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yenot

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Feuding Shahs - total overhaul mod

Download: none yet

Feuding Shahs is a total overhaul mod set in an original universe. This universe is created from a mix of real-world cultures, ideas and stories, interwoven and intermixed to get a fresh yet convincing history from the first polities to the World Wars. The mod, obviously, is built around the epoch analogical to our-world Medieval.

It is currently very WIP - the point of this thread is to showcase some results when certain development milestones are passed and, if I'm lucky, find some fellow modders who would like to join the team.

The aims of this mod:
  • New world with custom cultures, religions, history, etc.
  • Map overhaul: vanilla borders and textures are no more
  • New mechanics: bureaucratic government, demography, religious zeal reworked

For a sample of the world and its history, see the description of some of the new religions:
  • Celestinianism - More a worldview than a faith, celestinianism is built around the teachings of a scholar from the past, Ignatius. Belivers call him "Doctor Celestine" (hence the name) and see his works as a guidance to perfection. Celestinians see the world of mortals as the emanation of the True Sky, the principle behind all things. Sencing the unmoving and eternal True Sky and being indifferent to the ever-changing world is seen as the aim of all sentient beings and the only way to evade troubles and pains of a wordly life. Celistinianism has many faces: farmers may worship the True Sky along with a local pagan godess when scholars see the words of Ignatius as a basis of an intricate philosophical system. In gameplay terms this means extensive use of sect mechanics. Additionally they will be able to reform - using an interactive event-driven reformation instead of simpler vanilla one.
  • Sabanean - Branch of Celestinianism professed by Shartan peoples (the ones ruled by the Feuding Shahs from the title). It is different enough from the original Celestinianism to be considered a branch of its own, not a sect or a heresy. Shartans developed their faith into a monotheist religion akin to our world's catholicism - which is quite a long way from Celestinian ideas as described above.
  • Scholasticism - Scholasticism was a more mainstream scholastic discourse (as compared to Celestianism) before the fall of colossal Hestian hegemony. Now, five hundred years later, it is still alive among some of the polities that emerged from the ashes of Hestia - most notably in the principato (kingdom) of Lycinia. Scholasticism is mostly derived from the works of another ancient scholar - Marcus, apprentice and critic of Ignatius. Works of Marcus (or "the Scholar" as he is known to those valuing his word) were mainly dedicated to ethics and proper behavior in this world as opposed to outwordly perfection of Celestinians. Scholasticism lacks religious zeal of teists but teaches the followers to be diligent and loyal (which turns into decent peacetime boons in CK2 framework).
  • Valdemarrism - Valdemarrism is a branch of Merya Svodna religion originating in the mythical eastern realm of Slavya. High-ranking Merya Svodna priest named Volodimer was accused of heresy and forced to run to the west. Teachings preached by his acolytes diverged, as time passed, into faith quite different from the original one and somewhat close to real-world Zoroastrism with some Buddist ideas thrown in. The central deity of Valdemarrites is all powerful Rahoj, Source of all life, who is manifested in this world by the element of fire. He is opposed by Oprech (Oprej), personification of outer darkness, willing to consume the world and its inhabitants. Valdemarrite faith was taken as the ideology of the king of Nisers - with striking results. In less than a hundred of years Nisenrikki evolved into a large empire, grabbing what was left after the fall of Hestian hegemonia and breakdown of Shartan realm into warring feudal states. The time of Nisenrikki's glory is gone but the zeal is still high (to stress this selling point of the mod - Nisers are a bunch of fire-worshiping meditation-loving vikings).
  • Vysochane - another Slavya faith that has overtaken Merya Svodna in importance in the east since the times of Volodimer. It is a cult of the Thousand Gods, watching and guiding their subjects in this world. Vysochane are of mimor importance in the parts of the world that are on the map, but if the mod sees som interest reaches beta, I will look into eastern map expansion and this religion will play a huge role.
  • More will come

Here comes some screenshots of what it currently looks like:
I used some of the ideas from NBRT+ (ideas only, I could not integrate it for obvious reasons) and now the map seems to look slightly less ugly

That is the Auletian isle (the part of the map I have given most of attention to):



The ugly religion icon stresses the lack of decent art for this mod










Now on to the parts that have seen less attention yet, look at your discretion as the don't look all too good:
Xarandana, land of jungle, wild tigers and medieval pseudo-Brasilian empire



Nisenrikki (north-west) and Uman



Great WIP western continent



Wedem isles (it was a giant landmass before I drowned most of it - did I overdo drowning part?)


