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Hi guys, we have a message below from Total War Creative Director Mike Simpson that we'd like to pass along to keep you up to date with what's going on here at the studio.
Thank you for playing our patches and reporting issues you find on the forum. Without that help we wouldn’t be able to turn around the patches as fast as we have been doing. We’re achieving in weeks what, on previous projects, took months.
Over the next few weeks there’s going to be a shift from dealing with stability and config to working on gameplay and features, while performance and AI remain high priorities. I expect the pace of patching to slow a little as gameplay and deeper AI changes need longer to test and tune. It’ll still be weeks rather than months between patches though, and we're going to continue to patch the game regularly for the foreseeable future.
Gameplay and AI fixes take a long time to test, and we have to play a lot of 200+ turn games to be sure a change has worked as intended. To make the regular patches possible we have to overlap them, so while patch 5 will go live tomorrow, we've already started work on patch 7. This does mean it takes a while for your feedback to manifest as changes in the game, so please don’t be too disappointed if your top issue isn’t fixed in the latest patch. We are listening to you, and we will get there.
Our long-term plan from here is to get as fast as possible to a point where everyone is broadly happy with the state of the gameplay and AI. After that we’ll shift modes again to long-term support – something which is new for TW and was very much our plan for the title all along. Our games already have a long lifetime, but by releasing occasional DLC packs and free content updates we keep working on them for much longer. This means upgrades in a number of areas which help the game evolve, and stop it becoming obsolete.
I’m not going make any detailed claims about what we’re going to do in the short term. The best way – the only really credible way - we can let you know what we’re doing is by delivering it in the game. But rest assured that we’re constantly reading the TW forums and a variety of others, and the feedback you’re giving helps us to prioritise the issues we deal with, as well as getting a sense of which features work well, which are not liked, and which features from previous Total War games which weren’t designed into Rome II are missed. This is an interesting topic actually, as a lot of people think that we’ve ‘cut’ features to make Rome II and it isn’t as simplistic as that assumption.
A lot of the game is designed from the ground up. We develop many features in parallel, some of which work differently to how they did in previous games: we aim to create a different experience every time, and that’s very important to us. New features are added, and certain features from previous games are therefore not included as they must naturally make way for different features. What’s been interesting – and very useful for us – is listening to you telling us about which features you like and don’t like, and what you miss from previous titles. We take your views seriously, and we’ll take them with us in the future.
For now, we’re about to roll out our largest patch yet, which contains a number of key fixes and changes. The next update will also bring you new, free game content which we’ve been talking about for a while… we hope you like it. Alongside this, you’ll see our next major step towards mod support for ROME II.
Enjoy the update, enjoy the game, and thanks again for your ongoing feedback.