With Total War: Warhammer 1 and 2 now both out in the wild, The Creative Assembly has turned its collective attention to polishing up the promised bonus campaign that takes place across the maps of both games, called Mortal Empires. It's with that in mind that we fired the following questions to game director Ian Roxburgh and lead designer Jim Whitson, who had some interesting things to tell us about the expansive sandbox campaign.
GR: We understand that merging the two halves of the Warhammer world was not an easy task?
It's not an easy task but something we wanted to deliver for fans. The real challenge was in realising the scale of the map while also keeping the gameplay tight enough to keep players engaged and interacting with such a vast and populated world.
Will we be seeing some free DLCs as we did with the first game?
Yes! The Mortal Empires campaign is perhaps our largest example of this. There will be a smattering of paid and free DLC in a similar way to Warhammer I.
Should we expect the mechanics from the second game to be implemented on factions from the first game - or do they remain how they were made?
Each race has their own unique mechanics so we won't be adding any to the Old World races. However, this map features all the new features that are present in Warhammer II such as searching ruins and universal territory capture. Playing as one of the Old World races in the Mortal Empires campaign is a very fresh experience due to all the new features packed in there and the new interactions players will have with the Warhammer II races and landmasses. Each race also has very different motivations and goals, so there is a lot of choice in there for players as to how they want to approach this.
The number of Warlords is now running at 35 - do you have an upper limit? There are countless warlords from the tabletop game that would make sense (we'd love to see Valnir the Reaper *cough*).
As with Warhammer I the plan is always to add more content and Legendary Lords. As for who they will be, you'll just have to wait and see!
Will anything in Mortal Empires change/upgrade the first game?
The engine has had an upgrade and the Old World map will benefit from all the updates that made their way into Warhammer II, including UI improvements and the features mentioned earlier. And obviously an even bigger map full of even more content, seriously there's hundreds of hours of fresh and exciting new gameplay here.
Faction options for upcoming DLCs are diminishing - can you in any way give us a hint about we can expect DLC wise?
There's still plenty options for us at the moment. The Warhammer IP is so vast and varied and there's a lot left that we can tap in to. Our intention was always to try and cover everything in the Warhammer fantasy world, and this trilogy blueprint along with its paid and free DLC is the way we will be delivering this.
The second instalment had some interesting game mechanics - will the Mortal Empires expansion see some updates to the game itself?
Alongside the release of Mortal Empires will be some tweaks to the Vortex campaign in Warhammer II.
Be honest - what is your favourite faction and faction leader?
Ian: To be honest whichever faction I'm playing as at the time tends to be my favourite.
Jim: In tabletop I play as Vampire Counts and Skaven, so I'm naturally drawn to them in Mortal Empires. If I had to pick one though, I'd have to pick Skaven - I just love the voiceovers on them.
Even though it's not even developed fully yet - have you ever calculated on how much time would be needed to complete campaign + total map domination with every single warlord available?
We haven't calculated as there are so many different ways of playing the game, but it's a ridiculous amount of time. You'd need to sink in perhaps thousands of hours!
Will there ever be re-enactments of the great battles from Warhammer Lore?
In the Quest Battles there are often references to these great battles. Through the course of a campaign you often find yourself coming up against another faction and almost recreating these battles there yourself. There's also the chance for players to recreate them in the Custom Battle mode too.
Is there any chance, even a small one, of seeing a Total War: Warhammer 40K game in the future?
At the moment we're flat out on all this additional content for Warhammer II and finishing this trilogy with a bang. Beyond that, nothing is set in stone but personally, we'd love to do it.
As mentioned above, you'll need to own both Total War: Warhammer games to enjoy Mortal Empires, although you won't need to have both games installed (just the second). The map will have a staggering number of settlements (295, in fact) and an equally impressive 117 starting factions. As a result of those numbers, expect longer waits between turns while the computer moves around all those AI-controlled armies. It's also worth noting that the Vortex-driven story of the last campaign is being put to one side and will focus instead on classic Total War sandbox play.
This is the third of five planned Warhammer grand campaigns, with a fourth coming in the third game, and a fifth and final campaign taking place across the maps of all three entries in the planned series. Given how expansive this new map appears to be, we can only imagine how huge the final campaign will be. Naturally, though, with the scale and scope of the game increasing in this way, some features (such as certain minor factions) are going to have to be cut.
You can find out more about the studio's plans by hitting this link ahead of the launch of Mortal Empires later this month (we've seen both October the 26th and 27th mentioned, but CA is yet to confirm a date).