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[Horsham Event Review] Some Answers....

KagutsuchiKagutsuchi MemberPosts: 56Registered Users
edited March 2011 in Total War: Shogun 2
To the Community:

I have had the pleasure of visiting CA at their offices in Horsham. For a few hours, I had the opportunity to play the SP campaign to a small degree and have a go at a 4v4 Multiplayer battle against Mark and Craig.

In gratitude, I have agreed to post my experience to the community and hopefully answer a couple of the questions bothering a large number of the player base. I apologise for the coming wall of text.

Let me start by explaining how much is missing from the demo compared to the actual game. The demo is a great way to introduce the game for sure, however it doesn't do the full game justice one iotta. The game was played on what seemed like a capable system, not uber by any stretch but better than my laptop.
The visuals are immensely better in the full game, it seemed richer, more full of detail and atmosphere. I didn't feel like the demo absorbed me into the experience but as soon as i started the full campaign for real, my first thought was "OMG, this is actually going to be hard, like real hard".
I had chosen to play this pitifully small clan (Tokugawa) in the middle of this emmense map of Japan and it felt like it would take me about a week just to sail a single ship round it.
My neighbours seemed stronger and like real obstacles in quest for the shogunate.

The level of detail, the music, the artwork and general atmosphere of the game will quite likely make you feel overwhelmed by the size of complexity of the task to come. Fortunately, the game WILL draw you into the mood of the period and suddenly, I was tokugawa Ieyesu's father, planning my first conquest. I couldn't wait to begin. (which quickly went horribly wrong for me on Legendary btw).

I never played Napoleon Totalwar, so i can't compare the two. However, I can compare it to all the other Totalwar games and the recent demo. This is what I can tell you of certain aspects of the game i played and questions I asked the Dev Team about.

AI.

This is perhaps the most important element for me, Totalwar has always been an absorbing series of games but the AI was the weak link in the experience. Not anymore.
It is by no means a Big Blue with human like qualities. but it surprised me. I played one battle against the Imagawa. I was outnumbered about 2 to 3 and the enemy AI advanced methodically and with purpose, the enemy general held back and the forward units all came on with a purpose.
A few Ashigaru to absorb my arrow fire, followed by its own archers. The army began to split just before the clash in order to counter my attempted flank and once battle was joined, suddenly, from my right flank appeared two further generals and an ashigaru spear unit to "roll me up". At just the right moment, the enemy general charged my mangled line to began a rout while the flank attack finished of any and all resistance. I was ****d!!

I would have done almost the exact same thing if the tables had been reversed.

The Campaign AI seems just as good. It makes what appear to be calculated and strategic moves counter to whatever you might be wanting to achieve or do. It never overdoes it though and I didn't feel like it was getting a huge helping hand from bonuses. However, one thing I can be grateful for is that there were other clans out there causing trouble for my enemies otherwise it would have been too much!
However, The AI does seem to struggle to find a solution to unusual problems, for example, the Oda were wiped out early on and it had 1 general unit remaining on the map (in my province) given that there wasn't much it could do, thats exactly what it did, nothing, at all. It didn't act rebel like (which it was: Oda rebels), it just sat there.

That said, I feel that the AI is a vast improvement over old attempts and finally, for those courageous enough to try Hard or V.Hard, you will find the game a serious challenge!

Diplomacy:

I didnt experience this to any great detail but I can say that you will not be able to romp accross the map using tried and tested tricks of diplomacy to keep your enemies at bay. The AI immediately, almost too quickly infact, forms alliances and trade agreements that will really put the squeeze on you, without making you feel like the only enemy in Japan. Smart diplomacy will definately make things smoother, but don't expect an easy ride.

Naval Battles:

I played a couple of these and they were pretty basic. They are enjoyable and definately make you feel like your probably going to get wet. However, my limited exposure left me feeling like some battles would be autoresolved after the novelty wore off. The addition of land definately gives you a few strategic options, but with only 2-3 boats per side in my battles, it didn't feature as much as it might have with 2 large fleets bearing down on each other!

