Product Release - Valve
The Total War: SHOGUN 2 Saints and Heroes Unit Pack is now available on Steam!

Honed by years of relentless training and tempered in the fires of battle, these nine elite warrior units excel in their fields, and stand head-and-shoulders above their rank-and-file brothers.

Product Update - Valve
General fixes

• Fixed cavalry exploit where players could engage infantry with minimal losses and cause unit to rout.

• Fixed issue where blood would not appear on face and left arm of units in Blood Pack DLC.

• Various audio fixes.

• Correct banner is now shown by Tosa standard bearers.

• Fixed morale bug that could cause the player's army to rout if a reinforcing army had enough Gatling guns.

• Fixes for additional multiplayer campaign desync occurrences where identified.

• Fixed graphical clipping issue with Shinsengumi’s cape.

• Revolver Cavalry is now capped at 4 per army in multiplayer.

• Hosts should now correctly leave a multiplayer campaign when client quits after a battle.

• Fix for certain Daimyos portraits being stretched.

• Saga's clan attributes should now be working correctly.

• Pro-imperial clans should now be able to recruit Shogitai after changing allegiance.

• Clan Development "Modern Rifles" and the trait gained from "French Military Mission" will no longer affect artillery units.

• Daimyo retainer's "British Naval Engineer", "British Railway Engineer", "Francois Leonce Verny" and "Inudstrialist" should now be working correctly.

• Daimyo retainer's "Logistics" and "Scourge" should now correctly stack to provide a 15% replenishment rate.

• Daimyo retainer "Over-ambitious mistress" should now have an effect on Daimyo honour.

• Daimyo retainer "Sir Harry Smith Parkes" should now have a description attached.

• Dilemma "Koyosha" now correctly decreases research rate, rather than increases research rate.

• Various typographical fixes.

• Event "Security Matters" should now have a relevant penalty.

• Mission "Developing our potential" should now be correctly displayed when skipping the first cut-scene.

Unit rebalancing

• Katana Hero units used to cost 1500 Koku, now cost 1300 Koku.

• Yari Hero units used to cost 1100 Koku, now cost 1000 Koku.

• Naginata Warrior Monk Hero units used to cost 1500 Koku, now cost 1300 Koku.

• Bow Hero units used to cost 1400 Koku, now cost 1250 Koku.

AI improvements

• Naval AI will now repair damaged fleets in battle.

• Improvements to AI defending to take into account distance and relative strength between AI and human units when selecting targets.

• Improvements to AI defence when AI has missile superiority.

• AI non-missile/cavalry units will now more frequently move through missile units defending the front line of a battlegroup if they are being charged by a player.

• Further improvements made to reinforcing army AI to limit idle army behaviour.

• Fixed issue where AI would occasionally send in single, unsupported units to attack the player. Units will now co-ordinate better and attack in larger numbers.

• Other AI units will attack player-friendly units that are protecting the flanks of the AI’s primary target unit.

Product Update - Valve
Change Log:
• Lighting shader tweaks to improve lighting in battles throughout the game.
• A Multiplayer crash on host machine when searching for a 4v4 Set-up team siege battle has been fixed.
• Fixed crash when attempting to play Fall of the Samurai Historical Battles when players owns the stand alone Dragon War Battle Pack and not Total War: SHOGUN 2 Fall of the Samurai.
• Fix for players becoming stuck during the Avatar Multiplayer Tutorial after searching for a Match Made battle.
• The "Season" drop down list should now display correctly after changing map in a multiplayer Battle List battle.
• Wako pirates now have the correct banners in naval battles via the Campaign.
• Fix to prevent AI trade fleets grouped around occupied trade nodes in Campaign mode.
• Fix to prevent Mixed Avatars being able to join Battle List battles with 'Mixed Avatars' option turned off.
• Fix for bug in Avatar Conquest mode where players receiving a clan promotion were shown a message telling them they have been relegated.
• Desynchronisation (desync) message has been localised to French, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Russian, Polish.
• Fix for multiplayer campaign desynchronsiation (desync) when playing between German and Czech players.
• Improved compatibility with AMD Radeon HD 7 series graphics cards.
• Fixes to prevent desynchronisation (desync) in Multiplayer Campaign mode.
• Improved combat animation blending for cavalry.
• Added localisation to the multiplayer lobby for the status of TEd created maps when they are being shared.
• Fix for Sea of Japan naval battle map crash.
• Players can no longer delete the "Sea of Japan" Naval Battle map, and can delete their own maps (Created or shared through TEd) on the battle setup screen UI.
• Added localisation for battle setup screen UI in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Russian, Polish.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Total War Rome 2 video interviews: Creative Assembly on battles and the campaign game">Rome 2 Street Fighting Feature







