Modding - Taunts

While it would indeed be nice to have, this is not possible with the audio system that is now in use in AOE 2 DE (WWise does not accept anything other than its own container) and there would need to be a special compatibility framework to convert source files into WEM in runtime (likely with lots of overhead).

While I understand your frustration, there are reasons why WWise was chosen and the legacy sound system replaced, and breaking mods was not an intended outcome. On the contrary, effort was made to pair WWise’s features with the accessibility of audio modding to explicitly allow sound overrides, which I do not think any other WWise-powered game has done (I’d like to see examples, though). The only real drawbacks are the WEM format and the fact that modded sounds do not use the same locations as non-modded ones, so you have to refer to documentation, like the spreadsheet I made.

I’ve been working on a standalone PCM/OPUS WEM converter tool as a side-project, so that you would be able to prepare your files in a single click without having WWise installed, but currently can’t say when that will be released.

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Might it be possible someday for AoE devs to simply:

  • Bring back the old audio taunts for at least 1 thru 42-ish and make it an option we can toggle on in Options?
  • Completely remove the doorbell sound that occurs when a message is sent and replace it with the classic AoE2 messaging sound, and make it an option we can toggle on in Options?
  • Reduce the lag that occurs between entering a taunt and hearing that taunt’s audio play? Age II: HD was markedly and noticeably faster in this respect. So, to hear the multi-millisecond lag with each and every taunt and message in Age II: DE is a bit jarring. If the additional lag is caused by language filter-related (even though I’m not signed into XBox Live), then could devs at least just whitelist taunts so they don’t need to run through filtration at all? (I don’t like the lag for any Age II:DE messages, to be honest; as with technological advances, it’s reasonable to think lag would be less in 2020 compared to 2013 and 1999; not increased.)

The lag + doorbell sound + less-than-stellar new taunt voicework really makes me not want to hear any taunts or use them in DE. It was so fun to use them in HD; now it’s nearing nails-on-a-chalkboard status for me with DE.

All of that on top of the fact that a friend and I enjoyed having about 200-300 additional custom audio taunts .MP3s of our choosing in Age II:HD that would probably take an audio engineering degree to bring into DE, and it makes chatting in DE even more boring and annoying, sorry to say.

A big contributing factor of the fun I had when playing with friends (the audio and messaging changes) is essentially being negated. It really is driving down my desire to play Age II:DE.

Are you able to explain why DE is so steadfast against having options to enable old voice taunts and old music soundtrack audio in DE?

TOOL SUGGESTION:

  • For adding custom/customizing taunts, Microsoft/devs could create a program/tool we could download that is simple to use. It would be a dialogue box that has a left and right panel. On the left, you point to your .MP3s that you want converted to a DE-friendly format. Press a button and it converts them to a DE-friendly audio format which then appear in the right panel to show successful conversion. In the end, you keep your list of .MP3s, but DE-friendly versions are created that you can drag-and drop into your Age II:DE audio folder(s). Problem solved for people who just want simplistic was to add their old custom taunts and new ones over time.

Question.
I have noticed that custom taunts have stopped working/playing. I took a quick look through the game settings and the “Disable Taunts” option was not enabled. I tried with another custom taunts mod as well, but nothing played again.

Is this a bug?
Did the directory change?
Do I have a broken setting somewhere?
Or is this related to the XBOX filtering/censoring tool that now encompasses taunts too?

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If you’re playing multiplayer and this is happening, I recommend making sure ‘they’ don’t have the “/taunts” option disabled under the Games tab of Options menu, or the “Disable Taunts” option enabled on the Audio tab of Options menu. For whatever reason, the game mutes your ability to hear their taunts if they have “/taunts” disabled on their game. In your case, maybe it’s also affecting yours that you do, too? Either way, it’s worth double-checking both these settings on your machine and theirs…