Rat apocalypse comes to Total War: Warhammer 3 with new Vermintide endgame

Does anyone do patch notes quite like The Creative Assembly? There may be more details in the blog post for Total War: Warhammer 3's 2.2.0 update than there are Skaven in the End Times, and that's saying something—because as I understand it, Vermintide is literally the rat apocalypse. Today's post details a huge range of changes, additions, and balance tweaks, but the most exciting to me is a brand new endgame full of angry rat men.

Warhammer 3's Vermintide crisis is a new endgame scenario for its Immortal Empires mode that sees a Skaven invasion happening across the world. Here's the description from the blog post: 

"Burrowed deep beneath the surface, the Skaven are expanding their underground empire to the farthest corners of the old world. With Warpbombs ready to turn your settlements to ash plus hordes of vermin spewing out from the dirt in the name of the Under-Father, willing factions must race to wipe the major Skaven factions off the map and put a stop to the Vermintide. But tread carefully, for every Skaven clan that’s yet to be slain makes the erupting undercities even deadlier."

If you're a PC gamer first and a Warhammer lore-knower second, you probably associate Vermintide with the excellent co-op action games from Fatshark. If you check out the patch overview video above, you'll catch a fun little nod to the Fatshark's heroes, the Ubersreik Five. Unfortunately they aren't coming as crossover DLC, but that's something Fatshark and Creative Assembly should definitely consider once Darktide ships.

Judging by responses to the patch notes, the most popular change in 2.2.0 is to settlement battles, reducing the frequency of fights at minor settlements. If those settlements only have small garrisons, they'll play out as land battles instead. AI armies have been made more aggressive in general and smarter about assaulting settlements (apparently they had a bad habit of climbing ladders when a settlement's front door had already been busted open). Agents, too, are supposedly smarter, and thus less likely to stand around glowering at each other.

Despite some significant AI changes, it sounds like more are still on the way.

TW:WW3 Skaven

(Image credit: The Creative Assembly)

"We have received quite a lot of feedback related to AI and game difficulty," the blog post says. "While we’ve been fixing significant issues, we also felt it was a good opportunity to increase the aggressiveness of the AI. However, this is a double-edged sword: for players that are already struggling with the game, this has the potential to worsen the experience. We will need a lot more feedback on this topic to decide if these changes are correctly balanced."

The 2.2.0 update also comes with a new "Regiments of Renown" DLC pack of free speciality units for Grand Cathay, Khorne, Kislev, Nurgle, Ogre Kingdoms, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch factions, and a novella's worth of changes across factions.

The Creative Assembly is planning to release patch 2.3, focused on fixes and balance changes, in November, and promises "some especially exciting stuff in 2023."

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).