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Thread: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

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    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    CA Developer Icon Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hello everyone and welcome to a thread of exclusive content for Total War Center for Total War: Rome II.

    In the time between now and release I will post answers to questions, unique screenshots and talk about previewed features in more depth.

    You can discuss these updates in this thread: linky
    Last edited by Jack Lusted; February 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM.
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    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exlcusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    For the first update I thought it would be good to answer some of the common questions that have popped up over the past 24 hours.

    Q. The previews have focused lots on Rome, does this mean the other factions in the game are being neglected?
    Not at all. Lots of work is going into all the different cultures present in the game.

    Q. What is all this talk about reducing micro-management in the campaign, and you dumbing it down?
    We are not dumbing it down. The campaign in Rome II will have more depth than ever before. We are also aiming to reduce late game micro-management so players can focus on the game and the new mechanics we are introducing to the campaign game.

    Q. Some of the previews have talked lots about armies, and you getting rid of individual units or controlling them?
    There will still be individual units. Campaign side we are putting more emphasis on armies and them having a history or legacy. We will talk about this in more details when we begin to preview the campaign in depth as time goes on.

    Q. Will there be DLC for Rome II?
    Yes there will be DLC for Rome II. We will details this more closer to release and also talk about why we do DLC and why it is not cut content.

    Q. Is it going to be heavily scripted with all this talk about characters or a more sandbox game?
    It is going to be a grand campaign, we are aiming to work more story into the campaign that is different every time you play and based around what you do.

    Again, we will talk more about the campaign at a later date.

    Q. Are the screenshots from the game?
    Yes they are taken from the Siege of Carthage battle we showed to journalists.

    Hope these answers have helped clear up some concerns people have had and answered many questions.
    Senior Designer

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.

  3. #3
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all, new update based on more common questions from around the forums.

    Q. How historically accurate will Rome II be?

    A. It is more useful to talk in terms of historical authenticity than historical accuracy, which never survives past the player getting involved anyway. There are a lot of things we do which aren’t accurate because it is a game, battles lasting minutes not hours or days for example. So any game can’t be historically accurate, but we are aiming for it to be more historically authentic than ever.

    This refers to the look and feel of the various nations and peoples in the games, from the way they are dressed to the equipment they use on the battlefield to the mechanics on the campaign map. So the armour, tunic, helmets, shields and so on will be based on historical examples. The unit rosters will be based on the kind of units that were fielded and the societies of different cultures.

    There will be units which were historically rare but we make more of because they are interesting and different. As in the past few Total War games they will not be appearing in every army but they will be there to add flavour.

    Q. Will there be mixed main weapon types within a unit, say barbarians fighting with swords and spears in the same unit?

    A. No. Whilst historically this may have occurred we split them into different units for gameplay reasons. Spears and swords have different stats in our game so we want them to be the main weapons for different units so the use for them is clearer and the player can tailor their army make up more depending on their play style.

    Q. Will most of the effort be going into the Roman faction at the expense of other factions and cultures?

    A. There is obviously far more information available on Rome than on other factions and cultures in this era, but that does not mean we are neglecting them. A lot of research has gone into the unit rosters for non-roman factions and into the campaign map to represent them well.

    Q. With talk of reducing micro-management on the campaign, is it going to be even more focused on war?

    A. The focus on reducing province and region micro-management is so the campaign can focus on other areas and not just war. There are a lot of great new features that will increase the campaign gameplay depth.

    Not quite the time to outline them all now, but expect greater intrigue and emphasis on characters.

    Q. Will mercenaries make a return?

    A. YES!

    Q. Will Rome II use Steam, and why?

    A. Yes Rome II will use and require Steam, just like Empire, Napoleon and Shogun II.

    Steam offers a lot of benefits to both us and players, from helping us to reach more people and provide on-going updates to the campaign and multiplayer, along with allowing a great platform for DLC and helping to reduce piracy.

