Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Krajzen, Feb 6, 2019.
Good choice on marriage there, your Irish wife is hillarious.
Hugely pedantic... I know, but nationalism and pan-africanism/black consciousness are not the same thing
Nationalism is about national identity
Pan-africanism is about the establishment of an African union in terms of trade, freedom of movement, governance etc (much like the United states, the shengen area or the European union)
Black consciousness is a about (partially) re-construction of pre-colonial identities, customs and philosophy.
I would define nationalism more broadly as an artificial construction of a group identity with a political motive. So pan-Africanism and pan-Celticism definitely qualify in my book (NB pan-Celticists call their movement Pan-Celtic Nationalism). IMO nothing good ever comes of it. That's another reason I prefer ancient history: Nebuchadnezzar's conquests are over and even their most far-reaching ramifications are a distant memory, but the fires of nationalism are still burning brightly across the globe.
(Also I soooooo wish the United States worked the way you describe. We were intended to function more like a league than a nation, but that train left the station a long time ago. )
"Nationalism" arrived as baggage with the 'Nation-State' concept formulated in the 19th century to try to explain why multi-national empires like Austro-Hungary weren't working nearly as well as Uni-National states like France or Germany. I remember reading interminable chapters on it in Political Science classes many years ago, and the concept basically missed the most Fundamental Point: Allegiance to any monarch or political group, concept, or formula is a Contract between the Polity and the individual: if the individual gets little or nothing from the Polity, or nothing that the individual values, then he will give no allegiance, and all the attributes of 'nationality' - shared language, culture, etc., won't matter diddly/squat.
Which is where your last statement needs a bit of tweaking. Like monarchies in Europe, the USA tried a league and it didn't work, so we dropped it. Some still pay it lip service, but modern 'States' Rights' all too often means that they believe in a Smaller Pond they will be the Big Frog and can get away with more. The greatest advantage of the US Federal system now, as Jared Diamond points out in his new book Upheaval (which I recommend highly) is that the states act as Experiments for the National Government: try something at the state level - law, policy, tax structure - and if it works, go national with it. That works both ways: Kansas tried reducing taxes and dropping support for all levels of public education, and the state legislature - including legislators that had voted for the original plan - abandoned it within a few years because of the massive public outcry over their children' education. End of Experiment, at least for now. . .
Not entire premise is "Slavery". Kindgoms as Ashanti can be easily focused in his Gold and Oyo in his faith.
Dahomey have the "Amazon's warriors", the Ahosi. But, the Slavery was really important in rise and fall of Dahomey empire, helps to spread two religions to new world, the Voodoo and Yoruba faith (known in Brazil as Candomblé and in Cuba as Santeria). I really can't understand why this era is a tabu in western hemisphere, it's not better or worst of all other things the western civilization made between 1492-1945.
Pan-Africanism is not the same, a black guy in Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, Congo, Ethiopia, South Africa, Côte d'Ivore, USA or in France can be fell as living in a brotherhood as teach the Pan-Africanism philosophy, but never all this places will be united as a single nation.
Moreover, I thinking black history still under represented in this game, as seen the western hemisphere still believing they roots is just Greece and Rome and not also Oyo and Abomey. (Despite the fact the blood of western people have more Fon and Yoruba blood as Greek or Roman blood, why our history have more roots in a strange land with almost any ties with us?)
The answer for that is, Victorian British start to write the western roots is greek, and since then everyone in this side of the globe just believe in that.
To clarify I wasn't referring to the Articles of Confederation; I was referring to the period between the ratification of the Constitution and the Civil War, when Lincoln's rather bloody power trip put the final nail in the coffin of states' rights.
I disagree. What most people (and I emphasize people, not politicians) mean by states' rights is that if one state is handling an issue poorly, you can move to a different state that handles the matter better to your liking (what our Founders called "voting with your feet"). Don't like Law X in your state? Move to a state that does not have Law X. Wish your state did Y? Move to a state that does Y.
I think we'll inevitably have to agree to disagree on this. IMO the federal government is mind-bogglingly incompetent. The less it's involved in...anything at all really the happier I am. I'm not an anarchist and I'm not even a libertarian, but our federal government is a monstrosity. It's wasteful. It's incompetent. It doesn't represent the interests of the people but of itself. It's a giant pyramid scheme. TBH I'm not fond of nation-states in general and highly suspect they'll prove a short-lived fad. What comes next may be worse, of course...
