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Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II

Steam News announces that Total War: ROME II is now available, offering the latest installment in Creative Assembly's large-scale historical strategy series. Here's the deal:

Total War™: ROME II is Now Available on Steam

How far will you go for Rome?

The award-winning Total War series returns to Rome, setting a brand new quality benchmark for Strategy gaming. Become the world’s first superpower and command the Ancient world’s most incredible war machine. Dominate your enemies by military, economic and political means. Your ascension will bring both admiration and jealousy, even from your closest allies.

Will you suffer betrayal or will you be the first to turn on old friends? Will you fight to save the Republic, or plot to rule alone as Emperor?

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39. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 5, 2013, 09:52 Prez
 
Simon Says wrote on Sep 5, 2013, 07:41:
Nonsense, phalanxes were easy as pie to kill.

Phalanxes have always been nigh impregnable from the front but weak from the side and pathetic from the rear. If you have a holding force to pin them from the front and a fast roaming unit nearby (light footmen or ideally horsemen), it only took minimal maneuvering to hit them from their weak spot and break them. I'm no expert on Ancient Greek tactics but I think that's pretty historically accurate. Is that different this time around?
 
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38. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 5, 2013, 07:41 Simon Says
 
Nonsense, phalanxes were easy as pie to kill.

Well, at least a few people seem to like Arcadey style strategy and tactics. I don't. Have fun.
 
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37. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 20:01 eRe4s3r
 
I won't deny any of your points as they are very true (most of it will probably get fixed in patches like it always is fixed in Total War games ,p), but even so I had great fun during my campaign so far, including political trickery They are all more or less correct (Generals easily survive 50 turns by the way unless you put them in the thick of the front line, where your general should never be!), which in this game is a huge timespan, enough to create a half europe spanning empire). I ran my first campaign I played with the woznad spear general that was my faction leader, and he got to age 71 before dieing of natural causes and he reached rank 7 .. so yeah ^^.

And these magic boats you mention are not usable to great effect if you auto-resolve against a fleet of heavy raiders, the problem is that during manual navy battles you end up with a total crapshoot of pathing bumping and pushing. Naval battles, like always in 1.0 of an Total War release, are completely bugged. Transport boats of these times should be so brittle that even a cought should sink them and that's what happens during auto-resolve.

The one big annoyance for me is that the campaign AI is sometimes clever, but most of the times completely retarded. They have a serious issue building a coherent large stack and because they are food and money starved they don't have the hard hitting units, and some AI nations have their entire army sit in boats in front of their city (Which makes capturing them extremely easy).

Diplomacy has improved so far as the campaign AI actually interacting with you in ways beyond declaring war but it is almost always on their terms. If you prefer passive diplomacy you wont notice the problem but if you want to proactively cultivate an environment of success with your neighbors you will fail. The AI refuses to accept logical treaties of any kind without bribes, very unfortunate.

The reason for that is that the AI is always bankrupt/food starved as it doesn't expand quickly enough and never builds a province with focus on farms and so it's regions never grow) as you can easily see by the amount you can demand Aside that this is true. The AI is not insane anymore, but it is bordering on being too passive. I have never once been attacked without ample warning. I think the problem is the Normal campaign difficulty, I am gonna rank it up later to see what that actually does.

Also lmao at "real" total war players. I played all Total War games, people who call the combat in Rome 1 "good" are not to be taken serious. This is no different than any other Total War. You will get your realism mods in no time that will remove magic abilities and fix unit cohesion like always.

But fact is that this game is FUN to play. Something Empire and Rome 1 was not. The faster movement and recruitment gives you MUCH more options during a round. The only problem is the AI that can't handle the game so well .. yet? ^^

Also, since I saw you complain about Phalanx units not being impossible to kill. THANK FUCKING GOD FOR THAT. Late game Rome 1 was completely unplayable because of that nonsense.

This comment was edited on Sep 4, 2013, 20:07.
 
