Hi again. It’s been awhile, but nice to see y’all again. Been busy, and haven’t had time to active here. Life got in the way.
I’m going to focus first on the Messenger cards available to the Lakota, as well as give feedback to a few of the new cards introduced - I love some, hate some, and have no real opinion on others, but that will likely be as just a response further on down this post. For now, I want to focus on the Messenger Cards themselves.
To start off with the obvious, the Lakota have two cards called Lakota Support.
In the case of all 10 cards that are specifically X Support, my only real thing to add is to change the names of the cards, but I’ll give some ideation about what the cards should give to be thematically coherent to the community the card comes from:
Oglala Support - The Oglala were known as the wildest of the 7 Lakota Oyate, or tribes. Specifically, the Tokhala Soldiers are an Akichita unique to the Oglala. Hint hint maybe make this card have something to do with upgrading Tokhala Soldiers?
Itazipcho Support - The Sans Arc (Without Bows) isn’t referring to them not having bows, it’s referring to their generosity - When White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota, she gave her peace pipe to the Itazipcho because she knew they would use it to help all. (Basically, when hunting, the Itaziphco wouldn’t mark their arrows, ensuring that all families could eat because no woman or man would specifically be looking for their own arrows in bison for food, they’d simply grab what they needed.)
Mnikowoju Support - The Plants By The Water got their name from an attempt at farming that failed, from what I hear. The name stuck because it was funny. My initial suggestion is to give the Mnikowoju the Lakota’s only access to farms by unlocking a farm with a build limit of 1, but that would involve reworking the Lakota economy to be more in-line with how it was historically. Other than that, do what you will. My only suggestions circle back to something I’ll touch more on later down this post.
Hunkpapa Support - The Head of the Camp led the Lakota. This is the tribe that the other six followed. Whatever the Hunkpapa give, it should be the most impactful of the ten Support styled cards.
Sihasapa Support - The Black Foot were known for their wealth, and stories have them with black tipis because the black paint was expensive and they were fond of showing off their wealth. In true Lakota fashion, however, the wealth was spread among the people - They were basically just the richest of the seven tribes, but it’s up to you what that means in a game like this. Some sort of gold-based upgrade might be useful, and possibly, similar to the Mnikowoju, the Sihasapa could give the Lakota access to their only Estate.
Oohenumpa Support - Later in the timeline, this is the tribe that Chief Eagle Woman (That All Look At) came from, and she was known for uniting the tribes in a manner that had not been done before her. Chief Eagle Woman is also who I believe should be the Lakota AI’s personality, not Gall. Chief Eagle Woman made an impact on the lives of the entire nation, not just a single Akichita from a single band from a single Oyate like Gall. Later on, the Two Kettle are the leaders of the Lakota rather than the Hunkpapa.
Sichangu Support - The Burnt Thigh were known for their hunting methods. They used fire to corral bison and their horses were accustomed to riding with a lot of fire on their backs. I think this would be a good card to give a siege unit/bonus to the Lakota with, since their burnt thighs came from riding with fire.
For the last three Support cards, I looked at the remaining 6 fires of the Oceti and picked what, I think, were the closest to the Lakota.
Ihanktunwan Support - The Village at the End are the protectors of pipestone quarries, and they were a static culture that relied on agriculture and trade with the plains Lakota. They, and the Ihanktunwanna, are the center of the Oceti Sakowin (the Seven Fires)
Ihanktunwanna Support - The Little Village at the End is the other half of the central cultural group to the Oceti Sakowin.
Isanyathi Support - the Eastern Dakota were the protectors of the eastern borders, and went to war with the US in their own way in the Dakota War of 1862. Unfortunately, unlike their prairie siblings, the Lakota, the Eastern Dakota were not as adapt at war. They are the most agriculturally inclined of the three Oceti Sakowin nations.
