I’m something of a Total War aficionado, so I imagine it comes as no surprise that Shogun 2: Total War (or Total War: Shogun 2, because apparently the naming scheme they’ve used since the beginning of the series is too confusing suddenly) was easily a pre-order guarantee for me. And I suppose I could talk about how fun the game is since they’ve scaled back and streamlined it compared to earlier titles, or how awesome it is that the AI finally understands what a “cavalry flank attack” is.
But… it almost seems too… nice for me to spend an entire post talking about how fun Shogun 2 is. What else could I do?
Oh! I know! Why don’t I list every single bug I’ve personally encountered so far? Yeah, that’ll work. I’m sure since this game is so great, the list will be short and concise, right?
Let’s see here…
- Upon entering a quick-match multiplayer lobby, you may be surprised to discover that there’s no button to leave. I suppose this would be a problem, but since this game was thoroughly tested before release, there is no reason you’d ever need to leave a quick-match lobby.
- Sometimes, in a multiplayer lobby, you will be completely unable to press the ready button, with the game throwing an error at you that you or someone else has an “invalid army setup.” This is sometimes caused by damaged veteran units being fielded, which the game is totally okay with letting you drag into the army setup window and gives you no indication that this is the problem at all.
- Other times, everyone will get an invalid army setup error despite this, and the game will simply never start. The only solution is for someone to open task manager and kill their client manually so the rest of you will be spit out to the main menu.
- If you’ve formed a team with your friends, and the team leader hits the “search for a match” button, all of the buttons will be grayed-out. There is no way for anyone to leave the team until the lobby leader stops a match search. This might have been a problem, but fortunately, because this game is well tested, there is never any situation where you might want to leave your team for any reason whatsoever.
- Sometimes, when searching for a team, the “stop search” button will gray-out as well, and the game will never match you with anyone, meaning the only way to escape is to kill the program through the task manager.
- Sometimes, in matches larger than 1v1, when your team joins a lobby, the game will scramble the players for no reason, even if you were in a pre-made team that was searching for a match together.
- In addition, when the teams get scrambled for no apparent reason, the game might really trip out and mangle the teams so badly that you’ll end up with more people on one team over the other, leaving you in a three versus one or two versus four situation. At this point, the game will simply refuse to start altogether, and someone will have to close the program manually so the lobby closes.
- Occasionally, when searching for a match with a team, you’ll end up in a game with a map that is too small for the number of players in the match. There is no way to change this and the game will never start, so someone will have to quit the game so the rest of you can escape.
- For added fun, the match-making system will simply say “Screw it!” on occasion, and drop you into a match type you didn’t even have selected. I’ve ended up in about ten naval games when I had “search for a land battle” selected.
- The above four bugs tend to happen in concert with one another too, so bonus points if you manage to end up on a 5v1 team on a 2v2 naval map when you were searching for a land battle.
- Occasionally, the game won’t allow you to push the ready button, saying that “The selected army is already taken.” This is actually a pretty benign bug, because as long as someone else in the match can hit ready, the countdown timer will start which will force everyone ready and start the match. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what that error message even means. What, did someone STEAL MY ARMY?
- Sometimes, when opening the clan overlay, the game will have a sudden moment of self-reflection and realize what a shameful display these bugs are, so it will commit seppuku in disgrace and the game will crash.
- If someone leaves a match while it’s in progress, the entire match will close â€" even if it was a team battle â€" and no one will be awarded a win or loss. Thus, the most expedient way to top the game’s ladder is to simply quit the game every time you’re about to lose.
- Despite the improvements to the battle AI, it still doesn’t seem to “get” siege battles. Sometimes, it will send all of its archers to climb the walls of the castle before any other units, so they can get slaughtered by all of the melee units on the other side.
- Other times, the AI will simply give up, sending all of its units to a far corner of the map and having them walk around in a circle until the battle timer runs out, at which point the defender (you) will be awarded with a victory.
But seriously, Shogun 2 is really fun, and if you like the Total War games, you should get it. But multiplayer is… really buggy, so if you’re looking forward to that portion of the game, you may want to wait until they can get a decent patch out the door.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
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This is why shopping for graphics cards is so stupid and miserable.
Grand Theft Auto Retrospective
This series began as a cheap little 2D overhead game and grew into the most profitable entertainment product ever made. I have a love / hate relationship with the series.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
There's a wonderful way to balance difficulty in RPGs, and designers try to prevent it. For some reason.