Honest Opinion from a CKII fan

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TheFeudalBavarian

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By the way Zaboli, I don't want to fight with you or anything. I respect your opinion and believe you put much more game time into CK2 than I did. You might have experienced many more situations and aspects of CK2. But with CK2 I struggled to continue with campaigns after a few generations, it felt like the same over and over again. For some reason the motivation to keep going is much higher in CK3, at least for me, and I already put much more time into the game than what is good for my personal life....LOL.
 
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zaboli

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Graphics and user interface aside (which I agree can be very subjective), can you give examples of why you feel CK2 is strategically more interesting? What are you missing when it comes to strategy in CK3. I don't think I played CK2 as much as you did and maybe I missed certain aspects of CK2.

Also, don't forget that we still missing certain parts of the game. Some stuff will come in DLCs. Otherwise, what should go in the DLCs if everything went already in the vanilla game at launch.

Instead of writing a detailed description of why I find Ck2 deeper, I just going to give a few examples of stuff I experienced from my playthroughs of why I feel this way:

- I was playing as Zoro Persia and went to war with ERE. At this point, I was already a very large kingdom and in all other PDX games you have to coordinate all your troops to the border. That was a challenge in itself. But now I simply click put up a rallying point, click raise levies, and all my troops are conveniently placed at the border.

- In all of my 6 playthroughs I never had the risk of my realm falling apart due to a civil war. The ai is just much less likely to revolt, so it doesn't matter how many mistakes I make, I can just continue to sit in my comfort zone while never under threat of a dangerous civil war.

- In Ck2 I am forced to use all the game mechanics and work out a strategy to expand my realm because fabricating claims is unreliable and time consuming. In Ck3 it's a guarantee that you will quickly get a claim.

- There is no risk of using mercenaries anymore. Even if you had a lot of money there was always the risk that you had to disband your mercenaries if the war went on longer than planned. In Ck3 mercenaries are a 1 time cost and will never side with the enemy.

- There is more flexibility in the way you hand out your titles in Ck2. You could have a new republic in a coastal zone. Breed some God tier martial characters by giving your high stat commander a duchy, etc. In Ck3 you are almost always forced to give everything away to your children because you're stuck with partition.

- The ai is also a lot less competent due to partition. Everything falls apart, borders don't make sense and you are left with a completely broken world where no one rivals you. What's the point of a strategy game if there isn't any competition?
 
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zaboli

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The thing that kept me going back to CK2 is to set up your goals before you start the campaign and pursue them. Once I reached these goals I stopped playing. It always felt different in every region to reach these goals because I couldn't rely on skill trees or OP cassus belli's to reach these. In Ck3 all my playthroughs felt similar because I knew which skill perks I had to to use for what situation. The geopolitics also feel the same everytime because all realms quickly fall apart. So it doesn't matter if you start in France, India or Africa, your surroundings will soon turn into mess ripe for conquering.
 
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fodazd

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- I was playing as zoro Persia and went to war with ERE. At this point I was already a very large kingdom and in all other PDX games you have to coordinate all your troops to the border. That was a challenge in itself. But now I simply click put a rally point click raise levies and all my troops are conviently placed at the border

While I do have some criticisms of the CK3 army gathering system, particularly when it comes to teleporting MaAs, it is still *much* better than the CK2 one. Collecting all your troops at the border is not a challenge, it's a chore.


- in all of my 6 playtroughs I never had the risk of my realm falling apart due to a civil war. The ai is just much less likely to revolt, so it doesn't matter how much mistakes I make, I can just continue to sit in my comfort zone while never under threat of a dangerous civil war.

I agree that a higher risk of civil war, as well as better mechanics surrounding civil wars, would benefit the game. However, it's not like keeping a large realm together was particularly hard in CK2 either.


- In Ck2 I am forced to use all the game mechanics and work out a strategy to expand my realm because fabricating claims is unreliable . In Ck3 its a guarantee that you can get a claim.

And *thank god* that is the case. I never want to slog through CK2 claim fabrication ever again.


- there is no risk of using mercenaries anymore. Even if you had a lot of money there was always the risk that you had to disband your mercenaries if the war went on longer than planned. In Ck3 mercenaries are a 1 time cost and will never side with enemy.

Yes, maybe the mechanics around mercenaries could be expanded a bit. In CK3, they are currently just a quick "I want more troops and have money!"-button. In CK2, I didn't use them at all, because they were too expensive compared to their fighting power. I still prefer the CK3-system here.