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36. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 18:55 Simon Says
 
Look for a thread called "Rome 2, Casualty of the casual in the forums http://forums.totalwar.com/ ( sorry, website kept complaining the other url was far too long even with the "long url" command )

This guy pretty much summed it all up. Oh, and forget about phalanx and other formations actually meaning anything. Even spartan phalanxes devolve into blob that can easily be charged and then attacked from behind... really.

RTW2 = CA jumping the shark, the fun's over.
 
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35. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 18:34 Simon Says
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 23:09:
Gadzooks wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 12:46:
Aside from the setting change, what all does TW Rome2 add to the series beyond what we have seen in Shogun 2? Im guessing slightly improved graphics, but are there any major gameplay changes?

There are some major changes, pivotal being how recruitment works (imo MUCH better)

Regions working like real regions = 1 regional capital and up to 3 other settlements that you can build stuff in, but for food/mood/faction/recruitment all sub-settlements of 1 region act as 1, recruiting on general from a whole region, diplomacy AI not totally insane. Drastically improved agent system where each agent has a use now. You can only have 1 active/integrated agent per army. Which is a hard choice, on the fly replacement of dead generals after battle (which are taken from your faction pool of people, faction plays a large role ,p)

Recruiting on army prevents it from moving or attacking, if you moved, no recruiting.
Siege weapons no longer totally break the movement range of an army + Forced march which doubles movement range, but prevents you from attacking, reduces moral etc. AI uses it to great effect most of the time. Proper naval invasion system.

The bad things, Naval AI is still totally borked. Auto resolve everything on oceans or despair The AI doesn't quite grasp the concept of putting an army into garrison (it does put em there if it has them, but if it has 3 it puts a random one into garission which makes it easy when it's the 2 horse stack instead of the 16 spear warriors stack, or the food system or the money system ;p Basically like always in TOTAL WAR, the AI has issues

The good things, the battles are not a drag, and fighting them is FUN. You will not see the absurd battles of Rome 1 where you can spend 60 minutes poking each other and never kill anything. Recruitment system is a VAST improvement. Regional government system is great. The immersion is absolutely fantastic. And playing as Germanic Tribes is finally not a lesson in masochism.

Or put differently, the game is faster paced and much more happens in 1 round. You can (And should) manage your faction loyalties correctly and not put the most hated general you have in command of your pwn's everything super stack. Speaking of pwn everything, the AI can still not really handle siege weapons.

And unlike in Shogun 2, in Rome 2 you really are in command of a FACTION. And not just a pivotal "god-like" leader. This also means that ignoring faction issues can be very bad for your health. Putting your opponents generals in command is unhealthy

I like Rome 2, it is for the lack of comparisons, a better Shogun 2.

Also the line of sight system means AI can't cheat. And neither can you. Although sometimes the AI is a bit dense understanding why it's troops are dying (during sieges) when it's beeing bombarded by 8 troops of heavy ballista.

?!?!?!?

Here's what "real" total war players had to say:

"Rome 2 - A casualty of the casual?
I've played Total War for over 10 years now and I can honestly say that this release is just as bad as Empire, if not worse. They have slowly taken the winning formula for Total War and dumbed it down for the masses. 'Casual gamers', the console and phone game generation have been the downfall of many a great PC game series. From top to bottom this game is purely sacrilegious to any Total War fan who values depth and tactical battles. They have taken away all of our control and implemented gimmicks to please the casual gamer. I will provide some insight into the fundamental flaws at the core of the games design rather than elaborate on the myriad of optimization problems and bugs the game suffers from at this time. Just to clarify, I want the game to be a success! I am a rabid fan. I built a 3,000$ Xfire machine just for this game early this year.

GAMEPLAY:

A huge number of features that were available even in Total War: Rome are missing or broken both conceptually and mechanically. I will try and break down the problems point by point as they relate to gameplay.

-No family tree.

-No 'Loose' or 'Tight' generic formation commands. Can't spread to avoid enemy fire?!

-No 'Guard' command, your units cannot be instructed to maintain their position and formation at all costs.Even the most disciplined melee troops devolve into a blob during melee combat.