Every day I find new reasons why I would never for a second consider putting my kids in public school.
Unfortunately, the 20 year erosion of the income of the so-called 'middle class' in the USA and the massive inflation of housing costs in the majority of states has made such movement less and less possible in the real world. This, I suspect, is going to turn out to be one of those 'stealth problems' that suddenly explodes in extreme dissatisfaction with other things because the traditional answer to dissatisfaction is no longer available.
Please note I never said the Federal Government was a Good Thing as it operates. ANY large organization run by humans becomes increasingly incompetent, the larger the more so. I was in the US Army for 20 years, the largest single employer in the USA, and the sheer mind-boggling scale of the inability to get basic things done intelligently defies belief. On the other hand, as Douglas MacArthur, who knew a bit about the subject, put it:
"There is nothing in the world more expensive than a second-best army."
Or the Duke of Wellington:
"You must have an army large enough and good enough to meet the enemy abroad, or you will most assuredly have to meet him at home."
And so every military, and every government or private organization of any size, spends and enacts stupidities, because they are composed of thousands upon thousands of individuals each with their own agenda and most in conflict with the stated goals of the organization, assuming anyone really understands them in the first place. The only saving 'grace' for private companies is that the market, when allowed to, savagely punishes too many mistakes: only a lost war efficiently punishes the military for its mistakes and only a sufficiently aroused - and well-informed - electorate or revolution punishes a government.
Last point, but too pertinent to pass up:
Thomas Jefferson said famously that the US needed a revolution every 20 years.
We are, therefore, decades overdue.
Now let's get back to discussing the game, in which, alas, there are no real Revolutions, and all the stupidities of government and organization are simply Assumed for all parties.
Yet another sneaking suspicion that I've mentioned before, but I'm sensing a bit of expectation creep with VI's development model. Granted it's only based on two data points, but let me explain what I mean.
What I mean is I think the developers recognize that Civ is quite niche, and that player interest, particular for newer players, is very tenuous. I say this because of how Gathering Storm was deliberately developed to introduce more new assets and mechanics than Rise and Fall, and then to cover its bases also included Rise and Fall mechanics as well. At the cost of more Rise and Fall sales, they overdeveloped Gathering Storm to avoid alienating new buyers and to keep the interest of current owners.
It's a subtle thing, but ultimately the aim was to make Gathering Storm so comparatively bigger and better to what preceded it that players wouldn't hesitate to pay full price again--even the ones who recognize that it's just a handful of civs and some ancillary mechanical additions. More content equals more value, which means players will debate less and insta-buy more, as a rule.
What this means is that the surest selling point for VI expacks is not necessarily what they add, but how much more they add than the last expack. You thought Gathering Storm was good? Well you'll definitely want to check out what we have next.
So we reach a speculative conclusion and some implications as a result of this business model. The conclusion is that Expack 3 will have to be bigger than Gathering Storm to keep profit projections consistent. It will have all the mechanics from Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall, and it will generally add more things than Gathering Storm.
The implications are how much the devs can reasonably put out in a year, and where the easier design space is. I would posit that developing and balancing entirely new mechanics takes a lot more work than implementing leaders and civs which were already on the drawing board, and may have already had their lines recorded (and that the animators are probably getting better at making them).
In short, I think, especially if expack 3 ends up being the final expack (which I hope not), there is an extremely good chance we could see extra leaders or civs pushed forward for a big finale. We might get 12 civs instead of 8. Or we might get six alternate leaders instead of one. We might get a handful of clone civs. This seems the most likely way to make expack 3 "bigger." Because two Eleanors are bigger than one Chandragupta.
In short, I could see expack 3 being an all out map filler, such as (four returning civs, eight new civs):
* Theodora/Irene (I'm sorry Byzantium, I still don't quite know what to do with you but when I think blowout alternate leader I think Rome)
Obviously the specifics aren't certain, but considering this list specifically, look at what could be considered "missing." Benin, Ireland, Finland, Tlingit, Tibet, Hawaii, and the list just gets more obscure. We all might have a civ or two we really wanted, but I would argue that twelve well-chosen civs would have the ability to provide closure to most players and that we would get over a lack of Assyria or the Inuit or the Goths or likely any of these twelve civs because the game as a whole is still very good. Twelve civs would put the roster very close to full global representation.
