CK3 Dev Diary #48 - The Team

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SavvyLad

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...I think people have complained in other places that it feels (not is but feels) like PDX want and echo chamber here where we all clap when told to. Its not a good feeling as someone who has been listened to in the past and has played your games for 10+ years to be told to basically "play nice or dont play" At the end of the day we pay your wages.

I must say this segment here is brilliant btw. I think it captures the disappointment well. And as I have stated...it's not even THAT bad. I don't think personally that PDX screwed up royally (as a said Creative Assembly did in my prior comments). CK3's launch wasn't bad at all. They have done I believe two large patches since launch that fixed A TON of issues. Bravo, bravo indeed. So it's not a tremendous stumble. Rather...they've just been a bit odd, a bit...sluggish. I would simply, personally, like to see more interaction in the bug reports from PDX staff. I would like to see their "Known Bug List" or whatever it's called updated (it's from like October and hasn't been touched since). Updating that is a way of showing the community that even if you CAN'T address something right away, you are AWARE of it. I myself have posted twice with half a dozen examples of BUGGED LEVIES across all cultures, religions, and geographic locations in the game. One would THINK that something as important as the proper amount of levies (since the game is largely based on military conquest) would be a top priority fix that would be acknowledged. Instead, silence, and I am not alone on other large issues.

Leaving aside the question of DLC entirely, I simply think PDX needs to more regularly communicate and respond to bug reporters. And I DO get it. Some, perhaps many or even the majority, ARE CRAP. They aren't real problems, just noobs or people who missed something. I have done that once or twice. If the issue is clogged bug report forums, then clear out the crap, and tell the user why in a message. They need to start being more proactive and less huddled on the mountaintop while us peasants wait for Moses/Buddha whoever to speak to us. Being clear almost never hurts them...unless they are afraid that a huge, officially acknowledged bug list would make them look bad and turn off people from buying the game. If that is the case, then I would argue the opposite. Showing people that you will listen to their issues and acknowledge them publicly would instead MAKE ME INTERESTED in the game company. I think many others feel the same, and would see it as good behavior, not bad.
 
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DavidBrewster

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Just to explain where we're coming from, CK3 has been selling DLC as pre-orders for half a year. I don't feel a company "owes" me DLC per se but my expectations are very different if stuff is being sold. In this case I'd be happy to just get some vague notion of the future release plans are.

Ultimately, you can ban people from their forum but just because you've silenced people here doesn't mean that your customers aren't unhappy.
 
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BrotherJonathan

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Hello to all the new team members!
Also, aside from this DD being kind of a let-down in terms of updates on new content, I really don't see why the conversation around this whole thing has gotten so heated. I understand that people who bought the Royal Edition are starting to get impateint since they pre-paid for DLC, but I don't understand some of the reactions on here, which have been panicky or downright hostile. Waiting stinks, but we'll get new stuff eventually.
 
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Adaman5280

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Hello to all the new team members!
Also, aside from this DD being kind of a let-down in terms of updates on new content, I really don't see why the conversation around this whole thing has gotten so heated. I understand that people who bought the Royal Edition are starting to get impateint since they pre-paid for DLC, but I don't understand some of the reactions on here, which have been panicky or downright hostile. Waiting stinks, but we'll get new stuff eventually.
Its not about the waiting for me its the handling of the situation really. certain unnamed people thought it appropriate to censor, delete, criticize, and just be outright rude to anyone who had anything to say that wasn't praising said people.

Edit: did you notice they added a delete post option? pretty neat there wasn't one before, just noticed
 
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SavvyLad

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Hello to all the new team members!
Also, aside from this DD being kind of a let-down in terms of updates on new content, I really don't see why the conversation around this whole thing has gotten so heated. I understand that people who bought the Royal Edition are starting to get impateint since they pre-paid for DLC, but I don't understand some of the reactions on here, which have been panicky or downright hostile. Waiting stinks, but we'll get new stuff eventually.
Well judging by what I have seen, it isn't really "new stuff" that's wanted, just news of later new stuff. That's a big distinction. Also, all I want right now is a patch, or news of the next patch.
 
