Asian Heroes and Healers Rework

The Asian Heros are problematic on many levels and this may be one of the reasons why the developers have so far shied away from any new Asian civilizations. Monks as hero units are a very poor fit for these cultures and other options for heroes and healers could greatly improve the civilizations and pave the way for better new Asian civilizations.


Sohei Archer - a Buddhist warrior monk that builds Shinto Shrines

Shaolin Master - punching bears to turn them into Disciples

Brahmin - this is a social class and not equivalent to a European Explorer

Alternative Units

  • Asian factions should start with a hero unit and a healer unit instead of two monks
  • All Asian heroes should retain the unique stun ability for treasure guardians
  • The method of respawning should be changed to the African hero method of a timed respawn rather than reviving or ransoming (This would eliminate issues with reviving behind enemy lines to train units)
  • Auras and abilities of heroes should be tied to wonders so they are lost or diminished if the wonder is lost


Japan already has an obvious hero unit; the Daimyo. Daimyos could be repurposed into the hero unit, and the role of healer and Shrine builder could be taken up by a Kannushi

Daimyo (hero)

Mostly the same as the current Daimyo unit but in the role of an Explorer. Auras and training units would be restricted until a card equivalent to the Daimyo Mototada card is sent. Timed respawning after being killed would prevent easily training units behind enemy lines after reviving them.

Since the unit would now be an invincible hero, the abilities could be linked to different wonders and buildings so that they are lost or diminished if the wonder is destroyed. Bonuses as follows:

  • Dojos: Allows training of the selected units
  • Consulate: Allows training of unique units if using Japanese isolation
  • The Shogunate: Allows training of most units
  • Golden Pavilion: Grants/selects auras to Daimyos
  • Torii Gates: Allows Daimyos to receive shipments

Kannushi (healer and shrine builder)

Kannushi were keepers of Shinto shrines. These units would be responsible for building Shrines and healing. Japan would start with one, and more could be trained from Monasteries. A gathering role (like Abuns), or a scouting role could make them more useful once all Shrines are constructed.


A more appropriate replacement for the Shaolin Master would be an Iron-Cap Prince. Disciples could then be replaced by Shaolin Monks.

“Iron-Cap” Prince (hero)

A prince/general/warlord would be the most appropriate Chinese leader. Could possibly be mounted for greater speed and recognizability. Some Sun Tzu themed upgrades could also be interesting. Princes could have the ability to train some units to compensate for the removal of Disciples. Some options could be:

  • Palace Guard of a small Changdao group (a nod to the AoE4 unit)
  • ”Melee Army” of Qiang Pikemen + Stepp Riders (or upgraded equivalents)
  • ”Ranged Army” of Chu Ko Nu + Keshiks (or upgraded equivalents)
  • (Melee and Ranged Armies could have other names such as Blue/Red/White Banner Army)
  • Whatever army is currently selected at the Summer Palace
  • Some type of new unit or army that is available as early as Age 1

Shaolin Monk (healer and warrior)

Similar to Disciples, but with the ability to also heal units. China would start with one and more could be trained from Monasteries. Could be rebalanced since it would now be less tied to the hero and early game.


Emir (hero)

An Emir atop an elephant mount. Stats would be better than Bramins to compensate for not having two of them. The function of the pseudo-hero Mansabdar units could also be rolled into the Emir unit.

Guru (healer)

Gurus are experts and mentors in the Dharmic religions, and they would serve the role of Indian healers. India would start with one and more could be trained from Monasteries. A Reincarnation tech could allow them to come back as either another Guru, Villager, Sentry/Irregular, Huntable Animal, Sacred Cow, or White Tiger after they are killed.

Building Changes

Monasteries & Taverns

With an actual healer unit to be trained, Monasteries could shed the role of mercenary training. They would still house healer and hero upgrades, and the Capitol upgrades could also be moved from the Town Center to the Monastery.

A Tavern/Inn building could be added for Asian civilizations to be able to train mercenaries and outlaws. All these countries had equivalents to European taverns so there’s no need to cram mercenaries into Monasteries or use something offensive like an opium den. Caravanserai would probably be the best name for an Indian equivalent, but that is the name of their Stable so just a Tavern or Inn would have to do. Ottomans could also share the style of the Tavern/Inn of the Indians.


