Unique tech names are so bland - give techs nice names and elaborate on them in the descriptions

There was a discussion about this on another thread… but I feel like this needs a topic of its own…


Blessing Duration, seriously?

Siege crew training… what the hell?

These don’t sound like unique techs. Sounds like something anybody should have. Tell me, why is siege crew training a unique tech? Can’t all civs train siege crew?

(Plot twist: clearly not since cannons can think and move on their own!)

In order to make it actually feel like a unique tech, you need to give it a historically inspired name that actually explains why the Rus could actually pack and unpack siege quickly.

If you’re looking for inspiration, just look at how cards are named in AoE3, since cards are the unique tech equivalents in AoE3.

For example… instead of naming a card “Cheaper Janissaries”, it’s called “Acemi Olglan School”, with a tooltip description that says “Janissaries cost 20% less to train”.

Another example… instead of naming a card “Faster infantry”, for the Ethiopians it’s called “Ethiopian coffee”. The tooltip says something like “The smell of coffee makes all infantry move faster. Infantry: increase speed by 0.5”.
This is truly the way to do it guys! Coffee is culturally important to Ethiopia and they added it into the game, beautifully.

And before you say “Oh it’s easier to read, and it’s good for competitive gameplay”, let me tell you that I don’t care how competitive or not this makes the game. The game needs to be culturally aware, particularly for a game that has invested so much into “history education”.

This isn’t hate. I have pre-ordered the game and will definitely play it a lot. But Relic, come on, you can do better about these little things. Not that hard to do.


I’d like to bring this up again, after seeing “Efficient Production”, “Mounted Accuracy” etc. They just sound like a regular upgrade you get from a regular building, rather than anything “unique”.

It’s not that AOE3 does not have a lot of “generic” names like “Infantry Combat” or “Cheap Churches”, but it’s because there are hundreds of cards/techs out there (which is not the case for AOE4). Not to mention it already has a lot of uniquely-named cards/techs for every civ.
Same does AOE2. There are very generic unique techs like “Drill” etc. (especially for the earlier civs) but still not a lot of them, and there are also far more civs hence more unique techs than AOE4 (currently).

Imagine this:
Yeomanry → Archer Range
Rocketry → Projectile Damage
Bearded Axe → Axe Throwing Technique
Berserkergang → Regeneration Speed.

Virginia Company → Cheap Manors
Tulip Speculation → Efficient Banks
Spanish Armada → Enhanced Galleon
Ottoman mosque techs → Faster Villager Production / Higher Villager Cap level 1~3

Same for units. “Royal Knight”…ugh, does this name sound any unique, or any French, especially when placed right next to a “Knight”?

Again, previous games also have a few very generic names but not a lot. Huskarl is not called “Guard Swordsman” or “Shielded Swordsman”, and Janissary is not called “Royal Hand Cannoneer”, etc. It’s not that you need to make everything sound unique, but I don’t see how it would hurt to do so when there is room for that.

And I know the “gameplay is king” crowd would consider this as unimportant. Fine. Nobody is going to boycott the game just because of this, but I’m disappointed that the devs didn’t attend to these nice details which do not really take a lot of resources or researches.


When done well, Age of Empires civilizations are beautiful, immersive, and deep. Details spring to life and add little nuggets of flavor everywhere, and people learn about history without even realizing it. They are as close as we get to works of art.


I actually explored this issue in my UI video. I think what they tried to do is appeal more to the casual player here, but they dumbed it too much on many elements.

Again, I mentioned this elsewhere… but Relic has been perplexing with AoE4 - given that they’ve been very meticulous and detailed on certain things in the game (which is fantastic), but dare I say lazy on other elements. The juxtaposition of those things in the game gives off a mixed reaction. They’ve done the hard parts, but skipped on some of the easy ones for some reason. The Civilization names, for example, are an even worse example of this. Nothing mods can’t fix, but I would’ve preferred these names to be universal and official.