    In general, integrating Steam features into the game (like language, social, achievement and multiplayer features for example) also helps us spend more development time on improving and implementing other features.

    We will also be talking about some exciting additional Steam features in the future.
    Senior Designer

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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Q. In previous Total War games a single ship has been able to carry whole armies. Why was this and will it change for Rome 2?
    A. In previous Total War games this has always been an abstraction. It has never been the case that we are saying all those troops are being held on that one ship. The army has always been thought of as on its own transport fleet which we did not represent, with the actual fleet representing the escort.

    For Rome 2 there are a few changes coming to how armies will be moved around on the sea, some of which we won’t talk about for a while, but we will be representing transports this time round.

    Q. Rome 1 did not differentiate between the Hoplite phalanx and the Macedonian phalanx, will both formations be in the game this time round?
    A. Yes both the Hoplite phalanx and Macedonian phalanx will be in the game as unit formations and will be represented differently.

    Q. In the recent Warcast episode you talked about a historical twist for the Egypt faction, what do you mean by a twist?
    A. The Egypt faction will not be the same as the faction from Rome 1. The unit roster is going to be very different with a mix of Hellenic units and local troops as well. We are pushing it a bit more, but as we often do with taking the rarer units from history and making more of them.

    Q. How much variety will there be in the look of soldiers within a unit? Will it be similar to Medieval II or Shogun 2 or will there be more variety?
    A. Rome 2 is going to have the highest amount of variation within a unit of any Total War game to date. There may be many different helmets, each with a variety of crests, various types of armour along with different tunics and shields with many different shield patterns. New tech will also allow us to vary the colours within a unit a lot more as well, with the possibility of the same tunic but coloured in a variety of ways within a unit.

    Q. All factions in Total War games to date have had colour schemes for them, will this continue in Rome 2?
    A. Yes, having colour schemes for factions helps make them more identifiable on a battlefield and gives a more unified look to their units. There may be more variety of how those colours are applied within the units, and how colourful, and varied those colours are, will vary by different factions and cultures.

    But of course the units won’t be crazy rainbow combinations – they’ll be themed according to the faction they represent.
    Senior Designer

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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Q. Will 1v1 animations be used again in Rome II and limit the fighting like it did in Shogun 2.
    A. 1v1 animations will be used again in Rome II. They are the best looking way to show soldiers fighting each other. Whilst the display was 1v1 in Shogun 2 the combat system was not and multiple attackers were taken into consideration when the combat engine worked out the result of an attack.

    However this does not mean we won’t also be improving the animation in other ways for Rome II. Look out for more info in the run-up to release.

    Q. All the screenshots released so far look like they’ve been painted brown or orange. Why is this and will this be true in all parts of the game?
    A. The orange/brown hue is there because of the part of the world the screenshots have been set in, North Africa. All of the ones released so far have been from the same battle, the Siege of Carthage.

    Q. Will formation and mass matter more in Rome II?
    A. We are implementing new systems that will give more importance to the depth, mass and formation of units so you will see a heavy unit pushing a lighter one back in combat for example.

    Q. One preview has mentioned that the camera will be fixed and we can no longer zoom around as we want, and that there is a new map view where we cannot give orders. Is this true?
    A. You will still be able to zoom around the battle map as in previous games. We are implementing additional new camera views to help improve immersion but not to hamper gameplay or control.

    The new tactical view provides a zoomed out top down view of the battlefield to help give an overview of what is going on. What orders can/cannot be given from that view is still being decided on.
    Senior Designer

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hello all,

    Apologies for the delay since the last update to this thread I have been away on holiday.
    Looking at the response to my interview in the latest Rally Point episode I thought I would respond to some of the questions that people had after it.

    Q. Are there really going to be around 700 units in Rome II?
    A. Yes, with all the land units, mercenaries, auxiliaries, artillery and ships there will be around 700 units in Rome II.

