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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Veni, Vidi, Vici » AOE4 Civ Speculation
Topic Subject:AOE4 Civ Speculation
posted 04-14-18 05:52 PM ET (US)         
Hi everyone, I'm a new user here.

As of this moment, we have no real concrete information about what Age of Empires IV is going to be like we don't even know what "age" it's going to be set in. A lot of people assume that the next game will be set in the late 1800s to early 1900s (the World War era, basically), but a lot of others (such as myself) think that would be a terrible mistake. I'm sure plenty of us would like to see the next Age of Empires game return to the world that the series started in: the Ancient World!

So, what I'm thinking of doing is starting a little series of forum posts exploring all the various civilizations of the Ancient World that could possibly appear in Age of Empires IV looking at their history, laying out potential bonuses, unique units, etc. My hope is that this would encourage some fun discussions and speculation.

Currently, my initial plan for such a series would have twelve parts, each exploring a few civilizations that are thematically related:
  1. Mesopotamia (Assyrians, Babylonians, Sumerians)
  2. The Near East (Egyptians, Hittites, Nubians, Phoenicians)
  3. The Hellenes (Athenians, Spartans, generic Greeks)
  4. The Hellenic Periphery (Minoans, Macedonians, Thracians)
  5. Central Asia (Scythians, Persians, Seleucids, Parthians)
  6. The Rise of Rome (Romans, Carthaginians, Etruscans)
  7. The Celtic World (Gauls, Britons, Iberians, generic Celts)
  8. Ancient India (Harappans, Mauryans, Tamils)
  9. Ancient China (Shang, Zhou, Han)
  10. The Far East (Joseon, Yamato, Xiongnu)
  11. Central America (Mayans, Olmecs, Zapotecs)
  12. Barbarians at the Gates (Goths, Huns, Vandals)

So, what do you guys think? Does this sound like a good idea? If so, are there any other civilizations you'd like to see added to the list?

[This message has been edited by PerseusSpartacus (edited 04-14-2018 @ 06:05 PM).]

AoEH Seraph
posted 04-15-18 08:44 AM ET (US)     1 / 8       
I am always up for Classic and ancient times. However I suspect AoE 4 will be about the modern era. I have no clue if it would be a mistake, what I know is that the ancient times are my favorite gameplaywise xD.

I know most people would be happy with anything that is a re-skinned version of AoK :/ lol
posted 04-23-18 12:25 PM ET (US)     2 / 8       
An RTS set in Napoleonic times (a period that could also include things like the American Civil War) could be good. The Napoleon CTW campaign in Rise of Nations is my favorite. In fact, that is arguably where the unit formations and entrenching worked the best.

Ancient and medieval history seem an unlikely choice, they have done plenty of remastering/expansioning on games set in that era lately.

Therefore I expect either the empire earth/rise of nations approach of a big timespan, or a more modern non-colonial period. Fantasy seems unlikely for a direct Age of Empires title.

My personal favorite would be a deep, more strategic game focussed on a particular area and time, being the Helenestic/Roman period in North-Africa, most of Europe and the middle east to India. In terms of gameplay I'm hoping for a bit more rise of nations approach (battle formations, conquering buildings instead of destroying, less micromanagement for resource gathering etc), perhaps with elements from games like C&C and BFME (like strategic powers you can unlock to diversify your play).

In terms of a campaign, I hope they will include some carry over effects (perhaps similar to something like grand ages rome, where you have skill points and can buy estates to improve certain aspects), so you get the idea of actually building an empire, a leader character or fighting a campaign rather than individual maps that are disconnected in everything but story.
posted 04-25-18 04:13 PM ET (US)     3 / 8       
@Suppiluliuma: I honestly don't know if they're more likely to cover modern times or not - personally, though, I think they should go back to ancient times, for two reasons: first, gameplay; and second, as a business choice. Gameplay-wise, I'm not sure that the 19th and 20th centuries would fit well at all with the core Age of Empires experience - not that it couldn't be done, just that it would require some serious creative thinking to make that work. Business-wise, it would make sense that if you were going to cover old ground, you'd go all the way back to the ancient world - first, Age of Empires II covers the Middle Ages quite thoroughly, and they've already committed themselves to making a lot of new content for that game, so stealing its thunder by producing another medieval game would feel weird; second, there seems to be more competition for medieval strategy games, than for ancient strategy games, so making a game set in the ancient world would allow them to fill a niche market that hasn't been over-saturated yet; third, going back in time like that would allow you to avoid the politically-charged topics that run through pretty much every part of 19th- and 20th-century history; and fourth, who wants to play as the Nazis when you could be playing as Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar? :P

