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Thread: Rome 2 Interface is uninformative and a downgrade on the near perfection of Shogun 2.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lieutenant
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Post Rome 2 Interface is uninformative and a downgrade on the near perfection of Shogun 2.

    [Edit] changed the diplomacy section a little to show that its not as bad as it first appeared. Also that i would like the ability to navigate the diplomacy map screen with the WASD keys as its would seem a perfect fit.

    [Edit]Added small section on usability and small information display improvements at the bottom. Like showing a Generals age when picking them, and who died, where did they die etc.

    In my opinion the Shogun 2 interface, menus and display of information is far superior to Rome 2's, that i have to wonder why CA decided to change it so much.

    I'm sure i've missed a lot, and its hard to describe without good screenshots, so if someone wants to make a better post or thead, then go for it.

    I have tried to be constructive in my criticism and so should you.

    First lets talk about the City management. I actually don't mind this change, especially as it needed to change due to the province system. I can see what buildings are in each settlement and i can see the culture, income, effects and public order easily too (though more detailed when moused over.

    For a more detailed look of the province though i do need to click another button.

    The building card art style i have actually gotten used to and kinda like. Though there was nothing wrong with Shoguns style either.

    First major problem:

    Characters :Generals, Spies, Champions and Dignitaries.

    In Shogun 2 i could right-click any character and it would open up a nice sized detail screen with my characters XP, traits, skills, and skill tree so i could plan out my characters progression.

    It also had all the characters effects in a easy read column.

    In Rome 2 i have to select the character then i have to click the details button to open up a small box with the characters XP, traits and skills.

    To find the skill tree you have to right-click the characters portrait (unless its a general) or click the ? button to be taken to the encyclopedia where the skill trees are hidden away, making planning out your character a pain compared to Shogun 2.

    The characters effects are then also only shown if you mouse over the effects part of their portrait in the bottom right of the screen.

    Characters are limited to 3 traits, if you gain a 4th either randomly or by promoting your General, that new trait replaces the first traits you got. This could be good if it removed a bad trait (-6 authority crazy trait) or bad if it removed something good.

    The household section is also bad. 1 choice and you can end up with a choice of over 30 household cards, many of which do the same thing and it can take an age to hover over and see the difference between them.

    Why they decided that this little box and harder to get to skill tree was a good idea I dont know.

    Technology Tree.

    While it isn't that bad, it is still crammed into that little box at the bottom of the screen. Its also not that easy to see what you have actually selected.

    Compare that to Shoguns tech tree which was almost full screen and you could easily see and plan out what you wanted.

    Finance and Trade screen.

    Again the put all the info you want into the tiny little box at the bottom middle of the screen. You cab barely see the grey trade icons on the grey background also.

    Again Shogun 2's Finance and Trade screen was far superior. Not only was it larger which meant less scrolling, it was easier to read.

    Diplomacy screen:

    You have a massive map area then again that little box appears where you have only 4 factions appear and you have to scroll like a madman through the rest of them.

    Once you decide to ignore the small area at the bottom and start clicking the faction icons on the map instead to select faction while hovering the mouse over them for diplomacy info, the whole diplomacy screen seems to work a whole lot better.

    Though an easier way to see who is trading with who on this diplomacy map (like Shogun had) would be a big plus too.
    Also of the scrolling area showed the factions religion like shoguns did would be an improvement too.

    A big improvement to navigating this screen would be the ability to move around the map with the WASD keys just like the campaign map.

    Unit recruitment i have no problem with other than the unit cards are too large and i miss the actual unit numbers (90/120) rather than the green health bar.

    Battle Screen:
    Oh boy.

    First already mentioned Unit card are too big. Especially when you have a large army and the cards are stacked on top of each other.

    The unit cards are too "busy". In the middle of the unit card you have the firing, being fired on, walking, running, melee indicators. Thing is the are too large and get in the way of actually distinguishing what the unit card represents.
    Shogun 2 imo had this spot on where the indicators where at the top just above the unit card and colour coded (red arrows for being fired upon etc).

    Also missing is the actual unit size numbers over the green health bar. I find it more informative to know the actual size of a unit left (90/120) instead of the vagueness of a half filled green bar.

    Unit info
    Bottom left of the battle screen it shows either a portrait of the unit captain (why?) or the unit card stats and info. At first this seems fine until you compare it to Shogun 2.

