As of now, the campaign features in TWW are very bare-bones as most people would agree.
1 -Diplomacy is quite frankly redundant in the mid-/late-game because you're better off just conquering anyone whom you can't confederate. Your allies would drag you into wars that you do not wanna be a part of and you don't really have clear information on why faction x likes/dislikes faction y.
Trade agreements are a nice way to have money early on but apart from the extra gold, they don't feel like they offer much more than that to most factions. Now with HEs and TKs it feels a lot more impactful because you have certain improvements gated behind a resource, which incentives the player to start trade agreements for reasons other than just getting money.
Currently, factions that are described and well known as being schemers and relying more on subtly/manipulation, don't feel like that at all. I can think of 4 factions where the intrigue of the court system could fit to them. Vampire Counts, Skaven, The Empire and Chaos. The proxy wars system in 3k would suit these factions perfectly imo. At least for the Legendary Lords where it makes sense. Cao Cao in Three Kingdoms is what Mannfred/Karl Franz should be in TWH. Diplomacy should be a fun feature to spend time on, not something to glance over. I rarely get into a defensive or military alliance with someone unless I'm 100% that getting dragged into their wars won't mess up my campaign.
I've had many scenarios where I would've loved to offer myself as a vassal to a powerful faction, at least temporarily so I have a fighting chance against a powerful enemy, then grow to becoming strong enough to break free from my master's bonds. Vassalage is a fun mechanic that I rarely get to see in TWH, as long as it's not something crazy like a strength rank 8 Middenlang becoming the vassal of a strength rank 23 Grimgor. Trading regions is just a must have at this point. I'd be shocked if that and capital moving don't make a return in WH3.
Also, allow us to block trade routes again via raids. This can have heavy penalties on diplomacy but adds more strategic options for the campaign.
So to sum it up, would be great if gifting ancillaries, capital moving, region trading, offering vassalage, proxy wars and giving treasury per turn would make a return for WH3. The clarity offered in the diplomacy screen of 3k is also something I think would greatly benefit WH3. Explain what certain AI personalities are prone to do, show what the consequences of my decisions are gonna be, show me more info on why x faction hates/likes y.
2 - The spy system is something I think could be a lot of fun for factions for which it makes sense to have. Humans could use this among each other, that also includes Chaos Factions that can infiltrate human society. Vampires can infiltrate human society and other vampire societies. Dark Elves and High Elves can enter any elven society. These races could really benefit from this system and it would be super thematic for them. It can add an extra and subtle form of spreading your corruption as a vampire/chaos worshipper. These spies can take the form of a faction's regular general model, but once discovered you see them as their true self. The wind of shadows is known to be used for such occasions in order to create illusions.
If moddable people could give this feature to other factions whom they think it could be fitting.
I also think that agents who are known well known for being the perfect spies should be invisible on the campaign map unless an opponent starts a spy network or patrols a region. Kinda like hot spies worked in Shogun II. Eshen Assassins, Witch Hunters, Lahmian Vampires and Khainite Assassins should be invisible on the campaign map. Again, this is all to promote the player to choose a stealthy/scheming approach and to also be wary and paranoid of enemy agents.
3 - Seasons. I really don't see a reason for seasons not to make it into the game other than it being time consuming to implement it into such a large map like ME. It adds something for the player to adapt to depending the time of the year and it can create a lot of fun and compelling situations. WEs would have a unique campaign experience among other factions due to the cycle of Orion's rebirth. The mods Grimhammer and Zarkis' Wood Elves have done a great job of implementing this immersive feature into the game and it has made me always launch attacks whenever Orion returns and return to the forests in the winter as if I'd actually be going on wild hunts.
I know one of the reasons CA said that they skipped on seasons was because they don't wanna make characters age, cause it would suck if your Karl Franz would die of old age for example. But this is fantasy. You can have both a sense of time passing while not having your characters age. Having seasons, apart from adding an extra form of game-play where the player has to change the way they play depending on the season, is also perfect for adding to narratives. TWW is a game that really pulls the player into the rich world of Warhammer. Being under siege by the forces of Chaos during a cold winter while fighting with tooth and nail to keep your stronghold just sounds awesome and I've already had a lot of cool scenarios like this in Three Kingdoms.
