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Thread: Does Anyone Else Think Traits Are a Bit Too Arbitrary?

  1. #1

    Does Anyone Else Think Traits Are a Bit Too Arbitrary?

    *rimshot*

    But seriously, I think that character traits don't really mean anything as far as the game goes.

    Characters gain almost all of their traits during childhood or during feasts, fairs, and hunts. Aside from these periods, there is little else to do that impacts your character. Sometimes your character gets events with only one option that makes them lose a trait, but I think this is a heavy-handed way of shaping characters. Why can't I decide to make my king combat his laziness in the event where he loses the diligent trait? Why doesn't the game give me a choice when he becomes a craven loser or a brave leader in the midst of battle? Why can't I say to not go on a diet when my king loses the gluttonous trait? If my diligent, brave, patient, and kind son becomes lazy, craven, and wroth; he should do it because something serious happened to him, and not because he simply held four hunts in two years.

    I remember I got an event that had me choose between hedonism and celibacy. I chose the celibacy route and it gave me a number of follow up events where I had two choices. While I was admiring this event, I thought to myself why more traits could not follow a similar vein. If my king is diligent but feeling lazy, I should be able to tell him to push through at the cost of some health, money, vassal opinion, or whatever and have a chance to keep the trait. If he is arbitrary, he should be able to stay arbitrary even if someone tells him to stop.

    I think that traits tack on too early and too frequently. I know that this post is a bit wanting. My idea sounded a lot better than I can write down, but I think that things should be more dynamic. Anyone agree? Thoughts? I know that Paradox already included an enormous amount of events in the game, and I don't mean to come across as whiny or greedy. I mostly find myself sitting as the time passes waiting for something to happen to my character, and because he has gained almost all of the traits he is going to get already, not much happens.

  2. #2
    Major merserm's Avatar
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    Based on the title of the Post. I think traits are too arbitray in this sense....

    Since I can only educate 2 children at a time I am forced to allow others to educate. (Which I like.)
    But even though I always give kids to my best vassals/coutiers, those children end up with very random traits.
    I hate this because in theory the children should be similar to the educator. But they are not.

    The children do seem to be likely to be in the same "job family" (like midas touched/fortune builder/thifty?), but educated traits seem too random.

    -----

    Per the original poster -
    I also would like to see more random events with choices for your character, and choices for the you as liege to guide your court/vassals.

    Perhaps it would be nice see ambitions that help shape your character traits?
    i.e. Ambition: People say I am coward....Success Trigger: Character must lead a unit in X combats....Result: 80% chance to lose Craven, 20% chance to gain Brave.

    With ambitions you could eventually reform a crappy king into a decent with years of effort? Rather than just hoping he/she dies...

    Thanks
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  3. #3
    Star Swirl the Bearded Baneslave's Avatar
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    The reason why AI tutors are not very good at educating their traits to children is because there is randomness in AIs current event choices. In fact, because cruel tutor is more likely to whip the child, they might be the best of all tutors.

  4. #4
    I don't really have much to add except I completely agree with the OP (I'm taking a break now in fact as I'm totally discouraged with the whole random/arbitrary manner in the way traits are treated.)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FromasterG View Post
    *rimshot*

    But seriously, I think that character traits don't really mean anything as far as the game goes.

    Characters gain almost all of their traits during childhood or during feasts, fairs, and hunts. Aside from these periods, there is little else to do that impacts your character. Sometimes your character gets events with only one option that makes them lose a trait, but I think this is a heavy-handed way of shaping characters. Why can't I decide to make my king combat his laziness in the event where he loses the diligent trait? Why doesn't the game give me a choice when he becomes a craven loser or a brave leader in the midst of battle? Why can't I say to not go on a diet when my king loses the gluttonous trait? If my diligent, brave, patient, and kind son becomes lazy, craven, and wroth; he should do it because something serious happened to him, and not because he simply held four hunts in two years.

    I remember I got an event that had me choose between hedonism and celibacy. I chose the celibacy route and it gave me a number of follow up events where I had two choices. While I was admiring this event, I thought to myself why more traits could not follow a similar vein. If my king is diligent but feeling lazy, I should be able to tell him to push through at the cost of some health, money, vassal opinion, or whatever and have a chance to keep the trait. If he is arbitrary, he should be able to stay arbitrary even if someone tells him to stop.

