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How would you like civ7 divided into eras?

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?
I was thinking, it will be cool to have specific terms as Menji era as name of eras.

Mfecane was the time period when Shaka make his name as a great warrior, is a good name to be representative of Africa chronology.
We learn a lot with this game, just to have players learn about Mfecane will be cool enought to me
 
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.
Yeah, that's why I chose 1800, by which point most of Europe, the United States, and parts of Latin America had begun industrializing. It's still Western-centric, of course; Russia and most of Asia didn't start industrializing for another century. Still, sometimes you have to make concessions to accessibility.
 
Yeah, that's why I chose 1800, by which point most of Europe, the United States, and parts of Latin America had begun industrializing. It's still Western-centric, of course; Russia and most of Asia didn't start industrializing for another century. Still, sometimes you have to make concessions to accessibility.

Like virtually every "Era" definition and date, the beginning of the Industrial Era depends on your definitions.

The Romans had factories - concentrations of workshops and workers - manufacturing armor to specification in complexes in northern Italy from the 1st century CE.
Europe from at least 1000 CE on had artificial power applied to manufacturing - water wheels with gears were used not only to grind grain, but also to industrially process felt and cloth, work leather, iron, brass, and saw timber, stone, and marble. So, the 'mechanization' of materials processing was already well-established long before the 'Renaissance', let alone the later 'Industrial' era - and many of the same processes were being done with water power in China and the Caliphates as well.

Waterwheels also powered the first industrial factories in England and virtually every other European country - textile mills using machinery started up in the 1760s, the first stationary steam engine wasn't applied to them until the 1780s in England, and not until 40+ years later elsewhere (by the way, Russia's first textile mills were built in the 1830s at Naro-Fominsk, 70 kilometers outside of Moscow, powered by waterwheels, so only about 70 years behind the English rather than a century).

Conventionally, "Industrialization' is usually defined by the first use of powered machinery - waterwheels driving Arkwright's looms and 'frames' in textile production, which started in the 1760s. But, powered processing of all kinds of materials started much, much earlier, and real 'machine production' didn't start until after 1800, when Maudslay invented a screw-cutting lathe that allowed really identical parts to be manufactured by machine, and a little later invented a micrometer that could accurately measure to 1/10,000 of an inch - precision which no one had even needed just a decade earlier. That development of identical parts and precision manufacturing in turn set the stage for truly Interchangeable Parts about a third of a century later (Samuel Colt's 1836 factory manufacturing revolvers with machine tools - NOT Eli Whitney, who cheated on his government contract in 1801)

It's problems like these in the definitions that hurt my widdle head when I consider how to divide up Civ VII into Eras: you either simplify and ignore most of the factors, or get bogged down in a swamp of wildly different developments spreadover decades or centuries . . .
 
I was thinking, it will be cool to have specific terms as Menji era as name of eras.

Mfecane was the time period when Shaka make his name as a great warrior, is a good name to be representative of Africa chronology.
We learn a lot with this game, just to have players learn about Mfecane will be cool enought to me
I mean at least at least the "Renaissance" did span across multiple nations, even though it stayed in Europe. Mfecane only ever existed in South Africa and Meiji was only in Japan. That's like asking for the Industrial Era to be renamed the Victoria Era, and I don't think anybody wants that either.

Yeah, that's why I chose 1800, by which point most of Europe, the United States, and parts of Latin America had begun industrializing. It's still Western-centric, of course; Russia and most of Asia didn't start industrializing for another century. Still, sometimes you have to make concessions to accessibility.
Yeah, if we played by Russia and East Asian standards we'd have the Medieval Era/Feudalism technologies/civics for most of the game. :mischief:
 
I mean at least at least the "Renaissance" did span across multiple nations, even though it stayed in Europe. Mfecane only ever existed in South Africa and Meiji was only in Japan. That's like asking for the Industrial Era to be renamed the Victoria Era, and I don't think anybody wants that either.
And also have the florish wars in Mexico, if we find a lot of names of specifics history of countris and meagled all together will be very fun
 
And also have the florish wars in Mexico, if we find a lot of names of specifics history of countris and meagled all together will be very fun
Mixing terminology will just create a confused mess; that's not helpful to anyone.
 
