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The Vortex Race Needs One Simple Fix

ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 33,545
Do not allow warping to the Thwarting Battle in case some other race completes ritual first. Really, that's about the one thing that renders the whole race moot since you can just punt a rival permanently out of the race at the cost of a single battle you can always access from any place of the map and that's too much reward for too little risk. So forcing the player to actually march physically to that site would alleviate that discrepancy somewhat and make thwarting another race a more risky business if you aren't prepared for it.


Comments

  • Surge_2Surge_2 Registered Users Posts: 6,498

    Do not allow warping to the Thwarting Battle in case some other race completes ritual first. Really, that's about the one thing that renders the whole race moot since you can just punt a rival permanently out of the race at the cost of a single battle you can always access from any place of the map and that's too much reward for too little risk. So forcing the player to actually march physically to that site would alleviate that discrepancy somewhat and make thwarting another race a more risky business if you aren't prepared for it.

    That was actually the last time I did the vortex, until the recent campaigns where they arent even playing for that goal.

    Once I saw you cant even lose, there was no point to it anymore.

    Games are too easy these days. :smile:
    Campaign Management is for suckers.

  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 5,574
    edited December 2020
    Surge_2 said:

    Do not allow warping to the Thwarting Battle in case some other race completes ritual first. Really, that's about the one thing that renders the whole race moot since you can just punt a rival permanently out of the race at the cost of a single battle you can always access from any place of the map and that's too much reward for too little risk. So forcing the player to actually march physically to that site would alleviate that discrepancy somewhat and make thwarting another race a more risky business if you aren't prepared for it.

    That was actually the last time I did the vortex, until the recent campaigns where they arent even playing for that goal.

    Once I saw you cant even lose, there was no point to it anymore.

    Games are too easy these days. :smile:
    I am pretty sure the campaign ends if another faction completes all the rituals first.. (And you lose the final battle)
  • Surge_2Surge_2 Registered Users Posts: 6,498

    Surge_2 said:

    Do not allow warping to the Thwarting Battle in case some other race completes ritual first. Really, that's about the one thing that renders the whole race moot since you can just punt a rival permanently out of the race at the cost of a single battle you can always access from any place of the map and that's too much reward for too little risk. So forcing the player to actually march physically to that site would alleviate that discrepancy somewhat and make thwarting another race a more risky business if you aren't prepared for it.

    That was actually the last time I did the vortex, until the recent campaigns where they arent even playing for that goal.

    Once I saw you cant even lose, there was no point to it anymore.

    Games are too easy these days. :smile:
    I am pretty sure the campaign ends if another faction completes all the rituals first.. (And you lose the final battle)
    Right, but the race itself is moot, if you always have an ability to prevent the loss. Its once its not longer a race, that I checked out on Vortex for a few years (it feels like years...)
    Campaign Management is for suckers.

  • EmeraldThanatosEmeraldThanatos Registered Users Posts: 2,464
    Allow it to be toggled on or off
    Ranking of all Total War games I've played:
    1. Three kingdoms
    2. Shogun 2
    3. Warhammer
    4. Medieval 2
    5. Thrones
    6. Attila
    7. Rome 2
    8. Napoleon
    9. Empire
    10. Troy (haven't actually played it, I'm just still salty)

  • ArecBalrinArecBalrin Registered Users Posts: 2,544
    The whole premise of this campaign mode was the tension created by a definite lose-condition, which also meant the player could make an informed decision about when their situation was viable or if victory was impossible and it was time to start over. Learning that it is almost impossible to lose cheats the player of this experience, of the tension. Total War has suffered this for a long time; even in Shogun 2 if you are pushed back to a single province, the AI might not ever actually just attack. This robs you of the opportunity to counter after a successful last stand, because you're then in an indefinite stalemate that isn't really a stalemate, as a massive AI army sits right inside the nearest castle over from you.

    This isn't a bug but a long-standing design issue at the conceptual level: CA should stop trying to micro-manage 'the player experience' and let emergent things happen naturally. Being at a certain place and a certain time should be on the player, and the AI should be trying to win with each faction, so the player can anticipate it. More player agency, please.
  • NatronNatron Registered Users Posts: 200
    I thought the one fix would be Araby! :smile:
  • dreagondreagon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,275
    Really, the one simple fix is to allow a way to speed up the rituals. Maybe have the ritual be over when you defeat the armies that spawn. The worst thing about those rituals is the fact that you just sit around.
    "The dog is a peasant and the cat is a gentleman." H.P. Lovecraft
  • vg45vg45 DenmarkRegistered Users Posts: 140
    No, because you still only have a reason to stop your opponent's rituals, not to start your own. The money lost in doing the rituals is better spent sending an army or two on crusade towards whoever is furthest in the ritual race and then wiping them out until you wipe out the ritual racers and then go back to playing mini-Mortal Empires.
  • YannirYannir Registered Users Posts: 1,637
    It would be better IMO if there was no final battle for any of the other races other than the player. Beating the others would only put them into a 15 turn cooldown at which point they would just try again.

