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Thread: Rome Multiplayer Campaing is possible

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    Member Member Graf Von-Beck's Avatar
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    Ok so there are rumors of Rome: Total War having a multiplayer campaing, though alot of people have serious doubts. While I am resigned to the fast that M:TW and its expansion will never have this feature, I think it could be doone in R:TW and here is why: CA has aluded to mini campaigns in the previews, whether this just refers to a series of historical battles or not, it got me thinking on how a multiplayer campaign type game could work.

    Obviously the biggest

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    theres already a post about this somwhere else but i will reply to this one. I would love to see a MP campaign, even if i was whiped out very early on. Just the thought of taking the best part of SP and taking it to a new level is very interesting. but there are some drawbacks, as the campaign could go on for days if the players are all vets. however it would be very fun to play on the campaign map with an enemy who is challenging. and with the improved Diplomacy system it could prove to be a very interesting game. anyway, i think (if its possible) that a Mp campaign should be included. ive heard so many rumors whether it will be or wont be in the final game.

    could a dev, or somebody who knows what they're talking about please clearify this.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Indeed, a mutliplayer campaign would be great.

    The only way it could work, IMO, would be if everyone moved on the strategic map at the same time. Actions (such as assasinations, troop movement etc.) would be carried out in the following implementation phase for all players simultaniously. This would begin once everyone has selected end turn or a pre-set timer runs out.

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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Entrance Hall Graf Von-Beck. I hope you will at least stick around long enough to finish your post that seems to have ended just when you were to reveal your idea.

    I think you will find most people would really like to have a MP campaign. The sketpics are so for one of two reasons: 1) the campaign would be unmanagable and too long to work, or 2) CA has stated that the MP audience is too small to justify the expense of making it work.

    I'm not going to think too much about a MP campaign until we get more solid information.
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    Member Member Graf Von-Beck's Avatar
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    And now to finish what i was typing before I accidentaly posted before i was done.

    Obviously the Biggest problem is time. It is simply not possibe to take a game that takes many hours of game time to finish, and turn it into a multiplayer experience. So the game must be scaled down to allow a single sage to take a few hours at the LONGEST.

    The other problem is what to do when others are fighting battles ad you are not.

    So the way i see it, you could have a very small campaign game in which there is only one city per player, and a few neutral ones. (Since R:TW has no provinces) Then make the multiplayer campaign full real time. I know some of you think that is crazy but bear with me.

    The main reason we want multiplayer campaign is because single battles have no Strategy element. They have tactics, but it is not the same thing. If the units are cost balanced, then every battle is evenly matched. You will never have a small garrison inside a fort fighting off invading hored in a last stand scenario. You dont see thousands of rabble troops beinng crused by a few hundred well trained troops. In short there is no stategic story behind the battle, two even armies just show up and have it out.

    So all that is needed to have this stategy element is to have the minimum features from the campaign. This means a city with income and troop and building production similar to standard multiplayer RTS games. Instead of turns, income and troop building production will have to be time based, again like standard RTS. But wait, I am not advocating a return to standard RTS completely. I dont want to see workers running to and fro with bags of gold, and Battles cansisting of 5-10 Units every few seconds until one player is destroyed. I only sugjest a scaled down version of the TW strategy elements we know and love in a real time setting.

    Why in realtime you ask? (almost done i promise)
    Because you cant stop the game to fight the battles, it just wont work. Instead all will be going on simultaneously. Sounds confusing, but thats why i suggest a very small map with players usualy only having one offensive and one defensive army. Immagin you are loosing a battle when an ally marches his army onto the field just in time to turn the tide, or you march you host several miles to lay siege to and enemy city, only to find someone else is attacking yours. Perhaps you would be able to have the Ai take control of an army when you are busy with the other. or perhaps multiple players could be controling the same empire.

    Anyway these are some ideas I was tossing around while I wait impatiently for more info(and the game itself)I think something like this would make the multiplayer experience something truly amazing. Thanks for reading.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Reason number one I think could be easily solved with two additions.

    1. Better strategic interface. I'd like to see a singe spreadsheet that shows us all the information for our provinces (expenses, income, resources, loyalty, religion, tax rate, garrison size, leader stats, current building projects etc.) on one large spreadsheet. I could easily go through the list and make subtle or grand changes where needed much faster then the current scheme.

    2. Allow us to give our governors limited A.I., essentially If-Then statements and pre-determined scenarios. Things like lowering the tax rate or increasing the garrison size (depending on the current governors dread rating) when loyalty gets low. The decisions made by governors could come to you at the beginning of the strategic turn in the form of reports which can be approved or denied.

