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

Siven80Siven80 Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 484
edited August 2014 in General Discussion
[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.
Post edited by Siven80 on


  • Green JacketGreen Jacket Senior Member Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, EnglandRegistered Users Posts: 1,513
    edited September 2013
    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
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  • hvypetalshvypetals Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 110
    edited September 2013
    very informative and great comparisons. i totally agree with your points.
  • jpinardjpinard Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 676
    edited September 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.
  • BargaintaroBargaintaro Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 569
    edited September 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.
  • peankpeank Member Registered Users Posts: 48
    edited September 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.
  • UnsafenormalUnsafenormal Member Registered Users Posts: 50
    edited September 2013
    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.
  • KulgrimKulgrim Member Registered Users Posts: 58
    edited September 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.
  • Pr4vdaPr4vda Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,802
    edited September 2013
    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.
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  • BongologistBongologist Member Registered Users Posts: 91
    edited September 2013
    Well presented and informative post, I agree there should be some changes.
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  • EuclesEucles Member Registered Users Posts: 109
    edited September 2013
    I agree completely Siven 80. A very thoughtful post. The UI is a huge step back for TW and easily the worst one yet. I have no idea how this was allowed to get out of the discussion stage during development. It is just a sterile mess lacking any style or soul and is not easy to use. I feel like I am playing this game on my cellphone. I don't think CA will patch a new UI in at this point and I highly doubt if a mod can fix this. CA should really be embarrassed over this.
  • ArvenidesArvenides Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 194
    edited September 2013
    I agree with the OP.
  • MiraklumMiraklum Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 410
    edited September 2013
    I agree with you on the battle interface. UI is sligthly bigger than it should be.
  • BorseBorse Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 115
    edited September 2013
    While I generally like the look of the new UI, I agree with the OP on all the points.

    Honestly, I wasn't even aware that there was a skill-tree for agents and have just been clicking the upgrades randomly without knowing what zeal or that stuff means at all, or what the future skills could be. Now that I know there is a skill tree I shall have to invest some more time to figuring this out. Among other things that I missed at first glance with the new UI.
  • SheperdSheperd Member Registered Users Posts: 77
    edited September 2013
    UI is clearly ****, how could they release it without realising how superior Shogun 2 UI is compared to Rome 2 UI. What did they actually spend all their f*cking budget on. It's like they pumped 90% of funds to graphics and pointless promotion that made the game seem like its better than it actually is. Disappointed in CA and this game. I managed to return it and get a refund thank god.I might re-buy it once its actually playable and enjoyable
  • CloverClover Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 4,964
    edited September 2013
    Artistic expression and change for the sake of change is how I sum it up. R2TW is extremely stylized- even to the point where the UI suffers because of it I can't tell what half the icons are even supposed to mean and the others I don't see how they could possibly represent what they are supposed to.
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  • drunkeneagledrunkeneagle Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 238
    edited September 2013
    Gotta agree with the OP.This is the first Total War game where I actually really dislike the UI.
    I understood with S2 with the whole "zen of Total war" idea (a lot information in a small place) it captured the style but I think they have totally gone overboard here.It feels all cluttered up in one place,quite user unfriendly and the battle unit cards are much too big. It feels much more like tablet computer than a PC game.Why change something that isn't broken?
    I just hope they allow it to be modded so someone can change it back to how the previous games look.
  • foxhound71foxhound71 Member Registered Users Posts: 78
    edited September 2013
    Totally agree as well. So far (haven't had the chance to play a lot yet) the interface is the most disappointing thing for me, because it's not a bug, just bad design and thus it's not going to be changed. First time I'm really looking forward to a good UI mod.
  • NhagaNhaga Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 15
    edited September 2013
    100% agree with OP.
    Just came to add my voice to this thread since in my oppinion it is a really important concern.

    I really hope CA will not be too arrogant to not even consider a redesign of the UI and/or add some customisation options.
  • ChrisNHChrisNH Member Registered Users Posts: 70
    edited September 2013
    Very nice, I completely agree.
  • OPsyduckOPsyduck Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6
    edited September 2013
    They did this so they could say for the expansion " we listened to you guys and we agreed that the UI needed improvement" .

    Marketing 101
  • ZipehZipeh Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 14
    edited September 2013
    I dont necessarily agree ... or disagree .. still too early for me .. but thank god for a post that isnt just complaining drivel .. you did a good job of explaining stuff, pointing out examples, screenshots, comparisons .. i know what you were talking about and why you think the way you do about each item you raised .. this is a sharp contrast to 98.7% of the people posting issues. Thanks for taking the time (and i assume quite a bit of time) to make this post.
  • Sierra419Sierra419 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 265
    edited September 2013
    I agree with the first post 100%. Especially unit cards being so ******g huge! I have to hit 'k' to make my interface go away until I need to see my units cards again. It takes up a quarter of the screen! Also, the campaign UI does look good, but like the op pointed out, its severly lacking in detail. I'm a TW veteran since Rome 1's release and I've never been so confused in ANY game as much as I am in this one. I cant find half the details I'm looking for. CA hid them away for aesthic purposes and to not scare away new gamers. The result is mass confusion in verterans and new comers alike.
  • jonsnowjonsnow Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 218
    edited September 2013
    i totally agree with OP
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  • Sierra419Sierra419 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 265
    edited September 2013
    They tried to re-innovate instead of re-immitate. Its a 50/50 chance of success or failure. CA is teetering far into the failure side of this. Shogun 2 did have an awesome UI
  • vizzovizzo Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 527
    edited September 2013
    Don't you understand? The small size and translucency of it is of paramount importance!

    How am I supposed to decide what tech to upgrade next if I can't even see the world map!

  • KuatKuat Member Registered Users Posts: 87
    edited September 2013
    UI is unusable
  • RumblefishRumblefish Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 424
    edited September 2013
    Nicely done OP. However, CA always knows best and don't need any community feedback (see 1 yr per turn, AI, etc etc)
    This just might be the best thing that's happened to the TW series - http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?680834-Ancient-Empires-Attila-202BC-Project-Outline
  • ThePurplePeopleThePurplePeople Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 162
    edited September 2013
    I think it's step down not from Shogun 2 but from Medieval 2, that was the apogee of this series.
  • MusketeerMusketeer Member Registered Users Posts: 60
    edited September 2013
    I particularly find the campaign UI annoying. in Empire, Napoleon and Shogun you could SEE what you were going to build in your city. In this one, they're obscure pictures and I find it difficult to find any in-depth information about them. Previous TW games gave you clear information about everything with a double-click. I can only imagine how frustrating it is late-game with dozens of cities, all needing upgrades.

    The battle UI also takes up 1/3 of my screen. My monitor isn't exactly big, but I would have thought there'd be a scaling option.
  • ThePurplePeopleThePurplePeople Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 162
    edited September 2013
    Rumblefish wrote: »
    Nicely done OP. However, CA always knows best and don't need any community feedback (see 1 yr per turn, AI, etc etc)

    This release how shown what they know about TW games - the square root of **** all.
This discussion has been closed.