Shogun - Total War 2 Page 3

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  • Articulate-Troll 10 Sep 2010 18:36:14 3,101 posts
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    First pics of the new campaign map: http://www.eurogamer.net/gallery.php?game_id=13373&article_id=1258444#anchor

    Looks nice visually but I was hoping for something with a bit more clarity. The original game's map was good because you could look out over your empire and get a sense of the scale of your conquests. Recent Total War games have focused on cramming as much detail as possible into every tiny bit of the map on the small scale, but lack the grand feeling of controlling an empire from just a small map, as if you were playing Risk. Sadly, it doesn't look like Shogun 2 will alter will that trend.
  • Zephro 12 Sep 2010 03:06:40 81 posts
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    Good. I have a copy of risk already. Had it for 16 years in fact.

    Exactly how many grand Empires were controlled from a small map and not by half a city of bureaucrats?

    It's implicit in the name anyway. Total War as a concept was perhaps for the first time seen in Revolutionary France. The mobilization of every resource and asset of a state into a focused battle of annihilation. The bureaucrat, the factory workers, every conscript, the supply wagons, diplomats, agents etc.

    Going back to just a simple map as an excuse for pitched battles is a massive step backwards.

    Personally I want to see lines of supply and attrition. I want to break through an enemy army to cut them off from their supplies forcing them to retreat without a battle ever being fought. Yknow something a simple board game can not possibly simulate.
  • Articulate-Troll 12 Sep 2010 05:26:10 3,101 posts
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    I think you're reading a bit too much into what I wrote. I wasn't suggesting that they go back to the old days of tile-based warfare -- I'm quite happy with a lot of the features they've put in since Shogun -- I just wish the visual style was a little clearer so you get a better sense of what's going on.

    Having said that, I'm not sure I agree with you about doing the work of half a city of bureaucrats. Part of the enjoyment of the Total War series has always been the feeling of being a king controlling things from a chess-board perspective, without having to worry about planning the army camp's latrines or create a potato peeling roster. Maybe that's not how real empires were run, but so what? It's a game designed to make you feel like a powerful emperor. It's not supposed to be a realistic logistics simulator.
  • Zephro 12 Sep 2010 15:51:54 81 posts
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    Oh I didn't mean that realistic. But yes I had thought going back to tile based, as many people argue for that. It reduces the campaign map to a very dull experience of dumping lots of armies into one province over and over. No real chances to break through of vary things.

    You should be trying to utilise every tool available though, not to the point of filling out spreadsheets of course.
  • Zephro 13 Sep 2010 10:01:06 81 posts
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    I want AI to be better and the core of the game rather than simplifying the game to accommodate bad AI code.
  • WoodenSpoon 13 Sep 2010 17:45:29 12,285 posts
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    If you press spacebar it makes the guys walk much faster.

    Not having a board game style map means you can have ambushes in forests and mountains, or cut enemy armies off at river crossings and the like. If the map was tile-based I think I'd miss all that flexibility.
  • WoodenSpoon 13 Sep 2010 17:59:20 12,285 posts
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    Hmm... I'm just not sure I agree with you. I think the current way of doing things is nice and intuitive, you want to block a mountain pass, you put an army in the way. You can see clearly what alternative routes there are and such.

    If that sort of thing was text based (this is what you're after right?) then I can see things getting confusing.
  • Articulate-Troll 13 Sep 2010 18:08:15 3,101 posts
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    I think taking away the terrain features of the recent games would remove a lot of the strategy that makes you feel like a real commander. Terrain features such as holding a defensive position or splitting the army in two are what made Rome feel like such a huge leap from the previous Total War games.
  • Articulate-Troll 13 Sep 2010 18:16:07 3,101 posts
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    One thing I would look to see the implement is the ability to research new troops and then train them in any province. In most campaigns I play, I rarely use the best troops available because by the time I've built up an advanced barracks, the frontier has expanded beyond the point where it would be practical to send them to the front within a decent amount of time.
  • Zephro 13 Sep 2010 18:27:21 81 posts
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    There needs to be more forms of battle for strategic level planning as ambushes, blocking passes and cutting off supplies etc. This is less intuitive and generally much suckier on a tile based map.

    I'd like to see more ambushes, more blocked passes and bridges. Also more types of battle. Like meeting engagements (where scouts start to clash and forces escalate as they march onto the scene) or rearguard actions where instead of fighting to total destruction you can safely extract your army while fighting a rearguard. It's really rare for armies in history to ever have fought to annihilation like they do in Total War.

