Creative assembly on the past, present and future of ‘Total War: Warhammer 3’

In case of Total War: Warhammer 3, conclusion is a strong word. Of course, this is the last game in Creative Assembly’s Warhammer the trilogy, but the developer has been very open about his plans to expand this last game in the coming years.

A cursory glance at Creative Assembly’s bloody CV shows that it has been pretty thorough with its handling of Warhammer. Example: Total war: Warhammer 2, which was released back in 2017, first received its last piece of content last year. This development period has introduced some of the community’s favorite characters, from Doompine-lizard Oxyotl to the many-titled Settra and (of course) absolutely-not-Henry-Cavill.

That being said, there have been some areas that need to be improved – despite all the love that the Creative Assembly has received for its thorough updates – and the developer was very keen to get into the final game. Warhammer 3‘s lead designer Jim Watson and lead campaign designer Mark Sinclair, were eager to tell us how they managed to build on the success of Warhammer 2:

“We’re looking at a lot of feedback from our players from the two previous games in the series, and we’re players ourselves,” Watson said. “One of our main focuses has been to change the settlement battles and sieges, so we have added a whole range of functions there. The defending army can now build towers and barricades in the settlement, so the battle is no longer just about getting over the wall – it “It’s also about fighting your way through the streets, to win points and defeat defenders that way. We think it gives a much more convincing experience in these matches.”

Watson is also excited that players can get their fingers in survival battles, which he says adds a “really big bang” to the end of every chaos-god kingdom in the chaos realm – a hell of an area that players must venture into for the main story.

For Sinclair, he says there are “so many things” he is excited to share, but he is particularly happy about Warhammer 3‘s tale, which instructs players to enter the four corners of chaos in search of the dying Kislev bear god, Ursun.

“We knew we had to go [the realm of Chaos] from the start, but it was always a tricky one because it’s a bit analogous to hell in our world – which is quite difficult to represent, ”admits Sinclair. However, he is happy with how they turned out, because he believes that the mechanic – combined with survival battles – “gives a reason why a player starts a campaign, continues and ends it in this epic final battle”.

“We have really learned a lot from it Warhammer 2 in terms of the narrative and the overall story arc that goes through the whole game, and that’s something we’ve really pushed for. Warhammer 3… the story is really a key component of this game. “

Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly

As Sinclair says, the realm of chaos is a great addition to Total war, and comes with a lot of new possibilities for how a faction can be played:

“We wanted the players to have a choice, didn’t we? Rifter [to the realm] open throughout the map and it allows to enter the rift. But not only that – they can also travel between the gorges. So you may not necessarily want to enter a realm this time, you may decide to go to the other side of the map. For example, if you play as Kislev, you can jump over to Cathay in an instant, and that means you can suddenly conquer territory there, set foot there or do diplomacy with them. ”

When we talk about diplomacy, Sinclair shares that this example is a good way to outline some of the new diplomatic opportunities.

Say you are Kislev and you are jumping into Cathay, you can build an alliance with one of the Cathayan factions and it will actually allow you to recruit some of their units if you build an outpost on their territory “I think the realms and rifts mechanics will really provide a lot of replayability depending on how you play.”

Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly.
Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly.

In addition to these new possibilities, the Creative Assembly found itself assessing the concept of symmetry in its Warhammer game. Unlike historical titles, factions are in Warhammer have much more dramatic strengths and weaknesses – for example, dwarves have no cavalry, making them easy to flank, while Vampire Counts have incredibly limited opportunities for ranged recruitment. As Watson explained, it posed a significant question Warhammers development:

“One of the cornerstones that we set ourselves was based on our experience of playing the table game. Part of our research was to sit down and play the game, each faction, and find out what each of them gets. to cross what their differences are, what their strengths and weaknesses are.And then we had to make a decision, because there is a damn big difference between each of these races: Are we trying to distort things to correct some of these imbalances, or are we actually embracing that asymmetry? “

“We decided on the last option and we think the game is much stronger because of it. Each of the races that we have included in this game – and the two previous games – have very different feature sets, lists, magic “Spelling, characters … and that, of course, gives us a big challenge in terms of balancing the game. But as we have gone through the series, we have become more and more comfortable with that challenge.”