Multiplayer:

This aspect is HUGE! so huge infact that i barely scrathed the surface. I am looking forward to this aspect of the game in a way that no other TW game has even come close. (except maybe good old STW 1, which i rate as one of the best games ever for its time)

However, one or 2 questions were bugging me about this aspect, so I asked:

Q1: Can 1 super zerg clan dominate all other clans just through numbers alone?

A: NO!! Apparently, the system is setup so that even a small clan of just a few players can stand a chance against any other clan. Now, be clear about this, against a mighty clan of hundreds of players - everyone is going to have an uphill battle. ONLY the small clans that are organised and skillful will have a chance at beating a much bigger clan, but it is possible. Playing the right battles using the correct bonuses and tactics will prevail against a less well run clan, regardless of size. Just as it should be, only those clans that work as teams will win the top leagues.
So if you love the game and will play it religously, join or start a clan, get at least 5-10 other dedicated players and you will have a good shot at the top spot, regardless of who you face.
If you are more of a casual player, then the system will probably affect you less and therefore, either a quality clan of small size or a larger clan will do fine.

Q2: Can players who are losing, cheat my causing the game to lag out, forcing a draw.

A. yes and no. If a player forces the game to slow to a crawl by flooding their connection, they will be dropped eventually and given a loss (under certain conditions rather then arbitrarily). But a cheater can still lag the game out.
Apparently, using a funky system within steam (I dunno what he called it), CA can monitor broadband usage over certain maps and they intend to use this information to streamline the system to limit cheating of this kind.
Until the game is released and information is gathered, The Dev I spoke to was understandably unsure as to how this might pan out but happily, they plan to improve this aspect and others as they are able.

I have been looking forward to this game for ages and tbh, I probably sound as biased as I could get, however, that genuinely is because I am so impressed with the game. It has a few small flaws as any game would but given my limited exposure, I can't wait for it to be released and I can confidently say that the daemons of Empire have well and truely been exorcised!!

Lastly, I would like to exoress my gratitude to Mark, Craig and the CA team for allowing me the opportunity to try the game out before release!!
Post edited by Kagutsuchi on

Comments

  • DameirDameir Senior Member Posts: 970Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    I have a question! You might laugh at it and smugly ask me if I don't have anything better to ask, but I must know! How many Monk bowmen are there in a unit? Is it really only 80 even on the largest unit size setting?

    Because that's what's gonna help me choose between Uesugi and Shimuza :)
    "For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."- Carl Sagan
  • SkollopSkollop Senior Member Behind you :OPosts: 3,216Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    What difficoulty(sp?) lvl did you play on and how agressive was the campaign AI compared to previous games?
    From Jacks campaign it could seem like the AI was very agressive(haven't read it completely so I might be mistaken).
    Previously known as DenmarkRules
  • TrenchKnifeTrenchKnife Senior Member Posts: 102Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kagutsuchi wrote: »
    To the Community:

    Multiplayer:

    Q1: Can 1 super zerg clan dominate all other clans just through numbers alone?

    A: NO!! Apparently, the system is setup so that even a small clan of just a few players can stand a chance against any other clan. Now, be clear about this, against a mighty clan of hundreds of players - everyone is going to have an uphill battle. ONLY the small clans that are organised and skillful will have a chance at beating a much bigger clan, but it is possible. Playing the right battles using the correct bonuses and tactics will prevail against a less well run clan, regardless of size. Just as it should be, only those clans that work as teams will win the top leagues.
    So if you love the game and will play it religously, join or start a clan, get at least 5-10 other dedicated players and you will have a good shot at the top spot, regardless of who you face.
    If you are more of a casual player, then the system will probably affect you less and therefore, either a quality clan of small size or a larger clan will do fine.

    While this is good to hear, you have not, and more importantly CA has not, provided real details as to why huge clanzilas wont dominate the mp competition. I think the community likes to hear "dont worry its going to be ok", but as gamers we've heard these reassurances before and we would much prefer to get detailed facts as to why we dont need to worry.

    Guess its going to be wait till the 15th. I just hope youre right because if you arent there will be a flood of "we told you so!" posts.
    "Git thar furstest wit the mostest" - N.B. Forrest
    Takeda Itagaki Nobukata (aka "Ita")
    Budo League member and officer
    formerly Gora Sahib (Empire and Napoleon)
  • Masher8559Masher8559 Senior Member Posts: 500Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    What difficoulty(sp?) lvl did you play on and how agressive was the campaign AI compared to previous games?
    From Jacks campaign it could seem like the AI was very agressive(haven't read it completely so I might be mistaken).

