Total War Warhammer III – An interview with Creative Assembly
Total War: Warhammer III allows you to defend the world against the encroaching daemon tide. Alternatively, you can burn things into Chaos. There’s a lot more in store, and the vision is even greater for Creative Assembly considering this to be the culmination of the trilogy. Therefore, I interviewed Jim Whitson (Key Battle Designer) and Mark Sinclair (Key Campaign Designer) about the development and future plans for Total War: Warhammer IIIof development.
Note: This article is part of Total War: Warhammer III series preview. You can also check it out Daemon Prince / Legion of Chaos, Realm of Chaos mechanics / campaign structure, and Grand Cathay / Miao Ying.
Total War Warhammer III – An interview with Jim Whitson and Mark Sinclair of Creative Assembly
PCI: Putting Daemon Prince at the head of a Chaos Undivided faction was quite a surprise. Can you tell me about the brainstorming process behind that?
Sign: That’s always been something we wanted to do from the very beginning. We knew we wanted to represent the Daemons of Chaos in Total War: Warhammer III. There are three ways that we can do that. We can represent them as a race like Chaos Undivided or we can do singles. And then the third option – the hardest but certainly the best choice – is to do both. We can represent them individually and as a single race led by Prince Daemon. People really contributed to it, and I think we really contributed to it.
Jim: The Daemons of Chaos Army Book essentially combines four playable races into one. And there’s still enough content available on units, spell stories, and characters to really support an indie race. [for each Chaos God]. The good thing about monogod is that we can give players an understanding of what makes each god tick and the difference between them. Meanwhile, Daemon Prince allows us [have different units from other gods] in a single force. We may also add a combination of unlockable campaign features and RPG mechanics to it.
PCI: Daemon Prince is an original, customizable character with multiple gear slots and unlockable items. It’s like a combination of kitbashed, or play Diablo but you are also Diablo. Likewise, he can recruit many units from the monogod factions, as well as use certain mechanics. How did you plan ahead, and do you feel that the spacious design might detract from what the monogod experience has to offer?
Sign: That is definitely a concern that we have. To that end, we’ve made sure that the monogod factions have powerful features that Daemon Prince doesn’t have access to. For example, Tzeentch has a Change of Way and you can use it to steal settlements. At the same time, Daemon Prince has access to a lot of units, but you really have to play a certain way, offering your offerings to specific gods, how you sacrifice your captives, and basically copy is a lot of effort just to achieve high position. -more units.
Campaign and Kingdom of Chaos
PCI: The first thing I noticed while playing Total War: Warhammer III The campaign is a lot of micromanagement involved. You have to keep an eye on what’s happening in your territory (i.e. being attacked by insurgents or rogue armies spawned by Rifts). Likewise, you will need to look at the neighboring provinces that you must conquer. Finally, there’s the Kingdom of Chaos that claims your legendary lord’s army. Was the original plan to focus on intensive micromanagement at the strategic level?
Sign: Our goal is to get that “one more turn” feeling. We want to have [multiple options] about how you will approach the campaign. We didn’t want to make many games the same, and we wanted the campaign gameplay to be unlike any other game we’ve made. However, at the same time, we realize that management can be more difficult especially later on. That’s why we’ve added quality-of-life changes, such as automatically managing your settlements and character skill points.
PCI: When I saw the Realm of Chaos event/decision, I was quite far from the Rift and I had to replenish my troops’ casualties for a few turns. I selected Slaanesh’s kingdom and found that Katarin was under two circles. She was ahead of me and couldn’t keep up. She went to the first center to complete the Survival Battle there, and I was booted out of that field.
Sign: Yes, the Slaanesh Realm of Chaos is a tough place, especially if the AI gets there first. But that’s what we learned from Total War: Warhammer II – chance for player to lose against AI. We don’t want a snowball effect when you get to the end of the game, but you’ve actually won 50 turns before that. We want the players to have that sense of urgency. In addition, we design each realm to be different, with Khorne’s realm being more ideal if you’re late. It’s all about combat while you’re in it, so you can beat the other faction’s army if they’re already weakened.
Jim: There is another factor since you mentioned Slaanesh, and that is how he tries to tempt you with powerful rewards. So if you find that you can’t beat the AI, it’s probably better to choose rewards instead.
PCI: I got Slaanesh’s reward because there’s no way I’d get ahead of Katarin. When I checked my lord’s console, I found that I had some debugging even as a Daemon Prince.
