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Thread: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

  1. #1

    Default Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Something has been bothering me since the release of ROME II. It's pretty clear right now that not everything went according to plan for CA. There were some major changes, cuts and changes to the total war formula. The poor state of the game seem to lead to speculation that there was a shift in design halfway through development. I know I don't have hard solid evidence for this and these are usually things that game studios don't share with everyone. Why the change in lead designer from Jamie Ferguson to James Russell?

    If anyone shares the same thought as me, please post why you think there was this shift.

  2. #2
    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    The Total War games I've bought have been the most flawed and least patched games I've bought. Rome II is no different. Rome I was left in an unfinished state with a myriad of bugs documented by the community.

    The scope of Rome II was more than the CA team could handle, so a lot of features were left out or are in an unfinished state. Shogun II is about their limit, and it shows.

    However, because of what CA tries to set out to do (combine turned based strategy with real time tactics, which is an epic undertaking), there are a lot of apologists out there. The idea behind the TW games is awesome. The execution always seems to be just off. Thus many give CA the benefit of the doubt and explain away their failures and shortcomings. They also believe that CA will "fix" the game, when in the end, they simply don't. For this reason, CA knows it can release a game in the state Rome II is in, and people will defend them. It has already happened. There is a strong sentiment even on this forum, that since most other Total War game weren't released in a near finished state, why should we expect Rome II to be? CA can always count on their apologists...
    Last edited by fallen851; 09-13-2013 at 11:04.
    "It's true that when it's looked at isolated, Rome II is a good game... but every time I sit down to play it, every battle, through every turn, I see how Rome I was better. Not unanimously, but ultimately." - Dr. Sane

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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    I'm not saying Rome 2 is finished and I've never really felt the need to defend CA in anything they do but it's always pretty hard to please everyone. If you look at the amount and scope of the mods available for TW games, you start wondering why are half of these people even here? They obviously have no interest in a game made by CA but that's probably cause CA is the only company that does this stuff and we're "stuck" with them.

  4. #4
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    To each their own. I did not enjoy Shogun II, polished as it was. It had a ton of things that I did not accept or did not find enjoyable for a TW game. I'm enjoying R2TW now and am hopeful that it will become better as time and patches go.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Perhaps the political system feeling bland... Or the over streamlining of the campaign and some features cut out. That's what's bugging me when there needs to be quite a few brand new features that actually matter.

    The game as of now just feels too barebones for my tastes and as I said; I'll go wait for a huge sale or Gold Edition.

    Game has potential, just not executed properly.
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    Spiritual Jedi Member maestro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    To each their own. I did not enjoy Shogun II, polished as it was. It had a ton of things that I did not accept or did not find enjoyable for a TW game. I'm enjoying R2TW now and am hopeful that it will become better as time and patches go.
    I echo this sentiment. Shogun 2 was extremely boring for me but one of the "cleanest" TW releases I can remember. I'm enjoying R2 as much as I can remember enjoying M1 and that's saying something.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by maestro View Post
    I echo this sentiment. Shogun 2 was extremely boring for me but one of the "cleanest" TW releases I can remember. I'm enjoying R2 as much as I can remember enjoying M1 and that's saying something.
    Agreed. I couldnt play more than 3 hours of Shogun 2, but that might be as I have no interest in the time period, I felt the map was way too small, and siege battles were bland as well.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Most likely the time frame and culture, I had the same feeling too until I read up more on the background story and such.

    It's just like why would I play a Roman game.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by BroskiDerpman View Post
    Perhaps the political system feeling bland... Or the over streamlining of the campaign and some features cut out. That's what's bugging me when there needs to be quite a few brand new features that actually matter.

    The game as of now just feels too barebones for my tastes and as I said; I'll go wait for a huge sale or Gold Edition.

    Game has potential, just not executed properly.
    I'm the opposite. CA's biggest problem has been the inability to cut features that don't mesh well with the game. I feel like the internal political system should have been removed in Rome 2. It's too tacked on and feels like just a way to waste the player's money in the midgame so he doesn't steamroll as fast. There are no benefits to playing the political game. It's all damage mitigation.

    The city-building system is the deepest in the series. Public order is tracked on a provincial level. Food surplus is tracked on a faction level. That allows the player to build centers of excellence in certain provinces that consume food and turn other provinces into food generating provinces. Economic buildings provide either income or a %bonus to certain amounts of income, so there is some mixing and matching going on. That said, some of the numbers are just off. Again, it's just a case of CA biting more than it could chew. Certain upgrades, certain building lines are just not worth it because the bonuses don't offset the costs.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewt View Post
    I feel like the internal political system should have been removed in Rome 2. It's too tacked on and feels like just a way to waste the player's money in the midgame so he doesn't steamroll as fast. There are no benefits to playing the political game. It's all damage mitigation.
    I agree that it has worked out that way. There could be a decent benefit to politics due to the increasingly good trait bonuses working up the promotion ladder. The problem, however, is that generals tend to die off fairly quickly due to 1tpy. One doesn't get enough "reward" time with the high promotions' bonuses after working a guy up that ladder.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    The politics needs at least 2tpy and more functions to actually have fun with it imo.