Charminar Gate

Reconfigured to grant a Mansabdar aura for select units to Emirs instead of training a special uint. Mansabdars were traditionally categorized into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd classes based on the percentage of cavalry they controlled. Mansabdar categories could be as follows:

  • 3rd Class Mansabdar: Emir boosts any 1 Barracks unit
  • 2nd Class Mansabdar: Emir boosts any 3 Age 2 units
  • 1st Class Mansabdar: Emir boosts any 5 of the 9 standard units

Summer Palace

Also grants the Chinese Prince the ability to train whatever army is being trained there.

The Shogunate

Reconfigured to act as a Fort since Daimyo retraining would no longer be necessary. Could also grants Daymios the ability to train units. Dojos could also grants this ability but only for the unit types selected at the Dojos.

Torii Gates

Also allows Daimyos to receive shipments.

Golden Pavilion

Reconfigured to link the bonuses to the Daymio auras instead of globally.


Yeah neat stuff. Don’t agree with it all but like the hero healer split rework.


Invincible daimyo sounds scary. The respawn needs to be tied to a wonder, so you could destroy it and break the respawn cycle…
I dont think a daimyo should be an explorer


I personally think it’s a non issue and not as ‘‘problematic’’ as you make them sound


They wouldn’t be scary if their abilities were still tied to wonders. Golden Pavilion could provide them with auras, the Shogunate could regulate their unit training, and Torii Gate could allow them to receive shipments. Once you lose your wonders they would be considerably neutered. I also think timed respawning like the Africans would help stop them from being spammed.

The “reincarnation” tech you propose is kinda problematic. Its just like turning tigers into disciples.

We should stay away from mythological and supernatural elements as much as possible, since these further promote stereotypes about these cultures.

Being able to convert animal treasure guardians, dancing around a firepit for bonuses etc were all reworked to make these mechanics more realistic and not based on supernatural elements. So we shouldn’t bring it back.


I don’t think it’s on the same level as Kung Fu bear punching conversions. It would just be a more thematically appropriate way to give them tigers.

Things like the dancing were changed because the Sun Dance is a sacred thing not really for outsiders, not because it’s supernatural.

If supernatural abilities were off the table AoE4 wouldn’t have mega conversions like they do.

not a bad idea, lol.

Conversion isnt really supernatural. Religious mass conversions have happened in history.

If you go back to the reasons why firepit was replaced by community plaza on the aoe website, its because they didn’t want to promote any shamanic mysticism for native civs.

Anyway, reincarnation is not a scientific occurrence… and we should just stick to things that can actually happen instead of promoting any non-science based beliefs.

The real problem is that religious people should not be military leaders and town leaders. They shouldn’t be heroes.

Why change drastically? Maybe we should apply the same mechanics to something as possible.

No. This is the own characteristic of African heroes.

Wonders should not be tightly bound to the hero. In most occasions, Wonders should only provide abilities or resources, as they do now.
Not to mention that Wonders themselves are the products of stereotypes, and if you want to change heroes for cultural significance, you have to totally change the wonder mechanics too.

He’s fit to be a hero, but shouldn’t have been there at the beginning of the game.
He should still be the reward that can be obtained after choosing the Shogunate.

Bad design. Once dead, the Japanese early economy would immediately slump.
It is not necessary to insist that shrines have to be built by Shinto stuffs, they can be built by non-religious people too.

In my design, I would like to replace Sohei Archer with Cartographers.
Cartographers are based on the samurai explorers like Mogami Tokunai (最上徳内), Mamiya Rinzō (間宮林蔵) and Inō Tadataka (伊能忠敬) who had explored the north lands like modern Hokkaido and Sakhalin. They will be very much in line with the theme the hero uses to scout.

Cartographers are weak samurai heroes and explorers who use bows or muskets and can also build shrines. There are 2 when the game started, just like original Sohei Archer. I believe they will continue the Japanese gameplay in this way.

Also, Japanese healers can be replaced by Monks. They are just normal healer units like European Priests, trainable at Monastery with lower HP and cheaper cost. No fancy design is needed here.