The more detailed list of new mechanics goes here:
[*] Imperial overhaul: bureaucratic government with proper hierarchy and carreer paths, court factions, standing armies, province governance, corruption, breakup of empires

[*] Demography: over-/underpopulation and urbanization affecting realm's income, levy size, tech progress, etc.

[*] Zeal: provinces and characers have different levels of zeal affecting realm's strengths and weaknesses

[*] Inland trade: I have several ideas on that one but there is currently no certainty here

That is what I have. Now the question to you - do you think it might work? I am really interested in feedback to the map part - does it look good (I primarily mean finished one in the second spoiler)?

As to the recruiting - this work is in dire need of someone capable of art modding. I am mostly speaking of religion icons and traits - having original artwork is one of the key tools of creating an immersive world.
Another much needed skill is event modding. There is a ton of work here - from new mechanics to reintegrating vanilla events.
 
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yenot

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Credits:

Diadochi Kings team for population mechanics
Galle (CotC team) for some bureaucratic realm mechanics (appointment succession mechanics is currently integrated)
Elder Kings team for religion map mode icon
JonStryker for Map Filler and Scenario Editor
richvh for a lot of help in Quick Answers thread
Velho e Bom Joe for Culturally different cities
DarkReborn (LI team) for religion icons and religious clothes and headgear
AGOT team for trait icons
vgalofr03 for Static Portraits via Properties tutorial
more will come
 
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yenot

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Dev diaries

Dev diaries will come in bundles. That is, each dev diary is a part of a "Chapter". Each chapter is dedicated to one geographic region (empire-level mostly) and one group of mechanics/events. Each chapter may be arbitrarily long or short depending on the content and development progress.

Chapters currently planned are:

  1. General introduction to the world and its history
  2. Lycinia and bureaucratic realms overhaul
  3. Uman, Celestinian flavour and event-driven reformation mechanics
  4. Nisenrikki and zealotry mechanics
  5. Xarandana and demography mechanics
  6. [Some of the Western Lands] and trade mechanics

the first dev diary and the first chapter of the second one will most probably be published by next Sunday (14.12).

Planned timeline (Warning! This may be subject to change as a result of RL stuff, financial crises, alien invasion, etc.):

15 February 2015 - Lycinia finished and all major imperial mechanics in place, Umanica semi-finished, first dev diaries based around Lycinia and bureaucracy published.

30 August 2015 - North-East quarter of the map finished, first three bundles of dev diaries published.

15 November 2015 - all the map is ready, except for the South-Western part, six bundles of dev diaries published.

30 January 2016 - beta release!
 
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ju44

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I like this idea. I wish I could art or mod well. :/
 

StLeibowitz

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More original fantasy mods is always a good thing. The Wedem Isles especially look interesting...as do the proliferation of mid-sized islands elsewhere. And medieval pseudo-Brazilian empire is not a phrase I hear a lot :p Good luck!
 

DKM

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You've caught my attention.

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Demonsul

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This is definitely something I need to keep an eye on. The fact that you have a map that looks that good is extremely promising.

If you need totally unreliable help with extremely simple modding tasks, I'm probably not even up for that but I'll give it a go!
 

yenot

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Thank you for your feedback!

I like this idea. I wish I could art or mod well. :/
Stay tuned! I fear I do not have a lot of simple things to do currently but feedback and discussion is just as great! If you by chance have in mind any any decent sources on financial system of Imperial Rome or Song China, Gnosticism or Middle Persian toponymics, that would definitely help.

