Polynesian Maps

Expanding into the Polynesia region could bring a world of fun and unique content to the game. New civilizations like the Maori and Hawaiians whose societies were transformed by the arrival of European explorers would be great additions. This content would require the addition of several new maps to represent the region. I propose the following maps for their inclusion: Hawaii, Atolls, Polynesia, Aotearoa, Southern Alps, and Rapa Nui.

Settlements

Tapu Mare

All of these maps could be covered by a Polynesian holy site based on the Tapu religion/code of conduct. Further details can be found here:

Jesuit Mission

Chistian missionaries were active in Polynesia so Jesuit missions could also appear on these maps.

Trade Routes

Trade routes in Polynesian maps could start as an outrigger canoe, progress to a larger double hulled Polynesian canoe, and end with a large European whaling ship.

Food & Fauna

The lack of large land animals on remote Pacific isles makes selecting food sources tricky. However, there is still a selection of huntables could be found on the various maps.

Moa

Moa were the giant flightless birds that inhabited New Zealand before they were hunted to extinction by the Maori. The official date of their extinction is ~1445, but there were reports of sightings well into the 1800s on the South Island. Since there are so few potential large animals for these maps, I think it would be appropriate to have them appear on maps of all of New Zealand.

Takahe

The next biggest land animal in New Zealand it the Takahe. They are only about chicken sized, and small hunts are somewhat difficult to see and select so they aren’t an ideal hunt.

Megapodes

Are also chicken sized birds found across Oceania so they could feature in Australia and New Guinea too. Their smaller size makes them less ideal as a hunt.

Seals

Semiaquatic animals like seals could appear near the shores of many of these maps to make up for the lack of land animals. Monk seals inhabit Hawaii, leopard seals appear in New Zealand and Rapa Nui, and fur seals and elephant seals live in New Zealand. Seals could also appear in other regions such as arctic maps.

Sea Turtles

Another semiaquatic animal that could appear on most maps is the sea turtle. For some regions like Rapa Nui, this is the only large animal that appears there semi-regularly.

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Coconut Crabs

Coconut crabs are large terrestrial arthropods that can grow up to a meter wide. As well as Polynesian regions, they could also appear on maps like Indonesia, Philippines, and Moluccas.

Pigs

As they settled remote islands, the Polynesians brought pigs with them as livestock. Pigs did not reach New Zealand or Easter Island until Europeans brought them, but in the case of Easter Island, I think they could still be present as hunts since there are no other large land animals.

Treasures

Similar to huntables, a lack of large land animals limits the wildlife that can be guardians. Despite this, there is new and existing wildlife that can act as guardians alongside various Polynesian warriors.

Treasure

Angry Penguin

Believe it or not, this is already in the game. I’m not sure what species it is supposed to be, but it could definitely pass as a Fiordland penguin.

Crocodile

The habitat of saltwater crocodiles extends all the way to Fiji. There are even crocodile inspired legends in New Zealand.

Polynesian Dog

The Polynesians brought their dogs to nearly every island they reached. Although they were of medium size, they must have been formidable enough to inspire legends of man eating dogs

Wild Boar

As stated previously, the Polynesians brought pigs with them to many of the islands they colonized. Some escaping and going feral is likely.

Polynesian Warriors

The Polynesian weapons and Melaneisan weapons not represnted by major or minor civilizations should appear as the arms of treasure guardians. Their weapons consisted of various types of clubs, spears, throwing clubs and axes, slings, and bows (more common in Melanesia).

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Fire Knife Dancer

A Polynesian warrior/performer that deals siege damage similar to the European Witch Hunter and Inquisitor units.

Bird Man

On Easter Island, there was a competition where two men swam a race to retrieve an egg from an outlying island and the winner of this was the bird man. It could be something like a beefed up Eagel Scout.

Water Treasures

Water treasures of all kinds should be abundant on all Polynesian maps. Some maps could have hero type ships to facilitate collecting these treasures.

Other Treasures

Mercenaries

I-Kiribati Warrior

Mercenaries aren’t map dependant, but these guys are too awesome to restrict to just being treasure guardians. The warriors of Kiribati engaged in ritual fighting with multi-prong sharktooth swords, coconut fiber armour, and porcupine fish helmets. These units could act as slow but powerful heavy infantry whose spiky armour inflicts damage on any unit that attacks them in melee.


Mines

Several new types of mines would be fitting for Polynesian regions as well as elsewhere.

  • Jade - Found in New Zealand and in Chinese maps
  • Guano - Found in Polynesia, South American islands, and cave based maps
  • Coral - A good fit for shallow islands

Maps

Despite being primarily tiny islands dotting the Pacific, most of these maps are hybrid water-land maps, not full water maps. Fully water maps aren’t really that fun with the current mechanics of water gameplay, and the AI can’t handle them so I tried to avoid them in my designs.

Aotearoa & Southern Alps

These maps mimic the geography of New Zealand as shown below. Aotearoa would play like a standard hybrid map, while in the Southern Alps, players would only be connected by a small chokepoint that is easily blocked to encourage taking the water to get around.

Atolls

There are many atolls found throughout the world. To give this map a bit more of a Polynesian flair, I incorporated the hook of Maui into the shape of the islands. The shapes of this map are more complicated than most, but I think it would still be doable if the terrain is generated in the right order.

Rapa Nui

The inhabitants of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) cut down all the island’s trees in their quest to construct Moai statues.

To represent this, the map has no trees. Instead, players have to caputre Moai statues that grant a trickle wood.

The inspiration for this map is the Easter Island map from Wars of Liberty:

Hawaii

Lava flows separate regions on the main island. The lava is cooled enough for units to attempt to cross, but still hot enough to inflict burning damage on those who linger. Buildings can not be placed on or near the lava. This map could also come in variants where the eruption is lesser, with only some or none of the lava flows present.

