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Converticon aoe2de
Conversion preview

Conversion is the act of turning a neutral or enemy unit or building to the player's side, typically through a religious unit.

Genie Engine[]

Converting enemy units and structures requires faith, which is drained when the process is successful and regenerates slowly afterwards; a Monk/Priest is unable to perform a conversion if he is not at 100% faith.

By default, only standard units can be converted, while heroes, buildings, Kings, Monks/Priests, and siege units are immune, though there are several technologies that can circumvent some of these weaknesses.

Through conversion, a player can manage to procure specific units and/or structures that are not normally available to their civilization (e.g., converting enemy cavalry while playing as the Aztecs). Several types of unique units are often targets of conversion due to their strategic advantages. It is advised to target the most useful, powerful or expensive enemy units to get the most value and damage to the enemy with every single conversion. Converting units can also allow the player to circumvent the population limit.

On conversion, the attributes of units are locked, and will not be further influenced by upgrades. This also means that the units will maintain their civilization-specific properties. In some situations, such as when a civilization bonus is handled on the civilization-side instead of the unit-side, the units will lose/gain their properties.

If Villagers are converted, they will usually not retain the ability to construct buildings that the new owner doesn't normally have access to, and may even be unable to construct buildings unavailable to the original civilization as well.

Units and buildings that start in the control of of player 0 (Gaia / Mother Nature), except terrain objects, wild animals, and certain others, will generally be automatically converted upon entering the line of sight of a human-controlled player (but not an AI player). Note that if objects are converted to Gaia via triggers, then the objects will not automatically convert. This is most commonly used in scenarios to bolster a player's forces at particular times. Additionally, herdable animals and special structures used in the King of the Hill game mode are automatically converted to the team, other than Gaia, with the most units close to them.

ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

In Age of Empires, Priests perform conversions. First available in the Bronze Age, they can initially convert all enemy units except other priests, but not buildings. Chariots, Chariot Archers, and all ships are more resistant to conversion than other units. All Macedonian units are four times more resistant to conversion. Meanwhile, the lumbering speed of slow units such as War Elephants and Elephant Archers makes them especially prone to conversion.

Researching several technologies at the Temple can help improving the odds of a successful conversion:

Wololo red

Trivia[]

  • The sound of the Priest's chant ("wololo"), sampled from "Spectrasonics - Heart of Africa vol. 1",[1] has since become an Internet meme. In a Beam me up, Scotty-esque twist of fate, it is also often associated with Age of Empires II's Monks. The sound can be played in the latter game as a chat command, though. Priest units in Age of Empires Online have different chants depending on the civilization, but many of them reference this sound to some degree, and one of the holy staff weapons that can be found is called the Ancient Wololo Staff (though ironically, it doesn't provide any benefits to conversion).

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

Monks convert aoe2de

Four Monks converting an Elite War Elephant in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

Atonement anim aoe2de

Two Monks converting an enemy Monk, with the help of the Atonement technology.

In Age of Empires II, Monks and Missionaries (the latter Spanish only) perform conversions. First available in the Castle Age, Monks can initially convert all enemy units except religious units and mechanical siege weapons, but they cannot convert buildings. Conversion of units can be performed from distance, except for Battering Ram, Armored Elephant, and Trebuchet lines, which need Monks to stand near them.

Monks can never convert enemy King-type units, and from The Conquerors onward, they cannot convert heroes either. Some special units like Crusader Knights and Mounted Samurai are also immune to conversion. The scout units (the Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scout lines, Camel Scout) have an innate resistance against conversion as well as an attack bonus against Monks. They also move very fast, which makes them excellent counters against enemy Monks. Teutons and their allies have an innate resistance to conversion for their units and buildings due to the former's team bonus.

With Redemption researched, Monks can convert all siege units and most buildings. The ability to convert siege is very important, as a Mangonel conversion can swing a massive amount of momentum. Buildings can only be converted by Monks standing near them. However, they cannot convert certain buildings even with Redemption: Town Center, Castle, Krepost, Monastery, Fortified Church, all Walls, all Gates, Wonder, Farm, and Fish Trap.

While the player is converting an enemy, a harmonized chant is heard during the process. However, if an enemy is in the process of converting one of the player's units, the same sound is heard, but mixed with a deeper humming sound.

Researching several technologies at the Castle and Monastery can help to improve conversion effectiveness:

Conversion mechanics[]

Redemption anim aoe2de

Four Monks converting an enemy Watch Tower. The left Monk died trying.

