The Slav problem - and a solution proposal

I recently watched the interview with one of the developers of the original AoE2 and Conquerers where he was to guess all the new civs since he didn’t know anything about the new expensions and Definitive Edition back then.

When asked about a new civ from eastern Europe he was suprised the Lithuanians made it in but not e.g. the Poles.
Since Slavs are already added as a civ it will be hard to justify seperate introductions of Poles, Russians, Serbs etc.

Therefore it would make sense to keep the Slavs as a civ but make them unique by being the only civ that can “evolve” into a sub civ - the Poles/Russians/Czechs/Serbs/Croats etc.

I think adding additional unique unites for each would be unbalanced and unfair so instead I suggest some kind of passive sub-civ bufs where certain units, like Husars for the Poles, become stronger/more resistant or cheaper or the Russians get a “Kremlin bonus” for their walls and towers.

There certainly needs to be some kind of balance with this to not make it too complicated, but I think this would be the right way since I have the feeling the number of civs is getting out of hand . From a historic/lignuistic point of view this also makes sense since slavic languages started diverging relativly late compared to other linguistic groups and they started emerging later aswell (6th century) compared to some other people.

Well, I would like to here some comments/suggestions on my proposals, even those which are against this for a good reason.


So like instead of a single castle age button you have like a Polish, a Lithuanian and a Rus castle age button, and the age up message other players get tells them what you went for? (Keeping Bulgars/Bulgarians and Magyars out of it maybe? Also limit it to 3 or maybe 4 options?)

That’s… not actually that crazy compared to other new style civs. Maybe make sure they don’t have any of those really early castle age bonuses, like cheaper knights or free blacksmith upgrades, give opponents just a little time to react. It should be fine in terms of unique units. Plenty of time before those start coming out.

And for deathmatch and such you get a button to choosen your subciv in the lobby.

This could work…

It’s not a very structural solution to the general concept of umbrella civs, but it’d be a cool gimmick.

It’s even sort of thematic. Like for Indian civs you might actually want them to start further apart and grow closer, but for the Slavic nations it might make some sense to grow out of this post-Roman-Hunnic melting pot.

I’m not really expecting the developers to release a DLC that takes away existing civs though, so that’s a bit of a problem…

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Yes, so when you progress to let’s say Castel age you get to choose which sub civ you become. It’s a bit similar to the Revolution thing in AoE3.

I figured this mechanism would be both historically more correct and adding a unique twist/gimmick instead of introducing seperate Rus/Poles etc. civs.

Also, the Bulgars where initially a turkic people and then became assimilated by Slavs during the middle ages. The Magyars could have gone through the same procedure, but they retained their language/identity although they culturally and also physically became pretty much identical to their slavic neighbourgs.

Oh yeah. I think a Slavic campaing around Poland/Russia + Teutons and Serbia/Croatia/Bosnia + Bulgars would be nice. It’s a whole piece of history left out.

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Instead, people just could stop being so sensitive about their cultural background to be represented within a 20 year old game… It‘s getting ridiculous!


If you think I’m sensitive with my identity because of a 20 year old game I’m very sorry for you.
This has everything to do with AoE2 and my love for history since I started playing this as a kid back then and very little with my culture background.

Im not really sure what the “problem” is.

The whole concept of those “civilizations” we have in Aoe2 has little to do with medivial times. We have overlapping concepts of cultural identity, empires and regional powerstructures, all captured with this same word - “civilization”. This is not exclusive for slavs, but it affects more or less every civilization. And it isn’t really that big of a problem - the game is fun to play, and this is what matters. If you want to play something that is based on historical accuracy, you might want to look for another game.


except aoe2 plays very fast and loose with history, look at the william wallace campaign as an example.


This is basically a suggestion to turn an AoK civ into an Age of Mythology civ, picking “ethnicity” instead of new "gods (lol, could also be a religious thing, picking catholic vs Orthodox).

Somehow, I don;t feel they’d overhaul an existing civ by adding brand new mechanics for it. Additionally, it’d be a real PITA to balance for MP, since you’d have to be essentially balancing whatever number of permutations of a civ could get as individual civs; There’n s a reason AoM never got more than 5 main civs.

Also, on a personal note, I’d rather avoid too rigid of a “speccing” into Early Modern states. Imho for Middle Ages it makes more sense to stick with broader groups since ethnic identity was still more fluid.


If they did this for Slavs they would have to do it for so many civs to be consistent. I dont think this is a good mechanism for AOE2.

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Correct all the umbrella civis should get this mechanic.

To me this sounds really ridiculous.for a mod maybe but not to the base game.umbrella cicivis are fine no need to change.

or we can just make new civs and get rid of umbrella civs. frankly that sounds a lot better then trying to usher in aom/aoe3 mechanics to me.

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Im sure(hope) they will add poland soon and we all can move from this discussion.

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Not for another year at least, :roll_eyes:

Longer if they decide to do Asia first.

Well I am not one of those history enthuasts that thinks any civ being in the game is that important but deciding your future bonuses on age up similar to AoE3 and AoM is something they should add in the game for at least 1 civ. It would promote flexibility, which is skill intensive.

The problem is that you cant sharply divide the two.

A very prominent example would be the HRE. I think we can all agree that it does not represent a civilization. Yet, the subjects of the emperor did respect him - they did accept beeing part of the HRE, it just didn’t have too much importance on their daily life.
The HRE would probably be what you call an “umbrella civ”. So lets go one level down, lets look at the area of what today is Switzerland (you could do this for pretty much any other region as well). Would that fit as a civilization? Not really. It was a confederacy, pretty much the definition of an umbrella. The different regions had a completly different economic basis (e.g. Cattle for Waldstätte, mercenaries for Bern, crafting for Zürich (not exclusivly ofc, but different focus for different regions)). They didnt even speak the same language, if you include the Drei Bünde or the later conquered western territory. So its still an umbrella, within the umbrella of the HRE.
So lets just go another level down! Lets just look at one of the protostates within the confederacy. Surely THIS has to finally be a real civ, not an umbrella anymore. So lets look at the Drei Bünde. Oops. “Drei Bünde” means “three confederacies”. Jep, thats right: Within the confederacy, one of the members was another confederacy, composed of three confederacies. And not only by name: People in the Drei Bünde spoke either lombardian dialects, german, or rumantsch. So we have an umbrella within an umbrella within an umbrella. It just doesn’t stop.

While this might be an extreme case, it really is a general problem at least for the european history: Homogenization of cultures was a process, stretched over centuries and only really accelerated once nation states became strong enough to enforce it. Searching for destinct cultures as we know them today is questionable and in most cases anachronistic. And thats not even going into the problem if the games timespan, which is just huge.

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We don’t need this. We need independent civs.


Yes add poles bohemians finns albanians swiss valachs to cover missing european areas.


Does this include gypsies and Irish?

Anyway yes i think we should have 100 civs (with all the complications they bring due to balancing and coding and people crying about inaccurate skins and voices) and further fueling the people saying India has a poor representation while every household in Europe literally has its own civ…


So the Slavs are a problem, but a civ like Indians is fine? If there is a civ that is seen as umbrella civ, then it are the Indians. And there are more umbrella civs. So i am not really sure about the problem setting.

exactly. china, india, slavs, saracens, and others are all umbrella civs. its nothing new.