Imperator Dev Diary 2020-14-12: The Longest Diary

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Showing developer posts only. Show all posts in this thread.


Game Director
Feb 13, 2018
Greetings all!

Today, you’ll be taken through a deep dive into the Antigonid mission trees coming in the Heirs of Alexander Content Pack.

Before we get started on that, however, I have a few housekeeping points to mention. Firstly, this will be the last dev diary of the year, as we are now leading up to Christmas vacations. Secondly, this also means that indeed, Marius and Heirs of Alexander will not be coming this year. This is a -very- comprehensive update, and we are going to take the time to get it right.

Yet you came here not for housekeeping, but for content; and content we shall provide.


Some of you noticed this button in an early version of the UI rework - the time has come to explain more.

Selecting Heirs in Monarchies

No longer will the line of succession be an immutable certainty, altered only by accidental death.

For a hefty cost in resources and perceived legitimacy; you will be able to grant your approval to anyone in your ruler’s direct line of succession. As you might imagine, this may have consequences amongst the other successors…

This minor feature was something we’ve wanted to add for a while, and in the course of doing so, it became apparent that this allowed for the creation of an additional government type; namely, an elective monarchy.

Elective Monarchy

Strictly speaking, there were no traditionally elective successions that we know of during our starting time period (yes, that is a challenge - prove me wrong!), however, the election of Kings was a tradition which exists in many of our core nation’s histories - including Rome.

Monarchy government types will be able to enable Elective Succession with a Law, as with all other succession types.


This variety of succession law greatly reduces all ordinary contributions to succession value; and instead gives all eligible characters in your nation a ‘vote’ towards the next monarch, chosen from amongst their valid successors.

The factors behind their preference for any given candidate are quite wide, including difference in stats, culture, religion, and quite prominently: age.

You will still be able to anoint a chosen candidate with the Anoint Successor feature, however this will be much less impactful than it is in other succession types.

In practice, elective monarchies can result in an unpredictable succession that yields you a monarch of advanced age - why would this be good?

Well, aside from being pretty fun, and encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in order to manipulate elections, successors in Elective Monarchies do not receive a pretender loyalty malus: they put all of their energy into getting themselves elected, and not stirring up trouble.

Unit Models

We’re not all the way there yet, but here’s a preview of the Scythian Levy:Legion models:


And the Iberic culture group Levy:Legion models:


And now it’s over to @Chopmist to take you through the Antigonid mission coming in the Heirs of Alexander DLC, in our latest attempt at creating the longest dev diary known to man.

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Content Designer
4 Badges
Nov 21, 2018
Salve! Joe from Content Design here, and it’s my turn to take you through some of what we’ve been cooking up for our upcoming expansion: Heirs of Alexander. This time it’s missions for the Antigonid kingdom, with some other content treats thrown in. This is probably my favourite Diadochi realm, featuring towering personalities, compelling what-ifs, and an interesting underdog story.

Antigonus the One-Eyed’s is an often overlooked Diadochi state (heh), remembered for its defeat at Ipsus and outshone by the more enduring Seleucids and Egyptians - despite the fact he enjoyed decades of dominance, had an immense impact, and left a gripping story of fortune’s cruel reversals.

His domain’s disappearance only a few years after our start date offered an interesting design challenge, with only the preceding history and what the ancient historians wrote of the characters to guide their immediate objectives. I wanted to allow for the interesting possibilities of an alternative-history Antigonid victory, as well as the historic flight of the dynasty to Macedon after Antigonus’ defeat, and of course please those who just want the big yellow ‘fridge’ to crash and burn as quickly as possible.

In the end, the Antigonids received three mission trees, the first two focusing on their historical struggles in our period, and the third offering some alt-history fun.

Antigonus’ Vision
By the game's start, Antigonus has already spent the twenty-nine years since the battle of Issus slowly consolidating his power from Celaenae, his capital in the satrapy of Phrygia, and at this point the fall of his kingdom was perhaps difficult to imagine.

Having remained in the west of Alexander’s empire, Antigonus was not caught up in the excesses and adventures of the eastern expeditions. As a member of Philip II’s generation, he perhaps viewed these ventures more soberly than the younger royal companions he would later face, especially given the murder of his closer contemporaries Cleitus the Black and Parmenion by the king.

