I know that there are already mods which can do that. But those mods are all based on units which are only playable in campaign. Mods usually don’t include any new units since you’d need to do 3D models of them. Also there currently just arent enough models ingame to find a non-EU replacement for every unit. In addition, you can’t play in multiplayer with these mods.
This DLC would be strictly optional for people who, like me, are fed up with recruiting European-looking swordmen or pikemen as Aztecs or Chinese. New modeling work would be required since we need a variant for every age and there currently aren’t enough models ingame as stated before.
If work is done nicely and the units fit well into the rest of the game, I am willing to pay for it. Devs, just give it a few thoughts. After all, this game has a relatively large community and there’s a lot of opportunity you’re missing out. But just to be clear: I don’t want an ingame shop where you can buy skins separately for horrendous prices. That would be a no-go.
Of course a free mod would be even better but everyone should be rewarded for their work.
But can’t textures been put in a way that is not a data mod? Like, I use the Official christimas graphics stuff and the longer corpse decay mods and they work fine on multilplayer, impacting on my client visuals alone.
I’m not a modder, but my guess is that changing unit textures on a civ by civ basis is not as simple as just changing the look of the unit gamewide with a simple texture/model swap. The author of the unique skin mod likely had to swap out the units entirely in order for it to work, and that’s why it’s considered a data mod.
At present it requires a data mod to tell the game not to use the same art for the same units. The problem with making it the default that different civs have different art is that it would (at least the way it works now) require duplicate files for as many regions as we want, so it would blow up the size of the game. A workaround for this issue has been proposed though and never got an official response.
Well, at least a mod to a sole civ at time still possible, right? Like, “get this one checked on if you wish to play aztecs and have a unique skin pack for them”. But I guess enemy units would still modify as well. Uhmmm pretty troubled, it seems…
I’ve been thinking the same thing since the first AoE 2, I never liked European units for Asian civilizations. And that also for the boats, they only change the sail, but they still have the appearance of European boats.
I have a project already structured to change units according to the continent, without changing much the essence of AoE 2, but I do not know the tools. There is the SLX Studio, but I do not know how to use it to change, for example, the Turkish knight, with an Arab helmet and a curved scimitar sword with a round shield (Only that), the rest are the same, so you would not notice the difference and not visual chaos would result. Or the Chinese champion, change an Asian helmet, maybe a little armor, but the posture, attack, movements, walking, etc. it remains.
That would be the mod that I want to create, suitable minimum changes by continent or world zone, but I don’t know what tools are used for a reskin.
I also like the idea for a multiplayer compatible mod or DLC (I would buy it and it is not a bad thing because it is purely cosmetic) that adds regional skins to the units.
It does not necessarily “breaks the design”. They should keep things that are typical to the units but changing some things to the region they represent. It is also present on the units from the Scenario Editor like the Heavy Pikemen, Eastern/Nordic swordsman, persian Savarano cavalry, etc.
Light cavalry uses brown horses and heavy cavalry white horses.
The arbalester has that thing on the helmet, unlike the crossbowman
The termination of the weapon that the Spearman/Pikeman/Halberdier wields
The little armor on the horse that differentiates the cavalry archer from the heavy cavalry archer
The champion being more “flamboyant” than the two handed swordsman
With those things being respected, you could add, for example:
Central asian cavalry having cuman masks
Middle east infantry using scimitars
Eastern europe units having the typical slav helmets
Eastern asian units not using european plate mail on late units. And their late infantry using Changdao or Nodachi swords.
Changing the things on their shields/armor (paladin shield, pikemen armor for example)
American units using macanas in their infantry
And many things like that. A good example of this is the game Rise of Nations, where their common units are different but share common traits that make them “easy to recognize”
A lot of those ships are post-Medieval too.
It is true that Asians had gigantic ships when compared to Europeans, but they lost almost all sea battles against Europeans because of it. Big ships is a mistake, they need much stronger winds to move, and are much harder to turn, as naval combat history went on to prove.
For another example, see the Turk Galleys and the Venetian Navy. The Turks almost always won because they had larger fleets of smaller and more maneuverable ships.