    Q. How much does the unit list and the look of units vary across the map?
    A. Whilst there are areas where there will be similar units (siege engines with different looking crews for different cultures) we really want to emphasise the variety in the time period Rome II covers.

    An example of this would be to compare the unit rosters we will have for the Germanics and the Gauls. They both have unique unit lists, and whilst there are some similar missile units and low level spearmen, they are big differences as well. Visually they will also look very different, armour and helmets being very rare for the Germanics and fairly common for the Gauls, different hair styles, different shield shapes and patterns etc.

    Q. I bet most of those are DLC units aren’t they?
    A. No that is the number that will be in the game when it launches.

    Q. As the Greek cities are not going to be a single faction anymore but broken up into various different factions, will same be true of other factions from Rome II such as the Gauls or Britons.
    A. There will be a lot of factions in the game and yes factions that were previously grouped together as one such as the Gauls will be split up into many tribes along with other cultural groups such as the Iberians, Britons etc.
    Senior Designer

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  7. #7
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,

    After a little break as my attention has been taken up with the release of the Assembly Kit and Steam Workshop integration for Shogun 2, today I am answering a question that has certain been a hot topic for discussion recently.

    Q. Will ancient languages such as Latin be spoken by soldiers, generals and agents in Rome II?

    A. This is a question with an interesting answer so this is a fairly long one, you have been warned.

    All voice overs in Rome II will be in English (or other localised language such as French etc.) and this is for good reason.

    First off is the difficulty of doing ancient languages. Whilst some such as Latin and classical Greek are well known, others such as Celtic and proto-Germanic are not. We would not only have to spend a large amount of time working with experts in those languages to translate what we want our voice actors to say, we would also have to train the voice actors in those ancient languages. Then there is also the fact that doing so many different ancient languages restricts the amount of voice overs we can get recorded for each one massively reducing the potential variety.

    Secondly, and this is the big reason for us, is the fact we want to do more with voices. On the battlefield for example, have soldiers being far more reactive to what is going on around them. One example of what we are looking at doing, remember game is pre-alpha, is when a soldier is hit by a missile and dies soldiers nearby will react both visibly and audibly. We also want soldiers saying things that are useful to the player, talking about how they’ve been flanked.

    Thirdly, as we are recording voices in one language we can record a lot more of them, not only allowing us to do voices for more situations but greater variety for them as well so they do not get repetitive.

    Doing more with voices will allow us to add far more immersion into the game in both battles and campaign, and is a key part of us pushing the human face of Total War.
    Senior Designer

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    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,

    After a bit of a break today I bring you the first exclusive picture for TWC, and a guessing game. It is a render of one of the armour pieces that will be in the game.

    If you can guess what find the armour is based on, I will post up another render today.



    Full resolution
    Last edited by Jack Lusted; November 19, 2012 at 02:13 AM.
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  9. #9
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Timotheus correctly guessed that it is the Kirkburn mail shirt, a find from the 3rd/2nd century Bc in Yorkshire.

    This 2nd picture is of Iberian bascient type helmets.



    Full resolution
    Last edited by Jack Lusted; November 19, 2012 at 02:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,

    Things have been quite hectic here at CA for myself recently, working full tilt on Rome II. Today I have time to answer some more topics that have been discussed on the forums.

    Q. Will there be a strong Rock, Paper, Scissors style balance in Rome II like there was in Shogun 2?

    A. The RPS balance in Shogun 2 was strong because that was the balance we wanted for that game.

    It is also important to bear in mind that there has always been RPS balance in Total War games, how strong it is has varied from game to game. It will vary again for Rome II as it will have a very different balance from Shogun 2.

    That balance is still being worked out for Rome II, especially as we are making big changes to the rules that control combat, but it is likely the RPS will be less strong compared to Shogun 2.

    Q. Will there be rowers in naval battles?

    A. Naval battles in Rome II are going to be larger in scale than previous Total War games with multiple ships per units and hundreds of men in each unit.

