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How would you like civ7 divided into eras?

For my idea of how periods should be organized, basically Boris's idea + you can see what technological equivalent you are through a menu. So you can see what real world civilization you're as advanced as (in years say 600 C.E Europe vs 1200 C.E China)
 
We are used to thinking of the "Tech Tree" in our games as Linear, and only Civ VI has introduced the idea that developments might be accelerated or influenced by Non-Technological events (the 'Eureka' system, another great idea poorly developed and implemented). Both the 'outside influences' and the linearity need to be rethought.

For instance, east Africa appears to have gone straight to Iron/Steel smelting by the 4th century BCE without any Bronze working before that. Southwest India was making relatively high-grade 'Wootz' steel in the same century with, again, no extensive prior history of copper or bronze-working. Because of the development of high-temperature kilns for porcelain-making, China had cast iron for tools and a few weapons (cast iron is not really useful for most pre-gunpowder weapons) over a thousand years before Europeans developed the furnace temperatures necessary to produce it. So, the purely Technological Singularities are not necessarily linear. The non-technological, like, for instance, elements of Axial Thinking, only touched much of the world when they were introduced from elsewhere: monotheistic religions to Africa and the Americas at gunpoint from Europe, Printing and its revolutionary impact was a non-starter in China and East Asia because, although they had the technology for it centuries earlier than Europe, their written language and literary tradition (aesthetic brush techniques for writing) were an insurmountable barrier to mass production of books and the resulting dissemination of knowledge

The Devil, as they say, is in the Details. But it is entirely possible for a Civ to have a Singularity Event introduced from the outside, and run with it - see the sudden introduction of Monotheism to Arabia, then the introduction of the non-religious Natural Philosophy resulting in the Baghdad Renaissance, or the sudden imposition of Steam and Electricity and all their ramifications to Japan in the 19th century.

If there is a single lesson to be "learned" from the historical examples, it is that Winners and Losers change constantly, and a linear advance/progression from 4000 BCE to 2020 CE is a complete Fantasy and not reflective of any human group, society, culture or political entity. It's well past time for the 4X genre to start modeling that instead of providing game systems in which jumping ahead near the start keeps you ahead for 5000 years.

Be a decent anti snowball technique as well.

Iron being a strategic critical resource in the classical era is a long standing Civ design Brain Bug that has enfuriated me for a long time, as it’s 110% ahistorical nonsense.

When you are trying to make large amounts of high quality steel is when certain ores become very important, like Nickel.

"mother river' and 'basic geography' are pretty foggy concepts to try and program into a game, and I could foresee gamers getting serious advantages out of foggy concepts compared to the AI.

On the other hand, if as usual 'Loyalty' or cohesiveness of a Civ is based n the distance from the Capital, AND the game measures that distance not in tiles but in Travel Time, we could approach the effect in your concept:
rivers should decrease travel time, so having cities strung along a river would make them more 'loyal' further away. Ditto for travel across plains or grasslands without geographic barriers. And, of course, traveling through mountain ranges, which require you to find a pass or go around, would be a serious impediment to maintaining cohesion across the peaks.
This would also markedly increase the potential size of an empire based on travel Technology: get better ships, have no trouble extending your Civ overseas. Get railroads, and most of the sheer distance barriers on land drop to near-zero - but not completely to Zero, as note that Russia still had some distinct 'separatist' tendencies out in the Far East provinces around Vladivostok, since that area, even after the Trans-Siberian Railroad was completed, was still 9 Time Zones and 2 weeks' travel time away from Moscow!

Loyalty should logically be based on the strength of your culture and travel time, not population and a magic radius. This would reflect history so much better and be better gameplay as well

The Roman empire was the kind of bizarre shape it was because the most efficient means of communication and bulk transport was via ship. So the Empire mostly consisted of lands that were within a certain number of Oxen loads of a navigable river or coastline.


