Upon the titles official release last year, we wrote on Total War: Warhammer and how it was a complete refresher to the franchise while staying true to its roots both in the Total War series and Warhammer. With the final DLC out, Total War: Warhammer is set to finish its first iteration and Creative Assembly is deep underway into the next expansion. In this edition, we are going to look back over the course of the past year and give some insight to how it has changed since launch and where the franchise is going.
Total War: Warhammer plays out essentially how the rest of the Total War games in the rest of the franchise do, except with a few notable editions. Rather than maintaining the same race, each race offers specific new mechanics to harm and hinder your progress over the course of the map. An RPG element is added to the game that goes beyond the retainer/trait system of the past, allowing the player to buff units, heroes, and lords with powerful items or banners to give you an edge in combat. Upon release, Total War: Warhammer bound all legendary lords within a faction to the same starting point, offering little variance in game-play between different lords. In its current state, races have been divided along faction lines, allowing the player to play Greenskins and have the potential to start in three different areas or play as Vampire Counts and start between two different areas. The user interface and menus have also seen a lot of tweaking and clean up, becoming a lot more visually appealing and streamlined to allow the player to better read what is going on in the campaign map.
Although Creative Assembly released 4 paid DLC content packs, they also released a slew of free content via updates to support the new DLC. However, one complaint everyone has is the cash grabbing aspect of DLC without giving the consumer enough content to warrant a purchase. Creative Assembly, however, offers a large amount of content per pack including: different races, magic lores, heroes and legendary lords, and even different mini story campaigns to play alongside the grand campaign. Initially, upon release, Total War: Warhammer was only supported with 4 races and a fifth DLC race made available as free content for everyone after much complaint. Since then, the game has grown to 8 races, 15 factions, and nearly 30 legendary lords (the majority of which were distributed via free updates or small, low priced game packs). As noted above, Total War: Warhammer has all but finished its content updates, with only one more DLC being listed in their release schedule for this installment of the game.
Expansion and Speculation:
With the Bretonnia race pack and the Isabella von Carstein legendary lord pack released this week, Creative Assembly has announced that although they are deep in development of the sequel already, they are going to kick production into high gear to deliver the next installment soon. There is much speculation as to where the next game will take us, as Creative Assembly has already announced not only their intention to include the 15 races from the 8th edition of the game (and some lore based factions as well), but the games building on the map with each installment. As such, the go to area for the next expansion, which would also allow the opening of naval combat, would be Ulthuan and Naggaroth, home of the High Elves and Dark Elves. With the next expansion, we could also see a push south of the original map into Araby or into Lustria, the new world continent of the Lizardmen. As for races, the High Elves and Dark Elves would most likely be released simultaneously, but Skaven, Lizardmen, and Tomb Kings are high on the list, according to a Russian data mine leaking details of how expansions would play out. Developers have noted, however, that Total War: Warhammer has largely been a success and they seek to be ambitious with the content they include in the game, as they have permission to include playable factions not seen on the tabletop. Stay tuned for more updates once we hear of the expansion!