Imperator: Rome - Release Date, Game Features, and everything else we know!04 Oct 2018 2
Known unofficially before it was announced as ‘EU: Rome II’, Imperator: Rome is Paradox Interactive’s newest grand-strategy game and the spiritual sequel to 2008's cult classic EU: Rome.
A blend of Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings & Victoria franchises, Imperator will throw players into the height of antiquity before Rome’s ascendancy was assured. You can pick nations from Britannia all the way through to India, with the majority of the action focusing on the Mediterranean.
We’ve collected all of the information currently known about Imperator: Rome, and we’ll keep this article update as more and more information comes out.
The only official word is that Imperator: Rome is due out in 2019, however in various interviews Johan Andersson has remained confident that it will be out within the first six months of next year, with an aim of "early" 2019.
Timeline: Imperator will start in 304 BC (Or 450 AUC) and end around the start of the 1st Century CE. No specific dates have been given, but as Christianity is confirmed not to be part of the game at launch, it will probably end before 33 CE.
Gamemap: Includes Britannia across to the Indian subcontinent and Tibet, and also stretches from the lower parts of Scandinavia all the way down to Ethiopia. The map is divided up into provinces each containing a single city, of which there are over 7000. There are currently over 400 playable nations.
A big question currently is how much of the map to 'populate' with minor tribes and factions. There's going to be desolate areas that will remain blank, as well as empt-but-colonisable areas of the map that can be expanded into. The final balance of this setup is still TBD, as highlighted by two different shots of the Spanish Peninsular:
Tribes and other factions can 'migrate' through white space by colonising and moving pops, and Johan's also not sure if each tribe etc... needs to border other tribes, as that's not really an accurate representation of how boundaries worked during this time period. It must be noted that at the moment you can't abandon provinces you control, so true 'migration' is currently not confirmed for Imperator.
Provinces have a civilisation value which effects the growth rate of colonies.
Religion: Christianity will NOT feature, however there will be plenty of different faiths depending on region. We get the impression religious tensions may not be a major mechanic in Imperator as it is in other games:
“Doesn’t matter in which one you believe in, but if you don’t believe in the official religion you’re not perfectly trusted. But whether you worship a bull, or a person who’s been properly and legally crucified… it doesn’t really matter.”
Trade Goods: Cities can produce trade goods, of which they will be 30-40. Having them in your empire grants you buffs and advantages to that local area, but there’s the potential for ‘excess’ goods that can be traded with foreign entities. Stacking surplus resources allows for greater buffs can even trigger nationwide bonuses. Trade goods are also used a pre-requisites. For example, ‘Wood’ is needed to build/recruit Triremes.
Start Dates: "I don't want to change start dates."
Population: There are four population types: citizens, freedmen, tribesmen and slaves. Each pop type produces something different:
- Citizens produce commerce and research.
- Freeman provide the manpower needed for armies.
- Tribesman provide a little tax money, a little manpower, but are considered “inefficient” pops.
- Slaves provide taxes and money.
Each population type has its own culture, religion and happiness level, all of which need balancing against the needs of the state. Populations can be promoted or migrated to a new province and you can spend power to manually promote. The amount of population you have effects the number of buildings you can have in a province. For each 10 pops, you get another building level. Different Governments will have access to different populations - Tribes can only have Tribesman and Slaves, for example.
Power: There are four different power types in the game, and each one is used to do different things:
- Military power is used to get new military traditions, inspiring devotion, as well as all unique unit abilities.
- You use civic power to get inventions, set up trade routes, and moving your pops about, amongst other things.
- you spend [Oratory Power] on Fabricating Claims, Improving Relations, Enacting Laws, Endorsing Parties and many other things where a silver tongue is useful.
- Some of the things you use religious power on is to stab pigs, convert pops and call omens.
Government's & Nations
Government Types: There are three types of governments – Monarchies, Tribes and Republics, each with their own mechanics and playstyle.
