Sorry, JohnReese, but you are extremely hypocrite. Your posts are also without any respect for the work done in this mod (or even done by the companies behind aoe3), and are full of "microaggressions". It surprises me even you haven't been banned yet. I won't try to explain what you are all doing wrong, I'm happy I don't know you in person, but I can tell there must've been something that went very very wrong in your education.
To come back to the topic: hard AI proves little. You know that AI is the one with no advantages nor disadvantages (and thus not the moderate one)? Since AI's play worse than humans, that means that hard AI's cannot be correctly used for deciding on balance. Expert AI is a start, but ultimately only non-treaty mp games are useful to decide on balance problems, as only here all aspects (rush, defence, boom, fast fortress, or even cheesy strategies) are well enough performed to be useful for feedback.
I'm not saying your topic is a total mistake, you are clearly still discovering the game/mod, so you probably had little idea about this (only recently I've also learned this too). Purely for game design, the Confucian Academy gives artillery. If the knowledge were to be represented by another way, namely by techs, the game would just be boring, full of "click this tech and get strong". Just like Cossacks 3 does it; that game has so little interesting stuff, it's just some units with stats and some techs, there is absolutely no interesting gameplay/design. Aoe3 doesn't do this, that make interesting buildings who do twist historical reality to give something interesting. Like how the Confucian Academy transforms knowledge of physics, engineering and chemistry into cannons. If you are going to post many times complaints about how bad/weird stuff is from a historical point of view, then I highly recommend you playing Cossacks 3, as aoe3 is just a strategy game with a historical look.