Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Total War: PHARAOH

Zeriel

Arcane
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
13,306
Mixing the strategic and the tactical combat layer is what makes Total War so unique and good in the first place.

The problem with its modern iterations isn't the formula but the execution.
Early Total War had *vastly* more simplistic strategic layer. In no way comparable to the current games.

Eh, I don't know about that. You'd have to specify exactly what you mean. Because in my opinion, the settlement development side for example has gotten drastically more simplified and less fun than it was in earlier days. Spies were also extremely dumbed down. If anything I always thought the opposite was true: they seemed to focus on tactical combat with MP becoming a tactical combat only mode, but the issue was that trading off strategy side for tactical combat didn't improve (in fact it seemed to get dumber and dumber too) battles enough for them to stand on their own, leading to the games simply becoming more rudimentary overall.

All of the production value seems to go into unit textures & animations, with the substance behind it left to rot.
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
Patron
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
32,930
Location
KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Everything about modern Total War has declined at a fundamental level. It used to be you had complete freedom in empire management, and battles attempted to be simulationist. In modern titles, it's all about stacking numbers, whether in the campaign or battle layer. The combat model declined in Rome 2 already, but that's still salvagable with mods. From Warhammer onward though it took a complete shit.

Stuff in older TW campaign layers that's no longer there:
- freeform settlement development where the only limit was population size and the money you wanted to invest (and the presence of some natural resources like gold or silver as a prerequisite for building mines)
- actual population mechanics in Rome 1: soldiers were recruited from a city's pop, a 200 man unit lowered the population by 200; you could use this to fight overpopulation and the resulting squalor, and even move population between cities by recruiting lots of cheap peasants in one city and disbanding them in another (disbanded units would become population in the city they're disbanded in)
- Medieval 2's meaningful choice between developing a town into either a castle or a city, one giving you more economy and administration options while the other lets you recruit better units; this could be done to ANY city in your empire, while nowadays buildings slots and types are predetermined
- dynamic character development for generals: in Rome and Med2 your generals would pick up traits based on the buildings in the city they're in, their behavior in combat, etc etc; it felt dynamic and believable, nowadays it's all about leveling up through winning battles and unlocking cool abilities; a promising general could grow resentful if you made him govern a backwater village, turn into an alcoholic, etc

Nowadays we have all this number stacking (kinda like Europa Universalis 4, which is a meh game for that very same reason) in both campaign and battle modes. There's nothing interesting about it and it doesn't simulate anything. Rome 1's population mechanic was so cool, but it's been tossed out of the series.
Battles declined even worse, with Warhammer being the worst offender. Guns don't work like guns anymore (no reload animation, no fire by rank), infantry don't have special formations like phalanx or shieldwall, instead of every individual soldier having his own hitpoints the hitpoint pool is now per formation which leads to retarded shit like cavalry charges and cannonballs not killing anyone on impact because the formation's HP are too high, etc etc. Massive decline.
 

Icewater

Artisanal Shitposting™
Patron
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
1,951
Location
Freedomland
Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
instead of every individual soldier having his own hitpoints the hitpoint pool is now per formation which leads to retarded shit like cavalry charges and cannonballs not killing anyone on impact because the formation's HP are too high
I've seen you make this claim before and it totally contradicts my experience.

I don't know about other recent games, but at least in TW:WH 2 and 3, if an artillery shell lands in the middle of a large infantry unit, it will absolutely just instakill a ton of them. Certain units, such as Pistoliers, have a tendency to all shoot at one single troop within a unit; when this happens you'll see that one single troop drop while the rest of the unit remains unharmed.

You're right about everything else, though. They had a lot of cool mechanics already implemented in previous Total War games and just didn't carry them forward for some bizarre reason. Why can't cavalry dismount and fight as infantry—or shooter troops take cover behind walls—like in Empire and Napoleon? There are quite a few mods that reimplement many of these old abilities so it's not like it's impossible in their newer engine. Mind boggling.
 

Cyberarmy

Love fool
Patron
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
8,319
Location
Smyrna - Scalanouva
Divinity: Original Sin 2
I'm wondering what they'll do with the whole DLC situation. They promised 3 factions and a campaign pack for people who bought the most expensive edition, sooooooo are they going to create these in spite of the obvious flop or refund people who bought the dynasty edition?