@Thompsoncs: You may be on to something there about keeping the game more focused on a specific time-frame or place. Age of Empires III had the right idea in keeping itself focused on colonial warfare - it kept the base-building mechanics at the core of the game still feeling natural when it would otherwise have seemed out-of-place. Likewise, focusing on one time-frame (such as the Hellenistic period) could allow for more interesting faction design - for example, it would be easier to differentiate between Carthaginians and Macedonians when you have only 8 other factions to create, instead of 18, and you don't have to make them fit in side-by-side with Bronze Age factions like the Sumerians or Hittites.

Your Age of Italy mod seems like a good example of how a narrower focus (the age of Roman expansion as opposed to the entire history of the ancient world) can enable greater richness and detail than might otherwise be possible - it would be hard to justify including the Etruscans or Samnites unless your game really did focus on the rise of Rome.

As for the campaign, my only major concern is that they focus it on real history like they did in AoE1 and AoE2, not on fiction like they did in Age of Mythology and AoE3. But yes, carry-over effects would be a lot of fun - a nice meta-game would help make each playthrough of the campaign different.
Mr. Beta
posted 04-27-18 10:37 AM ET (US)     4 / 8       
The Dinosaur era of course. Jurassic Empires.

On a more serious note: Looking back to what has been done, redone, will be redone, and the timeline spanning at least a few hundred years in each AoE game, it is only logical to move forward. The AoE IV trailer clearly hints at "the future".

My guess is AoE IV will be somewhat different to what you'd normally expect: Rather than just historically based, it will be both historical and futuristic.

It will start right where AoE III ended, and will end in the future, mid 1800s to something like 2200 AD. Kind of like a transitional AoE game that will pave the way for the future of mankind, AoE V (which will have 256K resolution graphics, projected in 5D all around you and is fully immersive, features interactive holograms, over-intelligent AI, will be released in 2121...).

AoE IV = Histuristic. Add that word to the dictionary.
posted 05-25-18 09:00 AM ET (US)     5 / 8       
You forgot one important civilization:

Slavs (my beloved great half-billion nation) Tall, brown-eyed and brown-haired lumbersexual muscular men will rule the whole world soon!! (maybe mother Russia starts war?) As opposite to Hitler's "nordic" or "germanic" race.

"Oh, beautiful Sclaveni took me into her hands!
Now I'm one of her boys!
Let's defeat our neighbors Germanics and rule Europe!
Oh Russia, don't let fall me into clutches of my enemies!"

This is evidently a joke xD

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

[This message has been edited by Bl4cKst0rM (edited 07-17-2018 @ 06:37 AM).]

posted 11-23-18 07:43 PM ET (US)     6 / 8       
Okay, so I decided against spending a ton of time putting together individual analyses of each civilization idea, since there doesn't seem to be too much interest and I've got more important things to do these days. However, I am still curious what civilizations other people would like to see in Age of Empires IV, assuming of course that it focuses on the Ancient era. Just to get started, I'll put down a quick list of my personal favorite options, with some notes for each one (order is just alphabetical):

