Imperator: Rome Developer Diary #110 - Egypt Mission Trees

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AreysAK

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Hi everybody!

It is a pleasure for me to make my “official debut” on the forums by presenting some of my work in the past months! This is Claudia, from the Content Design team on Imperator: Rome.

As you might have guessed, there is plenty of Diadochi-themed goodies in the incoming Heirs of Alexander DLC. Today, we are focusing on Ptolemaic Egypt. While not as adventurous or glamorous as his direct rivals, Ptolemaios I founded the most successful and renowned of the Diadochi kingdoms, which lasted until 30 BC when Ptolemaios’ last descendant - the famous Cleopatra VII - was defeated and her kingdom annexed by the Romans.

The four new missions from the DLC will accompany you through the greatest achievements and most challenging times of the Ptolemies, focusing on the early kings (Ptolemies I to III), encouraging you to emulate and even surpass their successes. Each mission focuses on one side of Ptolemaic politics: the conflict with the Antigonids first and the Seleukids later in Palestine and Phoenicia, the constant menace from the neighboring people of Cyrenaica and Kush, the dominion over the eastern Mediterranean, and the economic and cultural development of Egypt and, in particular, of its capital, Alexandria.

Antigonids and Seleukids - The Eastern Border
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Palestine and Phoenicia have always been the natural direction of Egyptian expansion - just think that the famous battle of Kadesh of pharaoh Ramesses II was fought almost a thousand years before our start date for this same area!
The Ptolemies contended this area to the Antigonids first and the Seleukids later for centuries, with alternating fortunes. In this mission, you will lead Egypt to the limits of its historical expansion in Syria and beyond while facing the specific challenges and reaping the unique benefits these lands have to offer.
For instance, Judea was a turbulent subject for their Hellenistic overlords of this period (e.g., the Maccabean revolt against the Seleukids in 167-160 BC); however, if Egypt succeeds in improving your relationship with the locals, you will gain a juicy historical event chain.
Who can guess what these ambassadors have to offer?
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Unruly neighbors - Greater Empire

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As you can see, this mission has three main directions: on one side, you are encouraged to strengthen your position on the Red Sea by sending explorers, expanding ports, and conquering trading posts, which will force you to deal with Egypt’s historical nemesis, the Kush. On the opposite side, you have the unstable western border with Cyrenaica; despite being mostly of Greek culture, the area was hardly integrated into the Ptolemaic kingdom and offered a naturally restless playground for disloyal princes of the court. Before you freak out: yes - there were already some events dealing with Magas’ revolt; yes - they have been expanded upon and integrated into the mission; no - the previous events have not been paywalled. Instead, the central path is a cheeky challenge: can you do better than Alexander himself and set up a western branch of the Macedonian empire?

On a different topic, did you know that any attempt by the Ptolemies to breed African elephants for their army failed, so they were forced to capture wild elephants where they lived naturally, in modern-days Eritrea and Sudan?
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Modernizing Egypt - The Macedonian Pharaoh
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This mission is entirely focused on developing your starting provinces and echoes the internal politics of the early Ptolemies. The city of Alexandria is the main focus of the tree; founded as a beacon of Greekness in Egypt by Alexander, the city was transformed into the Hellenistic world’s true capital by Ptolemy I and his descendants. By developing the city’s infrastructure, investing in festivals, building wonders, and introducing new cults, you will grow your capital into the finest city in the world! On the other hand, the Ptolemies did not neglect the chora (i.e., everything outside the cities) - and you won’t either - by investing in the colonization and reclamation of the lands along the Nile.
Egypt was the home of a very ancient and well-rooted religion so, among the Ptolemies’ politics of integration between the locals and the new Hellenic élite, a place of honor was held by the introduction of syncretic cults: gods that did not belong to either Hellenic or Egyptian religion originally, but were meant to become a natural part of both. To reflect the gradual and incidental nature of such innovations, these new cults will be introduced by missions (such as below) and follow-up events.
Can you guess who the mysterious god is?
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Sea Wars - Thalassocracy
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Finally, to the last mission! Its starting point is given by Ptolemy’s interests and challenges from our starting date to his death. Still, the mission itself pushes the boundaries of Ptolemaic achievements and encourages you to answer the question: what would have happened if Ptolemy’s maritime politics had been entirely successful and he had won the race to sea control against Demetrios? Secure historical Ptolemaic bases, challenge the other Diadochi in Greece, and become the eastern Mediterranean’s hegemon to find out!

