Dev Diary #70 - The Facts about Artifacts

Hello everyone! Shoes here, back to talk about what is genuinely my favorite feature of The Royal Court — Artifact generation! One of the goals we had for Artifacts in CK3 was to ensure that the artifacts your rulers acquire will feel truly distinct from another. No longer will you have a royal treasury filled with identical swords — now you will have a royal treasury filled with an assorted variety of different swords!

Artifact Features​

All Artifacts in the game can have a set of Features that determine both how they were created as well as what they were made from. For example, ‘Oak’, ‘Ash’, and ‘Pine’ are all features of the ‘Wood’ type, which is used to make wooden furniture, spear shafts, book covers, etc., while ‘Engraved’, ‘Filigreed’, and ‘Painted’ are ‘Decoration’-type features which skilled craftspeople can use to decorate artifacts to make them more suitable for royalty.

The main use of Features is to create immersive descriptions for the artifact. Whenever a new artifact is created (such as from an Inspiration), it will gain a set of appropriate Features based on various factors including culture, geography, craftsmanship quality, wealth of the capital city, and event decisions made during the creation process. These Features are then used by the artifact’s description to emphasize any distinctive characteristics that it has! Note that that these Features will not be represented in the 2D and 3D art of the Artifact, as we have far more varieties of Feature than we could reasonably produce art for.

ArtifactExamplesItalian2.png

A screenshot containing 6 example Artifacts. NOTE:Under active development. Values and content subject to change.​

The thing I love about this system is not just that it will generate and display differences between two different axes your ruler commissions from a blacksmith — it is that those differences will be even more pronounced between Artifacts created in the different regions of the world. This means Artifacts that you loot from your defeated foes while on crusade or during overseas raids will be far more distinct from other Artifacts in your treasury, serving as a memento of the great distances you or your ancestors traveled on their journeys.

Of course, we have many types of Artifacts apart from weapons, and some of the material and craftsmanship differences become truly pronounced when you start looking at the type of Artifacts that are created explicitly for rulers to show off with! For example, a crown crafted in Afghanistan might feature pieces of its legendary lapis lazuli, while one made in the Baltic region could instead feature an impressive chunk of amber as a centerpiece. Different varieties of gemstones, cloth, lumber, shells, and animal horns… the range of possible combinations is truly vast!

ArtifactExamples2.png

A screenshot containing 6 example Artifacts. NOTE:Under active development. Values and content subject to change.​

Artifact Modifiers​

As you probably noticed in the above screenshots, every Artifact has a set of character modifiers which are applied to their owner while they have them equipped. Unlike in CK2, there are no ‘slotless’ Artifacts, so in order to gain any benefit from owning an Artifact at all you must have it equipped in one of your personal slots (Weapon, Armor, Regalia, Crown, Trinket) or court slots (Lectern, Throne, Wall Hanging, etc.). By ensuring you can only have a set number of artifacts benefiting a character at once, it becomes much easier for us to balance Artifacts and avoid the massive bonuses characters could gain in CK2 by accumulating vast libraries of forgotten lore, new inventions, and piles of statues.

One guiding principle we used while designing these Artifact Modifiers is the “no overtly supernatural effects” rule that guided us during the base game’s development. For example, a masterfully-forged weapon granting Prowess is straightforward and sensible, as characters fight better with a good weapon in hand. That same weapon boosting Advantage or Army Gold Maintenance is maybe less obvious, but can still be explained by serving as a symbol of hope and inspiration for the soldiers in an army and boosting their morale. Something like No Penalty For Crossing Rivers is nonsensical for an Artifact weapon though — we are not giving rulers access to the equivalent of a fully-functional Staff of Moses! Modders, of course, can add whatever modifiers they wish to an Artifact.

Historical Artifacts and Trinkets​


Of course, not all Artifacts will be artisanal masterpieces! The important thing for Artifacts is that they are meaningful to their owner in some way — this meaning doesn’t need to be purely economic or functional!

