[Implementation Suggestion] System to add regional units and unique architecture DLCs

Since there is some discussion about regional units and unique architecture DLCs, I would like to propose a system that not only makes them completely optional, but also ensures that they have absolutely no negative impact on performance for players who have not installed the DLCs.

Problem:

The problem is that if you add unique units/architecture with the current system, every “generic” graphic has to be duplicated multiple times in order be replaceable by the DLC graphics. Players who don’t want the cosmetic DLCs will lose disk space and will possibly experience a negative performance impact because every duplicate unit graphic also has to be loaded into the RAM.

Solution:

I now suggest you a system, which is very similar but still different to how the UHD graphics are handled:

What has to be changed/added?

  1. The graphic files of all “generic” european units get renamed so that they have a region code in their filename like *_EUR_x1.smx for example.
    The other region codes could be: ASI (asian), MEA (middle eastern), AFR (african) and NAM (native american)

  2. The graphic entrys in the .dat file have to be duplicated for each regional unit like this:

    aaa

    The SLP Name now includes the corresponding region code.

    1
    2
    3

  3. The new graphic entrys are then assigned to the corresponding units and civs.

How does it work?

If you don’t have any DLC installed, the game engine internally replaces the region code with the european one (u_inf_militia_attackA_ASI_x1 will be changed to u_inf_militia_attackA_EUR_x1 for example). There are only the european unit graphics in the game folder and nothing else => So except for some additional entrys in the .dat file, nothing noticable changes for players who want everything like it is.

If you have a graphic DLC installed, you will get a checkbox in the settings menu (just like with the UHD graphics pack) where you can activate the DLC. Now the game engine will load the regional unit graphics.

This system could also be applied for unique architecture and unique elite unit DLCs.

Tell me what you think about this system.

4 Likes

The duplicated files will skyrocket the size of game by a lot of GBs because of how big the x2 uhd smx files are compared to HD slps. Also it might affect the RAM use as well, so increased loading time.

1 Like

You are right, but I think people who desperately want regional units, unique architecture or elite units can live with those negative side effects. At least I could.

1 Like

Me too.
This method is how the Independent Architecture and Units mod worked in HD. Everyone who wanted to use custom units/buildings in HD used it as the base. This method is basically integrating that essential mod into the game. It will be great to see it happen.

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I hope that one of the devs reads this post.

1 Like

I hope there will be some alternative way to make it implemented in a better way. Such as the game reads either x1 or x2 smx, and .wem files in either wwise folder or drs/sounds folder. Similarly maybe they can implement some way such that if afr/asi/eur tagged smx doesn’t exist then it reads default smx otherwise uses tagged smx. Since there is SLP name and SLP number, maybe it can be done that way. I don’t know if it is technically possible that way.

2 Likes

Maybe it could be realized with .json files. There are a lot of ways to implement this for sure. But I think without .dat file modification it isn’t possible.