The latest expansion for Total War: Warhammer 3 is here, and Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs brings a variety of big, excellent hats with it. New DLC time is also new update time, taking the perilous fantasy grim-em-up to version 3.0. Tucked away in the "general updates" section of the patch notes is a mention this update has "introduced a new pack file limit that increases the number of mods that can be hypothetically run simultaneously (barring any cross mod issues)."
That's a boring way of saying what William Håkestad, a Creative Assembly designer working on Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC, announced to the Total War modding Discord in a more exciting fashion: "The new packfile limit is 65,534 simultaneously. Your move."
Each mod is a separate packfile, and as Håkestad went on to explain, these games used to have a much lower packfile limit. "This was set to 256 at some point during the age of the dinosaurs due to being stored in 8 bit," he said. That included the game's own packfiles, making the number you could pile on even less. Having too many wouldn't automatically crash your game, but the results wouldn't be good. "The game was intended to fail when this limit was exceeded, but a bit of a fluke occasionally allowed the game to continue to function, however, only 256 of your packfiles would actually be running, and the game's stability would be severely affected."
Even at the height of my mania for modifying the original Total War: Warhammer with beer-throwing catapults and HeroQuest goblins I don't think I even made it as high as 50. Still, for those who like to go mod wild, having the number of working packfiles boosted will be a blessing. And, Håkestad said, "If you somehow, manage to exceed the new 65,534 limit (we're storing in 16 bit now!), you will now get a popup telling you to please reduce your packfile count below that number. Just in case."
Given that there are less than 10,000 mods for Total War: Warhammer 3 on the Steam Workshop so far, you might have some trouble managing to hit the new limit. Maybe modders will see this as a challenge?
Response to the other changes in update 3.0 seem positive, with players praising improvements to unit behavior like pursuers chasing down enemies that rout and single-entity units engaging lords, better siege AI, and a small but welcome change to diplomacy making distant lands more likely to settle for peace. Early testing makes it seem like the new line-of-sight changes, like decorative objects no longer impeding gunners, will finally make things better for units with firearms too. Which is nice, because the Chaos Dwarfs sure have some big guns to go with their big hats.