Total War: Rome 2 Patches Fix Bugs, Add Steam Workshop

By Graham Smith on October 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Angry Total War forumites, yesterday.

When Total War: Rome 2 entered the gladiatorial arena of Adam’s Wot I Think, he found it easy to love, but knocked it to its knees for its crashes, bugs and AI idiosyncrasies. A portion of the audience have been calling for its thumbs-down slaughter ever since.

Creative Assembly have spent the time since release putting the game through a series of training montages, so that it might rise and fight again. Last Friday’s update combined dozens of new tweaks and fixes with a new faction and Steam Workshop support.

The full patch notes are full of lovely singsong phrases, like:

Fixed satrapies not recognising that they no longer have an overlord in some cases when they cease to be a satrapy.

Friday’s Update 5 added the Seleucid Empire faction to the mix for single and multiplayer. I’m imagining them as angry architects with elephant familiars, because why not.

It also brought Steam Workshop support and an in-game mod manager, which means that Rome 2 can now join its fellow Total War games as a platform for things like this.

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62 Comments »

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  1. DonJefe says:

    Great! Now all we need is for the game to go on sale. Can’t be too long now, right? ….Right?….

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      You don’t want to buy this game, even in the sale. It’s horrific, a complete butchering of the series and still after 5 patches (they have planned at least two more) the game is not fixed.

      Also, reading the cumulative patch ‘fixes’ is like reading ‘War & Peace’, how on earth the game ever went live in such a complete fluster cuck state is beyond me, but by money’s on massive ineptitude and buffoonery.

      You want the best Total War experience? Then install Medieval 2 Kingdoms then get get the LOTR and Call of Warhammer total conversions. That is strategy.

      • gyungsoo88 says:

        if you are a total war fan, then should should know by now that they “always” release games in horrible states.
        to be honest, rome2 came out with better shape than i expected. and i am really enjoying playing this game.

  2. razgon says:

    It still doesn’t really work, so I would wait about 6-8 months more for the MOD that fixes everything.

    • Lenderz says:

      I can’t be bothered to dig out the quote, but the last update on the “state of the game” by CA was that the first 5 patches have concentrated on stability and performance I’ve certainly noticed a difference despite the fact that that I never had much of an issue with either apart from AI turns in the co-op campaign, which has been vastly improved.

      Now they’re starting to concentrate on AI bugs, balance and other more gamey things. The game was a mess at release, but I actually commend them on their communication with their community on their forum and the work they’ve done so far.

      It feels like a typical TW release (don’t play at release) but in this instance it feels even more like SEGA pushed them to release too soon.

      EDIT : In retrospect I think they could improve their community communication by maybe doing some interviews about what they’re changing next and what they have changed and why etc with a good PC gaming focused website… Now where could they find one of those?

      • SuicideKing says:

        They had to fix it, they had no choice. The next TW would have tanked. As far as i’m concerned, this was the first non-demo TW i’ve played, and will perhaps be the last. In future, i’ll probably only buy on sales.

        The retailer i got this from even refused to give me the pre-order DLC code, saying they haven’t got any. I really didn’t care enough to fight, because i couldn’t see myself replaying this game again.

    • Poppis says:

      In 6-8 months we might have the first alpha version of Europa Barbarorum II. So no need for RTW2 anymore.;)

  3. Chiron says:

    Do AI turns still take a good 10 minutes or so to process?

    • Lenderz says:

      No, thats been improved.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Have a Core 2 Quad, last took about 2-3 mins. Had started a multiplayer campaign after patch 3, was much faster. under a minute, mostly. Host processor was a i5-3570K.

    • DougyM says:

      That got fixed about a week or two after release.

      The game still has problems, mainly battle AI related and some poor design choices that hinder players rather than help them….

      But it has come a really long way since launch, still would not recommend it at full price but im pretty confident that they will have all the big problems or rather… the ones that they can/will realistically fix in time for christmas.

