Creative Assembly clarify DLC plans for Warhammer 2

More beasties, less mini-campaigns. In response to fan feedback and to avoid some of the criticism that the Chaos Warriors stirred up, Creative Assembly have outlined some changes to their pre- and post-release plans for Total War: Warhammer 2 [official site]. Brand director Rob Bartholomew has written a blog post explaining all (except what the actual preorder bonus will be, natch). Acknowledging the negative response that the Chaos Warriors DLC stirred up in some quarters, Bartholomew goes into detail about the reasoning behind “Early Adopter Bonuses”, both in terms of delivery and content. He also says that there are “more historical releases planned in the next twelve months than fantasy”.

The exact nature of the pre-order content hasn’t been revealed yet but Bartholomew says it’ll be more like the Bretonnia release than the Chaos Warriors.

“What we’ve done is take on board the criticism of our earlier DLCs, and Chaos Warriors in particular. The early-adopter Race Pack that we’ll reveal this week will be more along the lines of the content in Bretonnia than Chaos Warriors. So, legendary lords with unique start positions/factions, lots of new units, plus unique, flavourful and strongly differentiated Race mechanics. All of which is designed to increase the replayability and distinctiveness of the new Race.

That probably means we can expect a faction that isn’t essential to the core narrative of the game. In Warhammer 1, the Chaos incursion was the central event driving the action, whereas Warhammer 2 focuses on a magical Vortex, which punctuates the campaign in unique ways for each faction. The bonus race will most probably slot into the game alongside the others, with a similar end-goal, rather than being differentiated to the extent the Chaos Warriors were in the first game. And the new race will, like Chaos, exist as an AI-controlled faction whether you pay for them or not.

“Don’t forget that this Race will be added to the game as AI-controlled opposition and there’s free-LC alongside this release, so expect the Old World to be pretty refreshed even if you don’t get the new DLC.”

When the game’s actually out, there will be free DLC as well as paid content, but it’ll focus on beefy new rosters rather than mini campaigns, as we saw for Warhammer 1.

“…the biggest change we’ll be making with the first large DLC for Warhammer II is to swap out the mini campaign for two more additional Legendary Lords, for a total of 4 playable Lords in the pack. These four will each have their own factions, unique start positions, quests-chains, epic gear, benefits and playstyle… the whole nine yards. They’ll be playable in both the Eye of the Vortex campaign and the forthcoming combined campaign map, if you also own Warhammer 1. So twice as many play-through opportunities than before. We’ll be watching closely to see if players think this is a good trade.”

We looked back at all of the DLC for Warhammer 1, including those mini campaigns, and found most of the additions to be worthwhile. Personally, I only touched the Chaos Warriors and never found the game lacking. I always want more but I’m still not tired of playing with my dwarves so I’m reasonably happy to pace myself and wait for a complete edition, perhaps even when the entire trilogy has been released and I can play the grand campaign that unifies all three games.

Much as I loved Warhammer 1, which I reckon was the best Total War game since Shogun 2, I’m more excited to see what’s in store on the historical side. If some of the asymmetrical faction design of Warhammer can be applied in a real world context, we could see a different take on familiar periods, and maybe even coverage of previously untouched wars. I’m still holding out hope for a Creative Assembly take on the American Civil War at some point. First, we’re likely to see one of the new Saga games though, covering a pivotal moment in an era the series has already covered. Much as I enjoy the epic, I think Total War is at its best when the stage isn’t quite as grand, so this could be a very good thing indeed.

22 Comments

  1. Crafty_Banana says:

    There’s a key point missing in this article (although I can understand why, as it’s a bit confusing if you haven’t been following this closely); the pre-order bonus for TW:W 2 is a faction for TW:W1 (exactly what that faction is will be revealed later today, but smart money is on Norsca or possibly Middenland).

    • SaintAn says:

      They say new race in the quotes. Skavenblight is still shown on the TW Warhammer 1 map unused so I’m hoping for that and the Skaven for 2 announcement today.

