What if there was a game mode that allowed you to go all the way from Stone Age from Age of Empires 2 to the Imperial Age of Age of Empires 2?
Only a few civilisations make sense for this game mode. So I think it would be ok if this game mode would start with a very small selection of civilisations.
- Shang → China
- Choson → Korean
- Yamato → Japanese
- Lac Viet → Vietnamese
- Romans → Byzantines
- Persians → Persians
Those are the obvious civilisations.
Many civilisations don’t exist long enough and many just haven’t been added to AoE1 yet.
Age of Empires generally only has 4-5 Ages (Post Imperial or Post Iron Age kinda feel like their own age and the Imperial Age of AoE3 is the 5th Age), not 8 so there would be quit a change.
Stone Age → Tool Age → Bronze Age → Iron Age
Those 4 make sense, but then going to Dark Age would be strange, especially if there are 2 unit upgrades for some lines within the Iron Age.
So I’d suggest the Dark Age is replaced by the Late Antiquity. The Dark Age would be such an obvious downgrade from the Iron Age so it makes little sense to keep it.
The result would be:
Stone Age → Tool Age → Bronze Age → Iron Age → Late Antiquity (Maybe Republic Age as it was originally planned for AoE1) → Feudal Age → Castle Age → Imperial Age
Some technologies exist in both games like Ballistics and have the same effect.
Especially a lot of technologies in the Temple and the Monastery are the same.
In some cases that’s ok, just give Monks/Priests even more HP, or make them recover even faster, but in other cases like Theocracy that can’t work.
So some technologies would disappear from the AoE2 Ages and Buildings. So you don’t forget how ballistics work.
Some technologies form AoE1 will have a big impact on the AoE2 part, like Barracks units costing 0.5 population.
Storage Pit and Blacksmith upgrades would be a little too much if you would have to research all of them. So maybe some of them are cut so you only get new ones every second Age or something like that.
Also not sure how often you want to upgrade your walls and towers.
In some cases this is trivial:
House = House
Barracks = Barracks
Archery Range = Archery Range
Stable = Stable
Dock = Dock
Farm = Farm
Wall = Wall
Gate = Gate
Wonder = Wonder
But some buildings have different sizes between AoE1 and AoE2:
Town Centre 3x3 → 4x4
Market 3x3 → 4x4
Tower 2x2 → 1x1
Siege Workshop 3x3 → 4x4
Some buildings have functional differences:
Storage Pit → Mill (for meat) + Lumber Camp + Mining Camp + Blacksmith
Granary → Mill (for fruits and crops)
Some buildings have thematic differences:
Government Centre → University
Temple → Monastery
One only exists in AoE1:
Some only exist in AoE2:
- Palisade Wall and Gate
The solution for each of those conflict can be different.
Like I think the Government Centre and the University can both co exist hosting different technologies.
Some buildings might just stop having a purpose like the Academy while others are just available later like the Castle.
This is the hardest part, but also the most interesting one.
I will ignore the AoE2 unit lines that don’t have an AoE1 equivalent. They just start the way they always did.
I think this is the easiest one. The Legionary gets moved into the Late Antiquity and then get’s upgrade to the Man at Arms.
Just stay dead end as they used to be.
Even if the Composite Bowman is moved to Iron Age there is a whole Age gap before the Archer in the Feudal Age.
The Archer also doesn’t really look like an Upgrade from the Composite Bowman.
So maybe just make the Crossbow the start of a new Unit Line.
The Heavy Horse Archer get’s moved to the Late Antiquity and then the Cavalry Archer feels like a natural upgrade in Castle Age, even if there is a gap in the Feudal Age.
The AoE1 unit is based on a different animal, the now extinct Northern African Elephant so upgrading to the AoE2 unit makes little Sense.
Just stay dead end as they used to be.
The Cavalry Line can be extended into the Late Antiquity with the Cataphract but there is still a gap to the Knight in the Castle Age.
But I think the gap is also ok here, it make the upgrade to the Knight in the Castle Age more impact full.
Same as with the Elephant Archer.
The Armoured Elephant can be moved to the Late Antiquity though.
Since this unit doesn’t even have an Iron Age upgrade it will be kinda hard to make it extend to AoE2.
But maybe it can be upgraded to Camel Scout in the Late Antiquity.
Should just be dead ends.
The Centurion gets moved into the Late Antiquity.
Other then that the Line just ends.
Maybe it can train the Unique Unit in later Ages so you don’t need a Castle for that.
This building is different size between AoE1 and AoE2 maybe it should stay 2 different buildings.
The Heavy Catapult gets moved into the Late Antiquity, but ends there.
The Mangonel Line is just too different.
The Helepolis gets moved into the Late Antiquity.
The Line could upgrade to the Scorpion in Castle Age.
The Line transitions into the Galley Line in Feudal Age
The Line transitions into the Fire Galley Line in Feudal Age
The Juggernaut is moved to Late Antiquity. The Line ends there.
Transitioning to the Dromon could be a solution though but that’s an Imperial Age unit, not a Feudal Age one.
They are all pretty trivial.
This is the hardest part.
Iron Age AoE1 units have better stats then Imperial Age AoE2 units, yet alone Feudal Age ones.
So the numbers have to change for every single unit.
AoE1 units need to get less extreme upgrades and AoE2 units need to start at a higher base level.
Each individual upgrade will change the stats less then it does now.
That means basically every single unit after the Tool Age will need different stats compared to what they have now.
The unit upgrades have to get cheaper so you don’t spend too much on upgrading your units.
The costs have to be made the same between AoE1 and AoE2.
Knight and Cavalry lines cost nearly the same already but Horse Archer cost Food unlike the Cavalry Archer that costs Wood.
The Scout Ship Line doesn’t cost Wood so that has to change too.
The Age Up costs for the Ages after the Iron Age have to be figures out, maybe the Iron Age has to become cheaper already.
The Iron Age costs as much as the Imperial Age after all.
Late Game AoE1 has a lot higher resource collection speed then AoE2 so that has to be reduced a lot. The AoE1 part will therefor feel a lot slower so the AoE2 part can still be balanced.
Unit lines can’t just end in AoE1 if the unit is needed for that civilisation in the AoE2 part.
That either means less uniqueness in the AoE1 part or having unit line suddenly get upgrades again in Feudal or Castle Age.
Civilisation bonuses have to be consistent between all the ages but I think that’s a small issue.
AoE1 buildings use a different visual scale compared to AoE2 ones so that could look kinda odd and might need to be changed in some way.
There are a lot of challenges to overcome but I think it could be worth it.
It would be an entirely new experience.
This is just an idea. I don’t want to address every single unit, building and technology in detail.
Maybe the game mode could have some more unique features like a system where you automatically transition though Ages so it could be possible that one Age is a downgrade from the previous one.