Age of Empires DE Historical Issues

I would like to open a discussion on some historical issues i noticed in AoE DE. Before starting on the issues, i would like to thank the Devs for this awesome-looking reboot. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome was the reason i fell in love with history and studied Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. I hope the reboot will inspire younger generations to do the same.

The most glaring so far is that some nations don’t have thecorrect building skins! The Assyrians, for example, have Egyptian buildings!!! Then there are the obviously Egyptian charioteers (and chariot designs), medieval-looking camel riders and several smaller things.

Then i noticed that they kept the “no gate” policy from the original. Once again, there is no reason for this because i am sure that the engine has been updated and ancient civilizations had many forms of gates.

As someone who holds a Masters in Ancient Near Eastern cultures this israther a big issue. Sure, Age of Empires is not supposed to be a historical simulator. but at least get the styles semi-accurate? Equating Assyrians with Egyptians is like saying the Native American Sioux tribe had the same “look” as the Aztecs.

Hope this is the right place to do it so the devs can pick it up. Anyone else with knowledge on this?

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This isn’t a reebot.

great to see ppl got inspired by this game

Old game, same visuals +new engine and new features/effects = remake/reboot. The words aren’t the issue so don’t confuse the topic. The issue is that there are some huge mistakes that Quality Assurance should’ve picked up on.

Haha yeah. I was that nerdy kid who actually read the background to the missions. Helped a lot when i did classical history.

Good. You are not the only one who noticed this. But the spirit of the AOE1 is a great technological tree for everyone, and the differences are made by the missing units and technologies of each civ. I don’t want this to change, maybe instead of changing, add new content in some future.
What I agree with is that the camel model is horrible. It is the ugliest unit in the game. In addition to being a bronze age unit, it should not have iron armor of a piece, but a bronze scale armor, which was customary in Egypt and Babylon.
As for the Assyrians (also Sumerians) I think they should simply have the Babylon buildings set.

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I completely agree. In fact the “shared” tech tree is actually quite accurate as no ANE culture had features that were super unique. We speak about a common ANE culture.

This to me is all the more reason to keep the aspects that were unique (architecture and outfits) unique.

Bronze scale was actually quite expensive in ancient times and relatively rare. Leather and cloth was a lot more common. On the other hand, camel warriors were also relatively rare so the two do fit together.

As for new content I’d love to see some more variety in terms of Academy units. Hoplites and phalanx units are typical of the Hellenestic age and unique to Greek cultures. Having Hoplites 1)in the bronze age and 2)for Near Eastern cultures is also not correct. Rather as new content add unique units? Eg egyptian pikemen (famous from thutmose iii/amose campaigns - all in bronze age), hittite double chariots (both ranged and melee, made famous at the battle of Kadesh - end bronze ) Persian cavalry (or maybe immortals?), phoenician “ships of tarshish”, etc. It can be done I think.

Isn’t new engine… Only new 4k features. Is old genie engine modded same happens with genie for AoE HD (2013).

Civilization still same.
Campaings still the same with new balance but same numbers and extra balance,

Technically a modded game engine (that was limited to 8-bit graphics, at less than 640x480 pixels) that now supports 32-bit graphics and 4k resolution can’t be called original. They’ve modified the base engine of the game, so bybthat same logic a simple graphical maintenance {which they’ve done brilliantly up till now) is entirely possible.

In any case, none of this is the point of this discussion. The discussion is historical accuracy, which is a graphical issue and therefore can be fixed.

I don’t really get why you’re nitpicking stuff here. Ive read some of your other comments on topics and its like you WANT to argue. Dude just chill out,you’re not adding to this discussion by being negative.

Oh being possitive… Lol. They maybe make a expansion dlc for a game with less than a 10k players.

Look guy these guys put this clear. A more than year ago. I just only repeat same statement.
You know this is some expensive?

Later AoE 2 DE start to ask same little changes.

My question is: where are the walls?? I’m playing on post-iron age and there are no towers, no walls, nothing that was in the old AOE 2. Those are the things that made the game fun. I just tried playing computer opponents and I get attacked by 3 enemies at once with no possible defence. What fun is that?

I’m a long time AOE2 fan (the best). I see they made a classic mode. Why not use the graphics from the new mode and just set up all the game play from the old one?

Walls are there. You need to research it at the granary. Gates are not, which was a weird oversight. Towers are atbthe same place. Do the tutorial. It explaims it there.

Not sure what you mean by this… And i don’t agree with the expensive part. If modders can do the same for AOE II, they can do it for this.

Are you joking? Mods made for love, for loyality. Other people just expend their time to money.
“if you are good for something, never do it for free”

I made an example of how the camel could be, so that it more closely matches the historical period. I hope you like it.
Original:


Modified:

This is a defnite improvement. But historically the camel unit should be limited to Arab nations (i. E. From the desert, not Assyrians or Babylonians - not at my pc now to check the nation list.) during the bronze age.

I disagree that camels should be limited to Arab nations. While the use of camels in ancient warfare was limited, camels themselves were and are a lot more widespread than many think.

The camel that originated in the Middle East is knows as a dromedary, and has one hump. The two-hump camel, the Bactrian camel inhabits Central Asia. There are even camels in China and Mongolia.

Cyrus of Persia used camels (dromedaries) against Croesus of Lydia (Turkey) in 547 BCE. The camels inspired fear in the Lydians’ cavalry.

The Assyrians used camels as beasts of burden for their military campaigns. The Assyrians fought against camels used by the allied kings at the battle of Qarqar during the Assyrian conquest of Syria.

Now the Minoans having camels. That may be a bit of a stretch.

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I did mention that they should be limited to Arab nations “during the Bronze Age”. The camel was only used extensively (as far as current research shows) during the Iron Age, which started c.1200.

