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It's time for another cycle of developer diaries on Crusader Kings II and I thought I'd begin by talking about the new start date and giving you a broad overview of the upcoming expansion; The Old Gods. Yes, we're pushing back the earliest possible start date to 867 AD. This is a special bookmark that comes with the expansion (and you will not be able to start at dates between 867 and 1066 without modding.)

Europe is a very different place in 867... Many of the familiar countries have not yet come into being. There is no Hungary, no Poland, no Russian principalities and the British Isles and Scandinavia are full of petty kingdoms. The Carolingians still rule the Franks, but the great Empire of Charlemagne has been divided between four of his descendants. In the Byzantine Empire, a new dynasty has just risen - the House of Makedon - destined to restore some of its former glory. The Muslims are in the middle of a drawn-out crisis as the once enormous Abbasid Caliphate has fractured, with a succession of Caliphs being murdered by their own Turkish generals.

CKII_ToG_DD_01_Europe_867.png

Most importantly, however, the North and East are completely dominated by bustling tribes of unrepentant heathens who remain less than impressed with the White Christ. Why debase yourself before a dead man on a cross when you can loot the riches of his fat clergy instead? Just as the fury of the Northmen descends on the undefended shores of Europe, other, equally pagan threats are on the rise in the steppes of Tartaria. Like the Avars before them, the feared Magyar horse lords are pushing into Europe from beyond the Carpathians. Why is all this more important than the affairs of Christians and Muslims? Because with The Old Gods, all these heathens are finally playable! (But you probably knew that already. :D )

CKII_ToG_DD_01_Magyar_Invasion.png

Playing a pagan chieftain is at least as different as playing a Muslim. Not only that, there are significant differences between the various heathen religions. Some are aggressive in nature, like the Norse and Tengri beliefs, and some are more defensive, like the Finno-Ugric faith. For example, the warlike Norse will suffer a prestige loss for being at peace for too long, and will need to wage war or set sail to pillage and loot. The Finns don't have this problem, but on the other hand, their vassals will dislike having their troops raised (like Christians). Some faiths get defensive bonuses and larger garrisons in their homelands, some don't, etc. However, they can all potentially be reformed to withstand the allure of the new religions.

CKII_ToG_DD_01_The_Great_Heathen_Army.png

In the coming weeks, I will explain the different religions in detail. I will, of course, also talk about other new features, like traversible rivers, new cultures, Zoroastrians, Adventurers, and much more. Stay tuned, and here are some more screenshots to tease and titillate!

CKII_ToG_DD_01_Loot_and_Pillage.pngCKII_ToG_DD_01_Varangians.pngCKII_ToG_DD_01_The_Last_Zoroastrians.png





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nitroholic

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You do realise you don't have to play on the exact start date and can just change the year manually.

You won't be able to change the start date for The Old Gods; 867 is the only start date.
 

Alerias

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You won't be able to change the start date for The Old Gods; 867 is the only start date.

Well you can still change it to 1066+

Furthermore, modding dates betwen 867 and 1065 will not be very hard. The only reason theyre not enabling every single date is because that represents too much research, but it'll certainly be done as a community project.
 

Westysnipes

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You won't be able to change the start date for The Old Gods; 867 is the only start date.

They said you can do it only with modding. I'm sure mods will come and will fix it like CK2+. Or you can do it manually as others suggested.
 

Rewjeo

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Macbeth is in the game's history files already, right? With titles and stuff? You should already be able to manually change the start date to play as him, if that's the case. Old Gods may actually get rid of that, though, since the current system would allow anyone to access the start date with a minor tweak of a text file.
 

nyah

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Macbeth is in the game's history files already, right? With titles and stuff? You should already be able to manually change the start date to play as him, if that's the case. Old Gods may actually get rid of that, though, since the current system would allow anyone to access the start date with a minor tweak of a text file.

All that stuff is there for flavour, and to keep the regnal numbers correct in the 1066 start. Taking out the historical characters would break this. Although some may argue that it is the result of some DLCs I'm sure paradox don't intend that additional optional content should break the game for those who choose not to buy it.
 

ChildeR

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Macbeth is in the game's history files already, right? With titles and stuff? You should already be able to manually change the start date to play as him, if that's the case.

You can, but only a part of the titles have characters even in 1040, fewer still once you get closer to 867. This means you can play, but some realms will be quite messed up:

http://i45.tinypic.com/2gv2bmr.jpg
 

satyrlord

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DreadLindwyrm

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Map is easy as pie. Just copy this: http://geacron.com

Fine if it matches the borders used in the game.

Also notice the gaps geacron has. Apparently Wales, Ireland and most of Scotland are uninhabited, and there's a suspicious blank section just north of the Balkans. Russia is also fairly blank.
 

Prutenio

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Can't wait to unite Suomenusko Finland. Or bring Romuva Lithuania to its RL prominence.

Just a slight nitpick, though - shouldn't Cumberland and the province between it and Galloway (Teviotdale?) be part of Alt Clud/Galloway? I don't think it was under Northumbrian control at that point.
 

Londinium

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I'm a total ignorant in the topic but shouldn't the "Cornwall" region of the British island be called Dumnonia instead?

Yes. Also who controlled Devon at the time is very vague, although more likely to have been Wessex at the time, so Cornwall/Dumnonia is a bit too large.
 