    Also tile based maps devolve into this: Attack the top square of their line in force, occupy that square, attack the one from below from above an the side. Then attack the one below that from above and the side until you reach the bottom of the line. That's why the end of Medieval Total War was so terribly dull. You just had a line all the way across Europe.

    They've still not fully broken from this cycle annoyingly. But at least in napoleon I could smash through the enemy line and force a march on their capital to force them to abandon their lines or force them to take a peace treaty. Or in barbarian invasion hordes could circumvent your massive border forts and plunge into your undefended rear.

    Those things just didn't happen in tile based Total War. They happen in EU/Vic/HoI because they have that semi-real time and hundreds of provinces approach.
  • Zephro 13 Sep 2010 22:40:13 81 posts
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    How does a computer calculate shit?

    I mean they tend to use say the A* algorithm for path finding which tends to find the quickest route by going for the least cost. I.e. a road. Just like a human would.

    What exactly is the complaint about that? It's also accurate. Armies always marched along roads. It's just that there are more roads in real life than total war, but lots and lots of battles happened on road junctions or on roads rather than in total open fields.

    Turn based tiles are a damned sham for the small minded.
  • Ishmail 14 Sep 2010 10:28:12 50 posts
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    The problem I have with the map is that continuous space resolution really needs continuous time resolution. It's far too easy for armies to sneak by each other if you can't react to your opponent until the following turn. It worked well when you actually had a defensible position like a bridge or whatever but most of the time it was just armies messily wandering around. It's impossible to ambush someone in practice if you can't scout their approach until they are already there.

    This mainly annoyed me in MTW2 since it seemed to make field battles redundant. Enemy armies seemed to regrow so quickly that defeating them in the field gained you nothing so you were better off getting a few catapults and attacking undefended cities.

    They could fix some of this stuff. Give armies a larger control area, or a kind of overwatch interrupt mode. Make seiges more difficult. Make armies harder to replenish. Come up with some kind of decent retreating mechanic, say to retreat you have to fight a rear guard and lose some troops. Instead of the two steps back and then fight thing.

    The tile based on was very simple and was mainly there to support the field battles but I quite liked that. To win a war you just had to invade and smash them on the field in a big battle. Then just some manageable mopping up. Of course it got unmanageable towards the end but most games like this do.
  • Zephro 14 Sep 2010 13:39:26 81 posts
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    To be honest I want to see continuous time in the campaign map more than any other feature. It'd make things like the speed of armies so more engaging.

    You'd also end up fighting more in depth with people behind your front lines to catch any army which breaks through.

    Turn based video games just feel like a hang over from board games where the abstraction of turns is necessary as it's impossible to play otherwise. From playing miniature board games a lot you always end up with strange artefacts of this type. So real time / continuous is definitely what's needed.
  • Ishmail 14 Sep 2010 14:53:06 50 posts
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    I think it could be possible. They'd need variable time speeds and good auto-pause options for when something interesting happens, you finish a building or see an enemy etc.

    Mount and Blade does it in a very perfunctory way. Suffered from shite AI though. Enemy lords would approach to attack your castle, see you had a big army and turn back, go a short distance before turning to approach again and do this stupid dance for ages. It must be possible to do better than that though.

  • Zephro 14 Sep 2010 15:30:55 81 posts
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    Haha yeah you need an agent with a bit more short term memory from the sounds of it.

    But yeah that's all doable and I've seen it done in other games. If you made the "tick" around 1 day it would make sense for a battle to be resolved in around that time up until the end of the Napoleonic Period. Tbh I think only the Battle of Nations was more than a day, arguably the Waterloo Campaign.
  • magicpanda 20 Oct 2010 09:39:38 13,325 posts
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    Looking real purdy!

    “Mike Simpson, our creative director, has basically said ‘this game is not going out the door until the AI is perfect’.
  • figgis 20 Oct 2010 09:43:20 7,376 posts
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    “Mike Simpson, our creative director, has basically said ‘this game is not going out the door until the AI can be beaten in exactly the same way as all our other games’.
  • AaronTurner 20 Oct 2010 09:45:43 7,669 posts
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    “Mike Simpson, our creative director, has basically said ‘if we keep telling the same porkies before releasing the game then people will still buy them’.
  • magicpanda 20 Oct 2010 09:46:02 13,325 posts
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    “Mike Simpson, our creative director, has basically said ‘There is nothing I like better than a giant, naked black man in a cowboy hat and ice skates’.
  • Talbot 4 Nov 2010 16:57:12 62 posts
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    A non-turn based Total War would be interesting.

    I only hope they don't start making multi-platform Total Wars; that would be the final nail in the coffin for PC gaming.
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