CK2 Dev Diary #32: Intriguing quality of life changes

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Good afternoon. I’m Magne Skjæran, and you might remember me from my modding and optimization dev diary at the end of summer. My last day at Paradox was a few days after that, but since I had a great time working there this summer, I returned to the CK2 team about a month ago to work on the game part-time.
Today I will be covering a topic that’s been briefly mentioned earlier in the Easing Executions dev diary: quality of life changes in regards to the intrigue screen and plotting.

While the image shown in that dev diary was a mockup, the planned changes have now been implemented. However, the actual art isn’t done yet, so most images in this dev diary are touched up based on mockups rather than showing my programmer art. There is after all a reason I work as a programmer rather than an artist.

So let’s go through all the changes we’ve made to the Intrigue screen in detail:
upload_2016-11-28_14-56-40.png

I’ve numbered the changed aspects.

First, at #1, we’ve got the new decisions menu. It now shows 6 decisions at once rather than the old 4, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

At #2, you can see that each decision now has a button allowing you to mark it as important or not important, thus allowing you to control which decisions you get alerts for. Marking a decision as important will change the background to gold, enable alerts, and move it to the top of the list. The last bit only happens once you exit and return to the decisions screen, since decisions jumping around when you click on them would be rather annoying.

#3 is a button allowing you to reset the priority settings to default.
What decisions are important is saved across campaigns, so you won’t have to mark decisions as important or not important every single game.

Further, at #4, we have a new tab: My Plots. This mostly just moves the plot functionality out of the way to give more space to the decisions list, but it does have one new addition: you can now clearly see who the target of each backed plot is, shown at #5.

Next, let’s go to the Prisoners screen:
upload_2016-11-28_14-59-28.png

At #1, 2, and 3 you can see the new prisoner mass actions. These allow you to release, ransom, or execute all prisoners currently shown on the screen, except those that have been marked as locked using the button you see at #4.

Further, prisoners can now be filtered by the eight different criteria you see at and below #6. This can then of course be reset back to being unfiltered using the button at #5.
A minor change is that this tab now fits 6 prisoners at once rather than 5.

When using the mass actions you’ll be asked to confirm and told about the ramifications of your actions:
upload_2016-11-28_14-57-29.png

This ensures you’re never caught unawares by tyranny or similar.

Next up, Known Plots:
upload_2016-11-28_14-58-2.png

Here there’s two new additions. At #1, we’ve got a new button that lets you ask the plotter to end their plot, saving you a few clicks.

At #2 we’ve got a new feature: if you know about a plot and you’re in the group of people that’s possible to invite, you can ask to join. The AI will always accept this, while if you’re playing multiplayer the other player can refuse if they want to.

The “auto stop plots” button has also been moved to only show up within this tab.
As to the Threats tab there’s nothing new there except for six threats being shown at once rather than five.

That’s it for the Intrigue screen, but we still have a couple of tidbits related to plotting left.
upload_2016-11-28_14-58-36.png

When invited to a plot you’ll now be able to see who the target is, saving you from having to use the character or title finder in order to figure it out.

Finally, when a plotter tries and fails to kill your spymaster due to them discovering their plot, you now have the option to keep the plot a secret, which is ideal for cases where you would rather join the plot than expose it.

That sums up all the changes we’ve made to make the intrigue aspects of the game simpler to interact with, and providing you the information you need to make decisions. Hopefully you’ve found this dev diary as intriguing to read as it was to write!
 
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Is it just me or does the placement of this button and the button for asking to join the plot mean there will be a lot of misclicks?
It'll bring you to the diplomacy page, so it is rather unlikely you'll end up doing something you don't want to.
Also note that the art and layout isn't final.
Would it be possible to have an extra option in the mass action filter for including/excluding members of your dynasty, so you won't accidentally get yourself the kinslayer trait?
Great House lets you select your dynasty, though not currently the inverse. I'll note it down as something that would be a good idea to do.
No promises that it'll get done though.
But how will the mass prisoner options handle prisoners from the same liege?
For execution and releasing, it doesn't matter, since those interactions don't care who the character's liege is.
For ransom, it'll ransom the first eligible character on the list for each liege.
Also will the decisions importance button actually disable / enable the decisions from being used?
They simply affect the alerts and the decision list sorting. You can still use a decision you've marked as "not important".
 
