Greetings everyone!

Don’t stand out there in the cold. Come on in and warm yourself by the fire!

Have you made yourself comfortable? Excellent. Before we get to it, first things first. I know that all of you are eagerly awaiting more news regarding upcoming DLC content, but we’re not ready to start talking about those quite yet. Don’t fret, you will not have to wait that long. They say that patience is a virtue, but knowing better, I’ll leave this right here.

For the next few weeks and the coming dev diaries we’ll talk a bit about what we have in store for the next major update, 1.3. In usual fashion, you can expect 1.3 to land alongside the upcoming DLC. Without further ado, let’s get to it shall we?

Winter is Coming
Winter is being introduced to CK3, making the already unforgiving world of the Middle Ages a much harsher place! As winter approaches, the map will gradually get covered in snow, clearly showing the extent of the freezing cold. The system itself is fairly flexible and allows for a great degree of control, as we can set which provinces should experience winter, and which shouldn’t. Winter won’t be limited to just the northernmost parts of the map, so expect snow to appear in places such as the Persian Mountains, or on the heights of the Tibetan plateau.

winter_dd_01_tibet.png


With the introduction of winter comes new gameplay considerations. It wouldn’t be any point in adding this cool system if it didn’t do anything interesting. Winter comes in three different variants; mild, normal, and harsh. Mild and normal winters will be fairly common throughout central Europe and parts of southern Europe, while harsh winters are rarer but can still occur. If you find yourself lost in the frozen landscape of places such as Sápmi, Mongolia, or Himalaya, expect harsh winters to be the norm and plan accordingly!

We wanted to make sure that it’s easy to see what level of winter is present in any given barony at a glance. The amount of snow increases with higher levels. Mild winters should generally be fairly easy to spot, with patches of green still clearly visible. In contrast, harsh winters mostly cover an entire province with snow. Certain areas might even have clouds with steady snowfall appearing for that extra level of detail!

Depending on the severity of winter, your armies will start to lose supply over time. Harsh winter means you’ll lose more supply each month, making it a risky business to go above the supply limit for an extended period during the winter season. Harsh winters will also have armies suffer more fatal casualties during battles.

Winter will also have an effect on your Men-at-Arms. Most noticeably, cavalry units will perform worse in normal and harsh winters. Heavy cavalry, in particular, will suffer some hefty penalties. I would advise against the use of heavy cavalry if you know you’ll be fighting battles in mountainous terrain during the winter season. On the other hand, some Men-at-Arms will get (sometimes quite significant) bonuses while fighting in winter. One such unit is the Tibetan culture unit, Mountaineers. Accustomed to the cold and the snow in the mountains, they can utilize it to their advantage in the form of a damage bonus whenever they participate in battles when winter is present.

winter_dd_02_maa.png


The system for setting winter bonuses (or penalties if you will) on Men-at-Arms works just like setting terrain bonuses, making it very friendly for any modders out there.

While winter and snow might look and play nice, it wouldn’t be complete without a fitting soundscape. I’ll hand over to our sound designer Gustav to talk a bit about what he did to bring winter to life!

A Sound Plan
Winter for a Swede is like butter on toast, we love it! (brr… please be spring soon!) There are two areas where we have updated audio on the map.

Holdings:
Audio gets reflected with real-time updates to holdings. When winter spreads over your lands; or any lands for that matter, folks now go inside their homes, birds have migrated to more southern regions, and the animals are now in their stables or inside by the hearths, cozy!


The way we achieve this is to link the shader that covers the region with snow and Ice to a real-time float parameter, that then talks to our Audio Middleware Engine Fmod.

Awesome, but what does it actually do?
It attenuates sound layers, controls effects such as equalizers and reverb, and reshapes the original sound that was there during summertime, and morphs it into wintertime.


VFX:
We also have snow storms appearing, for both mild and harsh winters.
If you hear the sounds, be wary, your troops will most likely suffer some penalties in these areas.
Tread carefully!