Having already almost lost everything fleeing from the regent Perdiccas soon after Alexander’s death, Antigonus has reconquered his holdings and beaten the Perdiccan satraps of Anatolia, including the famed Greek general Eumenes, whom he chased all the way to Media. Persia has since been abandoned to Seleucus, the satrap of Babylon, but, despite this, Antigonus rules over a vast realm, stretching from the Hellespont to the Euphrates and Judea.

He has recently declared himself joint basileus - king! - with his son Demetrius after the naval victory over Ptolemy at Salamis, simultaneously elevating his dynasty from petty nobility to royalty, claiming his lands as independent from the authority of Cassander in Macedon, and introducing his heir to his eastern subjects early to ensure a smooth transition upon his death.

To guarantee his dynasty’s survival, he looks to reverse recent setbacks in the Diadochi wars and develop his new capital Antigoneia as a center of power at the crossroads of the east, ensuring the fruits of decades of statecraft are not seized by Alexander’s jumped-up bodyguards and remain in the family.


The main branches focus on the long-held ambition of securing Greece, starting with the strategic city of Corinth, and on keeping the other Diadochi in check, with diplomatic and economic opportunities along the way.

Antigonus’ relations with the Greeks, particularly the Athenians, Ionians, and Aeolians, is one of his main legacies, epitomized by his Tyre proclamation, which promised to protect the autonomy of all Greek cities. His overtures not only secured alliances, but also provided vital manpower to bolster the Macedonian armies depleted by decades of war.


Many of the later great cities of Syria were arguably merely renamed by the Seleucids, and were in fact originally settled by Antigonus using veterans of the Argead army, which passed to his command from Antipater’s at Triparadisus. For example, Apamea was originally given the reassuringly Macedonian name of Pella.

Avenging the recent setbacks of his mishap-prone son Demetrius will be a pressing concern, the defeat at Rhodes being particularly galling given Ptolemy’s involvement.


Ultimately, the Antigonids will aim to unite all Greece, revive Philip’s League of Corinth as a protectorate, and declare themselves as the true successors of the Argeads.


Of course, all that is moot if our favourite cyclops fails to hold his strategic bastions or cannot conquer Corinth from Cassander before he dies.

The Antigonid Cause Wavers
As before, falling short will trigger an event, but whereas in the past the Antigonids had to choose between releasing Asia to Pergamon or taking a large hit to their stability, subject loyalty, and legitimacy, I wanted to better depict the consequences of the real-life ‘post-Ipsus’ partition, splintering the Antigonids in predictable but differing ways depending on their chosen path and drawing the other Diadochi into conflict over its results.

The Antigonids can now decide to go west and stake a claim to the turbulent Macedonian heartland by forfeiting Asia to the other Diadochi, or to hold on to a diminished core of eastern territories but lose their sway over Greece.


Going west, the Antigonids retain only Greece, Cyprus, and the Phoenician city of Tyre, with the Diadochi carving up their other territories as they did historically. Caria and Cilicia go to the short-lived satrapy of Cassander’s brother Pleistarchus, though Macedon may also choose to take the land themselves, while Thrace receives the vassal satrapies of Sardis and Phrygia, ruled by the treacherous governors Docimus and Phoenix who defected from the Antigonids after their defeat.


Historically, Demetrius and his son Antigonus II went on to dislodge the heirs of Cassander and other pretenders in Macedon, their family ruling there until those garum-guzzling Romans ousted Antigonus the One-Eyed’s great-great-great-grandson Perseus a century and a half later - not a bad innings. As a result, going west is required to unlock the next mission tree, which I’ll discuss soon.

Going west will also temporarily halve legion and ship upkeep, allowing the Antigonids to maintain a semblance of power despite their territorial losses, though their subjects will not be happy to remain under their thumb.

Staying in the east on the other hand will now cost them Greece, Cyprus, Bithynia, Asia, Palestine, and the Euphrates - if they still hold them that is - along with the old stability and other maluses.


What’s that? The third option? Well, if failure isn’t your jam, you can always game on. Per-game-on. (Please forgive me.)

That’s right, you can switch tags to the newborn satrapy of Pergamon, ruled by the Attalids (if they are still around) as subjects of Thrace. If you do, the Antigonids will be taken over by the AI and splinter along the lines of their first option.

Pergamon will of course be created shortly after the partition of the Antigonids anyway if you do not wish to play as them.


In the fallout, if not before, you may also see Mithridates stake his claim to northern Anatolia, and it is now possible to play as a Mithridatic Pontus by starting as Cius or Pontus and interacting with new events.