    I think that traits tack on too early and too frequently. I know that this post is a bit wanting. My idea sounded a lot better than I can write down, but I think that things should be more dynamic. Anyone agree? Thoughts? I know that Paradox already included an enormous amount of events in the game, and I don't mean to come across as whiny or greedy. I mostly find myself sitting as the time passes waiting for something to happen to my character, and because he has gained almost all of the traits he is going to get already, not much happens.
    I think it's because they are patterning after the real life trait of "free will" instead of I am your GOD you will BE what I TELL you to be. That's why you don't get a lot of CHOICES. Traits that are begat during childhood tend to stick with you throughout your life....hey...just like in REAL LIFE. Plus back then children didn't seem or get to REVOLT against their parents or dial 911 when they got a spanking they deserved. You behaved or you got your head cut off or assassinated....man the good ole days. lol

  6. #6
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    Traits should be earned. Education should give a profession and some minor stat changes (+2 to stewardship, -1 to martial).

    Thinking a bit larger, players should get experience and level up. Leading war gives war points. Assassinations give intrigue points. Building buildings should give stewardship points. Researching stuff should give learning points. Points could then be invested into traits (maybe make traits tiered, aka Brave I gives +2 martial, +5 opinion, while BRave II gives +4 martial and +10 opinion) and so forth.

    Much like titles (The Great, The Flatulous) are sometimes based on a player's actions, traits should be earned over time.

    Theres enuff stuff that could be reserved for education/childhood/birth, such as deformities, capabilities (genius, attractive), profession, and maybe 1 virtue and 1 sin each.

  7. #7
    Agreed that traits could be shaped better by world events during the lifetime. While the tutoring system is good maybe kids could emerge at 16 with a few less traits and gain more during adulthood.

    Ambitions for expanding your holdings, religious ones for building or giving away churches, etc etc.

    I'm happy with the stewardship exploit but i think maybe it should be scaled based upon your income ie 500 when you earn 5p/m and 1000g when you earn 20g/m to make it more of a challenge. It would be nice to be able to improve some of the other stats in this manner either using intrigue or traits.

    However... I think there is too much emphasis on being good... ie the bad traits are exactly that and for the most part useless. We should be able to make that evil character and still have a use for him/her! I'm not sure how difficult it would be to revamp opinion but it would be nice to rule by fear or at least get huge gold boosts etc etc give us a reason to actually pick bad traits! You could maybe go the other way and if you get too many good traits you are too kind and that character can't declare war, just defend the realm?

  8. #8
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    Some or even a lot of randomness in traits is fine. That's how things work in real life too. You can't always easily trace them back to some event or decision in real life historical persons. A non-overlarge random chance that a perfectly fine child or vassal will go bad is very realistic... and sometimes good is found where you wouldn't expect it, too.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NewbieOne View Post
    Some or even a lot of randomness in traits is fine. That's how things work in real life too. You can't always easily trace them back to some event or decision in real life historical persons. A non-overlarge random chance that a perfectly fine child or vassal will go bad is very realistic... and sometimes good is found where you wouldn't expect it, too.
    I agree NewbieOne as I think all too many players want to "Mold a Robotic" image of the type of ruler they want instead of play with the "box of chocolates" life really gives you.

  10. #10
    i think OP and all the comments have very very valid points.

    My 20 cents;

    1. Traits should affect decision making as well and allow for certain events to fire so that you could go about making more decisions. To be a little more clearer, for example if I had the Wroth Trait, there should be some events that could fire because of the Wroth Trait. Like insulting a visiting diplomat that then causes a series of unfortunate events, like a casus belli on your lands and county etc... with various options that are somewhat painful or easy to overcome depending on the severity of the offense. (now imagine this for every single trait as a possible function of each other)

    2. Traits should also be inherent, as part of the 'dna' of the father and wife. These should be allowed to be overcome as well, but at great cost, sacrifice, or life changing events. Like having a slothful, shy, chaste son who is sent to Crusade for a decade and comes back becoming a Brave, Homosexual, Wrothful, Son. So maybe not exactly what I really wanted, but at least better than a lazy shy boy. So essentially the possibility to change but difficult and a healthy dose of randomness.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterofMagic View Post
    I agree NewbieOne as I think all too many players want to "Mold a Robotic" image of the type of ruler they want instead of play with the "box of chocolates" life really gives you.
    When I read this opinion, I wonder if people are not maybe afraid of a deterministic view on things. Determinism means that your actions have consequences, and events result from your actions much more often than from chance. More randomness means less accountability. More determinism means more responsibility.

