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CK2 Dev Diary #78 - Polishing up the Map


We’re working away, and we’ve been working away for quite some time now - it’s just much too early to go into detail on what we’re doing yet, but rest assured that we have a lot of interesting stuff going on!

Without spoiling the theme of the upcoming expansion, we want to give you something to look at and discuss. In addition to all the theme-specific features we’re making, we’re also slowly working our way through some of the more neglected areas of the map, correcting mistakes and increasing the granularity of the playing field. Here’s one such area, Poland:

- Map Update to Poland
    - General overhaul to the De Jure territory of the Kingdom of Poland
    - Vistula (major) river tweaked to be more geographically accurate
    - (Minor) river Oder tweaked for more geographical accuracy
    - (Minor) rivers Warta and Bug added
    - 6 new provinces, mostly improving granularity in Mazovia and Lesser Poland
    - All old provinces moved and reshaped for more consistency
    - Some updated provincial Coats of Arms

Later this spring (date yet TBD) we’ll release a bug-fixing patch, so remember to head over to the bug forums and report any issues you find.

Please note that the time between Dev Diaries will be irregular, as we’re very early in the development cycle.
Most of the German speaking provinces of the HRE (so today Germany, Austria and Switzerland) could seriously need some polishing, rework and tweaking. Most provinces there haven't been changed since CK II was released and are basically leftovers of CK I. Bohemia (and to a lesser degree the Low Countries) might need some extra attention too, though relatively speaking, it's more urgent for the German speaking provinces.

Can't promise anything, as map reworks are somewhat time consuming and moving stuff around in Germany/France is a bit tricky (because if you move one thing, it means you have to move 10 others, basically).

However if you have good references, map & general documentation from the CK2 timeline (so not a map from the XVIIth century, for example), feel free to PM links to me ; I'll take a look and see if we can squeeze some improvements in, but again, *no guarantee*.

If you're focusing on the West Slavic areas could you take a moment to look into the Duchy of Meissen and the Duchy of Brandenburg? They have a really awkward shape at the moment, and it means that the de jure borders of Saxony in 769 don't really fit with it properly. I'm not sure if they're "wrong" per se but it'd be good to double check whether they're really accurate and potentially switch things around so that the west bank of the river can be de jure Saxony in 769 without them and the Sorbs/Lusatians constantly fighting over the land for no real reason.
I approve map changes in CKII because still about 80-85% of the map needs them. Although can you please avoid creating duchies consisting of less than 3 counties or more than 5? Such duchies (too small and too big) usually seems to break a balance and cause dynasty which is in charge of them to either snowball and be pretty much uncontested or just slowly die to stronger neighbours. With all duchies being in range of 3 to 5 we should get even more dynamic realms.
Show me the Boob-hemia and some More-avia.
It's worth noting how the first second dev diary for Jade Dragon showed us (and before the expansion was announced) maps of Tibet and reworked eastern part of the map.
Maybe...just maybe this is an indicator of the next expansion. Perhaps indeed something for the Slavs? Or even for Holy Roman Empire?
I just can't help myself from speculating...
I approve map changes in CKII because still about 80-85% of the map needs them. Although can you please avoid creating duchies consisting of less than 3 counties or more than 5? Such duchies (too small and too big) usually seems to break a balance and cause dynasty which is in charge of them to either snowball and be pretty much uncontested or just slowly die to stronger neighbours. With all duchies being in range of 3 to 5 we should get even more dynamic realms.

Well some of the 6 counties duchy are mostly because the ruler there were historically strong. For example the duchy of Toulouse, in real life that duchy was actually just the strongest county of all Europe and for that reason one of the first hereditary title of Europe Feudal system, as the kings of the Franks were unable to enforce the title not been hereditary (actually it was more that they were defacto independent, the kings of France didn't really have lordship over the area until after the Albigensian Crusade) after Raimond had gotten the title after his brother Fredelon death, as a favor from Charles the Bald, for the peaceful surrendering of Toulouse (the capital of the kingdom of Aquitaine at the time) in his war against Pippin II.
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This looks fantastic, nice work.

Are you considering adding any more counties to Ireland? Going to quote an old post of mine.

I am for a moment going to compare it to its Celtic neighbour Scotland.

