Premium Patching: Total War Rome 2 Emperor’s Edition

By Alice O'Connor on September 1st, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Still waiting for Dota 2: Lord Edition.

I lead a high-end life and have high-end tastes: penthouse suites, the finest champagne, custom cars, and Cuban cigars the size of your forearm. I demand the same from my video games. The Premium Edition, that’s the one I’ll buy with my many dollars. Gold Edition. Titanium Edition. Blood Red Edition. Deluxe Edition. Ultimate Sith Edition. Collector’s Edition, oh yes; I collect the finest.

Total War: Rome II is now up to my standards, as it’s getting an Emperor Edition. Technically it’s only a renaming of the base game to mark the launch of a big patch and a free new story campaign, but just look at that name: Emperor Edition. That belongs in my Steam display cabinet.

The main feature of the EE is the new Imperator Augustus campaign pack, with a new war (the Second Triumvirate War, warfans) and a new campaign map to war on. Some words from The Creative Assembly’s Jack Lusted:

“We wanted to recreate the vast civil war which erupted after Julius Caesar’s murder … You can tackle the campaign as various Roman and non-Roman factions, including Armenia for the first time. Our aim was to represent the titanic power struggle that led to Octavian becoming the first Emperor of Rome.”

TCA say the Emperor’s Edition launch will also bring “improved politics system, overhauled building chains, rebalanced battles, and improved visuals in both campaign and battle,” which will mean a patch. It’s a new Edition in name only, see. Everyone who already owns Rome II will be updated to the EE version for free, as will anyone who buys it in future. No word yet on when it’ll launch, but it’ll be preceded by a beta testing some of its new bits. Here, some men talking:

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58 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge DarkLiberator says:

    Nice that its free I guess, though feels more like a “we’re sorry” present for the spectacular failure of the game launch. This also flat out tells us that the game was just too early, should a waited a year.

    • mtomto says:

      They bundled up all the previous free DLC and threw in a patch :S Then they call it something fancy, and say it’s free… Who would even pay for free DLC? Who would even pay for a patch? This is so stupid on several levels.

      TLDR: It’s a patch…

  2. Baboonanza says:

    True, this essentially sounds like a re-launch but the game deserves it IMO. I started playing last week and now it’s patched it is easily the best TW game and the biggest advancement since the original Rome: TW.

    I thought after Shogun 2 that I’d had enough of the TW formula but now I’m getting up at 5:30AM just so I can play for an hour before my son wakes up.

    • Hunchback says:

      Shogun 2 is my favourite grand-strategy game so far, and when Rome 2 released i was quite displeased with the results. Maybe my biggest problem was not that much of the balance but the … blandness of the game? I just didn’t really care about the peoples involved, which is weird since i am interested in the era… I found the units confusing (maybe i am too used to the rock-paper-shotgun style of Shogun 2 with it’s 4 unit types and their relation) and at the same time all the same. Dunno, maybe i didn’t try hard enough to understand the whole thing.

      Anyways, would you say that in it’s current patch-state, Rome 2 is as good as Shogun 2 in terms of gameplay?

      • Baboonanza says:

        I’d say it’s different. Shogun 2 was tight and well balanced but felt (to me) too restrictive in terms of where a campaign could take you. In Rome you could start in the same place and end up ruling northern Europe or the central mediterranean and africa or the eastern mediterranean and meet (kill) many different cultures along the way. So it’s more expansive and perhaps less balanced but for me at least more fun. Having said that I did play Shogun 2 to the point where I almost won on Legendary so I liked that too :)

        • Hunchback says:

          TBH I am a noob in TW, even tho i’ve played a fair bit of Shogun, solo and coop. I can’t really play on anything harder than Normal for some reason. I did somewhat master the combat tho, while playing in PvP, it’s actually great fun. Is the MP good in Rome 2 ? Is there an “avatar campaign” mode or something similar ?

  3. SuicideKing says:

    I uninstalled the game last month. I can’t believe that they still haven’t fixed and balanced the game, it’s been a year since launch.

    • BTAxis says:

      I think you underestimate just how much work goes into these things for a game as big (in terms of scope as well as lines of code) as this. The fact that it’s taken them a year says less about their efforts than it does about the amount of work involved. As someone else pointed out, the game was essentially released a year before its time.

      Assuming they got it right with the upcoming patch, that is.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I’m not underestimating the work involved at all. I’ve coded extremely simple games, line by line. It took us (two people) a year to do that.

        The “releasing a year before launch” is what I’m shocked about. After all, we payed a lot of money for the game. They’ve pretty much ripped us off.

  4. BobbyDylan says:

    I hope the campaign map play has improved. I’ve since become a fan of Paradox games, which have ruined TW games for me. I’ve spent >300 hours in both CK2 and EU4. If Love the battles of TW, but the boring (moving armies about) play of the campaign map is hard to get over.

