Hello again folks! Stay a while, and listen. The highlights of today's third and last Sword of Islam developer diary are Muslim Casus Bellis, revised combat mechanics and cultural buildings. You know the drill by now; I'll talk about both some unique Sword of Islam features and some free stuff that comes with patch 1.06.
THE SWORD OF ISLAM
Our direction with the Sword of Islam expansion is that Muslims should have an easier time expanding, but have an additional layer of internal strife in the form of the Open Succession Law and the Decadence system.
Muslim Casus Bellis
Muslim rulers have three new options for conquest:
- They can declare Holy Wars on anyone not of their own exact brand of Islam
- They can use a form of the Invasion CB for the cost of 500 Piety
- They can conquer any province bordering one of their own for 50 Piety (vassalizing the current count if possible)
Pious Muslim rulers can thus easily expand, although they lose 2 Piety per month while attacking a brother of the faith (same exact religion.) The councillor job to fabricate a claim is thus less useful for Muslims, but can still be handy versus islands or juicy coastal counties.
Revokation of Duchies
Duchies (emirates) are not considered to be intrinsically hereditary, so Muslims are allowed to revoke duchy titles at no opinion penalty from other vassals. This is also a good way of properly landing your sons to avoid gaining Decadence. (Incidentally, the Byzantine Empire is now allowed to do the same thing, though it does not have the Decadence mechanics.)
Dynastic Imprisonment and Execution
Another Muslim exception to the normal rules is that they are allowed to freely imprison and execute men of their own dynasty, except for their own sons. Brothers and uncles are the usual targets for these Decadence reducing purges...
In the Muslim world, there is no proper equivalent to Bishoprics, so Temple Holdings are treated exactly like Castles, except for their different set of buildings. You gain Piety for having a Temple Holding in your demesne, but they are slightly poorer and provide smaller levies than their Catholic equivalents (in order to balance them against the investiture mechanics.)
Muslims do not need to bother with a voting process when passing laws; they just spend an amount of Piety. However, there is still a cooldown and Crown Laws can only be changed once per ruler. The vassals will also still get upset in the same way as Christians.
To represent the Jizya tax (a special tax that should, according to Sharia law, be levied on infidels), Muslims gain a 25% tax bonus from infidel counties and a 10% tax penalty in Muslim counties. This creates an interesting dynamic where it's not always obvious that you would want to convert an infidel province to Islam. However, there is a special event where this happens anyway, even if you don't send in your Court Imam to convert the populace.
That's pretty much it for the Sword of Islam expansion, although I'm sure to have forgotten about many minor little changes and tweaks.
THE 1.06 PATCH
Alright, so here are a few more freebies coming your way soon with the 1.06 patch...
Expanded Combat Tactics
We have added a bunch of more (and more decisive) combat tactics, to make combat less predictable and to tie in with the new Commander traits...
We have added a special type of trait called Commander traits. These are only available to characters with a Martial education, and give more specific bonuses to the character's ability to lead various troop types, and the choice of combat tactics. Characters gain one or two Commander traits when they finish their education. The effects of the Commander traits directly scale with the Martial skill of the character.
More Culture Specific Buildings
One thing that many people have requested is a broader range of culture specific buildings, and who are we to argue? We have added loads of these to give more variety and flavor.
Destruction of Titles
You are now allowed to destroy ducal tier titles and above, at a hefty Prestige cost. This will greatly upset (-50 opinion) all vassals who are de jure part of the destroyed title. You cannot destroy your current primary title.
Apart from some minor improvements, the AI is now better at jumping on rulers who are already embroiled in dangerous wars (though it's still not excessively aggressive about this.) I've also spent a bit of time on attrition avoidance for AI armies, and the AI will now assault besieged holdings when appropriate.
That's it for dev diaries for now. Next week, we'll post a short AAR by a member of the dev team!