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Daydreaming: One way that we can balance Cao Cao after Chibi and make it more interesting.

Ostubaf_CattoOstubaf_Catto Registered Users Posts: 138
edited September 11 in General Discussion
With Nanman DLC is behind us and I want to say about the future of Chapter Pack. We know that Guandu is next but I want to look further into the future.

I saw many concerns that Chapter Packs after Chibi will not be much interesting and very unbalanced because of how powerful Cao Cao would be. He will hold 25% of the map and it will be painting the map right from the start. Like in this example 209 Cao Cao.

The obvious solution is to give Cao Cao some generic vassals like the Han Empire who will share his territory. However, that will not solve the problem that Cao Cao has so many characters in his court that it would be more pain to keep everyone happy.
In my opinion, the best solution is that “SPLIT CAO CAO FACTION” or making some of Cao Cao famous generals to be playable factions that start as Cao Cao’s vassal, so I pick up 3 of the Cao Cao’s well-known general roaster and make them into 3 new playable factions.

In this hypothetical Chapter pack, I will use 209 as the template, so we will start right after the event of Chibi (Red Cliff). However, since there were so many transfers of Cao Wei generals during 209-215, the characters roaster for each new faction is pretty hard to pin down so for gameplay, set up and cool factor, some character might not be in the right place at the right time and I took some creative liberty to make this hypothetical chapter pack.

Cao Cao’s Southern Front: The Defenders of Hefei - Zhang Liao faction.


Zhang Liao was one of the most skilled and famous generals of Cao Cao. He followed Cao Cao into many important battles and had many good deeds under his name. Now he must is tasked to protect the southern front from the enemy without and within.
Notable Characters
  • Yue Jin
  • Li Dian
Initial Situation
Zhang Liao might start with a strong stack in Hefei but he will also face with the uprising in Shouchun and other surrounding cities. He has to put this rebellion to the end quickly before Sun Quan’s inevitable invasion into the central plain happened. His starting economy might be poor because he has low-income counties but I think an event like Cao Cao sending supplies or something will help with his economic problem.

Mechanic
My take for Zhang Liao’s mechanic would be focusing around building his fearsome reputation among his enemy to strike fear into their heart and inspire our troops and generals. With each victory on the battlefield, his reputation will grow and give him more bonus.

Cao Cao’s Jingzhou: 4 Cao of Jingzhou - Cao Ren faction.


Cao Ren, the relative of Cao Cao, is a talented general under Cao Cao. He is entrusted with the duty to defend Jingzhou. With the traitors Sun-Liu is marching toward Jingzhou, can Cao Ren and his brave generals do this duty?

Notable Characters
  • Cao Chun
  • Cao Hong
  • Cao Xiu
Initial Situation
Cao Ren’s starting position is the strongest and might be the hardest out of the three. Xiangyang, Nanyang and Runan are rich cities with a jade mine, an iron mine and a toolmaker. However, he will lose some of his territories early on since Liu Bei’s and Zhou Yu’s force start within Nan commandery. Cao Ren must quickly build up the defences and try to stall Sun-Liu army then wait for an opportunity to counterattack.

Mechanic
I imagine that Cao Ren will be all about defending and stall enemy. He might have unique Military Infrastructure building to reflect that.

Cao Cao’s western front: Generals who Attack the West - Xiahou Yuan faction.


Xiahou Yuan is one of the longest-serving generals under Cao Cao’s court. He is brave and bold and crushes any enemy of his cousin. After the defeat at Chibi, he is now in command of the western front where the threat of Ma Chao and the Qiang start to be apparent once again.

Notable Characters
  • Zhang He
  • Xu Huang
Initial Situation
Xiahou Yuan’s starting location is solid. He has a good economy due to jade mine, silk trader and trade port and easy-to-defend position. That being said, his enemies also pretty strong Ma Chao and Han Sui in Liangzhou will eventually come down to fight you. Moreover, Zhang Lu of Hanzhong and Liu Zhang of Shu are also right below you.

Mechanic
To be honest, I haven’t thought much about his mechanic but I imagine that Xiahou Yuan will be the most aggressive out of the three.

Cao Cao and his Trusted Generals.


With this, we will have 3 new factions to play with. Cao Cao’s territories are smaller and easier to balance (by adding more generic vassal like Ham Empire into Cao Cao’s northern territories too since I assume that by the time this Chapter Pack was released we would have the Northern Expansion Pack). Some people might be worry that with this faction split, Cao Cao’s court would be empty. I will ensure you that Cao Cao will still have a lot of cool generals under his banner. To name a few
  • Cao Pi
  • Cao Zhang
  • Sima Yi
  • Xiahou Dun
  • Xu Chu
  • Xun You
  • Xun Yu
Etc.
I think that this idea of SPLIT THE FACTION can be something cool for CA to make in future Chapter Pack. I hope CA would see the same. With that, I want to say thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my theory. Please feel free to comment and discuss your idea further in the comment section.
Post edited by Ostubaf_Catto on

Comments

  • Whiskeyjack_5691Whiskeyjack_5691 Registered Users Posts: 3,753
    edited September 11
    First off, those images are very well-done and professional-looking, so kudos for that.

    As to the idea itself, I really like it because it'd be a great opportunity for a new victory condition, one based around being a subordinate and helping your master/superior to achieve their aims.
    CA have said that they intend to look at the Governor factions' campaigns and playstyles, so this might include their victory conditions. Hopefully we might finally see a Victory condition that allows you to restore the Han Empire.
    This could be rejigged slightly for Cao Cao's subordinate factions, so that their campaign goals are to assist him in achieving his victory.
  • ShevaTsarShevaTsar Registered Users Posts: 321


    This new entry screen was created for Cao Cao btw, can't wait to see the huge number of characters displayed at some later starts.