So I think there is a solid chance for a blowout roster expansion in expack 3. Since I doubt, barring a massive paradigm overhaul, the devs have enough mechanical ideas to fill a fourth expack, that they will consolidate all of their non-mechanical ideas into expack 3 as a means of beefing it up as a grand finale. And since civs and leaders are, on the whole, non-mechanical, those seem most likely to be the sort of ideas in the pipeline that will get pushed forward.
Note: I don't think a blowout finale would necessarily preclude further DLC. If there happen to be more than twelve civs in development, they could still be put into small DLC packs which avoid the necessity of developing new mechanics like an expack would. And I think alternate leader or clone civ DLC will be inevitable late cycle content. But I am definitely getting the feeling that we will see more than nine leaders in expack 3 because they are just easier to churn out conceptually than to try and outdo the number of mechanical additions in Gathering Storm.
EDIT: While I'm at it, I've also been contemplating the possibility that the expack 3 civs might be underwhelmingly obvious based on gaps in the map.
* Portugal - Spain has no Portuguese cities in its list.
* Ireland - we have Northern Ireland but no Irish cities. Similar issue for Denmark/Finland but Ireland just looks really suspicious.
* Bulgaria/Byzantium - large gap in city lists here for Rome.
* Colombia - surprisingly no Bogota CS. Long shot for Caribbean civ but absence of Bogota is surprising. Mayan CS already exists.
* Ethiopia - no CS. Morocco, Swahili, and Ashanti already have CSs.
* Timurids - no Samarkand CS and is a nice compromise to satisfy a lot of player demands for that region.
* Burma/Vietnam/Siam - None of these has a CS. Whichever doesn't make it would likely be added as a CS.
* Navajo/Apache/Shoshone/PNW - however they end up filling out western America.
That makes eight new civs with no city-state changes. The complete absence of CS changes in this scenario makes this seem unlikely, but at the same time there are just enough suspicious absences of city states to make one wonder. And although we would lose out on things like Morocco and Maya (both of which I really, really want), if you choose any two out of Byzantium/Siam/Denmark/Shoshone we still get a 4-4 new-old split like in the other expacks. It's not the most satisfying I admit, but I could reasonably see the "big new" additions including Colombia and the Timurids, plus some combination of Navajo/Apache, Burma/Vietnam, and/or Bulgaria/Ireland. If the developers weren't feeling super ambitious. *Shrugs*.
Another topic, about :Native Americans - other than Navajo
I really want to see Guarani civilization, I think few players really know about the Guaranis very well, but this civilization is really resilient and warrior.
Paraguay is the Guarani nation, so, the Hereditary Dictator Solano López was the last Guarani leader in battle. Any mood in the internet haven't the idea already of set Solano López as the Guarani leader, probably because was made by people who don't have a deep knowledge in South-America history.
Guarani probably came to the "Silver Mesopotamia" around the year 1000ad, when they made the first contact with the Jesuits priests, they rapidly love the teaches of the Jesuits and together found 3 state in the area: Itatim, Guairá and Tape. (By the way, Guairá was the name of the Guarani leader of this area, that means he can be also a Guarani leader).
Around 1628 and 1632 brazilian's Paulistas invade, conquer and destroy the guarani's land of Itatim, Guairá and Tape.
1641 the Guarani finally won a important battle at the river Uruguay (know as M'bororé) against the Paulistas and since then the peace dure longer.
In the next century new guarani-Jesuits cities will flourish in Silver Mespotamia as you can see in the map bellow:
In 1750 was signed the Madrid Treaty where Portugal gives the Colonia do Sacramento to Spain (Nowadays in Uruguay, so close to Buenos Aires) and Spain give to Portugal this 7 guarani cities in green in the picture above. The Guarani don't accepted and then we have the Guaranitic wars between 1753-1756. The most famous Guarani leader of this war is called Sepé Tiajaru, also can be a good Guarani leader.
The last and best known war between Brazil and Paraguay was after the Guaranitic independence of Spain. Paraguay was the only spanish country in South America who have an independence without a war and I think Solano López was searching this kind of glory to Paraguay, but as you all probably know, Paraguay lost this war. And just in this war the male population died around 90% and came a lot of immigrants from Italia, so then Paraguay starts to be a mix race country and not more a Guarani country.
