Imperator Dev Diary - 28/10/19

Hello there!

Today I have the pleasure of telling you about the Punic missions, and give you a deeper look into the mission system.

For Carthage, we have split the missions into two categories, conquest and infrastructure, for the sake of simplicity. In the conquest based missions we have focused on the Punic spheres of influence like Sicily, Africa, Iberia, Rome, and even Phoenicia. Whereas for the infrastructure ones, we have looked at some of their strengths, i.e their navies and their commerce.

It should be noted that most of these missions would become active for any Punic country of some size, not just Carthage themselves.


Aegis of Africa (Conquest)

Africa is the heart of the Carthaginian might, with its rich fertile farms and many Punic settlements. At the start your have a lot of small feudatories as well as the two large tribal vassals in Musulamia and Massylia. Historically the latter would go on to defect to Rome during the Second Punic War, and form a large kingdom threatening their weakened Punic neighbor.

upload_2019-10-28_14-53-7.png


For the mission tasks in this mission, you will mainly focus on integrating your many feudatories, and put an end to the tribal vassals at your borders. As for your larger Feudatories in Emporia and Tripolitania, their integration is set aside as optional mission tasks, giving the player the choice if you want to keep them as feudatories or not. As for the final task, you will be given the choice of two permanent bonuses.


An End to Sicillian Warfare (Conquest)

Sicily was a thorn in the side of Carthage, as the Greco-Punic wars for the island had already been an on-going thing for close to 200 years at this point. Just before the start date of Imperator Agathokles, the Greek Tyrant of Syracuse, had brought the war all the way to Africa and ravaged the Punic heartland.

upload_2019-10-28_14-53-38.png


The mission tasks for this mission is focused around completely conquering the island, and building up the ancient Phoenician cities on the island. In addition, early on you have a choice if you want to liberate or… “liberate” Akragas.

upload_2019-10-28_14-53-45.png


In the second half of the mission we have set aside some optional mission tasks to build some heavy ships, and for the player to be able to improve the wine and grain trade goods across the island. When finishing up the mission, you will be able to focus your efforts on integrating the area or to make a Feudatory that will be put in charge of the island.


The Iberian Struggle (Conquest)

The Phoenicians settled in southern Iberia several centuries before our start date, and by the time of the 3rd century BCE these areas had mostly fallen under Carthaginian influence. The Carthaginians would go on to take control of the rich silver mines of south-eastern Iberia, and the Roman occupation of the area played a decisive role in turning the tide of the Second Punic War.

upload_2019-10-28_14-53-55.png


For the mission tasks in the mission, you will focus on taking control of the silver mines in south-east Iberia, as well as setting up defenses in the nearby area. You will be able to move down two separate routes to either the mission task ‘Hispanic Overlord’ or ‘Rise of Carthago Nova’. The former will quell the unrest in the area, and the latter will make a new Colony subject named Carthago Nova who will gain control of your holdings in Iberia.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-3.png



Aftermath of the Revolution (Infrastructure):

During the war with Agathokles Bomilcar was a leading commander, and some say a Suffete of Carthage, and one of the strongmen in charge of the state. It is said he was willing to let the Greeks run wild, in the hopes that he could overthrow the Carthaginian government and become a tyrant in his own right. Though his coup failed, the Carthaginian state was still shook for a long time by this unbecoming little revolt.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-14.png


At the start of the game you will be able to pick up the pieces of the failed coup, and try to make your own mark on the Carthaginian government. You could either try to ally up with the Council of the 104 and turn the state more oligarchic, find like-minded among those who once took part in the revolution and turn more plutocratic, or strengthen the current system. The old “Mercenary Patron” decision has also been implemented as part of this mission, and removed as a decision.


Trade Investments (Infrastructure):

The Phoenicians were known as avid traders through most of the Antiquity, bringing goods from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, making quite a fortune while doing so. With the rise of Carthage in the west, they became the new overlords of the western trade routes, growing wealthy on the mines of Iberia and Sardinia.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-20.png


The Trade Investments mission is fairly split up, with a lot of optional tasks you can choose to do. You can choose to build up your riches in Sardinia, set up another journey to explore the borders of Africa, or settle the Libyan desert. The main mission tasks include improving trade relations with Egypt or the Seleucids, and to improve the city of Carthage.


Naval Supremacy (Infrastructure):

The Phoenicians, and later on their Punic descendants, grew a certain reputation for dominating naval warfare. Unfounded or not, it is clear they had a lot of expertise at sea after setting up trade routes all across the Mediterranean.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-25.png


The mission will focus on improving your navies, dominating the ports in Africa and expand the Cothon in Carthage (the old decision have been removed). An optional task will let you try to buy a port in Gaul, if you want to start looking that way. One of the benefits of the mission is that you can set a focus for all your ports in Africa, giving them a permanent military, commerce or assimilation bonus. There’s also an optional task to set up relations with your Phoenician ancestors to gain access to the great cedars of Phoenicia, to improve your ships.


