genre worldwide.
  • People seem to downplay how steep the learning curve is in aoe3 compared to most other games. It takes a while to get into it, and even more to get decent at it. Aoe2 is a lot easier to get in honestly.
  • Faster paced game, and not a sim city builder.
  • aoe3 was ahead of its time, as with most things that are ahead of their time, takes a while before it gets the recognition it deserves. Thanks, DE launch for being a babe and destroying it.

I can honestly go on and on, but that should do for now.

Pray, tell me, what is? If that were really the case, then bring attention to that and not a random card that is used for treaty and not supremacy.

Alright, end of lesson boys. Wasted far too much time on this already.

PS, use the forums for reporting bugs, giving valuable feedback without altering the essence of what aoe3 is all about. Asymmetry, asymmetry, asymmetry. Don’t try and blanket ban or blanket fix something that is beloved already and proceed to strip each civ of what makes it special.

Thank you, let’s have some ggs!


The main purpose of my proposed new mechanic is to encourage players to use livestock by not having to send villagers to gather the meat. This is also its only advantage over the current mechanic.

According to my idea stated above, 20 cows can generate up to 7400 resources in their lifetime (10 minutes). And if these cows are slaughtered, they can provide up to 10,000 food, more than the new mechanic can do. If you are afraid of change because you think it will upset the balance, don’t worry.

What’s more, this new mechanic doesn’t replace the current one, it only takes effect after a new card for this mechanic is sent, and the player can still slaughter them if needed.

I think we all care about balance, but don’t need to be so nervous about change. Instead of rejecting change in the beginning, people can discuss what can be done to make change more feasible.

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There is a fine line between adding a new specific mechanic ( which might be civ specific, like haciendas for mexico or african civ’s cattle mechanic) then adding a change that will affect an entire swathe of civs.

if you want a specific mechanic implemented, it would be much easier to do, both balance and design, just to have it part of the identity of a new civ, the african civs have done this very well imo.

Like atleast from experience, people play like 2-3 civs in the game for the most part. even pros struggle playing 4 civs well. Like personally I understand basically 3 civs, the rest might as well be a different language to me (besides the occasional meme build). A broad change to the livestock mechanic isn’t going to make more attractive to use them in normal random play, especially for different civs, all of which have different playstyles. If it was good enough to warrant that, then oh boy would it have to be completely busted.

and if you just want to make the livestock mechanic more attractive to players, then buff things like the infinite sheep + homestead wagon card , which is already used in some circumstances. why make a change to how it works, it would kinda defeat the purpose of getting people to use it more to actually change how it works.

TLDR, make specific and local changes, not broad and global ones if you have to

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No. I have not changed it. I just add a new one beside it.
Players just keep livestock there as in the past. The addition is that when they are not slaughtered or dead, they can generate a small amount of resources.
This mechanic can still be tweaked, and I don’t think it will conflict or drastically change the current gameplay, but it will increase the chances of being used in a long game.

It is very hard to be done anything more.
That’s a very simple card. You can only adjust the number of sheep being sent. Adding too many sheep is more likely to disrupt the balance.

but that is changing it, cause you have changed how the players interact and benefits from the mechanic. What you described there is just how the african livestock mechanic works.

A small tweak that can be done to that card, would be to just make it semi-fattened sheep instead (and send 5 instead of 7) since that reduces the payback time of the shipment and make it easier to do a timing with the resources while limiting the raw number of resource benefits. That alone makes the livestock mechanic itself more viable without changing anything.

Actually more similar to the Hacienda instead of the African Livestock Market.
It seems that you may not clearly understand how my suggestion works.

You should notice that the purpose of the changes we’re talking about is to make livestock more often used, not more powerful.

What you’re proposing here allows the player who uses this card to get more resources in less time, but it still doesn’t make the livestock mechanic be used more often. Players will not spend shipment on this card again and again, but use it as another type of food crate and ship it maybe just once or twice, especially when shipment will cost a huge amount of XP later in the game. After players have eaten the sheep from this card, they usually don’t train new ones and don’t want to spend time waiting for them to get fat.

My approach will give the livestock more added value, making it a bit profitable to own them for long periods of time without wasting villagers’ work time. I think it can attract treaty mode players to try raising livestock for a long time.

whether you are generating influence or normal resources, you will still be generating resources.

So let me get this right, you want to introduce a change to a mechanic to encourage players to use it, but also the benefits of the change to the players are marginal?

and like not everything in the game needs to used in the long run for it to be useful. Like almost every 1 v 1 game ends before a single mill is made, does that mean that mills need to be reworked so that people use it more in 1v1?

Things have niches in this game, you don’t need everything to be useful all the time.

