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!
 

vandevere

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And could afford to have a fire in the main hall at all times...
Precisely! And since the lowest we can play are Counts, it's perfectly reasonable for us to not have to worry about things like frostbite when we are not at war...
 
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KomodoWaran

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[...]Winter is Coming[...]

IMO:

The Good:
- visual representation of winter on the map
- improved soundscape
- local province / barony overhaul

The Bad:
- winter having a significant impact on the supply situation of your armies:
Historically there were specific campaign seasons, which usually excluded winter.
Since this isn't modeled in the game, as a player you have no choice but to either suffer increased causalities during winter or to engage in even more tedious micromanagement of your armies.
Warfare is already the worst system of CK3, all you are doing with this addition is to make it more annoying for human players.
 
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mechl

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Let's clarify that a bit. Winter won't have an impact on gameplay outside of warfare. Winter mainly affect battles, by giving bonuses or penalties to MaAs, and increases the overall fatal casualties on both sides. Armies also loses supply over time (a modifier that increases with each winter severity, and is added on top of the normal penalty for being over the supply limit), along with a couple of other additions, such as an increased movement speed during winter if your commander has a corresponding commander trait.


As far as I know, ironman games should continue to run fine with the new version. Again though, if you have a save you are very invested in, I recommend you to continue with the 1.2.2 branch to avoid any potential issues.

Are the Winter effects moddable?
 

Voy

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IMO:

The Good:
- visual representation of winter on the map
- improved soundscape
- local province / barony overhaul

The Bad:
- winter having a significant impact on the supply situation of your armies:
Historically there were specific campaign seasons, which usually excluded winter.
Since this isn't modeled in the game, as a player you have no choice but to either suffer increased causalities during winter or to engage in even more tedious micromanagement of your armies.
Warfare is already the worst system of CK3, all you are doing with this addition is to make it more annoying for human players.
If anything is to be lamented it's the poor AI who'll get frostbitten first thing in winter.
 
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Tiax

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If anything is to be lamented it's the poor AI who'll get frostbitten first thing in winter.
I wonder if the effect of this update will be that you should always invade Russia in the winter because the AI will do a worse job of avoiding attrition than the human.
 
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Voy

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I wonder if the effect of this update will be that you should always invade Russia in the winter because the AI will do a worse job of avoiding attrition than the human.
I'd bet that's the more effective tactic unless being in defensive territory brings with it a certain advantage in terms of supplies still to avoid the problem. One must also consider the allies.
 

grommile

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I wonder if the effect of this update will be that you should always invade Russia in the winter because the AI will do a worse job of avoiding attrition than the human.
Put it this way, there's a reason EU4's attrition cap was lowered to 5% and extra attrition cap from winter was removed entirely :D
 
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LeonOfOddecca

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...along with a couple of other additions, such as an increased movement speed during winter if your commander has a corresponding commander trait.

Is there a default penalty to movement speed in winter? Because it doesn't make sense to be able to move faster in winter compared to summer, even with a special trait. It does make sense to move faster in winter with a special trait compared to those who lack the trait, but only if everyone moves slower in winter by default.
 
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StarkeBlade

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Gameplay-wise this sounds like something players will just ignore while Genghis Khan's stupid AI dies in Tibet. But visually it seems nice.
Pretty much this.

If you give the AI the option of stabbing themselves in the face with a rusty axe or ruling the world.... They will always choose the former.


I'd never played a CK game before a friend suggested it and I've been having a lot of fun, but the completely brain dead AI makes the game pretty boring pretty quickly (so I end up restarting a lot, and messing around, which is fun but....) and adding winter seems like it's only going to make it worse. I'm just envisioning the AI declaring war in the dead of winter and not a single troop makes it to the enemy capitol.

Are there any plans to make the AI.... not smart necessarily, but at least not face-palmingly stupid?
 
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vandevere

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Pretty much this.

If you give the AI the option of stabbing themselves in the face with a rusty axe or ruling the world.... They will always choose the former.


I'd never played a CK game before a friend suggested it and I'm having a lot of fun, but the completely brain dead AI takes some of the fun out of it and adding winter seems like it's only going to make it worse. I'm just envisioning the AI declaring war in the dead of winter and not a single troop makes it to the enemy capitol.

Are there any plans to make the AI.... not smart necessarily, but at least not face-palmingly stupid?
Maybe the devs could use real history to program AI war behavior. Declare War in the Spring, and try to get it done by Fall. Either that, or make it possible to declare temporary truces during the Winter Months...
 

DreadLindwyrm

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Is there a default penalty to movement speed in winter? Because it doesn't make sense to be able to move faster in winter compared to summer, even with a special trait. It does make sense to move faster in winter with a special trait compared to those who lack the trait, but only if everyone moves slower in winter by default.
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.
 
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Marc_Hicks

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What I find funny is that I was already taking account for winter during my game-play sessions. So between the Months of December & February I would avoid starting any wars or starting any new constructions.
 
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StarkeBlade

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Maybe the devs could use real history to program AI war behavior. Declare War in the Spring, and try to get it done by Fall. Either that, or make it possible to declare temporary truces during the Winter Months...
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.
 
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Prairie_Doggin

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I am bit sceptical about the consequences of a harsh weather because the game is not really made up for it. In games like Hearts of Iron you can plan for a winter campaign but in CK3 where battles could last weeks there is simply no way to avoid winter warfare. It's the same problem that makes it impossible to conquer England as William the Conquerer by Christmas 1066. The time flows to fast in comparison to the battles and the movement.

I think the weather effect will make things slightly more interesting but probably won't really have a very significant impact on much of anything in terms of planning or execution. Personally, I wish that warfare was less drawn out in general so things like winter, the harvest, feudal obligations, etc could be introduced as part of your planning process when going to war.
 
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Viridianus

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Cool. Yet, since you mention MAA... are there going to be MAA added for the two, IIRC, cultures that lack them: Assyrian and Alan? Alan, in particular, could reasonably use the all-Iranian Ayyar.
(And change the Dravidian MAA to something... different while you're at it?)
 
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Almas

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My biggest hope for 1.3 is, that they will remove the automatic alliance from a marriage and make it a nonagression pact at best. That way i wouldnt hesitate anymore to marry my dynasty members to kings and other landed people to increase my renown. I just dont want alliances most of the time to and be called to other wars or call them to mine. I want to achieve stuff myself :)
And that way the HRE would not invade ireland with their whole army anymore because some counts daughter got a good marriage.
 
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Brian Bóruma

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Connacht with their capital in the right place! :cool:

Looks like it'll be a great update.