    " I was tokugawa Ieyesu's father, planning my first conquest. I couldn't wait to begin. (which quickly went horribly wrong for me on Legendary btw)."

    ;)
  • SlippybeeSlippybee Senior Member Posts: 571Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Nice review, sounds like you had quite a day :)

    Thanks for posting.
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Dameir wrote: »
    I have a question! You might laugh at it and smugly ask me if I don't have anything better to ask, but I must know! How many Monk bowmen are there in a unit? Is it really only 80 even on the largest unit size setting?

    Because that's what's gonna help me choose between Uesugi and Shimuza :)

    The unit sizes are final, so if Monk Archers have 80 on normal size, then 80 it is. However, When you select huge or Ultra unit size, the number of monks will go up the same ratio all units increase in size
    What difficoulty(sp?) lvl did you play on and how agressive was the campaign AI compared to previous games?
    From Jacks campaign it could seem like the AI was very agressive(haven't read it completely so I might be mistaken).

    I played on Legendary and the AI was aggressive, but not stupid. There was clear build up by the clans that were not friendly to me. Those that were in good terms with me seemed less focused on my clan. Allies behave in various ways, so you will still have to watch them because i think the less trustworthy clans will stab you in the back
    While this is good to hear, you have not, and more importantly CA has not, provided real details as to why huge clanzilas wont dominate the mp competition. I think the community likes to hear "dont worry its going to be ok", but as gamers we've heard these reassurances before and we would much prefer to get detailed facts as to why we dont need to worry.

    Guess its going to be wait till the 15th. I just hope youre right because if you arent there will be a flood of "we told you so!" posts.

    I abmit that the details are vague, but thats my poor memory. I can however tell you that the way it works is through the points system you probably know about. Victory by smaller clans over larger ones is about making sure you maximise your potential point gains per each win.

    Where as large amounts of unorganised players will fight 1v1's all over the place, more organised clans can focus their efforts. For example, a victory by a single player can on average expect to net around 20 points or so. However, if done correctly, a 2v2 victory using the correct retainers and on the right map can earn you upto 86+ points.
    So a few well placed victories will give you a multiplier effect against less effective opposition.

    However, one thing for sure is that if you come accross a large AND well organised clan... they will be hard to beat!!

    It is possible for an organised clan few in number to compete against most opposition, however, if a clan can organise hundreds of players effectively (no mean feat), they will win and deservedly so!
  • DribbsDribbs Senior Member Posts: 1,280Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kagutsuchi wrote: »
    I abmit that the details are vague, but thats my poor memory. I can however tell you that the way it works is through the points system you probably know about. Victory by smaller clans over larger ones is about making sure you maximise your potential point gains per each win.
    Was the Elo system mentioned?
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Dribbs wrote: »
    Was the Elo system mentioned?

    It wasn't mentioned no, I do not think this will be implemented in the game upon release!
  • RaxxmanRaxxman Junior Member Posts: 2Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Well I also went to CA yesterday and I tried a campaign on Normal because I haven't played a Total War game for years. I was firing up legendary but they pulled the plug on us before I could have a proper go at that level.

    In the game I played the AI attempted twice to recapture a city I took, but was repulsed by my forces. I didn't get much further as I wanted to look at other features of the game. A peaceful clan near me amassed forces in what looked like a decently balanced army. Way too strong for me to deal with at the time frame.

    One thing I will say though is normal is still going to be a walk over for 99% of the people here, as you'd expect.

    As for the MP, all I can say is the UI is superslick, everything I saw had polish, which is really good to see in the current climate of push it out the door ASAP. Clearly we couldn't face a superclan because there were only four of us at a time.

    The MP side I'm interesting in, which is the first time in a total war game since STW (good times). The whole setup breathed effort, not tacked on, which gives me confidence that any launch bugs/imbalances will be smoothed over.

