AJR Feb 28, 2013 @ 8:29am
48 hours in...
...and I still can't figure out whether I love this game or whether it's just a compelling time sink with ultimately a lot of flaws.

I think I understand how to frame it in my brain now: it makes you think it's a strategy game in the genre of the Total War series with less sophisticated battling and more robust (if ultimately not that much more sophisticated) diplomacy. What it really is, though, is a spiritual cousin to sim games such as Football Manager, Out of the Park Baseball, etc. Instead of creating a football team dynasty, you're taking a European family and creating a dynasty out of that. (Not sure whether that helps anyone else, but it helps me to conceive of what I'm doing in the game.)

Still, I have issues with the game mechanics:

1) Technology seems to advance so slowly that it's a complete afterthought. It has consequences on the game, but I feel that I could very easily go through an entire game (and pretty much have done so) without even thinking about tech. This seems to be a flaw.

2) It doesn't seem to matter at all how large one's court is, or whether the courtiers hate you or love you. My guess is that you have a higher chance of being assassinated if everyone hates you, but again, I have no idea and haven't been able to see any real consequences. Furthermore, random courtiers show up regularly and I click on the announcement, but these people seem to have no actual effect on the game other than to be there if I want to look at them. My assumption is that this is simply a mechanism for bringing talent into the kingdom for potential court positions, army leadership, etc. But again, I could easily ignore this element of the game completely and it wouldn't matter. This seems to be a flaw.

3) Mercenaries show up immediately and always in the same place. This makes fighting insurgency and invasion much simpler. But it's completely unrealistic. This seems to be a flaw.

4) The casus belli system is interesting, but ultimately doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sometimes it doesn't register that I have a direct claim. When I manufacture a claim, I have to remember where those claims are (it doesn't seem to register them as "actual" claims, and yet doesn't list them elsewhere). I should be able to declare war whenever I like if I have enough power -- there should be an extreme hit to my prestige and likeability, but I should be able to do it. This seems to be a flaw.

I have about ten more, probably, but this is my line of thought. Great game? Or ultimately just a time suck?
Last edited by AJR; Feb 28, 2013 @ 3:39pm
Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
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UniuM Feb 28, 2013 @ 8:44am 
I feel your pain.... and i haven't even finish a proper game.. either i'm invaded or my wife sabotage my marriage. But every time i play, i feel like i have learn something, either about history in general, or about my own country.I guess a regular person need about 100 hours of gameplay to actually know something usefull about this game.

This type of games can have flaws... but in the end same games are so difrent from the normal prespective of the genre that you can't really point all the flaws as game breaking.

cumpz
eXistenZ Feb 28, 2013 @ 8:51am 
Search for youtube walkthroughs, you'll learn a lot of it there
Sulvak Feb 28, 2013 @ 9:24am 
you are wrong, this game is my favorite game of all time. I have got at least 250 hours time. This game is different from other strategy games in that there are real consequences for waging war.

But hey man listen, Paradox games have some flaws...it comes with the territory these are incredibly complex games. I mean the characters have DNA! What is so great about Paradox Interactive is that they do not abandon their games and they constantly improve them based almost entirely upon the input of the fan community. They listen to what we say on the forums they always have.


I for one dont pay much attention to technology at all, it didnt advance quickly then and it isnt really important in this game its just something you need to keep an eye on every few years or so.


The other issues you raised you have to remember: its a game man. Its not supposed to be as realistic as it possibly can or else it'd be pretty damn boring lol We can't fall into the trap of asking for games to be realistic because real life sucks.


Btw, even after close to 250 hours total. Probably more like 300...I still have never finished a single game either :P finishing a game isnt the fun part. the fun part is that you set your own goal. You decide how far you wanna go. All I can say is that I respect your concerns but I have to say that this game is amazingly complex but it is very easy to learn especially compared to all the other Paradox games, it the most engrossing game I have ever played in my entire life. In fact it is the best game I have ever played in my entire life.

Theres a reason people like me play this game for so many hours and hours and its not bc its some timesink, thats not it at all thats (respectfully) wrong. Its because this game is that good!

take it easy
apg Feb 28, 2013 @ 12:04pm 
there is going to be a new technology system with the next dlc.
snowy Feb 28, 2013 @ 2:10pm 
playing as a count with one or two provinces is a time suck. you basically have no income, no vassals hardly and youre constantly getting blackmailed and invaded.
TSKaiser Feb 28, 2013 @ 4:31pm 
There is a myriad of ways to get into a war and get your way, but outside the "fabricate claim" mechanic they're not very direct and require forethought, politicking, and general intrigue - or just plain diplomatic pull. Which is really what the game is about.

I haven't played the game for "long", only roughly 50 hours, and I still haven't explored anywhere near every possibility it has to offer. The nice thing is you don't have to master one aspect to be successful, you can go a whole other route if you want and not suffer much.

