People Are Finding New Ways To Get Upset At Total War: Rome II

People Are Finding New Ways To Get Upset At Total War: Rome II

Total War: Rome II went from being one of 2013’s most promising games to one of its most disappointing. Indeed, it took months of patches and updates to even get it to a presentable state. Not that performance and AI were the last of the game’s troubles.

A fresh uproar has kicked off following a couple of recent developments.

  • First there’s some units popping up in paid DLC that were spotted in pre-release trailers for the game, despite claims from Creative Assembly that none of the main game’s content was held back for release as DLC.
  • Players are alleging that anyone speaking out about Creative Assembly on the forums about this – or continuing performance issues – is having their posts shifted to a “rants and raves” dumping ground.

Total War “brand director” Rob Bartholomew has provided Eurogamer with a lengthy response, which to be honest isn’t the most convincing, saying stuff like this:

It’s certainly correct to point out that units called Camel Cataphracts and Merc Naked Swords were used in a Let’s Play walkthrough before launch.

The naming is unfortunate, but these aren’t the same units that were then released subsequently as DLC. As with all work in-progress content, it is subject to change and revision before the final game is shipped. Content might be revised for all sorts of reasons involving balancing or quality for example.

The DLC we’re looking at here are essentially a different version following increased design, artwork and balancing to match the quality of the other units available. The final selection of units supplied in the game were extensive and we felt they represented excellent value.

I feel so…sad about all this. Of all the video game series out there, Total War may well be my favourite, as I’ve blown well over 1000 hours on them since Empire was released. The series has had its incremental ups and downs in that time (I’m looking at you, Napoleon), but nothing like what’s happened with Rome, which for all its ambition is also perhaps the most disappointing Total War game in the franchise’s 14-year history.

I kinda feel like instead of gnashing our teeth over Rome, we should just accept that it was in many ways a misstep, move on and hope their next game is an improvement.

Rome 2 killer camel DLC backlash prompts rethink at Creative Assembly [Eurogamer]


  • Rome 2 has been a battlefield 4 like disaster since launch. What’s a bit more fuel to the fire

  • I was really looking forward to this, attended their presentation at PAX, but I didn’t have time to go buy it for a week when it launched and by then friends who had bought it were saying “hold off, don’t spend your money on this thing now, it’s unplayable”. Ah well.

  • I’ve never thought it was unplayable, yeah the ai was far from perfect, but I still had fun and never had any major graphics issues on my rig (queue people saying they had problems therefore the game is definitely broken). As it is now though, people are just liking to whinge. Most of the people still whinging probably haven’t even got a copy yet, people just like to complain and jump on the bandwagon of complaining.

    Methinks Luke should look backwards in the series and play Medieval 2 though. I’ve sunk 1000 hours into that game alone and is the best in the series

    • Is it weird that my favourite game in the entire series is Shogun: Total War?
      It just had the best balance of gameplay elements, to my mind, and didn’t dick around with these animated troop figures. There was something really elegant to the pieces-on-a-board aesthetic. Medieval was good for that, too.

      • I couldn’t get into Shogun just like I couldn’t get into Shogun 2. I’m not familiar with the time period and don’t have much of an interest to become familiar. The first Medieval though, I absolutely loved it. I didn’t play the battles though, just the campaign map. Thousands of hours of just playing the campaign map 😀 that all changed with Rome when battles, for me at least, became easier to play, although I guess that’s where the whole Total War thing got simplified to infantry>spears>cavalry>infantry and archers> everything.

        Looking back though, the ai has never been great from the vanilla games. Enemies will happily stand there being peppered by arrows until there’s a handful left and then decide to run away so I don’t know why everyone’s hounding on the ai now. It’s always been a fun game for the campaign in my eyes rather than the battles

        • Yeah, that was my focus too – I autoresolved any battle that it looked like I’d win it. The only time I fought battles was if my forces were outmatched and an auto-resolve would result in defeat. (Which was actually pretty common early on when I was over-extending to get a head-start.)

          Even if I was going to lose with manual control as well, I wanted to make damn sure the enemy AI paid dearly for their victory.

    • Why can’t people say it is broken because it’s unplayable for them when you get to say it’s not broken because it works for you? That’s some pretty lame double standards there bud.

      The game is a freaking nightmare of issues for many, so don’t denounce their valid anger just because you don’t cop it.

      • “I don’t have any problems, therefore most people do not have any problems, because I am representative of the majority.”

        It’s called Projection, and it’s usually the reason you’ll feel that most of the Internet needs to die in a fire when you’re trying to get any kind of tech support.
        (“You sure you’re not doing it wrong, brah? I have the same config as you and I’m fine… I think you’re just crap at this, instead of there being some more complicated underlying problem.”)

        • “I don’t have any problems, therefore most people do not have any problems, because I am representative of the majority.”