    If anyone has anyother questions, then feel free to ask away, and I'll answer as best as I can
  • ranknfileranknfile Senior Member Posts: 6,992Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Thanks for posting of your experience guys. The tips help, but we'll have most of our questions answered when we start to play the game. Won't be long now.
    "Whoever desires is always poor" - Claudian
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Agreed. I am just chuffed to bits that this game will very likely turn out to be not only the game of 2011, but also one of the most tidy and complete games released, on time and by Sega. Especially great because TW:S2 is my idea of the best game I could currently play (along with EVE Online and Half-Life 2)
  • SkunkOneSkunkOne Banned Posts: 333Banned Users
    edited March 2011
    Kagutsuchi wrote: »
    To the Community:

    I have had the pleasure of visiting CA at their offices in Horsham. For a few hours, I had the opportunity to play the SP campaign to a small degree and have a go at a 4v4 Multiplayer battle against Mark and Craig.

    In gratitude, I have agreed to post my experience to the community and hopefully answer a couple of the questions bothering a large number of the player base. I apologise for the coming wall of text.

    Let me start by explaining how much is missing from the demo compared to the actual game. The demo is a great way to introduce the game for sure, however it doesn't do the full game justice one iotta. The game was played on what seemed like a capable system, not uber by any stretch but better than my laptop.
    The visuals are immensely better in the full game, it seemed richer, more full of detail and atmosphere. I didn't feel like the demo absorbed me into the experience but as soon as i started the full campaign for real, my first thought was "OMG, this is actually going to be hard, like real hard".
    I had chosen to play this pitifully small clan (Tokugawa) in the middle of this emmense map of Japan and it felt like it would take me about a week just to sail a single ship round it.
    My neighbours seemed stronger and like real obstacles in quest for the shogunate.

    The level of detail, the music, the artwork and general atmosphere of the game will quite likely make you feel overwhelmed by the size of complexity of the task to come. Fortunately, the game WILL draw you into the mood of the period and suddenly, I was tokugawa Ieyesu's father, planning my first conquest. I couldn't wait to begin. (which quickly went horribly wrong for me on Legendary btw).

    I never played Napoleon Totalwar, so i can't compare the two. However, I can compare it to all the other Totalwar games and the recent demo. This is what I can tell you of certain aspects of the game i played and questions I asked the Dev Team about.

    AI.

    This is perhaps the most important element for me, Totalwar has always been an absorbing series of games but the AI was the weak link in the experience. Not anymore.
    It is by no means a Big Blue with human like qualities. but it surprised me. I played one battle against the Imagawa. I was outnumbered about 2 to 3 and the enemy AI advanced methodically and with purpose, the enemy general held back and the forward units all came on with a purpose.
    A few Ashigaru to absorb my arrow fire, followed by its own archers. The army began to split just before the clash in order to counter my attempted flank and once battle was joined, suddenly, from my right flank appeared two further generals and an ashigaru spear unit to "roll me up". At just the right moment, the enemy general charged my mangled line to began a rout while the flank attack finished of any and all resistance. I was ****d!!

    I would have done almost the exact same thing if the tables had been reversed.

    The Campaign AI seems just as good. It makes what appear to be calculated and strategic moves counter to whatever you might be wanting to achieve or do. It never overdoes it though and I didn't feel like it was getting a huge helping hand from bonuses. However, one thing I can be grateful for is that there were other clans out there causing trouble for my enemies otherwise it would have been too much!
    However, The AI does seem to struggle to find a solution to unusual problems, for example, the Oda were wiped out early on and it had 1 general unit remaining on the map (in my province) given that there wasn't much it could do, thats exactly what it did, nothing, at all. It didn't act rebel like (which it was: Oda rebels), it just sat there.

    That said, I feel that the AI is a vast improvement over old attempts and finally, for those courageous enough to try Hard or V.Hard, you will find the game a serious challenge!

    Diplomacy:

    I didnt experience this to any great detail but I can say that you will not be able to romp accross the map using tried and tested tricks of diplomacy to keep your enemies at bay. The AI immediately, almost too quickly infact, forms alliances and trade agreements that will really put the squeeze on you, without making you feel like the only enemy in Japan. Smart diplomacy will definately make things smoother, but don't expect an easy ride.

