With recent resurrection of 3K, which made me very happy, I hope if it is possible, CA please come back for one more patch, one DLC. Please bring us the DLC that was promised, the Northern Expansion. Please, CA PEASE!!!
Hello to all 3K fans and happy 3K’s 3 years anniversary, it has been awhile. Today is the 1-year anniversary of the discontinuation of 3K support by CA. It has been a year of pain for all 3K fans. Some of us are still angry. Some have been high on copium and hopium, while imagining what could have been of their beloved game ever since. I too have passed that phase.
Nevertheless, we have to move on; we have to look into the future. The new 3K is inevitable, so today I want to write about things that I wish CA would keep, change or improve from 3K and brings them to the new 3K. Also, I will talk about things that should be added and removed in order to improve the new game because 3K is not a perfect game. There are things that 3K did very well and things that it lacks.
I know some of you might think that why I forgive CA so easily. The thing is I still don’t forgive them for what they did to my beloved title but I am willing to look at the bright side and give them one more chance (or you can say that I am in the high doses of PURE COPIUM). I don’t know but in my gut it says the new 3K might be good, so I will give a chance. If you won’t, it is okay. I 10,000% understand.
Without further ado because this will be a long post, here are things that I want to see happens in the new 3K.Things that they should keep, change, improve or remove from 3K. To be honest, most aspect in 3K should be kept and bring over to the new game. It could be a bit hard to pinpoint the things that 3K did right because there are many of them, so I will try my best to write it down.
1. The Vivid World of Han China – the world of 3K is colourful and vivid. It suits the tone of Romance of Three Kingdoms, which is the story of heroes and great deeds. I know that art is subjective but this direction makes the game so much life and feel of grandeur.
If you zoom into the settlement, you can hear that itis full with sound of people living there. These little details make the game so much more fun.
2. Han Dynasty Aesthetic – this is obvious but not many Three Kingdoms media do so. So, when I saw the character design and unit design were inspired by the true Han era armour, I was happy. However, I would say they should go deeper. There is much more to go around with Han era armour. CA just touch on the tip of it (which is mostly based on an AMAZING film “Red Cliff” by John Wu). There are many cool designs and looks that CA has not used in game yet.
This is the same with the weapon too. I know we are the one that asked for Zhanmajian but CA, that is not a Zhanmajian that is huge chunk of iron. It is cool but the real Zhanmajian is cooler.
Another thing that I am glad that CA change between the reveal and the release was the change from using Xiaozhuang（小篆） , small seal script, which was more of the Qin era thing, to Lishu（隶书） , Clerical script, for the faction flag. I am glad, so I hope that in the new 3K they would still go with the Han era design and feel.
3. Character Centric and RPG Aspect – This is arguably the best thing 3K has added to the series. It brings a new aspect and depth to the game and so far, 3K did a great job of introducing this mechanic to the series. However, I think it has so much more potential.
Assignment and Character Background are well done but Wuxing is doing too little. I wish there is something more to it like more effect or unique bonus for every class. For example, there is really a point to make any classes other than Sentinel or Strategist. The only choice for generic heir is Commander. Would it not be cool like each all stats important to every position like Administrator, Leading General, Faction Leader, Heir or PM?
It could be high Instinct heir makes your character in the faction move further in campaign map or high Authority character as administrator could give public order. Moreover, there should be a way to customise more like when you hit certain threshold (let say 50,75,150,200) you can choose some effect that can specialise your general even more.
Next, Guanxi should be more impactful I think the Guanxi Overhaul - Enhanced Relationships, Events, and Stories mod by DonkeyWorld (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2002137134)
is good example of what Guanxi can be.
4. Multi – Resources System – Troy gave us what it is like to have more than just gold to work with in campaign and it should be in every Total War game from now on. The new 3K should not have any excuse not to include this into the game. Moreover, rice is one of the important currency during Han dynasty. Court official salary was paid in rice. My take would be Coin, Rice (Food), Wood, Stone, Iron and Gold.
5. Han Imperial Court and Young Emperor Mechanic – Young Emperor Mechanic is now good now with restore the Han mechanic I think it is an amazing mechanic but there should be more ways to use the Young Emperor.
With 1.7.0, the Imperial Favour, it is a good addition to the game, but like other mechanics in 3K, the current version is too bare bone and it is only available in certain period of time and end right after the emperor is overthrown. It has so much more potential to be much more but it is limited by the condition.
Imagine something like Rome 2 court that that allow you to play the politic in the Han court and climb the rank by using political move and scheme. I think this should tie with faction rank too. With enough deed and prestige, you can be promoted or something. Since at the start of the game, Han still has some power and the Han court was somewhat relevant until the ascension of Cao Pi. Cao Cao, Yuan Shao and many more had rank in the court. I think it could be cool if there is Han imperial court that any characters from Han faction can be a part of. This will be separate court from faction court.