As for the rest of the Messenger cards, I have only this to say - the Cheyenne are 100% a people the Lakota would seek help from, but having Cree Support cards is like giving the Japanese a large swath of Korean Support cards. If there was a I hate the Lakota fan club, the Cree would have been the President, Vice President, and Secretary of it, while the Nakoda would have been the Treasurer. I suggest adding a minor civ - the Arapaho - and replacing the Cree Support cards with Arapaho units.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with the Cree, but the tension in modern Japan and Korea is mostly from post-20th century history.
From ancient times to the present, the exchanges between Japan and Korea have been very active. For thousands of years, there have been immigrants from Korea to Japan. During the Three Kingdoms period of Korea in the Middle Ages, when Silla was backed by the Chinese Tang Empire, Baekje was allied with Yamato Japan. Even after the end of the Japanese invasion at the end of the 16th century, when both sides entered a period of isolationism, trade and exchanges between the two sides remained very active.
One of the traditional military feature of the Koreans is their Gakgung archers, but the Japanese muskets on the battlefield had a very deep impact on the values of the Koreans, so that later they actively established their own musket troops that were praised. (Although the greatest achievement of these troops seems to be only being called by the Qing Dynasty to support the war against Russia and repel the Russians there. Because the diplomatic and military autonomy of the Koreans was held by China, but this is not the point for this thread anyway.) After the Meiji Restoration, there were also pro-Japanese factions in the Joseon court.
In my opinion, it is not surprising if the Japanese civilization has a card named “Korean support” or something else to ship Korean mercenary units such as Gakgung archer or Joseon arquebusier. Sorry for off topic.
Reasonable and appropriate advice. You can think about which maps this minor civ could appear on. If there are too few, the chance of introduction is low.
I don’t think Arapaho is a likely or necessary candidate even with a good map distribution. North America has a lot of natives already covering those regions so it doesn’t make sense to add another.
For the most part, North America is saturated for minor settlements. The only exception would be the absence of Inuit in the north and maybe the need for another west coast native. But even that would need more maps.
“Europe” does include a good chunk of western Asia so triple the size is a big exaggeration. And if you look at it in terms of population, Europe is an order of magnitude ahead.
If anything, the rest of the world is extremely underrepresented.
Ultimately, there are a comparable number of European and North American maps and civs. In my opinion Europe is a little bit overrepresented and North America could use a couple more maps and settlements. But giving it a ton of redundant settlements would be overkill.
I just checked the fandom and noticed that there is no Cree Support card, but several Cree Allies cards. Not sure if this is unreasonable. Maybe it’s a bunch of the friendlier Cree, or some Cree-blood warriors who don’t care about the Cree-Lakota relationship and will serve you as long as you have the money.
Another question, what is the unit of this Arapaho?
If you’re going to use it to replace a Cree unit, it better be a Rifleman as well so that the value of the card is maintained.
In hindsight, I think if budget limitation were not an issue, it would have been better for AoE3DE, starting from its planning stage, to fully commit to the idea of the Sioux/Lakota civ as the alliance of Seven Fires + Cheyenne and Arapaho (an idea already implicit in existing cards named for Cheyenne culture), by adding more specific references to all three cultures (perhaps add an Arapaho unit, and give Cheyenne voice acting to the Dog Soldier), while replacing or re-theming the Cheyenne minor civ with a culturally more “distant” Great Plains nation.
By making a playable civ more overtly multi-cultural (as each playable civ has been more or less designed to be), we can have more native American cultures represented.
Similarly, the currently unused vanilla minor civs could have been replaced by fresher ones, instead of left in game as easter eggs. (Replacing things reduces compatibility with legacy scenarios, but AoE3DE already has plenty of compatibility-breaking changes.)
No need to keep brandishing that infographic as if it’s some authoritative research . Estimates of pre-industrial demographics are more or less shots in the dark. At a casual glance, you can see estimates of 1500 Europe range from 61.6 million to 90 million. And if you’d read the book 1491 (which is 17 years old now), you should’ve known how fiercely debated the pre-contact Western Hemisphere population has been.
In the end, historical population counts are beside the topic and not much of a factor on civ rosters. The only things that matter are the budget, the devs’ ability to research, and the maps to be filled.
But the region in question already has filled maps so adding more may be overkill.