Not this Mfcane nonsense again. If Renaissance is too specific then some tiny upheaval in an insignificant corner of Africa certainly is.

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.

The quantity factor is covered by how many more hammers it takes to make a tank than a legion

Making quality steel, and more importantly the tools to make things out of the steel that allow you to have an industrial age require certain mineral resources that cannot be subsituted, as the Germans found out during WW2, and the Russians would have had the Americans not hard carried them through that conflict.

THAT is when it becomes a You Have It Or You Don’t scenario.

These resources are in fact far more critical than oil. You can, at a cost, make fuel out of something as mundane as coal. Hell at current fuel prices it’s actually literallly cheaper to make biodiesel in your back yard than it is to buy it at the pump.

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.

Civ6 gets this 110% backwards. Overland routes are often faster, cheaper and safer. It’s absurd, and the “it’s just a game bruh” apologia is even more absurd. Yes this is a game with historical flavor, but this is as probably worse than Speaman Beats Tank.

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.

A fair point
 
The quantity factor is covered by how many more hammers it takes to make a tank than a legion

Thank you for using that example, because in fact, while Rome was able to gather enough iron ore and processing caapbility to equip 50 legions, 20th century Italy in World War Two didn't have enough of an iron and steel industry to build a single medium (25 tons or larger) tank and struggled to maintain 2 armored divisions with light tanks. To quote one V. Lenin: "Quantity has a quality all its own."

Making quality steel, and more importantly the tools to make things out of the steel that allow you to have an industrial age require certain mineral resources that cannot be subsituted, as the Germans found out during WW2, and the Russians would have had the Americans not hard carried them through that conflict.

THAT is when it becomes a You Have It Or You Don’t scenario.

These resources are in fact far more critical than oil. You can, at a cost, make fuel out of something as mundane as coal. Hell at current fuel prices it’s actually literallly cheaper to make biodiesel in your back yard than it is to buy it at the pump.

I agree with everything here, but in game terms it's a real Briar Patch that can suck us in and make the game unplayable. The US Strategic Bombing Survey identified over 50 "critical resources" that the German economy needed to maintain its armed forces in WWII, and those did not include things like basic Food or animal fodder. Picking out 'a few' to model in game is a recipe for endless arguments and disagreements over what is critical and when.
Just for an example, the original Ironclad warships in the 1860s were built out of Wrought Iron and simple Steel - quantities required were huge by earlier standards, and so they required Steel Mills with Open Hearth or Bessemer 'converters' to manufacture the steel in quantity, but no alloy materials were involved.
By the 1890s Armor Plate was being manufactured, which originally required nickel as an alloy material (the original term was 'nickel iron' armor) and special processes such as the Harvey and Krupp face-hardening and working techniques.
By 1940 to get armor that was both hard and flexible enough not to crack and shatter the alloy materials included manganese, chromium and molybnium - none of which were available in quantity west of the Dnepr River in Europe. Germany's supplies once WWII started were imported through neutral Portugal - which the western Allies cut off in 1943 by simply out-bidding Germany for all of it - the USA and Britain had virtually unlimited supplies of gold-backed hard currency compared to Nazi Germany. By late 1944 the armor plate on the latest German King Tiger heavy tank was only about 2/3 the quality of armor plate they had manufactured a year earlier, because they had run out of alloys. They also had to stop manufacturing most of the specialized 'hard core' antitank ammunition because it required another alloy - Tungsten - also unavailable in Europe.

