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CK3 - Dev Diary #22 - A Medieval Tapestry

Hello everyone! Today Virvatuli and I are bringing you a Development Diary about how we’re catering to different player fantasies in CK3. We will also showcase some of the content and gameplay you’ll encounter!

We are huge believers in allowing players as much freedom as possible to shape the game world in their image, which is reflected in the Paradox slogan “We make the games, you create the stories.” Of course, when trying to model history reasonably accurately as we do in CK3, your starting environment might be a far cry from the just and equal Realm you wish to rule, but determined players should be able to change the mores of their society over time - if that is their fantasy.

As you might suspect, the CK3 team consists of some very nerdy, passionate and compassionate people. Some of the things we’re outlining in this Dev Diary were part of the regular development process, and some have been passion projects. It has been very important for us to represent our players, the team behind the game, and the people who don’t feature heavily in most history books and media. We want everyone to feel welcome and to empower you to play your fantasy.

CK3 truly is a diverse game; it spans a map of nearly half the world and almost six centuries of history. This world is inhabited by a myriad of titles, cultures, faiths, and characters. It’s been our goal to represent all of these things with a great level of detail and accuracy to give you all a deeply immersive experience with more dynamic elements and player choice than ever before. Will you recreate history, build a brand new world, or something in between? It is all in your hands.

But we haven’t just added more diversity; that variety is also much more readily available than it was in CK2. For example, all Faiths and Cultures on the map are playable on release, and the dynamic Faith system will give you much greater power to change the world. We’ve also added many different Game Rules which allow you to tailor your CK3 experience. If you would rather play as a Queen than a King from day one, the Game Rules let you do that, without having to create a custom Faith during your campaign. There are other challenges out there to conquer and stories to explore!

We are incredibly proud of all the stuff we’ve made for you, so without any further ado, let’s jump into the juicy, juicy details!


Gender Options

All gender-related restrictions in CK3 are controlled by the Faiths, either directly or indirectly. As we have an awesome dynamic Faith system, all such restrictions can be changed during a playthrough. Our design philosophy for Faith Tenets related to gender has been to have the exact same options available for men and women. For example, the “View on Gender” Tenet has the settings “Male Dominated”, “Equal” and “Female Dominated”. All the restrictions for women in Male Dominated Faiths are applied to men instead in Female Dominated Faiths.

genderviewtenet.png


Even when men historically held the highest titles and womens’ rights were limited, women still had a vital impact on the world around them. In many parts of the medieval world, it was not uncommon for women to rule in their husbands’ absence, they were often advisors and took care of estates. We have chosen to represent this with the Spouse Council Position. Your Spouse’s skills have a direct impact on your realm and you will see events about your Spouse handling all sorts of duties, from negotiating with factions to raising additional troops.

the_guard_1.png


Like in CK2, we have a Gender Equality Game Rule, but with some improvements and added variation. The “Equal” setting (corresponding to “All” in CK2) covers more areas and has fewer exceptions than it did in CK2, largely thanks to our dynamic Faith system and the design philosophy mentioned above. It also comes with an “Inverted” setting where the historical gender statuses are turned on their head and women become the dominant gender in most religions.

Diversity_female_rules.png


Women are also more visually present in Crusader Kings than ever before. We have some awesome loading screens with a diverse bunch of characters, for example, but the biggest impact comes from the new event window. In CK2 we had lovely event illustrations, but the drawback was the lack of variation when it came to characters. In CK3 we use our gorgeous character models to bring the events to life, which will showcase the rich diversity of the cast of your playthrough in the event windows.

far_from_home_1.png



Sexuality

Sexuality provides added spice to character behavior and motivations, both in real life and in CK3, and it will also affect what is considered sinful or even criminal in a Faith in the game. It’s great for drama and intrigue, and in CK3 we’ve given sexualities more granularity. In addition to heterosexuality and homosexuality from CK2, characters can also be bisexual and asexual. Sexuality is no longer defined by a trait, but has its own system, which makes it easier to handle for us and more visible in the interface for you. It also means that we do not frame heterosexuality as the default in CK3, which was also important for us.

Children develop their sexualities around the age of 10 and once set, it will not change. It’s worth noting that we don’t model sexual and romantic attraction separately in the game, so a character’s sexuality sets both their sexual and romantic preferences.

budding_attraction.png


We do however differentiate between sexual preference and sexual behavior in-game. A character’s sexuality in and of itself can never be criminal, but certain sexual acts can be. For example, if a Faith’s “View on Same-Sex Relations” is not set to “Accepted”, two men who have sex will get the “Sodomite” Secret (no matter their sexuality). While the AI doesn’t pursue romance or sex with someone they’re not attracted to, the player can sometimes choose to act against their sexual preference (albeit with a penalty, and it can never lead to a lover relationship). This means a player’s heterosexual male character could get the “Sodomite” Secret if they seduce a homosexual or bisexual man.

