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Just from the title I am sure there are many who will first see it and prepare for a fight to defend your favorite TW title. That however isn't my purpose here.
I wanted to make some observations of why I prefer Rome 2 multiplayer more than Shogun 2. As a preface before I get started it should be known that I love both these titles nearly equally (Rome is a better time period for me). So this isn't meant as a peeing contest between games, but more so a discussion of possibilities for the future.
MEAT OF THE DISCUSSION:
I remember clearly leaving work early and heading to the store to pick up my pre-ordered copy of Shogun 2. When I got home the first thing I did was hop into the new Avatar Conquest mode with great anticipation. Being single at the time I was free to pour countless hours into discovering all its features. No doubt I thoroughly enjoyed the ridiculous unit names, pink player created banners (and other hilariously nauseating color schemes), and the excitement that followed unlocking new units. The maps were interesting, the dojo system seemed to most of the time create and interesting mechanic, and the unit upgrades were fun to experiment with.
Once the newness of this system began to wear off I found myself being forced to spend countless hours in multiplayer constantly trying to earn clan tokens and gain experience on my troops or be hopelessly left behind the pack of competition. It required nearly daily attention to keep up with. Slowly over time I felt myself growing tired of the constant need to grind out battles to keep up. Then FoTS came out and started the process all over again.
All this work to keep up in MP took away from my time to work on campaigns (which for me are an exciting facet of all TW games). It just became tiresome for me despite the fact that it was a neat feature and added lots of customization to the process. Then I got married and Shogun 2 MP was basically an impossibility for me as my free time was now needing to be spent on more noble causes.
Rome 2 at launch clearly wasn't even suited for MP so let's ignore that phase of the game entirely and look at it in the later patches (14 and 15). It offers a large variety of factions and units as compared to Shogun 2's very limited number of units. This creates a good deal of replay value for me as I can rotate through factions and keep things lively. Also I don't have to worry about grinding out time in MP just for gaining experience for my veteran troops. This means I can be a more effective "weekend warrior" in Rome 2 than in Shogun 2. At this point in time I just like the overall feel of Rome 2 in MP better than Shogun 2 and feel like I am not forced to play it every day to try and stay relevant.
Now all this said I miss some of the customization available in Shogun 2 and freely admit it was innovative and interesting. I guess when it boils down to it I am asking for discussion on how the two systems could be merged to best cater to both types of player...the casual like me...and the tournament goers who love competition. I know some might say, "Well Heir it isn't our fault you are old, married, and lame enough to spend your days at work and with family rather than on games. Sucks to be you." Ok I added drama there just for fun but you get the point.
So shoot away. What would be your ideas for helping the future Total War games have a viable competitive arena style feel while not alienating those fans like myself who simply don't have the time to invest in "time grind to win" type modes? Please share your ideas. I am all ears.