Splitting up the Subcontinent into a 3-4 civs is acceptable

Countless arguments, posts, and complaints have been made screaming for the splitting of Italians and Teutons and Slavs into separate civs… and then there are those Age players who clamour for more African civs and North American civs to be included in a game that is already quite old, and only covers a relatively small period of human civilization: the medieval ages.

Now… technically the medieval ages or “Middle Ages” for Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and North Africa occurred from roughly 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D. In China, Korea, and Japan their own “medieval ages” lasted as late as the 1800s A.D., while the European continent was already jumped into the Industrial Revolution and have completed the Renaissance and moved onto the Age of Enlightenment and Age of Science.

Anyway… suffice to say that the whole historical accuracy of Age of Empires II is not perfect. But based on how Age II’s predecessor and successor have operated: Age I and Age III respectively, we know that only the most Ancient of civilizations belong in Age I, and the more technologically advanced and “scientific” nation-states (key word: nation-states) belong in Age III.

Age II is the middle man here: regions that were not quite “nationalistic” to be put into Age III but not so ancient to be put into Age I. The Byzantines for examples, i.e. the medieval Romans, or at least the Ancien Romans Greco-Roman descendants, are not ancient in the slightest as the Byzantine state was very much medieval in politics, military development, and technology.

Basically what I am saying is that North Americans and most other South Americans outside of the Incan-Andean Empire are not suitable in Age II; they are too primitive, and they especially remained isolated well into the Early Modern Era, until encroaching Europeans, such as the Spanish and Portuguese, forced drastic changes in their cultures so that they began using muskets and iron weapons to combat the European threat. But all that is more suited for Age III, as Age III already has done. Any argument that we need more Meso-American civs in Age II is frankly, foolish. Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans already cover both North and South American continents for Age II representation.

(Side note: perhaps the Olmecs should be added into Age I to represent ANCIENT Meso-Americans? Wouldn’t that be something!)

As for Africans, methinks that the Nubians (medieval Sudanese) can be added as one more African civ… but after Malians and Berbers and Ethiopians… there is not much else of African civs that have properly connected with the rest of the world in medieval age time period. The Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, mind you… were indeed in their “medieval era” at the same time Europe and Eurasia were in their medieval era, and the embassies, the Silk Road, and the Mongol Empire stretching out and further connecting the two far flung regions proves that Eurasia shared a similar time period. It is just that the Europeans advanced faster than the East Asians and Middle Easterners could catch up, hence they the former was in the Early Modern Era while the latter two remained Medieval.

Anyway…

Back to what I said in the beginning: Italians and Teutons should not be split up. The former, represents the entire Italian peninsula (Sicilians are more of an add-on, not a “civ split” as Italians never changed. Same goes with Burgundians, while Franks civ remained as-is) and does it quite well. Italians civ clearly represents the maritime might of Venice, Genoa, Ragusa, Pisa, and Amalfi… all thalassocracies (maritime nations) with the emphasis of good archers, infantry, and gunpowder which ALL Italian city-states shared. Sure, the UU is clearly stated to be “Genoese Crossbowman” i.e. from Genoa, which has pissed off Venetian fans in the Age fandom… but all Italian powers throughout the medieval ages shared an emphasis on crossbowmen, plus Genoese Crossbowmen themselves were hired out as mercenaries both throughout Italy within, and without. Sames for the Condotierro, units not exclusive to either Venice or Genoa or the other Italian powers.

If you split the Italians civ, you will only cause more problems for this videogame. Same goes for Teutons: it would be hard to justify unique Wonders, civ-special units/Unique Units for each Germanic civ like Bavarians, Austrian/Hapsburgs, Saxons, Westphalians… when the one and only “Teutons” civs currently already covers them all quite well.

Now… why is the Subcontinent so special then? Why do the Indian civ get split then? “It is not fair!” I hear you all cry out…

Well, dear reader, the Subcontinent is very much like a “continent” in that it is very very diverse politically AND culturally ANd linguistically. I have a best friend who is Indian, and he very much hammered home to me the education that there are a dozen unique languages in India alone and even several “Indian races”. Now… as far as Age II is concerned, the medieval history of India is such that there were quite stark differences between regions, such as the Hindustani peoples and the Dravidians down south.