    And *I* see determinism as a quality factor in games. Randomness is a necessary evil and sometimes it's not even necessary. There's enough going on in CK2 to make it impossible to plan entirely. I see no reason why randomness should play a part as significant as it does now.

    People on this forum sometimes write "I wanna roll with the punches". Wouldnt you much rather roll with deterministic punches? Punches dealt to you as consequences to your actions in the past, rather than random punches for no good reason at all?

    I don't understand that attitude at all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lessing View Post
    Traits should be earned. Education should give a profession and some minor stat changes (+2 to stewardship, -1 to martial).

    Thinking a bit larger, players should get experience and level up. Leading war gives war points. Assassinations give intrigue points. Building buildings should give stewardship points. Researching stuff should give learning points. Points could then be invested into traits (maybe make traits tiered, aka Brave I gives +2 martial, +5 opinion, while BRave II gives +4 martial and +10 opinion) and so forth.

    Much like titles (The Great, The Flatulous) are sometimes based on a player's actions, traits should be earned over time.

    Theres enuff stuff that could be reserved for education/childhood/birth, such as deformities, capabilities (genius, attractive), profession, and maybe 1 virtue and 1 sin each.
    I like these ideas very much. Especially the "experience and level up"-feature. Although this should be applied to all characters in the game - for sake of justice. This could mean a rather substantial alteration of the game and a lot of work though.

  13. #13
    Field Marshal Lessing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duragas View Post
    I like these ideas very much. Especially the "experience and level up"-feature. Although this should be applied to all characters in the game - for sake of justice. This could mean a rather substantial alteration of the game and a lot of work though.
    It's not like it'll ever happen. We're talking about fantasy CK2 as much as people are talking about fantasy football.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterofMagic View Post
    I think it's because they are patterning after the real life trait of "free will" instead of I am your GOD you will BE what I TELL you to be. That's why you don't get a lot of CHOICES. Traits that are begat during childhood tend to stick with you throughout your life....hey...just like in REAL LIFE. Plus back then children didn't seem or get to REVOLT against their parents or dial 911 when they got a spanking they deserved. You behaved or you got your head cut off or assassinated....man the good ole days. lol



    This isn't quite the issue i believe. The problem isn't really the randomness of it , i think its more the lack of power over anything. I know you are playing the character , not yourself , but i guess we would like to have more influence on it. But influence in a realistic way as well.


    For example when you tutor you kid its very easy to get 4-5 very good traits. I mean theres a dialog , it says "so and so is afraid of spiders". You can pick option A which makes him Craven , Option B which has a very limited chance of removing Craven (there is always a "pray to god" choice which gives piety and does nothing). OR you can choose "fear is the mind killer" and gain Brave. Now i won't say Brave is 100% a good trait , it comes with 2 down sides (one being random -15 to relations with envious coutiers , tho who really cares) , and the person is more likely to die or get hurt in combat. But generally speaking , you get to learn which traits are good and bad , and overall Brave is a good trait. The benefits out weight the negatives (being craven should give + to health imo to make it a real choice i guess). So every time you get this event , you pick the same thing. There doesn't seem to be a way , or reason , to define your people differently.

    Further to this , the randomness isn't really believable. IF i got routed in combat and my king was leading , i think then the event that makes him Craven could be believed. But as it stands its just a random chance any time you are in combat. You might have 30,000 troops and destroy a 10,000 stack. You might have done it 5 times already. But randomly , you get Craven for seemingly no believable reason (and if that is a realistic occurrence to you , id argue the game handles it in an unrealistic manner). Like wise you randomly get "im tired of being nice to everyone , feel my wroth". Um ok thats nice but why......... People don't just suddenly change core philosophies for nothing. If your Wife just cheated on you in game , or your wife tried to plot to see you dead and most your vassals joined in , THEN YES you would probably stop being so nice to everyone. But you would never randomly throw your hands in the air and have a complete personality change due to no circumstance.



