Things Wrong WIth the Lakota

Hau - “Hello”. Wohanke Lakhota - I am Lakota. I am tired of waiting for the devs to do what they promised with the release of the Definitive Edition and actually make an effort to fix the two Native civs. I’m focusing on the Lakota because I am Lakota.

Starting with Voicelines:

Villagers

  1. Male:

    1. Kaga - “To Build.” Male
      a. Suggestion: Wakaga yelo - “I will build.” (Suggestive masculine ending.)

    2. Mahkhichanyan - To farm cultivated soil. Male.
      a. I don’t understand these two - the female villager says a complete sentence, but the male villager only says a single verb. Without a personal indicative pronoun attached to “mahkichanyan,” it isn’t a complete sentence, it’s just a verb.
      b. Correction: Mahkichanunyanpi yelo - “To plant crops” (said on behalf of multiple people with suggestive masculine ending)

    3. Yuspuspupi - “Pocket change.” This is literally referring to loose coins in one’s pockets, so I’m not sure why it was chosen for “mining.” Male.
      a. Correction/Suggestion: Wathokhiyopheya - “I will trade.” Similar to the female variant later in the document, this serves the double purpose of being more relevant to a good trading mechanic to replace gold income for the Lakota.

    4. Waskuyeca - “Berries.” Why does the female voiceover get actual sentences but he just says single words? Male.
      a. Suggestion: Wowaspin kta yelo - “I will gather fruit.” (Suggest masculine ending.)

    5. Thalo - “Raw meat.” So boring. Male.
      a. Suggestion: Wakikhuwa ksto! - “I will hunt!” (Absolute feminine ending.) In case you were curious, the Absolute Feminine Ending ksto does not have a masculine counterpart and is acceptable for a respectable male to use. This also has the plus side of being an acceptable attack voice line.

    6. Chan - “Wood.” This is accurate in the most boring sense of the word - the dude just says “wood” when he goes to collect wood.
      a. Suggestion: Chan womnaye - “A collection of wood.”

Female

  1. Thalo hiyumnin kte - “I will move towards the raw meat.” It’s such a weird way to say this. It has a feminine ending. Female.
    a. Suggestion: Wakikhuwa ksto! - “I will hunt!” (Absolute feminine ending.) The plus side of this one is that it is equally valid to be used as an attack voice line.

  2. Wowaspin kte - “I will gather fruit.” It has a feminine ending. Accurate.

  3. Mazaskan… kte - This one is unclear. Maza means “metal” and skan means “to change,” so it seems more like someone did a quick search of “change” and attached it to metal without realizing the word doesn’t mean “loose change”. The ending is right, however - “kte” is a feminine ending. I am unsure what is being stated between the two words. Again, I suspect a Dakhota or Dakota translation, as it’s a longer word that should be fairly short. Female.
    a. Correction/Suggestion: Iyophekiya ksto - “I will trade this.” (Absolute feminine ending.) This has the plus side of being more relevant to the Tribal Marketplace and the trading mechanic that should replace the Lakota gold income.

  4. Wowazu - “I will plant crops.” Female.

  5. Thipi wanji …kta - “One house… will do.” I’m unsure what the middle word is. The sentence overall means “One settlement I will build,” without the middle word, so I suspect it’s a Dakhota or Dakota translation, not a Lakota one. Female.
    a. Semi-Correction: Wathikicaga kta ksto. “I will build a house for you.” (Absolute feminine ending.)

  6. Chan pahimin kte - “I will pick up the wood.” Ok… it’s accurate. It’s not exciting, but it’s accurate.

That wraps up the Villager voicelines, which are the worst. I don’t want to run through the rest of the voicelines, but the general gist is that they aren’t that good. I’ll note some outliers, however;

  1. The Warchief
    a. Zuya Itanchan - “Military Leader.” This isn’t wrong, per se, anymore than calling an Admiral a “Military Leader” is. However, there is a specific word for “warchief” that would be far more appropriate to be used here - Blotahunka, although Naca Zuya would be just as effective.
    b. Additionally, I’d suggest to add a knockout line - Wapataka, kin doksa ake waunkte - “I rest, and I will see you again,” as well as a revival line - Pilamayaye, Wakhan Thanka - “Thank you, Great Spirit.”

  2. The War Clubman
    a. One of his voicelines start with some weird hard R sound, which immediately pins it as a conword - the Lakota language does not have the R sound.

