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Thread: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

  1. #1
    Member Member MadKow's Avatar
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    Default What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I have been having enough fun with Rome 2. That said, like apparently many others, I have this feeling that something is missing. Iím not one to make a big fuss about balance, some fantasy in the name of game play, or even bugs, as long as they are not too serious. So what was it?

    The other day I think I discovered what I was missing. It can be summed up as an emotional bond. And I believe itís directly related with the missing family tree, the loss of that feeling of taking a young 16 year boy and turning him into a King, by way of countless victories, on one side and on the other, the way units and legions are now integrated. You no longer get the sense that those man that do the fighting and win battles for you are endurable entities. Their glorious deeds are now share with every unit, old and new, In a way that makes everything too abstract.
    Total War is about grand strategy and tactical prowess, but, at least for me, it was also about making heroes, and having small stories of great men, and women, on which an empire was built. Be them a great general, King or Emperor, or a bunch of battle hardened bad asses.
    Now it is all too abstract. Maybe more realistic, in some ways, but lacking in drama.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Many others feel the same, judging from past comments about lack of family tree and 1tpy.

    For me, this has been one of the nice side effects of writing my Pontus AAR. Inventing a storyline, ruler's motivations for various moves, etc. Coming up with my own family tree. I've definitely found myself caring a lot more about many of my generals, even some of the agents. Still limited somewhat by 1tpy...can't get around that. But it sure helps.

    I'm not suggesting that you need to keep up some long thread and spend as much time writing about a campaign as you do playing it. I'm not sure I'll even do that again myself. But there's no reason you can't make up your own family tree as you go along, and try to roleplay the faction leader's and generals' actions a bit.

  3. #3
    Member Member MadKow's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Yes, much more if left for the player in that regard. And i concede that some sort of story is attempted in the whole internal politics mechanic, but if so is all but obvious to the player.

  4. #4
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I fully agree and I'm hoping for a patch which will add a family tree and an extended/refined politics system. That, and a more complex reserach system would really make my day. Whil I play really aggressively in total war games I also enjoy city building and research, and I especially enjoy the finer points of province balance.
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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Lack of family tree, lack of a way to identify with your faction, put your personal mark on it, that's what I would call it. I don't like the way the internal politics thing plays such a huge role but with everything about -your- faction eventually leading up to glorious civil war, it sort of has to. I am never really sure who I as a player am actually representing in the game. They said you chose a faction and you represent the ruling party in that faction. Does that ever change? Even if I play in such a way that I lose most of the support of my faction's internal politics meter? No, it doesn't civil war is random and unintuitive and just feels like realm divide. Oh you're having an easy time? Here, let me spawn a bunch of elite armies in a random location for you to deal with because you have been playing the internal politics game so well *pat pat*

    Civil war should be a possibility and not an inevitability but anyways, with this whole thing, I am not entirely sure who I am representing, especially when I am playing Rome or any faction that has more than 2 political parties. It's like... I'm not really playing the house I chose, I am playing the senate! My job is to keep a healthy balance of power and then I start seeing civil war a failure on my part... but apparently it has to happen regardless of what I do. I dunno, it doesn't feel like there's any storytelling or RP element to it. The whole thing feels more like Congratulations! Level up! Warning, Stage Boss!

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    Member Member Kamakazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    The lack of connection I feel to my generals makes it kind of bland... My one guy died... oh no ill just promote some other faceless no name
    If living is nothing dieing is nothing then nothing is everything and everything is nothing


  7. #7

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I agree. It's definitely missing the human connection. And after a few turns it seems like the generals start dropping like flies.
    And for the Roman faction I think they really missed out by not making the Senate* active in the campaign.
    And I really want a "view city" option.

    *(I have a vague memory of the Senate being annoying in RTW, but it's been too long since I played. I don' think they were ever more annoying than the Pope, though.)

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  8. #8

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Why would you think it doesn't matter?

  9. #9
    Member Member MadKow's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiDamascus View Post
    Why would you think it doesn't matter?
    Well, i thought it might be too subjective. After all people enjoy chess without giving names and faces to all the pieces... To a lot of people things like balance, historical authenticity and such seem to be more important. And also there are those like Bramborough that have the talent and dedication to bring a lot on their own, so that part of the game they take care themselves, at least up to some measure of enjoyment.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    the game lacks soul.

