The introduction of fictitious races to Total War: Warhammer brings with it marked changes to the familiar authenticity/accuracy Total War dichotomy. Speaking to Creative Assembly’s community coordinator Joey Berry, game director Ian Roxburgh explained that lore-based changes have directly affected regional occupation.
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In a dev blog-cum-interview, Roxburgh explores several areas in relative depth with Berry, explaining that in order to “reproduce the Warhammer world with Total War gameplay” regional occupation must differ from previous Total War games as a result of Warhammer’s lore – even though, in some respects, the series has been doing fantasy for years. Sure, each unique Warhammer race must be accurately portrayed, and players must fight in the standard Total War way; but natural restrictions will be placed on which settlements can be taken over by certain races, due to the idiosyncrasies of Warhammer’s classes, cultures and creeds.
Past Total War games have involved humans fighting humans, meaning the entire battlefield was subject to occupation, but now the introduction of Orcs and Dwarves and Greenskins and Skaven means this can’t unfold in the same way.
“This is by far the most important factor in the choices we’ve made regarding regional occupation,” admits Roxburgh. “Although some of our games encourage players to have outpost settlements in various areas of the map that are distant from the main faction’s start position, essentially, every faction in every Total War game to date broadly follows a similar theme.”
Roxburgh explains that expansion has historically tended to happen by way of occupying neighbouring regions, before systematically moving outwards, taking each respective bastion in turn. He continues: “This is still very much the case with Total War: Warhammer but, more often than in previous Total War games, players are confronted with some regions that they cannot occupy.”
He stresses that players will need to approach the map differently, forcing more timely and considered strategy. In turn, Total War: Warhammer is “very much Total War but with a difference that keeps the gameplay fresh.”
Roxburgh adds: “The changes do make sense when you play, and don’t feel restrictive or annoying. There are still a ton of regions to occupy regardless of which race you play and the feel of the campaign game is even more different between the races as a result.”