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Thread: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

  1. #1
    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    I've been playing Total War titles since a Shogun demo-CD (Remember those?) arrived in my mail back in 1999.
    And since 2009, I've considered TWCenter to be the HUB of all English language TW networking and modding.

    But this week I bought 3K, and came directly over to TWCenter, anticipating the usual trove of community resources that 1/2 a year should result.

    But TWC 3K forums seems like a ghost town!

    What's different?
    Is this a matter of the title's "un-modability"?
    Has Valve/Steam Workshop made TWC redundant?
    Is this just a reflection of the title's popularity with English speaking fans?
    Am I looking in the wrong place or incorrectly?

    PLEASE, no pointless remarks about bigotry or prejudice.
    If there are REAL articles discussing East/West market trends worth pointing to, please use the names of the journalists or authors, and use quotes.
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Live2sculpt View Post
    Is this just a reflection of the title's popularity with English speaking fans?
    I think this is a valid question and personally I stop playing newer TW games after R2TW, except for trying a few hours in ToB.

    But that's about how much I play the newer game titles since I rather stick with older game titles e.g MTW, RTW, ETW, NTW. Note, I don't play STW, M2TW anymore, but I have play them and that was years ago.
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  3. #3
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    I think the issue originates from a combination of all these factors you mention. Firstly, because of Steam and the rise of social media, the forum landscape has changed dramatically. Younger players prefer a different, more fluid format, where replies are quick and easy, while modding is now largely dominated by smaller modifications and not by large overhauls, like what happened in Medieval II or Rome I. In what concerns Three Kingdoms specifically, the crux of the matter is that mods are not only few, but are also mainly produced by East Asian newcomers, who are not very familiar with the older hosting platforms. Three Kingdoms initially enjoyed a huge commercial success, but then lost its momentum in an unprecedented scale, despite the overall positive reviews.

    The situation has somewhat improved in January, thanks to the release of the Mandate of Heaven DLC, but given the limited scope of the pack, as well as the fact that it's riddled with bugs and glitches, I doubt that the reversal of the downward trend will be anything but temporary. In my opinion, the problem lies with the extreme lack of content, Three Kingdoms suffers from. Some of it is the inevitable result of the chosen scenario, but the business policies of Creative Assembly also bare some responsibility. Huge portions of the map are either empty or cut out (like Korea, Vietnam and probably Mongolia, as well), in order to be added lately as DLCs. Meanwhile, naval warfare was also removed, while visuals are quite repetitive (e.g. general portraits), despite the fact that the product was fully-priced. As a consequence of those shady practices, many customers, in spite of their initial excitement, grew bored of it and were not willing to try a second or third campaign, playing as an almost identical faction and fighting against largely similar enemies. All this probably explains why the fandom of Three Kingdoms has decreased so significantly, although the game was never a broken mess, like Empire and Rome II.

    Therefore, if we take into consideration the appeal of Steam and Reddit, as well as the decline of modding overhauls and the fact that most newcomers that were attracted to the franchise by the lore of Warhammer and the appeal of Dynasty Warriors, are not accustomed to TWC, it's not difficult to imagine why the forum has become quieter. I would be very interested in sharing any statistics about the demographics of Total War, but, apart from the charts I cited above, I cannot find a more coherent and informative material.

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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Abduls stats are on point, people just aren't that interested in 3k anymore especially the ones most likely to create English content mods. The added issue is from CA changing locations of things for no apparent reason, it would help if they created some sort of visual guide for modders.


    Theres also a disturbing trend on platforms like steam toward viewing other modders as competition for your patreon money. Hopefully that dies off. However steams ease of integration makes it perfect for small mods.

    The largest downfall of steam by far is the inability to figure out if a highly rated mod is not compatible any longer with your current version and the single threaded nature of mod discussions. Those are my complaints but the ease of installation for the user seems to reign supreme.


    Large overhauls, free help or resources shared without cost are less likely to happen now due to patreon and money being involved in such a normalized way. Hobbyists can't be expected to behave professionally around such a thing and it leads to a breakdown of trust and mutual help. This means larger mods are much less likely not just because the map can't be changed but because everyone wants their own pie now.


    Basically with many newer modders who don't use TWC the view seems to be "If I share what I know, everyone else knows and can make competing mods".
    Last edited by z3n; January 30, 2020 at 08:52 AM.
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    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Wow! That numbers drop is precipitous.
    The Total War franchise has persevered these past two decades largely thanks to the slow burn of past titles continuing to be modded and replayed.
    If their current business model is to abandon that, it might bite CA in the ass, and cause the franchise to be dropped.

    I also hadn't realized it could be an age demographics issue as well.
    I'm experiencing a gulf between my social media communication and younger generations. But I had always considered this older form of verbose communication to be a critical part of mod development. The short burst communication the "kids" prefer seems ill suited for collaboration or community building.

