When looking at the graphics in Elemental as we show them, there are two things to remember:
1. We're over a year away from release so we're talking very preliminary artwork.
2. It's a strategy game not an RPG so the units aren't going to have the kinds of detail that an RPG has because we have to display thousands and thousands of these units on screen.
So the other day we discussed how equipment being added to your units would work with the Intel Havok physics engine. The idea is that when you add armor to a unit or other equipment that it wouldn't just be some sort of texture blend as seen in most traditional 3D games but rather the equipment mixes and matches with physics being applied.
The trick here is performance and obviously this would not be displayed on lower end machines (the graphics would just stay together like in most games). But the idea is to future proof the game and provide some visual candy and greater immersion as people see their created units doing their thing.
It's worth noting that one could just play the game zoomed out in the cloth map and never even see an actual unit so people who don't care about this kind of thing don't have to look at it. But people (like me) who really like seeing their units in action can watch the units go into battle.
For this video below, we took a horse and equipped it with horse armor to show how it worked together.