All of which shows the complexity of the problem with just three Units - Tanks, Ironclads and Battleships - in two or at most three Eras (Industrial, Modern, Atomic).
I think it should be modeled in the game, but I also think we have to use a method that implies the problem rather than trying to explicitly model it for every manufacturing complexity in the post-Industrial world
 
Thank you for using that example, because in fact, while Rome was able to gather enough iron ore and processing caapbility to equip 50 legions, 20th century Italy in World War Two didn't have enough of an iron and steel industry to build a single medium (25 tons or larger) tank and struggled to maintain 2 armored divisions with light tanks. To quote one V. Lenin: "Quantity has a quality all its own."

This was because the “steel” used to make legion equipment and the steel used to make a tank, and more importantly the steel used to cut and shape the steel you are assembling are very different materials

The former could probably be sourced anywhere. The latter, especially tooling steel is not. If you are going to have a “critical resource”, it’s gonna be nickel.

I agree with everything here, but in game terms it's a real Briar Patch that can suck us in and make the game unplayable. The US Strategic Bombing Survey identified over 50 "critical resources" that the German economy needed to maintain its armed forces in WWII, and those did not include things like basic Food or animal fodder. Picking out 'a few' to model in game is a recipe for endless arguments and disagreements over what is critical and when.
Just for an example, the original Ironclad warships in the 1860s were built out of Wrought Iron and simple Steel - quantities required were huge by earlier standards, and so they required Steel Mills with Open Hearth or Bessemer 'converters' to manufacture the steel in quantity, but no alloy materials were involved.
By the 1890s Armor Plate was being manufactured, which originally required nickel as an alloy material (the original term was 'nickel iron' armor) and special processes such as the Harvey and Krupp face-hardening and working techniques.
By 1940 to get armor that was both hard and flexible enough not to crack and shatter the alloy materials included manganese, chromium and molybnium - none of which were available in quantity west of the Dnepr River in Europe. Germany's supplies once WWII started were imported through neutral Portugal - which the western Allies cut off in 1943 by simply out-bidding Germany for all of it - the USA and Britain had virtually unlimited supplies of gold-backed hard currency compared to Nazi Germany. By late 1944 the armor plate on the latest German King Tiger heavy tank was only about 2/3 the quality of armor plate they had manufactured a year earlier, because they had run out of alloys. They also had to stop manufacturing most of the specialized 'hard core' antitank ammunition because it required another alloy - Tungsten - also unavailable in Europe.

This is exactly my point. Have a critical iron resource in 100 BC is as ridiculous as a flying galley would be.

All of which shows the complexity of the problem with just three Units - Tanks, Ironclads and Battleships - in two or at most three Eras (Industrial, Modern, Atomic).
I think it should be modeled in the game, but I also think we have to use a method that implies the problem rather than trying to explicitly model it for every manufacturing complexity in the post-Industrial world

You have to decide how granular you want this process to be. This, combined with your map sizes tells you how many different strategic resources you can have. You then look at actual history to see what was important and what wasn’t.

Another point that needs to be addressed is Resource Substitution. Something being in high demand is what drives effort into finding alternate sources or a replacement.

Burn down all your forests to make charcoal (and again, THIS was often the limit in making iron/steel in modern times) and you’ll start looking at coal. Germany was the world leader in chemistry in the 20th century and this allowed them to make synthetic nitrates in WW1 and synthetic oil (that every automobile in the world not owned by an idiot uses) for WW2.

That needs to be somewhere in the game mechanics. Researching chemistry allows you to research synthetics, which lets you build synthetic oil/nitre buildings in your city centre. Not owning one of those critical resources gives you the eureka for it
 
We could have separate eras for the tech tree and civic tree (or whatever their equivalent end up being), one reflecting the stone-bronze-iron-etc progression (possibly with some break in the iron age category), the other more an intelectual history.

With the ability in certain circumstances to speed through a given era (kind of reflecting African civs skipping the bronze age) and for the two era to be out of sync (within reason), allowing for a Bronze Age enlightenment civilization.
 
This was because the “steel” used to make legion equipment and the steel used to make a tank, and more importantly the steel used to cut and shape the steel you are assembling are very different materials

The former could probably be sourced anywhere. The latter, especially tooling steel is not. If you are going to have a “critical resource”, it’s gonna be nickel.