    • Hunchback says:

      Don’t mean to bicker or anything, but how is the campaign map army movement better in Paradox games? It’s not even actual movement since you can’t position the army anywhere other than this or that tile, the rest is just an (extremely bland) animation of a soldier walking. It’s just stats, basically. Not saying that TW is perfect or anything, far from that, but i really can’t see ANYTHING interface-wise that’s better done in Paradox games, they are extremely clunky, ugly, with 12050 menus and sub-menus and confusing information, tooltips and whatnot. It’s quite sad to be honest, since i really love the actual gameplay of CK, the way the game system works, but god the presentation is so bad i can’t manage to force myself through it for more than a couple of hours every try.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Sorry, what I mean was that the Campaign map in TW serves almost no purpose BUT to move armies about. The meat of the game is the Tactical battles.

        In EU4, the meat of the game is diplomacy. And in CK2, the dynasty management lets you “conqure” whole countries without spilling any blood. It’s very satisfying, as you have options on the Campaign map. That’s all I meant.

        Yes, I agree that the UI of the paradox games is a challenge, but it’s a lot simpler than it used to be. in fact, I’d recommend watching some of Quill18′s video’s to get you started. He’s a great LP to watch.#
        .

        • Hunchback says:

          True, TW has less to do out of battle, but it still has a fair share of city building, clan management, some form of diplomacy (the weakest point of any “vs AI” game, imo, the AI is always so stupid :/ ).
          What i dislike about the TW games is that armies cover way too much ground in 1 turn, for my taste. It allows too much of “surprise attacks” where armies come out of the fog and instantly capture your town… Lame

          • Leb says:

            At least in Rome, clan management is near non-existant. And the city building elements are so linear/basic… its just a decision of happiness building vs food/production building. And the late game buildings are so punishing to happiness it’s practically pointless to upgrade that far.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I actually greatly prefer the movement of armies in CKII over the total war games, due to actually frequently having to out-manoeuvre the enemy, particularly if you’ve several armies you need to bring together with the enemy rampaging through your territory. But they’re very different games

    • Myrdinn says:

      I have a dream that one day grand strategy games are mixed with real time strategy ones. I have a dream that one day on the snowy hills of Sweden Paradox sits together with Creative Assembly at a table of development. I have a dream in which AAA games, sweltering with the heat of DLC and DRM will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and creativity. I have a dream that my children will one day play Crusader Kings: Total War. I have a dream.

  5. frightlever says:

    “the finest champagne”

    DRINK!

  6. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    The video preview image implores you that the tiny barbarians imprisoned in the rectangle must die for their crimes against the republic.

  7. Gromph says:

    I’d rather try EUROPA BARBARORUM II. A roman-era mod for Medieval 2: Kingdoms, just released. RPS should have an article on that imo, it’s one of the most ambitious mods ever made.

    • GernauMorat says:

      Just thought I would second this. EB 2 is, even at first release, incredible. One of the most ambitious mods I’ve ever played, and already delivering on that promise.

      • Premium User Badge Bongo_clive says:

        HOLY SHIZ BALLS!!!!

        EB2 is finally out? Oh man, I absolutely adored EB1, played it to death, but I had long ago given up on EB2 as vapour ware.

        EB1 was an absolutely brilliant mod

        • CharlySpoons says:

          Yeah, this news shocked me too. I used to always take a peek in the forum to see if there was any info releases. I’d always giggle at the impatient demanding to know of a release date. However, Paradox long ago won my strategy heart away from the TW series. An RPS review of it would be great to read though.

    • Poppis says:

      It’s still a very early beta but the potential is huge. Will be my go to Rome game for the next decade.

    • supermini says:

      The amount of historical detail they have put in is just incredible. I spent a few hours just reading the province and unit descriptions.

      It’s not done yet but the stuff I’ve seen so far left me hugely impressed.

  8. natendi says:

    Are there still capture flags in battles? When the game was first released I heard that it could ruin the game as the AI would just rush to the nearest flag. I was hoping this would be patched out or at least allowed to be turned off. Not found anything on the forums to suggest it has.

    Also, do units move quite fast on the battlefield? Again another feature I wasn’t a fan of but hoped it could be changed.

    Really want to play this game as it sounds like it’s pretty good now, shame about the release version.

    Thanks for any help!

    • razgon says:

      No more flag captures, no. As for moving fast..eh…well, I don’t know what you mean by moving fast but they move fine I think :-)

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        If you have a problem with units moving fast, I’d recommend Scourge of War, where it regularly took us half an hour to march before we even made contact with the enemy. (Actually, in all seriousness, after playing that the battles in TW seemed terrifyingly rapid, with entire armies going from fighting to breaking in seconds).

