Imperator: Rome

Neither do I, but the comments mention it !?! Except on Linux, for unknown reasons?!?
Weird. Since I just got into CK3, I can wait for the real_real_release_candidate.

My biggest issue right now is that the technology/invention interface is SO TERRIBLE. The middle button on my mouse doesn’t work, so I don’t know if it’s good for other people, but I have to try and zoom way out and then way back in to try and access different branches of the trees. Of course, Paradox don’t let you rebind the middle mouse button to anything else.

Sad that this isn’t in the patchnotes either.

After playing a number of hours this weekend, I think 2.0 could turn into something special once they polish it up. Biggest issue for me so far is a civil war bug that caused my allies civil war to spawn in my territory and then gave all that territory to my ally as we stomped out the rebels. It was so frustrating that I ultimately quit that game as it had basically derailed everything I was trying to do.

I actually like the new invention system way more than I thought I would, but I hope they continue to look for ways to make it easier to use(and fix the scrolling for people without a middle mouse button) and make some of the inventions more interesting. I do really like that some inventions are pretty impactful and I like the inventions that have immediate effects. It seems like the interface could call them out somewhat as major or minor inventions and give the really impactful ones some flair. I think that would help the player see what inventions they’ll want to work for rather than having to mouse over every one, especially since currently the dead-end inventions aren’t all great.

I’m playing a game as Egypt to try out some of the new flavor stuff, even though I pretty much universally can’t stand starting games as a well-developed power. Maybe Thrace would be a more appropriately-sized choice for me next. The new Diadochi war stuff feels like a way more dynamic way to start the game and has turned out pretty differently both games I’ve seen so far, especially with Asia Minor. I didn’t actually partake in the wars as Egypt since the Antigonids handed over a bunch of territory peacefully. It was still fun to sit back and watch the Antigonids knock out Thrace and Macedon while Asia Minor exploded and the Seleucids profited(even if they are the biggest threat to me).

I broadly like the new UI/UX design, but they need to continue to iterate on it. For being a brand-new feature, the UX for getting commanders to your legion is AWFUL. The game will tell you a legion needs a commander, so you click on the notification and it takes you to the army with no commander. So you do the sensible thing and click the “change commander” button which presents you with an empty list of candidates. Turns out you have to open the Legions tab in the Military view and assign the legions command structure and only then can you go back to the army view for the legion itself and assign the commander. There are lots of other small things that are pretty counterintuitive or not where they should be right now. Jumping back and forth between the building tab and the population tab on the city view is another big one for me. I need to know what the pops look like for my city to know what to build, but that information is not available side-by-side.

I think the levy system will turn out great, but I really hate that they turn into a bunch of small armies. Not sure how to fix that as I think governors commanding their troops is pretty cool, but it’s a pain in the ass to keep track of 5 or 6 armies of 2000 men each, especially once they lose a battle and retreat across the country. Legions are cool and something I hope they continue to add more flavor to.

The changes to Military Traditions are also pretty cool. The trees are simple enough that you don’t get lost like with the inventions and the ability to branch out to other traditions is a cool idea. I hope they continue to add new traditions as they focus on other areas of the world.

So far I think the building changes are a good thing, but for an empire the size of Egypt it sucks to have to visit all of your cities to fill out building slots with the “base-level” buildings that don’t have a limit. Oh great, +2.5% here and here and here.

Great Wonders have a big disconnect with the new system between historical wonders and these custom wonders. Basically, the bonus from historical wonders kind of suck in comparison to what you can build yourself and you can’t do anything to boost them. I would like to see the historical wonders tend to be the strongest. Otherwise, I don’t mind the ideas behind the new system. I also hope they add some more styles to the different types of wonders. Ultimately, all of these wonders are going to look pretty samey with how little variety in building style there is.

Great feedback thanks for the post.

I intended to play but weirdly felt overwhelmed. I blame our new puppy. I don’t know how folks with kids can find the capacity to play games.

(So instead I booted up Old World for the first time in months. Much easier to get reacquainted with that game. 🐕)

I don’t think it’s weird to feel overwhelmed trying to jump into any grand strategy game. With every Paradox game I recommend starting with a pretty small country that won’t face any existential threats early on. In Imperator, Rome might actually be the ideal starter nation. They start small but are poised to grow easily(but you could take your time in a learning game). Most of the small Greek states have a big boy in the neighborhood that could take them out easily, so I don’t know that I could recommend those. Maybe one of the Greek colonies that’s surrounded by smaller tribes? Bosporan Kingdom or Massilia(I had a good learner campaign with them) or Emporion seem like decent options.

Sorry, I was clear as mud on my previous post: I’ve a lot of time in I:R and 1000s of hours across Ck2, 3, and EU4. :/

Ah, gotcha. Probably still worth starting with a small country whenever you get around to playing with the latest update. But I think it’s worth letting them settle this down with a couple more patches before you play.

I get this way a lot, it’s a sure sign of mental fatigue for me. It might be mental fatigue from dealing with stress, with a tough week(s) at work, or just getting worn down by the daily grind. Speaking only for myself, I’ve found it a reliable cue that I maybe should use a day or two of vacation time for a long weekend and brain reset.