Never underestimate the power of Oral Tradition. The Lakota, even without a written language, kept pictographic Winter Count calendars that accurately recorded major events in years generations earlier. Homer's epics were strictly oral tales for an estimated several centuries before they were written down, and pretty accurately describe Greek Mycenean warfare as it existed a good 600 years before that time.
However, that said, to become part of the General Epic Knowledge of a people ("Era Score") I suggest that for a pre-literate (Writing Tech) group the event has to be very dramatic. Conquest of a City State (Trojan War?) or surviving a Major Disaster (Flood Myths?), or perhaps be part of a specialized No Author Great Work of Oral "Writing" like the Iliad, or Beowulf, or the Gilgamesh cycle of tales - all part of the general knowledge of the respective peoples before they were ever written down . . .

Writing tended to get adopted as soon as the concept was seen in action. Contacting another cov with writing should basically give it to you for free
 
Iron being a strategic critical resource in the classical era is a long standing Civ design Brain Bug that has enfuriated me for a long time, as it’s 110% ahistorical nonsense.

When you are trying to make large amounts of high quality steel is when certain ores become very important, like Nickel.

I have argued that the critical difference was Quantity. You could equip an entire Roman Legion with weapons and armor for about 125 tons of Iron, in 50 pound lots (about the amount required to refine into one Legionary's armor and weapons) - so the Iron required for any reasonable purpose was widely available and easily transported by pack anima, cart, wagon, or boat. "Resource Scarcity" simply did not apply.

BUT when you reach Industrialization, the quantities change by orders of magnitude. A single factory-driving Steam Engine can weigh over 100 tons. A single Ironclad requires several thousand tons of Iron ore. One kilometer of railroad track, single-track with medium weight rail, requires 150 tons of wrought iron or steel, not counting what's required for locomotives, cars, and other infrastructure to make the railroad work. At that point you need Iron by the thousands of tons everywhere you want to use it, and you need technologies (ships, railroads) that can transport hundreds or thousands of tons at a time.

Loyalty should logically be based on the strength of your culture and travel time, not population and a magic radius. This would reflect history so much better and be better gameplay as well

The Roman empire was the kind of bizarre shape it was because the most efficient means of communication and bulk transport was via ship. So the Empire mostly consisted of lands that were within a certain number of Oxen loads of a navigable river or coastline.

That's true of almost every connected over-land Trade network in the world before Railroads: bulk goods HAD to go by ship or riverboat, or there was simply no economical way to move them long distances. The purely overland parts of the 'Silk Roads' only worked because the value of the goods moved so far outweighed their weight and/or bulk (100 pounds of silk can make you rich and can be hauled on a single camel: 100 pounds of grain or rice - not worth moving more than a few kilometers).
It's often overlooked that the famous 'Roman Roads' were for marching troops, not goods. They went straight over any hills, making grades that were virtually impassable for wheeled vehicles, so most of them had very little economic impact. The few exceptions were both short and flat, like the road between Rome and the ports to the south through which grain came to Italy from Egypt/North Africa: there's some indication that they became almost purely 'wheel roads' by the beginning of the Empire, but may have been practically the only ones in rthe Empire.

Writing tended to get adopted as soon as the concept was seen in action. Contacting another cov with writing should basically give it to you for free

That's not universally true. The German tribes were in contact with literary Greeks and Romans for several centuries before there is any (surviving) sign of Written German (runes or borrowed alphabets), so there are other factors at work. On the other hand, examples like St Cyril's Cyrillic and the Cherokee adopted/invented alphabets show how fast the adoption can be when all the factors are in favor. One factor is the relative ease and speed with which writing systems - hieroglyphs, ideographs or alphabets - were adapted to completely different languages in places and cultures as different in time, space, and background as Korea/Japan adopting the Chinese system, Greeks adopting the Phoenician alphabet, and 'barbarian' Germanic Europe adopting a Roman alphabet not entirely suitable for the Germanic languages, but still spreading rapidly once everyone had a good reason to write things down.
 