    I think those two solutions (or even just the first one) could easily allow us to get through the strategic portion with about 1/2 the time and hassle.

    As for the second reason, I haven't got any numbers on hand to back me up, but I was under the impression that Medieval did fairly well, showing that there is quite a large market for it. As we all know, large numbers of people playing a game almost certainly equates to large numbers of people wanting to beat others at said game.

    Just my $0.02c.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    My apologies for the double-post, I don't see an edit button around.

    I hadn't taken the battle-time into consideration. This obviously changes things, as battles can be quite time consuming.

    My only initial suggestions are:
    1) Everyone starts their battles at the same time during the implementation phase (obviously).

    2) When someone's not fighting, they are given the option to spectate on the battle(s) currently taking place. (This would have to be an optional feature).

    3) While others are in battle, the people who aren't could engage in an off-the-record skirmish to pass the time.

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    Member Member Knight_Yellow's Avatar
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    heres sum reasons why it wouldnt work

    1. not enough ppl will have good enough connections/computers to make it worthwile for CA

    2. it would take to long no matter how its done

    3. ppl wouldnt attack any1 ie. if a attacks b then c allies with b and a gets wiped out.

    4. too many probs with existing mp to warrant trying sumthing new

    5. it would require almost a completely new game to add all the features and aint many ppl gonna pay 60 pound for diff versions of the same game.


    in short not enough ppl and too dam tricky so CA would never profit from it.




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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    well...a while back i was into a game called Imperium Galactica 2. a MP campaign was added, it didnt really have any story line what so ever. it was much like a big skirmish just with the strategy map included.

    the way the question of what would happen if players A and B got in a battle but player C wasnt in on it. u were infomed of the fight and that war was declared. u were then were transported to the area of Battle and observed the fight. thats just 1 way they could solve 1 prob...thats all i gotta say.

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    Member Member Knight_Yellow's Avatar
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    ive just got imperium gallactiga 2

    (it was on offer £5)

    i know theres a mp but its only lan and direct connections?

    is there a server?

    British Army: be the best

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Re Yellow_Knight

    1. Considering that they already stated that this new engine wouldn't be any more taxing then the one used in M:TW, and the only real need for a fast connection is in the tactical battles, I can't see how poor connections is a valid arguement. M:TW supported up to eight players at once and in a campaign game I don't think you'd ever see that many factions in a single battle at a time.

    2. The arguement of it taking to long for what it's worth does have some validity to it, but I don't see why it should take much time at all. The code for the multiplayer tactical battles will (more then likely) already be there, allowing multiplayer on the strategic map would be a cake-walk in both code and network demand in comparison.

    3. While some people may turtle, this game rewards expansion. Think of all the free-for-alls you've seen in other RTSs. Almost inevitably, someone will attack (probably starting with a rush to conquer neutral/rebel provinces).

    4. Unless they plan on leaving MP out of this entirely (which I haven't heard), then the arguement of to many problems already being there really is null, as they're implementing it in it's most demanding form as is.

    5. R:TW is a completely new game.

    As for your closing arguement of not enough people using it, you might have me there. While I would enjoy it, I'm not sure how most people would like a multiplayer game that takes hours or even days to complete. While it would certainly have a save function, it would be a hassle to round up everyone, especially in the larger, 4 people+ games.

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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion folks.

    I see two possible approaches to the MP campaign. The first is to drastically shorten the game as Graf has suggested. The other would be to take the opposite approach - allow for a prolonged campaign over days, weeks or months. Since the strategic part of the game is turn based, this would work like a play by email game with the addition of combatants meeting online to resolve the battles.

    Another thing to consider about a MP campaign is that the battles would take place a little faster they currently are. Remember, with a campaign, your units are already selected, so the time needed for the players to do that is not in the campaign battles. A user definable time limit on the setup phase could also speed things along.

    Knight, I think I have to agree with Oberiko about the connection needed. I don't think broadband would be a requirement.

    Regarding the audience for a MP campaign, I think it will be different than the current MP audience. It seems to me that a campaign would mostly attract friends and clans. Who would want to risk a pick up campaign against opponents of unknown quality? I wouldn't want to invest a few hours of my time to discover one of the players is an ESCape artist or an abuser/flamer. It is bad enought to put up with such people for one battle let alone a whole campaign. I for one would love to play a campaign against a local friend whom I don't see very often. A campaign would be a way to get together when we can't get together, if you follow my meaning.