Ultimately I find the game most enjoyable at a moderate to slow pace, playing the characters instead of the kingdoms, and seeing where it takes me. I normally switch styles when my character dies and I move to my heir, which reinvents gameplay for me mid-game. I usually avoid 'playing to win' in the sense of my dynasty, and will do my best to stay in the seat even if I'm doomed and I'm fighting my own family. Much more enjoyable that way.
Last edited by TSKaiser; Feb 28, 2013 @ 4:33pm
Fable Feb 28, 2013 @ 9:16pm 
Geat game have around 120+hrs into it. All answer a couple question and hope they way i look at it helps your issues.

1) Technology does play apart IMO the best move you can make at all with technology is, throw your spymaster on Cairo or another Islamic Sheikdom, They always have very HIGH Cultural and Economic Technologies europeans have more warfare on average i believe. Those 2 technologie trees also gives a huge possibility of revnue.

2) It does matter how many people are in your court, you can marry people who dont like you that want to be married for the positive diplomacy bonus. Second its just other people to give titles to. The Duke that has 7 counties and 2 ducheries loves you as king but 60% of the time will turn on your heir at the first distraction that happens, usually you waging war on a larger kingdom... Its a way to even out the power so that One guy doesnt control 30% of your power and realizes he can hurt you in the right situation.

3) Mercenaries magically popping up i understand , could be a better system IMO

4) Agreed a with the casus belli system, its not very clear at all what claims have been fabricated if at all.

Honestly Great game well spent money in my opinon. Besides Sunset Invasion IMO, I just dont like the gameplay It adds if i want to deal with a horde ill deal with the mongolians and not the aztecs just my opinon.
+ULFBERH+T Mar 1, 2013 @ 12:44am 
Originally posted by Sleepwalkaz:
playing as a count with one or two provinces is a time suck. you basically have no income, no vassals hardly and youre constantly getting blackmailed and invaded.

lol ...

That is what I quickly realized when I first started the game.
Fortunately, I managed to turn the vary first ruler from a humble count to a duke.
The 2nd ruler was able to take over a whole kingdom and the king title. :)

Btw, I just started my very first family in the game and have not finished the game yet.
It is now the 5th or 6th generation, and it is much, much harder to become an emperor.
AJR Mar 1, 2013 @ 9:36am 
lol -- I think that the very fact that I've spent (now) 52 hours playing the game suggests that there is something quite positive about it. But still, I've never had the experience where after so much gameplay, I'm still not sure whether it's a great game or just a good game. My critiques stand (and I could add a lot more) and yet I play on...

Fable, you make some good suggestions. I've never really tried spying, and your frame for the courtiers is a good one. I guess my main critique, as I've said, is that I have ignored all of these parts of the game and yet my dynasty is doing just fine. I'd simply like to see more integration of all of these elements in the gameplay, but I guess there are counterarguments for that, too.
Last edited by AJR; Mar 1, 2013 @ 9:40am
+ULFBERH+T Mar 1, 2013 @ 4:40pm 
I understand

Originally posted by AJR:
lol -- I think that the very fact that I've spent (now) 52 hours playing the game suggests that there is something quite positive about it. But still, I've never had the experience where after so much gameplay, I'm still not sure whether it's a great game or just a good game. My critiques stand (and I could add a lot more) and yet I play on...

I totally understand.
I hate and love the game at the same time.
There is still much room for improvement to make the game great though.
On the other side, all the bugs and 'non-sense' frustrate players endlessly.
Fulminata Mar 2, 2013 @ 1:09pm 
Originally posted by AJR:
I have about ten more, probably, but this is my line of thought. Great game? Or ultimately just a time suck?

Ultimately just a time suck. The HoI series had mechanics that worked without the confangled interwoven ridiculousness that this game provides in its randomness. The amount of incredulous detail that goes into the headaches that are managing something as small as Ireland is ridiculous.

I really want to love this game. I really do. But after 17 hours, and looking at three hour long tutorials online that just go over basic gameplay, I've decided this game doesn't put out what you put into it.
Sergeant Whiskeyjack Mar 2, 2013 @ 3:43pm 
Aren't all games just a time suck though? It's something we do (unless you're an asian and you get paid to play) in our free time. There are pros and cons to every game. This game is more thought-provoking -- the more time you spend customizing your army flanks, grooming your heir, planning marriages, etc. the more of a reward you get. Obviously though, it is a game that is somewhat hard to get into (even though it is way more accessable than previous PI games).
Nef Mar 2, 2013 @ 4:28pm 
If something as small as Ireland is giving you headaches, perhaps you are doing something wrong...
Mawkie Mar 8, 2013 @ 9:55am 
If you're not completely sold on the gameplay, or you feel like the Empires are way too big to begin with and don't allow you room to grow on your own terms, or you'd just like to be Sparta. You should try out the Lux Invicta mod, a complete overhall that I've spent much more time playing than Vanilla. http://store.steampowered.com
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Date Posted: Feb 28, 2013 @ 8:29am
Posts: 15