POLL: Should the Variant Civilization Names Change?

  • Keep Them
  • Change Them
0 voters

Now that the variant civilizations names are all but confirmed (Age of Noob confirmed in his latest video, and the marketing material has not been taken down as if it was an incorrect leak or mistranslation) I think it’s safe to put up this poll. To start, there is nothing wrong with the concept of variant civs. I get it: in AoE4, making a totally new language and architecture set takes monumental effort. And you can’t very well do something like make the Koreans a Chinese variant, or make the Italians an HRE variant, because people would riot at the misrepresentation. Two fully unique civs a year seems about the limit of what we can get for that. So how to get around this limitation to implement new gameplay ideas and mechanics? You find something very similar historically to an existing civ that can reuse the same sound design and unit assets and give it a different playstyle. Works for me!

However, to put it mildly, the response to the variant names has not been positive. Jeanne d’Arc is a person not a civ, Sultan’s Army is just way too generic. Empire of Jade is either fictional or very obscure. Many people don’t care about names and only care about gameplay. That’s fine, you do you, but to others, playing a civ advancing from Dark Age to Imperial Age named after a girl who lived only 19 years is about as immersion breaking as playing Babylonians or Modern USA in AoE4.

But the good news is, it’s easy to fix! Changing the name of the civ requires zero development time, zero new art or sound design, and zero balancing. Look, I just did it right yesterday now. And it’s not even on a lot of marketing material yet so it’s not like they have to fix 10 different websites. So, what do you think, should they? I’ll even provide suggestions:

  • Jeanne d’Arc → Orléans (call the hero unit Maid of Orléans)

We have Burgundians in AoE2, so let’s just make this civ their counterpart! Since this civ will obviously have a hero unit as shown in the first screenshots, just call the hero ‘Maid of Orléans’. The inspiration will still be obvious and it will make more sense in game.

  • Sultan’s Army → Ayyubid Dynasty (EDIT: Or Mamluk Sultanate)

Could pick a lot of different ones, but Ayyubids (EDIT: or Mamluk Sultanate, which is already technically a ‘part’ of Abbasid) make the most sense as an Abbasid ‘variant’.

  • Empire of Jade → Celestial Empire

When searching for the civ name yields literally zero information, you know the name is too obscure. Celestial Empire is actually a name that was used for Chinese kingdoms, especially during civil wars where rival (sometimes foreign) dynasties would compete for the ‘Mandate of Heaven’ to rule China, so it makes perfect sense as a ‘China but not Chinese’ civ.

  • Order of the Dragon → Order of the Dragon

Ok, this one there’s no really good alternative. Mainly because changing it to something like Teutonic Order or another more well-known religious military order would require new flags and unit skins. But it’s the least egregious of the variants because, although kind of niche, it was still a multi-generational military order, like the Teutonic order or the Knights Templar.

Feel free to offer other suggestions!


Putting “Orléans” is fine, but I would name the heroine her name “Jeanne”.

In the variant Abbasids would name it the Mamluk Sultanate.

The rest good.


Order of the Dragon could be change to Kingdom of Hungary if you want a proper civ name, since King Sigismund of Hungary founded the order before he was the Holy Roman Emperor.
Duchy of Orleans should be a feasable name for a civ, even though it wasn’t a Kingdom’s name, France at that time had its dukes more powerful than their kings anyways.

This one is also good, and lasted longer than Ayyubid so yeah actually it makes just as much sense.

This is the type of situation I was trying to avoid - creating variants based on other, significantly different polities. A lot of people, especially Hungarians, would not be happy to have a civ created after them that spoke German, used German landmarks, and used the wrong flag.


Then the Order of the Dragon should suffice, it’s not so strange if an order could become a civ (Teutonic Order, Order of St. John does exist as a full fledged civ in the previous titles anyways).
But that, Joan of Arc name needs to go, it’s not a civ name.


I love the concept of variant civs and I think the devs should keep going with the idea, but these choices are just so odd.

When I first heard of a French variant I immediately assumed it was going to be the Kingdom of Jerusalem, it seemed natural with the expansion being about the crusades.

I do hope they give these civs a renaming/rebranding just so that they make a bit more sense.


It should definitely be changed.
The name ‘Jade Empire’ is full of the arrogance and prejudice of ‘Orientalism’, which is completely a baseless imagination and stereotype of Westerners towards Easterners…


I’m really excited about the variant civs but I agree the naming has to improve. Let’s hope they take all of this feedback in and adjust it at a later time.


the whole idea is pointless. just give jean de’arc hero to France and leave it be, give us templar order … they give an entire faction based on one character -_-


These civ names sounds like it is like what some kind of loosely historical fantasy mobile game imo.

(quick meme mockup of how the naming convention feels, ignore the china at the bottom bar forgot to edit that)

But yeah the only one that gets a pass is the order of the dragon since it was a real order, but everything else like I said sounds like what a mobile game called ‘Kings of Empires Mobile Wars’(not a real game) would name it’s factions.


I will be completely honest, I have not had hardly any of the normal gripes that other players have with this expansion, I don’t care that were are only getting 2 full new civs, I don’t care that we are only getting 1 new campaign, I have largely been extremely hyped and seeing the teaser made me super excited for this expansion 10/10.

But the variant civ names? Are AWFUL. A huge selling point for AoE4 for me was the historical campaigns and immersion of playing real kingdoms/cultures. Does that mean I expect it to be perfect? No. Its a video game. But I do expect it to be in line with how they advertised it, and at the very LEAST, I expect it to be CONSISTENT. These variant civs, if they are named the way listed above. Are FAR from consistent, they don’t even sound like civilizations or land owning states at all, it raises all sorts of awkward thematic questions in regards to how these will be labeled in loading screens compared to OG civs, are we even fighting civilizations anymore? Or just fantastical historical heroes and their armies? Jeanne d’Arc vs the Japanese? It sounds like a complete and utter joke. I take immersion very seriously. As I said, it doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be consistent, and this is very inconsistent, awkward, and poorly planned. Even if they showed up like normal civs, and not variants, the bad naming conventions will be an eyesore to anyone opening the civ selection menu.