I'm just gonna jump in and say that I prefer how Civilisation has their current Era setup and the one they've pretty much always had.
For me, early-modern, then industrial, then modern, doesn't make logical sense - even if that's how it is in real life.

I know the current system is Euro-centric, but it works for what it is.
To the casual observer, early modern implies that just "modern" will come straight after.
Besides, it feels like a very lazy name since they both have the name "modern" in there.

I'm all up for changing "Renaissance" but "Early Modern" is not a good substitute.

While we are on this subject, I would love to see a Prehistoric Era of some kind for the next game.
 
I'm all up for changing "Renaissance" but "Early Modern" is not a good substitute.

But what should we call it then? Pre-industrial era? Exploration era? Colonisation era? Early modern might be the most non-Eurocentric term we're going to get, and it's used more than any other term for the time. But any suggestions are welcome.

Neolithic Era would be great, although the map should keep itself unrevealed (no memory or mapmaking) or lose tiles to the fog over turns. After all when the Persians and Indians came from central Asia they shouldn't know what goes on there 1000 years after. Sometimes in Civ 6 I've discovered an area and awkwardly, after my scout leaves, a civ I haven't discovered has settled it but I can't interact with them.
 
But what should we call it then? Pre-industrial era? Exploration era? Colonisation era? Early modern might be the most non-Eurocentric term we're going to get, and it's used more than any other term for the time. But any suggestions are welcome.
Later Medieval Era :mischief:
But in all honestly, the name Early Modern is fine considering not even an Exploration Era would cover the advancements through the early 1700s. You would have to insert another Enlightenment Era too, which is just as Eurocentric as every other option.
 
If one HAD to rename it, I would be okay with "Exploration Era".

Like I said, Early Modern isn't intuitive, at least from the perspective of the developers who would probably like to make their game intuitive and inclusive.
Renaissance is more widely well known, and it's worked thus far.

Plus it's one word :p
 
I know the current system is Euro-centric, but it works for what it is.
To the casual observer, early modern implies that just "modern" will come straight after.
Besides, it feels like a very lazy name since they both have the name "modern" in there.

I'm all up for changing "Renaissance" but "Early Modern" is not a good substitute.

In my understanding, the term "Early Modern" works well because, as you point out, it breaks open a European term that in itself is kind of bizarre on second thought. For example, if you look at the rise of the novel, you can trace a lineage back to the literary works of ~11th C. Western Europe. Whether chansons de geste, the performances of Troubadours which inspired European courts and even earned shoutouts from Dante, or the works of Chrétien de Troyes--the rich literary material served as a bridge not only between a translation of classical texts and the later novella, but also among the wool markets of Flanders, the trade fairs of Champagne, and the taxes levied on trade in Marseille, each node drawing on activity further and further away. The term "Renaissance" not only fails to capture a non-European experience, but also struggles to broadly apply within Europe.

The point is not that novels form the foundation of modern life, but rather that important influences of the modern world, like artistic representation, can be traced fairly deep into history. The bigger question, I suppose, is how we will periodize beyond the concept of modernity. For now, where the industrial revolution really does seem to have revolutionized our world, it makes sense to refer to that period as the home of many continuities into the present.
 
The term "Renaissance" not only fails to capture a non-European experience, but also struggles to broadly apply within Europe.
This. There's increasing understanding in history that the 15th/16th centuries in Europe were part of an ongoing process that started in the High Middle Ages and continued on into the Enlightenment. There were two extraordinary things happening in Europe at the time--the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Exploration--but the humanist "Renaissance" was just the latest phase of an ongoing flowering of learning and culture in Europe. The term was coined by Catholic-hating Hellenophile Victorian historians who had an unabashed bias against the Middle Ages (they also coined the term "Middle Ages" and "Dark Ages," incidentally, as "the bad period between the GLORY OF ROME and the GLORY OF US!!!"). The term "Renaissance*" has little meaning in Europe and none outside of it; Early Modern is much clearer in indicating the period from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution (call it roughly 1500-1800).

