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General analysis on the future of Total War series development

CowcbCowcb MemberPosts: 84Registered Users

While the series is called 'Total War,' it could just as well been called 'Total Strategy,' because while in theory the majority of player's major goal in every game is to conquer, which through war is the primary method, the difference between what makes a play-through 'Ok and non-repeatable' and 'great and repeatable' isn't the battles themselves. After all, you could just never touch the campaign and just do random-matches with the computer over and over again.

But this game would not sell if that is the only attraction. Rather, it is the 'story' those battles take place in. Why? because the more time a player puts into developing his faction, the more emotionally attached the actual battle becomes. So, the basic fundamentals of making a good game TW game is making the story good.

Rome 2 is a prime example: It has sold extremely well even at the start regardless of it's mediocre reception, obviously not because the game was amazing at the time, but because (1) the marketing trailers were (2) most of the targeted audience was already interested many people like that time period/and it built on the audience from the previous Rome title.

2)Looking into the future development for CA:

If i was in charge of CA, what this case would teach me is that whatever they do in the future, focus on what there is already an audience there for; you don't need to sell people a ticket if they are already sitting in the movie theater. Also, from their Total War :WH experiment, releasing a game with a basic but a strong 'core' foundation with a lot of potential for development is a 'winning' play:

Example: TW:WH2 followed up slowly but carefully done DLC's such as Norsca,Tomb kings, ect has done very well. Players like that and they will reward you for that. The number of views on some of those DLC trailer's even rival the whole-campaign game trailers.

a) Don't develop sagas: You need to go all-or-nothing. People will spend 100$ for a good game but not 50$ for a game only half as good.

b) Invest in a long road map for the TW:WH3/4. You've already got an audience right there - build upon it.

c) Medieval 3 is going to be a great seller. But it will even better seller if you copy the 'Warhammer strategy - develop it in the same way you developed and brought together the three WH1,2,3 games - with a very big 'grand campaign map,.' But this time focus more on making the 'Mortal Empires' version of Medieval 3 with a story line rather than chunking them all together without an overall basic story.

*(Players will 'whine' that it all should be in the base game but ignore it, overtime the majority will reward you for slowly developing in-depth DLC's than a base game where resources were spread too thinly over many different things..

d) At some point introduce a Chinese-themed 'Cathay' DLC for Warhammer 3 - this would be an excellent marketing move to attract historical players to the fantasy setting and vice-versa for the TW:TK game.

3)General comments on TW:WH.

This is, and is shaping into a great game(s).

The art team is great.

The development team is great: Every new faction that has been developed has been better than the previous.

Really everything is great and people's general complaints always focus on not having enough rather than actual issues.

One big challenge:

Dividing the game across three was really smart, but the stories of the 'bad guys' in the Warhammer 3 game has and always was been it's most fascinating when intertwined with the 'base factions' of WH1. It doesn't matter how badass The Joker, The Penguin and Harvey Dent are if BATMAN isn't in the movie or isn't looking good.

In other words, seriously consider bringing some campaign features that introduce the 'invasion' feeling of the chaos factions across the Mortal Empires map in the context of a good story or goal. Otherwise, the selling point of a 'giant Warhammer world' won't be appealing if the player is always dealing with the same surrounding factions for the first 80 turns.

Remember, many players never even complete a play through.

4) TW:TK comments:

I'm not sure if you are but you need to be very active on the Chinese Mainland/Taiwan promoting this game through those country's main media channels. No matter how good this game is the western audience for this is contrast is smaller and still developing.

I've been following the live stream's carefully, and as long as the game crashing bugs are smoothed out, this game has great potential to be the best in the series。It also has some challenges. Here's my overview on why I believe so:

The key points:

The Diplomacy system:
The way the player will be able to interact with other factions on a grand scale has been drastically developed.

Unique Campaign currency:
(authority, cruelty,infamy ect) development: The context of which the faction developed through is unique.

Unique Character development:
Each character having their own equipment, perks, family tree means it will be easier to feel very attached to the commanders not only as individuals but also as a team (given the different specializations of each character)

The late-game challenge of becoming an Emperor:
The biggest issue of many Total War Series has been very mediocre objectives that actually motivate players to keep playing or aim to even finish a campaign - Even Rome/Warhammer has this problem. I hope this feature will provide a stronger reason to actually continue on with campaigns even into the late game. I suggest that this feature to be expanded upon more thoroughly- for example, once the player has achieved this status, perhaps then more unique objectives and stories solely related to being emperor begin that take me across China.

Small improvements in AI: personally i noticed the AI being strategical in how in defended cities, most of the time placing two units of melee by the majority of entrances in a way they haven't done before. However there were still familiar issues nothing new to the total war series.

Difference of records/romantic mode:
Where i can specialize in having strong single characters or developing strong bodyguards for the general. Really cool.

Around 10 Battle formations.

Battles lasting longer: Have noticed that even with low/mid tier infantry, battles are last around the 10 minute range.

The music is beautiful.

The fire arrows, map dynamics are more detailed graphical.

-Details brought up by the community are being looked into, such as unit 'status'bar, the unit cards, character interactions.

The Tech tree is stunning.

Overall you can see that every dimension of the game from the grand-scale to character personalisation has been developed making the total-sum features of the game unrivaled by previous total war games.


- If generals can be developed in-depth, i think the units associated with them could be too, along with customization options of them.

- When characters interact with each other i think the speech bubbles should be a lot more minimal.

- I thought some more elite infantry could look more unique, and well, elite.

- The family tree can be developed further. I heard he Harems in those places were very places of a lot of political maneuvering.. I think this could be reflected somehow.

- Add assassin units specifically for defending key cities (or unique to a faction/building?)

- Add more music when ordering unit formations/orders in the battlefield, such as horns blowing.

- Add 'unit/chorus music for units when generals have interactions near troops, such as the troops in chorus yelling 'support the lord,' our lord has arrived,' 'on our way,' ect...

5) Controversial comments:

Don't pay attention to people complaining about navy battles. Those resources are better spent on other features...i remember during Shogun 2 they weren't that popular.

Siege battles look good: One wall, four sides, dynamic interior - it's how it should be done. Multiple walls just make it too easy to exploit.


Thanks for the read.


  • BoombastekBoombastek Posts: 494Registered Users
    You talking about 3K more than Warhammer. Heresy?!
  • ArecBalrinArecBalrin Posts: 1,300Registered Users
    Rome 2 was on-sale for 50% on Steam off just three months after release. It did not 'sell well' on release.
  • davedave1124davedave1124 Senior Member Posts: 2,404Registered Users

    Rome 2 was on-sale for 50% on Steam off just three months after release. It did not 'sell well' on release.

    It sold 800,000 in less than a month.. so, it did 'sell well'.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 16,099Registered Users
    R2 is CA's best-selling historical title and currently still the one most played.

    If it hadn't sold well, they wouldn't have kept patching it for so long. See DoW3 for what SEGA does to underachievers.

  • davedave1124davedave1124 Senior Member Posts: 2,404Registered Users

    R2 is CA's best-selling historical title and currently still the one most played.

    If it hadn't sold well, they wouldn't have kept patching it for so long. See DoW3 for what SEGA does to underachievers.

    True and I'm not sure about a 50% drop in price so early, all that would achieve is annoying people who had just paid full price.
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