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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Current state of Empire Total War

    I played through Assassin's Creed 3 over the weekend and now I kind'a want to play Sid Meier's Pirates and Empire TW. Question is: how is Empire TW these days? Are some mods must have from the get go?

    I only played it on launch and as you'll likely know it was broken beyond imagination. Those starforts? Jesus. Naval battles were something to auto calc too.
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  2. #2
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    Darthmod is pretty much a necessity in my opinion. It focuses mainly on AI behaviour, but also increases unit sizes, makes battles more logical, and makes a few nice graphical alterations.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    I played a nice half-campaign last week, and it was all good fun. There were a couple of entirely silly battles though, where the AI wasn't able to tell its flank from its front, but I enjoyed it all right.

    This was on vanilla, btw. Haven't tried any mods, I'm not that keen on the "make everything 800% more difficult!" approach that many of them unfortunately seem to take.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velko View Post
    Haven't tried any mods, I'm not that keen on the "make everything 800% more difficult!" approach that many of them unfortunately seem to take.
    You should give a look at the Total War Center forums. As lordcooper said, Darthmod is a must if you want to really enjoy Empire: TW, the same way Stainless Steel turned Medieval II: TW into the best strategy game I played in years.

    They don't just "turn everything at eleven"; both fine-tune and adjust the IA (both in battle and campaign), add new mechanics and repair broken ones to levels Creative Assembly never dreamed of.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Alright, installing ETW and downloading darthmod. Will see how it is.
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    It's far better than it was at release and is certainly playable now, but it is frankly miles behind the advances made in Napoleon and then to a far greater degree Shogun II, which allow for a genuinely compelling and proactive AI and thus challenge and experience.

    Empire looks very good still and plays as Risk fine, but the AI is either very passive, easily duped or massivley over powered, and everyone in the world will gang up on you on harder levels, irrespective of mods as the AI is hardcoded. Naval Invasions are still essentially lost on the AI, if present now.

    If you like to roleplay TW games and make up narratives in your head it would still be a lot of fun I'm sure but if you want challeneg and AI creativity and personality it's miles away from Shogun II or modded Napoleon.

  7. #7
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    I played through the Road to Independence campaign and enjoyed it. The main issue is the same as with all Total War games that I've played- the second half of the campaign usually bores me to tears. It can be a real grind to reach the finish line. (although, must admit haven't played Nap, Med1, or Shogun1 or 2).

    I'll probably go back and play the grand campaign at least once (probably with Darthmod) and then move onto Nap. I tend to stay a bit behind the release schedule and buy them when they rock bottom prices in sales.

  8. #8
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    Napoleon is way better than empire. I've played all the grand campaigns several times. I'm yet to get bored with this game. it's the best strategy game i've spent on ever since.
    I will not hesitate buying Rome 2 in the near future too.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    What are the differences between Empire and Napoleon? Guess Napoleon is smaller in scope?
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    What are the differences between Empire and Napoleon? Guess Napoleon is smaller in scope?
    I didn't buy Napoleon primarily because I couldn't be the Marathi Confederacy.

    >_>
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    What are the differences between Empire and Napoleon? Guess Napoleon is smaller in scope?
    Napoleon is a game of nation building, with all of the politics and planning that requires, like a Civ Lite with battles. With the right mods, such as this one, it feels like a nascent 4 x title heavy on battles which Shogun 2 later went on to absolutely master. Whereas Empire is like the last of the old TW franchise, primarily a game of imperial conquest where might makes right and who has the most soldiers wins and the Civ aspects are very much secondary.

    The Napoleon European Grand Campaign map is about as big as most of Empire's world one. France and Spain for example are now made up of tens of provinces rather than one. Diplomacy sort of works, logistics are far more pressing, it really feels like a big job to plan a campaign both at home and abroad, like you're in a theatre of war.

    Whereas Empire feels like a Risk map for you to stamp all over and drop troops on top of. Feels far more gamey. The World Map is exciting but it's extremely rare you will have any challenge anywhere other than Europe as the AI dosen't get the concept of world empire at all. Fighting for colonies starts out exciting but once the initial AI stationed there are gone they hardly ever get reinforced, which means that two thirds of the grand map are essential empty of opposition after a decade or so and thus obsolete as far as challenge goes.

    Combat in Napoleon you have the most advanced form of weaponry available in Empire from the get go, and most battles will be resolved through inflicting morale damage at range with a few cavalry charges to soften foes up, whereas Empire there is the sort of Age of Reason stuff where you start out with Pikes and only move onto guns mid game, and most fights are resolved in combat still after a few volley exchanges.

    Empire is a good game which got slaughtered on release, but remains probably the most ambitious strategy game ever released I'd say in terms of what they were trying to deliver. It's still a very good game. But Napoleon and Shogun 2 have all the best elements of it and add a ton of stuff too which adds challenge, immersion and narrative, to the point that they are really wholly new strategy propositions in comparison with the TW iterations that came before them. As a TW veteran, who has played since day one of Shogun's release, I believe they far surpass the older TW games, but they are nonetheless quite different and far more demanding.
    Last edited by sonson; 26-02-2013 at 12:06 PM.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Yeah that's kind of what I expected since Empire is a bit of a bloated mess. Might need to pick that up from some sale and give it a run.
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  13. #13
    I have been dipping my toe in Napoleon having recently picked it up myself but I have to admit to feeling a bit disappointed with the peninsular war campaign - I was really hoping to basically play a largely historical campaign as Britain or at least have the opportunity to do so. As it it, half the notable battlefields aren't even there. Even the set battles in the game are pretty sparse.

    I don't suppose anyone knows of any mods that would help me at least recreate the campaign battles? I've had a look around but failed to turn up much.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanguineAngel View Post
    I have been dipping my toe in Napoleon having recently picked it up myself but I have to admit to feeling a bit disappointed with the peninsular war campaign - I was really hoping to basically play a largely historical campaign as Britain or at least have the opportunity to do so. As it it, half the notable battlefields aren't even there. Even the set battles in the game are pretty sparse.

    I don't suppose anyone knows of any mods that would help me at least recreate the campaign battles? I've had a look around but failed to turn up much.
    I played a campaign as Britain as a trade power. The goal was to get a trade route by land with every European faction, and work out how to achieve that. Highly recommend it, with the EIC mod I linked to above. Can't help out with the battles I'm afraid, although I never thought the set battles were particularly good anyway. The Empire TW demo had a great one but the rest all just seemed small and disjointed. Might be something at TW centre though.

  15. #15
    Network Hub ShowMeTheMonkey's Avatar
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    Just a heads up. If you really hate the star forts they are still around on basic DarthMod, but you can actually switch them off. Makes for much more tense city battles.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    What are the differences between Empire and Napoleon? Guess Napoleon is smaller in scope?
    A little. More detailed in the strategic side though. The main campaigns are the scenario types, though there is a grand campaign (much smaller than Empire's). Naval battles work a hell of a lot better, graphics and sound are improved and they added in special abilities for a few units.

    Best TW to date in my book, if they'd just port the grand campaign from Empire across Creative could call it a day.

  17. #17
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    I can't really go back to E:TW or N:TW anymore, FotS made such improvements to the gunpowder-era TW games that trying to play the older ones just rubs in their flaws. Like those bloody star forts, Christ those were badly implemented.

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