Civ-specific monasteries

We already have unique castles for a lot of civs. Some civs should get unique monasteries.

Byzantines: The Italian-style church is very un-Orthodox. Doesn’t look right at all for the civ.
Magyars/Lithuanians/Bohemians/Poles: Here, it’s the Orthodox-style church that looks out of place.
Hindustanis: Most of their subjects would have been Hindu, but the one civ representing Islamic India should probably have mosques.
Inca: AFAIK the blood-strewn steps are not accurate to Inca religion.
Ethiopians: The most egregious. Ethiopian churches are so beautiful, it’s a shame not to have them in the game; and the West African mosque has such a distinct style, it’s very jarring to see it as Ethiopians.

I know there are inaccuracies all over the game with art styles and unit rosters, but this would be a relatively easy fix that doesn’t touch on game galance.


I think all civs should get their own architecture set (Cossacks already does that), but indeed the monastery is one of the buildings where it’s needed the most.

Although all are catholic, the Franks and Burgundians also would need a different monastery than the Britons, and the current monastery has strong elements of the norman architecture that’s often seen in England.

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That would be a little much work and would also increase the file size of AoE2DE a lot. Every building doesn’t only have a 2D sprite but also a short “video” of how it collapses.

Ethiopians and Inca just generally have the totally wrong Architecture set.


Making it an optional download like the HD textures would prevent the cost problem, and unique architectures for all civs would be something many would pay for.

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with that massive amount of different civilisations it would still be a lot of a work and would also be hard to read since you need to know every building from every civilisation.
Also which civilisations would be the ones that get the former regional models?

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Buildings keep the overall same layout so it’s still readable.

As for keeping the old layout, worst case scenario… is a big difference to make 30 or 40 sets ?

For Indians it will be Dravidians.
For Middle Eastern it will be Saracens.
For West European it will be Britons.
For African it will be Malians.
For Central European it will be Teutons.
For Americans it will be Mayans.
For East Asian it will be Japanese.
For South East Asian it will be Khmer.

I can’t tell for the rest.

My opinion is unique monastery will be okay. But unique architecture will be just too much and I want this as optional downloadable content if that ever happens.


Nobody talking about the Large Torii gate in East Asian Monastery? Very unsuitable for Mongols.


Bengalis represent Buddhism but their monastery is a Hindu temple.

For Feudal and Castle Age, yes (and the Monastery is particularly good). But the Imperial Age Town Centre, university, market and keep aren’t really appropriate for Britons.

Except for the monastery, which is actually Georgian. I’m not sure what would be the most appropriate replacement, maybe something brick gothic?

I’m not sure about this – at least the university, monastery and castle seem to be based on Mayan buildings from Palenque and Chichen Itza. On the other hand, I don’t really know how Aztec and Mayan architecture differed – there don’t seem to be many Aztec buildings left.

For Central Asian, I think it depends on what you think Tatars represent. My understanding is for Timurids, it’s very appropriate, but maybe not so much for the Golden Horde.

For Eastern European, probably Slavs. The monastery, at least, is based on one in Ukraine and (I think) in Kyivan Rus’ when it was built.

Unique/appropriate monasteries seem more important than castles to me.

Inca, yes. But as far as I can tell the African architecture set is a genuine mish-mash between Ethiopian and [BIGGEST RIVER IN WEST AFRICA AND NAME OF AN ENTIRE COUNTRY THAT IS FOR SOME REASON CENSORED] models. A few really stand out as belonging to one civ or the other (especially the monastery), but ideally the African set would be split into separate West and East African sets with the addition of more civs.

To some extent, the East Asian architecture set is not purely Japanese, but a mixture of Japanese and Chinese. The devs gave a Shinto torii to the monastery that has the look of a Buddhist temple (with a classic big bell), which is a mix that actually happens less often in Japan (although it does happen). The castle’s balconies and staircases may have been inspired by Chinese (and maybe Korean) gatehouses, while Japanese castles are not actually designed in this way. In addition, other buildings also have many Chinese-style elements, especially the market.

If each civ can get a specific monestary (or castle or even entire set), I wish the Japanese would also have a new one instead of keeping this mix.

Not an expert. AOE wiki said Asian monastery is a Japanese shrine and castle is based on the main keep of Osaka castle and I believed it.

You are correct.

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The monastery in the game does have a very iconic element of Shinto shrines, which is the torii, so Aoe wiki has its reasons. But I would say that it’s hard to see it as a 100% Shinto shrine, because it’s also mixed with other elements, such as the great bell (Bonshō) which is a very representative symbol of Buddhist temples. Due to the assimilation between the two religions, Buddhist monasteries may also have torii gates, and Shinto shrines may also have the great bells, but these are only a few. In any case, we have the more accurate AoE3 Monasteries to refer to.

As for castles, from what I’ve seen, the Japanese don’t build them so “open”. There are seldom such exposed balconies, while walls, gables, windows and arrowslits make up the main appearance. For example, the most typical and representative Japanese castle, Himeji Castle.

(This is a model of Himeji Castle, very suitable as a reference for the appearance of the new Japanese castle.)
Some tenshu of castles may have small balconies on the uppermost floor, such as Osaka Castle and Maruoka Castle, in order to look out over the entire city, but the appearance is still far from the castle in the game.

Some other castles are too open, the western european and middle eastern ones for example with that direct giant door.

The only one of the 4 original ones that’s properly defensible is the central european one, with a drawbridge after a first gatehouse.

As for the east asian castle it screams “japanese”, chinese fortifications don’t look like that.

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I don’t think readability is that much of a problem, since people rarely go all in monks, so if you are unable to tell it’s an enemy monastery, in most cases you don’t really need a specific counter unit to monks. You can just micro what you already have to take them out.

That said, I’m sure someone could just make all the proper architecture sets for all buildings with a simple 3rd party 2D graphic mod without the 3D collapsing animation. And to solve the readability issue, just don’t get the mod.

This isn’t something you can do with a graphics mod. It’s only possible with a data mod, and those have many drawbacks: they’re incompatible with ranked multiplayer, difficult to use in other multiplayer settings, prevent achievement and campaign progression, and need to be updated for every patch.