1932 Paraguay finally starts a war with someone else who isn't the Brazil, and finally won something in battle against Bolivia in the Chaco war. (The first international war to use Airplanes).
I do wonder if the 4/4 split continues myself and we get returning:
2. Assyria or Babylon, not both (yes, I know the latter is not your favorite, just a hunch one of these two would appear), but pretty much everyone wants a second Mesopotamia civ, popular demand at all. And it would be cool to see Assyria return with an even cooler design IMO.
4. Mayans, I know we have a CS here but everyone wants them and I find it unlikely for them to be left out
With like you say Theodora being an alt-Rome leader (which I honestly don't mind, and would satisfy most Byzantophiles).
I think you might be spot on with how you've narrowed down the natives in western North America, so that's slot 5.
Six, Colombia may be right because of how appealing it is, and it fills that TSL spot nicely.
With two slots left, you've also narrowed it down to possibly being Ireland, Bulgaria, Timurids, or one of three SE Asian civs (Burma, Vietnam, Siam)
Seriously, I'd take all 6 for 10 civs and 1 alt leader for Rome (heck I'd take Babylon as well for 12 new leaders in total, but this won't happen). I think the safest bet here might be Vietnam. It's a very popular request, and they've definitely increased global representation, so I can see it happening.
Ireland is a curiosity that I think would be cool, but I think the lack of cities there is just due to the shrinking of "Celts" into Scotland. They are also represented with Armagh, even though it is currently in Northern Ireland.
You and I have both spoken about Timurids being a good choice to include, AND it fills out an area they haven't represented before. They should just do it, I do worry about it becoming another "nomad-style-conqueror" civ when there are so many other facets about that Empire to include.
Bulgaria, I also agree with you on being a great choice. I will see it when I believe it, but if they really want to introduce someone new to Europe, I'd be more than happy to welcome the Tsars.
I hesitate to say Siam would return because unless you're in Europe or the middle East, Firaxis does not usually like to have too many countries TSL on the same land unfortunatley, and there is a lot of geographical overlap with Khmer and Siam.
As for Burma - I would welcome it greatly, but I'm not sure Firaxis will go for it for some reason. But it's at a nice crossroads between India and China, that's gotta count for something, right?
I just don't know what the heck takes the last slot.
It's sort of obvious that the last slot is a form of Italian representation .
3- Babylon/Assyria (I prefer Babylon)
6- Navajo (or other native of North America)
9- Byzantines as alt-roman leader.
I'm totally ok with this.
I do wonder if the 4/4 split continues myself and we get returning:
2. Assyria or Babylon, not both (yes, I know the latter is not your favorite, just a hunch one of these two would appear), but pretty much everyone wants a second Mesopotamia civ, popular demand at all. And it would be cool to see Assyria return with an even cooler design IMO.
4. Mayans, I know we have a CS here but everyone wants them and I find it unlikely for them to be left out. [/QUOTE]
If we go purely by my map gap theory, Babylon wouldn't be very likely because it is a city state and Assyria wouldn't be very likely because of city list overlap. The presumption would be that they would use a different, new Middle Eastern civ. I don't know where we stand with the Hittites or Palmyra as city lists, but I do suspect that maybe the Timurids are west Asian enough that the devs think they adequately fill that slot.
As for Mayans, again, if we just assume as a hard rule that city states are excluded, then they wouldn't happen. And as much as I like the Mayans and think the Yucatan deserves representation, I can also conceive of a master plan that considers them a city state with respect to the larger Mexican-dominated region represented by the Aztecs, and that other regions like Columbia or the Caribbean are receiving similar seats of power. So, at least under this theory, I am not considering the Mayans "necessary."
I would buy ten civs as a possibility as well. But I will also grant that Vietnam is popular even though I would much prefer Burma.
It's precisely the fact that we have Armagh and not Dublin that I find suspicious. If not for that I wouldn't even be considering Ireland.
Between those I consider Burma and Vietnam and Siam to be either/or in an eight civ lineup; there can only be one. And I don't think we would get two West Asian civs together so you'd either have to pick Assyria or Timurids, which I obviously choose Timurids. So by default I would say Bulgaria wins, which would also be consistent with the devs adding three European leaders on average, especially if we get someone other than a Byzantine leader like say a Makeda and Ramesses twofer.
