Call the civ Indians instead of Delhi Sultanate

Presumably not the same people. I personally prefer the AoE2 approach, who always refrained from being specific and erred at the side of representing a people or abstract group rather than political institutions (Italians, not Italy; Vikings, not North Sea Empire, etc), so I never understood why people complained about that.

That said, since AoE4 clearly is determined to have it’s factions be specified political institutions, I think we should just accept it for what it is frankly. I see this type of discussion come up with every new game of this sort ( all AoE’s, all Civ games, etc) and I’m not sure if anything productive has ever come out of it. This is the sort of topic that people never can agree on so someone will end up disappointed regardless.


I also noticed that it was weird. It kind of bothers me from the perspective of not following the naming pattern of previous games as well as the other civs in the same game. It’s just a weird name choice that would bother those with OCD.

Also, I along with most people never complained about the ‘Indians’ name, so I don’t think that’s relevant.

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lol if they do that the game will be boring soon

We can have 40 unique civs or more if Relic and World’s Edge wanted to. Medieval age across history has so much untapped potential.

It actually makes more sense to include the Delhi Sultanate instead of Indians, mainly because it is best suited for the time period. Also, no other civilization of the time can realistically “represent” India, or at least North-East India which is more relevant in the game’s context (we’re probably seeing a Delhi vs Mongol Campaign).
More than that, calling them Indians means that you would need a different, more native aesthetic, or leave it as it is. That means that we would either see the Delhi Sultanate with classic Indian architecture (and temples) or see a more Muslim aesthetic such as mosques for all of India. Neither would suit the narrative of adding “Indians” instead of a specific empire.

On the side I would point out that a lot the other civilizations you point out are themselves quite inconsistent in many ways. For example, the Turks had two most relevant empires, the Ottomans and Seljuks, both of which were very different. The Seljuks were a proper medieval civilization whose power lay in cavalry and were more like an imperial, more civilized version of the Mongols. On the other hand, the Ottomans were a Renaissance era empire whose power lay in the navy and gunpowder, neither of which the Seljuks had. You can see that’s a problem in-game.
The Byzantines were in fact an empire. There “civilization” was more of a mixture of the Roman legacy, Greek influence and Anatolian power base they possessed. In many ways, it was more like the Delhi Sultanate than the other civilizations you pointed out.
The Persians weren’t even relevant for the time period, and you can see that there is not a single mission in the original AoE that explicitly features them except for the first level of Atilla, which is slightly irrelevant as far as the time period goes. I’m pretty sure that every other civilization featured in Age of Kings and the Conquerors was represented, at least in the Battles campaign.

This list could go on, and everyone knows that Age of Empires 2 made quite a mess regarding civilizations anyways. As far as Franks, Britons, Chinese and Mongols go, they more or less have their own unique civilization, and have had their own empires too, so they go pretty consistently with the Delhi Sultanate. The devs have taken a better direction than they did with AoE 2, and they should stick with it.


No you can’t, when civs are going to be unique from eachother you have to account for balance as well

Remember there’s a team dedicated for balance. I’m just saying that if the devs wanted to create more civs, they have the resources to create them and if people are interested, so far more people want more civs and there’s lot of stories to be told in AoE 4’s setting.


I totally understand what you’re saying and I would love to have 40 civs in Aoe4 all very different from eachother. But what I am saying is that when you go for uniqueness (closer to Starcraft 2s model than to Aoe2s model) you have to factor in balance and whether this civ is unique from all the other civs


I’m just gonna wait about what happens to AoE 4 before wishing for more civs though. 11


What does “Indians” mean? India was diverse, you can’t compress it in one single civ. Delhi is a great choise, it leaves room for other Indian civs.
I hope the devs won’t add “Saracens”, “Slavs”, “Turks” and other huge catch-all nonsensic civs, but split them into many ones like they did with Indians.


I don’t think it’s right to call this civilization as ‘India’ or ‘Indian’ (btw I am Indian too) because like others have said, India didn’t exist as such. There were a lot of small factions and the Mughal empire in the north. So the name of the civilization should be imho ‘Mughal Empire’ or just ‘Mughals’. But this might not be a bad name after all. The Mughal empire changed boundaries a lot over a large span of time:


Mughals are very end of the middle ages.Mughals would be a better name for aoe3 indians.

The Mughal Empire was founded by Turkic Mongols, which was almost the same as the Sultanate of Delhi, and was ruled by foreign nationalities.

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Well this has received a lot of attention. I can’t help but feel that a lot of responses are to the title of the thread, and not the actual content of my original post.