      Definitely an eye opener as far as CA’s quality is concerned and i would expect them to keep working away else their DLC wont sell and their next title will be judged poorly before its even out of the door.

  4. zaript says:

    I am mostly concerned with MP and from that perspective game is shaping up nicely, but still has a way ahead^^

  5. pipman3000 says:

    awesome so the early access beta’s finally over? :D

    • razgon says:

      nope

    • SuicideKing says:

      No, seems a patch 6 may be on the way too (from the wording of their announcement, at least).

      • Lenderz says:

        It is, as I stated above they’ve done the performance/stability issues in up to patch 5.

        Now they’re working on AI bugs and balance etc.

        • razgon says:

          And do you think it qualifies as being out of Beta, that they are now working fixing AI, bugs and BALANCE?

          • DougyM says:

            I think being petty and calling things betas just because they are bugged to hell and back helps nobody.

            Did Rome 2 release in an unfinished state? Yep.

            Are the fixing it? Yep.

            Does being a child about it help? Nope.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            “Beta” is as close to a good definition as you’re likely to get when describing Rome II’s opening performance. The game was obviously released in a highly unfinished state, so I don’t see how calling it out as that is being childish.

  6. Syra says:

    Astartes Legions mod please…

  7. SuicideKing says:

    I stopped playing after 280 turns, because patch4beta broke something with Cimbri’s AI that caused the game to crash every time. Probably been three weeks since i’ve played last…hope it’s fixed.

    Otherwise Civilization V.

  8. frightlever says:

    Have there been any total conversions for a TW game SINCE MTW2? It had Third Age as well which is/was great.

    • Werthead says:

      No. The Warscape engine has hardcoded a lot of stuff that was previously accessible in the ROME/MEDIEVAL II engine, so full, total conversions are not possible. Someone found a way of hacking SHOGUN 2 so you can change the campaign map, but it was apparently so much effort that it’s not really worth doing. ROME II also doesn’t let you do it either, though you can tweak the stats and reskin a few units.

      MEDIEVAL II remains the last game in the series to have total conversions for it, like THIRD AGE, WESTEROS, CALL OF WARHAMMER and the WWI mod that surprised everyone by being pretty good.

      • DougyM says:

        Thats not the case, Shogun 2 was not fully modded because the style of combat in the game did not suit 99% of mod makers needs.

        Ie. it had pre existing animations for only non shield bearing units… something that almost all Total War mods need as standard.

        To add them would have been exponentially more work than it was worth so many never even attempted to do it.

        Medieval 2 only got its big whole game changing mods many years after release, Shogun 2 was never going to have comparable mods in just 2 years since release.

        Rome 2 is the most open of the entire series but its also the most complicated and hard to code for, so mod makers need to either admit they can no longer get by with modding text files like they could in MTW2 or they need to step up and learn to use the tools that are required to work on the new engine.

        • Werthead says:

          So the explanation is laziness? I don’t think so, certainly not from the TW modding community.

          EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR has now been out for five years and also hasn’t had any significant TC mods either. Neither has NAPOLEON and neither has SHOGUN 2. Modders have said, fairly repeatedly, that TC mods (or rather TC mods that don’t require the exact same campaign map and just tweaked units) for Warscape are impossible unless CA offer up more in-depth modding tools or open the hardcoded files, which has not happened yet. This is why new TC mods for MEDIEVAL II continue to be announced and the Warscape games just have balance and state change mods rolling out for them.

  9. Ergates_Antius says:

    “A portion of the audience have been calling for its thumbs-down slaughter ever since”
    I thought it was thumbs *up* for slaughter – to indicate that you are holding your sword ready for a downwards stabbing “finishing move”.

    Or maybe that’s a myth.

    • Premium User Badge

      Maka Albarn says:

      The thumb was generally used to represent a sword, yes… In which case you stabbed down or out at the gladiator you were watching. The direction didn’t matter so much as the thumb being out (pollice verto) vs in your closed fist (pollice compresso).