Most appropriate? I’m afraid you don’t understand Chinese culture.
Iron-cap Princes are hereditary nobles of the feudal system, but they do not necessarily have military power or know how to fight.

In my opinion, we can introduce Armed Caravan Leader and Armed Caravan Member to continue as a Master-Disciple-like relationship.

The Leader is equivalent melee hero to Shaolin Master but not such strong. He is unable to convert treasure guardians into Disciple or Armed Caravan Member, however he can unpack the crates to gather resources, and trickles coin or export thinly while moving. The Member is not hero, the equivalent hand shock infantry to Disciple, and can be trained by Armed Caravan Leader.

In the Qing Dynasty, the caravan like Mabang (馬幫) was an important economic artery of the empire. Merchants organized into guilds, did business back and forth across the vast territory, and even traded with European and Southeast Asian countries along the Siberian Route and the Ancient Tea Horse Road. The trade route was quite dangerous, so the caravan had to be armed, and even hired private guards from escort bureau.

We can reuse the modules of original Master and Disciple to make Chinese healers at Monastery and name them Abbot and Disciple respectively. They will not be heroes, but will have the decent combat ability for emergency use.

The design will foster stereotypes.
We can just introduce Monks as ordinary healer like Japanese I stated above but with Indian looks instead of Japanese looks. Then, reuse the module of original Brahmin to introduce a kind of elite healer.

My designs for Asian rework. Welcome to check.


Regardless of a reincarnation, Gurus would be a much more appropriate unit than Brahmins. It would just make them a much more interesting unit.

There are plenty of religious references in the games. Shintos can’t hunt and there’s a building for worshipping cows. If you want to square it with reality just think of it as a cultural thing. When a Guru dies the community selects a successor that they believe is their reincarnation.

Reviving and ransoming is a characteristic of the Europeans and Natives, it’s not like it’s a unique Asian thing being lost. The theme and mechanics of African heroes fits very well for Asian civs. Having leaders that are nobles and princes like the Ras and Emir is a lot more appropriate than monks. The stun ability would still set them apart as unique Asian heroes.

Ideally no, but it would probably be required to balance the stronger abilities of things like a permanent Daimyo. The wonders are already tied to the pseudo-hero Mansabdar and Daimyo units and this would just be simplifying that. I’d be all for more utilitarian landmarks instead of mystical wonders.

Villagers would obviously still be able to build them. Kannushi would just be an extra unit to help explore and make up for the hero not being able to construct Shrines anymore.

Yes, that’s the idea (a different name for it would also be fine) and many of them knew how to fight. It would be equivalent to the ranks of minor nobility like a Daimyo, Ras or Emir. “Cartographer” and “Armed Caravan Leader” are unnecessarily wordy and essentially means Explorer so they should just be called that. That’s a valid approach to take for a rework but it’s following the European template instead of the African template as I’m suggesting.

The only reason for the “Master” unit is that he’s the explorer, just one Warrior Monk is really needed.

Basically everything in the game is a stereotype so I don’t think that’s a major problem. Guru would still be a better name even if it didn’t have any stereotypical abilities. The European healers are bland and hardly used. They should get a rework themselves and shouldn’t be the baseline for a rework into generic Asian Monks. Some unique attributes like building Shrines or maybe even being able to help construct Wonders would make them useful beyond just healing. Giving a starting healer would also make up for having only one hero at the game’s start.

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Guru means elder. They were teachers, not always spiritual. School teachers were also called guru when my grandparents were kids. The choice of a different guru is typically not based on ideas of rebirth, at least where I come from in India. A disciple of the guru replaces the guru as the new elder.

There is a difference between choosing a different guru who you “think” is a reincarnation, and actually replacing them with a tiger (rebirth is something hindu philosophy believes in, but the person is reborn as a random life form somewhere in the wild, not necessarily a pet).

Religious beliefs that are practiced can be in the game, like shintoism, not eating meat etc. But I believe having mechanics that are not scientifically grounded isn’t great.

By non-scientific, i mean things like transforming into a bird etc. Not eating meat is still scientifically possible, as in, you can physically not eat meat, but its physically impossible to turn into a tiger.

The point of an Asian rework is essentially to get rid of stereotypes…

Gameplay changes arent really needed.


