In the Total War: Warhammer games, some of your armies have procedurally generated lords with randomized names and perks, while others are led by Legendary Lords, bespoke characters often drawn from the setting's history. At first the only heroes you could have roaming the land solo or embedded in those armies were randomized ones, leaving characters from the fiction who weren't really generals absent excluding the occasional text event or temporary summoning.
Since then, a handful of Legendary Heroes have made their way into the games, most notably Felix and Gotrek from the popular series of books, but also the wood elf mage-queen Ariel, Venerable Lord Kroak on the lizardmen side, and several others. That trend is set to continue in Total War: Warhammer 3, according to Creative Assembly principal writer and narrative designer Andy Hall in an interview with The Rookery (opens in new tab), though we should expect plenty more "Warhammer celebrities" to appear as lord choices too.
"We have done some Legendary Heroes now and they proved quite popular," Hall said, "so we will certainly continue with that category. With Legendary Lords they're your avatar in this world, they're meant to be you're roleplaying as them, so it makes sense to try and bring as many of those Warhammer celebrities into that role as possible. Even if, like Deathmaster Snikch, they're typically not generals, they're loners. But again, we're following in the footsteps of the tabletop. They do that as well."
On the subject of DLC, Hall didn't commit to anything specific, but did describe potential additions to Cathay and Kislev's roster as "a fair assumption to make". When asked what area we should expect to see get attention next, he replied, "Cathay, just like its Earth counterpart, is a massive space. It's a massive area and we've just touched the bit near the Great Bastion and a little bit on the west leading into the Mountains of Mourn. There is so much more of Cathay to look at if you're looking for new areas to expand. But we're also looking at all the other races, we're well aware that some of the races that have been released early, very early, need some love too."
When asked whether we should expect new kinds of DLC we haven't seen before, Hall answered affirmatively, but refused to be drawn on details. "It's fair to say Warhammer 3 is a new game and we're looking at the way we do things," was all he said.
If you were hoping Creative Assembly might have changed its mind on adding more races in the far corners of the Warhammer World since the last time Hall said "probably never" then prepare for disappointment. On the subject of Nippon in particular, he said, "Don't hold your breath. We've got a massive roadmap for Warhammer 3, we're still at the beginning of that roadmap as well, but are brand new races on it? Not at the moment."
Cathay's addition was made possible through a combination of circumstance and necessity, it seems, helped by the popularity of Total War: Three Kingdoms in Asia and the things Creative Assembly learned from it. "Cathay was like this neat situation," he said, "we had experience with an eastern audience, we needed some good guys for all the daemons we were facing, so it was like a confluence of scenarios."
While we're expecting a Chaos dwarf race pack to be announced any day now, it sure would be nice to get a bunch more Legendary Heroes further down the road. Warhammer's full of colorful characters like the dwarf brewmaster and champion Josef Bugman, the dark elf assassin Shadowblade, and Gambo Hartstock, inventor of the gourmet artillery piece known as the Halfling Hot Pot.
Total War: Warhammer 3 is currently free to play for the weekend on Steam (opens in new tab), as well as being part of a franchise sale with discounts up to 75%. You've only got about half a day left to get in on that, however, as it ends on March 13.