This is exactly my point. Have a critical iron resource in 100 BC is as ridiculous as a flying galley would be.

Should have been more explicit - that was also my point: Iron in general in the quantities (and quality) used before the Industrial Era was available almost everywhere, and if it wasn't available exactly where you were, the quantities required (less than 100 pounds of ore for a single armored swordsman's equipment) could be transported easily, by pack animal, cart, boat or ship, so somebody would haul it to you for suitable compensation - no effort by the government or the player required.

Another point that needs to be addressed is Resource Substitution. Something being in high demand is what drives effort into finding alternate sources or a replacement.

Burn down all your forests to make charcoal (and again, THIS was often the limit in making iron/steel in modern times) and you’ll start looking at coal. Germany was the world leader in chemistry in the 20th century and this allowed them to make synthetic nitrates in WW1 and synthetic oil (that every automobile in the world not owned by an idiot uses) for WW2.

That needs to be somewhere in the game mechanics. Researching chemistry allows you to research synthetics, which lets you build synthetic oil/nitre buildings in your city centre. Not owning one of those critical resources gives you the eureka for it

The earliest mention of coal as a resource to heat homes dates back to the 10th century - the Middle Ages - in England, because they had already chopped down so much forest within walking distance of the cities and towns that firewood was no longer available.
And charcoal was used as a fuel since the Classical Era because it burns at a higher temperature than wood, so was required for a lot of the iron smelting processes - and, as you state, became a very limiting factor for iron production - and the Chinese, having extensive iron production including cast iron (requiring even higher temperatures than simple iron smelting) had already switched to using coal instead of charcoal about a 1000 years before Europe did! Asymmetrical technological developments driven by scarcity, anyone?

Probably the most important Substitutions, historically, were:

Charcoal (which uses a Lot more wood than simply burning wood) for Wood
Coal for Charcoal
Petroleum for Whale Oil (causing a sharp drop in the value of your Whale Resources)
Artificial Nitrates (Haber Process chemical engineering) for natural nitrates in both fertilizer and modern military explosives (and the real 'Maintenance Resource' required for modern Artillery and Infantry is Cotton, required in enormous tonnages to produce ammunition since the 1890s)
Wood for Aluminum in aircraft (if you want a boring post, I can give you a long list of aircraft built with substitute materials in WWII, some of them among the best of their types, like the British Mosquito or American F4U Corsair)
Coal for Rubber and/or Oil - Germany with its pioneering chemical and chemical engineering industry produced both artificial oil and artificial rubber ('buna') in WWII, and used charcoal as a vehicle fuel to directly substitute for Oil.

Adding a Substitution Mechanic to the game would complicate Resources, but would also somewhat compensate for artificial shortages caused by mediocre map generation of Resources.
 
Adding a Substitution Mechanic to the game would complicate Resources, but would also somewhat compensate for artificial shortages caused by mediocre map generation of Resources.

As well as create a framework for a more viable economic victory condition.
 
Why overcomplicate all this stuff? Honestly just stick with the original eras. It's not a history simulator, and slight inaccuracies are fine, as long as they get the message across.
 
First, there are stylistic questions in terms of naming and periodizing: for example, the widely discussed inaccuracy of the term "Renaissance" vs. popular resistance to the term "Early Modern." Boris Gudenuf in particular has provided a broad framework for historical eras, though he is the first to acknowledge it is unclear how best to adapt them to a game.

Second, and I have not seen this broached much here, so perhaps discussion can be found elsewhere, but eras seem to have been improperly implemented in Civilization VI, if only from a gameplay perspective. Many people love the early game, but it might as well be called "Waiting for Plato." For the base concept of eras, a mid-game critical mass usually suffices to blitz through the second half of the tree. Rise and Fall further complicates this by having a world era out of sync with one's own technological and cultural progress. Many mods address the pacing in part by increasing research costs, but it still feels like the underlying era mechanism is at fault.