  10. Werthead says:

    Patch 5 has also completely screwed the game up for huge numbers of people. A lot of people can’t launch the game at all. A lot of those who can launch it have found the ‘infinite graphics memory’ box, which you need to tick because the game is far too over-conservative with its graphics and will automaticaly scale the game down so it looks worse than ROME I, has been greyed out and can no longer be used. Oh, and past saved games now seem to be incompatible for some people with Patch 5, but not others.

    CA have been very laudable in their patching system to date, but seem to have taken the inane criticisms that they haven’t been patching fast enough to heart and decided to release Patch 5 without the lengthy beta period the previous four did, which has resulted in these problems. Apparently they are now working on a ‘fixed’ Patch 5 (patching the patch; WHAT HAVE WE COME TO?) to be followed by an apparently infinite string of patches until the thing is fixed.

    Ridiculous. I must admit that after the fourth patch I found the game to very stable and playable, and would have been happy for them to pause there and address everything else in a much bigger single mega-patch a few months down the line. They’ve now just undone a lot of their work and broken the game again for no discernible reason.

    A shame because when it was working, I found ROME II to be a very good installment of the series. It needed the stances tweaked a little bit more and it definitely needed a ‘short campaign’ option added, but beyond that I was pretty happy with it.

  11. XhomeB says:

    Is this the patch that makes the game fun?

  12. Hypnotron says:

    YouTube reviewer “Angry Joe” gives a pretty good review. Summary, you want to love the game but CA and Sega decided to release a beta version of the game. It’s pretty damn insulting because we all know that Creative Assembly knew of 99% of the issues existed before they signed off on the release.

    If this was an automobile it would have to be recalled. Since it’s just a game, they don’t care that they’re screwing their customers over.

    And then on top of that…there’s the DLC bullcrap… things like the Spartans that were in Rome 1 are now DLC for $7.99.

    • jalf says:

      Huh… You think automobiles are bug-free when they’re released? Heck, how about airplanes or medical scanning equipment? You might be surprised at the near-infinite number of issues and bugs that any of those ship with.

      Product recalls? Yeah right… ;)

      • Hypnotron says:

        Hey jaff, what is your point?

        But first, why the heck do you assume I don’t know “bugs” or defects exist in products? Do you think I’m talking about Rome 2 buggyness because I’m just being anal retentive or perhaps a certain critical level of FAIL has been reached with Rome 2 to warrant a little extra finger pointing?

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          To be fair he didn’t kill you. Barnaby Jack died for inconveniencing too many people by exposing fundamental flaws.

          Just pipe down and check your doors and windows are secure!

          • Hypnotron says:

            oh please. If “they” want to get you they are going to get you. locks aren’t going to stop them.

            to be fair, i didn’t kill him either. Am I not merciful?

      • Premium User Badge

        Klatu says:

        I used to work in the motor trade and faults the manufacturers couldn’t fix were called ‘characteristics of the vehicle’. Then again it was Renault.
        When we spoke to head office we tended to receive the aural version of a Gallic shrug.

        (Apologies for any perceived racism)

  13. Ernesto25 says:

    Do you still have to defend those stupid flags in open fields?

    • DatonKallandor says:

      You mean your supply chain, baggage train and food storage? If there’s any non-standard engagement style involved (ambush, forced marches, combined land-naval assault) yes as it should be.

      • Ernesto25 says:

        Not really i should be able to protect anywhere i want when im the defender in an open field

    • DougyM says:

      They adjusted it so that you only get them in a minority of battles, you wont randomly get them anymore.

      If you use forced march and get attacked or a land and naval battle then yes they are present but they need to be A. to simulate the downside of being a defender in the former and B. to force the player/AI to take the flag instead of just sitting their navy out at sea meaning that the land based army cannot do a thing about it as the timer runs down.