    I don't see how teleporting has anything to do with it.
    Ugh, I have spoken.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,545
    Yannir said:

    It would be better IMO if there was no final battle for any of the other races other than the player. Beating the others would only put them into a 15 turn cooldown at which point they would just try again.

    I don't see how teleporting has anything to do with it.

    It has everything to do with it because you don't need to prepare for the thwarting battle other than having a single doomstack ready somewhere.


  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 5,574
    Surge_2 said:

    Surge_2 said:

    Do not allow warping to the Thwarting Battle in case some other race completes ritual first. Really, that's about the one thing that renders the whole race moot since you can just punt a rival permanently out of the race at the cost of a single battle you can always access from any place of the map and that's too much reward for too little risk. So forcing the player to actually march physically to that site would alleviate that discrepancy somewhat and make thwarting another race a more risky business if you aren't prepared for it.

    That was actually the last time I did the vortex, until the recent campaigns where they arent even playing for that goal.

    Once I saw you cant even lose, there was no point to it anymore.

    Games are too easy these days. :smile:
    I am pretty sure the campaign ends if another faction completes all the rituals first.. (And you lose the final battle)
    Right, but the race itself is moot, if you always have an ability to prevent the loss. Its once its not longer a race, that I checked out on Vortex for a few years (it feels like years...)
    I am not disagreeing with you. Just pointing out that it is theoretically possible to lose.

    The problem with the Ritual can also be extrapolated to the Quests themselves. Quests as they are now, aren't actually quets. They are hurdles. Something that you just have to get done, and then let your army rest up for a turn or two. The teleport function have completely destroyed the investment aspect in the quests.

    Yes, some of the quests were a pain to complete before the teleport (marchin Mannfred across half the map, while taking attrition? **** that..), but there are obvious remidies for that, if CA were to spend just a little more time fine tuning the concept.
  • ItharusItharus Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 13,397
    edited December 2020
    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.
  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 5,574
    Itharus said:

    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.

    Erhm.. You could also just send an army to intercept?...
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,545
    edited December 2020
    Itharus said:

    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.

    I really don't give a damn how many bonuses the AI gets, only that the race isn't trivialized by a stupid Golden Snitch joker like the Thwarting Battle that can completely nullify any rival's efforts in one simple step. That just encourages laziness.

    Also, if you don't see how time should be a crucial element in a race, then I can only presume you haven't quite grasped the point of such competitions and probably played Invincible Man with omnipotency powers in high school.


  • innerpinnerp Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 982

    Itharus said:

    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.

    I really don't give a damn how many bonuses the AI gets, only that the race isn't trivialized by a stupid Golden Snitch joker like the Thwarting Battle that can completely nullify any rival's efforts in one simple step. That just encourages laziness.

    Also, if you don't see how time should be a crucial element in a race, then I can only presume you haven't quite grasped the point of such competitions and probably played Invincible Man with omnipotency powers in high school.
    and you missed his point of people who only own the base TWWH2 being forced into this as their only method of playing the game, really funny anecdote though. you can also solve this problem yourself by marching your army there to sort it out in exactly the way you described.

    i have no horse in the race since i havnt touched a vortex campaign since the release of ME, maybe it could be a feature for the harder difficulties. but there is 0 point in forcing this scenario in a mode that is mostly played by new(er) players.
  • ArecBalrinArecBalrin Registered Users Posts: 2,544
    @Itharus There's pros and cons to time-pressure, and the way such pressure is implemented has a lot to do with it. When say there is a maximum turn limit, at which point if no definite win condition has been reached, a winner is then chosen by a score system; this puts an upper limit on the number of actions that can be taken for a whole campaign. This means the opportunity-cost of every decision is a lot more serious and that tension can be fun.

    The downside is that it does funnel a player: experimentation and improvisation become things you do as last resorts rather than being curiosity-driven. Other design problems also become worse, such as the AI not trying too hard to win, meaning you can be waiting for them to do something expected for multiple turns after preparing for it, and nothing happens which makes not only the effort wasted, but those turns you aren't getting back.

    The Vortex campaign ideally solves some problems by making it visible who is in the lead, so that more time can be earned by focusing on disrupting them. I rarely see this happen though; it seems like the battles to beat them are a substitute for the campaign intrigues that CA were unable or unwilling to put in.
  • jamesbluewavejamesbluewave Registered Users Posts: 531
    Yea the warp thing is pretty silly. But Kim, I feel like if they change that, the ai is still not going to be a threat :/ . Weird seeing comments saying a “race” type gameplay sucks, Civilization 5 was a race to victory conditions and probably one of the best strategy games ever created.
  • blaatblaat Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,150
    you are aware it is LITERALLY impossible to start that battle without teleporting

    I discovered that the painful way myself

    that is not to say CA should or could not change it

    snip

    It's much easier and more fun to get engrossed in lore that takes itself seriously and tries to make sense within its own frame of reference.

    the reason I prefer LOTR over warhammer fantasy and 40k

    I am dutch so if you like to have a talk in dutch shoot me a PM :)
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,545
    edited December 2020
    innerp said:

    Itharus said:

    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.

