Total War: Shogun 2 and the lessons 2k should learn from The Creative Assembly

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Fabiano1979, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Demon Rob

    Demon Rob Chieftain

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    yes, I had downloaded that but hadnt had a chance to try it yet,
    at that stage they weren't sure how much if any of the AI was present,
    but your report sounds good.

    still optimistic!
     
  2. BubbaNZ

    BubbaNZ Chieftain

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    In the TW series the campaign AI and battle map are separate, and so are the respective AIs. I guess they are in CiV; it's just not so obvious.

    My experience of Empire -- even after six months of patches -- was a rubbish campaign AI, but okay-ish battle AI (still hard to lose against it, though). Excluding the risible artillery AI, which was still prone to firing into hills. And seiges! Oh dear. Aaaand... oh, I'll just stop.

    Ditto Napoleon - even on the hardest settings the campaign AI had no long term vision and turned out less of a speed bump on the way to victory and more just... road kill.

    Despite that, kind of fun if you were wearing the right sort of hat.

    My experience of CiV is the opposite: Okay-ish campaign AI, rubbish tactical battle AI, but not so fun. Maybe I need more hats.

    The TW series has a single victory condition: military. So in theory it should be easier to write a more capable campaign AI? Nope. Since the Rome series, possibly excluding the fun expansion Barbarian Invasion, in general it's been unable to field armies a match for a human player's mid to late game (unless it was India in hard or very hard in Empire, but that's another story) or execute a coherent strategy.

    The Lord of the Rings total conversion mod for Medieval II Total War is good fun, though, if you like that kind of thing. Check it out on twcenter.net.

    Personally I'm going to wait at least six months to see if Shogun II "matures" into the promised cheddar, or if just turns out to be Edam'd PR gorgonzola.
     
  3. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    You obviously haven't played too many TW games.

    Certainly, CiVs AI isn't going to win any awards, but , I've seen generals cavalry charge infantry squares in Empire, and I've seen the BAI literally commit mass suicide by walking off a broken bridge in Rome, and thats just the Battle AI, which is actually the better of the two. The campaign AI acts like its fielded by a comatose vegetable, it just waits to die, sometimes it twitches. :crazyeye:
     
  4. Renner

    Renner Warlord

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    After Empire: TW I don't really have much faith left in CA at all. The release of Empire was absolutely full of bugs. (gl trying to complete the game before the save became corrupted) The AI was a total mess as well, A game based on controlling an overseas empire, and the other countries weren't even able to launch a naval invasion. Really makes you wonder what kind of QA they had.

    Patches have mostly fixed the crashing/corrupted saves at least, so its reasonably playable now, the AI is still a mess though. I've seen Naval invasions, but they are so rare, I almost wonder if they are scripted to happen at the start of every game. Tactical battles are another problem. Winning tactical battles with 10 to 1 odds is pretty commonplace.

    Oddly enough, the only aspect the AI seems decent in is the tactical naval battles, where it puts up some kind of fight, and winning battles with huge odds against you is much less likely.

    sieges on the other hand, well, lets not even go there.

    The TW series has a lot of promise, If they could get a properly working AI that is.
     
  5. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    M2:TW? R:TW? Grandeur??? I take it you never played the pre-R:TW games? That was when everything went downhill.
     
  6. LegionSteve

    LegionSteve Motörhead

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    That's because they changed from a strategy map where each region was effectively 1 tile, to one with an invisible grid where each region contained dozens if not hundreds of tiles. Problem was they forgot to tell the campaign AI about it which is why it behaved, as someone correctly said a few posts back, like a vegetable.
     
  7. TheBlackHole

    TheBlackHole Chieftain

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    I see a considerable amount of "grass is greener" arguments here. I'm a veteran of both Civ and TW franchises and I frequent the forums of both regularly. The TW forums are filled to the brim with a big mass of complaints and incessant calls to get the devs to fix their game to how they like it.

    Furthermore, let me chime in and say that the TW AI is a complete non-factor in the game... it is really bad. I can't remember how long it took them to patch out an AI bug that prevented them from doing ANY naval invasions AT ALL in Empire:TW. Yes, that means that if you played as England you were GUARANTEED not to be invaded in your homeland EVER. It took a couple major patches before that was even partially resolved (and even still it's very rare). And don't get me started on TW diplomacy... in CiV, even though the AI is just a bunch of backstabbing traitors, at least you can do some trades and research agreements to further your personal goals. In TW, diplomacy is absolutely 100% completely pointless, with some defenders justifying it with "Well, it's call Total War, what do you expect? Nobody likes you!"

    Don't get me wrong, although my tone seems harsh, I enjoy playing both games despite some major flaws. I would hardly, however, hold either game up as some kind of gold standard of strategy-game goodness.
     
