Age III: DE Beta Session Summary

Hello Age Insiders!

We would like to extend a tremendous thank you to those who were able to participate in our various Age of Empires III: Definition Edition closed betas, as well as those currently participating in our Multiplayer Stress Test. We are extremely grateful that many of you are so invested in helping us make the best version of Age of Empires III yet.

One of the things we heard time and time again from Insiders is that they want more Age III content to play—we’re hopeful that the announcements of The Art of War challenges, the two new civs, as well as changes to the Native American civs made in partnership with tribal consultants are exciting to you all. However, as we enter the final few weeks before release, we want to highlight some specific areas where player feedback led to direct change in this Definitive Edition.

New Player Experience: In addition to The Art of War single-player missions, which will help guide new and returning players alike on how to make the most of your favorite civs in Age III: DE, we have added features in two very visible areas with new players in mind: UI and pre-made Decks.

  • UI: During our betas, we noticed that competitive and casual players had different expectations for UI presentation and layout. With your feedback from the beta, we landed on three distinct layouts. Improvements have been made to each that should cater to both new and returning players alike.
  • Card Decks: Our beta participants told us that card play and card management often felt daunting, especially for new players. Not only did we adjust size and graphics for ease and readability, but we also added in pre-built decks that will have new players entering battle in just seconds.

Online Experience: In a big upgrade from the original Age III, we have completely revamped the back end multiplayer system. We are now able to have more than two teams in multiplayer matches! On top of many quality of life features, including a ping to server indicator, and direct access to deck features, the lobby layout has been updated to be more in line with what you will expect from contemporary games, much like Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

Visual Experience: If you have been keeping up with Age of Empires via social media, you will have seen some of the graphics comparisons that our amazing social team has been dropping. Throughout the entire series of beta sessions, we have kept a close eye on making changes, upgrades and furthering the polish of both units and environment. All new color and accessibility options have been added as well.

Callout to Existing Communities: We recognize that Age III would not be where it is without the fantastic fans of the original game. To that end, we have worked closely with members of the ESO community on balance and have even re-organized our file structure to make it easy for modders to find their way around.

We hope you will see that key drivers behind our beta sessions were to both validate that our updates and additions were in line with those familiar with the legacy of the original Age of Empires III, as well as to make changes that would convert new players to fans.

We are very excited to enter this last phase before release with you! Thank you again for being the most amazing Insider community in all of gaming.

-The Age Insider Team