Developer Diary: Looking forward to Update 1.1 and Beyond

Behind the Scenes

Evan Teicheira
March 18 2022

Good day, commanders! We wanted to side-step for a moment and talk a little bit about our first major gameplay update coming early next month: Update 1.1. This is the first release to include a variety of fixes, gameplay balance changes, and adjustments to mechanics that have been at the heart of discussion in the public space. So today, we’re going to highlight some of these topics, provide some insight into our short-term plans over here at Creative Assembly, and look ahead to our long-term roadmap following the update.

A Foreword…

For those of you looking for details about the combined WARHAMMER map (“Immortal Empires”), the Blood Pack, or any other DLC you’re waiting to see added to the game, I’ll note in advance that we WON’T be covering those subjects in any great depth or detail today.

We know these are important topics to many of you who have been asking about them; unfortunately, the timelines of these projects are currently in flux as we reprioritize our work to establish a strong foundation for the game upon which we can build. The game needs to be in a solid place before we consider adding new content and features to the mix, so we’re in the process of reviewing the release timing of both Immortal Empires and the Blood Pack.

When we know more, we’ll take the time to spotlight the cool new content we have planned at that time. Until then, rest assured that we’ll share what we know as soon as we have a more concrete timeline in place!

Patch 1.1 Preview

Here we go! Update 1.1 is the first of our large updates to the game. Currently slated for early next month, the build will introduce a swatch of changes across a variety of areas: design improvements, gameplay fixes, and fundamental changes prioritized and based on the feedback we’ve seen since launch. Here are some of those changes:


REALM OF CHAOS

The Realm of Chaos has been one of the most prevalent discussion points amongst the community, and we’re using this update to implement several bug fixes and gameplay tweaks that change how it fits into the mechanics of the game. This includes several key changes:

  • The strength of the negative Realm traits has been reduced by roughly ~50%.
  • Daemon Legendary Lords will no longer be burdened by the negative traits of their respective patron god.
  • Traits gained in the Realm of Chaos will now be removed when a Legendary Lord completes the survival battle within that realm.
  • When a player intercepts an AI Lord at the Forge of Souls, their souls will now be lost—forcing them to restart their collection. This should make it easier to disrupt the Souls race.
  • The “Protection” building chain can now be used to prevent rifts from spawning in the province in which they’re built.
  • The rewards for gaining Souls have been improved by providing additional bonuses for a limited period of time.

These changes are intended to make the Souls race less urgent and give you the chance to approach the battlefield in different ways. We will, of course, continue to adjust the mechanics in the future, but look forward to seeing how these changes impact your experience as you jump in after 1.1.


SUPPLY LINES

A prevalent issue reported by the community: a fix to address the bug where the upkeep cost of the Supply Lines mechanic would fail to update after disbanding your armies will be included in Update 1.1.


INFANTRY RESPONSIVENESS

Another noteworthy topic is how infantry units turn and respond on the battlefield. While changes have been made that should improve the rate of responsiveness to (roughly) match that in Total War: WARHAMMER II, we still have work to continue improving the AI behavior in combat. We’ll have more news about this in future updates that we’ll share with you later!


FACTION BALANCE

As mentioned previously, the team will be making various tweaks to the different factions based on your feedback and the win rates of the different factions. There is a fine balance to walk between how strong a faction is perceived vs. how they perform on the battlefield, but we hope to learn from both as we buff or reduce a faction or specific unit(s).

For perspective, here’s a look at the win rates in ranked matchmaking and the multiplayer Domination mode:

Here are some quick notes from the balance team as to how they’ve chosen the initial balance tweaks of the different factions in 1.1:

  • The Ogre Kingdoms, in general, are overperforming heavily in both ranked matchmaking and tournaments. We are making some significant adjustments to the units based on community feedback and our metrics.
  • Grand Cathay is currently (by far) the biggest underperformer in ranked matchmaking and in Domination tournaments. We think that Cathay is best when their army is large—such as in land battles—which is why we are increasing the size of all starting armies in Domination. We’ll be monitoring these changes to see how the meta progresses in the months ahead.
  • While Kislev is slightly underperforming in ranked matchmaking (according to our metrics), they seem to be performing adequately in the tournament environment. There are a few units that particularly stand out, and so we are looking to make smaller tweaks while observing the effects of other changes and bug fixes.
  • Nurgle has been doing well in ranked matchmaking, however we know they don’t do well in the tournament environment. We are also concerned that the slowness of most Nurgle units make them vulnerable to larger armies with ranged firepower, which can result in heavy losses before the Nurgle units are able to engage in melee combat.
  • In Update 1.1, we are fixing several issues with charges, bracing, and impact damage. We feel it’s too risky to touch the Slaanesh units without having a good understanding of what effect these will have, so we’ll keep an eye on things and make adjustments in the future based on feedback.
  • We are currently happy with the state of Khorne and will continue monitoring how they perform in relation to the other balance changes made this month. Our systemic changes should not be shifting the faction much in either direction, but we will watch closely!