        • natendi says:

          Cheers Gap Gen, I’ll check that mod out if I find the units are still a bit quick for me! 30 mins til contact? You must have had some proper 2 hour long battles!

          • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

            Ah, to clarify, it’s not a mod but a whole different game: http://www.scourgeofwar.com/index.shtml

            And yes, battles tended to take quite a long time. It’s quite nice to have the time to think and plan, though, moving units around to fill gaps in the line or pull back wavering troops.

        • TC-27 says:

          Nothing wrong with good ol marching simulator.

          Cant wait to try it with Napoleonic sprites.

          • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

            Let me know if you guys start playing again sometime. It’s a shame that RPSecession peaked when the courier bug was still crashing most of our games.

        • Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

          Scourge of War players?! Here?!

          That game ruined Total War for me. I just can’t play them anymore without feeling I’m doing it wrong.

          There used to be a group playing the game here then?

          • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

            It died down a lot but probably the easiest thing is to join the steam group Rock Paper Secession in case someone decides to start up a game. Potentially I’d be up for it sometime, though can’t make any promises.

      • natendi says:

        Cheers for the info! I was wanting the units to move with a similar speed to Rome I. I read when Rome II was released units zipped across the battlefield which made battles quick but not as realistic! If their pace is fine then I’m happy!

    • Zenicetus says:

      I haven’t played the game in a few months so I don’t know what this current patch is like, but if you don’t like the movement speed there are mods that change it. One of the mega mods does that too, but I can’t remember the name at the moment.

  9. Gog Magog says:

    Why can I not stop cheating in the Total War games.
    It’s horrible.
    The only reason I ever even played them was to break them completely.
    I feel something’s amiss here :(

  10. summerhorton says:

    I hope the campaign map play has improved. I’ve since become a fan of Paradox games, which have ruined TW games for me. I’ve spent >300 hours in both CK2 and EU4. If Love the battles of TW, but the boring (moving armies about) play of the campaign map is hard to get over. http://to.ly/DZw3

    • razgon says:

      Thats two vastly different focus’s and gametypes. One focuses on politics and management, the other is a strategic and tactical combat game.
      It would be like me saying if EU4 would get some decent combat soon.

  11. TC-27 says:

    To be honest I am getting a much more enjoyable Roman fix through the ‘Al Jacta Est’ games from Ageod.

  12. Premium User Badge Bongo_clive says:

    So is this FINALLY playable?

    I read the PC Gamer Top 100 games of all time article, and found Empire:Total war nestled in there, with some comments about it’s vastly improved now. Thought I’d give it another crack after all these years. This morning:

    1. Austria offered to swap on of their European provinces with me, ruler of India!!
    2. An elephant mounted general stood rooted to the spot as 100+ musketmen closed in on him from 2 sides, then tried to outgun them.
    3. My beautifully formed up infantry slaughtered thousands of the enemy as they approached my battle line in ones and twos. They didn’t even form up.

    Absolutely disgusted, I uninstalled and questioned the taste, intelligence and parentage of that PC Gamer lot.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      My favourite early Empire feature (other than the classic TW release bug of no sea invasions) was that indvidual regiments would doggedly chase the same unit in circles while being decimated by other units’ musketfire.

      I remember Creative saying that one problem was that their lead AI designer had to leave before Empire was released, which caused quite a lot of issues with the AI. Even then, it’s true, the game is pretty bad at modelling the diplomatic intrigue of the era, and as the Ottomans I held on rather longer than I should have thanks to being able to outmaneuver the AI most of the time, despite a horrible economy and underpowered units.

      EDIT: link to AI post by CA: http://blogs.sega.com/totalwar/2009/11/10/battle-ai-by-mike-simpson/

  13. XhomeB says:

    Do you still magically recruit reinforcements when in a province, meaning there’s no reinforcement line to harass (or to bolster the forces on the front lines)?
    Do you still get magical boats out of thin air when trying to cross rivers or seas, even though you have no shipyards built anywhere?
    Are the armies still tied to generals?
    Still no family tree?
    Is there actually anything interesting to do on the campaign map or is it still simplistic and “empty” to a fault?

    If so, I’m still not interested in playing this thing. It wasn’t fun, it was boring and tedious.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I agree with most of that, but the magic boats for armies never bothered me. It’s a result of the time compression from the 1 turn per year design. At that time period, armies would often arrive at the coast and commandeer whatever boats were available, or be transported by the equivalent of their national navy. It doesn’t take a full year to get an army on and off boats, so the logistics are just hidden by the extremely long time between turns.

      That’s why they ditched the Family Tree too. With 1 turn per year, people die too fast to manage the tree. You’re supposed to care more about persistent armies than persistent generals. It’s a bad design, forced by CA thinking a game should never go longer than 300 turns, and then trying to cover this particular historical period.

