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Lion.Kanzen

The very bad reception of AOE 3

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Even a guy like me the release of AOE 3 don't be good. But after a decade the game have a good feeling now, even is most play by fans than AOE I.

 

I found several topics in other community, I'm very interested in the developemnt of this, because they make errors, that 0AD don't be make.

Here is an interview about the hard was develop this game.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-14-age-of-empires-iii-a-huge-mistake

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Weak points of AOE 3

  • Xp mode

 

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[–]-Swade- 827 puntos hace 2 años 

Well the best I can do is offer why I didn't like it as much:

  • One, I disliked the time period. Colonial history is less interesting than medieval to me. Knights in armor with castles is cooler to me than guys with crappy muskets in shacks. Pure opinion here.

  • Two, the home cities provided little for gameplay but made your current builds feel "smaller". In AoE:II you were trying to build London. In AoE:III you were trying to build a trading post that sent @#$% home to London.

  • Maps felt smaller. Everything got scaled differently to account for the fully 3D units and world. The result was that things felt bigger on screen but the maps were smaller. I'd rather have a big map with tiny (less detailed) guys on it than the opposite.

  • The size of battles felt smaller. Technically speaking the population limits between II and III were the same but I think map size meant it changed the metagame into more frequent smaller battles that resolved before armies could get too large. Which was disappointing to me.

  • The Melee/Ranged/Cavalry equilibrium was destroyed. This is mostly time-period based so it could be considered part of that issue but most units were either ranged (gunpowder) or cavalry. The foot-soldier/archer/horseman mix of AoE:II allowed for interesting battles and more variation in civ. specialization. Melee still existed but the amount of units that used it dropped considerably relative to the other two.

  • The number of at-launch civilizations not counting expansions for either went from 13 down to 9. And 6 of those 9 were European nations, the other three being the Ottomans, Russians, and Native Americans. So what was there felt a lot less varied visually. Now you can say in this case that because there were more unique models in AoE:III that the visual variety actually increased but it just never felt that way because of how Eurocentric the theme was.

  • At the time it was fairly demanding graphics-wise meaning a lot of people like myself had to sacrifice a lot of visual settings to make it playable. The game is lauded as pretty but the settings I had to put it on to make it run made it uglier than AoE:II running on the same machine. That's life as a PC gamer obviously but at the time it certainly made it harder to appreciate the game.

  • The protracted time scale robbed III of the feeling that you were building a bigger civilization. In AoE:I you took cavemen to the dawn of civilization. In AoE:II you took filthy peasants and made them into an empire. In III you took some money from an existing Empire and started a small satellite colony that was still fairly unimpressive. Thousands of years in #1 went to hundreds in #2 which went to (in some cases) just a few decades in #3.

Some other things to think about as part of the larger game world at the time. Rise of Nations had already come out and while it was obviously a different style RTS from the AoE series it had pushed the envelope for how much time scale could be included in an RTS. Also the Total War franchise was in its third iteration and was setting the bar for number of units on the field and battle realism (animations, formations, etc).

Basically AoE:III felt like a smaller box to play in that II had. It was prettier but I lost interest faster for the reasons I mentioned. I never hated it but I've never felt the need to play it again.

 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen

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I enyojed a lot AOE. Was my first PC game that I bought. But I understand that some more older players didn't enyojed. Can agree that leveling system for multiplayer was bad, but also an icnentive to play: you always could select to play people with a max of 10 level of difference, if IRC. The problem with Aoe I is that it's very old: art and gameplay could be cool, could have a lot of nostalgia factor, but things like little population limit, poor AI and pathfinding, etc..

I think that AOEO was worst: the pay-to-win model and the very cartoonish look. Don't know why they re-use all the engine and art to make and actual game.

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2 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

because they make errors, that 0AD don't be make

True. 0 A.D. is a great game in many aspects but I think it still shares one weakness (in a less extreme way, perhaps) with AoE III: You do not have that much the feeling to make great advancements with your civilization. This is personal opinion of course.

Visually it feels like you start and end in "Imperial Age", because the initial CC usually looks like a high level building from start and the structure models don't change at all. Advancing in phases feels a little bit arbitrary and not that epic than ages (I know that this already has been discussed). There is no real timescale. There is no feeling to grow a big empire out of @#$%. I know the reasons why there are no ages and I don't really question this basic concept. I would advocate though to start more nomad style like e.g. with some tents / a camp so you can regain a bit of the described feeling. Assuming we had infinite motivation, programming and artistic resources I would indeed go for the AoE I style where you start in Stone Age. Not before the start, but during the game you would make the decision into which civ you want to evolve. E.g. at the beginning you have to decide if you want to migrate to Europe or the Near East or America (symbolically, could be a huge GUI element like in AoM). Depending on that choice you can choose an early civ and from that develop into (one of several) later civs. The timescale is what I am missing most in 0 A.D.