- there is more flexibility in the way you hand out your titles in Ck2. You could have a new republic in a coastal zone. Breed some God tier martial characters by giving your high stat commander a duchy, etc. In Ck3 you are almost always forced to give everything away to your children because you're stuck with partition.

I'm not sure what your point here is... But yes, everyone being stuck on partition is maybe a design choice where I could see room for argument in favor of the way things were in CK2.


- the ai is also a lot less competent due to partition. Everything falls apart, borders don't make sense and you are left with a completely broken world where no one rivals you. What's the point of a strategy game if there isn't any competition?

The AI was never competent in CK2 either. The only reason it could put up any fight at all it the defensive pact system, which I never particularly liked.
 
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TheFeudalBavarian

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Instead of writing a detailed description of why I find Ck2 deeper i just going to give a few examples of stuff I experienced from my playtroughs of why I feel this way:

- I was playing as zoro Persia and went to war with ERE. At this point I was already a very large kingdom and in all other PDX games you have to coordinate all your troops to the border. That was a challenge in itself. But now I simply click put a rally point click raise levies and all my troops are conviently placed at the border

- in all of my 6 playtroughs I never had the risk of my realm falling apart due to a civil war. The ai is just much less likely to revolt, so it doesn't matter how much mistakes I make, I can just continue to sit in my comfort zone while never under threat of a dangerous civil war.

- In Ck2 I am forced to use all the game mechanics and work out a strategy to expand my realm because fabricating claims is unreliable . In Ck3 its a guarantee that you can get a claim.

- there is no risk of using mercenaries anymore. Even if you had a lot of money there was always the risk that you had to disband your mercenaries if the war went on longer than planned. In Ck3 mercenaries are a 1 time cost and will never side with enemy.

- there is more flexibility in the way you hand out your titles in Ck2. You could have a new republic in a coastal zone. Breed some God tier martial characters by giving your high stat commander a duchy, etc. In Ck3 you are almost always forced to give everything away to your children because you're stuck with partition.

- the ai is also a lot less competent due to partition. Everything falls apart, borders don't make sense and you are left with a completely broken world where no one rivals you. What's the point of a strategy game if there isn't any competition?

In regards to the first point, yes, its easier, and I think its intended to reduce micromanagement (God thanks). I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing, since you still have to wait longer the further you away from the troops origin. I would love to be able to split up my MaA at two different rally point. But I agree that warfare and troop management can maybe get some tweaking in adjustments. Its not bad but also far from perfect. But CK2 had to much troop movement micro managment imo. I like how they added knights to the game and it works well I think.

In regards to the third point fabricating claims. Yes, now you guaranteed to get a claim after a certain time (based on the chaplains skill). I think it is ok. Maybe they could turn off the timer so you don't know exactly when it will happen. But even in CK2 you basically guaranteed to eventually get it. I believe in one game it never triggered and it was so frustrating that I abandoned the playthrough....that I remember. By the way the timers are weird anyway. Why do I kinda now exacty when my murder plot will happen, why do I know exactly when the claim will be fabricated. I think the timers should be hidden (maybe visible only with certain perks).

All the other points are basically difficulty adjustments and optimizing game balance and mechanics. I am sure we will see adjustment to that down the road. I don't think any of that is making CK2 a significantly better game in terms of strategic decisions....
 
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Zhetone

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i don't get discussion of "strategic depth" and "challenge" in ck2. I've played longer campaigns on average in CK3 because the character depth at least keeps things interesting. every character played the same in CK2 and snowballing was just as bad if not worse.
 
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noknok

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Also a ck2 fan. Played from day one and still playing it over ck3.

I liked the swing towards roleplaying that ck3 took, but I think the game lacks content and is years off being worth playing over ck2.

I agree with OP that only thing better than ck2 are the character portraits.

for me the best thing would have been for ck3 to be far more like ck2.
 
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noknok

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I like how they changed things and made it more rpg and excited to see how it develops. But the lack of content and depth keep me playing ck2 over ck3.

Also a ck2 fan. Played from day one and still playing it over ck3.

I liked the swing towards roleplaying that ck3 took, but I think the game lacks content and is years off being worth playing over ck2.

I agree with OP that only thing better than ck2 are the character portraits.

for me the best thing would have been for ck3 to be far more like ck2.
 
