[Poll] The first realistic, context-based AoE4 DLC investigation & poll (updated new Flags! latest Snapshot August 5)

Age of Empires IV is approaching the moment of truth.

Perhaps only a timely DLC (with a bit of balancing + bug squashing) could revive an RTS that generated so much hope and expectation after years of waiting. Yes, it can be revived. Let’s be positive.

Even more than for AoE II and III, AoE IV DLCs must have a solid theme, because of the deep, asymmetric civ concept (regardless of how well this concept has been actualized so far). A compelling historical context.

So what DLCs make sense + are possible in reality? This poll is the result of a meticulous study and investigation, it’s meant to be the only realistic DLC poll so far.
You can vote for up to 5 DLCs.

I’d like to thank each one of you for reading and participating.

  • Empires of India: Chola Empire & Vijaynagar
  • Crossroads of the World: Persians & Seljuk Empire
  • The Reconquista: Spanish vs the Moors
  • Battle of Empires: Byzantines + Italian States vs Ottoman Empire
  • Ends of the World: Japanese & Mali Empire
  • Distant Worlds: Spanish Empire vs Inca Empire
  • Southeast Kingdoms: Khmer & Dai Viet / Vietnamese
  • Clash of Titans & End of an Era: Roman Empire vs Ottoman Empire
  • Powers of Africa: Mali Empire & Ethiopians
  • The New World: Inca Empire & Aztec Empire
  • Fortress of Europe: Hungary + Bulgaria vs Ottoman Empire
  • Eternal Civilizations: Persians & Indians
  • The Northern Forces: Poland-Lithuania & the Norse
  • Clash of Giants: Ottoman Empire vs Persian Empire
  • The Crusades: Fatimid Dynasty, Seljuk Empire & Crusader States
  • Adventurers on Sea and Desert: Portugal & Mali Empire
  • Where the Sun Rises: Japanese & Goryeo / Korea
  • Superpower: Ottoman Empire vs all-Europe + Persia + Mamluks

0 voters

Important investigation notes:

1- both Hungary and Bulgaria were included in “Fortress of Europe” as they were long considered some of the strongest armies in Europe in medieval centuries
2- “Dai Viet” was chosen to represent the Vietnamese states as it was the most long-lasting state (corrected)
3- “Spanish” is so referred in the Reconquista because the Spanish Kingdom was still under construction
4- “Mali Empire” also represents Songhai Empire and is referred as the other “End of the World”, opposite Japan, because it’s the westernmost medieval empire
5- “Ottoman Empire” includes its predecessors, the Seljuk Empire and the Sultanate of Rum
6- it was decided to consider “Norse” as a DLC civ instead of “Kingdom of Denmark” for wider representation
7- “Byzantines” could also be called the “Byzantine Empire” or the “Roman Empire”
8- Portugal added in this version of the poll, as part of “Adventurers on Sea and Desert” with Mali (new)
9- Korea is now called by it’s historical name, “Goryeo”, while Japan is named generic “Japanese” as it wasn’t a unified state most of the time

Latest Poll and Ranking snapshot from July 29! We’ve had 96 voters, 353 votes

1. Battle of Empires: Byzantine Empire + Italians vs Turks / Ottoman Empire

2. Clash of Titans and End of an Era: Roman Empire vs Turks / Ottoman Empire

3. Where the Sun Rises: Japanese & Kingdom of Goryeo (Korea)

4. Crossroads of the World: Persians & Turks / Seljuk Empire

5. The New World: Inca Empire & Aztecs

6. Eternal Civilizations: Persians & Indians

7. The Reconquista: Spanish vs Caliphate of Cordoba

8. The Northern Forces: Poland-Lithuania & the Norse

9. Superpower (Armageddon): Ottoman Empire vs All-Europe+Persia+Mamluks

10. Ends of the World: Japanese & Empire of Mali

11. The Crusades: Byzantines vs Turks / Seljuks vs Crusaders vs Caliphate

12. Southeast Kingdoms: Khmer Empire & Dai Viet / Vietnamese

8 Likes

Flags of the main civs appearing in the DLC investigation & poll, made by @Seicing :