  3. There were more, but I don’t want to go through more. I think you get the idea - I think the legacy voice lines were more accurate than the new ones they’ve implemented.

Military Names

This one is one that particularly bugs me - every other civ gets their units named after historical military troops their nation had, but the Lakota do not… which is baffling, considering how core the Akicita are to the culture and especially were during this time period. It was literally required for every man and many women to join an Akicita to serve the community. Men couldn’t get married without it and women could command war bands if they were a respected member of an Akicita. Why is there not a single mention of the Akicita in the entire civ? This is like making the British but not using Redcoats, or making the French without a single mention of Napoleon during this time period. It’s like making Germany but not using a single Landsknecht design in the civ, or making the Russians without Cossacks. Hell, it’s worse than any of these because the entire populace of the culture was deeply involved with the Akicita, not just a few military leaders.

The Akicita consisted of named groups like the Kitfox Soldiers (which are the only Akicita mentioned in any version of the game, as the Tokala Soldiers,) the Bare Lances, the White Marked, the Great-Hearts, the War Badgers, the Crow Owners, the Grass Dancers, the Silent Eaters, etc. Each of these could very well have been the units for the civilization, but the only Akicita used were the Kitfox.

Kitfox were known for their fox headdress and their willingness to perform any duty around the tribe that was needed - they would be excellent as a military/economic unit combination.

The Bare Lances were young warriors, eager to prove themselves, and had large, bare lances to indicate their greenness on the battlefield. These would be delightful to have as heavily upgradeable units through HC shipments.

The White Marked wore headdresses with so many decorations, they trailed on the ground. These should be the best warriors the Lakota have to offer, and their core values rested around generosity - one of their main duties was feeding the wounded veterans who could not hunt for themselves. They should generate food passively while fighting, or be capable of collecting food.

The War Badgers were the fiercest fighters, and would work excellently as blitz soldiers - they were known to wrap otterfur around their lances imbedded with shards of glass to blind and maim their enemies.

The Great-Hearts wore buffalo horn headdresses, and centered their society on self-control and stability. Making them the “tanks” of the Lakota army, with a massive healthpool but relatively little damage, would be appropriate for their design and name.

There’s so many possibilities… and the devs decided that “Hawk Bowman,” “Thunder Rifle,” “Rifle Rider,” “Bow Rider,” “Axe Rider,” and “War Clubman” were the best names to give them.

The only other name that is directly in Lakota is the Tashunke Prowler… but it is the incorrect form of horse and implies that the horse is owned by someone other than the one riding it. A better name would be something akin to Okichize Prowler (Battle Prowler) or Itkunyan Prowler (Arson Rider) and to make the unit a siege trooper. This would base them heavily on the Sicangu Lakota, who were known for their stealthy hunting techniques involving fire. (Sicangu means “burnt thigh”.)

Anyway, this is long enough as-is. Over the next few days or so I’ll probably add more in the comments (like what the **** is with the “Black Arrow” card?) reviewing other aspects of the Lakota civ, but I figured this would be a decent start. At least, if the reception to this initial post is positive enough, I’ll post more.


In case you were curious why I’ve elected to post this, it’s because I’m tired of waiting. It’s been a year and a half since the DE was launched and the Devs promised that the Lakota and Haudenosaunee would be fixed to improve representation - Well, as a Lakota, I’m gonna go ahead and say that the representation wasn’t fixed in the slightest. Rather, my culture was used as clout for marketing while they did their absolute best not to change anything at all. They wanted to benefits of “woke” points without putting in any work to appear better.

I’m tired of it. Big companies like this are constantly pulling **** like this and it’s exhausting to see. So please, for once, just do the right thing and change the civs. The Lakota and Haudenosaunee should be their own unique faction, separate from the Aztecs and Incans, and have completely different playstyles and age-up mechanics and economies separate from Meso- and South Americans. Grouping the two North American Natives with their southern cousins is like grouping the Chinese with the Egyptians into a single faction and mechanics set and not seeing a problem with it.

Frankly, I’d rather see the Lakota removed from the game entirely than continue to be left in this state after such an explicit promise to fix them. Please. Do something.

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Wow, this is awesome. I hope the powers that be are reading it…

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I read some of the conversation you were having in the discord, Ana. I’m sorry to see your disappointment regarding the native civs but I certainly understand it. I definitely agree with your comment on the woke points. You’re certainly one of the most valuable members of the AOE community and I hope you stick around.

