Imperator - Development Diary - 29th April 2019

Johan

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Hi everyone and welcome to the first post-release development diary for Imperator!

As soon as the first patch, Demetrius, is ready, it will be released this week.

For Imperator, some things will be similar to how we have developed games since we released CK2, and some will be new. We will aim to have two major updates each year, with accompanying big expansions, where we focus on flavor in the paid content, while having core systems primarily part of the free patch. We have been working on ideas for our first expansion, but before starting on that one, we are doing a big free patch, which contains a lot of free features for all of you.

This free patch has been in development since the release version was frozen in mid february, so it contains all the things the design team have been working on, while QA and Coders worked on stability, AI and polish for the release.

Our first big patch called ‘Pompey’ will be out before the summer holidays, and will contain some new features, and lots of balance changes. We’ll talk about some of the balance changes in this development diary, and for a list of most new features go to the roadmap at https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/imperator-current-roadmap.1170956/


Technology
While the technological research in the game was working mostly fine, we had some edge cases that did not work out all that great. First of all, it was impossible to really catch up when you were behind, unless you were a really small country, so we did a reversed ahead of time penalty from when you are behind Secondly, it was also possible to stack your research output so high that ahead, rendering the ahead of time penalty useless, so we made the ‘ahead of time penalty’ a multiplier on your tech speed. Finally we changed the base time for a new technology from 15 to 20 years.


Shattered Retreat
The action of voluntarily doing a shattered retreat was a bit over-powerful, in that while it was useful, it had almost no drawbacks. Now when you do a manual shattered retreat from the unit interface, that unit will also lose 50% of its remaining strength.


Truce Breaking
As you may have seen in the dev clash, breaking a truce had no impact on your reputation, so it will now increase your aggressive expansion as well, just like some other games we do.

Mercenaries
Mercenaries, while performing mostly like we intended, where too much of a renewable resource. What we have done is reduce the amount of mercenary companies, and not stack them all in the most heavily populated areas.

We also made it so that mercenaries can not be stackwiped, and if they would have been, instead they now charge their disband fee from employer, and leaves his employment.

Mercenaries that are no longer employed and marching back to their home city, will no longer reinforce during the march.

You can no longer recruit mercenaries that have not recovered all their strength.

Regnal Numbers
We have added in the functionality for monarchies to use regnal numbers on their rulers. So your 4th Alexander will be “Alexander IV Argead”.


Assassinations
These were a bit powerful, and rather devastating if you played a monarchy or tribe. So in those nations, the military skill of your master of the guard or bodyguard reduces the success chance of that action.


Governors
One thing that was completely missed when developing the game, was the aspect of having the governors attribute matter. This obviously needed to be changed, so now finesse skill of governors will impact the output of the cities they govern by 5% for each finesse.


Population Growth
Population growth also had a few problems in that we had only one variable to play with. After a lot of discussion and testing we split it up into population capacity, which terrain, technology, civilization level and granaries impact, and population growth, which is impacted by resources and situations like your city being burned to the ground by invading armies.


Stability
The old stability mechanics were partly legacy from the first PDS game ever made, with a range from -3 to +3, and also one of the most complained usage of power that we had in the game, in that people did not enjoy being able to instantly increase stability if they just had power.

First of all stability is now 0-100, and decays towards 50 over time. Of course all events and mechanics changing stability have been adapted to the new range.

Stabbing a pig costs 100 power, and gives +0.5 stability a month & increased pig-stabbing costs by 50% for 5 years, and this is stackable, so the more pig-stabbing you do, the faster it will increase in that timeframe.

Threshold for starting wars is a minimum of 10 stability, and you need 10 stability to appoint people to government.


War-Exhaustion
In a similar way War-Exhaustion has also been overhauled, in that it is no longer an instant reduction for some power. You now spend power to add an overtime reduction of it, and this can be stacked in a similar vein as pig stabbing.