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johnnybgood89

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I love the stress mechanic, just don't like op traits like Shy etc...

Map is ok, I didn't expect detailed map like Troy Total war anyway... Performance is good.

UI is so-so, don't like the position of the Realm, council etc. buttons...
 
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Torredebelem

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While I feel CK3 has the best potential vis a vis CK2, I can empathize with some points the OP mentioned in his extensive post.
However, let me center on the part where I disagree the most: events, random events firing in a controlled fashion (not thrice every year, for sure!) are the bread and butter of the experience of narrating a unique story that builds inside our heads while playing CK3. If anything, the devs in their next DLC should make an extra effort to develop more and more events to make our experience more unique in playing the game.
 
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Ostermex

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My biggest problem, one that keeps me from really immersing myself in CK3 is the fact that my character at 16 will have the same character traits at 66.
No trait changing, hence no character development.
Now, one could say "there's stress for that", and to that I say, stress is waaaaay too easy to manage right now.
 
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Aronw

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I partially agree, but I think overtime CK3 will become as great, maybe even greater then CK2.

DONT KLICK AT THE SPOILERS IF YOU DID NOT FINISH VIKINGS SEASON 4 YET, IT WILL MAKE YOU VERY SAD

It's like when
Ragnarr
died in vikings, at first
Björn
wasn't great enhough to compesate his predecessors death, but overtime he became as great, maybe even greater than
Ragnarr
.

Don't klick at the spoilers if you didn't finish Vikings season 4 but intent finishing it in the futere.
 
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johnnybgood89

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I would like to see some legacies buffed cuz people are usually choosing 2-3 of them as meta.

Also, focus on diplomacy is the best probably, stewardship 2nd. Just one options PROPOSE ALLIANCE is a must for me so I will always choose diplomacy if I can.
 
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zaboli

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While I feel CK3 has the best potential vis a vis CK2, I can empathize with some points the OP mentioned in his extensive post.
However, let me center on the part where I disagree the most: events, random events firing in a controlled fashion (not thrice every year, for sure!) are the bread and butter of the experience of narrating a unique story that builds inside our heads while playing CK3. If anything, the devs in their next DLC should make an extra effort to develop more and more events to make our experience more unique in playing the game.
I don't feel the same way as you. Events are only interesting the first time but afterward, I just read what the consequences are and click on the most beneficial decision. If events are coded in a way that they are significantly different each time it 'could' be interesting... Example: Event about a duel that gives a different description depending on the personality traits of the character. Like a kind character reluctant to kill an enemy and a sadistic character bulging out eyeballs. I know that there already decisions based on personality traits, but I specifically mean that the entire description of the event should be changed so you rarely read the same thing twice. It would be way too much work for little reward though and in the end, it just remains a scripted wall of text. For me, stories form because the strategic gameplay synchronizes with the characters. Here is an example:

- In CK3 there is an event about you as a child bonding with a pet, it was a fun read the first time around but I skipped reading it the 2nd time and just looked at the consequences of my decision. All the event did was just giving you a +1 in diplomacy, and some follow up events like the dog biting a council member, but it all felt very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. In other words, it didn't synchronize with the gameplay, the story of my characters didn't progress because I did something, the story progressed because it was scripted that this event has xx% of spawning. Events like this are fine, but they are not the reason why I am immersed because I didn't really do anything.

Here is an example of when I was immersed by character-driven gameplay in a PDX game. In CK2 I was playing as a duke in France, who had a lot of learning skill but was a misguided warrior. I went on a crusade were his martial skill slightly improved, and he eventually became a tough soldier, still I wasn't able to do much within the realm because I was one of the weaker dukes, I still had a lot of piety due to my learning skill and crusade experience. Than the Aztec invaded and conquered all of France, I was banished to 1 holding I had in Italy, but martial skill did increase again to skillful tactician because I was a commander in the French army. With the piety I got I recruited Holy orders to reconquer my holdings in France, once again I improved in martial to brilliant strategist, and eventually conquered all remaining holding in the French the jure making me king of France. I went from a weak misguided warrior to a martial legend. All of this happened without a single special event.