Gameplay wise it (currently) feels like you just pump out as many units as you can early on to hit XYZ pop at 10 minutes. After that you mass champs as early and as much as you can. Just mass production. No 3 militia unit rush, no attempts to steal the enemy's boar and lure it to your base etc., little things that made AoE II so interesting. I know this is Alpha so complaints should be spared. I also know that we will more likely have battalions and even more units than AoE II style microing. This is good and bad, but I'm sure I will always miss that early game with super @#$% units where every little achievement adds to bare survival.

It might be time to write an RTS Utopia, a Chuck Norris of all Design Documents. Actually... it neither will be possible nor help anyone with anything...

Edited by Palaxin
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yes I live in that utopia because this game...

Age of Empires and Microsoft probably don't  make Aoe IV because they aren't focus in games right now. make an RTS is very expensive, the Ensemble Studios always create a bad planning about the time and money the cost each Age of empires project / and mythology, success, yes, but not in time, but over the time, they still selling nostalgia. Hd Editon, new DLC... AoE under siege (Clash of clan AoE version).

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Ok a developer mode to correct a thing... Expansions.

the expansions can will happy all. If some day we want new modes without incomodates someone else we can make extra content.

 

Quote

 

First off, I think Age of Empires III: Asian Dynasties is the best Age of Empires game by far. But that's the key point most people overlook. It is the final version of the game, with both expansions (War Chiefs and Asian Dynasties), which made the game so great. 

The vast majority of people who played the game picked it up initially when it first came out and was only Age of Empires III. And it was just the base game. Even I will admit that the base game was nowhere near complete, let alone as good as Age of Empires II. Every game basically devolved into a game of 'who can rush to cannons or Hussars and attack their opponent first wins'. And I think a lot of people are looking at the game with bias eyes. They're basically trying to compare the totally finished Age of Empires II with its expansion to a newly released Age of Empires III with no expansion. Yeah, that's fair. Why not compare Age of Empires II with no expansion instead. Do most of you even remember Age of Empires II without its expansion? Do any of you even remember Age of Empires 1? Yeah....the series is hardly perfect.

The expansions fixed this. And added 10x more new content. The key improvement was the deck mechanic which made your home city actually useful as well as adding your own unique playstyle. Two different people could play the same race (say the Japanese), but one could focus their 'deck' extensively on economy and another extensivly on producing military. This alone already made Age of Empires III more unique than Age of Empires II, where basically every race had only one optimal building strategy for victory because of the set research path.

But the expansions didn't stop there. They also added tons more like extra exploration options, native camps to interact with and get new units/bonus from, native American and Asian races, the 'export' resource which allowed you to produce units from other races (such as producing Dutch units while playing the Japanese), etc.

Honestly, I feel like Age of Empires III gets too much hate simply because of the sequel effect. It simply wasn't the exact same as Age of Empires II. And as a result, all the intense fans of Age of Empires II hated it out of principle. Even if the base Age of Empires III had been as good as it was with all its expansions, the AOE2 fans probably would have hated it and gone back to AOE2 just because it was 'too different'. The fact that every AOE game since has simply been a remake of AOE2 (AOE Online, AOE2 HD and the AOE2 fan expansion) is pretty much proof of this. The fanbase is in massive denial and killed the AOE series, not Age of Empires III.

This is why companies like Blizzard and Relic aren't being able to move forward with the sequels of their series (Starcraft, Company of Heroes). Because if they try to change the games too much, the RTS fans will just rebel and claim the first games were the only good ones. Ensemble Studios tried to make a game different from Age of Empires II, and paid for it so hard they were dissolved as a company.

 

 

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I finally this comment. Reedit have good points.

Probably we never try this. Is bad idea for an rts. Specially remove dropsites.

 

Quote

 

Although I liked the game personally and played it a good amount (even though at the time I had to deal with 20fps :( ) there are a few things that specifically bothered me.

Simplifaction of gameplay:

  • Added limits on ships, towers, fortresses and whatnot
  • Removed a resource
  • Villagers no longer require a storage place to drop off resources
  • Repairing no longer requires a villager to do anything
  • Walls magically morph into gates <- I hate this mechanic, the aoe2 gates were much cooler to look at, and it's weird how this works...

Gameplay changes:

  • Very counter focused: units gained much HP but little attack, making them ineffective against anything than the thing they were made to fight specifically
  • Throwing torches to destroy buildings makes sense, but it's kinda lame...
  • Not enough melee units
  • Everything was huge compared to the map.

Other changes:

  • The campaign was rather bad for both the vanilla game and all of the expansions. They tried mixing history and fantasy and it just didn't work out, especially compared to the GENIUS campaign of Age of Mythology.
  • The civilizations were much more diverse which is a great thing, however from a visual point of view it felt as though there was very little difference between all of the European civilizations (except russia).
  • NO RANDOM CIV WTF. I had to make a special lottery device out of lego to pick my civilizations...

Personally I always regarded AoE3 as a sort of experiment, to try out new things. Honestly, I feel as though Ensemble was really on to something with a lot of things. 