    It doesnt make you want to keep playing. I have not experienced it since Rome 1 to be honest with you. Medieval 1 i finished the game with every single faction full map domination. Rome 1 I did the same. When I first got Rome 2 I did the prologue and started a Rome Camp. 20 turns later, nothing had happened, except me killing the Etruscans, I was bored and I stopped playing. I expected to be up till the early hours of the morning, playing i was in bed by like 11pm.

    You just dont get that 1 more turn itis like in previous games. It doesnt suck you in. I have only experienced it 3 times. First time, playing parthia, for hte first 50 turns that campaign was hectic and fun. I wanted to keep playing it. Second time was my ongoing multiplayer camp with my mate. always good to get a few more turns done, just cos we are destroying everything in our paths! thrid time was playing my Macedon campaign. been enjoying it, but its still lacking something that draws you in!

    Dont get me wrong I still love it, and still keep playing it. but I play for an hour then get off. When I used to play rome 1, I would play and realise I had been on for 5 hours and it was 3 am :D
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  11. #11

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by knoddy View Post
    the game lacks soul.
    That is it.

    No need for long explanations or arguments, it simply lacks soul.

  12. #12
    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Re the personal touch, or the absence of attachment to generals or characters, I bet this will seem surprising to CA as on the face of it they've done more to identify legions and leaders - not to mention how they interact with the rest of their society (through faction politics). I agree with the above posts that one doesn't reallt get atatched unless you make an effort do so.

    For me, I get atatched and prioritise particular generals when i regonise famous names from the faction's history - i.e. i give these people my best legions and put them in the thick of the action to level up and have the glorious careers they should have (Publicola, Marius, Hannibal etc).

    But even then, the game and faction UI/screen does NOTHING to stimulate any engagment and is really just a display of available actions and data. It makes me think again that CA really doesn't do "extra features" very well - the odd and gamey politics in Empire are for me an ancestor of R2's opaque faction politics. Un documented and odd, unintuitive mechanics abounding.

    The most interesting thing that did happen to me in R2's faction politics was as Carthage, the Civil-War was sparked by a rival faction due to their high power, rather than mine (or so I think). My faction leader had one of those arbitrary gravitas reducing character "features" so my faction had a very low stake in the Carthaginian senate/court (?) and the Barca's instead staged a revolt - I assume due to their high approval.

    What's killing the game for me though is the lack of challenge. I tend to be a cautious player so don't fight on too many fronts, back my armies up and isolate my foes. Sadly, this at the moment means i can pick off each faction 1 by 1 using all my forces in the given campaign. I'm yet to find a single blob large enough to challenge me either, so the campaign is most engaging at the start but gets less and less fun once I have a couple of complete provinces.

    I also find that there's only one way to play this gaem and that is to be Rome and rule everywhere. That may be obvious given the game's title (!) but given the variety of factions and their rich history, it's a shame that cooperation and trade are not viable alternatives. I say this because I've found the game's economic mechanics push you to own complete provinces, that trade provides such a low income that you are better off ruling provinces than trading with them, that allied AI's are inept and more of a waste of regions or provinces given the paltry cash you get for trade or as client state contributions. Sure, when at war it's best to have friendly/neutral provinces and regions as neighbours but they are rarely more than that and quite frankly, the last thing I'd want is to target AI allies at regions I want to hold and expand into. My experience for this rant against AI allies is almost entirely from the Carthage play through, who start with 2 allies who rule similar if not larger dominions at the game start.

  13. #13
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Pretty much, no soul. Hard to explain why. The family tree is the main thing people latch onto but the game really lacks any sort of charisma:

    - The unit portraits aren't interesting
    - Too much complexity with no depth. Make food, make public order, make units.
    - Tech tree is completely lame. +5% to X Diablo 3 style bonii.
    - "Oh here, you can build legions now, just had to click end turn 10 times"
    - Well my general I was trying to get attached to got wounded by ... something (probably internal politics or something), guess I have to replace them with random person #2.
    - Traits are uber bland
    - I click buttons WoW Style to make units do stuff(?), positioning doesn't matter because...
    - The units just kinda blob and behave in uninteresting ways.
    - Armor is borked so your super units die to missiles the same way a weak unit does.
    - Same faces. What the hell CA?
    - Cities pretty but dull looking because there's like only 2 layouts per cities. They are always the same sizes.