The first recorded use of a camel in battle is from 853BC, during the Battle of Qarqar. (quickly googled it as i couldn’t remember everyone involved. heres a link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_cavalry) An Arab king fought against the Assyrian Shalmaneser III with about a thousand camels. It’s not clear who won, or exactly how they were used. And this Arab king could be associated with an Aramean king known from the Bible.

After this the only real evidence we have is from the Lydian battle you mentioned, Which was Late-Iron age.

So, historically speaking, having any camel in your army pre-Iron age is sketchy at best.

In fact, Egypt didn’t have camels until about the 3rd century AD (see here, you may have to log in https://www.jstor.org/stable/542916?seq=1).

I would therefore scrap Camels completely from the game and add them as an iron age elite unit. Personally, i also feel that we need an extra age. The amount of nations in the game creates a massive scope, running from before 3500BC all the way to c. 100AD.

Nations like the Romans didn’t develop much before c. 500BC (Rome was only built c. 753BC), which means that having them powerful in the Bronze age is ridiculous. This applies to units as well. “legion” is a military term used almost exclusively for Roman armies during the Hellenistic period, just as Hoplite was a unit only used in Greek armies, with Phalanx being a formation of Hoplites that interlocked their shields to form a wall of shields with spears sticking out.

Having nations that never even heard of hoplites build them in-game is also a bit of a stretch, though one can maybe assume that this represents the Hellenistic era. Which brings me to the “new” age i feel should be included.

Warfare before the Alexandrian invasion in 336/335BC was very different to what it became after it. Greek styles of weaponry, formations and army types were introduced.

So i propose that the iron age limits it’s units and technologies to 400BC. They can expand on the tech tree, making powerful units that are representative of the time (as most units are). They should also add a bantering ram as siege equipment and remove the ballista. Wars and sieges were won with slingers, compound bowmen, supported by chariots and horsemen (mostly scouts, so lose the cavalry unit for most nations except persia). Egyptian Pikemen were feared during the late bronze and Early Iron age, so add them in, change the model of the longswordsman to something similar to the short-swordsman, just dressed in whatever nation’s clothes you are (robes and turbans for Mesopotamians, bare top and kilt for Canaanite nations, Egyptian style for Egyptians) . Remove the Greek hoplites and ballista-type weapons and keep the stone thrower un-upgradable.

Then, in the new Hellenestic age add in the Roman Legionaire, Greek Hoplite, Cataphracts (also not something seen before c. 300BC), the trireme, all the siege ballistas and towers, flame ships and whatnot.

Sorry this was a bit of a ramble - was replying and went off on a tangent, will add a properly curated list when i have time.

A lot of what you say makes sense,and would make for a very interesting, more historically accurate game. But what you propose would change things dramatically, and it would take a lot of time to re-balance the game. Further, sometimes there must be some historical license given for reasons of playability.

I would not take the terms “hoplite” too literally, and just consider them to be spearmen. They are a counter to cavalry and camels during the Bronze Age in the game, so I think they are very important. It seems like you want to limit hoplites to the Hellenistic-type phalanxes, even though true hoplites had their success during the Classical Age.

It’s true that the Romans did not start becoming a force until after 500 BCE. I suppose you can assume that prior to that time, the units in the game basically represented the Villanovans, Etruscans and Greek colonists.

It is very difficult to have a game with all of these nations, because they grew, peaked, and declined at different times in history. For a 1990’s game though, I think they did a pretty good job, historical inaccuracies notwithstanding.

Agreed. And i totally get this. For more historically accurate units and realism, i turn to games like Total War. I try to suspend my "but… these guys didn’t have [insert unit] " when playing. But it would be an awesome game to play, if done right. hen again, only true history buffs would ‘get’ the game, so its not economical.

What i would like is a way to limit ages in a normal skirmish/multiplayer game.

Yup… this is what i do. I do my best to look past the very Greek Armour and look at them as spearmen.

Not sure what you mean? In my field the Hellenistic age and classical age is more or less the same thing. The Hellenistic age starts (for us ANE historians) in c. 400 BC, and ends in c. 36 BC when the Romans officially took over Egypt as the last “independent” nation in the Ancient Near East. “Classical age” includes and starts with the Hellenistic era and gets muddled with the “Christian Era” in c. 100/200AD, depending on how you define it.

Yup… that’s what i’m doing, calling them "italians " in my head.

I totally agree. Ancient history is a mishmash of about 20 main cultures (and influences), about 8 main nations and 6000 years of development. And here we only speak of the Ancient Near East. (Turkey to Afghanistan, Armenia to Sudan). So for Age of Empires to have included all these many nations, most completely out of their real times and geographies (i haven’t even started on the eastern nations) is impressive.

But i personally feel that they should perhaps split it into three games to do justice to the original cultures. The mesopotamians (Sumerians, Akkadians that formad the Babylonians and Assyrians), Canaanites (Phoenicians, Arameans, Moabites, Israelites, Edomites and Phillistines) and Egyptians deserve their own game.

Then the ±400 years of classical history (greek rise and supremacy, Alexander’s empire and split into four successors and the many smaller nations arising from there (Petra/Nabatea and Hasmonean Judea) kinda deserve their own game (Total War starts with Rome).

Then the rise of Rome deserves it’s own age of empires game.

Then you can go to the far east, though I’m not too sure about their chronologies (speaking only of the nations i know from my studies).

But i think we all know this is quite unrealistic and a beautiful daydream. Perhaps it can be a mod for the game when they finally do open the game to steam Workshop. Incidentally, when is this going to happen?

My only gripe that they CAN fix now, is to assign the correct skins to the correct nations PLEASE. I think almost anyone playing can see the difference between an Assyrian building and an Egyptian obelisk.