Strange Continuation of the AoE Franchise

The basic werid thing about AoE III is that it is completely detached from the continuation and legacy of AoE I and II, and completely detached from its upcoming successor AoE IV, in terms of ‘scope’ and ‘focus’. AoE IV seems to be more attached to the legacy and continuation of AoE I and II, a new gunpowder epoch should have been added anyway to present something new, now this seems left to AoE V (if in future) to host gunpowder epochs only.

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I think the devs just decided to play it safe while relaunching the franchise after so many years. It hurts to say it, but AoE2 is far more successful than AoE3, so there is an attractively large enough fanbase to appeal to in there that could hopefully translate to AoE4 and guarantee its success.

Once (and if) AoE4 gains traction they will almost surely move into the timeline of the Age of Sail/Age of Pike and Shot in AoE5. I also suspect they may release a DE for AoM in the interim period after AoE4 just to keep the hype.


In what ways?
Scope and focus are completely different how, what crucial element was lost in III?

Game has expanded and grow. Every single match is basically the same as in previous AoEs from the second you start it to the way you defeat your enemies.
It’s not detached from II much more than II is from I.

Players can completely ignore new features (civ customization, mercenaries, trading posts, native tribes, balloons, surgeons etc) and solely rely on basic ruleset and encounter design from Age of Kings and still win.

You start with TC, scout (hero) and few settlers. Gather the same 4 resources, build the same buildings (you don’t have to build a saloon or factory, and treat forts as castles) muster and rush the enemy with even often the same units- longbowmen, crossbowmen, sword&shield infantry, halbs, light cav, hand cannoneers (here - musketeers). Throw in few cannons if you feel like it.

And voilà!

If you could play beta you’d know in some ways IV differs the most from other parts in the series.
The very asymmetry of civilizations alone beats most of the new features (that were introduced in the original version of AoE III) put together.
The differences between civilizations in AoE II are, apart from blocking the availability of technology and unit upgrades, a handful of trinkets - a few special units, small bonuses that direct the civilization into a more focused infantry or cavalry fight, etc.

People expecting prettier, 3D ‘Age of Kings’ will be very disappointed.


AoE III has a pretty intresting gameplay and do represent the title Empires at the end of abbreviation AoE. I started from AoE III and later I discovered AoE II and AoE I. Then I came across a very odd comparison, that AoE III is somewhat not related to its predeccors and the possible upcoming AoE IV. The basic difference AoE III revolves around the concept of colonization e.g. maps are meant to be colonized not foster a civilization, then you are not fostering a economy of a civilization from its origins but a colony, then you are not fostering an army of a civilization, but a colony, you are more operating the affairs of a colony then a whole civilization on a single map. Though you get much of the same experience of gathering resources and raising an army, building stuff and so on… Also AoE III graphics design is different from AoE I, II and IV, as AoE III seems more has intel graphics. Then AoE III tooks a huge leap based on purely imperial epochs of the 18th to 19th centuries.

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It maybe possible that AoE team realized the mistake of being too early to laucnh such a drastic AoE III, which may not make sense even in the long run, espically due to the concept of colonization. Or maybe they may had an appealing and pressing fan base to launch such a game at the time.

En eso tienes razón, además la pantalla de derrota del age of empires 3 es “Abandonas la colonia” no simplemente derrota, dando a entender que tu ciudad y país natal sigue intacto pero que perdiste tu colonia en el nuevo mundo.


They obviously need to play it safe, since they’re trying a return to form of the series. They have their lessons learned. Last game had a greedy business model that failed horribly - no more of that, AoE3 strayed too far from the classic RTS formula and was placed in a less popular historical time - no more of that. That’s not to say the game will not have AoE3 influences, it sure will.

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What the bloody hell are you on brother? Stange continuation and detached from the legacy lol. if u delete the card system u will get the same aoe2 basis. The card system is what makes aoe3, what aoe3 is, and is not in any way or shape - strange or detached. Its a good feature for people who want to experiment with different build orders and rearranging their decks to try some new strategy. It actually improves on what aoe2 is beause it added some asymmetry to the game. The aoe players just couldnt get into that card system and/or the asymmetry of some civs for some reason. But we are around 3-4k and have been keeping the game alive since the release with multiple fanpatches (esoc), big mods like WoL, K&B and many many more. So i feel like u are the one being detached and dont even know what you are talking about.