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Sphem

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It’s crazy that I remember I met @rageair through watching him play ck2 on youtube and that he’s made it this far in the company. I will always be loyal to him and glad that he’s the director of one of my favorite game series of all time!
 
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maripepe

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I'm really glad to hear about the expansion of the team but I think we all coincide here when I said that this DD was a bit misplaced and there could have been a better timing for it. I won't say anything different from all the previous replies on this post, I'm just giving more feedback about it.
 
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Tharacius

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A bit mistimed DD after a long break, but it's been said already many times by others, just want to agree with it. Sure I bought the Royal edition, and was(still am) a huge fan of the franchise, this DD just didnt sit with me right after the long pause and the estimate of a mid to late January for a new one, with some expectations of bug fixes or perhaps teasers for new content, we get game credits. I don't mind them, just the timing itself. This DD would have been fine as perhaps even the next one, but i considered it important that the first DD after the holiday season was somewhat game related(gameplay wise), instead of a team structure, and I wouldn't mind if it were posted as the follow-up diary.
 
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Its not about the waiting for me its the handling of the situation really. certain unnamed people thought it appropriate to censor, delete, criticize, and just be outright rude to anyone who had anything to say that wasn't praising said people.

Edit: did you notice they added a delete post option? pretty neat there wasn't one before, just noticed

There is a huge difference between removing rude comments and censoring. And yes, there were some extremely rude comments in this thread that most certainly warranted deletion. Friendly reminder that what's still in there was deemed not rude/offensive/flame/troll enough to remove. Do you want me to go back and quote some of the stuff that passed the filter?
 
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druez

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Seeing what is going on with paradox as a whole right now, I understand. They don't want to steal the thunder from Imperator 2.0 release. If they would of released a dev diary about what is coming in CK3 and the expansion etc... it would of taken away some the light that is being show on Imp 2.0 /alex release. I think this is a choice driven by marketing and it makes sense.


I know it worked on me. I bought the expansion and dove in imp 2.0, since there is nothing I can see on the horizon with ck3.
 
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SavvyLad

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Seeing what is going on with paradox as a whole right now, I understand. They don't want to steal the thunder from Imperator 2.0 release. If they would of released a dev diary about what is coming in CK3 and the expansion etc... it would of taken away some the light that is being show on Imp 2.0 /alex release. I think this is a choice driven by marketing and it makes sense.


I know it worked on me. I bought the expansion and dove in imp 2.0, since there is nothing I can see on the horizon with ck3.
Agreed, cunning indeed....
 

Karlington

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Seeing what is going on with paradox as a whole right now, I understand. They don't want to steal the thunder from Imperator 2.0 release. If they would of released a dev diary about what is coming in CK3 and the expansion etc... it would of taken away some the light that is being show on Imp 2.0 /alex release. I think this is a choice driven by marketing and it makes sense.


I know it worked on me. I bought the expansion and dove in imp 2.0, since there is nothing I can see on the horizon with ck3.
This is just conjecture AFAIK, but you may very well be right. :) If you are right, then that's really all they needed to say. We are all intelligent enough to understand that a company wouldn't want its own products to cannibalize each other.

Or if for some reason they didn't want to say that explicitly, they could just have given us an approximate date of when (real) dev diaries would resume from the start.

-----

(The below is not in direct response to what you wrote, @druez, it's just to add my two cents to the overall conversation.)

From what I've gathered people are generally upset about a) the fact that we were told we would get this dev diary, which by most people's standards isn't even a real dev diary, and b) the general lack of information except in the vaguest terms (stuff like "we are working on something," "we've got great stuff on the way!" and so on [not exact quotes]).

I share this disappointment. More communication is generally better... except when it's annoying stuff like "we are working on something" or "we've got great stuff on the way!" - we know, you're a gaming company, and you make money if you sell DLCs. Of course you are working on something. :D

We just want some details. Not vague hints that require us to pore over the words you have written to try to identify themes and patterns related to fire, but actual information one can read like a normal person. :)

-----

The dev diaries leading up to the release of CK3 are a fantastic example of how to do it IMO. They were full of information about Paradox's plans, had plenty of concrete examples, and were released regularly for almost a year.