These changes to the Antigonids splintering, Pergamon, and Mithridates, are part of the Marius patch and thus will not require the Heirs of Alexander expansion.

Macedonian Aspirations
As explained above, this mission will only become available if the Antigonids have failed to achieve their objectives and choose to abandon the east, continuing Demetrius’ campaigns in Greece. I wanted to give the player a choice between surviving in Syria or returning to Macedon to carve out a new home, and add content that not only allows for the fall of the Antigonids but adds to the game as a result of it. It’s also an interesting challenge to give up one of the largest Hellenistic realms and start again from scratch.


The main branch focuses on conquering Macedon, with diplomatic options based on historical events and the ability to complete certain Greek focused tasks from the previous mission if they were not completed before Antigonus’ death.


Historically Demetrius was well treated by the other Diadochi immediately after Ipsus, their diplomacy with him indicating that his legitimacy and usefulness as a rightful king was not diminished by the near total loss of his lands; Seleucus going so far as to marry Demetrius’ daughter, though the warm relations quickly faded once it became clear her father had not accepted defeat.


By securing Thessaly, the historic port city of Demetrias may be founded as a bastion of Antigonid power in northern Greece, and a lasting stamp of Demetrius’ influence on the region.


Given the right circumstances, the Antigonids can also benefit from the infighting of Cassander’s sons in their quest for Macedonian clay as they did historically...

Antigonid Birthright
The final tree relies on the second having been completed, and gives the Antigonids an incentive for alt-history reconquest, returning to reclaim their lost lands in Asia.

This imagines a scenario in which the Antigonids are more daring and less willing to forfeit their dynasty’s achievements than historically, allowing them to move your center of power back to Antigonus’ capitals and avenge the defeat of your founder, if you so wish.


The branches of this tree guide you in reconquering important parts of the old kingdom such as Cyprus, Phrygia, and Phoenicia, creating a dominant naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean once more, and recreating the historical subjects you may have lost previously, such as the Ionian and Aeolian Leagues, if so desired.


Claiming the land of your ancestors will of course prove the ultimate victory of the Antigonid dynasty as Macedonian successors, whatever defeats they may have suffered in the past, and finally avenge the treachery of those who betrayed Alexander’s most capable successor.


Phew. If you made it this far, your patience will furnish you well until the release of the Marius patch and Heirs of Alexander expansion. Until next time!
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Content Designer
4 Badges
Nov 21, 2018
Does this mean that if you do manage to take Corinth, or if you decide to stay in the east, you'll only have access to one unique mission tree as the Antigonids?

Yes that's true, though there is another mission tree available for any successful Diadochi that they will also have access to - to be discussed later :)
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Content Designer
4 Badges
Nov 21, 2018
I hope that the AI Antigonids can also go either of these pathways, ie maybe collapse and form antigonid Macedon, be strong etc? :)
also, what do u mean when u can be a protectorate over the League of Corinth? Are there proper leagues now or am I looking too much into it?

The AI can go both routes, but it will be more likely that they will collapse historically - the first option
It is possible that they don't break apart at all or go to Macedon, though there is obviously no guarantee when the AI is in charge

I meant "protectorate" I'm afraid ;) the League of Corinth will be a single feudatory subject under the Antigonids
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Content Designer
4 Badges
Nov 21, 2018
With the new Alexander CB, is it likely that many of these lands will already be lost during the 4th war - assuming that event chain still fires as it currently does?

It is very possible!

Plutarch notes that Demetrios escaped to Ephesus immediately after Ipsos. If they go West, what is Ionia's relationship to the Antigonids?

The Antigonids will keep their Greek subjects, including Ionia and Aeolia, if they go west.

Does going east only allow for the first mission to be fulfilled? And I assume that if the Antigonid cause does not waver and they manage to defeat all rivals somehow, that there will be other missions available which are hinted at below?

That's right.

The Attalids have been added, along with many other previously missing historical characters.

Furthermore, what culture does Pergamon have as it spawns? Aeolian would be preferred, if we look at the Attalid cultural influence on the region (which was definitely not Macedonian).

Pergamon will be Aeolian!

Will it be possible to take the Antigonids in after their empire collapses when playing as Macedon?
I wish to have Antigonid Macedon, but without the hideous yellow color.

There is a possibility to continue as Macedon with the Antigonids in the civil war event shown, but the Antigonids are also able to choose their colour and flag after forming Macedon through the 2nd tree.
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