Things Wrong WIth the Lakota

They’re all plains nations, and the original term for Sioux was used against them all by the Ojibwe, iirc. Otherwise… not really. The Crow aren’t anything like the Shoshone who in turn aren’t really like the Omaha or the Seven Fires. The various plains nations are quite different from each other.

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It’s one thing that they’re actually very different, but it’s another thing what kind of civilization the game wants.

I respect your ethnic identity. But I think what the game really wants is a representative of the plains nations who is good at early cavalry rush, not just one tribe or group. Just as Germans are not limited to Prussians, Austrians or Bavarians, even if some players think that these German countries are very different.

Just wanted to say that things would be much easier to work out if there was a relatively decent term to cover this group of people.

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Ironically, I think almost any of the other plains nations would be great for an early cavalry rush centered civ - it’s just that the Lakota and the Seven Fires in general did not make warfare their main mode of establishing their empire. All warfare they did was purely defensive in nature.
The Comanche, Cheyenne, Shoshone, or Crow would be better suited to portraying an early cavalry-rush centric plains nation. The Seven Fires… not so much.

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I think you wonderfully highlighted how the Lakota have been sadly designed as a generic Plain Native American tribe, gathering all these people’s main traits and clumsily putting the ‘Lakota’ label on it.

Nevertheless, this issue cannot be overcome if unique, all the more famous, assets of the Lakota are constantly vetoed: the Inipi ceremony for example would be an excellent introduction to pure Lakota attributes, speaking to many people. Same with the previously mentioned Adoption we discussed that is both a proven and familiar feature.

Unfortunately, if options start to be constantly rejected, I’m afraid our poor developers would start lacking materials to flesh out this civ. Indeed, I’m worried current historiography isn’t deep enough to truly bring out aspects clearly differentiating a Plain Native civ from another. As an example, the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ history before the 1300s is hardly known. Thorough studies of Native Americans’ cultural practices or even numbers are actually quite recent, from the 1990s only for the oldest.

A game like AoE3 is an extraordinary opportunity to vulgarize a civilization’s characteristics: I’ll confidently declare most of us players here learned a lot from the references thrown here and there about each civ. As such, additional allusions to our favorite civ should be assessed taking a step back, rather than being extremely picky and unnecessarily overprotective, except for real quirky or offensive elements (Sioux, Fire Pit) of course.

But yes, in the end the Lakota need a desperate rethinking: the perfectly designed Dog Soldier, from the Cheyenne, as a Lakota unit is perhaps the epitome of the issue.

I’m convinced the studios can achieve a nice rework: the recent PUP with the renaming of unique European cards after specific Houses is an easy but much appreciable reference to each civs’ own attribute. Besides, the studio proved so far it always tried to represent each civ under the best light, and in my humble opinion, I think they did a nice job so far.

Lakota offers plenty of possibilities for our dear devs. There is a lot on the plate however, from possibly renaming, reskinning (Tokala Solider) cards and units, perhaps enlarging the civ to the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ to benefit from further features like agriculture from the Dakota you mentioned, or transform the tipi into an economic building of some sort. Personally, I would love to see references to the Sun Dance, the Ghost Dance, the Čhaŋgléska Wakȟaŋ (medicine wheel) or the heyókȟa you mentioned earlier.

Best,

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Yes if you change “wakina” to another language then it becomes another plains people’s unit. Ironically the only unit with a strong cultural image is the dog soldier… and it is Cheyenne. Now they changed it to “Tokala soldier” which now sounds very generic and you can change the name to another language with no problem.
Rifle riders were probably another one because of the use of repeating rifles in the battle of Little Bighorn…oh other peoples participated as well.

And I also find the name “Cetan bow” pretty odd. Imagine “Minotaur spearman” for Greeks or “Tengu swordsman” for Japanese…

True, then perhaps introducing names more judiciously related to the Lakota culture would be wiser?

Like, using one of the Oceti Sakowin tribes’ name for a specific unit such as the Oglagla or the Hunkpapa

The attentions to use Lakota words like Wakina and Cetan are a fair but apparently unperfect attempt, according to me

I mainly had in mind the splendid Dog Soldier indeed: it’s an obvious Cheyenne unit among the Lakota, although I wish it does not disappear. Maybe acknowledging a full Cheyenne ally aspect embedded into the Lakota civ could justify more logically its upholding?

For the Rifle Rider, it has definitively its place in the roster too. Perhaps then the solution would lie not in its renaming, but in the buffing cavalry/hunting cards’ or the Allies cards’ names. After all, it is the unique unit (Ranged cav good v. Heavy Inf) of its type too, so very recognizable

These ideas had been discussed in the past:

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I’m not even supposed to discuss the Sun Dance, the Ghost Dance, or Inipi among my own family outside specific times or situations. That is why I don’t believe those specific things should be in the game - if it’s hidden from its own members as a sacred thing that shouldn’t be discussed outside the proper ceremonies, it shouldn’t be in a game.

It just means “hawk”. There’s no mythological character behind it.

As far as I’m aware of the options I’ve given, the only things I believe should be actively avoided are the Ceremonial Dances, Inipi itself, and references to boarding schools and the active abuse of our children that occurred from this time period into the present.
Beyond that, everything from the Medicine Wheel to the Kapemni symbol, which is found on much of our art and is the reason tipis are the shape they are, is open to be interpreted into the game.

