Di [Chinese] (Chang-Han, Former Qin and Later Liang states)
Wei [Chinese] (Cao Wei)
Han [Chinese] (Shu Han)
Wu [Chinese] (Eastern Wu)
Goguryeo [Koreans] (Kingdom of Goguryeo)
Silla [Koreans] (Kingdom of Silla)
Baekje [Koreans] (Kingdom of Baekje)
Yamato [Japanese] (Yamato Kingship)
Cham [Malays] (Kingdom of Champa)
Zapotecs (Oaxaca, Monte Albán)
Mixtecs (La Mixteca)
All of them!
I don’t know
I don’t care
Also, how many of those civs do you want added to the game?
All of them!
I don’t know
I don’t care
Mater mea! Here we go again.
I know I already did a poll on the same topic in the past, but the addition of Romans in RoR and then Armenians in tMR made it obsolete, as they were first and second place in it respectively. So I decided to do it again, with this new version including the whole Early Middle Ages, but… it turned out I had too many candidates for just one poll, so I decided to split it into several parts. And it turns out the first one will cover pretty much the exact same period as its previous version, but with even more options.
Before anyone points out that AoE2 shouldn’t cover Late Antiquity at all 1) it already does, we have Romans and Huns and the Goth campaign starts in the 4th century and 2) after considering the question for a while, I’ve concluded I didn’t care. As for the fact that I extended the timeline as early as the 3rd century, I have to point out that it’s a period of considerable changes for the big empires of the time, with the Three Kingdoms period starting in China in 220, the Sasanian Empires replacing the Parthians in Persia in 224, and obviously the Crisis of the First Century starting in the Roman Empire in 235, so it’s as good a milestone as any in a global world spanning game.
If there’s a civ you think I forgot to include, don’t hesitate to point it out, I’m always happy to learn or be reminded of cool things in history.
All of that being said, let’s vote!
EDIT: Note: I only put states relevant during the time period of this specific poll as exemples, otherwise it might be confusing.
I’m very sorry that something that brings me joy to do makes you grumpy, but since I’m a selfish person I will keep doing things that make me somewhat happy. If my threads annoy you, you’re absolutely welcome to block me, I’m sure it won’t impact either of our lives negatively.
I have no doubts about the 4th century but I’m still unsure if the 3rd century should be in aoe1 or 2… If Palmyrans didn’t exist I wouldn’t have problems saying 2. But then again one could say Yamato… Anyway even aoe3 overlaps so nothing new.
Currently the game starts with Alaric and Theodosius around the end of the 4th century, after the gothic war with the famous Adrianople battle. But after that the story of Romans is one of sheer decline and it doesn’t feel right to portray an empire already dying. I think the game should at least consider 313, the date when Constantine made Christianity legit in the empire, or 330, the foundation of Constantinople, as its starting point.
That’s more or less the date for the end of the rouran khaganate and the beginning of all hunnic people migration to Europe, India and Iran but also the supposed (poor accounts) beginning of Maya classical period and the Ghana empire, the Christianisation of Armenia, Ethiopia and the end of kush (more or less) so it would synergize good enough worldwide, if including the 3rd century feels too much for now.
You could even include Diocletian and the tetrarchy (284) making the beginning of aoe2 coincide with the whole of what historians refer to the late Roman empire period. This however would still cut out the three kingdoms period in China, Aurelian vs Zenobia or early gothic migrations and very early Sassanids that you can have only by starting in 220 as the post says.
The First Turkic Khaganate was founded in the middle of the 6th century, so I’ve decided to keep them for the next poll covering the first half of the Early Middle Ages. I’m not even sure I will be able to cram everyone into one poll.
I feel like Alaric’s as far back as the AoE 2 timeframe should go. 390 to 1610 covers the rise of the Goths/twilight of Theodosius to the beginnings of major New World colonization (Powhatan War, Beaver Wars, etc.). That’s less time overall than the period covered by the AoE 1 campaigns (2400 BCE to 373 CE); even just limiting that to post-Bronze Age collapse makes them pretty even. While there’s no good way to cleanly separate the AoE 2 & 3 timeframes, there’s a decade and a half between the last Rise of Rome mission and when Alaric starts to make that clearer. Return of Rome could definitely use more civs prior to 390, though.