    Naval Battles:

    I played a couple of these and they were pretty basic. They are enjoyable and definately make you feel like your probably going to get wet. However, my limited exposure left me feeling like some battles would be autoresolved after the novelty wore off. The addition of land definately gives you a few strategic options, but with only 2-3 boats per side in my battles, it didn't feature as much as it might have with 2 large fleets bearing down on each other!

    Multiplayer:

    This aspect is HUGE! so huge infact that i barely scrathed the surface. I am looking forward to this aspect of the game in a way that no other TW game has even come close. (except maybe good old STW 1, which i rate as one of the best games ever for its time)

    However, one or 2 questions were bugging me about this aspect, so I asked:

    Q1: Can 1 super zerg clan dominate all other clans just through numbers alone?

    A: NO!! Apparently, the system is setup so that even a small clan of just a few players can stand a chance against any other clan. Now, be clear about this, against a mighty clan of hundreds of players - everyone is going to have an uphill battle. ONLY the small clans that are organised and skillful will have a chance at beating a much bigger clan, but it is possible. Playing the right battles using the correct bonuses and tactics will prevail against a less well run clan, regardless of size. Just as it should be, only those clans that work as teams will win the top leagues.
    So if you love the game and will play it religously, join or start a clan, get at least 5-10 other dedicated players and you will have a good shot at the top spot, regardless of who you face.
    If you are more of a casual player, then the system will probably affect you less and therefore, either a quality clan of small size or a larger clan will do fine.

    Q2: Can players who are losing, cheat my causing the game to lag out, forcing a draw.

    A. yes and no. If a player forces the game to slow to a crawl by flooding their connection, they will be dropped eventually and given a loss (under certain conditions rather then arbitrarily). But a cheater can still lag the game out.
    Apparently, using a funky system within steam (I dunno what he called it), CA can monitor broadband usage over certain maps and they intend to use this information to streamline the system to limit cheating of this kind.
    Until the game is released and information is gathered, The Dev I spoke to was understandably unsure as to how this might pan out but happily, they plan to improve this aspect and others as they are able.

    I have been looking forward to this game for ages and tbh, I probably sound as biased as I could get, however, that genuinely is because I am so impressed with the game. It has a few small flaws as any game would but given my limited exposure, I can't wait for it to be released and I can confidently say that the daemons of Empire have well and truely been exorcised!!

    Lastly, I would like to exoress my gratitude to Mark, Craig and the CA team for allowing me the opportunity to try the game out before release!!

    Love the post as a whole but most of it makes no sense as no1 but you have a idea how the game plays let alone how the ai can be exploited in a new way. by this I mean even if the main ways we all know to beat the Ai my have been fixxed there may be new ways to cheat the AI. I have been playing Med2 Again to get ready and I have noticed even as I play each game a different way even with the same nation the way things turn out change so much that the AI is not the difference. It is you.
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Totally fair comment i guess. I would only say however, that the above is merely my recount of what I got to experience in just under 2 hours. It is by no means comprehensive!!
    The main aim of what I wrote was to A: answer a couple of the main questions I could remember to ask at the time and to B: encourage those still on the fence that this game was promising to be the best TW so far.
    Beat the AI? I would hope that the superiority of the human brain would indeed find a way to beat it. Otherwise I think humans are in deep ****.
    That said, please take what I wrote purely for what it was mean't to convey!!
  • Kraken_norKraken_nor Member Posts: 87Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Hey yea i am a long time online competitive player of Rometw / bi, with many tournaments behind me. And i just have to ask a skill tree??? Unlocking of units???
    I just dont understand how that can balanced in any from or fashion.
    I get how they need to learn new players the game but yea... thats what the tutorial is for.... So i guess my Q is how did that feel like? /
    1) Is the skill points limited to the point you have to choose a direction ? Or do you eventually end up getting everything in the "skill tree"?
    2) Can you turn it off/ are they a part of competitive games?

    And i just have to repeat myself a ******g skill tree??? Tw is not an mmorpg ....

