CK2 - Dev Diary #121 - Court Improvements

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!
 

Arrnea

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Question: Doesn't "Ask courtier to leave" require Reaper's Due? What if I don't have the DLC, will my court continue to expand indefinitely?

Per the dev earlier in this thread, the "Ask to Leave" interaction will no longer require The Reaper's Due DLC.
 

Castios

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Royal households are huge, and include all kinds of mundane jobs like laundry workers, cooks, maids, etc. CK2 vastly simplifies things by not including all of these extra people, even though plenty of in-game courtiers are not any more high-born than a random maid or stable boy. A lord would often have multiple cupbearers, for instance, and they would serve in shifts. Replicating a medieval court faithfully would probably justify its own game, like a medieval version of the Sims.

Some examples:

A witness wrote of Charles the Bold of Burgundy (after a long passage outlining all of the major positions in his court): And although the duke of Burgundy is prince and lord of the most beautiful cities of the world, his household is so large that few towns can be found to lodge all its members, and often other towns and villages must be used too. (Burgundy is an extreme case here, but obviously courts had a lot more than 30 people)

The 1354 ordinances of William V of Holland record an issuance of liveries of cloth to 6 nobles, 12 knights, 11 clerks, 38 squires, 23 garcons, 16 valets, 2 ladies, and 4 damoiselles. That's 112 people important enough for the lord to justify buying them uniforms. It doesn't include other random people and workers around the court.

That's truly fascinating. I assume court size was somewhat proportional to importance and wealth of the lord.
 

Darkhosis

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The main reason for this, I believe, is performance related, much like the aggressive pruning. Every character adds a significant calculation load (for events, interactions, etc.), so reducing their number helps reduce lag. One thing to keep in mind when talking about "optimization" is that it increasingly comes with tradeoffs like this.

From my experience, this 'lag' or when game starts getting significantly choppy is more a function of size of my dynasty.

In current game, dynasty size is only 250, but court size is a bit over 1000 people. Not having any issues with choppiness yet.

In an older game that I'll never finish, dynasty size is ~5000, with court size of 300-400. Will have this thing where game will run a few days, then hard pause for a few seconds, then run a few days, etc. It gets worse the longer you leave the game going (so save/exiting and reloading makes it run better, for a bit).

ed: Not even sure how it's possible to keep court size under 20 ... maybe for the first few years if you start as a count & some non-polygamous religion that doesn't allow concubines?
 

XuTPoBaH

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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.
upload_2019-5-3_21-13-39.png

well it seems that my epic ironman breeding campaign is doomed... :(
 

CatilinamSum

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This is excellent, but I have one suggestion. Majesty, Legalism, and Tolerance are already objectively the best options in the cultural tech tree. Why not give the courtier limit to Noble Customs/Popular Customs depending on government type, thus giving us a reason to invest in those techs instead?
 

fr-rein

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I wish we could systemize a bit more interaction with maids/buttlers/etc in our court... I mean, not have them all as in-game characters, no, but have court (as on entity) have some opinions/reputations towards its members and for outsiders having opinion on it depending on:
  • Piety (such a court attracts holy people and scares away less pious)
  • Prestige (sum of prestiges of characters, important for making a person consider joining court)
  • Fancy upgrades - more maids, permanent eunuch, unnamed concubines, better accessibility of jesters, dwarfs, tying court doctor to this mechanic, adding better beds, cutlery, food (yes, feasting would become better!), vines and alcohol, BARD even!
  • On traits - well, I mean, you could have hedonistic courts, knightly courts (Round table-like), trading courts, satanic courts, etc as an addition that changes some infractions
  • You could more accessibly flirt with servants, deal with them later, have their loyalty (influences your intrigue more reliably than a similar event), tap lowborn debutantes for free and so on. Thus, you could ask a maid to spread rumours about rival or spy on husband. Disloyal servants could let assassins get you... but at least they wouldn't be influenced by tyrannical modifiers!
  • Religion (depends on court policies)
These are just main ideas that could be done. Of course, it means that each primary title of vassal is a court... but well, it could be simplified so that only dukes and above have courts while lesser lords would have a simplified event interaction with servants.

I know it is a bit too much for an update like this, I really like how the court is being reworked anyway and just hope that masaaaaaybe could get somewhat around a suggestion I made, being a specific entity similar to characters (having attitude, limited attributes) and at the same time being holding-like while tied to title.
 

Mindel

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That's truly fascinating. I assume court size was somewhat proportional to importance and wealth of the lord.

Of course. These things eat up a lot of money, and the lord has to pay for it.

In 1426/27 Philippe III of Burgundy had about 400 household officers and servants.

By the time of his son Charles, the household had about 1600. Not counting visitors.
 
Last edited:

Urzhail64

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Can I give "Court Lackey" as a nickname to my courtiers?

And after watching "Versailles" there should be an event for homosexual rulers to cross-dress and beat up members of the same sex for making fun of him/her (with a nod to Vlahos' "Monsieur" character)
 

STABBY5

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This is great. It took some years but ever since holy fury Ck2 has become the most well refined paradox game. The new events are nice but has anything been done to address event spam? I seem to get visitors from the mythical realm of Hindustan every month an I can become a bit much. I'll note that this is from the context of someone who plays multiplayer a lot just going constantly on 3 speed. There is typically someone who gets a ton of events and has to pause it.
 

Arrnea

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Boss Llama

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The limits as seen feel low, given who the game considers to be courtiers, and the mechanic feels a bit forced as described. While I certainly acknowledge that there are costs associated with large courts, there were a lot of types of courtiers, and many did not live in the castle or on the ruler's dime. The queen's ladies, or the king's grooms? Definitely they did. They were often young nobles in training, hired in to the household to make good connections and serve the king and queen. A monarch's close advisors (councilors) were typically powerful in their own right, with substantial income of their own, and land or estates where their family lived (again, not as courtiers and not at the ruler's expense), a home near court for themselves, and their own servants, staff, retainers, and favorites. They didn't serve for pay from the monarch - they served for power, prestige, influence, and on occasion perhaps, actual sense of duty.


I love the idea of a more interactive court - I'd just like to see more control over it before it suddenly starts becoming just another meddlesome restriction and cost. Everybody at court who is there on my dime should actually serve a purpose, and I should have authority over what that is. To be a groom or a lady in waiting was a specific and desirable honor, so let me designate them with minor titles, and better yet, a court interface window! A landed noble shouldn't cost me anything - that's the point of landing them - it gives them their own income. The cost of promoting a low born commander, which is comically high given what costs and incomes often are in the game, I always assume is the cost of providing them with an unseen fief or estate to give them sufficient rank and income for their new job. There's little reason they should have additional cost beyond the already extravagant cost to promote them in the first place.


I'd love to have an interface where I could control my court through choosing to spend larger amounts on it and granting those minor titles. There should be a certain default availability at no specific cost (the current game), but with commitment of increasing monthly amounts (NOT SCALED), provide options to upgrade my court. Higher amounts spent could translate to "higher end" courtiers requesting to serve you, more prestige, a bonus to acceptance when inviting people to your court, all that stuff. Then there's actually a return on the cost, so it doesn't just feel like punishment for playing normally. This would also integrate well with the new minor titles that have become available through building Great Works, as those figures would then have a place in your court, and the decision to add them would be something more than just creating a "+5 opinion" position to toss around.


Basically, as with other things I've argued in the past, make it carrot and stick, not just stick. Right now, it's basically "we're adding a punishment for failing to sufficiently micromanage something new - your old play style is invalid." It should be "We're adding a mechanism where you can choose to do something new in order to obtain something desirable. You won't lose anything if you don't, but you'll gain things if you do."
 

Castios

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Limits do seem fairly low. I guess we will kinda have to micromanage our court and kick out unimportant characters in order to increase quality of life of everyone else in our court.
 

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Thank God this is not compulsory. The idea of a hard cap on courtiers disgusts me. I LIKE having too many courtiers. I like to have special families or odd people reproduce under my watch, in hopes that I might one day give them a title or do something for them. The role play and AAR potential in particular is relevant as well!

I DON'T like pruning. I understand why it must exist and I am glad it is there for older computers, but I REALLY would prefer the choice of if pruning happens and, if so, how much. I would also like to toggle the limit on births in court, and if so, by how much. MY PC CAN HANDLE IT, MAN!
 

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TheDungen

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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.
You should add foreign culture to that list.