    Also, considering what they did with Yuan Shao it's pretty safe to assume the same is going to happen with Cao Ahman. But the more interesting for me is coming after, during the 3 kingdoms stalemate period where the potential for some court intrigue and gestion beyond Liu Hong's level opens up.
    Sima Clan vs Cao Clan, the final showdown.
    Every person on the street knows what is in Sima Zhao's mind
  • DUONG91DUONG91 Registered Users Posts: 33
    Pretty cool post, OP. Pretty cool.

  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,260
    I feel they could also just give him all his territory. After all this game is build with pretty solid systems to counter big powers.
  • LabriaLabria Registered Users Posts: 1,264
    edited September 12
    I am sure CA will split Wei, Wu and Shu-Han in more factions in later chapters. It will be boring to have only 3 big factions in later chapters. I like idea with main generals as own playable factions.

    Ruler's sons, main generals and governors of provinces are perfect material for vassal factions in later chapters, some of them can be playable.
    For example, Guan Yu, Lu Meng and three Cao Cao sons(Who will successor of Cao Cao?) can be exclusive playable factions in 219 chapter.

    Also, maybe Cao Cao faction will have big Wei vassal faction with most of Wei territory in later chapters like Liu Hong with big Han vassal faction in 182.
    Post edited by Labria on
    Dwarfs need Slayer Lord pack: https://imgur.com/x74HxxU
    Liu Chong and He Yi should be playable in 194.
  • Misaka_ComplexMisaka_Complex Registered Users Posts: 2,870
    edited September 12
    CA should introduce a new concept called "military branches" to make sense of the situation. For example Yuan Tan is currently a vassal state of Daddy Shao but this wasn't the case, as Yuan Tan was more like an expedition force sent by Daddy Shao to conquer Qing province. In a similar war, Huang Zu and Cai Mao weren't really "vassals" either. The idea of splitting the faction is cool but labeling the split branches as "vassals" doesn't make sense with the current vassal mechanics in the game. if anything, the branches for Cao Cao's fronts should be receiving funds from the central Wei government instead of paying vassalage fees back since their purpose was to defend regions, which needs funding.

    Another point is that because all of these generals served under the Cao banner, it makes no sense with the current vassalage mechanics since this would mean that Zhang Liao would be represented under the Zhang flag and Xiahou Yuan would be represented under the Xiahou flag. While this makes sense in battles as general flags tended to be present in battles, this makes no sense when it comes to diplomacy as these branches did not interact separately from the Wei central government.
  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,927
    edited September 12
    Well done with such a detailed post.

    I agree. I have also suggested this previously. Any later chapter pack, or a three kingdoms proper dlc would require internal factions to be playable, such as each of the Cao Princes, Sima family etc, Guan Yu etc as vassals (or a new type of subordinate faction, like the families in RTW) of their respective empires.
  • EmeraldThanatosEmeraldThanatos Registered Users Posts: 441
    I agree, I'd want to see something similar for all three kingdoms. To me it's just not enjoyable to start with a huge amount of territory so splitting it up is a good idea.
    Ranking of all Total War games I've played:
    1. Three kingdoms
    2. Shogun 2
    3. Medieval 2
    4. Thrones of Britannia
    5. Warhammer 2
    6. Attila
    7. Rome 2



  • ComradCommodoreComradCommodore Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 541
    Yeah so this post is awesome lol

    I agree it's probably the best way to handle the actual three kingdoms era once we get to that date.

    Could even make it interesting if playing as the Cao Ren faction, when Cao Cao dies having to declare loyalty to one of the Cao sons 🤷‍♂️
  • MasterSlayeXMasterSlayeX Registered Users Posts: 282
    Tbh I think we will see Cao cao split even more than that . But I think it’s safe to say Xiahou Yuan and Zhang Liao having 1 each makes a lot of sense . Another would be Xiahou dun having a provances or other caos like Cao Hong , Cao zhang , Cao zhi ext. I would say even Yu Jin has a chance of having a small piece of land .

    The same could be said for wu and Shu late with prehaps the 5 tiger generals or 5 wu elders (the ones alive that is) but most pieces of lands if not were usually governed under someone else so then leading that provance would make sense too . We already seen yuan Shao split as is Liu biao and gongsun zan before Guan du so I feel his will be the way larger factions are dealt with later
  • Ostubaf_CattoOstubaf_Catto Registered Users Posts: 138

    CA should introduce a new concept called "military branches" to make sense of the situation. For example Yuan Tan is currently a vassal state of Daddy Shao but this wasn't the case, as Yuan Tan was more like an expedition force sent by Daddy Shao to conquer Qing province. In a similar war, Huang Zu and Cai Mao weren't really "vassals" either. The idea of splitting the faction is cool but labeling the split branches as "vassals" doesn't make sense with the current vassal mechanics in the game. if anything, the branches for Cao Cao's fronts should be receiving funds from the central Wei government instead of paying vassalage fees back since their purpose was to defend regions, which needs funding.

    Another point is that because all of these generals served under the Cao banner, it makes no sense with the current vassalage mechanics since this would mean that Zhang Liao would be represented under the Zhang flag and Xiahou Yuan would be represented under the Xiahou flag. While this makes sense in battles as general flags tended to be present in battles, this makes no sense when it comes to diplomacy as these branches did not interact separately from the Wei central government.

    I think the same. CA must fix/rework the Vassal/Empie System for this to be interesting or just build yet another system.

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