    We will not representing the rowers as actual 3d models for various reasons. The ship models have been made to not show below decks, rendering the hundreds of rowers per ship would have a big performance impact, and coding in the mechanics to have them work and interact correctly would take a lot of code time away from other areas of naval battles.

    There will be oars shown for ships, and they will be fully animated, and I hope you can understand why we decided not to show 3d models of all the rowers.

    Q. How much is the campaign changing?

    A. We’ve not talked about the campaign much so far, apart from a few little bits here and there, because we will not be revealing it for a while yet. This has led to some speculation that we are not changing how the campaign works much.

    This is not true a lot is changing on the campaign for Rome II. From diplomacy, to trade systems, how regions work to armies and families the Rome II campaign will play differently to any previous Total War game adding more gameplay and depth without increasing unnecessary micromanagement.
    It is going to be epic.

    ---

    Finally today, as Cataphracts have been talked about a bit recently, here are some images of Cataphract armour. Their arm armour will be separate parts:




    Full resolution



    Full resolution



    Full resolution

    Until next time
    Senior Designer

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    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi everyone,

    Today I bring you an image filled update including horses, spears and javelins, and celtic leather armour along with an answer to a question I’ve seen in a few threads.

    Q. Will there be unit officers and standard bearers in Rome II, and how varied will they look?

    A. Yes as in previous Total War games there will be officers and standard bearers in units. They will also be varied in look and match the visual variety of the various factions and cultures. So the Romans will get a variety of looks for officers and standard bearers, as will the Carthaginians, as will the Iberians (referring to all the Iberian factions) and so on and so forth.

    ---


    The first image we have today is showing off horse models for Rome II:


    Full size

    The next shows some spears alongside a variety of javelins. These will be used by the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians and Eastern factions:


    Full size

    These next images show some of our research and art process. First we start with some research images that have been turned into concept art for the character artists to make the models and textures from. In this example we are showing some Celtic leather armour:


    Full size

    This is made into the finished art:


    Full size


    Full size


    Full size


    Full size

    ---

    That is all for this update, I hope you have enjoyed it.
    Senior Designer

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  12. #12
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,
    We are now back up to full speed here at CA after the Christmas break, working hard on the game.
    Today I will answer some of the most discussed topics on the forums recently, and post a couple more new screenshots.

    Q. How tall will soldiers be, will soldier height vary inside a unit and between Romans and Germanics, and why do some shields seem to be smaller than they were in reality?

    A. The base skeleton for soldiers in Rome II is 1.7m tall or around 5’ 6”. We will be portraying height differences between say the Romans and the Germanics, though there is a limit to how much we can scale the skeleton before animations start to look weird in combat. There will also be variation in height between soldiers in the same unit for the first time in a Total War game.

    The size of some shields and weapons is different than it was in reality due to the fact there is a wide range of equipment that has to fit onto the animation sets we have. This means we have to homogenise sizes a bit to make animations fit, though keeping as close to the actual sizes as possible.

    Q. Are the images of the campaign we’ve seen so far representative of the final campaign? If so why does x faction not own y region?

    A. The images we’ve released so far are artistic representations of the campaign map. I understand that as it is the only images of it you have so far it is all you have to go on, but I would ask holding off on comments until you have seen the whole map and all the regions and factions on it.

    Q. Will factions in the campaign follow the path they did historically? Could this be an option?

    A. We will not be constraining the AI to the path factions took historically. This would make every campaign play out the same, apart from the actions of the player, and the player could very easily exploit this. If a player knows that Carthage and Rome will always go to war at a certain point they could plan their campaign to then attack one of those factions once they’ve gone to war. It would also reduce the replayability as you would not see different campaigns evolve each time, giving you a different story and experience.

    Offering it as an option would be a huge amount of work, and essentially require developing two different campaigns at the same time which would massively reduce the effort we could put into them. We instead focus on producing one campaign with the best gameplay we can, following in the sandbox-y nature of previous Total War games.