The fundamental issue was that I did not find the name Delhi Sultanate apt for the entire region because:

  1. It does not even represent a single dynasty, nor one single culture
  2. The borders shifted significantly over time, and only briefly spanned most of the subcontinent
  3. There were multiple other large, indigenous kingdoms in India at the time that get excluded.
  4. It does not work as an demonym. It is a retroactive name given by historians to make it easier to talk about and study. They were sultans that ruled from Delhi. It says nothing about the civilisation itself. Mughals by contrast were at least one dynasty.
  5. It is inconsistent with other civilisation names as they use demonyms/regional names and not individual empires.
  6. Delhi was ruled by Rajputs until 1193 AD anyway.

So yes, India in modern terms wasn’t a thing back then, nor was there one single empire or nation or even culture (even though certain things were common in most of the region). You had smaller kingdoms that could be thought of as distinct sub-cultures, but then again when talking about a broad civilisation that inhabited a region, what else would you call it, except Indian, Hindustani, Indo-Islamic, or North/South Indian? Indic, maybe? It’s tricky for sure.

In AoE II for example, the civilisation is Indian and there exists a Prithviraj Chauhan campaign. How would you do that with AoE IV? Prithviraj Chauhan of the Delhi Sultanate??? On the other hand, you could have an Indian civ with a Delhi Sultanate/Tughlaq campaign and it would still be consistent.

So that leads to the other question - does Relic plan to introduce more South Asian dynasties/civs? If so, going this granular might be okay, but perhaps Delhi Sultanate is still an awkward name, since it references a retroactively named period in history, and not the people or culture or region, even. Perhaps Indo-Turks is a better name?

I don’t think it’s right to call this civilization as ‘India’ or ‘Indian’ (btw I am Indian too) because like others have said, India didn’t exist as such

Sure but the Delhi Sultanate didn’t mean too much back then either, it would have been X dynasty’s kingdom or empire. As I said above, it’s a retroactive name. I would be happier with it being called Mughals, although as others have mentioned, it came towards the end of the period of the game.

The Mughal Empire was founded by Turkic Mongols, which was almost the same as the Sultanate of Delhi, and was ruled by foreign nationalities.

Founding Sultanate rulers were Turkic, Turko-Afghan and later Indo-Turkic but not Mongol. Babur of the Mughals was part Turkic and part Mongol ancestry. Both sets of rulers gave rise to heterogeneous Indo-Muslim nobility, so it’s hard to call them foreigners after the Mamulks were overthrown.

p.s. The fact that some people didn’t find the name Indians appropriate in earlier games is fairly irrelevant - I for one had no problems with this, for example. The rationale behind finding it more or less appropriate is what is really important.


I second most of your concerns and points there, especially regarding the name issue. But my point is that a single civilization for modern day India would deprivate the game from the diversity of India back then, which, as you said, wasn’t made up of one single culture. If we compress India into one single civ, why not compressing the English, Franks, Spaniards, Teutons, etc. into one “Western Europeans” civ?


Your argument is quite incorrect, if I’m being completely honest. The fact that the Delhi Sultanate did not represent a single dynasty is irrelevant, as the Sultanate represents an exact political entity, and did in fact represent a certain Indo-Islamic culture which continued all the way to end of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire can be considered a successor to the Sultanate, just like all the other dynasties.
Even more inaccurate is the idea that the Delhi Sultanate excludes other kingdoms from the game. It is more likely to allow other kingdoms into the game then using the umbrella term “Indians”.
More importantly, the Delhi Sultanate is very consistent with previous civ names, in particular the Byzantines. I’ve already pointed out that the naming of civilizations in the other games was in itself inconsistent so there’s nothing wrong with it.


The map of the Delhi Sultanate during the Taghlaq dynasty


While I’m all for spliting India into several civs so as to represent its diversity and avoid a terrible umbrella-civilisation, I agree with TrippyMoonlight regarding the name “Delhi Sultanate”: it doesn’t represent a culture nor an ethnicity but a mere state, which is a major break with AoE traditional civilisations’ design and thus utterly problematic.

A possible solution would be renaming Delhi Sultanate Hindustanis, then add Dravidians for southern India and maybe Tamils.

Some will probably argue that these names are barely known from most people and as such irrelevant. But AoE also has an eductional dimension. I did not know who where the “Teutons” nor the “Goths” either when playing AoE for the first time more than 20 years ago.


No slavs…but my siege jk

So, I do agree with you here. I don’t think the whole diversity of the subcontinent should be compressed into one civilisation or culture, and would be very happy if there are going to be multiple. Indeed, if that is the plan, then using Indians would not be appropriate.

However I don’t know if that’s the plan, and my post assumed there would be none. Of course, even if they do add more indian civs, they’ll have to find a better name for this one than the Delhi Sultanate, even if it’s not Indians.

This would be a really good solution i think, although of course Dravidian and Tamil would have a lot of overlap. Hindustani + Maratha + Dravidian/Tamil + Magadhi could also be a possibility, although of course you had Rajputs that held Delhi before any of the Sultanate dynasties held Delhi. Of course it might also cause confusion to use Hindustani in this case - it may be taken for all of north india! I guess there’s no completely perfect solution.