Total War: Warhammer is one of the most anticipated strategy games of the year. Its had some difficulties in the past with regards to the removal of mod support and controversial pre-order benefits, but fans are still excited to see whether The Creative Assembly can deliver a great Total War game.
In a recent interview, developer Ian Roxburgh sat down to discuss the development process of Warhammer and the various areas where the team at Creative are devoting their attention. He talks about being faithful to the Warhammer franchise, while simultaneously delivering an excellent Total War product. Let's see what he has to say.
Total War: Warhammer - Roxburgh On Races, Lore, Gameplay & Factions
To start with, let me just say that the design and development of TW:WH has often been about finding a balance between wanting to be both faithful to the WH lore, and true to tried and tested TW concepts as much as is possible.
Roxburgh stated that in the vast majority of areas where this balance had to be taken into consideration, the two principals "fit like a glove." However, he also referred to a form of tension that was created in certain instances, which may impact on the gameplay of Total War: Warhammer (but not only in negative ways).
As an example, he references Regional Occupation in the Warhammer campaign:
The first game in the trilogy contains the map covering the Old World. The provinces and regions of this world are divided into Holds and Human Settlements. Dwarfs and Greenskins can occupy the Holds and everyone else can occupy the Human Settlements (with the exception of Chaos Warriors who are a horde faction and don’t settle at all). Inhospitable Norsca is the domain of the Norscans, and nobody can capture settlements there…
The above map demonstrates the campaign that Roxburgh is moving through and all of the yellow castles are his own. If you desire an in-depth glimpse into his campaign, then feel free to check out his narrative over here.
Warhammer's game director goes on to talk about how significant parts of the world are occupiable by any given race in the first game. However, there are other sections of the map where 'traditional conquering' won't be possible, or are simply not advised. He states that simply painting the map your color isn't always the greatest path to victory "and is arguably the least strategically interesting."
No Total Domination For You!
Basically, he's informing us that we won't be able to own every section of the game. In previous Total War games, we've always played as humans against humans. Sure, areas have cultural differences, but when you invade an area your army can co-exist with the populace. That's not the case with the various factions and races in Total War: Warhammer, thus one culture cannot dominate the entire map. This was apparently decided early on.
"Now I get that the principle of being ‘able’ to do that in a sandbox environment resonates strongly within all of us. The design team and I grappled with this issue early on. The conclusion we came to is that this particular principle is a theoretical concern more than an actual one."
Basically, they felt that it's an aspect of the Total War games that you won't miss. He feels that very little players took over every location, and that it became a slog towards the end anyway. An interesting opinion. Do you agree?
Why? Because Lore, That's Why!
You don’t have to read through the lore of the Greenskins and the Dwarfs for long before you see how integrally linked these two races are.
Roxburgh goes into great detail regarding the history of dwarves, their lands, and the rival factions and races that have attacked them. In Warcraft's lore (with the exception of Skaven who won't feature in the first game) no other race has ever occupied a Dwarfen Karak. They want to keep it that way, and feel that humans living underground wouldn't make much sense to them anyway!
He referenced a reversal of this instance, sighting that "Greenskins don’t occupy Altdorf and immediately start managing and taxing the local human populace." This doesn't make sense when we take into account the series' lore. Therefore, the option has been removed from the game.
How Will This Affect Total War's Gameplay?
This is the main question. If we're going to come up against areas that we cannot conquer, how will this satisfy us as fans of the Total War franchise? Roxbourgh argues that these changes have introduced some innovative gameplay advancements to the Total War franchise. They'll make you think differently about the challenges at hand, and potentially force you to create a new strategy you've never thought of before.
He wants players to think differently about the various regions in Warhammer and the lore that they're interacting with. Will they choose to raze settlements to the ground with no gain other than the knowledge that it's the most effective way of curtailing threats from this area? Or will they choose instead to not over-stretch themselves and instead fortify their defences, creating deadzones and buffers in preparation for a likely invasion? This is what he wants you to consider.
But how do you feel about this discussion and information? Do you like how the Warhammer IP is melding with the Total War franchise? Are you willing to give [Total War: Warhammer](tag:3627632) a try, or are you frustrated by the restrictions that have been imposed? Let us know where you stand in the comments below!