I think they'll pull a 3 Kingdoms and abandon this early. But first batch of DLC s are probably already done and they'll pump them for "easy" money and then forget about this game.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
17,910
Pathfinder: Wrath
How do you feel about the way things work in Field Of Glory 2?
I love FoG2, it's one of my favorite tactical games.
adding meaningful complexity to both the strategy and tactics
Why does it need to be more complex? The complexity already there and inherent to the simulation just needs to be more meaningful.
Because they are already trying to add complexity through faction and battle mechanics (like the infantry classes), but they don't add anything meaningful most of the time because the execution is extremely fumbled. The infantry classes are a good idea, but the numbers aren't right and heavy infantry ended up dominating. The campaign mechanics are also a great idea, but they boil down to buttons to press to get higher numbers with no way to fail or to have opportunity costs. This is true in Warhammer and Pharaoh, not only Pharaoh. Troy is, again, an outlier. Most factions have brilliantly meaningful mechanics that change the way you play the game. Achilles' moods can turn him from a relatively mundane faction to a bloodthirsty powerhouse that burns and pillages his way through Greece and Troy. Penthesilea is the best horde faction in the entire franchise. Given how Troy turned out as well as it did, I'm surprised Pharaoh is stillborn, but they probably weren't given enough time to flesh everything out the way they wanted to.
 

AdamReith

Magister
Patron
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
2,102
In Atilla it gave me some of kind of mythical Celtic hero general for answering a riddle.

His power was to give +15% to armour of all men under his command...
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
Patron
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
32,930
Location
KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
You're right about everything else, though. They had a lot of cool mechanics already implemented in previous Total War games and just didn't carry them forward for some bizarre reason. Why can't cavalry dismount and fight as infantry—or shooter troops take cover behind walls—like in Empire and Napoleon? There are quite a few mods that reimplement many of these old abilities so it's not like it's impossible in their newer engine. Mind boggling.
The most bizarre part is that it's essentially the same engine, they keep using Warscape which was first used for Empire (kinda how Bethesda keeps using a heavily updated Morrowind engine for their new games).
Even the kneel fire ability for Shogun 2's firearm units was extremely wonky compared to Empire and Napleon's fire by rank, even though it worked pretty much the same way. Why? Why couldn't they just copy a working mechanic as is?

You can see this with almost every game, something that worked perfectly in the immediate predecessor is suddenly wonky, even though it's the same fucking engine.
 

Gromoer

Educated
Patron
Joined
Jan 26, 2023
Messages
238
Location
Vault 15
Codex+ Now Streaming!
You're right about everything else, though. They had a lot of cool mechanics already implemented in previous Total War games and just didn't carry them forward for some bizarre reason. Why can't cavalry dismount and fight as infantry—or shooter troops take cover behind walls—like in Empire and Napoleon? There are quite a few mods that reimplement many of these old abilities so it's not like it's impossible in their newer engine. Mind boggling.
The most bizarre part is that it's essentially the same engine, they keep using Warscape which was first used for Empire (kinda how Bethesda keeps using a heavily updated Morrowind engine for their new games).
Even the kneel fire ability for Shogun 2's firearm units was extremely wonky compared to Empire and Napleon's fire by rank, even though it worked pretty much the same way. Why? Why couldn't they just copy a working mechanic as is?

You can see this with almost every game, something that worked perfectly in the immediate predecessor is suddenly wonky, even though it's the same fucking engine.
It’s all shit anyway, there’s nothing comparable to the loss which is Realms Beyond.
 