While seeing Rome 2 for the first time at Creative Assembly, I spoke to lead designer James Russell and lead battle designer Jamie Ferguson about the new direction that Total War is taking, their ambitions for the game, and why they're returning to Rome after all this time.



James Russell, lead designer

 



 

Jamie Ferguson, lead battle designer

 



 

Be sure to check out our Rome 2 preview for our first impressions of the game. More on Rome 2 is available in PC Gamer UK issue 242, out July 4th, and PC Gamer US issue 230, out July 17th.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Total War Rome 2 preview: every detail about the new engine, naval combat, multiplayer and mods">Rome 2 Logo







The original Rome is one of the most enduringly popular games in the Total War series. It did away with sprites, rendering warfare in full 3D. It added depth and flexibility to the campaign game, coupled with one of the most varied and evocative eras in the history of human conflict. It even formed the basis of a historical TV show.



A sequel to Rome is, according to Total War lead designer James Russell, the most frequent request that Creative Assembly receive - and a few weeks ago, I visited the developer to see that sequel for myself. I was shown a ten minute battle demonstration, running live and in-engine but with pre-scripted troop movements and a planned outcome. What I saw was really exciting, but it’s worth being clear about the fact that this was a first look at a game that is early in development, with a lot that the developers aren’t willing to show. The impression I got was that there’s much still to be nailed down behind the scenes and as such a lot of the specific detail that Total War fans will be looking far was hard to come by. They were however willing to talk about the direction and themes of Rome 2’s design, and I was given exclusive interviews with the people behind the game. Here’s everything there is to know so far.



Bigger, more detailed battles

 

The setting for the demonstration was the Roman siege of Carthage at the end of the Thrid Punic War, circa 146 - the battle that famously ended with the total destruction of the north African city by Roman forces. The opening shot was a close-up on Roman consul Scipio Aemilianus, giving orders to his men on board a warship. Total War: Rome 2 runs on a new engine that supports the largest and most detailed battles in the series’ history, to the extent of supporting full, in-engine cutscenes. In place of a traditional general’s speech, then, the siege of Carthage began with an actual conversation between Scipio and his men, before zooming out to take in the sight of the Roman fleet approaching the heavily-defended shoreline.



Ships and armies can now take part in the same battles when the situation demands it. As troop-carrying biremes crashed into the shore, Roman boats armed with catapults kept their distance and provided covering fire for the dismounting troops, who formed into ranks before charging up the beach towards the walls. I later asked if this ‘rolling start’ meant that the deployment phase was a thing of the past, but that’s not the case - instead, CA are looking to be more flexible about how battles can begin, based on various circumstances. Beach landings are a confirmed feature, according to lead battle designer Jamie Ferguson, and there’s room for other non-traditional openings as well.



“There's something very special about Total War in terms of the scale,” James Russell told me. “If you look at a battle you have incredible detail close up, where you can see two men fighting it out - and you zoom out and you can see thousands and thousands of them on the battlefield, and we really want to push both ends of that spectrum in Rome 2.”



The developers used a free camera to show off different aspects of the battle - Roman archers taking cover behind wooden barricades to return fire on the Carthaginian defenders, siege towers moving into place, off-shore Roman artillery causing a breach in the city’s harbour walls. They were keen to stress, however, that in the final game it’ll no longer be necessary to swing the camera around to keep track of the battlefield. Rome 2 will feature a tactical view that allows players to zoom the camera out to a top-down, kilometer-square overview where units are represented by simplified icons. Commanding individual cohorts effectively from this perspective won’t be possible, but it should make getting your bearings easier and reduce the amount of time you spend squinting at the mini-map.