It doesn’t matter if it physically happens, just that people believe it. If a holy man dies and a his followers comes across a tiger that they believe to be his reincarnation they may revere it. Not necessarily how this commonly works, but it’s in the realm of possibility.

I’m just trying to rework some of the existing mechanics like Tiger training into a new form in order to preserve them. Various Gurus and ideas about reincarnation are present across India so all I’m saying is it is thematically plausible.

Gurus should have some kind of special ability to prevent them from being another bland, mostly useless healer. Maybe instead of “reincarnation” it could follow the Sikh tradition and allow a new Guru to spawn each time one is killed up to 9 times.

The game would be nothing if you got rid of all the stereotypes (Granted some are a lot more negative than others). They also have a tendency to be excessively extreme with these kinds of changes. Renaming Medicine Men to “Healers” reduces clarity and is totally unnecessary since it was always an accurate and inoffensive term.

There are also good reasons for gameplay changes. Japan is very gimmicky and arguably overpowered so a change to Daimyos could help.

No. No no no no no no no.

Not sure this is a good idea. Indians are protraied as hindu, I don’t think going the Emir way is the right proposition.

Emirs should be saved as heroes for middle eastern DLC.


Anything in particular you don’t like about Daimyos? They’re the obvious choice for a Japanese hero but maybe there’s a better way to do it.

Emir is pretty much a perfect fit for India. The civ is based off the Mughals and Emir is generic enough to cover most leadership roles. Under the Mughals, a mostly Muslim elite ruled over a majority non-Muslim empire. A leader who is an Emir (likely Muslim but not necessarily) in conjunction with Hindu elements like Sacred Cows and Gurus represents this perfectly.

They may be the obvious choice, but I don’t think it is the right approach. The current monks are a better fit because:

  1. They mostly useless after shrining is done, and this is a good thing. Their monastery upgrades grants them some late game usability, and that is fine.
  2. Daimyos that get resurrected like heroes will be a huge PITA to deal with, probably worse than they already are.
  3. Your design ties too many bonuses to the daimyos, this makes it a binary unit, you either kill it fast or you get steamrolled. If you attempt is to make Japan less annoying, you are not doing it right.

Respawn is indeed the most obvious feature of African heroes, regardless of whether they are nobles or not. Let Asian heroes maintain the ransom mechanism. This is absolutely nothing that needs to be changed. You are starting to go overboard.

Asian heroes don’t need to be nobles at all as long as they fit the current mechanics and are not stereotyped. Isn’t it also a stereotype of you to insist to have to be nobles or princes?

Even if Daimyo becomes a hero, it can still be knocked down and lose its effect until the player is willing to pay the ransom.

It’s you who changed it into a respawn mechanism, so there might be the problem you thought.
Even if there is this problem, it does not need to be solved by Wonders.

You obviously don’t understand why the current Sohei Archers must be able to build Shrines.
You have a lot of fantasies about cultural meaning, but little understanding of how game mechanics exist.

Wrong, most of them didn’t.
With the exception of previous generations, they became a wealthy and privileged class. They may have nominal military power, but in fact, it is often the generals from the military who really knew how to fight and manage the army, and many of these generals were Han Chinese. Not to mention, it is highly unlikely that they will be leaders of new towns in the new world. These nobles basically did not leave Beijing because in fact the nobles of the Qing Dynasty had no fiefs, which makes them very different from other land lords in the world like the daimyo.

Your insistence makes me think you have a fantasy instead of understanding about Asian nobility.

The explorer-like part is one of the keys to making them suitable for heroes. In the game, the most important meaning of hero’s existence is to build TPs and to scout actually. Not only do Cartographers and Armed Caravan Leaders replace religious stereotypes while maintaining original mechanics, they also fit well with the meaning of hero’s existence.

I already rename it to “Abbot”. He just becomes a healer who has stronger combat ability than other healers.

It is precisely because the stereotypes are so severe that the Asian civs are expected to be reworked. Since you don’t care about stereotypes, all change is pointless.

Yeah. Emir is already used to be the Hausa hero.

Indian hero can just be named Zamindar.
Zamindar was the landlord so it fits to be the leader of new towns in the game.