WH3 has yet to see a traditional LP along the lines of WH1 and WH2, but this doesn't mean that we should discount them coming back in the future. In fact, many of us are expecting things like the Monkey King facing off against a Norscan invasion led by Sayl the Faithless (of which I believe has been hinted at from CA even, correct me if Im wrong), or for Tamurkhan to square of against Elspeth von Draken, Jubal Falk or some other Nuln-related character. In any case, LPs were the core of content additions in WH2 and some of them are still highly regarded as models for later content additions. This thread will be part of a series where we'll discuss specific LP ideas, based mostly on thematic lorefriendly rivalries. We're not gonna discuss especially obvious ones, like those mentioned above, simply because they have been talked about for so long and are well hashed-out in the mind of the community. We'll instead turn our attention to less immediate, but still reasonably relevant in the sense of content addition. Which brings us to the first topic of discussion:
THE CAPTAIN & THE ADMIRAL
Tullaris Dreadbringer VS. Yin-Yin the Sea Dragon
The context of this potential DLC revolves around the WH3 update/rework of the Dark Elves, as well as the either 2nd or 3rd (last) addition to Cathay and it is set to come either during the midpoint or towards the end of WH3's lifecycle. This is because there are more obvious updates like those mentioned above to push out first. Think of this coming, shall we say, somewhere in 2025 or 2026. In the context of the game, the Monkey King has been released for Cathay, bringing in Monkey Warriors and the like, or whatever CA has planned for that addition. Whether or not Li Dao has been added as well depends on CA's timetable for bringing in Ind and Khuresh (and he'd be the FLC alongside) or if for some reason they want to pit him against another race in his own DLC (although his starting position would be useless without Ind/Khuresh being playable areas). This also matters for the Dark Elves, since then for example Lokhir could be moved downed to Ind to make room on the Cathayan coastline.
Lore & Context in WH3:
So what is the background of this idea? Well it rests upon notions that are well-established in both the pre- and post-WH3 lore concerning Cathay and its relationship with the Dark Elves. In the pre-WH3 lore of Cathay, what little there was, you could say that the Dragon Empire had 2 main enemies, atleast when it comes to those that threatened its interior heartlands, aside from the Monkey King's incursion of course. One were the chaotic minions of Tzeentch, who's disruptive cults was a constant thorn in the side for the Emperor, especially in the city of Beichai. The other were the Dark Elves, who preyed upon the Cathayan coastline as vicious raiders, with the noteable destruction of Khairith Irlean at the hands of an army of Witch Elves. Now, with the WH3 revamp of Cathayan lore, both of these rivalries have remained largely the same. In fact, in the marketing of WH3's release, Cathay and Tzeentch were portrayed as highly antagonistic rivals and were used against eachother in showing their respective contents. So while that first rivalry can be argued to have been established in-game (and thus unnecessary to push with another DLC), the conflict with the Dark Elves remains largely unexplored, beyond Lokhir's placement in the northern part of the coast in Immortal Empires. With Nippon and the Lost Isles of Elithis likely not implemented even by the point of this DLC's addition, if ever, the fight for control of the Jade Sea will have to take place on the coastline itself. Currently, that is a fight between Lokhir and his Vampire Coast allies against Nakai in the south, with Sniktch blocking the way for both Miao Ying and Zhao Ming, who already have bigger fish to fry in other directions.
Implementation (RoC or IE/Story):
The goal of this DLC is to introduce a Cathayan element to this fight, while rearranging the Dark Elf side of things. How can this be done? Well, this all depends on the future of the Realms of Chaos campaign. Right now, the RoC map stops just short of the Cathayan coastlines in the east, posing a significant problem, especially for Yin-Yin. While map expansions in WH3 are certainly possible, they have never been done for the "base game map", but only for IE. The only times the base game map has been changed, it has only been provincial reworks. Now of course, it is technically not necessary for either Yin-Yin or Tullaris to start in the Cathayan coastline, but any other viable locations are hard to come by on this map. With both being naval-focused characters (one as an raider/invader and the other as an order-aligned admiral set to defend), it would have to be in a port. This will leave both parties to have to start in the Dragon Isles (which should be reserved for Tetto'eko when he brings the Lizardmen to WH3) or somewhere in either Norsca or the western Chaos Wastes (literally on the other side of map/world from their supposed context). Without a map expansion for RoC, this would be very far from ideal, which brings up the question of making the DLC an IE-only one.