-You cannot toggle fire at will on infantry with javelins, they only fire when they charge. Some unfortunate tactical consequences are that they cannot throw javelins to break an enemy charge and then receive the broken charge, they cannot fire on skirmishers and cavalry harassing them, and if you move reserves to reinforce a battle line they will AUTOMATICALLY throw their javelins into the backs of your own men who are already engaged. WTF CA?

-Troops have inappropriate context based behavior or a complete lack thereof. IE. They will stand in position and take arrows to the face from archers ten feet away (as if instructed to guard, but still lose unit cohesion in melee) and will not chase routing enemies. During a melee blob if a unit of men destroy their immediate foe (target) they will not engage nearby enemies. They will stand there watching their comrades get hacked apart five feet away.

-Auto run breaks unit cohesion.

-BATTLES ARE WAY TOO FAST! The battles last a few minutes generally. You spend three minutes walking to the enemy force. Your lines meet and devolve into a chaotic blob and the melee is typically over in about 30-50 seconds as one side routes. If you were inclined to flank the blob you typically don't even have time to move a single flanking unit around into position before the melee is decided. You're far better served simply committing the unit into the blob of doom right away and spamming the 'magic' combat buffs/abilities your men have. Speaking of..

-MAGIC COMBAT ABILITIES! You can hit a button and suddenly your men charge with more force than usual or you can magically remove all fatigue? Get your voodoo out of my Total War. Abilities should have a justifiable function that makes sense.

-Units run entirely too fast, especially with tactical map speed buffs on roads for certain units and while charging. I would seriously estimate that your men can charge at nearly 30mph.. Again, wtf?

-Diplomacy has improved so far as the campaign AI actually interacting with you in ways beyond declaring war but it is almost always on their terms. If you prefer passive diplomacy you wont notice the problem but if you want to proactively cultivate an environment of success with your neighbors you will fail. The AI refuses to accept logical treaties of any kind without bribes, very unfortunate.

-Magic boats appear when you move an army into the ocean... Magic.... Boats.... These transport ships are free and can be used to great effect in naval battles. Building and maintaining an incredibly expensive navy is rendered void of strategic value and ineffective. You can recruit a bunch of militia and march them into the sea and ram your enemies navy to death without much difficulty. Horrid.

-The campaign AI is atrocious even on the highest difficulty setting. The AI nations will maintain small armies and play passively. If they do field large armies the majority of the time they will consist of almost all slingers or other skirmishers. This causes most battles to involve a 10 second melee blob of doom then 10 minutes of you chasing down skirmishers at random. Epic disciplined and mechanized meat grinding battles? I bought the wrong game.

-Unit multiplier is locked. Why am I limited to smaller unit sizes than the original decade old game?

-One turn per year. Good luck utilizing the fresh general development ideas cause all your generals will die of old age very quickly, assuming they survive even one blob of death thanks to the extremely high kill rates.

-The UI is beyond inconvenient. It is a mess of sub menus and obscure iconography. You play the game through a figurative maze, not a streamlined UI for 2013.

-The awesome in game encyclopedia of information that the legacy Total War games featured? Still gone. Sure, a cohesive encyclopedia is a great idea, if it is navigable and intuitive enough to provide information in a timely manner.

Edit: I may expand on this as I discover more about the game, both good and bad."

Followed by a whole thread of people that couldn't agree more, and that's just ONE thread out of DOZENS of angry mobs. And personally, if any of this^^ doesn't get fixed, it's a NO BUY and BOYCOT from me.

Well, at least your post just made it clear for me for one thing, the game HAS BEEN dumbed down to fit more casual/couch type players.
 
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34. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 11:47 Prez
 
The result is that the first update to the game will drop this Friday, with the intention to update the game on a weekly basis in the immediate future.

Cool. I will start my game on Friday then.
 
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33. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 09:58 SpectralMeat
 
Patch is incoming, this Friday.

At Creative Assembly we are very pleased with the response to ROME II, with hundreds of thousands of players enjoying the game so far; but we do know that, as with all large PC releases, the variety of hardware and general system specifications can cause issues for some people and we are urgently working to help get them the right experience.

As announced last month, we are also planning to tweak the balancing, AI routines and other features now that we’re getting real-time metric feedback from thousands of players.

