Last week I talked about some of the free features we're putting into the upcoming patch 2.1 (i.e. the free parts of the Rajas of India expansion.) This time, I thought I'd round that off, and next week we will finish this cycle of dev diaries with a Q&A thread!
Why not start off by talking about the promised revised decadence system that people have been clamoring for since, well, the release of Sword of Islam? Admittedly, there were many issues with Decadence; for example, the fact that all unlanded men of your dynasty generated decadence regardless of their virtue, which is strange and unrealistic. Gameplay where you automatically tend to imprison your relatives if you cannot give them land is also repetitive and, again, not very realistic. So the system needed revision, and now was the time to do it. With the new system, only characters with the new Decadent trait actually give decadence to your dynasty. Landed characters are less likely to pick up the trait, as are Zealous, Diligent and Just characters, etc. The net effect is that decadent characters are rarer but have a greater effect than before. To make it more interesting, we've removed the free imprisoning of dynasty members for Muslims. Instead, you get a chance to convince Decadent characters to straighten up. The outcome depends on your own attributes and those of the target character. If you're diplomatic, for example, he might be easier to convince. If you're learned, you might get him to go on the Hajj, which will automatically remove the Decadent trait, and so on. If you fail, you do get a reason (i.e. no opinion penalty with vassals) to imprison the character, as a last resort.
Another issue with the decadence system was that it did not really serve to encourage you to land your relatives; you just imprisoned them instead. Thus, in the event where a close relative asks you for a title, there is now a risk that he might start an adventure against you if you refuse, and this is likelier in Muslim realms. Lastly, we've increased the fracturing effects of losing a decadence revolt a bit more.
Ok, so that's the new Decadence system, which is fairly unrelated to the general theme of the expansion (although it should now be more interesting to play as a Muslim, with India to your east...) A change that was absolutely necessary with the bigger map, however, was a form of diplomatic range. We did not want Irish counts marrying Indian princesses, etc. Thus, we added a distance threshold for most diplomatic interactions, as well as for councillor jobs. It's a simple enough change, and the range also happens to be precisely right to stop Norse pagans from marrying West Africans (a pet peeve of many people, since the religions are both in the pagan group.)
What else have I got for you? Oh yes, the Steam integration stuff. We've added support for Steam Workshop and multi-player matchmaking, just like we have in Europa Universalis IV. (I predict the big mods will have some issues to sort out, however, since there seems to be a file size limit in Steam Workshop.) In a similar vein, we've also added Borderless Windowed mode. For those who don't know what that is, it's basically that the game is actually running in windowed mode, but it appears as fullscreen, so you don't have to tab out of the game; other windows can be open in front of it.
Since the save game converter to EU4 is a long-time commitment, we are of course going to support converting your very own India to EU4 as well. Jainism is thus a new religion in EU4, etc.
That's about it! There are tons and tons of other improvements, of course, but you can ask about them when we post the full change log for the Q&A thread next week.