    All things considered, I'd prefer the long version of the campaign, because we all know Rome wasn't built in a day.
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    I'm going with Kraelin on his posts, just have one controllable army at a time. So if you're fighting a battle with another enemy, you have generals command your other armies, just like real life. We could even go as far as have the AI do our turns while we're in battle. The only problem is CA must make a better AI, and if this is how they made online campaigns I'm sure they would.

    Another option is to have turns time based. Give the host the option to set the time limit per turn, so those who want games to last very long time can, and those of us who want short games can. I think time based turns would help the strategy, just like in real life generals and kings and to deal with time. I think this option would work very well with simultaneous turns.

    I'm sure there would be problems and what not with mp campaigning, but it can't be perfect, it's only a game. Just as long as we have the option to play it I'm happy.
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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Multiple battles for the same player... I hadn't even considered that.

    I suppose your solution is the best, otherwise one person (especially if they control a large empire) could possibly have to fight 3 or battles in succession, causing other players a pretty long wait time.

    My only addition would be if CA gave us an A.I. editor and allowed us to program/download scripts. The higher your general is ranked, the larger a script(s) he can utilise. At least that way your human opponent couldn't take advatange of known strategies (since user scripts would probably ween most of the really cheesy ones out).

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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    here is the other thread (one of them) about this where i re-posted some of my ideas about an mp-c game. you can read it here: http://www.totalwar.org/cgi-bin....;t=5210

    this is far from all the ideas that were discussed way back on the old board. there were some other things like allowing other players to come in AS your generals and letting them conduct your various armies, but the major points are covered in that thread.

    K.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Kraellin, I read your idea for if a player drops from the game.

    While good, I think a better solution should be the instant death of the current leader of his faction. (Heart attack, food poisoning, anything really)

    Once the leader dies, then other factors can come in to determine who will lead his province. A male heir of appropriate age would result in the A.I. taking over and the nation going on as usual. Should a mature male heir not be available, then the next best person would take over. In the case of multiple claims (a male heir who is to young, the King's brother, a daughter wed to a prominant general/foriegn leader [most likely a different player] etc.) then it would probably result in the nation being carved up and engaged in civil war.

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    Member Member Frogman's Avatar
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    The other option for the campaign would be to play by email. Then you could take as long as you wanted on your turn. Of course all battles against humans would be auto, but I like pbem games. I'm just not sure how they would work the option of retreating from a battle and when the actual combat resolution would take place. Ideally, it would come during an automatic movement phase so you wouldn't know the outcome until the next turn. That would eliminate the urge to restart and replay turns.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Only problem with an email system would be waiting for everyone to make their move. It'd be like a regular turn based, only with an unlimited timer.

    For us impatient types, waiting the several days for one turn to take place might be a bit of a put-off.

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    I would think that a multiplayer campaign would only happen between people that know each other. Like someone else said, would you want to waste a bunch of time on a MP campaign just to have someone not show up when you continue?

    So therefor, on that assumption, time is not a concern. I find time to meet with my friends to play Counter Strike. Why would I not be able to find time to start or continue a campaign with my friends?

    Just let the person who started the campaign set a time limit on each turn, and allow the option of setting how many manual battles are allowed each turn. What this gives you is something ongoing that you can do with your fiends when you get a chance. Would be alot of fun too.
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    Lol i used to dream of a mp campaign too, but its all poppycock


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    Member Member Frogman's Avatar
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    If you haven't played pbem, you don't know how addictive it can be and how involved and attached you can get to games that play out for 6 to 12 months. You start dreaming about the darn games and thinking of strategies while your driving down the road. The campaign map would be great on pbem and you could still use the 3d battle map against ai opponents.

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    Member Member Oberiko's Avatar
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    Main problem with that Frogman is that the tactical battles are IMO the more important half of the Total War package.

    Considering all the new features and damned impressiveness of the R: TW video, there's no way I could go without it.

    Let's face it, without the grand tactical battles, you may as well be playing a much cheaper and smaller game along the lines of Risk.

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    Member Member Frogman's Avatar
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    You could still do tactical battles against the ai and one turn could easily take you an hour or two to play. Sure you can't do 3d vs a human on pbem but you would have to autocalc the ai forces in an online campaign game.

    And don't knock the value of a really cool game of Risk. Even without the 3d battles, MTW is a great strategic game and it would be great to be able to pbem.

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