Alternate AI Personalities

AoE4 has now debuted entire “civilizations” consisting of a single individual. While this is obviously a terrible idea, the concept of adding some variety to civilizations via different leaders is not entirely without merit and it could be a great addition to AoE3. The leaders of this game serve only to give some thematic flavour and to trash talk the player when facing the AI so new leaders could be primarily cosmetic. The one area where they could differ is AI behavior, with different leaders having slightly different proclivities for certain strategies or different decks to choose from.

I’ve created a list of what I think are the best examples of alternate leaders for each civilization. For the most part, I’ve tried to contrast them as much as possible with leaders from a different era, faction, or regime from the existing leader (republican vs monarchist, medieval era vs industrial era, etc). For reference, here is the list of current AI personalities.

In summary, there are many positives from adding more personalities:

  • More snarky dialogue for the AI to chirp you with
  • More immersion when picking duplicate civilizations
  • A more comprehensive representation of each civilization
  • Different AI tendencies (for example a French AI that doesn’t revolt so much)
    • This could also be a good excuse to improve the AI
  • Revenue from selling it as a DLC/cosmetic pack
  • Positive press by virtue signaling about female leaders (I know it’s silly, but Microsoft eats this up, and I’ve only suggested women who were actually significant)
  • Could provide a framework for AoE4 to rework “variants” into alternate leaders (more like Civilization VI leader bonuses instead of entirely separate civs)

Spanish - Philip II

Led the Spanish Empire at the height of its golden age.

British - Victoria

She’s the namesake of an era and grandmother of Europe. During her reign the British empire dominated the world and made massive technological and industrial progress.

French - Louis XIV

The Sun King’s opulence, power, and long reign were unrivalled. He consolidated power into an absolute monarchy and pivoted France’s might against the rest of Europe.

Portuguese - Marquis of Pombal

He wasn’t a monarch but he may as well have been one. During his reign he led the recovery from the Lisbon earthquake, suppressed the Jesuits, and dominated politics.

Dutch - Johan de Witt

He represents the Dutch States Party faction that was the rival of the Oranjists. He’s probably most well known for the regrettable incident in Dutch history where they ate their prime minister. In my opinion, the absolute goldmine of potential witty dialogue that can come from that is enough to justify having him as a leader.

Russians - Catherine the Great

After overthrowing her husband to take the throne and ushered in an era of massive territorial expansion and a renaissance of science and culture.

Germans - Maria Theresa

She rained over the Habsburg domains and served a Holy Roman Empress. She would provide some Austrian representation to the German civilization.

Ottomans - Mehmed IV

He led the Ottomans during the Great Turkish War which included the monumental sieges of Vienna and Candia. The middle of his reign saw an Ottoman revival under capable advisors.

Swedes - Charles XII

Carolus Rex led the Swedish armies to countless victories against overwhelming odds. He’s also one of the namesakes of the Caroleans.

Italians - Julius II

Known as the Warrior Pope, he wielded great temporal power and fought in the Italian Wars. Given his position as Pontiff, he had religious authority over all of Italy and would be the closest thing to a pan Italian leader before the Risorgimento.

Maltese - Giovanni Paolo Lascaris

He was the Grand Master who oversaw Malta’s acquisition of Caribbean colonies.

Haudenosaunee - Tanacharison

Known and the Half-King, he represented the Six Nations in treaty negotiations and fought alongside Washington in the 7 Years War.

Lakota - White Buffalo Calf Woman

She is a legendary prophetess that taught the Lakota their most sacred ceremonies. She represents the Lakota in the time long before contact with Europeans and the Sioux Wars.

Aztecs - Moctezuma II

He’s the most prominent of the Aztec emperors in their brief time from the game’s start to their overthrow. He could have some good quips about revenge.

Inca - Tupac Amaru

He was the final leader of the Neo-Inca State that defied the initial conquest of the Inca Empire. He could also rap some of his dialogue.

Japanese - Meiji

He oversaw the Meiji Restoration which transformed Japan from and isolated, feudal state to a modern industrial nation.

Chinese - Wanli

He represents China under the Ming Dynasty that preceded the Qing. During his rule China saw an economic flourishing and thwarted the Japanese invasion of Korea.

Indians - Shivaji

He founded the Maratha Empire that overthrew the Mughals.

