[DISCUSSION]: Aesthetic Changes

For the Purpose of this post, following civs will be considered European:- Britons,Celts,Franks,Teutons,Vikings,Goths,Spanish,Italians,Slavs,Magyars,Portuguese,Bulgarians,Lithuanians,Burgundians,Sicilians,Poles,Bohemians, and Byzantines. Rest are Non-European.

I am suggesting following changes:

  1. Huns, Cumans, Tatars, and Mongols be given their own Nomadic architecture set.
  2. Persian be given current Central Asian architecture set making it unique.
  3. Huns be given Steppe Lancer. Maybe Persian also (What are your thoughts?).
  4. Imperial Swordsman upgrade (Reskin of Champion) of Two Handed Swordsman be added.
  5. Horseman Line (Reskin of Knight Line) be added. They will have Horseman, Heavy Horseman, and Imperial Horseman.
  6. All Non-European civs having access to Champions have their Champion unit be replaced with Imperial Swordsman.
  7. All Non-European civs Knight-Line units they have access to replaced with Horseman-Line.
  8. Hussar unit be redesigned to be more generic looking than European.

What more points do you suggest?


I think some of these changes can be a new DLC which can prolong game lifespan.

Yes! except Cumans leave them with the current set

Yes, I’d like giving persians the Central asian set.

I like this too. For Huns, maybe the stable bonus in conjunction with the cheap cost and the already ##### ## of SLs could be an issue. Maybe they could lost the Elite upgrade like cumans lacks Camels the elite upgrade. This way you have a really nice double gold combo (CA+SL) in castle Age, but don’t scales very well in Imp.
For Persians, I don’t find an issue.

I support the regional skins client side only, so I’d keep as now, but it would really nice a DLC or use the seasons mods to add regional skins instead of “funny” ones like penguins riding polar bears… or snowmans-at-arms.

I don’t really carer too much, but I would like that only winged hussar (and magyar of course) keep the wings.

I agree for Huns, Mongols and Cumans, but not Tatars. They’re based on Timurids, and the Central Asian architecture was essentially made specifically for them.

Makes sense.

It’s a shame that this counts as an “aesthetic change”, but alas, it does.

I’m all for the option of regional unit skins, but I don’t see the need to rename anything. Also “Horseman” is about the blandest unit name possible.

The Hussar situation is a bit of a mess, but I’m not sure this would help matters.

  • Regional Monk and Villager skins.
  • Unique Castle for every civ.
  • More Monastery diversity. In particular, the East Asian one is too Japanese for the other civs that share it.
  • More appropriate Viking architecture.
  • some different Cathedral graphics so that I. The campaigns, say, Milan and Orleans cathedrals don’t look like Aachen.

fine with these.

don’t think this is neccesary, but also impacts balance.

all 3 of these i think should be a client side only thing.

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Yes, except for Tatars. As was said above, they’re meant to represent (among many other entities) the timurids.

Why persians? Iran is not a steppe.

About the renamings… I don’t think it’s necessary. A champion is not an european concept, what’s wrong with it? A champion is the guy you send to fight a combat in representation of a noble or the army. It’s usually chosen because its armed combat abilities. No need for renaming.

I don’t like the name hussar, but can’t think of a better name. I would like the wings to be removed tho.


The Huns and Cumans can share an Eurasian/Western nomadic set.
If the Khitans, Jurchens, Gokturks are in the plan, then Mongols can get a East Asian/Eastern nomadic set.
Avoid the nomadic set becoming huge.

It is decent that Persians and Tatars share the Central Asian set.
If Eastern Iranic civilization, maybe named Sogdians, is introduced, then this civilization will also be Central Asian.

I always think that SL should be exclusive to the people living on the Steppe.
The Huns deserve it.
For the Persians, since so far this civilization still represents the entire Iranic peoples, it’s fine. If the Eastern Iranic peoples living on the Steppe can become another civilization, then SL should belong to that civilization, not the Persians who are Western Iranic living on the Iranian plateau.

Is Champion a European term?

Regarding the names, I would go for Heavy Cavalry (compared to Light Cavalry in the same age) → Elite Heavy Cavalry → Imperial Heavy Cavalry.

Hussar is a European term as far as I know.
Perhaps Imperial Light Cavalry? Elite Light Cavalry?

But I think the unit changes is neither urgent nor important.
Even if there are changes with Heavy Cavalry or Imperial Swordsman, the appearance will still not be suitable for all non-European civilizations.
No matter how the name and appearance are changed, Japanese and American Trebuchets will still not be accurate.

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I’m ok with it, but not if there is no option to turn it off. It should come with a DLC with new civs, not just a reskin DLC on its own. I personally wouldn’t want it because being able to clearly see what units I’m using and fighting against immediately is more important than realistic aesthetics. Thats why i have all 3D effects turned off and graphics on low. Gameplay > Aesthetics & graphics.

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Iran has had a lot a Steppe cavalry influences over time. Most famous being the Parthians, whose traditions later Iranian empires kept. Hell, their standard lance cavalry looked just like the in-game Steppe Lancers for a very long time.

I would love this, and go even further by giving it to the Turks and Magyars too. Turks even use it during the Sicilian campaign.

YES! Give it to me!

Probably leave Tatars with the Central Asian one, as they did build buildings in the style later on. But a nomadic set for the Huns, Mongols & Cumans, yes!

I would like this too. As seeing Norman knights in Japanese, Ethiopian or Khmer (etc etc) armies looks really weird.