Assyrians - If the Persians perfected the art of imperial administration, it was the Assyrians who invented it. Plus, their emphasis on Archers and Siege makes them easy to define, gameplay wise.
Carthaginians - I don't think they need any explanation. Their diverse army and powerful navy make them very distinctive, and I picture them being something like the equivalent of AoE2's Byzantines.
Celts - Because they simply haven't gotten enough love. Ideally, it would be nice to see them separated into more than one faction - e.g. Britons and Gauls - but that might be too much to ask for. Regardless, I really would love to see them included.
Chinese - Again, no explanation needed. The developers might be inclined to give them a specific dynastic name, like 'Shang' or 'Han', but I would prefer they just be called 'Chinese' as a way of including all of the various dynasties under one banner.
Egyptians - Another obvious one. I wouldn't be terribly excited about playing them, but it just wouldn't be the ancient world without them.
Greeks - I promise I'll start getting to some less obvious ones soon enough. Again, it would be cool to have the Greeks broken up into multiple factions - say, Athenians and Spartans, or even some more unique ones, like Corinthians and Syracusans - but that could be tricky to manage, and it might be better to include all the Greek city-states as one civilization anyhow.
Macedonians - While you could merge the Greeks and Macedonians together as one civilization, I think that would be a mistake. The two definitely feel very different, and I think the Macedonians would make for a really cool late-game civilization.
Mauryans - India has generally been poorly represented in the Age of Empires series, and I would just love to see them finally given their due. Besides, who wouldn't want to lead a horde of War Elephants on a rampage through enemy towns?
Persians - I think the Persians would make a really nice 'all-around' civ. While they wouldn't be the best at anything, they would have solid versions of (almost) everything - good cavalry, reliable infantry, good archers, even a decent navy.
Romans - And speaking of Romans... Again, this one goes without saying. The hard thing with the Romans is figuring out how to make sure they're not overpowered, because they really were good at a lot of things.
Scythians - These guys have had almost no acknowledgement in Age of Empires, despite the fact that they dominated Central Asia for over a millennium. None of the other civilizations really fit the "aggressive nomads with good cavalry archers" pattern, so the Scythians would conveniently fill an important gap in the overall game balance.

So, those were just some quick thoughts, and of course there are plenty of other civs I would love to see. How about you - what civilizations would you like to see in Age of Empires IV? And how you would like to see them represented in-game?
posted 11-24-18 09:39 AM ET (US)     7 / 8       
Chinese - Again, no explanation needed. The developers might be inclined to give them a specific dynastic name, like 'Shang' or 'Han', but I would prefer they just be called 'Chinese' as a way of including all of the various dynasties under one banner.
I like shang or han much more, chinese seems like a bland catch all for a massively populated region. Besides the current chinese government tends to ban games with china in them if they are not depicted having modern borders regardless of context. Maybe they wouldnt notice the shang.

I dont quite get the love for a modern setting. That old graphic made by es themselves showing ww1\ww2 as the fourth aoe always made me shake my head in dissapointment, and its only worse now with even more good modern era games released. The well known company of heroes titles, paradox's steel division, the old close combat titles would all demolish a ww1\ww2 AoE4

EDIT: I think a good ww2\modern era game needs morale, cover systems, some complexity to line of sight and various other mechanics. An age of empires game with its simplicity in combat resolution seems like a poor match for the existing games that offer that in the genre.

Assuming the AoE1 setting is revisited - and its high time since I dont know any good games in that period - all the AoE1 civs plus indian subcontinent civs. Wouldnt like to see huns or goths, that is outside the timeframe I am hoping for.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Kataphraktoi (edited 11-27-2018 @ 12:40 PM).]

posted 11-25-18 11:54 AM ET (US)     8 / 8       
You're probably right about China. In that case, we've got some options to pick from: the Shang, the Zhou, and the Han. I would've included the Qin, since they were the first dynasty to really unite China as a single empire, but unfortunately that dynasty did not last very long, and the name is not exactly easy to pronounce.

Also, I agree on the Goths and Huns. Personally, I think Age of Empires IV should focus on the first millennium BCE - that way, its timeframe starts with the end of the Bronze Age Collapse (like how Age of Empires II starts with the Dark Ages) and ends with the reign of Augustus (equivalent to victory in the final age of the game). That would allow you to include most of the more famous ancient civilizations, without leading to bizarre situations like Bronze Age chariots facing off against a Hellenistic Age phalanx. Age of Empires II already covered the fall of the Roman Empire, so no reason to include that in AoE IV. Besides, the Goths and Huns would likely fill roles in the gameplay balance that are better filled by civs like the Celts or Scythians. However, it might be fun if they included a civilization representing the Germanic tribes - maybe the Teutones, with their unique tech 'Furor Teutonicus' - as well as the Xiongnu, who fought some tough battles with the Han empire.

But above all, they have to include at least one civilization from the Indian sub-continent. I would personally like to see both the Mauryans and the Tamils represented.

[This message has been edited by PerseusSpartacus (edited 11-25-2018 @ 11:57 AM).]

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