If people see a benefit from using it, they will use it more, I don’t see how that is not using it more often. And if you are afraid that they get more resources, you can adjust the number of semi-fattend sheeps or make it a mix of semi-fattened and normal sheep.

If what you want is that its used in games more generally, then again I point to mills in 1 v1, almost never used, so should we be changing that as well?

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Don’t you see what I stated? Treaty players are the ones who may be attracted by this mechanic. I certainly understand that not everything has to work in every game, and I don’t think European livestock mechanic is suitable for a 1v1 normal game, so my suggestion doesn’t go in that direction either.

This mechanic is still beneficial to players in the long run. You can receive resources without dispatching any villager. Compared to current European players only task villagers to mills and estates, now they only need to make space for livestock and there is more resource incomes. Why not try it out?

If you’re still worried about boosting the economy too much, just don’t give this mechanic card to all European civs.

Then I do have to ask, why make a change to a bunch of civs if your desired benefit is so marginal?

Like if its going to be only a number of civs in a subset of games in particular, then thats not really encouraging people to use it more is it?

And if you are looking to buff civs, why do it in such a broad way, it makes balancing much harder since a particular change will have effects in multiple places.

My point here is that if you just want to buff the civs, then better to look at the civs itself and look at where you can buff it if need be. If you are just wanting to change how people play, then the changes needs to be good enough to even warrant it given the trade-offs of the game (not even accounting for balance)

Like even if its a card, making it worthwhile to remove another card is not a trivial design task.

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I think there is a lot of fear in exploring new mechanics just for balance disturbance. What would happen if in the future Europeans get access to a new building as the university and a fourth resource? You simply have to reevaluate them to adjust them so that they are not broken. And also compensate other civilizations in some way.

No one wants the game to break, many simply want to diversify the possibilities. If it has impacts on the balance, it can be tuned so that it reaches an ideal state.

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the textbook definition of “power creep”

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livestock is available to all civs, not specific to one.

we already know for a fact that isn’t true. there are already many examples of livestock being worth it in both supremacy and treaty, such India and Japan in tad, and Hausa/Ethiopia in de.

at the end of the day, this is what the argument against changing the game boils down to. because it may disturb the balance; we shouldn’t fix a mechanic. something the game has already done and hopefully will continue to do. new civs and revolutions, mercenaries and outlaws, maps and treasures, cards, and logisticians. all of these can and will affect the balance, but they can make the game better regardless.

they didn’t remove blockade from supremacy because it was causing trouble there, just like how they modified temple of heaven age ups and sepoy/steppe/strelet rider imperial upgrades. changing tufanci corps to new order infantry had balance implications and gave otto a viable new opening playstyle as well as improved jan anti-cav scaling, yet here we are with nizams and 20% faster training jans. they are still welcome changes that addressed underperforming mechanics and affected balance.

town center cards adding to tc pop limit affects balance as well, the grenade launcher card attempts to address the failings of the grenadier unit, and explorers rebuilding forts exists to give more value to fort cards that where one and done as well. folk heroes and imperial mercenaries are also new mechanics that address scaling of saloon units, another broken mechanic that was fixed and definitely had an effect on treaty.

we even see the range of our units in a circle which greatly helps in culv wars as well as zooming out farther, things that again affect the balance but make the game better at the same time. Maps are reworked and no tp maps are mostly gone from the ranked map pool.

this follows the line of other successful games. if it doesn’t work or underperforms, give it a tweak and a change so it improves the gameplay experience. if you played the Warhammer total war games, entire mechanics were completely reworked and the games barely resembled its launch state for many factions, and it’s a better game for it. affecting balance did not stop them making summons crumble, neither did it stop starcraft 2 from reworking zealot charge and removing mothership core.


wont even bother to read further.


there are already broad changes to multiple civs that affect balance in the hope of fixing broken mechanics. imperial mercs fixing merc scaling, tc wagons adding to tc build limit, tc/fort/logistician choices to add variety to age ups and adding castrametation to give the card and forts in general more value. infinite 1 falconet certainly did not exist.

broad changes have already happened to fix broken mechanics, this isn’t a new and untested practice either in this game or many others. the legacy expansions themselves changed previous mechanics, such as saloons and spies in the war chief’s expansion.

in legacy you couldn’t have more than 20 cards in a deck, and there were no infinite shipments aside from age 1.


I say that cattle should be available to all european civs (and USA and WB for China) in age 3, stockyards could remain a card.

Ranching can be reworked to be like a lesser version of what fulling mills is (harvest rate).

And Fulling Mills should be changed so that sheep (and goats but not cattle) provide more than food (maybe wood). Since Fulling has nothing to do with food.

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