Creative Assembly is still working on Total War: Warhammer 2 and the Mortal Empires post-launch updates, but things are going slower than anticipated. In a blog post published yesterday, the team explains, candidly, what the issues are and when we can expect new campaign packs, like the Tomb Kings, as well as the addition of Norsca to Mortal Empires.
At the heart of the problem is something pretty obvious: Mortal Empires is huge. It’s the most monumental campaign Creative Assembly has worked on, they say, and that brings with it a bunch of new challenges and issues.
“There are rather more moving parts to the Mortal Empires campaign than we’d first anticipated, that’s for sure,” says brand director Rob Bartholomew. “At present, we do feel it’s playable and enjoyable, though not under all circumstances.”
One of the problems that has arisen is that the Norsca, the monster-hunting barbarians with whom I am smitten, won't be appearing in the game until May next year. We knew that the faction wasn’t going to be included at launch since it was developed after the developers had started work on Warhammer 2. But the team hoped that they’d be able to reintroduce the faction soon after. It hasn’t worked out that way.
“The truth is we screwed up,” says creative director Mike Simpson.
It’s not been a matter of just slotting the faction into the new game, they explained, as that only ended up introducing bugs thanks to all the bespoke code that was used for Norsca. Here's a bit of Simpson explaining:
"The first attempt to integrate Norsca in the routine way caused an immediate tsunami of bugs. We smacked our heads against it, realised it was unsolvable in a short span, and had to back out. We started on a second, more careful approach, which has been glacially slow, with deeper and deeper issues with the integration tools and process becoming apparent at each stage."
It’s still being worked on but altogether Creative Assembly is a bit behind schedule. Although new updates and expansions are on their way soon, they say.
This month will see the arrival of the Reprisal update, for example, which will finally apply the Foundation patch and equivalent improvements to the Old World leaders. Some Mortal Empires-specific tweaks are being worked on too, along with an “experimental game mode” that Creative Assembly is keeping in its back pocket until they spill the beans later this week.
In January, we’ll be getting the Tomb Kings. Probably. Almost definitely. The first campaign pack for Warhammer 2 was meant to be out in December, but it’s slipped back a little too. And it looks like the Tomb Lords will be getting to take part in the Vortex campaign as well as Mortal Empires.
Given that the first Total War: Warhammer was only launched last year, Creative Assembly’s progress on the series has been blisteringly fast, and I think there’s no need for a mea culpa. However, the extra information and the road map are still welcome. I got along with Mortal Empires very well, after the first patch sorted some major issues with Chaos invasions. That surprised me, given how much is going on at any given time (if you want to know more, here’s my Mortal Empires review). However, some factions are definitely better than others.
And to save you pointing it out: I know the screenshot is a Dark Elf army facing the Vampire Counts. But vampires live in tombs, right?