Unlike the Venitians and the Genoese, the Dravidians and the Hindustani had sizeable differences: their races were quite different in their peoples’ size, their skin colour, their languages’ root origin, and style of government and military. Now… of course them being rivals to each other throughout the Ancient and medieval time periods have resulted in the Hindustani and Dravidian peoples sharing some ideas, social customs, and military styles with one and the other… but they remained pretty much culturally divided until only more recently, in the 19th century (even then, some historians claim that they are not quite one and the same people living in India as “Indians”). Genoese and Venitians were nearly the same to each other back in the Middle Ages as they are today; their “divide” was not much in civilization as it was by politics. Venetians were the Republic of Venice and the Genoese were of the Republic of Genoa/Duchy of Milan. But both were “Italian” even if they did not want to admit it then and only did so later in the Napoleonic era of the 19th century, when true Italian nationalism took root.

The same is for the Germans, i.e. “Teutons”. All the political divides were all political. Not cultural. Bavarians, Saxons, Austrians were all very much “Teutonic” in the Middle Ages. One civ covers them nicely.

Same goes for the Vikings. Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians are all nicely summed up in this great videogame as “Vikings”.

Now there have been calls for Slavs to be renamed “Rus” and be split up into separate civs. Well, the “Slavs” here in this game are pretty much “East Slavs” while West Slavs finally got representation via Poles, Bohemians, and Balkan Slavs by Bulgarians (methinks that perhaps Bosnians/Croatians can be added as one or two new Age II European civs, but that is for another discussion). If you study medieval Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian history, as I have… you will note that much of that region was all Boyar country. The Slavs in-game have the Boyar as a UU, and speak a Russian dialect which is not all too-different from Ukrainian and Belarusian today. Therefore, Slavs currently is fine as is, being the civ that represents all “East Slavs” which the Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarussians indeed are.

Anyway, that is all I got for today. Go away, now!

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Well, you posted this here to be read and I read it.
Some things I agree with, some I don’t.
I think if you’re trying to convice people of something, you shouldn’t include attacks on people you’re trying to persuade.
It’s a big giant rambly post and maybe I missed some details of yours but I think I got the jist of it though.
I’m going to use the opportunity to say something myself.

I think this quote sums up a lots of posting here, where I feel like people want to characterise someone who feels differently to them as an antagonist who has nothing but the opposite opinions.
There’s also a bit of a culture around civs where people who have their own historical preferences will attempt to attack the historical “legitimacy” of a civs that they’re not interested in.
“My civ is deserving because yours is irrelevant or doesn’t count!” or something like that.
A strawman example, but I’m trying to capture that attitude of a wide group of people.

I’m personally open to the idea of more Euro civs, probably a bit biased for them, but in your post you imply that I’m outraged about the new South Asian civs being added.
I think people were justified in complaining about the weird historical (and gameplay) design of the “Indians” civ and I’m glad that it has been changed.
I think AoE2 going to South Asia was a fun and logical idea and I’m excited for the next DLC.
So, I don’t think it was “unfair” at all.

What I do think is fair regarding the opinions of what civs should be added, is that it’s more of a two way street.
Either you’re more open into delving deeper into possibilities of civs from anywhere, or you’re not open to new civs at all.
The only fair arguments regarding this stuff (in my opinion at least) are gameplay arguments, with greater emphisis on multiplayer than singleplayer content.
Arguments that go like “that civ shouldn’t be added because I like this other one more” are worthless.

Everyone here needs to be more positive here, more open-minded and more gameplay focused.

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Theres a ton of cool civs to add in Africa and a ton of them interacted with the outside world

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No one here was against breaking up the Indian umbrella.

