This blog is meant exclusively for the people who, just like me, are great fans of the Total War series.
Because of the somewhat confusing release of the most recent Rome II, I thought it could serve a good purpose to write a blog that centers everything there is to know about the game so far.
I say confusing because benchmarks of the game are all over the place due to weird optimization, and the new features that come with the gameplay are difficult to understand. Especially I think for veterans of the series :)
I've thought of an organized system to explain things and this is what I've come up with so far:
1. Official GD news
2. Graphics explained
News about optimization developments, patch releases and general facts that concern the graphical issues of the game.
3. Gameplay features experiences.
Section where I will add the experiences members have playing this game that could help out other players as well. I'm convinced that learning to play this game will prove a lot quicker if we can listen to eachother's experiences. Purpose of this is to become a gameplay guide people can turn to.
1. Official GD news.
The GD official review:Can be found here.
Benchmark AMD Radeon HD 6670: Can be found here
Official news on Graphical Glitches And Low Res Texture: Can be found here
--- First patch has been released on Friday the 6th of September. Read the news article here.
--- Second patch is currently in beta stage. Released on Friday the 13th of September. Full list of changes can be read here.
***Warning***: games saved in beta patch are not compatible with patch 1. So if you want to dial back from patch2beta to patch1 you will have to start a new game.
More patches will be released on a weekly basis. For those the Creative Assembly have stated they are going by user feedback to know what is still going wrong. (which to me sounds a lot like "this game is actually still in beta-phase")
2. Graphics explained.
"Dual or Double graphics cards"
It has been tested by players, and confirmed by the Creative Assembly that this game does not support SLI, Crossfire and not even dualcore cards like the GTX690 or the HD7990.
Update AMD 1: Today, AMD has released Crossfire support for the game!
Update Nvidia 1: People report better framerates using the latest Beta (326.80) driver.
Nvidia has already said it will do its best to make new profiles or drivers for the game but that the problem of SLI and Crossfire is one that can only be fixed by the developers.
"How to get best performance by manually setting graphical settings"
1: Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Total War Rome II\redist\directx
2: Keep changing graphics settings and running the in-game benchmark until you don't go lower than 35 FPS for average score on benchmark. I started at medium settings and worked my way up until that point. ---YOU MUST APPLY SETTINGS, THEN RE-ENTER GRAPHICS OPTIONS, THEN RUN BENCHMARK AFTER EACH CHANGE---
"unlimited video memory"
You can select your graphics settings in the options menu, as always. But those are subject to change by the game once you actually starts playing. So when you start loading the map the game will calculate memory needed and all that. If the game thinks you don't have enough memory it will LOWER THE GRAPHICS SETTINGS BY ITSELF! Can you believe the nerve? Which is why it is possible that if you set for extreme for example and the game thinks you don't have enough memory, it will set to low without you knowing. Giving you terrible graphics. And if you set to medium, it may be okay according to the game. So it is possible extreme settings give you worse graphics than medium!
So what the "unlimited video memory" button does is disable that built-in feature and give you the graphics you selected!
The game looked a lot better with that option turned on. Especially on the battle maps.
3. Gameplay experiences
The diplomacy feature is a lot slicker than it presents itself at first. At least to me. You actually have to build up a diplomatic stance with other factions. Meaning, you start mostly with a non-aggression pact to which most will agree. As the turns progress they will like you more for it. Making a trade agreement and later an alliance a possibility. It's a lot more work to get alliances and trade agreements, but I like that :)
"Internal faction politics"
Every faction has at least two parties. Government and opposition if you will. That would be the ruling families in Rome.
Every party has its dignitaries, generals and such. The higher their "gravitas" the more influence your party/family has over the others. And from what the in-game encyclopedia tells me you need to be sure there is a balance in influence. You can't have too much, nor too less influence otherwise it would instigate a civil war within your faction.
Your dignitaries will be able to participate in random events that can turn out for better or for worse to their gravitas and thus the influence your party has.
You can also perform actions on the members of other parties like assassinations or spreading rumours. But those actions could also turn against you.
It is all very confusing to me what every action specifically does and how to be sure it doesn't come round to bite you in the ass. Those actions only cost money (and a lot of it too) and don't seem to really do anything to your advantage. The only thing I found out that really works is keeping your generals busy so they increase in rank and get more gravitas.
By that I mean giving them all an equal opportunity to go to battle. It's tempting to use the same general over and over again so he advances in rank, but the other generals need to build up gravitas too so they don't switch over to the other party or get killed by them.