What do you think? We’ll share exact details once we’ve locked them in for 1.1 and look forward to hearing what you think once you get your hands on them next month.


BUG FIXES

With every build, we will be looking to fix, test, and package as many bug fixes into the build as possible—again, working towards that strong baseline for Total War: WARHAMMER III. Update 1.1 certainly gives us the opportunity to tackle some of the key issues you’ve helped us identify; if all goes according to plan (i.e. everything passes testing and is confirmed to not have any side effects) here’s a taste of some of the key fixes coming your way:

  • ALT+Tab Crash Fix: We’re aiming to have a Steam Beta in your hands next week, and will let you know as soon as it is available. Depending on its success, we’ll bundle and share this with the rest of the community in Update 1.1.
  • Gift of Slaanesh: A conflict between the “Everlasing Gift” tech and “Gift of Slaanesh” upgrade will be resolved in the update.
  • Prologue Sticks after the Battle of Fort Devingard: Not after 1.1, it won’t!
  • Soft Lock when ending your turn after losing Yuri: Not anymore; also fixed in 1.1.
  • Crash fixes: Several crash fixes have been implemented based on your reports both here and with our Support Team. This will be an ongoing effort as we work to get everyone in and playing the game!
  • Shadow Shroud: Be’lakors ability “Shadow Shroud” is now associated with his unique trait.
  • “Corrupted By”: Factions will now be able to remove negative “corrupted by” traits when in a region dominated by their favored corruption.
  • Achievement Issues: Whether unlocking achievements the wrong way, not unlocking achievements at all, or unlocking duplicate achievements, we’re implementing fixes for many of the achievements available in the game.
  • and more!

This is by no means a complete list: there are plenty of behind-the-scenes fixes and other fixes that require testing confirmation before we’re comfortable committing to their inclusion in the update. We’ll share the full list in Update 1.1, and encourage you to continue consolidating the bugs and other issues you find into threads here on the forum, or contacting our support team if you’re experiencing technical issues.

But wait…there’s more!

While the Assembly Kit is still in the works as we prioritize our fixes to the core game, we are excited to share that we’ll be aiming to release the mod manager and enable Workshop support alongside Update 1.1. We plan to continue expanding the toolset and options at your disposal in the months and years to come, but we hope this will kick-start the modding efforts of the community as we continue to work on official updates to the game.

Beyond 1.1

What comes after Update 1.1? Well, this is only the beginning…

As we’ve mentioned throughout our posts, the goal at this very moment is to iron out the technical wrinkles, improve the stability and performance of the game, and adjust the balance and gameplay based on ongoing commentary from the community. This is all with the very specific goal of establishing a strong baseline for Total War: WARHAMMER III: one that supports the ongoing growth of the game with new content, new factions, and new modes for you all to explore.

Like WARHAMMER II, our plan is to eventually pair large content drops with regular game updates: bug fixes, balance changes, and the sort. However, we are also looking to raise our game above WARHAMMER II by introducing major patch updates between our key DLC releases: allowing us to address bugs, balance concerns, and other adjustments on a quicker cadence than previous games. All of this is aimed at establishing a more reliable cadence of releases once we’ve established a strong foundation for the game and its future.

Looking Ahead to the WARHAMMER III Roadmap

We know that many of you are eager for a long-term roadmap of what’s coming down the line, which very much includes many devs here at Creative Assembly who are excited to share our plans. We read you all loud and clear.

We’re in the process of pulling together a look at the year ahead that we hope to share you after the release of Update 1.1. Things are in flux at the moment as we rebalance the work on WARHAMMER III with future projects; so, once things settle and cement a bit, we’ll be sharing more about the year ahead and a general “what” and “when” things will be coming to the game. We’ll let you know when we have that ready to go!

Closing Out

*Whew*… Thanks for making it through this wall of information! We hope these posts are helpful for those of you looking to understand what we’re working on and working towards with the game. We’ll keep the information flowing and will continue adjusting how and when we communicate based on your reactions, feedback, and expectations!

And again: thank you all for your ongoing support and passion to see WARHAMMER III reach its FULL potential! There’s certainly room to grow, but we’re confident we’ll get there: with your feedback serving as guidance, and with all we have planned to expand and grow the Total War: WARHAMMER universe. Thanks to all of you who continue to be a part of the conversation, offer feedback with the quality of the game at heart, and help others who are having trouble playing the game. You are the core of this community, and we will continue to be your biggest fans as we work to improve your game!