Instead, some Artifacts may have great historical value despite a plain appearance, such as Charlemage’s Throne. Other Artifacts might only hold sentimental value, such as a good-luck charm or a locket given to you by a lover which reduces Stress. Finally, some Artifacts may instead be relics of a rather… dubious provenance, yet still useful for those who believe in their power (or at least claim to).

bones3.png


Growing Pains​


Work on the Royal Court expansion is progressing, and it's looking better each day that passes. Now, we want to be upfront and say that it's going to take longer than many of us expect for the expansion to be released. There are many reasons for this; the expansion is very technically challenging and we're doing things we've never done before from the ground up. We want a Royal Court that looks as grand as the mechanics that support it.

We've also had the recent organizational changes that affect how we work, as many of you know we've split into three studios - and with change comes a period of adaptation. The team has grown significantly in recent times. A lot of time has been spent onboarding new members to the team, and we've onboarded more people than we ever have before. While it may have a negative short-term impact, it's definitely going to be a solid investment for the future of CK3, not only for the release of Royal Court, but also our future expansions, and beyond. Of course the extended period of working from home makes things take longer than expected. This is something we have touched on before due to how the working conditions have been recently.

Rest assured that we're still working as hard as we can and things are progressing nicely, and are aiming for a release later this year. We will of course have more exciting details to share in upcoming dev diaries.

For now we’ll leave you with this little extra teaser:
teaser.png
 
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The devs have specifically stated that there will be a limit on name length and dashes.
I wish there would be a game rule to use endochoronyms and even choronyms* (for either the region or the main county) instead of dashes for divergent and merged culture names since it would be more immersive
I realise that would be ahistorical but then again the entire point of the game and the feature itself is to create alternate history
 
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I wish there would be a game rule to use endochoronyms and even chromonyms (for either the region or the main county) instead of dashes for divergent and merged culture names since it would be more immersive
I realise that would be ahistorical but then again the entire point of the game and the feature itself is to create alternate history
How exactly would that work out? Choronyms are names for regions, named after the people - are you suggesting using existing choronyms and work backwards from them to name new cultures that form in those regions? That seems very counterintuitive to me.
 

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I wish there would be a game rule to use endochoronyms and even chromonyms (for either the region or the main county) instead of dashes for divergent and merged culture names since it would be more immersive
Divergent cultures take their names from the locations mostly. So if you create a French divergent culture as the Duke of Anju it would probably end up being named Angevine culture. The problem with doing that with merged cultures is that you can merge cultures at a variety of places. Rurik can merge Norse and Russian culture but it wouldn't make sense to call it "Kievan Rus" if he doesn't own Kiev. The devs have said that there are some specific culture combinations that will get historical names if they appear in specific regions though.
 
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How exactly would that work out? Choronyms are names for regions, named after the people - are you suggesting using existing choronyms and work backwards from them to name new cultures that form in those regions? That seems very counterintuitive to me.
The idea is for this would be to name a culture based on the region where it originated alone. If Norse create a divertent culture based in Kent for example it would be nice if game considered the name Kentish for that unique culture instead of doing Neo-Norse. Not only Norse might diverge many times after that but it would make sense to backtrack where did the divergence or merge occur simply by looking at the culture name.

Not all names have to be in English and names localised to other languages could be used alternatively, especially now when cultures will have a primary language.

Divergent cultures take their names from the locations mostly. So if you create a French divergent culture as the Duke of Anju it would probably end up being named Angevine culture. The problem with doing that with merged cultures is that you can merge cultures at a variety of places. Rurik can merge Norse and Russian culture but it wouldn't make sense to call it "Kievan Rus" if he doesn't own Kiev. The devs have said that there are some specific culture combinations that will get historical names if they appear in specific regions though.
From previous DDs I was under impression that divergent cultures would have a prefix (something along the lines Neo-Norse or Neo-Cisalpine)
The 2nd part for predetermined names in case all criteria are met are perfectly reasonable.
 
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From previous DDs I was under impression that divergent cultures would have a prefix (something along the lines Neo-Norse or Neo-Cisalpine)
From here. The DDs have never said anything remotely along the lines that cultures would be called "Neo." No idea where you that from.

  • Kufan, Bedouin Divergence, emerged in 933.
  • Badarayani, Mashriqi Divergence, emerged in 956.
  • Kurdo-Mashriqi, Hybrid Culture, emerged in 911.
  • Nihawandi, Persian Divergence, emerged in 907.
  • Shirvani, Persian Divergence, emerged in 946.
 