The concept of lava flows could also be implemented in the planned Iceland map that can be seen in the top left corner of this map:

The inspiration for this map is the Hawaii map from Wars of Liberty:

Random Maps/New | Age of Empires III: Wars of Liberty Wiki | Fandom.

Polynesia

In configurations with 2-3 players, the smaller starting islands are partially connected by shallows. With more players, each island is separated.

Each player starts with an invincible Explorer Canoe that would respawn (after a delay) at the water shipment point. This could be a double outrigger canoe to distinguish from the boats of a Polynesian alliance. Having a hero type ship that can respawn would make water treasures a lot more accessible and enjoyable to collect.

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28 Likes

Awesome ideas! I especially love the reference to the Easter Island Birdman cult! Are those patches of land with gold on top on the map meant to represent the sea stacks the Birdmen would swim out to? :smiley:

I’m also a huge fan of the idea of guano deposits for gold and of the whaling ship trade routes. These were primary drivers for Europeans to be in the area in the later stages of the colonial period so their inclusion would be super thematic

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Yep, and the “gold” would be a Guano mine.

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Really good ideas :blush::+1:

You have a any proposals for Australian maps and more Minor Civilizations from Oceanian region?

I haven’t looked into Australia too closely, but I think they could similarly benefit from the holy site style of settlements. The Australian Aboriginals are so fractured into small groups that none cover a big area and lumping them all together as Aborigines could be seen as offensive. A sacred site such as a Bora could transcend the multitude of tribes and languages and be a more appropriate way to represent Aboriginal peoples. And obviously the native warriors these sites provide would have to be Boomerang Throwers.

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Potential maps for Australia:

  • Tasmania
  • Queensland
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • Northern Australia
  • Southern Australia
  • New South Wales
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Maybe add to Australian maps 2-3 Minor Civilizations for example: Aboriginals, Tasmanians and British Settlement.

For Oceanian maps add more Minor Civilizations.

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I had some suggested Australian maps before here → Australia - #14 by TheSquidEmpire

I think it’s a better idea if you were going to have Australian maps to make the maps based on areas of unique terrain or with interesting features, rather than the boundaries of modern Australian states. My ideas were “Draintree” to cover the tropical north - with cassowaries, jungles, coral waters, and crocodiles - “Van Dieman’s Land” to cover Tasmania and the Southern oceanic climate areas - with dense forests and snowy mountains - and “Auralia” to cover the nullarbor - an inhospitable desert with no trees (null arbor = no trees).

I could think of some more to add, but I think AOE3 already has tonnes of maps and imo if we were doing a polynesian DLC most of the maps should be polynesian, with only a scattering of Australian maps.

More map ideas...
  • Simpson desert → the hot red centre of Australia. Lake Eyre is in the center of the map and is almost always dry, allowing troop movement, but is sometimes full of pinkish water, changing the game completely.
  • Outback → scrubby grasslands - like Great Plains, with wild sheep, but no trade route
  • Blue Mountains → very rugged mountainous terrain with only patches of flat ground suitable for building on, and a long winding trade route
  • Kimberley → rugged coastline with a rocky and cliffy inland. The only mines are diamond mines
  • Botany Bay → the location of the first British colony in Australia. A wide open bay with many whales and a gentle and lush shoreline with plenty of resources.
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As a kiwi I’m pretty impressed with the NZ maps. Good work

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There are very good ideas on this thread! I think a polynesia themed DLC could be extended to the whole oceanian continent. The inclusion of philipines would be perfect for a portugal rework, along with 1 or 2 new civs. Also, if there are some australian maps, it would be nice to have tasmanian devils, tasmanian tigers (thylacine), or even kangaroos as treasure guardians. The latter could also be a huntable, I don’t know.

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Exactly, the maps should be geographically based to correspond with different biomes and terrains that can translate to in-game maps. This is how I’d go about dividing Australia:

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I hope they do add the Pacific to AOE3. There’s some great ideas in here. Aotearoa isn’t the best in-game name for New Zealand though, as it only started to be used in the late 19th century. “New Zealand” fits the concept better.

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I don’t think that’s the case. My map is of just the North Island, so calling it New Zealand doesn’t really fit. Aotearoa originally referred to just the North Island while New Zealand has always referred to the entire country. This map of Tasman’s discoveries doesn’t differentiate the islands.

The usage of the name Aotearoa is a relatively newer occurrence, but it is just a compound word meaning “long white cloud” so it’s not like it was freshly coined then. Some sources say it comes from the sighting of the island by Kupe so if that’s true it does have some history.

I’d like it to be named something specific to the North Island, but the specific options of “North Island” or “Te Ika-a-Māui” are both terrible names so I went with Aotearoa. Interestingly, Cook tried to use the native names as seen in the map below.

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That makes a lot of sense. You’ve really put a lot of thought into this. Even if the devs never do this, it would make a great mod.

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Some people wanted a template for making their own map ideas so here it is.

Example Minimap

The font I used for the titles in my map is Cardo. The file will just use a default font if the original one isn’t available.

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Yes, that can be very good … I think they will make a Pacific Ocean DLC for 2024-2025…the Maori leader would be Tāwhiao (r. 1860-1894) and the Hawaiian would be Kamehameha the Great (r. 1810-1819)

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Just seeing all this makes me want to play even though it doesn’t exist yet.

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You can play that in the WoL mod…

It’s a good mod, but it’s still a mod. I think they apply the voices of the Haudenosaune (Iroquois) to many civilizations, including the Maoris XD.

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Will we have this in the next DLC after Denmark and Poland?