Entering Magna Graecia (Conquest):

Magna Graecia was a patchwork of alliances, wars, and treaties between the Greek settlers, the locals, and the Italics coming down from the north. Though we never saw the Punics ever enter Magna Graecia with the exception of Hannibal’s campaigns, it made sense to give them a mission in the area if they were to take control of Sicily.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-32.png

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-38.png


For the Magna Graecia mission you have an optional path all the way to the left, where you can choose to take a more… hands-on approach. Whereas for the rest of the missions, you can mostly do with increasing relations with the major port-owners in the area, and take specific cities. For the final missions, you can choose if you want to focus on approaching the Greeks, the Italics or simply focus on your own territories in the area.


End the Roman Wolf (Conquest):

Though Carthage and Rome were on friendly terms before the First Punic War, they ended up as the two major players in the western Mediterranean. As neither was willing to back down, they eventually up confronting one another, and after three brutal long wars, Rome was the only power left standing.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-51.png


After you start the mission to beat Rome, you will have a main path to follow as well as one optional path. The optional path on the left will be based around beating the Roman navy, and potentially giving you access to the Rome-exclusive Corvus invention.

For the main path, you will be able to decide if you want to try and enter Italy from the north through Cisalpine Gaul or through Magna Graecia in the south.

upload_2019-10-28_14-54-59.png

upload_2019-10-28_14-55-4.png


In either case, you will be able to release cities in the area you focus on to fight Rome as well. And after you have finally subjugated or conquered Rome, you will be able to do with it as you see fit.


Liberating Phoenicia (Conquest):

The Phoenicians played an important role in bringing trade, inventions and ideas all across the Mediterranean, as well as settling colonies all across the southern and western parts of it. But in-spite of this, they were rarely independent, and often had to pay tribute to one overlord or another. If Carthage were to grow into a strong empire of their own, they might be able to return to their ancient homeland and liberate it from foreign forces.

upload_2019-10-28_14-55-28.png


For the mission, there is an optional path for taking and improving Cyprus to become a copper trade hub. Whereas the main path will focus on retaking core Phoenician lands, and the great cedar trees situated across Phoenicia. At the end of it, you will be able to release Phoenicia as a feudatory, or to take control of the area as a hegemon of the Phoenician cities.


Iberian Investments (Infrastructure):

After the Carthaginian conquest and subjugation of the Iberian tribes, a strong faction grew up around the city that would later be known as Carthago Nova. Particularly Hamilcar Barca and his sons took control of Iberia and made it their power-base, one that would later go on to attack Rome itself.

upload_2019-10-28_14-55-34.png


If you have finished up the Iberian Struggle mission, you will potentially be given the option of building up the infrastructure of Iberia to secure the wealthy lands. The mission is based around the Barcid family’s rise to fame, and you will see Hamilcar and his sons play an important role in it.


I hope you enjoyed this little preview into the Carthaginian missions! Next week we’ll take a look at the savages in Rome, and what kind of missions they’ll be getting.
 

Efimer

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I like the missions mechanic but some potential issues come to my mind
What about AI handling of the missions?
What about game balance breaking from missions rewards?
 

Ma®tin

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Will the mission system be hand-tailored for specific nations, or is it going to be a more generic thing (For example tailored for specific religion/culture group instead of one nation)?
With how many nations there are in Imperator, it would be easy to fall into a situation where most nations except for a handful of chosen ones would feel overly generic, if missions were as hand-tailored for a single nations as for example national focus trees in HOI4.

A mix of religion, government type and culture group semi-generic missions could be nice, to let people guide their nations on a path they enjoy. Or missions that pop up depending on situation in the nation (Large slave pops, unhappiness, multiple cultures and religions, having multiple subjects etc.)
 

fabius

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It seems to be both more extensive and provide more direction, which happens to be what I don't like.
It just comes down to how I play the game: I get part of my enjoyment from looking at the game world and thinking about what to do next.
This becomes somewhat redundant when Im nudged towards hunting bonuses from missions, largely railroading the game experience.
It's a matter of putting "flavor" in the driver seat rather than the core mechanics.

It also makes every nation without these unique "flavor missions" effectively unfinished, as the game is now largely intended to be played following missions.
I don't mean that it's bad design, it's just a different approach. It gives the devs far greater control of the actual gameplay experience and should make the game design more straightforward.
I just find it bland.

I somewhat agree with most of that. Just unsure about the final bland bit. Generally speaking, I often ignore mission trees in games because of the feeling of railroading.

That said, these look like they will be much better than simple - do this. take this province etc- and get this.

So, what I'm looking forward to about how IR missions look is:

That they appear more strategically orientated with sub mission.

And it looks possibly an engaging way of creating stories (or back stories) and meaning in the game. And slipping in some history.

If anything, I'd only suggest ways of spending big political influence or something to occasionally engage in them non-linearly. Eg. spend to put one on hold instead of cancelling.

