Total War: Three Kingdoms screenshot of an army marching to war

Balance is something every game tries to achieve, yet no matter how much the developers try, true balance will almost always elude them. This is the most obvious in complex strategy games that revolve around a variety of specialized units, as changing even a single variable can have cascading and often unpredictable effects on the overall balance.

So you can imagine just how difficult of a task Creative Assembly has when it comes to balancing Total War: Three Kingdoms. Not only do they need to make sure all of the units play well in singleplayer and multiplayer, but they also need to ensure they remain equally viable in both the semi-realistic Records mode and the completely crazy Romance mode.

It is a ton of variables to juggle at the same time, and if you're like me and you're curious about how they do it, you'll be glad to hear that Creative Assembly has now released a blog post detailing just that. You can find the full article over at the Total War website, and while it's not exactly exhaustive, it will give you a pretty good idea of their approach to balance, as well as how community feedback factors into all of it.

Total War: Three Kingdoms screenshot of a duel between two characters

"My first balance fix was to decrease the damage of the defensive arrow towers, which the community had correctly pointed out were far too strong," recalls associate designer Matt Perkins. "However, when the patch went live the community suddenly found it was now impossible to hold unwalled settlements without a garrisoned army. The arrow towers no longer did enough damage to enemy heroes, who would now kill the entire garrison with impunity. Maybe this wasn’t as easy as I first thought…"

Personally, I'd love to see more of these types of articles, as peeking behind the curtains of game development is always quite fun. Until such a time comes, however, you can share some of your balance concerns with Creative Assembly over at the official forums. You might not get a direct response, but as Perkins himself said, it'll probably get a place in the ever-growing balance document!