Plus you got feedback on things that weren't appreciated, like the original feudal contract design, which led to them being redeveloped and now being a really good part of the game. :)

I, for one, would love to see you do something similar in the future (or now, heh) ! :)
 
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Plus you got feedback on things that weren't appreciated, like the original feudal contract design, which led to them being redeveloped and now being a really good part of the game. :)

Yes, a very cool but criminally under-developed and under-utilized part of the game. We need to be able to select criteria in a contract if/when we swear fealty to someone (aka Zoros to the Caliph). I think the contracts are one of CKIII's best design decisions with the highest potential. Personally, I like diversity of roles and situations. I would love the game to utilize these contracts more for interesting vassals, but sadly it doesn't usually work out that way. Marcher lords on the borders? Cool. An enclave of a different religion that I agree not to convert in exchange for their fealty? Sweet.

But all I ever see is some random count that gets guaranteed council rights from some neighboring king, and when I kill off the king and take his land, suddenly *I* inherit his obligation to this nobody??? No. Contracts should be rewritten and renewed immediately following a takeover. England conquers France? Cool, now all the French vassals should get an event where they negotiate with their new English liege. Some I will make marcher lords. Some maybe will be Palatines. Maybe I give those Adamite freaks religious freedom (for now). If we can't agree on something mutual (given our relative power), then they are free to rebel. Hell, you could even structure it like a kind of immediate independence revolt, a "Contract Revolt." All of the former French king's vassals who don't come to terms with me on vassal contracts join together and rebel en masse. If they win, they get their independence and various duchies spring up. If I win though, I can jail and remove them, redistributing their lands to new vassals who will gladly jump at the chance to become landowners, even with vassal contracts highly skewed to my benefit.

THIS would create a very fresh and interesting style of gameplay, and truly draw out the potential of the contracts feature. Right now, I see it hardly utilized, and where it is used, it's just a nonsensical annoyance that doesn't enhance the experience at all. It has a lot of potential, but it just needs to be developed.
 
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Yes, a very cool but criminally under-developed and under-utilized part of the game. We need to be able to select criteria in a contract if/when we swear fealty to someone (aka Zoros to the Caliph). I think the contracts are one of CKIII's best design decisions with the highest potential. Personally, I like diversity of roles and situations. I would love the game to utilize these contracts more for interesting vassals, but sadly it doesn't usually work out that way. Marcher lords on the borders? Cool. An enclave of a different religion that I agree not to convert in exchange for their fealty? Sweet.

But all I ever see is some random count that gets guaranteed council rights from some neighboring king, and when I kill off the king and take his land, suddenly *I* inherit his obligation to this nobody??? No. Contracts should be rewritten and renewed immediately following a takeover. England conquers France? Cool, now all the French vassals should get an event where they negotiate with their new English liege. Some I will make marcher lords. Some maybe will be Palatines. Maybe I give those Adamite freaks religious freedom (for now). If we can't agree on something mutual (given our relative power), then they are free to rebel. Hell, you could even structure it like a kind of immediate independence revolt, a "Contract Revolt." All of the former French king's vassals who don't come to terms with me on vassal contracts join together and rebel en masse. If they win, they get their independence and various duchies spring up. If I win though, I can jail and remove them, redistributing their lands to new vassals who will gladly jump at the chance to become landowners, even with vassal contracts highly skewed to my benefit.

THIS would create a very fresh and interesting style of gameplay, and truly draw out the potential of the contracts feature. Right now, I see it hardly utilized, and where it is used, it's just a nonsensical annoyance that doesn't enhance the experience at all. It has a lot of potential, but it just needs to be developed.
I think the contract as it exists right now is pretty good in terms of options (though I'm always happy to see more added :) ), though I agree with you that I'd like to see negotiations (beyond the one-for-one, one-for-hook modifications from a default contract as we have right now) and other expanded uses of it.