There was no love lost between Ptolemaios and Antigonos...
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On this note, I’m concluding my Dev Diary. I hope you are looking forward to leading the Ptolemies to greatness and will have fun with these new missions!

Cheers!
 
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Snow Crystal

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Interesting that we will have missions related to religious syncretism in Egypt I am curious to see this.
One more thing since we are talking about "Alexandre's Heirs" that made me think one thing will we have anything for Bactria or Parthia? ( Parnia ), yes I know that they are not Diadochis, more because they have a certain importance in history and are somewhat related to the Seleukids, this doubt arose...
Who knows if Bactria goes independently and has full control of the Bactria and Sogdiana regions he could form Greco Bactria Kingdom for example... cof cof...

There will not be anything for the smaller nations, I'm afraid, we're only adding new missions for the big Diadochi nations (see Thrace, Macedon, Antigonids, Seleukids, Egypt).
 
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Trin Tragula

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Also, out of curiosity, wasn't the region renamed to Palestine by the Romans following the Bar Kochba Revolt, during the timeframe of the game?

Palestine is what the Greek successor kingdoms called it, long before there were Romans in the region :)
 
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AreysAK

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Historically, there was a good relationship with the Ptolemies. Josephus inserts a story indicating that Alexander was favorable during the conquest. Even if apocryphal, it's indicative of positive attitudes from the period.

Indeed. A large community of Jews lived in Alexandria and was perfectly integrated into the local culture. While maintaining their religion and traditions, many Jews (also in Palestine) adopted Greek names, spoke and wrote Greek, and were very active in promoting their culture's position at court and good relationships with the Ptolemies. It is in this environment that the Septuagint translation was written, and several later books of the Bible were probably written in Alexandria. On the topic, it is interesting to read the Letter of Aristeas - almost certainly a later work, but it reflects a generally positive attitude on both sides. On the opposite side, the Seleukid domination was more oppressive and bloody.
 
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AreysAK

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If the mission trees focus on the first few Ptolemies, does this mean we finally get to banish Ptolemaios Keraunos and succeed as Ptolemaios II Philadelphos instead? :p

Unfortunately, this type of event is too specific for a mission (what happens if Keraunos dies before you take up the mission?). That said, there might be ways around it... ;)
 
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AreysAK

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Wow look so neat. Please change Egypt color so not look like wasteland. Also I have question about Mission Tree. Is all mission historical? If some mission not historical then should be option to disable those one.

I read about War Elephant and it say Cassander or maybe Pyrrhus of Epirus is first person to transport War Elephant by boat. It impossible before he do it. I think he might be only person who ever did it.

Pyrrhus of Epirus - Wikipedia

Pyrrhic War - Wikipedia

War elephant - Wikipedia

You can rest assured that all missions and events have sound historical bases.

As for the elephants, you make some heavy claims! ;) Pyrrhus was the first to deploy war elephants for war in Europe, and he certainly moved his elephants by ship, but he was not the one and only. Ptolemy II (who, by the way, loaned Pyrrhus his war elephants) implemented the system of hunting - transporting - training of elephants described in the event, which continued for about a century (about 270-186 BC) and is attested by inscriptions, papyri, and literary sources. There are several scholarly works on the topic - e.g. I would suggest "ELEPHANTS FOR PTOLEMY II: PTOLEMAIC POLICY IN NUBIA IN THE THIRD CENTURY BC" by Burstein, S.M.
 
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AreysAK

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Hi @AreysAK ! these missions look good!

a couple of questions:

Since one of the missions is called Chremonidean war, does it mean that Chremonides will be spawned in Athens as a character?

Probably a bit cheeky on my part ;) No Chremonides, I'm afraid, but the "spirit" and goals of the war will be there.

And How will it work for those who don’t have the Hellenistic World flavour pack?

The Pharos decision was never locked behind a DLC (the Mouseion is). Of course, you will not be asked to do something you can't do because you don't have the right pack!
 
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AreysAK

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This seems like a whole lot of steps in the right direction! Very nice indeed. What about a mission (either in the Eastern Border, Thalassocracy, or Greater Empire paths) that would replicate the strong interest under exactly the three first Ptolemies towards posing as the protector of the Ionian cities? We have a lot of epigraphic evidence for Ptolemaic propaganda in the local sanctuaries testifying to intense lobbying and grooming of the poleis of not only Caria, but also Ionia. It was in particular the threat of the Galatae after 270s that provided a useful external threat that Ptolemy II, especially, promised to safeguard the Asian Littoral against.

Who told you it's not there? :p
 
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