It would make more sense to me if the frontrunner set the world era. Sure, it may be difficult to research a revolutionary advancement, but those processes can be irreversible, and the era ought to reflect that. Civilization V captured this to some extent by giving all players a spy as soon as any player entered the Renaissance. In this case, the frontrunner paid a cost for leading the way, a phenomenon not totally new to history.

I would be happy with a simple era system so long as it contributed positively to gameplay, but the original eras fall short of this.
 
NO FIXED ERAS

They are artificial, and too often Eurocentric, and almost always utterly unrelated to anything actually happening in the game. When was the last time, in any Civ game, you had any reason for a Rebirth (Renaissance) of any kind?

Instead, 'Eras' should represent Singularities when the very concept, culture and ideals of your Civ change - and they happen based on what is happening in your specific game, and happening to your specific Civilization, not magically all over the world no matter what most of the Civs are doing at the time.

Note also that many of these are directly related to Physical changes that could be reflected on the Civ/Map graphics: Agriculture, Bronze, Iron, Steam, Electricity all transform the very appearance of cities and their surrounding landscape: the fact that your neighbor has discovered Iron Working or Steam Power should not come as a surprise to you.

In civ6 you have Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial, Modern, Atomic, Information and Future.
Personally I dislike this division, because I think it's absurd that you get the same amount of eras for preindustrial 5700 years of history as for postindustrial 150. I also have the intuition that for the majority of players very modern eras are less interesting by their very nature, and I think the issue is tied to the game's problems with pacing and 'second half of the game being stale and boring'.
:yup: Quoted to avoid rewording the same good points. Since not all Civs (in game or in reality) share the same social events or knowledge, globally, at a given time, and as the eras are based on the Tech tree, any historic eras defined mostly by sociocultural periods (e.g. the dark ages, the renaissance, the enlightenment, the cold war, etc.) should be avoided.

The more general and impactful era defining focus would be the tool of power that drove that era, changing the way that people lived, industries & armies operated, and empires rose & fell:

Stone Age* (Neolithic-Ancient): Shaping of natural objects to create new improvements
Metal Age* (Ancient/Classical-Medieval): Reshaping of natural 'compounds' to make new materials
Gunpowder Age (Medieval/'Renaissance'-'Colonial'): Recombining of natural 'elements' to spark new reactions
Machine Age (Industrial-Modern): Arranging of manmade parts to engineer new self-powered technologies
Information Age (Atomic/Space-Future): Simulation of manmade thoughts to program new virtual agents
*Stone Age could be swapped for Copper/Bronze Age, and the Metal Age for the Iron Age, depending on the time scale of Civ VII.

-Fewer eras mean each has a greater impact. For example, allowing for 1, 2, maybe 3 units per promotion class per era, before something distinctly different & better replace them during the following era. The same goes for industry, infrasctructure, methods of travel, communications, heating, etc., there are upgrades on the current base tech, or entirely new [era] techs.
-These are individual to the player, and not a Global era (as is currently the case in Civ VI), and are initiated by discovering, deploying, or copying 1 or more key Technologies.
-These would be gradual transitions (e.g. the combustion engined motorcar is more a relic of the Machine Age than the Information Age, starting, perhaps, with the driverless electric car), and so require 'levelling up' your Cities to gain the benefits of the current ages' tech, infrastructure, & economy (at a cost), while rural areas deemed unimportant may remain 'left behind'.
-Gives players the choice to race ahead toward the next era (e.g. few Strategic resources suiting the current era) or better settle into the current era, racing for more upgrades within it, so that, for example, your army of unique units is still useful by the time it's deployed. Upgrades within allow continued competition with those an Age ahead, at least initially, until that Age upgrades.
-Each era may host varied gameplay mechanics, tactics, or objectives, alongside different vital resources (type of material, type of mount/vehicle/vessel, type of fuel/heating/lighting, etc.).
-Each Civ could have unique abilities, buildings, and units that either focus on one particular Age, or span over several Ages, with each Age lasting longer than the current eras in Civ VI.