Scotland has in total 16 provinces, over 6 duchies. This includes two duchies of 4 provinces, two of 3, and one each of 2 and 1 counties.

Ireland has 13 provinces, over 5 duchies - 4, 3, 2, 2, 2.

Crucially, the capital of Scotland is placed in a (comparatively) large duchy, which is a large benefit to a King who holds the full capital duchy as part of his demesne, thanks to the ingame bonuses. Unfortunately for Ireland, Dublin is in a duchy of two counties only.

Historically, Ireland as an island has always had a higher population than that of Scotland, and this remains to this day. I propose that the existing 5 duchies of Ireland are kept (based on the original 5 provinces / subkingdoms, so nice), but that at least 4 of them gain an extra county. Ideally, the capital duchy would also be the largest or joint largest. This would bring Ireland's county total to 17, one higher than Scotland.

The main difference in what happened with Ireland and Scotland historically is that Scotland unified itself and formed a Kingdom, and so was much more effective at repelling invaders. This should still be the case, as the extra counties I am proposing can all be independent of each other in the earlier start dates, and it would not simply be the case of giving existing rulers extra counties. In the later start dates, they could coalesce a little more, stay as independent, or be controlled by England. There are 32 counties on the island of Ireland in real life, so getting names or borders for any new ingame ones should be quite manageable.

Ireland is unique in this game in that most people have played a "noob island" game as an introduction to learning the game mechanics. Shaking the county structure up a bit would be of great benefit to getting old players to come back to the game, "visit Ireland again", and it would also be a perfect use of the new de jure Duchy claim war that is added in this DLC. Force Vassalisation could also work once a duchy / petty kingdom is created.

Finally, as another very minor change, I would change the culture of the vassal English lords in Ireland in the later start dates from English to either "Norman" or "Irish".
The Normans who invaded Ireland in 1169 were from Wales rather than England, and even when they arrived, they assimilated into the local language/culture/dress/names (convert to local province culture!), to the extent that the Statutes of Kilkenny were brought out in the 1300s as a futile attempt to prevent their Gaelicisation by banning them from adopting the Irish ways. This happened partly by depopulation and marriages to local families, so again quite replicable in game terms.
This change of culture also effected their relationship with their nominal liege, so would be highly relevant in terms of gameplay. Since "English" ingame is represented as a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Norman, then these lords would not have yet become such a thing from the time of William's conquest to the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, so I would propose them to be simply having "Norman" culture - they would then still be able to use the excellent new portraits - the Fitzgeralds and Butlers are the two main families included ingame and having them as Norman and eventually Irish would be quite appropriate as they were described as "Hibernioris Hibernis Ipsis", or "More Irish than the Irish themselves".

But yeah, keep up the good work, and would love if you considered some of my changes!

However, even if you are not planning on adding provinces, an update on the coat of arms of the duchies would be really great. Most the current coats of arms for the counties and duchies ingame are based on the dynasties that ruled there at the time, rather than the lands themselves. The duchies ingame are based on the real life "Provinces" of Ireland, and the coat of arms / flags used here are contemporary to CK2, and would be much more appropriate. Some of them are very similar to ingame ones - Munster is v similar to Sweden, Leinster is the harp but on a green background. Ulster is v similar if not identical to what is currently there. Connacht and Meath would need to be changed however.

If you would like any historical details on borders, coats of arms, dynasties, please let me know if you would like me to PM you!
Finally, that map before was horrible.
@rageair I hope you are also changing the towns (baronies) names. It is even more horrible. The worst example are Lubusz and Szczecin counties, they share three (!) towns - Cedynia, Pyrzyce and Myślibórz. Lubusz has them in Polish, Szczecin in german with Cedynia in Latin for some reason. To add insult to injury, Pyrzyce in Lubusz is written with typo. Also I think at least one town should be actually in old Brenna province by looking at the map. There are many such cases in entire Polish region and some other slavic/baltic provinces near it. This was really done by someone with no historical or graphical knowledge at all. I hope that person was fired.
I started to add polish (and some pommeranian/bohemian) counties/baronies names to the landed_titles.txt, where I should post/send them so you could add them in incoming patch? Could you also send me final landed_titles.txt, so I could update it to new provinces and towns which will be added in next patch? I already see things needing change, one province is called "Nowa Marchia". Pommeranians or Poles wouldn't call their land using german term.