    If not then might as well remove it. But it is a promising system...
    Last edited by BroskiDerpman; 09-14-2013 at 00:42.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    However, because of what CA tries to set out to do (combine turned based strategy with real time tactics, which is an epic undertaking), there are a lot of apologists out there.
    I don't think anyone is apologizing for CA. They can do that for themselves, and they have. And specifically, here at "the org", I think that most folks know that R2 has been released with some serious bugs/problems/lack-of-features/etc., and are now moving on. CA has already released 2 patches, and there has been enough play to this point to be able to say that the game is NOT as broken as some claim.

    So.....disappointed, yes; apologizing, no.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bramborough View Post
    I agree that it has worked out that way. There could be a decent benefit to politics due to the increasingly good trait bonuses working up the promotion ladder. The problem, however, is that generals tend to die off fairly quickly due to 1tpy. One doesn't get enough "reward" time with the high promotions' bonuses after working a guy up that ladder.
    Not just that, the bonuses are local to provinces. The most useful to me looks like the tax rate bonus. However, with limited number of armies, I can't really justify having an entire army slot sitting around on a core economic province far away from the front lines.

  14. #14
    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    I don't think anyone is apologizing for CA. They can do that for themselves, and they have. And specifically, here at "the org", I think that most folks know that R2 has been released with some serious bugs/problems/lack-of-features/etc., and are now moving on. CA has already released 2 patches, and there has been enough play to this point to be able to say that the game is NOT as broken as some claim.

    So.....disappointed, yes; apologizing, no.
    Check the definition of the word apologist, it has nothing to do with apologizing... And this is ironic, because you've been an apologist for CA on this very forum.

    a·pol·o·gist
    əˈpäləjist/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial.


    People, including yourself, have been been defending the release of Rome II. Those people are apologists, because the release has been controversial.

    Being an apologist isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't have a negative connotation, nor did I intend one. It is simply the right word for the given situation. I've never seen so many apologists in any given gaming community, willing to rally behind a company, and I've been involved with the communities of SC2 and LOL far more than this one. Apologists naturally are what keeps CA in business, because their games are often controversial when it comes to product quality. And that was the point of my first post in this thread. It also ties into what Sp4 said, since there is no competition, we take what we can get from CA, because there is nothing else like the TW series. Thus, CA has little reason to improve product quality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
    Last edited by fallen851; 09-14-2013 at 02:26.
    "It's true that when it's looked at isolated, Rome II is a good game... but every time I sit down to play it, every battle, through every turn, I see how Rome I was better. Not unanimously, but ultimately." - Dr. Sane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6eaBtzqqFA#t=1h15m33s

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    I suppose I should take your classroom lecture on semantics as an insult.....but I won't. However:

    Apologists naturally are what keeps CA in business, because their games are often controversial when it comes to product quality.
    And as long as CA stays in business you will continue to have something to rag about. And I don't know if you've noticed, but just about every major release put out by everyone from Blizzard to Sega and beyond come with controversial product quality.

    And as long as CA stays in business, you'll be able to slink into any local Target, Radio Shack, or wherever there's a bargain bin, and pick up your TW fix all nicely patched and ready for you to play in a year or so.

    But until then, take a look around at players actually playing the game. Then look to what they are saying about the game. Things aren't as cut-and-dried as you are making it out to be:

    (ie. despite all the problems, folks are still having fun with it, and rather than bemoan all the short-comings, they are finding some very cleverly done aspects to the game and......making helpful suggestions on how to make it better. and who knows, there's been a couple of CA lurkers here from time-to-time...maybe one or two of these suggestions will find some fertile ground to sprout on...)
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-14-2013 at 04:41.
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    Now sporting a classic avatar! Member fallen851's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    I hope you don't take it as an insult, it is an education. And you're already taking my class.

    But then you go on to defend not only CA, but the fact that you are a CA apologist...

    Think of this way: Imagine you marry someone, and he/she cheats on you so you decide to leave them. You meet and marry someone else, but they do the same thing... would you just tell other people that everyone cheats and that is okay?

    No, because it isn't. The release of SC2 wasn't marred with near the issues that the release of Rome Total War II came with. So as long as we have examples of games that were released in a finished state, as long as we have examples of people who don't cheat on their spouses, then the bar has been set.

    CA missed the bar, and they know it because they apologized. Blizzard missed it with Diablo III. And cheating is wrong.

    All that said, I have Rome Total War II. And isn't terrible. I think the Angry Joe review is 100% right though. It is only slightly above average right now, and even if they clear all the bugs away, there are some questionable game design choices that would still mar the game from being a truly great game. Still, it is fun. You may disagree. Nothing wrong with that.