  14. SpacemanSpliff says:

    I’ve been playing this game for over a year with none of the problems I’ve seen described in comment sections throughout the internet. So say what you want but I still love Rome 2 like its family.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      Can’t speak for everyone else, but it was never the game’s stability or technical problems that worried me either: it was the immense, soul-crushing blandness of the game, by far the blandest Total War to date in my opinion. Indifferent music, poor quality artwork in garish colours, a ludicrously low number of voice actors, and just a general feeling of doing tedious busywork to make pointless numbers increment in units too small to make a difference (2% bonuses? really?)

      In short, I’ve never had stability problems with the game, it’s the lack of artistry apparent within the design of the game itself that’s always bothered me. When CA admitted that they junked everything that didn’t directly lead to a higher metacritic rating (in their eyes), I could immediately see where the design philosophy of this series had gone wrong, especially after Rome and Medieval 2, which in my opinion are two of the best examples of “kitchen sink” design I’ve ever played.

      • SpacemanSpliff says:

        I really can’t agree with you. I’ve never found the game particularly bland and I’ve never noticed the feeling of having my soul crushed.

  15. Zenicetus says:

    Okay, so I just watched the video because the only thing I care about, now that the sieges are at least no longer completely broken, is improvements to the political system.

    And it doesn’t sound good. The main problem in the campaign game now, is that they’ve designed a political system based on a simplified version of “balanced politics” during a particular period of Roman history. Can’t let one faction in your Empire gain too much influence, you have to keep everyone balanced to prevent a Civil War. It was broken in the release version of the game because you couldn’t avoid a Civil War anyway. Obviously a half-finished design. So now they’ve finished it, apparently.

    But the problem is that this is a Roman political system, forced onto every other faction in the game! Including nomadic tribes, including royal dynasties. There is no way you can play many of these other factions realistically with a strong top-down dynastic leader or series of leaders, because they ditched the Family Tree. Every faction is now a Roman political faction, which destroys the feeling of playing a different culture.

    So yeah, I guess this is now better if all you want to do is play the Romans in the game. It will feel a little more realistic. It will feel even less realistic for any other faction, because at least before, you could just ignore the political system. Now it sounds like you can’t. Good job, CA.

    • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

      Trouble is, CA haven’t known who they’re trying to design these games for since Medieval 2. Ever since, the design has been schizophrenic, trying to farm in new players from all sorts of unrelated genres and styles of game, and the cohesion of the game design has suffered. Rome, for my money, felt like the tightest combination of gameplay features and time period, with Shogun 2 succeeding by copying much of the same formula and substituting in some Japanese flavour features.

      Rome 2, for me, has lost that feeling of being the director of a pulpy Hollywood battle movie that Rome 1 had, and that feeling of legit immersion as Daimyo that S2 had. In the campaign, I just feel like a minor clerk handling the boring minutiae of trade propagation as simplified to tiny increments aggregating.

    • Grygus says:

      I think the bigger problem is the time progression. To care about politics, you have to care about the people. But with one turn per year, you don’t even get a chance to know them, let alone care. They’re interchangeable cogs, distinguished only by a variably high stack of stars. Whether the political system is accurate is meaningless, because even when you play as Rome it’s no fun. I don’t know or care who any of these guys are, except as “the dude with Night Fighting” and “the good spy.” In thirty turns they will both be dead, and there will be no trace that they ever existed.

  16. Nouser says:

    CA, where is the Linux version?

  17. celticdr says:

    Am I the only one that finds that guy from Creative Assembly’s name amusing?

    “Jack Lusted” sounds like a bonafide porn star name…

    • Richard Burton says:

      It was amusing at first but when you think that the name of the person who speaks on that video first is called “Craig Laycock”, it’s sad to think that the person/s responsible for hiring these people is rather more interested in amusing names than actual, capable people worthy of doing a good job. So for fans of the Total War series like me who thought Medieval Total War was an amazing game, well… it’s not so funny anymore. TIP: anyone interested in a job at CA, all you need to do is change your name via deed poll before applying to something like say, Biggus Dickus… http://youtu.be/2K8_jgiNqUc

  18. GameQB11 says:

    Honestly, with their continued support of the game- Rome was technically just like an EA game. In the future, EA will be the standard for most releases

    • Richard Burton says:

      EA standard? I hope not, ‘cos I’ve been boycotting EA for around five years and some friends have been boycotting EA for even longer. I will still buy from CA, though. I’m sorry but as every year goes by there’s more and more reasons to boycott EA completely until they either change the error of their ways or go bankrupt. Example: I won’t personally buy from EA again until the NFL cancel EA’s exclusive license monopoly. Other, more capable software houses need to have the chance at making lots of different new NFL games like it was ten years ago.

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