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“Non-European” doesn’t have any kind of strong visual identity that would make this work. Although I’m not sure whether you’re suggesting that each region/architecture set with this unit has its own regional skin, or whether there’s one skin for “Non-European Swordsman/Horseman” line that’s supposed to fill in for all non-Euro civs.

Either way, I’m actually becoming far less interested in the idea of regional military unit skins. I’d probably never use them in Multiplayer, and for almost anything involving single player, having diverse unit representations in the Editor would be enough. I still think the idea is kind of “cool,” it just would take an enormous amount of graphical work for something that has smaller returns than almost anything else I’d like to see (Bug fixes/New Civs/Editor Content). Even if we’re just talking regional skins, IMO regional villager skins are a much higher priority, since they’d add a lot of flavor and probably be more compatible with MP/Competitive games.

This seems reasonable, but they’d have to get some kind of bonus to make it useful. Maybe it benefits from the cav archer discount, but that’s a fairly weak bonus in Castle.

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They were Eastern Iranic people by the way. Also, they are not in the AoE2 timeline.

SL is a regional unit, and it loses its definition when had by civilizations not on the Steppe.
Among the existing civilizations, only the Huns fully fit its definition but not having it. They came from east of the Urals and arrived in Europe to make a scene, just like the Cumans.

It is weird that the Japanese, Ethiopians, Khmer use European style knights, but it is also weird that they share same kind of non-European heavy cavalry, as I described.

Buildings can still be divided into regions, at most culturally significant items such as castles and monasteries will be nice to be unique. However, for the units, Non-European style is not a single style like European style, and almost every Non-European civ can have its own style, just like how AoE3 works. Once we want to distinguish them, we will continue to make them more and more specific, increasingly difficult to recognize. At this stage, It would still be cool work, but heavy and by no means important. For many people, being able to tell at a glance what unit they are facing is far more important than cultural significance.

I think you slightly misconstrued what I meant. I didn’t mean that Persians should have Steppe Lancers to represent the Parthians. But instead that the influx of steppe peoples, like the Parthians, have influenced the Persian military during Antiquity and carried on into the Middle Ages.

I did not. The influence of steppe peoples should not change the definition of SL.

If the Persians get SL, I will explain it as the civ covers the Eastern Iranic peoples who had lived on the Steppe, not as the Western Iranians who had influenced. Just as I will also not be in favor of granting SL to the Central and Eastern European civs and other Asian civs who had influenced too. If the civ representing the Eastern Iranic peoples is released, the Persians will lost the reason for holding SL in my opinion.

Is the editor actually good for this kind of thing? Admittedly I haven’t used it much, but the impression I get is that if you want to change tech trees, especially to add non-standard units to them, it’s awkward and clunky and your options are really limited. Is that true, or did I just not figure out how to do it properly?

Maybe I’m just spoilt because I got used to the WarCraft III editor, which is powerful and really user-friendly when it comes to adding units and changing tech trees. (Just a shame that Warcraft is, in hindsight, not a great game…)

For my purposes, more or less. As long as a visual exists in game and is tied to a unit, you can make that a standard trainable unit for a civ in a scenario. The AI won’t train non-standard units, but you can just replace standard with unique via a looping trigger (AFAIK this is what they do in some campaigns). For example, you could (and I have) create(d) a more “aesthetic” Mayas civ by replacing the swordsmen-line with Jaguar warrior variants (regular Jag, glowing Jag, regular Itzcoatl, glowing Itzcoatl) and the spearline with Kamayuks, all renamed, with cost and stat adjustments to appear as “reskins” of those standard unit lines. Changing technologies is very easy as well, the only snag is that the “visual tech tree” that appears along with a civ can’t be changed in the Editor (and even some modders appear to have trouble with that).

On this subject (and time for a shameless self-plug), I’m a few days out from finally releasing a couple expansive scenarios that makes extensive use of this sort of thing. One is a fantastical “Multi-invasion-of Italy/Germany” type scenario, the other is the first scenario of a Tarascans campaign.

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Nice, sounds like it’s more powerful than I gave it credit for. Using triggers to do it all, rather than a purpose-built tech-tree editor and/or unit editor feels awkward to me though.

I suppose that depends on your point of view. Compared to the stuff that has to be done to mod another game I play (hex editing, ASM hacking, graphics modding), I consider all the AoE2 trigger stuff to be a piece of cake. Your point stands that a more streamlined and user friendly “civ editor,” like an improved, in-game version of the civbuilder website would be helpful, I’m just glad how many things you can do with in-game triggers that would previously have required modding.

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  1. Maybe replace Tatars with Magyars as they are semi-nomadic?
  2. Yes 100%. And then bring a Central Asia/East Iran DLC to add 2-3 more civs on that architecture. Even a Chinese DLC will also work.
  3. to 8 - No, thanks. Or give an option to turn it off.

I like this but there’s also the fact that empires ruled by nomadic tribes tended to simply use the architecture of the peoples they ruled over so I don’t think there’s a need for this change.

In the japanese localization of the game, the terms for Cavalier and Paladin can be translated as “Heavy Knight” and “Imperial Knight”, respectively. Likewise, THS and Champs are “Heavy-sword Swordsman” and “Imperial Swordsman”. I honestly like this naming convention (although “Heavy Light Cavalry” would sound weird).

The East Asian set is Japanese not Chinese. We need a Chinese build set something closer to the Chinese buildings in AOE1DE.