Total War: Rome II hardly signals the splintering, screaming fall of Creative Assembly's strategic empire, but history has shown that over-extension is all too often the beginning of the end. But then, one might argue that pride came before the aforementioned falls, and Creative Assembly - to its credit - seems anything but. In the wake of an angry Internet beeswarm (of which Jim and Adam were a part, to varying degrees), the developer has issued an apology, promising to address complaints ranging from bugs and technical issues to entire swaths of gameplay.
Creative director Mike Simpson took to the creaking strategy's forums to set the record straight:
"We just wanted to reassure you that we do know it’s an extremely annoying and frustrating time for some of you at the moment and we are working around the clock to sort out those issues that you are having. The first patch has just gone up - it's not trouble-free we know and are fixing with a hotfix, but there will be another next week and every week after that till the problems are gone."
He went on to acknowledge issues divided up into three categories: launch, technical troubles/bugs, and gameplay gaffes like balance and AI behavior. While bugs have been annoying and absolutely need squashing, the latter category is especially heartening given that many of Rome II's most painful problems lie in its half-baked core. Simpson and co are far from blind to that fact, and they're well aware that there's plenty of work to be done.
"If you have concerns on the actual features and mechanics, like gameplay balancing and AI behaviour, we do want to hear about them. As mentioned before launch we absolutely intend to support ROME II post-release with plenty of content, further development and comprehensive balancing through-out – and no I’m not thinking of DLC you have to pay for. We have already planned for some very interesting stuff and we wanted to do that with advice from the community."
As for when CA plans to roll out all these fixes and overhauls, well, that's where things get a bit murky. Apparently tech issues are getting priority right now, with balance and mechanics taking a backseat until everyone can make it through the front door without getting swallowed up by a spike pit of obtrusive glitches.
Still though, this all at least sounds nice. Will CA actually follow through? Only time will tell. But it's at least good to hear the developer acknowledge its losses in this battle, still hopeful that it can win the war. What do you think, though? Is Rome II salvageable? Is it a diamond choking on its own rough, or is it rotten inside and out - a sign that Total War needs to go back to square one?