Jim: It was one of the features that we added because the Kingdom of the Chaos Gods should not be underestimated. You’ll spawn with some negative traits when you leave, but we’ve included mechanics to help players overcome that.
PCI: Since Daemon Prince is essentially an original legendary lord, how much input does Games Workshop have when you’re designing new characters?
Jim: We are fortunate that we have developed a great working relationship with Games Workshop. I think, basically, they’re comfortable working with us because of our game’s history, and the way we’ve approached the lore. We like to describe what they created in the same way that they created it in the context of our game. For example, you have Grand Cathay and Kislev. They’ve always been a fan favorite over the years, but they’ve never had a military book of their own. There may have been a Kislev pamphlet in White Dwarf magazine, but they’re still a favorite [in spite of being under-represented on the tabletop]. The game workshop approached us and said they were on the verge of completion [fleshing out] these races on list, character and background. That gave us the opportunity to see their designers as they went through that creative process, and then we started to envision how we would faithfully depict those races in the game. his play.
Sign: The Warhammer Games are something we all grew up with. They have been around for almost 40 years. Most of us played these games and painted miniatures as children. It’s really something that we treat with great respect. In a way, we wanted to create the game we envisioned as children.
PCI: Remember when Mannfred destroyed the world and The End Times happened? How did that initially affect your franchise growth?
Jim: We approached the Games Workshop and they presented their plans for the End of Ages. But, we have already started to grow Total War: Warhammer. We decided to continue with 8th Edition as our primary reference. We really couldn’t keep up with The End Times, so we [followed that concept] to be more consistent in how we will introduce new factions and mechanics in the trilogy. In the end, we want to do everything [for the trilogy]and the culmination of that is all the content being brought together in one massive combo map [similar to Mortal Empires in Total War: Warhammer II].
Mechanics and future plans for Total War: Warhammer III
PCI: Considering the “creep feature” as you introduce new factions/races and DLC, how challenging is it to combine everything you’ve planned while ensuring that the game stays balanced?
Sign: It is a complicated process. When we make plans Total War: Warhammer III, we’re still releasing content for the first two games. That’s really helpful because we see player feedback [on what the community wanted]. And, yes, it can be considered a “feature creep” as we add these new mechanics. But, just like with Warhammer II, we’ve had good feedback when we’ve reworked factions like Empire and Greenskins. So we have to keep doing what we have to do. Years later, players may be surprised by a new set of mechanics.
Jim: It was fun as we were developing the series. We get a chance to see what players are saying whenever we do DLC, FLC and patches. Perhaps there will also be an opportunity to incorporate certain changes, like with Greenskins or a rework of cavalry units.
PCI: We know that Be’lakor is the main antagonist in Total War: Warhammer IIIof the campaign. Is there a chance that Be’lakor will somehow manipulate or try to challenge the Daemon Prince you’re controlling?
Jim: Yes, Be’lakor is in the game. That’s the only thing that we can talk about at the moment, but he certainly plays an important role in the core story.
PCI: When Total War: Warhammer III has been announced, I have a feeling that Thanquol will be introduced. However, I guess he will be DLC in the future since he is still popular. The obvious choices also include Chaos Dwarfs and Neferata. Any big plans ahead?
Sign: I remember doing an interview when we just debuted Total War: Warhammer and a swedish guy asked me when we watched The Pumpkin Snotling for the Greenskins. Back then, I wasn’t so sure. I know we will add new races, but can we release every unit? Then at the end Warhammer IIof the development, including DLC and free content, I really think we’ve hit everything and beyond. So I think the ones you mentioned are Not from the table just yet. Obviously, we can’t talk about anything we have planned, but fans won’t be disappointed.
Jim: I think everyone has a favorite that they can’t wait to release. The way we handle our games is that you can see the scale of our ambitions and what we want to achieve. [with the trilogy]. We want to try and [do everything] if possible.
That does it for our interviews with Creative Assembly’s Jim Whitson and Mark Sinclair. You can check out the rest of us Total War: Warhammer III preview the series as we wait Official launch on February 17th. We dived into Daemon Prince / Legion of Chaos phe faction, Miao Ying / Grand Cathay, and Realms of Chaos / campaign structure. Finally, you can check out the Daemon Prince trailer below:
https://www.pcinvasion.com/total-war-warhammer-3-interview-creative-assembly/ Total War Warhammer III – An interview with Creative Assembly