    Q. Why has there been such a focus on Carthage?

    A. The Siege of Carthage was the first playable asset we finished to a state we were happy to show to the public Since then we’ve been working on a lot of backend part of the games and producing more assets. There will soon be something new for you all to enjoy, but be reassured we are not focusing on Rome and Carthage to the detriment of the other playable factions.

    Q. What is the status of the game?

    A. The game is still pre-alpha, I know I’ve seen a few people stating the game is in beta but it is not. Beta happens very late on in the development process.

    Q. Why do you not provide more options for the player to customise every option they could want such as campaign map features, the speed of units and how fast combat is etc?

    A. There have been quite a few different options proposed on the forums, but it is something that would be very difficult to implement. Not only would we have to test each of these options and do a full sweep on each, we would have to test every combination of options possible which would reduce the effort we put into the core game and making sure we make the best game we can. We would still have to make sure those options were balanced, and that they worked together, that is time that could be spent doing the same to the main game.

    -----

    Below is a screenshot of some Greek Linothorax and some Italian chest armours.


    Full size


    Full size


    Full size

    I hope you have all enjoyed this update.
    Senior Designer

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  13. #13
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi guys,

    An answer to one question that has been quite common on the forums recently.

    Q. Why aren’t you using the actual Latin/Ancient Greek names for units? Does this mean we will see generic named units such as “guy with spear and shield”, and for the barbarians spear warband just with a different faction/cultural name on the front?

    A. This question spawned from a post I made where I confirmed the unit featured in the Macedon faction preview is the Shield Bearers. In ancient Greek it was called Hypaspists, which translates to shield bearer.


    We always try to strike a balance between flavour and ease of understanding with our unit names. We’re not going to label each and every unit with a name in the original language because 1) many people would have no idea what the names would mean and 2) a lot of the languages don’t exist anymore.


    So we want flavour, but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm people with terms they won’t be familiar with, and the vast majority of players will not be familiar with the Ancient Greek or proto-Germanic names for units. We also factor into account whether some terminology is part of common use. Hoplite is a very well-known name, so we use it for Hoplite units in the game.


    People voiced concern about the use of Shield Bearer as they felt it was a generic name, however only one unit will have that name, the Shield Bearers based on the Hypaspists of Alexanders and the later successors armies. Those armies will also feature units such as Royal Peltasts, Thorax Swordsmen, Thureos Spears, Companion Cavalry and more. So we use well-known names (Companion Cavalry are well known thanks to many documentaries and books on Alexander) and in some cases mix in historical terms (Thorax meaning body armour) with generic terms such as Swordsmen. Thorax Swordsmen historically would have been Thorakitai, we decided to call them Thorax Swordsmen as it contains flavour in the use of a historical term alongside a word that gives a good indication to players the role of the unit.


    In the case of the ‘Barbarian’ factions there will be unique rosters based on cultures, so the Gallic factions will have different units to the Briton factions who will have different units to the Germanic factions. You will see units with names such as Oathsworn, Naked Warriors, Painted Ones, Heroic Nobles, Sword Brothers and more. Names which have flavour to them and try to communicate some of the nature of the cultures they represent without having to use languages which very very few people understand.
    I hope this has help explained more about how we name units, and why we have made the decisions behind that.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    Senior Designer

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  14. #14
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    The previous post about unit names has certainly kicked off quite the discussion about why certain names have been chosen.

    For me this topic misses the important point, that armies will have interesting and diverse rosters that reflect on the historical reality of that faction. We are not dumbing the game down, we have always had this mix of names. The key thing is the gameplay, which will have more depth, in both battle and campaign, than ever before.

    So first thing to clear up is the nature of the Shield Bearer unit. They are not the same as the Royal Pikemen unit from Rome, Macedon will have a different elite pike unit that is separate from the Shield Bearers.

