1.18 Civilizations - Brainstorming

Publicola

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With version 1.17 nearly finished, and Leoreth's Plans for DOC 1.18 just posted (EDIT: seriously, go read that first), I thought that now would be a good time for a dedicated brainstorming thread to develop the 12 (!) new civilizations to be included in version 1.18.

Here's the full list:
  1. The Javanese (to replace the Indonesians)
  2. The Malays (to replace the Indonesians)
  3. The Vietnamese
  4. The Burmese
  5. The Kushans
  6. The Swahili
  7. The Nubians
  8. The Assyrians
  9. The Hittites
  10. The Celts
  11. The Swedes
  12. The (Kievan) Rus (split from the (Muscovite) Russians)
  13. The Toltecs

And here are the approximate starting eras when they would spawn:

Ancient: Nubian, Assyrian, Hittite
Classical: Vietnam, Kushan, Celt, Toltec
Medieval: Javanese, Malay, Burma, Swahili, Kievan Rus
Early Modern: Sweden

There have been many suggestions and proposals for many of these civ's unique attributes (Unique Buildings, Unique Units, Unique Powers, Unique Historical Victory conditions), but there will almost certainly be changes, given that these civs will be accompanied by a new world map.

In other words, let the brainstorming begin continue!

EDIT: per Leoreth's comment, moved Vietnam to a Classical start/spawn
 
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Publicola

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Resources

Merijn's All Civs (includes proposals for Burma, Kievan Rus, Swahili, Sweden, and Vietnam)

Steb's Civs (includes proposal for Teotihuacan, which overlaps with Toltec civ)

1SDAN's Community Mod Compilation (includes proposals for Hittite and Assyria)

1SDAN's Civilizations Reborn (includes proposals for Burma, Kievan Rus, Nubia, and Celtia, which overlaps with 'Celt' sedentary civ)


Discussion thread: UHVs, Abilities, UU and UB for New Civs

Discussion thread: I Think I've Nailed the Celts as a Viable Civ

Discussion thread: Africa and the New Map

If you know of other threads or individual posts that proposed new civs and their attributes, let me know and I'll add them here.
 
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FishFishFish

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Steb's Civs (includes proposal for Teotihuacan, which overlaps with Toltec civ)

Perhaps merging the Aztecs and the Toltecs under the group "Nahua" would make more sense? (Aztecs would respawn after the Toltec collapse.)

I don't really like the idea of Teotihuacan and the Toltecs being the same civilization considering the Nahuatl are a relatively recent arrival in central and southern Mexico relative to other Mesoamerican groups.
 

Publicola

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I don't really like the idea of Teotihuacan and the Toltecs being the same civilization considering the Nahuatl are a relatively recent arrival in central and southern Mexico relative to other Mesoamerican groups.
I don't know if Leoreth plans to combine Teotihuacan and the Toltec civ. My point was that Steb's proposal for Teotihuacan included (as its third UHV) 'The Toltec Empire', which means that Steb at least intended the civ to incorporate the Toltec, which might make it useful starting point for the discussion.
 

stormogulen

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I'd much prefer Sweden to spawn earlier than the Vasa era. The earliest that would make sense is probably around 980 AD. Around then reigned the first properly attested/non-legendary kings, who were also the first to have clear authority in both Svealand and Götaland. It would also coincide with the founding of Sigtuna (which may or may not be worth to include as a first capital prior to a city change to Stockholm in the same tile). Sweden could conveivably spawn as Christian already then since the contemporary monarchs dabbled with it and Sigtuna had Christian presence already from early times (the pagan cult at nearby Uppsala was going strong for another century though).

As for UU's, Caroleans/Karoliner would of course make a lot of sense. I've also thought about light field artillery (so-called "regimental cannons") that were very important in the armies of Gustavus Adolphus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustavus_Adolphus#Reputation). Related to that, the UB could be an artillery factory representing for example the factories at Finspång (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finspång#Overview) and Bofors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors). Sweden has a long history of making and exporting artillery.
 