    I also only just noticed the Patreon asks on some Steam mod pages for the first time. Somehow I got the idea that that wasn't allowed, but I guess I was wrong. The Medieval Kingdoms dev team schism left me with the impression that money solicitation remained a taboo. But in hindsight I guess that was an example of changing trends.

    If money really IS becoming a serious thing for the modding community over, good work will find a way. But larger mods will be run almost as small studio businesses, with all contributing as paid talent. Could get ugly very fast, with the promised values of contracts and invoices under constant threat from the variables of game developer updates, hosting bans, international bank transfers, payment insurances, and other revenue interrupting occurrences, that can happen suddenly and without legal remedy.

    I guess it's just the apparent suddenness of this change that has surprised me.
    Attila saw a healthy amount of modding support here, and I just wasn't paying attention to any trends that might have plagued Warhammer or Britannia.
    Last edited by Live2sculpt; January 30, 2020 at 12:56 PM.

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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Basically with many newer modders who don't use TWC the view seems to be "If I share what I know, everyone else knows and can make competing mods".
    This remineded me of one good story explaining the problems of the Arab armies:

    "On one occasion, an American mobile training team working with armor in Egypt at long last received the operators' manuals that had laboriously been translated into Arabic. The American trainers took the newly-minted manuals straight to the tank park and distributed them to the tank crews. Right behind them, the company commander, a graduate of the armor school at Fort Knox and specialized courses at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordnance school, collected the manuals from the crews. Questioned why he did this, the commander said that there was no point in giving them to the drivers because enlisted men could not read. In point of fact, he did not want enlisted men to have an independent source of knowledge. Being the only person who can explain the fire control instrumentation or boresight artillery weapons brings prestige and attention."

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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Live2sculpt View Post
    Wow! That numbers drop is precipitous.
    The Total War franchise has persevered these past two decades largely thanks to the slow burn of past titles continuing to be modded and replayed.
    If their current business model is to abandon that, it might bite CA in the ass, and cause the franchise to be dropped.

    I also hadn't realized it could be an age demographics issue as well.
    I'm experiencing a gulf between my social media communication and younger generations. But I had always considered this older form of verbose communication to be a critical part of mod development. The short burst communication the "kids" prefer seems ill suited for collaboration or community building.

    I also only just noticed the Patreon asks on some Steam mod pages for the first time. Somehow I got the idea that that wasn't allowed, but I guess I was wrong. The Medieval Kingdoms dev team schism left me with the impression that money solicitation remained a taboo. But in hindsight I guess that was an example of changing trends.

    If money really IS becoming a serious thing for the modding community over, good work will find a way. But larger mods will be run almost as small studio businesses, with all contributing as paid talent. Could get ugly very fast, with the promised values of contracts and invoices under constant threat from the variables of game developer updates, hosting bans, and other revenue interrupting occurrences.

    I guess it's just the apparent suddenness of this change that has surprised me.
    Attila saw a healthy amount of modding support here, and I just wasn't paying attention to any trends that might have plagued Warhammer or Britannia.
    Speaking from experience, long term and large scale, the only sustainable and organized way to conduct modding is via a forum. I suppose a lot of the younger modders are in fact *younger*, and aren't familiar with this concept and problem.

    There would simply be no way for EB2 without the use of the forum we had, so many concepts from years gone by would have been lost in the wind without it. Discord only takes you so far, just as MSN or IRC did. Ah well.
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    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    There would simply be no way for EB2 without the use of the forum we had, so many concepts from years gone by would have been lost in the wind without it. Discord only takes you so far, just as MSN or IRC did. Ah well.
    I wouldn't put it past a team to make good use of Discord to make a mod. It offers many tools. My wife was part of a website dev team for a year or so, and Discord proved invaluable to them for being coordinated. It's all in how you use it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    I think the 'heroes in battles' format doesn't appeal very well here too. I mean, at least for me, when i see a Warhammer and/or Chinese general full of arrows killing thousand of enemies in single hits i just cringe. Would be a lot better to have many specialized roles in battle field, formations, more immersion, I dont know, seems like we backtracked.

  10. #10

    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    There's another aspect that bears discussion, one that sometimes gets acknowledged. That of course being that a very large portion of this game's fanbase is in Asia.

    Abdul showed off the steam chart for 3K, but it's also worth putting that chart alongside the other main TW games on steam, specifically Rome 2 and Warhammer 2: https://steamcharts.com/cmp/779340,594570,214950

    If you put the time scale to 7 days, you can see that the peaks and troughs of activity are almost completely the opposite between R2/WH2 and 3K. So at the moment, while 3K's 24 hour peak is a very strong 25,000 (in thanks to the new DLC), only behind the gargantuan Warhammer 2 at 30,000, it's current players will dip to around Rome 2's 9,000-ish when most of Asia is on its off hours.

