Position:Development Manager
Release Date:2016-12-08
Genre:Real Time Strategy

Total War: WARHAMMER - Realm of the Wood Elves

Realm of the Wood Elves DLC was developed by Creative Assembly, published by SEGA and released 8 December 2016.

About the Game

Realm of the Wood Elves was the second Campaign Pack for Total War: WARHAMMER and added vast amount of new content to the game. The Wood Elves were added to the WARHAMMER Grand Campaign, and in a new Story Campaign called 'The Season of Revelation'.

The Wood Elves campaign offers a uniquely different campaign experience to the other playable races of Total War: WARHAMMER. Their major infrastructure is housed in the Wood Elf settlements of Athel Loren, though they are capable of expanding outwards, capturing settlements and building limited outposts, known as Asrai Lookouts, in their stead. The heart of the campaign is The Great Oak, a unique 5-tier building related to the new Wonder victory condition.

In battle, the Wood Elves are swift and deadly, fielding many 'glass cannon' style units. While less physically robust than most other races, and with smaller unit sizes, they make up for this with excellent melee and ranged capabilities. They field some of the best archers in the game, many of whom can move and fire, and may later be upgraded with a range of specialised ammunition. They are often accompanied in battle by the woodland kin of Athel Loren, such as Dryads, Eagles and Treemen. Their spellcasters wield the Lores of Life, Beasts and Shadows.

The 'Season of Revelations' Story Campaign was set across a beautiful and highly-detailed campaign map of Athel Loren and the surrounding Duchies of Breton, The Season of Revelation is playable as either Durthu or Orion, the Wood Elves' two Legendary Lords. This campaign tasks the player with uniting Athel Loren in the face of Bretonnian incursions and, later, from a series of fearsome, climactic attacks by the Beastman warlord Morghur, and his corrupted bray-herds.

Both the Grand and Story Wood Elves campaigns focus around building and protecting a large Tree called The Oak of Ages. In the Grand Campaign, The Oak of Ages is a unique 5-tier Wonder building sited in Athel Loren which the player must grow over the course of the campaign. As the Wood Elf player advances it to each new tier, they will receive increasing bonuses to their campaign.

Growing The Oak to tier 5 initiates The Battle of The Great Oak, a climactic multi-stage assault on Athel Loren's spiritual centre by the combined and massed hordes of the Beastmen and Chaos Warriors. Victory (or survival!) marks the completion of the Wood Elves' key campaign objective.

Alongside Gold, the Wood Elves require Amber to recruit certain elite units, to unlock certain technologies, and to expand the Oak of Ages. This is a finite resource in the world however, and can only be gained by capturing settlements and setting up Asrai Lookouts.

A Wood Elves Grand Campaign may be led by one of two Legendary Lords: the demigod Orion, The King in The Woods, or the ancient Treeman, Durthu. Each begins play in a different starting position, controlling a different Athel Loren faction, and bring their own suite of campaign bonuses.

Realm of the Wood Elves included 2 new Legendary Lords, 2 Lords, 3 Hero characters and 20 new unique units.

Skills and Experience

Wood Elves was a large project completed over a short period of time. One of the key elements, the second amber currency, was controversial in the design team. There were doubts that it would work, but it came together really strongly and is one of the best features of this DLC. It encouraging the players out of their capital region (Athel Loren) and made for interesting gameplay (the currency itself isn't from the lore, it was added for the gameplay mechanic).

This DLC sold really well in the Christmas slot and showed us that making downloadable content quite far after the main game release is not only viable, but lucrative.