As most of you probably remember, I have made quite a few polls in the past few months/years regarding the future content you wished for. The first one was for AoE1, but here I want to focus exclusively on AoE2 (RoR not included). I’ve thought for a long time about going back on all those polls to reflect on the results, the evolution of the game since all of this started and what we can hope or expect for the future of the game. And also the future of my polls. I absolutely don’t know whether or not anyone but me may be interested, but I thought to myself at worst people will just not read this (and hopefully go on with their life rather than flame the thread) and at best we may have some interesting conversations.
Note before starting: There are several times when the results of those polls coincide with what the devs decided to do. Now I don’t think they read those threads and were influenced by the conversations, as in all those cases things were most likely decided before our votes (you’re free to say otherwise if you want to boost my ego, but you should be prepared to face the consequences if I become too full of myself), but it still shows that the wishes of the community can be quite close to what the devs already see as good ideas.
Additional note, when I talk about “Honorable mentions”, I’m referring to civs which were not in the top 5 but received at least 10% of the votes.
My very first poll was about what the focus of the next dlc (after Dawn of the Duke) should be. I will probably do the same poll (but differently) after RoR is released, but I don’t know yet if I should rather necro it or create a new thread. As you can see, the top position was occupied by South Asia, which was indeed the focus of the next dlc. It was the very first correct prediction from the community, so yay for us :^p
It was followed by the Caucasus and North and Central America with an equal number of votes, and then East and Southeast Asia and South and Central Africa (in other words, the Bantu area). Europe was just outside of the top 5 and was followed by South America, Russia and the Middle East. Finally, East and West Africa and the Pacific Ocean all received only 1% of the votes.
I have to point out however that those results don’t necessarily align with those of other polls. In the one about the Americas, we have South American civs as the first, third and fifth most requested ones, and in the African poll we have two East African civs in the top 5. But maybe I’m going too fast.
If I did the poll today, I would probably split the world into smaller parts, add non regional options (time periods or different themes), replace the meme option “The one place that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism: Space!” with the now regular “None” (or maybe I should present both options?) and add for each option examples of new civs in brackets, as some people pointed out to me that they didn’t understand what some options stood for.
We had 86 voters (with obviously an equal number of votes, since I made the mistake of not releasing the poll as multichoice).
The South Asian poll came next because I had noticed it was the first result in the first one and also because I really, really wanted it to be a thing. The top 5 was, as follow: Tamil/Chola, Bengali, Afghan, Rajastani/Rajput and Nepali + Odia/Oriya with an equal percentage of votes (though the last two came after the neutral options “I don’t know” and “I don’t care”). As you may have noticed, it came very close to what DoI brought to us. Tamils are the main civ under the Dravidian umbrella (the tech tree is clearly designed after them and the campaign follows a Chola king), the Gurjaras and the Rajputs are arguably the same thing, I don’t need to explain the Bengali, and even though the Hindustani are technically the old Indian civ, the Afghans are still under their umbrella at this point.
Honorable mentions can go to the Assamese, Kannadiga and Punjabi, which makes me think if the devs ever want to revisit the subcontinent (which is far from a given), they should probably start with a Bengali split adding Oriya (or Kalinga, as the name seems more popular) and Assamese. However, if I had to do this poll again, I would probably add some other options such as the Manipuri or the Maghadi (the second one probably has more potential, as it would serve to represent the late Gupta empire). I would also give for each proposed civ at least one example of a medieval state to represent them during the time period, as I did in most of the following polls. I would like to remove some civs such as the Marathi which aren’t relevant in this time period, but since there are always people to vote for them I guess they should stay.
The only two civs to receive no votes in this poll were the Bihari and Sindhi, which is probably not so surprising as they are relatively obscure.
We had 52 voters, which is the second lowest in terms of results. Maybe because the focus was on a smaller region than any other poll.
Finally, most peoples voted for only two new civs to be added to the region, which for once didn’t align with the devs’ plans since we got three.
We then have the Western Asian poll, which included the Caucasus, Middle East, Central Asia and Pontic Steppe all at once because even though together they offer a lot of possibilities, separately there’s little possibilities for most of them.
Somewhat predictably, the Caucasian civs dominate the poll, with the Georgians and Armenians in first and second position respectively. They are followed by the Afghans (which were both in this poll and the South Asian one as they are relevant in both regions, and they are in third place both times so it seems they are relatively popular), Kazars and Khitans (which will both make a comeback in later polls.
Honorable mentions for the Göktürks, Alans, Avars, and the quite controversial Crusaders. The most popular candidates for a Saracen split were the Omani and Yemeni, with 8% of votes each. Azeri, Bedouins, Circassians and Tajiks all had zero votes.