Yes, the Metal Age may be further divided into a Bronze Age & Iron Age, but fundamentally, the regular & best tool of power in this period, that seperated it from the simpler methods of the last, was metal alloys, and I do not see that having changed enough during the Medieval period to establish it as a seperate era (via the Tech tree). Instead, the development of chemistry, gunpowder, & alchemy gradually proliferating across Asia & Europe during the 'middle ages' seems to have ultimately granted power over earlier age Civs, and divides the eras effectively. World Wars 1 & 2 would coincide with the end of the Machine Age here, as they include only improved units based on machinery, but did not utilize Atomic/Space/Information era Tech.

We could have separate eras for the tech tree and civic tree (or whatever their equivalent end up being), one reflecting the stone-bronze-iron-etc progression (possibly with some break in the iron age category), the other more an intelectual history.
I like this idea too, since progress is equally being made through the Civics Tree, and so should have equal importance. Such eras could easily relate to Dark/Golden ages, or Great Ministers/Revolutionaries. These era-altering social events might help less advanced players to catch up with a more technologically advanced player they interact with, and conversely, those steamrolling scientifically ahead may be slowed by revolutions or dark ages (e.g. workers revolts), making an anti-snowballing mechanism tied directly to Scientific and Cultural progress, and requiring some strategic balance between the two, representing a mechanic in which the populace demand change, but detest to much change.
 
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Metal Age is definitely too long - we're condensing three-quarters of the game timeline into one age. Splitting Bronze helps, but even then Iron may still need split in two as it covers a lot of different tech advancements, and the transition from the 2000 years of the Iron age to the few centuries or so of the gunpowder age is very jarring.

(Also technically the Stone/Bronze/Iron classification were conceived periodizarion of pre- and proto-history, so they're not entirely meant to extend all the way to gunpowder to begin with).
 
Stone Age* (Neolithic-Ancient): Shaping of natural objects to create new improvements (tribes, nomadism, orienteering, mythology, arts, spirituality, pottery, copper (perhaps))
Metal Age* (Ancient/Classical-Medieval): Reshaping of natural 'compounds' to make new materials (kingdoms, towns/cities, dirt tracks, mathematics, philosophy, oars, horses, religion)
The problem is that half these are wrong when you look to Mesoamerica, metal and specialy iron is not needed to have cities, kingdoms, mathematics, writing, roads, etc.
 
The problem is that half these are wrong when you look to Mesoamerica, metal and specialy iron is not needed to have cities, kingdoms, mathematics, writing, roads, etc.

- And parts of Africa, which seem to have gone straight to Iron and even primitive Steel without ever working and using Bronze.

Hard metal (bronze, iron) tools are (or, archeologically, seem to be) a requirement for working wheels, though (cross-grain cutting of wood simply cannot be done with stone tools, even 'specialty' obsidian blades), and while wheels are also not required for cities, they are damn handy for moving people and goods around the landscape.

The bigger problem, of which the above discussion of 'metal' ages is part, is that all of the suggested Eras are related directly to Technology/'Hard' Science, and some of the most influential changes in human society had little or nothing to do with physical science or surroundings. For example, the 'Axial Age' in which expansive, philosphically-coherent Religions swept the Eurasian landmass in approximately 700 BCE - 700 CE, or the 'Enlightenment' thinking that transformed European culture and politics in the 18th century, and then the Ideologies like Socialism, Communism, and later Fascism that in some of their effects replaced Religion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Again, not everyone, every culture/Civ went through all or any of these, but where they did, it was massively Influential and went on to affect their relationships with other Civs, even if those had not had the 'benefit' of the new way of thinking.

After long contemplation of the Eras, I don't think any set of definitions will encompass all the Civs or Regions in world history in all of their varied development.