Of course, the Han Imperial Court will be dissolve if the Han Empire is destroyed or we decide to overthrow the Han and create our own kingdoms and the New Imperial Court is created that include all of our characters and our vassal’s faction leader and administrators so the mechanic can be used every states of the game.
6. Multiple Start Dates – Multiple start dates are stable thing in most of 3K game. In TW3K, it is sold as DLC but I think the base game should come with multiple start dates from the start. With this, you can return to faction or character as DLC. However, some might find this a bit underwhelming, so in my next point I want to suggest so way to make 3K, Start Date and Faction as DLC might be more appealing.
7. Narrative vs Sandbox Campaign – Narrative and lore are the charm of Three Kingdoms, but it can be tricky to slap lore and important character moments or events into sandbox game. The current game did it pretty well, but sometimes it brings bugs and sometimes it can make the game feels limited.
However, removing the narrative from the game entirely is not a move because many like it. Therefore, I think it would be cool if CA separates campaign into two modes: Narrative Mode and Sandbox Mode
Narrative Mode would be where you to experience the story and important event of 3K era. Similar to the current 3K campaign, however, I would like it to be more focus. I would reduce the amount of faction that can be played in the narrative campaign. Since we have multiple start date, there will be plenty factions to play in this mode.
For example, In Rise of Warlord (190), there can be Cao Cao, Yuan Shao, Liu Bei, Sun Jian and Dong Zhuo as playable factions. There might be a few faction but this way, the narrative can be more focus and detail. It should not be only the follow the lore campaign too. Even if this is called Narrative campaign, it should give player a way to influence the story too. CA can make dilemma or choice event more meaningful and impactful. Reward both the follow the lore and the one that try to make the what-if scenario.
Moreover, this can be part of the DLC strategy too. Faction DLC should come with Narrative campaign for that faction in every start date that they are present.
In Sandbox, this is the purest form of TW experience. With no-script event, you can explore any start date and situation in your own way. You can all the major faction is playable. Imagine Shogun
8. Province System – During late Han dynasty to 3K era, there were 13 provinces. It was larger administrative division that consists of multiple commanderies to explain it in the game term. Province is a huge part of 3K. I was sad that they did not introduce this concept into the game. This will give player a short-term goal for conquest and with it, CA can introduce something like edict in Rome 2 that you can mandate to the Province that help you in campaign or new position in court like governor.
9. Regional Recruitment and Unit – with how large and diverse Han dynasty China was, I think each region or province has their whole unit roster. I didn’t mean entirely different roster but something like Rome 2 or in the game Knight of Honour where there are some units that fill the same role but come with various of visual, stats or ability**.** Imagine Rome 2’s Tribe Spearman or in the game Knight of Honour.
For example, in the northern region like Ji, Yan, or Bing province, they might have a better cavalry with superior stamina and charge, and they dress differently from their central plain or western cavalry.
In the south, horse is rare, so they might can’t recruit cavalry until they can buy horse from other faction, and their cavalry might be a bit worse than other region, but they might have a superior infantry that can withstand the element of the southland like heat and rain.
In Xu, you can recruit Xu unique unit. In Jing, you can recuit Jing unique unit. I think you get the idea.
Not only, this will make each region is unique; the visual of soldier from different region will make the game feel more diverse and interesting.
10. Faction Unique Unit – Base game factions’ unique unit is pretty boring. There are only two factions that have an interesting unique units (Ma Teng and Sun Jian), other faction unique units are like better archer and better archer with heavier armour (looking at you Liu Bei). However, the late DLC faction has a much better unique unit design.
Things like different type of unit in the faction unique unit rather than the light and heavy various of the same unit, unique mechanic or active abilities makes them feel truly unique, so I am not worried much about this aspect of the new 3K. However, please, CA, make a better Rapid Tiger Infantry such a bad unit for a badass name and please make Tiger and Leopard cavalry two different units please.
11. Yangtze and Yellow River – These two rivers, Yangtze and Yellow, should have been the more significant part of the map. It should be more than just a highway for army to march up to Luoyang. Yellow river should be the nature barrier that separate the north and central plain**.** Yangtze river should be this mighty wall that protect the southland from Cao Cao.
These two major rivers should be more defensible than this. Crossing the river without the proper crossing and in the wrong season should be more punishing**.** I think it is such shame that the rivers do not have more strategical role in the game and I hope it will be better in the next one.
12. Gate and Pass – We all know what we want. WE WANT MORE GATE PASS AND NO MORE DRIVE THRU GATE PASS. It sucks to have AI just casually walk through my Hu Lao Gate. Please fix, CA.
These are my suggestions. There are more but these are all that I can think for now but if you guys has more suggestion. Feel free to write it down and maybe CA will see this, and we will get more news soon.
In the end, the new 3K will come eventually and let us hope it will be a better game than what we got and I hope they will not cancel it. If either of that happens, we all know what to do, my fellows 3K fans. Thank you for reading.