I still do not understand how can you jump to the conclusion -with all those games that you mentioned- that differentiated factions are those that lead to failure. There are obviously many other factors that determine a game’s success or failure. Have you actually run a multiple regression analysis and proved that diversified factions have a negative correlation with a game’s success and that correlation is statistically important?
It seems to me that you just jump onto something randomly to prove your point.
Aztecs from AoE3 were brought up as an example somewhere in here, saying that they were weak because of their uniqueness. Aztecs are actually considered an OP civ to play with in 1v1. They lack cannons, yes, they lack cavalry, yes, that’s because they are named Aztecs, the historical background of that civ is reflected on its gameplay. I wouldn’t even bother trying Aztecs with cannons or as Mexican mercenaries lol. Combine all natives with their European conquerors? Oh please… that’s both historically inaccurate and an insult to the civ itself.
At last, what’s the point of having too many civs if they are going to feel the same?
I come to think that most supporters of that idea just want the chance to play a civ with their country’s name written on top even if it means that the experience will be almost identical with any other.
I agree with you that civs shouldn’t have only one possible way to be played, but when I play the Mongols I want to feel that they are Mongols and not English, both visually and in gameplay. Let the devs worry about the balance, they must know its importance.