CK3 Dev Diary #08 - Courts, Guests, and Wanderers

CK3 Dev Diary #08 - Courts, Guests, and Wanderers

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Virvatuli

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Hello everyone!

To most of you I’m a new “face”, so let me introduce myself. I was a Content Designer on CK2 for Reaper’s Due, Monks & Mystics and Jade Dragon, where my most important contribution was essential cat content (yes, I also wrote the Spymaster Mittens event chain, and yes, the cat portrait in CK2’s animal kingdom is based on my real-life furbaby). Since JD, I’ve been on the excellent CK3 team and we can’t wait for you to see everything we’ve worked on! Sadly, I don’t have any cat news for you today, but I have something that is nearly as exciting: the Court, Guests, and Wanderers.

The courts of CK3 are very similar to those in CK2. The Court consists of your landless subjects, such as some of your Family, Knights, and Councillors. However, you will generally have fewer Courtiers than in CK2. Courtiers who don’t have any duties or other reasons for staying will eventually decide to leave in pursuit of other opportunities. Fear not – they will let you know before they go. Courtiers leaving might feel like a bad thing, but I promise, it’s actually a part of a really neat feature (more on that further down). In addition to enabling the neat feature, this also means your remaining Courtiers will be more relevant to you than before. No more random strangers at the dinner table!

court_01.jpg


Your Court will still be a bustling place, full of new acquaintances. In addition to the Courtiers, the core members of your court, you will also have Guests paying you visits. These individuals will interact with your Courtiers and appear in events. Guests stay for a few years before they leave. If you want a Guest to stick around, you can recruit them. Just remember to give them a reason to stay! Giving them a spot on the council or a shiny title never fails, but seducing them also does the trick.

court_03.jpg


Guests look for opportunities and will be more likely to visit if they think you might recruit them. For example, Claimants will seek you out if you are strong enough to press their Claims, and suitors might appear if you or your adult children are unmarried. The interface will give you a handy overview to easily identify Guests with special Skills, Traits and Claims. You also have some influence over the type of Guests you attract. There are Invitation Decisions you can take to increase the chance of having good Knights and Claimants visiting, and there is a Dynasty Perk to increase the likelihood of useful Guests.

court_02.jpg


But where do all these Guests come from? You see, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much… Oh, you meant “where are they before they appear in my court”? Well, characters without a permanent home wander around on the map, and visit Courts along the way. This is where characters leaving your court comes in - they will become Wanderers! For example, a son or daughter who is too far down in the line of succession to inherit might become a Wanderer to find a new Liege to press their Claims. Characters might also find themselves on the road by being banished or losing all their land.

All of this means that your guests often have interesting backstories. Many of them have families and relationships, and they keep developing during their journeys. If you check in on a family member who is out wandering, you might find that they have married or picked up some new skills (or a juicy secret…) since they left your Court. Perhaps they’ve even become a Mercenary Captain or the head of a Holy Order!

In the world of CK3, your ruler is the main character, but it is our hope that courtiers, guests, and wanderers will become a great supporting cast. I’m looking forward to hearing about all the little subplots you will discover.

That is all for this Development Diary my friends. Take care and we’ll see you in 2020!
 
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FYI: This is the last dev diary until January 14th!
 

Virvatuli

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Is there a mechanism for culling excess courtiers globally, or slowing their creation as the game runs long?
One of the goals with wanderers is to make use of those excess courtiers. They will leave their court and try to go someplace where they're more needed. We generally only generate new characters when there are no wanderers available. Some wanderers are eventually killed off if they find no place to go.

Will married characters and characters with children travel alone, or with their family? Or both, according to their backstory?
Characters tend to travel with their spouse and underage children, unless they are separated by some unfortunate incident.

Only 7 courtiers? Either it's a court from a low-ranking noble in a backwater county, or I'm going to feel lonely playing CK3.

EDIT: From 2nd picture I take courtiers are being payed monthly yearly by their liege now?
You will usually have more than 7 courtiers and guests. The fewer courtiers you have, the more guests come to visit. If you want to recruit every guest that comes along, you are free to do so - you can create quite a big court if you want to. The biggest challenge in keeping a really big court is giving everyone a good reason to stay!

Recruiting courtiers is a one-time cost.
 
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Virvatuli

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Will wanderers move through adjacent realms or teleport randomly? I'm saying that it would be easier for central European realms to attract wanderers than fringe realms in Scandinavia. Could be an interesting aspect of the game
Most of the time, they will move to an adjacent area. However, in certain situations they magically teleport across the map!

I think "dismiss" would just turn them into a wanderer, right?
Indeed, dismissing someone turns them into a wanderer.
 
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I hope you do not have to micromanage courtier marriages anymore.
Courtiers won't marry without your permission but wanderers will marry. Some of your guests will visit together with their spouse, and if you recruit one you get both.

Also, no more keeping dynasty members at court, such as family, for years whilst you use them for marriages & titles as you see fit. Going to be annoying trying to marry of your daughter to a eligible title holder, then find she has left to marry a rival, who will then have claim on you.
Close family members will be more hesitant to leave. Daughters in realms with male only or male preference inheritance laws will stay in your court, as will sons in realms with female only or female preference inheritance. Unless they're very brave and decisive, because then they might decide to go on an adventure anyway!

