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Thread: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

  1. #1

    Default A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    [I previously posted this on a Steam Forum)

    I've played the demo. I am really excited for this game to be released, in that, so far, it appears much better than Empire. To begin, I'll list my credentials as a Total War gamer: I've played since Medieval Total War 1. Currently, I play Rome Total War with Europa Barbarorum, and Medieval 2 Kingdoms with Stainless Steel. If you don't have Rome or Medieval 2 Kingdoms, get them, and try those mods.

    Shogun 2 has a better interface, campaign and battle map designs than previous versions, and cool graphics. I like it. The battle map moves too fast, however, and it does feel more immediate action oriented instead of long term strategic oriented. The units move way too fast, which make the animations appear choppy. I have a very powerful computer, so it isn't my computer. It is the animation.

    That is fine. However, a modder's touch could really smooth out the game for Old Timers in the genre, allowing changes to be made to units and script, but also leave room for the New Comers to enjoy CA's ever-changing vision. In all Total War games, I've never enjoyed vanilla--no offence CA. You guys create the game. Without the game, I could never enjoy the modifications done by the community. That is part of the fun and excitement of Total War.

    I so far like the campaign map...it feels like a map. I did not like Medieval 2's campaign map, nor Empires. Rome was the best (under the influence of Europa Barbarorum).

    However, given what I've seen, I do want to wait for Gamespot's review, along with fan reviews. Fan reviews are most important. I find fan reviews at Gamespot reliable.

    I might not purchase the game on release unless they also release modding tools. Such is the way of Total War games, as I stated above. Europa Barbaroum II is in development for Medieval 2 Total War, and I can wait for that.

    However, I think Shogun 2 has potential. After Empire, I'm just not sure what to expect. I do hope the best. Cheers!

  2. #2
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    I do want to wait for Gamespot's review
    93% - improved AI, "return to form"

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    I don't like the rock paper scissors thing too much. Particularly the spear units. I know that in very close quarters they should not be as effective as katana units but its staggeringly different, they will basically get own hands down. Logically, that makes little scene to me. They taught the yari to everyone as the basis of martial war. It takes a master of the katana a life time of discipline and sacrifice, but in 3 weeks in training, 3 yari armed peasants could kill one. That and now there are "middle" units too. Monks are one of them. They use to be fearsome units in melee, but not anymore. Now, they are "ok units but with no real weakness's".

    I don't mind some form of RPS to mold the units, but it should not be so extreme, makes the game less fun and most obvious to what to do :(

  4. #4
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    realism aside the rock paper scissors of the original STW worked very well. we dont know how expereince will play a part in the units fighitng ability so we will ahve to wait and see. re game speed i have a feeling that the the processor speeds may have had an affect cos they movement seems fine on my old C2D PC.
    "Forgiveness is between them and god, my job is to arrange the meeting"

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    All TW games have RPS gameplay - it can't be otherwise. Just some of them have it less pronounced.

    When the RPS is played down with many units of multiple roles, crtain units are way better than others and teh AI who can;t tell that performs badly with them. As long as the game keeps historical plausibility to a dignified level, gameplay considerations should prevail imo. After all, playing the game you are having fun outmeneuvering and outsmarting the opponent within a historically plausible scenario. Recreating conditions 1:1 is often hurtful for gameplay and the two have to go together, not against one another to have a good game.
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  6. #6
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    As long as the game keeps historical plausibility to a dignified level, gameplay considerations should prevail imo.
    There is an underlying assumption here that is misplaced IMO. Who says game play is at odds with historical accuracy? They are unrelated. The issue is this: What kind of game do you want to play? Supposing that a game about real soldiers would make for bad game play is monstrously presumptuous, is it not?

    If units do not behave as they did historically then "historical plausibility" in a tactical sense is not possible. The former enables the latter.

    There have always been fans who prefer fictitious unit abilities to historic abilities (in the interest of some sort of "balance") just as there have always been fans like myself who prefer the most realistic behavior possible from the troops. For anyone who has read a lot of history it is alarming when soldiers that you have studied do not behave in a manner consistent with real evidence.

    What do the modders do first every time? They put in historic unit capacities as best they can because that is what players want to be changed the most.
    Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Who says game play is at odds with historical accuracy?
    They are from a developer's perspective to a considerable extent. When you model the game, you need to leave room for various potential outcomes in combat, tactical style or army composition. These may not all match exactly how the armies in the period played, but they should match potential occurences including the historical one. When you try to recreate the period, you model the game to do only what has happened and this damages the gameplay.

    If you play mp, you'll understand immediately the point. If you play sp only, i rest my case, because we talk on a different basis. This is because for spers a historical reverie with the occasional flank attack will do, and i know this from my sp only days, as this is how i used to play. Immersion is more important than tactics for spers and that's a fact.

    From an mp perspective though the gameplay is taken to the limit, and tactics are more clever and more razor sharp in the margin for victory or defeat they allow. You can't have good (tactical) combination without a strong RPS and you can't recreate a particular style of combat without damaging teh RPS.

    In mp you can clearly see how sp considerations that try to cookie cutter the game to match a particular preconception of "how it was" damages ireparably the gameplay. Most spers never complain because they never know the full range of what is actually possible in terms of gameplay, and i don;t mean to devalue anybody, its just a matter of having or not the experience.

    They are just content to play an immersion oriented game with less challenge in terms of army control, tactical skill and strategic skill (on the battlefield).
    Last edited by gollum; 03-15-2011 at 19:01.
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  8. #8
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Immersion is more important than tactics for spers and that's a fact.
    Immersion for me most emphatically includes realistic tactics. Unrealistic tactical abilities made possible by unreal but "balanced" units destroy immersion.