The snowstorms are spawned on the map with the particle system, which allows us to be able to spatialize the sound effects ( position them in a 3D location X-Y-Z ) as the mild snowstorm morphs into the harsh storm, so do the sound effects. I’ll leave you with this; a snippet of what goes on under the hood inside Fmod during winter.


Obligatory Map Update
Anyone who has followed the history of CK2 or the DDs for CK3 will know that I do enjoy my maps, and I’ll try to get in smaller map updates or improvements whenever I can. Since release, we’ve identified a few general areas that we think can be improved upon. Some of these will be updated in 1.3. First up, Ireland.

The baronies in Ireland were a bit too large, making the emerald island have a significantly less holding density than its neighbors, England and Scotland. The western half of Ireland in particular suffered from a few quite large baronies. To solve this issue, we’ve added a number of new baronies, along with a couple of new counties, that should improve the overall experience of playing in Ireland.

winter_dd_03_ireland.png


While Italy hasn't suffered from larger baronies in the same vein as Ireland, the area didn’t quite feel up to par with many other regions within Europe. Especially in terms of overall holding count. Italy generally had a bit too few holdings per county, so we’ve added new baronies in various places throughout the peninsula, from the slopes of the Alps all the way down to Reggio Calabria. The southern half in particular got some much needed attention. In the new setup, you’ll find significantly less counties with only two baronies. To mention a few examples, you’ll find that the county of Veneto has Malamacco as a new barony, Agnone can be found in the county of Lanciano, and Lecce is now an actual holding in the county with the same name. Overall, this should make Italy more representative of its historical impact and more fun to play in.

winter_dd_04_italy.png


winter_dd_05_sicily.png


That’ll be it for today! I do have a few more map improvements in store for you, but those will have to wait.
Until next time!
 

DreadLindwyrm

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I don't really go to war all that often, and I'm not bored...
My Islamic Hispania game has hit a consolidation phase, and it's not boring. It *is* suffering from pre-emptively handling revolts, and trying to build up the (now stabilised) core domain, but boring it is not.

I'm also adjusting my vassal structure everytime someone does something stupid, so that's got some interest in it, and I've still got a *big* religious adjustment to do after my last large war.


They said this game isnt about the war only, but mostly it is. If you don't do wars, it becomes boring. I hope they will focus the game more on economy, culture, more rpg elements, more events, buildings, court etc...
More RPG elements and more events doesn't necessarily help, because you learn what to do with them, and they essentially become less interesting.
More building isn't interesting at all, because it's not actually that interactive in most cases - you click on the province, build the thing, and that's it. Maybe you click on the next province over and also build the thing.
 
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Niall9

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More RPG elements and more events doesn't necessarily help, because you learn what to do with them, and they essentially become less interesting.
More building isn't interesting at all, because it's not actually that interactive in most cases - you click on the province, build the thing, and that's it. Maybe you click on the next province over and also build the thing.

I do feel they have managed to work around the issues with the RPG elements using stress which encourages you to roleplay more than just going for best outcome. That said, I think the stress system could be even stricter than it is now.
 
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Adam363

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I do feel they have managed to work around the issues with the RPG elements using stress which encourages you to roleplay more than just going for best outcome. That said, I think the stress system could be even stricter than it is now.
If def. needs to be better. You can simply game the stress system out, by not hunting/feasting/etc until you need to lower stress. The stress system is kinda dumb imo, but I guess they couldn't think of anything better.
 
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pevergreen

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Scrubbed some of the last 24 hours clean.

I'm not asking too much here:

  • Be polite
  • Don't insult anyone
 
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Oglesby

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If def. needs to be better. You can simply game the stress system out, by not hunting/feasting/etc until you need to lower stress. The stress system is kinda dumb imo, but I guess they couldn't think of anything better.
This is assuming that you are not lazy (for hunting) or shy (for feasting). This also means that you are losing out on the other benefits of those activities.
 