Byzantine Empire

(also “Roman Empire”; for red version of flag, please see Seicing’s flags post)

Ottoman Empire / Turks

Japanese

Seljuk Empire / Turks

Persians

Inca Empire

Mali Empire

Norse / Vikings

Goryeo / Korea

Kingdom of Spain

Mamluk Sultanate

Moors (“Reconquista” DLC)

Khmer

Majapahit

Dai Viet / Vietnamese

Chola Empire

Vijayanagara

Ethiopia

Aztec Empire

Burma

Crusader States / Kingdom of Jerusalem

Bulgaria

8 Likes

FYI, Spain successfully became an empire long before Age of Empires 4 is over, unlike English, French or Rus.

Kind of surprised, when historical interaction is considered in a DLC (every DLC must have a theme), apparently Vikings is not popular anymore.

1 Like

Well vikings most interesting times for vikings was from 800-1100 when they raided England (and rule them in some ocations) and France, but those civs are already in the game.

The only other option they got is to pair the Norsemen with Scots or Ireland, but there are many better options for the first 3 or 4 DLCs

1 Like

Please check the “Distant World DLC”, it is an option on the poll. “Reconquista DLC” is a much earlier period, as I’m sure you know.

It’s too early to draw conclusions. At first sight, it seems the Norse have a difficult time finding a suitable, feasible DLC match civ (a single-civ “Norse DLC” probably wouldn’t be exciting enough for most fans), but a serious DLC investigation and poll takes some time. I’ll analyze results a few times later.

Overall, I feel a realistic-scenario DLC poll is showing Asian civs are now more favored and European civs are less desired in a DLC, just look at preliminary votes.

1 Like

I’m really surprised so many ppl want Persia in this game…

With the Abassid, Mongols and very likely the turks we have that region pretty much covered from 600 to 1400

That illuminates the question well. Honestly, with all due respect to our dear Celtic friends, Scots and Irish do not qualify for limited-civ-number Age of Empires 4 as independent civs (even English could be questioned as a vanilla spot).

That poses a challege for a Norsemen DLC, and my (hopefully persuasive) answer to this challenge is to match them with the strongest North-Euro power, Poland-Lithuania. I called it “Northern Forces DLC”.

Maybe you are right, but for many of those who played AoE2, the William Wallace’s campaign was their first contact ever with the game. So a Scotish civ with a campaign that starts with the norsemen raiding they shores to the independence of the Kingdom of Scotland would be nice.

I would love to see Poland too, I can see a unique upgrade to their knights that gives them wings :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

The devil is in the details. Officially, Age of Empires 4 spans from at least 750 to 1600 AD (could be expanded as AoE 2 was).

On Persia, a summary from the investigation to create the DLCs:

Admittedly, Persia has a bizarre and chaotic political / military record in this period. But Persia as a civ definitely belongs in AoE 4, it was a central civ in the world. (You see, Rus wasn’t a unified empire during the period; in fact, Rus were servants /slaves to Turkic-dominated Golden Horde for a long time.)

It starts from the ashes of a semi-superpower Roman Empire rival, the Sassanid Empire, next falling under mixed Persian-Turkish, and then Turkic-Mongol dynasties after suffering a Holocaust (Turks and Mongols are the most powerful of all civs at war in Middle Ages). But it still retained the unique hallmarks of Persian civilization (spreading deep Persian cultural, architectural and administrative influence to Central Asia, India, Anatolia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia etc). Finally, it ends the period with a spectacular Hollywood-like revival as a true first-rate empire and world power - Ottoman Empire’s main rival, helping Europe big time - Safavid Persia, very advanced in guns and artillery. See DLC option “Clash of Giants”.

It’s hard to overstate the past significance of Iran. Besides Persia, only China, India (and maybe Italy / Rome, with some imagination) would belong in all four Age of Empires games - AoE 1, 2, 3, and 4. Persia is one of the titans.