*At least when capitalized. There have been many renaissances all over the world throughout history.
 
This. There's increasing understanding in history that the 15th/16th centuries in Europe were part of an ongoing process that started in the High Middle Ages and continued on into the Enlightenment. There were two extraordinary things happening in Europe at the time--the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Exploration--but the humanist "Renaissance" was just the latest phase of an ongoing flowering of learning and culture in Europe. The term was coined by Catholic-hating Hellenophile Victorian historians who had an unabashed bias against the Middle Ages (they also coined the term "Middle Ages" and "Dark Ages," incidentally, as "the bad period between the GLORY OF ROME and the GLORY OF US!!!"). The term "Renaissance*" has little meaning in Europe and none outside of it; Early Modern is much clearer in indicating the period from the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution (call it roughly 1500-1800).

*At least when capitalized. There have been many renaissances all over the world throughout history.

Depending on which historiographer you're talking to at the moment, the "Early Modern" period is either 1500 - 1800 or 1500 - 1750 CE

I posted some of this long ago, but it might as well be brought up again.
The three methods for dividing 'history' into periods in use now are Technological, Historiographical and General.
Historiographical Periods are:
Neolithic
Bronze Age
Iron Age
Post Classical (5th - 15th centuries CE)
...Early
...High
...Late
Early Modern Period (1500 - 1800 CE)
...Age of Reason
...Age of Enlightenment
Late Modern Period (1800 - 1970)
...Industrial Revolution
Contemporary History 1970 - 2020

Even this, however, is distinctly Euro-centric: neither 'Reason' nor 'Enlightenment' could be said to be happening everywhere in the world and the Post Classical is still divided into the 'traditional' European Early, High and Late 'Middle Ages'. And earlier, not everybody even had a Bronze Age: parts of Africa and India seem to have gone straight to Ironworking in their metallurgy.

General Periods are:
Pre-History
...Neolithic
...Chalcolithic
(Protohistory = civilizations had culture but no writing but neighbors had writing and mention them)
Ancient History
...Classical Antiquity
Post-Classical History (200 - 1500 CE)
...Middle Ages (5th - 15th centuries)
........Early Middle Ages
........High Middle Ages
........Late Middle Ages
Modern History
...Early Modern Period
...Late Modern Period (1750 CE on)
...Contemporary History (1945 - 2020)
...Post-Modern (1973 - 2020)

Technological Periods are:
Neolithic
Chalcolithic (“Copper Age”)
Bronze Age
Iron Age
Machine Age (1880 - 1945)
Atomic Age (1945 - 2020)
Space Age (1957 - 2020)
Information Age (1970 - 2020)

I don't think any of the systems are completely suitable for a really good game. For one thing, there are far too many "early', 'post' and 'late' subdivisions that simply make it sound like nobody could think of anything better to call them. For an even more important point, there is very little agreement on what specific events caused Eras or Periods to change in the General and Historiographic systems, while the Technological system assumes that the only Singularities (Era-changing events) are technology advances, which is simply Wrong.
 
Maybe a dynamic era system could be used? What this could mean is that if your civ does certain things, it goes into a different type of era. And it doesn't have to be only "golden age", "dark age", "classical age", or whatever, but it could be "age of expansion" (age of detraction), "age of industrialisation" (age of stagnation), "age of growth" (age of famine), "age of cultural expression" (age of uniformity), "age of scientific discovery" (age of suppression), "age of mercantilism" (age of isolation), and so on, with the appropriate bonuses and drawbacks; but only for your civ / continent. Other civs / continents have their own ages and their own bonuses and drawbacks. Then we don't really need arbitrary ages in the tech trees or throughout the game decided by randomness, it is up to the civs to enter into a new age.
 
I've thought about suggesting a system where the age you are in depends on your average era score across the last 30 turns. Something like Dark age < 0.25 Normal Age < 0.5 Golden Age and maybe the threshold can shift by 0.01 every 2 turns up/down depending if you are in a golden/dark age.
But I'm not sure such a concept would be easy enough for new players to understand to be worth implementing.
 
