Personally I loved the aesthetics, I'd rate endless legend's world map far above AOW3 map for example. The resource system and minor faction system just feel so right in that game. They also had a few fresh ideas for tactical combat beating out the ol' zerg/grind in AoW3. Endless legend has an actual research system with "ages" to dive into, whereas AoW3 has pre-selected disciplines and a bit of randomness in what spells appear. Not to mention the empire building in AoW3 is atrociously boring, whereas building up territories in endless legends is actually fun due to the many complexities involved in placing cities and using the specialized resources. Races are far more diverse in endless legend, of course.
You know, I was initially going to say that AoW3 was the better game because of amount of content and better tactical graphics. But I don't think that's right. Even with AOW3 having its first major DLC I still think endless legend beats it. Looking at my time played, Endless Legend is at 96 hours and AoW3 at 50 hours.
Ultimately I think my main issue, however, is not covered above. Playing AoW3 felt like playing any other fantasy 4x game. It's polished, the components are all there, but it's just not pushing the envelope. The first DLC helped with that in a way (new victory condition) and now the second DLC will add further complexity by another victory condition and race relations. Playing Endless Legend, on the other hand, was very much a breath of fresh air in many aspects.