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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSat Mar 07, 2009 2:22 pm

So, Emile (and anyone else): what are your impressions of Empire: Total War?

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSat Mar 07, 2009 10:21 pm

My impressions were...that I won't be buying it. Sorry, just doesn't interest me.
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSat Mar 07, 2009 10:33 pm

So far I've only played the episodes to unlock the U.S, but I'm loving it... quite a lot.
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSun Mar 08, 2009 2:10 pm

I'm quite taken with it also, although not in the ways I expected. They dramatically over-estimated the system requirements, but that's nothing new (I'm playing with twin 256 cards and most everything is still set on low), so this will hasten the purchase of a couple of new cards.

I'm really impressed with the attention to detail. I was concerned that the artillery was going to be overpowered but they have kept it pretty true to life with the guns being very slow to load and not terribly accurate. The physics is very accurate, I think. Howitzers shoot in a high arc, as they should, and with other guns you often see cannonballs striking the ground and then skipping, which is again pretty realistic. All the animations and the entire battlefield feels less canned than the previous games. I keep seeing all these moments where I think "wow, that was cool" (I was bombarding a fort and one shot struck the upper wall, destroying a gun and blowing its crew over the wall as other troops scattered).

I'm still trying to get a handle on the crazy research tree as well as all the fine grained stuff like traits, etc., but there are obviously entire lifetimes that could be spent (and will be) inside the campaign structure.

The only disappointment to me is the naval combat, oddly, which is what I was really looking forward to. On the one hand it is amazing to look at, especially up close. When your ships get close enough your marines start sniping from the maintops. Chain shot passing through the rigging pulls and tugs at ropes and sails as it passes through. But the combat just doesn't seem to, I don't know, work very well. Formation commands for fleets seem seriously broken, and ships rarely do what you'd expect them to do when supposedly operating as a unit (even following one another in a turn while in a line formation seems to be impossible for them). I can hold my own in a one-on-one, but anything involving multiple ships becomes an exercise in frustration. The land units fight very well without micromanagement on your part, the ships not so much. I suspect there may be a few patches coming to deal with some aspects of this because there are a lot of great ideas in the ship combat aspect but it still doesn't seem quite ready for prime time.

Oh, and the dueling cut-scenes are some of the funniest I've seen. And this in spite of watching them unfold at the speed of a flipperless tortoise (while the rest of the game seems to use SLI okay, the game seems to default to a single video card for all videos, or rather gets really confused when it tries to run a vide and the thing slows to a crawl). I know that isn't a big aspect, but I almost fell off my chair I was laughing so hard.

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSun Mar 08, 2009 8:19 pm

The naval combat absolutely kills me... just as you said the AI of your units don't respond well to the orders you give them, but the enemy's AI seems to function perfectly. I've had limited success by manually directing the ships, all individually, with the UI in the corner, but I'm pretty much to the point that I'm just going to let the computer auto resolve them from now on. Considering we've never had it before in Total War, it's not a big loss for me.

My only complaint with the land battles is that I can never seem manage anything better than a close victory... :/
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeMon Mar 09, 2009 4:39 pm

Émile deMontfort wrote:


My only complaint with the land battles is that I can never seem manage anything better than a close victory... :/

Then I am definitely looking forward to meeting you in multiplayer. Twisted Evil Ive been managing some pretty crushing defeats on occasion, but the "close victory" summary does seem a little odd. I still get it sometimes when I've apparently dominated. The only thing I can think of is that it must be related to an unacceptable level of casualties among certain units (your general's bodyguard, for example, or your artillery).

But I'm getting better at using cavalry to skirmish and harass artillery, and using cover, so that typically earns me a decisive and sometimes even a heroic victory.

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeMon Mar 09, 2009 8:31 pm

It could very well have something to do with casualties in the general's body guard... considering I use them as just another unit of heavy cavalry in most cases... I'll have to try that out.
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeTue Mar 10, 2009 9:37 am

New video card ordered. . .9800GT Smile

I'm going to try the single video card route, because I have the feeling, as I said above, that this game is not well optimized for multi-GPU systems. It is surprising (and a little sad) how many games aren't, given how common an SLI or Crossfire setup is nowadays.

And if that's not enough, there will be a second one ordered! All of this may reduce my PC to a pile of smoking rubble (along with my bank account) but you only live once.

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeTue Mar 10, 2009 1:15 pm

I'm playing it on a 9800GT and haven't had any problems, so that's probably the route to go. Though, I may be getting a second one just because I can... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 4:53 am

I gather from this thread both of you have purchased Total War: Empire. Your comments made me curious. I downloaded the demo version and played the tutorial and the Brandywine scenario several times. I suffered lag, especially when panning the camera, but I have an ancient laptop. My only complaint was the loooong load times for the scenarios. Are either of you experiencing this?
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 6:04 am

MacTavish wrote:
I downloaded the demo version and played the tutorial
Don't do it, it's a trap! E:TW eats lives for breakfast, om nom nom
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeFri Mar 13, 2009 9:11 am

It doesn't just eat lives, it eats PCs. . .

Seriously, yes, the load times are relatively long, although shorter than for the demo. And the demo was laggy because a lot of the adjustment settings seemed to be locked (leastways I couldn't ever seem to change any of them). On my current setup I have most options turned down to low, but have a few on medium (unit detail, for example, which significantly improves the animations with little effect on framerate), and I'm currently using two 256meg cards but they are only 64bit (Gforce 7300GTs). It's quite playable with those for the most part, except for the choppy cut-scene videos.

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Empty
PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSun Mar 15, 2009 7:01 pm

Update: Slapped in a GEForce 9800GT, and the thing runs smooth as butter with all settings on high. I picked up a cooler-running version of this card so it doesn't seem to be adding a lot of heat to my case, which is nice.

The land battles are truly spectacular on the higher settings. I fought a test battle in some jungle terrain and it was incredibly atmsopheric. The soldiers half hidden by the foliage, only smoke and muzzle flashes showing where they were sometimes, bodies toppling into the undergrowth. . .outstanding.

Emile, if you are going to put a second of these cards in, what kind of power supply do you have?

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeSun Mar 15, 2009 8:16 pm

This is what I'm using at the moment: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=P227-1003
Fairly sure it should be enough, but then I'm still new to the whole build-it-yourself thing.
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
Deoiridh

Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Empty
PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeMon Mar 16, 2009 9:08 am

Ah, great minds think alike. I've got the same thing, only I only have two PCI-E connectors. The key stat here seems to be having the 60A on a single rail, so I'm thinking that should be plenty for a second high-powered card if it proves necessary.

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Deoiridh D'Alembert, Freetrader.
Merchant Captain of Le Rire de Dieu
out of Belle Isle, New France
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PostSubject: Re: And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace   And another big chunk of my life disappears without a trace Icon_minitimeTue Apr 21, 2009 9:06 am

For the grognard in you...

http://www.wargamer.com/article/2688/PC-Game-Grognard-Review-Empire:-Total-War-A-Grog's-Perspective?page=1
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