CK2 - Dev Diary #121 - Court Improvements

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Heptopus

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Hello! In this dev diary we will present some changes we have made to the court system. Court Management is an important part of the CK2 experience, and currently there are several code pruning mechanisms that curtail court size, making characters die more frequently when the court grows too big. Now court management has been made more interesting by, for example, lowering the aggressive pruning for player courts, creating expenses/benefits associated with a Large Court, court flavored events using the characters of the court, etc. The intention of these changes is to make the system more interactive and interesting.


ck2_15.png

The court limit as shown in the interface.


Your court will now have a size limit depending on your tier, presented in the interface (see picture above). It’s possible to influence this limit by, for example, investing in majesty tech. We have also removed prisoners from the court-tab to make the shown courtiers more relevant.


ck2_18.png

Example of expenses for a big court (can be turned off through a game rule).


To bring life to the courts, we have added some maintenance events that will give your courtiers more of a life behind the scenes, making them more interesting and fun characters by giving them nicknames, modifiers, and skills.

ck2_16.png

Give a courtier a nickname.


We’ve also made sure that any courtier “randomly” picked for generic content is more likely to be someone with good (or at least interesting) skills, a cool minor title, an interesting relationship, etc. This is done by using a scripted score value that takes into account traits, opinions, and modifiers.


We hope that you’ll have fun with this small new feature, and thank you for reading!
 

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Do prisoners count into Court Size?
Prisoners no longer count towards the number of courtiers, and their portraits do not appear in the list of courtiers. You can of course still find them in the usual Prisoners tab (under the Intrigue menu).

Nice. I'm not sure if I understand the last point correctly. I assume that it means that:
if an event calls for a random courtier the event is more likely to pick a courtier thaat has some unique feature (that it already had before, not one that the event itself gives).
So for example, events are more likely to target a Crusader-commander-court physician in my court than a complete nobody.
Am I correct?

Yes, a lot of existing content has had their "random courtier" selections updated, in an attempt to achieve exactly that. :)
 

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Wouldn't it be better to separate prisoners from other courtiers, and have different capacity limits (and expenses) for prison and for courts?

There will not be any update to the interface itself, but I agree that there are areas related to this we can still improve upon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts -- it is likely that we will iterate on this system now that we have started, and it's mostly a matter of code resources atm. :)

If there is to be an additional charge for court members, can we PLEASE remove any fertility malus that courtier might have in a large or over crowded court.

If I recall correctly a court of 30 or 40 people incurs a penalty on the fertility of certain characters in the court, perhaps if they are lowborn?

Digging around in these systems has shown some more quirks to it than we originally anticipated. I would personally like to see this addressed, but I'm afraid we can't promise it for this patch.

Maybe making children count as a fraction of a courtier (say 1/4), or having a separate extra capacity for children, would make sense without lifting limits on children entirely.

We actually considered something like this, but there are some design challenges when it comes to displaying things clearly in the UI as well (the number wouldn't match up with the courtiers shown, etc). We might be able to iterate on it in the future though!
 

IsakMiller

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While these feature sound entertaining for the player, I'm also curious how able is the AI at handling these new expenses, I don't want to see someone bankrupt over "court expenses".

This is mostly a player only feature. AI courts will still be pruned as per old code, but players will be given more choice in the matter.

Does this mean we will be able to put some form of weighting into random_* scopes now?

Yes! This has been in since Holy Fury, and can be very useful! Due to some syntax discussion with coders, it is, however, necessary to write "any_" instead of "random_", because (and I quote our tech lead) "it is the exact opposite of random". But yeah, check out the 00_scripted_score_values file for more info!
 

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I personally would appreciate it if it was easier to prune your court. Perhaps something like the prisoner screen, where you can take action on multiple characters at once. I know thats a bigger ask, but it would be really handy for QoL.

I understand the desire, and we've added a more modest version of such functionality in that there is a new Intrigue decision where you can ask multiple (presumably "unimportant", as determined by script) characters to leave your court at once.

So the "Ask to leave court" is being disassociated with owning Reaper's Due now right?

Yes, it no longer requires the Reaper's Due, and we have eased up on the requirements for the targeted decision itself.
 

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Speaking of modding, do you intend to revisit Great Works to get the converting feature you thought about working or give modders the ability to downgrade or completely destroy them?
The conversion feature is not likely to happen any time soon I think. It needs design (both gameplay and UX), programming and content support so it would take away too much resources from our other priorities.

Adding more script support for Great Works has been on the programming TODO-list for this patch and we have done some work on it. Unfortunately, a lot of mod support is likely to be missing in the upcoming patch as well, as we have been prioritizing bugfixes over modding support. I hope to get some time to rectify this before the patch, but I can make no promises.
 

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kewl
but does it affect health and fertility if turned off?

Does disabling the limit prevent achievements?

The game rule does not affect the health and fertility modifiers.
It also doesn't affect achievements. The reason for this is that the rule only restores the previous functionality and that it doesn't change the difficulty too much.
 

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The game rule does not affect the health and fertility modifiers.
It also doesn't affect achievements. The reason for this is that the rule only restores the previous functionality and that it doesn't change the difficulty too much.

Oh, you answered the achievement question. That's too bad, as it means I can't use another unnecessarily large picture to answer...
 

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If it does not affect the health and fertility modifiers, then what does it do exactly? Just disable court expenses?

In any case, could we please have a game rule that completely disables the health and fertility modifiers?
It disables the court expense and makes minor changes to the UI (so it won't display info that's only relevant if the rule is on). It also disables some events that are directly related to court size management.

I'm going to check with the team when I get back to work and see what they have to say about it.
I'm a bit afraid that there might be side effects.
 

MonzUn

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Oh, something that struck me today. @IsakMiller Will you still be able to take prisoners as concubines, since they won't be part of your court any longer?
I asked and got the answer that yes, it will still be possible as prisoners are still technically a part of your court.
They are just no counted towards the court limit.