Rome Total War 2 looking likely!

Shogun 2 was set in narrow geographical areas, with limited sets of units - a comparatively small scale to what’s being intended with Rome II. It was designed with a focus on game systems, such as engine polishing and improvements to unit pathing.
I’m not a detailed Creative Assembly observer, but don’t they tend to do better on the smale-scale games like Napoleon and Shogun 2?

As you rise through the ranks, your success will attract less-than-favourable responses from some of your friends. You will almost definitely get betrayed. There’s “more human-level drama on the campaign map” in Rome II.
Translation: the AI will backstab you at random for no reason, and you’ll have to waste time dealing with it.

The bigger campaign map has “hundreds” of regions to move your units around, but the game buckets them into provinces to make management easier.
Oh my, I hope this province thing is correct. The campaign map is already way too huge and tedious in the big games.

The idea is to have you thinking about armies and legions rather than fiddling around with individual units.

It also means those legions, being more enduring, generate their own history – gaining new traits and perks as they win or lose great battles, their behaviour and abilities reflecting their experiences to date.
I’d love to have persistent armies instead of the random collection of troops we’ve had throughout the series. I might be reading too much hope into this.

The game’s cameras have been redesigned. You can now lock the camera to single units. In this mode it functions like a sort of documentary cam, shaking while the unit walks – it’s “a soldier’s eye view” according to Creative Assembly.
I thought this was irrelevant at first, but it could be a fun way to watch a cavalry charge every now and then. I’m looking forward to this feature in future games that have cannons.

Rome II: Total War features a new graphics engine, which features particle and deferred lighting.
Good luck with that. I can’t even max out Napoleon with a GTX670 for more than 40 fps.

Conflicts take place over much bigger environments - much of Carthage has been recreated in the demo.
Pray for stability. It’s infuriating enough to get a crash after an hour long tactical battle in the previous games. That would only be worse with these fewer, longer conflicts unless they introduce mid-battle saves. It’s especially bad when auto-resolve can’t get the same results. I used to just cheat and win the battle, but they removed cheat codes for ach13v3m3nts.

To accommodate this extra scale, the game now features a top-down tactical map.
Finally. If we can control troops effectively from this map, it’ll be a godsend.

Combined naval warfare sounds fine.

omfg once again creative assembly makes me build a new pc. awesome. cant wait to see it.

Comments about the AI, YMMV:

Even the AI, great bane of Total War’s history, is aiming to be more cohesive and fundamentally more human than before. Previously, the AI had two conflicting directives. The bit that wanted to kill you and take all your stuff, and the nice friendly bit that knew you were a trade ally and didn’t want to make you cry. Now, they’re putting those two together, creating a thinking machine that has both those considerations to take into account, rather than just trying to reconcile a contradiction.

The byproduct of this is that the AI will be predictable, and will think about things prior to doing them, building up armies for a double cross, or maneuvering troops into place to seize your assets. “You might be able to spy on the AI, and see it thinking about double crossing, building up forces to attack you,” says James. Not only this, but by simplifying the core of the AI, Creative Assembly is much better equipped to give them proper personalities. “You’ll have AI’s that are much more vengeful and some that are more forgiving, and that’s tied to factions,” Russell explains, “and we’ll also be able to explain that to the player.” So the single-minded, barbaric gauls might be less inclined to sup on grapes and wine with you, while the more exotic cultures to the East could be more open to such frivolous diplomacy.

Creative Assembly hopes to achieve this through all sorts of fancy technical AI tricks. If the developer can take the seemingly schizophrenic behaviour of the AI in previous games and make it something that players can understand and predict, then suddenly Total War will no longer just as frustrating to play on occasion as it is otherwise incredible.

Well, we can dream, can’t we? :)

Err, so much for that dream then.

I still hope that means we can move units across long distances from this map, even if it’s not quite as interactive as Supreme Commander. I’m probably just deluding myself and we’ll be stuck with the same interface we’ve always had.

The [campaign] map will also be scattered with invisible, branching storyline triggers which demand consequence-laden choices and dilemmas beyond the merely military regardless of which nation/state/tribe/faction you play as.
Sounds good.

Rome was my first TW, and so far it has been the only one that really got to me. I have played Napoleon and Shogun II, and I like both (well, Shogun, mainly), but I lóved Rome. I just hope it will take a while to make, because my current pc isn’t old enough to warrant a new one yet, and I really want to play this with all settings on max. that screenshots… wauw!

The scale and accompanying quality in all of their games was just fine.

That’s how global politics work.

That’s just a matter of taste. They made huge improvements in Shogun 2 regarding micro management. Moving dozens of characters in Medieval 2 was a chore though.

