Are you referring to the Team Fortress 2 equipment? I agree that it was pretty lame, but since I actually play TF2, that’s what tipped the balance for me to pre-order.
The game itself is an evolution of Empire/Napoleon, with all the little niggling bits seemingly fixed. The interface is very clean, very sparse, although they haven’t fixed the tiny fonts. The family tree from Rome and Medieval is back. You can now actually guide the leveling of your agents. For example, you can assign points to “Strategy” or “Warrior” for each general, with different bonuses depending on what you choose. You also have the choice of buying different retainers, like the boyhood friend who watches your back (-10% assassination) or a doctor to take care of you (-2% death from natural causes). Each agent (general, ninja, monk, geisha, etc.) has a different leveling tree.
I’ve started a single-player campaign as the Chosokabe clan and am well on my way to conquering the entire island of Shikoku. How does clan warfare work? I think I’d be open to joining an SDMB clan.