The development team behind Total War: Warhammer have recently revealed their plans for an array of post-release DLC, and it sets a positive precedence for the rest of the game.
In their development blog the developers lay out their release plan for free downloadable content, including new heroes, units, Legendary Lords, and even a brand new playable race. Though players will likely have to wait until the end of the year, concerns about the depth of the game is already being allayed.
It is not announced who this new race will be, but given the picture accompanying the “new playable race” announcement bar is of a forest, and the maps we’ve seen have a conspicuous forested grey area, I’m guessing this new race will be wood elves. This may be wild speculation, but a boy can dream.
Also, as is becoming commonplace, there will be plenty of DLC for purchase post-release. These will mostly be separated into three separate packs:
- Lord packs: Giving access to additional lords, heroes and elite units.
- Race packs: Giving a whole, completely fleshed-out and playable race.
- Campaign packs: Basically the same as a race pack, but offering an enclosed mini-campaign.
None of this is particularly new to the Total War franchise. The model of post-release DLC has been tried and true of a number of iterations, however many fans are becoming disenfranchised by this approach.
Perusing through some the review sections for Attila DLC makes for some difficult reading, and the Chaos DLC announcement trailer was generally hounded on YouTube. It seems like Creative Assembly have taken notice.
Although 4-5 playable races on release seems very limiting, what must be taken into account is that races are so much more varied than anything we have seen to date in the Total War series. Adding that to the crafted narratives and the addition of magic means each race requires a significant amount more manpower to create. Honestly, I think almost all of us would take fewer races over a smooth launch and improved AI. Plus, if you preorder and wait for the DLC, there will be six playable races in campaign, which is actually more than the base version of Medieval 2.
So there will be free content alongside paid-for content in the coming months. This is a great model, allowing some fan-service as well as letting the developers actually make money for working on it beyond the release. It seems like a win-win, so far.
I guess all that remains to be seen is whether they try to sell a ‘blood pack’ – which is basically a graphic setting allowing for blood sprays and limb-lopping. This is one of the DLC offerings most derided by the fan-base, even if it’s only roughly $4 USD.
Creative Assembly seems to be listening to their fans, engaging them early, and learning from their mistakes. I’m always hesitant to be too optimistic, but Total War: Warhammer is shaping up to be one of the franchise’s best offering in years.