Why I am quitting AoE3

I played mostly aoe2 from 2019 to 2021. In 2021 with the release of African civs in aoe3 de I picked up this game and rarely play aoe2 anymore. After playing aoe3 for a year and half (almost 3000 hours), my elo grew from 700 to 1500, I played all kinds of game modes, supremacy, treaty, etc. During this period I genuinely feel aoe3 is the best aoe game. I briefly tried aoe4 too.

But something has changed in aoe3 in recent months starting in second half of 2022, in a bad direction. It just,feels more and more frustrating playing this game. I will list them below and hopefully the game can improve one day. But for now I decided to quit aoe3 and go back to aoe2.

Reason why aoe3 is frustrating to play nowadays compared to 2021 or early 2022:

  1. Added too many wild new cards and mechanics (everyone knows what I am talking about), especially with new civs like italy, malta, mexico, usa. Cards like “spawn XXX for each XXX you own”, “get XXX for every XXX you kill” “ship XXX for each card you sent so far” etc, it is really annoying for me. These cards not only apply to new civs, older civs are getting reworked to have those cards as well. Too many units shadow tech, too many cross civ units (like spanish getting soldado, malta getting other european units, mexico getting US units, etc the list goes on…), too many new fancy cards that make it painful to choose the correct deck for each game and each civ.

  2. New civs that encourage turtle play. Wall+culv+heavy fortification, sometimes revolting, is getting popular. If I am playing a native civ or African civ, it is hard to breach wall and cannons. And of course Malta, the ultimate turtle civ, is incredibly difficult and annoying to play against with non-european civs. Fix gun with 34 ranges behind wall just kills everything.

  3. Following the previous point, the game is getting more Euro-centric. European civs get stronger and better techs in late game, best cannons, and some powerful economy. In the last few patches European civs are getting reworked and given new cards which make them much better and more popular than non european civs. While non european (especially African and Inca) are nerfed non stop patch after patch. The result is most of players have to pick european civs it is especially true in team games where games tend to drag on to late game. Not a big problem in 1v1 as rushing is more common. For water maps EU civs or USA/Mexico is just way better as well. Non EU civs just lack the ability to kill ships fast or deal with costal defence. The cannons for non EU civs suck on water maps. EU civs getting new battleships with astronomical hp is a further buff to EU civs on water.

  4. Native rework. The game used to be very standard in terms of native options, nowadays with new european natives there are some really silly and wild big buttons and abilities on those units. Like dodging damage, deflecting, promotion etc…the reworked way of making native TPs are annoying af. It forces you to fight for LOS around native TPs or else an enemy native TP will pop out behind your base since it no longer requires a vill or explorer to build it.

  5. US and mexico. Two wildest civs. There was one game I remembered I was Ottoman on a large map and USA player was making skirms which can instantly build military buildings and produce units instantly. So despite having a better eco I was forced to chase around and cleaning up his FBs. It takes way longer to kill his building than him building it. I had to keep reacting to him and eventually couldn’t hold his instant army. Despite him having no micro. This situation happens a lot on large maps where players tend to hide and seek and build sneaky stuff. I hate large maps but half of the lobby are usually large maps. It is incredibly frustrating to play those lobbies. USA also has instant outlaw production. Then there is mexico who just revolt into anything they want, skipping ages, getting some weird units out, doing weird stuff. Etc Last thing is the explorer flag from US and mexico (I believe a lot of players don’t like the flag too).

  6. Due to small player base, games are usually very unbalanced. Lobby is usually unbalanced, team ranked is usually unbalanced too after a long queue. The only balanced mode is probably 1v1 ranked, which limits the fun of the game heavily. It is almost impossible to find a good game that is not ranked 1v1. I do play a lot of 1v1 ranked but the game feels boring quickly if I stick to only one game mode

  7. More archers getting siege capabilities from range. I don’t know if it is a trend or not but the longbows and malta crossbow are getting the long range siege just like arrow knights. It is quite unfair for other civs. those two civs don’t need this kind of siege units tbh and those units can quickly snowball out of control especially if opponent does not have access to falcs/horse guns.

  8. Aoe3 is very difficult to balance. There are a lot of complaints and discussions around civ balance on forum. We know it. Due to the asymmetry of the civ design in aoe3 it is impossible to balance the civs for different game modes. Now with all the new cards and civs it is even harder to balance.

  9. Pathing bug with attack move. Every aoe3 player knows how bad it feels when you attack move and realise your units stuck attacking a section of useless wall. Units should not auto attack walls (as in aoe2). Attack move has been bugged from beginning and is not fixed. After attacking for a few seconds the units will walk straight into enemy and suicide.