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How is the "first" eligible character decided? What's the priority?

And a bit more general than just ransom: will the popup warn you about warscore changes as well?
Same order as the prisoner list.

The pop-up does not currently take warscore into account in any way, no.
 
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Just the first eligible character and then the user must hit again, or will it keep a queue and do the rest?

Though to be honest I could hardly complain if I had to hit the mass button multiple times. It is still an improvement.
It doesn't attempt to queue them up in any way, no, so you'll need to click multiple times if you've got multiple characters with the same liege.
 
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Very nice. Any chance the shifting of plots to that subtab, and the plural in the name might be an indication that we finally might be able to start more than one plot at a time? (Potentially limited by the intrigue stat, making that stat relevant to your own ability to plot instead of diplomacy being the primary stat used for plotting.)
As mentioned in relies to the previous dev diary about this screen, it does not imply that, no. The plural refers to the combination of the plot you lead and the plots you're backing.

Also, is there any chance that the button to mark a character as special interest might get re-added to the character page/window, instead of just being hidden away in the diplo menu? It would be nice to have easy, at a glance access to that button again. (Also, any chance you might know why it was hidden away in the first place?)
No clue.
 
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The only thing I would dare to suggest is to sort the prisoners according to their social status, so the first eligible character will always be the one that costs the most in case of ransom.
If you have a Caliph's daughter and a simple courtier and if the courtier happens to be over the daughter and the Caliph has only 119 ducats, ransoming the courtier first will disable the ransoming of the daughter.
You can already sort the list by "title", which is relatively close to how the ransom calculation works. Not identical though, but reasonably close.
 
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Knowing the CK2 community, I'm sure this will be a day 1 mod.
I'm relatively sure mods already do that.
The mass execute/ransom/release actions can't really be modded to do something else though; they're tied in the code to those specific actions.
You could move them around, change the icons, etc., but the actual functionality isn't moddable beyond what modding you can already to to those individual actions.
 
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On the Backed Plots page, would it be possible to see the strength of your backed plots? If the strength is at 20%, I might not want to join. But if it is at 90%, then I'll probably jump in to bump it over the threshold.
Good idea. I'll note it down. No promises that it'll happen.

@Meneth, On the Decisions screen there's the "Promote Commander" decision? Is that a upcoming feature and if it is, what does it do?
That's an existing decision (it's been around for years. Possibly since release) that generates a character with a martial education.
 
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I'd have expected the exact oppositeresult of the process if I hadn't been told this. Ticking multiple checkboxes and clicking a button to apply to all of them is something I've seen in UI's for years, this is selecting exceptions and applying a command to the rest.
Wanting to exclude someone is a less common usecase than wanting to include someone, thus everyone is included by default.

This is only applying to the visible prisoners in the menu, not all the prisoners? That's unintuitive too. I can't think of another program that uses visibility determined by scrollbars to create a working subgroup to apply actions to.
It isn't determined by the scrollbars, of course. By "visible" I mean not filtered out. I should probably have written "listed" instead.
 
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Am I assuming correctly that the 8/8 means that all 8 of your prisoners are currently visible?
Yep.

What do you mean? Why would the spymaster not reveal the plot to assassinate himself when it's discovered?
A plot against someone else, who the spymaster happened to stumble upon, but the plotter noticed and tried to kill the spymaster to keep the plot safe. You might want that plot to actually continue.

What do you mean? So it is possible to solely exclude your dynasty?
Like the character finder, you can currently have it only list people of your dynasty.
But you can't currently have it only list people not of your dynasty.

Will mass execution make all prisoners scream at the same time?
It did during early development, but it was rather horrifying. Now only the first death sound gets played.
 
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Meneth

Crusader Kings 3 Programmer
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How about simply making any mass execution use 2-3 instances of the same death sound with a small pause between each one so that they overlap. Thus executing two or twenty would yield the same wail of overlapping 2-3 death sounds.
Would require quite a lot of code changes compared the benefit, as currently death sounds are tied to the actual death themselves; they happen as part of the actual death itself rather than being queued up in any way.
 
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