Message to the Devs: Be careful in adding new civs

Dear Age of Empires developers,

It is a truly wonderful thing for a videogame to stand the test of time, like a Wonder of the world, being admired by hundreds of thousands of videogamers around the globe. Much of that has to do with said videogame evolving and enlarging itself. Such is Age of Empires II, a game that has been around for 22+ years, with man new campaigns added and increasing the civ count to 39 from the original 13.

But there is much controversy here in the forums, arguing for the addition of more civs and more civs to the game.

Of course, there are some wonderfully well thought-out civ proposals that have been made, and it could very well be that this game can absorb yet a few more civs in the game, for a civ count to stretch into the 40s. But I ask: can this game really go on? Can Age of Empires 2 really survive for another decade of DLCs and additions and keep the player base happy and motivated?

I have seen videogame developers before, making the mistake of not quitting while they were ahead. I have seen–and been a part of-- videogame communities that have descended into hellish environments of toxicity due to a game never stopping with new gimmicks and additives that made potential new players shy away because the game has been too complicated to figure out, or veteran players staying in the game, only to become bitter and resentful that the 100+ hotfixes and new content were not to their liking because Item A and Change B was not made by the developers.

In other word, if you AoE2 devs do add new content into this lovely game: be careful, I beg you.

I am not wholly against adding new civs in the game…only worried that it might get out of hand. I am also scared that you developers might add a civ that has not been properly researched into first before adding it.

There are tons of requests for more American and African civs, a few of them I will admit are worthy candidates. But Age of Empires II is not a United Nations game. It was never a game meant to include ALL medieval civilizations: only the most prominent ones, who have distinguished themselves in medieval history. I hope that you devs remember that. As a historian myself, I cherish history games such as the Age of Empires series very much. I would be sad to see it become a mess, like the destroyed ruins of a Wonder.

I want ***Age of Empires *** series, particularly Age of Empires II to stand the test of time like a marvelous Wonder of the World. Much like how you would not take an ancient monument and completely and unequivocally “redesign” it to adapt to modern architecture sensibilities, you should not take a videogame and change it just to satisfy the modern gamer audience. Keep true to the things that make Age of Empires II great… even if that means keeping the civ count at 39 and not adding more DLCs.

Peace out :dove:
and Merry Christmas to you devs and to all the players and forum members here. :christmas_tree:


Hopefully, they don’t ruin the Notre Dame with some of that modern architecture. Really though, I agree that adding more civs should be handled with great care. Most of the users posting about new civs and their wishes for what they could be are not always doing it wholeheartedly. There are also people who post threads of new civs for fun, like what if or how cool it would be if kinda stuff.


I understand your concerns, I myself have played games that were destroyed by a poor update. However, I think your fears are unfounded as there is a major difference between Age of Empires II DE and those games: the update of those games, changed/modified the core game mechanics.

Age of Empires II DE has done the complete opposite, it has tried as much as possible to stay true to the original Age of Empires 2. The core game mechanics are the same. The devs realised the importance of that and didn’t touch that part of the game, it plays in 2021 exactly as it played in 1999. The only major differences are: better grahpics, better AI, more informative HUD and of course more civilizations.

Which is great, Age of Empires II DE could have 100 civilizations and it would still be Age of Empires 2 as long as they don’t change the core mechanics. I’m personally hoping for a Romanian DLC. We even got the Cumans that occpuied the Romanians for about 100 years but not the Romanians themselves.

In hopes this isn’t advertising (if it is, I kindly ask a moderator to edit and remove this part from my respose), there are 2 examples I can think of that are on complete opposite ends of why their updates ruined the game:

  • Hearts of Iron 4
  • Total War Rome Remastered
  1. Hearts of Iron 4

Hearts of Iron 4 has done exactly what you fear Age of Empires 2 DE will do. Instead of adding more focus trees, more flavor, more historical events, more leaders, etc; they added new game mechanics: chain of command, fuel, railroads, new divisions width. They fundamentally changed the game with their updates, while not adding many new focus trees in the process. And it has happened exactly what you said it will happen:

“New gimmicks and additives that made potential new players shy away because the game has been too complicated to figure out, or veteran players staying in the game, only to become bitter and resentful that the 100+ hotfixes and new content were not to their liking because Item A and Change B was not made by the developers”

So Hearts of Iron 4 is an example of what NOT to change in a game.

