Finally Forumites, after hounding CA about it since SF they have given the official TW forum exclusive content to the upcoming Rome 2 in some Q&A goodness. These questions were combed through from the official forums here so don't be surprised if you see your thread question in here. They couldn't answer everything, but that is the nature of asking questions while the game is still in development and features are fluid.
Without further ado, I present the TW Forums Q&A theater:
How far east does the Campaign Map go?
Will there be Mini-Campaigns beside the Grand Campaign like in Napoleon Total War?Quite far! More to come on that soon, we hope J
We heard that each playable Faction will have their own unique Tech Tree based on their culture. Could you please tell us more about these Tech Trees?We’re focusing on delivering a single, epic campaign – so all of our energy is going into that right now. It’s something that’ll consume hours of your life – it’s all about the core Total War experience. I wouldn’t rule out mini-campaigns in the future, but it would depend on what people want. Right now people tell us they want big Total War experiences.
Which famous historical characters will have the ability to appear in the game as Generals, Agents, or as other NPCS?Yeah, like you said, each culture will have its own Tech Tree variant. We’re keen for a faction in Rome II to mean something significant, so each faction will play differently – they’ll fight differently, they’ll have different personalities and they’ll also have a different technological approach on the campaign map. It’s all about adding variety and building replayability into the game.
What improvements are being made to diplomacy?There will be a few, let’s put it that way! We always try to get big figures from history into our games in some way – they help set the scene, and it’s always cool when you rout one of them and rewrite history.
Will multi-core programming be properly implemented?Bigger, better and more in-depth. We’ll reveal more on this soon – keep your eyes peeled.
There supposedly is three stances that armies can be put into that give various effects. Could you elaborate more on these effects? Also we know that Each Stance affects the armies ability to move on the campaign map? Do armies move farther than in previous Total War games with the turns being equivalent to one year?We’ve been building on the engine since Empire’s release, and every iteration in the series brings with it a host of optimization improvements. We’re getting to the stage of development where we’re really digging into those fundamentals now – keep an eye out for the min and recommended specs closer to release.
Will the replenishment system will be like NTW/TWS2 or will it be like ETW?Armies and fleets, at the outset, will not be moving ridiculously far. As settlements and their interconnecting roads develop, and technologies and skills which facilitate movement and logistics are invested in, this base movement range will increase.
Furthermore, armies and fleets can be put into either the “Forced March” (armies) or “Double Time” (fleets) stances, which doubles their movement range but at cost of not being able to initiate battles (reinforcement is still possible), being more vulnerable to ambushes, and with some morale debuffs in the event that they are attacked.
In addition to Forced March, armies can attempt to lay an ambush/surprise attack on any piece of navigable terrain via the “Ambush” stance. The success of an ambush attack depends on the nature of the terrain in which an attempt is being made (ambushing in open terrain is obviously more difficult than in an alpine forest) and on any skills and traditions in play on that army.
Both armies and fleets can raid, which halves their movement range but also halves their upkeep as they forage and secures a little extra funds from nearby trade routes and settlements, albeit with diplomatic penalties with the local region’s owner or – if raiding within one’s own territory – public order penalties.
Finally, armies can fortify and fleets can patrol, greatly extending their reinforcement ranges and granting them a number of defensive bonuses. For armies, this also includes providing a number of defensive deployables which may otherwise only be available to forces or commanders which have invested in certain skills, and in the case of Rome this provides the fortified army with a small encampment to defend.
There are three families for a couple factions. What are the inter faction dynamics like for other factions?Nap/S2. Fleets can replenish on see, as armies on land. The amount based on the ownership of the sea region. When it’s contested you can replenish only in your ports.
How does enslaving a population work?Player ‘family’, ie the ruling power and their supporters (the king, chief, etc.) vs. the rest, ie the council, the court, other nobles and people of ambition.
Note that Rome and Carthage also have a ‘senate’ party in addition to the families.
While in Rome or Carthage the struggle is between families for the leadership (and to establish a monarchic state), for other factions the goal is to maintain the authority and control over the faction. If you stop being the most powerful others will challenge your family and eventually usurp in a civil war to replace you as high king, chieftain, etc.
Are taxes set per Provence or on Empire level?Following battles, you have the choice of enslaving captives. Following settlement battles, depending on whether you occupy peacefully, loot, raze, etc. you will also enslave a portion of the captives and populace.
These slaves are distributed throughout your faction, increasing the number of slaves in every province you hold and therefore improving the economy, but also increasing slave unrest which – if left unchecked – may lead to servile uprisings. There is an optimal level of slaves where the economic benefit is the highest and the public order cost is still relatively easy to cope with.
Slaves diminish over time, so enslaving captives is essential if the economy is to run optimally. Note that although a populace may be enslaved following conquest, there is no explicit concept of population this time around.
Is Plunder when a town/city is conquered done automatically or can you assign levels of despoiling?Faction-level. As ever, the player may exempt provinces from tax, and once an entire province is owned the player can issue a tax/tribute farming edict which will increase the amount of tax income received as long as it is in play, albeit while reducing local public order.
You can loot, as in Napoleon and S2, but you can additionally raze a settlement, quickly doing away with buildings in preparation for your reconstruction.
Barbarians can additionally sack a settlement, which is effectively loot and move on, meaning that they needn’t burden themselves with governing troublesome regions when all they are after is wealth and glory.