Creative Assembly has a great track record of releasing high quality, free updates along with DLC, ranging from individual lords/units for races, to entire overhauls (Empire/Wood Elves rework, Skaven Undercities, etc). We know there will be a pre-order DLC for WH3, and I believe I have a great idea for it's free counterpart. A relatively simple, but massive, game-changing update that will not only give the current Chaos Factions a much-needed boost, (and set a very solid stage for the incoming Chaotic races), but provide a whole new campaign experience for all the other factions, and a couple with just a bit more.
This is why I suggest...
The Climate Corruption Update!
Before I go into details, here’s a quick crash-course reminder to get everyone on the same page:
- Corruption: A system that exists to show the condition of the actual land in the region, the state of its health. There are four kinds of corruption; Chaos, Vampire, Skaven, and Untainted, which exists as the absence of those first three. Chaotic and Vampire factions want to spread as much of their respective corruption as possible, while the Skaven have both pros and cons to its presence.
- Climate: Added in Warhammer 2 as a way to distinguish the -kind- of land that a region is made of, thus giving all races different preferences and aversions. Dwarfs love Mountains but hate Magical Forests, the Lizardmen only like really hot places like the Jungles and Deserts, etc. Climate and Corruption currently have no correlation, aside from Chaotic Wastelands naturally being flooded with Chaos (duh).
The main idea of this update is one simple simple issue; compared to Skaven corruption, the Chaos and Vampire flavors are lackluster and uninteresting.
There’s no depth to them besides ‘You need it, they hate it.’. So my two pronged solution involves giving them a -lot- more depth, and is as follows:
- Make Chaos and Vampire corruption, as well as Untainted, carry unique new bonuses and effects that change their owner's campaigns in a more lore-friendly and engaging way.
- Give corruption-causing factions the ability to change existing Climates into hostile, evil ones more suited for them, making their control and presence in an area far more noticeable than just a percentage under the settlement’s name. Large amounts of corruption visually change the landscape, the land itself is being poisoned and changed. Doesn’t it make sense that the Climate would be affected too?
Here is a handy table I’ve put together, with the intent of plainly showing the changes I've envisioned. These are far from perfect, this is all just the brainstorming of one person, so feel free to come up with improvements!
The amount of raw Chaos in the area increasing magic (and making it more unstable) seems very obvious at first, but there’s a second level of thinking to this. For context, I really enjoy the fact that all the TW2 factions have ‘Racial Traits’ (Murderous Mastery, Martial Mastery, More Powder, etc). I strongly believe that they will continue that in TW3, and my theory involves all Demons having an ability similar to the Phoenix’s ‘Attuned to Magic’ trait.
Since Demons can’t exist in the material realm without magic, it makes sense that they would be stronger in magic-saturated areas, but literally falling apart when they run out. Making Chaos Corruption directly increase the amount of magic provides a thematic solution.
As mentioned before, the worst problem with any Chaos campaign is that land doesn’t stay destroyed, the kleptomaniac AI will be sending armies across the map to claim a territory as soon as you burn it down. By making the very Climate incredibly inhospitable, cranking the corruption to the max, AND leaving a little force to sit inside the ruins to ‘own’ it, your path of death and destruction will stick around a lot longer, and be a bigger problem for people trying to reclaim it. Unlike Nakai, the garrison is not a vassal, but instead a Chaotic ‘Rogue’ faction that simply stays put, defending itself against anyone that will attack. You can pillage a realm, heal and profit, and then leave it ruined for everyone else without ever having to deal with it again. Vampire Summary:
The idea of Vampiric Influence came from a misconception I had about the Counts in TW1. Because I once saw a Greenskin tribe described as ‘Easily Influenced by Vampires’, I thought that meant that spreading corruption would allow me to actually seduce and control those factions. I know now that Vampire Corruption does nothing of the sort, but since this idea both fits them incredibly well -and- give their campaigns a new layer of depth, I’m pushing it. Now instead of just being a violent tide of bodies and death everywhere you go, this update would allow you to bribe, play politics, and insidiously spread your taint across an opponents land, all the while reaping larger bonuses from it. In the end, being able to completely control and compel almost any faction to bend their knee without even fighting a battle would add so much complexity to the Vampires. Even though they’re a numerically small presence on the world map, they could easily puppeteer wars between powerful Order races to make them vulnerable, or direct Greenskins Waaaaaghs wherever you’d like them to go.
As for the creation of a new Climate, I feel like it’s a much more compelling way for Vampires to truly dominate and control an area. Sylvannia naturally has a massive natural affinity for their corruption, but anywhere else needs to be consistently reinforced with buildings and characters. Having a special Undead biome makes their expansion much more noticeable and impactful.
Making the very battlefields inherently dangerous seems like a fun idea, and it’s a good first step towards making unique landmarks and environments in battle maps. The zombies will not target units twice their speed, or capable of flight. They simply go for the nearest ground target and attack. The bats and wolves that spawn on the edges, however, are much more predatory, and will go after exposed/isolated targets that they can catch, preferring those that are routing. This makes battles much more terrifying for non-undead factions, as they’ll constantly be afraid of their ranged units suddenly getting tied up in bodies, or a valuable retreating lord being devoured in the woods by wolves. If there’s a Vampire faction on the map, then they will have control of these summons. But if there’s more than one, I suggest the weaker of the two gets them, to at least give them a fighting chance. Skaven Summary:
At first I was thinking of making a much more complex Skaven overhaul, where each individual faction would get a different flavor of Menace Below depending on the amount of corruptions available. Skyre gets Warpgrinders, Rictus summons Stormvermin, etc. But that’s a much larger update than just changing how their corruption works, so instead I retooled it as another way for them to expand their Under Empires. I chose to not make a new Climate for them, simply because the Skaven are far more content to just live underneath someone regardless of the actual condition of the land. Instead, they create normal Wastelands through their greedy, strip-mining mentality. Since it’s a short, massive boost to their economy, and then a permanent loss, ransacking a settlement you don’t care for to make a quick buck, then despoiling it until it’s a barren wasteland just so you leave nothing for the enemy, is a very useful tactic. Since the Skaven are such high risk/reward, the all-consuming idea fits well.Untainted Summary:
All the other factions want to keep their land clean for one reason or another, but it’s always the same goal, keep control and don’t let the evil forces in. Giving them the power to feel safer and more stable when fighting in calm, controlled land makes the forces of evil need to make other plans, like spreading corruption with agents or taking less defended areas first. And the process of retaking destroyed land needs to take time to prevent rampant recolonization, but the reward for doing so needs to truly encourage people to want to do it.
And imagine it, if the forces of evil are finally beaten back and toppled in the late game of a Campaign, it feels a lot more impactful when you can -see- the burning scar of death and destruction they left tearing through the world.
It also makes the mad scramble to reclaim and purify the best spots a cut-throat sport, and means that there still might be fun events and conflicts even after you've 'won'.
Thank you for reading! I’m planning on making a Youtube video of this shortly to get the idea circulating more, but I’d love to hear any constructive feedback or suggestions. This is just off the top of my head, I never said that this was well thought out or put together. But is the Vampire Diplomacy add-on too much? Do you believe this will be enough to fix Chaos’s current problems? Will Beastmen EVER be good? Who knows! Also CA notice me plz I need a job/purpose in life.