    So what does this have to do with a modding forum? Well, most of the really big mods for 3K right now are Asian, specifically Korean or Chinese. Most of the big overhaul/character expansion mods like Make Them Unique, Wu Kingdaissance, Unify After Long Divide, Hooveric, TROM, CUI, and a bunch of others who aren't translated that are all originally either Korean or Chinese. This matters because most of those modders aren't really on older, English-language forums like this one. They all usually have discord channels, Steam forums, or use forums in their own languages like Teiba. That means that the players from those demographics also don't have reasons to come to TWCenter, since all their favorite mods are in other corners of the internet, which in turn means that even people who come to TWC for other TW titles might not necessarily go here for 3K discussion, you go to other Total War areas that have more of the 3K players, like Reddit, Steam, and Discord.
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    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrimoTw View Post
    I think the 'heroes in battles' format doesn't appeal very well here too. I mean, at least for me, when i see a Warhammer and/or Chinese general full of arrows killing thousand of enemies in single hits i just cringe. Would be a lot better to have many specialized roles in battle field, formations, more immersion, I don't know, seems like we backtracked.
    Well, the Records mode offered does nod to our preferred historical approach.
    The popularity of the Warhammer product probably influenced those design choices too. And IN THAT, we at TWC might just have OURSELVES to blame.
    Because it just might have been our community's years long interest in Warhammer and LOTR mods, complete with magical effects, that gave CA designers the notion that expanding into the fantastical would be a viable market move.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    ....This matters because most of those modders aren't really on older, English-language forums like this one. They all usually have discord channels, Steam forums, or use forums in their own languages like Teiba. That means that the players from those demographics also don't have reasons to come to TWCenter, since all their favorite mods are in other corners of the internet, which in turn means that even people who come to TWC for other TW titles might not necessarily go here for 3K discussion, you go to other Total War areas that have more of the 3K players, like Reddit, Steam, and Discord.
    I wonder whether the upcoming Saga: Troy title might bridge that gap here at TWC (just a little bit), or if that too will primarily attract western consumers.
    It's expected to have legendary and magical effects, and some personality oriented play, much like 3K. Could be attractive enough for the new generation of players to draw in some of the new Asian modders. It's not as though Asian people don't have their own particular fascinations with western culture after all. Perhaps ancient Greek legends is among them. (?)

    (Cheers, Abdulmecid I)
    Last edited by Live2sculpt; February 01, 2020 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Merged.

  12. #12
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    I'm not very optimistic about Troy's ability to reverse the trend. The first and last Saga game was a failure, but, even if Creative Assembly is more careful this time, projects like this are of intrinsically limited scope and ambitions. They will only temporarily captivate public interest, before getting overshadowed by the next tent-pole title. In my opinion, they serve mostly secondary roles, as the fact that the studio of Sofia has taken charge of the franchise indicates. I'm not implying that the Bulgarian staff is less professional, but given the lower salaries (tiniest minimum wage in the European Union) and generally small expenses in the country, it is clear that CA is determined not to surpass the most budget it dedicates to the Saga titles.

    The main objective of Throb was probably to appease the historical fans, after the unintentional debacle that followed the teaser for the Warhammer announcement II trailer (notice the like/dislike ratio of the video and the first comments below). Troy will probably function as a testing ground for a future game centered around mythology and planned to be released, after the DLC packs for Warhammer III and Three Kingdoms have been exhausted. The crux of the matter is that the demographics of the active Total War community evolve together with the changing nature of the games. CA was obliged to add the Record mode in Three Kingdoms, after many fans protested against supernaturally strong heroes and essentially magical abilities. However, it turned out that the vast majority of the fandom preferred the Romance mode, which is probably why CA didn't even bother to appease the "history enthusiasts" by offering a more realistic option for general abilities in Troy.

    This is a trend I had noticed before as well, before the fantasy universe of Warhammer dominated the Total War market. For instance, how many players, after passing hundreds of hours in Empire, Napoleon and Shogun II, were willing to tolerate the old replenishment and diplomatic systems of Medieval II and Rome I, despite them being arguably much more strategic and accurate, at least in the context of pre-modern history? Not many I reckon and the numbers become gradually fewer as time goes on. Therefore, I'm a bit pessimist about the chances of the Total War franchise returning to its old roots and, frankly, there's no reason for such a policy, given the great profits Warhammer and co. have generated for the coffers of SEGA and subsidiaries.

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    Leonardo's Avatar Reborn Old Timer
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    For instance, how many players, after passing hundreds of hours in Empire, Napoleon and Shogun II, were willing to tolerate the old replenishment and diplomatic systems of Medieval II and Rome I, despite them being arguably much more strategic and accurate, at least in the context of pre-modern history? Not many I reckon and the numbers become gradually fewer as time goes on.
    I would accept the old system and I have spent thousands of hours, maybe +10K hours in total, playing all three games over the years.

