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Thread: Update from CraigCW

  1. #1
    Member Member dge1's Avatar
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    Default Update from CraigCW

    Below is a copy some answers to recent questions about ROME II gameplay. The link is here.

    Official Q&A - Post E3

    Hi all,

    It was a rather exciting week last week with a huge amount of information being split all over the internet from E3 as the press finally got to see the Total War: ROME II campaign map in action and go hands-on for the first time with a sample battle featuring Egypt and Rome duking it out on the banks of the Nile.

    As a result, there’s a bit of misinformation doing the rounds on the forums generated by putting different sources together and not getting it quite right, so here’s a few answers to questions that have cropped up from the show.

    Hope it helps your discussions by getting some facts in there, and also hope you’ll be able to join us at Rezzed this weekend and other events over the summer to go hands-on with ROME II yourself.


    Q: Why are animations so over-the-top when men are hit by chariots or artillery?

    These animations aren’t final – we’re currently in the process of toning them down to have the right balance between visual impact and realism. There are important gameplay reasons why it might be necessary to indicate that something’s gone very wrong for one of your units, especially when you are zoomed out, but we also need to balance that with the need to maintain a degree of immersion.

    They will fly less high in the finished game.

    Q: Are Chariots and Artillery over-powered?

    The above effect will over emphasise the impact, but it’s important to note that not every solider knocked over by those units’ attacks are killed; a proportion will get back to their feet. These units, and others in the game, are important disruption weapons alongside the direct damage they do. Such attacks are important to use strategically, slowing, demoralising and disrupting the formation of enemy units, causing follow-up attacks to have greater effect.

    Q: Does every battle have a capture point?


    Most battles in ROME II are either normal field battles or open sea battles. These do not have capture points or baggage trains. Ambush battles don’t have capture points either.

    Capture points for cities have been present in all Total War games since “Rome: Total War”. Larger city battles in ROME II now have multiple capture points as this increases the skill and tactical requirements for attacking and defending cities while allowing the use of elements of stealth and surprise, rather than previously where sides could just camp in the centre of the city. Smaller cities will have one, and are likely to be first type of siege battle encountered by most players at the start of the game.

    Additionally, the new feature of Baggage Trains (the capture point type you saw in the E3 footage) occurs in battles where an army is attacked while it is in Forced March stance on the Campaign Map. This represents the army being caught while on the move and so being more unprepared for battle. This disadvantage balances out the advantage of being able to move further in a turn and means that players need to judge their strategy more intelligently when selecting this stance. Conversely, as an attacking player, you would do well to time the interception of Forced Marching enemy armies to take advantage of their additional vulnerability.

    Also, where there are land and naval forces combined in a battle, the defender’s baggage train will be present to prevent any remaining defending navies winning a battle unrealistically by hiding out at sea, waiting for the battle to end or the attacker to give up, while remaining attacking land forces are unable to reach them from the land.

    In this particular instance, the attacker has the disadvantage of time in which to capture the defender’s baggage train, but the tactical advantage of picking the battleground in the first place.

    Placement of the baggage train will vary from battle to battle, while still being in the defender’s deployment zone. Both sides will be able to see exactly where during the deployment phase.

    In whatever form they appear, Capture Points are not instant wins. They have a timer on them that allows for any reasonably astute player to react to the situation.

    The defence of the baggage train was a genuine issue for armies of the ancient world. Losing your supplies, spare equipment and possessions was a disaster that led to some of history’s most catastrophic defeats.

    Q: Are you going to change the unit cards?

    No, we have no plans to change the unit cards. When you’re hands-on in battle, we find the new card design to be particularly useful for identifying which unit is which in the heat of battle. You should reserve judgement on their effectiveness until you’d had an opportunity to use them. Needless to say, in the thousands of hours of testing so far they have proven their worth.

    We like them a lot as their style is in period for our game and the Romans were rather fond of mimicking the art of other cultures, including Greece.

    Q: What is the multiplayer element of ROME II going to be?

    ROME II will contain traditional TW multiplayer modes such as versus battles (1 to 4 players per side, 2 sides) and 1v1 campaigns (co-op or versus), there will be some additional features added in here including a neat MP battlefield selector which we will be talking about soon. However, the Avatar Conquest mode from SHOGUN 2 will not be returning in ROME II; we believe we can create a much more compelling persistent multi-player offering for Total War that will appeal to multi-player fans with Total War: ARENA, and we’ll be bringing you more on that at a later date (get involved with the beta for ARENA here).