  1. Rome Total War Remastered

Rome Total War was not as popular as Age of Empires 2 but it was there. And when a remastered edition came out, everyone was hyped. When they played it, nobody was hyped. What happened? They didn’t fundamentally change the game mechanics like Hearts of Iron 4, but they hardly changed anything at all.

They added 4k grahpics, but the graphic update is terrible → You still have a bulky squared map, but now in HD. It’s very obvious the game used to be an old game when you look at the 4k few polygon characters or 4k bulky almost squared map. Age of Empires II DE on the other hand, was done from the bottom up. Everything looks 2019s.

They made it work on widescreen and unlocked all playable factions from start → Good thing but not a big deal.
Age of Empires 2 DE did the same.

They didn’t change the border regions at all → Beside the bulky squared form of the map and rivers, the
regions/borders were pretty bad, very sparce due to lack of resources and didn’t look at all like their real life counterparts back then, which again, full understandable for its time, but not for the time of the remastered
edition. The game could have really used more regions and more true to the real world.

They didn’t change the AI at all → This is the worst thing ever. Because the AI is not up to 2021 standards. Even Age of Empires 2 DE that a had a far better AI than Rome improved its AI, and Rome, whose AI and pathfindings were terrible, didn’t. That was fine back then, but unacceptable today (not my words, the community’s words)

This is where the comparisons end. Hearts of Iron 4’s downfall was caused by too much game change, they tried to improve the game so much they completely changed the meta and the game mechanicss, while Rome Total War Remastered’s downfall was caused by too little game change, they were too afraid to deviate from the original to the point where they essentially made a 4k graphic update and that’s it.

But, in my experience and opinioon, the devs of Age of Empires II DE know the balance between these 2 extremes. Their updates can be summed up to: better grahpics, better AI, more informative HUD and of course more civilizations. Which is enough to bring AoE2 to a 2019 standard without adding new game mechanics that would alienate a lot of people.

They stayed true to the original Age of Empires 2 as the core game mechanics are the same (not like Hoi4). While still making the necessary improvements for a remaster (not like Rome). They have proven it again and again that they know how to make a remaster. I trust them.

In their most recent DLCs, they only added new civs and new campaigns. If things keep doing this way, they could add 100 of these without changing the game’s underlying mechanics, it will play exactly as in 1999 but with a lot more content.


I do agree, the game will not necessarily get better with adding more civs.

I have been playing the original game + conqueror expansion until 2003 or so, and came back to the game at the beginning of the year. I’ve been looking at all the new civs that have been added, and the vast majority adds very little to the game in my humble opinion; we now have just about twice the civs that specialize in a particular area. Does it improve the game to have, let’s say, 4 cav archer civs instead of just two or three? I’m not sure.
The only “new” (after conquerors expansion) civs that I found really useful are Portuguese and Italians since they add desperately needed civ-diversity to the naval aspects of the game.

I understand that adding new civs keeps the game for interesting and fresh for people who have played it 20 years in a row.
However, having over 40 civs also means that one needs to memorize civ boni and techtrees for over 40 civs, which, at some point, seems to be more work than fun.

Finally, it seems that already now the devs run out of reasonable combination of civ boni that creates a civ distinct from what we already have, that’s why the most recently added civs have all this relative exotic properties, such as unique buildings or instant creation of batches of units, both of which is not really what AoE used to be about.

Note, that my viewpoint is that of the multiplayer aspect of the game.


More civis are for single players not really MP.No one bothers to remember these things.


This can mean a lot of things depending who you ask. A lot of Euro civs dont fit this criteria as much as the missing Asian and African civs imo.


I agree to that. To me “only the most prominent ones, who have distinguished themselves in medieval history” means only the major powers. Which were only a few and for 90% of the time since recorded history in Europe.

And I wouldn’t like a game with only 6 or 10 civs. It makes it easier for multiplayer, but I don’t believe the cost is worth it, losing a lot of potential content only so that 1% players who want to go to esports to have an easier time?

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Now we definitely need Bengals, tamils, georgians, congolese etc… If you think burgundy , sicily, bohemians were “prominent” then the civs i mentioned exceeds the bar


Yeah but these are more important since they are from Europe /s


We really need venice now :smiling_imp:

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Then we need Genova.

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Burgundy, Sicilians ( wich represent the normans By the Way) Bohemians are extremely important in the geopolitical history of Europe and the way their influence shaped medieval history cannot be underestimated.