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I really appreciate your point of view, however, I must mention that civilizations like China or the Inca Empire encompass many medieval cultures, which is why I consider it feasible to divide those civilizations into different playable factions.

I will take as an example the representation of South America from the game Europe Universalis 4:

Eurasia+Africa (1444)

Mesoamerica (1444):

South America (1444):

South America (1520):

I am aware that AoE2 is a game that cannot encompass the same number of civilizations as a game as EU4, however “representative samples” can be taken from each continent, if the Indian subcontinent (with an area of 4,480,000 km² ) can cover 4 “representative civilizations”, I consider that areas such as what was the Tawantinsuyo (Inca Empire) with an extension of 2,500,000 km² can have 1 or 2 more “representative civilizations”. It’s just my opinion, but you have to remember that many of those civilizations were already in the bronze age with advanced social structure.

I believe that special respect should be paid to the 6 cradles of civilization:

Conclusions:

  • For now the European civilizations are well represented, but I would like that in some future there may be divisions in the classic AoE 2 civilizations (such as the Teutons and Italians).
  • Historical accuracy must be improved, an “umbrella civilization” is not enough for geographical areas as extensive and culturally varied as the Chinese and Inca (From this civilization even 4 different civilizations can be developed more which can be as different including coastal naval civilizations as Amazon civilizations).
  • The principle of the AoE 2 game is to entertain and be competitive, I also believe that there should be a maximum number of civilizations, but perhaps the only people who can define the maximum number of civilizations that AoE 2 can cover are the elite players, but that only It’s my perception.
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I understand that this post might be just a rant and all, but I agree and disagree with many of your points. I’d like to touch on a few if I may…

This I agree with,

this I do not. There are at least 2 other Meso-American civs worthy of note: Tarascans(Purepecha), and Zapotecs (not because of the youtube video). Both were equally powerful in regional might and influence compared to their already-present contemporaries, the Aztecs and Mayans, and should imo be included along with them due to their own individual regional importance. As far as the Incans covering everything to do in the Andes region… no. The Chimu were very fierce rivals to the Incans for a great many years, and the Musica were another influential culture in SA that held many interactions with both the Incas and Chimu, and the Spanish colonizers. They were also the people who were responsible for the myth of El Dorado, for what that is worth.

The Yoruba, the Mossi, the Somali, and the Swahili are all cultures that had a regional power presence and held interactions with representatives of civs from near and abroad at various points during the timeline. They all also have contemporary civs already included in the game that held extensive interactions with them at one point or another, among them being their adoption of weaponry, religion, tactics, and society from those visitors from abroad. I think that, even if you stick with just those and your suggestion, 5 civs is not “not much else”.

No, it won’t. You’re just being dramatic. A possible Venetian civ, however enticing it may be though, is a lesser concern compared to other civs that should hold more of a priority for addition.

Um… where was this complaint made? I don’t really remember anybody who was against an Indian civ split. In fact, the only arguing about it I ever saw was about which civs would it split into…

Um… no. That is not the case at all. Venetians had so many different influences that were imported from their territories, shared ancestry with the Byzantine Empire, and their proximity to the Balkans that they were wholly culturally unique when compared to the other Italian states. Even the Venetian language was quite different from the Italian that was spoken by the other city-states thanks to those influences.

Also worth note would be their non-inclusion into both the Lombard and the Holy Roman Kingdoms of Italy, which brought a wider Germanic influence into the rest of the peninsula but not into Venice proper. Sure, politics played their part in the separation between Venice and the rest of Italy, but that part is only one part of a whole bevy of different reasons why they are different from the other Italian states.

Italy acquired Venezia proper by treaty, after the Venetians had lost their state and had become occupied by Austria. You also make it seem as if the nationalists were the reason they got it, and not the deals made behind the scenes with France that ceded Nice and Savoy in return for Venezia and Lombardy. Besides, this entire scenario is far beyond the scope of AOE2, and should not be used as a point of discussion due to that irrelevancy. During this timeline, they were not considered “Italian” in any other way than geographically as far as I can recall.

