Hello there AOE IV community!
first of all…
I am not “Malding”
I am grateful and so excited about the new AOEIV expansion! already pre-ordered the expansion.
Really happy with the new civs, the new variants, the Xbox release, 10 new maps, and all.
not that happy with the naming of the variants though…
I would like to discuss this with you… why are some people (including me) not very happy with the new variant names and some suggestions…
AoE has always prided itself on historical depth. Naming a variant after “Jeanne D’arc” feels like an oversimplification. Civilizations encompass vast histories, not just one individual, no matter how significant.
From a player’s perspective, using terms or concepts like ‘Jeanne D’Arc’ as civilizations feels inconsistent with the broader understanding of what constitutes a civilization. This can increase cognitive load as players try to reconcile this representation with their pre-existing knowledge. The deviation from expected definitions can detract from the overall player experience, leading to potential confusion or reduced immersion. Please devs consider aligning the game’s terminology more closely with commonly accepted definitions to enhance player comprehension and satisfaction.
Need for Cognitive Consistency:
We love the “Variant Civilizations”, but the naming clashes with our expectations. It’s like eagerly biting into what you thought was a chocolate chip cookie, only to find out it’s raisin. The core idea is good, but the experience isn’t what we anticipated.
Humans inherently strive for cognitive consistency. This is rooted in our desire to have a harmonious and consistent set of cognitions. When there are inconsistencies or mismatches in the information presented, like using individuals or orders as representations for civilizations, it challenges this harmony.
This drive for consistency might cause players to feel a sense of unease or discomfort when encountering these deviations. The game’s terminology, by not aligning with typical definitions, could create this inconsistency, potentially impacting player engagement and immersion.
Player expectations are shaped by their previous knowledge and experiences. When these expectations are broken, it can lead to feelings of confusion or frustration.
Aligning game concepts more closely with established knowledge can foster a smoother and more intuitive gameplay experience.
Did I come here just to complain? No, I have a few suggestions:
1. Reclassification to “Factions”:
The term “civilization” in the AoE series has always represented broad, culturally rich empires. By introducing unique entities such as “Jeanne D’arc” and “Order of the Dragon” under this umbrella, there’s an inherent inconsistency. Instead of “variant civilizations,” why not classify them as “factions”? Factions would be subgroups or entities that played significant roles within or alongside the larger civilizations, which aligns more accurately with what’s being presented.
2. Aligning the Naming with the New Classification:
With the introduction of “factions,” the naming can be adjusted to better mirror this distinction. Suggestions include:
"House of Jeanne D’arc": This emphasizes the influence and legacy of Jeanne D’arc without reducing an entire civilization to one individual. I know this individual is very important to how this faction will work, this is a battle we are not going to win guys… so let’s keep te Jeanne D’arc but let’s improve it by adding “house of” so we are referring to Jeanne and to all the people that fought with her… so is it not an individual anymore but a faction instead.
"Order of the Dragon": As an order, this already fits well within the “faction” categorization.
“Ayyubids Sultanate”: A sultanate can be perceived as a governing faction within a broader civilization context (Abbasid)
"House of Zhu Xi": This presents Zhu Xi’s teachings and legacy as an influential faction, rather than a civilization unto itself.
- Maintaining Historical Richness:
By making this distinction, we maintain the historical depth and richness that Age of Empires has always prided itself on. Civilizations stand as broad entities, while factions can dive into the more nuanced parts of history, exploring influential orders, houses, or legacies.
4. Resolving Dissonance:
With these changes, players no longer confront the mismatch between expectation and reality. By searching for a “civilization,” one won’t stumble upon an individual or order. Instead, these entities have their own category, preserving the immersion and consistency that AoE4 aims for.
To conclude, while the concept behind these “Variant Civilizations” is innovative and intriguing, perhaps a simple reclassification and renaming can address many of the concerns raised by the community. I’m eager to hear your thoughts and hope our feedback continues to shape the game we all love so much.
Thank you for taking the time to read all these.
I love this game, I did not come here to complain but to make some suggestions to the community and to the devs.