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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!
 

LeonOfOddecca

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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.

Do you know of any instance in history which confirms this?
 
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Krey_Lollipop

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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...
No kidding, the completionist force is crazy. That said, I haven't really gotten into CK yet, really the main reasons I own CK3 at all is a) said force, b) customization and c) being able to play in Sapmi/Finland without any trickery (Finland is pretty limited in HoI4, especially the good half;)). So unless one of the DLCs covers the north I'm not exactly dying to get it. Better then to wait for a sale.

I also just remembered one of my first and only CK2 games. Played as THE local Sami ruler (I only think there was one, local to me that is). Started off as a vassal and a year later my character died without an heir. I might have been unlucky, but CK3 sure improves the playability in the region. I especially love the long and narrow mountain passes which really give the area a distinct look.

What I can say about a flavor pack is that it could be bundled with say the vikings. They're popular and having fancy vikings but vanilla neighbours/subjects (or vice-versa) would probably ruin the immersion for some. There could also be some fun alt-history potentials here, like how there are sources claiming some Sami participated in the settlement of Iceland. I don't know how that works in CK3 at the moment, but considering what Iceland looks like on the CK3 map I don't expect it to be much to brag about.

But even under the assumption that Sapmi/Finland would be bundled with some of their more popular neighbours, I found it to be too much of a bet still. Vikings do seem like likely candidates for DLC, but there are so many other possibilites and I didn't wanna risk paying 25€ extra for some fancy Italians or whatever. Fun if you're playing as them, but I haven't gotten there yet.
 
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Jarolleon

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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.
Meanwhile the stats you get from them are rather superfluous once you capture the House of Wisdom & University of Pataliputra and get some lifestyle traits.
 

TheFeudalBavarian

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Question to the developers:

Since you add winter to the game here is a big question: Around the very late 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century (somewhat ~1275 until about ~1875) we entered something called the Little Ice Age. The biggest effect to the period of the middle ages was when warm summers stopped being dependable in Northern Europe starting 1300, as well as winters being longer and colder in average. That lead to much less agriculture output. Is this something you planning to simulate with the new winter game mechanics by having average colder and longer winters starting around the year 1300? This definably would add to historical realism. It also would make the late game a little bit more challenging since it is by far too easy as of right now.
 
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Taritu

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Certain types of cavalry, notably steppe nomad, do very well in harsh winters. The Mongols moved faster in winter than in summer.
 
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FryFroFella

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Very nice, didn't expect this at all. Would love to see similar features implemented for monsoons in India, maybe the Harmattan in West Africa. Hey, maybe a whole climate map mode where you can see the regional variations and special buildings are available for appropriate cultures in their borders. Special monsoon wind trading posts in India and the Horn of Africa, spring fairgrounds buildings in Europe that give a boost to income, prestige, and/or province satisfaction that depends on how harsh the prior winter was. Seasonal fertility/harvest festivals for pagan cultures, Christians/Muslims can ban them as heresy or syncretize the festivals for greater province satisfaction and decreased risk of rebellion but also decreased conversion time, maybe with the chance of spawning dynamic syncretic folk religions that are harder to convert to the true faith without more brutality?

Which reminds me, I'd love more features relating to the peasantry and common tribals, making them feel dynamic and alive. Of course the dynasties are the draw of the game, but they need to have subjects!

But I could go all day, excited for this, looks very neat.
 
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DreadLindwyrm

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Do you know of any instance in history which confirms this?
I can't specifically quote anything that would show a military use, but then I'm not a student of warfare in the far and frozen north, and couldn't point to a specific organised army fighting in winter that would have benefited from it.

I have however had to move heavy loads over frozen ground myself, and it was easier than in the summer with damp, soft ground where the wheels sink and get bogged down.
 

Red_warning

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They didn't call summer "campaigning season" for nothing :D
 
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BrotherJonathan

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I was actually just about to suggest they add this. I heartily approve; should make long campaigns a bit more strategic, since you'd now have to find winter quarters for your army before it gets too cold.
 
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Vanticus

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Is anyone else not getting the Dev Diaries displaying on the forum home screen? Normally they appear on the front page but I had to come directly to the CKIII forum page to find it.
 
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Riamus

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Do you know of any instance in history which confirms this?
I don't know about summer ground being an issue and winter would certainly bog down wagons unless the ground is very hard. Maybe they were using skis on the wagons back then, but I don't really know. One thing, however, is that spring time is often the worst time for moving heavy wagons because of the rain causing a lot of mud. There's a good reason why the Romans were so into building roads. It gave them the ability to move their troops very quickly (comparatively) from place to place without the issues caused by muddy dirt paths, not to mention having a wider path than you'd generally have or no path at all.

For heavy wagons--

Spring = Really bad time due to sinking into mud, except during drought years
Summer = Generally a good time unless you live in an area that is very wet in the summer and then it may be similar to Spring
Fall = Generally a good time
Winter = Not a good time unless they used skis (not sure if they did) or if the snow is not deep or is frozen over well enough not to break through and sink and there is the benefit of crossing frozen water (rivers, lakes, etc.) more easily in the winter

Of course, some armies used heavy wagons less often (I don't think Mongols used them too much) and so the seasonal effects would be less for them. Light cavalry can often move fairly easily through muddy and snowy land as long as they don't sink too badly compared to other troops. Light infantry can often move more easily as long as the snow isn't too deep and can more easily move around the worst muddy areas to avoid being slowed down than the supply carts. Heavy infantry and cavalry are going to usually be in a similar situation as heavy wagons.

This is just in general and may not always be true and may not affect certain cultures as much due to how they waged war. But I believe much of European warfare used the heavy wagon supply lines that would cause problems whenever you have bad road conditions.
 
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grommile

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Fall = Generally a good time
Depends strongly on the local climate and geology.

Famously, western Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine have mud season twice a year – first from the spring thaw, and then from autumn rainfall.
 
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Riamus

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Depends strongly on the local climate and geology.

Famously, western Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine have mud season twice a year – first from the spring thaw, and then from autumn rainfall.
Good point. Fall can certainly be a wet season in certain parts of CK's map and it's may also be true that some areas don't normally experience wet springs. So to clarify Spring and Fall... These are either going to be good times or bad times depending on whether or not the season is wet or dry. :)
 
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Thomas_Oak

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I think it would be rather good to have some rivers become non-navigable in harsh winter, keeping the vikings to the coast for a short while.
 
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Cooleatack

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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.

View attachment 685202

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.

View attachment 685219

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.

View attachment 685220

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.

View attachment 685221

View attachment 685222

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!


Thank you for the dev diary that we have been asking for! Love the extra dynamism that is being added to the map and map changes are always fun to see. Ireland did feel a tad empty, so I am happy it got some more meat to it
 
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Cooleatack

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It's not possible to have winter appear at two different times. Other than that, winter should be fairly moddable. You can set exactly which provinces have winter, and how likely they are to get the different severities of winter by setting a "bias" value on them. There are a number of default values set in defines that can be overriden by individual provinces as well.

Wouldn’t you be able to create a seperate effect for a southern hemisphere winter? I mean in theory, as I realise there is no Southern hemisphere yet
 
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