I do wonder if we still have the mechanic of being able to google search for the perfect people and then easily recruit them if they are free and you don't have a terrible rep? It's one of the things that really bother me with CK2 as talented people feels so easy to detect and snipe.
You can invite specific people to court, but they will be a lot more hesitant to say yes than in CK2. However, you can use hooks (as mentioned by Voffvoffhunden in a previous DD) to "convince" characters to become your courtier, even if they'd rather stay where they are.

Will we be able to press a courtier's claim and have them be our vassal without having to give them a barony or something first to make them our vassal? I've always felt that was a weird, not purposeful mechanic
Pressing a courtier's claim will make them your vassal (if possible).
 
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Virvatuli

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Should be straight forward enough I think. Since they already have a system in place for summarizing what's notable about a character, it would probably be easy enough to add a notification that includes this information when a guest arrives.
There is indeed a notification if an especially interesting guest arrives.

Will wanderers flock more to higher tier titles? I feel like the Byzantine emperor, for instance, ought to have a higher median court size than, say, one of his count-level vassals. Of course, the count could take efforts to get a large court, but by default, the emperor should likely have more wanderers, since the emperor likely would be perceived as having more to offer (wealth, power to press claims, etc.)
Yes, this is mostly how it works. Every court has a "soft cap" depending on the tier which includes both courtiers and guests. Wanderers will try to join as guests to fill the court up to the cap. There is also a minimum number of guests, so every court will have guests, despite being over the cap.

How long will they stay "without a reason" after being recruited this way?
This might be rebalanced before release, but currently courtiers who can leave will leave after 3 years on average. However, this number can vary a lot. For examples, claimants who think you might be able to press their claims will be more patient. Courtiers who really like you or are related to you will also generally stay for a longer time.


The 'pushing claims' player in me is really worried at the price tag of 110 just to recruit someone. I know the numbers aren't final, and I also know it was arguably too easy in CK2 to just lure claimaints over with 15 gold and maybe a favor.
The economy isn't balanced yet, so no numbers are final :) It might be interesting to know that claimants will be significantly more costly to recruit compared to other guests.
 
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Virvatuli

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Oh, I see; then the -1.2/yr is the "Opinion of you" subtracted from the initial +50 from recruiting her?
That'd be a nice change from CK2 where opinion modifiers disappear overnight.
Indeed, a lot of opinions in CK3 start out at a certain value and then diminish over time.

Banished characters without titles and characters you ask to leave your court won't reappear in your court, will they? In other words, will characters that become wanderers be able to remember which courts they are not welcome in? The idea of heresiarchs and apostates wandering back to my court after I told them they weren't welcome in my court is irritating.

If wanderers do remember which courts they aren't welcome in, what happens in the extremely unlikely case that they are rejected by every court in the game?
Characters will not visit the court they were just in. There is a chance that they might come back later, but the chance is greatly reduced if the ruler of the court dislikes them (or they dislike the ruler!) or if the ruler consider them to be a criminal. Wanderers want a warm welcome after their long journey!

If they were rejected by every court in the game, the poor character would wander aimlessly until we found them and killed them. It's a tough life on the road!
 
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I'm disappointed with this change. I'm interested in the historical/role-playing side of CK (as opposed to the min-maxing playstyle) and fewer courtiers means fewer stories. I guess that it's been done for performance reasons, which is a noble aim and something that we all benefit from. But characters are the core gameplay of the CK series; what else could be so important that it justifies culling a whole category of characters?!?

P.S. Welcome to the forums, @Virtuvali. I'm sorry to be so negative on your first post; I really enjoyed a lot of M&M and TRD content so I'm sure you've lots of good stuff in store for us!
Our hope and intention is not that there will be fewer stories, but more relevant ones. The same kind of things will still be able to happen, it will just be more likely to involve characaters that are close and meaningful to you, and/or hold a lot of power in the world.

Thanks for the welcome and your feedback! :) I'm really glad you liked M&M and TRD, had some great fun working on those DLCs together with the rest of the CK2 team. I won't say exactly what, but some of the features I worked on during those DLCs was stuff I got to implement for CK3, which was really cool, like I've come full circle :)
 
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Virvatuli

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OK, obligatory question then :) :
Will we be able to play as Wanderers?
No, it will not be possible.

Guests can stay for a few years WITHOUT a reason?

I know it's for gameplay but it sounds so damn funny.
Wanderers do get weary on the road, and long for some relaxation and companionship once in a while :)

I assume it'll be culturally and religiously appropriate. I mean, it makes sense for (say) a Jewish courtier to show up practically anywhere on the map, but rather less sense for a Pious Sunni to seek a position at the court of a Catholic. I'm not saying it never happened, of course, but it should be a rare exception rather than the norm.
Wanderers will not visits courts if the ruler's faith is hostile to their faith. Wouldn't be a fun visit!
 
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