Me too. In fact that would be the ideal expansion to wrap up the game. I'd prefer Assyria, but wouldn't hate it if Babylon got in, and either Colombia or Argentina would be fine.
I personally don't buy it. Northern Ireland was just recently created in 1921 as a separate country whereas Armagh has been a part of united Ireland for centuries before that. For that reason I don't see an Irish Civ happening with Armagh still being in the game as a CS, unless it is replaced.
Plus I've been under the impression that Armagh was supposed to represent all of Ireland especially with the shamrock symbol, and the fact that it's the capital of the Church of Ireland and where St. Patrick was the head bishop.. In that case we really don't need Dublin.
Ah, I never considered the religious angle. I concede then that Ireland is not a gap in the map. So that still leaves us with:
* Colombia/Caribbean (probably Colombia)
We are left with one more slot open and no clear gaps in the map. I would bet in an eight civ pack they wouldn't go with another European alternate leader, which would mean that the eighth slot could still be European. The gap-ish areas we have left besides Ireland are Denmark, Finland, Austria/Bohemia, and Italy, none of which are particularly large gaps to fill. I don't see Austria or Bohemia happening, and I'm losing faith in Denmark and Finland as anything more than CSs. So Xadinho might indeed be correct that the eighth gap could be Italy.
I have also removed Bulgaria as an equivalent for Byzantium because I forgot we already have a Bulgarian CS.
Mind, this is all still speculative, given that the presumption of strict gap filling ignores the possibility of elevating the Maya, Morocco, Swahili, Bulgaria, etc. to civ status, and it seems more than possible that one or more of these could make it. However, as others have pointed out they would probably be happy with that list so again maybe the least ambitious expack is likely.
Here's yet another crazy idea.
Each expack grouped its civs by themes. Rise and Fall, the "political" expansion, featured "resistance" civs (plus Mongolia). Gathering Storm, the "climate" expansion, featured "terrain" civs (plus the Ottomans). So what if expack three is planned to similarly have a "theme" throughout its civs?
I'm going to go out on a limb predicting the theme and suggest that many of the remaining civs that players want are competing as "equivalents" to other popular civs. And think that theme will be something Al the lines of "cultural integration" or "multicultural heritage." For example:
* Colombia - the Muisca have been a recurrent talking point. Occasionally the Taino as well but they are a bit more conceptually stretched from Colombia proper.
* Vietnam - Champas show up from time to time and in fact replaced Khmer in CBR II.
* Timurids - players seem to prefer the Mughals but both seem very popular.
* Swahili - really the core of the Omani empire, but for some time Oman was at the forefront of discussion.
* Finland - the Saami are also a large Finno-Ugric people and have quite some popularity.
* Morocco - Berbers. Indeed, Morocco in Civ V had Berber cavalry.
* Haiti/Cuba - everyone wants some Taino representation but the language isn't attested to. However, that wouldn't be necessary if they were blobbed into a Caribbean civ, quite fittingly given what a melting pot the region is.
* Bulgaria - engaged in quite a bit of cultural integration with the south Slavs. This one stretches a lot more to justify itself under this theory given all of those Slavic states are no longer part of Bulgaria.
* Ethiopia - Too many layers, really.
Many of our remaining strong options are often extremely divisive online because players want one equivalent over another, so we often have two or three civs getting split support despite there oftentimes being a cultural continuum between them. In effect, we have a similar issue here as what was solved by alternate leaders to represent multiple polities which share a cultural heritage. Excluding the modern superpowers (America, Canada, Brazil, Australia, "Mexico") and the Macedon/Persia dichotomy, nearly every civ in the game so far represents a singular cultural heritage, a single people. We don't really have any civs that are intended to represent a mixture of different peoples. But, using V Morocco or the Shoshone as a loose predictor, I could see a roster including things like:
* Colombia - Museo del Oro or some other reference to the muisca.
* Timurids - Mughal fort.
* Vietnam - Champa.
* Finland - Saami reindeer sled.
* Swahili/Oman - Baghlah/Coral house
* Haiti - Taino canoe
I.e., one or more uniques would be drawn from the "sister civ" like how the Shoshone had a Comanche raider. The difference being that, instead of just mashing together two related civs, they might be drawn together and integrated more naturally. I.e. the Museo del Oro is how modern Colombia reaches back to its Muisca heritage. Or we could even do Morocco better, since an Almohad caliph like Yusuf would literally personify the merging of Arabic and Berber heritage.