      • Crafty_Banana says:

        They do, but ‘Bretonnia’ is a race in CA parlance, despite being humans on horses, and some of their earlier commentary mentioned that the pre-order bonus race already had a presence on the TW:W 1 map – Skavenblight might count, but the implication was it was a spin on a currently AI-only faction. Plus this teaser image for it doesn’t scream Skaven to me: link to twitter.com

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          Martell says:

          Kislev or Border Princes, surely?

          EDIT: Gah, didn’t click that link. Kislev, surely?

          • Crafty_Banana says:

            Nope, announcement is out, and it’s Norsca; link to store.steampowered.com

            I’m actually pretty stoked. Faction mechanics allowing you to slowly dedicate yourself to one of the Chaos gods sound great, and one of their lords is Throgg, the Troll King. A hyper intelligent troll, with a bodyguard of normal stupid trolls, leading an army of vikings. That’s metal as it gets.

  2. TotallyUseless says:

    I really like CA and their Total War series. If only they weren’t as greedy as their overlord Sega. Damn, even with Shogun 2 they’ve been trying to milk their fans up to now. Why couldn’t they just release a full game without any contents cut out from it (i.e. Chaos). They could really learn from CDProjektRed, Bethesda, and heck even Ubi$oft on how to properly release DLCs.

    DLCs are new added contents, not a cash grab CA.

    • SaintAn says:

      BWAHAHAHAHA! Guy, you just said CA are greedy and Beth and Ubi aren’t. I almost fell out of my chair at your ass backwards ignorance said in such a way that you think you know what you’re talking about.

      TW Warhammer has been the best DLC model out of any game I’ve played. High quality, large quantity, fairly priced, and even those that don’t buy it still get it added to their game just AI controlled. Game launched with a full games worth of content, and all that DLC improved it a shit ton. Warhammer Fantasy is so deep a setting that a game trying to cover that whole setting has to have lots of DLC because there’s no way anywhere near all of it can fit in the base game. And I for one want a full Warhammer Fantasy experience, and this is our one chance to get that experience in a game.

      • CacarotV says:

        You are literally the only person I’ve ever seen that thinks this. Their DLC policy and pricing is terrible -.-

      • Solidstate89 says:

        The Blood & Gore DLC was horse armor buddy, admit it.

        • Cinek says:

          So… CA at its worst is comparable to the ubisoft at its usual. The point guy was making is that they’re nowhere near as bad and greedy as these two, which CA is supposed to “learn from”. They better stay away from learning any of their greed.

    • Sian says:

      If you bring up Chaos as “cut content”, at least mention their explanation for it, would you? You can still say “I don’t believe a word they say”, but at least bring up that they’ve offered up a reason.

      Unless you actually haven’t read that blog entry yet, in which case:
      link to forums.totalwar.com

      • Imperialist says:

        Ironically, they posted ages ago the whole reason for the Chaos Warriors DLC thing, and it was a reasonable and plausible explanation for why they did it. People will simply ignore rationality though, in favor of toxic consumerism.
        In short: Chaos was only fleshed out enough to be a foe, with a pretty small roster and one hero. They needed more time and money to make the faction more well rounded. To acquire said money they leveraged preorder sales to get some of that money up front before release to properly fund the construction of the faction as a playable race.

        Of course, some consider this “charging for things that should have been in at launch” but i feel as a studio they arent obligated to make dreams come true, or fulfill the flights of fantasy of every single customer. If anything, i was content with Chaos Warriors, and finished an entire campaign with them. I also splurged on the physical CE with the drinking horn and other bits. I got my moneys worth, and never felt like content was intentionally obscured to sell later.

  3. SaintAn says:

    I’m excited about more LL, I really hope that Alith Anar and Malus Darkblade are added to the game. It’s so disappointing that they aren’t in the launch. Alith Anar is my favorite Warhammer character along with Vanhal, and Malus is my second.

    And I really hope they haven’t abandoned doing mini-campaigns. The first one wasn’t that great, but they improved a lot with the second one. Hope making more is what they have planned when they finish the trilogy. I really want some set in important Warhammer Fantasy historical events like the Sundering and Black Plague.

    “I’m still holding out hope for a Creative Assembly take on the American Civil War at some point.”

    The guy that made the Darthmods quit making mods for TW after CA was crappy to him and so he started making the Ultimate General Civil War games that are slightly TW-like (and have Blackjack and hookers). I hear they’re pretty good.

