Total War: WARHAMMER III – Immortal Empires Race Updates
Welcome back, Total War: WARHAMMER fans, to another instalment of the Immortal Empires blog series. This week, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most significant race updates you’ll experience come this August when the Immortal Empires BETA finally arrives—specifically to the Vampire Counts, Lizardmen, Dark Elves, and Norsca.
Before we explore those juicy details, it’s important to recognize that importing races from Total War: WARHAMMER I and II into Immortal Empires is no simple task; it’s *far* more complex than a simple copy and paste from game to game. WARHAMMER III introduced significant updates to the series—in the form of new mechanics, overhauled game systems, and a host of new foes to face—meaning that many races required substantial adaptations to survive in a fresh new world of war and politics. As such, while these updates won’t be quite to the same scale as what you’ll see with the Warriors of Chaos, they will nonetheless evolve their play styles in important (and meaningful) ways.
Everyone’s favourite bloodsuckers were in a difficult place coming out of WARHAMMER II: mainly relying on a devastating two-punch combo of free skeleton armies and the evisceration of their enemy with Winds of Death. While it was a real power-trip at times, it did eventually get a bit dry… (Bone-dry, you might say.)
On top of that, changes to systems like the Winds of Magic in WARHAMMER III have a heavy impact on the race, so the team spent time enhancing them in ways that help them stay fresh…as fresh as an exhumed corpse can be, at least.
So, the headline: free skeletons are GONE. You’ll still have ways to make them (grave)dirt cheap, but not to the same extent as before. We know this is a big change—one that might disappoint some people—but it not only distorted the Vampire Counts’ gameplay too much, but made much of the roster obsolete, particularly in conjunction with the reduced supply line penalties in WARHAMMER III.
To make up for the loss, we’ve made a whole host of other changes that we hope will more than make amends for it. Here’s a look at some of the key changes:
- Across-the-board balance changes to the roster: leadership increases to most units, adjustments to Ethereal units, and the ability to recruit Mournguls (in a Campaign) if you own the Vampire Coast DLC.
- Improvements to Raise Dead pools: which now offer better units by default and scale up with Vampiric corruption—making them less reliant on battle sites.
- Reshuffle of recruitment buildings, with many units now available earlier and more easily.
- Revamped tech tree, skill trees, and Bloodline effects to give the race access to powerful new effects: such as increased healing caps and extra Winds of Magic.
As for individual Lords, we’ve already highlighted some of the changes coming to the undead power couple—Vlad and Isabella Von Carstein—in our Dedicated Factions blog, but don’t worry: Mannfred and the Necromancer Lords will have their time in the sun moon too.
Mannfred Von Carstein has moved to the Southlands where he seeks the unholy Books of Nagash. As the most magically gifted of the Vampire Lords, he has also received increased magic reserves, and his Master of the Black Arts ability now boosts his spell mastery by 25%.
To complement his new starting position in The Haunted Forest, Helman Ghorst now starts the campaign mounted on his Corpse Cart, and can acquire skills that enhance his aura abilities—granting powerful faction-wide buffs to Zombies. If you want to drown the world in rotting flesh while watching from the back of your sweet ride, he’s the Legendary Lord for you!
Not to be outdone by this young upstart, Kemmler has also upped his game. His best bud, Krell, will now be a permanent summon by default, while Kemmler’s skill tree serves to super-charge Krell’s combat stats.
We know that “Lizardmen” and “update” together might generate some excitement, so we’ll get the bad news out of the way first: the Geomantic Web is still pretty much the same—other than a few adjustments to reward you for fulfilling the Great Plan. We fully recognize that it’s ripe for a more substantial update and hope to find an opportunity to do so in the future.
With that said, there’s still a load of other changes coming for our scaly friends…
We’ll start with the humble Skinks! As has long been requested, Tehenhauin now unlocks Regiments of Renown units by levelling up, and will be able to use his sacrificial pyramid to generate extra Blessed Spawning units. His chameleonic comrade, Oxyotl, will be receiving new missions to hunt down and eliminate the new Daemonic enemies who recently arrived on the Immortal Empires map, and his mission durations will now scale with campaign difficulty, making it much harder to thwart Chaos if you choose to player at harder levels.
