PAX West: Interview with Lead Developer of Total War: Warhammer II

Total War: Warhammer II has been a highly anticipated title for this year. With four new races and new features to the campaign, players will have the chance to experience the world of Warhammer like they never have before. You can check out some gameplay below.

We had the opportunity to sit down with the lead designer for Warhammer II, Richard Aldridge, and get a deeper look into what we can expect upon release.

(Sick Critic) You guys have put quite a bit of focus in to the narrative portion on Warhammer II compared to the previous. What surprises will players have to look forward to?


(Richard Aldridge) “Yes, we have gone narrative heavy, so you’ll be getting movies throughout the course of the campaign that aren’t just like the ones in the past for age and actions. These are proper full on story driven, and become part of that experience to understand why the vortex is as powerful as it is and what you are going to do. And why do these guys have these opportunities that they have now and how they cause for either positive or negative aspects, so it’s gonna be fun and each race has their own driving force in their movies to watch”

(SC) We noticed there is more water between continents than in the previous. How does naval travel and strategy change from Warhammer I, and will it affect how players approach their plans in the campaign?


(RA) “This is important alright, because there is a lot more to Warhammers’ universal map, we have crunched it down a bit because we don’t want you spending 10 to 15 turns essentially crossing the Atlantic to the Pacific. What we have done is put some shoals and reefs and points and interest that are gonna hurt you if you go through it. There’s whirlpools. There’s buried treasure. Now we can go into those, and the AI will as well and it will even give you campaign buffs or battle buffs. There is definitely a want and a reason to go and scout those out before landing and invading a new continent.”

(SC) Mixed rogue Armies are a new feature coming to Total War. Will this give these factions any exclusive abilities and units that may not be seen elsewhere in the game?


(RA) “So they are cross hybrid of races that are new to Warhammer II and also from Warhammer I and all of the different DLC’s. So you might have a treemen leading an army of dwarves, actually no dwarves are the bad ones. Sorry I shouldn’t have said that, they hate one another. They are mix and match, so that is goblins leading beastmen. There’s Chaos and empire. There is all sorts of weird and colorful combinations and the real reason about that is so you get a different fighting experience. You know, You’ll build an army and be against high elves and their bring the rain and all the arrows, so you set yourself up. When one of these guys shows up you have to figure out how you are going to deal with all of the cavalry or all the treemen coming to smash you up.”

(SC) With the added Vortex objectives, players will rush to finish their rituals to disrupt or stabilize the vortex. Will there ever be an option for players to cooperate with the other factions with the same purpose. For instance, would dark elves and skaven be able to work together to disrupt the vortex, whether it be multiplayer or solo campaign?


(RA) “Their kind of in it for themselves, but you can obviously form pacts and alliances like you could in any game. Some of them are gonna find it more difficult than others and have disadvantages diplomatically, but you can do that. What is great about it is you can have proper massive civil war battles. I was playing as the high elves with Tyrion, and malekith is just laying waste, he’s consolidating and coming over the water. Now I have a massive army and armada of warships coming at me, and if feels epic. It’s not your standard minor faction, it’s much bigger than that”

(SC) There has been a lot of hype about the “mega” campaign but also some speculation with races not being adapted to the newer races on II. How do you all take on the task of balancing of these races?


(RA) “We have started that process already, with the foundation pack that we added in. There will be a little bit of disparity here and there, but we are obviously trying to get them as uniform as possible and we absolutely welcome people’s feedback as we always do. Get on forums. Get on Reddit. Tell us what works, please, because we can do more of that and tell us what doesn’t work so we can try to fix that. The goal is every race, full staff and lots of toys, all duking it out with one another.”

(SC) What is the feature you are most excited to release to the fan base and how to you expect players to receive?


(RA) “The vortex is very very cool. It really is a nice flow and driving force behind the game, but I like the rites. Rites get pretty spicy. You get a variety of different ones with each race and it might summon specific heroes to the campaign map. So like with the Skaven you can get a special warlock and he can come in and blow a hole in the city wall and let your dirty ole rats go in and get after it. If you play the dark elves you can summon massive black arks, and a black ark is a gigantic city on water. It’s the most over the top battleship you could ever imagine and it’s going to rain down fire, bombarding the enemies.”


Warhammer fans should have a lot to look forward to with the release of Warhammer II. You will be able to get your hands on the game September 28, 2017.

Stay tuned for more exclusive content from PAX West.

One comment

  1. BowlerHatman says:

    So Nothing new then?

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