What if you don't need to build a deck for every game?

Hi guys,

So I wanted to share this idea here upon receiving some lukewarm traction on discord.

What if we didnt need to build decks?

At the beginning of a game, you have access to all cards of the civ you’re playing. You then play as usual, and are limited to max 10 different cards per age, and a total of 25 different cards in the whole game.

Basically everything works the same but you don’t have pre-made decks.

This can help a lot if you wanted to rush at first and choose a rush deck, but see that opponent is turtling, so you need to boom now instead, but oh well, your deck is chosen, so RIP.

I guess the issue then is that you can’t really tell what the opponent is planning on doing at the beginning. But i find that problematic because whoever chooses their deck first seems to be disadvantaged - their opponent can choose a counter deck in response.

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That is an idea. Personally I don’t feel a need for such changes, never did, but in theory- sure.
In practice- that would require a large amount of redesigning and rebalancing not only cards but many units, buildings, core mechanics. Game wasn’t designed and expanded throughout the years around the possibility of such a concept. And current them is not suffering from an excess of resources to spend, workhours or other.

As some kind of a casual ‘fun’ mode- yeah sure. But even then there are various other things above it on my priority list.
Creating and choosing a deck requires a bit of skill and commitment, a bit of risk, gambling and intuition. And yeah a bit of luck in terms of how it plays out. But that’s the design of the game. Players are playing as remote colonies, separated from their homeland, and it needs to be represented somehow. Here it is in the form of limited, pre-planned support in form of HC shipments.

There are arguments to make both ways. They’ve already removed XP leveling instead of expanding it, so I’d be against the removal of the deck system. Certainly not in a remaster of a game. The time for that was maybe 13 years ago.

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I think your proposal is a good one. Not everyone likes to spend time building decks for specific situations. This would make games and strategies more robust instead of just being shoehorned into something that may be thwarted during a game. At least make it an option for those that want it. Not sure how it would work in multiplayer though.

Gives one more freedom. I think this idea could bring in more players who may be turned off by the deck system.

Maybe it’s too late to lure players back but we’ll never know if we don’t try.

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Except there is no need to have “pre-planned support”.

Also, I don’t see why there’s a need to rebalance anything. Since you’re still limited to 25 cards per game and max 10 per age.

Can you explain the need to rebalance cards?

I have had this idea before and tried it on esoc forums, it wasnt well received.

The biggest issue is how it changes scouting since you would only know about what your opponent is doing after they have already sent the card

The second one is the lategame cause the game wasnt design for civs to have comparable lategame ecos so if players are choosing their cards as they play then its highly likely they cant survive the lategame since their card choice may not have had that in mind, and so some civs will just lose. And other civs will just turtle to death

Ah! Thanks for your input.

Yes this does make sense. The second point in particular.

It might be a fun seperate game mode like how empire wars works, almost like a draft mode maybe

But as how the game generally works, it might be too late to change

What is there to explain?
Cards vary greatly in their ‘power’ and potential, and they are balanced not only within a particular civ design but broader sense.
They are specifically tied to certain ages to limit viability, in many ways. Not only by gating their usage with aging up, but also because they compete with each other - there is a limited number of cards players can pick for one age, so it’s impossible by design to have a lot of great cards in one age which would throw the balance off.
Restrictions like that force people to create some sort of general plans and strategies spread across a few ages. That gives weight to the experience because your plan can’t be just abandoned, you have to improvise, use all help and tools you can get from the options given to execute your plan.

Having all cards at the same time ironically gives more options to players and makes the game more shallow and undermines its identity and character.

It’s a lot of work to change the whole system. And you don’t do things like that so many years after the release. As I’ve said- certainly not as a core change, maybe as fun side mode, but even then it still would require a lot of work. And we’re in a situation where we had a new challenge mode introduced xx months ago, and still there’s just one map.

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Things are changing slowly as we see in the forums these days.

Forest nothing is coming to AoE3. Maybe we can get fun new game modes…cheers.

Oh I meant that already you can stack cards on top to get powerful combos.

I think this system cannot generate more powerful effects than already possible. But I could be wrong…

It is not a bad idea, many things would have to be changed to adapt to this, including the mechanics of the deck. For the few games I do in the week having to change civ and deck for that civ, it has become boring especially to build decks for specific match ups and therefore I soon build a few decks with mixed cards for every game situation.


I wouldn’ t like the “all cards in deck” mode as my main mode, but it would be nice to use once in a while to figure out what cards I really want or need, as sometimes I do not realize which card I need if it is not in front of me.

I like the idea of needing to customize the civ with catds, so that even mirror civ match-ups are not perfectly mirror, as each player pick cards that are important to them. Even if, in the end, we often end up making rather generic decks to be able to face most situations.

Maybe devs should give 1 or 2 more default decks per civ, to help more people who do not want to make decks ?

Same my own words, now I’m using France, I only know a few match ups and I have made generic decks that against some civilizations are not good because they lack important cards in my style of play and cards that I will never use against that civ so I would say time to study match ups and then create specific decks against certain civilizations. Default decks in some default match ups I would say is an extra job for the developers to foster our laziness.