Cartography - but not the technology

There are some things in the Campaigns maps that are off.

  1. The Africa section includes the Saladin campaign, which occurs in Asia.
  2. The Western Europe map includes the Sicilians campaign, which is Central Europe (although Italy is more commonly depicted as Southern Europe).
  3. The Historical Battles section is, by unknown reasons, located in the upper side of the African map.

Obviously, the old system of sorting the campaign based on the DLC was replaced by this regional sections. However, in the case of the Lords of the West DLC, they couldn’t help themselves and returned to the old system. That’s why they incorrectly put Italy in Western Europe, and didn’t include El Cid, when Spain and Portugal are as West as you can go in Europe.

The Saladin mistake is debatable. But as for the Historical Battles section… why? It seems so random.


I think the historical battles is trying to get it most centrally located on a world map, and they can’t put in Europe very easily, because pretty much all of the space there is taken up.

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If that was their attempt, they falied miserably. It’s not centered in a world map, it’s relegated to the upper side of a map of Africa.

They should just add a new tab for the Historical Battles.


Saladin starts in egypt which is in africa.

Anyone without the dlcs will not have the new tabs so you cant put the original campaigns in those tabs.

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I think this is because of the Lords of the West DLC. I think it was a concious choice by the devs not to have unaccesible campaigns in the same map as all the other ones.

This may have been as their is not much room left on the other maps. It could be argued that they could fit it into Mesoamerica (because of the only Mayas campaign) and thus clutter less.

This one is clearly because the campaign begins in Egypt.

upvote purely for this.

completely irrational decision, in the same way recorded games are literally unfindable by some players, unless instructed by someone else

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It needs its own tab!

Yeah, it begins in Egypt; that is, one scenario in Africa, five in Asia.

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All campaign icons are located more or less at their respective story starting points

Well, one could say that the Genghis Khan campaign icon is also wrong. I mean, only the starting battle is in Mongolia, and all the rest are across the conquered lands. But Genghis Khan CAME FROM Mongolia. Saladin wasn’t Egyptian.

Ok, yes. But if we’re gonna give it it’s own tab, let’s get some more historical battles shakes hand

One UX problem with the campaign screen: there are inconsistent navigations and conceptual topology between it and the three “special campaigns”: William Wallace Learning Campaign, The Art of War, and Historical Battles. Awkwardly tucking them into the Africa & Asia pages feels like a consequence of that.

In the current, post-Mixer removal renovation main menu, they are accessed in the following ways:

Historical Battles: Can only be found by “Single Player → Campaigns”. It is on the Africa page, the first page that the player sees.

Review: Since HB has never been substantially differentiated from normal campaigns as a game mode, removing it from the main menu is reasonable. Putting it on Africa is thematically weak, but sufficient: the player needs no additional clicks to find it.

The Art of War: Accessed by both “Single Player → Campaigns → Asia” and “Learn to Play → Advanced Techniques”.

Review: Here’s where the navigation logic gets wonky. If you’ve only accessed AoW directly from Learn to Play, quitting AoW will return you to the main menu. But once you’ve visited AoW via Asian Campaigns, where naturally, quitting AoW returns to the campaign screen, the Learn to Play AoW option starts doing the same!

William Wallace: Accessed by both “Single Player → Campaigns → Europe” and “Learn to Play → Learn the Basics”. Unlike in original AoE2, where “Learn to Play” brings up the William Wallace campaign subpage, in current AoE2DE clicking “Learn the Basics” launches you directly into the campaign’s first level.

Review: This is a bad change. Originally Ensemble intended players to freely choose which tutorial levels they want to play, with text notice that they can skip early levels if they have prior experience. This freedom has been removed.

In overall, I find the AoE2DE main menu UX to have deficiencies, especially after the renovatrion. I would prefer to rebuild it with features like a more logical topology, and a guided tour of campaigns: AoE2DE now have a staggering amount of campaigns, which can overwhelm new players and become another inadvertent barrier to entry.

Hey Cucut, thank you for your thorough reply. May I ask, are you a cartographer in real life? Because you seem to know about this stuff.

Also I’m scratching my head trying to understand what UX is.

I’m not a pro :sweat_smile:, just someone who has spent some time thinking about UX and UI design in AoE games. UX refers to user experience.

The problem raised here is not really a problem of cartography (though in the real world, there’s a component of user experience to cartography too), more an issue of UX and UI design - how developers design the program’s interface to guide and enable the users in ways that achieve the most convenience and least confusion.