Leoreth

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I don't know if Leoreth plans to combine Teotihuacan and the Toltec civ. My point was that Steb's proposal for Teotihuacan included (as its third UHV) 'The Toltec Empire', which means that Steb at least intended the civ to incorporate the Toltec, which might make it useful starting point for the discussion.
Yes, the intent is the same. One civilization covering the Teotihuacan and Toltec periods. We do not know if there was continuity between these two periods but we also do not know that there wasn't. For the game it's most convenient to assume there is.
 

Steb

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Yes, the intent is the same. One civilization covering the Teotihuacan and Toltec periods. We do not know if there was continuity between these two periods but we also do not know that there wasn't. For the game it's most convenient to assume there is.
That was basically my reasoning. Combining them makes for a longer game and allows the representation of two cultures that share a number of characteristics. As I wrote at the time:
I decided that Teotihuacan would also represent the Toltecs if they survive past 800 AD. There is no historical justification for this — Teotihuacan and the Toltecs are distinct civilizations — but it makes sense from a gameplay perspective, and there would really be no point in adding the Toltecs otherwise. Moreover, their capitals would be on the same spot and probably have the same name ("Tollan", a generic name for important cities in central Mexico; we don't know either city's original name, and "Teotihuacan" is a name given later by the Aztecs).
I would however push back a little on the idea of naming the civ after the Toltecs as opposed to Teotihuacan. There's controversy about the very historicity of the Toltec civilization. There was certainly a well developed culture based in what is now the archeological site of Tula, but the far-reaching, advanced Toltec empire described in Aztec myths may never have existed. I kind of dislike the idea of adding a civilization to the mod that we can't say for sure was real.

Teotihuacan, meanwhile, is certainly historical, has had a significant impact (e.g. on the Maya), built wonders that still stand (the pyramids of the Sun and Moon), and is generally much better known. I thought it was elegant to add the Toltecs as a minor part of the Teotihuacano civ concept — e.g. in the dynamic names and the speculative 3rd UHV goal — but it would be less elegant to have Teotihuacan as a minor part of a Toltec concept.
 

Leoreth

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The main reason is that civilizations are demonyms, and we do not know the name of the people who lived in Teotihuacan.
 

Dracosolon

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Would it make sense to start this brainstorming with screenshots of the core territory these new civs would receive? A lot of these are rather small so seeing how the new map can accomodate them would help, and would be helpful for figuring out what they can realistically do.
 

need my speed

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I can whole-heartedly recommend Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology; I literally was there from its opening hour to its closing hour and didn't manage to see/read everything in detail.
Thus commences the first Dawn of Civilization study trip.~
 

h0spitall3rz

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Hi, Leo! Re: the new civs, have you also considered the following civs? I am curious about your plans for them, if any, and your rationale on why they should be low priority or not included, if so deemed:
  • The Mamluks - More activity in the Islamic world during the Medieval era; provides additional friction and power struggle for civs attempting to achieve dominance over Levant, Egypt, Hejaz; split off the Arabian caliphate (Fatimid > Ayyubid > Mamluk)
  • The Hungarians - New European neighbor that will control the Carpathian basin and Serbia; serves as a boundary, obstacle, and target for its neighbors (esp. HRE, Ottomans)
 
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h0spitall3rz

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A few more civs worth considering (may not be considered as high priority):
  • Khazars/Cumans > Kazakhs - Can prevent Kievan Rus' from expanding too far eastward. Their settling can fill up the Kazakhstan region which is usually not settled until Russian Siberia.
  • Manchu - Additional challenge for China post-Mongols. Challenges China to keep itself stable and militarily powerful if it wants to survive long enough to achieve UHV3. Not sure how feasible this would be, though.
  • Kanem-Bornu/Chad; Hausa - Provides new neighbors (and rivals) for the Mali, and introduces new dynamics and plays in the Sahel region.
  • Boers (South Africa) - Decolonization of South Africa can shake up things in the African continent, especially if the other sub-Saharan African civs are still alive or have respawned.
 