Please choose one. These statements are mutually exclusive. Fine as they are means that they include the South Slavs as well, which runs counter to the first quote.

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Next they should focus in Africa and America. There’s a lot of untapped potential. In most campaigns we have right now in those areas you fight against your own civ and/or a heavily misplaced civ which is just stupid.

Europe has gotten the most love by far and honestly, I’m not going to buy any future Euro expansion until they fix Africa and America.

Especially considering that none of the civs are evem remotely on the local power level than the civs which are still left to add in America and Africa.

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I would suggest you to read Charles Mann 1491.
The Americas were way more populated and had more technological prowess than you might think.

It’s a disgrace that the Inca are so lonely in their campaign when there’s so many potential candidates in the Americas like the Chimu which could assuredly more enrich the game with variety in terms of arch sets and unit composition (only 3 civs using Eagle Warriors) than yet another (Southern) Slavic civ (there’s already Bulgarians).

The others were either under Byzantine, Turk or Magyar control for most of the time frame.

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I disagree with you saying African civilizations other than Nubians do not fit the game.
Somalis, Kanembu, Kongolese, Zimbabweans, Swahili, Kanembu, Songhai and many others are good candidates.

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“Malays” from the Rise of Rajas also possible to be broken into five new civs: Majapahit(to succeed the original Malays), Aceh(an Islamic thalassocracy with impressive forces of heavy galleys, elephants, cavalries on their Persian steeds, and gunpowder corps with European firearms), Malacca(Their founder was raja of Singapura that escaped from Majapahit invasion right before 15th Century), Srivijaya(A major thalassocracy thrived from Sumatra) and Medang(A Hinduist powerhouse thrived from Java before the rise of Srivijaya).

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While I do think that there is room for the Malay being able to split off into separate civs, your suggestion is more in line with AOE4 than AOE2, using nations instead of culture groups. If there would be a Malaysian split along your suggestions, I would hope for it to be along the lines of Javanese (Majapahit and Medang), Sumatrans (Aceh and Srivijaya), and Malaccans instead. That way it’d match the concepts of the rest of the civs in the game.

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Oh I see, with the Sultanate of Aceh included, I bet the Sumatrans will be the only SouthEast Asian civ that have paladins(plus complete techs for cavalries, for their cavalries were mounted on high-quality steeds imported from Persia), both hand cannoneers and bombard cannons(their gunpowder corps also been armed with European arquebuses and cannons), but melee infantries and foot archers will be their weakest military wings, for almost all of them were just conscripts.

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Yeah even just Malay and Java would be great

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I have a very vague understanding of Indian history, but to me the four civilisations supposedly revealed in this leak make sense on closer thought.

The Gurjaras represent the pre-Islamic North Indians who held off the armies of Islam for a long time. People complain about “Gurjara” reflecting too specific a time period, but the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty lasted three centuries before falling to the Ghaznavids and serves as a good namesake for that India. Hence, one unique technology is Kshatriyas, the Hindu warrior aristocracy, while Frontier Guards refers to the in-depth defence against the Caliphate armies.

The Hindustanis represent the Turco-Persian influenced Islamic North Indian civilization. Thus we have “Sultans” and gunpowder bonuses, and Islamic looking camel troops. The Delhi Sultanate is a good example of a historical “Hindustani” state.

Thus, the Hindustani-Gurjara division helps resolve the current “Indian civilisation” identity complex, where you have some commenting on its certain Islamic, Northwestern flavour while also being used in a Rajput campaign.

The Dravidians and Bengalis reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of the Subcontinent.

The Dravidians are a good umbrella civilisation for such historical powers as the Tamil Cholas, who famously projected power as far as Southeast Asia, or the Chalukyas. A greater naval focus sets it apart from the other Indians.

The Bengalis also have a unique flavour, crossing the religious divide by representing perhaps both a state such as the Buddhist Pala Empire or the later Muslim Bengali Sultanate. Throughout history, Bengali states have maintained powerful elephant corps.