    • Fishbreath says:

      Superb, in fact. I’m playing through Ultimate General: Civil War, and it’s worth every penny, in my opinion. A crafty AI, lovely sound design, a pretty and functional, if limited, sprites-on-painted-background engine… I’ve made it through two of the big multi-stage battles so far, the tutorial and First Bull Run, and four or five of the smaller, interstitial ones. There’s a tremendous amount of content, and the army-building bits in between let you choose how you want to play the battles.

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    Drib says:

    I think a historical take on American Civil War would be interesting. Hard to do right, but interesting.

    Does CA have a tendency to whitewash history? Do you figure they’d leave slavery in there, make whoever plays the CSA have the option to use slave production, or slave regiments? They talked about using slaves as troops, but a lot of games prefer to gloss over it as much as possible. Also many black men served with distinction in the Union army, so that’d be good to have in there too.

    Racism, even period-accurate racism, is a touchy-as-hell subject in America, though. I’m not sure if they’d be able to manage it.

    For that matter I wonder if they’d treat the CSA with any degree of subtlety, or just make them goose-stepping Nazi analogues. They were people, of course, rather than just mustache-twirling villains. Also, while slavery was a major (maybe the most major) portion of it, the war wasn’t entirely about that. I’d like to see it handled less ham-fistedly than people seem to teach it in schools.

    In any case, it’d be an interesting setting for a TW game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I hope CA never does the American Civil War, for a bunch of reasons. How to deal with the slavery issue is just one of them, and yeah it would be tricky.

      The main problem for me is that it’s symmetrical warfare with just two factions, using essentially the same weapons and tactics on each side. It’s the one unavoidable flaw in Shogun 2, which is otherwise my favorite of the TW series — the way there isn’t much variety and difference in units, whatever faction you choose. What I love about the Rome series is how you can get wildly dissimilar armies fighting each other, and I think that’s a strength of the Warhammer series now.

      There are a few other reasons why I don’t think it would work. The scale of the battlefield would have to be much larger, to account for longer-range rifles and cannon than any previous TW game.

      On the strategic level, there would have to be some major history-bending to allow the agrarian South to compete in the long-term against the much more heavily industrialized North. The South’s best bet was always to win a quick war and then a peace treaty that preserved slavery, especially in the new territories. They never wanted to conquer the North and didn’t have the resources or manpower to pull that off. Which runs counter to the whole Total War territorial expansion idea.

      • TobleroneRoloCombo says:

        Same. There’s also an issue with scale, it would just be a whole lot smaller than other games, in terms of faction count, as well as length. This isn’t necessarily bad on its own, but would mean it would have to differ greatly from most other core games.

        In addition, I just find the setting a little overdone in terms of strategy games.

  5. jeremyalexander says:

    CA already said they are going to do a WW2 Total War at some point, so I’m hoping that is the next one as they did say they are doing a time period they haven’t done yet and WW1 wouldn’t be very good for a TW game as the front was relatively static.

    • harley9699 says:

      Cool! I’ve wanted them to do WWII since the earliest days of TW.

    • Cinek says:

      Whenever I hear Total War: World War 2 I can’t hope but think that it will be like a cartoon, where everything’s on a comically short range with tanks feeling like a big bags if HP or whatnot. Not to mention zero hope for sea battles and half-assed air support, if there would be any to begin with. I don’t know why they bother, there are many WW2 games, with both HoI and CoH 2 covering it better than anything I imagine Total War game could do. I’d much rather venture again into Medieval, perhaps this time expanded further into Asia… or perhaps another non-historical Total War? In either case WW2 seems like a very odd direction to go for…

  6. spaced says:

    I’m happy for the folks who play the Total War series, but every time I see Creative Assembly’s name, I get all excited for another Alien game. I would love to see them do for James Cameron’s cinematic world what they did for Ridley Scott’s. And speaking of DLC, I played a single “escape the nostromo” mission or whatever for three months before I even started the single-player campaign. The atmosphere made it a fun place to be even when I wasn’t being hunted.

    • Banks says:

      There were rumours about CA making a horror game set in the Halo universe. I doubt it’s true but eh, wouldn’t complain.

      Alien Isolation is great.