From The Conquerors onwards, the Monk AI attempts to convert the target at regular intervals, called here conversion intervals (CI), roughly equal to 1.25 game-time second. Once a Monk is at conversion range of his target (or touches it in case of rams, Armored Elephants, Trebuchets, and buildings), his first CI starts. His first four CIs have no effect on the target and only serve as warm-up. Starting from the fifth CI, the Monk has a 38% chance to convert a unit at the end of every CI. Even if the Monk fails to convert by the maximum CI, the unit will be converted irrespective of the conversion chance in that CI. Hence, the Monk is guaranteed to convert his target at the end of the 9th CI.

Attempts to convert buildings start at the 15th CI and are guaranteed to succeed at the end of the 25th CI. Monks also retain their 25% chance to convert (which has been increased to 38% for units). The basic mechanics of conversion are the same.

In other words, Monks need between 5 and 9 CIs to convert a unit and between 15 and 25 CIs to convert a building.[2]

Conversion resistance level n modifies the chances of conversion t as . The only units which has a conversion resistance level are scout units and buildings. They have a resistance level of 2 and 3 respectively. Hence, Monks have a 8.33% chance to convert buildings. Compared to the standard 38% chances, buildings practically have 4.56 conversion resistance level.

If multiple Monks are converting the same target, the conversion chances do not add up. Example: If 3 or more Monks are converting the same target, conversion chance does not increase to 100%. All conversion attempts are carried out independently, and if any of them succeed, the whole group succeeds. Even if only one Monk succeeds, the whole group loses their faith, unless Theocracy was researched.

Switching targets[]

Switching targets does not reset the conversion intervals, except when done from a building to a unit. However, manually moving in any direction does reset it. This makes it impossible to hit-and-run with Monks or Missionaries in the traditional sense. If the Monk is chasing a unit automatically, his attempts of conversion are stored. As such, when the target unit is back in the Monk's conversion range, the process continues. This also works with switching: if the target has fled, the Monk is chasing it automatically, and the player switches its conversion target to some other enemy unit in the player's vision (not necessarily in the Monk's range), the process works as if the Monk had been converting the new unit the whole time without taking a break.

Resistance[]

  • Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion: +1 min conversion time, +1 max conversion time.
  • FaithDE Faith: +4 min conversion time, +4 max conversion time.
  • Scout units: +3 min conversion time, +1 max conversion time, +2 conversion resistance.
  • Buildings: +10 min conversion time, +14 max conversion time, base +3 conversion resistance level.
  • Ships: +2 min conversion time, +2 max conversion time.
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons and allies: +3 min conversion time, +1 max conversion time.
  • Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis: Elephant units' +3 min conversion time, +1 max conversion time.
  • UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade: +4 min conversion time, +4 max conversion time.

Charging Monks[]

It is possible to charge Monks and get "instant conversions", by abusing the above rules. A group of Monks can attempt to convert a Scout Cavalry for 6 CIs (which will all fail since the unit cannot be converted before 8 CIs), and then switch to another unit, say Knight. The Knight will be converted instantly if any of the 6 CIs resulted a conversion success. Initially, it was possible to charge conversions by starting converting buildings too, but since update 95810 of the Definitive Edition, the behaviour was changed to reset the CI count when a Monk changed targets from a building to a unit.

Inquisition[]

Inquisition reduces minimum CI and maximum CI by 1 for all conversions and further reduces minimum CIs and maximum CIs by 5 for converting buildings (hence reduced by 6 in total for buildings). Buildings are also slightly easier to convert by increasing the chances of conversion from 25 to 30 in the formula. It affects both Monks and Missionaries.

Evolution[]

AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings
  • Monks have a 25% chance in every interval to convert units, with minimum being 4 and maximum being 10 (4 to 10).
  • Conversion is blocked by conversion resistance level. The chance of conversion at any conversion interval is given by 28, where n is the conversion resistance level.
  • Buildings, ships, and Scout Cavalry line have conversion resistance 3. Other units have 0.
  • Faith increases conversion resistance level by 3, minimum conversion time by 2, and maximum conversion time by 4 (6 to 14).
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons: Team bonus increases conversion resistance level by 2, minimum conversion time by 1, and maximum conversion time by 2 (5 to 12).
  • Monks can switch from converting buildings to converting units - doing so may grant "instant conversion" if the Monk had been converting the building for more than the maximum conversion time for units.
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors
  • Eagle Scout and Scout Cavalry line have conversion resistance level 8.
  • UniqueTechCastle-DE Inquisition: Monks take -1 minimum and -1 maximum seconds to convert.
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes
  • With update 56005, Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scout lines do not have increased conversion resistance level, but instead take +4 minimum seconds (8 to 10) to convert. This property is hardcoded.
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India
  • Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis: Elephants have conversion resistance level 2, and take +1 minimum and +2 maximum seconds to convert (5 to 12). This property is also hardcoded via some resource.
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome
  • Individual units can have minimum conversion time, maximum conversion times, and conversion resistance level modifiers.
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals
  • With update 95810, switching from buildings to units resets their conversion cycle, removing "instant conversions".
AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition - update 99311