To me, that is not a major problem, it simply means if your Civ does not, for whatever reason, have access to an Axial Religion you will either get one spread to you or develop without one ("The Old Gods Are Wisest", or "Nobody Expects the (insert Foreign Civ here) Inquisition!"). That's just a different set of problems for the gamer, not necessarily a Game Losing Singularity imposed on the gamer. As mentioned, metal tools are not even an absolute requirement for major Civic development, including Monument and Wonder construction (cue the American Civs from the Ohio River Valley all the way to modern Peru), although I would point out as a military historian that they seem to have been ultimately required to defend whatever you are building against people with metal weapons - another problem for the gamer, but the capability of people as different as the North American natives, Afghans, and Meiji Japan to 'acquire', develop and reproduce advanced weapons indicates that the problem is by n means historically insurmountable.
 
Like virtually every "Era" definition and date, the beginning of the Industrial Era depends on your definitions.

The Romans had factories - concentrations of workshops and workers - manufacturing armor to specification in complexes in northern Italy from the 1st century CE.
Europe from at least 1000 CE on had artificial power applied to manufacturing - water wheels with gears were used not only to grind grain, but also to industrially process felt and cloth, work leather, iron, brass, and saw timber, stone, and marble. So, the 'mechanization' of materials processing was already well-established long before the 'Renaissance', let alone the later 'Industrial' era - and many of the same processes were being done with water power in China and the Caliphates as well.

Waterwheels also powered the first industrial factories in England and virtually every other European country - textile mills using machinery started up in the 1760s, the first stationary steam engine wasn't applied to them until the 1780s in England, and not until 40+ years later elsewhere (by the way, Russia's first textile mills were built in the 1830s at Naro-Fominsk, 70 kilometers outside of Moscow, powered by waterwheels, so only about 70 years behind the English rather than a century).

Conventionally, "Industrialization' is usually defined by the first use of powered machinery - waterwheels driving Arkwright's looms and 'frames' in textile production, which started in the 1760s. But, powered processing of all kinds of materials started much, much earlier, and real 'machine production' didn't start until after 1800, when Maudslay invented a screw-cutting lathe that allowed really identical parts to be manufactured by machine, and a little later invented a micrometer that could accurately measure to 1/10,000 of an inch - precision which no one had even needed just a decade earlier. That development of identical parts and precision manufacturing in turn set the stage for truly Interchangeable Parts about a third of a century later (Samuel Colt's 1836 factory manufacturing revolvers with machine tools - NOT Eli Whitney, who cheated on his government contract in 1801)

It's problems like these in the definitions that hurt my widdle head when I consider how to divide up Civ VII into Eras: you either simplify and ignore most of the factors, or get bogged down in a swamp of wildly different developments spreadover decades or centuries . . .
So you're AGAINST Era systems Civ series had been using since Civ2?
If you disagree with it. How will you gauge respective players progressions or even the customized 'game begins' with some techs and 'civil progress' attained?
And 'Eras' also affects how techs and any form of civil progress chosen for any games.
Also the breaks between 'Middle Ages' and 'Early Modern' (colloquially referred to as Renaissance Era) is when? Civ6 began to lose tracks on era progressions when it comes to gunpowder. the default Renaissance Era game begin is 1350 which contradicts to the existence to another anchor tech progression where academics agreed that Bombard (The first 'standalone siege unit') came to exists (1362-1372, when first bombards did wreck medieval city walls and castles with no efforts) which historians agreed that it is Medieval weaponry and NOT Early Modern (Which artillery becomes smaller but truly deadlier, i.e. Supergun bombards no longer neccessary to do a successful siege but smaller 'average' big cannons in large numbers will). After Constantinople fell, i'm not sure if anyone else uses superguns like what Orban made for Mehmet II in any siege? but French in Italian Wars used 'Heavy Cannons' which were considerably smaller but still 'bigger' than average 'fieldguns' King Francis I used in his siege trains.
 