WRT main poll, I’m rooting for Nubians, Tibetans/Tanguts/Tubo/whatever avoids a China ban, Vandals/Alans, Champa, and the Meso civs. Sinhalese should happen in general, but I think the Polonnaruwa period is more fruitful for design and campaign ideas (Parakramabahu!). Many other choices here land firmly in RoR territory, which FE should explore at some point before that side of DE loses any real commercial/player interest.
As I said, I had to split the poll in srveral parts because the number of options in a poll is limited. The fall of Rome and usual start of the Middle Ages looked like a decent milestone, but to be honest I was mostly thinking three century periods of time were a good guiding line. Hence why the Kingdom of Soissons is here and won’t be in the next poll, as it rised in 476 yet was destroyed before 500.
To me Alaric as a starting point feels kinda arbitrary historically (introduced in forgotten empires mod). Why it doesn’t convince me in short:
Aoe1 doesn’t cover the 4th century at all, units are iron agey, Christianity is absent, no scenarii or civs… So you basically have a hole between the two which aoe2 would cover better with units, civs etc.
The western Roman army disintegrated by 420s but even Stilicho already had to run around like Aetius would to find mercenaries among barbarians. It feels a waste to have a late Roman civ to cover so little time.
If you don’t include the gothic war and Huns arrival (375) you kinda cut the story in a way that feels inconsequential. Alaric seemingly coming out of nowhere even if in his campaign Adrianople is referenced.
In the 4th century the “mainstream” was already shifting from classical culture to church building etc so no more amphitheatres or civil structures were built except rare cases. You could say aoe1 should cover early Christianity but it feels forced and there already is a lot there to add from stone to classical age. I think Christianity (along with Islam) is what defined the middle ages hence 313 as a starting date.
Arguments in favour of an earlier starting date:
The Roman army and political structure changed between 250 (defeat at the hands of both Sassanids and Goths) and Constantine with Aurelian and Diocletian as pivotal points respectively for religion and administration. I won’t go in detail but by the time of Constantine there was very little resembling aoe1 ancient Romans (iron age soldiers) or even classical Hellenic troops. Byzantines could also begin here and I don’t think someone wants them in aoe1?
As already said starting here synergizes better with other world powers like China, India and Persia. Even Africa and America seems to have some important dates referring to 300 AD circa (in western Africa this is basically the earliest date you can make any vaguely historical assumption).
The 4th century is usually said to be a time of moderate stability for those empires struggling with invasions. It’s a shame to include Romans only for the 5th century and later just to see a disintegrating empire. One thing is to play an empire in crisis, another is to play one that is literally falling apart with not even a standing army anymore.
Finally I don’t think aoe2 can currently go further than 1550 in terms of units, it lacks too many gunpowder upgrades and armies are still very medieval, specially for Europe. Lepanto is an exception because you play with Spanish against Turks and for the same reasons Montezuma or baynnaung work as non European campaigns because you deal only with Portuguese and Spanish (gunpowder civs) or isolated civs like Japanese and Koreans fighting themselves.
But for example the Dutch war of independence (1580) won’t work with current aoe2 settings. I think it’s a common mistake to believe the game ends in 1600 worldwide only because of noryang.
Franks and throwing axemen would instead work perfectly in a 3rd or 4th century settings.
Well, I mentioned 1610 as an extreme end to the timeframe that only involves the finale of a potential North American civ’s campaign. You’ll never hear me saying FE should add a Dutch civ, either, since they didn’t obviously become the Dutch until the latter part of the Revolt well into the 17th century. (Frisians aka proto-Dutch keep standing neglected in the corner, too weird and anti-feudal to get the attention they deserve.) Agreed that it doesn’t make sense to go beyond the mid-16th century in the European sphere as that’s when the double whammy of the Renaissance and Reformation hits just about every region, but that doesn’t factor in as much for civs elsewhere.
You’ve somewhat swayed me on kicking the timeline further back, if just to the start of Constantine’s rule. Looking at the Rise of Rome campaigns again, there’s only one mission set in the 4th century, so that’s token coverage which AoE 2 can expand on.
I have an idea for a Micronesian civ, and its campaign is technically in the 1600s, that being Isokelekel, though the oral legend puts it in 1500, well within the AoE2 timeline. However, even if it’s 17th century stuff, it’s just Micronesians vs Micronesians, and they’re primitive enough to fit in a medieval game.
That… almost sounds like apologia. We need accept whatever scraps of new gameplay they give us… and scrappy it is. 2-3 civs every yearish. The Conqs expansion was groundbreaking… nor that they’re gonna listen to anything any of us suggest making the battle to help feel beyond uphill for all of us and that is sad