Crusader Kings II - Development Diary #1: The team

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Anona

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Hi all!


I want to present our new team for the upcoming CK2 expansion. It changed quite a lot since the last expansion so it might be interesting for you to hear a bit about who are currently working on the project. You might recognize some people while others are completely new.

//EDIT:// - Doomdark is still Game Director for Crusader Kings II and should probably be included in this list. I don't think he needs any further introduction so I'll just leave it at that :) //BjornB
  • Anona: I am the project lead, which means I prioritize bugs, tasks, and other requests to us while keeping track of deadlines, following up budget and listening to various stakeholders in the project. I’m very excited for the upcoming expansion! If you want to hear me die, listen here (thanks to our audio guy!).

  • Moah: I’m Tech Lead on CK2, and I joined the team as a programmer for the Conclave expansion. I’m in charge of adding new features, both directly to the game, and for Content Designers to use, and to make sure we don’t get crashes or other code-related bugs. Before joining Paradox, I’d been playing CK2 and EU4 for a while, so I’m really excited to be here.

  • Markuso: I am a Content Designer, I mainly create as many new events as possible when not busy fixing bugs or implementing some quality of life improvements through script.

  • IsakMiller: I’m one of the recent additions to the team, along with Virvatuli. I am a Content Designer, very happy to have joined the team, and eager to see our events in the expansion.

  • Virvatuli: I started working at Paradox last Tuesday as a Content Designer alongside IsakMiller. During our first week on the job we’ve done plenty of obscure research, written some witty events and tried to not get lost in the office.

  • Rageair, I work as embedded QA on the CK2 project and have done so since Horse Lords. I'm very passionate about the game and played it a lot even before I started at Paradox, though now I play it even more than I used to! My primary concern is to find, categorize and judge the severity of bugs, though I also help out with other things on the side. For example, I helped design the layout of the new Law Screen in Conclave.

  • Grimjotun: I’m the artist, responsible for the visual parts. I’m fairly new at Paradox but I’ve been in the game industry for a long time.

  • Servancour: I’m working as embedded QA on CK2. I’ve been working at Paradox for over two years and mainly been working on CK2 for that time. Which also happens to be my favorite game, so I know pretty much everything there is to know about all obscure mechanics in the game.

  • Darkrenown: I’m a Content Designer, and people may know me from HoI3 and V2 expansions, HoI4, or the wondrous creations of the Mothland and Secret bears. Now I’m working on CK2 for the first time (besides a very brief stint pre-release!) and am charged with making sure new stuff fits together well and is fun. You can also hear me die. While I’m here I’m also going to repeat the changes 2.5.2 made to Defensive Pacts, because not everyone seems to have noticed how they have changed:

Defensive Pacts are now separated by religious groups, and at first other Pacts won’t care if one attacks the other and will only defend members of their own Pact. At higher levels of Threat (50%+), however, Pacts of other religious groups will band together when any one of them is attacked. At the highest levels even your co-religionists may feel the need to join forces with infidels against you.


Threat also affects both the size of Realms which can join a Pact against you, and the how far away from you they can be. At low levels of Threat only small and close neighbours will be worried enough to form a Pact, but as it rises larger and more distant realms will join. AI nations will never join a Defensive Pact against a Realm whom they have equal or greater troop strength than, though.


As the new name should suggest, Defensive Pacts are entirely defensive in nature, members of a Pact can never call each other into an offensive war against the target. If you find yourself the target of a Pact, it is not the end of the world. Non-Aggression Pacts will stop a realm from joining a Defensive pact against you, or cause them to drop out if they have already joined, and favors can be used to gain even cross-religion marriages (to form NAPs ). And remember, so long as you are below 50% Threat you only need to deal with a single religion group’s Pact, and below 75% your own religion group’s pact will not join with infidels’, so wise target selection will avoid fighting too many opponents unless you are at the highest levels of Threat.

/The CK2-team
 
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Good to know!
 
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Welcome, to all those new here!

Darkrenown: I’m a Content Designer, and people may know me from HoI3 and V2 expansions, HoI4, or the wondrous creations of the Mothland and Secret bears. Now I’m working on CK2 for the first time (besides a very brief stint pre-release!) and am charged with making sure new stuff fits together well and is fun. You can also hear me die. While I’m here I’m also going to repeat the changes 2.5.2 made to Defensive Pacts, because not everyone seems to have noticed how they have changed:
If I may ask, will you also be working to fit together some of the new 2.5.2/Conclave mechanics with the rest of the game, as certain parts seem to work in parallel rather than being fully integrated. Linking threat to opinion, for example (Disliking those you feel threatened by), or other ways to get favors than spending gold like a super bribe button. (Perhaps replace the nigh useless sow dissent chancellor mission with one that tries to get a favor?)
 
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witchveil

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Welcome, I look forward to seeing exciting new developments from you all, and hopefully a good bit of bug fixing too.
 
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DominusNovus

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Whats with the info on Defensive pacts that looks copied from earlier DDs?
 
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Siggerad

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For me is impossible to play now. My current infamy (Threat) is 71% "again". I wait tooo long for tick down 0.21% each month, and my vassals keep attacking and conquer. War is fun for me, and now my vassal have all the fun and i only get the infamy (threat) shit. i have all the pagan coalition, a muslim coalition, and a Christian coalition, i cant go to war but the stupid vassals have 2-3 duchies each and they don´t stop.WHY i get a nation infamy and the vassals dont??? why implement a nation mechanic in a game with family mechanic? If you fix the infamy for vassals conquest, that dont fix sit and watch the monitor for a tick go down with nothing to do 2.5.2 YZAZ as Byzantium.
 