We have two Game Rules related to sexuality: “View on Same-Sex Relations” and “Sexuality Distribution”. The former is very similar to the “View on Gender” rule I mentioned above; it can change all Faith’s “View on Same-Sex Relations” from their historical defaults to “Accepted”. The latter can change how common each sexuality is. The settings are “Default” which means Heterosexuality is the most common sexuality, “Equal” which makes all four sexualities equally common, and one setting each for Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Asexuality which makes them the most common sexuality instead of Heterosexuality.

accepted_same_sex_relationships.png



Faiths

As the dev diaries of the last couple of weeks have shown we have given Faiths a lot of attention, and as you might already know, all Faiths will be unlocked at game start. The dynamic Faith system has allowed us to add plenty of variation at release; we hope you’ll find that each Faith has its own flavor and quirks.

Even better, we now have more distinctions between different non-Christian Faiths, especially in Africa and India! African Paganism from CK2 has been replaced with at least six new Faiths; Roog, Bori, Siguism, Akom, Waaqism, and Kushitism, all with their own Tenets and flavor. For example, the Bori have a long history of matriarchs and worship the spirits. As they believe in spirit possession and that spirits can be either feminine or masculine, they are accepting of same-sex relations. The Siguics, on the other hand, worship their ancestors and believe that twins are blessed.

religion.png


Hinduism has been split into seven different Faiths. In addition to expanding upon and fleshing out the four main traditions of Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism), CK3 also sees the addition of less well-known Hindu traditions such as Krishnaism and Advaitism. Buddhism has five Faiths, Jainism three, and many Religions across the map have received similar diversification. We have also added a Dualism Religion with seven different Faiths, for example Manicheanism, Mandeanism, and Sabianism.

india.png


And as you can create your own Faiths, you will be able to create the kind of society you want to play in. As I have mentioned, some things can be preset through Game Rules, but the challenge of changing the world to your liking can be a really satisfying experience.

For example, we have the Game Rules “Faith Acceptance” which makes religious wars and disagreements a thing of the past, and “Randomized Faiths” which gives everyone in the world a random Faith. For those of you who are sensitive to border gore, please proceed with caution as the following screenshot contains graphic imagery. For the rest, how many Faiths can you spot in the screenshot?

how_many_faiths.png



Ethnicities and Cultures

We have expanded the amount of portrait asset sets from the two in the CK2 base game to a grand total of seven in CK3! On release, there will be a visual distinction between Western Europe, Northern Pagans, the Middle East/North Africa, Byzantium, the Steppe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. We will also have an even greater number of ethnicities, so you will see variations within these seven groups.

Thanks to the new portrait system, ethnicities now blend seamlessly. When two characters of different ethnicities have a child, the children will look a bit like both parents. More on this in a later Development Diary!


The End

That’s all for this week, friends! Unfortunately, Virvatuli will not be around to answer your questions this time, as she has set out on a new adventure after four years at Paradox. But the rest of the team will be around, of course, so ask away!

Take care of yourselves and each other <3
 
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Comparing it to the CKII 867 start map, there appears to one small area of Nestorianism (literally one county) in India on the CKII map, under the control of a Hindu Tamil ruler.

Elsewhere I can find a Ugyhur duke, a Bedouin duke in Socotra, a Khan up on the steppes, a couple of mayors, a bishop, and the Patriarch of the East.

r/woooosh?
 

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Just logged in to say, oh, wow, I'm so excited. I read these out loud to my partner as they work on other things, and I had to tell them "okay, make sure you are listening intently" when I read the sexuality part. Readers, devs, let me tell you, they positively squealed with delight.

I can't put into words how excited we are for CK3 and the flexibility/diversity that the game is coming with. These games are so wonderful because they flesh out the lives of (well, some of the more well off and landed) people who lived long ago, and having access to wider varieties of queer stories and the more robust role of women in male-dominated societies (and, if flipped, men in women-dominated societies!) is just so cool!

Also, good job on the afro-textured hair. One of the better looking versions I've seen in game, and gd knows I always check.
 
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Comparing it to the CKII 867 start map, there appears to one small area of Nestorianism (literally one county) in India on the CKII map, under the control of a Hindu Tamil ruler.