More original fantasy mods is always a good thing. The Wedem Isles especially look interesting...as do the proliferation of mid-sized islands elsewhere. And medieval pseudo-Brazilian empire is not a phrase I hear a lot :p Good luck!
Thank you! Glad to hear that Wedem looks right - it looked nice in Wilbur but I was less sure about how it looks when made into CK2 map.

Map looks nice. Have you tried using World Machine for erosion on those mountains?
The map was first created in Fractal Terrain (well, before that I had it drawn by hand), than edited in Wilbur. Mountains of Lycinia and drowning of Wedem are the result of Wilbur erosion. Do you by chance know how good World Machine output is in comparison to Wilbur?

You've caught my attention.

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Dev diaries will follow!

This is definitely something I need to keep an eye on. The fact that you have a map that looks that good is extremely promising.

If you need totally unreliable help with extremely simple modding tasks, I'm probably not even up for that but I'll give it a go!
I'll sort out some things and send you a PM.
 

Joel M Bridge

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can a character become enlightened or like a Buddha like figure going through some type of spiritual journey in between the Pillaging of course :p.

and tell me more about as exciting the imperial bureaucracy?
 

yenot

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can a character become enlightened or like a Buddha like figure going through some type of spiritual journey in between the Pillaging of course :p.

and tell me more about as exciting the imperial bureaucracy?
That the idea - I want to make each religion unique and recognizable. The first thing I will do about Valdemarrites is asking permission to use VIET Buddist events - I find them both highly enjoyable and immersive - and spend some time aligning the text with Valdemarrism if permission is granted.
Then original events will follow. What I currently have in mind is the "Long meditation" event chain. Fun thing about it is that your ruler might get incapacitated in case of failure but he also may abdicate to become a wandering monk in case of absolute success. Everything in between will still be rewarding enough for you to try it anyways. And if magic makes it to the mod, meditation will have positive effect on magical skill as well. I am not 100% sure if I want this world to be just low-magic or no-magic.

I will indeed tell more about bureaucratic realms - there will be a dev diary on this topic on Saturday (today's date in my post is a typo, I'm really sorry if it confused you). The idea is quite ambitious - making bureaucratic realms absolutely different from tribal and feudal realms.
Viceroys are made into governors who give you small amount of levies but more tax. To counterbalance it, bureaucratic realms have problems with corruption, political factions and incompetent bureaucrats. Incompetent governor leads to lower tax, higher revolt risk etc.
To compensate for low levies bureaucratic realms get access to standing armies - at the risk of generals seizing the throne (note to self - ask Imperial Revamp author permission to integrate his mod).
This is a brief and partial overview - more will follow soon. Of the mechanics mentioned I already have province governance (finished), standing armies (approx. 50% of the ideas planned, need fully functional title flags to finalize it), and corruption (not much, only around 10% done). Still CK2 seems to accept all this outlandish things way better than I expected, so I am optimistic about bureaucracy overhaul progress.
 

Joemit

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Here's an example of World Machine erosion, if you want to use that.

EDIT: Also, with a bit of tweaking you can get pretty much all of the textures done with it. (The below picture was done with World Machine but exported to CryEngine.)
 
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LDRevolution

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oh my god, the map looks so pretty, and the borders look amazing, how did you make them?
 

yenot

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Here's an example of World Machine erosion, if you want to use that.

EDIT: Also, with a bit of tweaking you can get pretty much all of the textures done with it. (The below picture was done with World Machine but exported to CryEngine.)
That looks good, I definitely need to look into using World Machine for the parts of the world that are not already finished. The only obstacle seems to be the fact that I am limited to 512*512 square according to World Machine website. On the other hand, I am not overhauling the whole map anymore. The question is whether regions for empire-level titles fit 512*512.

Not sure with what you said about textures. Do I get it right that by texture you mean what is called colormap in CK2 terms?

