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Thread: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

  1. #1
    StealthFox's Avatar Consensus Achieved
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    Default Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit




    Overview of the Modding Summit
    Click for story!
    Rome 2's Mod Summit took place in Horsham, England at the Creative Assembly HQ. This year a total of 8 of Total War Center's own modders were invited: Kinjo, Mitch, Radious, Mackles, Noif, Spartan Warrior, Wangrin, and Lionheart.

    On the CA side of the table was Craig, Joey, Nico, Trish, Jack Lusted, Guy, and Will. As some might know, Jack Lusted was one of TWC's own modders, before CA hired him to work for them.


    From the back row, right to left: Spartan.Warrior, Wangrin, Mitch, Noif, Radious, Guy CA, Kinjo, Mackles
    Middle: Joey CA
    Front row, right to left: Lionheart, CraigTW, Nico CA, Trish CA

    A variety of topics were discussed in relation to modding, and modding support, for CA's latest title Rome 2. The current Assembly Kit is quite powerful, and capable of modifying quite a bit of the game as it is, but TWC's modders stressed an issue with its lack of proper documentation – even if the Kit can help make overhaul mods of great detail like Medieval 2's “Third Age Total War,” the evolution of the series from text files to a modern gaming engine that requires a specialized set of tools, has left many modders doubtful.


    CA is aware of the lack of documentation regarding the Assembly Kit and will look into providing documentation to allow more modders to be able to mod the game without the fear of trial and error to make things work. The modders at the summit were, in fact, treated to a tutorial by the CA staff present.


    Another hot topic of disappointment in Rome 2's modding scene was the new file format used for music, .wem. The new format is stated to have a better compression, allowing the music to be kept to a smaller size while still retaining quality, and having a higher 3D sound. However, the new music file requires a $100,000 license to modify – a pricetag far too high for modders to even consider. While CA is not the only company to use the .wem format, they were going to look into talking to the creators of the format to see if they could allow the free version of the software to be used to modify the sounds of Rome 2.


    TEd was a battlefield map editor released for Shogun 2, which allowed for modders to create and edit the battle maps used in the game. When modders asked about a TEd2 for Rome 2, they tried to stress the importance of the software to create custom tile locations. This time around, CA is unsure if devoting time to creating a TEd2 would be worth it, as there was not as much widespread use of TEd for Shogun 2 for them to believe it was a highly sought after tool.


    While a number of subjects were taken into consideration for CA, a number were also equally turned down.


    New diplomatic options, or previous ones from earlier Total War titles running on the Warscape engine, will not be possible to be modded in. While there are remnants of Empire Total War's diplomatic coding in Rome 2's, even if modders could find a way to reactivate them, the AI is not programmed to recognize or use these unused bits of coding.


    Some hardcoded features – such as the general being required to lead armies, torches being present as an option in siege battles, or allowing minor settlements to have walls – were also discussed, and are too intrinsic to the game's design to be modded.


    All in all, the modders were quite pleased with the Summit and have assured the community that CA is still strongly supporting the modding community here at TWC and for all modders in general. Besides all the business of modding, the modders and CA had a bit of fun as well, and the relationship between the two groups is still strong.


    However, reaction to the Summit in the general community is largely divided. While some share the optimism of the modder's regarding Rome 2's future, an equally large number have labeled the entire Summit little more then a PR stunt, meant to restore faith in CA's image with the community.


    They cite that the summit largely consisted of “maybe” and “no” answers, with very few definitive “yes” answers in regards to many questions. The inability of CA to give a solid “yes” on many things, is seen as a sign that CA is unable to commit to any obligation, and can quietly sweep it under the rug if it turns out to not be possible.


    The issue regarding .wem sound files has also been attacked, as other games using it have allowed the files to be modded using the free version of the software, and do not believe any copyright issue exists between CA and AudioKinetic.


    Unpopular hardcoded features – such as the torches, naval transports, major and minor settlement limitations, the general system, or political system to name a few – also being said to be unmoddable, due to their intrinsic nature to the overall game design, have also been met with much negativity from many community members. Many view these features as fundamentally broken, or flawed, systems and were hoping modders could either improve them, or remove them entirely, in an effort to fix the issues surrounding them. Seeing as this is not a possibility, they believe that no amount of modding will matter, as these fundamentally broken features cannot be modded.



    While the Mod Summit may not be widely praised this year, TWC's modders who attended have stressed patience with CA. They did not go into this Summit expecting a miracle, or to suddenly have tools fall into their laps. It will take time following the Summit for CA to work on delivering what they can to the community, and there is no rushing this.

    Written by: ​krisslanza




    Last edited by StealthFox; March 26, 2014 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    AngryTitusPullo's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    There's 10 people in the picture (backrow) but only 8 names are given.