The stalwart Saurus will also benefit from changes that help them take on the Daemonic hordes in battle! Their innate “Primal Instincts” ability kicks in earlier: granting them greater bonuses and no longer triggering their Rampage. Both Saurus characters also get revamped lord and faction effects to account for this in addition to helping them develop their own play styles. Kroq’gar will focus on creating a coterie of elite Saurus characters—with major buffs for Old-Bloods and Scar-Veterans—while Gor’rok will enjoy new effects that lean into his defensive nature; while his unique rite no longer makes Saurus’ Unbreakable, it now grants them Barrier as well as immunity to hostile weapon effects like poison—a perfect boon for taking on a certain pestilential rodent…!
As the premier magic-wielders of the setting, the Slann—including Lord Kroak—are getting skill tree tweaks to fit the new magic system in WARHAMMER III while gaining access to powerful effects like Barrier and increases to their Winds of Magic capacity. On top of that, Mazdamundi will also receive a whopping +50% range increase to all his spells—befitting for a frog of such continent-shifting power.
Finally, Nakai will enjoy a variety of balance changes: including tech tree updates to boost his economy, as well as new and improved benefits upon constructing Temples to the Old Ones. He’ll also benefit from some of the fundamental improvements to diplomacy that were introduced in WARHAMMER III—notably improving how the AI interacts with vassal factions.
Next, let’s turn to the Druchii, who—in addition to being in a prime position to benefit from the new Sea Lanes—have seen big changes to their slaves mechanic.
Previously, this was a feature that resulted in insane late-game economic performance with relatively little interaction from the player. As such, in WARHAMMER III, slaves are now considered a faction-level resource rather than something you stow in a province. Slaves can now be “spent” at numerous buildings to generate income, or invested in three powerful “Slave Diktats” to benefit a specific province.
For a long while, the Druchii have had a…complicated relationship with Chaos, so the influx of Daemonic factions has led to a few notable changes. Morathi now gets unique interactions with Slaanesh corruption and can even recruit Daemonettes, while Malus’ Possession ability now allows for more frequent use of Tz’arkan and interacts differently with the new corruption types.
Last of all, Rakarth can now capture and tame a host of new beasts: including Sabretusks and Feral Bears. (Rakarth even got an in-depth spotlight in our recent Q&A with the development team!)
Let’s talk cold, angry, and primed to raid! Norsca had a somewhat tumultuous entry into the series with their unique ability to construct outposts instead of regular settlements. Built on the foundation of the climate-locked occupations of WARHAMMER I, this design did not make a graceful transition into WARHAMMER II; where it was originally designed to grant them unparalleled flexibility, it instead became their greatest weakness.
So, if you take one thing home when you’re done raiding these shores, it’s the fact that Norsca is now a regular occupation faction—with access to their complete building tree anywhere in the world.
While that is the big one, there are additional smaller changes coming to freshen up the race:
DEVOTION TO THE GODS
Like before, players can dedicate the ruins of their enemies to one of the four Dark Gods in order to gain their favour, but there was always a massive disparity in the rewards given. As such, we’ve evened things out a bit.
- Full dedication to the Crow no longer causes a (admittedly mostly impotent) global plague. Rather, you will be joined by Burplesmirk Spewpit, the Exalted Great Unclean One.
- Full dedication to the Hound no longer gives you access to The Ice-Forged Legion. Rather, you will be joined by Killgore Slaymaim, An Exalted Hero of Khorne.
- All reward characters grant their army an incredibly powerful boon that twists their battle profile to align closer to the Dark God’s ideal forces. For example, Azrik’s forces enjoy access to Barriers, magical weapons, and global Winds of Magic generation benefits.
- If you just had the terrifying realization that we didn’t say where the Ice-Forged Legion went, don’t worry; your favourite Hellcannon Battery has become a regular Regiment Of Renown unit that unlocks once you reach the appropriate level.
Being fully settled and capable of holding complete provinces all over the world, Norsca has a full set of commandments to enact over them and solidify their new holdings.
Wine, furs, and everything in-between, Norsca can now construct buildings to exploit almost all resources for local or global bonuses.
With new forces of Order come new cities to raze for unique benefits. The Kurgan hordes have never taken Wei-Jin, but perhaps they only lacked a unifying iron fist…?
To tie us off, let’s head off the question on everyone’s minds: no, this is not the “Norsca rework.”
These changes are about freeing Norsca from the shackles of their outposts and giving them a taste of the fresh new powers of the Dark Gods in WARHAMMER III. Like the rest of Immortal Empires, this is just the beginning: the foundation upon which to build and make future tweaks to the different factions.
That’s it for now! Check back soon for more updates and Immortal Empires news, and be sure to join us on August 23rd to see all the changes for yourself!