It saddens me to say it but it seems the Native Americans are just far less popular than other people groups (when it comes to video games at least) and money goes to the popular vote. This was the big trade-off when AOE3 left the New World and went global. It’s like when multiple states form together in a confederation; the minority always suffers. I remember one guy told me the Maltese were justified because they were bigger than the Lakota. Sad.

At any rate, popularity shouldn’t matter when they promised from the get-go to adjust the American civs. Get to it, FE. I’d be happy to sign any petition or participate in any schemes you may have to promote further development of the native civs.

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I wouldn’t be as annoyed if it wasn’t literally the very first message that pops up when you open the game for the first time.

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Always enjoyed reading what you had to say on discord and on the forums. Hope you stick around as well.

And I hope that the devs see this and changes come.

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I’ve come to the suspicion from reading posts like this that the “cultural correspondent” they hired didn’t actually know anything about any of the cultures, and instead just garbled out some modern political talking points.

Also, great write up @AnaWinters. This all sounds even more grating than hearing “For America!” over and over again. I hope these changes make it in!

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From the circles I heard whispers from, it sounds more like he gave them a bunch of information and they proceeded to completely ignore him.

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That could certainly be the case, although from what I read of his interviews I wasn’t impressed. There wasn’t anything there that couldn’t have been written by a college freshman returning home after their first semester.

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Please fix the way these civilizations get coins. It’s ridiculous right now.

Please Fix the “Fur Trade Mechanic”
Possible New plot solution on obtaining Lakota and Haudenosaunee coins
A better way to get coin for Lakota/Haudenosaunee (and giving coin mines a new purpose)

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Excellent thread. Glad you decided to share your thoughts again on this subject. We just need to be persistent and hopefully, in time things can be rectified. I do my best to empathize with you as a representative of a Lakota which is unicorns in games.

I wasn’t too enamored with the changes because it felt to me as a layman more could have been done to better represent these cultures.

I don’t know if a total rework is feasible but I certainly wouldn’t be against it. These civs should be better than they currently are. The good thing is FE has a lot of creativity so I think they could do these civs justice. The community plaza needs to go.

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After looking into it, I believe the Haudenosaunee should be capable of mining. Leaving the No-Mining thing as a Lakota-specific aspect would allow it to be more complex and civ-specific.

The Haudenosaunee have no tenants against mining. They have no tenants for it, either. It just wasn’t something that popped up largely with them.

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So could it revert to how it was before for Haudenosaunee? It would be nice.

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Something that’s also important and worth noting…
The aztecs still speak a gibberish made up language.

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That last paragraph is unnecessary and reeks of chauvinism.

@AnaWinters Could you discuss some gameplay mechanics you’d like to see?

The fact Lakota rely so heavily on sending Bison shipments as their main food source is just bad design, especially in team games where allied villagers will hunt them too.

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Dude, we don’t want the lakota out of the game, we want to play them and for them to have better mechanics. The experience of being british is not the same as lakota, and mocking the knowledge AnaWinters has of its own people, that are not as well known culturally as other groups and are often ill portrayed, is disingenuous.

I do expect devs to rework aspects of the Lakota as well as with Hauds, and the fur mechanic has been revisited in theory many times by many people on the forum. I am sure devs know there is a demand for it, and maybe they are taking longer to release the native civs customization options because they want to present then along with deeper changes (or so I hope)

So here’s one more vote to take another look at them.

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Thanks for putting the time to write all this. I do hope they see this and make changes (for the better) like they said they would and fix these civs. I think it would be much more enjoyable to play as well as I noticed things that are poorly researched suffer from being too generic and too stereotypical which is more boring imo. I can certainly sympathize with your frustration given how little Lakota representation there is in video games as well. I hope the devs are listening.

Yes please fix this as well! They should be speaking Nahuatl not something made up. If they need any speakers I know people who speak and teach the language, even the Classical variant the Aztecs spoke as well.

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This topic is temporarily closed for at least 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.

This topic was automatically opened after 12 hours.

Before this gets locked again, can we have the nature friendship ability back?

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I’m not against the Lakota being allowed to train some types of animals, like bison or coyotes or dogs from a fun card, but those are the only animals we had any hand in taming or raising.

I’m not against a card that delivers a handful go tame bison or enables coyotes and wolves to be trainable. Dogs should be trainable by default - we used those more than horses.

Side idea - the ability to slaughter pets and permanently dismount cavalry units for a quick boost in food would be a very accurate ability.

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