4- More narrative events and CIVILIANS/REFUGEES. One problem that I've had with the events in TWH is that they don't feel like they're actually happening. It's mostly just numbers that either give you buffs/debuffs. What if there were the option for more player interventions/AI actually taking actions during an event. I really hope CA introduces to WH3 are more impactful events that can change the course of a campaign. As of now, the campaign in WH feels very...dead.. An awesome new feature could be refugees. I had this idea after I played an ambush battle in three kingdoms where I had the option of sending my troops to a designated part of the map in order for them to flee the battle. Since in 3k you also have civilians in siege battles, why can't we get them in Warhammer? Imagine having not just your regular land battles, river battles, siege battles, but also RESCUE missions where you have to defend civilians by holding the enemy before they can get to all of them. Or where as an evil faction you occupy the rescue area and have more captured units after a victory. This could also add extra penalties for a faction if they lose too many civilians, and lead to rebellions. Not much happens in the campaign.
Here are some examples of what events we could get to spice up the campaign and make it feel more alive and also to change the course of a campaign.
- Have events where you get a warning of a growing Brayheard in x province which you have a few turns to prepare for.
- An event where a specific skaven faction that you're at war with has released a highly contagious plague on your empire and that THAT same faction actually uses this opportunity to their benefit by sending their armies at you or that they spawn a small stack which grows every turn for the duration of the plague.
- An earthquake which damages your region, but unearths a lost Lizardmen artefact. The closest AI lizardmen faction gets ordered to reach that treasure in order to obtain it for themselves and return to their region after that, but the player/other factions have the choice of taking that treasure for themselves. They will get into war with that Lizardmen faction for taking one of the artefacts of their old ones.
- When an AI faction sends their Black Arc near a coastal region of a neutral/enemy faction, they fire up an event where from it small armies can spawn every x turns. The player/AI faction has to destroy/make the Black Arc flee in order to end the Dark Elf pirate raid. The player can also get this event as a random low chance dilemma if they have a very high strength rank.
- An event which can occur if a general of yours is in a region with low public order for too long/has low loyalty. They get accused of wanting to overthrow you and if the suspicions are true and no action is taken, they form their own rebel faction to face you.
- A town of yours which is suspected of having chaos worshippers in it where you have to send a lord to investigate. Depending on the severity of the cult's taint/size, you have a choice 3 choices:
a) leave the town be. your lord will not be happy with this and depending on the severity of the chaos corruption might split into their own faction after one turn in order to destroy the town with its denizens (let's say above 50%).
b) kill every civilian, your lord would gain a negative trait that lowers public order and leadership within a small aura around them. You also lose a small amount of public order for a few turns in the province which you did the massacre.
c) if above a high amount of chaos corruption, you have the option of fighting against a chaos army spawned in that region via a gate and get as many refugees as you can into a designated area of the map in order to save the populace and gain a positive trait on your lord + a positive effect for that region.
And the most exciting events can be these mid-late game "End Times" style events which can completely shift the course of a campaign, such as:
- A greenskin faction which becomes so strong that they band all other greenskin factions together to launch an attack towards a set direction. It'd be a threat on a global scale.
- A late game timer where if the player doesn't capture x and y settlement, the skaven are gonna launch a doomsday device that will send shards of Morrslieb across the globe, increasing skaven corruption everywhere and adding attrition to armies + damaging buildings in random regions due to meteor strikes.
- The Undead trying to summon Nagash into the world where they ACTUALLY have to send their armies to place X and Y in order to get the necessary ritual requirements in order to summon Nagash. If the player doesn't intercept these armies and just leaves them to capturing the settlement/killing the army/gaining the treasure that they need, they'll allow them to get closer to summoning the Great Necromancer, which would lead to a world ending event where everyone can unite to defeat him once and for all.
- An event where Arkhan/any of Nagash's loyal followers has made preparations on heading to the Black Pyramid in order to cast a spell which could spread vampiric corruption across the entire world unless they're stopped and the pyramid is destroyed/captured.
Now of course for all these "end times-esque" events which are on a timer, the player would need to have enough turns to get there on time to do anything. A 10 minute interval would be unfair to a player who starts in Naggarond for example if they'd have to go all the way to the Black Pyramid. The player should also have the choice to ignore these events, but if they do ignore them, their campaign becomes gradually more difficult. It would be like trying out an in-game enabled hard mode. Of course, not all of these apocalyptic events have to happen in the same play-through nor do they have to happen simultaneously.