I don't normally post here, but since this happens to be a major interest of mine (both from a Civ and general historical/worldview perspective), I figured I might as well give my tuppence.

I like the idea of starting Civ off in the Neolithic (specifically, the tail end of the last Ice Age), but I actually think the best way to do this would be to rename Ancient Neolithic and Classical Ancient (which @UncivilizedGuy did in at least one of his Civ V mods). Most of the technologies of Ancient in most Civ games clearly aren't Bronze Age and some even predate the human race. And the Dawn of Man narrative clearly indicates a transition from a nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle (I leave aside for the moment what that would mean for nomadic civs like the Huns or Scythians), not a tribal chiefdom to a Bronze Age empire.

Although I'm not totally sold on merging Classical into Ancient; the strongest case for it for me would probably be that an exclusively Bronze Age Ancient would be rather devoid of techs if everything from the Neolithic and Classical/Axial times was excluded. If they were seperate, I'd like to see a branching of government options in the Classical age; going from tribal chiefdom to Bronze Age kingdom is a no-brainer, but what about from a Bronze age kingdom/empire to an Athenian (cultured, democratic, pacifistic), Spartan (martial, spiritual, authoritarian), or Corinthian (mercantile, oligarchic) model? I could also see theocracies coming into play, although I think universal religion is more of a medieval phenomenon than an ancient one (be it Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism)

I'm not particularly fussed about what the middle ages are called; the key features of this era should be universal religions, trade networks, and the golden age of sieges, not feudalism, which is a very specific societal system rooted in Roman manorialism and Germanic tribal law.

I think Early Modern is a much better name than Renaissance; basically, I see it as describing everything from the fall of Constantinople, the widespread adoption of handheld firearms, the invention of the printing press, the Renaissance proper, and the Reformation until the Second Industrial Revolutio, or maybe the beginning of the "long 19th century"). That may still be rather Eurocentric, but I'm willing to bite that bullet since the West is the only cradle of modernity I'm aware of (that is to say, modernity started in the West and spread elsewhere, although in another world it could probably have started in China, though even there I'm not so sure that, say, modern political philosophy would have developed, at least in the same way it did in the West).

I'm in two minds as to whether Industrial and WWI should be seperate; in some ways I see WWI as a sort of "final boss stage" for Industrial technology, but there may be good gameplay reasons to not have armored cars and biplanes come in at the same time as Civil War-style riflemen.

I'd favour splitting the rest of the 20th century into WWII, Cold War (which we could call Atomic) and post-Cold War (Information), with the latter extending to 2050 or so. There are enormous tactical and technological differences between even WWI and WWII, let alone WWII and Vietnam, or Vietnam and The War on Terror.

So, to summarize, I'd have;
Neolithic (10,000-3000 BC)
Ancient (3000 BC-500 AD) or Bronze Age (3000-1200 or 800 BC)
???Classical (1200 or 800 BC-500 AD)???
Medieval (500-1500 AD)
Early Modern (1500-1800 or 1850)
Industrial (1800 or 1850-1900 or 1925)
???WWI (1900-1925)???
WWII (1925-1950)
Atomic (1950-1990)
Information (1990-2050)
 
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Depending on which historiographer you're talking to at the moment, the "Early Modern" period is either 1500 - 1800 or 1500 - 1750 CE
I was originally going to suggest 1750 as the end date before deciding that felt Anglocentric.
 
I was originally going to suggest 1750 as the end date before deciding that felt Anglocentric.
I mean it depends on when you believe the Industrial Revolution really started, but it probably would be Anglocentric considering it started in Britain. :p
Either way between 1750 and 1800 seems appropriate for the Industrial Era to begin regardless.

Renascença was also very specific and was in the game
Mfecane only lasted 30 years.
Plus do you really want to name an era after widespread chaos and warfare between the Zulu and others in South Africa? :shifty:
 
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