Well, it looks like I achieved the goal of revitalizing this interesting topic which had brought me back to the site.
Metal Age is definitely too long - we're condensing three-quarters of the game timeline into one age. Splitting Bronze helps, but even then Iron may still need split in two as it covers a lot of different tech advancements, and the transition from the 2000 years of the Iron age to the few centuries or so of the gunpowder age is very jarring.
The Stone Age lasted a great deal of time longer. With every passing era, the rate of change gets faster. I'd agree, on further thought, that a Copper/Bronze Age may be neccessary, but much of the Ancient era (in Civ VI) is comprised of Stone Age tech anyway. When considering technologies that defined power, outside of social change, I struggle to find what technology clearly defines the Medieval era from the Classical era, militarily or otherwise, and see it instead as an improved continuation, technologically speaking (Iron Age). Each successive era covers less & less historical time frame, but each should be signicant and similar in game-time.
The problem is that half these are wrong when you look to Mesoamerica, metal and specialy iron is not needed to have cities, kingdoms, mathematics, writing, roads, etc.
I made the mistake of adding too much information, which I have edited out, and am not suggesting [what was] the entire associated word cloud requires the aforementioned Age.
However, I envision that a less linear system which allows concentrating on advancements either within or beyond the current era actually makes more sense for depicting and roleplaying Mesoamerican Civs. Continuing to use and develop Stone Age technology allows more advanced technologies built upon the same base for longer, that is capable to compete, albeit by different tactics/strategies/resources, with Metal Age technologies, but begins to hit a wall if still in use upon competing against Gunpowder Age Civs. Each Civ may also have unique options that allow specialization in a particular era, and so encourage further developing the technologies of that era, instead of hurriedly pushing onto the next. In Civ VI, all Civs are forced to quickly follow the same linear Tech path (including metal working) and share the same Eras (at the same time), which makes far less sense.
- And parts of Africa, which seem to have gone straight to Iron and even primitive Steel without ever working and using Bronze.

Hard metal (bronze, iron) tools are (or, archeologically, seem to be) a requirement for working wheels, though (cross-grain cutting of wood simply cannot be done with stone tools, even 'specialty' obsidian blades), and while wheels are also not required for cities, they are damn handy for moving people and goods around the landscape.

The bigger problem, of which the above discussion of 'metal' ages is part, is that all of the suggested Eras are related directly to Technology/'Hard' Science, and some of the most influential changes in human society had little or nothing to do with physical science or surroundings. For example, the 'Axial Age' in which expansive, philosphically-coherent Religions swept the Eurasian landmass in approximately 700 BCE - 700 CE, or the 'Enlightenment' thinking that transformed European culture and politics in the 18th century, and then the Ideologies like Socialism, Communism, and later Fascism that in some of their effects replaced Religion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After long contemplation of the Eras, I don't think any set of definitions will encompass all the Civs or Regions in world history in all of their varied development.
All the more reason for Cultural eras to complement the Technological eras. These would not have to occur at the same time as a new Tech era starts either, allowing the minimalist Technological Ages I outlined above to be somewhat divided by social changes. Either that, or philosophies, religions, ideologies, etc., simply have a greater impact.

A less linear path through the Tech tree, or subdivisions within each Era, could allow for a Civ to skip a tech to reach, say, Iron working first, and continue from there. Civs could also copy certain Technologies upon encountering them. I'm imagining fewer lines connecting Technologies, and more reliance than present on ones' interactions and available resources.
A Stone Age Civ could construct Monuments, Wonders, etc., only with fewer long-term options, techniques, and resources to contribute. The requirement of metal tools to make wheels, allows a distinction between Stone Age & 'Metal' Age, that of wheeled carts to improve trade connections between cities and deployable units. Each era is different.

Eras are indeed tricky, hence my attempt at simplified abstraction, but I believe they should be central to the progressive design of Civ (mechanical, technological, aesthetic, etc.) and, for keeping a sense a chronological progression, are preferable to a year counter/calender in the top corner, which is less accurate and far less impactful.

Ultimately, Technological and Cultural eras are seperate and mostly unrelated, yet the conversation on what eras to represent tends to combine the two together, presenting a mismatch of problems.
 
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