Never one to leave a challenge unanswered, Creative Assembly has screwed up completely with Daemon Prince – a surprise faction that lets players build their own Daemon and recruit from the forces of all four Chaos gods, something that Watson says was the result of Creative Collection “pushes engine limits “.

Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly.
Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly.

Sinclair says Chaos Undivided is “a really important part of the table game”, and the team acknowledged that it was necessary “to represent it in the game”. Like many of Warhammer 3Sinclair’s biggest additions note that Daemon Prince is an evolution of something that the Creative Assembly has been working on throughout the trilogy.

“We had a look at the RPG elements of previous games – things like naming your characters, new devices, and selecting your equipment on the campaign card – so we really wanted to call 11.”

Both developers are visibly excited to chat about Daemon Prince. Watson says they have been “waiting for this moment when we can actually talk about the Demon Prince”, while Sinclair is very eager to “see what everyone can create” at launch. It’s clear that Sinclair and Watson have been playing a lot of Chaos Undivided, so I’ll grill them on what their favorite combinations have been so far. For Watson, he likes to have “a whole lot of options” for his army – when he first started, he was committed to building a Khorne-heavy military, but found that it was too good to be able to assemble some faster Slaanesh allied units up. go up when fighting slower factions like Nurgle.

Sinclair has also been won over by Slaanesh’s charm and is particularly fond of seducing enemy units to switch sides to fight on his behalf – laughingly he says he “always gets one [blessing] first to use it against the enemy and rub it in their faces. “

Total War: Warhammer 3 N'kari
Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly

In my own time with the Demon Prince, I also noticed that many of the races from Warhammer 2 was present in 3‘s Map – Sinclair confirms that the map “contains almost all of the races included Warhammer 1 or 2 ″.

“I think it was a really important decision to make because we have to give the players interesting enemies to fight: we obviously did not want you to fight the same demons over and over again,” Sinclair said before adds that it is especially important for the new outpost system as it means new factions can recruit units from the last two games.

To fans, much of what Watson and Sinclair talk about sounds like a dream come true. Outside of features like outposts that have come out of the blue, many of the game’s major changes – including a Chaos Undivided faction, siege changes, and diplomacy adjustments – have been things that the community has long demanded. Both developers seem to be well-tuned to community sentiment, and Watson says fans are a “really crucial source of information” from a development standpoint.

“We monitor very closely what our players say, and to be honest, we’re fanatical players ourselves, so it’s a really useful source of feedback. We also have our own internal feedback – we have a large group of trusted players. , which we bring in to play the game, and we take that feedback and act on it. “

Total War: Warhammer 3. Credit: Creative Assembly.

Sinclair adds that “us developers check the forums and Reddit every day – we always keep track of it and if there is something that has not been a part of Warhammer 3 launch, we’ll obviously be supporting this game in the years to come, so I think seeing this space – things that are missing may come up later. “

Sinclair’s response provides a nice insight into something that is already on many fans’ minds – the future of Warhammer 3. I mention the fact that when fans wondered who the final faction leader might be, names like Thanquol and Nagash were thrown around. Could the big names – and other, more obscure factions – expect to show up further down?

“We’re not ruling anything out or in at this point,” Watson replied. “The stated intention – right from the first match – was that we would do anything because we are incredibly greedy. There are so many things that we have obviously had to measure out how we can deliver it in a sensible way. Suffice it to say that the roadmap beyond the outcome of this last part of the stand-alone trilogy is crammed. We can not go into detail about it, but do not worry – there are so many things still waiting. “

Likewise, Sinclair adds that “nothing is off-limits” and thinks fans “will be really excited to see what we have to come up with” after Warhammer 3‘s launch.

Though Warhammer 3is not out yet, it’s hard to stop your mind from jumping to the next one – especially since it seems the Creative Assembly is doing the same. From our own hands-on with Warhammer 3 we think there is a lot to be excited about, but perhaps the most interesting thing to see will be how this latest post changes from launch.

Total War: Warhammer 3 launches on February 17 for PC, and will be available on PC Game Pass from launch.

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