    The Shield Bearers are based on the functionality of the Hypaspists in Alexander’s army, that of well-armed and armoured flank support to the main line of pikemen, a role that continued into the successor armies under various names. The Royal Peltasts unit will represent a lighter, but still heavily armed, form of this unit that was used for assaults. This combination of the various elite pike units for various successor nations, the Shield Bearers and Royal Peltasts will represent all the roles on the battlefield the later Hellenic elite units carried out.

    Back to the subject of the name. With the unit rosters in our games we strive to strike a balance between flavour, ease of understanding and variety. Generally we set ourselves a bucket of around 30 flavour words to use for unit names for each project. Experience over many games has shown that this is a nice number for people to understand without throwing lots of unknown names at people. For Shogun 2 that allowed us to use authentic terms for most units. With around 700 units for Rome II we have to spread those words around more. The people on this forum tend to represent the most hardcore part of our fanbase, and the most detailed knowledge of history. Very few of our fans have an in-depth knowledge of Macedonian unit names or their meaning.

    This is not a decision that was made on one day, it was the result of many meetings between the lead designers to strike that balance. Not everyone will agree with it, that we know, but we think the unit names for Rome II will provide flavour with some authentic names sprinkled in without turning away the more casual parts of our fanbase. Our games appeal to a wide array of gamers and we want that to be true of Rome II as well. Hypaspist/Hypaspistai may be a well-known nameamong some of them, but it is not that well-known generally so we will not be using it.

    Double name is something we also won’t do, such as Hypaspist (Shield Bearer), we would just use the name in brackets to keep things simpler.

    I’m sure some enterprising members of the community will find a way to change the unit names once the game has released. People have always changed the unit names and I’m sure they always will,
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  15. #15
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,
    Bit longer between updates in this thread at the moment as you are getting a regular does of Rally Point episodes and faction reveals.

    Today I will answer some questions that have come up as a result of the faction reveals along with some new screenshots showing some of the variety in shield patterns there will be in the game.

    Q. Why are the Iceni a playable faction?

    A. The playable factions in Rome II will largely mirror those available in the original game. The Iceni have an interesting start position and their mix of chariots and celtic ways of fighting make them fun and different on the battlefield. They are a nice faction, and varied from other factions such as the Arverni and Suebi.

    Nationalism played no part in our decision, they are in because they are interesting and fun.

    Q. We don’t know that the Iceni or Suebi were around at the start of the game so why are they on the map?

    A. We don’t know for certain about who lived in huge parts of the area covered by the campaign map simply because records of who was where do not exist until the Romans or some of the Greek nations encountered them.

    What we do know is that there were people in those areas, with material links to later tribes we do know about. We can’t say for certain that they were one and the same and there is definitely evidence in some places they weren’t. But using the earliest known names we have for tribes in areas such as Britain or Germany to us is much better than just having a great big question mark over those parts of the map.

    Q. The cheekplates on a lot of helmets don’t fit very closely with the faces, why is that?

    A. The helmets have to fit on a large variety of faces and making them fit closely to one of them would make them clip through the model of another.

    -------

    And now for screenshots of shield patterns for the Britons, Celts and Germans:


    Full resolution


    Full resolution


    Full resolution

    These pictures show off the variety we can achieve in Rome II with our updated variant mesh definition system.

    For each of these sets a single shield model is shown for each. The background and rim colour variations are not achieved via textures but by colour masks that can be varied between the three colours available to a faction in the variant mesh definition. In Shogun II to do this would have required different texture sets to change which colour masked colour would be shown where.

    The shield patterns are decals applied over the top, so can be re-used over multiple shield type variations and maximises variety for minimal texture memory cost.

    I hope you have enjoyed this update,
    Jack
    Senior Designer

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.

  16. #16
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    First post for a while and I want to take this opportunity to talk about the changes we have made to the combat system and tweaks we have made to the morale system as well.