That being said, the current state of the contract is a big improvement over the original design. I mean, take a look at the feudal contract as originally envisioned:

Feudal%20Contract.png


It was the negative feedback they received after posting the dev diary with that that led them to rework it into what we have today, and I think everyone can agree that what we have today is better than what's in that image! :D
 
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I don't know how to interpret the above CM comment, haven't followed much the forums lately so not sure what's with all the sucking mentioned. Having commented previously, on a second read I think that my feedback wasn't clear. So here it is spelled out:

I would like to hear a roadmap. A minimal something about the DLCs I paid for already.

IR had very indepth Dev Diaries about Marius update.
EU4 has very good and fairly open Dev Diaries, with mentions of what can't be shared or is provisional etc.
CK3 has, by comparison, nothing. And I can't understand, honestly, is just beyond me. Isn't the same company and the same crm policy across the titles?

Are the respective DLCs even drafted? Will they arrive anytime in 2021? Does Pdx envision expansion of mechanics or new mechanics altogether added (e.g, Orthodox religion to get more fleshy, or to get trade etc) or for the given time maybe they only consider expansion of flavour? (Such as playing in India to be different to playing in France for example). Are my expectations overboard? Don't know what to think about this, honestly.
 
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I want to tie together a couple ideas to hopefully make a coherent point.

First, I went through a stretch last year, partly because of the pandemic and working remotely, during which I was not making very much progress on my work. Every time I met with my superior, I tried to sugarcoat how much I had gotten done and talk about all the things I was getting ready to do. Every time, he would see through it. Often, he gave me an earful and cracked the whip a little to try to get me back on track.

Second, I'm reminded of a dictum from the world of communications (not my profession, to be clear): Spin works when the impression people have (often the truth) and the impression you want to give them are similar but have some subtle differences. It does not work when the impression they have and the one you want to give them are polar opposites.

There's a common lesson to draw from both of these anecdotes that is applicable here. I learned over that time last year that a more productive response to impending criticism is to admit your shortcomings, take responsibility, and commit to improvements, rather than trying to spin your way out of it. People can always see through that, and you come out looking worse in the end. The reason is because it conveys deception rather than trust—if you're willing to be misleading about this, why would your audience trust you to have their best interests at heart? Conversely, most people are forgiving if you approach them with honesty.

I'll address this last part to @PDX_Pariah since you were willing to speak most recently amidst all the fury.

That being said, being around gathering data and watching posts gives me a pretty decent idea of how to work with our team to make sure their tone and messages are clear and concise. :)

If a number of Paradox employees are reading the forums regularly, and I believe it when they say they are, then this reaction should have been predictable. And yet the strategy the team chose to take was to put a positive spin on things with this dev diary, which is the worst approach you could have taken. It clearly was not going to meet your audience's expectations—regardless of whether you thought those expectations were rooted in a misunderstanding of your previous statements. That is the lesson that should have been taken from everything that went on since November. If you had come out and said, "We've been really hard at work continuing to build out the first DLC, but we're just not quite ready to reveal anything yet because of pandemic delays/slow onboarding/other unforeseen obstacles," especially if that statement had come four or six weeks ago, many people still would have been disappointed, but they would have felt you were taking them (and the work) seriously. Instead, the reaction in this thread betrays a lack of trust toward the team from some sizeable proportion of the community because this dev diary looks like an attempt to distract from the lack of content with some shiny bauble.

On a final note, your first post in the thread contains this nugget that would have gone hand in hand with this sort of acknowledgment:

This year will see some super interesting things and changes to the way we handle news and Community. This downtime was definitely to help the teams sort out how to launch and handle this new project.

This is the perfect way to end a dev diary when there's not as much to say on the game, rather than burying it on the second page. There are three points to hit: 1.) We acknowledge the lack of anything more substantive to say right now; 2.) We apologize for the delay, since we know this comes as a disappointment; 3.) (if applicable) We are making these changes to improve the situation going forward. Then, if you wanted to present this information about the new roster, it could go in a spoiler, in the first reply to the thread, or maybe in its own thread on another day of the week, just to remove the air of gravity that a CK3 Dev Diary #N post is guaranteed to generate, since perhaps that gravity isn't appropriate for the content in question.

I do want to say thank you to all the team members who showed up in the thread and had things to say. It's always better to hear from you guys than not.
 
