This rework is somewhat more radical than the rework of the mainland, which focussed primarily on adding detail and tactical depth to the existing setup. For the Maritime region I wanted to provide a very different and much more engaging campaign experience that reflected the thriving and diverse Malay world that existed historically.
First thing to note is that all of the surrounding sea zones have been converted to Inland Seas, meaning that galleys get combat bonuses in the region. Naval warfare was very important in the Malay world, and Malay fleets tended to consist of smaller vessels not unlike those used in Mediterranean warfare.
Let’s take a closer look at the map:
Seen here is the Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra. Pattani and Kedah are no longer one-province minors; Pattani receives the inland province of Gerik, which historians believe may have been the origin of the kingdom, whie Kedah receives Penang, which would eventually become a point of conflict between the Sultanate and the British East India Company.
Malacca remains the dominant power on the Peninsula, but no longer controls the eastern half. The Sultanate of Kelantan and the Kingdom of Pahang are now independent. Pahang is the last non-Muslim polity on the Peninsula, and would historically be conquered by Malacca in 1454 and made into a vassal state. Its last Maharaja, Dewa Sura, sits upon a precarious throne. Kelantan is another city-state that would eventually fall to Malacca, and in 1444 shares a dynasty with the Sumatran nation of Jambi. Malacca has gained the province of Singapura, modern Singapore. Singapura is the origin of the Malacca Sultanate, and according to legend also the origin of many other Malay dynasties.
Quite a lot has changed on Sumatra. Besides its many additional nations and provinces, the central inland part of the island is now impassable. This to emphasize the importance of navies in the region and reflect how difficult it was to march armies across this hostile terrain.
There are several accounts of the origins of the Aceh Sultanate, located at the northern tip of Sumatra. It is generally considered to have come into being at the end of the 15th Century, being preceded by a kingdom named Lamuri about which we know little. I have opted to take a slightly ahistorical route and represent Aceh as a Sultanate in 1444. Aceh is one of the historical “winners” of the region; Sultan Iskandar Muda launched a successful campaign in the 17th Century that resulted in the conquests of much of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, and prior to that Aceh was already the dominant power in northern and western Sumatra. Aceh is also referred to as the “Porch of Mecca” owing to its importance in the spread of Islam to Maritime South-East Asia.
Western Sumatra is ruled by the Hindu and Buddhist nations of Barus, Pagaruyung, and Indrapura. Eastern Sumatra is far more Islamized, with the Sultanate of Deli, Siak, and Jambi having embraced the Sunni faith and leaving Palembang as the last Hindu state on that side of the island. On the topic of Palembang, it remains under the rule of Chinese elites following the expulsion of the pirates by Zheng He, and players that own Golden Century still have the option to restore the pirates to power. Palembang has received an additional province on the southern tip of the island; the area today known as Lampung produced an immense amount of pepper and as such has been given a significant goods produced modifier.
Onwards to Java! The familiar kingdoms of Majapahit (Mahajapit, Majahapit, Mapajahit, Mahapajit, Mapajahit, Majahapit?) and Sunda have received a fair few additional provinces - Java is a very populated place both historically and today. Sunda is now the home of the Sundanese people, a new culture in the Malay group made distinct from Javanese. Two new nations appear on the map in 1444: Blambangan and Bali. Both are represented as Tributary States of Majapahit. Majapahit is a nation in its death throes. An empire that once spanned across Maritime South-East Asia is now struggling to hold together its remaining Javanese territory. We’ll talk more about the fall (and potential resurgence) of Majapahit in a later dev diary.
Here we have Borneo (left), Sulawesi (center) and the Moluccas (right). These more distant nations, with the very notable exception of Brunei, have yet to embrace Islam and follow a mix of Hindu and Animist faiths. The Hindu kingdoms of Borneo are Sambas, Berau, Kutai, and Banjar. The Animist kingdoms of Sulawesi are Makassar, Bone, Luwu, and Buton. Coastal Borneo would become dominated by the Bruneian Empire during our period, which will be reflected in Brunei’s mission tree. The interior of Borneo remains impassable. Even today it is extremely difficult to traverse except by its indigenous tribal people, and no nation in our time period attempted to make incursions into the interior, being fully aware of the impossibility of maintaining rule.
Ternate and Tidore are the only nations in the aptly named Spice Islands. Tidore and Ternate share a small mission tree that allows them to colonize the surrounding islands. In 1444 they have a monopoly on a new trade good: Cloves. Cloves initially exist only on Tidore and Ternate themselves, but have a very high chance of being discovered on colonized provinces in the surrounding islands. With a base price of 8, a province effect of +20% local trade power, and a trading bonus of +5% trade efficiency Cloves are by far the most desirable trade good in the game prior to the availability of Coal. Note that as always, numbers presented in dev diaries are not final.
The formable nation of Malaya has undergone several changes. Firstly, the requirements have changed to owning at least 40 provinces in the Malaya or Indonesia regions, as well as several specific provinces depending on your religion. When you form Malaya, you’ll immediately get an event giving you the option of what to name your new nation. You can always choose Malaya or Nusantara (a geographical Malay term for the entire region). If you have the Srivijaya dynasty - Malacca begins with it in 1444 - you can choose Srivijaya, while if you form the nation as Majapahit you can choose to name yourself the Majapahit Empire. This uses the same cosmetic name change mechanic that we introduced with the Kingdom of God in 1.30.
That’s all for this week! I haven’t yet decided on the topic of next week’s dev diary - most likely we’ll focus on a major nation in South-East Asia. If there’s any nation either in Mainland or Maritime South-East Asia you want me to talk about in more detail for next week, let me know in the comments and I’ll consider it. Until then, have a great week!
Neondt and gigau have - multiple times - said that the subject of the DDs are South East Asia. Given that the developers tasked with bug fixes and balancing issues are not here and not available to answer your questions in any meaningful way, we are not entertaining those topics in Neondt's threads. Posts ignoring this warning and those posted by the demi-moderators will be deleted and the user infracted as all those posts do is serve to create a negative emotion feedback loop.