    So i think traits , and the changing of them should relate far more strongly to whats in game , and what choices the player can make in game. IT does this in some area's but really seems to fall short. Like someone with charitable cannot choose to aspire to be rich. Someone humble cannot try and become exalted among men. Id have loved to seen this all extended further and in a way that gives control to the player. IF i lead armies all the time , i should eventually get the Brave trait. If i constantly put people under house arrest , i should get the Kind / Just traits. If i uphold truces and treaties , i should become honorable. Like wise if i execute vassals i should become wrothful. If i sit over my demise limit for too long , perhaps greedy. If i assassinate alot , perhaps envious or some other morally bad trait. And with all of those negatives , i think they should have been realistic choices. Being wrothful gives a small martial bonus , but for a ruler relations are everything , its a no brainer which trait you'd prefer.

    Anyway rant finished. I agree with the op.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by merserm View Post
    Based on the title of the Post. I think traits are too arbitray in this sense....

    Since I can only educate 2 children at a time I am forced to allow others to educate. (Which I like.)
    But even though I always give kids to my best vassals/coutiers, those children end up with very random traits.
    I hate this because in theory the children should be similar to the educator. But they are not.

    The children do seem to be likely to be in the same "job family" (like midas touched/fortune builder/thifty?), but educated traits seem too random.

    -----

    Per the original poster -
    I also would like to see more random events with choices for your character, and choices for the you as liege to guide your court/vassals.

    Perhaps it would be nice see ambitions that help shape your character traits?
    i.e. Ambition: People say I am coward....Success Trigger: Character must lead a unit in X combats....Result: 80% chance to lose Craven, 20% chance to gain Brave.

    With ambitions you could eventually reform a crappy king into a decent with years of effort? Rather than just hoping he/she dies...

    Thanks
    Yeah I noticed the tutor of the children has no impact on the children's traits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lessing View Post
    Traits should be earned. Education should give a profession and some minor stat changes (+2 to stewardship, -1 to martial).

    Thinking a bit larger, players should get experience and level up. Leading war gives war points. Assassinations give intrigue points. Building buildings should give stewardship points. Researching stuff should give learning points. Points could then be invested into traits (maybe make traits tiered, aka Brave I gives +2 martial, +5 opinion, while BRave II gives +4 martial and +10 opinion) and so forth.

    Much like titles (The Great, The Flatulous) are sometimes based on a player's actions, traits should be earned over time.

    Theres enuff stuff that could be reserved for education/childhood/birth, such as deformities, capabilities (genius, attractive), profession, and maybe 1 virtue and 1 sin each.
    This sounds like a good idea.
    "A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment-a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man's nature-is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule. Such a society destroys all the values of human coexistence, has no possible justification and represents not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man's survival" -Ayn Rand. Read about the nature of Singapore regime on 'exposingsingapore' blog

  16. #16
    Yeah I noticed the tutor of the children has no impact on the children's traits.
    If YOU are the tutor they do because you get choices on what traits the child might have. Most of the time you don't get specific picks but a % of a chance, but, there ARE some cases where you DO get to PICK which one they get.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Baneslave View Post
    The reason why AI tutors are not very good at educating their traits to children is because there is randomness in AIs current event choices. In fact, because cruel tutor is more likely to whip the child, they might be the best of all tutors.
    Which is a pretty awful view of raising kids, if you think about the implications. Not saying it wasn't common in the era, of course, but even in the Middle Ages tyrannizing your kids wasn't what everyone did, and in the game it almost never backfires. Occasionally the results contradict common sense, for instance, birching a child out of being cruel. I realize that medieval parenting techniques weren't exactly unicorns and rainbows, but come on...

    A small but useful change to add some balance would be, for example, giving a small - independent - chance of gaining a negative trait every time you whip your kid. Severe punishment for misbehavior develops obedient children, of course, but it also may make them deceitful, constantly afraid, weak-willed, resentful, pathologically shy or violent. As it is, the best thing you can do if your kid isn't being a precious little angel is to beat the everloving Christ out of him every time he does something wrong, and you're assured to get a happy, ethical, well-adjusted adult.

  18. #18
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    IMO traits are earned by life experience, and I totally agree that the way it is now is way too random. It would be cool - like Holistic Cookie said - if you sent your son on a crusade, he would gain some life experience in the form of traits.

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