  10. Wood problem in late game. Not every civ has equal access to wood in late game. Some civs will run out of wood while their units costs wood. This is not about player skill, it is purely about the civ they choose. While european civs have mostly food and coin units and a steady flow of wood from 2 factories.

I wish AOE 3 can go back to the 2021 or early 2022 state. Adding new DE civs (Swede Inca Hausa Ethiopian) are fine. There were not a lot of super annoying designs. But with the latest civs and latest reworks on older civs, the whole game just becomes a big mess. Above is just my opinion and that’s why I said I’m going back to aoe2 after playing almost 3000 hours on aoe3, but i understand there are a lot of players who enjoy the new civs and new mechanics.


Asian civs added in TAD (2007) were already ridiculously more enriched with options and varieties (not all viable) compared to existing civs then, and the recent update is just buffing most old European civs to that level (again, not all viable).

Natives used to be very standard because nobody uses them even in casual games.

Kinda agree US and Mexico are more overstuffed than all other civs as most of their options are never used. But they seem okay balance-wise.


Yeah it’s funny how when TAD came out it was kind of like “hey here is a wacky send of to the series, enjoy, goodbye”


Definitely get that you don’t like some of the new cards especially the get x amount of units or XP for every building or unit you lost whatever each card it does gets confusing. That said I’ve been playing AoE 3 De since release and it has gotten a lot better since release. And I haven’t noticed any changes that are that impactful recently or since last summer


TAD gave literally nothing to existing civs besides stat balancing. No new unit or card to fit the new Asian theme or new mechanics.
Meanwhile Asians get access to a huge roster of European units (some even the respective Europeans cannot train), permanent buffs from age-ups, exclusive mercenaries and a million unique hero abilities.
Of course not all of them are viable but the civs are still far more enriched. So the last update should have happened back in 2007.

Especially considering it was still in the “expansion era” where an expansion is basically a new game. There is no reason not updating the old civs at all. The entire expansion seemed really rushed.


There are some mechanics I don’t like, like the wanderlust or the Holcan spear population with the Mayans (buff cards that stack infinitely). But most of the new cards I like; It amuses me to think of new strategies to use the cards or new strategies to counter them


Agree about native civs being not strong enough
Should be buffed in parity with other civs in the game!
Do not agree with you about the game being boring and lame, just we must know the right strategy
For example, if your opponent go Malta and you Native, you must rush as fast and strong as you can!

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Honestly sounds like you’re playing too much, happens to me too just take a break and play some skyrim.


agree I mean 3000 hours in a year wow. I have the game since release and don’t have any where near that amount of play time.

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Yeah I did played a lot. In about 17 months, 2800 hours. Actually since I often leave the game on and do other things, the actual play hours should be less. But AoE 3 has been the only game I play for the last 17 months. I’m sad it is what it is now.

Moments ago there is another big patch, and the devs are buffing Ottomans heavily as if they are not already one of the strongest civs now. Sad.

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The developers should listen to the new players with great passions like this post, not old players with 20 years of prejudice and weird superioity complex.

You mean the COMPEEEETITVE EEEEESSSSPPPPPOOOOORRRRTTTTTTS elites who just want to dumb down everything so that they can get an easy win every day?


I smell the “why we hate AOE3 so much and should hate it forever” fest has been initiated again. Put your helmets on guys.


I’m not even sure what the point of this kind of thread is? like yeah, you’re frustrated, ok and?

Don’t burn yourself out and maybe you’ll enjoy the game more. No matter how great a game is you gotta take breaks from time to time.


You really love labelling the other people. Did I say any word about esport and competitive play? I am a casual player and I love AoE3 forever. :smiley:


I agree most of what you said. Especially they are trying to put scenario units into normal game, created Malta such civs cross every euro civs specific unit. What is anymore characteristic for euro civs?

Balance is not a problem only recently. It is also sad you chose a wrong gamemode (team game) with no balance consideration. I don’t know why they consider treaty more may be they don’t have enough people for a team to test.

Bow type unit (except arrow knight) become able to siege is also ridiculous. This is adding a card to let them do something they are not supposed to do, but they can do now with more range than normal units.

However, people remain in the game like to boom much more than rush game. For the previous post that were complaining the game becomes turtle game, most people was grabbing popcorn. Also the game play style change step by step from every balance patch they applied.

No you said “old players with 20 years of prejudice and weird superioity complex” and that is the only people that I can think of.

Or maybe another kind of people: those that claim to be passionate of the game but run away whenever someone points out they made points based on wrong facts.


Thanks but I actually played aoe3 since 2007. So i like this game and i want it to be better. But i feel that it is messed up by the big flow of new stuff…

I just want the devs to change the game to normal, without the weird gimmicky stuff, so that i can enjoy it again. But i know it is extremely unlikely (to undo all those new stuff)

Why are these words related to esport and competitive play? Explain your logic please.