And it’s not besides the point. When one region has massively more people it does make sense that they would have proportionally more minor civs. Even the highest estimates put the pre-contact population north of Mexico at 18 million which would have rapidly diminished after disease took hold.
The only reasons to add Arapaho would be if Lakota were reworked to have age up alliances like the Africans or if Comanche were elevated to a full civ and needed a replacement. Otherwise the area they appear in is covered by existing settlements.
It comes from the Hispanic Arab law sá lláh , so it’s both true that it means “If Allah wants it”, and “if God want it”, because Allah means God in Arab. A lot of words that we use in Spanish comes from Arab, mostly the words that starts with al-
Sorry for the offtopic.
I support all the name changes that comes without gameplay changes. If Arapaho aren’t added, maybe they could be added kitbashing existing assets but with Cree Rifleman stats.
Is this a big deal? Compared with many of the ideas she had proposed before, her suggestion this time is already very reasonable and practical.
If the maps don’t allow new minor civs, try introducing just one Arapaho mercenary or native unit instead of a full Arapaho minor civ. Or, in the most conservative way, renaming Cree Tracker to Arapaho Rifleman or something.
The entire argument about “the continent was depopulated” is absurd honestly. Arapaho as a minor site is completely reasonable, it’s not like they haven’t introduced a native settlement that don’t appear in maps before (Lenape) or a native site to fill holes in map designs (Tengri Shrine) anyways.
If there’s a slot to be filled in a civ design, might as well just introduce the native site. The only challenge honestly is finding the voice actor for the unit.
I actually agree with this very much so. Making the Seven Fires but giving them a Saloon-type place where they can send cards to train and upgrade Cheyenne Dog Soldiers or Arapaho Cloud Riders (one of the Arapaho warrior societies) to supplement their own military - Ideally, the full Seven Fires would be the Lakota and both Dakota nations, which would give them a heavier lean towards infantry. The Cheyenne and Arapaho would give them access to highly niche cavalry units.
Of course, this would require completely remaking the civ from the ground up. I don’t think it’s going to happen, and my personal opinion is that the Lakota should be restructured to bet the Lakota - that means no farms and no estates, and a way to produce bison internally as part of the civ’s structure is a necessity.
Since the Haudenosaunee have no history of banning mining while the Lakota do, the Haudenosaunee should have the ability reinstated and the no mining should be a Lakota-only aspect, which would allow it to be far more unique and in-depth and much more interesting to work with.
The engine may have practically unlimited capacity for data entries, but the human player’s memory, and the pool of iconic historical hooks aren’t unlimited. Why bog the game down with “detritus” that now exist as outstanding exceptions to the design patterns, like
3+1 minor civs that only appear as Unknown easter eggs, 3 being legacy ones with some notable features (e.g. ranged melee Tomahawk vs musketeer Tomahawk), 1 is Lenape from a DE Historical Battle with reused tech icons.
Rodelero who was designed before the shock infantry concept was added, and exists as a fast-running heavy infantry.
Hackapell the legacy mercenary variant of Uhlan that still shows up in one campaign level, Harquebusier its replacement with an English civil war theme, and Hakkapelit the playable Swedish civ’s unit that keeps being reworked.
The Mexican civ has reused the Aztec minor civ’s techs and units, but with additional details…
The techs are renamed to Tlaxcala Initiation & Tlaxcaltec Chocolate Recipes; the minor Aztec units shadowtech and have the same stats as the playable Aztec units; neither interact with the Native Treaties card.
and so on for many things.
Why not do some house-cleaning to have fewer, not more of these oddities, to make the game that much easier to learn?
And on the historical themes front, why keep perfectly iconic references like Chocolate locked up in the “obsolete content” dungeon? It could be “freed up” for the normal game in a way that’s less twisted than “this is a removed tech, now renamed”.
Clarification on the last point:
Designers of long-updated games like Magic: The Gathering and Dominion know that good names are a scarce resource. They have some of their best names wasted on early immature designs, and they wish they could recycle names. There are fewer obstacle to do that in an RTS.