The result is that the first update to the game will drop this Friday, with the intention to update the game on a weekly basis in the immediate future.

Full patch notes will be available on Friday, but the update will address known instances of crashes due to hardware conflicts alongside several other performance fixes.

In addition, anyone experiencing graphical issues including low resolution textures, should check our support forums at www.totalwar.com/rome2support which contain suggestions for settings which will improve visuals in almost all cases.

There are also a variety of other fixes suggested in our support forum, please head there to find out more or report your own problem directly to the CA team who will assist you.
 
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32. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 4, 2013, 08:59 Prez
 
And then the game comes out, and the AI is still the same piece of shit that it has always been.

I have always thought the AI has been made deliberately stupid out of fear of making the game too tough for people. No hardcore strategy gamer with any dignity wants to play their super hardcore strategy game on 'easy'.

When I installed the Darthmod for Empire, I was getting my ass kicked up and down the field. Which is actually a good thing, as it made me start to use real tactics.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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31. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 23:09 eRe4s3r
 
Gadzooks wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 12:46:
Aside from the setting change, what all does TW Rome2 add to the series beyond what we have seen in Shogun 2? Im guessing slightly improved graphics, but are there any major gameplay changes?

There are some major changes, pivotal being how recruitment works (imo MUCH better)

Regions working like real regions = 1 regional capital and up to 3 other settlements that you can build stuff in, but for food/mood/faction/recruitment all sub-settlements of 1 region act as 1, recruiting on general from a whole region, diplomacy AI not totally insane. Drastically improved agent system where each agent has a use now. You can only have 1 active/integrated agent per army. Which is a hard choice, on the fly replacement of dead generals after battle (which are taken from your faction pool of people, faction plays a large role ,p)

Recruiting on army prevents it from moving or attacking, if you moved, no recruiting.
Siege weapons no longer totally break the movement range of an army + Forced march which doubles movement range, but prevents you from attacking, reduces moral etc. AI uses it to great effect most of the time. Proper naval invasion system.

The bad things, Naval AI is still totally borked. Auto resolve everything on oceans or despair The AI doesn't quite grasp the concept of putting an army into garrison (it does put em there if it has them, but if it has 3 it puts a random one into garission which makes it easy when it's the 2 horse stack instead of the 16 spear warriors stack, or the food system or the money system ;p Basically like always in TOTAL WAR, the AI has issues

The good things, the battles are not a drag, and fighting them is FUN. You will not see the absurd battles of Rome 1 where you can spend 60 minutes poking each other and never kill anything. Recruitment system is a VAST improvement. Regional government system is great. The immersion is absolutely fantastic. And playing as Germanic Tribes is finally not a lesson in masochism.

Or put differently, the game is faster paced and much more happens in 1 round. You can (And should) manage your faction loyalties correctly and not put the most hated general you have in command of your pwn's everything super stack. Speaking of pwn everything, the AI can still not really handle siege weapons.

And unlike in Shogun 2, in Rome 2 you really are in command of a FACTION. And not just a pivotal "god-like" leader. This also means that ignoring faction issues can be very bad for your health. Putting your opponents generals in command is unhealthy

I like Rome 2, it is for the lack of comparisons, a better Shogun 2.

Also the line of sight system means AI can't cheat. And neither can you. Although sometimes the AI is a bit dense understanding why it's troops are dying (during sieges) when it's beeing bombarded by 8 troops of heavy ballista.
 
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30. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 22:51 Creston
 
Taskeen wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 17:54:
People can nit pick the AI,

It's not nitpicking when the battle AI has been terrible for going on ten games now. And every.single.time they say "no, no, THIS time we've got the AI right! The first Shogun, one guy did AI in one afternoon. We now have 700 full time programmers that have been doing AI for eighteen years straight for this game! It's going to be Skynet!"

And then the game comes out, and the AI is still the same piece of shit that it has always been.

The fact that "mods make it better" doesn't negate the fact that the AI is always terrible.
 
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29. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 22:38 SpectralMeat
 
Playing through the prologue I am enjoying the game so far.
 
