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Hegemony Rome - Any news?

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Level 8 Human Sage
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Great Britain
Posted on April 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hey Longbow,
great that u keep in touch with us and chill with us and really connect with your fanbase, but when all is said and done i think the vast majority of us are desperately waiting for Rome. Is there any news when we might see the beta at least? Ofc news of the projected release date would also be very, very welcome.
And will it be an open beta? will we all get a chance to be involved?

thanks in advance for your reply :)

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I'm not from longbow games, but I believe that it was already written that most likely there will be open beta(well, for those that preorder, that is as it was for Phillip/gold).

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 2:45 am

I just have to say that the length it is taking for you to come out with Rome after saying it was going to come out last year then changing it has almost ruined it for me...almost haha I am still a big fan, but please hurry it up!

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on April 24, 2013 at 6:12 am

I had thought news was coming soon, but I guess it was a typo and should have said "Soon™" :)

Level 6 Human Student
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Pittsburgh
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I was kind of curious if there's any news about what types of generals or leaders we could look forward to in Rome. Obviously Julius Caesar is one. But in real life he wasn't really grouped with a unit the same way that generals were in Hegemony Wars of Ancient Greece. Those sorts of leaders were simple centurions.

I know the longbow team was reading Caesar's journals when they researched for this game. The journals mention people like Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Any chance we'll see officers at that level or will it all be Caesar and his advisers/generals like Marc 'I am the wrong horse to bet on' Antony?

Level 8 Human Sage
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Great Britain
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I'm not from longbow games, but I believe that it was already written that most likely there will be open beta(well, for those that preorder, that is as it was for Phillip/gold).

i'm not sure about philip, before i got involved, but for Gold it was open beta with no pre-order. In fact we were all surprised to be "paid" for our work as beta-testers with a free Serial Number for the release version. Something that i respected Longbow for enormously. Edit: i wish to state this is something that i do not expect, and in fact do not want longbow to do for Rome. I want them to make money so that the next game in the series gets released before i am so old and infirm i cant see a computer screen.

I just have to say that the length it is taking for you to come out with Rome after saying it was going to come out last year then changing it has almost ruined it for me...almost haha I am still a big fan, but please hurry it up!
My feelings exactly

thanks in advance for your reply :)
its been over 3 weeks.... i withdraw my thanks.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the lack of updates. Rome development is still very active and we do really appreciate your patience. Unfortunately there have been a few things beyond our control that have prevented us from releasing more official news, however, that shouldn't stop us from answering your questions and I'll try to make more time to do so as we get closer to release. While I know it's not much, I do occasionally post some updates on my twitter feed which you can see here (https://twitter.com/LongbowDevs or https://twitter.com/ldarob).

Regarding a beta, we are still planning to do this but I'm not quite sure exactly how it will be organized at this point. Community input was extremely helpful in balancing Gold and we are really hoping to get your opinions again for Rome.

As far as generals/officers: Titus Labienus is probably the most important general other than Caesar and plays a central role in the campaign (both in gameplay and the cinematics). In general, we've tried to include as many of the named figures from his writings that we could. For example, at the start of the second chapter that covers the Belgic campaigns I know we've got Cotta and Pedius as generals in charge of their own units.

Similar to Philip/Gold, generals are the only rank of officer that has a unique name and a presence on the map. The main changes for Rome is that generals can now be put in charge of cities and forts as well as units, and that they use the whole range of upgrade attributes so there should be much more variety. For example, a particular general in Rome could decrease the time it takes for his unit to raid farms or, if assigned to a city, could make the local garrison more effective at maintaining the city's morale.

To further clarify, in the campaigns the generals are largely predetermined by the objectives and scripting, but in the sandbox (apart from some special leaders), generals are randomly generated from a list of names and stats.

Separate from generals are what we're calling "officers" in Rome. These are basically upgrades that you can "purchase" using points earned when your units level up. Fundamentally, it is similar to how you could upgrade stats in Philip/Gold but, rather than having four fixed stats, your units now have four officer slots and you can choose from a dozen or so officer types with various skills depending on how you want to specialize your unit. For example, a standard bearer increases the unit's morale or just yesterday I added a "raider" officer that increases scavenging and raiding skills. Each of these officer classes has multiple levels and it will be very easy to mod existing officers or to add new ones using straightforward xml files.

To sum things up, Rome development is going really well but, as has been our problem in the past, we did get a little more ambitious with our changes than we had originally planned. To put it frankly, almost the entire engine has been upgraded/replaced including everything from the terrain and vegetation to the unit animation/movement systems to the gui layout and objective system. At this point, pretty much all the engine work is done as is almost all of the art assets. These days I'm mostly working on AI issues (adapting it to the new game rules and improving AI vs AI issues), Rick is finishing up the scripting for the campaigns (the majority of objectives play out more like the Bardylis battle in Philip and so require a lot more scripting work than the passive objectives in Philip/Gold) and Chris has been finishing up some of the GUI dialogs (like the graphs page that we had to drop from the original game).