  8. Fabiano1979

    Fabiano1979 Chieftain

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    Its weird see a civ player complain about bad AI on any other game.

    Civ V its almost impossible to play because the AI sucks. You defeat a few of the enemy troops and voila, they give you all resources, gold and 2-3 cities, completely quiting the game.

    You have your small peaceful empire trying to win diplomatically then the AI from the other side of the world build a city just next to you. three turns later he is dennouncing you because you have units near his city.

    Seriously, even if the AI on the batlefield of TW just keep running in circles, that would be better than the AI on civ. At least on TW the diplomacy and trade make sense.

    But I agree that there was a lot of problems with empire. But if you play Shogun 2 you will see that is a very complex game, much more than the Civ 5. And im pretty sure its a better game.
     
  9. Skyjack666

    Skyjack666 Chieftain

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    Why does everyone keep referencing Empire? It was a debacle.

    Napoleon was far better right out of the box. I still modded it but it ran better and smoother.
     
  10. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I guess the best lesson any game developer can learn from Creative Assembly is that you can sell anything as a "strategy game" as long as it features fancy uniforms and unit formations. That goes for CiV as well to be perfectly honest.

    This is how strategies look like in their core:


    You can add graphics, but only if the core still works. And no, it didn't work even in CIV4.
     
  11. gingerbill

    gingerbill Prince

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    exactly . Nobody should take any lessons from CA , i've maoved on from total war and wont buy STW2 , its all about nice graphics crap game with CA now. And to be honest for the performance the graphics are crap .
     
  12. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    While this is a bit like comparing apples and bananas (TW is a tactical game with a kind of backdrop staging area called campaign map while civ is a strategy game with a bit of tactical combat involved), let me warn you to judge a game by its demo. In any demo you see very little about the game and in all TW demos to date, you didn't even get to play the campaign map at all.

    As a modder, I have to tell you mod support for TW is utter crap since, well, ever. RTW and M2TW were fairly moddable but only with massive amounts of time put in by users who created tools for it, and because we were lucky and a lot of data was stored in text files. We also had a few devs who pushed for helping modders, and rendered some support on a private and individual level. Since E:TW, you can forget about creating anything like total conversions. The map is a huge binary file consisting of thousands of data chunks the devs don't care to explain, and therefore you can change only a very few select things in it, at least to the last of my knowledge which is about december (and I highly, highly doubt anyone talented enough is making a stab at it).

    Claiming the E:TW AI is very moddable is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard about it - or perhaps not, people claimed it was great and challenging, after all. Changing undocumented DB weights for certain tasks and looking at what happens is all you can do to it, and it's not much. We can do the same things for Civ5, only nobody's really doing it because we are waiting for the DLL. If the devs actually follow through and release one.
     
  13. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    Interesting you should say this, because the AI in Civ 5 is the first in the Civ series where this is also true. There is a folder (assets/Gameplay/XML/AI) with a bunch of XML files defining AI priorities and strategies on many levels, from tactical up through grand strategy.

    I haven't seen many modders get into this yet, but the ability is there to completely reshape how the AI chooses to build things in its cities, handle its units tactically, etc, using only a text editor.
     
  14. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    In the end the reason I still have so much faith for Civ 5 and I groan when I start up a campaign for TW is because Civ 5 is incredibly moddable.

    If there is one design decision we really have to commend Jon Shafer on, its that Civ can be fixed easily, by both the team and by the fans. Say what you will about how broken Civ 5 is, the fact is that in a year, things will most likely be sorted out.


    On the other hand, Empire is still a buggy broken permafried mess with no hope of salvation.

    Take that for what its worth.
     
  15. pazmacats

    pazmacats Warlord

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    So the game rolls a dice and then the AI builds either a worker or an archer? – That explains a lot.
     
  16. jacyp

    jacyp Winter Lover

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    You haven't? Well, I have. There's a mod called "What Would Gandhi Do" that does exactly that to enhance diplomacy and there's other balance mods that also tweak those xml files, I play with them.

    But unfortunately, the combat AI is weak no matter what you tweak. It's broken in its core. And that can't be changed by modders if they don't release the full SDK.
     
  17. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Hasty judgement. It's the same principle as in RPG games: Roll + modifier. This system works very well.
     
  18. Kamamura

    Kamamura Warlord

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    I am willing to bet my hairy backside against a pot of shillings that CA will NEVER, EVER implement a good AI into their games. If they could, they would have already done so.

    Therefore, playing their games will always be reminiscent of - pardon the expression - masturbation. A pointless exercise of manual labor and fantasy about something that could have been so wonderful, if only it wouldn't be missing something.
     
  19. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    You can easily substitute the m-word with voting on elections :D
     
  20. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I think vegetable is being too polite. Nice summary btw. R:TW was the series killer and anything after that just continued on in the same vain. I don't play with mods, nor one should, even in Civ.
     

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