The Eight Princes are on their way to Total War: Three Kingdoms, and they're not coming to play Parcheesi. The upcoming chapter pack will touch off a new campaign set 100 years after the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period, with a new generation of eager youngbloods fighting for the future of the Jin dynasty.
Each of the new princes "adheres to the five core character classes of the base game," but have their own unique campaign mechanics and playstyles. Sima Yong, for instance, focuses on defense and infrastructure, and has an increased chance for Man Of The Hour events triggering after battles thanks to his talent for identifying capable underlings, while Sima Wei is an aggressive expansionist whose unique Fury resource enhances his military capabilities, but can only be generated through military victories.
Princes will advance through different faction ranks than those of Three Kingdoms warlords, from minor prince to Imperial prince, while the alignment system, built around Wealth, Spirit, Might, and Mind, will grant different bonuses and also confront players with "events and dilemmas" based on the paths they pursue. It will also "inform" your options when it comes time to choose your grandest path: To preserve the emperor and rule as his regent, or seize the throne for yourself.
And instead of the support of the people, the eight princes must win the favor of the nobility in order to achieve their goals. Because of that, "public order" will be known as "noble support" in the Eight Princes chapter pack, and just like in the real world, the needs of the rich and powerful are a little different from the rest of us.
"The sources of positive and negative noble support throughout your infrastructure are thematically very different to public order, as the aristocracy’s needs and desires are different to those of the people. Maintaining stability through noble support will depend on different building choices to the Three Kingdoms period," Creative Assembly explained. "Likewise, unlike public order in the base game, growing commandery populations do not have a negative impact on noble support."
Total War: Three Kingdoms – Eight Princes is set to come out on August 8 and can be pre-purchased on Steam for 10 percent off its regular price of $9/£7/€9.