    • Zenicetus says:

      They removed the worst example of capture flags in open field battles, which was the attack on an army in forced march (i.e. the “baggage train” attack). That is now automatically an ambush battle with no flag. In this one case, at least, they listened to the player community.

      There are still flags for sieges, sallies from sieges, and for combined land-sea attacks (which is stupid, because in singleplayer the AI should just be programmed to disembark, it shouldn’t need a flag to do that).

      Anyone who thinks capture flags are a good idea, hasn’t yet experienced having the enemy army race through your army, ignoring it completely, while it runs for the flag. Stupidest design decision in the game.

      It makes sense to have some kind of capture point to hold or take in a siege, but the AI prioritizes the flags way too much. It’s also a player exploit (ninja flag capture). It would be better if the flags didn’t even appear until one army was reduced to half strength, so at least there would be some more realistic fighting before the flags became important.

      • Ernesto25 says:

        Cheers it always made sense for TW series e.g the walls of a settlement. But i can’t stand the concept of having to defend a randomly placed flag, i accepted alot of Rome 2 mechanics but the flags were a game changer to me i kinda get the concept but unless im backed against the sea for a good few turn or something the defender should be allowed to set up wherever i want. It seemed like CA didn’t want me to use the terrain to my advantage when a flag is in the middle of a damn field .

  14. C0llic says:

    My advice to CA that will never in a million years be heard or listened to. Go back and play Medieval: Total War. Notice how that game worked because the campaign map was essentially just a way for you to perform basic diplomacy and build your forces for the great real time battles. The AI would do much the same, leading to your huge stack meeting their huge stack and fun.

    Now notice that in modern Total War games the battles are a complete mess. Notice the campaign doesnt even produce much possibilty for satisfying battles anyway, because the AI spends most of its time moving small stacks around trying to frantically satisfy lots of ultimately pointless objectives (like raiding resources).

    Notice how most of the campaign elements don’t really add any complexity to the game; just busy work to give you more things to do on each turn so you can build the same big stack you always did – only it will almost never meet another stack big enough to produce battles that are any real fun.

    This series needs a reboot. It desperately needs one like no other game franchise I can think of. Go back and start again. Re-brand it if you have to, but what we have now is generally so poor the big story is when theres a good total war game.

    It wasn’t always this way.

    • gi_ty says:

      I have bought and played every Total War game since Medieval 1. I love them for the fact that they do something no other game does well or at all. I remember getting thoroughly thrashed by those damn french in Med 1. Rome 1 took me at least several tries before I could beat it on max difficulty. Sadly since then I just automatically max the difficulty on every game and beat it in one go. Really I use the same tactics pretty much since Rome 1 as well. They really need to focus on some A.I. work. It feels like I have been fighting the same incompetent for a decade.

  15. Pesticide says:

    game still desveres its 3.8 user metacritic score, still lots of bugs, broken features, no family tree or improved political system. And now they are begging us to start buying their upcoming dlcs rofl … . stay away from this title. They need to learn their lesson that they can never release a game in that state like that ever again.

    I hope someone will do a kickstarter in the gerne, we need a new engine and deeper game mechanics then this shallow shell of a game. CA just doesnt have it anymore, they sold their soul to the sega devil

  16. RogerMellie says:

    It’s a mess. I’ve played a few games and I’ve only been declared war on once. You don’t need to protect your borders at all. Garbage.

    I’m only playing on Normal but I’m traditionally crap at Total War.

  17. Einhaender says:

    Everyone who played TW Games knows that you have to deal with a lot of bugs! Every single game of the series has bugs that remain unfixed to this day. And CA always thinks it’s the right move to start making a new game than to finish patching the current one. Medieval 2, Empire, Shogun 2, each game contains bugs and/or poor ai/design/ etc. choices that break the game for many people. But Rome II really is the pinnacle of throwing out an unfinished game and i already fear of what bugs we will be left with once Ca decides to go on.