    From the back row, right to left: Spartan.Warrior, Wangrin, Mitch, Noif, Radious, Guy CA, Kinjo, Mackles
    Middle: Joey CA
    Front row, right to left: Lionheart, CraigTW, Nico CA, Trish CA


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    Makrell's Avatar The first of all fish
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    i do love will from CA

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    Audacia's Avatar Give Life Back to Music
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Thanks to StealthFox for helping me finally get this out! We at the Eagle Standard are excited to have krisslanza on board, and we look forward to hearing more from him in the future. Stay tuned for more articles from the Eagle Standard shortly!

    Under the patronage of Inkie Pie: Text Editor for The Great War
    Roma Surrectum II





  5. #5

    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Interesting article, thats about the first time the negativity of the community and the reasoning behind it is not completely mocked, I feel it is even sanctionned by logic and background informations, which is a very good point.


    About the "officially unmoddable" features, I'm sure if we fast-forward 1 year, modders will have unlocked those flawed mechanics and replaced with their own. Most of the time we got told "you cant touch this", it was only a matter of how hard the modders are ready to look for the solution. A bit like cracking a game. But if they stay unmodded, it will be indeed a very bad point for modders overall, since those key elements are the central points of criticism about the vanilla game...



    Quote Originally Posted by Audacia View Post
    We at the Eagle Standard are excited to have krisslanza on board, and we look forward to hearing more from him in the future. Stay tuned for more articles from the Eagle Standard shortly!
    Am I reading what I am reading? Krisslanza in a position of spokeman/journalist about TW?
    Can anyone join the Eagle Standard or must we be fan of the vanilla game?
    Cant wait to hear more in the future too, this will be "interesting", I hope we will be allowed to react.

    More articles please
    Last edited by Butan; March 26, 2014 at 08:56 AM.

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    StealthFox's Avatar Consensus Achieved
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Quote Originally Posted by Butan View Post
    Can anyone join the Eagle Standard or must we be fan of the vanilla game?
    Anybody can apply to join. If you can write reasonably well and you're passionate about Total War, there's a very good chance we can find a spot for you. If you interested, send both me and Audacia a PM.

  7. #7
    Clagius's Avatar neighborhood snork
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Apply for Eagle Standard, glory awaits!


  8. #8

    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Very well done. Good read. Hope to see more on Rome 2.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Great, informative, well balanced article - cheers krisslanza!

  10. #10
    Ultra123's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Krisslanza, now don't shoot me for this, but i really did not expect this from you at all. Your opinions on the R2 general forums have been heavily biased against mods and much criticism against Rome 2. However i am overjoyed by your portrayal of this article. I do not sense any sort of bias in your writing, and found it very informative and well written.

    Thank you Krisslanza.

  11. #11
    baptistus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    "Unpopular hardcoded features"
    krisslanza defends ALL of these features, days after days after days on the forum. And he defends that only some few whiners don't like this "great" features.
    And now he talks about "unpopular hardcoded features" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by StealthFox View Post
    Anybody can apply to join. If you can write reasonably well and you're passionate about Total War, there's a very good chance we can find a spot for you. If you interested, send both me and Audacia a PM.
    I don't think you understand why he said that. ^^
    Everybody on the Rome 2 forum knows how much krisslanza doesn't like mods. For him, mods are useless. He doesn't play any TW games with any mods. And he is notably know as a very big "fanboy".
    His report is far away from what he really think and from what he post everyday on the forum...

    It is a good report, not biased. But it doesn't sound guenuine at all.
    Last edited by baptistus; March 31, 2014 at 06:15 PM.

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    Dago Red's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Quote Originally Posted by baptistus View Post
    Everybody on the Rome 2 forum know how much krisslanza don't like mods. For him, mods are useless. He don't play with any mod. And he is notably know as a very big "fanboy".
    His report is far far far away from what he really think and from what he post everyday on the forum...

    so I admit it is a good report. But it doesn't sound guenuine at all.
    It is a curious thing to have the most vocal detractor of mods and this modding community appointed to write the mod summit summary. I admit my jaw fell off and I had to slap myself several times when someone pointed it out to me. There is however something to be said for the air of fair reportage that he gave this review. While I have yet to endorse or even remotely agree with a single post the writer has ever made on the forums, the article is fair enough and one must give some credit to a person who -- when pressed into service -- will set aside personal opinions long enough to compose a staff post!

  13. #13
    Durnaug's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    It seems Krisslanza is a master of synoptics. An impressive, albeit sobering read without the taint of sophistry.

  14. #14
    Clagius's Avatar neighborhood snork
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    Default Re: Eagle Standard, Volume XI Issue III, Overview of the Modding Summit

    Quote Originally Posted by baptistus View Post
    His report is far away from what he really think and from what he post everyday on the forum...

    It is a good report, not biased. But it doesn't sound guenuine at all.
    You know, it's possible to write from a neutral point of view and personal.


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