And it's not really that I want this theme or not, but that it seems quite a few of the remaining options could reasonably fall into this kind of cultural synthesis category. Not only would depicting them as such cover twice as many peoples and make the game feel more complete, but it would practically ensure that they played and felt different from the other 42 civs in the game.
This would also solve my problem with Bolivar representing a mechanically different Colombia because it lampshades the personality rule for leader selection. Since none of the leaders in expack 3 would align well with their civ's playstyle, they all could be seen as kind of breaking boundaries and unifying several disparate mechanics-- just like their actual countries have unified several disparate peoples.
Portugal seems like it would be the obvious choice for a Mongol/Ottoman "superpower" civ that doesn't fit the theme but keeps domination player interest.
The one downside of this theory is that we can't have a Native American civ that fits the theme, at least not without pulling another Shoshone. Like, say the Apache with a Navajo Windtalker UU. But since western America is a problem no matter what we do, I don't see that as a major obstacle.
An upside is the idea of cultural synthesis makes any form of Italy to be much more palatable.
By my count this gives us a shortlist of about ten countries to choose from aside from the token domination civ (Finland/Saami, Morocco/Berber, Swahili/Oman, Timurid/Mughal, Vietnam/Champa, Colombia/Muisca, Haiti/Cuba/Taino, Ethiopia, Italy, Bulgaria, maybe Switzerland although I don't see it happening with Italy on the table). Portugal, Morocco, and Ethiopia would make 3/4 returning civs. Which might mean the return of the Shoshone or possibly an Akkadia/Assyria/Babylon blob (ew, gross)?
Again, the distinction would be different than prior blobs. Instead of trying to represent a collection of disunified tribes with a single tribal leader like Boudicca or Kamehameha, these would be leaders of unified polities which for most of not all of their history existed as cultural melting pots.
I further think that this would thematically mesh very well with some of the concepts put forth for mechanics players want added to the game. Corporations and emigration would further push a theme of cultural intermingling, the trading and appropriation of ideas, and featuring some epicenters of global consciousness which seems to be VI's grand thesis.
Tldr: I think the "theme" of expack 3 will be mildly blobby "melting pot" civs that have a UU or UI taken from a different highly requested civ.
I mean if we really look at the hypothetical 4 New Civs (since it's obvious which the 4 Returning Civs will be), we have to look at what new game mechanics the expansion could bring.
What we see is that in the past expansions 3 of the 4 new civs provided bonuses towards the newly introduced mechanics: In GS, Canada have bonuses to resource extraction and diplomatic favour gain, Hungary pay fewer resources when upgrading levied troops and benefit from geothermic fissures (a new terrain feature) and Maori are environmentally themed, being unable to harvest resources and being better of clearing none of their features.
Likewise, in R&F, Georgia's gimmick is their non-stop Golden Age, Cree players are incentivized to maintainas many alliances as possible while Mapuche has unique interactions with loyalty.
Scotland and Phoenicia both took advantage of mechanics already present in the previous game, and expanded them (Scotland with amenities, Phoenicia with loyalty)
If the new expansion is in development right now, it will have new mechanics and the new civs will reflect that in some capacity.
(in addition to being from different parts of the world and time periods, conform with the firaxite agenda of inclusion)
I don't think it's obvious at all, given VI's self-obvious priorities. The way alternate leaders are being used makes Byzantium kind of a 50/50 crapshoot. The way Phoenicia, the Maori, and Scythia are being used suggests that Bablyon/Assyria may (and in my opinion should) be skipped over in VI. And the Maya have suspiciously a lot of token representation for a planned civ. Add to the pile the existence of Nubia cramping Ethiopian territory and the fact that Portugal could easily be a Spain clone or even alternate leader, and absolutely no subset of the big five are "obvious." And neither is my baby Morocco, for that matter, given that the Ottomans have a Barbary corsair.
Yes there is also an axis of incorporating new features, but even the new/old civs seem to be chosen so that, although loosely tied to the new mechanics, doesn't necessarily need to use them to communicate a cohesive theme:
* Canada - tundra terrain bonuses.
* Inca - mountain terrain bonuses.
* Mali - desert and mining terrain bonuses.