Jon Severinsson

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If they removed some barony slots I guess this is a balance thing as the county of Småland is far too powerful giving it's historical non-existing importance at the time.
Actually Småland was twelve separate very petty kingdoms at the time (Kinda, Tveta, Vista, Vedbo, Tjust, Sevede, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend, Finnveden, and Njudung; collectively known as the "small countries", which is "små land" in Swedish).

The historically "right" thing to do would be to split it into several smaller single-holding counties, make each of them an independent county-level petty kingdom, while making Småland a de-jure duchy no-one holds (including all those counties and Öland, but not Gotland that is included in the current Småland duchy, the county Gotland should belong to the Gotland duchy, which currently is a titular duchy just to allow the creation of the merchant republic of Gotland). But seeing the unimportance of the area, I completely understand if they don't bother...
 

Theddude

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So from what I can see here, the Zoroastrians use Muslim-style shields with Christian coats of arms, but they use the Pagan interface skin? That's a really strange mix. Wouldn't they be better off using the Muslim interface? The Pagan skin feels very Northern European, with the wooden overlays and so forth.

Well the player character is still Halfdan White-Shirt from what I can see, so it's still the Norse interface, so it might be that they don't at this point in time. I think it'd be awesome to see a kind of yellow/gold sandstonish overlay for them, but I'm guessing that won't happen and they'll probably use the Muslim interface. It'll be interesting if they get certain aspects from each of the other religions, and I hope there are some cool options for their dynasty coat of arms.
 

Voy

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Actually Småland was twelve separate very petty kingdoms at the time (Kinda, Tveta, Vista, Vedbo, Tjust, Sevede, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend, Finnveden, and Njudung; collectively known as the "small countries", which is "små land" in Swedish).

The historically "right" thing to do would be to split it into several smaller single-holding counties, make each of them an independent county-level petty kingdom, while making Småland a de-jure duchy no-one holds (including all those counties and Öland, but not Gotland that is included in the current Småland duchy, the county Gotland should belong to the Gotland duchy, which currently is a titular duchy just to allow the creation of the merchant republic of Gotland). But seeing the unimportance of the area, I completely understand if they don't bother...

You don't have to lecture, I know that history perfectly well. But Småland was never organised either so it would be a crime to even call it twelve petty kingdoms and it's no reason to give it more barony slots because even if it was twelve petty kingdoms neither of them ever held the power of a count, not even a lesser count. Besides it's ridiculously large in the 1.09 version so 1.10 map will be a welcome change.
 

Nuril

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Map is easy as pie. Just copy this: http://geacron.com

Yes, what could possibly go wrong with relying solely on one example drawn up from the internet - which has noticeable errors and voids - instead of doing proper research!

Actually Småland was twelve separate very petty kingdoms at the time (Kinda, Tveta, Vista, Vedbo, Tjust, Sevede, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend, Finnveden, and Njudung; collectively known as the "small countries", which is "små land" in Swedish).

The historically "right" thing to do would be to split it into several smaller single-holding counties, make each of them an independent county-level petty kingdom,

That is unreasonable. There is no way my home-province justifies twelve provinces. Even a split into the more appropriate old 3 for the current monolith wouldn't have many holdings worth of resources. Many provinces contain regions which traditionally are considered separate provinces, but would be improper for the game. Some areas also have significant differences in how minutely they divide even territory firmly in their grasp, but one would hardly give those areas thrice the province count just for that.

Meore, Finnheden and Njudung are the ones I picked and gave the surrounding areas to depending on proximity. East, West and North.

Besides it's ridiculously large in the 1.09 version so 1.10 map will be a welcome change.

..What, exactly, is accomplished by redrawing the way it looks if it's only more incorrect without changing any actual balance? What Småland needs is to not be singled out for reduction of provinces over from CK1->CK2 as one of the only places in Europe, despite being very much divided. That it's made Catholic, being the longest Ásatrú-ruled region, and under the direct rule of the Swedish King rather than unruly vassals just makes it worse.
 

Jon Severinsson

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That is unreasonable. There is no way my home-province justifies twelve provinces. Even a split into the more appropriate old 3 for the current monolith wouldn't have many holdings worth of resources. Many provinces contain regions which traditionally are considered separate provinces, but would be improper for the game. Some areas also have significant differences in how minutely they divide even territory firmly in their grasp, but one would hardly give those areas thrice the province count just for that.
Of course I never meant to suggest making a province for each historical country, that would be very over-powered indeed. Currently, Småland contains five holding-slots, and what I meant to suggest was making each into a separate county. Three provinces, each with a single holding at the start, with space for another holding in two of them, would probably be more balanced though.
 

3inar

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Of course I never meant to suggest making a province for each historical country, that would be very over-powered indeed. Currently, Småland contains five holding-slots, and what I meant to suggest was making each into a separate county. Three provinces, each with a single holding at the start, with space for another holding in two of them, would probably be more balanced though.

I made a mod for all of the small kingdoms of Småland a while back, but I will look into re making it and uppdating it for the old gods expansion unless Paradox makes something like it themselves. I love playing my home area in CK (Tveta, Jönköping area). If you have some apropreate names for leaders and families in småland at the time you can PM me about it. Last time I just used fun names but looking to be a bitt more serius this time.