Overhauled the conversion mechanics:

  • Concept of conversion resistance level removed for all existing units and technologies (but not buildings). Units gain increased minimum and maximum time intervals instead.
  • Monks have a 38% chance in every interval to convert units, with minimum being 5 and maximum being 9 (5 to 9), hence reducing one second on each end.
  • Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scout lines retain their conversion intervals of 8 to 10, hence making them take +3 minimum and +1 maximum seconds to convert. In addition, they gain conversion resistance +2.
  • Devotion added. It increases minimum and maximum conversion times by +1 (6 to 10).
  • Faith modified to increase minimum and maximum conversion times by +4 (10 to 14 - considering Devotion is needed to research Faith).
  • Ships take +2 minimum and +2 maximum seconds (7 to 11) to convert.
  • Bengalis: Elephant units take +3 minimum and +1 maximum seconds (8 to 10) to convert, similar to scouts.
  • Teutons: Team bonus makes units take +3 minimum and +1 maximum seconds (8 to 10) to convert, similar to scouts.
  • Sicilians: First Crusade modified to increase minimum and maximum conversion times by +4 (9 to 13).

Changelog[]

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes
  • With update 56005, Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scout lines do not have increased conversion resistance level (+8 → 0), but instead take +4 minimum seconds (8 to 10) to convert.
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India
  • Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis: Elephants have conversion resistance level 2, and take +1 minimum and +2 maximum seconds to convert (5 to 12).
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals
  • With update 95810, switching from buildings to units resets their conversion cycle, removing a previous exploit where it was possible to "charge" Monks by tasking them to convert buildings and switching to units after the unit's maximum conversion interval to convert them instantly.
  • Update 99311 overhauled the conversion mechanics:
    • Monks conversion chance per interval for units increased (25% → 38%).
    • Time interval range of possible conversion intervals narrowed by 1 on both ends (4 to 10 → 5 to 9).
    • Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scout lines retain their conversion intervals of 8 to 10, hence making them take +3 minimum and +1 maximum seconds to convert, but gain conversion resistance +2.
    • Devotion added. It increases minimum and maximum conversion times by +1 (6 to 10).
    • Faith modified to increase minimum and maximum conversion times by +4 (from +2/+4 min/max time and +3 conversion resistance level). Conversion intervals with Faith (after Devotion) go from 6 to 13 → 10 to 14.
    • Ships lose their +3 conversion resistance level in exchange for taking +2 minimum and +2 maximum seconds (7 to 11) to convert.
    • Bengalis: Elephant units interval modifiers changed from +2 conversion resistance level, +1 (minimum)/+2 (maximum) → +3/+1. Resulting interval is now 8 to 10 (from 5 to 12)
    • Teutons: Team bonus interval modifiers changed from +2 conversion resistance level, +1 (minimum)/+2 (maximum) → +3/+1 (same as the Bengalis).
    • Sicilians: First Crusade modified to increase minimum and maximum conversion times by +4 (9 to 13) (same as Faith, but without Devotion).
    • Units other than scout units do not have any conversion resistance level, and no technology modifies them either.

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

In Age of Mythology, conversion is largely limited to Chinese Monks, who can convert enemy human soldiers (and Shennong Monks can also convert non-Titan myth units) and Egyptian Priests of Set, who can only convert wild animals. The animals, together with any available Animals of Set, can form a decent army or can be used for scouting. The player can weaken an opponent's early-game economy by converting nearby huntable animals. Worker and other economic units cannot be converted.

Unlike the previous games, converted units lose their original upgrades and bonuses and receive the benefits from the new owner instead.

Some god powers and myth unit special abilities also have conversion-like effects. Rheia's Traitor god power converts a single unit to the player's side. Hyperion's god power, Chaos, turns enemy units neutral (hostile to all other units), as does the special ability of Hekate's Lampades. Osiris' Mummies have a special ability that instantly kills an enemy human or myth unit and raises it from the dead as a Minion under the player's control, which is effectively the same as conversion.

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

Introduced in Age of Empires III's expansions, only the War Chiefs, Lakota Axe Riders (with the level 40 Morning Star Home City Card), and the Shaolin Master have any sort of ability to perform unit conversions. The first two can convert Treasure guardians, who when being converted have their hit points reduced, get a 90% damage penalty against villagers and buildings, and will not move in an organized formation even with the option enabled. The Shaolin Master can turn a defeated enemy unit at random into a friendly Disciple.

Definitive Edition[]

In the Definitive Edition, War Chiefs' Nature Friendship ability have been replaced with the Recruit Guardian ability which can no longer be used on non-human treasure guardians. To compensate this, they receive new abilities which make them more effective against treasure guardians. Also, the Morning Star Home City Card stopped giving the Lakota Axe Riders the ability to convert them.

