First of all, my thanks to everyone that posted under this thread. AoE fans are typically smart and knowledgeable and this topic is so much richer and more substantial because of your contribution.
It is not my intention to set off a civil war among AoE 2, 3 and 4… We have to acknowledge all AoE games are genuine classics, it’s a series like no other. The mere fact that it’s HISTORY-based (and not ethnocentric, Eurocentric, or Asiacentric) sets it galaxies apart from lower, lesser computer games. In particular, both AoE 2 and 3 are incredible games with its own strengths and weaknesses. We all hope AoE4 will be fresh and unique yet incorporate lessons from both AoE2 and AoE3. This topic is definitely NOT about AoE4 “killing off” AoE2… it’s not about diminishing AoE2 or AoE3, it’s about imagining how AoE4 could be better.
The current discussion is absolutely essential nonetheless, we must carry out this discussion. This is a pivotal and decisive moment in Age of Empires history. No matter if you’re an AoE 2 or 3 player, or both, we all wish AoE 4 success and we all want to contribute.
I see most people commented on points Number 1 & 2, yet Number 3 is perhaps even more vital here. Because it cuts into the essence of what makes Age of Empires unique: respect to HISTORY. Sometimes forgotten, this was the vision of the true forefathers who bestowed AoE on the world… No son, it is not a coincidence that the icon of a “Wonder” is the Turkish Wonder… Sir Bruce Shelley and Sir Sandy Petersen had encyclopedic knowledge of History and a DEEP respect and admiration for Turkish Civilization and the Ottoman Empire, much more than ANY other civ (no I’m not a Turk).
Matter of fact, it should be clearly stated here that the 8 base Civs choice of AoE4 is already QUITE controversial… If we look at the timespan of AoE4, Rus were less than a savage tribe in the beginning of the period, then in Castle Age, Rus were enslaved by Mongols and Turks-Tatars, and were almost inconsequential even at the end…
Turks and Byzantines, on the other hand, were full-blown world superpowers right at the core of the timespan, way more powerful and influential than English, ‘Holy Roman Empire’, or Rus during 70% to 100% of the timespan (plus YES, the firearm revolution started by Turks did utterly “disappear” Mongols from History forever, it is a fact), yet Turks and Byzantines were left out!!!..