And possibly tying some it into character or party wants to make the system feel more organic to the IR world.
 

fabius

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I didn't phrase it very well. To me, having missions as a core inspiration for the player is bland, as opposed to rely on the game world to act as inspiration.

From that perspective I much prefer simple missions, something like the war council suggesting I should conquer something (Or just improve my relation with the Papal States). Where missions are little more than a detour.
Here there's missions for "most" (likely) avenues of expansion as well as trees for "infrastructure" and integrating subjects. So there's little "reason" doing anything without following a path of missions to collect the bonuses.

At the end of the day it's a big change in direction. The game moves away from being an entirely open ended one to one where each country becomes a scenario to be completed. And you're primarily expected to experience the game by doing a hundred tasks and then move on to the next country. Im sure it's a welcome change to many, but to me the open ended design is the main appeal.

Yes, I see. I get what you're saying here. Hmmm... yes there's pro's and cons to more or less simple missions. I'm with you, I get the enjoyment from looking at the map and other data and coming up with a strategy. And don't want to be railroaded. So, yes I would fear that missions could incentive too much.

That said. They can still add some story and immersion. Especially if they get more dynamic ! But also in the back of my mind, against the AI we won't really loose or miss game-winning bonuses from ignoring some missions when it suits us.
 

fabius

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It's just a matter of preference.
To me EUIV went one step too far with missions and Imperator goes one step further.

Others love it, so it's probably the right decision from the Paradox team.

Yeah, I think the net effect will be positive for IR. But still, you're right making a valid point about the railroading risk. I certainly don't want to feel railroaded either.
 

Temudhun Khan

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It should be noted that most of these missions would become active for any Punic country of some size, not just Carthage themselves.

I didn't pay attention to the "most", could we get more infos about this? Is it specific missions or entire mission trees? Or both of those?
It would make sense for "the Aftermath of the Revolution" to be specific to Carthage, but I'd like to have a confirmation and maybe a full list if only entire mission trees are concerned and it's not too much to ask.
 

CorneliusBottomly

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Hello there!
You will be able to move down two separate routes to either the mission task ‘Hispanic Overlord’ or ‘Rise of Carthago Nova’. The former will quell the unrest in the area, and the latter will make a new Colony subject named Carthago Nova who will gain control of your holdings in Iberia.
Is a Colony a new subject type or is Carthago Nova just a feudatory?
 

Arbus

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I missed something here, probably it was mentioned before, so can someone clarify if:

Are all of these mission trees available at the same time? Are there conditions to unlock them? Can I pursue them all simultaneously?
 

LeSingeAffame

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I missed something here, probably it was mentioned before, so can someone clarify if:

Are all of these mission trees available at the same time? Are there conditions to unlock them? Can I pursue them all simultaneously?
You can only pursue one tree at a time
 

MohawkWolfo98

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Just want to add my sense into this: at the very least, with the addition of mission trees I finally know where and how to get CBs and continue the story. Often the case I like to create Feudatories and I no longer get any free CBs after the 1st year. So at the very least, its a welcome addition as now I know how to get them:)
 

fabius

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Ah yes, because I didn't just make a point about the sense strategy in a strategy game, let's just ignore that part? Change the rules, change the strategy, really not that hard to grasp. And thanks for ending your absurdity with an insult, just to show what a nice little troll you are.

But since we can't get any further I'll just bring back the worst absurdity you've produced:

You:
Because you don't want missions in the game that you are NOT forced to follow, they should be removed for people that enjoy them? Now that's entitlement at its finest.

Ah, yes I clerarly asked for missions to be removed? Let's see what this "berating" was in response to...

Me previously:
I get it, the I:R gameworld lacks mechanics that promotes action compared to other Paradox games. Bringing missions to the core fixes this, and might very well be what turns the ship around.



Your "berating" of me only makes sense if you are incapable of either reading or thought, pick one.
Yeah, just let it go. "Railroading" may have been a too strong a term. Maybe overly lead by too juicy an incentive. But yes, I'm sure the devs get that missions will be best balanced so their not too strong.

Equally, like you were saying, if it's there it's hard to resist. Or can feel somewhat mandatory. Maybe reframe it as a decision to follow senate suggestion missions, or your own way. Like Caesar, the Senate didn't exactly mandate him to conquer Gaul.
 

Had a dad

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multiple posts erased, a couple infractions... Play nice or don't play.
 

Lord Hoosier

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Get rid of the green color for Carthage. It deserves White or Purple.
 

Lord Hoosier

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On a more serious note, are any paths mutually exclusive?
 

SjurThing

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Still curious regarding a new open beta, have there been any news on this? From a glance at my unread threads I did not find any obvious candidates for info.

I'm not intending to nag, I understand that it takes time to get something that is deemed stable enough for people to start testing (devs pride) — even though I would gladly use an unstable branch and send in bug reports. I'm a big fan of the "release early, fail hard" philosophy, but I do not know the community enough to know if an unstable beta would only generate anger in the forums.

Anyways godspeed devs <3