Making battles easier absorb on the macroscale belies Creative Assembly’s most frequently stated aim for Rome 2, which is to add character and humanity to the scores of tiny soldiers that live or die by your command. The new closest zoom setting is an absurdly detailed close-up that allows you to hover over a individual combatant’s shoulder in third-person. In the demonstration, this was shown off by leaping into Scipio Aemilianus’ unit as they prepared to storm the Carthaginian walls using a siege tower. The same Romans that had just been swarming from biremes by the hundred were now fidgeting and shifting as nervous individuals, listening to the orders of a general a few feet away.



Scripted? Yes, and Creative Assembly wouldn’t comment on how these mid-battle moments would play out as part of regular play. Impressive, though? Certainly, particularly when the Romans reached the walls. Shogun 2’s samurai occasionally broke off into brief animated duels, but Rome 2 takes the specifics of melee combat much further - men lunge and dodge and shield-bash each other, the game taking full advantage of both Creative Assembly’s meticulous research - which involves work with professional ancient warfare reenactors - and the new engine’s enhanced animation capabilities.



The importance of this extra detail, according to lead battle designer Jamie Ferguson, is that it involves the player in the lives of their men. “When they give those guys an order to take the walls they can experience that themselves” he explains, “and see what those guys are going and realise that they're not just a bunch of clones climbing a ladder, that there are individuals in there and they're all doing their best for you.”



The walls taken, the battle continued in the streets. Roman troops entering by another route - that breach in the harbour wall - trapped the Carthaginians at a crossroads with a flanking maneuver, forcing the defenders further back into their own city. This part of the demo closely resembled equivalent encounters in other recent Total War games, but the sheer size of cities necessitates that battles be more complex than simply capturing and holding a single central location. In Rome 2, a successful siege will be a multi-part affair, with several dynamic objectives.



For the sake of the demo, the sack of Carthage was limited to these opening minutes. To conclude, the team zoomed back into Scipio Aemilianus’ unit as the consul lead the charge into the city. A collapsing tower sent a cloud of dust and smoke into the street, causing the Romans to hesitate. There was a pause, and a yelled order to hold the line. The silhouettes of charging war elephants emerged from the smoke, and, well, that was it for the world's first glimpse at Rome 2. In an epilogue, a victorious Scipio surveyed defeated Carthage and gave the order to burn the city to the ground.



Obviously, these bookending cutscenes are too specific and too neat to apply to every campaign - as ever in an open-ended Total War game, Carthage is just as likely to be sacked by rampaging Gauls as it is by the Roman Republic - and Creative Assembly say that the siege of Carthage is more likely to end up as a standalone historical battle. It’s a striking statement of Rome 2’s cinematic intent, though, and my impression from the demo was that this new level of detail has the potential to enhance the drama of the whole game.





Reinventing the campaign game

 

"What we're trying to do is create a game where warfare more meaningful,” Jamie Ferguson told me. “We're placing much more importance on battles, that when an army turns up it is an army. You may find that the campaign game doesn't look like it might have in previous games."



Despite the tease, CA aren’t willing to show off anything of Rome 2’s campaign map at this stage. The impression I got however was that they’re taking a serious and critical look at the structure of the turn-based part of the game, again with an eye to making the player care more about the individual soldiers, cohorts and armies at their command.



"We're ... trying to focus attention on a much smaller number of armies and a smaller number of more significant battles” James Russell explains. “We're trying to reduce the management you've got to do assembling armies, and that kind of thing.”



One example of this kind of refinement will be the ability to govern whole provinces made up of a number of individual regions. Rather than delving into the micromanagement of each individual territory, it sounds like it’ll be possible to set policies for an entire region - but when it comes to warfare, each one of those areas will need to be conquered separately. “We still have that strategic depth where a province is made of up several regions which you can conquer”, Russell says. “And what that means is that you can have the benefit of scale but you don't have the management detail.”



Discussing the occurrence of actual historical events during the campaign, Jamie Ferguson stresses that player freedom is still paramount. “We're not putting the player on rails” he explains. “ will be triggered depending on what the player is doing how how the player is behaving... it's really our core goal to integrate the player's interaction with the rich tapestry of the ancient world.”



That integration is key to Total War, he argues. "The point of Total War games isn't just to recreate history. What we're trying to do is get a counterfactual history going. We start from a historical point of view - this is how things were at, lets pick a date at random, 325 BC - and from that point onwards, it's about player action and interaction, with the AI and their environment. That determines how the game develops."





