Total War: Three Kingdoms Showcases Improved Diplomacy System

via PCGamer -The upcoming Total War: Three Kingdoms may be one of my most anticipated titles for 2019, and if you’ve read my article on the state of modern RTS’s you would know why.  Creative Assemblys Total War franchise has been one of the most consistently solid strategy series in the industry for some time.  Even some of the more mediocre entries have still delivered a unique combination of massive real time battles and intricate turn based management of your faction.  However, lately the latter element of Total War has been losing ground to more dedicated strategy simulations such as those put out by Paradox Interactive.  As described in the article, the diplomacy of previous Total War games has been fairly broad and simple, at least compared to the nearly infinite number of political machinations at your disposal in Paradox titles like Crusader Kings II.  The usual step by step approach to diplomacy in TW games goes something like this; non-aggression pact, trade agreement and eventually an alliance of some sort.  Most of the time if you have enough gold you can just bribe a faction into doing what you want.

If  Dynasty Warriors  had any influence on the development of this game, then my man Lu Bu is NOT gonna be somebody you wanna mess with.

If Dynasty Warriors had any influence on the development of this game, then my man Lu Bu is NOT gonna be somebody you wanna mess with.

According to the gameplay videos featured here, Total War: Three Kingdoms promises to have the deepest diplomacy mechanics of any Total War game yet.  It makes sense for Creative Assembly to place more emphasis on this area of the game since its primary setting is that of the historical Three Kingdoms period in China; a time heavily romanticized for its cunning and brilliant military leaders, constant political intrigue and an ever shifting landscape of alliances being forged and broken.  Now players will not be limited to simply offering gold as an incentive but will have access to a variety of resources, such as food and even territory, that they can use to haggle with opposing factions depending on their individual needs.  The AI will also take notice of the value of these resources and will make counter-offers accordingly. Throw into the mix the usual host of proposals, such as arranged marriages, financial loans, promises to assist in war and you have a recipe for some genuinely interesting back and forth deliberations.  Another new feature I find interesting is the introduction of coalitions, a sort of unofficial alliance where factions work together towards a common goal. This replaces the non-aggression pacts featured in previous games and require a far more proactive stance compared to their predecessor. Now players need to actively work towards improving relations with their coalition partners rather than passively waiting for their turns to pass.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the single player “grand strategy” portions of the Total War games, especially the Warhammer entries, though I am conscious of their inherent limitations.  I am extremely excited to see what new gameplay elements Creative Assembly has brought to this aspect of the game.  I look forward to becoming immersed in the turbulent struggles for domination, vying for position amongst foes and allies and battling with massive armies and the larger than life leaders who commanded them.  With each new bit of news that is released I become more convinced that Three Kingdoms may be the most definitive Total War experience yet.