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Vae Victis

August 27th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 1 Comment · Paradox, Preview

It’s will be a few months late, but it look like EU: Rome will finally be getting the interactive depths that make Europa Universalis 3 and Crusader Kings so captivating. The Vae Victis expansion pack will be only $9.99, a very reasonable price considering that they will not be extending the game’s timeline and the core game, even with the 1.3 patch, is still kind of lame.

One worry from the Press Release:

The dynamics of the characters that live in the Republic will come to life as the men and women have their own personal goals and agendas, which are often in conflict with each other. Will you be able to manage these willful personalities?

This is all well and good, but a successful game can lead to you having hundreds of characters. Managing all these ambitious Romans or Carthaginians could be like herding cats. Part of the current game’s problem is that you have to put people in charge of tiny parcels of land and they end up bleeding into the same generic, medicore person; they are numbers more than they are people. By mid game, you don’t even care that much about their numbers.

Now imagine that these dozens of Roman governors, plus the people still not decent enough to leave Rome, start bugging you with stuff. Build me a temple. Conquer Germany. Pass this law. Assassinate Antiochus.

It would help if governing characters managed regions made up of smaller provinces. Take the four or five Macedonian provinces and make them part of a Province of Macedonia. Like in CK, you could create provinces for people to rule once you had a minimum number. Certain character demands could be triggered only by the Governor characteristic or by presence in specific regions. That would mean fewer demands related to ruling the provinces and maybe more related to general management of the Senate or Empire.

Republics still need more turnover in the top job for these types of character dynamics to really work. There are too many Consuls for Life in Rome, and if you are going to have ambitious characters then you need to find ways to satisfy their ambitions. The offices you can dole out are tied directly to the research pace, so, unlike CK where you might replace a 10 chancellor with an 8 chancellor to keep the new character content, you’d be daft to do that in Rome where research unlocks new buildings and options.

So how does an ambitious royal or Republican get satisfied if there is no place to put them?

Johan Andersson is smarter than I am, so he’s probably worked some of this out. But considering what a mediocre experience Rome still is, I’m very cautious about how much Vae Victis can really help.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Michael A.

    Hehe – herding cats. I like that; it describes pretty accurately the problem inherent in these kind of character-based games. :-)