This will apply to everything from political systems to army composition. Using the example of the crown offered to Julius Caesar, Ferguson says that there’s no reason that the Roman Republic necessarily needs to become an Empire - it could have historically gone back to a kingship, and if the player chooses to make that decision then that’s something Creative Assembly want to support. Likewise, there’s nothing - geography and resources aside - stopping a sufficiently well-managed coalition of Germanic tribes from becoming the dominant force of their time.



Giving the player the power to pick the loadout of individual units of troops is something else that Creative Assembly are exploring. “There's no reason that we can't allow the player, maybe, to change the way those units are equipped” Ferguson says. “For example there's the cavalry sword - the spatha. In reality that didn't really become part of standard Roman equipment until very late, in the period - but there's no reason that some general at some point might not have decided, 'well lets do that earlier on'." The idea of history as a sandbox is still at the forefront of Total War’s identity.



(Re)designing the ancient world

 

It’s also worth mentioning that Rome 2 looks stunning, and that’s as much thanks to its art direction as it is to the new engine. Shogun 2 was rightly praised for having a comprehensive visual identity of its own, and Rome 2 continues that trend - which is even more impressive given how familiar Roman warfare is to a western audience. There’s a strong attention to colour and lighting in particular, with Carthage rendered in orange, brown and olive green against the white of its defenders and deep red of the invading Romans. Smoke from fires throughout the city changes the nature of the lighting - in real time, I’m told - diffusing glaring sunlight into a gathering gloom. It’s effective, dramatic, believable stuff.



Soldiers’ weapons and armour is chipped and looks used, and the walls of cities are adorned with ancient graffiti. This “lived-in” sense is one of the key things that makes Rome 2’s design stand out. Despite the prevalence of Rome in film and TV, the team have gone back to original archaeological sources, rebuilt them, and then beaten them up. If Carthage looks this good, I cannot wait to see the Eternal City itself.



Multiplayer and mods

 

Multiplayer is confirmed, but aside from the fact that Creative Assembly are “planning to do something really big”, no details are available yet. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect something along the lines of Shogun 2’s matchmaking and online campaign systems.



Whether or not Rome 2 will include the content creation tools recently rolled out to Shogun 2 is less clear. “We do our best” James Russell told me. “It has become harder, in the old days we worked with very simple text files that were very easy to mod, now we have a proper authenticated database. We don't necessarily have all the editor tools that the players out there think we do.”



The road to Rome

 

Total War: Rome 2 is due in 2013. If Creative Assembly can successfully balance revitalising the campaign game with chasing a new, cinematic depth to individual battles then there’s every reason to be very excited. More on Rome 2 is available in PCG UK issue 242, out July 4th, and PCG US issue 230, out July 17th. You can also check out our video interviews with the game's lead designers.
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

For the first time in over a decade of the Total War series, developer The Creative Assembly has released an official editor to let players create their own battlefields. The delightfully-named TEd, Total War Editor, is available now for Total War: Shogun 2 and its expandalone and its expandalone Fall of the Samurai.

Playing god with friendly old TEd, you can sculpt the terrain then populate your creations with props from trees to railway lines. If you're determined and inventive enough, yes, you probably can make de_dust. You can play your levels in custom AI battles or in multiplayer, where they're automatically shared with the other player.

"Total War has enjoyed a strong and dedicated modding community down the years, and we want to do more to support that," TW brand director Rob Bartholomew said in the announcement. "With TEd at their fingertips, we're expecting to see new battle-maps for Shogun 2 that will equal our own in popularity."

If you own Shogun 2 or Fall of the Samurai, you should find TEd in your Tools tab on Steam.

Announcement - Valve
Total War Battle Map Editor (TEd) tool now available to users that own either Total War: SHOGUN 2 or Total War: SHOGUN 2 - Fall of the Samurai.

TEd offers the ability to create and automatically share Land, Naval and Siege Battle Maps with other players. The maps can be used in both Single player (Custom Battle Mode) and Multiplayer. TEd can be accessed from the “Tools” menu in the Steam Library.

Product Update - Valve
Note: There is currently a text string in the game front end advertising new DLC packs. These have not yet been released. We expect to release them next week.

