2.8 - Unity-like object/prefab instancing possible?

I am trying to make a room, which features a lot of repetetive details, in this case, columns as per the image below:


I am wondering if there is some unity-like instancing system in blender. Where I have a master object (or prefab), and can create instances of that object for the other columns. This isn’t like parenting where only movement and rotation transformations are applied. I mean like if i was to change the master object (add more faces, change UV map textures etc) then the “instances” would update and also have those changes.

I have seen the instancing section on the https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/scene_layout/object/properties/instancing/index.html

But this just seems to be about creating multiple copies of a certain object at the verts or faces of a master object, which is weird and not what I want.

ALT+D makes a linked duplicate.
By editing one of the linked duplicate, all of them inherit the same changes.

Or there is a modifier called “Array” useful if you want to quickly create an array of the original mesh at given distance useful for columns disposed in line for example, or in circle (in this case you will have to set an empty object as the object offset and rotate it).