    Anyone get a Master of Orion 3 vibe from this?
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 10-11-2013 at 08:22.
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  14. #14
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Yesterday, for the first time, I saw a big, important city get captured by someone of a different culture (other than myself, which means there's never any battles on that map again), which was Carthage. It got taken by some Spanish/Iberian people, Turdetani I think. I'm playing as Epirus, so I had just successfully invaded Italy (playing on very hard and I didn't meet a single Roman legion, not even an agent and yes, I am serious, the Romans are now busy starving on their boats just off Sicily).

    Soooo.. I went and wardecced the Spanish people and naval assaulted Carthage aaaand.. Carthage is now some sh*tty barbarian hovel type of town with wooden walls after being converted =P Just like every other coastal town. Kind of interested to see what Rome looks like now after I greekified it

    I find the whole idea of people invading towns and then replacing the walls with their preferred type of wall really annoying too to be honest.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I agree with you. It lacks soul.

    Back in R1 the game had it's flaws, sure, but what it did was make me laugh and point out silly things to people (I build an aquaduct and instead of a blurb about it's function, I get "What did the romans ever do for us! This. Thats what") and it made the traits matter as well as being interesting. My g/f still makes comments on how my faction leader, who at the age of 80, having to be tied to his horse as he is dead-drunk all the time made a rousing battle speach about killer flowers the enemy had being averted by his wonderful hats.

    Humour aside, it had soul. I cared about my characters, not just because of one feature but because it had pretty much all the things from antisocialmunky's list done right, rather than done wrong. My generals looked the part and changed in appearance, rather than seeming to have a generic template for a card. The traits they got mattered to them, the armies they commanded and the empire you built, because they were game-breakingly good or bad, not just +3% to x. Their battlefield prowess was miniscule compared to the effect they had on their troops and it worked well without half a dozen buttons for abilities.

    I once had a roman general I adopted at the age of 16, instantly made him faction heir as he looked just right to fill the boots of the ageing leader, while the leaders son had drink and gambling problems that would have crippled the empire financialy. The new adoptee went rampaging across the globe, built a massive reputation for himself and his people, had just the right kind of traits and stuff to be faction leader and then got himself skewered by a stray balastae bolt in a battle for some insignifacnt hovel in the arse end of the world. I actually shed a tear at his demise, especially as the faction leader died the very next turn, and the shift in power back to the idiot drunkard gambler halted my empire in it's tracks for years.

    Thats what the game is missing.
    I was trying to find some help in the ancient military journals of General Tacticus, who's intelligent campaigning had been so successful that he'd lent his very name to the detailed prosecution of martial endeavour, and had actually found a section headed "What To Do If One Army Occupies A Well-Fortified And Superior Ground And The Other Does Not", but since the first sentence read "Endeavour to be the one inside" I'd rather lost heart.

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  16. #16
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I installed a 4tpy mod, and its definitely helping with the time I get to have with my generals, but I miss, as everyone has said, family trees. The new trait system is okay, but there need to be more traits and more of a variety. I like how I can put in new retinues, but Id like to have more than just one.

    There really needs to be a family tree and some way to create a family. My faction leader is apparently not married. Which is something I do not understand.

    There really seems to be two major problems: lack of time with your family members (though easily fixed with mods) and a lack of interaction. If you cant tell them to get married like you can in CKII, at least enable them to get married on their own like they did in previous TW games. I want to see my children, I want to care about my immediate family. Do I think that these things can be added to the game? I think so. CA has shown that they are willing to put in the work to fix the game and I am fairly confident that they will add some more depth to this aspect of the game.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I tend to agree with you here as well.

