[UX Suggestion] add visual aura effects (Caravanserai, Centurion, healing, fully charged units)

What title says. The AoE2 team has been adding aura effects into the game, but currently they have no visual representation. We didn’t know which Trade Carts are affected by Caravanserai, which soldiers are healed by Stronghold Castles, and judging from previews, now we won’t know which Militia are under Centurion leadership.

With three aura effects in game (and arguably a third - Hussite Wagon’s protection effect), one directly affecting combat, it’s about time this changes, don’t you think?


At least making it a option to turn on or off in the settings.
Personally I would like to see this incorporated

Caravanserai, Stronghold Castles (and Folwarks) do have a range indicator when you enable the setting or install the mod.

Seeing the range indicator on a unit might be a bit too awkward, though I wouldn’t say unrealistic? Same with Hussite Wagons - their unique mechanic I think is almost forgotten, as you never see the unit anyway (outside of some cheesy 1-2 wagons idling your eco while sitting under TC).

Warcraft 3 auras are a good solution. The unit affected gets an effect on the base

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Indicating units under effects is a solved UI problem, which is why I didn’t mention how this should be done.

For example, Diablo 2 in 2000 introduced the terminology of “aura” and the visual indicator of colored rings under the feet of affected units, while temporary buffs/debuffs are shown as animated icons overhead. This approach has since then been adopted by Warcraft 3, AoE3, and countless other games.

Example ideas:
Militia line/Legionary in Centurion aura: a small “power up” effect overhead, animated or not, or a small circle under feet.

Trade Cart in Caravanserai aura: the effect can be indicator by a special dust cloud trailing the cart.

(Previously I also suggested using dust clouds or some other effect to indicate *Monks and charge-attack units with a full energy bar.)

Infantry in Stronghold aura: perhaps all units being healed by an outside effect (not self-heal), whether by Monks or Stronghold aura, should have animated medical crosses bubbling from their heads.

Speaking of that, putting huge exclamation marks “!” above idle villagers is only a modders’ juryrigged solution. Official AoE2DE developers seriously needs to implement a better effect than that - the animated snooze “Z” from AoEO and AoE4.

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It’s nice to have aesthetic options but they are bottom of the list of priorities. I’d rather they sort the pathing issues and garrison behaviour. Plus it’s aoe2, not League of Legends. Competitive players have all graphics set to lowest possible, all 3D and 4K effects disabled etc.

No, please no. You’re turning the game into a moba.
This is why auras shouldn’t be a thing in the first place. The game is not meant to work with this kind of mechanics.
Keep it simple and elegant

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