Ethiopians - Fasilides

He founded Gondar and started an era of achievement in art and architecture. He engaged diplomatically with surrounding sultans and safeguarded the Ethiopian Orthodox Church from Jesuit encroachment.

Hausa - Usman dan Fodio

He led a revolutionary Jihad that founded the Sokoto Caliphate.

Americans - Abraham Lincoln

He led the United States during the American Civil War.

Mexicans - Porfirio Díaz

He served as a general fighting French incursions into Mexico before ascending to the presidency for a long reign that lasted until the Mexican Revolution.


Interesting idea, but I’m not sure how much work that would be

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More personalities the better and if they have different play styles, even better.

It’s also a nice way to give the civ in question other just as important figures that may appear later in history.

British obviously have someone who caters for the earliest part of the AoE3 timeline (under the English rather than British!), so it would make sense to have possibly the most important later British figurehead of Victoria present!


Wanli is fine pick. yet, majority of his ruling isnt significant economic flourishing but the terminal lucidity of the dying dynasty.

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Since this guy also became king of Portugal after a brief succession war, it could have special dialogue against Portuguese players.


I like the idea of adding alternative AIs, but I think it should come with some change for the civilization, perhaps exclusive units, buildings or cards for that personality.

I would prefer that the Incas have Manco Inca as an AI personality, he seems to me to be a leader who would guarantee more substantial changes for civilization. (obviously if my suggestion is applied)

You could probably argue any of the late Ming leaders presided over decline. From what I read, during his rule China’s economy seemed to be prosperous at least compared to the recent past. But it did sound like it was more among the merchants and not the government coffers. Regardless, I pick him because he presided over the Imjin War and seemed reasonably competent otherwise.

That could be a possibility but the leaders only really show up as a representative of the AI so it might be a little convoluted how that would be presented for the player. For the AI, you could partially achieve that by giving them access to different decks from all the existing cards.

Inca needs an overhaul with content based on Manco’s resistance no matter what. I don’t think it should be dependent on them having a certain personality. The reason I picked Tupac is because he still covers the Neo-Inca state, but at a later date. There’s also a few other notable Tupacs named after him so that’s fodder for some creative voice lines.

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Certainly not insignificant to get voice actors. But I’d definitely be willing to pay for a cosmetic pack like this.

For what it’s worth, this project is ironically more to do with UI and voice acting than it is AI. The AI already has a list of parameters that you can easily tweak.

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I hope the developers listen to you.

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Adding more personality which has always been one of AoE3’s strengths sounds a mighty fine idea indeed. More variety. More personality. I love it.

Maybe they could be sold like skin packs? It’s a good way to support the game for sure.


Yeah, the work would be like 90% voice acting. But the name for them in the game is AI Personality so I titled it as that.

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Aurangzeb was really unpopular during his reign, mostly because of his intolerance towards people of other religions. So not a great choice if you care about qualities as a leader.

But then again, India in this timeframe was never really one nation or empire, so it’s hard to choose a leader. Shivaji could be a choice, but I hate the thought of Shivaji leading Gurkhas and Rajputs to battle. But so does Akbar, so, meh…

Finding an AI for India that fits the bill calls for a complete rework of the civ and/or a split.


Shivaji could be good, but India sorely needs to be split up and reworked so I stuck with Mughal rulers hoping that might happen one day. With the current state of the Indian civ, Charles Canning would probably be the most accurate leader.

I wasn’t criticizing anything you wrote, just pointing out that implementing it in-game doesn’t actually require much AI work, though you’re right that it would be a good excuse to improve the AI.

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No worries, I didn’t think you were being critical. The benefit of framing it as an AI project is that it could be a good justification for them contributing some resources towards AI in general. You probably know better than anyone that there is a lot of room for improvement.

I did also refer to giving them different decks too, but I’m not really familiar with how that currently works. Is there just a set of predefined decks each AI can use?

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The AI “builds them” at the start of each game through a somewhat long, convoluted process.There’s cards that they never use and always use, but then each card is rated as more or less valuable with some randomness thrown in. Iirc it depends on the disposition also, so simply changing the disposition will change the deck.


Ah that makes sense, so it should be fairly straightforward to make Louis XIV highly disposed to pick Ancien Régime or Napoleon highly likely to pick House of Bonaparte.


I updated the Indian leader to Shivaji instead of Aurangzeb to better reflect India’s current state. Ideally India shouldn’t be such a Frankenstein civ, but as long as it is, the leader selection should represent contrasting factions.