    I was really looking forward to it and i just hope that CA continues to patch it into oblivion.
    I want to have fun with it, not just until CA drops it but i want to be able to pick it up in some years and don’t feel the urge to punch someone in the face.

    • Werthead says:

      I agree, and ROME II was actually launched in a better state than MEDIEVAL II or EMPIRE. The problem was more that the previous two games in the series, NAPOLEON and SHOGUN II, were in a much better state at release. Neither of them were perfect, but neither had half the issues ROME II did. There was an expectation that this game would similarly be polished, especially given it was delayed for six months fairly late in the day.

  18. GC says:

    Yes !!! I can launch it at last now ! Well not from Steam obviously, where it tells me I should make sure that Steam is running because it cannot find it, but from its folder it is now launching without instacrash :-)
    Now I too can be fully disappointed by the game itself :-(

  19. themes_and_conventions says:

    My favourite thing about Rome II patches came in patch 3. Halfway down in ‘Balancing changes’. The masses of horses and men on the battlefield have been made more reasonable.

  20. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    CA unfortunately took a massive backwards step with Rome2 – Shogun2 was almost in perfect shape on release by comparison. It’s as if Sega basically told them to release the game in September whatever condition it was in, even if they realistically needed another 6 months to complete it.

    Which is basically what we’ve still got. A game that’s currently about 3 or 4 months from being completed.

    I’m a huge TW fan and have always pre-ordered them, but like many other die-hard TW fans that won’t happen again. Already their release-day sales of the next TW game are going to be a huge letdown for them because of this disaster of a release.

    I’d love to know what really happened between CA and Sega behind closed doors. The CA devs surely would have known the game was unacceptable in its release state.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Well OK at least they fixed the crippling, game-breaking bug of Seleucia not being in the game.

  22. Zenicetus says:

    CA has been working hard on improving the game’s dismal status at release, and I give them credit for that. It’s more playable now, if you’re not one of those affected by crippling frame rates on computers that should be strong enough to run the game (I’m not one of those; my frame rates are fine on a medium-high spec machine, nothing very fancy).

    I’d say it still about 6 months away from being in a state where a non-Total War fan from previous games would enjoy it. And it will probably require use of mods, even then. The larger bugs have been quashed, but there are hundreds of little ones everywhere, especially in the battles. The balance is still off in a lot of areas. One big complaint currently is agent spam, probably due to the huge number of separate factions you can be at war with. There are some baffling design decisions like the capture flags and allowing torching of iron gates, that are probably only in the game as a crutch for the AI. I’m having fun here and there, but it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief when you run into some of these situations.

  23. Natdaprat says:

    This is such a classic example of a publisher rushing a game out.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, but at least it’s not *American* shit. Eh, guys? He knows what I’m talking about.

    EDIT: I jest, America and Britain are basically the same country. Hugs?

  25. sventoby says:

    This went from my most anticipated game in years to something I doubt I’d buy on sale pretty quickly.

  26. Solidstate89 says:

    Yay! They brought the Seleucid’s back! I’ll definitely pick this up when it goes on sale now. I hope they can still make the basic Legionnaire.

  27. stoner says:

    My most anticipated game. Even bought it during pre-sale for $45. Biggest disappointment as well. Perhaps, I had unrealistic expectations. I hoped they would take the lessons of the past and apply them, such as improving friendly AI. Maybe, next time.

  28. Borsook says:

    This is rather funny, but in a bad way. This game costs twice as much compared to the previous title in the series, and it so happens that STW2 was the first game with really good AI. So, they made a really expensive title that exceeds it predecessors only in the number of bugs…

  29. eltodesukane says:

    a very buggy game, not at all recommended. You build up a campaign, but then the camera freezes permanently, and close by allies do not participate in fight, and then you can’t fight your own battle because for no reason they all autoresolve automatically, and all the time you wasted playing and building up your empire is for naught.