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28. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 20:30 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 20:16:
So it sounds like the game is a bit of a pig to run and you really need a pretty decent rig to do it justice.
I've got a fx-6350 and 560ti. These are the benchmarks on high/extreme. I still haven't tweaked everything though.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=175403620
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=175403640

Big thing that I've found is water and shadows soak frames, and lots of units. Shogun2 had the same problem with units, especially unit cards.
 
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and it is always wrong."
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27. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 20:16 Cutter
 
So it sounds like the game is a bit of a pig to run and you really need a pretty decent rig to do it justice.
 
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26. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 19:19 FloorPie
 
Bah no demo. I need a demo for these types of games.  
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25. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 19:15 Angrius Maximis
 
This game looks terrible. Let this series die already.  
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24. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 19:09 Angrius Maximis
 
http://steamcommunity.com/app/214950/discussions/0/864977564655070149/  
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23. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 18:02 jacobvandy
 
Creston wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 16:50:
SpectralMeat wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 15:53:
but he based his whole review on the negatives alone and doesn't mention anything what the game does right.

Yeah, it seemed overly negative. Yes, time between turns takes forever. It's been that way in turn-based games when you near the endgame since the dawn of time, and especially so in the Total War series. It's a Total War game. The campaign map is going to be plodding, and the beauty of the real-time battles is going to be overshadowed by terrible, terrible AI. These are the realities of a Total War game.

That guy needs a better CPU, if it bothers him so much. I didn't test Total War, but in Civ V I cut literally a minute+ from every AI cycle on a fully populated large map around Turn 430 or so, going from a Bloomfield (original Core i7) to Sandy Bridge-E (Sandy Bridge w/o the integrated graphics). I bet you'd even see a significant jump going from Sandy Bridge to Haswell now.
 
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22. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 17:54 Taskeen
 
People can nit pick the AI, but the modders ALWAYS enhanced their behaviors so they are more realistic, smarter use of their formations in battle, and overall more challenging.

The AI in vanilla Empire Total War and Shogun 2 Total War, compared to the enhanced AI in mods is likes apples and oranges, seriously. Way more challenging, fun, and less predictable on just normal difficulty.

Plus, you can COOP in Total War games since Empire. So you and a friend can either commit to a shared victory OR you can decide to go against one another so at least you have to contend with another human player if you wish on the campaign map.
 
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21. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 17:23 Parias
 
InBlack wrote on Sep 3, 2013, 17:10:
Bought it on GMG for a 20something percent discount. Steam code. So far I cant get past the first tutorial mission (lol) It appears to be bugged, or Im not getting something, when I make it across the ford the game keeps telling me that I need to assist the city garrison but the two forces arent even engaged in combat. Then the mission suddenly ends in failure. Weird.

Tried the Campaign map and so far have only been looking at tabs. Its been such a long time since Ive given any time to this type of game. I think the last Total War game I played was Medieval. So far my impression of Rome II is rather, ehm did I just spend money on this? It feels somehow rather lackluster, but it sure is pretty to look at. Im going to give it a whole lotta more time tomorrow. I kinda remember the Rome I and Medieval to be much more fun.

Bear in mind that if it's anything like Shogun 2, all of the effort will be worth it when you can eventually end up with battles like this.
 
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20. Re: Steamships Ahoy - Total War: ROME II Sep 3, 2013, 17:10 InBlack
 
Bought it on GMG for a 20something percent discount. Steam code. So far I cant get past the first tutorial mission (lol) It appears to be bugged, or Im not getting something, when I make it across the ford the game keeps telling me that I need to assist the city garrison but the two forces arent even engaged in combat. Then the mission suddenly ends in failure. Weird.

Tried the Campaign map and so far have only been looking at tabs. Its been such a long time since Ive given any time to this type of game. I think the last Total War game I played was Medieval. So far my impression of Rome II is rather, ehm did I just spend money on this? It feels somehow rather lackluster, but it sure is pretty to look at. Im going to give it a whole lotta more time tomorrow. I kinda remember the Rome I and Medieval to be much more fun.
 
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