Elsewhere I can find a Ugyhur duke, a Bedouin duke in Socotra, a Khan up on the steppes, a couple of mayors, a bishop, and the Patriarch of the East.
Nestorians were very sparsely represented beyond Mesopotamia in the 769 and 867 bookmarks in CK2. The developers may have wanted more of the map outside Europe for other religions for gameplay reasons, but if CK3 has more room it would be nice to see some of the historical established eparchies. The Church of the East was widespread among populations through Persia, central Asia and on the Malabar coast between the 5th and 12th centuries.
 

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r/woooosh?

Not quite sure I get you here?
Someone asked about Nestorians in India - I mentioned the one Nestorian county from the 867 start in CKII (since 867 appears to be a CKIII start).
I mentioned it for comparison purposes.

The others I mentioned because they're Nestorians who are on map and *may* be interesting for other reasons.

Nestorians were very sparsely represented beyond Mesopotamia in the 769 and 867 bookmarks in CK2. The developers may have wanted more of the map outside Europe for other religions for gameplay reasons, but if CK3 has more room it would be nice to see some of the historical established eparchies. The Church of the East was widespread among populations through Persia, central Asia and on the Malabar coast between the 5th and 12th centuries.
That makes sense, I'm surprised to see that Indian Nestorian county disappear, unless they've got new/different population data (or it's not an 867 map image...).
 

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Wow, this might be the best thing I've read about CKIII, or II or any game really. Guys, this is absolutely beautiful.

I love the attention you have given the different cultures and religions. I love the attention you've given to character's sexuality, and how it's portrayed. I love that women have an expanded role this this game. This is absolutely stunning. Thank you so much. Really.
 

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I'm not sure what you think realistic proportions are, or who you think is pushing a political agenda. I thought I had been agreeing with you, but it feels like we're saying quite different things now.

nd

I think was he saying that I was having a political agenda, or saying the devs might have one?

I just think they should either do it properly so that it has a legitimate impact on gameplay or don't bother.
Having it so that you've a 1% chance of getting the homosexual trait strikes me as doing it just to do it and isn't much of an expansion of ck2's threadbare system.
 
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I think was he saying that I was having a political agenda, or saying the devs might have one?

I just think they should either do it properly so that it has a legitimate impact on gameplay or don't bother.
Having it so that you've a 1% chance of getting the homosexual trait strikes me as doing it just to do it and isn't much of an expansion of ck2's threadbare system.
I missunderstood your reasoning for partially political, because of “tokenism” being mentioned, please accept my appology.
It just got me worried that a political angle might be taken on this, which I would consider to be a bad choice. I don’t suspect You or the Devs of being political about it I was just worried about the possibility politics might influence decision making, but then again that was triggered partially by my missunderstanding of your post.

I do, however, disagree with You, the game should try to mimic reallity as close as it can as long as it isn’t a nuisance to achieve that, in my opinion at least. And personally I don’t see a reason, Why it should have a more meaningful impact on gameplay than it had on reality. I do understand, however, where You are coming from with that idea and I respect that.
 
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I missunderstood your reasoning for partially political, because of “tokenism” being mentioned, please accept my appology.
It just got me worried that a political angle might be taken on this, which I would consider to be a bad choice. I don’t suspect You or the Devs of being political about it I was just worried about the possibility politics might influence decision making, but than again that was triggered partially by missunderstanding your post.
The subject is inherently political. A conservative position on it is not somehow less political than a more liberal one.

nd
 
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The subject is inherently political. A conservative position on it is not somehow less political than a more liberal one.

nd
Reality isn’t political though. I agree it is an extremely difficult topic to tackle because the topic is a frequent subject of current politics. Decision making though should be separated as best as possible from either political side.

EDIT: By reality I mean the exact numbers, which although perhaps exactly unknown are independent of politics. My wording was quite unlucky.
 
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neutrondecay

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Reality isn’t political though. I agree it is an extremely difficult topic to tackle because the topic is a frequent subject of current politics. Decision making though should be separated as best as possible from either political side.

EDIT: By reality I mean the exact numbers, which although perhaps exactly unknown are independent of politics. My wording was quite unlucky.
No, reality is extremely political. All politics involves decisions about the real world and relies on information about the real world.

nd
 
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Danir

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No, reality is extremely political. All politics involves decisions about the real world and relies on information about the real world.

nd
The real Number, whatever it is, doesn’t care about politics, it is just a number, that’s what I’m trying to say. And while one can’t truly separate oneself from their political opinion, they can always try to.
And I am merely advocating for making a decision based on information, not politics.
 
