The huge train of camels on fully upgraded African trade routes looks quite ridiculous. On top of that, the road is the same as a stagecoach, with the parts that are worn lining up with tire tracks even when the camels move up the unworn middle. The camels in the caravan should be staggered so that they look better, and actually use the road that is there. The animation should be improved so that their gait actually matches the speed that they’re going. They could also jockey for position in the caravan by slightly varying speed relative to one another.
Although it is not necessary, it would be a nice touch.
It would be better not to increase the speed of a commercial route traveled by camels to match the speed of a railroad; It would make more sense to increase the amount of resources that it delivers and thus they will not look like camels in a marathon.
Agreed, their walking animation does not line up at all with the speed they are going. It’s the same problem but to a lesser extent with the two camel and two llama trade routes that are the equivalents to Stagecoach. They should probably find a happy medium with adjusting the animations to match a faster speed for each upgrade but also increasing the dropoff amount so it is not as extreme as the rapid pace of the stagecoach and train.
They had just released the US civ before this DLC. The US has the federal card “Corliss Steam Engine”, which unlocks Steamers & Ironclads early, and enables trade routes to be “upgraded to Railroads for free in any Age”. For this card to thematically make sense, the age4 land route upgrades should all be railroads (building railroads on every map fits entirely in AoE3’s range of accuracy - this is a game where you lay rails at Battle of Sekigahara), and the water trade route should have been steamships.
The names of new age4 route upgrades “Trans-Sahara Route” and “East India Company” are themselves not consistent with AoE3 tradition, where all trade route upgrades are themed as replacing the vehicle of transportation, and nothing else.
The entire thematic purpose of the Industrial Age upgrade is the power of industry, and changing it to pre-industrial institutions defeats the purpose, results in the silliness of camel running fast as trains.
Also, calling the steam engine “Iron Llama” on South America maps is cute, but has no historical basis, and doesn’t actually make sense - horses obviously had been introduced in both Americas at roughly the same time. During the US civ’s 50 states challenge event, its implementation also caused confusion for the Nebraska challenge, where only the old “Iron Horse” upgrade counts.
With the above, I propose replacing “Trans-Sahara Route” and “Iron Llama” with the standard “Iron Horse”, and the water route’s “East India Company” with a Steamer fleet.