* Maori - ocean and unimproved terrain bonuses.
* Hungary - river and thermal vent terrain bonuses.
* Phoenicia - coastal and continental terrain bonuses.
* Sweden - diverse terrain bonuses.
The Ottomans are the only civ without an Express terrain affinity or goal. Probably this is because they are the "big" returning civ to attract player interest, although I think there might also be a case that the big domination civ in each expack also serves some sort of balancing purpose to provide the other civs something to push back against.
Again, I'm not disputing this, but the broader "theme" for both the new and returning civs chosen seems to be "resistance."
* Cree - resisted Canadian expansion.
* Mapuche - resisted Spanish expansion.
* Georgia - resisted Byzantine and Mongol expansion.
* Korea - resisted Chinese and Mongol expansion.
* Zulu - resisted Boer expansion.
* Netherlands - resisted German expansion.
* Scotland - historically and continues to resist English rule.
Again, the Mongols exist for the same purpose as the Ottomans. And I could see Portugal or Byzantium being the big-name exception to the theme in expack 3.
This we agree on. All I'm saying is that I think I found another general rule of design the other expacks have adhered to. Previously we have collectively observed that expacks:
1. Have four old civs, four new civs.
2. Have three female leaders and six male leaders.
3. Have at least one "fixed" civ (Scotland, Maori/Phoenicia/Hungary, arguably Georgia if you view it as a spiritual successor to Byzantium).
4. As you observed, have three new civs exploring the new mechanics and one new civ expanding the old mechanics.
5. Have a split of 1 NA, 1 SA, 1 SS Africa, 1 N Africa/Middle East, 1 central Eurasian, 1 East Asian/Austronesian, and 3 European civs.
Among others I may be forgetting.
I'm just adding to the pile another apparent rule:
6. 7 of the 8 civs have a loose "theme" uniting them, not necessarily mechanically but with respect to self-reinforcing why they should all qualify as civs. Rise and Fall chose peoples that fought for independence and endured in the face of imperialism. Gathering Storm chose cultures that thrived in geological extremes on the planet. Expack 3 will likely introduce yet another take on the definition of "civilization," and this will be the basis for which 7 civs it chooses (plus Portugal or Byzantium).
Note that this isn't quite as rigid a concept as it seems. Many civs are multifaceted enough that different things can be emphasized to fit different themes. Sweden has a weird terrain diversity bonus that no one saw coming, but the developers did still manage to tie it together with the open air museum UI.
But I do get the impression that the unifying theme for expack 3 will be cultural integration. Byzantium and Ethiopia already facilitate this theme in spades, so we only need to stretch to find one more returning civ (plus Portugal). And as for new civs, the vast majority of them have some degree of cultural intermingling as a core part of their identity. Colombia/Muisca, Swahili/Oman, Timurids/Mughals, Finland/Saami, anything from the Caribbean. Given how few "pure" empires are left, I think the devs would more likely lean into cultural fusion rather than try to stretch out another eight single culture civs that each only please half the fanbase.
Again this is speculative. The theme could be something else entirely. But if I were to double down on multicultural epicenters as being the theme, I would look toward places like:
* Timurids - Turkic people speaking Persian, adopting Islam, and taking over India.
* Morocco - mixing Arabic, Hispanic, and Berber peoples.
* Bulgaria - Sofia has an Orthodox church, Catholic church, mosque and sun all within 300 metres of each other. Also Byzantium, but I think Bulgaria fits the concept more tightly.
* Caribbean - Spanish, French, Dutch, Taino/Carib, many SS African influences. Could we see the Buccs after all?
Other surprising options opened up by this theme include the Philippines and South Africa, although I think if the devs can swing toward Vietnam or Swahili they will.
Rise and Fall
2 European civs (Georgia is Asian)
4 Asian civs/leaders
2 'Americas' civs
1 african civ
4 European civs/leaders
2 asian (depending on what Phoenicia is considered)
2 'Americas' civs
1 African civ
1 Pacific civ
How can we use this to find out how what civs will be next?