    But it does not look all bad atleast the lobby is back. And the units are more balanced than ever before.
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kraken_nor wrote: »
    Hey yea i am a long time online competitive player of Rometw / bi, with many tournaments behind me. And i just have to ask a skill tree??? Unlocking of units???
    I just dont understand how that can balanced in any from or fashion.
    I get how they need to learn new players the game but yea... thats what the tutorial is for.... So i guess my Q is how did that feel like? /
    1) Is the skill points limited to the point you have to choose a direction ? Or do you eventually end up getting everything in the "skill tree"?
    2) Can you turn it off/ are they a part of competitive games?

    And i just have to repeat myself a ******g skill tree??? Tw is not an mmorpg ....

    But it does not look all bad atleast the lobby is back. And the units are more balanced than ever before.

    Well, I guess the main aim of the skill tree for units and characters is to enable you more customisation. It grants you the ability to decide the direction certain characters take, the aim of which is to encourage you to feel more "love" towards them and give them a sense of identity and worth. Remember in Empire how nobody gave a **** about rakes... well, now it is hoped that you will really miss your super assassin ninja if he dies... etc.
    Thats SP anyway.
    As for MP, its not about teaching new players the game, its about having an objective and purpose to fighting your games. Initially you will be aiming to aquire the bonuses and unlocks that you can through either SP (which you can get certain units + bonuses from for MP) or through MP battles.
    Fortunately, at no point will you be forced to play against someone who has unlocked way more than you, making victory too difficult.
    The main aim is to give MP some depth and feel and enable players to feel like their army and general are taking on personalities akin to what the player would like them to become!
    Hope this helps
  • Kraken_norKraken_nor Member Posts: 87Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    So it will be like 1 going all for melee/ cavalry strength with his points and revolve/ and effectively lock his tactic simply around rushing?
    Or all in missile troops and be locked to fight best as a skirmisher?
    Can see it being interesting in 2v2 / 3v3 but in 1v1 it will just screw you up wont it? The greatest advantage you have is being unpredictable whether you skirmish rush play defensively or simply go for a balanced composition/ tactic. Unless you can change skill points during army selection this whole idea will make players very very predictable..
    humm but i suppose nobody would imagine you to skirmish with no points in missile units lol.
  • rayrox222rayrox222 Senior Member Posts: 335Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kraken_nor wrote: »
    Hey yea i am a long time online competitive player of Rometw / bi, with many tournaments behind me. And i just have to ask a skill tree??? Unlocking of units???
    I just dont understand how that can balanced in any from or fashion.
    I get how they need to learn new players the game but yea... thats what the tutorial is for.... So i guess my Q is how did that feel like? /
    1) Is the skill points limited to the point you have to choose a direction ? Or do you eventually end up getting everything in the "skill tree"?
    2) Can you turn it off/ are they a part of competitive games?

    And i just have to repeat myself a ******g skill tree??? Tw is not an mmorpg ....

    But it does not look all bad atleast the lobby is back. And the units are more balanced than ever before.

    As a competitive online gamer with the same concerns, I'll point out that it reminds me of a free to play competitive online game called League of Legends. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but as you play games you get experience and level up to a maximum of level 30. Your mastery/talent points do give you an edge over players that are a lower level, and the idea is that it's somewhat of both a learning curve and straight up grind to hit 30 where you're truly viable against everyone else who has capped out at the maximum level. If you don't mind the grind and using that time to figure things out and master aspects of the game, it isn't so bad. Of course, if you want to be fully competitive from day 1 and others simply get more exp and levels faster than you because they have more time to play online, it may be annoying, but I'll bet a competitive gamer just like in League of Legends can hit max level in a fairly short amount of time and be fully competitive. Then the "specializations" for each level so long as all of the choices are balanced and good is just a nice feature guaranteeing that there will be many different playstyles in online competition, and I find that this keeps the game interesting. The main concern is that they make everything balanced, because with RPG games specializations, you may already know the general problem is there are only a few if not one obvious "best set of mastery point specs" and if you don't pick those exact ones you will simply not be viable in online competitions. Here's to hoping CA gets the balancing done well!
  • rayrox222rayrox222 Senior Member Posts: 335Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kagutsuchi wrote: »
    Fortunately, at no point will you be forced to play against someone who has unlocked way more than you, making victory too difficult.