More nitpicks on the “Southeast Kingdoms”! :blush:
Đại Việt just means State in Viet. For a European comparison, think of Iberia and Iberians. Spanish and Portuguese are both Iberian nations, but there’s a degree of separation there. Cantonese also live in Viet, speak Viet (separate from Vietnamese, obviously), etc. It’s all minor nitpicks but the historical people called themselves Southerners (Nam-ese) or Annamese the latter being my #1 pick… but we both know AoE4 plays very fast and loose with naming of civs so ‘Vietnamese’ are the likely pick by Relic.

Touching on a less nitpicky topic, there is obviously no ‘flag of Đại Việt’ and never has been (just like almost every culture in the game and on this list :slight_smile: ). What you’ve picked is a flag that is completely out of the time period and explained, for as little we know about it, as either a flag of the Nguyen royal family or that of Tonkinese merchant ships. Either way, it faces the same dilemma as the Chinese and given that Chinese got an invented flag design, DaiViet/Annamese/Vietnamese would be most consistently served with the same approach. What to pick is up to the imagination of the developers, they’ve already done well once. :upside_down_face:

[quote=“SuicydalMonk, post:9, topic:208064”]
The devil is in the details. Officially, Age of Empires 4 spans from at least 750 to 1600 AD (could be expanded as AoE 2 was).[/quote]

This is a mistaken assumption. If you look at the civilisations in the game and the events portrayed, AoE4 starts and ends later than AoE2. The true range of 99% of things in the game is 1000-1600CE.

This directly flows into the previous nitpick in that the Rus’ of AoE4 are not designed to represent all of the Rus’ principalities, but Moscowy. The flag representing the civ is the banner of Moscow, the units speak in patterns exclusive to the Moscow area, the campaign is focused all around the start of Russian Tsardom and apart from Age1, all of the landmarks are from Moscowian area, completely separate of any outside influences.
And on that same note, Rus’ as a civ in the game make much more sense than inventing a fictional “Persian state”. They are present in both the Delhi and Abbassid civs. Both of which were influential parts of the medieval Persianate world.

@TeenChutoy289 Interesting questions that enrich the investigation! Nitpicks are welcome here. I’ll answer as soon as I’m free

Right. Yes the DLC investigation adopted the alternative names of ‘Dai Viet’ (state) and ‘Vietnamese’ (ethnic) based on the principles of recognition and reasonable representation. These principles are all over Age of Empires saga.

About flags, yes it’s partly inconsistent. Some real empires had consolidated flags, like the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Seljuk Empire. But I’ve posted them because it’s a structural element of AoE4 game, and because I want to honor the superb design work by our fellow @Seicing.

This is more complicated. If this was so, the Abbasid Caliphate would not exist in AoE4, it started in 750 AD and didn’t exist in reality by 1000 AD you said (by contrast, Persia was a huge unified state):

Old World in 1000 AD

Based on the investigation, in the year 1000 AD, Persia - Buyid dynasty - was one the largest unified states on Earth, the Byzantine Empire was the #1 power in Europe, Bulgaria had Empire status as #2 army in Europe, ‘Kievan Rus’ was not a real country, Rus was not a state, only a generic ethnic term, Cordoba / Moors was still alive, Mongols don’t even appear, HRE was actually a confederation, not a real empire, mighty Song was at peak, Chola Empire was very populous.

At the end of the overall timespan, 1600 AD (see below), Safavid Persia is again of the biggest powers on the planet, Europe’s most important ally, greatly slowing down Ottomans (again, Mongols don’t even appear):

Old World in 1600 AD (major empires only)

No need to “invent” a Persian state. It already exists, both at beginning and also at end of AoE4, look above. And it’s quite a lot bigger and more powerful than English and French, and it spans the timeframe (Rus don’t).

The fact Persian culture was so influential in so many regions of the world, I believe is a big reason why so many people are voting for DLC with Persia in the DLC poll, not a reason to exclude it from AoE, do you agree with this logic?

The scientific conclusion from an objective investigation is that Persia is a central civilization in the world during the time covered by Age of Empires 4, in the league of Ottoman Empire, Byzantines, India and China.

Snapshot of DLC Poll Results, July 10, 2022!