Think in leaders and not civs:
Rise & Fall
3 European leaders: Wilhelmina, Tamar and Robert the Bruce.
3 Asian leaders: Chandragupta, Seondeok and Genghis Khan.
2 American leaders: Poundmaker and Lautaro.
1 African leader: Shaka.
3 European leaders: Matthias Corvinus, Kristina and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
2 Asian leaders: Suleiman and Dido.
2 American leaders: Wilfrid Laurier and Pachacuti.
1 African leader: Mansa Musa.
1 leader from Oceania: Kupe
We have something close to a "pattern" there, 3 European leaders, 2 American leaders and 1 African leader in both expansions. Asia had a variation, we can assume this got one less civ in GS compared to R&F to make room for Kupe. Perhaps in a third expansion the pattern returns similar to R&F or we have again 2 Asian leaders to make room for another leader of another region, a "wildcard" slot.
My guesses are:
3 European leaders: Portugal, Italy and Byzantines.
3 Asian leaders: Vietnam, Babylon/Assyria and Chinese or Japanese leader.
2 American leaders: Maya and a native of North America.
1 African leader: Ethiopia.
3 European leaders: Portugal, Italy and Byzantine as alternative Roman leader.
2 Asian leaders: Babylon/Assyria and Vietnam.
3 American leaders: Maya, a native of North America and Colombia/Argentina as a wildcard space.
1 African leader: Ethiopia.
I think that we will get a model similar to GS.
I divide them like this:
* 1 North American leader: Poundmaker/Laurier
* 1 South American leader: Lautaro/Pachacuti
* 1 East Asian/Austronesian leader: Seondeok/Kupe
* 1 African (Sub-Saharan-ish) leader: Shaka/Musa (Mali kind of straddles the Sahara but it generally isn't counted as "North African")
* 2 Central Asian/Afroasiatic leaders: Genghis, Chandragupta / Dido, Suleiman (it's only two data points, but they preferentially seem to be assigning these slots to a lump formed by Turco-Mongolic, Arabic, and Semitic peoples)
* 3 European leaders: Robert, Wilhelmina, Tamar / Kristina, Matthias, Eleanor.
The DLC also roughly correlates with this:
* 1 North American leader - Montezuma
* 1 South American leader - Curtin as placeholder
* 1 Austronesian leader - Gitarja
* 1 African leader - Amanitore (not really Sub-Saharan but honestly I still think it was an unnecessary addition)
* 2 Asian/Afroasiatic leaders - Cyrus and Jayavarman (Khmer is technically East Asian so I'm being generous grouping it here)
* 3 European leaders - Alexander, Jadwiga (and Pericles since we didn't get an alt leader for DLC).
That still satisfies the 3 female, 6 male rule. It does, however, break the 4 new, 4 old rule, given that we only have 3 new civs are Australia, Nubia, and Macedon. But it's still quite close. I think that's roughly what the breakdown of expack 3 will be:
* North America: ???
* South America: Colombia or a Caribbean civ, maybe Maya.
* East Asia/Austronesia: Vietnam, Burma, Siam, or Philippines.
* Africa: Ethiopia or Swahili
* 2 Asia/Afroasiatic: Timurids, probably. Maybe Morocco instead. But only one, and then likely an alternate leader for Egypt or Arabia.
* 3 European: Portugal. Bulgaria/Byzantium. The third is a mystery. Italy? Finland? Khazaria? No idea.
That seems to be most in line with the last 27 leaders. And I hate to say it but the split does seem calculated to broadly pander to larger market demographics: 1 "Latino" civ 1 "Afro" civ, 1 civ from the common Asian-American expatriation countries. The higher emphasis on European civs to catch the larger first world gamer markets. The general avoidance of further Arabic civs due to likely a smaller consumer base in Islamic countries. Because of this, I do not anticipate 3 American civs unless we get more than 8 civs in expack 3. Because from that cynical viewpoint, they have only ever needed two. One to pander to the America-Canada continuum and/or our guilt over Amerindian subjugation. And one to pander to the Latino community which although ride with its own racist issues tends to be more founded on mixing of European, African, and Native American heritage. The only way I see the devs reaching for three American civs is limited to a single option which is the tiny empire of Haiti to appeal to African-Americans (blacks? There's no good encompassing term for those claiming African heritage). But why would they when pan-Africanism is resurging thanks to Wakanda-isms and Ethiopia would likely resonate with more consumers (even if, ironically, they would statistically be less likely to have any personal connection to Ethiopia)? Since Haiti seems a long shot, I'm only calling two American civs like in other expacks. And I'm betting the Maya isn't one of them.
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