Total War: Warhammer 3's gargantuan Immortal Empires campaign is five weeks away. We've known since last month that it would be appearing in August, and in a developer Q&A published today Creative Assembly finally gave us the specific date: August 23.
If you're not au fait with Immortal Empires, it's the sort-of-sequel to Mortal Empires, a campaign that launched with Warhammer 2 and combined the factions and maps from the first two games. Immortal Empires, then, unites the whole trilogy in one absurdly large world war.
The release date came at the end of the Q&A, but there are some noteworthy nuggets in the rest of the video.
We won't, for instance, be visiting the Realm of Chaos seen in the main Warhammer 3 campaign. It makes sense. The whole point of the system was this race to defeat daemon princes in survival battles, traversing maps with no construction or conquest. It's such a specific system, and one tied to a specific story, that it would be an awkward fit for Immortal Empires. Also, the Realm of Chaos proved to be pretty divisive. I enjoyed it for a few campaigns, but Immortal Empires' appeal is that it isn't like the more experimental Realm of Chaos campaign—it's a more traditional conquest-focused deal. But massive.
I don't see this changing, but that isn't to say other changes to the campaigns and maps won't occur. In fact, they're pretty much guaranteed. "[Warhammer 3] is going to be an ever-evolving, ever-changing campaign," says game director Richard Aldridge. "We know we're going to be adding loads of new content over the course of time for you to enjoy, so expect years worth of fantastic experiences ahead. And I dare say we will change the map and who's in it and everything else along the way."
Victory conditions are also being tweaked. There will still be short and long variants, but they'll be more thematically appropriate for the faction you're controlling. For the short ones, you'll have objectives specific to your legendary lord, while the long ones will be racial victory conditions. Ultimately they'll mostly be pointing you towards specific settlements and tasking you with wiping out another faction, but they'll make more narrative sense.
Naturally, factions are being slightly reworked to fit the new campaign, though these won't be the massive overhauls we've seen previously, like the big Greenskin update that dramatically changed Warhammer 2's orks, introduced new lords and added them to the Vortex campaign. But you will see things like altered tech trees and new starting positions. Some have been changed more than others, like how Norsca is now a traditional settled faction, with the outpost system being tossed out.
I recently jumped back into Warhammer 3 and started a new Realm of Chaos campaign with Cathay, but now that I know exactly when Immortal Empires is coming out it's going to be hard to go back to the original campaign. I'm extremely eager to get my hands on it, even though I'm anticipating some long-ass turn times. And remember, this is going to be a beta; it's going to have some issues. I'd rather get the janky version now than wait a few more months for the polished version, but it's worth tempering expectations.