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For all the bitching against adding European civs, I still haven’t read a single one person that was against adding civs from Asia specifically so we could have more from Europe, let alone being against Indian civs. Moreover, it’s always a very vocal group of zealots who are against any European civ being added the ones that cry about everything, and then shut up when the expansion arrives, because they suddenly realise no one wants to hear these petty complaints.

Before DE launch: “Noooo we can’t have Bulgarians they are already covered by Slavs already”. “LITHUANIANS Are YOU SERIOUS!? why don’t you just listen to us and add the Mississipians instead!!”

Before LoW: “NOooooo why are you adding Sicilians, they’re literally the same as Italians, they’re in the same peninsula and today they’re the same country!!!”

Before DoD: “NOOoooOooO why are the Poles in this game they’re the same as Slavs, and we have Lithuanians to represent them too” "BOOHEEMIANS!? They were part of the HRE!!!

That being said, I’m much more enthusiastic about a couple of DLCs on Asia than in anywhere else, although I am still a fan for Europe’s history the most.

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You have to learn to remain silent on topics you know nothing and don’t want to know nothing about.

Preach

Preach

#PREACH

You’re trying to explain historical stuff that isn’t mere surface level to people that can exclusively operate by XXI standards. To them, it doesn’t matter if they were adjacent but separate cultures and separate states, if a region shares today political borders with another region, they consider them to be the same people and with the same history. Going against that notion makes them feel like you’re conning them.

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Or maybe they complain when they feel it might serve a purpose.

“Complaining” that the next expansion really should be Indians, not Poles, is a way to try and get people and eventually the devs to see it your way. Complaining that the last expansion should have been Indians and not Poles is telling people to stop having fun with the newest available toy without it possibly accomplishing anything. it’s not like that toy will magically transform. If you at that point want to promote certain civs, you aim for the next expansion.

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Theres been multiple people that have been saying that all Indian civs would be the same and that Indians are the same or wghatever.

Because we think the rest of the world isnt getting a fair representation. Europe is already well represented with almost half the civs, and compared to Asia it doesnt even have half of the variety Asia has and Europe had less than a third of the population of Asia at the time. Africa despite the smaller ammount of possible civs still has a ton of possible stuff to add as wll and a ton of variety

If you cant make Venetians diferent enough from Italians design wise (aka dont adding another naval archer and gunpowder civ from the Mediterranean architecture) then just leave them as they are. The Italians still shared a decemt ammount of stuff back in the day

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Sometimes to get a point across, you have to be willing to insult others.

And I do not mean “insult” as in demean others cruelly. It is not my intention to be cruel or to bully others. If you think that that is what I am trying to do, let me assure you that that is not my intention. If my original post might have come out as that way, then I humble apologize.

However, it is frustrating to me that Age II players complain and complain and complain like whining children for changes that are unrealistic and, perhaps, selfish for a game that to my mind is pretty much spot-on in much of its development.

If you look at man of my previous posts, I have a much nicer, pleasant tone in those articles. This post I admit is one of the angriest I have written.

I am definitely open to being convinced on the merit of adding new African civs… really I am. I harbor no bias against African or her peoples.

But many times have I heard the “we need more African civs JUST BECASUE! Duh!” argument time and time again, mostly from idiots here in the Forums who display no real concept of actual history and act like they read some Wiki articles and claim that they are “history experts”.

I am not against new civs in Age II on principle… but I am opposed to adding new civs without any good reason; and by that I mean civs that can justifiably in the historical record be added into this medieval-themed game, and if the devs can whip up a civ with a Barracks/Stables/Archery Range/Wonder (the last one is very important, particularly for the most nomadic, “Stone Age” civs) set up.

Nubians to me do seem reasonable as an easy new-African civ add in… particularly if the devs want to make a campaign where you play as the Nubians having to repel the Arabic (Saracen) invasions of Nubia, and the fact that Saladin himself employed Archers of the Eyes (Nubian archers) in his army during the Crusades. Again, I am totally open to other African civs, provided that I can be convinced.

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