It’s a perfect example of a Dog Soldier. Something else that’s interesting? The Cheyenne Rider model is an excellent example of what an actual Tokala Soldier would have looked like - they were well known for their buffalo horn headdresses.

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I see. When I google it usually says a “hawk spirit” so I thought it was mythological.

Maybe swap the models?

About other cavalry: Maybe some Corral units could change the name to depict alliance? Like Cheyenne axe rider and so… IDK what were the alliances between Lakota and other natives so IDK the options, and which allied cultures used more horses.

Some native religious practices have been highly popular parts of their public images for at least a century. I have a children’s educational picture book with a page about healing in the sweat lodge.

It should be fair that a mass-market, Teen-rated game like AoE be generally allowed to give topics the same amount of coverage as a modern children’s book for six-graders (obviously games’ interactivity complicates things). Having a card named “sweat lodge” would be no more intrusion into taboo than telling people it exists.

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Dude, none of the civs are realistic. It’s a game. They’re trying to span a 1000 year timeline. Do you think the British are close to realistic? They’ve thrown in a mix and made a playable game. This game is amazing compared to when it was first released.

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Yeah, I agree. I don’t understand calls for total rework for civs, which is just asking for a whole new game. I understand we are all passionate about history and culture, but a game where a house can spawn a vill, and can ‘magically’ give the house healing abilities with a shipment about a nurse, we shouldn’t look too hard into accuracy.
Otherwise, it wouldn’t be an RTS anymore. Imagine every civ had its unique units and tech tree, buildings and ages because that’s how it was in real life. You would have no idea what counters what, there will be 100 unit types and equally diverse way to set up eco.

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i think, as above, that the reason its annoying was that their “representation” was used as a marketing gimmick. No one ever tried to use british representation as a marketing point to appeal to certain demographics. its not so much a double standard as it is a calling out of misleading marketing.

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They should have been done the changes without over explaining them, as they changed Portuguese Guerrero to Legionario.

I am fully aware of that. I encourage you to read this response I made (and have repeatedly made) to this exact argument. @BonnyMountain91, you should also read this response.

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I’m pushing against this because I know for certain that every book I’ve ever seen on it doesn’t actually cover what happens. Personally? I’d rather just avoid it entirely.

I’m against this. The Lakota should be Lakota - other cultures can have cards in the Support style from the Messenger or just be pushed on more in the native trading posts, but the civ itself should be 100% Lakota. My own mod followed this, but made Cree Trackers and Dog Soldiers trainable from the Native Embassy after being shipped in, as well as enabling their basic upgrades so they could be usable the whole game.

I can understand that it may be difficult for you to budge on this point.

Basically I support change too. But as I said, what the game really wants is a plains Native American civilization, and “Lakota” is a name for the civilization. If such a massive change was not necessary, I’d rather rename this civilization to “Plains Native Americans,” which, even if it’s drab and awkward, could reasonably cover every aspect.

Imagine, if there is no general term for “Japanese”, the current Japanese civilization may be called “Tokugawa (clan)”. Maybe someone will ask that this civilization should be 100% Tokugawa clan, so it is time to strengthen the samurai and ninja. The strong economy belongs to the Toyotomi clan, the muskets and European powers belongs to the Oda clan, the cavalry belongs to the Takeda clan and the Sanada clan, and the water army belongs to the Murakami clan. Those parts that are not part of Tokugawa’s strengths should not be taken seriously.

What you’re asking for is the equivalent of a “European Civ” and asking that it make sense. The area and cultural diversity you want covered by this one civ is roughly equal to literally the entirety of Europe.

Yes, I will not deny this. But obviously there are differences between European and Plains Native Americans.

The cultural differences between Plains Native Americans and Europeans may or may not be as large, I don’t know. In the market, however, European civilization is better marketed. Historically, European countries have had a great influence on the world. These are the reasons why Europe will not have only one civilization called “Europeans”.

If Europe is a region with a very small total population, a region with very little influence historically, or if most consumers have never heard of it, then they probably won’t be part of the vanilla game, with an “European” civilization, or “Germanic” and “Slavic” two civilizations in DLC to cover.

If the tribes of the Plains Native Americans have shaped global history in a certain century, or the cultural and historical differences of the tribes are familiar to players around the world, then perhaps we can welcome the “Lakota”, “Cheyenne”, "Apaches” and many other Plains Native American civilizations, and perhaps Asians will have “Lakota Allies” or “Cheyenne Allies” in their consulates.

Obviously because of market and historical realities, we can have 11 European civilizations, but the chances of a second plains Native American civilization are extremely low. Since we can only have one Plains Native American civilization, why not try to make it take care of every aspect of Plains Native Americans without being based on stereotypes?

PS. In fact, European civilizations have been streamlined to a certain extent because the game is focused on the globe rather than a specific region. A developer once stated that the game will not separate Western countries or political entities as civilizations like some well-known MODs. For example, Germans cover all German-speaking countries.

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Ignorance of the subject at hand is not an excuse to diminish or stereotype it, especially when they used correcting the culture as a marketing scheme.

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