What would be the story and campaign objective of the respective lords? If they somehow show up in RoC in their proper context, there is little to no chance that they'd be participators in the Souls race. Both of them have either better things to do (like pillaging) or are too busy containing other threats to be able to participate. The premise for Tullaris is easy enough to guess, Khaine has imparted some quest for him through visions that involves quite a lot of slaughtering and his mechanics would be centered around that. Perhaps something like Tehenuain's sacrifices to Sotek, Tullaris is to sacrifice X amount of souls to Khaine in order for him to be empowered to conquer the world, ya da ya da. The more he slaughters, the more bonuses he recieves. As for Yin-Yin, beyond an objective of cleansing the coastline, a certain focus would be to combat the cults of Beichai. There could also be a goal of building up enough of a military to satisfy her father after her disastrous expedition to the Southlands.
Speaking of militaries, what content would this DLC add? Well broadly speaking, it would be a Khainite expedition against an either naval-focused or general-focused force from Cathay. This side of the DLC is not without its issues however, especially for the Dark Elves, who by unit-content is one of the most complete races in the game atm. Most of what this DLC could potentially add for them will had to be drawn from lore blurbs and far-off sources. The most obvious addition is the Black Ark Fleetmaster, an anti-infantry duelist lord, which is pretty much their only 8th addition content left. Then there things like Draich Masters, champion versions of what they already have. There are Spellthirster and Royal variants of the Hydra, where the former is resistant to magic and the other is more armoured through its bony armour plates. To be frank, the Dark Elves could do just fine only getting an FLC LL and a slavery rework for WH3, but if the imagination is there, they can bring a full DLC's worth of content. Certainly, Shadowblade would be a prime candidate for LH for the Dark Elves as well.
As for Cathay's side of things, it really depends on what the Monkey King adds in the first update. Assuming for the moment that it all has to do with monkeys and Li Dao comes later, Yin-Yin would be the first oppertunity for Cathay to extend its regular military. This can be done within a reasonably naval-focused way by taking the Jade Fleet into account, but also by looking at what combat roles the nation is missing. One of the missing pieces is a standard mainline gunpowder unit, like the Empire's Handgunners. Granted that Cathay already has a lot of missile infantry, it mostly revolves around crossbows and either short or very long range gunpowders. There is now Cathayan gunpowder equivalent of mid-long range gunpowders. Implementing some sort of Jade Warrior Marines could change this. Cathay also has no missile cavalry, but in order to spice things up and not just add unit variants, plus to fit it into the naval theme, one can imagine some sort of Jade Warrior Corsairs mounted atop flying Ki-Rin "unicorns". Ki-Rin could also be the mounts of choice for the Lords and Heroes added with this DLC, assuming we continue the Jade Warrior/Naval theme. Cathay needs a melee hero (that is not a monkey) and a Jade Captain would serve this handsomely. As for lords, a Jade Admiral with a skirmish play armed with a pistol or a rifle would also serve Cathay well at this point. Another option would be Male Shugengan lords in order to fully represent the Dragon lineages. When it comes to centrepieces, Dragon Turtles, maybe with a cannon strapped to them (mirroring Bastiladons) are a forerunner, while we could also see Jade Lions or Temple Dogs if they haven't been added by other updates.
Finally, the FLC portion and specifically, what FLC lord would come alongside the DLC? Well, assuming that Li Dao either comes as FLC next to a Khuresh race or gets his own DLC, the only Cathayan candidate left would be Yuan Bo the Jade Dragon, ruler of the Central Provinces. Beyond that, there are a myriad of options, with perhaps the Monogods in the most urgent need of more campaign options. Certainly there is also the possibility of getting Kouran Darkhand for the Dark Elves as well, either as a LH or non-ruling LL for Malekith or as his own faction. Without knowing more of WH3's future, it is difficult to speculate.What do you think guys? Should this DLC come for WH3? Do you agree with the hypothetical content? Should the Dark Elves rather be treated through FLC? What Cathay DLCs should there be after the Monkey King comes? Should Tullaris or Yin-Yin rather face someone else?