CK3 Dev Diary #58 - Stre(ss)tching the traits

Hello everyone!

Nice to meet you all! I recently joined the Crusader Kings III game design team and am honored to inaugurate my PDX account with this Dev Diary. Today we will cover two improvements planned for the upcoming patch: additional content and AI warfare improvements.


Trait changes

One of the many pleasures of Crusader Kings is to personify a plethora of characters. Every one of them offers a good opportunity to roleplay, thanks to the various combinations of traits they offer. The Azure patch will expand upon existing content by updating and adding some trait-specific interactions and consequences. With this update, we want to connect the stress system even closer to personality traits.

One of the notable changes is for Shy: it will no longer generate Stress when launching a Personal Scheme. Shy characters can still receive Stress via some of the scheme event options however, and they will be less efficient at performing personal schemes (it will take them longer), but they will be able to do it without ending up having a mental breakdown.

We also added a few new interactions and decisions. For instance, Forgiving characters can abandon one of their hooks to lose Stress. You can either decide to be a truly forgiving character, abandoning a hook you obtained unwittingly, or you can actively look for hooks and then choose to be merciful. We have also added new options for Diligent characters; they can dedicate themselves to improving the Development of their Capital, but doing so will generate a lot of Stress. Finally, if Impatient characters are Stressed, they can speed up the progress of their current Personal Scheme, without affecting their current Stress levels.


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[Image of the Develop Capital decision available for Diligent characters]


Some traits have also gained access to interactions that are not related to the stress system but still improve upon the expression of their personality. For instance, Arbitrary characters can now dismiss a Hook a vassal holds on them by spending a lot of Prestige and gaining Tyranny.


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[Image of the Dismiss Hook interaction available for Arbitrary characters]

We would love to hear your feedback, and also suggestions for improving other traits!


AI and Warfare

There is also a number of AI improvements, mostly about how the AI moves its units while at war. Pathfinding has been revised, and AI armies should now take more optimal routes to reach their targets, whether they be close but surrounded by treacherous terrain, or far away across the sea (which was most visible during Crusades; there will be no more island hopping for Christian armies, and Vikings should also be more swift and direct in their raids). The new pathfinding logic now factors in time, attrition and threat when selecting and routing to a destination.

Getting close to the enemy is only the first step in warfare though, and the AI should behave more sensibly in other areas too. After winning crucial battles, AI armies should use their full might to more efficiently besiege enemy fortresses - you should see less mangonels and bombards chasing peasants while there is a perfectly good castle waiting to be ruined. We also adjusted the AI behaviors depending on their Casus Bellis, making sure that they not only prioritize territorial conquest but also capturing hostages when relevant. While there’s likely to be some odd behaviors in the military AI still, we believe this will be a noticeable change in the right direction.


Lastly, an important organizational change: the version number of the patch will be 1.4 instead of 1.3.X as announced previously. This is to make the scope of the patch a bit clearer. While it is still a relatively small patch, it is also larger than a hotfix or a pure bugfix patch we've released in the past. Some mods will need to be updated. And while we always strive to keep save games compatible, with the nature of the game you might still run into edge cases with your old saves that we did not catch.

And that’s it for today! Thanks again for your precious feedback, and please keep providing more! I hope you enjoyed it, and see you next week for more information about the Azure patch!
 
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Very nice, loving the trait changes, and welcome Meedoc!

Lastly, an important organizational change: the version number of the patch will be 1.4 instead of 1.3.X as announced previously. This is to make the scope of the patch a bit clearer. While it is still a relatively small patch, it is also larger than a hotfix or a pure bugfix patch we've released in the past. Some mods will need to be updated. And while we always strive to keep save games compatible, with the nature of the game you might still run into edge cases with your old saves that we did not catch.

And that’s it for today! Thanks again for your precious feedback, and please keep providing more! I hope you enjoyed it, and see you next week for more information about the Azure patch!
Does that mean that the first expansion will be 1.5, or that the former 1.3.X patch (and its modding tools) will only be released with the expansion?

EDIT: Question for the Arbitrary trait: Does it only allow you to dismiss weak hooks, does it consume strong hooks for five years too, or can you also dismiss strong hooks entirely?
 
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I think most of the trait changes sound pretty good, except for the dismiss hook one. This might make sense for favor hooks, but not for blackmail hooks. Or at least the secret used for blackmail should be revealed if a blackmail hook is dismissed.
 
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Welcome, this looks very interesting and should make traits vastly more interesting to have.
 
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What's happening to the plan to deprecate GetDummyMale and GetDummyFemale in 1.3.X and then removing them in 1.4? While I'd be extremely excited if the modding features promised in 1.4 are coming early, the most pessimistic reading of this announcement suggests that it's not giving modders the transition window suggested by the modding features dev blog :/

Not to be too demanding on the info, but this announcement has quite a few people on the modding coop concerned about what it means for the mod compatibility changes that were planned to be distributed between 1.3.X and 1.4, so it would *really* help us if you could clarify what's coming when.
 
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Very cool, hope to see more expansion of traits and personality as the game grows.

Also welcome to Meedoc!
 
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This sounds brilliant! More ways to interact with traits are always nice. Will you be adding something special for every trait? Many of them sound like they have the potential for fun mechanics or events, such as brave, craven, lustful or vengeful.
 
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I cannot describe how much I love it! One of the most fun things I personally find in CK3 is being given a new character upon succession and having to adjust my plans to their traits. At least in theory. The Stress mechanic was in itself good at encouraging that but with unique interactions being unlocked by traits, character personalities are going to become even more prominent in gameplay!

I continue to be amazed how much attention is being given to the RP aspects of the game and I feel it's the right direction. Please keep at it <3
 
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Since the war AI is being revised, it won't be possible to see something like the Imperator Rome option to assign the "operate independently" or "defend borders", "siege" etc. orders to an army and let the AI do it?

And about impatient characters advancing schemes, shouldn't the impatience of the schemer also make a scheme more easy to discover by the intended victim?
 
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Sounds pretty good!

When you said "Vikings should also be more swift and direct in their raids," that did remind me of one little design oversight I noticed with raiding along major rivers vs. along coasts. Along the coasts, raiders are able to walk from one county to the next without taking movement attrition (the type indicated by the red skull over the movement target). Raiding along major rivers though, raiders take attrition if they walk from one county to the next. That means that they have to embark and disembark from their boats at every stop, which adds a lot of time and makes river raiding comparatively unattractive. Any chance of getting that looked at? :D
 
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I like that you reworked some traits, but personally I think "Chaste" trait should be reworked as well. She's in this weird -fertility status since CK 2 (or maybe even the og CK idk). It's not really accurate depiction tbh.
Besides that great work, can't wait for new expansion ^^
 
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I think most of the trait changes sound pretty good, except for the dismiss hook one. This might make sense for favor hooks, but not for blackmail hooks. Or at least the secret used for blackmail should be revealed if a blackmail hook is dismissed.
"I have evidence that you are in an incestuous relationship, do as I say or I'll spill the beans"

1620133092875.png
 
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I think most of the trait changes sound pretty good, except for the dismiss hook one. This might make sense for favor hooks, but not for blackmail hooks. Or at least the secret used for blackmail should be revealed if a blackmail hook is dismissed.

I assume its more like your ruler saying: so what if I did it? Hence the tyranny malus. Your ruler does not cáre people know it.
 
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