Axioms

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
1,433
How do you feel about the way things work in Field Of Glory 2?
I love FoG2, it's one of my favorite tactical games.
adding meaningful complexity to both the strategy and tactics
Why does it need to be more complex? The complexity already there and inherent to the simulation just needs to be more meaningful.
Because they are already trying to add complexity through faction and battle mechanics (like the infantry classes), but they don't add anything meaningful most of the time because the execution is extremely fumbled. The infantry classes are a good idea, but the numbers aren't right and heavy infantry ended up dominating. The campaign mechanics are also a great idea, but they boil down to buttons to press to get higher numbers with no way to fail or to have opportunity costs. This is true in Warhammer and Pharaoh, not only Pharaoh. Troy is, again, an outlier. Most factions have brilliantly meaningful mechanics that change the way you play the game. Achilles' moods can turn him from a relatively mundane faction to a bloodthirsty powerhouse that burns and pillages his way through Greece and Troy. Penthesilea is the best horde faction in the entire franchise. Given how Troy turned out as well as it did, I'm surprised Pharaoh is stillborn, but they probably weren't given enough time to flesh everything out the way they wanted to.
Field Of Glory 2 has some downsides but their conception of combat is massively beyond other pre-modern tactical games by so much. Of course even FoG2 sort of falls apart when you use it as the battle engine for a complex strategic layer as in Field Of Glory: Empires. Because you can just so easily outnumber the enemy. FoG2 is still better than many other games as long as the AI doesn't freeze up, which it can sometimes do when playing FoGE battles, because you can lose even significant numbers of units in one sided battles with unlucky rolls and you can't just heavily abuse ranged units to slaughter everything with no risk. Total War especially has an issue where dozens of ranged units can be firing on single melee units including when they are actually in the melee with other melee units. TW:WH is obviously the worst here. Artillery is insane, monster units are super broken, as are flying units. FoG2 IMO has such a good set of limitations on ranged units that no one else major even tries to emulate.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
17,910
Pathfinder: Wrath
Total War in particular can learn a thing or two (or a lot) from FoG2, especially since its latest DLC is all about Bronze Age warfare and is somehow not boring, contrary to people's claims that Pharaoh's battles are boring just because it's Bronze Age warfare.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
14,028
Does Pharaoh represent chariots as infantry lawnmowers? It strikes me that they really shouldn't work like that, just having more mass doesn't magically encourage a horse to run into a bunch of spears and this is long before the time period of heavily armored horses. Its fine for Warhammer games but totally wrong for a historical game. They should basically be skirmish units but they've always sucked ass at that in TW games due to being low model count, a huge target, and usually having less range than foot archers.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
17,910
Pathfinder: Wrath
Does Pharaoh represent chariots as infantry lawnmowers? It strikes me that they really shouldn't work like that, just having more mass doesn't magically encourage a horse to run into a bunch of spears and this is long before the time period of heavily armored horses. Its fine for Warhammer games but totally wrong for a historical game. They should basically be skirmish units but they've always sucked ass at that in TW games due to being low model count, a huge target, and usually having less range than foot archers.
I think you can answer that yourself. When was the last time CA made any sort of progress in the battle department and more specifically how the units behave in the engine? Pharaoh's battles are awful and pointless. The engine isn't capable of anything else at this point.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
17,910
Pathfinder: Wrath
I've read the things he's discussing and I'm not impressed in the sense that these things are obvious and we don't need top secret insider information to see it. It's noticeably affecting the games themselves and this has been talked about for years. CA don't CAre.
 

BlackAdderBG

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
3,033
Location
Little Vienna
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
I've read the things he's discussing and I'm not impressed in the sense that these things are obvious and we don't need top secret insider information to see it. It's noticeably affecting the games themselves and this has been talked about for years. CA don't CAre.
Nah, they do care, the problem is that they will focus all their energy to produce a game that at its fundamentals will be still shit. We have seen all that with RPGs for decades, companies of old will refocus their efforts for somewhat more ambitious next installment in a series or new IP, but never go back on the mechanics they changed. CA is doomed for people that don't want what they shat for the last 10 years, only a new studio can come up with the things most people liked from past TW games and that studio will probably have devs that were fans of the old TW games. It will be buggy and underfunded and at best will be "diamond in the rough" type game. And the circle continues...

:stunned:
 

Axioms

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
1,433
Well we'll see if that really happens. I give it 75% that his source is real but 25% is a lot.
 

Theodora

Arcane
Patron
Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
4,620
Location
anima Bȳzantiī
I originally typed "RTW", and thought "no, that answer would be too depressing", so I rewrote it as 'the last time TW still felt like the same series'.
 

Cyberarmy

Love fool
Patron
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
8,319
Location
Smyrna - Scalanouva
Divinity: Original Sin 2
My favorite is the 3K with all its spy shenanigans and op cavalry but they pulled its plug because they fucked up its DLCs
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom