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CK2 Dev Diary #69: Another Journey to Tibet

Greetings!

We’ve previously had a DevDiary about Tibet, where we talked about the new provinces, cultures and religions in the area. That was quite some time ago, and we’ve since then improved the area even further! We want to ensure that the area is both interesting and fun to play in, so we’ve put some work into making it just that - with an improved title setup and additional interesting cultures.

Tibet 2.0.png

The province density in the area has been increased - Counties in Tibet are now roughly the same size as those in Persia or Transoxiania, both in order to present a more appealing historical scenario, and to make the area less of a chore to actually play in (with the old Counties, it could take months to move armies between them).

Note that for those who fear that this will decrease performance - we’ve done plenty of work on it, and all our tests show this version of the game to be the fastest yet.

Tibet 2.0 Cultures.png

In the very earliest start dates (769 and 867) there are still going to be remnants of two ancient cultures that existed in western and northern Tibet, the Zhangzhung and the Sumpa. While they are subjugated by the Tibetans (Bödpa) they still retain their traditions. Both of these cultures are known by the Chinese for having ‘Kingdoms ruled by Women’, and thus have access to the Absolute Cognatic inheritance law much like the Basque.

De Jure.png

The setup of De Jure kingdoms has changed as a consequence of the new Counties - now Xia is a De Jure title along with Kham, Ü-Tsang, Guge and Nepal. This gives the Xia more staying power, enhancing their historical role. Note that all titles in the area have plenty of cultural naming options, so the kingdom won’t be named Xia unless ruled by a Tangut-cultured character, for example.

Between Tibet, the new Tarim basin and the enhanced Persia you will now see a lot more movement, trade and conquest between the areas on the eastern half of the map. It will hopefully no longer feel as if the steppes and India are ‘worlds of their own’, but rather parts of a greater whole.
 

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The Alans most certainly weren't especially Byzantine in culture- though the Armenians and Georgians are much more easily explained being together (when I said earlier I had meant that Georgians and Armenians shouldn't share a group with each other, not in relation to Byzantium). They certainly had quite a fair bit of interaction with the Byzantines, including a marriage to a woman who was half-Alan, and though they did indeed (partially) Christianize the Alans, I'd not call their own culture too close to that of the Byzantines, nor to their general allegiance at any rate particularly stronger than others.

In fact, as if to show such a divided history, the Alans are in the Byzantine culture group, use Russian graphics, and follow Tengri. I'd say that their largest motivation for being in the Byzantine group is their Orthodox status at later start dates and their position near to the Caucasus while not being Turkic themselves. Their connection to the Byzantosphere is much weaker than that of the Georgians and Armenians, though not as weak as that of the Assyrians. I'd say the Assyrians are easily the most distant for a plethora of reasons.

There is one thing I shall eagerly agree on, though- The Byzantosphere certainly was great.

EDIT: As a side note, I don't have a problem with the Alans being in the Byzantine culture group. I can't really imagine where else to put them, except maybe Iranian, though I think their connection to the medieval Persian world is not strong enough to warrant that and it'd mostly be for graphics.

An argument could be made to give them there own pagan faith, as they sure as hell weren't tengri worshippers...
 

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An argument could be made to give them there own pagan faith, as they sure as hell weren't tengri worshippers...

Indeed, though one of their princes in 769 is Zoroastrian, which may be representing this. As of now I usually go Zoroastrian or Zunist to represent "Iranian pagan", but with the upcoming DLC I believe Khurmazta might be a good replacement. I can see why they're low priority overall, so I try to make do.

I am disheartened by their Russian-ness though. Ossetians today sure don't look like that, and it's been well proven that they're not just "Osseticized Caucasians" but actually direct descendants of the Alans without a ton of admixture. I can always interbreed with Zunbils to get the portraits, but what I really care for are the unit models. The lovely Persian units are a great representation of the classical Scythians, especially the horse archers.
 

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Indeed, though one of their princes in 769 is Zoroastrian, which may be representing this. As of now I usually go Zoroastrian or Zunist to represent "Iranian pagan", but with the upcoming DLC I believe Khurmazta might be a good replacement. I can see why they're low priority overall, so I try to make do.

I am disheartened by their Russian-ness though. Ossetians today sure don't look like that, and it's been well proven that they're not just "Osseticized Caucasians" but actually direct descendants of the Alans without a ton of admixture. I can always interbreed with Zunbils to get the portraits, but what I really care for are the unit models. The lovely Persian units are a great representation of the classical Scythians, especially the horse archers.

They do desperately need Iranian portraits and arguably an "old" culture that morphs into byzantine alan on conversion to orthodox.
On alanic paganism Its apparently a still worshiped folk religion and about 30% of ossetians claim to follow it
 

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An argument could be made to give them there own pagan faith, as they sure as hell weren't tengri worshippers...
I'm honestly not sure why the Alans are depicted the way they are. You could posit Uatsdin as sort of a highly localized unreformed paganism, sure, but a lot of the Alans were Christianized even by the early part of the game's timeframe - they were at least partially Arian from about the 5th century. It's also weird to me that they're depicted with Slavic portraits, considering they're a Sarmatian group of Iranian stock and really have nothing in common with Slavs.

But the province layout in the North Caucasus is also non-intuitive and kind of bleh, as is the fact that the mountain counties aren't feudal and the fact that Circassians don't exist.
 

treb

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I'm honestly not sure why the Alans are depicted the way they are. You could posit Uatsdin as sort of a highly localized unreformed paganism, sure, but a lot of the Alans were Christianized even by the early part of the game's timeframe - they were at least partially Arian from about the 5th century. It's also weird to me that they're depicted with Slavic portraits, considering they're a Sarmatian group of Iranian stock and really have nothing in common with Slavs.

But the province layout in the North Caucasus is also non-intuitive and kind of bleh, as is the fact that the mountain counties aren't feudal and the fact that Circassians don't exist.

I wasn't saying it should be added just an argument could be made for it i'm not that bothered, I have my other hills to die on (feudal 769 Byzantium)


Also a patch to revamp the Caucasus would be nice. along with a few other spots on the map that arn't exactly worth a dlc but need an update....
 

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I wasn't saying it should be added just an argument could be made for it i'm not that bothered, I have my other hills to die on (feudal 769 Byzantium)


Also a patch to revamp the Caucasus would be nice. along with a few other spots on the map that arn't exactly worth a dlc but need an update....
I have many hills to die on. Enough so that I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't start modding. Looking at you, Caucasus. And North Africa. And absent Kanem-Bornu. And, and, and....

But seriously, though, the map changes with this patch look tremendous.
 

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I'm honestly not sure why the Alans are depicted the way they are. You could posit Uatsdin as sort of a highly localized unreformed paganism, sure, but a lot of the Alans were Christianized even by the early part of the game's timeframe - they were at least partially Arian from about the 5th century. It's also weird to me that they're depicted with Slavic portraits, considering they're a Sarmatian group of Iranian stock and really have nothing in common with Slavs.

But the province layout in the North Caucasus is also non-intuitive and kind of bleh, as is the fact that the mountain counties aren't feudal and the fact that Circassians don't exist.

The lack of Circassians has bugged me for some time.
 

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The lack of Circassians has bugged me for some time.
Me too. I'd love to see Circassian mercenaries hireable by Egypt in later starts. I'd like to see some flavour events for Muslim rulers and the Italian merchant republics, especially in later starts when some have toeholds in the Black Sea, where you can cheat on your wife with a Circassian beauty, or add one to your harem or your list of wives.

But I'm also a sucker for obscure cultures and fascinated with the North Caucasus. I'm the kind of person who thinks Vainakhs should be in the game. (Not many people managed to resist the Mongols, but the Vainakhs of Durdzuketia did, even though it destroyed them.)
 

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Me too. I'd love to see Circassian mercenaries hireable by Egypt in later starts. I'd like to see some flavour events for Muslim rulers and the Italian merchant republics, especially in later starts when some have toeholds in the Black Sea, where you can cheat on your wife with a Circassian beauty, or add one to your harem or your list of wives.

But I'm also a sucker for obscure cultures and fascinated with the North Caucasus. I'm the kind of person who thinks Vainakhs should be in the game. (Not many people managed to resist the Mongols, but the Vainakhs of Durdzuketia did, even though it destroyed them.)

Heck, I'm still waiting for a proper Ottoman Harem.
 

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I'm honestly not sure why the Alans are depicted the way they are. You could posit Uatsdin as sort of a highly localized unreformed paganism, sure, but a lot of the Alans were Christianized even by the early part of the game's timeframe - they were at least partially Arian from about the 5th century. It's also weird to me that they're depicted with Slavic portraits, considering they're a Sarmatian group of Iranian stock and really have nothing in common with Slavs.

But the province layout in the North Caucasus is also non-intuitive and kind of bleh, as is the fact that the mountain counties aren't feudal and the fact that Circassians don't exist.

Come on, Paradox give Alans their own pagan faith, Ætsæg Din. And also add Circassian,Caucasian Albanian and Nakh cultures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uatsdin