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From here. The DDs have never said anything remotely along the lines that cultures would be called "Neo." No idea where you that from.
When a culture is created, we check to make sure that the name isn't used already. An example would be if you hold the kingdom of Poland and create a divergent culture. Normally, you would get a "Polish" culture, but since that exists already, we apply a prefix to create something like "Neo-Polish".
 
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I'd be curious how often something like that will end up happening in game. If you are the King of Poland you are also presumably the head of Polish culture and can change the culture instead of creating a new one. I am curious about multiple hybrid cultures though because tagging them with "Neo" doesn't make a lot of sense to me but we'll just have to wait to the DLC comes out.
 
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I'd be curious how often something like that will end up happening in game. If you are the King of Poland you are also presumably the head of Polish culture and can change the culture instead of creating a new one. I am curious about multiple hybrid cultures though because tagging them with "Neo" doesn't make a lot of sense to me but we'll just have to wait to the DLC comes out.
You might be diverging it in order to remove or replace a tradition you don't want, and so changing the culture might not work for you.
 

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You might be diverging it in order to remove or replace a tradition you don't want, and so changing the culture might not work for you.
It feels off to me that the head of a culture can create a divergent culture. Additionally, making the player/ruler have to create a new culture to change a tradition seems unnecessarily complicated instead of just letting them change it. If the point is to model cultural change across time then changing a tradition should be an option as well.
 
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That represents the Artifact's durability. Artifacts lose durability over time, especially when worn or displayed, and can also be damaged in events such as sieges or duels.

You can repair an Artifact's missing durability by paying gold to reforge it. The cost shouldn't be too burdensome, but it does incentivize selling off or giving away old Artifacts you're no longer using instead of just letting them accumulate in your treasury. As always, these values are under development and subject to change.

Hi! Please add some artifact love, to Byzantine Empire. I bought CK3, for same reasons I play CK2 n EU4. That reason is The Byzantine Empire. I pick up all the DLCs, but ultimately, I only see their content, if it effects the Empire, as I have no interest in playing any other civilization. Right now, CK3 is largely unplayable 4me, as there is too little content for the Empire. I'm willing to wait a few years, if I have 2, before I start playing. But any love you can give Byzantium, until the time u folks make a Byzantine DLC, is much appreciated! Maybe with enough supporting content, u can help me start playing CK3, be4 Byzantium DLC is made. Please, if possible, make their ancient civilization interesting. Culture, artifacts, anything you can give us! Thank you! Your dedicated customer, Mastah Jedi!

PS: obviously its impossible to make Byzantine Empire very interesting, until you fill up the Catholic and Islamic world with content. So much of Byzantine history, is centered on a struggle with those two civilizations. But, all the small steps towards flashing out the most fascinating and sophisticated civilization of the time period, go a long way.

(Much love to HoI4, Stellaris n Imperator Rome teams, my other favorite Paradox titles)
 
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For now we’ll leave you with this little extra teaser:
View attachment 750386


While I like the addition of the Court Room, your Designers have fallen to the same topos like all Hollywood producers.
Medieval castles had plastered walls. The aristocracy loved to show-off. There wouldnt be bare walls. Rather painted and decorated walls. Please consider that
 
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While I like the addition of the Court Room, your Designers have fallen to the same topos like all Hollywood producers.
Medieval castles had plastered walls. The aristocracy loved to show-off. There wouldnt be bare walls. Rather painted and decorated walls. Please consider that
They should let players be interior decorators with court.
 
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While I like the addition of the Court Room, your Designers have fallen to the same topos like all Hollywood producers.
Medieval castles had plastered walls. The aristocracy loved to show-off. There wouldnt be bare walls. Rather painted and decorated walls. Please consider that
that and in many cases, they *loved* covering them in very reflective decorations, because torches indoors are horrible. so you had large windows shining onto 1 wall, and had to have as many polished decorations as possible to evenly scatter that light, especially at dawn and dusk.
 
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DreadLindwyrm

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that and in many cases, they *loved* covering them in very reflective decorations, because torches indoors are horrible. so you had large windows shining onto 1 wall, and had to have as many polished decorations as possible to evenly scatter that light, especially at dawn and dusk.
Apparently polished copper shields behind oil lamps was popular as well. I wouldn't want to be the one having to keep polishing them though.
 
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