Legitimacy
When changing Stability and War-Exhaustion, we also took a look at legitimacy, and made it work the same way. Legitimacy is no longer instantly increased from a button press, but a stackable short-term increase you can pay to get.


Modding Support
One little thing with all these balance changes is that to make them more easily handled, we changed the price-structure we use for lots of actions, to support 4 new values, instead of just gold, powers and manpower.

These 4 values are stability, tyranny, war-exhaustion and aggressive expansion. So if you wish for assigning ideas to increase your war-exhaustion in your mod, now you can do it.



2019_04_29_1.png




Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll go deep into how much more fun the naval game will be in 1.1.
 
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Alyoshenka

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Population Growth
Population growth also had a few problems in that we had only one variable to play with. After a lot of discussion and testing we split it up into population capacity, which terrain, technology, civilization level and granaries impact, and population growth, which is impacted by resources and situations like your city being burned to the ground by invading armies.

Thanks @Johan for the diary, much appreciated!

Assuming Farmlands will be the type of terrain with the highest population growth bonus, could you please consider making Roma farmlands instead of just plains? Roma grew to be one of the largest cities in the world so it would make sense.
 

Johan

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Assuming Farmlands will be the type of terrain with the highest population growth bonus, could you please consider making Roma farmlands instead of just plains? Roma grew to be one of the largest cities in the world so it would make sense.

both Roma and Ostia should be.
 

CrazyZombie

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@Johan Thanks for the diary. Any change in the future for the Etruria? Kind of feels weird to have them as a tribe - sure, they were decentralised, but not uncivilised. Maybe some new government for such "confederations" of city-states?
 

Smokez83

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Thanks for the info and good to see some of the upcoming changes!
 

MohawkWolfo98

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What happens if you have very Low stability? What modifiers are there?

And if you can’t appoint people to government in Low stability, would it be a random process if one of the characters dies in office? And can this be implemented in Republics, even with high stability? :)
 
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Vernichtere

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the changes for stability, legitimacy and war-exhastion are great.

Population Growth: All the pops should grow, not only the random one depending on the different parameters in the town or province.

Technology: make a connection to spend different forms of mana for different kinds of bonuses, not only civic for everything.

 

Silversweeeper

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Any chance there will be some tweaks to tyranny decay? Unlike AE decay, which an advisor affects and an omen can help with, tyranny decay seems to be very difficult to speed up without picking Divine Mandate (which means foregoing the +X power/month as Rome while you remain a republic), and you can be stuck with high tyranny for decades despite changing your ruler.
 

Furleppe

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Kind of interesting that IR reworked and changed stability, war exhaustion and legitimacy to not be instant action-on-click almost immediately after release, while people in EU4 forums wanted (and probably still want) it for years.
 
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Dunya

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Love all the changes, specially the mercenaries one. Indeed I was exploiting the hell out of it. The war is almost won? Just send your mercs to be stackwiped. You weaken two enemies at once: the opponent and your own mercs
 

Zynyster

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Can’t wait for the optimizations so I can actually play the game.
 

Johan

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So are there currently no plans to increase the chances of characters marring?
 

diablopl4

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Kind of interesting that IR reworked and changed stability, war exhaustion to not be instant action-on-click almost immediately after release, while people in EU4 forums wanted (and probably still want) it for years.
Well as much as I would love those changed in EU4 I my self understand that EU4 is too far developed and advanced in mechanics for such change to the base of the game. Maybe in EU5 we'll get this ;)
 

John the John

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Utik

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Population Growth: All the pops should grow, not only the random one depending on the different parameters in the town or province.
That's effectively the same thing over time.

Technology: make a connection to spend different forms of mana for different kinds of bonuses, not only civic for everything.
That would be a step in the direction of EU4. One of the many complaints of the EU4 tech system was that it gave rise to arguably unrealistic tradeoffs (not saying I agree). Having just one mana type tied to research reduces that issue.