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Anona seem a little bit distracted at times. There was issues with the beta change log updates which was copied from the wrong sources and displayed old beta updates, also when 2.5.2 was out of beta the new 2.5.2 live thread was non stickied in favor of the old beta thread for some reason.

@Anona appears to need more coffee.
 
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Ols

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Threat should still be watered down, I don't think religious pacts should ever help each other unless the aggressor is using tribal invasion or something.
 
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Audoucet

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Whats with the info on Defensive pacts that looks copied from earlier DDs?

I was going to "agree", because a team change can only be an improvement, But when I saw the coalition nonsense, I chose to disagree... The previous team had no remorse in changing everything the first one did, I hope this one will have the same lack of remorse and give coalitions and SR the anathema they deserve.
 
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Interesting. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the new people to the team! :)
 
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I was going to "agree", because a team change can only be an improvement, But when I saw the coalition nonsense, I chose to disagree... The previous team had no remorse in changing everything the first one did, I hope this one will have the same lack of remorse and give coalitions and SR the anathema they deserve.

I think there will be enormous pressure on any team to refrain from removing coalitions, because they're a Paradox trope and were supposed to be a major selling point of the Conclave patch. That said, I would be delighted if they went because all the patches so far seem to be attempting to desperately shoehorn the feature in rather than making it work in an enjoyable way.

As it stands, people need to acknowledge that the threat concept is boring and that the solution to stop aggressive expansion in CKII has to be something else.
 
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Asiak

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so it might be interesting for you to hear a bit about who are currently working on the project.

And even if it isn't we'll pretend that is. Although it is slightly interesting to hear about who is working on the project we both know it isn't as interesting as the actual project.

Because lets face it we are a ravenous horde that scratches at the door every Tuesday for bread crumbs.

And you guys are a development company prone to giving the tiniest ittiest bittiest bread crumb every week until you are ready.
Not that there was actually a bread crumb to be found this week. I bet it will be at least 2 or 3 more dev diaries before an actual tidbit about the actual next DLC finds its way to us.
 
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I'm okay with the Defensive pacts, they've been getting better than how it came out... However! I would ask you guys to really fix factions. These guys are still plotting my demise even if they have positive opinions of my character. These events fire for Overthrow King _____ and Elective Monarchy and Increase Council Power and they fire consistently, if its not one year its the next year. Its annoying, and so many of the people who join these factions are dudes I put into power :\ they used to be grateful, now they just scum you always. Might as well go North Korea mode.

Also this isn't really a Dev Diary so much as an introduction to the team...
 
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DominusNovus

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For me is impossible to play now. My current infamy (Threat) is 71% "again". I wait tooo long for tick down 0.21% each month, and my vassals keep attacking and conquer. War is fun for me, and now my vassal have all the fun and i only get the infamy (threat) shit. i have all the pagan coalition, a muslim coalition, and a Christian coalition, i cant go to war but the stupid vassals have 2-3 duchies each and they don´t stop.WHY i get a nation infamy and the vassals dont??? why implement a nation mechanic in a game with family mechanic? If you fix the infamy for vassals conquest, that dont fix sit and watch the monitor for a tick go down with nothing to do 2.5.2 YZAZ as Byzantium.

I have to agree with this. I'm sitting on very high threat (+25% each from two holy wars in Armenia, both of which weren't even for the whole duchy, plus other odds and ends), while my vassals are screwing up my neatly organized realm by conquering all the nearby territory, immune from those coalitions.
 
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Asiak

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The previous team had no remorse in changing everything the first one did

Riiiiiiiiiiight because coalitions and SR account for the entirety of this game and its game play.

/endsarcasm
 
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queermobile

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Then Groogy isn't involved at all anymore?? I thought I noticed a suspicious lack of hedgehogs around here lately....
 
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DominusNovus

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Riiiiiiiiiiight because coalitions and SR account for the entirety of this game and its game play.

/endsarcasm

Given how strongly coalitions influence gameplay at the moment, I'm thinking sarcasm is not the best response.

Basically, coalitions are all or nothing. Either you rack up huge amounts of threat for every military expansion you take as a sovereign, or you rack up none at all, due to a) being a vassal, or b) being the primary contributor to a Crusade.
 
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Tufto

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I think there will be enormous pressure on any team to refrain from removing coalitions, because they're a Paradox trope and were supposed to be a major selling point of the Conclave patch. That said, I would be delighted if they went because all the patches so far seem to be attempting to desperately shoehorn the feature in rather than making it work in an enjoyable way.

As it stands, people need to acknowledge that the threat concept is boring and that the solution to stop aggressive expansion in CKII has to be something else.

Exactly- Coalitions and infamy (or whatever they've been rebranded to) were a complete failure, we all know they were a complete failure, and I think Paradox also knows they were a complete failure. I don't think anyone actually likes them, and I'm very suspicious of anyone who says they do. But they're probably not in a position to just turn around and say "we were wrong" and remove it, given how heavily it was promoted.

We're just going to have to accept that this is going to be the case until the hypothetical CK3, I think. It was a clear mistake, but sadly not one Paradox is willing to rectify. The game's still fun, even if it has been marred somewhat.
 
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