The newly introduced Inca Priestess have the Conversion ability which works as its name suggests by converting the target enemy unit. Conversion has a range of 12, takes 6 seconds to complete, and cannot be used on heroes, Daimyo, Shogun Tokugawa, villagers, healers, wagons/travois/rickshaws/builders, and Hot Air Balloons. As in Age of Empires II, certain units are resistant to Conversion, though few are vulnerable. The following lists the multipliers for the time taken to convert the respective units:

Aging up to Fortress Age onwards improves the Conversion ability by increasing its range by 4 and reducing its time by 1.2 seconds, for a total of 24 range and 2.4 seconds at the Imperial Age.

Trivia[]

  • The Disciple created by the Chinese Shaolin Master will always appear Chinese even if the previously defeated enemy is not (e.g., a European soldier). This can extend to vanquished foes that are not even human (e.g., a Treasure guardian or trained pet).

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

AoE4 Conversion Ring

Conversion ring

Similar to the Genie Engine games, conversion in Age of Empires IV can only be performed by religious units. However, Age of Empires IV approaches the process of conversion very differently than other games. Conversion can only be performed by religious units holding Relics. When attempting to convert, a "conversion ring" (with color same as that of the player) of 4.75 tiles radius is formed around the religious unit. Any enemy units remaining within the radius at the end of a 6-second countdown are converted. Siege engines, hero units, and other religious units are not affected.

The process of conversion cannot be stopped after it begins, except by killing the religious unit. If it is killed the moment conversion is supposed to finish, the units are instead converted to Gaia, and become neutral. The cooldown for conversion is 2 minutes.

Buddhist Monks have a special version of the Relic conversion ability which grants any allied units within the radius +20% base damage. With the Nehan technology researched, this ability is upgraded to Nehan Conversion, which additionally grants allied units +25% movement speed, and its cooldown is reduced to 90 seconds.

AOE4 MONK CONVERSION

A Monk using Conversion

AoE4 Proselytization Proselytization[]

AOE4 ABBA PROSELYTIZATION

An Abbasid Imam using Proselytization on a Camel Archer

With Proselytization researched, Abbasid Dynasty Imams can convert singular units without holding a Relic. It has a cooldown of 1 minute.

Buildings[]

While buildings cannot be converted in regular play, they can be transferred between players in scenarios. Converted buildings keep influence bonuses and even upgrades (but not units) from their original civilization. For example, if an English Mill and a Feudal Age Barracks were converted to some other civilization, farmers working around the Mill will work faster and the Barracks will show an Upgrade to Early Man-at-Arms button (though researching it will not achieve anything).

References[]

Gameplay elements in the Age of Empires series
Age · Ability (II · M · III · IV) · Architecture set (II · III) · Area of Effect (Trample damage) · Armor/Resists (hack/melee · pierce/ranged · crush/siege)  · Armor class/Tag (I - original · I - Return of Rome · II · IV) · Artificial intelligence · Attack (Attack bonus/Multiplier) · Attack delay · Attack ground · Aura (IV) · Auto Scout · Building (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization bonus · Cheat code (I · II · M · III · IV) · Conversion · Counter · Diplomacy · Gaia/Mother Nature · Game modes · Garrison · Gather Point · Healing · Hit points · Hotkey · Line of Sight · Mini map · Player · Population · Range · Rate of Fire · Regeneration · Relic (II · M · IV) · Repairing · Resource (Renewable resources) · Scenario Editor (I · II · M · III · IV) · Score · Signal Allies/Flare · Soundtrack (I · II · M · III · IV) · Speed · Stealth mode · Taunt · Technology (I · II · M · III · IV) · Technology tree (I · II · IV) · Town Bell · Trade (IV) · Tribute · Unit (I · II · M · III · IV) · Unit formation · Unit stance (III) · Upgrade (I · II · III · IV) · User interface · Victory · Villager Priority
Genie Engine
Frame delay · Full Tech Tree · Team bonus
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRuins · Discovery
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIPass-through damage · Projectile duplication
Bang Engine
Autoqueue · Snare
Aom original icon Age of MythologyGod (Major · Minor) · God power · Settlement
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIAge-up methods (Politician/Tribal Council/Wonder/Federal State/Alliance· Banner army · Consulate · Damage Cap · Home City · Home City Card · Inspiring Flag · Minor civilization · Nuggets · Promotion · Revolution · Target Lock · Trade Monopoly · Trade Route · Treasure
Essence Engine
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVBounty · Dynasty · Fire armor · Imperial Council (Vizier Point) · Influence · Landmark · Religion · Sacred Site · Variant civilization
If a gameplay element has different pages across games, like civilization, the individual pages are linked in brackets.
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