I don’t think that would appeal to casual players either, as a casual player myself.
Say if I see “Efficient Production”. I have no idea what it really affects. Unit production speed? Gather rate? How would I know it actually affects scholars? It makes little difference if it is called “madrasa” or sth (just making this up) even if I do not know what it means.
Same with “siege crew training”. Does it effect siege weapon stats and what stats? Or does it reduce the cost or production time?

I wanna smoke what he got :sweat_smile:
But i feel you. I still have that printed age of kings manual where you could read up on every unit and tech concerning gameplay as well as historical background info (of dubious accuracy, but still awesome attention to detail).

But yeah, some love put into that would be nice to see. It would only help to make this “the AOE of the modern history-geeking youth”. They already have been marketing so hard in that direction, maybe ensure that the ingame elements reflect that before making another trebuchet video : P


To be honest, the same could be said about the other approach. What is Parthian Tactics? What does it affect? Or Bloodlines?

Both of these approaches simply don’t convey everything - as you need to hover on the tech and learn what it is by reading anyway. Since we all have to read the tech regardless, naming them “Efficient Production” becomes redundant and takes the soul out of the game.


Honestly, I think this would be a great change. Right now, I frankly have trouble telling the difference between generic techs and the keystone techs that are supposed to make a faction unique even when explicitly reading the tech tree - and no, a tiny star that’s easy to miss at a glance isn’t enough. Giving these techs more unique names would both make these unique techs more obvious (by contrasting against the more generic ‘improved weapons’-type names) and give civs additional flavor.

I’d also give unique techs a different background color to make them stand out, but maybe there’s an accessibility reason for the current coloring (color-blindness or the like).

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Haha I take that as a compliment. I love AoE civ design so much. It’s my favorite nerd passion. AoE4’s failure to deliver in this area is a dealbreaker for me.


Well done my friend – you succinctly stated the counter point and then resolved the dispute. The language of each civs matters and in good hands helps create an immersive experience. Every word helps set the scene. Care should be given to the etymology and historical significance. Tech names are labels that almost always need further definition, so it’s no problem to leave that up to the UI.

By way of example, here are the unique techs used in the Romans for AoEO. I don’t think you could read them and not realize which civ you are using. Some of the names are attenuated from their specific buffs and stats, but they are still in the ballpark.

Even the english words used generally have Latin etymology (Citizenship, Patronage, Arch Construction, etc.). Obviously not every civ lends itself that perfectly to this kind of stuff, but I submit that there’s artful phrasing out there for everybody.


We need AoEO:DE with normal graphic and i will play it until the end of my life XD

Hey, it even provides gold themed icons… but wait, what is that? Depicting something actually meaningful, and not the same arrow-against-wall three times, makes for much more recognizable icons!? Even without color!?
: O
Witchcraft! Burn this man at the stake!

I have to admit: I like browsing the tech trees more than actually playing Project Celeste :see_no_evil:


This naming convention is nice! At some point down the line, I will try AoEO for sure.

It’s like the game went straight from pre-production/concepts to release :laughing: Those are clearly the placeholder names.

I think this is just where gaming is at this point in time. Lifeless, bland, uninspired shell with Windows 8 UI on top of it. No soul whatsoever. +1 upgrade this +1 upgrade that… ehhh

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I think about AoEO civs more than I play the game, too. AoEO is my happy place.

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I wish tech names were more interesting too.

but the blunt description approach also has its charms in a weird way. why not give it a unique name and bluntly describe the effects in its details. best of both worlds.


I know it is heresy everytime we ask for stuff that appeared in later AoE games, but man those games get a lot right.


They say it’s time to see YOUR feedback in action.
Well, let’s see how much of that is left after release. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I remain forever optimistic and open to being proven a total fool. No opinion is worth holding if it cannot withstand challenge.


At least the community now can expect no more beta’s and stress tests.