    you sure about that? Is this to say that in say a 2v2, I can't play with my friend if I outlevel him or vice-versa since we don't have the same unlocks and it would be an unfair matchup in online play?
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kraken_nor wrote: »
    So it will be like 1 going all for melee/ cavalry strength with his points and revolve/ and effectively lock his tactic simply around rushing?
    Or all in missile troops and be locked to fight best as a skirmisher?
    Can see it being interesting in 2v2 / 3v3 but in 1v1 it will just screw you up wont it? The greatest advantage you have is being unpredictable whether you skirmish rush play defensively or simply go for a balanced composition/ tactic. Unless you can change skill points during army selection this whole idea will make players very very predictable..
    humm but i suppose nobody would imagine you to skirmish with no points in missile units lol.

    From what I understand, the whole system is balanced so that no matter what skill point path you take, you can still win with superior tactics... at least thats the impression i got from looking at many of the potential skills/retainers. The best approach is to skill towards your favoured tactic and consider using a clans bonueses to either compliment your strengths or to help cover your armies weakness.
    Overall i believe it will be a system with few flaws and will appeal to most players of at least some ability.
    rayrox222 wrote: »
    you sure about that? Is this to say that in say a 2v2, I can't play with my friend if I outlevel him or vice-versa since we don't have the same unlocks and it would be an unfair matchup in online play?

    The avatar system is not the only way MP battles can be fought. There are around 4 or so different ways you can play people and only 2 of them concern the avatar. The other 2 are co-op type games and the direct peer v peer battle just like the old system of MP in older TW titles
  • Kraken_norKraken_nor Member Posts: 87Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Yea i concur but unfortunately CA is not known for great balance in their earlier TW games. My main issue with the idea tho is that TW was always games where skill was everything and grinding non existent witch i mean is proper for a strategy game. Really good players could start playing online from scratch and end up playing with the elite within 3-6 months a few of them even became the best of the best and dominated some of the old players. That element is what i fear for the most that STW 2 has gained a grinding aspect to it that might make the process even longer and more deterring for new players to actually become good enough.
    Not to mention that equal units will no longer be equal due to these points, it just brings a new random element to the game.
  • KagutsuchiKagutsuchi Member Posts: 56Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    More effort = more reward, that is the way of MP games. Those that can put in the time and are prepared to grind deserve to do well in that respective game.
    I think the best and possibly the main benefit of the whole skill/XP system is it will allow you to create a unique avatar, that will possibly develop a fearsome reputation!! we can hope
  • rayrox222rayrox222 Senior Member Posts: 335Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kraken_nor wrote: »
    Yea i concur but unfortunately CA is not known for great balance in their earlier TW games. My main issue with the idea tho is that TW was always games where skill was everything and grinding non existent witch i mean is proper for a strategy game. Really good players could start playing online from scratch and end up playing with the elite within 3-6 months a few of them even became the best of the best and dominated some of the old players. That element is what i fear for the most that STW 2 has gained a grinding aspect to it that might make the process even longer and more deterring for new players to actually become good enough.
    Not to mention that equal units will no longer be equal due to these points, it just brings a new random element to the game.

    yep, and the new random element is either a well balanced skill system where with all the talent trees many options are good for different purposes so you'll see lots of different specs and playstyles in online play . . .

    or it's broken, some talents are obvious "bests", there will be strategy sites dedicated to listing a definitive 1 or 2 "masteries" to spend your points in that are the obvious best of the bunch, everyone who's good uses those talents exclusively or they face an uphill battle. But I'm used to League of Legends where you're just augmenting the abilities of your champion who gets 3 abilities and an ultimate. We're talking about "talents/masteries" for a general which has an impact on his entire army. It's much more complex, so I'm hoping because of this and the many playstyles people have there won't be a clear "best" and many playstyles will be viable. Personally I am very excited about it.

    As for CA's reputation of not being great about balance, I was wondering if you could be more specific. I'm under the impression that by cutting down on the variety of units like in the original Shogun, Shogun 2 does a good job of focusing on fewer units for the main purpose of balancing them well. Empire is obviously the best example of a disgustingly imbalanced set of varying units among factions across the world. It was just too much material to work with to make the factions both diversified and balanced. But Shogun 2 is more focused so I am optimistic about the game being more balanced.