The second example is in a different series Imperator Rome. I was playing as Bactria and had a king + heir with really poor stats. The bad news was that both the Mauryans and Persians were at my doorstep. To strengthen my position I invaded the northern tribal kingdoms, and I received a new character with 15 Martial skill, admittedly during an event. But to be fair the event basically just said here is a good character do you want to recruit him? There wasn't really any story and it didn't hurt the experience. Anyway I used the character as a commander in my defensive wars against the Mauryans and he became more and more popular and I was getting attached to him. Eventually I adopted him, but my heir died, making him the new heir. He eventually became king and went from a nobody to the savior and king of Bactria, but not before a massive civil war broke between the other pretenders of the king.

Maybe an example from an entirely different franchise like Total War: Three Kingdoms. I wasn't immersed in the characters because of the events that fired during the game, I was immersed because the characters grew based on my decision. Liu Bei didn't form a friendship with Cao Cao in my campaign thanks to events, but because I put them together as commanders in many battles. Making it all the more spectacular when Cao Cao left my faction to join the enemy, I was actually in a situation where I dueled Cao Cao with Liu Bei later in a campaign. None of this wouldn't have felt as personal if it was just railroaded in events. I was hoping CK3 would be full with epic stuff like this, but it rarely happens in a natural way.

My point is that stories need to form organically in gameplay, and shouldn't rely just on events. Yes events can spice up things significantly because I wouldn't have received the martial character in IR without the help of events, but the way the story progressed was not because of events but because of the way I made strategic decisions throughout my campaign.
 
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swilhelm73

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CK3's biggest weakness in regards to CK2 is lack of content...but I expected this.

The AI isn't great but this is also true in CK2

My biggest real annoyance with CK3 though is the UI. The sub screens were smaller I guess in ck2? The ledger was an enormous resource.

And breaking up provinces into holdings on the map is a REAL problem - I on a regular basis send troops to the wrong holding, mis-identify holdings that need to be sieged, etc. This could be resolved, perhaps, by just allowing you to zoom in further and improve the visual distinction of holdings you need to siege.

One other minor annoyance - the AI marries nobles too young. If I marry for alliances/renown and not producing in breed geniuses I see that every AI 12 year old is already betrothed. So...no I won't marry your daughter Mr Emperor, my son is already betrothed to the daughter of the local Poopsmith and that's an opportunity I won't break!
 
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johnnybgood89

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Propose alliance should be possible with some traits beside going into diplomacy tree.
 

TheFeudalBavarian

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Don't klick at the spoilers if you didn't finish Vikings season 4 but intent finishing it in the futere.

You should have put that warning on top of your comment!!!! :mad: I am in Season 2 and clicked on the spoilers because I wasn't aware you talking about the TV show!! If you would be in my CK3 prison you would be in serious trouble right now....
 
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By the way Zaboli, I don't want to fight with you or anything. I respect your opinion and believe you put much more game time into CK2 than I did. You might have experienced many more situations and aspects of CK2. But with CK2 I struggled to continue with campaigns after a few generations, it felt like the same over and over again. For some reason the motivation to keep going is much higher in CK3, at least for me, and I already put much more time into the game than what is good for my personal life....LOL.
Did you play in all corners of the map and with all religions?
 

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You should have put that warning on top of your comment!!!! :mad: I am in Season 2 and clicked on the spoilers because I wasn't aware you talking about the TV show!! If you would be in my CK3 prison you would be in serious trouble right now....

I'm sorry for your loss, but the spoilerbuttons were there for a reason. I must say it's remarkable you only discovered it now, when the internet discovers you like vikings it will show you every deathscene there is at least 10 times.
As consolation, the series will suprise you a few times, even if you know about surtain deaths.

(I will edit the post because I do not want to ruïn anyone elses vikings experience, I am truly sorry)

And about the CK3 prison, how about a ransom? I can't pay the full 120 gold, but why don't we settle on 56?
 
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I'm sorry for your loss, but the spoilerbuttons were there for a reason. I must say it's remarkable you only discovered it now, when the internet discovers you like vikings it will show you every deathscene there is at least 10 times.
As consolation, the series will suprise you a few times, even if you know about surtain deaths.

(I will edit the post because I do not want to ruïn anyone elses vikings experience, I am truly sorry)

And about the CK3 prison, how about a ransom? I can't pay the full 120 gold, but why don't we settle on 56?

I am usually pretty good in avoiding spoilers....

I take the 56 in real medieval silver pennies anytime.....preferable Pfennige from the HRE! Doesn't have to be gold....