PS Looking at your signature, does the facts that you mention World Machine and work on WtWSMS by any chance mean that we will be getting a prettier map for that masterpiece of a mod at some point?
 

yenot

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oh my god, the map looks so pretty, and the borders look amazing, how did you make them?
Thank you! At some point I just understood that going on with development with what I have taken from vanilla is out of question. The rest was quite straightforward - going to a sub folder of map folder (I don't remember the name, but there is only one subfolder), finding all the files with "border" in name and tweaking them to my liking. I removed mud from realm borders (not sure why they added mud in the first place), made most of the borders thinner, added colors to county border and checkers to duchy borders. That seems to be it. If you want to do it for your mod, do keep in mind that some parts in the file for realm borders are 100% transparent, you need to edit them as well.

Finding a way to edit textures was way more complex (I am quite far from god in any brand of visual arts). The part that actually makes the map look pretty is probably colormap.

In fact, what I did is just humble imitation of NBRT+ and it's a pity no one can integrate it now.
 

Joemit

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That looks good, I definitely need to look into using World Machine for the parts of the world that are not already finished. The only obstacle seems to be the fact that I am limited to 512*512 square according to World Machine website. On the other hand, I am not overhauling the whole map anymore. The question is whether regions for empire-level titles fit 512*512.

Not sure with what you said about textures. Do I get it right that by texture you mean what is called colormap in CK2 terms?

PS Looking at your signature, does the facts that you mention World Machine and work on WtWSMS by any chance mean that we will be getting a prettier map for that masterpiece of a mod at some point?
Well, by using a texture overlay macro, such as the Coastal Overlay, which can be found on the WM website, you can set its nodes to output textures which can be combined using Photoshop or GIMP into a colourmap and used in you mod. That's what I did for the terrain texture there in the second image. Yes, you're right about the colourmaps and textures being the same thing. Also, I'm not sure how I'd be able to do the WTWSMS in World Machine, but I'll give importing it a try.
 

yenot

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As promised, the first dev diary comes today. I found that it is not that easy to write an informative and entertainig text in a foreign language, so I am - paradoxically as it may sound - starting with dev diary #2.1.

2.1 Gentlemen-scholars of Lycinia

Welcome to the glorious Principato of Lycinia. It stands as the beacon of culture and decorum retained from ancient times in the sea of barbarians and religious fanatics (You might notice that Auletians use awesome new Mediterranian portraits - in fact I am now waiting for Iberian portraits to show up and take their place for this pseudo-Italian nation).



Borders and dynasties changed but the soul of the state - scholastic doctrine and aspiration to restore proper order in oikoumene - stood strong. Scholasticism is the study of ethics but education of a proper scholar is more diverse than just ethics. It includes eight disciplines: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy, collectively known as the "Sevenfold Path", and the greatest of arts - art of administration. One has to walk the Sevenfold Path to be accepted both into scholastic bureaucracy, ruling class of Lycinia. Scholasticism rules the mid part of the Auletian Isle (thet's what the island in the pictures called) while its south and its north are inhabited by Celestinians. Celestinianism is by far the most wide-spread world's religion but it has failed to percolate into the regions controlled by Auletian Scholastic rulers.


(I will be tweaking the colors when I have more space to experiment and look at the results)

In fact, Celestinianism was brought to Auletia by Hamult invaders from Wedem and Shartan invaders from the east (the latter invaded Auletia more than four hundred years ago but Scholasts of Lycinia have long memory).



Hamult realm of Holsida was established by raiders who came from Wedem for plunder but found a lot more. It has shrunk in size considerably since its zenith 150 years ago, but it is still a threat to its neighbours. Kings of Holsida have recently adopted Celestinianism to appease local population - scholars never wanted to serve barbaric overlord and the only way to blend in was accepting Celestinianism. Still, they worship their northern gods as a part of the new ritual - Celestinianism is tolerant of local gods as long as the basic dogmata are kept (I will speak more about the blend of local religions, various cults, etc. with Celestinianism when I finish Auletian dev diaries and move to Uman).