We know Republics, for example, can contain as many as five factions, each with their own agendas and goals. New Bills and Laws have to be passed through the Senate and can’t just be enacted and there's even talk of declaring wars needing senate approval as well. Tribes, on the other hand, are overall "weaker" factions but they have more flexibility in being able to do what they want, when they want.
There is also the potential for government types to change, for example when a Republic becomes a Monarchy during a civil war. Tribes can also 'settle' and become Kingdoms.
Your nation will be ranked depending on its size and general make-up, the ranks are:
This is only possible if your country is only 1 city large. A City State can be a part of a defensive league, and have the following bonuses.
- +20% Commerce Income
- +20% Defensiveness
- +1 Diplomatic Relation
This is countries that have less than 10 cities. Local Powers can be part of defensive leagues, and they have the following bonuses.
- +2 Diplomatic Relation
This is countries that at least 10 cities. They can use the diplomatic abilities Threaten War and Guarantee, and they have the following bonuses.
- +3 Diplomatic Relation
- +1 Trade Route in Capital
- +1 of each Power for matching Ideas to Government Form for a total of +2.
These are countries with at least 20 provinces, and that are not subjects of other nations. They can use the diplomatic abilities Intervene in War, Enforce Peace, Threaten War and Guarantee, and they have the following bonuses.
- +5 Diplomatic Relation
- +2 Trade Route in Capital
- +2 of each Power for matching Ideas to Government Form for a total of +3.
Imperator follows the design philosophy set down by CK2 in how you perceive relationships with the AI. There will be a summary of positive & negative modifiers to a relationship. Aggressive expansion makes a return, although they plan to try and implement it in a better way than they did with EU4, which was described as "clunky". Diplomacy will involve relation slots, limiting the amount of nations you can have pacts with, and there will be a new 'Defensive League' option.
List of diplomatic actions:
- Declare War / Sue for Peace
- Offer/Dissolve Alliance
- Proclaim Guarantee
- Ask/Cancel Military Access
- Offer/Cancel Military Access
- Demand/Break/Cancel Tribute
- Request/Cancel Trade Access
- Support Rebels
- Fabricate Claims
- Invite/Kick/Leave Defensive League
- Improve Relation
- Send Gift
- Intervene in War
- Threaten War
- Enforce Peace
- Sell City
Characters will be present, although their role will be limited to how they fit within the political machines of state. Characters can be assigned as Governors & Generals/Admirals. Other roles are unknown although there will be a faction leader character. They can no longer be used as envoys as in EU: Rome.
A Character also has his or her personal wealth, stats, attributes & traits. They will have a health value between 0 and 100 - when it reaches 0, that character will die. Different game elements will effect whether this goes up or down, with serious ones causing monthly reductions. Don't expect a cripple to live long.
Characters will also have their own personal wealth which is largely derived by their income. Characters can earn money by having holdings in a city, or specific titles/jobs. There are many character interactions that cost wealth and/or power, and you can read the full list here.
The four primary stats are:
- Popularity - Popularity is a measure of how the people see the character. In republics high popularity characters are more likely to elected leader of the republic. However even monarchies cannot ignore popular people.
- Loyalty - Loyalty is a measure of a character's loyalty to the state. Disloyal characters are more likely to cause problems to a ruler than loyal ones. However even the most loyal of characters has their limit.
- Prominence - Prominence represents the fame of the character. Jobs and titles help bring characters to public attention.
- Corruption - Corruption is a measurement of this character’s willingness to engage in underhanded practices. Greed, bribery and the bending of rules come hand-in-hand with high corruption.
The primary attributes are:
- Martial represents a character's ability to fight and lead troops. Characters with high martial skills make excellent generals.
- Charisma is a character’s ability to charm and persuade others.
- Zeal is a character's ability to inspire faith in other characters, and also in calling upon the favour of the gods.
- Finesse represents a character's skill in disciplines requiring a high attention to detail. High finesse characters make excellent researchers and governors.
And traits can be categorised in the following areas:
- Personality - This includes being Brave or Coward, Cruel or Merciful. These impacts the character attributes and stats directly, as well as….. :)
- Military - Usually a character has a maximum of one of those, that may give a bonus or penalty
- Health - Stressed, Maimed, Lunatic etc. Not beneficial to the character in most cases. These will effect a character's 'Health' stat every month.
