Combining every playable race and faction into one big map in Total War: Warhammer 3’s Immortal Empires campaign has meant that Creative Assembly has had to go back and make some significant adjustments to races that featured in the past two strategy games in the series. While the studio has said these changes will be smaller in scope than full reworks would be, they’re still reasonably game changing, and the devs have outlined the major changes on the way to the Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Vampire Counts, and Norsca in a recent update.
“Many races required substantial adaptations to survive in a fresh new world of war and politics,” the developers explain. “As such, while these updates won’t be quite to the same scale as what you’ll see with the Warriors of Chaos, they will nonetheless evolve their play styles in important (and meaningful) ways.”
When the Immortal Empires release date arrives, Vampire Counts players will find that they’re no longer able to raise skeleton armies for free. Skeletons will still be cheap, the studio says, but the Vampire Counts’ reliance on skeletons and Winds of Death made much of the race’s roster redundant or obsolete, and changes to the Winds of Magic system in Warhammer 3 necessitated a rethink.
To make up for the loss of their free skeletons, the Vampire Counts will get an across-the-board adjustment to its unit roster, with just about every one of them getting increased leadership. Vampire Counts will also see improvements to the Raise Dead pools, a “reshuffle” of recruitment buildings to make some beefier units available earlier, and revamped trees for tech, skills, and Bloodline effects.
The Norsca are also seeing a major change: in the original Total War: Warhammer, these raiders constructed outposts instead of using regular settlements. Creative Assembly notes that this didn’t work well in the transition to Total War: Warhammer 2’s Mortal Empires campaign, and that for Immortal Empires, the Norsca will be a “regular occupation faction” that has their full building tree accessible from anywhere in the world.
The Dark Elves unique faction mechanic is their use of slaves to power their economies, and this is getting a big change for Immortal Empires, too. Rather than having slaves ‘stored’ in individual provinces, Immortal Empires makes the Dark Elves’ slaves a faction-level resource that can be ‘spent’ in various ways or invested in one of three powerful ‘Slave Diktats’ in individual provinces.
The main changes coming to the Lizardmen faction are all geared toward specific characters and units. Legendary skink lord Tehenhauin will unlock regiments of renown by levelling up, and Oxyotl will have new daemon-hunting missions to complete. The Slann, including Lord Kraok, have gotten adjustments to their skill trees in order to bring them in line with Warhammer 3’s new magic system.
The full dev diary is available on Steam, and has additional details about what to expect when the Immortal Empires beta arrives August 23.