    Q: Will there be blood DLC in ROME II?

    Possibly, but it won’t be in the core release due to the age rating we want to adhere to for Total War games, which we intend to be in line with all previous releases. There is the option of potentially doing a DLC down the line, as we did with Shogun 2, but at the moment we don’t intend to talk any further about this before ROME II is released.

    Q: Will there be a BETA or demo for ROME II before release?

    There will not be, no.

    Q: Why does Julius Caesar change into a horse when moving on the campaign map demo?

    This is an animation to indicate quick movement across the campaign map, which we find preferable to a ‘Benny Hill’-style fast walk. This is subject to change for the final release.

    Q: Will there be a hotseat multiplayer campaign?

    No, the hotseat feature hasn’t been present for a number of Total War games. There will, however, be a 1v1 multiplayer campaign – both co-operative and head-to-head.

    Q: Why is the battle in the E3 demo so fast?

    The Battle of the Nile features a lot of fast-moving units, such as chariots and cavalry. This has an impact on the perceived overall speed of the battle. We’re still tweaking the final foot-speed of units, but we’re happy we’re close to final. It is also worth saying that the battle was chosen to fit within the time we had available with journalists at E3, which is often all too brief. Overall you can expect to experience longer battles on average.

    Additionally, we are constantly testing and updating the distances between deployment zones depending on the size of the engagement, while constantly adjusting movement speeds for armies. All of which can have a significant effect on how quickly or slowly battle is joined.

    Q: Why aren’t there any minimum or recommended specs available yet?

    There are, our current expected specs are listed with retailers at the moment; these are subject to change as the game is optimised. Our intent is to get the minimum spec as close to Shogun 2’s requirements as possible. When the specs are finalised we will post them on the TW Wiki.

    Q: If I pre-ordered the game before the Pre-order bonus was announced, will I still get the Greek States Culture Pack?

    Yes, as long as your retailer is participating in the offer. Check with your retailer if you have any doubt.

    Q: How cool are the Iceni?

    The Iceni are extremely cool. In test, the first ever properly completed game of Total War: ROME II was accomplished by the Iceni by way of cultural victory.

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  2. #2
    Member Member Ishmael's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    It's nice to see CA is aware of feedback and willing to address it, particularly re: baggage trains. Seeing as I quite like the unit cards this is all good news to my ears, with the one exception of the disappearance of avatar conquest (although I can see how it would be tricky to implement with multiple factions involved). With that said, I haven't really checked out TW: Arena yet, so hopefully that will be a nice replacement as they suggest.

  3. #3
    Member Member frostsid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    Good news indeed.

  4. #4
    mostly harmless Member B-Wing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    I'm actually very pleased with every response given in that Q&A. Good stuff, CA!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Barkhorn1x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    Quote Originally Posted by B-Wing View Post
    I'm actually very pleased with every response given in that Q&A. Good stuff, CA!
    Not so much for me on some of them:

    Now on to Craigie's comments:
    1. The flying soldiers, over powered artillery will be tuned down "a bit" = I am calling BS right here as he puts so many qualifiers around his statements that we can all interpret this item the way we want to. I have seen this movie before - we think he means going from the present 11 down to 6. He actually means going from 11 down to 10 - sigh.

    2. Control Points = Glad to read this and I am more than satisfied with the explanation - and like the penalty for forced marchers caught "on the hop".

    3. Unit cards = Sorry they're awful - no matter how "useful" they may be and I'm guessing that they will be the first item modded. And that bit about the Romans copying the Greeks? Please. They didn't copy - or steal! - Cretian/Myceanan era pottery but the later more realistic stuff.

    4. Fast battles = Yes, I can see CA speeding things up for the limited attention span crowd that makes up the gameing media. Hope they do slow things down tho'.
    "Après moi le déluge"

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  6. #6
    King of kemet Member Hamata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    well I kind of like the cards i am also fine with the capture point (how would one expect to win a battle in a city without taking key points first? ie water supplies etc) so im fine with the game so far and i don't realy care how fast the battles are i just wanna have fun.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Update from CraigCW

    Just noticed the bit about cultural victory. It will be good to not have to steamroller large portions of the maps each time. (Though I do miss the days of MTW where you fling fifteen stacks in the direction of the Golden Horde.)

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