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I think the contract as it exists right now is pretty good in terms of options (though I'm always happy to see more added :) ), though I agree with you that I'd like to see negotiations (beyond the one-for-one, one-for-hook modifications from a default contract as we have right now) and other expanded uses of it.

That being said, the current state of the contract is a big improvement over the original design. I mean, take a look at the feudal contract as originally envisioned:

Feudal%20Contract.png


It was the negative feedback they received after posting the dev diary with that that led them to rework it into what we have today, and I think everyone can agree that what we have today is better than what's in that image! :D
Very true indeed. It was negative feedback that got this change, and I hope it can continue to change for the better.

IR had very indepth Dev Diaries about Marius update.
EU4 has very good and fairly open Dev Diaries, with mentions of what can't be shared or is provisional etc.
CK3 has, by comparison, nothing. And I can't understand, honestly, is just beyond me. Isn't the same company and the same crm policy across the titles?

In my opinion, my personal impression of the ranks of the PDX teams' responsiveness are:
Best - Stellaris
Good - Imperator
Bad - CK
Worst - HOI

I don't really play EU or Vic so I can't comment on them. TLDR, the Stellaris team is always pumped and good about communication. Dealing with the HOI lack of patches/news on the Soviets/Italians is killer. CK and Imperator are in between.

This is the perfect way to end a dev diary when there's not as much to say on the game, rather than burying it on the second page. There are three points to hit: 1.) We acknowledge the lack of anything more substantive to say right now; 2.) We apologize for the delay, since we know this comes as a disappointment; 3.) (if applicable) We are making these changes to be more improve the situation going forward. Then, if you wanted to present this information about the new roster, it could go in a spoiler, in the first reply to the thread, or maybe in its own thread on another day of the week, just to remove the air of gravity that a CK3 Dev Diary #N post is guaranteed to generate, since perhaps that gravity isn't appropriate for the content in question.

I do want to say thank you to all the team members who showed up in the thread and had things to say. It's always better to hear from you guys than not.

Very well stated all around I must say.
 
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You mentioned you haven't really followed the forums recently, so understandable that you've got these questions. Here are the answers.

I would like to hear a roadmap. A minimal something about the DLCs I paid for already.

IR had very indepth Dev Diaries about Marius update.
EU4 has very good and fairly open Dev Diaries, with mentions of what can't be shared or is provisional etc.
CK3 has, by comparison, nothing. And I can't understand, honestly, is just beyond me. Isn't the same company and the same crm policy across the titles?

As far as we know (evidenced from the pre-release dev diaries and the Ruler Designer dev diary), the IR/EU4-style dev diaries you mention are is exactly what we'll start getting from next week/the next few weeks. We just didn't get it this week.

Are the respective DLCs even drafted?

Yes. @PDX-Nicou has specifically referred to seeing in-development versions of them.

Will they arrive anytime in 2021?

Yes. @PDX-Nicou referred to them as something he'd seen in development in January. It was far enough along to have enough content that he said he'd assumed it was an expansion pack (rather than a flavour pack). If it was in development to that extent in January, it'll be out this year.

Does Pdx envision expansion of mechanics or new mechanics altogether added (e.g, Orthodox religion to get more fleshy, or to get trade etc) or for the given time maybe they only consider expansion of flavour?

Prior to launch (and since), Paradox allowed for pre-ordering both flavour packs and expansion packs. So both are on the cards.

Are my expectations overboard?

Nope. Your expectations are pretty much exactly what Paradox have said they will do/are doing and we'll get more information in dev diaries next week/over the next few weeks.
 
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While acknowledging the right of the devs to maintain the forum as they like, I feel like a significant portion of the deleted posts that I remember were free of personal remarks and even (in many cases) free of hyperbolic negativity. I suppose, when clearing an overgrown garden, a certain amount of desired plants will inevitably get thrown out along with the weeds, but some of the recent handling risks creating the impression that criticism is not tolerated even when well reasoned, politely expressed, and calculated to suggest improvements, which leaves one to wonder whether the Paradox forums can be relied on to be a place where one can accurately learn the state of Paradox games.
 
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Has there been any explanation as to why the post-launch support has been so slow? It would be better if we at least knew what was going on.
 
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