I bring up this poll to know what the community thinks about this topic. I don’t pretend to change anyone’s mind or to try to be heard by the devs or anything. I just wanna share my thoughts or to know what do you guys think about this.
This game have been around for a long time now. Half of their civilizations were crafted when there was not a metagame like we know it today, so the original ES team designed civilizations the way they thought the game was going to be played. Added to that, the Forgoten Empires civilizations were made when the FE team was not a solidified team and they lacked the experience they have now, which may have resulted in civs of a lower quality than we have now. Even some of the newer ones have been proved to be somewhat difficult to balance due to their design.
In the other hand, with newer civilizations focusing in more unique or “out the box” approaches, some old civs seem to be lacking a strong identity, like (imo) chinese or persians.
Added to that, I want to bring something else to the table. I’ve read many times in these forums people complaining about historical accuracy, claiming that aztecs shouldn’t have crossbows or trebuchets, chinese should have gunpowder units and goths not, and many things more. While I disagree with going that deep on details, I strongly believe that the core of a civilization should be designed either around what they were best at/known for in the timeframe of the game, or some kind of stereotype/exaggerated version of what they historically were, and them balance. Whit this I mean civilizations like indians, mayans and celts (and some other to a lesser extent).
So (I know most of you will disagree with me, but) I added to the poll the option of supporting the rework of civs in order to achieve a better historical design.
So, the question is: Would you support reworking civilizations in order to achive better balance, a more unique design or more intresting gameplay; or a more appropiate historical design?
Civs should be reworked for historical inspiration/theme or gameplay reasons.
Civs should be reworked only for gameplay reasons
Civs must not be reworked. They have been like that for 20 years and they’re fine.
I don’t want to make the main post bigger than it already is, so I’ll expands my thoughts a bit more in a comment below.
I expect most of you will vote for the last option, and it’s fine. I totally understand it.
I’m not saying that those hypothetical reworks should be done tomorrow. I’m talking about years in the future, were disconects and bugs are gone and civs get more balanced.
“[…]so the original ES team designed civilizations the way they thought the game was going to be played”: An example of this is tower rushing. I cannot be 100% sure, but I think they were never meant to be used as an offensive tool. That led to tower rushing being discovered as a strong weapon to pressure in early game and ultimatelly they got nerfed to the ground.
*"[…]FE team was not a solidified team and they lacked the experience they have now, which may have resulted in civs of a lower quality than we have now": Italians still struggles a bit in land maps while being op in water. Same for indians lacking options in 1v1 while being dominant in team games. And those civs are like 7 years old.
“Even some of the newer ones have been proved to be somewhat difficult to balance due to their design”: Looking specially at Portuguese.
*“Some old civs seem to be lacking a strong identity, like (imo) chinese or persians”: I know those two are considered competitive and strong civs and don’t need any kind of tweak. From a balance perspective, I agree, but still feel like those two are the most unintresting civs to play. Chinese don’t specialize in anything, but are good in everything. You don’t have the identity of mangudai microing, malay elephant rush and double-handed trashman or goth spam. Persians go through the same, but kamarandan kind of helped it. To a lesser extent the same goes for spanish in 1v1, saracens before siege archers and teutons before melee armor.
I think about League of Legends, another game I played for years. In league of legends developers understand that metagame evolve, and admit that their design philosophy is different than it was years ago, so reworks to champions (characters) happen everytime. Old champions are visually and gameplay wise designed again, sometimes trying to keep the core gameplay, some times not. And I think that helped a lot to keep the game alive for about 10 years by now.
About the historical inspiration thing: As a child this game sparkled my intresent in history. I saw those civilizations and learnt about vikings as seafarers, mongols as expert cavalry archers and franks as a cavalry force. The same way I grew with the missconception of celts being tribal woad painted warriors and masters of siege, and goths as a unstopabble zerg like horde of infantrymen. And to this day something similar happens when I want see some documentary or (or movie or smth like that about India) that inspire me to play with indians, I can’t because the civ we have It’s nothing like india (except the rajastan, which does not represent the entire subcontinent). It’s not even like the stereotype of india (elephants and hinduism).
This last paragraph was a rant. I admit it. The thing is I do think that this game cannot be accurate in order to be as funny at it is, but as the history lover I am, It bothers me a lot that my favourite game that made me intrested on history because of its inspiration in it has a lot of fictional things.
Game has literally never put historical accuracy first and im fine with that.
If they did a rework of civs to be historically accurate, it would cause mass confusion and cause people to have to relearn all thd civs and matchups over again. Im not a fan of it and the game should be left alone except for balance changes, adding new content, and bug/gameplay fixes
I bought aoe2 de because it didn’t try to reinvent the wheel and be something it was not.
If you want historical accuracy there is plenty of other games out there that cater to that.
Those 20 years old covs shouldn’t be majorly reworked (looking at you teutons), but I got no problem with setting those HD expansion civs right… The umbrella civs Slavs ad Indians have caused many outcries.