    Combat changes


    There have been big changes to the combat system for Rome II. I will talk about these changes in the context of some new stats: weapon damage and health.

    Weapon damage is split into two parts, base damage and armour piercing damage (referred to as AP damage from here on out). AP damage is always applied but base damage can be blocked by armour. Melee weapons and projectiles have this damage split. Health is the amount of hit points a soldier in a unit has, and damage dealt reduces a soldiers hit points.

    This system gives us a lot more flexibility in how we balance units. Whereas before an axe may have been set as armour piercing which would reduce target armour by half, the new system allows us to give axes lots of AP damage but little base damage so that most of their damage cannot be blocked by armour. Other weapons may have the other extreme, lots of base damage but low AP damage which would make them fantastic against units with low armour but weak against more heavily armoured opponents.

    All weapons do some AP damage so you can always guarantee that no matter who is fighting who some damage will always be done, though this may be very little.

    Health has been introduced as the system that damage affects, most units will have a similar amount of health (more for cavalry when mounted to show the hit points of horses) and armour will be a bigger factor in a unit’s survivability as that can block damage whereas health can only absorb so much.

    Melee defence is still a factor and is matched against melee attack to determine if a unit will hit and then see if it does damage.

    Shields in Rome II do not just provide a bonus to melee defence, they now can provide a bonus to both melee defence and armour when a soldier is attacked from the front or left. How much of a bonus is given to melee defence or armour is dependent on the shield a unit has in the database. So a hoplite shield will give a big bonus to armour but less to melee defence due to how it was held close to the body and could not be moved around lots, but a celtic shield will give a big bonus to melee defence showing how it was used much more actively.

    Charge bonus now affects both melee attack and damage to reflect the changes made to the combat system.

    All these changes allow for a lot more flexibility and more depth to be portrayed in the unit balancing and combat calculations. This system has more depth to it than any previous Total War games whilst keeping the rules simple so players can grasp what each stat means. All the complexity of the previous system has been retained with more added to it

    A brief note here on ranged combat. With the way we display arcs to show the range of missile units, dynamic height based range bonuses are basically impossible to do as it is entirely dependent on who the unit is targeting. Instead we have implemented a damage bonus for ranged units firing down on enemies, and a damage reduction for ranged units firing up on enemies. This allows us to have an advantage for ranged units on high ground without massively complicated code for dynamic firing arcs with very few benefits.

    The new combat rules also have one v many combat coded into them. The animations may look 1v1, but under the hood every available additional attacker is factored in and will result in a person surrounded by enemies dying a lot faster.

    Morale Changes


    There have been less code changes to the morale system, the big one being a smoothing mechanism to soften some of the big jumps between different morale values that can be caused by balancing. This, when combined with units being in the wavering state for longer will allow players more time to react to units in trouble and to try and boost their morale.

    The morale values themselves have had a lot of changes, for example the morale penalty from being under missile fire is much greater in Rome II to emphasise the harassment nature of missile units and allow those ranged units to be less focused on just killing opponents and so offer a wider array of tactical uses. The morale effects for lost casualties and flanking have also ben tweaked to help make the cause and effect of player actions more clear in the battlefield and put more emphasis on good movement and positioning.

    Unit Stat Scales

    As some people noticed in the Teutoberg trailer, the stats for units are a lot bigger now. This is because we are using a wider range of stats for units in Rome II. For example in Shogun 2 morale may have gone from 4 to 15 for most units (excluding heroes). In Rome II it can go from 10 to 75.

    This greater range allows us much more granularity in the bonuses we give from experience and in the campaign and also a greater range to differentiate units over.

    Additionally, I should point out that the Teutoberg video certainly showed barbarian units breaking earlier and Roman units surviving longer than they will do in the final game. We tweaked this for the video so that the guy demoing it could actually get through the battle to the end without dying horribly halfway through. It can be hilarious when that happens for the fifth time in a row, but maybe not so much when we are trying to record a video to show you….