    As for your frustration over one's inability to play fully on a skill based level from the get go and not having to "grind" your general's experience to max level to be fully competitive, I guess your only hope is that either the level cap is low or the general will level up quickly. It doesn't bother me so much. I like both games like Starcraft 2 where it's straight up skill as well as League of Legends where you level up as more games are played and get to spend talent points that make you stronger.
  • Kraken_norKraken_nor Member Posts: 87Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    mm yea I was thinking of all the previous games really, not hinting at anything in particular Shogun I,Rome + Bi, Med I / II + Kingdoms and the new Etw / Ntw neither of those games have been really balanced you have always had the strong (slightly stronger in some cases to the steroid factions you could only lose with if you screwed up in 1v1), the more mediocre and the weaker factions in TW and i dont see this change in a flash. But we will make it work with faction limitation like time and time before.
    But certain extremes "super factions" does come to mind Romes egypt on low cash and bi eastern romans. Particularly cilibanarii was ridiculously over powered people used them as arrow shields rather than using pesants as they where virtually immune to regular arrows from the front. Adding pain to misery they where effective vs armor. That said the adding of mirror factions in Bi did help out tho i dont think they should have stopped with just mirroring the romans. Shame they did not continue that trend.
  • rayrox222rayrox222 Senior Member Posts: 335Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Kraken_nor wrote: »
    mm yea I was thinking of all the previous games really, not hinting at anything in particular Shogun I,Rome + Bi, Med I / II + Kingdoms and the new Etw / Ntw neither of those games have been really balanced you have always had the strong (slightly stronger in some cases to the steroid factions you could only lose with if you screwed up in 1v1), the more mediocre and the weaker factions in TW and i dont see this change in a flash. But we will make it work with faction limitation like time and time before.
    But certain extremes "super factions" does come to mind Romes egypt on low cash and bi eastern romans. Particularly cilibanarii was ridiculously over powered people used them as arrow shields rather than using pesants as they where virtually immune to regular arrows from the front. Adding pain to misery they where effective vs armor. That said the adding of mirror factions in Bi did help out tho i dont think they should have stopped with just mirroring the romans. Shame they did not continue that trend.
    I think what we're looking towards in Shogun 2 is a simplification and therefore natural balance between factions with minor advantages to something in each faction (e.g. better Ashigaru for Oda, better archers for Chosokabe, better cavalry for Takeda, better No Dachi for Date) but other than that, perfect balance among the units, everything has a solid counter for it, and the better a unit is overall, the more it costs to recruit and maintain.
  • RomulusRomulus Junior Member Posts: 9Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    You can still set up games without all the avatar unlocks, upgrades, etc, and play a game like the other Total War games. With all the units unlocked and whatever amount of money you want. Check it out in this interview with Mark O'Connell, skip to 7:37.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtA_pBJS6M4&feature=player_embedded#at=460
    [PORTABLE-ID] romulus [/PORTABLE-ID]
    "You win battles by knowing the enemy's timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect."
    Miyamoto Musashi
    Imperators TW Clan
    http://imperator.editboard.com/
  • rayrox222rayrox222 Senior Member Posts: 335Registered Users
    edited March 2011
    Romulus wrote: »
    You can still set up games without all the avatar unlocks, upgrades, etc, and play a game like the other Total War games. With all the units unlocked and whatever amount of money you want. Check it out in this interview with Mark O'Connell, skip to 7:37.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtA_pBJS6M4&feature=player_embedded#at=460

    I think what kraken is interested in is the competitive online play where something is at stake (e.g. the acquisition of territory in the multiplayer clan map of Feudal Japan); not just a skirmish match. And he has an issue with the fact that you're not able to compete at full effectiveness based on your skillful command of troops because first before you are fully effective you have to simply play enough to get your general experience to the max level in order to have all of the available bonuses for your army. That having to get experience and leveling up is just a tedious grind and he would prefer that you work with armies of equal value and either win with greater skill or lose with less skill. There's simply going to be some level of a serious gamer's aversion to instances where he's the better player and loses a match that costs his clan territory because he had to fight someone whose general was of a higher level and therefore had unfair advantages against him.
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