Let me know if you've got any more questions and I'll do my best to make some time to answer them. Thanks again for your support and patience.

cheers,
rob

Level 8 Human Flammable Heretic
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Los Estados Unidos
Posted on May 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thanks for the update!

Take as along as you need. I'm happy that you guys are improving on the original's gameplay so much.

You've also improved the sandbox 'diplomacy' I hope?

Level 8 Human Test Dummy (MK III)
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 12:24 am

The officers system sounds awesome! Good luck with any new problems that will pop up.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm

You've also improved the sandbox 'diplomacy' I hope?

Not all of the diplomacy stuff has been locked down yet since properly testing it relies on having almost everything else in place. So as a warning, these comments come with a "subject to change" notice.

In general, we've loosened up the diplomacy system quite a bit for Rome. Rather than the three discrete states we had before (Hostile, Truce, Alliance) we're now relying on a more fluid hostility value (that now swings negative to indicate varying levels of friendliness) as well as a set of diplomatic options that can be negotiated e.g. ceasefire, shared resources, access to the faction's land or buildings, fog of war, etc. As before, the hostility value influences the cost of diplomatic options and the frequency of raiding/attacks, but it is also now tied to your mercenaries' stats as well as determining how difficult it is to hold an enemy city.

Since Caesar was also very found of taking hostages, we have a few mechanics roughed in that will let you influence relations by creating hostage "units" in enemy cities and moving them back to your cities to reduce rebellions and raids from that faction.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

So, as for the unit upgrading, I understand that now instead of directly updating unit stats, unit will get points that will be assigned to up to four officers that can further be upgraded with additional points... right?

BTW, nice information update.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm

This sounds super cool. Can't wait.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm

So, as for the unit upgrading, I understand that now instead of directly updating unit stats, unit will get points that will be assigned to up to four officers that can further be upgraded with additional points... right?

Pretty much. Units in Rome have about a dozen or so modifiable attributes (size, resource consumption, speed, combat strength, etc) and each officer type improves one or two those of those attributes in proportion to their level/rank (some officers also enable additional stances for the unit).

So each time your units level up you get a set number of points that you can use to "purchase/promote" officers within your unit. Further officer levels/ranks are done via prerequisites e.g. a "Centurion II" will replace a "Centurion I" in the same slot.

Furthermore, the current plan (always subject to change) is that once your officer reaches the max level (e.g. Centurion IV) you have the option of further promoting them to a general (with a similar skill set) which frees up a slot for further officers and allows you to detach the general and assign them to other units or forts if you wish.

Level 6 Human Student
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Pittsburgh
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 1:16 am

Furthermore, the current plan (always subject to change) is that once your officer reaches the max level (e.g. Centurion IV) you have the option of further promoting them to a general (with a similar skill set) which frees up a slot for further officers and allows you to detach the general and assign them to other units or forts if you wish.


Okay that sounds awesome. I wanna do that right now. This game is gonna kick ass.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful evil
Location: ostia
Posted on May 17, 2013 at 1:18 am

Hate to change topic, but when can we give you money for the pre-order?

Level 7 Human questioner
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

Furthermore, the current plan (always subject to change) is that once your officer reaches the max level (e.g. Centurion IV) you have the option of further promoting them to a general (with a similar skill set) which frees up a slot for further officers and allows you to detach the general and assign them to other units or forts if you wish.

+1 to the awesome idea count. :)

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Mhm. As for training, will AI be able to do it too? If it would not make any sense in main campaign, then maybe in the sandbox?
-Not asking for answer, more like something to think of (unless you already did ofc.)

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on June 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Since Caesar was also very found of taking hostages, we have a few mechanics roughed in that will let you influence relations by creating hostage "units" in enemy cities and moving them back to your cities to reduce rebellions and raids from that faction.

This sounds amazing, can't wait.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on June 26, 2013 at 4:38 am

Mhm. As for training, will AI be able to do it too? If it would not make any sense in main campaign, then maybe in the sandbox?

The AI will construct city upgrades and train their units using the same system the player does. It won't be as dynamic in the campaigns because it's more scripted to recreate specific battles and events, but in the sandbox the AI will be starting from scratch just like the player and will earn and spend xp the same way.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on June 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

Another question I would really like to be answered would be how many other Roman factions there are. I mean, do all the proconsuls have their own factions or is it just an overwhelming ROME or SPQR faction all across Italy and surroundings.
And how will we interact with Rome itself: Are Caesar's various political campaigns represented by "Send Caesar to Rome, get a bonus/malus" missions and further information in the mission log or is the politics really ingame?
And how will it be represented that Caesar's proconsulate was actually SPQR territory?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm very confident that you have already found a good solution for both nerds like me and people who still want to play the strategy game. I'm just curious.

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