I do checked the card deck system, I found it very boring and I never discover it any further, and hardly even tried or fiddle with it. But I had done comparison in terms of concept and scope overall, not the deck system, which makes AoE III not related to its predecossors and successors. Though AoE III is not the worse to play, but do lacks many things, options and varities etc in the gameplay as I discussed in a previous forum

Could you please elaborate?

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‘I have no idea wtf i am sayin but want to diss on aoe3’, that is what i get from the thread you created.

What legacy? The idea on Ensemble was to improve their game when they released the next one, not to make Aoe2 copy for 3/4/5 etc, as if that was the mentality, Aoe2 would have been another Aoe1, and another of their objective (‘scope’ and ‘focus’) was to make, like the name suggest…, an AGE game covering the entirety of the EMPIRES that were present during the ages, even something scifi eventually (Age of Empires 5). Not to remake an 20 year game into 3d because ‘Where do i put my lumber that i cut from trees’, Bro, facking 40 civs and all have the exact same knights and archer and infantry and siege and vills and you asking where is the lumbermill.

There wasn’t a Legacy, they were creating the legacy.


The epoch jump was also drastic like the imperial eras from 17th to early 19th centuries, and yes no lumbermills or mines, but a plantation building and banks accordingly to match the times of the epoch. One of the many fun stuff would be that only Dutch got the banks and other European imperial powers lacked them in the game. Some European Nations had a skrimmisher infantry while others donot. Then the names, images and stuff of every military unit; - icons, weapons, costumes should have been entirely unique from nation to nation and not to follow much of the same standards like ‘regular infantry’ when it comes to European Nations. Other possible shortcomings of AoE III I had already mentioned in my previous topics in AoE II forum.

I can’t see the point here. Wouldn’t that deviate from the “continuation” even further? Because the “legacy” of this series is every civ having exactly the same (mostly European) regular units.


no no, aztecs having crossbows is essential to the legacy.

srsly though, the games are all very different. age of mythology, the forgotten middle child of the series was extremely different too and still is my favourite rts game. The “legacy” usually just means “i want aoeII 2”


I come from 1998. I think the “legacy” of AOE are very big units compared to buildings, unit upgrades inside resource dropoff sites, drastically different tech availability and no resource trading or unique units.


and with few exceptions, aoe3 sought to make many unique units, unique techs, and interesting civ mechanics. you know, instead of crossbows for the mayans or cav training 10% faster as like an entire civ bonus


Also no scenario editor.

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I am probably outing myself as an old person here by admitting this, but I became acquainted with the franchise back in AoE1. I played AoE2 as soon as it came out and enjoyed it immensely. However, when AoE3 appeared, I immediately embraced it as the logical evolution of the game.

I remember disapproving of only two things from the game back then; the card unlocking by experience bit (which is now gone) and the lack of equitative access to factories for some civs (also since corrected).

The fact that several core units are common to all European civs was just a logical admission of historical fact. However the existance of unique units, and unique upgrades and mechanics was also a good acknowledgement that despite having a common military tradition, not all European nations were equally good at employing them.

Even AoE2 admitted this in its time and tried to acknowledge it (Frankish heavy cavalry and Viking heavy cavalry were visually the same, but one was better than the other). AoE3 just went one step further in recogizing that, even within a country, regiments varied in quality based on experience and leadership, thus the deep customization options in the game. I struggle to find any disconnect. I just see evolution, progression, and improvement.

Then again, it is only my opinion as a really veteran patron of the franchise, and I do respect those that may dissent.


That’s a bit complex point I was trying to make for example like e.g.

The British would call ‘Regular Infantry’ in their language, what would be the language used for ‘Regular Infantry’ by other European Nations.

Specific euro ethnic weapons carried by the European Nations are not mentioned e.g. British had their Springfield rifles and French had their shas-poh (Chesspot) rifles, with their different military attire back then in the imperial epoch.

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I agree, and so does the game. That is why the British can upgrade their musks to a much higher level than the Spanish who used lower quality muskets in their formations. It is also the reason why Spanish hand infantry is much better than their British counterpart, because the training and discipline of the Tercios Viejos was a step above all of their equivalent non-mercenary forces in Europe until the Swedes implemented the line of fire.

However, even if they used different designs of weaponry and wore different uniforms and probably used different names, all major European powers had units that served the role of, say, a musketeer, and most historians agree to acknowledge them as fairly equivalent in combat role (albeit not in quality).

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