DreadLindwyrm

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If def. needs to be better. You can simply game the stress system out, by not hunting/feasting/etc until you need to lower stress. The stress system is kinda dumb imo, but I guess they couldn't think of anything better.

Your point assumes you don't have any stress multipliers that cause you to go from "minimal" stress to being overloaded with stress *really* quickly - and that you don't get hit with mutliple stress events in quick succession.

It assumes that you don't have your stress result in something like "change religion, go whoring (and catch diseases), or gain an entire extra level of stress" and not recover enough stress from the available recovery methods.

It's *far* better than them not having anything in place like in CK2.
 
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Adam363

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Your point assumes you don't have any stress multipliers that cause you to go from "minimal" stress to being overloaded with stress *really* quickly - and that you don't get hit with mutliple stress events in quick succession.

It assumes that you don't have your stress result in something like "change religion, go whoring (and catch diseases), or gain an entire extra level of stress" and not recover enough stress from the available recovery methods.

It's *far* better than them not having anything in place like in CK2.
It doesn't matter. At all. I've played hundreds of hours of CK3 and my level of concern about stress over that period of time was 0. It doesn't matter and its easy to mitigate.
 
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DreadLindwyrm

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It doesn't matter. At all. I've played hundreds of hours of CK3 and my level of concern about stress over that period of time was 0. It doesn't matter and its easy to mitigate.
I've also played hundreds of hours, and it has, sometimes, been a major factor.
It's killed characters I've been playing, and it's forced me into having choices between three bad options.

Mitigation is possible, but not *always* easy.
 
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Adam363

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I've also played hundreds of hours, and it has, sometimes, been a major factor.
It's killed characters I've been playing, and it's forced me into having choices between three bad options.

Mitigation is possible, but not *always* easy.
How can you say its not easy? Its literally the easiest thing to do. And most of the time, if you know what your doing, the game provides you with tons of ways to reduce stress outside of hunting/feasting. There is the athletics, riding, journaling, etc etc.

You are exaggerating the magnitude of stress, and its OBVIOUS to anyone who has put substantial time into the game. We both know, it doesn't matter and its easy to mitigate.
 
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vandevere

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I've had Rulers start their reigns, literally Day One of their reign with 92 Stress. How the hell do you mitigate that before the Game throws you a curveball that overwhelms you? Feasts and Hunts don't mitigate that quickly enough to help much. Especially if the Game decides to throw you a curveball...
 
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DreadLindwyrm

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How can you say its not easy? Its literally the easiest thing to do. And most of the time, if you know what your doing, the game provides you with tons of ways to reduce stress outside of hunting/feasting. There is the athletics, riding, journaling, etc etc.

You are exaggerating the magnitude of stress, and its OBVIOUS to anyone who has put substantial time into the game. We both know, it doesn't matter and its easy to mitigate.
Shy characters who essentially get *nothing* from feasts.
Lazy characters who essentially get *nothing* from hunting.
Characters who are not rich enough to pay for the hunts and feasts because they *have* to spend that money elsewhere (say in defensive wars).


Getting large stress gains whilst feasts and hunting are on cool down. Especially where this is due to dynastic relatives, friends, and lovers (sometimes all the same person) dying. I had one sequence of deaths (including other relatives dying of stress) cause me to gain 3 levels of stress in a few months.

Athletics, riding, journalling, and confidants are locked behind RNG. They're not guaranteed to come up at all for any given character. You can equally get heavy drinking or whoring - both of which are risky to your life and health. As a result, these can't really be put under "if you know what you're doing", since you aren't guaranteed to have *any* of them even after stress has hit a couple of times. They're also on a cool down, so if you get hit with enough stress over a short enough period, these don't help either. *And* the amount you lose from them isn't always sufficient to bring you back to a safe number.