- Status - Some exceptional traits that can be given from actions, like Conqueror"
Characters can also be part of factions/families. Characters will have loyalty values towards the state, the faction ruler and potentially other characters. Characters can see each other as Friends or Rivals, changing how they interact.
Civil Wars, Military Traditions, Armies
Loyalty is a key mechanic for characters. Disloyal characters can rebel against your faction ruler and trigger civil wars if they have enough troops loyal to them. Barbarian factions can move through and sack your lands, or settle it for themselves. You can 'raid' provinces to steal Pops and bring them back to your nation as extra Slave pops.
There will be nine different units types that can populate an army. Each ‘unit’ represents 1000 men, as it does in EUIV. Different units will have different strengths and weaknesses against the other unit types and many units have either resource requirements or need specific military traditions to us. There are special abilities, for example Roman units can build roads, or you can raid enemy provinces.
There is a big list of abilities that armies and units can do, although some of these are unique to specific units or cultures, and others will have to be unlocked.
- Create New Unit - Allows you to create a new unit and transfer cohorts/ships to it, or back.
- Consolidate - Merges cohorts of the same type, and then disbands empty cohorts.
- Detach Siege - Leaves behind a large enough force to siege or occupy the current city.
- Split Half - Splits the Unit in Half
- Recruit To - Opens up the recruit window, so you can recruit cohorts/ships directly to this unit. They will automatically march and merge to this unit.
- Disband - For when you don’t want that unit anymore.
- Select Objective - Can Select an Objective for this unit, and it will perform it without further input from you. More details in a later development diary.
- Allow Attachment - Allow other nations units to attach to this one.
- Cavalry Skirmish - Trades Defense for Offense on Light Cavalry and Camels.
- Phalanx - Slower movement for armies, while heavy infantry defence is much stronger.
- Padma Vyuha - Slower movement for heavy infantry defence and archer offence
- Unit Reorganisation - Double Maintenance and Slow movement speed, but unit reinforcing and morale recovery is much faster. Without using this, units recover slower than in previous games.
- Force March - Heavier Attrition and No morale recovery while moving much faster.
- Attach/Detach to Unit - Attach/Detach to another unit present in the city.
- Shattered Retreat - Gives the order for the unit to perform a shattered retreat. This is handy if you want to save the remnants of your army trapped deep in enemy territory, or when you are cut off by hostile Forts.
- Construct Border Fort - Creates a colony in an unowned city bordering you, adding 1 freeman pop of your culture and a fort for military power.
- Desecrate Holy Site - Spend religious power in another nations capital to reduce their omen power for a long time.
- Raise Levies - Spend Military Power to get more cohorts to your unit.
- Military Colonies - Spend Military Power to create a freeman pop of your culture/religion in the current city.
- Raid City - Spend Military Power to get gold and manpower from an enemy city.
- Build Road - Spend Military Power to build a road towards the next city the army moves to. See this dev diary for more info.
There are seven different military traditions n the world, tied to which culture-group you have that unlock unique abilities, unlocks new units and give special bonuses to units. Each tradition has three separate paths the player can choose to go down, with each path having seven options, upon unlocking the 7th option, you get an additional special bonus. It is unlikely you'll be able to progress down all three paths by the end of a game. Dev diary #15 shows off the 'Barbarian' tradition, which offers the Britannic, Germanic and Gallic paths.
Armies, which can have characters assigned to them as generals, can also have different settings that govern the tactics it uses when fighting a battle. These must be set prior to a battle starting.
Unrest no longer causes 'rebel' units to spawn, which have been removed from the game completely - it instead impacts the loyalty of a province which will either feed into the civil war mechanic, or cause that province to try and declare independence.
Imperator is still in the very early stages of development, so everything above is subject to change and the whims of the development team. Conjecture and assumptions are clearly labelled, otherwise information is backed up by written sources or interviews.