The doctrines are amongst the most egregious mechanics of DoW3, as the player is restricted to one way of playing because of the doctrines taken before the game even started, but more importantly because you have less room to adapt your strategy to the one of your opponent, or to simply change your strategy mid-game, therefore the player has less tools, which harm the diversity of in-game builds and the strategical depth of the game. Therefore doctrines should be revamped to have some of them included into researches, and other being simply deleted, because let’s be honest half of the doctrines are useless anyway. Those new researches would have their own building, [insert the name here], dedicated to research granting active abilities to units, while the armoury, or equivalent for other races, would focus on passive upgrades and new weapons, therefore a doctrine like Tireless would become a research for the armoury, and a doctrine like Pin would become a research for the new building. Alongside of that faction doctrines would also have their own building, to stay with the Space Marines example, it’d be the Orbital Relay, which would allow to research the current doctrines of that category, with eventually more researches, either like the Thunderhawk re-deployment doctrine, or new unique ones. Moreover some doctrines would become unlocked from the beginning, with possible rebalance, for instance turrets across all races, or a doctrine like a nerfed version of Scout Strike for Space Marines. More researches alongside more buildings means more meaningful choices, and more diversity in your base/research development.
The second most egregious mechanic of DoW3 is the escalation phase, which impose a rhythm to the player, and take away choices from the player regarding the economy. Of course this isn’t going to be something easy to revamp as the whole economy is oriented around those phases, but after a rebalance it might be possible. In order to give back the control to the player new researches would come, such as increasing the health of structures, and the nods upgrade would offer more choices to the players, so instead of only having upgrade the overall income of that nod, you’d have three upgrade choices, either upgrade the overall income of all resources, or upgrade greatly the requisition production, or upgrade greatly the energy production. That’d mean more possibilities to focus on energy heavy army or requisition heavy army, in return units and researches cost must be rebalance to reflect those new choices.
All things considered I don’t have that much of an issue with elites being selectable before the beginning of a match, or at least it harm less the game than doctrines which affect your whole army. I’d like to have the Knights producible in unique structure with requisition, energy, and elite points, to really put those units in the hand of player who have a good economy, or made the choice to orient their entire economy towards the late game, rather than player who simply waited, or made the choice to not have elite on the field during the early/mid game, but I know this is too much to ask, and as I said this is not the worst issue.
Those are I think the worst offences of DoW3, they’re not easy to fix because they ask for a lot of rebalance and also the addition of new buildings, but they’re easier to implement than entire new mechanics such as experience for units, or squad based upgrades. Those changes aim at giving more in-game diversity and more control for the player.