Notice how everyone on reddit before the civ names were announced were all guessing variants to mean different dynasties, states, substates, etc. Not a SINGLE person wanted these types of names, and the reactions have been almost universally bad. This change is such a seemingly minor one, but with such immersion and theme breaking ramifications, so I seriously hope the above poll gets taken seriously and this actually gets fixed.

The good news is, that this COULD all be easily fixed. By just changing the names as mentioned in this thread. And I hope that is what actually happens.

Edit: Just in case anyone didn’t know, I do really like the concept of Variant civs, I just want to see them done and named correctly.


Regarding Variant Civilization name suggestions:

I like Orléans as the name for the French Variant, a part of France, French speaking, Actual Duchy on par with the duchy of Burgundy which frequently gets brought up as well.

Mamluk Sultanate (or even the Ayyubids) would be perfectly fine for the Abbasid variants as well to me.

Empire of Jade to Celestial Empire are both pretty retch. I agree that Celestial Kingdom is BETTER than the Empire of Jade, but I would prefer if we could use a different name entirely. I think the primary piece of information we need here, is WHAT is different between the Empire of Jade and normal China? Does Empire of Jade have a dynasty system like normal China? If so that limits our options, but if it DOES NOT, then I don’t think there is much preventing the Empire of Jade from being rebranded for any one generic dynasty or related group.

For example, if there is no Dynasty mechanic, we could just rebrand them the (Northern/Southern) Song, or more preferably, as the Liao dynasty or the Jin dynasty. They could speak the same language, have the same architecture, etc. There would be no issues, they were self proclaimed heirs of China.

If there is a Dynasty mechanic, then doing the name Northern Dynasties or Cathay could be acceptable, and having it be the Dynasties of Liao, Xia, Jin, Great Liao / Qara Khitai. Again, it could keep all the same trappings of a Chinese civilization, from the Chinese language, buildings, etc, including an emperor if that is the hero unit you want to introduce.

But Celestial Empire / Celestial Kingdom is still not preferable, and DEFINITELY not Empire of Jade :face_vomiting:

Order of the Dragon for the HRE variant is as many have said the least aggregious of all of these options, but still awkward. If there were a way to switch it to the Teutons in two months, you would win over the hearts and favor of a LOT of people, because the Teutons owned a pretty substantial amount of land, have prior game and historical influence, and would even fill a geographical niche for a region that probably won’t get representation (The Baltics).

That said, if you could use a different name, I would recommend the House of Luxembourg, Luxembourg Dynasty, or even just Luxembourg. The House of Luxembourg owned both Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, and Luxembourg at various points of its history, and the founder of the Order of the Dragon was the last holder of the House of Luxembourg and Holy Roman Emperor, he kind of inherited all those territories, so I don’t blame anyone for not wanting him to solely represent Poland, Hungary, or Bohemia when he doesn’t really fit any perfectly, and when we might get those as individual civilizations later. We are NOT going to get a Luxembourgish civilization though, and this is still technically accurate while keeping the language, aesthetics, and even Order of the Dragon units in tact. So I highly recommend that you change it to some variation of Luxembourg.

Hopefully these suggestions are helpful to OP or the devs.


I really agree,this game is not Sid Meier’s Civilization.


This is 100% accurate reflection of my opinion. A random person in 10 min can think of better civ variants than actual ones which are very weird. Teutonic Order, Crusader States, Orleans, Ayubbid Dynasty, Mamluk Sultanate, Habsburgs Austria, Kingdom of Jerusalem, maybe something smaller in HRE like Brandenburg, I’m naming thinks randomly out of my head and in my mind they make more sense.


Thing is we are not running out of names.
They seem to have particularly avoided making them sound like real factions. This does not fit in the theme of the game.
I know I know the Order of Dragon is a real thing. But why choose this very narrow concept? It sounds too small compared to other factions in the game. Why don’t you use House of Luxembourg or simply Hungarians? I see very low chance of getting a full Hungarian civ in the future.
Sultan’s Army is on the contrary too generic. Why not Mamluks or Ayyubids?
Jeanne de Arc is NOT a faction. We’ve talked a lot.

The Chinese one I’m not sure about because I have no idea what it represents. But “Empire of Jade” is a bad name whatever it represents.

I believe someone (including the devs themselves) could find a few evidences that these names are relevant. But, regardless of that, they still do not sound like valid faction names in a historical game. They sound like timely skins of existing characters you gain from events in gatcha games.


No one in their right mind would accept such a name


That is assuming the developers actually know anything about history. After the constant misuse of assets like Spears, seeing the english King wielding a Zweihander, seeing one handed Poleaxe Knights and the disrespectful name of Byzantine being bestowed upon the actual Romans, you assume far too much of their knowledge on history.

Remember. This is the same company that has done multiple fantasy “events”. I don’t think they even care.

No wonder that they are kept in the dark, never interacting with the community. One open discussion with any of the community members would reveal how severely lacking their team is.


I don’t think use of celestial empire fits either.

If goal is to be more historically accurate or what ever then use of celestial empire is before or after AOE4 timeline so its not accurate in that front and shouldn’t be used


the name must use historical name.this game is age of empires not age of mythology


I love the idea of japanese female warriors, they are historical accurate, but the Malians units and the France it doesn’t make any sense.

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