So did Genoans and Venetians, the papal States . However… in the case of Genoa and Venetia, what would be the difference between the two potential civs? They were Both maritime powers, both used mercenaries, and are ultimatedly cojointed in the Italians civ. If we were to separate them, we’d need 6-7 civs for italy Alone. Wich is clearly not possible. You could have visigoths, Lombards, Late romans, etcetera…

Tamils, Bengals, Chola, etcetera, they are clearly merged into indians, even tho i believe the indiands represent more the Dehli sultanate than the others, but once again, like the italians, they were merged.

For example, the Teutons represent Both the holy roman Empire and The Teutonic Order. So what, we need a holy roman empire civ? What would be the difference? landschnekt instead of Teutonic knights?

Congolese? More like Bantu. i’d actually be intrested in a Bantu Civ. Power of migration, like in rise of nations.

Should they add more civs? Well, for singleplayer, they could make content for the civs that do not have campaigns yet for starters, like mayans, persians, a new one for celts, Vikings, something for the Russian princes, Magyars. For multiplayer you could add new game modes, maps , add a new tech, a new shared unit, . Many things can be done. but without new civs the game is probably destined to become stale. a closed ecosystem. Wich is not necessarily terrible, there is hours upon hours of Sp content in aoe 2 DE for new players and old ones alike.


I know I can only talk for myself but I wouldn’t bother with a campaigns only DLC. Haven’t even touched the ones which came with The Last Khans and I’m an SP guy.

Thinking that everybody would love to see a campaign only DLC is delusional.

Also considering the potential still left in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, I would honestly hate the devs stopping right now with adding new civs after getting plenty in my opinion redundant Euro civs.

For your kind information, half of Bengals didn’t merge into Indians still today.
And same for half of Tamils living in Sri Lanka.

Also if Teutons alone can represent HRE (and Order as well), why Bohemians is/was needed? Are/Were they not HRE? ( And some people now asking for Swiss as well bcz why not? You broke HRE, now add all HRE as individual civ.)


merged … u mean like when bohemia merged with holy roman empire? sicily merging with italy? burgundians merging with france? your argument is baseless… and unlike all these 3 civs Tamils dominated SEA nations like Khmer , java… but they are added and not tamil? and also Bengal was its own entity till it was consumed by mughal which was in AOE 3 era… Bengal waged war and won against burmese rakhines but burma exists and not bengal… so ya no matter how you look at it we have a game named age of empires which excludes some of the most influential empire


Sorry, there seems to be a misunderstanding. i mean that the Developers Merged those nation into the indians. If it is wrong or right its not my business, what i meant is that its rather difficult that they would create civs that devs already decided to ignore and bake into another one.

bohemians represent the Hussite Bohemia,wich will then become part of the hapsburg empire and now modern Czech Republic. If they are “redundant” or not, thats not for me to decide, altho i do not believe they are. I’d say their revolution is extremely important when looking at the downfall of mounted armored knights and the rise of gunpowder and modern conscript armies.

Switzerland had a somewhat “similar” revolution, but was recognized as indipendent only in 1648. So… basically its part of the Holy roman empire in the period that Aoe 2 covers.

It’s all relative to the period, and how said civilization can be implemented while being different from the others and historically accurate ( somewhat) . Like the visigoths, they could be added, but how different would they be from the Goth ? probably not too much. The Avars, the Penchengs, how different would they be from Tatars/Mongols/Huns etcetera? probably not much.

So Many civs could be added, but … some of the propositions i have seen are somewhat difficult to properly separate from already existing civs and make them fun and intresting.

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The Slavs were introduced in the very same dlc as Indians, and at the time they were encompassing Bulgarians, Poles and Bohemians. All three of those civs were even mentioned in the historical section of the Slavs and presented as being part of it, and several campaign missions had those civs previously included as Teutons or Goths, then Slavs, and then changed again into the new ones. So presenting the introduction of civs that the devs previously ignored as something too difficult to even consider is completely absurd.


Ww already have those ingame Goths Italians Byzantines even Sicilian’ its perfectly fine to have venice and genoa.

Well, Venetians could probably work as a separate civ (maybe even more so than Siclians), but Genoese would need a rework on Italians since their unique units is from Genoa.

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Current Italians can be genoa and venice can be a seperte civi.