If I had to do this poll again, I would NOT include the dates at which relevant states existed, it made every poll so much longer… I would also probably change some of the options in Central Asia and make it clearer which civs would be split from which umbrella.
We had 70 voters here, which is quite average.
Most people voted for two civs to be added, which makes the Caucasian dlc an even stronger candidate.
For the East Asian poll, I have to point out @KarstHillFort77 made his own thread a few days earlier than me. I still decided to do my own thread though, as I thought some options were missing (including the neutral and none ones). The top 5 is relatively similar anyway, except for the fifth position which is the Chams in my Poll and the Polynesians in the other one. I grouped the traditional East Asia with Southeast Asia, as well as Oceania since there were not enough civs to do a separate poll for the last one (though I hesitate to group them with the Americas instead and I could maybe have included more choices such as Maoris and Hawaiians).
The top 5 (in my poll) was as follow: Tibetans, Siamese/Thai, Jurchens, Khitans (again) and Chams. Honorable mentions to the Göktürks (also again), Tanguts, Uyghurs, Tongans/Polynesians and Lao. Unsurprisingly the main possibilities for future dlc seem to be either a north Chinese split or a continental Southeast Asian dlc, but an Himalayan dlc with Tibetans and Nepali may also be a possibility (Kashmiri may be interesting too, but their achievements don’t seem to be well-known). It’s worth noting that 8% voted for a split between Malays and Javanese, but aside from the Chams no other Malay civ received more than 5% of the votes. Shan and Sulawesi received 0 votes. If I had to do this poll again, I think I would put less Malay options and more Oceanian ones.
We had 94 voters here, which is the second highest number (and the higher for regional dlcs).
Most people voted for 3 civs to be added.
I’m not sure which poll I did next, as I released the last three regional ones the same month and when it’s too old you only have the month and year. I think it was the African one.
The top 5 was as follow: Shona, Nubians, Swahili, Congolese, Somali. Interestingly enough, West Africa is entirely out of it despite having quite a few interesting candidates. But I have to say, if we exclude West Africa this top is not surprising at all for someone who knows a little bit of African history. It’s also worth noting that some of the honorable mentions received more than 20% votes (up to 28%), which forces me to create the very very honorable mentions for the Edo (Benin), Songhai, Kanuri (Kanem-Bornu) and Soninke (Ghana empire). Regular honorable mentions include the Yoruba, Hausa and Vandals. It makes me think maybe I should have split Africa into two parts for this poll. The Imbangala, Mossi and Nyasa received 0 votes (which is relatively surprising for the Mossi). It’s the first time since I started giving example of states for each civ that I didn’t include the dates of foundation and destruction, as I often couldn’t find them, and to be honest I should have worked this way from the start.
We had 82 voters for this poll, and as you may have noticed the results were quite different.
Most people voted for 3 to 4 civs to be added (it’s also when I started grouping the results for the second poll, which I think work better), but I think many wouldn’t complain if we got more since this continent is still quite underrepresented.
The American poll was a little bit of a mess, as I spent too much time researching civs that may civ, adding and removing candidates several times (mostly in North America and the Amazon), and it probably resulted in my biggest oversight with the Muisca not being included.
The top 5 include the Chimus, Zapotecs, Mississippians, Mapuche and Tarascans. There are also very very honorable mentions again with the Wari, Iroquois and Tlaxclatecs. As for the honorable mentions, we have Toltecs, Apaches, Mixtecs, Pueblos and Sioux. Obviously, the missing Muisca may have taken some votes from a few of those options had they been in the poll, and maybe they would even have been in the top. Finally, we have a record number of 0 votes with the Algonquins, Cañari, Caribs, Creeks, Powhatans, Qulla, Shuhars, Cherokee and Hurons. Anyway, the Meso and Andine civs obviously dominate the poll, but it seems some people would really like North American Natives too. The Amazon, however, doesn’t seem to attract so many people.
All results should also be mitigated by the fact that we only had 50 voters. Also, most people only voted for 1 to 2 civs.
Europe was the end of our world trip and oh boy was it divisive. To begin with, it was the only time “None” was the main result for both polls, and no civ received more than 30% votes. But still some may still want to know the results, the top 5 was Venetians, Vlachs/Romanians, Swiss, Serbians and Croatians. Only the Kazars and the Flemish/Frisians/Dutch receive an honorable mention, but on the other hand only the Pomeranians and Rhenish received 0 votes. I have to point out though that the European fatigue was probably at its highest at this point, with roughly half of the civs in game already being European, the last two dlc being entirely focused on Europe, and the previous one being split between Europe and Central Asia, and many debates about whether or not there should be new European civs (or new non-European civs) causing a lot of drama in the community. Maybe the results would be quite different now, or right after DoI’s release.