Well since AOE2 is played for big prizepools, you can’t rework a civ just for historical accuracy or else balance would be impossible. If it was a game just played offline then not as big of a deal. So balance should come first then historical accuracy. I think the devs try to give as much historical accuracy to a civ as they can without affecting the balance too much. Also, I agree that the current devs have more experience now then they did when many of civilizations were made. Slightly reworking some of the civs for more historical accuracy yet maintaining balance would be cool to see. It wouldn’t be very easy though. They would have to beta test it and would take a lot of time. It would feel like a new game but still the same game all at the same time. This would be a big undertaking and wouldn’t benefit the developers any profit. Also people don’t like change so it would anger some people but make some people happy; it would be divisive. However, giving civs a slightly new look would change the meta and allow for different strategies which keeps the game fresh.
You should change the option for “historical inspiration AND balance”. Basically, bigger changes than slightly altering a current discount but fewer changes than not being able to recognize the the civilization anymore.
Civs shouldn’t be reworked, but not because they always were like that, but because, they’re pretty much all balanced (except for a few). I will preffer small changes, since we’re that close to a nearly perfect balance
here is the thing - aoe2 is historically influenced, but not historically accurate. and i’m completely fine with that. but yeah. to suddenly make such a radical design change like the one the op is proposing would be absolutely nuts.
I was expecting this very comment hahah. I know you’re tired of the accuracy complainers, but believe me I’m not one of those. We’ve already exchanged the same words actually, but I’ll do it again.
I hope it never does. Accuracy is not compatible with the design of the game, but almost all civs have a references to their history counterpart, and that’s what I’m talking about.
In my opinion the only “non historical” civs are celts, goths and indians, with maybe some tweaks in mayans. No need to relearn all the civs again just 3 or 4 of them, and at a pace of one every 1 year o so to give time for the meta to adjust and people to learn them.
I already play Crusader Kings III, so my thirst for medieval history is kind of fulfilled there.
I know most of what I’m talking about is never going to be implemented. I’m not asking for it. I just want to hear what people think about my ideal version of the game (which is not different of what we have today in terms of gameplay)
I agree that reworking current civs will just cause confusion. I think the main focus for civs should be balancing and fixing bugs instead of historical accuracy. That being said, I think that devs should try and make future civs more accurate to history. I also think after everything is balanced out and bugs are fixed to a point where they consider adding more civs, they need to rename Indians into a more specific culture in that area that fits better and expand on the India area with history in mind.
This is the most sensible comment. I agree with with everything, just don’t understand the confusion thing.
In the hypothetical situation a rework is to be done I expect the devs to inform us months before it’s released through the official website, forums and the game itself, and to constantly give us insight of what is coming so it wouldn’t catch people by surprise.
it’s really simple.
let’s say you are joe. you love aoe2. play it 2-3 times a week and have for the past 22 years.
you don’t go to the forums because you have no complaints.
you log in one day to find that civ x has been completely reworked and now plays differently. now you have to relearn how to play civ x and you’re confused why a working civ was changed.
most people don’t come to the forums or the websites. like literally i would say this aoe2 de section of the forum has 100 to 150 people who come with any sort of consistency.
guarantee you more then 150 people are playing this game.
not going to say this won’t happen, but it isn’t likely. the devs already stated they didn’t plan to add more civs.
I’m joe. I open the game. Huge window suddenly pop ups
“WE’RE REWORKING CELTS IN 3 MONTHS”
I ask myself why. I read the details below.
Joe may like or not, but wouldn’t be confused.
Anyway, aside from the history matter. What do you think about major tweaks to make civs more intresting/unique to play? Pushing their identities to new limits or giving them disctinct mechanics.
We disagree on this one, but you’re one of the most reasonable guys in these forums. I’m intrested in your oppinion.
and then Joe is annoyed, because they are reworking a civ, and he didn’t get asked ahead of time about such a BIG change to the game.
so yeah, no thanks to reworks, its a huge headache and not necessary.
depends on what your definition of a major tweak is. one thing i have proposed, to help keep the meta fresh, after reasonable balance is achieved, is nerfing top civs (so like right now britons chinese mayans aztecs celts vikings franks khmer and liths would all probably get nerfed), and then buffing other civs to take their place so we don’t see the same civs every tournament.
you’re question though is kind of vague and doesn’t give anyone a whole lot to go on.
The Wends would be a good addition - covering Bohemia, Poland, etc.
Tibetans would help fill the void and cover the Tanguts as well, and Nanzhao (a possible mix of Burmese and Tibetan civilisations with Chinese influences) - a Tibetan building set could therefore also be added to include the Mongols as well.
One other way to make sure noone is confused by a civ rework, would be to rename the civ being reworked. Suppose Chinese were reworked, and at the same time renamed to Jurchen, then people would be reminded that the civ had been changed every time they see the civ name.
Goths could be changed purely esthetically to have the name of, you know, an actual infantry spam civ, also changing the name of the UU and the architecture appropriately. No damage done to game balance of any kind
I think the in-game notifications have done a good job so far of explaining any changes to the game. The Teutons change was fairly big, and had a pretty good reception, IIRC.
I would say it really depends on what we mean as reworked.
Even from a pure gameplay perspective a civ can be changed a lot in a positive way (see teutons). Some civs may seem too similar, maybe it would be good just to change those civs from a gameplay point of view.
Other things are more difficult. Indian BEs, which a lot of people ask for, would be a huge change of the civ. But acting on some similar civs to change the fact they are too similar, is fine imo, even if it is closer to rebalancing than reworking…