Leoreth

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I have thought about all of these civilizations. And I categorically have neither ruled any of them out nor ruled them in. The reason why they are not in from the start is that they are either so peripheral that their impact on the game will be low whether they exist or not (e.g. Kanem-Bornu) or are actually mostly coterminous with a civilization that already exists yet (e.g. Manchu with China, Mamluks with Egypt) that they also will not have a large impact.

As I explained in the opening post, the goal is not to include the most historically important or that I would like to play/design the most, but which of them have a significant enough impact on the development of the game to account for their existence from the start instead of fitting them in later on. That's all.
 

Publicola

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In terms of other civs that would impact game balance of existing civs, here's a few suggestions:
  • With the addition of Swahili, there's going to be a lot of competition along the East African and Arabian coasts. Have you considered including Oman as a civ focused on Indian Ocean trade, to balance against Swahili, Arabs, Iran, and the Tamil?
  • Have you considered making medieval Venice a civ? For all the jokes about a 'one-city civ', the Republic of Venice did own considerable territory along the Adriatic coast as well as Morea (Greece), even before it briefly sacked and captured Constantinople. Venice could be a fascinating bit of gameplay, and a big counterweight against France, Austria, Byzantines, Arabs, and Ottomans, especially given their focus on trade and naval combat.
  • Currently, Mali is the only West African civ in the game. Have you considered including other civs like the Ghana Empire or the Songhai (or are you treating those as coterminous like Egypt and Mamluks)? Alternately, have you considered a Nigeria civ, based on the city-states of the lower Niger like Edo/Benin City? (That said, historically there wasn't much interaction between the Niger delta and the upper Niger, and Edo only comes to prominence after the decline of Mali and the Songhai, so Nigeria might have more of an effect in terms of balancing the Kongo civ to their south).
  • This one's a bit more of a stretch, but I'm wondering if you've considered incorporating an Haudenosaunee or 'Iroquois Confederacy' civ during the early American period as a counterweight against English and French colonization of North America? I'm pretty sure the Iroquois were mostly sedentary, and the 'Great League of Peace' dates back quite a ways (most likely between 1450-1660, though perhaps even earlier to 1142!?). The gameplay would be similar to the Aztecs (prepare frantically for European arrival), with two differences: a) the Iroquois settler map would keep them away from the Atlantic coast, so there would be English and French cities, and b) one of the European civs would have strongly negative diplomatic penalties, while the other would have strongly positive diplo bonuses, and you could configure this based on 'first contact' or some other mechanism to ensure it changes game-to-game.
 

mrrandomplayer

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  • Have you considered making medieval Venice a civ? For all the jokes about a 'one-city civ', the Republic of Venice did own considerable territory along the Adriatic coast as well as Morea (Greece), even before it briefly sacked and captured Constantinople. Venice could be a fascinating bit of gameplay, and a big counterweight against France, Austria, Byzantines, Arabs, and Ottomans, especially given their focus on trade and naval combat.
I was about to ask the same thing, a bigger map means that it might actually be viable rather than a meme.
 

Leoreth

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I was going to say I have considered all of these civs but then I saw Venice. Venice is never going to be a civ.
 

Gahan

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Hello! Asking carefully, have you considered a civ of northern tribes of China? Maybe we can combine Xiongnu, Xianbei, Khitan, Jurchen and Manchu people as one civ and design it to China's arch-enemy, like the northern tribes who conquered northern China and established their own dynasties(Xiongnu Empire, Northern Wei, Liao, Jin, Qing, etc) in actual history. It is sad to leave these tribes as 'just barbarians', I think.

(But I have no idea which name is fit with this civ. Beidi? or changing civ name from Xiongnu to Manchu by era, like Phoenicia and Holy Rome?)
 
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