I've had my three choices on stress being "convert to a religion hostile to *everyone* in the region", "gain a stress relieving trait that causes me to be wounded if I use it, with that level of wounding increasing if I'm already wounded", or "gain another 60 stress". You can also outright die, murder your heir, or be forced to abdicate. You can gain some really bad traits.
 
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Krey_Lollipop

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I was contemplating buying the Royal Edition, but I thought "hey, what is the chance that the first expansion will bring improvement to northernmost Europe of all places? What are the chances that one of those flavour packs will cover Sapmi and/or Finland?" Figuring those chances would be slim, I decided to go for the standard edition instead. Obviously it's still unclear what the expansion and the flavour packs will be about, but seeing this makes me a tad worried I made the "wrong" choice (my wallet doesn't blame me though).

There's also another thing I keep bringing up when it comes to speculation; is there any cross-game thematicism when it comes to development at Paradox? It's pretty likely HoI4 will get some Winter War flavour, but will we be seeing more snow beyond that :p?
 

pengoyo

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That would be cool, except half the time the AI ends up in multi year wars even though it only has enough gold to support it's army for 18 months. Temporary truces might solve that though, either that or... encouraging the AI to finish wars quickly and not get into ones that are going to last years unless it has the resources to do so.
Personally I think holding war goals and battles should be worth more warscore. That would do a lot to shorten wars and make small border skirmishes not turn into total war. Now doing so would also have the bonus of helping the AI avoid fighting in the winter.
 
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I was contemplating buying the Royal Edition, but I thought "hey, what is the chance that the first expansion will bring improvement to northernmost Europe of all places? What are the chances that one of those flavour packs will cover Sapmi and/or Finland?" Figuring those chances would be slim, I decided to go for the standard edition instead. Obviously it's still unclear what the expansion and the flavour packs will be about, but seeing this makes me a tad worried I made the "wrong" choice (my wallet doesn't blame me though).

There's also another thing I keep bringing up when it comes to speculation; is there any cross-game thematicism when it comes to development at Paradox? It's pretty likely HoI4 will get some Winter War flavour, but will we be seeing more snow beyond that :p?
I feel like you would have saved money by just buying the royal edition, it's a tidy lil discount on the DLC. We all know that the completionist force within each and every one of us is too strong to oppose in the end.

I share your enthusiasm for the Sapmi, especially after seeing the expanded area they have been given in CK3, but I also do not know if there would be enough content to be created to justify an entire "flavor pack" for only them. Let's be honest, the region is basically worthless even if you're a semi-nomadic reindeer hustling kindred group and any resemblance of power and martial influence over the neighbours would have been a straight-up fantasy in the making, especially since they weren't terribly dynastic or many. Regardless, it would have been nice to have them be some sort of trade incentive in furs and so would have a more passive influence on its neighbours.

EDIT: Suddenly I'm very inspired to make a mod for the Sapmi...
 
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LeonOfOddecca

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Skis and sleds compared to walking?

I can move heavy objects better on a properly frozen surface than I can on a soft, slightly damp, summer dirt road.

So you're imagining an entire army moving through several provinces on skis and sleds? :)

I wasn't suggesting that nothing can move faster in winter than in summer. I was taking it for granted that we're talking about an army full of men, horses, wagons, etc.
 

DreadLindwyrm

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So you're imagining an entire army moving through several provinces on skis and sleds? :)

I wasn't suggesting that nothing can move faster in winter than in summer. I was taking it for granted that we're talking about an army full of men, horses, wagons, etc.
And the wagons are the main thing slowing you down.

Putting them on sleds (even temporarily strapping runners to them( and going over frozen terrain can be faster (sometimes *much* faster) than on soft summer ground.
 
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DaviBones

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Most of the time it was like this.. until I got a shy character.

Yep shy is rough. Wait til you get a shy and paranoid character, it's brutal. I really like that a large part of the traits' values are actually tied to what event options they incentivize you to pick. There is way more of a push to act like your character actually would than there was in CKII.
 
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