1. “Battle of Empires” (Byzantines + Italian States vs Ottoman Empire)

2. “Where the Sun Rises” (Japanese & Goryeo)

3. “Clash of Titans & End of an Era” (Roman Empire vs Ottoman Empire)

4. “Crossroads of the World” (Persians & Seljuk Empire)

5. “Ends of the World” (Japanese & Empire of Mali)

6. “The Reconquista” (Spanish vs the Moors / Caliphate of Cordoba)

7. “The New World” (Inca Empire & Aztec Empire)

8. “Eternal Civilizations” (Persia & India)


.


This is the first snapshot of preliminary poll results of the investigation & first realistic DLC poll on the forum (not a civ poll). Results will be analyzed later.

Quick poll:
Should we investigate the possibility / feasibility to maybe include the Kingdom of Tibet in a new realistic 2-civs AoE4 DLC option?

  • Yes, investigate possibility of Tibet in a realistic DLC
  • No

0 voters

New flags for Chola Empire and Vijaynagara (“Empires of India” DLC option), big thanks to @Seicing :

Chola Empire

Vijaynagara

1 Like

The Crusader states or a kingdom of Jerusalem is the most intriguing to me, it’d have alot of potential in aoe4.

The Crusader states would be amazing in AoE4, together with the Caliphate and the Seljuk Turks in an inspiring DLC.

It would be 5 small, militaristic states with powerful knights combined in 1 civ:

  1. Antioch (located in nowadays’ Turkey)
  2. Jerusalem (Israel / Palestine)
  3. Tripoli (located in Lebanon today)
  4. Edessa (southern Turkey)
  5. Cyprus (North Cyprus - Turkey)

Yep, so far the “Crusades” DLC option (as well as the “Northern Forces” DLC with Vikings, and the “Fortress of Europe”) has had a modest vote in the DLC poll, which I find very intriguing.

I wonder if their possible civ matches are less competitive than other DLCs?
Concerns about Crusaders being small states, not empires?
Maybe people are sick of too many Euro civs?

Come on Crusaders on the forum, vote for the “Crusades” DLC! Viking fans on the forum, vote for the “Northern Forces” DLC! Fans of Hungary and Bulgaria, vote for “Fortress of Europe” DLC!

@Kronos8982 Could you please contribute flag models to the Crusader States here?

The focus of this investigation and poll is DLC themes. Not civs.
This effort is different.
The aim of the investigation is to identify + define the most solid and exciting DLC themes, the most compelling historical contexts - rivalries, interactions, concepts - to substantiate the best possible, realistic Age of Empires 4 DLCs.

The methodology of this investigation does not discriminate against Seljuks, Ottomans or any other civ in pursuing its important aims, with fairness and equilibrium.

I think since the game is focused on larger empires and kingdoms, it would be best to have the civ as ‘The Kingdom of Jerusalem’. I think similar to how the Rus largely represent Muscovy but draw elements from Kiev, Novgorod etc, The Kingdom of Jerusalem would be the same with the Crusader states. In terms of relevancy the Kingdom of Jerusalem was fairly powerful and incredibly rich, I remember reading somewhere it was even wealthier than France and England if I remember correctly. I made my own thread on some ideas for landmarks and whatnot if you want to check it out, a lot of it was loose rambling but I felt I came up with some solid ideas that tie history into gameplay. One of the ideas I had was that landmarks (in particular keep landmarks) associated with different knight orders like the Teutonic and Templars, would give access to units and technologies associated with said order.

The most obvious flag is this:

It would be awesome for a dlc to include a Seljuk civ, and I always thought a Mamluk sultanate could be cool, that somewhat combines Saladin’s Ayyubid dynasty with the Mamluk sultunate, as we dont really have a civ to represent Egypt.

I agree with this concept. It’s no departure from what is already being done with Rus, Abbasids and Delhi Sultanate, and what could be done - in a much bigger scale - with Ottoman Empire.
.

This flag is incredible. @Seicing this is a job for you. Could you render an AoE4 format flag for the Crusader states using the above flag?

You know what, that’s exactly what I was thinking after further carrying out the DLC investigation.


made

1 Like

Great!
Here are the flags of the “Crusades” DLC civs - Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, Byzantine Empire
(Fatimid Caliphate - Egypt missing, sorry)

Currently the “Crusades” DLC has

15%

of votes in the DLC poll.

1 Like