Doshastan duchies (kushts as they are branded by Shartans, btw. those guys actually invented classical feudalism in this universe) of southern Auletia are another bastion of Celestinianism on the island. They are called Doshastig, westerners, by other Shartan nations for a reason. They came to this land before Sabanean council reforged the creed for most of Shartans on the continent and thus they are still clinging to the unreformeds version of the faith. One of the key directions of Lycinian diplomacy is keeping them from adopting Sabanean belief and entering into alliance with Azdania or Wuzurg Estashahr - powerful eastern polities that are waiting to find a pretext and crush Lycinia. Wuzurg Estashahr, Great Hestia has long been claiming to be the sole heir of Hestian Hegemonia - now they need only a righteous reason to attract allies enough. If any of Doshastan kushts converts to Sabanean faith, tens of thousands of ardayardikkars (think crusaders) will soon come from the east to protect the brothers in faith from scholastic threat. Will Lycinian rulers fall or will they be able to keep eastern threat at bay either by war or diplomacy?
"Historically", they did not fall - quite the opposite, they went on a conquest spree.

But let's return to internal affairs of Lycinia. Principe is sitting in his capital, the city (it's normal feudal barony in game terms) of Portoseno and thinking of all the things he could do with his country. What is he able to change? Let's look at the reworked laws.







First of all, you can see that normal vicroy laws have been amended. They are now available for kindoms as well as for empires. The requirements are tech, urbanization, and having taken the right options in some of specific events (latter two are yet to be implemented).

First tier is branded feudal and is the default option at the start of the game. Second tier does have viceroys but operates quite close to feudal otherwise. This middle stage is quite unstable and there will be events that move you either to the right or to the left. The third level is bureaucratic administration. It is built to operate in a distinct way from feudal one. First, there are no more Feudal tax or Feudal levy laws. Feudal tax is kind of pointless in a centralized bureaucracy while Feudal levy is replaced with another set of laws.







Meritocracy laws affect your ability to control appointment of officials in the realm as well as the degree to which bureaucrats are free to choose their successors. Bureaucratic titles are under appointment laws but actual succession is modelled using set of events from Galle's great Crisis of the Confederation mod. On the nepotistic end of the axis officials will see the title as their private property and appoint whoever they like more (with preference given to close relatives. On the meritocratic end of the axis, stats of the candidate will mean more (and new candidates with high stats will be generated for that). Meritocracy will be not that well-liked by your vassals but you do have good reasons to keep as many high-stat governors as possible - see below.





Royal army laws are designed to affect the shares of centralized army and local levies in your armed forces. Yau may either keep your army decentralized (thus giving your bureaucrats more power to struggle for inherited office positions) or concentrate your soldiery in up to five standing armies. An army is created through granting a "General" minor title to one of your courtiers or vassals.





A title "Nth army of realmname" is dynamically created for your newly appointed general. If he was a governor, he will lose his governorate. Your generals will be called to war once you enter it. Since you cannot directly control vassal troops, a decision will be available to take control of on of your armies. That decision would make you leave the city to a regent (same as with pilgrimage) and transfer control of one of the armies directly to you. I actually built the standing army system except for one little event - return of the ruler from the war and transfer control back to the general. As event troops (and I did model standing armies through event troops) are transferred on abdication only, there is apparently no way to transfer them to your general without giving him your primary title as well - and that can get weird (e.g. I lost the game momentarily due to having no heir). This is why I will be redoing the army system through castle holding and specialized building chains.

On to the bureaucrats. I mentioned that you will want to have good stats for them. Why? Because it affects governance. See that province modifier?



THis is the result of the local governor being good (or at least not too bad) in his administrative works.



Stewardship, diplomacy, and learning affect the quality of governance. They do not change it directly though, it's a random process with results being skewed to some particular level due to governor's abilities.







There is one more factor that negatively affects the results of your bureaucrats' work.



One more reason to keep your bureaucrats in check and not to let them be too free in managing their governorates.

That is all for today. Next dev diaries will be about standing armies, political ideologies and bureaucratic factions. Stay tuned!

PS By the way, what do you think of using Culturally Different Cities mod? Does it add to the immersion and overall aesthetics?

 

TheAnguishedOne

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This mod looks rather interesting. I am a fan of a few full conversion mods, so I'll be keeping an eye on this.
 
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