- Total War Battle Map Editor (TEd) tool now available, offering the ability to create and automatically share Land, Naval and Siege Battle Maps with other players. The maps can be used in both Single player (Custom Battle Mode) and Multiplayer. TEd can be accessed from the “Tools” menu in the Steam Library.
- New Multiplayer Campaign Resynchronisation feature – When Multiplayer Campaign players become out of sync with each other (aka “desynchronisation” or “desync”), the game will attempt to resynchronise the players so they can continue playing (aka “resynchronisation” or “resync”).
- Various fixes to prevent Multiplayer Campaign desynchronisation before resynchronisation is required.
- Fix for crash loading into the “Sea of Japan” Naval custom battle map.
- Fix for campaign map armies pathfinding causing them to becoming stuck on coast lines.
- Fixed stats for Kisho Ninja units.
- Fixed sound when broadsides are fired by players' ships in Historical and Custom Battle mode battles.
- Improved garrisoned infantry animation and pathfinding when attacking (to stop units moving on the spot and prioritising reforming over firing).
- Improved match making between avatar types to reduce erroneous match making between Total War: SHOGUN 2 avatars and Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai avatars.
- Host and Host's teammates will now receive experience after a battle if the clients’ team had an open slot.
- Fix for Key Building timer in Avatar Conquest Mode, so that when a player loses a building, then re-captures it, the timer no longer continues to count down from when the building was first lost, now resetting. Fix in place for the timer not being displayed under certain circumstances.
- Fixed performance drop (low FPS) when accessing the recruitment tab for the Fukushima province in Single Player Campaign mode.
- Fixed crashes in Avatar Conquest Mode tutorial.
- Fixed bug where AI were only recruiting Kobaya ships on the Total War: SHOGUN 2 campaign under some circumstances.
- Fix for bug where camera scroll didn't work when the mouse was positioned over certain UI elements.
- Fixed Avatar Conquest Mode exploit where players could ignore funds bracket.
- Fix for Total War: SHOGUN 2 generals pre-battle speeches playing when playing as Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai clans.
- Fix for crash when positioning the mouse over coastal batteries in Miyako Bay Historical Battle Mode on Hard or Very Hard difficulty.
- Minor text fixes for Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai tutorials.
- Fix for armies reinforcing a besieger bouncing around that besieger until they run out of movement / action points (aka “Army bobbling”).
- Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai mons will now appear on unit banners in battle.
- Improved transition blending for combat animation.
- Negative phase removed from Banzai.
- Improved Windows 8 preview compatibility.
- Fixed a number of issues with veteran clan skills
- Fixed the Stricken Unholy forge retainer effects
- Various miscellaneous crash bugs fixed.
- Various miscellaneous user interface bugs fixed
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Notch might end up in the next Total War game">Notch Total War



As reported on Eurogamer, Creative Assembly are doing their best to get Notch motion captured for their next Total War game. Where/when/how/why is this happening? That's still something of a mystery. Motion capture is a hot topic on PC Gamer today. Even horses are at it.



Earlier today Creative Assembly sent Notch a tweet, saying "Hey Notch. How would you like to be in the next Total War game?"



Notch replied: "It's going to feature fat guys sitting around a lot and grunting when they finally do stand up?" before confirming his interest: "'cause if it does, I'm DOWN! YEAH!! Assuming schedule works out and all that. When? Where? How?"



Since those tweets, Community man at Creative Assembly, Craig Laylock has shed some light into the invite: "I love that he enjoys making games for the fun of making good games. That's what it's all about."



Notch is the hatted creator of Minecraft. We'll have more on the Total War/Notch collaboration as and when it breaks.
Product Release - Valve
The Total War: SHOGUN 2 Dragon War Battle Pack is now available on Steam!

The Dragon War Battle Pack consists of six consecutively-played legendary battles from the Boshin War, depicting the campaign of Saigo Takamori. Previously only available in the “Fall of the Samurai” expansion, they can now be accessed in the original Total War: SHOGUN 2.

Command the féted warrior Saigo Takamori and his Imperial army. Wield the ferocious weapons of the late 1800s as you fight against the armies of the Tokugawa Shogunate, win Japan for the Emperor, and relive the War of the Year of the Dragon!

...