They greatly increased variety in the game with the differences, added unique units. 

The deck system allowed you to differentiate yourself even from others who play the same civilization

 

 

When I got my new PC I found out the graphics really were beautiful and the Ballistic effects were awesome.

If ensemble weren't lynched by Microsoft I think Age of Empires 4 would've topped all of the previous games, with all the polished elements from the previous installations.

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The disappointment for me with AOE3 was the scale was way too small. I wanted huge musket and cannon battles with formation fighting and epic bayonet charges and trampling effects for cavalry and protracted sieges. Basically, take what lacked in AOE2 and move it forward and innovate the tactics. I felt like the game was hamper by the "Age of Empires Feel!!!!1" that had to be maintain at all costs to please a demographic. This is something I feel is hamper 0 A.D. too.

 

I actually liked the Home City concept, it was just half-develop for my taste. They improve the home city in Age of Empires Online, but that game was crapola otherwise.

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@wowgetoffyourcellphone AoeO try to back their gameplay origins... I Enjoy the campaigns, and objectives system, and y very enjoy Inventory system. When AOE online was released I started to play 0AD and I desire a lot of features from AoEo and be simplistic, even I like some differences and other stuff for example immortals have two attacks ( yeah we will have that now) Babylonians have ox carts, I love ox carts...( yeah like the Mauryan elephant) but I love the treasure guardians from AOE 3 and see there... I love. And the other thing, you only have a scout unit for each session, you can't train more. And like AOM you can use superior slots from top, to doing things or get some relevant actions. And the last thing, the Druid unit can attack.

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@Lion.Kanzen expansions etc. are very nice but they typically do not change gameplay. I think better gameplay is more important than more civilizations. I would say nothing against a number of 3 total civs if gameplay is perfect. Personally I tend to like a good amount of complexity and realism. However, the game should start very simple and evolve with the possibility to choose between many techs, buildings, units, strategies, ... For me a good RTS match lasts at least 1 hour and can be more than 2 hours if there are enough late game possibilities.

About Microsoft... regardless if they will make AoE IV or not, I really don't expect anything from them and don't care. AoE II can be only beaten by itself, e.g. if it's destroyed with new expansions like AoM. 0 A.D. is a somewhat different kind of game and has great potential to be successful in it's own way.

Edited by Palaxin
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39 minutes ago, Zeta1127 said:

I am still stuck on the Egyptian Wonder mission in AoE, to the point I have never played any of the other campaigns.

But is very easy scenario.

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They  really screwed with the HD ports. A lot of bugs.

If they have made it well, they could have more profit. I'm thinking about E-sports and that. Don't know if Aoe HD could have reach them.

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27 minutes ago, av93 said:

If they have made it well, they could have more profit. I'm thinking about E-sports and that. Don't know if Aoe HD could have reach them.

TheViper is probably the best AoE II player of all time, but I'm still not sure if he could live well with his earnings from tournaments... Compare that to the players in this table:P

BTW sitting all day long should be the contrary to sports... Citing Wikipedia:

Sport (UK) or sports (US) are all forms of usually competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators.

E-sports improving physical ability? Well if it's about finger muscles... we could debate :D 

Edited by Palaxin
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10 hours ago, Palaxin said:

TheViper is probably the best AoE II player of all time, but I'm still not sure if he could live well with his earnings from tournaments... Compare that to the players in this table:P

 

I agree, but what could had happen if they had make a good port and a good marketing strategy instead of...  a fast cash grabbing. We won't know.

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Nothing about AoE is easy for me, because I am so used to 200 to 250 population and Castles/Fortresses in AoE2/Galactic Battlegrounds, so 50 population and no Castles are hard to adjust to. The main problem I am having with the Egyptian Wonder mission is establishing naval supremacy.

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5 hours ago, Zeta1127 said:

Nothing about AoE is easy for me, because I am so used to 200 to 250 population and Castles/Fortresses in AoE2/Galactic Battlegrounds, so 50 population and no Castles are hard to adjust to. The main problem I am having with the Egyptian Wonder mission is establishing naval supremacy.

Yeah, you must play that before AOE 2 is hard play a game with archaic gameplay. 

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@Palaxin 0AD have the same potencial, even beyond than Total War, because the mod possibilities. If any one don't like vanilla can have a mod, example Delenda Est mod.

do, that is why I ask many features... Not as default, but just a features avaible to get more mod possibilities.

you can get the engine/public mod as you own need if you are trying create an rts , even we can try get far modding the engine itself.

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That certainly didn't help, I had already played Galactic Battlegrounds for years before I got AoE and AoE2 in a bundle, which made AoE2 so much more appealing than AoE. It is much the same reason why I primarily play Generals and Zero Hour even though I have The First Decade.

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19 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I think Rise of Rome expanse give 200 pop to aoe1.

Yes Its true, that re ver me, The first AoE I was AoE (1) Gold Edition, so I have Rise of Rome as default.

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