    Below are images of some of the Greek shield patterns.





    I hope you have enjoyed todays update,
    Jack
    Senior Designer

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.

  17. #17
    Jack Lusted's Avatar Creative Assembly
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    Default Re: Exclusive Content and Dev chat for Total War Center

    Hi all,

    For today’s update I will be going into more depth on two areas of the campaign map gameplay. Provinces and regions and how armies and generals work.

    Provinces and regions

    For Rome II we wanted to make an epic scale campaign map, and as part of that we wanted to have more regions than any previous Total War game. Rome II has 183 land regions, the most of any Total War game and almost double the original. To accommodate this we have overhauled how regions work, and also introduced provinces.

    A region is a single settlement and the area around it. You can construct buildings, raise armies, recruit agents and manage happiness and taxes for each one. The old resource buildings that existed outside of settlements in Empire, Napoleon and Shogun 2 no longer exist, those resources are now part of settlements.

    Provinces are groupings of between 2 and 4 regions. The regions in a province can be owned by individual factions, and can be taken as normal. If you own the whole province then you can pass edicts which provide various bonuses for the province. All the construction options for a province can be managed from a single screen and happiness is also on a province level for a faction. So if you own a province of 3 regions and it has unhappiness problems, the lowest happiness region will rebel but it will be based on the happiness of the province as a whole.

    One settlement in each province is the province capital. This has more building slots and has a city siege map when assaulted. The other settlements are minor settlements, their core building reflecting the region speciality and providing bonuses based on that. When a minor settlement is attacked, a normal land battle takes place with the settlement off in the distance.

    Both province capitals and minor settlements have garrisons that will defend them if they are attacked.

    We’ve made the change that not all settlements provide siege battles due to the sheer number of regions, as we don’t want the game turning into a siege fest. Even in Shogun 2, with its geography that is very good at making battles happen away from settlements, the majority of battles were sieges. With the more open geography of Europe we wanted to make sure that players don’t end up fighting endless siege battles. We also want the siege battles you do fight to be bigger and better than ever before, so making them less frequent but more interesting helps make that happen.

    Armies and generals

    First things first, you cannot have an army without a general and there is a limit to the number of armies you can have at any one time. This limit is tied into how much power a faction has, this works similar to the fame system in Shogun 2.
    This limit is being put in place for a variety of reasons. A big one is to make battles more decisive, by having the number of armies limited losing one is a much bigger deal and means, much as you would expect, that a single battle can have a large impact on a war. The introduction of army traditions also makes them more valuable as each can be made unique and having a limit makes each army more precious. It also adds more choices in how you use them, as you must balance how many armies you have attacking and defending to provide enough protection to your nation as well as being able to go on the offensive, and changing that balance depending on the situation at any given moment in a campaign.

    You raise an army from a settlement, and then you have to appoint a general to lead it. You then recruit units to it by selecting the army. When recruiting your army will enter muster mode and it cannot move in this stance.

    As mentioned in the most recent Rally Point, your army can be named and you can change its emblem. It can also gain traditions as it fights and gets experience.

    Generals still have skills and traits. New skills can be chosen as a General gains experience. Traits are given based on what a General does.

    As there are no longer resource slots outside of settlements, armies now have a raid stance. This reduces their upkeep. If they are in enemy territory it also gives some money as income, if it is done in friendly territory it additionally causes unhappiness.

    Because the number of armies is limited and the automatic garrisons can only protect against so much, the new forced march stance is a great way to move around the campaign map quickly. It gives a large bonus to movement distance, but the army cannot attack that turn and if it is attacked the units in it will suffer a morale penalty.

    If an army loses its General a new one can be appointed straight away.


    I hope this update answers some of your questions about the campaign, and explains how a lot of the new campaign map features tie into each other to provide a very different and better gameplay experience compared to any previous Total War game.
    Cheers,
    Jack
    Senior Designer

    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.

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