          I think in the the case of Rome 2 it;s a case of “I don’t have problems, therefore most people have problems, because I am representative of the majority.” With anything, if something doesn’t work or you don’t like something you’re vocal about it, especially online. If something’s working as you’d expect, unless it’s something truly amazing you’re not going to keep on jumping up and down about it telling everyone how the game works for you. CA said the percentage of people with graphics issues were around 3%. It’s probably a bit more than that tbh, but it’s not like everyone who’s installed it has been having graphical problems, just the (very) vocal minority

          • I’d say percentages are a fair bit higher than reported, because who goes to the trouble of logging a ticket on a known issue? Check forums, ‘Yep, it’s fucked,’ wait for patch, do something else/uninstall-and-ask-for-refund. Also note that’s specifically graphics issues, which doesn’t include the multiple instances of crash-to-desktop that drove all my friends away from playing it multiplayer. And aside from those guys, the TAYbies who used Teamspeak were running into problems all the time was I was listening, and eventually they gave up…

            I also think there’s a big difference between, “Most people have problems,” and, “too many people have problems.” It doesn’t have to be a majority to be completely unacceptable. Your mileage may vary, but people have problems with every game ever released, and those games don’t get the same thrashing. ‘Majority’ and ‘significant number’ are important distinctions, and in this case the number is high enough to have influenced enough opinions – more than their peers in the game industry. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and it would be incredibly naive to write it off as bandwagon-jumping.

      • I’m not denouncing anything, just in the case of Rome 2, as soon as someone says they have no problems with the game tens/hundreds of people (on Facebook at least) jump straight on them saying they must work for CA, or that they’re the exception.

        If most people were constructive with their criticism they’d take it onto the CA bug forum, but instead all you get are people jumping on every CA post on Facebook saying ‘fix your game’ (usually the language is a bit more colourful than that).

        • Folks could probably stand to be a bit more civil, but to be fair, I think if you took a step back you’d find apologist talk like, “Most folks just like having a whinge,” or, “most folks complaining are just jumping on a bandwagon/don’t even own the game,” is just as hyperbolic.

          Not to mention pretty unfair to the folks with genuine grievances (such as not being able to even play the game you bought). You can’t blame folks for doing what they can to make noise when the game was released in September last year. That’s not something that deserves to have excuses made for it.

          • No it doesn’t help so yeah, I’m probably as guilty as people not being constructive with criticism. It’s clear that the game was released far too early and I’ll pin that on Sega as the publisher as much as CA as the developer. They’re clearly not happy with it, hence the boatload of patches that have come in a constant stream since release, and hopefully anyone who’s still having trouble with the game has raised a ticket/gone on the forums which is the best way to get in contact with the developers rather than on Facebook/Twitter.

            With the latest DLC though, I’m with people having a go at CA splitting things up like units and playable nations into DLC when they used to be part of the full game.

          • Yeah, I’ve never really been able to get into the ‘on-disc DLC’ or ‘day one DLC’ debate because it’s just so… obvious.

            Everyone knows what’s going on, the publishers/developers deny what’s going on, people would probably still be just angry if they ADMITTED what’s going on, so shrug… they’ll keep doing it anyway. It makes money.

          • At the end of the day it is all about money, but it’s frustrating (putting it mildly) when you consider CA used to put out expansions like Barbarian or Viking Invasion or Kingdoms which were brilliant. Now they’ve gone backwards with what they’re offering. Silly compared to someone like Bethesda who’s gone in the opposite direction of offering crap as DLC (horse armour) and now offer some of the best DLC for their games there is.

            But yeah, very few people involved in making games are scared to be blunt with their consumers because they’re just afraid of looking bad for it and, atm at least, that can quite easily result in studios being closed. The thing is, in being secretive or tiptoeing around issues they’re damaging their reputation still. Live and learn hopefully.

    • Medieval 2 (+ Kingdoms) has the best mods too IMO.
      Stainless Steel
      Third Age

      … and hopefully *soon we will have Europa Barbarorum 2
      (* for very large values of soon)
      Hopefully that will be the ‘Rome 2’ we were all expecting instead of the hollow shell of a souless trash that we got.

  • the latest patch they release did make the game not load past the splash screen for me. i fixed it by deleting the rome total war folder and reloading the redist files and dirext x. its annoying yes but hardly rage enducing.
    i think the rage i feel is more from CA response to the issue. my enquiry to them resulted in donuts and deflection

  • This was the first game of this type I ever played. I played it at launch for a couple days and really just found it a mess. Trying to get ships to do what you wanted, board, or land troops. Was horrible.

    So this compounded with not knowing what I was doing made it a not very enjoyable experience.

    I don’t think I’ll play one of these games again. Unless I go back and some how instantly like it and it’s fixed. I have no desire to do that though.

  • Having problems with your game is one thing, but folding your arms and saying, “Nope! Nothing to see here, move along!” and ‘disappearing’ any voices of dissent is outright asshole behaviour and turns you from being a sympathetic figure trying their best into being the undisputed bad guy dodging responsibility.

    It’s pretty disappointing behaviour, they should’ve been better than that. Especially that mealy-mouthed rules-lawyer definition of what was and wasn’t ‘on disc DLC’.

  • I find that I don’t need new ways to be upset about the utterly disappointing R2TW, not when the old reasons are still plenty valid.

  • But… but I liked Rome 2! I mean, it wasn’t even all that buggy, especially compared to BF4. It barely even crashed at all. I mean, if people think Rome 2 is buggy then they haven’t played an actually buggy game. Even so, for some reason I liked Rome: Barbarian Invasion best, even though it was quite simple and ugly, probably because it ran so well and there was so little lag in between turns.

  • Still no sli support, still runs like shit on my i5@4.5Ghz with 2x 660ti.

    Hey lets make a game with 6000 units on screen but only use half the cpu cores and half the graphics power,basically half the computer.

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