I’m a total novice at I:R and I’ve been playing it obsessively since 2.0 came out. I have trouble with Paradox games and usually my ADD brain meanders while I try to learn their mechanics.

There is something about the new UI and art style that has dragged me in. I purchased the game right after it came out, but it simply didn’t capture my attention then. I’m about 10 hours into a Rome campaign and I used a youtube series and played along with the guy to learn the game. After the 3rd episode I felt like I understood the game enough and have pressed on.

This is a helluva fun game, and the best thing is, I feel like I might be able to finally pick up how to play EU4.

There is actually no reason to think you are alone with this. Paradox games tend to be weird number simulation spread sheet baskets, but Imperator Rome is a particularly hefty one on this (my first impression as a long-standing EUIV player). It does take grind to get into this sort of games when Paradox prides itself on the multiple mechanics it layers on (or better said alongside) one another. This may create a sort of complexity that on the one hand might let stories emerge but on the other hand is difficult to get into (which is why I much prefer Hegemony III for it’s relatively simple, but deep gameplay).

At this point I think the basic mechanics of EU4 are all simpler than Imperator. Sure, EU4 has accumulated more mechanics over the years, but a lot of them aren’t really critical and can be learned as you go.

Thanks so much for your write up. I’m now re-inspired.

Much like @MrGrumpy, I watched the what’s new videos and fired up IR last week. I went with Thrace, and despite 100+ hours in previous IR. I bounced completely, after spending a 20 minutes trying to figure out how to add a commander to a legion.

One thing did surprise me, I didnt see tutorial option. I’m pretty sure they use to have one. Now maybe it was because I selected hard. I’ll probably go back to Macedonia at regular. This weekend because I’m impatient and burned out on existing games.

Thanks! That’s really encouraging. Paradox games have been tough for me to get into. Thankfully I:R finally broke down that barrier.

Those things that give your capital modifiers really add a flavor to the world. My concern is that this system is somewhat too similar to Missions. In general the game suffers from mechanics bloat. Like you have national ideas, and at some point those were the only things that differentiated nations apart from government system. But now you have patron dieties, missions, research, military traditions (that have immideate effects too) and all of those have depth and variety while national ideas are just tame bonuses.

Yep. They remade the UI completely and made a lot of stuff inconsistent. Province fort limit is one of the biggest money drains now, and where do you find it? Not in anything regarding province, but in tactical view of a territory inside said province. Tooltips are supposed to be locked a la CK3 but they often don’t stay on the screen when you hover over them (like decision descriptions). Your clicks inside tooltips often hit map under the UI. It’s not clear what you can click inside of the tooltip. A lot of buttons are in random places, like government interactions or ruler popularity boost.

Very encouraging to hear! I kinda bounced off of EU4 because of the density, but I:R has a much more compelling theme for me so very encouraging to hear that it can be enjoyed without already being a Paradox expert. I’m the type that would rather convert EU4 to something like Middle Earth/GoT. I really only enjoy early history otherwise, which is why I:R showing up in a Humble monthly was pretty handy…

Which Let’s Play did you end up following?

A youtuber named Praetorian HiJynx. ModredViking also has a good series going. I got to a point where I felt like I had a good grasp of the game and stopped following along, but I have watched a few other videos and youtubers becuase I want to try another nation like The Antigonids in my next play through.

While I don’t sleep much normally, I’m getting even less currently so that is a likely contributor (there’s a limit to the brain fog that caffeine can eliminate it turns out.)

This is a good point. There are lots of decisions to make before even unpausing. :)

National Ideas have been lame since release. You literally just set them at game start for some okay bonuses(seems like there is one clear winner per idea category at game start) and then maybe remember once or twice per game to go back and swap them out once you’ve unlocked the later ideas. Of course, there is no notification or anything when you do unlock them so this is very much a thing you have to remember to do.

At this point I hope they either throw them away or find a way to tie them into their other systems. Have inventions unlock a powerful idea or have powerful ideas unlock from the end of a mission tree. It would still just be more modifiers, but modifiers are kind of one of the big things Paradox games boil down to and I’d hate for them to streamline away too many of the places those can come from, but I do at least want them to be somewhat interesting.

I have such a hard time analyzing Paradox games. They don’t really have a design as much as a framework. The actual design changes as they patch the game, and can even be extremely different based on the nation you’re playing. The notion of letting time pass quickly until something interesting happens also makes them really hard to judge. Which decisions are you making? What are your choices? Are there many viable choices? It almost doesn’t matter – it’s all very experiential.

The point is, on release you didn’t have dozens of other bonuses from heritages, dieties, wonders, missions etc. So countries differed by a very few things like those national ideas. It was fine on release cause it was supposed to be a wargame with characters and pops, not an inderect control world simulation. Nowadays countries are defined by a lots of stuff, and most of it is complex and ties into other things, like dieties depend on the state of their temples and population religion and you get new ones from missions and so on.

Now ideas are one of the few reminders that this was a completely different game some time ago.