I don’t see the skeletons as an improvement to be honest. It’s kind of cheesy. I’d just leave it as it is, cause you can clearly see where a previous battle took place but it doesn’t interfer with live units.
I think I know why they changed it. With the original graphics, units turning into skeletons after death is a bit more believable and less goofy. However, with HD, modern graphics, it would look either really silly or rather morbid.
I like the bodies sinking into the ground because it reminds me of Phantasy Star Online, where killed enemies do the same thing, except faster and they leave a permanent pool of blood on the ground where they died. That’s my favorite game, btw, so I like being reminded of it.
One interesting idea I have to enhance that : if some friendly units enter a battlefield where many soldiers recently died, and are not engaged in combat, add some makeshift graves (wooden crosses for christian civs for example) for friendly units and mass graves or piles of dead bodies for enemies. None having any hitbox, just for visuals.
If left unattended with no units around for a while, have some crows and rats appear to feast on the poor souls slain on the battlefield (visual only, maybe make them flee if a significant number of troops arrive).
Morbid yes, but realistic. Would probably be an optional mod to avoid forcing that on younger players.
the issue with Skeletons is you have to get rid of the bodies at some point, in the original, if you were looking at a 5 minute old battlefield all the skeletons would disappear one by one which looked silly. the sinking is intended to not stick out when the unit fully disappears.