Immortal Empires, the free expansion for Total War: Warhammer 3 which will unite the armies and locations of all three games into some sort of unholy fantasy war game lasagna, will be playable starting in August. Creative Assembly has started blogging about what has changed and why it is taking so long, with the first blog (opens in new tab) introducing new features and explaining why it is being released as a beta.
These features include a new faction led by Be’Lakor, the antagonist prince daemon from Warhammer 3’s Realm of Chaos campaign, as well as dedicated factions for some Legendary Lords from the early days of Total War: Warhammer, featuring Grombrindal, Helman Ghorst, and Volkmar, the Grim, ranked a mention. Some factions will also be overhauled, with new starting locations and improved mechanics.
To deal with the world being round, Sea Lanes are being added to allow armies to travel from one side of the world to the other “without jumping”. There’s no more information than that, but I hope it works like the Cathay campaign trade caravans, who face dilemmas as they travel that can result in, say, having to make a deal with ogres or fight them to get through. This would certainly liven up long naval voyages.
Since the equivalent Warhammer 2 DLC, the Mortal Empires Campaign, can wipe out your overpowered armies by slowly turning your ultimate opponents to dust, random “dynamic endgame scenarios” will shake things up. The examples provided are “Greenskin’s Invasions or Resurgences of the Undead”. Fingers crossed for something like the crisis events that animate the endgame in Stellaris.
The win requirements have also been simplified, and the Creative Assembly manager added that completing objectives along the way will give you rewards (opens in new tab): “For example, Vampire Counts can get a permanent 30% reduction in Winds of Magic cost for spells to complete their race’s victory objective.”
On the subject of Immortal Empires being labeled a beta when it launches, Creative Assembly writes: “We are determined to get Immortal Empires in your hands, but want to be realistic: it won’t be the ‘final’ final product on day one – just like Mortal Empires wasn’t at its launch in WARHAMMER II. Ultimately, this entire three-game project won’t really be complete in the next few years, which is why we’re initially releasing it under the banner of a “BETA.”
Among the many challenges the team faced in integrating three games were advances in lighting, which required older battle maps to be updated to the new standard, and unified details such as “the UI, character models, visual effects, audio and overall game balance”, all of which differ throughout the series. On the mechanical side, changes to the corruption system in Warhammer 3 required a rework for older factions, and the entire system will apparently be tweaked for Immortal Empires.
“Given the sheer scale of the project, there are likely to be some visual and technical bugs,” says Creative Assembly, “and we will provide a list of known issues when Immortal Empires is released. However, we are confident that the game mode It will be huge, content-packed, functional and fun on day one!”
To play Immortal Empires, you’ll need to own all three games, and you’ll be able to choose from each game’s base factions, as well as any DLC you own. It will support multiplayer campaigns for up to eight (which is the number of Chaos, appropriately), and only the host will need to own all three games. Other players can turn to just Total War: Warhammer 3 to join a game as any of their core factions.