    I really don't give a damn how many bonuses the AI gets, only that the race isn't trivialized by a stupid Golden Snitch joker like the Thwarting Battle that can completely nullify any rival's efforts in one simple step. That just encourages laziness.

    Also, if you don't see how time should be a crucial element in a race, then I can only presume you haven't quite grasped the point of such competitions and probably played Invincible Man with omnipotency powers in high school.
    and you missed his point of people who only own the base TWWH2 being forced into this as their only method of playing the game, really funny anecdote though. you can also solve this problem yourself by marching your army there to sort it out in exactly the way you described.

    i have no horse in the race since i havnt touched a vortex campaign since the release of ME, maybe it could be a feature for the harder difficulties. but there is 0 point in forcing this scenario in a mode that is mostly played by new(er) players.
    You mean they should actually participate in the campaign instead of being encouraged to sit it out and just fight three battles to clinch it?

    Crap design, period. They need to change it.

    As for the access point, just put them in front of the Isle of the Dead, problem solved.

    Of course, ideallly they should just ditch the stupid Thwarting Battle altogether. You get 20 turns to stop the final ritual and keep at least one ritual site occupied. You don't manage to do that, you lose, end of story.


  • ItharusItharus Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 13,397

    Itharus said:

    You realize the AI is given a boatload of bonuses towards that race right? They have passive gen of ritual currency out the wazoo. They are likely to beat you in most scenarios unless you've already done this a few times and know exactly what to do.

    To be honest, time-pressure games are always horrific pieces of **** to play. If I bought game 2 and didn't have game 1 and knew nothing of Mortal Empires -- and found out this entire game was purely a time pressure race? I'd refund it 3 seconds after that revelation, leave a negative review, and swear off this series for good. To hell with getting pigeonholed into one very specific "proper" course to "win". That removes all freedom and kills all replay unless you have a very limited imagination and a penchant for perseverating on a single thing like a crazy person.

    I really don't give a damn how many bonuses the AI gets, only that the race isn't trivialized by a stupid Golden Snitch joker like the Thwarting Battle that can completely nullify any rival's efforts in one simple step. That just encourages laziness.

    Also, if you don't see how time should be a crucial element in a race, then I can only presume you haven't quite grasped the point of such competitions and probably played Invincible Man with omnipotency powers in high school.
    Race games in themselves are idiotic. It completely removes all sandbox play and narrows options. Remember that this is a Total War game - it is BUILT around sandbox. Screwing that over is folly. I feel bad for anyone who only owns WH2 and doesn't have ME. TBH ME should be in the game for everyone, just disable playing the OW races (or did they make it that way already? I remember that not being the case early on).
  • ArecBalrinArecBalrin Registered Users Posts: 2,544
    Until more recently(Rome 2 I think), Total War win conditions were dependent on being achieved by a certain in-game year. It's 1600 for the long and domination campaigns in Shogun 2 and 1580 for the short one.

    What hurts the sandbox, whether in a turn-limited campaign or not, I believe is how the free the player actually is. That is something I think we agree on. All a turn-limit does is make the opportunity-costs more severe, but if there are no opportunity-costs at all, then decisions don't really matter: the player is not free to succeed if they aren't also free to fail. The player can be free to take as many settlements as they wish, the hard-limit is the number of settlements on the map; but CA implement many multiple layers of soft-limits, curtailing the player. The player can have as many armies as they wish, with a hard-limit being the theoretical max income they could obtain; but CA yet again impose limitations which are opaque and layered. Many of these rules do not affect any AI-controlled faction at all.

    A turn-limit, of which there is a soft one in the Vortex campaign as other races progress towards completion, just makes these costs more severe and if they don't make sense to begin with, they are even worse with the turn-limit. CA have not made a coherent game, with rules, and then just let go to see what happens. They have adjusted, and adjusted, and adjusted; to tailor the player experience, creating tension that is fake, seemingly to please everyone who played for 30 hours but not the people who stuck around to keep playing and bought all the DLC.
  • Emperor_krkEmperor_krk Registered Users Posts: 23
    I just want to say I agree that there should at least be an option (e.g. upon campaign start, as is now the case with Chaos invasion difficulty in ME) to choose whether you want the race to be an actual race, rather than something you can completely ignore. Teleporting to the thwarting battle makes it far too easy.
    Side note: it's actually quite similar with Eltharion's final quest battle: you shouldn't be able to choose an opportune moment for yourself, you have already had 150 turns to prepare for it. Not to mention that the garrison in Tor Yvresse that you get in that battle is laughable and completely ignores whatever you have built up in campaign. The greenskin army doing the siege should be far more challenging (i.e. bigger!) and shouldn't come in waves like it currently does.
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