What are you trying to say here? Of course you could build ‘persistent armies’. It was always up to you how to arrange those…

Yeah, nice feature indeed.

TW games are processor heavy. Try to update yours, instant success.

No need to pray, I never had such issues.

Wait, what? I agree that an in-battle-save-option would be a nice addition but CHEATING? WTF. WTFF…

Auto-resolve is good enough if you pay attention to the constellation of your armies.

Yep, agree 100%.

Having naval bombardement in Shogun 2 was already great, this sounds like the natural evolution.

I’m fine with a return to Rome, as long as they can deliver on their promise to not need to fiddle with individual bits, and have larger, more decisive conflicts. It’s been the major problem since they moved away from the Risk-map. in fact, Rome1 was extremely frustrating in terms of just trying to get a decent battle out of the AI. Not only would there be fragmented little squads that your uber army would have to mop up all the time, you’d spend forever crossing too much terrain. It’s been the same problem with subsequent games, although Shogun2 was better.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but any noteworthy conflict of the time was between two very big armies (10 000 - 50 000 troops to a side) and when one lost it was invasion over/city sacked, and then 5-10 years would have to go by before another of a similar scale would be seen again. I don’t want to trundle little units across seas and mountaintops, I want to say, “we’re invading Spain, call me in three years when we get our shit together and are ready for the main event.”

I haven’t picked up Shogun II yet (will see what happens with the Steam summer sale). Have they made any improvements in sieges? It’s hard for me to get enthused when I see (admittedly beautiful) screenshots of armies at battle in city streets because I know how janky the AI acts in those situations. Open field battles are fun. Sieges not so much.

I didn’t want to individually eyeroll at your other responses, but just to clear this one up: see if you can make the connection here.

Pray for stability. It’s infuriating enough to get a crash after an hour long tactical battle in the previous games.

I used to just cheat and win the battle, but they removed cheat codes for ach13v3m3nts.

No need to eyeroll dude. Get your specs right and enjoy the best tactical/ strategic gaming experience of all time. You don’t appear to have played any of the TW games long enough for a serious assessment. Better keep your trollish thoughts to yourself.

And a live-action trailer.


Moving on, I like what I hear about campaign management in the RPS interview.

So for instance on the campaign map, what we want to do with regions is have what we’re calling a province system, where you’ve got a province that’s made up of several different regions, and what that means is that you still capture small chunks of territory…
RPS: To take them over you have to grab them individually as regions, but once you’ve got them you can bulk manage them essentially…

A legion will have its own legacy, its own gameplay effects and character – so for instance if you’ve lost a great battle or done something very specific with a legion it might get a trait with a particular game effect that reflects how you’ve used it. And that outlives its General, so it’s not just about the effects of the General.
I’m also looking forward to the campaign “events.”

I’m a sucker for stuff like that so I’m going to say “WoW” - I’m psyched already! Do want! Throws money at the screen! And all the rest of the euphemisms for liking what one sees :-)

Are you sure thats Total War: Rome you are thinking about? I don’t think it ever crashed or that I had an hour long fight in it. I don’t recall hearing anything about stability either but of course, its been a few years. What it DOES sound like though, is The Kings Crusade by Neocore, which would crash after the first figth which took about one hour.

Thank you.

I’ve played vanilla Rome and Barbarian Invasion for about 300 hours and I cannot remember any crash at all. I’m sure I encountered a couple but in relation to total hours played, Rome was a fantatsically stable piece of high quality programming.

Woohoo! Wow and I excited for this! I have no idea why, but Rome Total War was my favorite too. Maybe because it was the first, but I loved everything about it right down to the music. This should be awesome.

I’m not going to address Tim’s other points but he is correct about the AI and diplomacy. It was very inconsistent and it wasn’t due to “global politics” but poor programming. CA admitted that the diplomatic AI was separate from the military AI. Hence one AI would issue you a peace treaty one turn, and then a few turns later the other AI would declare war on you. I think it’s schizophrenic nature was not anything disputed by most players.

They’ve made improvements to the effect that the AI will actually attempt to storm your walls from multiple sides (I’m thinking back to Medieval 2 where the AI will have a 2,000 troop army and one battering ram and try to push everyone through the one gate). But all kinds of silly shit like the AI climbing up massive walls instead of burning down gates and coming in that way; or how the AI will assault your castle with a primarily cavalry army. And I’ve never seen an AI actually bring siege units to a, you know, siege.

I didn’t mention the fixed strategic AI issues in Shogun 2. I didn’t think the troll…ehrm…Mr James would be silenced that easily.

In fact I had long lasting alliances in both, Shogun 2 and Fall of the Samurai. At least until the forced Realm Divide (Shogun 2).