Originally Posted by jap88
replaceable by another alternate unit that looks different but has the same stats.
Exactly, this is what I mean. And to help reduce production drain on the developers, I highly suggest making cookie-cutter animation sets that can be applied to several models of a certain branch or tier.
Without playing the game it would be very hard to go into detail and draw our diagrams of my idea, but it is sound and can function quite easily as I've seen it put to good use in Non-Multiplayer Strategy games. This being said, allow me to clarify just one more time.
Let's say I wanted to make a custom race.
I'd select the Dragon Faction as a base foundation (stats, units, speed, ect). Then I just change the cosmetic appearance of the units from a library of units which can fit the Dragon Faction play style (Ogres or Trolls for example), and then save and play. That's pretty much it.
As for "needin to be able to identify what unit type they are facing"
-- this can be worked around by allowing players to do a little more research on the possible appearance of units. Also, a very detailed help-tool ingame would also be a very easy work around. Just basically tell the player what the base unit is if they select it. They'll eventually learn what is what.