    But then we can agree to disagree and you can stop following me around from thread to thread incorrectly questioning my use of the word apologist... class dismissed.
    Last edited by fallen851; 09-14-2013 at 15:09.
    "It's true that when it's looked at isolated, Rome II is a good game... but every time I sit down to play it, every battle, through every turn, I see how Rome I was better. Not unanimously, but ultimately." - Dr. Sane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6eaBtzqqFA#t=1h15m33s

  17. #17
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Just a reminder to please keep it civil.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Final word on the matter from me...

    If R2 was freeware, I doubt we'd hear more than a mild hiccup about it. So it's essentially about the money you paid for the game. I'm sure that somewhere in the past, you've spent $60 on something totally irrelevant, or just downright stupid. I know I have. If you want to consider your purchase of R2 as irrelevant or stupid, that's certainly your right.

    We all know that Sega/CA screwed this release up, big time...for whatever the reasons. It's done, and there's no going back. Chastising CA accomplishes absolutely nothing, at this point. If you really want to get a point across to someone, do you continually bludgeon them with their mistakes? Or do you voice your opinion and then move to constructive criticism that points to how to fix the problem.

    If you want to get into the politics/ethics/economics of how to produce a game, you should probably talk to someone at CA because I think there's very few of us here (if any) who have actually been on the 'inside' in such matters.

    If you want to talk about the product, then take the fun that you are having with R2, and make it more productive in terms of criticism. Taking a cue from others who are playing the game....listing your likes and dislikes would be a good start. Then perhaps suggestions on how to fix something, or make something better. In all my years as being a project leader, or a crew foreman, I have found no better way to get someones attention than by being fair and reasonable with my criticism. I state my likes/dislikes and then move on to how to correct what I perceive to be problems.

    If you want to get someones attention at CA (and there are folks from there that look in here, from time to time) then I would highly suggest you stop castigating them and post up ideas on how to fix things, now and in future releases. Otherwise it's simply blowing off a lot of hot air, to which noone at CA will bother listening to.

    End of
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-14-2013 at 15:47.
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  19. #19
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Quote Originally Posted by fallen851 View Post
    I hope you don't take it as an insult, it is an education. And you're already taking my class.

    But then you go on to defend not only CA, but the fact that you are a CA apologist...

    Think of this way: Imagine you marry someone, and he/she cheats on you so you decide to leave them. You meet and marry someone else, but they do the same thing... would you just tell other people that everyone cheats and that is okay?

    No, because it isn't. The release of SC2 wasn't marred with near the issues that the release of Rome Total War II came with. So as long as we have examples of games that were released in a finished state, as long as we have examples of people who don't cheat on their spouses, then the bar has been set.

    CA missed the bar, and they know it because they apologized. Blizzard missed it with Diablo III. And cheating is wrong.

    All that said, I have Rome Total War II. And isn't terrible. I think the Angry Joe review is 100% right though. It is only slightly above average right now, and even if they clear all the bugs away, there are some questionable game design choices that would still mar the game from being a truly great game. Still, it is fun. You may disagree. Nothing wrong with that.

    But then we can agree to disagree and you can stop following me around from thread to thread incorrectly questioning my use of the word apologist... class dismissed.
    Wings of Liberty had a year long closed beta. Diablo III is fail for a Diablo 2 fan like myself (I own the game). It's basically Jay Wilson's successful attempt at destroying the soul and heart of the Diablo franchise and replacing it with gimmicks and ways to drain money, and corny monologues from the villains. And then doubling those things.

    However, Stracraft II isn't a single-player game. Not any more. Starcraft and Brood War had great SP campaigns, and each game had 3 campaigns, one for each race. The story was a masterpiece.

    Starcraft II is mooching on it's fans, releasing 1 campaign per game/expansion. Thus Starcaft II with TWO separate expansions would have as much SP content as Starcraft 1. And the story is somehow predictable and inferior when it comes to plot and writing. It's clearly made for younger gamers and the only interesting things we get are a legacy of the Starcraft 1 storyline (and a lot of things are messed up, such as Korhal no longer being a nuclear wasteland)

    So they forego the SP aspect of the game and focus on MP. However they patched the game how many times now? I dare say 20-30, right? All for the MP aspect. Thus, the MP aspect has been far from polished at release. In fact, I remember mass reapers into mass marauders ruining the game on competitive level until that was patched. So yes, the game didn't have units clipping through buildings and all that, but it was not perfect at launch by far. No game ever is. Apart maybe from Heroes III.
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    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    Starcraft scenario editor was extremely addictive for me. You could make all sorts of cool things like the inside of a battle cruiser.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Was there a shift in design during the development of ROME II?

    I've been disappointed by the direction they took with Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 and with many of the design decisions they made. However, those games aren't buggy. They are working as intended, even though we don't like what they intended. RTW2, however, is buggy.

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