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Blood Knights Ride To Total Warhammer Tomorrow

A DirectX 12 beta too

The vampiric Blood Knights will be sinking their teeth into Total Warhammer [official site] tomorrow, arriving as part of the strategy game's first big update. Also expect stability improvements, balance tweaks, bug fixes, and more-ticklish goblins.

Oh, and if you like to live on the bleeding edge of technology - watch out! That'll surely attract vampires. Jokes. But if you like new and fancy things, you might want to have a crack at the DirectX 12 version launching into beta tomorrow.

Blood Knights are the first bit of "FreeLC" (no, this term is awful) coming to Total Warhammer. They're powerful cavalry, an 'orrible bunch of blighters who've had centuries to hone their murderskills. The Creative Assembly explain:

"Tier 5 Shock Cavalry, Blood Knights are recruitable from the Vampire’s Keep building (along with the Black Coach). Heavily armoured and shielded with a high Charge Bonus, they smash into infantry with ease, and with the Anti Large ability, they are apt to take on larger foes. They also have the Frenzy ability, meaning they deal more damage as long as their leadership is high. Blood Knights can also be directly improved with two technologies: Turning Knightly Orders (bonuses to Melee Attack, Melee Defence and Charge Bonus), and Delusions of Grandeur (Upkeep and Recruitment Cost reductions)."

Check out Update 1's patch notes for the full scoop, as well as nice little changes like "Goblins are now more ticklish", "Mork is now considerably Morkier", and "Gork is now appreciably Gorkier". Greenskins and orks get to have all the fun in both Warhammer and 40K.

DirectX 12 mode is only launching in beta as right now it has a few problems, ranging from flickering to crashes on some cards. It should, in theory, run faster. How much faster? There's no simple answer, but AMD graphiceers will likely be happier than their Nvidia chums.

"As for what this means in terms of performance gains, well – it depends entirely on your GPU. Switching to DX12 mode, you'll see greater gains on AMD cards generally speaking, much of which is down to AMD's support for Async Compute across a broad range of cards. But what’s worth noting is that thanks to all the non-DirectX optimisation we've done, plus much of the DX12 work unrelated to Async Compute, we're seeing excellent performance in DX11 too."

Head on over here if you want to get technical about DX12. Total Warhammer will also have a benchmark to test DX11 and DX12 to see which runs better for you.

The patch is due to go live at 2pm UK time on Thursday.

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