Finally, we had 62 voters for this poll. Most of those who didn’t vote for no new European civs picked 3 to 4.
I then switched to an entirely different concept when RoR was announced, with polls focusing not on regions but rather on time periods. There were already a lot of talks about whether or not the Romans should be included in the game or in this dlc, and I wondered if we could have other candidates so I started with Late Antiquity. In insight, I should probably have included the Early Middle Ages to a certain point (probably until the end of the reign of either Justinian or Heraclius) and avoided going earlier than the battle of Frigidus, but at the time I thought “Hey, why not go as far as the Crisis of the Third Century?”
I should also have made it clearer that the poll was only about a dlc focusing on this time period, thus even if the civs were relevant after they would mostly be modeled after how they appeared at this point in time, which would maybe have changed some peoples’ votes. But to be honest, I’m not sure most voters would have cared…
On another note, it’s the return of dates of existence for the example states, as I thought I may need a proof that those civs actually existed during the relevant time period.
Even though most people voted for “None” in the poll about the number of civs, this time it’s only the fourth pick when it comes to civ choices, and the first two are slightly above 40% votes. The top 5 include the Romans (not so surprising considering the main focus, but it’s worth noting they were at 6% in the European poll and to many people they should never have been even considered…), Armenians, Vandals, Saxons, and our good old friends the Göktürks. Honorable mentions: Avars, Lombards, Xianbei, Gallics, Yemeni, Alans and Guptas (which I should maybe have called Maghadi). 0 votes for the Cornish and ########## which didn’t really surprise me.
Aside from the Romans who ended up being added to the game and the Armenians which should probably be added in a Caucasian dlc at some point anyway, it seems there’s a possible interest for a dlc about Early Medieval Germanic kingdoms (Vandals, Saxons, possibly Lombards), and even though they are rarely the most requested civ, the Göktürk always have their fanbase when they are mentioned, and maybe the could come together with other Early Steppe civs such as the Avars and/or the Xianbei.
There was an all time record of 97 voters for this poll (possibly because of the hype around RoR, or at least it being topical), and aside from the “None” votes it’s the first time the majority asked for 5+ civs, which shows how divisive the question was.
Finally, the last poll (to this date) was about civs from the Early Modern Era, focusing mostly on civs who arguably had a golden age between 1450 and 1600 and a few which only appeared during this time period. It was not the easiest poll to do, as I didn’t expect to have such a large variety of choices, and I ended up cutting some options arbitrarily to avoid having too many choices. It also rubbed some people the wrong way that I didn’t include their country because I thought it was at its peak earlier in the Middle Ages. Also, most if not all options also appear in regional polls. Anyway, the results were quite split apart but the “None” option is low enough that I wouldn’t necessarily see this concept as a bad idea… Though as I’ll explain later, there are other reasons why I’m still uncertain about its viability.
The top 5 is quite surprising this time: Swiss, Somali, Swahili, Wlach/Romanians and Congolese. The Thai/Siamese are alone in the very very honorable mentions, but we have a record number of regular honorable mentions with the Dutch, Chimu, Venetians, Edo, Mapuche, Austrians, Hausa, Tarascans, Songhai, Swedes, Bavarians, Muisca and Tlaxcaltecs. There were 0 votes for the Gujarati and Tuaregs.
Now, the main reason why I’m unsure is that in my head, the best way to do such a dlc would be with 4 new civs, one from each continent in the game, and the results seem to be a little bit too split apart for that with only two continents in the top 5 and the first American civ being number 8. It may not be such a huge problem though, especially with most people voting for 3 to 4 new civs.
Also, this last poll had 81 voters.
In summary, I think the safest bets for future dlc would be Caucasus, Himalaya (if Tibetans can make it into the game), North China, Indochina, East Africa, Bantu area and Central Asia.
On an almost final note, the only civs to reach 50% votes in the polls they appeared in were, from top to bottom: The Tibetans for East Asia (68% people willing to anger the CCP), the Georgians for West Asia (65%), the Tamils for South Asia (59%), the Siamese for East Asia again (57% in my poll, 54% in @KarstHillFort77’s poll), the Shona for Africa (56%) and finally the Jurchen in East Asia again (exactly 50%).
On a true final note, I have to reiterate the fact that the censorship is extremely annoying and random and prevented me from writing the name of several real life countries and civilizations.
I hope some people enjoyed the long read (or at least parts of it), especially considering how much time I’ve spent writing and formatting it.