There Are Shadows Of Change Coming To Total War: Warhammer III
There’s DLC And Then There’s Creative Assembly DLC
Strangers In Strange Lands; Meet The Changeling, Yuan Bo, and Mother Ostankya
If you were disappointed that only The Empire bothered to send expeditions to the New World, then Shadows Of Change is up your alley. Joining the fun on that continent are both Cathay and Kislev, as Yuan Bo left his stronghold in Cathay to establish a foothold and Mother Ostankya decided to go shopping and there isn’t anyone who could tell her not to. Meanwhile, The Empire has a new visitor in the form of The Changeling who is impossible to pin down, not just because he and his armies spend most of the time invisible and uncaring of trespassing but because it can be pretty much any hero it wants to be … eventually.
Creative Assembly are up there with Paradox for their DLC, instead of offering new hats they add huge new swaths of content and tend towards the benevolent; if the host has content, at least some of it is available to other players. In the case of Warhammer III that means buying only the third installment of the game gives all players access to the full Immortal Empires map, if not all the races. As with everything else this comes with a cost, and costs are going up. The Shadows Of Change DLC will be the most expensive released as of yet to cover how prices have inflated over the year; though they wish it didn’t have to be.
Regardless if you purchase the DLC or not, wrap up your campaigns as everyone gets Update 4.0!
The Deceiver, Pandemonium Is My Name
Emperor Karl Franz thought he had it hard, working to unite the squabbling Empire of Man under his rule. That was before The Deceiver showed up to make things far more … interesting. The Deceiver appears in the heartlands of the Empire, with a completely invisible army while in normal stance, to sow Chaos throughout. While you can certainly raze the cities of Man, it is far more amusing to set up Chaos cults instead of occupying a city.
The mechanic borrows from the Vampire Coast and Skaven, once you have taken a city you can set up one of a variety of Chaos cults which unlock the ability to build your various settlement buildings. Some of these buildings make it easier to detect your presence so your host can try to eradicate your cult, others make it more difficult and it is up to you how you want to balance that. As you should expect, ruins make for perfect havens for your cultists so you can ensure your enemies don’t grow in strength, but you may lose out on Favour, Grimoires and Cult supply income. You will definitely need Cult supplies as that is what is mostly spent to construct buildings.
As you progress in your play, you will be able to take on the form of more and more heroes from the other races when you are in combat. While you lose your own spells and stats, you become an exact replica of the other lord at your level which can be quite entertaining. The Deceiver has broken up the entire map into theatres, in which each has a set number of specific goals to further your plans. This will have you travelling far and wide to ensure that everyone gets to be the butt of at least one of your jokes.
Yuan Bo’s Excellent Adventure
Yuan Bo has ventured forth from Shang-Wu in the Celestial Riverlands, but he hasn’t abandoned it nor his duties to Cathay. Landing in the New World with Dark Elves to the south, Hexoatl to the north and some rather savage Orcs all around, The Jade Court has it’s work cut out for it. Thankfully you have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you along, in the form of Jade and Stone. While your armies still benefit from a balance of Yin and Yang, you don’t have to keep your research and buildings balanced as you do with the more sedentary Cathay races.
The Jade Empire in Shadows of Change benefits from Steel and Stone, gained over time but sped up by winning battles, taking settlements and constructing certain buildings. You can spend your reserves on a variety of boons, including some powerful ones that require both resources to be spent. As the Jade Administrator you get two unique skills, a very powerful Emperor’s Executioner to use against enemy heroes in battle and far more control over the Celestial Compass. As you progress you will be able to point the compass in new directions for a host of new benefits, though it can make balancing them a wee touch more difficult. There is a sea lane relatively close by where you start, should you wish to flee or require offshore employees.
This area of the map was already crowded before Shadows of Change, so expect to have a lively experience as well as an interesting choice a few turns in.
Mother Ostankya Is On The Hunt For Potions
It’s hard to find a Kossar in the forests near Naggaroth, which makes it beneficial that the Hag has access to new troops and a slightly modified research tree to boost them. The new troops function best in the woods but even giant spiders are no slouches out of the shade of the trees. To boost your pets you have access to Curses and Blessings, which are similar to Grom the Paunch’s recipes but with very different effects. To craft one requires the expenditure of Spirit Essence, another unique addition to Shadows of Change.
Spirit Essence is mostly gathered from your fallen foes, but maintaining a low corruption in your provinces also helps you gain it more quickly. This resource is used for the research that improves your unique units as well as providing detrimental enemy unit effects, so make sure you don’t spend it all at once. There are also larger things to spend it on, as Mother Ostankya searches for the ingredients that brought her to the New World in the first place.
As you have no interest in the machinations of the Church, you also have no interest in Devotion nor Supporters, the wilds are all you need. The need to expand your arsenal of curses will have you travelling far and wide, just as with The Changeling, so eventually you might be able to add Kislev’s usual units to your armies, should you so wish.
Another Indecent Addition To The Fated Place
There are no nice races left alive in the Warhammer world, you need to claw, cast or connive a place in this world and all three new races in Shadows of Change have a decent chance at doing so. Once again, mixing a unique gameplay mechanic or two into a new combination creates a new unique experience to a familiar game. This DLC doesn’t come with custom scenarios like some previous ones have but it will change the flavour of an Immortal Empires campaign, whether you buy it or not.
If you are looking to expand your Warhammer III experience, Shadows of Change offers three new interesting ways to create an Empire to last the ages.