    I will say that the patches have greatly improved the games playability and thus my enjoyment of it. But I feel the experience remains rather shallow. I don't feel connected to my generals nor do I care about any of the opponents I face.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    I know it's not the percfect solution (this would only come from CA's patch) but Hellbent's trait mod has more depth than vanilla.

  19. #19
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I installed a 4tpy mod, and its definitely helping with the time I get to have with my generals, but I miss, as everyone has said, family trees. The new trait system is okay, but there need to be more traits and more of a variety. I like how I can put in new retinues, but Id like to have more than just one.

    There really needs to be a family tree and some way to create a family. My faction leader is apparently not married. Which is something I do not understand.

    There really seems to be two major problems: lack of time with your family members (though easily fixed with mods) and a lack of interaction. If you cant tell them to get married like you can in CKII, at least enable them to get married on their own like they did in previous TW games. I want to see my children, I want to care about my immediate family. Do I think that these things can be added to the game? I think so. CA has shown that they are willing to put in the work to fix the game and I am fairly confident that they will add some more depth to this aspect of the game.
    I really doubt it. It doesn't look like any of that was planned for from the start and I doubt they are going to make total conversions of that system now.

  20. #20
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Considering that other aspects of the game were left out (like loose formation) and recently put in, I wouldnt put it past them to add it in.
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  21. #21
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Loose formation was already in the game from day one though.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    No it wasnt, only in the encyclopedia. Which means it was there persay, but not actually in the game. I dont see any reason why they wouldnt put in a family tree, especially since there is so much pressure from the community to have one. And as I remember it was mentioned in one of the Rally Point episodes a few months back, Ill need to find it.
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  23. #23
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Loose formation is the same as the default formation for ranged units.

  24. #24
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    Loose formation is the same as the default formation for ranged units.
    For ranged units yes, but not for normal units.

    Exhibit A:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
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  25. #25

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Yea I noticed the loose formation button and realized it wasn't there before.

  26. #26
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    For ranged units yes, but not for normal units.

    Exhibit A:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    What I am trying to say is, they took the formation every ranged unit has and slapped it on certain non ranged units with a little button to toggle between the two. They didn't go through the trouble of actually making an entirely new formation. I guess some modder could have done that, while I doubt anyone is going to mod in a family tree and stuff.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    It depends on what lies behind the faction's screen. Is it just random mechanics or is there an axial skeleton on which a family tree could be based. Where are coming from all those generals and statesman who conveniently spam when one of them just died.

  28. #28
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    What I am trying to say is, they took the formation every ranged unit has and slapped it on certain non ranged units with a little button to toggle between the two. They didn't go through the trouble of actually making an entirely new formation. I guess some modder could have done that, while I doubt anyone is going to mod in a family tree and stuff.
    But why would they create a whole new formation if the formation was already there and only had to apply it to other units? Seems like unnecessary work if you ask me. And thats how its always worked. A little button to toggle between loose and tight spacing. Its that simple. I mean, what do you want them to do besides a little button to toggle the formations, have it send off a burst of fireworks every time you press it? Why would they go through the trouble of making a whole new formation when loose formation literally is just increasing the unit spacing between soldiers?
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  29. #29
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    But why would they create a whole new formation if the formation was already there and only had to apply it to other units? Seems like unnecessary work if you ask me. And thats how its always worked. A little button to toggle between loose and tight spacing. Its that simple. I mean, what do you want them to do besides a little button to toggle the formations, have it send off a burst of fireworks every time you press it? Why would they go through the trouble of making a whole new formation when loose formation literally is just increasing the unit spacing between soldiers?
    I'm saying it was there from the beginning and only had to be.. yeah what you said.

    Now adding a working family tree and I don't see any indicators as to that existing in the current game, not even in the very very very basics. Faction members and generals just spawn when you need them, they get married when it's necessary for internal politics minigame reasons and they don't have children or anything like that. Every general is 'unique' and not one has anything to do with any other one.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What i think is wrong, not that it matters.

    They've added so many gamey stuff I don't see why they just don't make generals immortal from aging. I really don't see any other way around this problem. Go to 2tpy or 4tpy and there will be more people complaining that the Marian reforms happen too early in game versus historically, among other stuff.

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