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Total War: WARHAMMER 2 Pre-Order Free DLC brings Winter to the Old World

Total War: WARHAMMER – Norsca

Winter is Here

Total War: WARHAMMER Norsca

On Aug 10, 2017, the Norsca DLC came down from the North bringing an army of ice trolls, skin wolves and Frost Wyrms upon the soft southern lands of the Empire. If you happened to pre-order Total War: Warhammer 2 (which releases September 28th) then you also got the Norsca DLC for free which is a great bonus, if you did not the price is $9.99, which when compared to previous DLC’s is not bad considering how much content you actually get. Everything about the Norsca feels new, from the monstrous units to the way you raze enemy cities and turn them into shrines for your chosen God; even the two new lords feel completely different from each other, one who plays like an unrelenting assassin and another that stomps through battle “eating his enemies” (his words, not mine). Norsca is the perfect distraction to hold you over until Warhammer 2 is released and you will not be disappointed with the depth of this DLC; so go ahead, pre-order Warhammer 2, get the free Norsca DLC and show all those that not only does the North Remember but that the old Dark gods still live. Of course, if that isn’t enough to convince you, then I urge you to stay awhile longer and listen to some details that may satiate your curiosity.

Grand Campaign: The Old World

Starting out the DLC on the Old World Campaign your first choice will be between two brand new faction lords:

  • Wulfrik The Wanderer
    • Strong melee fighter that later has abilities letting him freeze enemy Lords and Heroes to a standstill.
    • Unit roster focuses on Marauders but can get skin wolves, war-hounds and trolls
    • Gains access to mounts, including the War Mammoth
    • Starts in an area that is good for pillaging
    • Unique Spell: Seafang which uses the visage of a giant ship that goes through all enemy units in a line (3 uses per battle)
    • Immune to fear and all units cause fear, making his enemies tremble before him
  • Throgg
    • Amazingly strong melee fighter that starts off with passive regen
    • Unit roster focuses on monstrous beasts like war-hounds, ice trolls, and skin wolves. Can still use Marauders
    • Receives no personal mount
    • Entire army is immune to all attrition
    • All trolls gain a resistance buff
    • Unique Spell: Copious Vomit where Throgg barfs green vile liquid on his enemy (3 uses per battle)
    • Unique Building: Cave of the Rocky Throne which grants buffs to all trolls

Having always been a huge fan of monstrous armies, I immediately chose Throgg and was not disappointed; my first battle I waded into a unit of marauder spearmen and tore them apart while barfing all over the enemy general. It just felt right stomping all over the humans as a giant troll but it was even better watching the war-hounds in action. Granted, the war-hounds behave just like Dire Wolves from the Vampire Counts (still my favorite faction) but the new ice wolves also slow the enemies they attack which means finally putting an end to any and all annoying archer units. After getting a province under my control, I set out to start pillaging the gold hoarding dwarves that are right next to Throgg’s starting position and this is where it really gets interesting. I attacked a minor settlement of dwarves and quickly put them under my troll foot, then after the battle when it comes time to choose what to do with the newly conquered town you will see a few unfamiliar options:

  • Shrines to the Dark gods
    • There are 4 dark gods that you can choose to build a shrine to on the ruins of a settlement
    • Each Shrine will give +6 favor toward that god and -2 favor toward all other gods
    • There are 3 favor levels per god, with each level giving a new perk
      • Level 1 = 30 points
      • Level 2 = 60 points
      • Level 3 = 100 points
  • Shrine to the Hound
    • Level 1: +10% Melee Infantry Weapon Strength
    • Level 2: +100 Unit Experience per turn (faction wide)
    • Level 3: New Regiments of Renown HellCannon Unit
  • Shrine to the Crow
    • Level 1: +20% Casualty Replenishment Rate (faction wide)
    • Level 2: -4 Wound Recovery Time (all characters faction wide)
    • Level 3: Unleashes a map wide plague against the Capital Cities of factions except your own, causes +100 Chaos Corruption to the cities affected
  • Shrine to the Serpent
    • Level 1: -10% Upkeep for all forces in your faction
    • Level 2: +5 to Lord Recruit rank
    • Level 3: Chaos Sorcerer: Kihar the Tormentor will fight for your faction, starts at level 30 with a chaos dragon
  • Shrine to the Eagle
    • Level 1: +20% to Research Rate
    • Level 2: +20 to Winds of Magic starting amount for entire faction
    • Level 3: Allows Lord recruitment of Azrik the Maze Keeper who also starts at level 30 with all skills unlocked

Looking at the list above, it is really difficult to choose which dark god to follow as all have benefits that are pretty nice so it really comes down to what you need for your play through. If you want to try and lock down enemies on the campaign map perhaps devoting fully to the Crow might help you out by creating rebels in enemy capitals and crippling their armies with chaos attrition? Or perhaps the thought of a dark sorcerer atop a Chaos Dragon sounds too good to pass up? The choice is your own and having fun trying out the possibilities is what adds another layer to the game.

Same old campaign but with a surprise

The rest of the campaign plays out just like always, but there were a few surprises in store that shook things up. I won’t spoil anything as it ruins all the fun but overall I really enjoyed this DLC and will be replaying more than a few times. I do want to spend a few minutes talking about the marketing tactics that were used though, as I think any Game Development studio might be able to leverage it for themselves. The current promotion is of course: If you pre-order Total War: Warhammer 2 for $60 you get the $10 Norsca DLC for free, now I am a big fan of the Warhammer universe and I really like playing the Total War version so pre-ordering was already on my to-do list; adding the DLC for free as a perk, however, was a welcome bonus. Usually, when you get a pre-order bonus it is delivered when the game releases as either some skins, an early release of a new faction or some in-game items, but this time we got something we can use before the game we pre-ordered was released and it feels great. It also has the power to give someone new to the Total War: Warhammer series a reason to get Warhammer 1, after all, why would you bother getting Warhammer 1 when Warhammer 2 is coming out relatively soon? A quick side-note, there is also another reason to get Warhammer 1, as promised sometime shortly after Warhammer 2 is released both Warhammer 1 and Warhammer 2 worlds can be combined into an epic campaign that will let you use any race from either game. The connections being made between the first game and the second game is both staggering and a welcome change of pace; far too often a sequel to a game comes out very shortly after the original and ends up superseding it completely but in this case, there is value in having the first game.

I shall reward your loyalty (with free stuff)

When Indie game developers are making games, we should be looking to reward loyal players who are buying and playing your games and what better way than to link their new purchase to an older purchase. Given the development freedom an Indie Dev has over the games they are creating this is significantly easier than if you are working for a large game company or doing contract work, so there is no reason not to try. If you make a sequel to a game, you can create a new character or storyline in the original that gets unlocked when you either pre-purchase or purchase the sequel; likewise, you can unlock references in the sequel based on choices the player made in the original. For games that are not sequels, find some way to create a crossover, maybe costumes or drops from different games that the player might already own; at the very least you can offer some discount for repeated purchases as a sort of Customer Loyalty program. Finding a way to connect your brand with the customer is, of course, the first step in creating a relationship but adding in little perks along the way makes sure the customer never thinks you are forgetting them on your way to success.

Leave any questions or comments below.

Good Luck in all things,
Hikati Games

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