    I can never endorse a unit to have, for example, an inflated attack value to compensate for an accurate but low defensive stat. Nor would I cause a unit to be more vulnerable to missile fire because I want it to be good at something else like melee. Yet this is the sort of idea that passes for "balance". I would not invent a unit with stats that some ideal MP game seems to need but did not exist in 16th century Japan. Do correct me if I am in error here. Is this the sort of thing you would contemplate? For example, a special anti-cavalry cavalry unit. Or a special heavy defense unit? In other words, units designed for a specific purpose in a battle and not based upon real Japanese soldier capabilities and training.
    Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Historical plausibility and gameplay need to go hand in hand and there is a limited space this is possible to do so. If by "realistic tactics" you mean that the vast majority of battles play only like how you read in history books, then i suggest you just try a few online battles against decent mp players and then we can have this discussion as now we don't talk about the same thing. Once you do play a little against decent opponents other than the AI, you'll also stop putting the word balance in quote marks, and you'll naturally and intuitively come to see why it is important to have a good gameplay.

    Just compare cavalry charges in MTW and cavalry charges in M2TW. In MTW charges aren't strong enough to make other army components obsolete you have to use all army components (missiles, melee, cav) to win battles while in M2 you can play with cavalry armies nearly alone throughout because of how strong the charge and mounted missiles are. Then all the historian-minded people like you who want "realistic" tactics play for 6 months before moving to the next "realistic tactics" TW game because "the gameplay wears off"; what a suprise.

    Its boring of course precisely because in order to make the tactics "realistic" to a history buff level the dev. cookie cutters combat, army style and potential tactics via mechanics and stats for only the "realistic" tactics to work. That's how CA models TW games from RTW onwards anyway ie with an SP mentality/need in mind, but its older games that were more well thought out from a number of perspectives can still give challenge in SP too other than in mp while the newer ones don't. Try playing RTW or M2TW for a long time and then go back to MTW and see what happens. You get trashed for a while before you adapt, and not because of the engine but because the games are so skweed to certain units and certain tatics to be "realistic" that you can win without having to combine your army components to a high degree.

    In terms of realism, every unit would have some pikes up front, some archers behind, some heavy infantry. In other words it would be a unit that in TW terms it can fulfill more than one role. This means that tactics become no tatctics as you have one unit that can do all and there is no need to coordinate your units. Gameplay loses the match and coordination elements along with all the maneuvers that go with those. Try to play this "realistic" tactic and see how much fun the game can be.

    Anyway, as i said, if you play sp only i rest my case.
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  10. #10
    BLEEEE! Senior Member Daveybaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Oh, it's this argument again. A new TW game must have been released or something. *checks*. Oh yeah.

    @Nelson: what i dont get is why you feel like you have any reason to moan about insufficient (for your purposes) realism from a TW game. It's never been that way, all the way back to the original STW. Why do you keep wanting to change the series into something it's never been and never been intended to be?

    Gah! Never mind. Shall i make an appointment for the exact same thread again in, say, 2 or 3 years?

  11. #11

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    more likely in 1 year, it'll be the same all over again in the expansion ;)
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  12. #12
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    I'm all for realism if it works. I don't see need for changing historical realism for the sake of the "cool" factor - for game balance/fun, yes, for "historical isn't 'interesting' enough", no.
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  13. #13
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    i see both your points and i agree totally fiticious units do take away from realism (that single hero unit that could fight 120 men from STW for example) and i also see the point that sometimes specific units have to "adjsuted" to make gameplay more interesting but overall the TW series had very few implausible units anyway. (except maybe in RTW)
    "Forgiveness is between them and god, my job is to arrange the meeting"

  14. #14

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Most unhistorical units like the kensai (the 1 man sword saint) or the battlefield ninja are in fact bad from a balance perspective. the same was for many of the "effect" units in RTW (wardongs, screetching women, druds, berserkers, chariots, flamepigs and elephants). Such units were introduced for show and they ultimately added neither in realism nor in gameplay/balance.

    They did help sales though ;)
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Senior Member Jambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Heh, yeah that Kensai from STW Mongol expansion was hocus pocus, but nevetheless he was fun.
    =MizuDoc Otomo=

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    yeah, especially past honor 10 i couldn't stop laughing :)
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  17. #17
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Most unhistorical units like the kensai (the 1 man sword saint) or the battlefield ninja are in fact bad from a balance perspective. the same was for many of the "effect" units in RTW (wardongs, screetching women, druds, berserkers, chariots, flamepigs and elephants). Such units were introduced for show and they ultimately added neither in realism nor in gameplay/balance.

    They did help sales though ;)
    Indeed! Thank you.

    CA said years ago that Total War games are not simulations. I accepted this as it is true. I does happen that the sim wargame aspects of the game appeal to me the most. Whenever I see a phrase like "game play > realism" though, I remember some of the crazy units we have seen. Kensai for expample. This is where "game play > realism" can lead. Happily Total War games have always been realistic enough for me to enjoy.
    Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas.

  18. #18

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    Only that this is not gameplay at all, at least not as mentioned by mpers.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

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  19. #19

    Default Re: A Long Term Total War Gamer's Perspective

    I don't know what the obsession here is with RPS gameplay. Starcraft 2 has a more pronounced hard counter system than SC:BW did and it's clearly inferior from a gameplay perspective. Counters in BW were more based on how the units functioned, not arbitrary damage bonuses to balance gameplay. The skill of BW progamers are so much higher than SC2 ones since the relative lack of RPS gameplay makes the game more focused on micro like positioning and optimizing use of special abilities.

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