"human face" on the series' conflicts.
They'd like players to use the tactical map less, although it will remain the "dominant mode in gameplay." The battles are "more real" thanks to the humanising. Creative to hold a "modding summit".
The developer is keen to play up the role of how detailed and dynamic the troops are now, teasing how we'll witness first-hand a full range of 'human behaviour' on the frontlines.
Creative would love us to spend more time on the 'unit cam' so we get to see this evolution up close, and they'll be dangling "gameplay incentives" to do so but the Rome II team aren't pursuing anything that would "unbalance the game." The more traditional tactical view remains the default tool.
"I wouldn’t say we wouldn’t want players to be playing from a top-down view, what we don’t want though is players using the tactical map too much. That’s not really what gives you a feel for the battle; it’s little more than an orientation tool," James Russell told us in .
"But in terms of playing the battles, I think you’re obviously going to have the traditional camera view as the dominant mode in gameplay," he continued. "But this idea of humanising how the battles look and feels close up, for me it’s just a way of making them more real. We’ve had these unit level cameras for a while, and we’ve been experimenting with how they work – and we’ve found so far that it’s purely cosmetic."
He acknowledges that players won't zoom in to units "unless they are having a breather from microing the larger battle." They'll be making it worth our time though but it won't sacrifice anything: "Rest assured that what it DOESN’T mean is that if you’re to play the optimum way to win, that you have to keep jumping between unit cams or anything like that."
On the campaign map we'll also be having our focus more on 'legions' themselves than on individual types of units such as archers or cavalry. Instead it seems they'll already comprise of varying types of military assets, although Russell added we'll still get to customise them how we want, "but it’s something that we want to do to make sure the gameplay is manageable, and that the player focuses on interesting decisions throughout the game, rather than focusing on micromanaging lots of individual units, especially considering the world is a lot bigger now."
They took this approach for military management so it paralleled the new province system. "Obviously there are hundreds of regions now, but we don’t want payers to making individual choices for each of them. We thought it would be more fun if they managed the province those regions were in instead, which is what a real Roman governor would do."
He also talked of the world itself and confirmed it would be "one large single space," although one faction - even Rome - might not get to see the whole world. It's "very early days of the republic," when Rome II's campaign begins.
"You can’t see the huge intimidating scale of the world, so you get to build your empire up from the ground and I think that means that you might not have the same problems with orientating yourself. And of course, you’re not necessarily going to get to see the whole world just playing as a single faction – we want lots of replay value, so if you’re playing a Rome you might only exist in one part of the world, but if you play as someone else you might exist in an entirely different area."
Creative are continuing to look at how they could support the modding community which has existed throughout the Total War franchise with Rome: Total War being extensively bombarded with community made content.
"...things are a lot more complicated than they were back in RTW’s day, it was all just text files back then. We’re going to try and do our best to keep supporting them – we absolutely understand that these people put so much time into the game, and come up with ways to keep it fresh and interesting," said Russell.
He revealed the studio will play host to a "modding summit soon" where community modders will get invited to discuss what can be done with Rome II. "We do struggle against our own tools though sometimes, we’ll do our best though."
Check out ourwith Creative Assembly's James Russell for more on Total War: Rome II.