    In Shogun when you hovered your mouse over a unit card, its details popped up and then nicely disappeared when you moved you mouse off the unit card.
    In Rome 2 it just stays there taking valuable room.
    It would have been better to keep the Shogun style and move it above the minimap imo.

    The units and generals activated abilities are then on the bottom of the screen blending in with the formation/move buttons where in Shogun they appeared above the unit cards on the left in a far more easily viewed area.

    The lack of a move forward, back and rotate button was at first annoying, but i have gotten used to using control and the new hold down mouse button until the 4 way icons appears for the new drag-drop method.

    I dont know if the UI team changed from Shogun 2 or what, but something drastic happened and it wasnt good.

    CA This is just horrid, who thought it was a good idea to have large unit cards and its background take up this huge area of space:

    End of battle report screen.

    Now you have to mouse over the unit cards after the battle to see how many they killed etc. And i dont think you can see if they gained XP ?

    Whereas in Shogun 2 you had the lovely full screen report with columns showing the units kills, losses, XP etc.

    I know which one i prefer. Shogun 2 shows more information and really well displayed.

    Usability and small information display improvements:

    When a General/Admiral dies and a replacement is called........tell us who it was that died, what house they represented and show us where the army/navy is .....its REALLY annoying not knowing when picking a replacement.

    When characters get an expanded household and we have the option to REPLACE or SEND TO POOL, show us the current characters sheet so we can make a decision if we want to replace or not!

    Show the age of all Characters when recruiting/replacing.
    Last edited by Siven80; 10-04-2013 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Major-General Green Jacket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England


    Can i just add

    The lack of a move forward, back and rotate button was at first annoying, but i have gotten used to using control and the new drag-drop method.
    You mean the "old" drag-drop method :P
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Corporal
    Join Date
    Aug 2013


    very informative and great comparisons. i totally agree with your points.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lieutenant
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    It is so good to see I'm not the only person who abhors this interface. It's like they hired the idiots that did the Civ 5 interface and used none of the criticisms people had with it. So frustrating.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Captain Philip II's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013


    I agree the interface in shogun is a lot more artistic, fitting to the period and overall just looks nicer but I don't really have a big problem with the Rome II interface. Sure it could be nicer it's just not something that bothers me that much.

  6. #6
    Member Private peank's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    Totally agreed with this. Not just being artistic (Rome 2 actually is being artistic to conforming to the time period), but the information given and shown is a step back which is really too bad (just because the time period is going back, doesn't mean the UI needs to do the same).

    I posted this earlier, but I said the UI in Shogun 2 is far superior to Rome 2, in terms of giving and showing information. Battle screen and unit icons are also so much nicer (and more colorful) in Shogun 2.

    The other thing I'd like to add:
    Upon ending your turn, you got a pop up of things that you still have not done. What I miss from Shogun 2 is that whenever you finish your research, it will let you know via popups at the beginning of your turn so you can select the next technology (or it chooses for you automatically), however this is not the case in Rome 2. Besides the user-unfriendly interface, it did not let me know if I finished my research. Moreover, the benefit of the research is not simply presented in a more meaningful way.

  7. #7
    Member Private
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    Mar 2011


    Great thread. Feels like Rome 2 went for some kind of Minimalist design philosophy. The problem is Total War games are never supposed to be minimalist. We want depth, we want real combat, and we don't want to have to dig through a pretty but quite frankly horrribly UI just to get it.

  8. #8
    Member Lance Corporal
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    There is a move forward, back, side to side, and rotate command. The arrow keys do just that, along with control+arrows. Might want to check keybinds before assuming something doesn't exist.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sergeant Pr4vda's Avatar
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    Jan 2012


    Nice analysis. I agree with you on some points (characters and technology trees) but on others no (battle IU and Diplomacy).

    Diplomacy : Shogun's one is good ofc and clear. But Rome 2 has 175 factions and is maybe 4-5 times bigger than Shogun's map ... But I'd like to see culture (as religion in Shogun) near the name of the faction, and some kind of improvements.

    Battle IU : well, it need some improvements too (guard mod and some other things like that), but I don't see why you say this is thaaat bad.
    Team Dawis

    Dawis shall purge all their fallen Karaks, with the blood of the Greeskins and the skavens !

  10. #10
    Member Lance Corporal Bongologist's Avatar
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    Aug 2013


    Well presented and informative post, I agree there should be some changes.

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