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Mihirakula

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Hinduism has been split into seven different Faiths. In addition to expanding upon and fleshing out the four main traditions of Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism), CK3 also sees the addition of less well-known Hindu traditions such as Krishnaism and Advaitism.

I read this a while back and it has been bugging me a lot. While I agree with the division of Hinduism into the first four schools, the latter three don't make sense of at all. Srikula and Krishnaism are just sects of respective schools or sampradyas of the Shakta and Vaishnava denominations. Srikulas worhip Sri as Shakti while Gaudiyas/Krishaites only arose with the birth of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 1480's well beyond the scope of the game.

The case of the Advatins is even more absurd. Advaita Vednata is treated as some sort of religion but Advaita is a philosophy not a religion. Even wierder, Smartism and Advaita are seperate but Shanakarcharya, the founder of the Advaita sampradaya also founded Smartism. So, Advaitas is literally the philosophy that the Smarthas believe in. It's like having Monotheism and Christianity or Dualism and Manicheanism as different religions within the same game.
 
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MinotaurWarrior

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On the topic of hindu faiths - pre ~1000 AD start dates should still have Brahmaism as an extant sect centered in Pushkar.
 

GoldenBear10

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Interesting; that's a lot of developer time on creating imaginative options for alternate realities. It definitely has a fantasy rather than historical feel to it.

Is that not the way all Paradox games work? We would not be playing the game if there were no "alternate realities." Instead, we would be stuck watching history replay itself over and over and over again, with no way to influence events.

The real Number, whatever it is, doesn’t care about politics, it is just a number, that’s what I’m trying to say. And while one can’t truly separate oneself from their political opinion, they can always try to.
And I am merely advocating for making a decision based on information, not politics.

You are prevaricating. You are not naming a number, but you are advocating for a lower number of instances of nonheterosexuality. You have said that you do not want too many because too many are "unrealistic," or a "political" decision. We have evidence of sexual acts between people of the same sex throughout European history, but the concept of identifying yourself based upon your sexuality is a late 19th century construct. The developers are using that framework because it is the one that is most familiar to their modern audience who has little academic background in these issues. It is important to recognize that past cultures looked at sexual acts differently than we did, and such acts were far more common than was recorded because of cultural norms. As such, it is important to realize that it is going to be more likely than you are probably assuming would be correct, and it should not be that rare to come across someone who has such a secret.

Edited to fix some grammar errors.
 
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sandro chronicler

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About “View on Gender” Tenet, aren't it somewhat lack flexibility? Just 3 options, while CK2 had wider "specter" (islam was less restrictive than "agnatic clans" , for example). In real life ther was, and is, such oddities like mostly female clergy in otherwise patriarchal society (Korean shamanism), gender equal church with noblewoman's trained in martial metters for self defense (and some became prominent warriors), yet government was strictly male (feudal Japan), or society where male exclusive clan chief ("liege", sorta) was elected by female exclusive elders ("vassals", kinda) (Irocise). I think gender roles in clergy, military and government should be viewed separately.
Besides, many stereotypically patriarchal societies (Europe and Middle East) in fact had quite a lot female warriors and military commanders.
 
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nSo1

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did I understand it correctly:
do not frame heterosexuality as the default
- means that my children can
develop their sexualities around the age of 10 and once set, it will not change
automatically depending on who they communicate with and in spite of religion and culture?

how it will work?
The settings are “Default” which means Heterosexuality is the most common sexuality, “Equal” which makes all four sexualities equally common, and one setting each for Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Asexuality which makes them the most common sexuality instead of Heterosexuality.
If Im (for example) catholic and set “Default” my heirs will commonly
develop their sexualities
as heterosexual, but if “Equal” - all sexuality will have a chance 1/4?
 

dragonluke

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did I understand it correctly:
- means that my children can automatically depending on who they communicate with and in spite of religion and culture?

how it will work?

If Im (for example) catholic and set “Default” my heirs will commonly as heterosexual, but if “Equal” - all sexuality will have a chance 1/4?
It's probably a randomly generated thing,so when the player character becomes ten years old they randomly get assigned a sexuality.
 
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neutrondecay

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It's probably a randomly generated thing,so when the player character becomes ten years old they randomly get assigned a sexuality.
Right. And the probabilities are set by the game rule; the default is 89/5/5/1 for Straight/Gay/Bi/Ace, but there are options for a more even split or a different majority. There's also an intentionally very rare event that lets you choose.

Sexuality is not determined by religion or culture, although character responses will be.

nd
 
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