    Which is why I still came back to RTW, ETW, NTW just to start a new campaign. As for S2TW I couldn't get myself into the game, so after only 5 hours I lost interest of learning how the game works.


    Although, I admit I haven't played ETW and NTW for a while now, but soon I will when I get more restless over time of not playing them.
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  14. #14
    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonardo View Post
    Although, I admit I haven't played ETW and NTW for a while now, but soon I will when I get more restless over time of not playing them.
    Ha! I'd STILL be playing NTW if I could have sufficiently expanded the battle sizes with modding. But the NTW engine seems firmly capped at 20,000 troops, and I've become too excited about real historical numbers to feel satisfied with such puny engagements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    ...The crux of the matter is that the demographics of the active Total War community evolve together with the changing nature of the games. CA was obliged to add the Record mode in Three Kingdoms, after many fans protested against supernaturally strong heroes and essentially magical abilities. However, it turned out that the vast majority of the fandom preferred the Romance mode, which is probably why CA didn't even bother to appease the "history enthusiasts" by offering a more realistic option for general abilities in Troy.
    That trend in itself doesn't trouble me, as long as there is enough material for the modding community to work with.

    It's whether there will continue to be that robust modding community to "fix" such issues in the future, that bothers me.

    As you noted 3K HAS enjoyed some modding from Asian volunteers, some of it with pro-realistic/historical leanings. But much more of it seems fixated on preserving the demi-god relationships of the personalities and replicating the 3K stories beat for beat.

    I guess only time will tell whether what has been nurtured here for the past 15 years will continue, or whether the further success of the franchise could carry on if it faded away.
    Last edited by Live2sculpt; February 01, 2020 at 07:27 PM. Reason: merged

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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Actually, I think CA has decided to give it a try, expanding its market towards China, where 3K is being an huge success. Most of us, in the west, barely know about China's history, even though I think many people here had already watch the movie "3 Cliffs", or heard about it, right?
    I agree with those who said that doesn't make much sense a single guy beat up hundreds or even thousands of units in a single battle, but I guess it's all part of the romance involved with the three kingdoms experience, and I bet the Troy will follow the exact same path, since Troy's history is full of heroes and villains.
    The same thing happens to Warhammer's trilogy (for what I heard, there's a third game about to be released, but without any date announced). Warhammer just went out of the typical way we all saw Total War, it's totally different from the way I see Total War. Even if there's many players enjoying the game, there's too many others, that are totally not interested on it, or in my case, I play Warhammer but I consider it below the historical ones.
    Another thing that might cause people to be away from Total War Center is the lack of modding tools, for example, the possibility to completely make a new map for a mod, like it was possible years ago. If you didn't notice, the newer titles are less moddable, and by every release, the mods don't change the game the way they did for example in Medieval II. Rome II and Attila, in my opinion were the last ones to have the best mods and support. And I consider the mods have always given life to Total War games, just think about Rome Total War and Medieval II, old games, but still having mods updated and/ or being released.
    All of that, offered a vast number of things to play, to do and to speak between us-


    Sorry for my english, it's a bit rusty, there's been awhile I don't speak it and it's not my native language.

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    Last edited by Hannibal_Scipius; February 11, 2020 at 09:14 AM.





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  16. #16
    CommodusIV's Avatar Teutonic Coronavirus
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    While a very different base is certainly part of the problem, I'd like to highlight how far the modern trend has moved on from TWC, both in 'modern' terms of the series community having other 'trendy' platforms to pick on for new games and in how the very priorities of the series have been steadily drifting. I would further speculate that the condition will increase as time goes on if both streams continue unchanged, even if they released the mythical half-life of total war, Medieval 3.

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    Live2sculpt's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    While a very different base is certainly part of the problem, I'd like to highlight how far the modern trend has moved on from TWC, both in 'modern' terms of the series community having other 'trendy' platforms to pick on for new games and in how the very priorities of the series have been steadily drifting. I would further speculate that the condition will increase as time goes on if both streams continue unchanged, even if they released the mythical half-life of total war, Medieval 3.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Time to learn Mandarin so I can find all the good overhaul mods on Chinese basket weaving forums

  19. #19
    kambiz's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    Newer games also less accessable to people that can't afford them !




  20. #20
    legate's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: SURPRISED; WHY is 3K forums so DEAD relative to other TW titles?

    3K is a good game. However the battles feel a bit arcadey with troops flying through the air and just falling over. The campaign is good but again bits of it feel cartoonish/arcady. Its a good title but I feel that they could have captured the atmosphere a bit better.

    Anyone know of good realism mods for 3K?


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